Thursday November 27th, 2014, 7:15 pm (EST)

Commentary

Commentary

Goldilocks Meets a Bear

How Bad Will the U.S. Recession Be?

Three years ago, I wrote an article for Monthly Review entitled “The U.S. Economy in 1999: Goldilocks Meets a Big Bad Bear?” (March 1999).1 My answer to that question was yes, Goldilocks would soon meet a big bad bear, that is, the U.S. economy would fall into recession within a year or so. The recession came a little later than I thought, but, as is well known, the U.S. economy did indeed fall into recession in early 2001 … | more |

Hypocrisy and Human Rights

I do not think it is necessary here to go over truths that are no longer questioned by anybody, such as the ever-increasing lack of credibility and the extreme politicization that today weigh down the work of the Human Rights Commission. Disrepute is growing, time is running out. It is essential that we democratize the methods of this Commission, reestablish with transparency its purpose and rules; in a word, set it up anew. We need a Commission at the service of everyone’s interests, and not hostage to the designs of a minority or, as becomes more obvious every day, to the whims of the mightiest … | more |

Annette T. Rubinstein: 95th Birthday Celebration

Annette T. Rubinstein: 95th Birthday Celebration

Annette T. Rubinstein—educator, author, activist—celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday three days early on April 9, at the Brecht Forum’s new headquarters. At a gathering of more than two hundred of her devoted family, friends, colleagues, comrades, speakers regaled the audience with personal stories and memories of Annette’s fabulous life. John Mage, representing Monthly Review, suggested that she must have had previous lives because “the breadth of vision, the historical understanding, and the contents of the memory could not have been acquired in one lifetime—even hers.” Harry Magdoff, via a taped recording, reminded the audience that “Annette in personality, in her life of creativity, activity, and humanism, illustrates the ways of Socialist women and men.” He concluded by saying “I love you”—in Yiddish.… | more |

Communists Return to Power in Moldavia

Hope for a Communist Democracy in the Former Soviet Union?

The February 25, 2001 electoral victory of the Moldovan Communist party marked the first return to power of a Communist party in any of the sovereign fragments of the Former Soviet Union (“FSU”). If you have left wing politics and can use a dose of optimism, this event is a positive portent for—at last—an end to the Mafia capitalist regimes of “democratic reform” that constitute the glory of the U.S. victory in the cold war. The most interesting question is not what the Moldovan Communists can achieve in their sovereign ministate, but what can be hoped to happen as a result in the rest of the FSU community. But, you ask, in 2001 is the FSU a “community” in the sense that the Soviet Union was in, say, 1988? The only plausible answer is “yes and no.” The “no” side is easy enough to lay out, all you need is a current map and almanac. The “yes” side requires more effort … | more |

Birth Pangs of Democracy in Nepal

Commentary from Dr. Baburam Bhattarai in Nepal

Monthly Review from Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, one of the leaders of the revolutionary forces in Nepal. We cannot fully authenticate the piece since there is a revolutionary war under way in Nepal and Dr. Bhattarai is underground. But we believe the article to be authentic from its content alone … | more |

The Rich, the Poor, and the Economists

In the New York Times of December 15, 2001, there is an article titled, “Grounded by an Income Gap.” The subject of the article is the growing income gap between the richest and the poorest people in the United States, a disparity greater here than in any other industrialized nation. Apparently the reasons for this inequality have been vexing the brains of our best economists. Martin Feldstein, Harvard professor and, under Reagan, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, is quoted as follows: “Why there has been increasing inequality in this country is one of the big puzzles in our field and has absorbed a lot of intellectual effort.” But, this effort has apparently been wasted, since he goes on to say, “But if you ask me whether we should worry about the fact that some people on Wall Street and basketball players are making a lot of money, I say no.” … | more |

A Note from the Associate Editor

It is with great pleasure and a sense of humility that I begin work as Associate Editor of Monthly Review. The pleasure comes from living in New York City and knowing that I am working at the best-known and most important radical journal in the world. The humility comes from knowing I am working with a group of outstanding intellectuals and activists. Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff have been mentors for many years, and in the small ways I have been able, I have tried to pattern my life and work after that of MR founder, Leo Huberman, a great popular writer and labor educator. Now John Foster and Bob McChesney, two scholars of the highest rank, have come on board as editors. It is an honor to be on the masthead with such people.… | more |

Terrorism and Human Rights

The idea of terror comes to our tradition in images of fear. As the Psalmist wrote: … | more |

Terror Attacks of September 11, 2001

During this extremely sad and traumatic time, we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who lost their life on September 11th. We also wish for the speedy and full recovery of those who were injured, and we hope and pray that in the aftermath of the attacks, rescue crews can find as many people still alive as possible … | more |

Will We Awaken and Find That No One Is Left

I spoke with a South African friend of mine a few months ago while she was in Namibia. She commented on the beauty of the land and the people. She mentioned to me that she made a similar comment to a Namibian friend of hers and noted how slim so many of the people are. Her Namibian friend responded with great sadness that so much of the “slim figure” she had seen was the result of people infected with HIV/AIDS … | more |

A Tale of Two Conferences

Two weeks ago I attended a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was an unusual meeting. Several leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU, one of the fast growing unions in the USA) went to South Africa to meet with their counterparts in the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), and several other affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions to discuss 21st century trade unionism. This gathering was remarkable because it differed, in its fundamentals, from so many international union gatherings.… | more |

The Letter of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on the Palace Massacre in Nepal

It’s rare in these days that an article in a newspaper can overnight become of historical importance. Perhaps the most famous instance of modern times was the 1897 publication of Emile Zola’s letter entitled “J’accuse,” which we now can see marked the turning point in the Dreyfus Affair and led to the exoneration of Captain Dreyfus and the lasting triumph of the anti-clericalist tradition in French society. It’s been many years since we’ve last heard of a letter to a newspaper that could set off such consequences.… | more |

Statement on the Rebellion in Cincinnati and Continued Police Terror

The situation in Cincinnati almost reminds one of advertisements for the 1970s film “Jaws”: just when you thought that it was safe to go back into the water… Just when many people thought that it could not get any worse, another blatant example of police abuse and murder … | more |

African Leaders Hide Political Woes Behind Homophobia

In late March, Sam Nujoma, President of Namibia, ordered apurge of homosexuals, stating that “The Republic of Namibia does not allow homosexuality or lesbianism here. Police are ordered to arrest you, deport you and imprison you.” The Namibian Society for Human Rights countered that the “attempt to turn a personal dislike into ad hoc national policy is entirely unconstitutional and misguided.” … | more |

Nelson Mandela on Israel

I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle East, but before you continue to talk about necessary conditions from an Israeli perspective, you need to know what’s on my mind.… Where to begin? How about 1964. Let me quote my own words during my trial. They are true today as they were then: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”… | more |

Contemporary Police Brutality and Misconduct

A Continuation of the Legacy of Racial Violence

The February 25, 2001 electoral victory of the Moldovan Communist party marked the first return to power of a Communist party in any of the sovereign fragments of the Former Soviet Union (“FSU”). If you have left wing politics and can use a dose of optimism, this event is a positive portent for—at last—an end to the Mafia capitalist regimes of “democratic reform” that constitute the glory of the U.S. victory in the cold war. The most interesting question is not what the Moldovan Communists can achieve in their sovereign ministate, but what can be hoped to happen as a result in the rest of the FSU community. But, you ask, in 2001 is the FSU a “community” in the sense that the Soviet Union was in, say, 1988? The only plausible answer is “yes and no.” The “no” side is easy enough to lay out, all you need is a current map and almanac. The “yes” side requires more effort … | more |

We Must Succeed!

The Black Radical Congress Campaign

The drama of the November 7th elections further revealed the extent of Black exclusion from U.S. society at the turn of the century. Local officials, poll managers and attendants, police and the Supreme Court all played an active role in stripping Black people of the right to vote. This latest outrage is but part of a broader, on-going attack on the gains of previous progressive, labor and radical movements, and an assault on our communities … | more |

Media Giants Have a Pal at the FCC

All you need to know about Michael Powell, whom President George W. Bush promoted this week to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, can be summed up by the statements of close FCC watchers.… | more |

U.S. Wouldn’t Tolerate Our Election in Nicaragua

Imagine the following hypothetical scenario: It is the Nicaraguan presidential election of 1990. On one side are the incumbent Sandinistas, on the other side their opposition, which is supported materially by the United States … | more |

A Silent Coup d’État

A Silent Coup d’État

Saturday morning December 9, 2000, I awoke with a sense of dread. Not since the week before the overthrow of the Allende government had I experienced that precise sensation. Before the day was done, my fear had come true: I experienced a coup d’état in my own country.… | more |

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