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Thinking Politically

Stories about Thinking Politically.

Europe: Green Surges, Older Parties Erode, Far Right Gains

Scott Tucker

Green parties made stunning gains in the European Elections, due to the strength of many younger voters, the grass roots insurgency of ecological school strikes and marches, and the tenacity of Green Party activists.

It’s Official: the Monroe Doctrine Is Back. And as the Latest US Attack on Cuba Shows, Its Purpose Is to Serve the Neoliberal Order.

Peter Bolton

In November 2013, then-Secretary of State John Kerry declared: “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”1 The reality of Obama administration policy did not entirely support this assertion; there was the executive order against Venezuela in 2015, support for the coup in Honduras in 2009, and ominously close ties with right-wing governments across the region. But with other more encouraging steps such as the normalization of relations with Cuba and the (belated) show of support for the Colombian Peace Process, there were at least some modest steps towards greater mutual respect for national sovereignty in the Hemisphere. Then came the unexpected election of Donald Trump.

Yellow Vest Movement Still Going Strong

Richard Greeman

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Comrades,

I am writing you from France, where I am a participant-observer in the Yellow Vest movement, which is still going strong after six months, despite a dearth of information in the international media. My report follows.

This unique, original social movement has enormous international significance. It has already succeeded in shattering the capitalist myth of “representative democracy” by unmasking the lies and violence of government and media, as well as the duplicity of representative institutions like political parties, bureaucratic unions and the mainstream media.

Moreover, the Yellow Vests represent the first time in history that a spontaneous, self-organized social movement has ever held out for half a year in spite of repression while retaining its autonomy, resisting cooptation, bureaucratization and sectarian splits. All the while, standing up to full-scale government repression and targeted propaganda.

A Climate Justice Critique of South African Political Parties

Vishwas Satgar

We have a crisis of climate leadership among all South Africa’s political parties and none are committed to ensuring South Africa, the region and the continent is on a climate emergency footing. Being on a climate emergency footing means advancing a deep just transition/s to ensure regulated, purposive, ambitions and planned reductions in carbon emissions to prevent a 1.5°C overshoot and the necessary adaptive systems are in place that transform energy, production, consumption, finance and public systems through democratic systemic reforms to ensure workers, the poor and the vulnerable do not pay the price of the transition and climate shocks. Such a deep just transition is led by the working class and mass social forces, rooted in a red-green alliance seeking climate justice.

Toward Climate-Catalyzed Social Transformation?

Diana Stuart and Ryan Gunderson

While the Green New Deal calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 and supports labor unions, worker cooperatives and community projects; it does not specifically call for reducing and eliminating the use of fossil fuels, its already “radical” emissions targets are not radical enough, and it does not challenge the economic growth paradigm. Yet, its public and political support indicates it could represent a gateway to more radical change.

The strategies of these climate change movements are creating conditions that are increasingly ripe for transformation. Wright predicted that climate change would necessitate the end of neoliberalism and would “open up more space for broader, socially directed state interventions.”

Notre Dame of Gaza: Our Mosques and Churches are Also Burning

Ramzy Baroud

As the 300-foot spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television, my thoughts ventured to Nuseirat Refugee Camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip.

Then, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer hopelessly clawed through the rubble of my neighbourhood mosque. I grew up around that mosque. I spent many hours there with my grandfather, Mohammed, a refugee from historic Palestine. Before grandpa became a refugee, he was a young Imam in a small mosque in his long-destroyed village of Beit Daras.

Our Preoccupation with the Presidency is Killing the Planet

Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

The 2020 US presidential campaign is already underway. With each day that passes between now and election day, all other topics will receive less attention, both from talking heads on the news and from regular folks (and bots) in the social media universe.

This is quite unfortunate because the race for this office is far less important than a myriad of other topics, chief among them the environment and (inextricably connected) US militarism.

What's the deal with the Green New Deal?

Richard Seymour

Among the encouraging political straws in the wind are the growing momentum in the United States and the United Kingdom, two leading carbon states, for something called the ‘Green New Deal’. I have some questions about it.These are questions from an interested and, to be clear, broadly sympathetic amateur. I'm not raising them in the spirit of 'dissing' the Green New Deal, so much as trying to feel out the limits of its scope. And, if there does happen to be a degree of magical thinking involved, and if it does come with 'national' blinkers, to suggest that we need the Green New Deal plus something else.


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