Author: Jason Schulman

Why Graduate Unionization Matters Even More in the Age of Janus

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With the start of the new academic year underway, students and instructors will again enter into a millennia old relationship built on mentorship, trust and mutual respect. However, this school year, instructors will be walking into a very different classroom not because the this relationship has changed, but because the Supreme Court has signaled it does not politically support the casue of teachers advocating for working conditions that strengthen this bond.

French Labor’s Historical Defeat; U.S. Teachers’ Surprising Victories

ImageAs the French get ready for the “rentrée” – the annual back-to-school/back-to-work day following the August vacation – social peace appears to reign in the land. The long-expected militant strikes and struggles against the neo-liberal counter-reforms introduced by President Macron early last Spring have failed to materialize. Surprisingly, the Macron government successfully force-marched its anti-labor, anti-welfare, pro-business agenda through parliament with little effective resistance by the unions and Left parties. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a wave of spontaneous teachers’ strikes spread from West Viriginia to other conservative ‘Red’ states, winning significant victories and surprising the media and the labor leadership. The contrast is surprising.

Brazil’s Racial Capitalism at a Turning Point

Rising Militarization after Two Decades of Workers’ Party Government

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In February, I published an article in the International Marxist-Humanist reporting that the political scene was horrible in Brazil. Five months ago, I had in my mind how fascism was growing quickly under the hegemony of identity politics, especially with social movements’ fragmentation, and the increase of anti-communist thought, with slanders against Marx as totalitarian, Eurocentric and colonial. I said that all of this, in addition to the legacy of almost 15 years of Workers’ Party government that ended via an institutional coup d’état in 2016, was leading to the destruction – ideological and material – of the left.

Workers say no to Vietnam’s ‘Special Exploitation Zones’

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On Sunday, 10 June 2018, thousands of people took to the streets in major Vietnamese cities—Nha Trang, Binh Thuan, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, among others. Academics, independent journalists, and overseas Vietnamese signed petitions to join in their protest against the Draft Law on the 99-year lease of the three Special Administrative and Economic coastal zones in Vietnam. Workers, too, went on strike in two industrial zones in Long An and Tien Giang provinces. These collective actions led to a concession from the government: it would delay the National Assembly’s ratification of the Draft Law to its next meeting.

Globalists vs. Internationalists

ImageQuinn Slobodian. Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. Harvard University Press, 2018. 381pp.

Neoliberalism is dead, if it ever existed at all. Centrists and so-called moderates dismiss it as nothing more than a slur bandied around by leftists. On the left on the other hand, neoliberalism is at times portrayed as mere free market fundamentalism, or simply as a return to capitalism as it was intended, before the post-war social democratic hiatus. Thatcher and Reagan, the thinking goes, along with Milton Friedman and his “Chicago Boys”, wanted to unleash the full power of free markets’ self-regulating force.

Marx and Marxism in Berkeley in 1968

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Berkeley (California) was probably a unique political-cultural milieu in the U.S. in the 1960s, both before and after 1968. It was part of the larger political-cultural scene of the San Francisco Bay Area from 1945 onward. The Bay Area at the time was a relative backwater in the U.S., compared to the East coast. The area had, however, seen one of the biggest general strikes of the 1930s, when the Communist Party-influenced ILWU (International Longshore Workers Union) helped bring San Francisco to a halt in 1934, including mass street battles with the police.

How Prisons Serve Capitalism

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I once asked a class at a prison in Washington State how they would describe the relationship between capitalism and incarceration. “They get you coming and going,” someone quickly offered.

A Marxist theory of music: it’s all in the groove

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Much analysis of modern music focuses on lyrical content, but how can we understand modern musical forms? What relation do they have to the capitalist world in which they’ve developed? To answer these questions Kate Bradley interviewed Mark Abel, author of Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time.

In Memoriam: David McReynolds, 1929-2018

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Early Friday morning, socialist, photographer, and lifetime War Resisters League member David McReynolds  committed pacifist + socialist  passed peacefully at the age of 88. David was on WRL staff for a large part of his life and remained within our community long, long after. 

Presente.

As written by WRL Member Ed Hedemann.

The Fires This Time and Their Implications for Ecosocialists

Image“Deindustrialization.” That’s a word you virtually never hear in the debate around global warming. Not surprising. It’s a word that’s loaded with negative implications: economic collapse, mass layoffs, falling living standards. Who wants to think about those, let alone think about this as a strategy of suppressing CO2 emissions?

Siege and Resistance in Gaza: An Interview with Toufic Haddad

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For more than 10 weeks, Palestinians have gathered in protest every Friday at the Israeli-Gaza Strip buffer zone, located in the perimeter of the 1949 armistice lines. Called by organisers the Great March of Return, the mobilisations have demanded an end to the crippling Western state-Israeli economic and political blockade of the Gaza Strip and that families expelled for generations from their homelands be allowed to return.

The Movement-Building Potential of Socialist Electoral Victories

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On June 26th, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated, against all odds, the incumbent Congressman from New York’s 14th district, a safe Democratic seat, in the party’s primary. Spectacular as it was to see a Democratic political boss (the “King of Queens”) humbled by a left-wing challenger, the real spoils of this victory do not lie in the House seat itself.

The Rebirth of Social Democracy in the U.S.

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The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has emerged as the largest socialist organization in the United States since the collapse of the Communist Party (CP) in the mid-1950s. While Bernie Sanders’ ‘democratic socialist’ campaign for president in 2016 laid much of the groundwork for DSA’s growth, it was Donald Trump’s election to the presidency that boosted its membership from 6,700 in 2016 to around 48,000 members today.

Why Humanism Matters in the Fight Against Capital

ImageDehumanization is the word that best captures our present moment. How else to describe separating children as young as two or three from their parents and throwing them in cages and detention centers just because their families are fleeing severe persecution? It isn’t just about Trump; it’s also about the tens of millions in the U.S. who are avidly supporting his policies. How could this be happening?

Whither Korea?

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After the Singapore meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un, questions loom large. What is the path ahead for North Korea? What chances are there for a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula? South Korean socialists weigh in.

Race, Capitalism, and Resistance in the United States

 

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Introduction and My Experiences

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and protect one another other. We have nothing to lose but our chains”.

You may recognize this as the rallying cry for the Black liberation movement in the United States, as written by Assata Shakur.

An Israeli twist on homophobia and racism

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At the mass rally held by the LGBT movement at Rabin Square on July 22, 2018, protesters not only demanded to be accepted as different, but also called for full equality. They cried out against the injustice caused by a government that excludes homosexual men from having children through a surrogate mother.

All Strikes of Public Sector Workers are Now Political Strikes

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Left Voice speaks with Marxist labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein on the lessons of the Teachers’ Spring and the signs of a resurgent labor movement in the U.S.

Desperately seeking socialism: why the Soviet Union’s left-wing dissidents matter today

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The following text appeared on OpenDemocracy, and features a review by Gabriel Levy of Ilya Budraistkis’ book Dissidents Among Dissidents, a new collection of essays published in Russian in 2017 by Free Marxist Publishers. It was originally published on People and Nature

This new collection of essays seeks to rebalance our understanding of dissent in the late Soviet Union, drawing attention to democratic socialists from the 1950s into the 1980s.

Cuba: note for a balance sheet of ten years of reforms

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I. Since, at the end of 2007, Raúl Castro called for a broad national debate, ten years have passed. It was a kind of "social catharsis" of all the problems of the country. This fact can be marked as the beginning of a transformation process that has affected all the spaces of economic, political, social and subjective life in Cuba.

War, Imperialism, and Class Polarization on a Global Scale

From East Asia to the Middle East and from South Africa to Europe

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Adapted from a presentation to the Chicago Convention of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization, July 13, 2018.

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