The inauguration of Donald Trump as the president of the United States opens what we fear will be one of the darkest and most dangerous periods in American history since the founding of this journal in 1961.
Donald Trump takes office on January 20, setting up the most right-wing, racist government in modern American history, but he will not go unchallenged. That challenge is already in motion.
This year’s elections are the culmination of the long-standing economic and cultural grievances of America’s industrial workers, a subclass largely composed of white men from the Rust Belt whose factories have been asset-stripped and sent abroad and whose unions or small businesses, pensions, and prospects have been decimated. They are not the poorest of the poor—not even the poorest of the white poor. They are not from places where the economic conditions are the worst, but they are from places where uncertainty about the future of industrial jobs is most acute.
The Bolshevik Revolution
One hundred years ago the most democratic revolution in history took place. Led by the Bolshevik Party, the Russian working class, allied with the peasantry and organized into mass democratic institutions—the soviets—took power.
Russia, Revolution, and Counter-revolution
During the tumultuous years that followed the horrors of World War I, especially in the period of 1917 to the early 1920s, the Russian working class became an inspiration to workers around the world.
One hundred years ago, in exile in Zurich during the spring of 1916, Lenin started writing one of his most important and influential works, his pamphlet on imperialism. What is the relevance of this work today?
What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia?
The Black Protest for Abortion Rights in Poland
In Poland the law on abortion is one of the most restrictive in the European Union, sex education does not exist, and contraception is both expensive and hard to obtain because a medical prescription is often needed.
Night had fallen on the Atlanta Stadium in the city of Buenos Aires on November 19, and as “The Internationale” began to blare from the loudspeakers, more than twenty thousand people at the Trotskyist Left Front rally stood up, their fists held high, to sing the international workers’ anthem with a single voice.
On December 4, 2016, the Italian electorate was asked to vote on a government-proposed constitutional reform, and the vote dealt the government and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans a ringing blow. The referendum was a political gambit on which the PM bet everything, yet 59.1 percent of voters rejected the reform. Barely an hour after the polls closed, Renzi announced his resignation.
[Editors’ note: The struggle at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was one of the major political mobilizations of 2016, combining the demand for Native rights with the call for environmental justice. New Politics asked Nancy Romer to cover these events for us. She was at Standing Rock from November 10-15.
Marking an anniversary of a book’s publication is, appropriately, reserved for books that were widely read when they first appeared many years ago. Books we commemorate with an anniversary are ones that ushered in a new way of thinking and influenced the way society tries to make sense of the world. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community did neither of these things.1
The Occupy movement and the Bernie Sanders campaign spotlighted once again the fact that a fairly small number of very rich people dominate the major economic and political institutions of the country.
A (Mostly) Friendly Reply to Michael J. Thompson
Periodization of the various versions of capitalism is tough academic work, and what follows is not meant to diminish the importance of those kinds of projects.
The pages that follow are taken from Seth Tobocman’s new graphic biography of the radical lawyer Leonard Weinglass, Len: A Lawyer in History (AK Press). This particular section is based on a transcript of a talk that Len Weinglass gave at the 2002 Left Forum on the relationship between Nixon-era encroachments on civil liberties and the Patriot Act.
When the Stalin-Hitler pact triggered World War II in 1939, and Soviet troops occupied half of Poland and then invaded Finland, the Socialist Workers Party in the United States was plunged into crisis.
For some time now, many of us have wondered how it is that a number of left-wing writers and some political organizations could support Vladimir Putin and the Russian government’s role in international affairs.
Greece and the Syriza Experience
In very different ways, Helena Sheehan’s The Syriza Wave: Surging and Crashing with the Greek Left and Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges by Jack Rasmus look back over the period of the Greek debt crisis, and the parallel rise and fall of Syriza, and try to take stock.
At the heart of Jeff Halper’s War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification is the question “How does Israel get away with it?” In other words, how is Israel able to continually occupy Palestinian territory in contravention of international law?
Blogs & On-Line Features
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) or “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in Afghanistan at a time of great international tension. Sarin gas had filled Syrian hospitals with civilians, threatening to draw Russia, the United States, and their allies into direct war. U.S. warships retaliated by striking one of Assad’s air bases while Donald Trump shared dessert with China’s President Xi Jinping. Hot on the heels of their meeting, Trump (erroneously) declared that another set of warships were en route to intimidate North Korea and its allies. Alarming rates of Syrian and Iraqi civilian causalities from coalition airstrikes were dominating headlines and before the dust had settled, the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S.’s mighty arsenal incinerated an ISIS encampment in eastern Afghanistan.
To understand Trump's ascendance to presidency, instead of looking into the structure of the society, we need to look into the software of the society; the way people operate culturally.
It has been three months since the inauguration of President Trump and the nation still is engaged in agonized self-scrutiny to fathom the ascendance of Trump to the highest office in the country. Some explanations blamed it on the establishment’s inability to read and respond to electors’ interests. Other arguments deplored the Democratic Party for clearing the way for Hillary Clinton despite her trust problem. Other opinions maintained that Hillary Clinton did not speak to young voters, African Americans and working class. She was also censured for not addressing the real grievances; that is the economic concerns of the public. Clinton criticized the FBI for releasing the letter eleven days before the Election Day. Some explorations highlight the large number of people who sat at home and did not vote.
[Updated May 19, 2017] After nearly four months of President Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency surrounded by controversies and scandals, the American establishment has decided to take things in hand. That is the meaning of deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert S. Mueller III to serve as special counsel to investigate ties between the Trump administration and Russia. Mueller, who had served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013 under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has both the confidence of the establishment and the political independence that will allow him to pursue the issue without fear of presidential interference.
The Coalition for Peace, Revolution, and Social Justice (CPRSJ) aims to resist capitalism, imperialism, and authoritarianism in the Trump era. We are helping to develop a thoughtful, multidimensional, and proactive opposition to the intensifying authoritarianism that has become evident around the globe, as exemplified by Donald Trump in the U.S., Vladimir Putin in Russia, and Xi Jinping in China. We oppose NATO and U.S. imperialism because they underpin capitalist-militarist hegemony around the globe. In general, we target rampant class oppression, imperialism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, nativism, Islamophobia, and environmental destruction.
A Teacher Who Stands Up For Kids
Sarah Chambers is an award winning special education teacher in Chicago’s Saucedo Academy. Sarah is a local leader a national figure in the fight to defend and transform public education against the corporate education reform attack. She is a relentless advocate for special education students and LGBTQ students. Sarah is a published author, organizer, and speaker on issues of education reform and social justice.
Raoul Peck’s powerful documentary “I Am Not Your Negro,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, has brought the great writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) to a new generation of Americans who may have been unfamiliar with Baldwin’s life and writings. “I Am Not Your Negro” presented Baldwin as a powerful voice of the black liberation movement, but hardly mentioned his longtime commitment not only to full equality for black Americans, but also to socialism.
Baldwin wrote in No Name in the Street that he had been a "convinced fellow traveler" at 13 who had marched in the May Day parade and then became a "Trotskyite" by age nineteen. Too young to have been involved in Harlem’s Communist Party in the 1930s, he claimed to have been a member of the Young People’s Socialist League, but that has never been confirmed.
For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists — largely foreign-born — walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.
President Donald Trump is neither the populist champion of working-class underdogs that some of his supporters hoped, nor is he is the fascist dictator that some feared. Co-opted by the Republican establishment, he is a dangerous, authoritarian, militarist whose programs threaten the American people, world peace, and the planet.
As Trump took office, the majority of Americans were anxious, worried.
The time has come to bid farewell to a moribund party that lacks imagination, courage and gusto
The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.
Tens of thousands, many of them scientists, joined the March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, in cities across the United States and around the world. There were some 400 marches in the US with crowds estimated at 20,000 in New York and Los Angeles, some 15,000 gathered on the Washington Mall, and 1,000 in Portland, Oregon. Other marches took place in hundreds of other cities around the world from London to Tokyo.
Tens of thousands of Americans in some 200 cities and towns from New York to San Francisco participated in “Tax Day” marches on Saturday, April 15 to demand that President Donald Trump release information about his tax payments. Some protestors marched at the White House and others at the Trump mansion at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Largely organized through Democratic Party groups like Indivisible, the Tax Day demonstrations were peaceful but spirited affairs. Protestors around the country chanted slogans such as “No more secrets, no more lies.” Many carried signs and banners reading “What are you hiding?” and “Show your taxes!” One sign read “King George didn’t listen to us either,” a reference to the taxation issues of the 1760s that led to the American Revolution of 1776.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) condemns in no uncertain terms the bombing of Sharyat airbase in Syria six days ago by Donald Trump’s administration. As veterans of the unending and expanding wars conducted over the last 16 years, we know intimately that U.S. military intervention exacerbates and further militarizes conflicts overseas and that the people who pay the greatest price are the everyday people of occupied nations. We also know that this is not the first time our military has been used in the Syrian conflict. U.S. bombs have been dropped on Syria under both the Trump and Obama administrations, resulting in more than a thousand civilian deaths.
And the Assad Regime's War Crimes
Within a few days in April, the Trump administration pivoted away from its nearly open support for the Assad regime to a military attack on it. This was followed by harsh language against Russia, the setting off of a huge bomb in Afghanistan, and the dispatch of an aircraft carrier armed with nuclear weapons toward North Korea.
During the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) spring break, Sarah Chambers, beloved to her special needs students, well-known (to staff and parents of her school), notorious (to CPS labor relations officials), received a letter saying she was suspended and had to stay away from the school. Though Sarah was an early member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) that is now the CTU’s elected leadership, she remained a teacher of special needs kids who represents her school in the House of Delegates and serves on the union’s Executive Board.
Alex Kolokotronis is a 1st year PhD student in Political Science at Yale. He self-identifies as a libertarian socialist and is interested in studying anarchist movements, post-state forms of governance and public power, and associationist self-managed socialism. He is the co-founder of Student Organization for Democratic Alternatives (SODA), a group dedicated to implementing participatory budgeting and participatory democracy at the university level. Participatory budgeting is a directly democratic process by which ordinary people get to deliberate and decide how to allocate a designated budget. He previously worked in Worker Cooperative Development with Make the Road New York and the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives.