It's been seven years since the outbreak of the Greek debt crisis, yet Greece -- the country that gave birth to democracy -- is still stuck in a vicious cycle of debt, austerity and high unemployment. Three consecutive bailout programs have deprived the nation of its fiscal sovereignty, transferred many of its publicly owned assets and resources into private hands (virtually all of foreign origin), produced the collapse of the public health care system, slashed wages, salaries and pensions by as much as 50 percent, and led to a massive exodus of its skilled and educated labor force. As for democracy, it has been seriously constrained since the moment the first bailout went into effect, back in May 2010, as all governments that have come to power have pledged allegiance to the international actors and agencies behind the bailout plans -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- and follow closely and obediently their commands, irrespective of the needs and wishes of the Greek people.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
This is a peer-reviewed article on which my recent talk by the same name at Chicago's Open University of the Left was based. (and which was previously posted on the GST website). This gives more detailed and specific material on the subject.
Miguel Urban argues that Europeans are being given a false choice between neoliberalism and nationalism.
A lifelong Marxist-Humanist-Anarcho-Utopian scholar and activist reflects on the challenges and prospects for the emerging resistance. Greeman writes:
... Crony capitalism, although often dictatorial, is not yet fascism. It is of course nationalistic, authoritarian, racist, misogynist, fundamentalist and warlike, and it might easily degenerate into fascism – for example in the case of a crisis triggered by its Leader. But we are not there yet, and the goal of our united resistance is to block the road to fascism and nip it in the bud before it overwhelms us through the usual violent blitzkrieg tactics. Fascism’s rise depends on organized, aggressive movements allied with elements of the official police, capable of intimidating opponents and social movements in the streets. Mussolini had his Red Shirts, Hitler his Brown-shirted Storm troopers. Trump – although he is worshipped by the members of the KKK, white nationalist militias, right-wing racist cops, and domestic terrorists who bomb abortion clinics, mosques, synagogues and black churches – is so far only a virtual-reality one-man show. That could change, so let’s watch out...
One current of 20th century Marxism that remains highly relevant today is the Frankfurt School. Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm, Jurgen Habermas, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse all made profound contributions to a critical theory which provides us with insights into monopoly capitalism and its cultural effects. Many of the issues that they explored in their works remain crucial, especially in an era in which someone like Donald Trump can occupy the White House.
A reflection on the unique current relevance of social ecology’s communalist politics in our time. The article's broad historical scope addresses everything from ancient Greek democracy to the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee confederacy, the Paris Commune, the Zapatistas and the current Kurdish revolution in northern Syria.
From Nick Powers of the NYC Indypendent, arguing that, with rising inequality, white-identified folks are choosing to abandon the politics of ‘respectability,’ in a rather twisted mirror image of what happened during the rise of an increasingly mainstreamed and commercialized Black Power politics in the late ‘60s. An insightful contribution to the ongoing debate over 'white identity politics' and Trumpism.
On March 7, 2017 Lyda Krewson won the Democratic Party nomination for mayor of St. Louis City with only 32.0% of the vote. Ms. Krewson is white. Six black candidates split over two-thirds of the votes.
Should Bridge International Academies be allowed to experiment on African children? That’s the crux of a question academics, politicians and parents have been trying to answer for the last year.
Bridge, which is backed the World Bank, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg among other luminaries, has been at the center of intense controversies across Africa. Earlier this year, the Ugandan government ordered Bridge to close down 63 of its schools, citing the use of unqualified teachers working in unsafe premises at unregistered schools. Bridge refused to stop its operations and took the government to court. This month, the High Court ruled in favor of the government, but Bridge plans to challenge the ruling.
Democracy in the Americas, the Revolutionary Way