#50 - July 2009

Vol. 23, No. 2
Socialism in the Age of Obama

The upswing in public attention to “socialism” continues. Although the term is still used to scare people, it is likely in the coming years that many more hearts and minds will be open to the idea. There is one basic reason for this...



The crisis in capitalism today is not, or not yet, a crisis of capitalism. Whether it evolves into a crisis of capitalism – when the system itself is in question for significant numbers of people – depends on three factors. The first is...


The election of Barack Obama in November 2008 gave rise to passionate celebrations, at least in some parts of the country. Here is one account (by the President of Barnard College):

Outside the gates of Barnard, a huge crowd had...


One key concept in Karl Marx’s theory of capitalist economic crisis is “the destruction of capital through crises” (Marx 1989: 127). He meant by this not only the destruction of physical capital assets, but also, and especially, of the...

Gregory Meyerson and Michael Joseph

The fortunes of the American economy have grown so alarming and the pace of the decline so swift that economists are now straining to describe where events are headed, dusting off a word that has not been indulged...


All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. -- Marx and Engels...


When men are forbidden to think, their thinking sanctions what simply exists. -- Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics

Economist Dean Baker has pointed out a startling fact: that in the...


"We need to stop the bleeding" - anonymous insider at the World Economic Forum 2009

One can safely assume that the bleeding referred to here is not that of the Palestinians. Nor is...


A downturn in economic activity was the original signal, for Marx and Engels, of capitalist crisis. But it has never been the only possible form the crisis could take. Any downturn encompasses a range of adverse consequences which are...


It is sometimes said that while anti-capitalist and alternative globalization movements are clear on what we do not want, we are less clear on what we do want (socialism, anarchism, specifics). Certainly, recent movements have not been...


Although most Latin American governments continue [as of February 2009] to view the global crisis as something that does not concern them, working-class people have been facing price-increases of food and other basic necessities for...




My dreams are of tenements,
welfare offices,
rats crawling in the subway,
murderers standing in the shadows.

I dream of rivers of blood,
of starving children,


Babies die
mothers moan
parents muted
children cry

Words crawl to books
(covers are folding
small insect wings)
cower in lexicons
forage for meaning
fugitive fugitive


too many words cross the boulevard
without looking both ways. too many words
enter the recruiting station with
empty hands and come out carrying a gun.
too many words leave their sons and
daughters behind...


Chairman Shaka
Zulu, NABPP*

We must not get trapped in the hype, the historic occasion, the Black face in a high place of the capitalist imperialist system -- especially since this trick of pacifying the masses of the people has been used quite consistently by the...



Unbeknownst to most Americans, even on the Left, there are a significant number of US-Viet Nam War veterans who have returned to live full or part-time in the country in which they had fought, to devote themselves to undoing some of the...

Review Essay


The appearance of an article in the London Review of Books early in 2006 by two mainstream academics calling attention to an “Israel Lobby” in the United States was definitely news. I was in Durban, South Africa, at the time, working on...

Book Reviews

Reviewed by Amy

Victor Considerant, Principles of Socialism: Manifesto of 19th Century Democracy, Joan Roelofs trans. (Washington, DC: Maisonneuve Press, 2006).

Victor Considerant’s Principles of Socialism:...

Reviewed by David

John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark and Richard York, Critique of Intelligent Design (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008).

The intelligent design (ID) movement has been...

Reviewed by Samuel Day

Andrew Hartman, Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

The purpose of this book is to chronicle an intellectual history of American education...

Reviewed by Howard

Nicholas Powers, Theater of War: The Plot Against the American Mind (Brooklyn, NY: Upset Press, 2004);

Sam Friedman, Seeking To Make the World Anew: Poems of the Living Dialectic...

Reviewed by Ted

Aviva Chomsky, Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).

What is the connection between factory closures in the...

Reviewed by Noah

Robert J. Foster, Coca-Globalization: Following Soft Drinks from New York to New Guinea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Globalization –- a ubiquitous term referring to the steady expansion of...

Reviewed by Teodros

Messay Kebede, Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation in Ethiopia, 1960-1974 (University of Rochester Press, 2008).

This book is an exemplary work of self-examination by a professor of philosophy who...

Reviewed by Ravi

Francis A. Boyle, Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).

Francis Boyle is a very busy man. A law professor at the University of Illinois, a graduate of...

Reviewed by Peter

Michael Schwartz, War Without End: The Iraq War in Context (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2008).

During the Bush public relations campaign to sell the Iraq war, the American press devoted remarkably little...

Reviewed by Chris

Lance Selfa, The Democrats: A Critical History (Chicago: Haymarket Books 2008).

With the historic election of Barack Obama, people throughout the world have been inspired by the notion that change is on...

Reviewed by Gerd

Annelies Laschitza, Die Liebknechts: Karl und Sophie -– Politik und Familie (Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 2007).

In my history textbook in Denmark in the 1950s, mention was made of the fact that Karl...


Mat Callahan is a musician and author from San Francisco who currently resides in Bern, Switzerland. His musical work includes award-winning albums and collaborations such as founding legendary artists' collective...