Category: From The Archives

Tribute to Betty Reid Mandell

ImageThe editorial board of New Politics is saddened by the loss of one of our own: Betty Reid Mandell, who, with her husband Marvin Mandell, served as one of the journal’s co-editors for most of the past decade.

Interview with Yassin Al Haj Saleh

Syria and the Left

Yassin Al Haj Saleh is one of Syria’s leading political dissidents. He spent from 1980-1996 in Syrian prisons and became one of the key intellectual voices of the 2011 Syrian uprising. He spent 21 months in hiding within Syria, eventually escaping to Istanbul. He was interviewed via email by New Politics co-editor Stephen R. Shalom in early November 2014.

 

Interview with Joseph Daher

Revolution, Reaction, 
and Intervention in Syria

Joseph Daher is a member of the Revolutionary Left Current in Syria. He is the writer and editor of Syria Freedom Forever, syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com, a blog dedicated to the struggle of the Syrian people in their uprising to overthrow the Assad authoritarian regime and to build a democratic, secular, socialist, anti-imperialist, and pro-resistance Syria. A Ph.D. student in Development, he works as an assistant at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He was interviewed in Geneva on October 22, 2014, by New Politics board member Riad Azar, with some email updates. For additional questions on Kobanê and Turkey, see the New Politics website here

Elections in Chile

Historic Defeat of the Right or a Win for Post-Pinochet Neoliberalism?

Image“¿Qué Nueva, Qué Nueva, Qué Nueva Mayoría? ¡Si van a gobernar pa’ la misma minoría!” (“What New Majority? They’ll rule for the same old minority!”)

FEL student demonstrators

 

Aquí estamos y no nos vamos—Adelina Nicholls on the Fight for Immigrant Rights

We’re here and we’re not going away

On February 7, 2014, I sat down with Adelina Nicholls, executive director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) in Atlanta, to talk about the organization’s history and achievements, as well as to reflect on the political role of Latino immigrants in the United States today.

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Mapping the New Oligarchy

Inequality is the theme of our time. It should perhaps be said that it has always been so. But after the surge of globalization since the 1990s, the decreasing fortunes of the middle class, and the more recent shock of the 2008 financial crisis, it has come more sharply into focus. It is within this context that Thomas Piketty has published Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a book that is exhaustively researched and brimming with empirical data and interpretation.

Ukraine: Democratic Aspirations 
and Inter-imperialist Rivalry

Ukraine constitutes a test not only for democratic movements, or the unevenly matched imperialisms of the U.S./EU and Russia, but also for the global left. As with other “difficult” moments like the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, Iran 2009, or the Libyan uprising, our support for democracy and human rights has in some quarters come into conflict with the long held stance that neoliberal capitalism, led by the United States, is the main danger confronting humanity.

The Working Class and Left Politics: Back on the American Radar

ImageThe American political system, so highly polarized between conservative Republicans and moderate Democrats, has experienced in the last year some interesting changes on the left-hand margin of the national political scene.

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The Arab Revolutions

The Game’s Not Over Yet

Long-time revolutionary activist, historian, and analyst Gilbert Achcar has produced a provocative assessment of the Arab Spring. In The People Want, Achcar develops a Marxist analysis of the roots of the Arab revolutions, traces their trajectories since December 2010, and draws a tentative balance sheet of what progress has been made and what possibilities remain.

“Nothing is Too Good for the Working Class”

Classical Music, the High Arts, and Workers’ Culture

Last season’s announcement of the New York Philharmonic’s Henry Kravis Award, financed by a seven figure withdrawal from the ten figure bank account of one of America’s more notorious financers, is one of many indications that while its influence has waned, classical music still has friends in high places. These connections tend to accrue mainly to high profile conductors, opera stars, and virtuoso soloists.

Ecosocialism: Putting on the Brakes Before Going Over the Cliff

ImageEcosocialism is an attempt to provide a radical, civilizational alternative to capitalism, rooted in the basic arguments of the ecological movement, and in the Marxist critique of political economy. It opposes to capitalism’s destructive progress (Marx) an economic policy founded on non-monetary and extra-economic criteria: social needs and ecological equilibrium.

Rethinking the State

Shadow Socialism in the Age of Environmental Crisis

I am going to discuss the political implications of climate change as regards the role of the state. The punch line is this: climate change means that the state is coming back. The choice is whether the state’s return will be violent and repressive or whether its return can involve a renovation and transformation that enhances the state’s progressive and democratic features. 

Sabaneta to Miraflores: Afterlives of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela

ImageThe inner-city parish of La Vega sits in the lush mountain terrain of Western Caracas. Roughly 130,000 poor residents are cordoned off sociologically from nearby El Paraíso, a wealthy neighborhood that supplies the clients for the upscale shopping center that separates the two communities.  In La Vega, the bottom 20 percent of households live on US$125 per month, while the average family income is $US409.

Globalization and Migration

A Human Rights Approach

We need an immigration policy based on human, civil, and labor rights, which looks at the reasons why people come to the United States and how we can end the criminalization of their status and work. While proposals from Congress and the administration have started the debate over the need for change in our immigration policy, they are not only too limited and ignore the global nature of migration, but they will actually make the problem of criminalization much worse. We need a better alternative.

On the 70th Anniversary of Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary

Seventy years ago, Victor Serge put the finishing touches on his masterpiece — Memoirs of a Revolutionary: 1903-1941 — which he (correctly) considered “unpublishable” in his lifetime. On February 28, 1943 he wrote the following entry in one of his Carnets (Notebooks), which recently came to light in Mexico and were published for the first time in France in 2012.[1]

After 65 Years—Will Peace Finally Come to Colombia?

Interview with Ricardo Esquiva

Colombia has the longest history of ongoing political violence in Latin America. Some date the beginning as April 9, 1948 when Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate, was assassinated, leading to the Bogotazo riots that took 5,000 lives and unleashed a civil war between Conservatives on the one hand and the Liberals and Communists on the other. Between 1948 and 1958 that war took 200,000 more lives, injured hundreds of thousands more, and displaced perhaps a million.

President Obama and the Crisis of Black America: Interview with Cornel West

NP: For four years we’ve had an African-American president, and that has led some people to argue that we are living in a post-racial society. What do you think of this argument?

The Left in Europe: From Social Democracy to the Crisis in the Euro Zone An Interview with Leo Panitch

Adaner Usmani: I wanted to begin by asking you about the history that precedes the crisis, and specifically about the evolution of European social democracy. On the one hand we have seen social democratic governments in Greece, France and elsewhere entirely complicit in the evisceration of the welfare state, and in the imposition of austerity. On the other hand, the tradition of which they’re a part brought many benefits to Europe’s working classes. The welfare state is a real achievement, after all, and it’s arguably held up better than many radicals argue. Certainly there’s a strong current of academic literature, known as the Varieties of Capitalism (VOC) school, which argues that its degeneration has been overstated.

Getting Serious About Class Dynamics: Culture, Politics and Class

Labor historians have detailed how the structure of the workplace, the cultural aspects of community, and spatial patterning all impact class consciousness. From coal mining that paradigmatically has the workers living in the hollow and the bosses on the hill to the ethnic enclaves of steel town where different nationality/ethnic groups each occupied their own distinct neighborhoods with taverns, union halls and churches, socialization matters.

From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the World: The Emergence of a Mass Movement

The Occupy movement has changed the American political landscape. We are at the opening of a new mass movement and a radicalization that presage an era of coming social upheaval and class conflict that require the left to both analyze these developments and to develop a strategy to intervene. The left today, small, divided, and weak, must develop an approach that will make it possible for it to grow and unite so that it can influence events.

Socialism and Gay Liberation: Back to the Future

IN 1865, WHILE MARX, IN HOLLAND, was playing the Victorian parlor game “Confessions” with his daughter Jenny, when asked for his favorite maxim he replied, “Nihil humani a me alienum puto” or “nothing human is alien to me,” a dictum he had lifted from the second century B.C. Carthaginian slave-turned-playwright Terentius (Terence.)

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