Geography Archives: Americas

  • The Sandinista Revolution and the “Fifth Freedom”

    This month will mark the 25th Anniversary of the overwhelmingly successful Literacy Crusade spurred by the Sandinista Revolution. This article examines the various programs implemented during the revolution, the US reaction to the revolution, and Nicaragua’s present situation. Revolution On July 19, 1979 a broad-based popular revolution, inspired by the legacy of Augusto Cesar Sandino […]

  • Japan’s Modern Historical Loop

    The news of world affairs these days is highly unlikely to delight the Japanese survivors of the two nuclear terrorist attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States’ armed forces sixty years ago. Those attacks were not meant to convince the Japanese leaders to surrender, something which they were about to do anyway, but […]

  • Koizumi Goes Postal

    On Monday, August 8th, Japan’s upper house of Parliament unexpectedly joined the French and Dutch electorates to give a sharp slap to neoliberal inevitability. Much to the totally delicious distress of all the usual suspects, from the Financial Times to the Christian Science Monitor, the parliamentarians turned down Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s key piece of […]

  • Superman and a New Progressive Strategy!

    When I was a child, I used to watch cartoons at home after school (I understand there is a debate about the wisdom of letting children watch TV.  However, I am doing fine today). My favorite cartoon was Superman.  Let me clarify. It was a little confusing watching Superman growing up in Puerto Rico.  Although […]

  • Read the Treaty!

    The United States’ attack on Iran has begun.  The administration of George W. Bush, merely the latest demagogue in charge of domestically marketing the unchanging policies of our outdated, reactionary ruling class, has commenced its media campaign accusing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the newly seated president of Iran, of being merely the latest demagogue in charge of […]

  • Being a Protestant Fundamentalist

    Sometimes, I think I may be the only leftist, Marxist, feminist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist in the United States who was raised as a Protestant Christian fundamentalist.  I remained an evangelizing true believer of the Southern Baptist faith (the largest Christian denomination in the U.S.) in rural Oklahoma until I was 19 years old.  My dream growing […]

  • Vermin and Souvenirs: How to Justify a Nuclear Attack

    Because Japan chose to invade several colonial outposts of the West, the war in the Pacific laid bare the inherent racism of the colonial structure. In the United States and Britain, the Japanese were more hated than the Germans. The race card was played to the hilt through a variety of Allied propaganda methods. Spurred […]

  • Heading North, Looking South: Reflections on a Year in Venezuela

      I can’t help but reflect on what I am leaving behind as I walk down the ramp onto the airplane that will carry me back to the US after nearly a year living in Venezuela. There exists the tendency — perhaps, common among people like me, raised and educated in the best private schools […]

  • A House Divided: For Better or Worse?

    Note: this concluding report on the AFL-CIO Convention and events surrounding it will be offered in two parts.  First, a summary and catch-up on certain events and impressions of the week in Chicago; second, an attempt to sort out and analyze these events, what they represent in a larger context, and what it all could […]

  • Dividing the Conservative Coalition

    The Bush government, itself a coalition of the willing, cobbles together four different streams of conservatives. Like all coalitions, it is vulnerable to events. Patrick Buchanan, the journal National Interest, and the think tank Cato Institute, are conservatives against Bush’s Iraq policy. Similarly, the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation criticize Bush’s fiscal […]

  • The Activists’ MC: An Interview with Rapper Son of Nun

    Most progressive-minded hip hop fans and culturally-inclined activists have not heard of Baltimore rapper Son of Nun yet. After listening to the Son’s first album, Blood and Fire, I can only say this: they will. Despite this being his first album, Nun — a high school teacher, activist, and organizer from Baltimore — is clearly […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]