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United States: Decriminalised marijuana reinvents racism and poisoning

 

 

By Don Fitz and Susan Armstrong

May 16, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The change in marijuana laws across the US raises issues far beyond, “Hey, dude, we can blow a joint now without getting busted.” The racism that permeated the age of criminalization now lurks throughout the phase of decriminalization. The burgeoning business of growing pot raises the spectre of corporate agriculture with its threats to human health and natural ecosystems. Are there ways to enjoy weed while challenging racism and corporate domination over the environment?

Noam Chomsky: US military escalation against Russia would have no victors

 

 

By C.J. Polychroniou

March 3, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Truthout — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took much of the world by surprise. It is an unprovoked and unjustified attack that will go down in history as one of the major war crimes of the 21st century, argues Noam Chomsky in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows. Political considerations, such as those cited by Russian President Vladimir Putin, cannot be used as arguments to justify the launching of an invasion against a sovereign nation. In the face of this horrific invasion, though, the U.S. must choose urgent diplomacy over military escalation, as the latter could constitute a “death warrant for the species, with no victors,” Chomsky says.

United States: Prospects for the Teamsters under new leadership

 

 

By Dan La Botz

February 20, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The victory of the OZ slate in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union, headed by Sean O’Brien and Fred Zuckerman and backed by Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), has raised the question: Will this new leadership bring about reform in one of the nation’s largest and most powerful unions? Real reform would mean a union that is free from corruption, more democratic, willing to mobilize the members to fight the bosses, and capable of also addressing broader social issues like Trumpism, COVID, and climate change.

Imperialist rebalance: America’s ‘KGB’ foreign policy line fortifies US imperialism’s global hegemony

 

 

By Rasti Delizo

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Today’s imperialist world system reflects a combined set of diverse crises sharpening the global order’s systemic contradictions. These inherently include the generalized and deepening crisis of the international capitalist economy, the deadly and unabating COVID-19 pandemic, rising regional and transregional political-security tensions driven by inter-imperialist competitions, and the catastrophic climate change emergency endangering humankind and its ecosystems. The consequence of this historical conjuncture of worldwide ruptures already poses a direct threat to the future of our universal humanity. Hence, the international working-class movement—led by progressive, Left and revolutionary socialist forces—is now urgently tasked to overcome the multiple crises of capitalism by resolutely advancing the general struggle for world socialism. 

Manufacturing the myth of a China threat

 

 

By William Briggs

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A lie, well told, is often easy to believe. The fiction that China somehow presents a threat to our lives and lifestyles proves the point. Cold War rhetoric is accepted as truth, even when there is no ideological battlefield.

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was supposedly about ideas. It was presented as a battle between the forces of light on one side and the forces of darkness on the other. The idea was well marketed, and the world ran along these ‘ideological’ rails for the better part of half a century until the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

United States: Trump, Texas, and the MAGA drive for power

 

 

By Max Elbaum

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organizing Upgrade — Donald Trump dispensed with even the pretense of paying tribute to workers on Labor Day. Instead his three word Labor Day Statement, blasted out to his supporters everywhere via the right-wing media machine, was blunt about his political priorities: “Fix 2020 First.”

Afghanistan: The United States’ longest war was founded on false pretences

 

 

By Bulent Gokay

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The war in Afghanistan ended as it had started, with total ambiguity of its objectives as well as what it achieved. The official US narrative in 2001 was that “everything changed” on the day four airliners were hijacked and nearly 5,000 people murdered. The US intervention in Afghanistan, by this account, was hastily improvised in less than a month. However, the decisions shaping the US military campaign in Afghanistan in 2001 show a remarkable continuity based on an ongoing pre-September 11 evolution in the US foreign policy. As a matter of fact, the US operations in Afghanistan did not begin twenty years ago, but in 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Adviser, defended US intervention, in the form of secret support for Islamic extremists fighting in Afghanistan:

United States: Michael Harrington’s failure of vision

 

 

Interview with Doug Greene,

August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — An interview with Doug Greene, the author of a new biography of Michael Harrington, A Failure of Vision: Michael Harrington and the Limits of Democratic Socialism (London: Zero Books, 2022)

Imperialist Keynesianism: Biden’s program for rehabilitating United States capitalism

 

 

By Ashley Smith

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tempest — In his address to Congress, Joe Biden celebrated his American Rescue Plan and promoted his American Jobs and American Families plans. The capitalist media declared it the end of Reaganomics and a return to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Liberalism.

Longtime liberals and recent converts greeted Biden’s program with breathless celebration. Joan Walsh declared that Biden “wrapped up FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, plus  Obama’s good ideas and some of Senator Bernie Sanders’s better ones, into a Scranton-inflected agenda for racial and economic justice. It went beyond anything he promised running for president.”

Learning from history: community-run child-care centers in United States during World War II

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

June 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — We face many big challenges.  And we will need strong, bold policies to meaningfully address them.  Solving our child-care crisis is one of those challenges, and a study of World War II government efforts to ensure accessible and affordable high-quality child care points the way to the kind of bold action we need. 

United States: An internationalist critique of the Green New Deal

 

 

By Tyler Okeke

May 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Hampton Institute — In 2019, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unsat the powerful Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley and spurred a wave of progressive congressional campaigns. Soon after being sworn in, Ocasio-Cortez partnered with Senator Ed Markey to introduce House Resolution 109, popularly known as the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is an ambitious framework for environmental, economic, and racial justice in the United States. It aims for a speedy transition to net zero emissions through the use of renewable energy sources and green technology, a federal jobs guarantee, and a whole host of other social programs like paid medical and family leave, medical care for all, and expanded access to unions. Though not the first of its kind, the political movement on which the policy rides has won the Green New Deal more than a hundred co-sponsors in Congress.

United States: For a fighting approach, not factionalism — An interview with Kshama Sawant

 

 

By Andy Sernatinger & Emma Wilde Botta

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tempest — The most prominent independent elected socialist in the U.S., Kshama Sawant, recently announced, along with other members Socialist Alternative, that they would be joining the Democratic Socialists of America. At a time when the independent, democratic, and socialist political horizons of DSA are themselves at stake in the run-up to the summer 2021 convention, and in the aftermath of the failed Sanders presidential run, and in the glow of the liberal honeymoon for the Biden administration, this decision to join DSA has been both welcomed and criticised. This dynamic forms the important backdrop to this interview.

United States: Republicans embrace Trump and his steal elections strategy

 

 

By Max Elbaum

March 11, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organizing Upgrade — Even before the semi-formal anointment of Trump as the GOP’s post-2020 top leader at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Feb. 28, the twice-impeached former President had been awarded the crown.

Former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, considered Trump’s most powerful opponent in the media-proclaimed “Republican Civil War,” had surrendered without a fight. On Feb. 13 he had told the country, “Trump’s actions that preceded the [Jan. 6] riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty.” Four days later he said on FOX News that he would “absolutely” support Trump for President if he was the 2024 GOP nominee.

That’s game over. The Trump-provoked, Confederate-flag-waving assault on the Capitol Jan. 6 didn’t split the GOP. Rather, it revealed that from bottom to top the Republican Party has become even more Trumpified than it was while Trump was President.

United States: Seattle City councilmember Kshama Sawant - 'Why I’m joining Democratic Socialists of America'

 

 

By Kshama Sawant

March 5, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Alternative (US) — The reemergence of a socialist movement in the United States, and rapid growth of organizations like Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Socialist Alternative (SA), is of enormous historical importance. This is not only because Marxism is beginning to take root again on the hard soil of U.S. capitalism, but also because of the enormous challenges facing the working class in this period.

Capitalism is in the midst of its worst crisis in nearly a century, and it is a compound one – not only do we face the deadly disasters of COVID-19 and the economic collapse, but also the coming climate catastrophe. The disasters we’ve seen in the past year could become far worse unless socialists and the working class rise to the historic tasks in front of us.

COVID-19 vaccines: The partiality of medicine in United States capitalism

 

By Vince Montes

February 12, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — COVID-19 vaccines are meant to function as a panacea for restoring confidence and reestablishing the social order in the capitalist social system. Saving lives is part of the capitalist state’s stated intention, but as we will see it is difficult to take this claim at face value when considering all the lives lost every year to preventable causes. In this way, COVID-19 vaccines will operate like therapeutics for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases because they do not address the social and environmental causes that increase susceptibility to illness, or in this case, COVID-19. In this view, profit-generating enterprises are normalized by the capitalist state's prevailing ideas and its capacity to engage in economic co-optation and coercion (Montes, 2009). Capitalism creates the conditions that lead to social ills and diseases, which produce high susceptibility to viruses such as COVID-19. Similar to how institutions of the state (such as the police, the military, corrections, and the legal system) serve to maintain the social order, so does medicine.

United States: After Trump, what prospects for Biden in the global imperial disorder?

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

January 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Claudio Katz presciently analyzes shifts in the imperialist order, the mainstay of global capitalism, and weighs what the increasing social and political polarization within the United States portends for the Biden administration in the effort to restore its sagging world dominance.

Katz is professor of economics at the University of Buenos Aires, as well as a researcher with CONICET (National Council for Science and Technology, Argentina) and a member of Economists of the Left. My translation from the text on his web page.

What does the Esau Revolution despise?

 

 

By Don Fitz

And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint;
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profits shall this birthright do me?
And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Genesis 25: 30-33

December 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Despite the bizarre fantasy by Trump supporters that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, there was, in fact, genuine electoral fraud in the US. This fraud was more intense and blatant than any unproven claims of election meddling by Russians, Chinese, Syrians or Iranians. It was an all-out attack on political rights not seen since Joseph McCarthy era. Yet, this time, it was inspired not by Republicans but by Democrats and their liberal allies.

Why medical students get more experience in the US than Cuba, and what this has to do with inequality

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 19, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — During the past 10 years I have written multiple articles documenting how Cuba has better medical practice and education than the US. To be honest, I have known for a long time that there is an area of medical training where medical students in the US get considerably more training than do those who study in Cuba.

This realization came to me when my daughter Rebecca was in her first year of medical school in Havana. When I phoned after she had been there for a few months, she said, “Dad, I am really glad that when I was a girl you gave me a needle and thread to sew up rips in my clothes. In clinic today, we saw someone with his head whacked open by a machete and a medical student was sewing it back together. It was clear that the guy trying to sew the wound did not have experience with a needle and thread and that the guy getting his head patched up could tell. With the sewing I’ve done, I know that I could handle a wound.”

United States: Three tough laps to change the balance of power

 

 

By Max Elbaum

October 31, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organising Upgrade — Partisans of social justice are nearing the end of a very tough lap on the long march to a different world.  Even if we succeed in achieving a best-case vote November 3, the next two laps – protecting the electoral victory and then winning substantial changes under a new administration – are likely to be even tougher.

Video: US socialist Paul Le Blanc on Trump, fascism and the presidential elections

 

 

An interview with Paul Le Blanc by Alex Bainbridge

October 15, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Green Left — An interview with US socialist Paul Le Blanc about the coming presidential elections and the threat of fascism in the US.

The interview was conducted on October 10.

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