Geography Archives: Europe

  • Lords of War: Arming the World

    “I hope they kill each other . . . too bad they both can’t lose.” — Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger (on the U.S. arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s) “Do not support dictators. Do not sell them weapons.” — Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, East Timorese peace negotiator It’s not every […]

  • South Korea: The State of Political Struggle

    The post-crisis trajectory of the South Korean economy has been a disaster for working people there, and South Korean labor and left movements are engaged in a very difficult struggle to roll back the ongoing neoliberal restructuring.  In this essay I discuss some of the challenges these movements face.  I do so because workers and […]

  • “We Went into the Mall and Began ‘Looting'”: A Letter on Race, Class, and Surviving the Hurricane

      [Peter Berkowitz is a long-time Monthly Review subscriber. He was in New Orleans bringing his son Ernesto to begin his freshman year at Loyola when they were caught in the hurricane. Peter and Ernesto spent five days on the street by the Convention Center. Below is a letter Peter sent to his mother upon […]

  • Keep the “Labor” in Labor Day: Remembering the Lowell Mill Girls

    “In vain do I try to soar in fancy and imagination above the dull reality around me but beyond the roof of the factory I cannot rise.” — anonymous Lowell Mill worker, 1826 Lowell, Massachusetts was named after the wealthy Lowell family. They owned numerous textile mills, which attracted the unmarried daughters of New England […]

  • Britain to World: Shut Up

    I have often wondered about the legal and moral issues involved in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. Armed resistance is permitted against an occupier, and there’s no rule requiring that attackers have a getaway planned. I’m not in favor of attacking civilians, of course — in fact, I find it hard to support attacking anyone. But as […]

  • Europe, Capitalism, and Socialism

    In the Spring of 2005, workers’ votes in France and the Netherlands made the difference in defeating the draft European constitution and ending socialist party control of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. In the few weeks after those momentous events, most politicians and reporters offered one basic explanation. It tells us much more about the […]

  • The Front Lines of Social Change: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

    The Front Lines of Social Change: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. By Richard Bermack, Introduction by Peter Carroll. Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2005. 120pp, oversize. $19.95pbk. This is a photo book with text, and Richard Bermack is the master photographer of veteran political activists on the West Coast. He has been on the job for […]

  • Where Have All the Farmers Gone?

    The United States was a land of farmers, from first settlement to the industrial revolution that took off in the 1830s.   European settlers, mainly from England, Scotland, and Ireland, were overwhelmingly farmers, peasants, from generations of the same.  They came to North America for land to farm.  With the support of the British colonial institutions, […]

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

      [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Three of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your […]

  • Carmageddon and Karl Marx

    “So far as I am aware,” wrote Paul Sweezy in 1973, “the political economy of the automobile has never been subjected to serious analysis in the Marxian literature.” Amazingly, despite the apparent onset of global warming, “peak oil,” and permanent petro-war, Sweezy’s observation remains true today.  We Marxians have not yet begun to do more […]

  • Global Capitalism in Danger

    Global capitalism is in danger. Leading lights of global finance capital are sending out warning signals with growing urgency and desperation. Alan Greenspan is puzzled, referring to the decline of long-term interest rates at a time of rising short-term interest rates as a “conundrum.” To solve the conundrum, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times argues, […]

  • The New Model Army of Clowns:

    In the years since W’s re-election, activists around the world have re-examined their methods. Questioning the accustomed lesser evil electoral politics, the boring rallies, the bursts of direct action, and frustrated tears, a new cohort of political actors have emerged with a new series of playful approaches. They have turned to a uniquely distinct form […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • The Slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes

    There was a remarkable moment in London last month when the Israeli Defence Force looked more restrained than the Metropolitan Police. Having shot an unarmed civilian in the head seven times (and once in the shoulder), the Metropolitan Police was suddenly obliged to explain to the public a policy that had been decided on in […]

  • 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 […]

  • A “Better Occupation” of Iraq?

    It would be a mistake to say that it was inevitable that the US would fail in its putative mission of “liberating” Iraq or transforming it into a viable democracy, for that would be deterministic.  It would not be incorrect to state that it was practically inevitable, however.  And why that is so tells us […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Latterday Wobbly Types: Remembering Stan Weir

    The Industrial Workers of the World, celebrating their centenary this year (see Paul Buhle, “The Legacy of the IWW,” Monthly Review, June 2005), could not play a major role in labor or the Left after the middle 1920s,  but their influence continued (and continues) to be felt in many curious ways. To take an often […]