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Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed in CounterPunch

Jeb Sprague’s definitive Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012) is the product of seven years of research and writing. Since the 2004 Bush Administration-backed overthrow of the democratically-elected Jean Bertrand Aristide government, journalist and scholar Sprague has been investigating key players behind that coup. His work is especially strong on interviews with figures in anti-Aristide political and paramilitary networks, and on unearthing cables from the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince and other relevant documents through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Sprague also combed through all the Haiti-related documents released through the activist project Wikileaks. | more…

Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror

Oliver Villar interviewed in Asia Times Online

What has been your main motivation to spend 10 years of your life to the subject of the drug trade?

Oliver Villar: The main motivation goes sometime back. I think it has to do firstly with my own experiences in growing up in working class suburbs in Sydney, Australia. It always has been an area that I found very curious and fascinating just to think about how rampant and persuasive drugs really are in our communities, and just by looking at it in more recent times how much worse the drug problem has become, not just in lower socio-economic areas, but everywhere. But from then on, when I finally had the opportunity to do so, I actually undertook this as a PhD thesis. I spent my time carefully looking at firstly what was written on the drug trade, but as coming from Latin America, I was very interested in particular in the Latin American drug trade as well.  | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Jeb Sprague's Op-Ed in the Miami Herald

Haiti’s government is making plans to revive the country’s disbanded army, an institution guilty of many of the worst crimes ever perpetrated in the country. At the same time, special police units have been used to drive earthquake victims out of camps. While civil society and grassroots organizations in Haiti are campaigning against a return to the era of Duvalierist repression, people in the United States should be made aware of our government’s long history with that country’s military and security forces. | more…

The Endless Crisis

The Endless Crisis discussed in the Guardian

Larry Elliott, economics editor of the Guardian, sums it up: “The Marxist perspective, exemplified in a new book by John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney, is also useful. This argues that the strong western growth rates in the middle of the 20th century were something of a mirage, caused by high military spending, postwar reconstruction, higher welfare spending and the investment in road networks that allowed the full flowering of the age of the automobile. Since then, a number of things have happened. There has been a concentration of capital but a shortage of profitable investment opportunities. So far, there has not been a wave of innovations like the car, the plane, cinema and TV to give the global economy a shot in the arm, although it is possible that digital, robotics, genetics and green technology could act as a catalyst. The result has been a declining trend rate of growth, and the increased financialisation of western economies as the surpluses have been re-cycled through the banks in a search for yield. Hence the Latin American debt crisis. Hence the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Hence the inability of the global economy to emerge from its torpor.” | more…

The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy by Minqi Li

The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy reviewed on Systemic Disorder

The world is not limitless, yet growth without limits is touted as a permanent economic elixir. But natural resources aren’t infinite, nor can demand be infinite. What happens when the limits of growth are reached? We aren’t supposed to ask that question about capitalism; the assumption is that economic activity will always grow. The insertion of China into the world capitalist system has created the opportunity for more growth as a country of 1.3 billion people has been thrown open to the world’s markets. But what if, rather than throwing capitalism a lifeline in the form of a vast pool of consumers who will drive demand, China instead will fatally destabilize an already weakened world economic system? | more…

istvan meszaros

Mészáros discussion in Boston

Join Irving Kurki and Doug Enaa Greene for an installment of the ongoing “Occupy Consciousness” lecture series, where they discuss the work of István Mészáros and its application to our time and the Occupy Movement.  | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti reviewed by Inter Press Service

Haiti’s brutal army was disbanded in 1995, yet armed and uniformed paramilitaries, with no government affiliation, occupy former army bases today. President Michel Martelly, who has promised to restore the army, has not called on police or U.N. troops to dislodge these ad-hoc soldiers. Given the army’s history of violent opposition to democracy, Martelly’s plan to renew the army “can only lead to more suffering”, says Jeb Sprague in his forthcoming book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, to be released mid August by Monthly Review Press. | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

Jeb Sprague Book Tour Dates

Join the author of Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, just released by Monthly Review Press, at an event near you! Jeb Sprague will discuss his new book, which investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. | more…

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

NEW! Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague

In this path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide’s Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians. Sprague seeks to understand how this occurred, and traces connections between paramilitaries and their elite financial and political backers, in Haiti but also in the United States and the Dominican Republic.  | more…

José Carlos Mariátegui

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

José Carlos Mariátegui is not exactly a household name among Marxists outside Latin America, let alone among the wider left. In Latin America, however, his writings have played an influential role in the development of socialist politics and have impacted on recent progressive governments that have been elected in the wake of the collapse of the dictatorships and the neo-liberal economies associated with them. For this reason alone, this recent publication of an anthology of his writings is long overdue and much to be welcomed. | more…

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism

The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism reviewed on Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Perelman addresses the whole range of problems with work and the work process within capitalism: the way it stifles the creativity of the worker, the waste of social productive powers by the many jobs and technical applications created solely to safeguard the managerial power of capital, the superior knowledge workers have of the work process and the struggle over the extraction of this knowledge, the inefficiencies of production all these combine to generate within capitalism, and finally the various kinds of theoretical apologetics generated within economic theory to justify this sorry state of affairs. | more…