|by Conrad Sweatman March 9, 2017|
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.
|by Marisela Trevin and Juan Cruz Ferre||Winter 2017|
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.
Greece and the Syriza Experience
|by Aaron Amaral||Winter 2017|
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.
|by Scott McLemee February 9, 2017|
Donald Trump likes to think that he has not only won an election but “built a movement.” And to judge by his first week in the White House office, he has — just not in the way he thinks.
|Micah Landau February 9, 2017|
It’s been two weeks since Donald Trump’s inauguration sparked some of the largest rallies in American history. Each week since has also seen demonstrations, culminating in those that broke out at airports across the country at the end of January to protest the president’s new Muslim ban barring travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Mass protests are in large measure a bellwether of popular sentiment. They carry an implicit threat that politicians who defy the will of the people will be voted out, but that threat must be channeled strategically, or it will dissipate.
|by Stefanie Prezioso||Winter 2017|
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.
|by Jason Schulman and Joanne Landy and Dan La Botz and Nancy Holmstrom and Michael Hirsch and Thomas Harrison and Barry Finger and Saulo Colón||Winter 2017|
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.
|by Barry Finger||Winter 2017|
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.
|Lois Weiner January 22, 2017|
The Women’s March was glorious. Yes, I disagree with much said in the speeches, but that wasn’t an issue because like the vast majority of people who participated, I didn’t go to hear celebrities or politicians talk. I participated to show my rage and frustration at Donald Trump and the policies he and the GOP are preparing to impose on us. Women like me, disgusted, dismayed, enraged at Donald Trump’s misogyny, which the GOP has endorsed, flooded to this demonstration.
We brought family, friends, supporters, male and female, protesting the human rights and climate deniers whom Trump has brought with him into office. There was some diversity but this was primarily a march of young White women who carried signs about their bodies, “Pussy power” being the most prominent at the New York march. “Pussy power” strikes me as especially apt. Like women who fight patriarchy, it’s naughty. It evokes the strength in numbers. Most of all, the march birthed a new social movement which will owe its life to pussy.
|by Stanley Heller December 4, 2016|
After tens of thousands of young people rushed to the streets to denounce Trump’s election, “Sanderista” Tulsi Gabbard’s made different kind of headlines. She answered Donald Trump’s call and went to a vetting meeting. Yes, after the election all the Democrat pols gave the usual clichés about cooperation with Trump on certain matters, as if Trump were just some other Republican. That’s bad enough, but this was something more. Gabbard was actually looking to join the Trump Administration. She denies it. She ludicrously claims this was just a meeting to talk about Syria and the need for peace. As if “peace” was uppermost in Trump’s mind now. As if he wasn’t spending all his time visiting Alt-Right sewers and billionaire clubs to staff his cabinet.
|Lois Weiner December 4, 2016|
What makes Nikhil Goyal’s analysis of the dangers in Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education so useful, beyond its incisive discussion of education reform, is that it captures the essence of the conundrum liberals face about fighting Trump on his Achilles heel: the grip the wealthy and powerful have on government which he will tighten.
|Micah Landau December 2, 2016|
We all know very well by now that the white working class did not cause Trump to win the elections. Article after article have made the case, typically pointing to Nate Silver’s finding that the median household income of Trump supporters in the Republican primary was $72,000, roughly $10,000 more than the median household income for all whites. In the general election, Clinton won the majority of all voters earning $50,000 or less. Trump supporters are many things. They are undoubtedly whiter. They are also less likely to be educated and more likely to work in blue-collar jobs. But there’s one thing they’re not: overwhelmingly working-class.
|by Adolph Reed November 25, 2016|
In recent months I’ve been thinking a lot, more than usual, of Anthony Mazzocchi, longtime official of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union, leading presence in the movement for occupational health and safety, and one of the very brightest lights of a serious working-class politics in the post-World War II era until his too-early death in 2002. Tony often observed, regarding capital’s revanchist attack on working people that has steadily intensified over the last four decades, that what we would now call the neoliberal Democrats had nothing to offer those who have been or fear being ground into the dust by the juggernaut. He cautioned that, if the left and the labor movement didn’t find ways to connect with that growing population of those hurting and to offer credible explanations of the sources of their condition and plausible strategies for fighting back, other, nasty and dangerous tendencies would. That perspective reflected a deeper view of politics that guided the thousands of us who, for nearly all the 1990s and most of the first decade of this century, struggled to articulate and advance an unambiguously working-class politics through the effort to build an independent Labor Party, of which Tony was the “Founding Brother” and animating force. In the 2015 issue of the Socialist Register, Mark Dudzic and I laid out an assessment of the state of the left and labor movement in the U.S. and the challenges that face us that is rooted in that perspective.
|by Richard Greeman November 25, 2016|
Happy Thanksgiving! As we celebrate the America’s founding myth of the Pilgrim Fathers welcomed by the Indians, the National Guard, militarized local police and (unlicensed) security guards continue to brutalize unarmed Standing Rock Sioux Indians (and members of dozens of other tribes) protesting the construction of the unapproved Dakota Access Pipeline on their sacred lands and water sources.
|by Stephen R. Shalom November 21, 2016|
Post-election left analyses have accurately identified many of the immediate causes for our current debacle. Voter suppression, the Electoral College, the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, Hillary Clinton, labor leaders, hacked emails, FBI chief James Comey, Democratic primary voters who voted for Clinton, minority voters who didn’t turn out in sufficient numbers -- the list goes on. And all of these deserve blame. But I’ve seen very little self-reflection from the left. There have been some vigorous defenses of left actions, but little self-criticism and little to suggest that the same mistakes won't be repeated again.