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  Date Author Title           ISSN 1923-7871
1190. November 27, 2015 Michael A. Lebowitz The Tragedy of the Commons, the Pope, and the System
There's an old argument that common property inevitably leads to exhaustion of resources. In the parable of “the tragedy of the commons,” the story is told that, given the absence of private property, everyone had an incentive to graze his own animals on the common fields without limit with the result that overgrazing destroyed the land. No matter that, historically, individual communities have always found ways to manage their common property; nevertheless, the story continues to be told.
1189. November 25, 2015 Jeffrey Henderson China, the Remembrancer and the Continued Wasting of the British Economy
At first glance it seems an almost inexplicable paradox: probably the most right wing British government since 1945 inviting, against the advice of the security services, the military and the U.S. Government, companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party -- and in one case the Chinese military -- into the heart of our strategically vital energy infrastructure.
1188. November 23, 2015 Panagiotis Sotiris The Realism of Audacity
In a certain way, I feel a certain unease since the entire Greek Left has some form of responsibility for the fact that Greece is not currently a laboratory of hope; rather it is a reason for despair. What I am going to say should be taken as a form of self-criticism rather than a declaration. I consider myself part of the problem... The problem is that in the country where the most aggressive experiment in neoliberal social engineering was met with the most massive, almost insurrectionary sequence of struggles.
1187. November 19, 2015 Jeff Noonan After Paris: Understanding not Revenge
At the basis of all concrete identities: “Muslim,” “Sunni,” “French citizen,” etc., lies a core human being, a capacity for self-making within the objective contexts of natural and social life. Selves are made, identities forged, reproduced, modified, and developed through processes of work and affective-symbolic interaction with other people within and across societies.
1186. November 18, 2015 Gerardo Otero and Efe Can Gürcan Arab Spring and Syrian Refugee Crisis: Ten Theses for Discussion
Our goal is to formulate ten theses on what we believe constitutes the historical background of the Syrian refugee crisis within the context of the Arab Spring. One central argument is that Western meddling in this process was turned into a violent contest for state power that has resulted in grave human tragedy. The recent Paris attacks with over 100 fatalities - resulting in a state-of-emergency declaration and arson of refugee camps in retaliation - indicate that the Syrian refugee crisis has already taken on a greater importance for global politics.
1185. November 17, 2015 Art Young Terror Attacks, G20 Hypocrisy
I join with many others who stand for a world of peace and justice in completely repudiating the terrorist attacks in Paris and the similar atrocity in Beirut. We express our full solidarity with the hundreds of innocent victims, dead and injured, many of whom remain in critical condition at this time.
1184. November 10, 2015 Gregory Shupak Will Justin Trudeau Change Canadian Policy in the Middle East?
The election of Canada's Liberal Party is likely to mean a shift away from the hyper-belligerent tone Stephen Harper's Conservative Party used on issues pertaining to Middle East policy, but few concrete changes can be expected to take place. All signs point to the incoming government continuing to play a key supporting role in U.S.-led imperialism in the Middle East.
1183. November 6, 2015 The Socialist Register The Politics of the Right and the Dilemmas of the Left
The Preface to the 2016 Socialist Register, The Politics of the Right, includes the following paragraphs: "There is a great strategic importance in a sober analysis of the strength of new right today, and the impasse of the left emerges here as a central concern."
1182. November 4, 2015 Richard Fidler Canada's Election: Voters Defeat Harper, but Elect Another Trudeau
Canada's federal election October 19 was effectively a plebiscite of voter opinion on the decade-long rule by the ultra-neoliberal Conservatives (Tories) led by Stephen Harper. With some 70 per cent of the electorate declaring for “change” in successive polling, the overriding issue was which of the main opposition parties, the New Democratic Party (NDP) or the Liberals, would emerge as the party best situated to replace the Tories.
1181. November 2, 2015 Patrick Bond South African Student Protesters Win First Big Victory
The university students have been furious, as their cry 'Fees must fall!' rang out on campuses and sites of political power across this society. An historic victory over South African neoliberalism was just won through the most intense three-week burst of activist mobilization since liberation from apartheid in 1994.
1180. October 29, 2015 Andrew Murray Corbyn's Labour
Lenin's excitement at his rediscovery of Hegel as he grappled for meaning at the great turning point in international socialist politics of autumn 1914 finds its echo on the left of the British labour movement in the extraordinary summer 101 years later. The election of Jeremy Corbyn, the most left-wing socialist and consistent anti-imperialist in the House of Commons, as leader of the Labour Party and therefore of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, is a break in gradualness on a grand scale.
1179. October 27, 2015 Dick Nichols Surge in Portuguese Left Bloc Support Puts Socialist Party on the Spot
Will Portugal finally see the end of austerity as administered for four years by the right-wing coalition (known as Portugal Ahead) composed of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP)? In the country's legislative October 4 elections this governing alliance, running for the first time as a single ticket called Portugal Ahead (except on the Azores), won the elections, but with only 38.4 per cent of the vote.
1178. October 26, 2015 Good Riddance and Old Quandaries
The recent Canadian federal election results have taken most commentators and social activists by surprise. If the anti-Harper sentiment amongst two-thirds of the population had been clear enough for more than a year, very few had on their radar a Liberal majority outcome (even given the notoriety of the electoral distortions of the single-member plurality electoral system in Canada).
1177. October 22, 2015 Shannon Ikebe Beyond Parliamentarism: Historical Bases and Prospects for Corbynism
Who would have thought? Britain, of all places - that island so often lamented to be devoid of revolutionary history and thought, the land of Fabianism without Marxism, the home of Thatcher and Blair and the City - now has one of the most radical leaderships of a major social democratic party in the advanced capitalist world. The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the British Labour Party is an expression of enormous discontent and anger at ever-worsening conditions since the crisis of 2008.
1176. October 21, 2015 Cynthia Peters Fighting Class War While 'Walking on Two Legs'
There's an apartment building in Dorchester that used to be a safe and affordable place to live for working-class families in Boston. But after a corporate landlord bought it in 2013, it has become a case study in how displacement happens. First, he allowed it to fall into extreme disrepair. As the building deteriorated, leaks developed, mold started growing, and people started moving out. After they left, the landlord cleaned up their units and rented them at significantly higher rates.
1175. October 19, 2015 Sungur Savran The Syrianization of Turkey
The immense catastrophe that struck Turkey in the streets of Ankara, the capital city, on 10 October, when two bombs exploded in the midst of a thronging crowd of what would possibly turn out to be hundreds of thousands of people, leading to the death of an indefinite number of people, in any case exceeding one hundred, and the wounding of hundreds, some still under the risk of death, is a sharp reminder, if any were needed, that this is a country undergoing a severe political crisis.
1174. October 16, 2015 Palestinian BDS National Committee Solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance!
Whether the current phase of Israel's intensified repression and Palestinian popular resistance will evolve into a full-fledged intifada or not, one thing is already evident – a new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up en masse against Israel's brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. World governments, especially in the west, are calling this a “cycle of violence” where both sides are to blame, ignoring the root cause of the colonial conflict and their own complicity in enabling Israel to maintain it and to violate international law with impunity.
1173. October 14, 2015 Jerome Klassen Naked Neoliberalism: Canadian Foreign Policy under Harper
Since the Conservative government of Stephen Harper came to power in 2006, shifts in Canadian foreign policy have been a flashpoint of debate in Parliament, the media, and civil society. There is general agreement that a “revolution in Canadian foreign policy” has occurred, to quote Canadian academic Alexander Moens.
1172. October 13, 2015 Lars Henriksson Can Autoworkers Save the Climate?
At the UN Climate Change Conference COP 19, the even-more-depressing-than-usual climate summit that took place in Warsaw in 2013, one small ray of light made it through the dark corporate clouds that were otherwise suffocating even the slightest effort to address the ongoing environmental disaster. On the last day of the conference, an unusual alliance was formed as environmental organizations and trade unions together walked out of the venue under the banner of 'Enough Is Enough'.
1171. October 12, 2015 Chris Gilbert The Search for a Political Practice: Venezuela 2000-2015
It is common to understand the diverse 'processes' in Latin America - in the period marked initially by Zapatismo in the mid-1990s and later by the emergence of left or popular governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador along with center-left governments in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina - within the theoretical framework of a return or recuperation of the left following the fall of the East Bloc. This kind of formulation has a number of problems.
1170. October 6, 2015 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Land Claims: An Indigenous People's History of the United States
With a large part of Indigenous nations’ territories and resources in what is now the United States taken through aggressive war, outright theft, and legislative appropriations, Native peoples have vast claims to reparations and restitution. Indigenous nations negotiated numerous treaties with the United States that included land transfers and monetary compensation, but the remaining Indigenous territories have steadily shrunk due to direct federal appropriation by various means as well as through government failure to meet its obligation to protect Indigenous landholdings as required under treaties.
1169. October 1, 2015 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz From Wounded Knee to the United Nations
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States presents a much needed history of the United States as a settler colonial-state from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples. In it she argues: The form of colonialism that the Indigenous peoples of North America have experienced was modern from the beginning: the expansion of European corporations, backed by government armies, into foreign areas, with subsequent expropriation of lands and resources. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy.
1168. September 29, 2015 John S. Saul The Struggle for South Africa's Liberation: Success and Failure
It is true that I'm from Canada and only arrived in Africa, in Tanzania to be specific, in 1965 at the age of 27; nonetheless, it was in Africa that I grew up, at least politically; not, initially, in South Africa but in Tanzania where I taught for many years and in working with Mozambique's FRELIMO in exile in DSM; in visiting the liberated areas of a new Mozambique in Tete Province in 1972; and, later, in teaching in a liberated Mozambique at the Universidade de Eduardo Mondlane.
1167. September 27, 2015 Richard Fidler SYRIZA's Pyrrhic Victory, and the Future of the Left in Greece
In the wake of the September 20 Greek election SYRIZA has once again formed a coalition government with a small right-wing party, ANEL. SYRIZA's 35.46% and ANEL's 3.69%, combined, were sufficient to give them a majority of 155 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
1166. September 24, 2015 Herman Rosenfeld The NDP and the Election
At this moment, it seems that Harper's Conservatives are losing ground, headed for possible defeat or minority status, if recent polls are to be believed. If these trends continue, it might represent a long-awaited respite from years of unrelenting and hard-edge neoliberal offensive in all walks of Canadian life.
1165. September 22, 2015 Oskar Lafontaine Let's Develop a Plan B for Europe!
Many in Europe had put great hopes in the election of Alexis Tsipras as Greek Prime Minister. When, after long and exhausting negotiations, the Syriza leader signed the European diktat, the disappointment was great. It would be unjust and presumptuous to want to give moral lessons to Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.
1164. September 18, 2015 Michalis Spourdalakis Syriza Before and After the Elections: To Fight Another Day
The historical victory of the Left in January marked a change in the system of political representation which outlines a new dynamic for the political forces. However, the way in which this victory was achieved and the difficulties that the first government of the left faced, led after the referendum of the 5 of July, to a big fallback, a big defeat. This defeat needs to be understood as a turning point in a long and large war for the victory of the left in the struggle for the control of state power.
1163. September 17, 2015 Richard Fidler Quebec Left Debates Perspectives in Canada's Federal Election
Canada's current federal election campaign is now at the half-way point in the lead-up to October 19. The three major parties are polling almost equally, with the ruling Conservative vote dropping steadily while the opposition New Democrats (NDP) and Liberals are virtually tied overall at just over 30 per cent. This means the NDP has not significantly increased its support from the previous election in 2011, while the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have staged a remarkable recovery from their 19 per cent in 2011.
1162. September 15, 2015 Sungur Savran Turkey and its Kurds at War
The Kurdish town of Cizre, a settlement with a population of approximately 150 thousand souls in Southeastern Turkey, is now under siege by the Turkish armed forces and the so-called 'special operation force' of the police for a second time, after a previous one-week long siege was lifted for an interlude of two days.
1161. September 12, 2015 Leo Panitch Can Jeremy Corbyn Redeem the Labour Party?
"Of political parties claiming socialism to be their aim, the Labour Party has always been one of the most dogmatic -- not about socialism, but about the parliamentary system." That's how Ralph Miliband opened his classic 1961 text Parliamentary Socialism, a critical analysis of the party that most of the British left wanted to capture.
1160. September 10, 2015 Andrea Germanos Nations' Climate Pledges Set Course for Disastrous Warming
Greenhouse gas reduction pledges countries have submitted to the United Nations in advance of global climate talks set the planet on a path that keeps critical climate goals out of reach. That's according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a project of four research organizations that assesses nations' climate pledges and actions.
1159. September 8, 2015 Network for the Elimination of Police Violence Police Carding Regulations Amount to Putting Lipstick on a Pig
The Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV) rejects the call from the Government of Ontario to retain carding by regulating the practice. Carding is a street harassment practice by cops across Canada that involves the stopping and questioning of civilians in non-criminal interactions and documenting their personal information. Carding must be abolished now!
1158. September 6, 2015 Michael Hurley and Sam Gindin Work Overload: Time for a Union Strategy
Talk to workers in any sector, in any workplace and sooner or later they'll get to their frustrations with their ever-increasing workloads: ‘I'm struggling’, they'll lament to fellow workers or anyone ready to listen, ‘to just do the job, never mind do it well’. And yet even though few work-related issues seem to generate more passion, the relentless intensification of every-day work life rarely surfaces as a union priority.
1157. August 30, 2015 Dan Freeman-Maloy Signs of Regression: The NDP and Palestine
A friend recently expressed his confusion about the outrage over the death of Ali Dawabsheh, the 18-month-old Palestinian toddler who was killed last month when Jewish settlers firebombed his home in the occupied West Bank. (The child's father was also badly burned in the attack, and eight days later died from his injuries.) An attack that kills a sleeping toddler is surely horrific.
1156. August 25, 2015 Amir Khadir Federal Leaders Must Come Up With a Substitute for Oil
The longest election campaign in recent Canadian history is an opportunity to point to the contradictions of the major parties on the question of ecology. If there is one issue that touches simultaneously on economic development, the protection of ecosystems, public health, climate warming, transportation and the legitimacy of public institutions, it is the exploitation of the tar sands and the many pipeline projects for exporting the most polluting oil in the world.
1155. August 21, 2015 John Lister interviewed by Robin Chang Public Healthcare Against Privatization
The new book NHS For Sale: Myths, Lies and Deception argues that the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 is a government policy whose component parts are together a significant step toward the privatization of Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS). John Lister and six co-authors demonstrate that the British reform debate about healthcare is polluted with myths about the performance of the NHS, how capitalist economies work, the proper economic and social role of government in them, and what conditions are required to maximize political freedom.
1154. August 18, 2015 Paul Le Blanc and Jonah McAllister-Erickson A Win for Pittsburgh Public Transit
Since port Authority of Allegheny County cut 15 per cent of its service, residents of Baldwin, Mooncrest and Groveton -- working-class suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- had to walk two miles, over roads with no sidewalks, just to catch the bus. But on September 8, Baldwin residents active in the struggle of “Buses for Baldwin” and Groveton residents who pushed for service in their county housing authority will be riding the first restored buses, celebrating the sweetness of the victory.
1153. August 14, 2015 Michael Yates A New Union Movement and Anti-Racism
In terms of the willingness of labour leaders -- AFL-CIO officials and those at the top of individual unions -- to engage in class-struggle unionism, the answer is no, the situation today is similar to that in 2009. These people often talk a good game, but their actions belie their words. Strikes are extremely rare, and concession bargaining is still common.
1152. August 9, 2015 Stathis Gourgouris The Syriza Problem: Radical Democracy and Left Governmentality in Greece
Although the history of the Left has produced an extraordinary theoretical legacy, which continues to be the nucleus of almost all radical thinking, it has nonetheless left a trail of extraordinary failures in practice.
1151. August 6, 2015 Richard Fidler; Judith Marshall The Pope's Message in Bolivia and to the World
In retrospect, it must be said that the College of Cardinals made an astute decision in 2013 when they chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the Vicar of Christ. Pope Francis, as he is now called, has emerged as a world leader in speaking out on the major social and humanitarian issues ranging from climate crisis to poverty and social exclusion.
1150. August 4, 2015 Syriza Youth Greek Youth Against Austerity
The agreement reached in the months of negotiation of the SYRIZA-ANEL Government on 13 July is, beyond doubt, a huge defeat for the forces of the radical left in Greece. The unprecedented coup that lenders caused, was only the latest episode of a series of extreme coercion that led the government in a stifling political impasse.
1149. August 2, 2015 Michael A. Lebowitz Social Democracy or Revolutionary Democracy: Syriza and Us
All eyes on the Left are upon Greece. Not because of a general interest in the contradictions of capitalism in the midst of this particular crisis but because of Syriza. Unfortunately, what we are observing is not unique to Syriza. The story has been told before, and the story inevitably will occur again if we do not learn from it.
1148. July 22, 2015 David Bush Canada's Bloody Political Consensus on Israel and Palestine
A year ago this month, Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge, their third major assault on the Gaza strip since 2008. The response from Canada's political parties was a swift and unflinching support for Israel. The 51-day war, or rather display of modern mechanical butchery by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), killed 2,251 Palestinians, over two thirds of whom were civilians, including 500 children.
1124. July 21, 2015 John Milios The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area
After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union (EU) and the Euro-area (EA). Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
1147. July 20, 2015 Barry Finger What Next in the Greek Crisis?
If the ongoing standoff between the Syriza government and the Troika could be boiled down to its essentials, it would be this: The 'institutions' will only equip the Greek economy with enough operating funds to manage a bare-bones operation. And they will begrudgingly accede to this only if Syriza maintains a primary surplus and the neoliberal labour market reforms that the Troika judges necessary to keep the Greek economy, and other eurozone economies, competitive in the global market.
1146. July 19, 2015 Eric Toussaint Greece: Alternatives and Exiting the Eurozone
On 5 July 2015, by a referendum initiated by the government of Alexis Tsipras and the Hellenic Parliament, the Greek people overwhelmingly rejected the austerity measures imposed by the institutions that were known as the Troika. It was a splendid victory for democracy.
1145. July 17, 2015 Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch The Real Plan B: The New Greek Marathon
In the face of being excluded from desperately needed funds and the threat of being kicked out of the European Union, the Greek parliament has now voted to accept the Troika memorandum. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged -- unlike social democrats choosing to implement neoliberalism as part of their ‘modernization‘ -- that this was ‘a bad deal’ forced on the Greeks.
1144. July 16, 2015 Blockupy Goes Athens Understanding the Defeat Means Preparing a Victory
Nine provisional considerations after both the popular Oxi and Syriza's Yes to the Memorandum. This is being written after the vote in the Greek parliament and before the final decision of the Eurogroup (12 July). At the moment, everything is open, and we are certain of only a couple of things. Almost everything can change, but some things will remain true.
1143. July 15, 2015 Leo Panitch The Denouement
For many decades, the view was widespread on the left that there was a distinct European variety of capitalism which could be positively contrasted with the Anglo-American more 'free market' variety. The labour movements of northern Europe were usually seen as being the decisive force behind greater state economic involvement, more capitalist cooperation with unions, and more egalitarian social welfare and labour market regimes.
1142. July 14, 2015 Martin Hart-Landsberg Lessons From A Defeat In Europe
The Troika are celebrating the end of negotiations with Greece, proclaiming that thanks to their tireless efforts the Eurozone remains whole. And why wouldn't they celebrate. They have demonstrated their power to crush, at least for now, the Greek effort to end austerity and its associated devastating social consequences. Tragically, Syriza has not only surrendered, the nature of its defeat is likely to leave the country worse off, at least both economically and very likely politically as well.
1141. July 14, 2015 Martijn Konings Progressives, Neoliberalism, and Austerity: Beyond the Polanyian Impasse
It is now sometimes hard to remember -- and for the generation that is now in college and wasn't necessarily reading the opinion pages at the time, it may seem nothing short of perverse -- but there was a period following the onset of the crisis when progressive commentary on economic and financial life was pervaded by intense optimism about the future.
1140. July 13, 2015 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin Treating Syriza Responsibly
As against those on the international left so keen to put the boot in against the Syriza government with the charge that they had abjectly capitulated already with the plan passed in the Greek parliament, it is instructive to read this document from the German finance ministry.
1139. July 12, 2015 Leo Panitch Requiem at an Empty Grave? Syriza's Momentous Day
Did those who are already raising Lenin from his tomb to render quick judgement on Syriza's abject “world-historic defeat” (without saying much about what victory would look like or require) actually bother to read the rather similar plans that Syriza put forward before the referendum and that were consistently rejected by the EU and IMF “Institutions”?
1138. July 9, 2015 Donatella della Porta The European Union's Crisis of Legitimacy and The Greek Referendum
For some time now social movements have expressed their support for another Europe. Their almost unanimous support for a NO vote in the Greek referendum on the proposals of the Troika, says much about the repeatedly frustrated hopes of constructing a social Europe from below. Indeed, the protests against austerity have established, ever more clearly and explicitly, that the evolution of Europe is going in the opposite direction.
1137. July 7, 2015 The Women Combatants of Rojava
Interviews with two commanders of the YPJ given to the Italian leftwing daily Il Manifesto, explaining the role and goals of the YPJ. Nesrin Abdullah was interviewed while on a visit to Italy where she met parliamentarians. Commander Rangin was interviewed by telephone in Kobane while combat with Isis was taking place.
1136. July 5, 2015 Jordy Cummings This Is Not an Obituary: Listening to Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman died in June of a cardiac arrest on the same day as an infamous bad guy actor, Christopher Lee and legendary professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes. One can't help but chuckle at the Colemanesque improvisation of the Grim Reaper. Coleman was perhaps the jazz musician with the most theoretical depth, even if his own cultural production never hit the highs of his early performances for Atlantic Records.
1135. July 1, 2015 Mario Candeias Democratic Rebellion: Some Lessons From the Municipal and Regional Elections in Spain
Barcelona and Madrid are won. With Ada Colau and Manuela Carmena, two women will now occupy the mayoralties of both metropolises. Barcelona en Comú and Ahora Madrid were the names of the municipal connective platforms. Barcelona en Comú won the most seats in the city and can form a left-wing majority with both leftist parties for Catalonian independence, the Republican Left of Catalonia.
1134. June 29, 2015 Dick Nichols Spain: 'Popular Unity' Councils Sworn In Amid Huge Enthusiasm
The squares in front of scores of town halls across the Spanish state were jam-packed with enthusiastic crowds on June 13. Tens of thousands had gathered to celebrate the inauguration of progressive administrations elected in a leftward swing in the May 24 local government elections for Spain's 8144 councils.
1133. June 24, 2015 Elif Genc Meet the Women of the HDP: Gender, Resistance and Radical Democracy
Following a period of increased political violence in the Kurdish regions of Turkey leading up to the federal elections of 2015, the worst being a recent bombing of the HDP rally in Diyarbakir (Amed) which left at least three people dead and hundreds wounded, there has been a watershed of party politics in Turkey. For the first time since 2002, there is evidence of the demise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's despotic rule over the country since he was not able to form a majority government. More importantly, the radical left-wing, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), passed the threshold of 10 per cent, thereby becoming the first pro-Kurdish party to enter the Turkish parliament.
1132. June 22, 2015 Tadzio Müller Beyond the Criticism of Religion
Over the last few years, religion has gained in socio-political importance. For example, although the Tea Party in the U.S. had seemed to be in decline due to a determined counterattack by the Wall Street-affiliated Republican establishment, the Tea Party clearly demonstrated its influence with the surprising defeat of Eric Cantor, the Republican former majority leader in the House of Representatives.
1131. June 21, 2015 François Sabado France: Changes in the Political Landscape
The French situation has often been approached as an 'exception' in Europe. We speak of the French exception, referring to a history still marked by the French Revolution of 1789. This term covered, in fact: a certain type of social gains, a strong public service, a strong state, a strong and dynamic workers’ movement, a high level of class struggle, social rights and democratic and secular freedoms won through historic popular mobilizations.
1130. June 18, 2015 Vassilis K. Fouskas What Greece's Creditors Should Know
Greece managed to make a recent payment of €750-million to the IMF by way of drawing down a special account Greece held at the fund. But early in June, a further payment of €300-million to the IMF is required, although the fund said that this can be met at the end of the month, allowing negotiators to strike a deal. It is almost impossible for Greece to meet further obligations to her creditors.
1129. June 17, 2015 Erdem Yoruk Kurds, Labour, and the Left in Turkey
After Turkey's parliamentary elections last week, all eyes are on the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) after its successes in contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left.
1128. June 15, 2015 Nizar Visram EU's Military Strategy to Deepen Mediterranean Tragedies
More than 800 migrants died on April 19 this year when their overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast. The tragedy sent soaring this year's Mediterranean death toll which was by then around 1,500 -- 10 times the deaths during the same period last year.
1127. June 12, 2015 Sungur Savran The Strategic Defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdogan
So at long last, despite all the meanders and sideways and detours of history, the logic of social struggles has finally put its stamp on the politics of Turkey. The resounding defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP at the polls in the 7th June general elections in Turkey brings out into the open a loss of political clout on the part of Erdogan as a result of the successive blows he received in the last two years at the hands of the masses and, partly, his erstwhile partners.
1126. June 10, 2015 George Wright FIFA and the United States: The Russian Connection
On May 27th the United States Department of Justice issued a 47-count indictment against nine International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) officials and five executives of FIFA-affiliated sports management firms. The charges the U.S. pressed included racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering amounting to $150-million over a 24-year period. That morning, the Swiss Government also arrested seven of the indicted defendants at a Zurich hotel, while holding them for possible extradition to the United States.
1125. June 3, 2015 Mario Candeias New World Re-Ordering
What should we call the current era? Post-everything? Or perhaps, the interregnum? Whatever the name it should be given, the current period is characterized by neoliberal trans-nationalization. In addition, U.S. hegemony has been under question since the beginning of this period. In fact, the Empire is no longer U.S.-American and a change in hegemony is in full swing.
1124. June 1, 2015 John Milios The Class Logic Behind Austerity Policies In the Euro-Area
After the outbreak of the 2008 global economic crisis, extreme austerity policies prevailed in many parts of the developed capitalist world, especially in the European Union and the Euro-area. Austerity has been criticized as an irrational policy, which further deteriorates the economic crisis by creating a vicious cycle of falling effective demand, recession and over-indebtedness. However, these criticisms can hardly explain why this ‘irrational’ or ‘wrong’ policy persists, despite its ‘failures’.
1123. May 28, 2015 Sam Gindin Record Profits, Record Stock Buybacks: Another Looming Crisis?
Has the economy recovered or is it about to sink into another crisis? Do the shenanigans in finance that we regularly read about play a role in developing a stronger capitalism or do they cover up failures that will soon blow up in their faces? These can be mind-numbing questions, but they're questions that activists, in particular, can't ignore.
1122. May 25, 2015 Thomas Marois and Lucia Pradella Polarizing Development: Introducing Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis
Neoliberal economic policies, with their emphasis on market-led development and individual rationality, have been exposed as bankrupt not only by the global economic crisis but also by increasing social opposition and resistance. Social movements and critical scholars in Latin America, East Asia, Europe and the United States, alongside the Arab uprisings, have triggered renewed debate on possible different futures.
1121. May 24, 2015 Asbjørn Wahl From FAILURE20 to COP21
Climate change is going on. Extreme weather conditions, storms, floodings, landslides, droughts and ice melting are reported ever more regularly from many parts of the world. Millions of people are losing their livelihood, their homes, their jobs -- and many also their lives. The successive reports of the United Nation-IPCC have increasingly called for urgent action in order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
1120. May 22, 2015 Mike Treen How UNITE Took on the Fast Food Companies Over Zero Hour Contracts and Won!
Workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed 'zero hour contracts' during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year. The campaign played out over the national media as well as on picket lines. The victory was seen by many observers as the product of a determined fight by a valiant group of workers and their union, Unite.
1119. May 20, 2015 Gregory Shupak A Disaster Waiting to Happen: Expanding the U.S.-led ISIS War to Other Countries
According to a 29 April report in The New York Times, leaders from the U.S.-led coalition at war with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will meet in the coming weeks to consider broadening the mission to other countries. At present, the Obama administration is attempting to secure congressional support for a measure that would authorize expanding the war to such nations as Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.
1118. May 19, 2015 John Riddell Dissecting the Failure of Soviet 'Socialism'
In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in the experience of Cuba and Venezuela, where efforts in recent decades to move toward socialism have been the most vigorous. Quotations from Che Guevara and Hugo Chávez set the tone.
1117. May 18, 2015 Tracy MacMaster Shaking Off the Part-Time Blues
We've all followed the news that part-time, insecure employment is growing. I work at an Ontario college as a full-time library technician. Every day I work side by side with part-time employees whose jobs are the same as mine, but whose working conditions are dramatically different. Part-time workers in Ontario colleges do many different jobs -- some are long-time support staff, teachers or student workers -- but all have one thing in common -- they work without many of the standard protections Ontarians enjoy.
1116. May 15, 2015 David Moore South Africa's Xenophobia of a Special Type
In the past weeks a few South Africans -- possibly inspired by an artificially resuscitated Zulu 'king' who mused that it might be a good idea for foreigners to go home to till their fields -- murdered seven migrants, pillaged hundreds more and scared thousands into temporary refuge camps. The vast majority of their compatriots responded in shock and sympathy with the victims.
1115. May 13, 2015 J. F. Conway Alberta: A Perfect Political Storm
Election outcomes like Alberta's do not come often: the total collapse of a four decade conservative dynasty and majority power for a party considered on the 'left' in Canada. The reactions were typical: shock, elation, fear, uncertainty. No one saw it coming. Well, that's not quite true. If you followed the polls you knew a significant event was unfolding.
1114. May 11, 2015 Rainer Rilling Hegemony in the Making: Germany on the Way to Becoming a Political Giant
Germany is an economic giant but a political dwarf. Ever since the run-up to the First World War, this thesis has been firmly established in the conservative camp and it remains the basic assumption of a century of German foreign and security policy. In the end, it has come up against one problem in the tradition of the so-called realistic school of international politics: In the present world of states how does my state actually achieve more security and power?
1113. May 7, 2015 Raul Zelik Theses on Podemos and the 'Democratic Revolution' in Spain
Even if one almost always goes wrong with such prognoses, the fact is that the Spanish state is facing the biggest rupture since the end of the Franco dictatorship. In several large cities, the left radical-democratic lists of the Guanyem / Ganemos Initiatives have real chances of winning the mayoral elections in May.
1112. May 4, 2015 Volodymyr Ishchenko Ukraine's European Discourse Does Not Correspond to Reality
Attitudes toward the Maidan are determined by a variety of factors. You can have one attitude toward the protests, another one toward Yanukovych's removal from power, another one toward the current government and its policies... so it is quite complex. My own personal perception is that people are very much dissatisfied with the economic crisis and with government policies.
1111. April 29, 2015 Pierre Beaudet The 'Longue durée' of the Québec Spring
As has been the case for several years, great mobilizations take place around the globe. We notice them when they are covered by mainstream media; although the coverage only occurs when these mobilizations reach their apex. Generally speaking, we fairly quickly jump to some other concerns, as if the Tahir square protests, the Madrid Indignados, or the street confrontations in Athens, Istanbul or Bangkok were merely sudden and short-lasting eruptions.
1110. April 27, 2015 Araz Bağban Iran's Nuclear Deal: Escape from Crisis
Iran reached a preliminary agreement with the P5+1 or E3+3 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany) group on its nuclear program in Switzerland after long negotiations.
1109. April 24, 2015 Sungur Savran The Armenian Genocide: An Open Wound
On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals, politicians and community leaders were rounded in Istanbul by the Ottoman state, to be subsequently sent to exile from which most never returned. This was the signal that set off a chain of events that ended in a tragedy the like of which has rarely been witnessed in the annals of modern history.
1108. April 22, 2015 Cinzia Arruzza Fortress Europe and a Mediterranean Cemetery for Migrants
In the night between April 18th and April 19th a boat filled with up to 950 migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea, 70 miles north of Libya, while trying to reach the southern European border. This was not only the greatest tragedy to date involving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, it is also the latest in a long series of deaths.
1107. April 21, 2015 Arun Gupta Low-Wage Workers' Struggles Are About Much More than Wages
When fast-food workers first took the streets in New York City in November 2012 to protest for higher wages and a union, no one could have imagined how successful the campaign would be. Since then the low-wage workers movement, known as Fight for 15, has helped spur eleven states and numerous cities to raise the minimum hourly wage.
1106. April 16, 2015 David Camfield The Politics of Human Rights
There has never been more talk about human rights than there is today. Social media is full of calls to sign petitions or send e-mails about human rights causes. Almost no one says they're not supporters of human rights, from radicals on the left to people on the hard right like Stephen Harper. Governments of Western countries justify war in the name of defending human rights. We now have a Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.
1105. April 14, 2015 Richard Fidler Bolivia's Voters Reaffirm 'Process of Change'
Up to 90 per cent of the electorate voted in Bolivia's 'subnational' elections March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country. These were the second such elections to be held since the new Constitution came into force in 2009, the first being in 2010.
1104. April 10, 2015 Sabrina Fernandes The Ultra-Political Game: Depoliticization and False Polarization in Brazil
In a recent essay, Alfredo Saad-Filho writes of the dilemmas the Workers' Party now faces in Brazil. His analysis helps decipher some of the dynamics that have led to the current crisis of the PT regime and President Dilma Rousseff. This essay complements Saad-Filho's contribution by further contextualizing the radical Left in relation to the PT; and by identifying where the right-wing opposition stands (beyond its relation to the failure of the PT to maintain hegemony through neoliberal conciliation).
1103. April 8, 2015 Ingo Schmidt There is no Alternative Unless We Build One
The varied left histories dating back to the long 19th century gained momentum during the tumultuous first decades of the 20th century and for some time after. They came to an end, at one point or another, between the military coup in Chile (1973), the elections of Margaret Thatcher (1979) and Ronald Reagan (1981), the political u-turns by Francois Mitterand (1986) and Deng Xiaoping and the collapse of Soviet communism (1991).
1102. April 6, 2015 Jeffery R. Webber Bolivia: Burdens of a State Manager
In the opening salvos of Latin America's uneven lurch to the Left in the early twenty-first century, Bolivia distinguished itself as the region's most radical socio-political terrain. Left-indigenous movements in the countryside and cityscapes alike threw the state into crisis and brought two successive neoliberal presidents to their knees -- Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003, and Carlos Mesa in 2005.
1101. April 3, 2015 Josep Maria Antentas; Richard Fidler Podemos and the Catalan Independence Process
The rise of Podemos ("We Can") in the Spanish state -- and of its counterpart Podem in Catalonia -- has presented a new challenge to both the Catalan independence movement and to the traditional left in that subordinated national component of the Spanish state. Pablo Iglesias and other Podemos leaders, while indicating sympathy for self-determination of Catalonia, do not support its independence.
1100. April 2, 2015 Dan La Botz Important Strike in Mexico: Farm Workers Paralyze Baja Farms
Thousands of farmworkers in the San Quintin Valley of Baja California, just 185 miles south of the U.S. border, struck some 230 farms, including the twelve largest that dominate production in the region, on March 17 interrupting the picking, packing, and shipping of zucchini, tomatoes, berries and other products to stores and restaurants in the United States.
1099. April 1, 2015 Reuven Kaminer Israel: Fortress Racism
Israel sinks deeper and deeper into an abyss of strident chauvinism and endemic racism. Among its Jewish population there is an almost complete consensus that since Israel lives in a dangerous neighborhood it must be always ready on the draw. This consensus is frayed at its edges when social and economic issues are addressed but holds up when security policy is on the table. The war on Gaza last summer was hardly mentioned during the election campaign.
1098. March 31, 2015 Elena Papadopoulou and Michalis Spourdalakis SYRIZA's Two Months in Government: Difficulties and Challenges
Almost a month after the agreement of the 20th of February between the new Greek government, the European Institutions and the IMF, we need to know where we stand. "We" in this case is not the government. It is not even Syriza's members and voters. "We" includes all those who understand the necessity of a strong democratic reply to aggressive neoliberalism and the austerity it imposes on the people of Europe, and who perceive the victory of Syriza as a gleam of hope against a conservative and reactionary turn of Europe.
1097. March 30, 2015 Alfredo Saad-Filho Brazil: The Débâcle of the PT
Hundreds of thousands of chiefly white middle class protesters took to the streets in Brazil on 15 March in an organized upsurge of hatred against the federal administration led by President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party. These protests are far more cohesive and better organized than the previous wave of anti-government demonstrations, in 2013; their demands are unambiguously reactionary, and they include primarily the country's elite.
1096. March 27, 2015 Brad Hornick A View from Burnaby Mountain: Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything
The recent Vancouver panel discussion on Naomi Klein's new book, This Changes Everything, from which this article took form, was organized weeks before a local Blockadia event took place. By the time the five panelists came together, two had been arrested for defying a court injunction
1095. March 25, 2015 Jeff Noonan The Public Value of Public Sector Strikes
The essence of an unjust society is to continually demand and take from those with the least the little that they have to support their lives and life-goals and add it to the money-value hoards of those who have the power to restructure public life to serve their limitless appetites. So we see a recurrent pattern of struggle across history: those with the least power are forced to fight the hardest just to maintain what little they have.
1094. March 24, 2015 John Clarke Toronto's Plan to Push Out the Homeless
The Mayor's Office in Toronto is today occupied by a much slicker operation than it was during the years of dysfunctional, bigoted buffoonery that unfolded under Rob Ford. Mayor John Tory has resumed the drive toward a fully fledged neoliberal city but has the basic political skills to frame his twin agendas of austerity and upscale redevelopment in the language of inclusiveness. He has been sufficiently proficient at this to rapidly create what Michael Laxer has termed an 'austerity consensus' supported by the overwhelming majority of the Council, including its left wing.
1093. March 23, 2015 Gavin Fridell Wynne Gives Big Retail the Gift of Beer
The heads of big retail might be walking with a spring in their step this week due to a potentially generous gift from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. After months of wrangling over what to do with The Beer Store (TBS) semi-monopoly, granted by the Ontario government to some of the world's largest beer companies, Wynne has decided to open things up - to a select group of giant retail chains.
1092. March 20, 2015 An Interview with Karl Cloete South Africa's Troubled Alliance and the Road Ahead
The expulsion of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) from COSATU in November 2014 was a watershed moment in the post-apartheid labour movement. The expulsion is a product of, and has deepened further, the crisis in the Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), as well as the internal crises of each of the three component parts of the Alliance.
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