Author: Stephen R. Shalom

Once More on the Greater Evil

Stephen R. Shalom replies again on the question of voting for the lesser evil to defeat Trump.

The greater evil

A response to Charlie Post and Ashley Smith

Stephen R. Shalom criticizes the arguments against lesser-evil voting and makes the case for the Left both to support Biden and build the social movements.

The Obliteration of Hiroshima

The moral case against the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Some Reflections on Sortition

That capitalism needs to be replaced is obvious. We need a system that values human needs, rather than profits, that lets people control their own lives, rather than being dominated by tyrants or by capital. But what should . . .

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Why I'm Not Voting Green in New Jersey

ImageThe case for voting for Green candidate Howie Hawkins for governor of New York is a strong one and were I a New Yorker (I live in New Jersey), I would do so.

Hard Questions in Israel-Palestine

ImageJamie Stern-Weiner, ed. Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine's Tought Questions. OR Books, 2018. 518 pp. 

The fact that, after fifty years of Palestinian support efforts, the Israeli occupation is more entrenched than ever should inspire some intellectual humility among those hawking solutions to the conflict, notes Jamie Stern-Weiner in the introduction to his edited collection Moment of Truth: Tackling Israel-Palestine’s Toughest Questions. It is humbling as well to read through the volume, with more than seventy essays and rejoinders by more than fifty different authors, from almost every one of which something new can be learned.

A Litmus Test for Detecting Syria Trolls


The situation in Syria is incredibly complex, so it’s not surprising that there are conflicting interpretations of different pieces of information. But, sometimes, a claim is so clearly without merit, so obviously ludicrous, that those who promote it mark themselves, at best, as individuals wholly uninterested in examining evidence when a dubious claim conforms to their preconceived notions, or, at worst, as scoundrels.

How to Legalize Marijuana in New Jersey


The victory of Democrat Phil Murphy in the New Jersey gubernatorial election this past November makes it quite likely that recreational marijuana will be legalized in the Garden State. Public opinion in the state has clearly been ready for a change in the drug war model of prohibition – with even Murphy’s Republican opponent having called for decriminalization.

Looking Back at the June 1967 Middle East War


JUNE 2017 IS THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the 1967 Middle East War—the June War or, as Israelis like to call it, the Six Day War.

Why should we care today about this historical event? For one, the war—with its resulting conquests, refugees, and shifting alliances—helped define the modern Middle East and make it one of the world’s great flash points for further conflict. But there are other reasons as well why this war bears re-examination.

Russia and the Left


What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia?

Russia and the Left

[Note: This article is forthcoming in the Winter 2017 issue of New Politics.]

What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia? Why do some cheer on Russian bombing in Syria, dismissing out of hand the evidence from Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch1 that they are criminally targeting hospitals? Why do some try to justify Russia’s takeover of Crimea or its blatant intervention in Ukraine?


Reflections on the Election


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.

Some Left Arguments on the Election


Several left arguments on the U.S. election frankly leave me baffled.

Aiding and Abetting Apartheid

Obama’s new military aid pledge to Israel will help further the country’s crimes.


Thinking About the Election


As the U.S. election season proceeds, there is controversy, confusion, consternation, and sometimes recrimination. Below, in a question and answer format, we present our views on these matters, hoping to contribute to the discussion.

New Jersey anti-BDS bill is an affront to the first amendment and basic human rights


On May 9, 2016, the New Jersey State Senate approved by a vote of 39-0 S1923, a bill prohibiting the investment of state pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses. One of the bill's sponsors was liberal stalwart and Democratic Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Among the co-sponsors were Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Republican Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. There is a similar bill in the Assembly, A925, still in committee. [Update: The bill was released by the Assembly committee on May 19, 2016.] Both bills are an affront to basic principles of human rights that many NJ liberals seem to support everywhere else in the world except when it comes to Israel-Palestine.  And both bills are an affront as well to the First Amendment.

Long Live the Syrian Revolution!

When the head of al-Nusra declared back in November that the Free Syrian Army didn't exist, journalist Rami Jarrah went to north Aleppo and asked people what they thought about that and found that despite the claims of al-Nusra and some leftists who should know better, the FSA was still around.

Puerto Rico and the Philippine Example

ImageIn a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Nelson Denis describes the horrendous economic situation in Puerto Rico and compellingly shows the source of the problem to be the continuing colonial exploitation of the island by the U.S. government acting on behalf of key U.S.

What's the Big Deal?

The Iran Nuclear Deal in Perspective

ImageOf course Congress should endorse the Iran deal. The renunciation of the agreement by Congress would have disastrous consequences for the Middle East, empowering warmongers everywhere, but especially in Washington, Tel Aviv, and Tehran.

There are three motives driving opponents of the deal.


Bookchin’s Political Vision

ImageMurray Bookchin was one of the most prolific, original, and influential thinkers on the libertarian left. He was a major theoretician of anarchism and a passionate historian of cities and of popular uprisings and movements.

From the Editors

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.