A review of two books about experiences in Richmond, California.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
Students in Gary, Indiana fight environmental racism, trying to stop a "solid waste processing facility" from being established within 100 feet of their school.
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.
Jean Batou deconstructs the simplistic interpretations of Marx's work that have obscured his relevance for our time.
I really don’t think that most mainstream climate environmental organizations are operating with any kind of intentional strategy in which they think that what they are doing will lead to positive change. When groups are mobilizing their members to “send a message” or “make their voices heard” to [US Secretary of the Interior Ryan] Zinke, [Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott] Pruitt or Trump, I doubt any staffers in those groups actually think that what they are doing has any potential of working. I think they are hemmed-in by the norms of social movement organizing. Those norms demand relentless optimism and positivity, so there is very little room for open reflection on our mistakes, changing direction or acknowledging that certain goals are no longer possible. Those norms also define leadership around knowing what to do and giving people tangible and immediate things to do.
Among liberals and all the different ypes of socialists, when the subject of the Democratic Party comes up, there are at least two variations. One is the familiar liberal argument that the Democratic Party is the “lesser of two evils”. For them, the Republican Party is the source of most, if not all problems while the Democratic Party is presented as shortsighted, weak and or incompetent bumblers. Among some of the more compromising members of the Green Party, the lesser of two evils manifests itself when it implores its voters to “vote in safe states”
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”?
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?
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.
Risking understatement, I am buried alive inside Michigan's Marquette Maximum Security Prison. I am locked in a windowless cell measuring 10x8 feet, 24 hours per day. For one hour every other day, I am handcuffed, chained around the waist and allowed exercise and a shower in a small cage. I am not allowed to interact with others, or to participate in any educational, vocational, or employment programs. All meals are delivered to the cell. I have no access to a phone. And while I am permitted two, one hour non-contact visits per month -- always conducted through glass -- Marquette is 455 miles away from my hometown of Detroit. Opportunities to visit family and friends are rare.