Trump and Climate Catastrophe


Monthly ReviewVolume 68, Issue 09 (February 2017)

This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.

Donald Trump, January 2, 20141

The alarm bells are ringing. The climate-change denialism of the Trump administration, coupled with its goal of maximizing fossil-fuel extraction and consumption at all costs, constitutes, in the words of Noam Chomsky, “almost a death knell for the human species.” As noted climatologist Michael E. Mann has declared, “I fear that this may be game over for the climate.”2

The effects of the failure to mitigate global warming will not of course come all at once, and will not affect all regions and populations equally. But just a few years of inaction in the immediate future could lock in dangerous climate change that would be irreversible for the next ten thousand years.3 It is feared that once the climatic point of no return—usually seen as a 2°C increase in global average temperatures—is reached, positive-feedback mechanisms will set in, accelerating warming trends and leading, in the words of James Hansen, former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the foremost U.S. climate scientist, to “a dynamic situation that is out of [human] control,” propelling the world toward the 4°C (or even higher) future that is thought by scientists to portend the end of civilization, in the sense of organized human society.4Read More »

Getting Rid of Workers

Frontier Editorial

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.30, Jan 29 – Feb 4, 2017

The corporate bosses see labourers as ‘waste People’ and the changing industrial landscape not so much a source of plenty but a ‘wasteland’, rather a dumping ground for those they see as the dregs of society. Jobs in traditional manufacturing sector are vanishing very fast. Yet the jobless are trying to cling to the very ‘wasteland’ because they have nowhere else to. Nor do they know the new world where ‘‘new collar jobs’’ are available. Modi’s campaign for ‘Digital India’ is basically aimed at opening door to IT sector multinationals. To think of generating jobs in manufacturing now looks absurd, if not utopia. For all practical purposes, the age of industrialisation is coming to an end with robots set to destroy labour intensive manufacturing jobs globally. Industrial revolution happened hundreds of years ago and the world is now all set to embrace fourth industrial revolution with robotics having all pervading sway in every sector of manufacturing. And China shows the way. It’s the global leader in automation. Strangely enough, major industrial powers, including America, are now worried about Chinese capitalism, not socialism. What a radical shift in ideological orientation! The idea of encircling ‘global cities’ by ‘global villages’ now mocks at itself. After all Lin Piao became a closed chapter long ago, so is Mao. What is more China is said to have changed capitalism fundamentally, challenging some basic questions about the relevance of capital allocation decision. In truth the working class party, the Chinese Communist Party, no longer needs workers to hold high the banner of Red Flag. They are getting rid of workers step by step. Read More »

‘‘Can The Subaltern Speak?’’

Interview in Santiago, Chile

by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Frontier | Vol. 49, No.30, Jan 29 – Feb 4, 2017

[Alejandra Alvear from the journal called Cátedra Indígena spoke with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak at the University of Chile on August 25, 2016. The larger event within which this interview was conducted was organized by the Center for Gender Studies at the University and the specific topic was ethic violence in the context of gender. Excerpts :]

Q.  How do postcolonial studies change the situation of the subaltern either from a symbolic or from a practical point of view?
A.  Well, I do not know about the different countries in the world, but my own sense is that it is a question of class again. Since we are talking about cultural and postcolonial studies, we are talking about the university. I believe that today the connection between what used to be called public intellectuals—they do no really exist anymore—but today, at least, the connection between the university and policy, which is really big in today’s world, is weakened to the point of non-existence. I support Cultural Studies, but I am critical as a person from within. Anthropology was a colonial discipline and it reported on oppressed and dominated cultures, and now, in Cultural Studies, we speak of our cultures as people from within the culture. What we have to watch out for is the idea of a subject, an intending subject presenting a culture and offering a correct view. It may be useful in confrontational politics, and I am all in favor. It may be useful in the critique of the discipline as it used to be, and I am very much in favor. But when it comes to the person being able to report his or her culture, I am deeply skeptical. There is no autocritique, there is no possibility of a recognition of the role played by upward class-mobility, leaving the subaltern in subalternity, there is no possibility of ideology critique. Read More »

Myth-Busting Revelations Of US War On Vietnam

The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?
by John Marciano
(Monthly Review Press, £14.65)

by Steven Andrew

Morning Star | 06 February, 2017

FOR the past few decades, an unholy alliance of politicians, generals, journalists and academics have spent unlimited time and resources trying to convince the world that the US invasion of Vietnam was done with the best of intentions, the general narrative being that it was an idealistic crusade centred on the defence of democracy.

If crimes did occur, these were very much exceptional mistakes and, if they weren’t, actions do have to be contextualised. After all, wasn’t the communist enemy 10 times worse?

It’s an unremitting campaign and one which has returned with a vengeance as the empire continues to justify ongoing warfare against all those not willing to play ball.Read More »

Fidel’s ideas and example are more alive than ever

Granma | 06 February, 2017

Photo: Eduardo Palomares

SANTIAGO DE CUBA.- The continual stream of visitors to the monumental rock safeguarding the ashes of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery here, including more than 150,000 Cubans and others from abroad, bears witness to the abiding relevance of his ideas and example.

Read More »

Combating gender violence


Granma | 06 February, 2017

Photo: Cubadebate

Promoting scientific debate on the causes, implications and solutions to gender violence and its associated problems was one of the key aims of the “Berta Cáceres in memoriam” Second International Symposium on Gender Violence, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, and Sex Tourism.

The Symposium, which took place in the La Pradera International Health Center, January 23-25, was organized by the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), in the context of activities against violence toward women and girls.Read More »