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Geography Archives: Americas

South America, Central America, United States & Canada

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Market Fundamentalists Lose in Iran (For Now)

The prevailing spin on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rise to Iran’s presidency wrongly suggests that a win for his rivals could have ushered a dawn of enlightenment. The mainstream press has largely described Iran’s competing factions as little more than vote-rigging theocrats arrayed against tolerant modernizers. In particular, strong support for Ahmadinejad among the Basij militia and […]

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Singin

General Electric’s Ecomagination: New Veneer, Same Propaganda

General Electric (GE) commercials have always aimed to present a calm, peaceful world that (they imply) the company’s technological ingenuity helps make possible. After all, they “bring good things to life.” As environmental degradation continues to expand in tandem with global capitalism, environmental consciousness becomes a new marketing strategy. GE’s newest invention is to present […]

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An Injury to One

An Injury to One: A Film by Travis Wilkerson

2005 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Industrial Workers World, the I.W.W., popularly known as the “Wobblies.” The most radical, mass-based labor organization to emerge within U.S. history, they embodied the slogan “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All,” as they organized unskilled as well as skilled workers, immigrants […]

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Voluntary Slavery

Although the widely celebrated consumer sovereignty allows people to choose whether to consume Coke or Pepsi, nobody could even dream of suggesting that workers can act as sovereign individuals within their place of employment. Ideologists mouth comforting platitudes that depict people as sovereign individuals in their role as consumers, but obviously ultimate control of the […]

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Thinking About China

Imports into the U.S. keep rising and the merchandise trade deficit keeps growing. Manufacturing jobs continue to disappear and wages and working conditions continue to worsen.  Increasingly, those who seek to explain these trends point to China.  It is true that China has become an export powerhouse, and the United States its main market.  China […]

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Truth Not Tolerance

Judge of Character

Nothing offend American voters more than the imputation that their vote is ideologically motivated. Anything that smacks of partisanship is rejected out of hand. “I don’t vote for the party,” they’ll insist.  “I vote for the person.” Then why, one wonders, is the American electorate such a lousy judge of character?  Why is inflexibility taken […]

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Of Shibboleth and Power

Sometimes, when a comrade intentionally ignores relevant facts in the discussion of an issue, it may indicate that the comrade is enthralled by an unexamined shibboleth. If I remember my Bible, the word shibboleth was used as a kind of military password, because enemy intruders couldn’t pronounce it.  Those who approached Hebrew positions at night […]

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Building Socialism of the 21st Century

[The following is the concluding section of Michael A. Lebowitz’s talk “Socialism Doesn’t Drop from the Sky,” presented to the National Conference of Revolutionary Students for the Construction of Socialism of the XXI Century in Merida, Venezuela on 24 July 2005. — Ed.] In the same way that Marx was prepared to change his own […]

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In the Reactionary Era of “No Alternative”  

For years, U.S. political and economic leaders saw themselves in mortal combat with communist nations for the allegiance of peoples at home and abroad. The pressure of being in competition with an alternative economic system set limits on how thoroughly Western leaders dared to mistreat their own working populations. Indeed, during the Cold War, pains […]

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Against Deferred Gratification

Every now and then I see a slogan that’s credited to Ben Cohen, of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream: “If it’s not fun, why do it?” It seems like the worst part of the sixties in seven words — the mindless hedonism and self-involvement that made the counter-culture such fertile terrain for commodification. We serious […]

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Puppets on a String?

Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is sacred to most of us, limited as it is in a capitalist society in which the press is free only if you own one.  Today, Judith Miller of the New York Times is considered a martyr for freedom of the press. The emblematic defense of reporters’ […]

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Indocumentado/Undocumented

Solo, Frente a luces ajenas Oye otras voces calladas, distantes: Este puente te lleva al olvido, Te cambia de nombre. Ya nada será tuyo Escucha el sonido del tren que se aleja, El viento que roza la tarde. Ya nada será tuyo Y cuando vuelvas Traerás en las uñas, en el tacto, en tu aliento, […]

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Assata Shakur

Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture

Speaking from Cuba, where she was granted asylum after escaping from a US prison in 1979, Assata Shakur, the alleged “Bandit Queen” of the now defunct Black Liberation Army, announced today that she would hand over one million “HANDS OFF ASSATA” t-shirts to the person or persons who successfully apprehend US Secretary of Defense Donald […]

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Border Vigilantes and Mass Migration

Vigilantism along the U.S.-Mexico border, which dates back to the U.S. conquest of Mexico, refuses to die.  The latest vigilante group, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, claims 15,000 volunteers willing to patrol the border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  During April, the group staged a border watch in southern Arizona to stop illegal […]

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