La Botz, Dan
|Dan La Botz March 30, 2016|
This is the second of three book reviews that will look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. The first review appeared here. - DL
Manuel Aguilar Mora and Claudio Albertani, eds., La noche de Iguala y el despertar de México. Mexico: Juan Pablos Editor, 2015. Pp. 382. Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Tables. (Available only in Spanish at this time.)
The Night of Iguala and the Awakening of Mexico (as we translate the title of this book), like Sergio Aguayo’s From Tlatelolco to Ayotzinapa, deals with the horrifying killing of six people and forced disappearance of 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in the town of Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014.
|Dan La Botz March 28, 2016|
This is the first of three book reviews that will look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. - DL
Sergio Aguayo. De Tlatelolco a Ayotzinapa: Las violencias del Estado. Editorial Ink, 2015. (This book in Spanish is available in several formats including Kindle, which is how the reviewer read it.)
The horrifying killing of six people and forced disappearance of 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in the town of Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014 had a dramatic impact on Mexico.
|Dan La Botz March 25, 2016|
Part 9 of A New Politics in America. This concludes the series. All nine parts can be fond on the New Politics website, newpol.org
So what does this era of a new politics in America mean? How significant are new right and new left in America today? Where do we go from here? What are we in the left to do? Should we be building progressive Democratic Party campaigns? Should we just go back to building the movements? Or is there another option? To figure this out, we have to understand that though we are in a new political era, many of the old problems still remain.
|Dan La Botz March 22, 2016|
This is part 8 of A New Politics in America. Find previous parts on newpol.org.
Hillary—Establishment and Dynasty
The tremendous success of the Bernie Sanders campaign—in turning out tens of thousands to his rallies, getting millions to contribute to his campaign, and winning an impressive number of states and delegates—is primarily due to his clear message: his call for a progressive economic program to provide jobs, universal health care, and free higher education, as well as an end to the role of money in politics, and an insistence on an end to structural racism, in particular racist police violence. Yet there is also no doubt that many have turned to Sanders because they do not want the Democrats’ presidential candidate to be Hillary Clinton, whom they see as embodying all that they despise about the American political system.
|Dan La Botz March 21, 2016|
This is party 7 of A New Politics in America. Part 6 and links to earlier parts can be found here.
Occupy, though it had eschewed politics, had important political ramifications. A few liberal Democrats soon appeared to give expression to the new movements within their rightward moving party.
|Dan La Botz March 20, 2016|
This is Part 6 of A New Politics in America. Part 5 and links to early parts can be found here.
The Tea Party
The Great Recession and the government’s response to it gave a new impetus to the right. President Barack Obama’s election in 2008 in the midst of the recession proved an ideal catalyst for the bringing together of a new far right movement.
|Dan La Botz March 18, 2016|
This is Part 5 of A New Politics in America. Part 4 and links to earlier parts can be found here.
If American politics have changed in the 2010s, however, it is in large measure due to disappointment in the Obama presidency. Many Americans thought in 2008 that they had elected a progressive, but they soon found out that the new president was nothing of the kind.
|Dan La Botz March 17, 2016|
This is the fourth part of A New Politics in America. Earlier parts of the series can be found here.
The Republican Party responded to the white middle class and working class voters who had lost status, income, and pride in their country by working to turn their disappointment and depression into ressentiment and political power. Richard Nixon famously first saw how whites' resentment could be turned in the Republicans' direction during his 1968 presidential campaign, adopting the “southern strategy” of winning over the South’s racist white voters—the former Dixiecrats of the Democratic Party.
|Dan La Botz March 16, 2016|
This is the third part of A New Politics in America. Part 1 looked at the Civil Rights movement and the White Backlash; Part 2 examined the impact of the economic crisis of the 1970s; Part 3 discusses the decline in American power, and then turns back to look at how all three elements contributed to the growth of a New Right from the 1960s to the 1980s.
The United States: A Declining World Power
While the United States remained a world power—and the greatest military power on earth after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991—U.S. military might did not necessarily always lead to military victory and modern weapons could not always ensure its place as the leading world power.
|Dan La Botz February 29, 2016|
Dawn Paley. Drug War Capitalism. Oakland: AK Press, 2014. Notes. Index.
Dawn Paley’s Drug War Capitalism presents an overview of the drug wars in several Latin American countries: Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Mexico receives the most attention, and Paley provides a wealth of information from a variety of sources documenting the impact of the war-on-drugs on Mexican society and on the role of the United States. She focuses especially on the relationship between the drug business, government policies, and the militarization of Latin American societies, elucidating the role of U.S. policies such as Plan Mérida. She demonstrates the nefarious part played by the U.S. government’s overall structuring of both the drug market and the drug war by elaborating on both the military and civilian aspects of U.S policy in an attempt to prove her thesis, which is the war on drugs forms part of a plan—or if not a plan at least a process—that furthers capitalism, especially its expansion “…into new or previously inaccessible territories and social spaces.” (p. 15) Paley’s book contributes to, but does not resolve the debate over the relationship between drug dealers, capitalism, and the state.
|Dan La Botz February 24, 2016|
Fernando Cardenal, the revolutionary Jesuit priest who served as Secretary of Education in the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, died in Managua on February 20 following complications arising from heart surgery. He was 82 years old.
Cardenal, joined the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN) before the Nicaraguan revolution of 1979, having been like his brother the poet Ernesto Cardenal, also a priest, recruited by top Sandinista leaders. Cardenal played a key role in the 1970s, before the revolution, in building the Christian Revolutionary Movement and after the revolution he was the leader and organizer of the National Literacy Campaign. When in 1984 Pope John Paul II insisted that the Cardenal leave the Sandinista government, he refused, writing that he could not believe that God would want him to stop serving the poor.
In the early 1990s Cardenal broke with Daniel Ortega’s increasingly authoritarian Sandinista government, returned to the Jesuit order in 1997, and continued his work among the poor.
|Dan La Botz February 19, 2016|
Twenty years ago the Mexican government signed the San Andrés Accords Regarding the Rights and Culture of the Indigenous that granted autonomy to Indian communities. Yet today, some argue that the indigenous people of Mexico, who represent about 10 to 15 percent of the population of the country, are worse off than they were then. What happened and where are things now?
|Dan La Botz February 18, 2016|
The Pope in Mexico Criticizes the Government, Big Business, and the Church Hierarchy, While Siding with Working People, the Poor, Migrants, and the Indigenous
Pope Francis, during his six-day visit to Mexico in mid-February, criticized the country’s political and economic elite as well as the Catholic Church hierarchy for their preoccupation with wealth and power, while simultaneously expressing support for the country’s working people and the poor. The Pope’s presence in Mexico constituted an indictment of Mexico’s ruling elite and of the society of inequality, violence, and corruption that they have created.
The Pope also criticized Donald Trump and other Republicans who call for building a wall between Mexico and the United States calling their views "not Christian." Said the Pope: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.”
|by Julia Wrigley and Jason Schulman and Dan La Botz and Nancy Holmstrom and Saulo Colón||Winter 2016|
In this issue we are proud to present a previously unpublished lecture by C.L.R. James, the noted Afro-Caribbean Marxist intellectual. His discussion of Oliver Cox’s book Caste, Class, and Race, first published in 1948, brings an historic Black socialist voice to illuminate some of the issues that face our own times and the demand that Black Lives Matter.
|Dan La Botz January 22, 2016|
2015 was another in a series of very bad years for Mexico. Mexican working people continued to experience in 2015 the difficulties of a stagnant economy, the violence of the drug war, repression of the labor and social movements, and the rule of corrupt political parties. Few workers had legitimate labor unions with which to resist employer and government policies, and fewer had the desire to engage in strikes. Yet some workers—teachers in southern Mexico, farm workers in Baja California, and maquiladora workers in Juarez—did courageously attempt to fight for their rights and for greater power. We begin this report with the drug wars that have so dominated Mexican life for the last decade.