In the 1980s, the U.S.-based Campaign for Peace and Democracy/East and West was deeply involved in the struggle for "détente from below." CPD/EW collaborated with the European Nuclear Disarmament network to build solidarity and mutual support between, on the one hand, peace groups and progressive trade unionists in the West and, on the other hand, the democratic movements in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
The anti-capitalist left in the United States and around the world faces a paradox. A mere five years ago, the world capitalist economy entered a new long period of falling profits, stagnant accumulation, and growing long-term un (and under-) employment. The 2007-8 financial crisis threatened a wave of bankruptcies across the capitalist world that seemed to herald a collapse of major sectors of industry and finance.
On October 26, 2011, legislation that would lower the wages of caregivers who provide personal assistance services to their disabled family members was ruled unconstitutional by a Minnesota judge.
While employment issues have always been an important aspect of disability policy, a focus on paid and formal employment has meant that the experience of many working-age adults with intellectual disabilities has been overlooked. Many erroneously believe the historic absence of persons with intellectual disabilities in the workplace is evidence that persons with intellectual disabilities cannot or do not work.
When Antonio Gramsci gave his maiden speech in Parliament in May of 1925, many of the other deputies left their seats and thronged around him in order to hear the faint voice coming from his compressed chest.
A recent article in the British Observer by Ian Birrell discussed an ominous development that has historical connotations. “The demonization of the disabled is a sign of the times” outlined how more and more British disabled people are being increasingly subjected to bullying and hate crime.
All too often, socialists, like others, have regarded disability as a personal tragedy. Left publications rarely discuss it or debate it and activism by people with disabilities has been ignored by the left, notwithstanding the fact that Americans with disabilities are among the most marginalized of citizens in terms of income level and poverty rates.
Summer 2012 (New Politics Vol. XIV No. 1, Whole Number 53)
From The Editors
Symposium: Disability Rights
Overview, Ravi Malhotra
Disability Policy in New Zealand, Chris J. Ford
What Was the Question? Race and Disability in Gramsci’s “The Southern Question,” Anne Finger
Legacy of Exploitation, Jihan Abbas
Expendable Necessities? Cuts to Personal . . .
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