There is a revealing similarity between the attacks on September 11, 2001 – when airplanes were flown into the twin towers, killing thousands of people – and the attacks in Paris, in which over 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded. Yet, what they have in common has been largely overlooked in the mainstream and alternative media’s coverage of the more recent terrorist attacks. While both assaults have been rightly viewed as desperate acts of alarming terrorism, what has been missed is that both acts of violence were committed by young men. This is not a minor issue because unraveling this similarity provides the possibility for addressing the conditions that made such attacks possible.
If socialism is to be that better world, what structures might be necessary? Socialism can be defined as a system in which production is geared toward human need rather than private profit for a few; where everybody is entitled to have a say in what is produced, how it is produced and how it is distributed; that these collective decisions are made in the context of the broader community and in quantities sufficient to meet needs; political decision-making is the hands of the communities affected; and quality health care, food, shelter and education are human rights. There is no class, vanguard or other group that stands above society, arrogating decision-making, wealth and/or privileges to itself.
A blueprint for such a future is not possible; a better world will be created in its making. But neither can we leap to a different world empty-handed or without a compass. Tangible counter-examples and concrete ideas are necessary if working people — the vast majority of humanity — are to break free from their acceptance of capitalism as “common sense” or the “only alternative.” When ideas become rooted in masses of people, they become a natural force, argues Michael Lebowitz in his latest book, The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now. He uses the example of the “socialist triangle” to explicate a structure for a better, democratic system….
In recent years there has been a intense discussion about the ideas of the Russian revolutionary Lenin. Some of this has its roots in the class struggle – the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement both threw up questions about the nature of revolutionary organisation. Others have attempted to re-examine Lenin to critique existing organisations and ideas. There have been some excellent books, articles and events debating these questions.
Tamás Krausz’s important new biography must be seen as part of this debate. His work is very much an attempt to re-examine Lenin’s ideas as part of a resolute defence of Lenin and his work. Krausz is clear that this is intended to take forward the revolutionary movement that can challenge and defeat capitalism.
In 1889 nearly 3,000 workers at Silver’s, an enormous factory in East London, in Silvertown went on strike. The men and women who walked out were inspired by the New Unionism that was sweeping the city. They’d seen mass strikes by dockers in the East End that had won major victories and they wanted improvements too.
Their twelve week strike has almost been forgotten today. Perhaps because it ended in defeat. But John Tully’s important book rescues the struggle for readers today, and, perhaps surprisingly, the reader will find that we can learn much from those brave men and women.
This fifty-second edition of the Socialist Register explores right-wing political forces and parties around the globe, bringing to bear the Register’s reputation for detailed scholarship and passionate engagement on some of the most troubling developments in world politics today. Contributors examine mobilizations of the right in a variety of countries by analyzing their social bases, their relationships with state institutions, and the reach of their influence on mainstream parties and opinion. This volume also addresses the historical transition from right-wing nationalism to ethnicism, the question of resurgent fascism, and how left parties should respond to challenges from the far right.
According to Donald Trump, a former front-runner to be the GOP presidential nominee, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, is giving everything away, a partial truth. For a fuller treatment of what a radical break with capitalism entails, read The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now by Michael A. Lebowitz (Monthly Review Press, 2015).
A retired economics professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, his two-part book doesn’t end there. That is a positive thing, as the public is open to socialism, in no small measure due to the Great Recession
Named for the historian Isaac Deutscher and his wife Tamara, this prize is awarded each year for a book demonstrating “the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.” Previous prize winners include Mike Davis, Robin Blackburn, Ellen Mieksins Wood, Eric Hobsbawm, and Monthly Review Press authors Michael A. Lebowitz and István Mészáros.
“Laurence H. Shoup has taught U.S. history at the university level and has been a historical consultant on California history for over 30 years, authoring or co-authoring over 200 reports for a variety of clients. His new book which we discuss is Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014. Among his past books is Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy….”
Dr. Gerald Horne, the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies at the University of Houston and frequent analyst of world affairs on Leid Stories, discusses his latest book, “Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic.”
Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, Gerald Horne, recorded by Mitchel Cohen for WBAI-FM radio at New York University’s Tamiment Library, talks about why a study of the 1804 Haitian Revolution might be relevant to today:
“It’s mandatory to tease out the contemporary repercussions of historical events, and I say this particularly standing here in New York in the United States of America, where there is an ongoing crisis. We need deeper thinking, not least on of this spate of televised, almost pornographic, murders . . . Of course, I’m speaking of Eric Garner, who was killed right here in this city, but of course also Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland . . .”