You are here

Browse Content

07/26/2018 - 7:18am
By Cyryl Ryzak

 

“Populism” is a magical word. Its mysterious power unites the Erdogan and Putin governments, Latin American leftists like Evo Morales and the late Hugo Chavez, the resurgent Right in Europe and the United States, Hungarian and Polish anti-communist parties, Podemos, the Eurocommunism of the tragic Syriza, the revitalizers of social democracy Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn – all under the same umbrella.

Almost everyone now uses this word in an...

more
07/22/2018 - 10:34am
By R. Burke

The basic problem we have with parecon as advocated by Michael Albert is that we think he proposes blueprints for society without attempting to provide anything empirical to back up his claims. Whenever a criticism is raised, Albert’s response is to assert the beauty and elegance of his model, or to claim he has already considered this or that objection, so why are we being so critical? Of course, since the model is not functioning in the actual world, there is no evidence to falsify it, and Albert can always double down on its elegance in his ideal mindscape. What he does not give us is...

more
07/12/2018 - 10:05am
By Don Fitz

It’s more than doors between government and the businesses that they supposedly regulate that go round and round. One of the other swinging doors is between the Democratic and Republican Parties.

A second door

Perhaps the best known case is when Al Gore ran for president in 2000, he picked Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Then, in 2008, Lieberman showed up at the Republican national convention to endorse John McCain for president. Between those two campaigns,...

more
07/05/2018 - 10:07am
By Kim Scipes

 “Practical Utopia:  Strategies for a Desirable Society by Michael Albert:  A Review Essay” 

Oakland:  PM Press, 2017.  ISBN:  978-1-62963-381-7

By Kim Scipes

This is an important book.  It’s important because it asks questions that rarely if ever get asked, and it tries to provide coherent answers to them.  However, whether you agree or not with Michael Albert’s answers, engaging with this book will help each of us further think out what we want to see in the future.  For as Noam Chomsky points out in the...

more
06/19/2018 - 8:15pm
By Don Fitz

As discontent increases with overly expensive and totally inadequate US health care, it is time to look closely at the beginnings of the modern Cuban medical system. Like the US, Cuba had unintegrated, overlapping medical institutions that failed the poor, especially black, population of the island. Though several European countries have developed health care systems about 40% cheaper than the US, Cuba was able to craft health care which became more than 80% less costly than the US with a roughly equivalent life expectancy.

When the revolutionary government took the reins in 1959...

more
06/15/2018 - 10:33am
By Don Fitz

During the 1960s, Cuban medicine experienced changes as tumultuous as the civil rights and anti-war protests in the US. While those in western Europe and the US confronted the institutions of capitalism, Cuba faced the challenge of building a new society.

The tasks of Cuban medicine differed sharply between the first and the second five years of the revolution. The years 1959-1964 aimed at overcoming the crisis of care delivery as half of the island's physicians fled. It was during the second half of the decade (1964-1969) that Cuba began redesigning medicine as an integrated...

more
05/27/2018 - 6:53am
By Ellen Brown

http://EllenBrown.com

May 26, 2018

California has over $700 billion parked in private banks earning minimal interest, private equity funds that contributed to the affordable housing crisis, or shadow banks of the sort that caused the banking collapse of 2008. These funds, or some of them, could be transferred to an infrastructure bank that generated credit for the state – while the funds remained safely on deposit in the bank.

California needs over...

more
05/14/2018 - 3:38pm
By Don Fitz

With the escalating doom of climate change hovering over us, it is tempting to push nuclear horror to the back of our minds. To those of us who grew up in the 1950s, it was omnipresent. Nuclear war could not exist without nuclear power and on April 26, 1986 the world experienced a form of nuclear horror it will never forget.

Why did Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explode on that day? Did operator error cause it? Was design flaw the reason? Should we look deeper into the Soviet system for the cause? Or should we look deeper still into the very existence of nuclear power?...

more
05/10/2018 - 12:58pm
By Kim Scipes

New York:  Oxford University Press, 2016.  ISBN:  978-0190624712

This is an absolutely important—and brilliant—recent book by someone who knows what she’s talking about.  It is clear, thoughtful and, yes, inspiring.  It is a book that I believe should be read by every social change activist in (at least) North America.  It is written by a woman who has extensive experience in the labor movement, but who also has experience as a radical student organizer as well as a community-based activist and educator.  It is also, though, limited when it shouldn’t be.

...

more
04/25/2018 - 9:43pm
By Martin Donohoe

Introduction

Conservative economist Milton Friedman once said, “The [only] social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” Noam Chomsky was more blunt. He stated, “Corporations [have] no moral conscience. [They] are designed by law to be concerned only for their stockholders, and not…their stakeholders, like the community or the work force.”

This essay will focus on the work force. I will address wages, benefits, sick leave, retirement savings and wealth inequalities. I will also discuss the decline in union membership over the last 60 years...

more
04/23/2018 - 8:59am
By Ellen Brown

Ellen Brown

http://EllenBrown.com

April 22, 2018

The Fed is aggressively raising interest rates, although inflation is contained, private debt is already at 150% of GDP, and rising variable rates could push borrowers into insolvency. So what is driving the Fed’s push to “tighten”?

On March 31st the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the sixth time in 3 years and signaled its intention to raise rates twice more in 2018, aiming for a fed...

more
04/22/2018 - 10:36am
By R. Burke

What exactly is the legacy of the 1917 Russian Revolution for socialists today? Over the past century much of the discussion has been dominated by two tendencies. For Marxist–Leninists the Russian Revolution was the guiding light leading humanity onward to socialism. For Anarchists and Social-Democrats Russia in 1917 seemed to offer a model of how not to engage in a socialist revolution. What would a more nuanced and historically based investigation reveal to us? Would the picture be as sharply black and white either side has painted? China Mieville’s October; The Story of the Russian...

more
04/17/2018 - 9:09am
By Stan Cox

Confronting the global ecological emergency will require a mobilization far more ambitious than any actions now being considered by governments or international bodies. In response, several of the people and groups urging much more drastic action here in America have been...

more
04/13/2018 - 6:39am
By Martin Donohoe

The number of Americans killed by firearms since 1968, including suicides, homicides, and accidental shootings, is 1.4 million, more than the 1.2 million killed in all the wars involving our country from the Revolutionary War to the present.

While Americans constitute just under 5% of the world’s population, we account for almost ½ of the world’s civilian-owned firearms, or somewhere between 265 and 300 million guns. Nearly ½ of these are stored improperly in homes with children. The average gun-owning household has 8.2 guns, a number that has doubled over last 20 yrs. One half of...

more
04/08/2018 - 10:01am
By Priti Gulati Cox and Stan Cox

H. Rap Brown was right: violence is as American as cherry pie. It's also as Indian as dal chawal. (Image: Mutant Freedom, chainstitch embroidery on khadi, 48 x 28 inches, 2008]

In the United States of America it’s all...

more
04/05/2018 - 8:34pm
By Ellen Brown

http://EllenBrown.com

April 4, 2018

Bayer and Monsanto have a long history of collusion to poison the ecosystem for profit. The Trump administration should veto their merger not just to protect competitors but to ensure human and planetary survival.

Two new studies from Europe have found that the number of farm birds in France has crashed by a third in just 15 years, with some species being almost eradicated. The collapse in the...

more
03/18/2018 - 12:39pm
By Ellen Brown

http://EllenBrown.com

March 16, 2018

The US Postal Service, under attack from a manufactured crisis designed to force its privatization, needs a new source of funding to survive. Postal banking could fill that need.

The US banking establishment has been at war with the post office since at least 1910, when the Postal Savings Bank Act established a public savings alternative to a private banking system that had crashed the economy in the Bank Panic of 1907. The American Bankers Association...

more
03/17/2018 - 6:28pm
By Elizabeth Fattah

Kim Konte certainly thought so. Kim was one of the organizers of Non Toxic Irvine which convinced the City of Irvine to adopt an organic-first policy in landscaping (http://www.nontoxicirvine.org/). “Baseball is my children’s life,” Komte said, “and we want to make sure every baseball player is able to slam into the dirt and roll around in the grass and not be exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.”

... more
03/14/2018 - 8:09am
By Don Fitz

Democratic Production and the Workers' Opposition of Revolutionary Russia

by Don Fitz

In a post-capitalist society, who should control production? How should decisions about worklife be made? Who should decide what is produced, where it is produced and how it is exchanged within a country and between countries? For the first time in history, the great Russian Revolution of 1917 had to confront these issues in more than a theoretical way. The issues became painfully pragmatic during intense conflict...

more
03/09/2018 - 4:49pm
By Don Fitz

Democratic Production and the Workers' Opposition of Revolutionary Russia (Part 2)

by Don Fitz

[This is the second of two parts. The first section covered the origins of the Workers' Opposition (WO), interpretations of “workers' control,” the 10th Party Congress, and suppression of the WO after the congress.]

The Third Meeting of the Comintern

With opportunities for discussion and organization being closed out, Kollontai and Shlyapnikov realized that...

more

Pages