Geography Archives: Portugal

  • Thinking About the American Left and Die Linke

    The North Atlantic Left Dialogue (NALD), by bringing North Americans and Europeans together, allows participants to reflect on their own situation through the lens of the thinking of other leftists who face similar political issues in different contexts.  There are commonalities in the division between social movements on the one hand and political parties/labor organizations […]

  • The IMF and Economic Recovery: Is Fund Policy Contributing to Downside Risks?

    Introduction The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects world economic growth will slow, from 4.8 percent in 2010 to 4.2 percent next year.  Throughout the report, there are numerous concerns expressed about the “fragility” of the global economic recovery.  The Acting Chair of the Executive Board states that “[t]he recovery is losing momentum […]

  • Merkel, Muslims, and Multi-Kulti

    It’s those foreigners again!  In June and July, during the World Cup, Germans cheered their soccer team’s every skilled pass, every goal — and seemed proud that so many of its players had immigrant backgrounds, from Tunisia, Nigeria, Brazil, Spain, Yugoslavia, Ghana, Poland, and Turkey.  Hurrah! But now it’s October.  The leaves have changed color […]

  • 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 […]

  • Medvedev and Chávez Sign Agreement to Build First Nuclear Power Plant in Venezuela

    After a high-level meeting of the Russian and Venezuelan delegations, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed this Friday a series of strategic agreements, including an agreement to build the first nuclear power plant in Venezuela. The agreement, which had been negotiated during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Caracas last April, […]

  • The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time

    Paper prepared for the American Sociological Association Meetings in Atlanta, August 16th, 2010. There are many explanations for the crisis of capital that began in 2007.  But the one thing missing is an understanding of “systemic risks.”  I was alerted to this when Her Majesty the Queen visited the London School of Economics and asked […]

  • Europe in Crisis

    Part 1: The German Space of Accumulation The present state of affairs in the Eurozone and in the EU reflects the partition of the European Union into three groups. The first is a group of neomercantilist countries centred on Germany and formed by Holland, Belgium, Austria and Scandinavia.  Their neomercantilism can be defined as a […]

  • A New Type of Political Organization? The Greater Toronto Workers Assembly

    At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Left around the world is undergoing reformation.  As the Great Recession has vividly demonstrated, more than three decades of neoliberal capitalism have eroded many of the significant gains won in the immediate decades following WWII.  From wage and benefit concessions to reductions in […]

  • Economic Recovery for the Few

    Where is this elusive recovery?  The banks, some say, have “recovered.”  Yet they remain dependent on Washington, they do not make the loans needed for a general recovery, and many medium and small banks keep collapsing.  The stock market shows no recovery.  The Dow index was 14,000 in late 2007 when capitalism hit the fan, […]

  • Greece and the IMF: Who Exactly Is Being Saved?

      Excerpt: Importantly, the initial collapse and following standstill in economic activity and nominal levels of GDP is also extremely bad news for the strategy of fiscal consolidation itself.  On the one hand, to keep on servicing interest payments (see above), nominal debt will continue to go up.  On the other hand, nominal GDP goes […]

  • Productivity Is Up, So Why Cut Social Programs?

      Paul Jay: So, first of all, your take on what the G-20 decided, this idea of cuts in Europe and North America and maybe some expansion in China.  And is there some alternative to this? Robert Pollin: Well, the notion of imposing austerity at a moment when we may — may — be slowly […]

  • Exploiting “Crisis” to Crush Labor

    One thing should be made clear about the situation in the Eurozone economies that is not clear at all if we rely on most of the news reports.  This is not a situation where countries face a “dilemma” because they have overspent and piled up too much public debt.  They do not face “tough choices” […]

  • Eurozone Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour

    Excerpt: The mechanisms of crisis Gains for German capital, losses for German workers and periphery i. Monetary union has imposed fiscal rigidity, removed monetary independence, and forced economic adjustment through the labour market.  Workers have lost share of output relative to capital in Germany and peripheral countries. ii. The German economy has performed poorly, with […]

  • Portugal: The Unfinished Revolution

      Ronald H. Chilcote.  The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy.  Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.  xix + 316 pp.  $79.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7425-6792-4. The Portuguese Revolution that brought regime change on April 25, 1974, did not bring about a revolution: the popular revolutionary elements that tried to move the […]

  • Brazil and Iran: Our Motives and the Bullying Trio

      Despite what the experts of barefoot diplomacy1 never stop repeating, there is nothing even remotely anti-American in the Brazilian position on Iran: our motives, unlike those of the bullying trio (USA, France, United Kingdom), are clear, transparent and openly stated several times. We support the peaceful development of nuclear energy.  We do not believe […]

  • On the Death of José Saramago

      The death of José Saramago represents an irreparable loss for Portugal, for the Portuguese people, for Portuguese culture. José Saramago’s intellectual, artistic, human, and civic stature makes him a major figure in our history. His vast, remarkable, and unique literary work — which was recognized through the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 — […]

  • No Justice, No Euro!

    The current turmoil in financial markets around the world is another illustration of the damage that can be done by a bloated and politically powerful financial sector, combined with finance ministers and central bankers who identify with this sector and have their own right-wing policy agenda. Welcome to Europe, which has become the epicenter of […]

  • Revisiting Global Imbalances

    Until recently, the discussion on global imbalances focused on the current account deficit of the US and the current account surplus of China, making this a bilateral rather than a multilateral problem.  As a result, the process of rebalancing was seen as involving adjustments in either or both of these countries, and not so much […]

  • Market Irrationality in the Eurozone

    Markets can be irrational, as Keynes famously pointed out, and the Eurozone/Greek crisis is a classic example.  “The markets” for months have been demanding more blood from Greece, as the financial press has continuously and often unquestioningly reported: more commitment to spending cuts, tax increases, and “procyclical” policies that the bondholders, EU authorities, and the […]

  • The European Union’s Dangerous Game

    Perhaps the wild swings in financial and stock markets over the last week will make people give closer scrutiny to what is going on in Europe, which would be a good thing for the world.  According to most news reporting, markets are worried about a potential default by Greece on its sovereign debt, and the […]