The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. It committed this crime in full view of the world—images of hundreds of murdered children, still in pajamas, laid out in temporary morgues, shocked viewers across the world.
Since April 2011 the world has looked on as over 115,000 Syrians have been killed, and over 7.2 million have been made refugees. When Assad’s regime resorted to illegal chemical weapons, it seemed to many that this would change. It seemed that the images of so many murdered innocents might compel some action.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya:
Economism vs. Marx’s humanism
[Marx and Keynes by Paul Mattick] is a most disappointing book. Or perhaps the more correct description would be: a most revealing book. In part, this is due to its sheer length. But the more fundamental reason for the revelatory character of the book is the timing. Ever since the Hungarian Revolution moved the Humanism of Marxism front-center of the historic stage, it has become impossible for economism to hide its underlying anti-Marxism.
Tea Party wreaks havoc
That a minority faction of one party in one chamber of one branch of the U.S. government could pose a grave threat to the world economy reflects the depth of the capitalist crisis. The sheer nihilism of that Tea Party faction reflects the depravity of American racism, which, as Patrick Buchanan threatened, would not hesitate to “bring down like Samson” the world around it.
Deadly South African evictions
Two young women were shot in the back in Cato Crest in South Africa on Sept. 30. They were both shot while running from the police. Nqobile Nzuza was shot in the back and in the back of her head and died on the scene. Luleka Makhwenkwana was shot in her arm, also from the back…
Grenada 30 years after U.S. invasion
Revolution in Grenada caught the world’s attention in 1979. The New Jewel Movement, which linked itself to the Black Power movement, had upset Britain’s neo-colonialist succession (though Grenada stayed in the British Commonwealth) and appeared to be a beacon for revolutions to follow in the Caribbean.
What happened on one tiny island 30 years ago raised issues at the time that transcended the borders of Grenada to the idea of revolution throughout the Caribbean, the Third World and beyond.
Job makes us sick
Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency.
Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.
Pelican Bay prisoners suspend their hunger strike
The PBSP-SHU, Short Corridor Collective Representatives hereby serve notice upon all concerned parties that after nine weeks we have collectively decided to suspend our third hunger strike action on Sept. 5, 2013.
To be clear, our Peaceful Protest of Resistance to our continuous subjection to decades of systemic state-sanctioned torture via the system’s solitary confinement units is far from over. Our decision to suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly. This decision is especially difficult considering that most of our demands have not been met (despite nearly universal agreement that they are reasonable).
Stop Detroit evictions
Detroit Eviction Defense is fighting to keep Jerome Jackson in his home in Inkster, Mich. Jackson has been a leading fighter in Detroit Eviction Defense, active in many campaigns to keep others in their homes. We fight with the Hernandez and Orozco families in Southwest Detroit fighting Fannie Mae and its out-of-control efforts to throw families from their homes and cause further damage to our neighborhoods. Resistance is growing; join us! We demand no more foreclosures, no more evictions and good housing for all.
“Woman as Reason: Sudan’s Arab Spring”
“Women World Wide”
“BART workers forced to strike ”
“‘Legalize my parents!'”
“AFL-CIO redefines labor movement”
“Detroit workers fight for jobs and pensions”
“Alex Sanchez: Support prison truce!”
“Maroon the Implacable”
“Catch-22 for prisoner with disabilities”
“Solidarity with Guantanamo hunger strikers”
“No to Monsanto!”
“Cultural critic Albert Murray (1916-2013)”
“Movements confront climate change”
“Youth again ready to storm the barricades”
p. 12, World in View:
“Canada’s First Nations against fracking”
“Latin America in continuous struggle”
“Terror at Kenyan mall”