Granma | June 29, 2018
AS early as 2016, talk of war against Nicaragua could again be heard in Miami, at a time when the streets of this nation were a regional example of security, peace, and prosperity, where a hardworking, tranquil people proudly enjoyed the social and economic advances achieved by the Sandinista government, that had established a national consensus, in the wake of one of the worst interventions carried out by the United States in Central America.Read More »
In 2016, when former President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff was removed from office, I asked my dad- a New Yorker who religiously reads the morning paper- what he thought about the political situation in Brazil. He had read a New York Times article about the alleged corruption scandal, about the mismanagement of money and how the greedy Workers’ Party had been stealing money from the Brazilian people. Sitting here in the US, this is the image of current Brazilian politics: greed, corruption, mismanagement, and embezzlement of funds. You hear of a leftist administration incapable of governing its people, of the poverty-stricken masses in need of salvation. That is, if you hear anything at all. According to this narrative, the new administration (the Brazilian Democratic Movement or MDB) took over to save the day and save the Brazilian people from government corruption. When Dilma was impeached on August 31, 2016, Temer- then Vice President- took over the Presidency.Read More »
by P. Sainath
Image: People’s Archive of Rural India
India’s agrarian crisis has gone beyond the agrarian.
It’s a crisis of society. Maybe even a civilizational crisis, with perhaps the largest body of small farmers and labourers on earth fighting to save their livelihoods. The agrarian crisis is no longer just a measure of loss of land. Nor only a measure of loss of human life, jobs or productivity. It is a measure of our own loss of humanity. Of the shrinking boundaries of our humaneness. That we have sat by and watched the deepening misery of the dispossessed, including the death by suicide of well over 300,000 farmers these past 20 years. While some – ‘leading economists’ – have mocked the enormous suffering around us, even denying the existence of a crisis.
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by Michael Arney
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a socialist candidate, defeated ten-term New York Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary Tuesday. | Corey Torpie / Ocasio-Cortez Campaign
NEW YORK—On Tuesday’s Democratic primary election for New York’s 14th Congressional District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accomplished a nearly impossible task: She defeated her heavily overfunded incumbent opponent. With practically all votes counted, the bartender-turned-socialist-candidate trounced high ranking, ten-term incumbent and Queens Democratic Party Chair Rep. Joseph Crowley 58 percent to 42 percent, even though he outspent her more than 10 to 1.Read More »
rs21 | June 17, 2018
Much analysis of modern music focuses on lyrical content, but how can we understand modern musical forms? What relation do they have to the capitalist world in which they’ve developed? To answer these questions Kate Bradley interviewed Mark Abel, author of Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time.A Salsa band playing on the street in Trinidad, Cuba. Image: Pixabay
Is it fair to say that Groove is a defence of popular music from a Marxist perspective? Could you summarise your argument in brief?
It is a defence of popular music, but in the first place it is an attempt to explain why the music of our time sounds the way it does. In studying music, I hold to the Marxist principle that cultural phenomena are shaped by the material practices of the society that produces them. Culture also tends to get naturalised so that it seems to most people that things couldn’t be any other way. In the case of music, what I call ‘groove music’ is so ubiquitous that we are tempted to think that it’s just the way that music is, but it’s important to have a historical picture which can show that groove arises in music around the beginning of the twentieth century, initially in America. In turn, it represents an intensification of an aspect of music – meter – which dates from only a few hundred years before that.Read More »