Socialism Art Nature

PBS: So there’s no stigma associated with Communism or Socialism now?

Sawant: The only reason you’re talking to me is because an out-and-out Socialist got elected in a major city in the United States with nearly 95,000 votes. There’s no stigma; it’s time for working people to lose their shackles and march ahead.”

===


Share/Bookmark

Any social structure is a product of its previous historical, economic, and social iterations, and these previous forms significantly influence later forms. The present system, in addition to being increasingly repressive, is the logical inheritance of its racist, hierarchical, exploitative past—a reactive formation to attempts to transform, democratize, and socialize it.

For authentic democracy to emerge, “abolition democracy” must be enacted—the abolition of institutions that advance the dominance of any one group over any other.

The idea of abolition democracy comes from a reading of US history in which the freedom struggle is central to who Americans are and to why we are who we are. We are less exemplars of legendary “Founding Fathers” than we are of “founding freedom fighters”—inheritors of those who fought for their freedom, not from a British aristocracy, but from American slavocracy.


Share/Bookmark

Socialism Conference 2014 Official Video Promo

Socialism 2014 is a four-day conference bringing together hundreds of socialists and radical activists from around the country to take part in discussions about Marxism, working-class history, and the debates and strategies for organizing today.

Hear attendees and guest speakers from Socialism 2013 talk about their experiences at the Socialism Conference.

For more information visit www.socialismconference.org


Share/Bookmark

i.e., capitalist

===


Share/Bookmark

Can we stop the tipping point? Every week seems to bring new and frightening evidence that what scientists call the “tipping point”—when greenhouse gas emissions cause irreversible and disastrous climate change—is fast approaching, if not already here. Yet the multinational energy giants in the U.S. and beyond, aided and abetted by political leaders, are continuing their mad drive to drill, mine and frack.

But the polluters and the politicians are facing growing discontent and a grassroots challenge to their policies from activism emerging in every corner of the U.S. and around the globe. Ahead of the upcoming Global Climate Convergence—10 days of action at the end of April between Earth Day on April 22 and May Day—SocialistWorker.org talked to some of the activists and writers involved in the environmental justice movement today—to ask about the tipping point and what we can do about it. Dr. Jill Stein, Chris Williams and Joel Kovel give their answers below—the second installment will be published tomorrow.

image

… Facing World War Two, the United States radically transformed its system of production, and in a remarkably short time became a mega-machine capable of destroying the Axis powers. Today, the technological prowess for doing this is exponentially greater; but the political will is weaker and faces a radically different task.

President Roosevelt was able to enlist the support of the capitalist classes to interrupt business as usual with the promise of global dominion after victory; and this proved to be so. The struggle for global ecological integrity, however, is one for the bringing down of the capitalist class, and not its triumph. It also proposes a global society beyond nationalist chauvinism, and not the triumph of any state over others. And it has to do so by liquidation of the death-dealing instruments of war, while building the life-affirming organs of eco-centric production.

This seems outlandishly difficult, even impossible. But there is nothing, in this way of looking at things, that is beyond human capabilities. Each woman and each man comes into the world with a transformative power that is the legacy of the universe acting through us. And there are a lot of us out there—billions to be exact—capable of restoring ecological integrity if well organized.


Share/Bookmark
http://socialismconference.org/

Share/Bookmark

Paul Robeson: On colonialism, African-American rights (Spotlight, ABC,1960)

Share/Bookmark


Share/Bookmark
"Imagine Living in a Socialist USA”: New Book Envisions Greater Democracy, World Without Capitalism


We end today’s show looking at a new book titled “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.” The book features essays by many prominent people, including Michael Moore, Angela Davis, Frances Fox Piven, Paul Le Blanc, Martín Espada, Rick Wolff and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. The book comes out at a time when polls show Americans aged 18 to 29 have a more favorable reaction to the word “socialism” than “capitalism.” The book is co-edited by the legendary book agent Frances Goldin, who has worked in the publishing world for more than six decades and will turn 90 years old in June. In 1951, at age 27, Goldin ran for New York State Senate on an American Labor Party slate headed by W.E.B. Du Bois. Goldin joins us now along with one of her co-editors, Michael Smith. He is a New York City attorney and a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

"Imagine Living in a Socialist USA”: New Book Envisions Greater Democracy, World Without Capitalism

We end today’s show looking at a new book titled “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.” The book features essays by many prominent people, including Michael Moore, Angela Davis, Frances Fox Piven, Paul Le Blanc, Martín Espada, Rick Wolff and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. The book comes out at a time when polls show Americans aged 18 to 29 have a more favorable reaction to the word “socialism” than “capitalism.” The book is co-edited by the legendary book agent Frances Goldin, who has worked in the publishing world for more than six decades and will turn 90 years old in June. In 1951, at age 27, Goldin ran for New York State Senate on an American Labor Party slate headed by W.E.B. Du Bois. Goldin joins us now along with one of her co-editors, Michael Smith. He is a New York City attorney and a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights.


Share/Bookmark

Share/Bookmark
http://www.socialismconference.org/

Share/Bookmark

The world’s 67 richest individuals now have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the entire global human population. Democracy anywhere becomes impossible when such economic inequality prevails everywhere.

The further progress of our species urgently depends upon the supersession of capitalism.

===


Share/Bookmark

IT GOES without saying that capitalism causes economic inequality.

This is actually a point of pride for defenders of the system—they believe that the free market thrives because the deserving few are rewarded. The Marxist critique of capitalism takes the exact opposite position: The tiny few who live so well compared to the rest of us are completely undeserving of their immense wealth—they amassed their fortunes through systematic theft of the labor of the working majority in society.

But we also know that capitalism goes through periods in which economic inequality is more extreme and less so. So what kind of moment are we looking at now? What is the shape and contour of inequality in the U.S. today, six years after the recession that cratered in 2008?

… Since the 1970s, the productivity of U.S. workers has only increased while hourly compensation has remained more or less the same. This yawning gap between productivity and wages benefits the richest 1 percent, which owns 42 percent of the country’s financial wealth. The bottom 80 percent of the population, by contrast, owns barely 5 percent.

Taken together, these figures tell us that U.S. workers have worked harder and harder over decades, while gaining nothing more in wages—in fact, they have lost ground as a consequence of the Great Recession—nor in the financial wealth their labor produces.

This is not an accident—the increase in productivity alongside a stagnation in wages is a direct consequence of neoliberal policies having been implemented throughout the period.

It is a straight-up fabrication and an insult for political and business leaders to claim that the working-class majority or any section of it isn’t working, or isn’t working hard enough. The opposite is, in fact, the case. There is a historic robbery-in-progress undertaken by American business—the corporate boardrooms are the site of the real culture of freeloading.

… THESE ARE some of the stark facts about inequality in the richest country in the history of the world.

On the one hand, the U.S. does badly, particularly among industrialized countries, in terms of economic inequality, making it a terrible example for anyone interested in making the world a more equal and easier place to live. But precisely because of its staggering inequality, the U.S. ruling class provides a model to the rulers of the rest of the world for imposing the kind of policies that make inequality worse than ever.

This is not an abstract question. A recent study, funded in part by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, concludes that humanity is threatened not only by runaway climate change but the uneven distribution of wealth around the world.

It’s not enough to familiarize yourself with the enraging litany of statistics presented here. It’s not enough to know that the world’s main superpower is among the least equal society among its comparable peers. It’s not enough to understand how Corporate America and the U.S. political leaders who serve it export inequality around the world.

Instead, we need to organize for a different society that eliminates the vast gap between rich and poor by confronting the system that perpetuates the chasm: capitalism.


Share/Bookmark
Left-wing economist Doug Henwood writing in the New York Times on the revenge of Karl Marx:

"We didn’t expect that the 21st century would bring about a return of the 19th century’s vast disparities, but it’s looking like that’s just what’s happened."

===


Share/Bookmark
Phil Evans

Phil Evans


Share/Bookmark