Archive | Commentary

  • Change of Epoch: Imperialism Counterattacks, But Chávez Lives, the Struggle Continues

    Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa‘s idea that we are not “living in an epoch of change” but rather “in a change of epoch” is very much to the point.  There is an obvious worldwide decline of existing imperialisms and historic changes in the correlation of social, class, and nation-state forces.  There have arisen popular movements of […]

  • For the Finance Minister of Germany, Crisis Is a “Necessity”

    Angela Merkel’s face usually displays a rather plain, friendly, almost benign expression, matching her simple, benign words.  But in rare unguarded moments, some claim, they glimpse a very hard visage, which is matched, equally rarely, by hardly benign words, like her annoyed statement that Cyprus was “exhausting the patience of its euro partners.”  Yes, Angela […]

  • The Truth About Profits and Austerity

    The truth about profits in the US is simple.  Ed Dolan’s recent piece in Seeking Alpha contains a graph that makes it all too clear. First, it’s clear that profits as a percentage of total US GDP have recovered from the crash of 2008.  Unemployment may still be over 50% higher than it was in […]

  • All in the Name of the Poor

    Why is there little or practically no information in the 2013-14 budget on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s pet scheme to bring about direct cash transfer payments to eventually replace price subsidies for food, fuel and fertiliser products?  Who are going to be the real beneficiaries of the direct cash transfers […]

  • On the Shahbagh Movement Against War Criminals of 1971

      This article was featured in the March 2013 issue of Analytical Monthly Review, a sister edition of Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India. — Ed. Some young people gathered on the crossroads of Shahbagh in Dhaka on February 5, 2013, to protest against the judgment of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) which […]

  • The Story of Ordu Is the Story of Every University in Turkey

      In a society where employees are only expected to perform well according to predetermined criteria, where loyalty to superiors and management is permanently tested through the nightmare of contract non-renewal, where there is a desire to transform universities into subsidiaries of monopoly capital, those who say “a university should not be like that” will […]

  • World Social Forum Opens in Tunisia

    Tunis, Tunisia Tens of thousands of people marched through downtown Tunis on Tuesday in a spirited march celebrating the beginning the 13th World Social Forum — the first to be held in an Arab country.  The majority of marchers were from Tunisia and neighboring nations, but there was substantial representation from Europe, as well as […]

  • Portugal: Police Batons for Protesters and Rubber Bullets for the Kids of Bela Vista

    Bela Vista, Setúbal.Photo by Pú Tony’s Mural.Photo by Mark Bergfeld. Ruben Marques, 18, died at the hands of the police in the barrio of Bela Vista, Setúbal, Portugal, on Saturday, March 16.  His crime: he crossed a red traffic light with his moped. The media blame the victim for not wearing a helmet, the Communist […]

  • Why Riot?

    . . . This year nobody went out to celebrate the revolution.  Instead we went out to finish what we started in January 2011. . . .  “There’s no food.  Muslim Brothers, liars all!  You tricked us in the name of religion!” . . .  We came out because we had no other choice in […]

  • Chávez’s Leninism

    In the many homages to Hugo Chávez in recent weeks, there is an important element that suffers almost complete neglect.  For want of a better term we could call it “Leninism.”  By this, of course, I do not mean the tired, formulaic (and basically anti-Leninist) doctrine that generally bears that name.  It is precisely the […]

  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe Chairwoman on Hugo Chávez

    The following comments were made by White Earth Chairwoman Erma J. Vizenor during her “State of the Nation Address,” March 7, 2013, in Mahnomen, Minnesota.  They are taken from the Nation’s newspaper, Anishinaabeg Today, March 13, 2013, reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes. On Tuesday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez passed away.  President Chavez was a […]

  • The Environmental Crisis and Capitalism

    Fred Magdoff: What I would end with is just a couple of ideas — not to give you a blueprint of another type of system but a couple of ideas of what it might be like.  I would say one in which basically the economy and politics are both under social control, under democratic social […]

  • Chávez, a Reader of Mészáros

    Hugo Chávez always said that a key book he had read during his prison years was Beyond Capital by his friend István Mészáros.  The book was brought to him by Jorge Giordani, who later became Venezuela’s chief minister in charge of economy under Chávez, the position that Giordani still holds today. The last time I […]

  • Work Like Chávez

    “Check out the latest track from Rebel Diaz, a tribute to the recently-deceased Venezuelan President, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, perhaps the most important political leader of our generation. . . .  The intro sample is from legendary Venezuelan musician and activist, Alí Primera.  The words translate as ‘Those who die for life cannot be called […]

  • Samir Amin: Chávez Has Died, But the Bolivarian Revolution Continues

      The President of the World Forum for Alternatives (WFA), Egyptian economist Samir Amin, today paid tribute to the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, whose death he called a “great tragedy.” The neo-Marxist intellectual expressed his sadness for the death of the Venezuelan leader and his solidarity with the Venezuelan people in a communiqué […]

  • The World-Historical Importance of Hugo Chávez

    The masses make history, but particular charismatic men and women can play a pivotal role, especially when they believe in the people and mobilize the masses to take action on their own behalf.  Hugo Chávez was one of those rare revolutionary leaders.  He was especially important for Latin America and the Third World for taking […]

  • Farewell Comrade Chávez

    With the death of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela and the world have lost a leader whose primary concern was to bring a new system into existence — one he referred to as 21st Century Socialism.  This meant a lot of things to Chávez, including making sure that all people had access to the necessities of life […]

  • “Por Ahora”: A Few Words for Hugo Chávez

    Caracas, March 6, 2013 Hugo Chávez, who died yesterday afternoon, was something of an Emersonian hero.  “Speak your latent conviction,” said the sage of Concord, “and it shall be the universal sense.” Chávez said things that other people thought, or at least recognized that they thought after he said them. One could say that he […]

  • Chávez’s Chief Legacy: Building, with People, an Alternative Society to Capitalism

    When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already foundering.  The choice then was none other than whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model — clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking — or to go […]

  • Portugal: “I Prefer the Horses in My Lasagne to the Donkeys in the Government”

    Last Saturday’s “Que Se Lixe a Troika” (Fuck the Troika) demonstrations represent a qualitative as well as quantitative shift for the anti-austerity movement in Portugal.  In more than 40 towns and cities across Portugal, 1.5 million people (800,000 in Lisbon) took it to the streets against the government’s slavish submission to the dictates of the […]