Geography Archives: Spain

  • Davos Mysticism: Elite Optimism Amid Endless Crisis

    “An economic recovery has begun.”      — President Obama, Second Inaugural Address President Obama’s optimism — baseless as it may be — was surely appreciated at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.  For in what was described as the “most optimistic” meeting since 2007, 2,600 members of the global elite convened over the weekend […]

  • The Promises and Challenges of Bolivia’s Socialist Government

    Bolivia’s government entered 2013 on an optimistic note.  Socialist-oriented projects aimed at shoring up national independence and protecting indigenous rights seemingly were on track.  Now, however, the government is having to deal with emerging reports of official corruption. Opinion surveys show that President Evo Morales, overwhelming victor in two presidential elections and one recall vote, […]

  • Interview with Gianni Vattimo: “Only Weak Communism Can Save Us”

    Is it true that you are communist? What else can one be, the way things are? Communism left 70 million dead. . . That wasn’t communism. What was it, then? Industrialism.  Lenin proposed electrification plus soviets, that is to say, popular control . . . but popular control evaporated! And what remained? Industrialism.  Stalin imposed […]

  • International Initiative to Stop the War in Syria: Yes to Democracy, No to Foreign Intervention!

    We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012.  This initiative consists in calling for a delegation […]

  • German Politics and Vitamin B

    What has Vitamin B to do with politics?  For the answer you must learn a little German, at least one key word.  “Beziehungen” — with a capital “B” — means connections, especially good connections.  It’s smart to have lots of “Vitamin B,” and not just the pharmacy kind! Now here’s a man whose pockets seem […]

  • Some Memories of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy

    In 1949, Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman created Monthly Review.  In the same year, Paul Baran and I began to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area: Baran at Stanford, myself at UC Berkeley.  As the years unfolded, we worked together politically in the area with the same social aims and values.  Meanwhile, the two […]

  • Furor in France: Mission Civilisatrice and “Muslim Rage” in the Motherland

    As Muslims around the world protest their contemptuous treatment by the West, catalyzed by the provocative, racist American film Innocence of Muslims, the French media added fuel to the fire of by publishing offensive cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.  Left-wing alt-weekly Charlie Hebdo ran cartoons that depicted a naked, turbaned Muhammad in profoundly racist and […]

  • The Story of a Ring

    A small but moving episode marked the regular annual meeting of the German organization Fighters and Friends of the Spanish Republic 1936-1939 (Kämpfer und Freunde der Spanischen Republik 1936-1939).  It was the first such meeting without a single veteran; the last volunteer in Germany, Fritz Teppich, died last winter, and none of the tiny, decreasing […]

  • Tito’s Class-Conscious Classifieds

    In a recent PBS interview with Bill Moyers, journalist Chris Hedges discussed protest for social change.  “Revolt,” he said, apropos of salvaging a collapsing world, “is all we have.  It is our only hope.” I agree.  So would my friend Tito Gerassi, who believed all his life in revolution.  And, since rising unemployment is part […]

  • Choosing Ryan, Embracing Austerity

    Whatever electoral calculations drove Mitt Romney to choose Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, the choice also has a deeper meaning.  Ryan’s arrival at the top of the Republican Party represents the rise of the most vocal and visible proponent of austerity in US politics today.  Ryan represents the US parallel to the regimes […]

  • “This Is a Cold Putsch Against the Constitution”

    Bundestag Speech, 29 June 2012 Mr. President!  Dear colleagues! “Billions in taxes have been squandered.  Those who bear responsibility revealed themselves to be marionettes.  The part of the puppet master was performed by just the type of managers recently spoken of in loftier terms: investment bankers.” What the Handelsblatt wrote about the nationalization of the […]

  • No Deutschland Über Alles — and No Bris

    Germany suffered two losses last week and underwent one very intimate decision.  Whether the latter was a win or a loss depends on your (point of) view — about male circumcision. Most important to most Germans was probably their hope to win the European soccer championship, held this year in Poland and the Ukraine.  Germany […]

  • “SYRIZA Is Acting Responsibly”: Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

    The German taxpayers should be happy to have SYRIZA in Greece, says economist Yanis Varoufakis in an interview.  Greece is not unwilling to reform.

    ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Varoufakis, the Greeks say they want to keep the euro but vote for SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras, whose plan could lead to an exit from the monetary union. How does that work?

    Yanis Varoufakis: SYRIZA also wants Greece to remain in the eurozone. But, at the same time, it wants to renegotiate the austerity program, because it doesn’t work. Just about everyone who knows anything about economics knows that by now.

  • Euro Exit? Interview with Economist Alberto Montero Soler

    Alberto Montero Soler: First of all, I have to say that those effects would only manifest themselves in the medium term. To propose an exit from the euro as an immediate solution to the deterioration of living conditions of people would mean to deceive them. We are at a crossroads where peripheral economies can only choose between two evils.

  • Greece at a Crossroads: Crisis and Radicalization in the Southern European Semi-periphery

    Introduction The Greek crisis represents the deepening of a long systemic contradiction whose origins lie in the 1960s, in the stagnation of monopoly capitalism and the emergence of the South.  The industrial centers of the world economy were struck by a crisis of profitability, which was displaced outward in space and forward in time by […]

  • Can Germany’s Left Party Be Saved?

    What is the matter with Germany’s Left Party?  Or, more bluntly, can it be saved?  What is the truth about the charismatic leader Oskar Lafontaine, from West German Saarland, who suddenly, surprisingly withdrew from the fight for party leadership?  Is he really out of the running?  And is that good or bad?  What are the […]

  • Impoverishing Europe

      The crisis is not relinquishing its grip on Europe.  From autumn 2008 to early 2009 the world market experienced the deepest slump in economic output since the Second World War.  This is a global crisis.  Even in emerging economies like China, Brazil, or India economic growth declined and could not compensate for the recession […]

  • Some Good News, and Lots of Bad News, from Germany

    Here’s “good news” and “bad news” from Germany.  The good news: the Christian Democratic Union of Angela Merkel took a real whipping in the election in North Rhine-Westphalia (usually abbreviated to NRW), the largest German state in terms of population.  Her smiling, almost benign mien, with little bluster or braggadocio, disguises less and less her […]

  • Argentina and the Magic Soybean: The Commodity Export Boom That Wasn’t

    One of the great myths about the Argentine economy that is repeated nearly every day is that the rapid growth of the Argentine economy during the past decade has been a “commodity export boom.”  For example, the New York Times reported last week: Riding an export boom for commodities like soybeans, Argentina’s economy grew at […]

  • “Fail Again and Fail Better”: Matan Kaminer on J14 Protests in Israel

    I met Matan Kaminer in Tel Aviv in January 2012, and we agreed to do an extended interview about the state of the left in Israeli society after the controversial J14 social justice protests. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?  How did you get involved in political activity? I was […]