In her speech to UCLA students this week, Hillary Clinton took a stand against unpaid internships, blaming the "youth unemployment crisis" on the weak economy young people have been tossed. There are no real entry-level positions or on-the-job training, Clinton argued, and businesses are taking advantage of the young labor force with unpaid internships.
In the late summer of 1989--with the fall of the Berlin Wall weeks away, signaling the collapse of the former USSR's empire in Eastern Europe--the upheaval that would ultimately overturn the Stalinist system was felt within the USSR itself. A wave of mass strikes by miners gathered momentum, with the most important center of militancy being the Donbass region of Ukraine--then still a part of the USSR. The mass miners' strikes were a sign that the unraveling of the ex-USSR was already well underway. In Socialist Worker's September 1989 edition, we featured a special report on the miners' revolt--and an analysis of what it meant for the government of then-President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Human rights are not a competition. Western crimes are not diminished just because it is easy to prove that the United States or the West does not provide ‘the larger component of international violence’. To say in the Cold War that the West’s support of dictatorships in Latin America or Africa was not as bad as the crimes of Stalin, Mao or the Ethiopian colonels was back-covering relativism then. It put Western crimes into context but was meant to excuse them. America today still supports dictatorships. Today, the fact that Western-backed Saudi Arabia is a better place to live than, say, communist, North Korea is an irrelevance both to Saudis and North Koreans. In one area of coercive policy, meanwhile, America is as oppressive as any dictatorship. Per hundred thousand of population, its prison population is greater than Russia’s and far greater than China’s. That there is so little commentary on (let alone condemnation of) mass incarceration on a staggering scale shows how easily westerners accept an intolerable status quo, just because it has been like that for as long as anyone can remember.
In a sign of more openness in Iranian academic environment, a prominent American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein has gone to Iran to give lectures for Iranian universities and students. In an Interview in Iran, Wallerstein said he is not “ not sure what attracts people to my work. Maybe it’s that I’m an American, I say things that Americans don’t usually say and I have an analysis which seems to resonate in a lot of countries,” the 84-year-old Wallerstein said in an interview Monday.
This book gathers together a collection of essays organised around three ‘problems’ of participatory democracy. These problems raise questions, conundrums and challenges for participatory practice and thinking. They point towards both difficulties and opportunities. We are not identifying ‘problems’ in order to simply criticize or reject participation. Problems are an enduring part of all worthwhile practice, driving creativity, understanding and skills. Our aim is to vitalize participatory thought and practice by raising and reflecting upon three broad problems.
Costas Douzinas for Open Democracy: The left can learn from recent popular resistances – the Arab spring, Greece or Turkey – that have no leaders, parties or common ideology, then build on the energy and imagination these movements have created
A year after the death of Hugo Chávez Frías, we take time to reflect about his life, his virtues and limitations, his public promises, achievements and unfinished work. Chávez was a bold thinker, uncompromising in his goal of constructing a new, just, economically productive Venezuela.
Watching the events to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death was to watch history being re-written. Mandela the terrorist was forgotten. International leaders of every stripe struggled to bask in his aura of courage and forgiveness as if they’d always been at his side. The jagged and tumultuous and contested path of the internal forces to end apartheid was not part of the narrative nor was the multi-facetted international anti-apartheid movement visible in the story. Yet the profound disappointments with what the liberation movement in power has delivered could not be written out of the script. Boos interrupted the peons of praise for Mandela each time President Jacob Zuma rose to speak. The spontaneous protest against Zuma’s most recent scandal, squandering $20-million of state funds to build a palatial home at Inkandla, could not be kept hidden. Watching president-in-waiting Cyril Ramaphosa, ex-mineworkers’ leader turned powerful business tycoon, maneuvering adroitly at Zuma’s side, filled me with foreboding for the years ahead.
Remembering Hugo Chavez Aljazeera.com Beyond relentless elections, Grandin cites "[t]he participatory democracy that took place in barrios, in workplaces and in the countryside" during the Chavez era and credits grassroots organisations and social...
Chavez was loved most by the "Chavistas," the poor citizens in Venezuela, who he made it his mission to rally for, and he sought advice and mentorship with his longtime confidant, former Cuban President Fidel Castro. (This morning, Fidel's brother and successor, Raúl Castro visited Venezuela to pay his respects.)
When the media became aware of the protest centered at Wall Street during the fall of 2011, a predictable line of questioning immediately appeared – whatever in the world are they protesting? “The cause . . . was virtually impossible to decipher,” intoned the New York Times, joining the bulk of the mainstream coverage of the protest in its early weeks, which together professed confusion at the sight of the rag-tag group of occupiers.
The master class analyses phenomena of modern thought and culture with the intention to discern elements of possible Communist culture. It moves at two levels: first, it interprets some cultural phenomena (from today’s architecture to classic literary works like Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Heloise) as failures to imagine or enact a Communist culture; second, it explores attempts at imagining how a Communist culture could look, from Wagner’s Ring to Kafka’s and Beckett’s short stories and contemporary science fiction novels.
"Today the counter-revolutionary Right is reactivating itself," according to long-time Venezuelan revolutionary Roland Denis, "taking advantage of the profound deterioration that this slow revolutionary process is suffering. Its reappearance and interlacing with ‘democratic civil society' is a clear signal to the popular movement that we either convert this moment into a creative and reactivating crisis of the collective revolutionary will, or we bid farewell to this beautiful and traumatic history that we have built over the last 25 years."