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December 2005 (Volume 57, Number 7)

» Notes from the Editors
December 2005 (Volume 57, Number 7)
At the end of October John Bellamy Foster and Martin Hart-Landsberg (coauthor with Paul Burkett of China and Socialism and author of Korea: Division, Reunification and U.S. Foreign Policy—both published by Monthly Review Press) traveled to Mexico City to participate as representatives of Monthly Review in the Fifth Colloquium of Latin American Political Economists. John spoke on “Imperial Capital: The U.S. Empire and Accumulation.” Martin presented a paper (cowritten with Paul Burkett) on “China and the Dynamics of Transnational Capital Accumulation.” Among the conference participants who met with John and Martin in a special meeting for Monthly Review were Guillermo Gigliani of Economistas de Izquierda (EDI) in Argentina (see “Argentina: Program for a Popular Economic Recovery” in the September 2004 issue of MR), Alejandro Valle of Mexico, the chief organizer of the Fifth Colloquium, and Leda Maria Paulani, President of the Sociedade Brasileira de Economia Política (SEP). Our hope is that this important meeting will lead to the establishment of a strong connection between MR and Latin American political economists confronting neoliberalism. The final outcome of the Fifth Colloquium was itself a landmark event: the founding of the long-planned Sociedad Latinoamerica de Economía Política y Pensamiento Crítico (Latin American Society of Political Economy and Critical Thought). The new organization will not be simply (or mainly) an academic and professional organization but will be actively dedicated to opposing neoliberalism and to supporting political and social movements for radical change in Latin America. We salute our Latin American political-economic comrades in this important struggle.

China and Socialism by Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett, which was published first in the July-August 2004 issue of Monthly Review and then issued as a book this year, has already received international acclaim for its centrality in reopening the debate on Chinese socialism…and capitalism. It has been or soon will be translated into Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Spanish, and Norwegian. In a letter to Martin Hart-Landsberg Professor Hsin-Hsing Chen of Shih-Hsin University in Taipei, representing the Taiwanese publication Critique and Transformation, which is arranging for the translation of the book in Chinese, wrote of China and Socialism: “As far as I know, this is the first comprehensive political-economic analysis of capitalist restoration in China and its repercussions for working people of the world. Naturally, it aroused much attention and discussion, especially among the mainland leftists. Responses to it keep coming in to C&T. People may agree or disagree with your particular arguments, but it is for sure that we are all very excited to see how your work sparked a renewed theoretical debate on the socialist heritage and today’s capitalism in China.” We too are thrilled by the response to this book.

MR associate editor Michael Yates was the keynote speaker at the How Unions Matter conference held in Toronto October 28 and 29. The conference was sponsored by York University’s Centre for Research on Work & Society and brought together activists and scholars from all parts of Canada. Panels and workshops were held on organizing Wal-Mart, part-time workers, farm workers, and immigrants, and on the struggles of refugees and indigenous peoples. Michael also spoke at a meeting of Toronto’s Socialist Project, on the subject of workers’ consciousness and labor education. This and all sessions of the conference were well-attended and marked by the participation of many young persons, as well as many friends of Monthly Review. The radical spirit of Canada’s union and movement activists was refreshing.

Our good friend and frequent MR contributor Richard York (coauthor with Brett Clark of “Natural History and the Nature of History” in this issue of MR) has been appointed coeditor (joining John Jermier and Mark Starik) of Organization & Environment, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by Sage, which publishes work concerned with contemporary environmental problems. Although an academic journal, O&E is distinguished by the uncompromising critical perspective that it encourages and its refusal to back off from confrontation with the powers that be. MR coeditorJohn Bellamy Foster, a former coeditor of O&E, is critical essay editor of the journal. We would like to congratulate Richard in his new position. Those wishing to learn more about O&E can go to www.coba.usf.edu/jermier/journal.htm.

We were sad to learn of the death of our friend Yvonne (Blumenthal) Pappenheim at age 92 at her home in Cambridge. Yvonne was a long-time fighter for social justice, winner of the Fighting for Women’s Voices Award from the Coalition for Basic Human Needs in 1994 and the Peace and Justice Award of the Cambridge Peace Commission in 1995. Her personal maxim was: “If you don’t live what you think, soon you’ll think as you live.” In the early 1950s Yvonne married Fritz Pappenheim a German socialist political economist and activist who came to the United States as a refugee, and who was the author of The Alienation of Modern Man (a Monthly Review Press classic). The Pappenheims moved to Alabama when he was hired to teach at Talladega College. They were soon caught up in the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and ’60s. In the late 1960s and early ’70s Yvonne directed the Massachusetts Friends of the Southern Conference Education Fund and established the Library on Racism (now known as the Yvonne Pappenheim Library on Racism). For information on the library and its important collections see: www.communitychangeinc.org/library2.html.

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