Archive | News

  • Richard Linklater’s Boyhood: A Review

      It is difficult to put into words the effect of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014).  But, I suspect that the power of this spell-binding film lies in its ability to mirror for us both the cinematic experience and a certain truth about life in the first decade and half of the new century, i.e., the […]

  • The Problem Is Capitalism

    NYC Climate Convergence, September 20, 2014 A. The Environmental Crisis The “environmental crisis” is actually a number of crises, including the following: climate change; acidification of the oceans (related to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels); pollution of air, water, soil, and organisms with harmful substances; degradation of agricultural soils; destruction of wetlands and tropical forests; and […]

  • Socialism and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises

    ​Global capitalism has huge problems coping with the second worst collapse in its history. Its extreme and deepening inequalities have provoked millions to question and challenge capitalism. Yet socialists of all sorts now find it more difficult than ever to make effective criticisms and offer alternatives that inspire. Part of the problem lies with classic […]

  • Massa Tom

    One of my cherished historical role models growing up in rural Virginia during the 1950s and 60s was the tall, red-haired intellectual and revolutionary, Thomas Jefferson.  The vast majority of those I grew up with and went to school with were far from being intellectuals (who were commonly put down as “eggheads” or worse) and […]

  • Who Can Stop the “Islamic State”?

    The most severe crisis in the Middle East to date, the coming to power of the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria, has entered an extremely absurd phase.  The European states are about to follow the lead of the U.S. by exporting arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government under the command of Mustafa Barzani.  This […]

  • Losing Heads and Sending Arms

    Two famous heads got lost in Berlin.  Neither loss, I hasten to add, was connected with brutality.  From the past or near future, they caused melancholy or rejoicing, depending on your viewpoint. One loss really occurred twenty-two years ago, when the 62-foot red granite statue of Lenin on East Berlin’s Lenin Square and Lenin Allee […]

  • Who Governs Cuba? Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

    Not least among achievements of Cuba’s socialist revolution is expanded political participation, even exercise of power, among formerly disadvantaged groups.  Rafael Hernández, editor of the Cuban journal Temas, details this story.  He studied participation and entry into leadership positions in terms of age, gender, race, and profession.  He mentions one consequence of inclusion that may […]

  • Open Shop Trend Makes Organizing the “Organized” Top Union Priority

    For many years, American unions have been trying to “organize the unorganized” to offset and, where possible, reverse their steady loss of dues-paying members.  In union circles, a distinction was often made between this “external organizing” — to recruit workers who currently lack collective bargaining rights — and “internal organizing,” which involves engaging more members […]

  • Interview with Deon Haywood: “Nine Years After Katrina, It’s All About the Takeover”

    Deon Haywood is the Executive Director of Woman With a Vision, a New Orleans social justice non-profit founded in 1991 by a grassroots collective of African-American women in response to the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color.  According to the WWAV website, “We envision an environment in which there is no war against women’s […]

  • National March on Ferguson, August 30, 2014

    You are invited to join us at the National March on Ferguson, on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition will begin the march at 10 am at “Ground Zero,” the corner of W. Florissant Ave. and Canfield Dr. (63135).  This site of ongoing activity is a block from where policeman […]

  • New Paths Require a New Culture on the Left

    Speech accepting the 2013 Libertador Prize for Critical Thought, awarded for A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-first Century Socialism, Caracas, Venezuela, August 15, 2014 I completed this book one month after the physical disappearance of President Hugo Chávez, without whose intervention in Latin America this book could not have been written.  Many of […]

  • National Lawyers Guild, Other Legal Organizations Urge International Criminal Court to Investigate War Crimes by Israeli, U.S. Leaders in Gaza

    The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists (Asociación Americana de Juristas)sent a letter on Friday, August 22 to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against […]

  • Shoppers Without Borders: Cure for Media-Inflicted War Wounds

    Paige Turner, a 29-year-old graduate of Grinnell College’s creative writing program, came to New York to start her life as a novelist.  She got some gigs chronicling upscale Manhattan lifestyles for glossy magazines: “good background for my first socially conscious bestseller!”  Things were going great — she was online most of the day, researching fashion […]

  • Unraveling Capitalist Globalization

    Despite the prolonged global economic crisis since 2007/2008, neo-liberal economic thought and practice continue to reign supreme.  In his important book Capitalist Globalization: Consequences, Resistance, and Alternatives (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Martin Hart-Landsberg makes a number of key interventions unraveling the myth of neo-liberalism as well as the dynamics underlying capitalist accumulation. First, he identifies […]

  • Sour Pickles and Sour Grapes

    When politicians vacation and little action is expected, the words German journalists use for such summer doldrums is “Saure-Gurken-Zeit” — “sour pickle time.”  Since German often squeezes things together into what Mark Twain called “not words but panoramas,” it’s usually written with no break, “Sauregurkenzeit,” and may be derived from the time before the harvest […]

  • US Intervention Is Not Humanitarian and Will Not Protect the People of Iraq

      Here we go again, the US is using a humanitarian catastrophe to implement imperialist objectives and pour petrol on fire. It is sickening to see Obama and the Western media shedding crocodile tears for the Iraqi people, after the US-led occupation pulverised Iraq as a society and killed a million of its people.  It […]

  • Debate on Capitalism, Environmentalism, and “Environmental Catastrophism”

    The Environment and Capitalism: Response to Ian Angusby Sam Gindin The most critical question confronting anyone concerned with the environmental crisis is the political one: how to build a social force able to do something about it.  The most important division among social activists is not between those who think an environmental collapse is imminent […]

  • I See Palestine

    In response to Roger Cohen, “Why Americans See Israel the Way They Do,” New York Times, August 3, 2014. . . . The bias of the cowboy-and-Indians movies I grew up on in the 1950s has long been exposed: swallowing up Native American land was the aim, and the myth of the dangerous savages who […]

  • In Shared Sorrow: Remembering ‘Comrade’ Nirmal da

    This tribute to one of India’s finest radical economists first appeared in Analytical Monthly Review, May 2014.  AMR, published from Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Nirmal Kumar Chandra (1936-2014), referred to by his dear friend, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph (April 4, 2014) as “The Compleat Economist”, was in […]

  • On Capital, Real Socialism, and Venezuela: An Interview with Michael A. Lebowitz

    Gülden Özcan and Bora Erdağı: In some of the interviews you gave, you talked about your own everyday life experiences that led you to discover that Marx’s total critique of capitalism is an unfinished project.  In this discovery, you emphasized elsewhere that your class background and political struggle you were involved in have played an […]