By Marty Hart-Landsberg
December 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — This is the first in a series of posts that aim to describe and evaluate the World War II mobilization experience in the United States in order to illuminate some of the economic and political challenges we can expect to face as we work for a Green New Deal.
This post highlights the successful government directed wartime reorientation of the U.S. economy from civilian to military production, an achievement that both demonstrates the feasibility of a rapid Green New Deal transformation of the U.S. economy and points to the kinds of organizational capacities we will need to develop. The post also highlights some of the strategies employed by big business to successfully stamp the wartime transformation as a victory for “market freedom,” an outcome that strengthened capital’s ability to dominate the postwar U.S. political economy and suggests the kind of political struggles we can expect and will need to overcome as we work to achieve a just Green New Deal transformation.
By Marty Hart-Landsberg
July 21, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — The excessive use of force and killings of unarmed Black Americans by police has fueled a popular movement for slashing police budgets, reimagining policing, and directing freed funds to community-based programs that provide medical and mental health care, housing, and employment support to those in need. This is a long overdue development.
By Martin Hart-Landsberg
June 22, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — While the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the United States were triggered by recent police murders of unarmed African Americans, they are also helping to encourage popular recognition that racism has a long history with punishing consequences for black people that extend beyond policing. Among the consequences are enormous disparities between black and white well-being and security. This post seeks to draw attention to some of these disparities by highlighting black-white trends in unemployment, wages, income, wealth, and security.
October 20, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Growing awareness of our ever-worsening climate crisis has boosted the popularity of movements calling for a Green New Deal. At present, the Green New Deal is a big tent idea, grounded to some extent by its identification with the original New Deal and emphasis on the need for strong state action to initiate social-system change on a massive scale. Challenges abound for Green New Deal activists. Among the many, how to:
- create supportive working relationships between the different movements currently pushing for a Green New Deal
- develop a sharper, shared vision of the aims of a Green New Deal
- increase popular support for those aims as well as participation in those movements
- build sufficient political power to force a change in state policy along lines favorable to the Green New Deal
- ensure that the resulting trajectory of change strengthens the broader struggle to achieve a socially just and ecologically sustainable political-economy
By Martin Hart-Landsberg
September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I and Part II of this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal I argued that despite the severity of the Great Depression, sustained organizing was required to transform the national political environment and force the federal government to accept direct responsibility for financing relief and job creation programs. In this post, I begin an examination of the evolution and aims of New Deal programs in order to highlight the complex and conflictual nature of a state-directed reform process.
August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I in this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal, I described the enormous economic and social costs of the first years of the Great Depression and the reluctance of business and government leaders to pursue policies likely to threaten the status quo. I did so to demonstrate that we should not assume that simply establishing the seriousness of our current multifaceted crisis, especially one that has yet to directly threaten capitalist profitability, will be enough to win elite consideration of a transformative Green New Deal.
I also argued that it was the growth of an increasingly militant political movement openly challenging the legitimacy of the police, courts, and other state institutions that finally transformed the national political environment and pushed Roosevelt to change course and introduce his early New Deal employment and relief programs. In this post, I examine the driving force of this movement, the movement of unemployed.