Subjects Archives: Ecology

  • A Hike in Sedona

      Sedona is a small town about twenty-five miles south of Flagstaff in north central Arizona. USA Weekend recently voted it the “most beautiful place in America.” Sedona’s setting is stunning. To get there from Flagstaff, you drive down Oak Creek Canyon on a steep and heavily switch-backed road. As the canyon deepens, you are […]

  • Cuba and the Lessons of Katrina

      What explains why the “dictatorial regime” of Fidel Castro can do a vastly better job of saving the lives of its citizens from hurricanes while the “democratic” government in Washington has proven to be so apparently inept? In 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category five storm, slammed Cuba with devastating force. Yet there was not […]

  • Commodity Fetishism: A Concept for Organizing against Sweatshop Labor and Neoliberal Globalization

    Two URPE Insights First, I should start by assuring you that I have not gone round the bend. I am not about to suggest that we dust off our volumes of Capital, corner some poor unsuspecting soul, and then launch into some long-winded exegesis of the concept of commodity fetishism. That sounds more like a […]

  • Democratic Economies

    The impasse of the authoritarian command economic systems in the communist zones of the 1970s brought a great deal of rethinking about economic planning and co-ordination in non-market societies within the East Bloc and outside.  As well, the acceptance of capitalism by the social democratic parties in the Western countries, and their accommodation to neoliberalism, […]

  • New Links for the Global Left?

    Continuing turmoil in Germany since the elections on 18 September 2005 suggests a turning point in European politics, with implications for global politics: the European Left may have finally ceased its steady retreat. It all began with stunning election results, so stunning that even normally glib liberal commentators seem to be taken aback. The German […]

  • A Note on South Africa’s National Land Summit

    The national land summit that the South African Communist Party (SACP) called for in its 2004 Red October campaign took place at the end of July 2005. Provincial land summits ostensibly prepared the ground to stage the July land indaba, just as the SACP had requested government to do. Since the SACPs intention was to […]

  • The Stealth Presidency: George Bush and “Faith-Based” Government

    Lost amidst the media clamor over George W. Bush’s U.S. Supreme Court appointment in early October was a New York federal court decision giving constitutional legitimacy to the president’s scheme of “faith-based” government. Ruling in the case of Lown v Salvation Army, District Judge Sidney Stein (a Bill Clinton appointee) held that religious institutions are […]

  • Bolivarian Venezuela

      [Click on the photos to see original images.] Part I. The World Festival of Youth and Students, August 8-15, 2005 Caracas, Venezuela, Seen from a Park Above Poor neighborhood — “barrio” — in Los Teques, the capital of the state of Miranda, near Caracas, where we spent our nights during the 16th World Festival […]

  • Neo-Paleyism’s Assault on Reason

    William Paley‘s Natural Theology, originally published in 1802, stands as one of the prime examples of the teleological, mystical, and theistic premises that underlie bourgeois thought.  Paley opened his book with an argument that if one were crossing a heath and stumbled upon a watch, one would inevitability infer that it must have had a […]

  • Flexibility for Whom?

    MANUFACTURING DISCONTENT: The Trap of Individualism in Corporate Society by Michael PerelmanBUY THIS BOOK Imagining the workplace as a network of voluntary relationships has dire political implications. For example, in 1997, a California state agency, the Industrial Welfare Commission, bowing to employer pressure voted to reinterpret an overtime regulation dating back to 1918. For almost […]

  • Lords of War: Arming the World

    “I hope they kill each other . . . too bad they both can’t lose.” — Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger (on the U.S. arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s) “Do not support dictators. Do not sell them weapons.” — Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, East Timorese peace negotiator It’s not every […]

  • New Orleans:

      The world watched as people of New Orleans were herded into the Superdome, only to find themselves in a wretched and unsanitary place with no food, water, or proper medical care. Those in areas of high flooding fled to their rooftops, begging rescue helicopters to airlift them to safety. Many died trapped in their […]

  • Hydrogen Hoopla

    In a time of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and ever more prominent signs of global warming, General Motors and other apologists for global capitalism are seeking to assure us of their concern for the environment and their commitment to move beyond fossil fuels.  Unsurprisingly, they do not propose putting a […]

  • Carmageddon and Karl Marx

    “So far as I am aware,” wrote Paul Sweezy in 1973, “the political economy of the automobile has never been subjected to serious analysis in the Marxian literature.” Amazingly, despite the apparent onset of global warming, “peak oil,” and permanent petro-war, Sweezy’s observation remains true today.  We Marxians have not yet begun to do more […]

  • Japan’s Modern Historical Loop

    The news of world affairs these days is highly unlikely to delight the Japanese survivors of the two nuclear terrorist attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States’ armed forces sixty years ago. Those attacks were not meant to convince the Japanese leaders to surrender, something which they were about to do anyway, but […]

  • China’s Landless  

      Since the 1990s, at least 40 million farmers in China have lost their land. This process is being driven by what the article below calls the “bureaucratic-commercial interest group.” Local bureaucrats need to have a “good record” if they are to advance in their careers. A “good record” implies rapid GDP growth from industry, […]