Author: Barry Finger

BARRY FINGER is a sponsor of New Politics.

American workers fight back

[This is a modified version of an article first posted on the Workers' Liberty website.]

     The Great Recession and its aftermath have generated a wholesale and unprecedented assault on the living conditions and future prospects for the American working class. This is the backdrop for the dramatic conflict now unfolding in Wisconsin.

Public Sector Workers and the Crisis

Workers are in no way responsible for the economic crisis of capitalism. This would be or at least should seem to be obvious to socialists. Noncontroversial as it may now be, this has not always been the case. There have been socialists — quite outspoken in their time — who had attributed past turndowns to a profit-squeeze triggered by cumulative decades of militant wage demands.


The Unliquidated Crisis of Capitalism

This recent work by the late Chris Harman is an application of the “permanent arms economy” theory, a hallmark of the British Socialist Workers Party, to the current economic crisis. This analysis is borrowed in part from the American writer T.N. Vance who argued in the presses of the Independent Socialist League of the early 1950s that the much anticipated reversion to the “unliquidated” crisis conditions of the 1930s was averted at the close of World War II through an application of military Keynesianism.

Phyllis Jacobson: An Appreciation

Phyllis Jacobson, who died after a protracted illness on March 2 — just shy of her 88th birthday — was the dynamic force behind a remarkable political and intellectual partnership of shared passion that left an indelible imprint on three generations of twentieth century American radicalism.

Self-determination and Democracy in the Iraqi Conflict

The demand for national liberation, for the right of self-determination of a people, is understood by socialists to be a demand for radical, consistent democracy. This at once separates us from those who, such as the Buchananite paleocons, place the inviolability of the national principle above all other considerations and who may consistently oppose imperial interventions on that basis.

Iraq and the Third Camp

The Third Camp alternative is ultimately expressed by the potential of the Iraqi working class assuming the leadership of the anti- imperialist movement. We do not and cannot claim that this third camp is presently a conscious alternative on the part of those who will make it possible.

How the Democrats Lost Control of Health Care

How far the debate has come from 1954, when President Truman called for the creation of a national health insurance fund to be run by the federal government! For sixty years the Democrats have failed to deliver on this promise. Truman’s program —a single payer system- is essentially off the table. As a result we see enormous loss of life. On average, 20,000 people a year die in the United States due to lack of adequate coverage, including those who die due to caps on lifetime treatment for chronic and debilitating conditions.

Iraq: The Democrats to the Fore

IN HIS BRILLIANT SATIRE of the plight of the Palestinians as a captured nation, Emile Habiby introduced Saeed, the ill fated pessoptimist. His beleaguered hero explained his inability to differentiate between optimism and pessimism in this way: "When I awake each morning I thank the Lord he did not take my soul at night. If harm befalls me during the day, I thank Him that it was no worse. So which am I, a pessimist or an optimist?" In an analogous way, the Democratic Party, choking in the grip of power politics, has in short order revealed itself the ill fated pranti-war party.