Geography Archives: Soviet Union (USSR)

  • Russia’s U-Turn

    Russia went to the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting at Deauville as an inveterate critic of the “unilateralist” Western intervention in Libya, but came away from the seaside French resort as a mediator between the West and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  The United States scored a big diplomatic victory in getting Moscow to work […]

  • Syria, Libya, and Russia’s Retreat from “Reset”

    The last thing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did before departing for France to attend this week’s Group of Eight summit meeting in Deauville was place a call to Damascus. Prima facie, one may think the call made sense, since, as Reuters reported, “Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests” is going to be high on the agenda […]

  • The Crisis Enters Year Five

    The current global capitalist crisis began with the severe contraction in the housing markets in mid-2007.  Welcome to Year Five.  A usual inventory of where things stand begins with the good news: the major banks, the stock market, and corporate profits have largely or completely “recovered” from the lows they reached early in 2009.  The […]

  • Palestinians in America: An Intelligent Socialist’s Guide to Tony Kushner, with a Key to the UN Declaration of Human Rights

    (Scene: an elevator, downstage right.  Stuck inside are ROY COHN and ETHEL ROSENBERG, characters in Tony Kushner’s landmark play, Angels in America.  McCarthyite lawyer, ROY prosecuted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of spying for the USSR and executed in 1953.  ETHEL now paces impatiently, pushing elevator buttons.  Above the stage, captions from recent […]

  • Rebellion of the Indignant: Notes from Barcelona’s Tahrir Square

    There is no doubt about it.  The wind that has electrified the Arab world in recent months, the spirit of the repeated protests in Greece, the student struggles in Britain and Italy, the mobilizations against Sarkozy in France . . . has come to Spain. These are not days of “business as usual.”  The comfortable […]

  • Norman Gottwald: A Pioneering Marxist Biblical Scholar

    Norman Gottwald belongs to a rare breed — an American Marxist biblical scholar.  More than one jarring juxtaposition in that epithet!  Unfortunately, he is less well known outside the relative small circle of biblical scholars than he should be.  In order to introduce him to a wider audience, let me say a little about his […]

  • When China Overtakes the United States

    Various observers have noted this week that China’s economy will be bigger than that of the United States in 2016.  This comes from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) latest projections, which were made in its semi-annual April World Economic Outlook database.  Since 2016 is just a few years away, and it will be the first […]

  • How Many Cancers Did Chernobyl Really Cause? (Updated Version)

    This is an update of my April 7 post on cancers resulting from Chernobyl — this post includes more detailed information and a more recent estimate of the total radioactive dose from the Chernobyl accident. There is a lot of confusion about how many excess cancer deaths will likely result from the 1986 Chernobyl accident […]

  • Lenin and Keynes

    At first sight no two persons could have been more dissimilar.  One was a Cambridge don, with more than one foot in the British government; a supporter of the Liberal Party, staunchly opposed to the Bolshevik Revolution; an aesthete and a member of the Bloomsbury Group; a life peer in imperial Britain, and a solid, […]

  • The Arab Spring and the Saudi Counter-Revolution

    We return from a recent trip to the region persuaded that the main question engaging people with respect to the “Arab spring” is no longer “who’s next,” but rather “how far will Saudi Arabia go in pushing a counter-revolutionary agenda” across the Middle East?  Whether Saudi Arabia is really capable of coping with the momentous […]

  • (Former) Communists for Liberal Democracy

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Yassin Al-Hajj Saleh in the New York Times Of course, Saleh suffered from the brutality of the Syrian regime and I share many of his criticisms of the Syrian regime although I don’t share his decision to write about Syria in racist anti-Syrian (people) right-wing publications, like An-Nahar and Al-Hayat […]

  • Mid-East Upheaval: What the Empire Sees

      The US left and progressives have been preoccupied about what we can do to impact events in the Mid-East, particularly obsessing about what we can do to counter US intervention.  In general, it is good to want to act, not just talk or analyze, in a crisis situation. However, despite the valiant and necessary […]

  • Fukushima: IAEA Confirms Very High Levels of Contamination Far from Reactors

    Today the IAEA has finally confirmed what some analysts have suspected for days: that the concentration per area of long-lived cesium-137 (Cs-137) is extremely high as far as tens of kilometers from the release site at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, and in fact would trigger compulsory evacuation under IAEA guidelines. The IAEA is reporting that measured soil […]

  • Joint Statement of 58 Communist and Workers’ Parties against Imperialist Aggression in Libya

    The imperialist killers headed by the USA, France, Britain and NATO as a whole and with the approval of the UN started a new imperialist war.  This time in Libya. Their allegedly humanitarian pretexts are completely misleading!  They throw dust into peoples’ eyes!  Their real goals are the hydrocarbons in Libya. We, the Communist and […]

  • On the Arab Revolt: Interview with Vijay Prashad

    Vijay Prashad is a prominent Marxist scholar from South Asia.  He is George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut.  He has written extensively on international affairs for both academic and popular journals.  His most recent book The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the […]

  • 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. […]

  • Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

    Phases of Imperialism Lenin dated the imperialist phase of capitalism, which he associated with monopoly capitalism, from the beginning of the twentieth century, when the process of centralization of capital had led to the emergence of monopoly in industry and among banks.  The coming together (coalescence) of the capitals in these two spheres led to […]

  • A New Bandung?

      Would you say that you’re among the pessimists who regard the five decades of African independence as five lost decades? I’m not a pessimist and I don’t think that these have been five lost decades.  I remain extremely critical, extremely severe with respect to African states, governments, and political classes, but I’m even more […]

  • Cuba’s Economic Reform: Interview with Oscar Martínez

      Oscar Martínez is Deputy Head of the International Relations Department of the Cuban Communist Party.  This interview was conducted during the South African Communist Party visit to Cuba this month. What is the nature of the economic problems Cuba is currently experiencing? In the context of our other problems, the US economic and financial […]

  • An Ambivalent Reading of Marxism and Utopianism

      Vincent Geoghegan.  Utopianism and Marxism.  Oxford et al: Peter Lang, 2008.  pp. 189.  ISBN: 3039101374. In his contribution to Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth, Alain Badiou forcefully argues that the century, “between 1917 and the end of the 1970s, is not at all a century of ideologies, or the imaginary or of […]