Geography Archives: Soviet Union (USSR)

  • Socialism or Reformism?

    I We live at a time when resistance to the inequities that exist in this world and the struggle for a better world are almost totally detached from any striving for socialism.  Climate change, imperialist aggression, forcible dispossession of peasants in the name of “development”, oppression of the tribal population, gender discrimination, and ecological degradation […]

  • A New Order in “Greater West Asia”: AfPak to Palestine

    When the Soviet Union was in terminal crisis in 1990 and the prospect emerged of the United States establishing long-term domination of the international political system, the influential Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer sought to capture the character of the unfolding geopolitical era. The term he used became a buzzword in then-emerging neo-conservative circles, and […]

  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: A Review of Michael Lebowitz’s Socialist Alternative

      Michael Lebowitz.  The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010.  Pp 192; $15.95 Only about ten or fifteen years ago, leftist theory was in a sorry state.  It seemed as if socialism had ceased to be a viable project with the fall of the Soviet Union.  Instead of an alternative […]

  • The Publicist: Henry Luce, Time Inc., and “The American Century”

    A starlet in a strapless dress smiles on the cover of the February 17, 1941, issue of Life.  Then, there are ten pages of ads: Oldsmobile, Knox Gelatine, Bendix automatic home laundry, Birds Eye Frosted Foods.  Further in, between one photo essay on iceboating and another on a woman racecar driver, there is an editorial, […]

  • BP and the Other Gulf

    The name BP is now forever ingrained in people’s minds as the oil giant responsible for what has become the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history.  But the mammoth oil spill resulting from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t the first time British Petroleum has brought disaster […]

  • Iran Vote Shows China’s Western Drift

      This month, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution to tighten sanctions on Iran, imposing a ban on arms sales and expanding a freeze on assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in response to the country’s uranium-enrichment activities, which Tehran says are for peaceful purposes but other countries contend are driven […]

  • Russia, Iran, and the United States

    Russia’s Iran Policy Since the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic has worked hard to cultivate a strategic partnership with post-Soviet Russia.  Of course, for many Iranians, there is heavy historical “baggage” attached to relations with Russia/the Soviet Union.  But, from an Iranian perspective, Russia is […]

  • No Nukes, No Empire: The Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Requires the End of the U.S. Empire

    A version of this essay was delivered to the “Think outside the Bomb” event in Austin, TX, on June 14, 2010. If we are serious about the abolition of nuclear weapons, we have to place the abolition of the U.S. empire at the center of our politics. That means working toward a world free of […]

  • Two, Three, Many 1960s

    The global Sixties began in Tokyo on June 15, 1960, with the death of Michiko Kanba, an undergraduate at Tokyo University.  On the night of her death she had joined a group of fellow university students at the front of a massive demonstration — 100,000 people deep — facing off against the National Diet Building. […]

  • The Other Fateful Triangle: Israel, Iran, and Turkey

    The thunderous events set in motion by Israel’s storming of the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in the peace flotilla challenging the blockade of Gaza, have thrown important light on the overall situation in the Middle East.  Turkey has emerged as the major protagonist among the forces that support the Palestinian cause.  This is extremely […]

  • The Empire and War

    Two days ago, I briefly commented that imperialism was unable to resolve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which is assaulting the world’s population.  Today, I would like to tackle another subject that, in my opinion, is of great significance. The current danger of North Korea being attacked by the United States, following the […]

  • Empire against Democracy

      After the Second World War, from which the Allied forces emerged victorious, the government of the United States sought to make the most of its military victory.  It structured the Assembly of the United Nations to be led by a Security Council composed of the seven most powerful countries, with veto power over decisions […]

  • Interviewing Ousama Hamdan, Hamas Leader in Lebanon

      Ousama Hamdan is the top Hamas leader in Lebanon and a member of the Hamas politburo. Manuela Paraipan: How do you see European engagement in the area and what do you think are the main challenges for the international community in dealing with the region? Ousama Hamdan: Most of the time, Europeans support American […]

  • South Africa: An Unfinished Revolution?

      The Fourth Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 13 May 2010 I In her historical novel, A Place of Greater Safety, which is played out against the backdrop of the Great French Revolution through an illuminating character analysis and synthesis of three of that revolution’s most prominent personalities, viz., Maximilien Robespierre, Georges […]

  • India Needs Course Correction on Iran

    The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for a swap deal on the stockpile of Tehran’s nuclear fuel sets the stage for a diplomatic pirouette of high significance for regional security.  The paradigm shift affects Indian interests. The Barack Obama administration has hastily debunked the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, which was announced in Tehran on Monday, and […]

  • The Ecology of Socialism

      Solidair/Solidaire, the weekly journal of the Workers Party of Belgium (PVDA-PTB), interviewed John Bellamy Foster, editor of Monthly Review, 26 April 2010 Solidair/Solidaire: Many green thinkers reject a Marxist analysis because they think that the Marxist approach to the economy is a very productivist one, focused on growth and seeing nature as “a free […]

  • Cuba Does Not Bow to Pressures

      Address by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the State Council and the Council of Ministers and Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, at the Closing Session of the 9th Congress of the Young Communist League, Havana, 4 April 2010, Year 52 of the Revolution Comrades, delegates, and guests: […]

  • “Israeli Nation” vs. “Jewish State”

    A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognized as “Israelis,” a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state. Israel refused to recognize an Israeli nationality at the country’s establishment in 1948, making an unusual distinction […]

  • The United States, Iran, and the Middle East’s New “Cold War”

    The absence of US-Iranian rapprochement will perpetuate the new Middle Eastern Cold War, imposing costs on the United States, Iran and other regional and international players.  However, in strategic terms, the heaviest costs of continued US-Iranian estrangement are likely to be borne by the United States.  In particular, lack of productive relations with Tehran will […]

  • Militarizing Latin America

    The United States was founded as an “infant empire,” in George Washington’s words.  The conquest of the national territory was a grand imperial venture, much like the vast expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.  From the earliest days, control over the Western Hemisphere was a critical goal.  Ambitions expanded during World War II, as […]