New Politics Vol. XII, No. 4, Whole Number 48
FROM THE EDITORS
- An exchange on Anarchism and Socialism: Wayne Price and Marvin Mandell
STATEMENT ON THE U. S. WARS IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN, Campaign for Peace and Democracy
SPECIAL SECTION: WOMEN’S ISSUES
- WOMEN’S WORK, MOTHER’S POVERTY, Gwendolyn Mink
- PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE, Randy Albelda and Betty Reid Mandell
- FEMINISM IN “WAVES”: USEFUL METAPHOR OR NOT? Linda Nicholson
- NOR MEEKLY SERVE HER TIME, Victoria Law
- BIRDS AND CAGES, Amy Littlefield’s review of Janet Afary, Sexual Politics in Modern Iran
- STILL FIGHTING: INTERVIEW WITH JUDI CHAMBERLIN, Betty Reid Mandell
CARD CHECK: LABOR’S CHARLIE BROWN MOMENT? Robert Fitch
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS?Dan La Botz
WHY WE NEED A GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL, Ashley Dawson
INDIA: GENERAL ELECTIONS (2009) AND THE NEOLIBERAL CONSENSUS, Ravi Kumar
VILLAGE ELECTIONS IN CHINA — DEMOCRACY OR FAÇADE, Richard Levy
IRANIAN WORKERS SAY: “WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR UNPAID WAGES”, Yassamine Mather
A MODEST PROPOSAL, Bill Littlefield
THE RESCUE OF BULGARIA’S JEWS IN WORLD WAR II, Rossen Vassilev
- Michael Hirsch, CHRONICLING THE THIRTY YEARS WAR, rev. of Steve Early, Embedded with Organized Labor
- Melvin Dubofsky, TERRORISTS AND THEIR FOES, rev. of Beverly Gage, The Day Wall St. Exploded
- George Fish, MIXED BAG: INSIGHTFUL ECOLOGICAL MUCKRAKING TAINTED WITH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, rev. of Jeffrey St. Clair, Born Under a Bad Sky
- Michael Löwy, LETTERS FROM BARCELONA, rev. of G.-R. Horn, Letters from Barcelona: An American Woman in Revolution and Civil War
- Austin McCoy, CROSSING THE STREAM TOGETHER, rev. of Staughton and Alice Lynd, Stepping Stones
- John Pittman, A HARD-NOSED CASE FOR ETHICAL SOCIALISM, rev. of G. A. Cohen, Why Not Socialism?
- Jason Schulman, CHALLENGING “AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM,” rev. of Robin Archer, Why Is There No Labor Party in the U.S.?
- Michael Wreszin, ETERNAL HOSTILITY TO BUNK! rev. of D. Guttenplan, American Radical (I.F. Stone)
- Alexander Billet, BEATS, RHYMES, AND POWER, rev. of Marcus Reeves, Somebody Scream!
WORDS AND PICTURES
- Tom Kaczynski with introduction by Kent Worcester
In this issue:
IN 1974, WOMEN IMPRISONED at New York's maximum-security prison at Bedford Hills staged what is known as the August Rebellion. Prisoner organizer Carol Crooks had filed a lawsuit challenging the prison's practice of placing women in segregation without a hearing or 24-hour notice of charges. In July, a court had ruled in her favor. In August, guards retaliated by brutally beating Crooks and placing her in segregation without a hearing.
Janet Afary is hopeful about the future of women's rights in Iran. And she identifies many reasons to be so, from secret individual acts of resistance by women against husbands, fathers, and dictators to collective feminist struggle and today's One Million Signatures Campaign for equal rights. But Sexual Politics in Modern Iran also reveals the full force of the cultural and political systems that the Iranian movement for gender equality confronts.
In the 2008 Democratic Party platform, the only provision with women in the title was one promising "Opportunity for Women." The provision pledged "that our daughters should have the same opportunities as our sons,"1 confining measurement of women's equality to our access to men's jobs and men's wages. The nomination, then election, of the first African-American presidential candidate portended and promised great change.
How many people can afford to take time off from work without being paid? Not many. When a worker gets sick or a child or parent gets sick; when a woman is giving birth or when a parent needs to go to a conference with a teacher, leaving work can not only cost a day's pay, but it can cost advancement in a career. Women, who do most of caregiving, are particularly disadvantaged.
By the early 1990s, it had become clear that the kind of feminist activity that had blossomed from the late 1960s through the late 1980s in the United States was no longer present. Consequently, many began to ask: what was the present state of feminism?
Judi Chamberlin is one of the founders of the mental patients' liberation movement. In 1988, she wrote On Our Own, a book about her own experience with depression 43 years ago, when she was hospitalized against her will. That book became a kind of bible for the mental patients' liberation movement. Now the 64-year-old activist is dying of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an incurable lung disorder. Late last year she stopped hospitalizations and instead opted for home hospice care.
Half a year after the demonstrations of June, 2009 in Iran, it is probably easier to examine in more depth the events that changed the country's political landscape. The bourgeois media in Iran and abroad is unanimous: the presidential elections of June 2009 and predictions of a Moussavi victory gave hope that change within the exiting regime was possible; millions of Iranians took part in the elections; the regime rigged the results; the rest is history.
THIS MAY BE A TURNING POINT for the expanding U.S./NATO wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a time when speaking out clearly and unambiguously against war can make a crucial difference. Today we see signs all too reminiscent of the step-by-step deepening of the U.S. commitment to the war in Vietnam in the 1960s. In response, we declare ourselves firmly against military escalation in the region and for the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan now. We also call for an end to drone attacks in both countries.
On February 13, 1998, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov accepted on behalf of his ex-Communist nation the Courage to Care Award, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had bestowed upon Bulgaria in recognition of the heroism of its people in saving Bulgarian Jews during World War II.
Do elections of self-governing Village Committees in China's signify a major step towards democracy? How, if at all, do these elections affect power relations among various groups, class strata, and nascent or even actual classes in the Chinese countryside? Inside and outside of the villages, who makes decisions about how the village will evolve or develop?
The United States, and with it the rest of the world, is experiencing the initial stages of an unprecedented emergency brought on by three intertwined factors: a credit-fueled financial crisis, gyrating energy prices linked to speculation about the future peaking of oil supplies, and an accelerating climate crisis.
The collapse of the financial sector of the United States detonated the current global economic crisis, and its auto industry was soon crumpling as well. Yet, though it all began here, American labor unions and workers have been slow to respond and their response has been weak. Millions of workers in hundreds of French cities have struck and demonstrated repeatedly against their government and against the banks and corporations throughout the spring of 2009, and the story was similar in Italy and Greece.
The Passive Revolution
Sometimes the story is just an appendage to the back-story. What it means for Sisyphus to watch his rock roll back down the hill can't be understood unless we know it was not exactly the first time. Organized labor's recent effort to move the Employee Free Choice Act — popularly known as "card check" — up Capitol Hill involves a similar back-story.
The General Elections 2009 have further entrenched the rule of neoliberal capital. This entrenchment has happened due to certain factors, two discussed here in detail. These two factors include the distancing of the Left from working class politics towards electoralism, which resulted in absence of a long term mobilizational politics along class lines; and the role played by identity politics in the consolidation of the neoliberal regime.