Struggle For democracy: Problems With Plunderocracy And Imperialist Intervention

by  Farooque Chowdhury

teleSUR| February 02, 2018

The problems mentioned in this article are in view of recent developments in a number of countries including Iran. The questions appeared stark during the days imperialism was preparing ground for invasions/interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and a group of progressives from these countries effectively or indirectly lent support to imperial interventionists (2i).

Democracy, nowadays, appears punic.

All the banner bearers: Rightists, ultra-rightists, fascists, storm troopers of imperialist capital, propagandists and practitioners of medieval ideology and institutions, sectarian and divisive forces, dictators, camouflaged and uncovered imperialist organizations, banks and financial institutions, so-called rights-organizations/activists and juvenile organizations sponsored by imperialists, monarchists, a part of the mainstream media, imperial interventionists (2i), and other birds of reactionary feathers are engaged with the business of “democracy”. One faction of the 2i at the center of the world imperialist system is now a “steadfast” “democracy”-monger. Very often, 2i organize mobilizations in the name of democracy. Platform for invoking imperialist intervention including R2P (so-called Right to Protect) are organized with the appearance of “democracy” and “rights”.Read More »


Utopia and populism

by David Ruccio

Occasional Links & Commentary | February 01, 2018

Let them eat crack (photo credit: Bansky)

Much has been made of the rise of populism in recent years and the threat it poses to liberal democracy.

My view is that liberal critics of populism, standing on their heads, get it wrong. If made to stand on their feet, they’d have to admit that populism actually represents the failure of liberal democracy.Read More »

This is for the Guardian, NYT and the BBC: 1939 to 2018

 by William Bowles

Investigating Imperialism | January 21, 2018

Before I go any further with this let me state that I’m not a Trotskyist, or a Leninist, or a Stalinist or a Maoist (but I might have been all of the above, with exception of Maoist, at one time or another). However, I might be a Zapatista, at least in spirit, but I’m definitely a Socialist Revolutionary (or is that a Revolutionary Socialist?). I’m not sure if I’m a Marxist either, but I’m definitely an admirer of the old man, he was a great artist and thinker, and possibly, along with Charles Darwin, the greatest mind of the 19th century. Whatever you call it, we need a socialist revolution and we need one now, we are running out of time!Read More »

‘On New Terrain’ – How Capital is reshaping the battleground of class war

by Ray M

rs21 | January 12, 2018

Workers strike at Walmart stores nationwide in November 2014

Since the Great Recession there has been much debate on the nature of capitalism and the crisis of neoliberalism. Often this has resulted in theories which emphasise finance capital, precarious employment, and play to a generally left Keynesian politics, such as that being pursued within the Labour Party currently.

Kim Moodyhas been one most of the most experienced working class organisers in the US over the past few decades. His latest book On New Terrain seeks to rethink both our understanding of capitalism today, and how the workers can respond. To mark the publication of the book, Ray M provides an extensive review that explores its ramifications in the US. A concluding section begins to discuss the implications for the UK.Read More »

“The seeds of revolt are present in many places”

Interview with John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review. By JIPSON JOHN and JITHEESH P.M.

Front Line | January 03, 2018

John Bellamy Foster, Editor of the internationally reputed Monthly Reviewpublished from the United States, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon, is one of the leading Marxist thinkers in the world. Best known for his contributions to Marxian ecology, Foster’s other areas of interest and scholarly engagements include writings on political economy, Marxist theory, capitalism, socialism, and environmental sociology. Before turning his focus on Marxian ecology, his primary engagement was with analyzing the capitalist economy and its crisis. Monopoly Capital, a classic Marxian work on capitalism by Paul M. Sweezy and Paul Baran, had a profound impact on Foster in his early years. In 1986, he published The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism: An Elaboration of Marxian Political Economy on the basis of his PhD dissertation.Read More »

The American savings crisis, explained

by Jeff Spros

The Week | December 07, 2017

Americans are terrible at saving money.

Since the 1970s, our personal savings rate has fallen from 12 percent to just 3 percent today. Almost half of all households don’t have enough money socked away to meet a $400 emergency. At least one-third of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

It’s easy to blame this on failings of individual discipline, and plenty of people do. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently griped about Americans who “are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” And there’s a whole cottage industry of personal finance scolds insisting that everyone could save massive amounts if they just had the willpower.Read More »

Net neutrality repeal is only part of Trump’s surrender to corporate media

by Reed Richardson

FAIR | December 14, 2017

Net Neutrality Repeal Is Only Part of Trump’s Surrender to Corporate Media

The FCC is under attack—and so too is the First Amendment. As the primary regulator of how media and information gets to our nation’s citizens, the Federal Communications Commission has a critical role to play in protecting the open Internet, free speech, and free press in our democracy. Though the agency has always enjoyed a cozy relationship with the industries it regulates, ever since the Trump administration arrived in Washington, the FCC’s mission to preserve the public commons has been threatened, assaulted and torn asunder. And like a bad horror movie cliché, these calls to eviscerate the FCC have been coming from inside the agency.Read More »

For Saving the Earth We Need to Tell the Whole Truth — an eco-socialist’s response to Richard Smith

by Saral Sarkar

Saral Sarkar’s Writings | December 01, 2017

In his article,1 Richard calls upon his readers to “change the conversation”. He asks, “What are your thoughts?” He says, if we don’t “come up with a viablealternative, our goose is cooked.” I fully agree. So I join the conversation, in order to improve it.
Let me first say I appreciate Richard’s article very much. It is very useful, indeed necessary, to also present one’s cause in a short article – for those who are interested but, for whatever reason, cannot read a whole book. Richard has ably presented the eco-socialist case against both capitalism and “green” capitalism.
But the alternative Richard has come up with is deficient in one very important respect, namely in respect of viability. Allow me to present here my comradely criticisms. It will be short.
Read More »

Socialist Planning Circles: Building Scaffolds Before the Wreckage

LA Progressives | November 14, 2017

Socialist Planning Circles

In my last article, Do You Socialists Have Any Plans? Why We Need Socialist Architects, I argued that the only way 21st century socialism is going to get any traction with working class people is to not only have a socialist vision, but also to have feasible plans which suggest transitions in between the current capitalist crisis and our ultimate vision.

Read More »

Calcutta Notebook

by B J

Frontier | Vol. 50, No.18, Nov 5 – 11, 2017

The recently enacted Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, RERA for short, has brought in certain regulations that appear troublesome at the present but will lead to the expansion of the housing sector in the long run. It has been made mandatory that houses will be sold on the basis of carpet area. Builders often “load” the carpet area with non-existent common area. One builder of Ghaziabad has charged the flat owners for about 600 square feet of common area while the actual common area provided was only about 200 square feet. It will not be possible for the builders to engage in such malpractices any more. RERA also provides a dispute resolution mechanism. At present the buyers are virtually at the mercy of the builders because the only course of redressal is through the Consumer Protection Act which is tedious, expensive and time consuming. A Resident’s Welfare Association in Ghaziabad filed a case in the National Consumer Redressal Forum. The case is still lingering on after 5 years. Another Association filed a case in the same Forum. The Builder did not receive notice on the pretext of incorrect address and the case has not started even after 55 months. RERA provides for the establishment of a Regulatory Authority which will resolve such issues speedily. An aggrieved buyer will be able to make a complaint to the Authority and hopefully get relief without having to go through the courts. RERA provides that resolution will take place within 2 months though it is to be seen how much this works in practice. These measures will bring in transparency and lead to the development of the housing market in the country. Buyers will be assured that they will not be shortchanged and will come forth to buy property in larger numbers.Read More »