President Donald Trump’s failure for two days to condemn the violent Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and alt-right white supremacists, one of whom murdered a woman in Charlottesville, has led to a major development as sections of the capitalist class have begun to abandon him. While some top Republican leaders have taken a stronger stand against Trump in recent days, several major corporate leaders have deserted him. They have done in part because of his flirtation with fascism, but also because Trump and his administration—his embarrassing tweets, the constant circus, the Korea war scare, the Russian imbroglio—makes it impossible for the Republicans to advance their pro-business agenda. If the relationship between Trump and corporate leaders continues to unravel, this could lead to a more rapid collapse of the Trump presidency than had previously seemed possible.
In Staten Island, one union local is propelling a growing labor-community alliance deep in New York’s Republican recesses.
Comments presented at the July 14 launch of the Coalition for Peace, Revolution and Social Justice at a public meeting at the Westside Peace Center, Culver City.
Following recent elections that were widely boycotted, a Constituent Assembly charged with rewriting the Venezuelan constitution met in early August. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for the Constituent Assembly in May, proposing it as a solution to the crisis that Venezuela has faced in recent years. The U.S., the right-wing opposition in Venezuela and the Washington's European and Latin American allies denounced the Constituent Assembly as an undemocratic power grab. When the "Constituent" convened, the Trump administration announced new sanctions against Venezuela.
Thousands demonstrated in dozens of cities and universities across the United States to protest the “Unite the Right” racist march and rally in Charlottesville Virginia and the automobile terrorist attack on anti-fascists that took the life of Heather Heyer on Aug. 12.
The demonstrations took the form of vigils, rallies, and marches that took place on Aug. 13 and 14. In New York City, thousands demonstrated at Trump Tower as he returned from the golf links to New York. In Durham, North Carolina, anti-fascists pulled down a statue of a Confederate soldier. In some cities there were multiple events called by a variety of progressive and leftist organizations.
The “Unite the Right” rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend attracted several hundred white men from the "alt-right," the neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan who marched with torches through the University of Virginia chanting, “You will not replace us.” Nothing better explains the fear at the root of their racist movement than that chant. They fear, as their political ancestors feared, that they will be replaced by blacks. They have now come to fear also that they will be replaced by Latinos and by Asians. They fear too that they will be replaced by women, by gay men or lesbians or bisexuals. Or by trans people or the disabled. Above all, they fear.
After reaching 25,000 members, DSA held its largest bi-annual National Convention with the hopes of creating the political clout necessary to shift the country toward a socialist vision that exceeds that of social-democratic capitalism. The four days reenergized old chapters and allowed new chapters to recognize the potential of a national organization. Overall, DSA has effectively begun resurrecting the socialist movement in the United States. All DSA members should be proud of this achievement. We should, however, be cautious in overestimating the outcomes of the convention. For behind the great rejuvenation that occurred in Chicago there were also ideological and structural currents that may limit DSA in the long run.
On August 5 a Google employee named James Damore published a 3,500 word manifesto entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” in which he agued the biological inferiority of women, making them incapable of being equally talented computer engineers. First circulated internally among Google’s thousands of employees, the manifesto was posted in its entirety on the web by Gizmodo on August 5. Google fired Damore, the manifesto’s author, on August 7.
“Who is to blame for the election of Donald Trump?” It’s a question that was asked more than a few times after November. We’re all familiar with the answers that were given: James Comey, the electoral college, the DNC’s leaked—not hacked—emails, the characteristically shameful performance of the mainstream media in its focus on personalities rather than substance, the stupefying incompetence of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the elitist insularity and corruption of the Democratic Party, etc.
Twenty years ago this month the reform leadership of the Teamsters union, led by President Ron Carey, with the assistance of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), a reform caucus within the union, led a successful strike against United Parcel Service (UPS) that paralyzed the company, inspired labor unionists, and seemed to open up new opportunities for the workers movement. The UPS strike remains a model of strike strategy, organization, and tactics.
The socialist movement in the United States took a big step forward this past weekend as almost 700 delegates representing over 25,000 members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) met at the organization’s biennial national convention in Chicago. This convention, the first since DSA more than tripled in size following last year’s election, brought together delegates from all of the country’s major cities and many towns large and small.
On Sunday 30 July, so-called elections took place to a so-called Constituent Assembly in Venezuela. It is important, for the future, the revolution, and democracy, not to fool ourselves about the meanings of the words being used here.
For all Venezuelans, there can be no doubt: what was elected today has nothing in common with a sovereign constituent assembly. By “a sovereign constituent assembly.” we mean one which exercises power.
When the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) meets in convention in Chicago this weekend the central question will be this: Will DSA return to the Democratic Party or chart an independent course? DSA members Joseph M. Schwartz and Bhaskar Sunkara have written an article in which they argue that DSA should follow the example of the Communist Party USA in the Popular Front period of the 1930s when it supported Democratic Party president Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Jeffery R. Webber. The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same: The Politics and Economics of the New Latin American Left. Chicago: Haymarket, 2017. 327 pages. Index. Tables.
Beginning in the late 1990s the Pink Tide began to roll in across much of South America, bringing to power elected leftist governments in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. While these administrations were not all the same—Argentina and Brazil appeared to be more social democratic and Bolivia and Venezuela more radical—they represented a new moment in the history of the Latin American Left.
The story of the workers of a PepsiCo factory in Vicente Lopez, Buenos Aires, Argentina may be slightly confusing to those in America where it seems normal for a factory to close, as many did in the financial crash of 2008, without the workers organizing, despite losing valuable employment in a harsh economy. Yet the actions of the nearly 700 laid-off workers since PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage corporation in the world, decided to move their production to another city south of Buenos Aires, could teach American workers a thing or two.
As rightwing governments take power in Argentina, Brazil, and elsewhere across the region, Ecuador’s leftwing Alianza País (Country Alliance, AP) and Bolivia’s Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement Towards Socialism, MAS) and Bolivia have managed to hold onto power.
From February 14 to March 13, 2016, 35,000 Palestinian teachers in the West Bank government-run school system were on strike. The teachers’ goal was to hold the Palestinian Authority to the terms of a 2013 agreement between the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT) and the Ministry of Education, an agreement the Palestinian Authority had reneged on for three years running. (Ma’an News, Feb. 16, 2016)
In “Militant Particularism and Global Ambition: The Conceptual Politics of Place, Space, and Environment in the Work of Raymond Williams” (1995), David Harvey discusses the challenges presented by moving from place out across time. In the midst of his involvement in a participatory research project within a high-stakes local struggle against the closure of an automotive plant, he was accused of being a “free-floating Marxist intellectual,” an outsider, and he was given the “evil eye” and asked to explain “where his loyalties lay.” (71) This is in an environment where people were losing jobs, and families and communities were being destroyed.
On the very off chance you haven’t heard, Angela Nagle has come out with her first book: Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Best known for her essays, often on the alt-right, in outlets like Jacobin and The Baffler, the socialist left has been anxious to dive into what appears to be the first book on the alt-right written by one of us — myself included. Ms. Nagle first caught my attention last year with her incredibly insightful essay “The New Man of 4chan,” and I’ve been reading her regularly, and eagerly awaiting this book, ever since.