New Politics Vol. XII No. 1, Whole Number 45

From a Co-Editor, Marvin Mandell


* Horseracing, Desnee Flakes
* Reply to Flakes, Martin Oppenheimer
* Reply to Oppenheimer, Desnee Flakes (web only)
* Alternatives for U.S. Unions, Kim Moody
* A Reply to Kim Moody, Manfred McDowell
* Social Networks, Struggle, and How People Make History: But Not “Social Capital”, Samuel R. Friedman

Special Section: The Gay Movement and the Left

o Symposium on Gays and the Left (Part I), Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy

o On Socialism and Sex: An Introduction, Christopher Phelps

o Keeping the Communist Party Straight, 1940s–1980s, Bettina Aptheker

o Can the Left Ignore Gay Liberation?, John D’Emilio

o Gay Leftie Seeks Straight Friends, Martin Duberman

o Left-wing Homosexuality: Emancipation, Sexual Liberation, and Identity Politics, Jeffrey Escoffier

o Queer Reflections, David McReynolds

* Victory (poem), Pier Paolo Pasolini

* About Pasolini’s “Victory”: The Gun in the Poem, Norman MacAfee

* Last Exit to Utopia: Pasolini’s Cinema, Kurt Jacobsen

The United States in the Middle East, Immanuel Wallerstein

Chicken Feathers, Robert Kelly

Stealing Our Schools, Jackie Dee King

Neoliberalism, Teachers, and Teaching: Understanding the Assault, Mary Compton and Lois Weiner

We Can Do It!: The Case for Single Payer National Health Insurance, Joanne Landy and Oliver Fein

Struggle for the Land, Jeffrey Shantz

A Note on Anti-Americanism, John Summers


* Lessons of the 1979 Iranian Revolution and Its Aftermath, Frieda Afary

* Argentine Workers’ Takeover, Michael Busch

* Racial Knowledge, Sundiata Cha-Jua

* Terrorism and Modernity, Louis F. Cooper

* The Crisis in Organized Labor, Steve Early

* Looking Back at Baden, Patricia Grossman

* Worker Centers: Their Achievements and Their Limitations, Dan LaBotz

* Breaking Into the Boys’ Club, Amy Littlefield

* Mexico Trumped MLB Racism, Bill Littlefield

* Family Policies in Post-Communist Nations, Betty Reid Mandell

* A Strategy for Union Revival, Kim Moody

* Albert Shanker: Ruthless Neo-Con, Vera Pavone and Norman Scott

* Re-Inventing Goldwater Conservatism, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

* Requiem for a Nation, Reginald Wilson

Words and Pictures: Interview with Kevin Pyle, Kent Worcester

In this issue:

The United States in the Middle East The Evolution of Its Israeli Policy


In 2007, the United States has no foreign policy involvement greater and more significant than its military presence in Iraq. And in 2007, the United States has no closer ally and co-actor on the world scene than Israel. The relationship is arguably closer than the vaunted U.S.- British link. Neither an involvement of the United States in the Middle East nor the close links the United States has forged with Israel have always been the prevailing policy. On the contrary, both current realities are the outcome of a long and sinuous trajectory.

Stealing Our Schools


THE FEDERAL "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" law is in trouble. Critics and supporters alike predict that it will not be reauthorized in this legislative year. A growing chorus of voices from the grassroots and from major national organizations is calling for an overhaul of the law or even scrapping it altogether. Many teachers and parents hope that a newly elected Administration next year will examine the damage being done by the current law and take steps to change it.

Neoliberalism, Teachers, and Teaching: Understanding the Assault

By: ,

TEACHERS IN EVERY PART OF THE WORLD are in the forefront of the struggle to ensure that children receive an education — whether in U.S. cities, the mountains of Chavez's Venezuela, in civil war-torn Nepal, in Europe's towns and countryside, or in the refugee camps of Sudan. In prosperous nations, identified by global justice activists as the global north, teachers' wages, their voice in policy, and the quality of their working conditions have been reduced.

We Can Do It! The Case for Single Payer National Health Insurance

By: ,

[Ed. Note: This is a chapter in a forthcoming book Ten Excellent Reasons for National Health Insurance, eds., Mary O'Brien, M.D. and Martha Livingston, Ph.D. (New Press).]
THE TIME HAS COME for single payer National Health Insurance in the United States. We have excellent hospitals, skilled practitioners, the technological infrastructure — and we're already spending enough money to insure everyone and to improve access to care for many who are covered today by inadequate plans. All we need is the political will.

On Socialism and Sex: An Introduction


PREFATORY NOTE: While researching a book on African-Americans and the anti-Stalinist left in the archives last summer, I stumbled across a striking and long-forgotten document, "Socialism and Sex," in a 1952 discussion bulletin, The Young Socialist. In one page, its author H. L. Small — almost surely a pseudonym — provided an elegant, concise exposition on behalf of destigmatizing consensual sexuality between same-sex lovers.

Socialism and Sex


THE GROWTH OF SOCIALISM in the United States has been hampered by the lack of imagination of the leaders of socialist thought. The appeal of the socialist has always been to the future, with a paradisiacal vision of economic plentitude and true democratic freedom. That is — the level of appeal has been a mixture of economic and social goods and leisure in a milieu of democratic-liberal sentiment. This has been good but not good enough.

Keeping the Communist Party Straight, 1940s-1980s


GROWING UP IN A COMMUNIST FAMILY and in Communist circles in New York City in the late 1940s and 1950s sexuality of any kind was never discussed, ever, in any context, for any reason. I am not laying claim to any kind of universal experience in saying this; I am only commenting on the absence of discussion in my own experience.

Can the Left Ignore Gay Liberation?


THE JESUITS TRAINED ME WELL. My high school speech and debate coach taught me how to speak in complete paragraphs and to construct what he described as a "seamless" argument. Many years later, a close friend and fellow historian used the same word in reference to my historical writing. He described one of my books as a "seamless" narrative. Well, that skill, if I have it, has eluded me as I've tried to compose my contribution to this discussion. So, instead, I offer a series of disconnected, but I hope relevant, observations.

Gay Leftie Seeks Straight Friends


THE PRESENCE ON MANY CAMPUSES of a significant number of liberals ("Of course gay people are entitled to the full rights of citizenship") proved critical in allowing lesbian and gay studies to gain a toehold. But as I kept discovering, unpleasantly, a willingness to grant us basic rights wasn't remotely the equivalent of actually wanting to know about our lives — let alone of believing that our distinctive perspectives might have anything of importance to say to them.

Left-Wing Homosexuality: Emancipation, Sexual Liberation, and Identity Politics


Socialism without fucking is dull and lifeless.

— The heroine, WR: The Mysteries of the Organism,
a 1971 film directed by Dusan Makavejev.

Queer Reflections


LET ME USE MY SPACE in part simply as memory, reflections by a homosexual whose sexual orientation, at 78, is academic.


Requiem for a Nation


RANDALL ROBINSON HAS WRITTEN a searing, unforgiving expose of the forcible abduction, in February, 2004, of the democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the consequent deepening wretchedness of its citizens. But he does more than that. In just 270 pages of text, he depicts Haiti from the triumph of the slave revolution in 1804 to the installation of Rene Garcia Preval as president in May, 2006, while thousands of the dissident black population shouted their displeasure and could be heard outside the gates of the presidential palace during the inauguration.


Albert Shanker: Ruthless Neo-Con

By: ,

WITH PUBLIC EDUCATION, teacher unions and classroom teachers under one of the most severe attacks in history by corporate funded think tanks, education profiteers, self-proclaimed pundits, and politicians from both parties, along comes a hagiography of Albert Shanker by Richard Kahlenberg, to add to the drumbeat.


Family Policies in Post-Communist Nations


THE COUNTRIES THAT CLAIMED TO BE Communist also claimed to meet the needs of their families. What happened to those claims when the countries became capitalist? The fall 2007 issue of Social Politics seeks to answer that question. It analyzes family policies of Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia. Some social welfare scholars have created a typology of welfare states in relation to the “family wage” ideology, i.e., male breadwinner and woman homemaker.



By: ,

[Note: The first two letters below appear in New Politics no. 45. Further correspondence is available on the web only. Additional comments are welcome; please submit to the editors.]

If you’ve read this far, you were pretty interested, right? Isn’t that worth a few bucks -maybe more?  Please donate and  subscribe to help provide our informative, timely analysis unswerving in its commitment to struggles for peace, freedom, equality, and justice — what New Politics has called “socialism” for a half-century.