Author: Barry Finger

BARRY FINGER is a sponsor of New Politics.

Why Does Racism Survive?

Why does this anachronistic ideology survive, and even at times such as these, seemingly flourish? Obviously, the institutions of slavery no longer nourish racism. What then is its wavelike revival rooted in?

Lesser-Evilism in the 2020 U.S. Elections

If there is one proposition that most anti-Stalinist socialists should agree on it is this: capitalism does not need democracy and democracy does not require capitalism. Only socialism does.

Protest Vote or Independent Political Action?

A bumper sticker displayed with increasing resonance these days reads: “2020, any responsible adult.” This is undoubtedly the mood of Democratic Party voters as was made abundantly clear by the abrupt collapse of the Sanders momentum.

Thinking Out Loud about the End of Social Democracy

The Sanders challenge is over and the question for socialists is, where do we go from here? Up until recently this debate has ranged along familiar lines: the need for independent political action and the obstacles socialists face in recruiting . . .

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Palestinians in Israel at the Polls

Who could have missed Ayman Odeh’s eloquent op-ed piece in the New York Times, where he rightly asserted that “Arab-Palestinian citizens have chosen to reject Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his politics of fear and hate, and the inequality and division . . .

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An Economist’s Case for Socialism

It is all too rare that an economist makes the case: socialism or barbarism. Or, in Alan Nasser’s more piquant alternatives, socialism or fascism. Economics is a hedging profession of carefully detailed countervailing forces and measured equivocation. Even the seemingly . . .

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Trump Takes Office, Resistance Takes to the Streets


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.

The Rust Belt in Revolt


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.


Secular Stagnation and Rosa Luxemburg’s Breakdown Theory

ImageThe editors of these volumes have provided an invaluable service, bringing renewed attention to the highly original and enduringly contentious critique of Capital that arose from one of the most universally revered figures of the revolutionary movement.

Brexit: A Victory for the Populist Right


The British electorate issued a stunning rebuke to the establishment by demanding, by a surprisingly respectable margin, withdrawal from the European Union. Just weeks ago, this outcome was considered remote. For David Cameron and the Conservative mainstream, it was – or so it seemed – a clever gamble.  Let the nativists of the right, the Tory backbenchers and the UK Independence Party bigmouths test their outsized claims to speak for Britain.

Sanders and the Democrats: a Reply to Jason Schulman


There is much to admire and learn from in Jason Schulman’s article “Bernie Sanders and the Dilemma of the Democratic ‘Party.’,” not least of which is Jason’s implicit insistence that the base of any future American left is composed of people who are currently in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, and in its best elements represented by the Sanders’ insurgency. Obvious as this might be to readers of New Politics, this is still a disputed opinion on the radical left in America. We – Jason and I  both look forward to that movement developing a breakaway consciousness as it confronts an implacable Democratic establishment proudly wedded to the status quo.

What Next in the Greek Crisis?

ImageIf the ongoing standoff between the Syriza government and the Troika of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be boiled down to its essentials, it would be this: The “institutions” will only equip the Greek economy with enough operating funds to manage a bare-bones o

Further Reflections on the Sanders Campaign


As proponents of independent political action, we believe that the Democratic Party is a deathtrap for progressives and that history has demonstrated time and again that progressive movements immersed in the DP are stripped of their potential political power. Nevertheless, we cannot judge the potential of the Sanders’ movement solely by our attitude towards the Democratic Party, any more than we can evaluate the Democratic Party by the enormous potential contribution an unshackled Sanders movement may yet contribute to fundamental political change.

Can Greece defy the Troika?


The agreement signed between Greece and the EU after three weeks of negotiations is widely lamented on the left as a setback, if not a defeat, for Syriza. The two sides emerged from the agreement, if that is an accurate description, with different interpretations of the memorandum, signifying perhaps that no real deal was made after all. Greece obtained brief reprieve. Its banks will remain liquid for the next few months. The next phase will not be about what can be extracted from the troika, as much as what Greece can do despite and in defiance of the troika. That is what will be discussed here.

Solidarity with Syriza: What Can the Left Demand?

ImageFor Syriza to triumph, it is not enough for it to play tough with the European Union. not enough to bypass the structure of the European Central Bank to find individual national allies, not enough to refuse to cooperate with capitalist auditors. Greece has already lost 30% of its GDP since the peak before the crisis, with unemployment standing at 25%, a decline only comparable to that seen in the US during the Great Depression.

Israel and Imperialism

A Response to Bennett Muraskin

I would like to thank Bennett for his kind and appreciative comments on my artcile and use the opportunity presented by his letter to answer some essential points of contention.

Supporting the Struggle Against Apartheid Then and Now

The discussion of a socialist strategy towards Palestine never recedes from global pertinence and urgency. The basic terms of the Palestinian tragedy established in 1948 remain a festering wound—unaddressed, malignant and oozing in blood and rot. With it the Israeli garrison state continues to descend, and rightfully so, into isolation and disrepute in the court of civilized opinion.

Is the Tea Party Taking the Government Hostage?

That is the affirmative  conclusion one might reasonably come to by listening to the Democrats and their MSNBC and Nation magazine echo chambers. Far right monies bundled together by conservative “social welfare” groups are said to be defying a hapless public powerless to thwart the House Republicans from exercising veto power over the budget process, in their effort to impose more austerity and defund the Affordable Care Act.

Economic Recovery from Below: Notes on the Insufficiency of "Taxing the Rich"

ImageTaxing the rich has a venerable tradition on the left. It is, after all, one of Marx and Engels’ ten transitional demands in the Communist Manifesto, later to be declared antiquated in their 1872 preface to the document.

Euthanasia for the Rentier

     The immediate European economic crisis demonstrates, if there were any lingering doubts, that the architecture of the European Monetary Union is incompatible with countercyclical intervention. It was designed solely to contain inflation at 2%. There is no central fiscal authority and no mandate to either maintain acceptable levels of employment or to sustain working class living standards against the ravages of the business cycle.

Sense and Nonsense in the Balanced Budget Debate: A Socialist Response

     The Republicans have successfully changed the economic debate from jobs to deficit control. Why the urgency? After all, this anemic “recovery” has been marked above all by the lack of job growth. Growth needs to considerable exceed 3% per annum if the private sector is to make any significant headway in reducing unemployment. Instead growth is actually trending downward from its post Great Recession peak. The intractability of long term unemployment now exceeds the duration experienced in the 1930s.