It is easy to understand scholarly and progressive interest in this year’s centennial of the Russian revolution, but harder to explain why there is little apparent enthusiasm for an anniversary that is arguably more important – that of Mexico’s 1917 constitution, signed on February 5, 1917. In fact, Mexico’s constitution provided the model for the first Soviet constitution. Its failure to inspire global interest may reside in an uncomfortable question facing the country: whether it should be celebrating or mourning.
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Stories about Thinking Politically.
Review of three books on black subjugation, slavery and white supremacy, and argues these three things need to be placed at the center of the Americqn experience.
Imagine if the U.S. Constitution barred the EPA and Department of Education from existing. All union protections are dead, there are no more federal workplace safety standards, and even child-labor laws are struck down, along with a national minimum wage.
Imagine that the Constitution makes it illegal for the federal government to protect you from big polluters, big banks and even big food and pharma—all are free to rip you off or poison you all they want, and your only remedy is in state courts and legislatures, because the Constitution prevents Congress from doing anything about any of it. The federal government can't even enforce voting or civil rights laws.
Is there anything people can do about climate change in the Trump era? The new American president has asserted that global warming is a fraud perpetrated by the Chinese to steal American jobs; threatened to ignore or even withdraw from the Paris climate agreement; and pledged unlimited burning of fossil fuels. Whatever the details, Trump’s agenda will escalate global warming far beyond its already catastrophic trajectory. As we learn that 2016 was the hottest year on record, it sounds like a formula for doom.
On October 11 2016, with the presidential campaign still raging, five climate protectors traveled to five secluded locations in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Washington state and turned the shut-off valves on the five pipelines that carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada into the United States. Their action – dubbed “Shut It Down” – blocked 15% of US crude oil imports for nearly a day.
Shortly before leaving America for Britain, after 12 years as a correspondent, the relative of one of my son’s friends politely declined my invitation to visit us in London.
“I don’t think I could go to Europe,” she said. “It doesn’t seem safe.”
Try as I might I could not suppress a laugh. My wife and children are African American. I am British. We were living in Chicago.
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.
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...