The inauguration of Donald Trump as the president of the United States opens what we fear will be one of the darkest and most dangerous periods in American history since the founding of this journal in 1961.
Donald Trump takes office on January 20, setting up the most right-wing, racist government in modern American history, but he will not go unchallenged. That challenge is already in motion.
This year’s elections are the culmination of the long-standing economic and cultural grievances of America’s industrial workers, a subclass largely composed of white men from the Rust Belt whose factories have been asset-stripped and sent abroad and whose unions or small businesses, pensions, and prospects have been decimated. They are not the poorest of the poor—not even the poorest of the white poor. They are not from places where the economic conditions are the worst, but they are from places where uncertainty about the future of industrial jobs is most acute.
The Bolshevik Revolution
One hundred years ago the most democratic revolution in history took place. Led by the Bolshevik Party, the Russian working class, allied with the peasantry and organized into mass democratic institutions—the soviets—took power.
Russia, Revolution, and Counter-revolution
During the tumultuous years that followed the horrors of World War I, especially in the period of 1917 to the early 1920s, the Russian working class became an inspiration to workers around the world.
One hundred years ago, in exile in Zurich during the spring of 1916, Lenin started writing one of his most important and influential works, his pamphlet on imperialism. What is the relevance of this work today?
What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia?
The Black Protest for Abortion Rights in Poland
In Poland the law on abortion is one of the most restrictive in the European Union, sex education does not exist, and contraception is both expensive and hard to obtain because a medical prescription is often needed.
Night had fallen on the Atlanta Stadium in the city of Buenos Aires on November 19, and as “The Internationale” began to blare from the loudspeakers, more than twenty thousand people at the Trotskyist Left Front rally stood up, their fists held high, to sing the international workers’ anthem with a single voice.
On December 4, 2016, the Italian electorate was asked to vote on a government-proposed constitutional reform, and the vote dealt the government and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans a ringing blow. The referendum was a political gambit on which the PM bet everything, yet 59.1 percent of voters rejected the reform. Barely an hour after the polls closed, Renzi announced his resignation.
[Editors’ note: The struggle at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was one of the major political mobilizations of 2016, combining the demand for Native rights with the call for environmental justice. New Politics asked Nancy Romer to cover these events for us. She was at Standing Rock from November 10-15.
Marking an anniversary of a book’s publication is, appropriately, reserved for books that were widely read when they first appeared many years ago. Books we commemorate with an anniversary are ones that ushered in a new way of thinking and influenced the way society tries to make sense of the world. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community did neither of these things.1
The Occupy movement and the Bernie Sanders campaign spotlighted once again the fact that a fairly small number of very rich people dominate the major economic and political institutions of the country.
A (Mostly) Friendly Reply to Michael J. Thompson
Periodization of the various versions of capitalism is tough academic work, and what follows is not meant to diminish the importance of those kinds of projects.
The pages that follow are taken from Seth Tobocman’s new graphic biography of the radical lawyer Leonard Weinglass, Len: A Lawyer in History (AK Press). This particular section is based on a transcript of a talk that Len Weinglass gave at the 2002 Left Forum on the relationship between Nixon-era encroachments on civil liberties and the Patriot Act.
When the Stalin-Hitler pact triggered World War II in 1939, and Soviet troops occupied half of Poland and then invaded Finland, the Socialist Workers Party in the United States was plunged into crisis.
For some time now, many of us have wondered how it is that a number of left-wing writers and some political organizations could support Vladimir Putin and the Russian government’s role in international affairs.
Greece and the Syriza Experience
In very different ways, Helena Sheehan’s The Syriza Wave: Surging and Crashing with the Greek Left and Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges by Jack Rasmus look back over the period of the Greek debt crisis, and the parallel rise and fall of Syriza, and try to take stock.
At the heart of Jeff Halper’s War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification is the question “How does Israel get away with it?” In other words, how is Israel able to continually occupy Palestinian territory in contravention of international law?
Blogs & On-Line Features
Book Review - John Riddell (editor and translator), To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (Brill/Haymarket, 2016), £39.99.
To the Masses is the last volume of a hugely ambitious project to make the proceedings of the (four) congresses of the Communist International held during Lenin’s time available in English. It’s an extraordinary achievement for John Riddell, a Canadian revolutionary socialist historian and activist.
The situation at the University of Puerto Rico is framed within a context of a 10-year economic depression and unsustainable debt crisis, which was meant to be remedied by the 2016 Puerto Rico Oversight Management Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), signed by President Obama, and its federal Fiscal Control Board (Junta de Control Fiscal, the word Junta in Spanish is politically charged). Similar to what was presented at the conference this weekend regarding Greece, South Africa and Mexico, the public university became, throughout the second half of the twentieth century, a vehicle by which many people have escaped poverty.
Recently a group called the “Hands Off Syria Coalition” disrupted a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth in Grand Central Station that was done to honor the White Helmets group. The White Helmets, of course, are Syria rescue workers rescue workers of whom 140 have lost their lives while digging out victims of Syrian government and Russian bombs.
On the curious collaboration between the cultural left and the economic right, and how to overcome it.
For all the hideous acts of Trump’s administration over the past six weeks there’s something of a silver lining to our current political moment: we’re now witnessing the emergence of what may well prove to be the most energetic and popular protest movement since the 1960s. And yet it’s worth wondering what, broadly speaking, this dissent will stand for apart from spirited opposition to Trump and his administration.
As millions of women around the world held meetings and conferences, rallied and marched to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, many also joined an International Women’s Strike, a Day Without a Woman, that in the United States had the character of an anti-Trump movement.
The neoliberal policies implemented since the 1980s in Mexico and around the world have worsened the conditions of academic workers, imposing labor flexibility and precariousness on most of the teachers in higher education. This new academic majority needs a political revival. The reorganization of this sector has become an urgent task for academics and their unions.
At the twenty-eighth Summit meeting of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa on 30 January 2017, Morocco’s readmission to the continental body generated heated discussion. At the end of the day the Kingdom of Morocco managed to win over sufficient member states on its side and it was allowed to join the fold unconditionally.
Public education is truly at a crossroads in the US, as are both the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA).
Thousands of people showed up at town halls meetings across the United States in February to challenge Republican congressional representatives and senators on their plans for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as well as on issues from immigration, to the environment, to President Donald Trump’s relations with Russia. While this past week fewer protestors took to the streets where radicals have generally taken the initiative and established the tone of the Resistance, town halls swelled with more moderate but quite militant crowds who challenged Republicans and their politics.
Protests against Trump continue even as new ones are being planned for the future, from the recent Not-My-President Day and Day without an Immigrant protests, to the International Women's Strike planned for March 8.
Thousands of protestors in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and some two dozen other cities marched on Monday, Feb. 20 in opposition to President Donald Trump and his policies on what is usually called “President’s Day” but on this occasion was marked by many as Not-My-President Day. On what was in the Midwest and the East a beautiful spring-like day—thanks to climate change—protestors marched to protest Trump’s environmental and immigration policies and just about everything else that the new president stands for.
In the wake of the 2016 election, Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” to be the 2016 international word of the year.[i] The viral spread of fake news stories (such as the infamous “Pizzagate”[ii] scandal alleging that Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta secretly ran an illegal sex trafficking ring out of a Washington D.C. pizzeria) no doubt helped to install America’s lunatic POTUS and his clown car of white supremacist cabinet members into the Oval Office.
There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run “the Progressive Movement.” More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars, will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations. It will come clean, pressed and laundered through Organizing for Action, the latest incarnation of the Obama Money Machine which has recently morphed into a “nonpartisan non-profit corporation” that will ‘‘strengthen the progressive movement and train our next generation of leaders.’’
The author of The Price for Their Pound of Flesh is Daina Ramey Berry. Professor Berry is an associate professor of history and African and African diaspora studies and the George W. Littlefield Fellow in American History at the University of Texas at Austin. An award-winning historian, she is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Berry is a specialist in the history of gender and slavery in the United States with a particular emphasis on the social and economic history of the nineteenth century.
No one wants their retirement to be financed by companies involved in human rights violations and environmental destruction. But that is exactly what is happening to those of us with retirement funds invested in TIAA.