Geography Archives: France

  • Arafat’s Ghost

      Asʻad Ghanem.  Palestinian Politics after Arafat: A Failed National Movement.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.  x + 208 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-35427-3; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-22160-5. November 2010 marked the sixth anniversary of the death of Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Yasser Arafat.  For the last two years of his life, the once […]

  • Fintan O’Toole’s Own Cultural Revolution

    Fintan O’Toole.  Enough Is Enough: How to Build a New Republic.  Faber.  £12.99. Suppose you were swept to power on the back of a massive popular vote — say something like 80%, the kind of number that usually has the USA and its client states jumping up and down and calling you a leftist narco-terrorist. […]

  • Evo Morales Promulgates Law That Lowers Retirement Age

    Bolivian President Evo Morales, this Friday, promulgated the Law of Pensions whose content was, for the first time in the history of Bolivia, concretized by workers and representatives of social movements.  The Bolivian leader declared that the promulgation of this new law is evidence of the deepening of democracy in the nation. “What is most […]

  • Globalizing Homophobia

    After September 11th, 2001, one of the liberal justifications for the military intervention against Afghanistan was the oppression of women, but also of gays, by the Taliban.  People in Europe and the USA received with shock the news that same-sex couples were publicly executed in the Kabul Stadium by bringing down a wall upon them […]

  • Abraham Serfaty

    On November 18, I received the sad news: my Moroccan friend and teacher, Abraham Serfaty, passed away in Marrakesh, Morocco.  Serfaty was a well-known Moroccan communist dissident and an anti-Zionist Jewish Arab.  He died at the age of 83, after a long illness. My relationship with Abraham started four decades ago with a small book […]

  • A Letter from Tel Aviv: The Right in Israel Is Playing with Fire

      I am in Tel Aviv.  70 km away from the fires, I cannot even see the smoke cloud above the Haifa area, which is moving into the sea and may reach Cyprus before it comes to me.  The pictures on my plasma TV are, however, very saddening.  You see tens of thousands evacuated from […]

  • Gates’ False Iran Premise: Sanctions Will Not Sow Internal Discord and Change Iran’s Nuclear Calculations

    Since returning to government service to take up his current position, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been a sober skeptic about the wisdom of military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets — under President Obama as well as under President George W. Bush, and regardless of whether such strikes would be carried out by the […]

  • China’s Export Conundrum

      In 2009, the European Union, United States and Mexico filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against China’s export restrictions on certain raw materials, including bauxite, coke, fluorspar, silicon carbide and zinc.  They said that, firstly, these constraints — in the form of export taxes, quotas, licences and so on — caused […]

  • Germany: Greens Rise as the Left Party Struggles . . . with Itself

    Using ropes, some young people descended halfway from railroad bridges to force the train to stop.  Others hastily grabbed stones out from under the tracks and in this way prevent their use.  Far more, young and old from all over Germany, simply sat down on the tracks until police carried them away.  Banners and witty, […]

  • French Trade Unions: Going All the Way or Just Going Along to Get Along?

      One of the key elements of the current new movement against the retirement reform is the unity of trade unions, which has so far survived.  This unity of trade union leadership is perceived by a large section of workers, as well as by the population in general, as an asset, a fulcrum of the […]

  • Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism

    Once I went to May Day.  I never got workers’ festivities.  The day of work, are you kidding?  The day of workers celebrating themselves.  I never got it into my head what workers’ day or the day of work meant.  I never got it into my head why work should be celebrated.  But when I […]

  • Iran and Honduras in the Propaganda System: Part 2, The 2009 Iranian and Honduran Elections

    As we stated at the outset of Part 1,1 there is no better test of the independence and integrity of the establishment U.S. media than in their comparative treatment of Iran and Honduras in 2009 and 2010. Iran held its most recent presidential election on June 12, 2009.  This followed a typically short three-week campaign […]

  • Cine-Tract: No to Retirement Reform

    No to the retirement reform, yes to better work sharing. This cine-tract was created by art and film students at Lycée Gabriel-Guist’hau in Nantes, France, to support the social movement against Sarko’s retirement reform. | Print

  • French Protesters Have It Right: No Need to Raise Retirement Age

    The demonstrations that have rocked France this past week highlight some of its differences from the United States.  This photo, for example, shows the difference between rioting in baseball-playing versus soccer-playing countries.  In the U.S., we would pick up the tear gas canister and THROW it — rather than kick it — back at the […]

  • Besancenot: “Blocking the Economy to Block the Reform”

      Esteban: Hello, this Tuesday’s action is a symbolic last-ditch stand, isn’t it? Olivier Besancenot: No!  It’s another stage toward the general strike which is beginning to happen.  On Tuesday night, strikes will be renewed, and there will be new demonstrations, as well as numerous blockades.  The question posed now is about blocking the economy […]

  • Storming the Bastille, Sans Papiers

      At the end of the afternoon of May 27, a mass demonstration marched into the Place de la Bastille in Paris.  The march itself represented what can now be viewed as a low point in the national union mobilizations to challenge the proposed weakening of France’s public pension regime and other reactionary responses of […]

  • First as History, Then as Farce: The Euro Crisis Revisited

    When the Crash of 2008 hit Wall Street, European capitalism was thrown into disarray.  With the demise of the export-absorbing monster that was the US consumer market, what in 2003 Joseph Halevi and I called “The Global Minotaur” (see Monthly Review, Vol. 55), Europe not only lost a critical source of aggregate demand but also […]

  • Another Outrage: Pushing Back Social Security Benefits

    In France, millions march against the Sarkozy plan to push the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits from 65 to 67.  “We can no longer afford” to pay for workers’ retirements at age 65, Sarkozy says.  Similarly, rumors swirl in Washington and beyond that Obama’s special Deficit Reduction Commission is tilting toward similar changes […]

  • France: Let’s Turn On the Heat!

    Bettencourt has supplied the pot . . . let’s turn on the heat! Karak is a cartoonist based in Montpellier, France, who blogs at .  This cartoon was published in his blog on 24 September 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  Cf. “President […]

  • French Labor Activism, US Labor Passivism

    US workers suffered a major rise in unemployment from its level in 2008 (5.8 %) to its level in the second quarter of 2010 (9.7 %).  By comparison, French unemployment rose from 7.4 % in 2008 to 9.2 % in the second quarter of 2010.  These data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show […]