To go beyond the capitalist state

by Steve Fraser “All that is solid melts into air” is even truer about the hyper-flux of everyday life today than it was when those words first appeared in the Communist Manifesto more than a century and half ago. Truer, that is, with one major exception.  In our political life we are fixated on the past, forever looking backward. Arguably, national politics over the last half century has polarized between efforts to defend and restore the New Deal Order and relentless attempts to repeal it and replace it with something even older.  The liberal left has fought to extend or … Continue reading To go beyond the capitalist state

Reflections on resistance, reform, and revolution

by Ross Wolfe How can the respective political modes of resistance, reform, and revolution be deployed to advance social and individual freedom? How might they reinforce each other on a reciprocal basis? Today, with the recent upsurge in global activism, we stand on the precipice of what promises to herald the rebirth of such a politics. These questions have acquired a renewed sense of urgency in this light. Now more than ever, they demand our attention if we are to forge a way forward without repeating the mistakes of the past. Reform, revolution, and resistance — each of these concepts exercises … Continue reading Reflections on resistance, reform, and revolution

Hope in a time of permanent war

by Henry A. Giroux Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation. – Guy Debord The war drums are beating loudly and America is once more mobilizing its global war machine. How might it be possible to imagine hope for justice and a better world for humanity in a country that has sanctioned state … Continue reading Hope in a time of permanent war

America’s real ‘debt dilemma’

by Sandy Brian Hager (forthcoming) In the wake of the current crisis there has been an explosive rise in the level of the US public debt. These massive levels of public indebtedness are expected to keep growing unless there are drastic changes to existing budgetary policies. This apparent dilemma has sparked a debate over which groups should bear the burden of debt repayment and fiscal adjustment. However, one crucial question remains unasked: whose powerful interests are served by the public debt? America’s real ‘debt dilemma’ Every man and woman who owned a Government Bond, we believed, would serve as a … Continue reading America’s real ‘debt dilemma’

Reflections on 1968

by George Katsiaficas More often than not, the movements of 1968 have been situated within nationalist parameters, and the global dimension of the movement’s vitality, if not altogether ignored, has been consigned a minor role. Whether in Mexico or France, Vietnam or India, the meaning of 1968 has been interpreted within the context of domestic patterns and localized history. Seen through such prisms, the most significant and vital aspect of 1968’s explosive energy — that it consisted of one international movement rather than multiple ones — becomes minimized, even forgotten. My book on 1968 was the first to consider the … Continue reading Reflections on 1968

Taking notes 21: The dangerous dreams of Slavoj Žižek

by Jerome Roos When George Orwell first sent in his celebrated dispatches from revolutionary Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, the British socialist magazine The New Statesman infamously refused to publish them for being too critical of the Stalinist crackdown on the Trotskyist and anarchist militias. As editor Kingsley Martin put it in a letter to Orwell, “it is an unfortunate fact that any hostile criticism of the present Russian regime is liable to be taken as propaganda against socialism.” Still, Orwell, who had been embedded in the Trotskyist POUM and had fought the fascists side-by-side … Continue reading Taking notes 21: The dangerous dreams of Slavoj Žižek

After Occupy

by Jeff Noonan More than one year after the last encampments were dismantled, no material trace of Occupy remains in the cities where it established itself.  In the corporate media–once breathless with speculation as to the movement’s origins and intentions and loud in its declamations of criticism—there is now only silence.  A movement which was portrayed as having come from nothing has, seemingly, returned to nothing, having changed nothing.  The very social problems it denounced– widening inequality, the tyranny of finance capital, the totalitarian power of the surveillance-security state, the subordination of  democracy to money-value: remain or are getting worse.  … Continue reading After Occupy