Billionaires and working people have one thing in common: they hate the government. But they hate the government for different reasons. For working people, government is too right-wing on some issues: it allows transnational capital to undermine jobs and wages. On other issues, many working people see government as too left-wing, allowing what they see (incorrectly) as excessive immigration.Billionaires hate government because government is sometimes forced to respond to grassroots pressure, which can mean introducing financial regulation, unionization, and other profit-harming policies.
In the absence of staging outright fascist coups, elements of the ruling class engineer social unrest to compel government to support policies that are against the interests of working people.Read More »
Fernand Léger mosaic, Grand parade with red background (1985)
Socialism is the rational alternative to the disaster that is capitalism. Its basic premise is that production and distribution should be organised to satisfy human need. Already we have the resources, the technology and the infrastructure required to provide every human with the necessities of life and more. So in one sense, socialism is the simple call for a rationally organised society.
Something unusual has just happened. The current Economic Report of the President (March 2019; henceforth Economic Report) has devoted one full chapter to attacking socialism, under the title “Markets versus Socialism.” The only intellectually honest part of the Economic Report is the reason given for allocating no less than 45 pages to socialism:
[T]here was a time in American history when grand debates over the merits of competing economic systems were front and center, and the terms of the debates and characteristics of the competing views were widely known. It is clear that such a time may be returning. Detailed policy proposals from self-declared “socialists” are gaining support in Congress and are receiving significant public attention.
A specter is haunting the Wall Street Journal – the specter of socialism. | Kiichiro Sato / AP
Although nearly every issue of The Wall Street Journal tries to combat growing public support for socialism, this only proves that Marx and Engels got at least one thing right when they wrote in the Communist Manifesto that the specter of communism continually haunts the ruling class.
The latest foray in the Journal’s campaign is a pathetic piece on April 10 by Joshua Muravchik entitled “Socialism Fails Every Time.” Muravchik is a hardline neocon who has called for an unprovoked U.S. air war on Iran. He makes a living as a professional anti-Communist and “distinguished scholar” at various corporate think tanks. He is evidently driven by guilt for once believing in socialism when he led the Young People’s Socialist League in the late 1960s and early 1970s and later was active with the virulently anti-Communist Social Democrats USA that was closely tied to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
On a wintry Saturday in January a motley crew of disgruntled protestors took up a position in front of one of the many stark and faceless towers of Midtown Manhattan. The tower rose vertiginously in the bright afternoon sky, an anonymous vertical field of black glass gridded together by strips of steel. The rugged clan of antinomians assembled in the vast stone exterior of the building, a kind of public anteroom between the rabid streets and the polished marble foyer of the building. They lined posters against the plinths of abstract corporate art rising into the air above the courtyard. The poster board was scrawled with urgent slogans, all of them referencing the ninth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. In the decade since, an island already devastated by conventional colonialism was victimized by a new incarnation of exploitation, this one clad in humanitarian guise.Read More »
This interview by Christian Stache of Victor Wallis was translated with permission from the October 6, 2018 issue of the Berlin-based daily newspaper junge Welt [young World].junge Welt bears no responsibility for this English-language version.
Recently, a huge socio-ecological conflict escalated in the Hambach Forest in Germany. Have you heard about it in the U.S.?
It was not widely covered in the corporate media, but there was very good coverage on the independent Democracy Now! program, whose host, Amy Goodman, spent a week in and around Bonn during the recent international conference, and visited some of the occupiers in their tree-houses. Singer/songwriter David Rovics has just now posted a tribute, in narrative and song, to the forest-protectors and to the journalist Steffen Meyn who died tragically while attempting to cover their story.Read More »