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Monthly Review Volume 68, Number 4 (September 2016)

September 2016 (Volume 68, Number 4)

On July 14, 2016, Cornel West, a Monthly Review contributor and Monthly Review Press author (his 1991 book The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought remains in print) issued a historic statement in the Guardian, under the headline “Obama Has Failed Victims of Racism and Police Brutality.” West wrote:

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of US democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us…. I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity. Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police, that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective….

A Question of Place

On February 29, 2000, a first-grader in the Buell Elementary School in Flint took a semi-automatic rifle to school and fatally shot his classmate, six-year-old Kayla Rolland. Since then, there have been countless stories about the tragedy in the media. Those I have read or heard have focused on the chaos in the boy’s family and/or guns in the home and community. All have avoided saying that Buell School is in Flint. Instead they have located it in “Mt. Morris Township, somewhere near Flint.”… Buell Elementary School is in the Flint Beecher school district, and has a Flint address and a Flint phone number. But Flint officials, in collusion with GM, deny that Buell is in Flint, which has been known as Buick City. They want to dissociate GM from the devastation and violence that have overtaken the city since the Buick plant closed down.… I was in Flint a couple of weeks before the Buell shooting and GM’s responsibility for the city’s disintegration is as plain as day. A generation ago, Flint was a thriving working-class town. Now the abandoned Buick plant, spread out over an area as large as Detroit’s downtown, sits like a ghostly monster in the midst of empty parking lots, surrounded by block after block of tiny houses, little more than shacks, which once housed GM workers. No wonder Flint suffers from one of the highest per capita rates of murder, rape, and theft in the country.… | more…

“Dangerous Circumstances”

The Council on Foreign Relations Proposes a New Grand Strategy Towards China

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the think tank of monopoly-finance capital, Wall Street’s think tank. It is also a membership organization: the ultimate networking, socializing, strategic-planning, and consensus-forming institution of the dominant sector of the U.S. capitalist class.… It is the world’s most powerful private organization, the “high command” body of the U.S. plutocracy. The Council has an almost century-long history of forming study groups to plan the United States’ overall “grand” strategic policies. It sets the agenda for debate, builds consensus among both the powerful and attentive publics, and then inserts its own network of people into public office to implement its favored doctrines in the real world. One of its latest efforts, a study group on U.S. grand strategy toward China, completed its work and issued a report in March 2015—approved by the CFR board of directors—entitled Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China.… | more…

“Fidel Castro is dying” by Fidel Castro

In the following message, Fidel Castro ridicules the most recent “Fidel Castro is dying” lies of the global imperialist media. He also explains his decision to cease publishing his “Reflections” – a modest assessment that there are other more important matters to occupy the Cuban press. Nonetheless, shall maintain the complete “Reflections” blog as an historically unparalleled instance of honest comment on world events as they occurred, by the leading political figure of our time.… | more…

What Obama Knows

The most demolishing article I have seen nowadays about Latin America was written by Renán Vega Cantor, full professor at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá, which was published three days ago by the website ‘Rebelión’ under the title “Ecos de la Cumbre de las Américas” (Echoes of the Summit of the Americas).

It is a brief article and I need make no copy here.  Those who specialize on the subject can look it up at the aforementioned website.

I have referred more than once to the infamous agreement that the United States imposed on Latin American and Caribbean countries when the OAS was founded at the

The Genius of Chávez

President Chávez presented his annual report on activities carried out in 2011 and his program for 2012 to the Venezuelan Parliament. After thoroughly carrying out the formalities required by this important activity, he addressed the official state authorities, members of parliament from all parties, and supporters and opposition members who had come to the Assembly to participate in the country’s most solemn act.

As usual, the Bolivarian leader was gracious and respectful to all those present. When anyone asked for the floor to make a clarification, he granted it as soon as possible. When one of the members of parliament, who had warmly greeted Chávez as

The Best President for the United States

A well-known European news agency yesterday published from Sydney, Australia that a group of Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales announced the creation of an electrical cable ten thousand times thinner than a strand of hair, capable of carrying as much electricity as a traditional copper cable.

Bent Weber, lead author of a study published in Science magazine at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia explained that “Interconnecting wiring of this scale will be vital for the development of future atomic-scale electronic circuits”.

“The wires were made by precisely placing chains of phosphorus atoms within a silicon crystal, according to the

The overwhelming victory of Daniel and the FSLN

ON Sunday, November 6, 72 hours ago, there was a general election in which Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and the FSLN won an overwhelming victory.

Perhaps by chance, the following day was the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Indelible pages of history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers, and the name of Lenin will forever shine among men and women who dream of a just destiny for humanity.

These issues are constantly more complex and efforts invested in educating new generations will never be sufficient. For that reason, today I am dedicating a space to comment on this event, in the midst of

The G-20 Meeting

Tomorrow the G-20 Meeting begins, that is the meeting of the most developed and wealthy countries on the planet: the United States, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the European Union as a separate entity but with the right to participate; they are the fundamental bastions of NATO plus its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey in its double aspect of developing country and NATO member, just as Saudi Arabia – a gigantic reservoir of light oil in the hands of western transnationals, extracting from it 9.4 million barrels a day, whose value at current prices totals one billion dollars per day –

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 3)

ON February 23, under the title “Cynicism’s danse macabre,” I stated:

“The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis.”

“Thanks to Sadat’s betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.

“The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.

“The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn’t know how to control

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 2)

A little over eight months ago, on February 21st of this year, I stated with complete conviction: “The NATO plan is to occupy Libya”. With that title I dealt with the subject for the first time in a Reflection whose content seemed to be the product of a fantasy.

I include in these lines the elements for the opinion that led me to that conclusion.

“Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world.”

“Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 1)

That brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind.

NATO took on that global repressive role as soon as the USSR, which had served the United States as an excuse for its creation, ceased to exist. Its criminal purpose became obvious in Serbia, a Slavic country, whose people had so heroically fought against Nazi troops in WW II.

When in March of 1999 the countries of this ill-fated organization, in its efforts to disintegrate Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito, sent their troops in support of the Kosovar secessionists, they ran into strong resistance from that