Geography Archives: Americas

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • “The Prime Minister’s New Clothes” in Denmark Today

    In Europe, the legitimacy of almost all established political parties and governments seems to be suffering from metal fatigue. This malaise is aggravated by their attempts to implement neoliberal economic policies and adapt themselves to US imperialism at the same time. Is the small Scandinavian country of Denmark an exception that proves the rule? The […]

  • 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 […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Three

      In Part Two, we examined the rapidly changing nature of post-secondary teaching, one of the two reasonably skilled  jobs among the top ten jobs estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the highest job growth between 2002 and 2012. The other job is nursing. Job experts claim that there is a […]

  • 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 […]

  • Letter to Young Activists: Beware Sixties Nostalgia

    In my lifetime, young people have changed the world. From Little Rock to Greensboro, from Selma to Soweto, in Tien an Mien and Seattle and Nepal, it was the young who dared to act in the face of the overwhelming certainty that nothing could be done. It was their direct action that educated, opened doors […]

  • On Freakonomics, Roe v. Wade, and John Roberts, Jr.

    Controversy sells. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, a collaboration between economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Sthephen J. Dubner, is a good example of this maxim. Levitt and Dubner tackle controversial subjects in an unconventional fashion, and now their book is a New York Times Bestseller. Although I do not […]

  • 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 […]

  • “The Question of Working-Class Power”: Bill Fletcher, Jr. Speaks to the Canadian Auto Workers Conference, Toronto, Canada, 13 July 2005

      Good morning. President Hargrove, leaders, and members of the Canadian Auto Workers, I wish to thank you very much for inviting me to speak with you today. This is a great honor and I have been looking forward to this opportunity. If all goes according to some plans, by the end of July, the […]

  • Politics and the Playing Field: An interview with Dave Zirin

    It’s fashionable on the Left to look down one’s nose at the world of sports. To do so, according to Dave Zirin, would be to miss a chance at both inspiration and solidarity. Zirin’s new book, What’s My Name, Fool! Sports and Resistance in the United States creates a much-needed bridge between the political and […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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’ […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • U.S. Labor in Crisis: The Current Internal Debate and the Role of Democracy in Its Revitalization

    [The following is a speech delivered by Jerry Tucker on March 12, 2005 at the conference on “Work and Social Movements in the United States” at University of Paris – Sorbonne (March 10-12, 2005). Tucker will report daily on the AFL-CIO 2005 convention in Chicago on July 25-28. — Ed.] There is today a rare […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Two

      In Part One, I argued that capitalism produces very few jobs that utilize fully our human capacities to conceptualize and perform work.  Instead, most jobs are degraded and demand little of us.  I noted that of the ten jobs projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the greatest job growth between […]

  • Village of Euclid v. Amber Realty (1926)

                                     Village of Euclid v. Amber Realty (1926). Case decided: November 22, 1926 by the United States Supreme Court 6-3 in favor of the palintiff The desire to cryogenically keep the community as it is at a point in time The popular panacea for preceived problems: Pass a law                   And so communities across the […]