La Botz, Dan
|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In this issue we are proud to present a previously unpublished lecture by C.L.R. James, the noted Afro-Caribbean Marxist intellectual.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.
|Dan La Botz January 12, 2016|
Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps. Radicals in America: The U.S. Left Since the Second World War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 355 pp. Photos. Bibliography. Index.
Howard Brick’s and Christopher Phelps’ Radicals in America, covering the period from 1939 to 2014, is a masterful narrative history of the left of our time, an account that integrates the experience of the post-war left into American political, economic, and social history, with an eye to the cultural context as well.
|Dan La Botz November 20, 2015|
November 20 marks the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution of 1910‐1920. The party created by that event, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is in power today. Yet, over the last nine years 60,000 people have been killed and 25,000 forcibly disappeared in the drug wars, while more than half the population lives in poverty. Foreign investment pours into Mexico to take advantage of wages lower than China’s, while the country is controlled by a handful of billionaires. One has to wonder: What happened to the Mexican Revolution?
|Dan La Botz August 25, 2015|
Thousands of teachers in Mexico have gone on strike against the national government’s Education Reform Law, doing so in the face of the militarization and arrest of teacher activists in Oaxaca and firings of teachers who have missed work in other states. The Mexican government and state governments are clearly attempting to break the dissident teachers movement that has for forty years led the fight for union democracy and teacher power.
|Dan La Botz August 21, 2015|
Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary, was murdered seventy-five years ago today—on August 21, 1940--by Ramón Mercader, an agent of Joseph Stalin, Trotsky’s former comrade in the Communist Party and then the ruler of the Soviet Union. Stalin feared that Trotsky might organize a movement to overthrow the new ruling elite in the Soviet Union and that Trotsky’s followers might challenge the leading role of the parties of the Communist International active in working-class movements around the world. So Stalin had Trotsky murdered. The occasion of the anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination provides a moment to reflect on his significance both during his lifetime and for today.
|Dan La Botz August 20, 2015|
Mexican teachers are mobilizing once again —demonstrating by the tens of thousands—this time against anti-union reforms and the militarization of the state of Oaxaca by its governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo from the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Nine years after the 2006 teachers’ rebellion, Oaxaca is bracing for another potentially violent conflict.
|Dan La Botz August 13, 2015|
For the first time in decades a great debate about the priorities and the program of the American people is taking place not among small groups of leftists but in society at large. The debate between Sanders and Black Lives Matter—on social media, on TV and radio, in the newspapers, and on the street—is one of the most important discussions of our time and could if it is deepened help us all to find a way forward against both capitalism and racism. What appears to some only as conflict could lead to the construction of a new analysis and lay the basis for a new and broader social movement. We should all become involved in this debate and help to further it toward the common goal of a society of equality, democracy, and solidarity.
|Dan La Botz July 19, 2015|
I awoke Saturday morning to rain on the roof. I am staying at my sister’s place in my hometown of Imperial Beach at the southwest end of San Diego County on the Pacific Ocean and the Mexican border. I could not at first identify the sound, the crackling of the rain on the awning of the patio just outside my bedroom window. Half asleep, I wondered at first if there might be a fire, then if some machine was running, finally I recognized that it was water and speculated that something might be leaking; perhaps there was a broken pipe. It never occurred to me that it could be raining because when I grew up here from the late 1950s until the late 1960s, it only rained in December and January. Now there is rain in July.
|by Julia Wrigley and Stephen R. Shalom and Dan La Botz||Summer 2015|
Before turning to the current issue, we want to say a word about the new role that New Politics is playing on the left. New Politics has always been a source of analysis of national and world politics from the point of view of “socialism from below.” More recently, however, we’ve also become—as a print journal and as an online website—a locus for debate on the democratic left. Last issue we began and this issue we continue our series on “The Left We Need,” with articles by all together a dozen different left organizations.
|by Dan La Botz June 14, 2015|
Despite widespread disillusionment with the political system, an organized attempt to prevent the election from taking place in a few states, and continuing economic doldrums, President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) were the big winners in the Mexican election, followed by the conservative National Action Party (PAN).
|Dan La Botz June 7, 2015|
So why did things go so wrong under the leadership of President Barack Obama? David Bromwich has written an informative and important critical article on the Obama presidency, critical one might say from the progressive point of view, titled “What Went Wrong: Assessing Obama’s Legacy” which appears in the June issue of Harper’s. Fundamentally, Bromwich sees Obama as a weak president who has consistently pursued the “path of least resistance” rather than the “path of courageous resistance.” He was, says Bromwich, a president who mistook talk for action, who avoided political conflict and struggle, and who missed opportunities that presented themselves, moments when he might have advanced a progressive agenda.
|Dan La Botz June 5, 2015|
Mexico’s latest elections are threatened by drug cartel violence, social protests, and the mass resignation of election officials. The left, which in the past has succeeded in rallying a third or more of the nation’s voters for a single party, goes into this election deeply divided, prompting expectations of a win for the ruling party.
A hurricane is barreling down on Baja California threatening to interfere with Mexico’s June 7 elections on the peninsula, but the far greater storm is the combination of criminal violence and widespread social protests, which could disrupt and possibly prevent the election in several states.
|Dan La Botz May 27, 2015|
The Mexican left is more divided than at any time since the early 1980s as some 80 million Mexican voters will go to the polls on June 7 to elect 500 federal representatives, nine governors 641 state legislators, 993 mayor and 16 borough chiefs in Mexico City.
Four rival leftist parties will be competing for votes—the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Workers Party (PT), the Citizens Movement (MC), and the Movement for National Regeneration Party (MORENA)—though is some cases they will ally with each other and in others with one of the two dominant parties: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) or the National Action Party (PAN). The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), one of the country’s important left organizations, remains opposed to elections as always. Some in the Ayotzinapa protest movement—protesting over the killing of six and disappearance of 43 students at a rural teachers college in Guerrero--have called upon voters to abstain altogether.
|Dan La Botz May 11, 2015|
In another attempt to break a strike and keep agribusiness products rolling north into the United States, the Mexican Army and State Preventive Police again attacked hundreds of striking farm workers in the San Quintín Valley of Baja California who had blocked the Trans-Peninsular Highway on May 9. Workers blocked the highway to protest Governor Francisco de Lamadrid’s cancellation of a promised meeting between his government and farm worker leaders.