[Marxism] Well Worth reading

2020-06-14 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Panthers in AlgiersElaine Mokhtefi


https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v39/n11/elaine-mokhtefi/diary?utm_campaign=20200614%20DT65_content=usca_nonsubs_medium=email_source=LRB%20themed%20email
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[Marxism] Minneapolis City Council

2020-06-08 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO the vote by this city council is historic, not because of what they
are going to do with it, but because of the benchmark it has set for all
politics one millimeter to the left of Joe Biden.

Of course, no city council will really abolish the police, but any shell
game reshuffle is bound to weaken the police, the politicians who propose
it, and all of those to their right.

This is great news!

On towards abolishing the police. Life is good!
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[Marxism] The rebirth of Black Lives Matter

2020-05-30 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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The nearly spontaneous wave of demonstrations against the police murder of
George Floyd is a truer measure of what is going on in the USA today than
the headlines of the papers.

First of all these were not riots when they began. They were nearly
spontaneous demonstrations. Those that became riots were usually triggered
when the riot police attacked the demonstrators. Almost certainly police
provocateurs spurred vandalism on to increase the harvest of the arresting
officers. This is certainly what happened in Oakland, California.

Second, these demonstrations have occurred all over the country and are not
being systematically reported on. In California they occurred in San Jose,
Sacramento, Oakland, LA, San Francisco, Fresno, Bakersfield and who knows
else where.

The crowd in Oakland was mostly white, mostly young, but with a lot of
black and Asian participants. There were no apparent leaders.

These young people far outnumber the right wing open-the- economy
astro-turf demonstrators paid for by Devos and the Koch brothers.

Anthony
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[Marxism] China vs. USA, Swift vs. Digital Wallets

2020-05-13 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Worth watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfKfSUqn_GY=youtu.be
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[Marxism] Cancel the rent

2020-05-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Cancel the Rent

The New Yorker by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor May 12, 2020

It is now clear that the twin prescriptions of social isolation and
shuttering large parts of the national economy have lowered the death toll
of the novel coronavirus in the United States from the direst predictions.
But in a country where the “social safety net” is more a distant memory
than a source of actual provision or support, large swaths of the public
now face the threat of hunger and homelessness. Each passing week brings
more questions about what our cities and states will look like when the
shelter-in-place orders are lifted; they also bring us one week closer to
the rent coming due.

By May 6th, twenty per cent of tenants had not paid this month’s rent, a
slight improvement over the twenty-two per cent who did not pay last
month’s rent in the first week. This is probably the result of renters
receiving increased unemployment and stimulus checks, but it is also
unsustainable. Republicans have vowed not to renew the extra unemployment
money when it comes up for a vote again in July, and most states are
running out of funding to make their shares of the payments. Meanwhile, in
a matter of weeks, a staggering thirty-three million people have filed for
unemployment, and the future of millions more hangs in the balance. April’s
unemployment rate was nearly fifteen per cent, a height of joblessness not
reached since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office has
projected that by the fall, the official unemployment rate could rise even
higher, to sixteen per cent.

Threadbare protections against many forms of destitution exist, whether it
be unemployment assistance, Medicaid, or food stamps, but there are
virtually no programs people can turn to in a housing emergency. There are
charities here, or an emergency grant from a public agency there, but
millions of ordinary people staring down the first of the month are on
their own. Last month, Chicago’s Department of Housing offered
one-time-only thousand-dollar grants to two thousand residents who need
help with the rent; a staggering eighty-three thousand people applied for
them within five days.

The crisis of stagnant wages and rising rents certainly predates covid-19.
Forty-seven per cent of renter households in the U.S. were already
“cost-burdened,” meaning that they pay at least thirty per cent of their
income in rent. More than half of African-American and Latino renters are
cost-burdened. Twenty-five per cent of renters are “severely”
cost-burdened, meaning that they pay at least half of their income in
housing. From June of 2018 to July of 2019, Harvard researchers found that
the median rent for an unfurnished apartment in a new building was sixteen
hundred and twenty dollars, a thirty-seven-per-cent increase from the
median rent in 2000. To state the obvious, that’s more than Trump’s one-off
stimulus check. For almost everyone, housing is their greatest monthly
expense.

The mismatch between housing need and costs has been a constant feature of
the U.S. economy, with shortages driven by the basic reality that there is
little to no money to be made in housing for working-class or poor people.
The dynamic is especially acute for African-Americans. The real-estate
market has been lauded as a race-neutral space, guided only by supply and
demand, but more than a century of racial discrimination and residential
segregation, rooted in the government-inspired perceptions that
African-Americans pose an existential threat to property values, belies
that myth. The roots of the current crisis, however, can be found in the
Great Recession and the avalanche of foreclosures in its wake. As millions
of struggling homeowners, particularly African-Americans, lost their homes,
private-equity firms, like the Blackstone Group, swooped in to buy hundreds
of thousands of the properties. Those homes whose mortgages had been backed
by the federal government were especially attractive, because the feds,
eager to dump these properties, would sell them at a thirty- to
fifty-per-cent discount.

These were cheap houses to begin with—they were an entry point for
working-class families who wanted to buy a house. Many of the properties
have been turned into rentals, meaning that there are significantly fewer
entry points into the ownership market. This has meant that black and brown
families have become especially vulnerable to the changing rental market.
It is a hallmark of private-equity landlords, with their huge haul of
properties, to be primarily focussed on maximizing the return on their
investment. The result is persistent rises in rent, cutting back on repairs
and other 

[Marxism] Morning musings

2020-05-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Morning musings*

Speculation always plays a role in science and a bigger role in art and
politics. Here are some speculations from the shower and the morning’s
first cup of coffee.

1. Trump and Pence die from COVID-19, Nancy Pelosi becomes president. Wow!

2. Trump and Pence survive, and Nancy Pelosi does not become president.

3. Obama goes all in to campaign for Biden.

4. Kamala Harris is nominated as Biden’s VP candidate.

5. The pandemic strike wave leads to teachers strikes for safety in the
classroom in the Fall prior to the November elections.

6. Tesla reopens. Three weeks later, it becomes a COVID hot spot. Workers
walk out over safety issues. Tesla unionization becomes a reality.

7. Rent strikes and mortgage defaults lead to a growing wave of evictions
and foreclosures. The Texas and Florida renters and homeowners committees
begin to protect people from eviction with armed picket lines,

8. The Democrats win the White House, the Senate and the House.

9. Ruth Bader Ginsberg resigns or dies after Biden is inaugurated.

10. Biden appoints Obama to the Supreme Court and the new Democratic Senate
confirms him.

11. The pandemic and the recession/depression recede.

12. Criminal prosecution of ex-president Trump begins.

13. It almost immediately becomes a Supreme court issue.

14. The Supreme court becomes the main issue in the 2022 Congressional
elections.

11a. The pandemic and the recession/depression continue.

12a. The new Biden/Obama/Harris administration opts for the FDR option
including some variant of a Green New Deal with a big jobs program, some
version of Medicare for all, mortgage debt relief, and reregulation of
industry and banking.

13a. The Republican dominated Supreme Court declares the measures taken to
be unconstitutional.

14a. The Supreme court becomes the central issue in the 2022 Congressional
elections.

Whatever actually happens, the new new left will emerge out of something
that could be much wilder than these speculations.
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[Marxism] Subject: Rosa Luxemburg on present-day sects

2020-05-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Way back in the 1970's, I was in the Workers League (which has since
morphed into the Socialist Equity Party and the World-Wide Socialist Web.)
At the time, it was part of The International Committee of the Fourth
International which was essentially a franchise organization run out of the
British Workers Revolutionary Party (although it may have still been called
the Socialist Labor League) run by a crazed little man named Gerry Healy.

The Workers League had gathered up as many of its American flock as it
could to fly them over to England to provide international extras for the
casting of one of Healy's big conferences. Healy liked to get up in front
of crowds and harangue them.

The SLL/WRP had just had a split with a group led by a guy named Alan
Thornet. Thornett's supporters were handing out leaflets in front of the
venue to all who were entering the place. Inside the door, a team of WRP
cadre led by Healy lieutenant Mike Banda was collecting leaflets from all
those who walked through the door with one in their hands.

I didn't leave the Workers League immediately, but I knew I was on my way
out the door when that happened.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Meatpacking strikes

2020-04-28 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://mailchi.mp/373696479427/defying-trumps-order-nebraska-meatpackers-strike-pa-national-guard-replaces-striking-nurses-richmond-threatens-to-fire-striking-bus-drivers?e=ac86e841cf
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[Marxism] Meatpacking strikes

2020-04-28 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#inbox/FMfcgxwHNCrgTqjRRFwGpxlCkCdHvmXv
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[Marxism] A Working Class Answer to the Coronavirus Crisis

2020-04-25 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*A Working Class Answer to the Coronavirus Crisis*

We live in a dual crisis: an unprecedented global pandemic that has
triggered that greatest economic catastrophe since the great depression of
the 1930’s. Both are fueled by capitalism’s economic and environmental
depredation of our society and our planet.

The responses of the capitalist class have been slow and inadequate at
best, and corrupt and irrational at worse.

Workers have responded individually and locally, but there are no working
class political parties or leaders providing a coherent independent
response.

The extreme right in the United States and elsewhere has tried to mobilize
workers against unemployment behind false and dangerous pro-business
banners.

We would like to propose key elements of a working class response to the
crisis. These are not meant as slogans for leaflets and banners. These
ideas are meant for discussion and for adaptation to fit the needs of class
struggle in this new situation.

1) Stop the pandemic through testing, tracking, quarantine and R to
develop antiviral treatments and vaccines.

2) Free medical care for all during the crisis.

3) No profiteering and price gouging. Take the process out of the hands of
private for profit business. Price regulations and production controls.

4) Reopen the economy under workers’ control.

A) Keep  workers on the payroll. No layoffs, government payments should
preserve workers’ rights to their jobs.

B) Increase unemployment benefits to full pay.

C) Workers’ control of on the job safety conditions including the right to
refuse to work with full pay and hazard pay for agreeing to work under
hazardous conditions.

5) Work-sharing programs to replace full time work for some with part time
work for all.

6) Gradual reopening of the economy by economic sector, according to risk,
under safe working conditions controlled by workers.



Anthony Boynton and Mat Russo
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[Marxism] COVID-19

2020-04-23 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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A Coronavirus Death in Early February Was ‘Probably the Tip of an Iceberg’

The startling discovery that the virus was responsible for a Feb. 6 death
in California raises questions about where else it might have been
spreading undetected.
[image: The coronavirus was circulating in the Bay Area of California as
early as January, even before the federal government began restricting
travel from China on Feb. 2.]
The coronavirus was circulating in the Bay Area of California as early as
January, even before the federal government began restricting travel from
China on Feb. 2.Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times

By Thomas Fuller , Mike Baker
, Shawn Hubler and Sheri Fink


   - Published April 22, 2020Updated April 23, 2020, 8:48 a.m. ET
   -
  -
  

  -
  

  -
  

  -
  -

阅读简体中文版

閱讀繁體中文版


SAN FRANCISCO — Weeks before there was evidence that the coronavirus was
spreading in U.S. communities, Patricia Dowd, a 57-year-old auditor at a
Silicon Valley semiconductor manufacturer, developed flulike symptoms and
abruptly died in her San Jose kitchen, triggering a search for what had
killed her. Flu tests were negative. The coroner was baffled. It appeared
that she had suffered a massive heart attack.

But tissue samples from Ms. Dowd, who died on Feb. 6, have now shown that she
was infected with the coronavirus

—
a startling discovery that has rewritten the timeline of the virus’s early
spread  in the
United States and suggests that the optimistic assumptions that drove
federal policies over the early weeks of the outbreak were misplaced.
FLYING DURING A PANDEMIC
Some people who have had to board commercial flights in recent weeks have
taken elaborate precautions

to
protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The unexpected new finding makes clear that the virus was circulating in
the Bay Area of California as early as January, even before the federal
government began restricting travel from China
 on
Feb. 2. It also raises new questions about where else the virus might have
been spreading undetected.

ADVERTISEMENT
Continue reading the main story


With little local testing throughout February
 —
in part because of botched testing kits

from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with strict
guidelines that limited who could get tested — officials were not aware of
the virus transmitting locally in the country until Feb. 26, in Solano
County, Calif.

Previous cases had involved people who had traveled to China, where the
outbreak began, or who had been exposed to someone who was sick. But the
Feb. 26 case in Solano County
 was of
unexplained origin. Similar cases of community transmission
 were
quickly identified in nearby Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose,
as well as in Washington State and Oregon.

The new test results made public late Tuesday show that even this timeline
failed to reveal how long the virus had been circulating. Ms. Dowd had not
recently traveled 

[Marxism] MMT, Chartalism, and Keynesianism

2020-04-20 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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A good place to start understanding MMT, its history, and its differences
with traditional Keynesian economics is Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory

The chart showing differences between MMT and Keynesians is especially
useful.

MMT's prescriptions can be seen as extensions of Keynesian economics. Their
limited value for saving capitalism applies only to imperialist countries
without debts denominated in currencies other than their own currency and
cannot and does not apply to the world economy.

For this reason alone, the theory fails to address the current crisis. For
more on the topic, read Michael Robert's three blog posts on MMT starting
here
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/modern-monetary-theory-part-1-chartalism-and-marx/

Anthony
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[Marxism] Sander's submission

2020-04-09 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Predictably, Bernie Sanders did not win the Democratic Party's nomination
for president, and - just as predictably - he has graciously pledged his
loyalty to the Democrats and for their barely functional candidate.

The Democrats will modify their platform to appeal to Sander's supporters,
will nominate a woman for VP, probably a woman of color, make changes in
the DNC, and promise to give the Sandernistas a voice in the party's inner
circles.

Biden could even go on to win in the general election against Trump, in
something like the final scene of Bertolucci's 1900 only much worse.

Most of his disappointed followers will vote for Biden, especially if
Bernie campaigns for Biden.

With Trump's consistently awful management of the pandemic, and the economy
plummeting, he should be able to lose this election no matter who the
Democrats run. This is especially true given Trump's enormous angst to get
the economy going again before the pandemic has run through its first wave.

Neither Sanders himself nor the possibility of his election ever should
have been the primary focus of revolutionaries. Sanders was made possible
by a mass movement that is being born - not called into being by Sanders
the great caudillo of the left - but growing in the pores of society
because of the degeneration of society as capitalism decays.

Sanders touched what was already there: massive disaffection with the
medical and education systems of the United States, massive disaffection
with the housing crisis, massive resistance to violations of immigrant
rights, Black lives matter, Me Too...

The fact that Sanders calls himself a socialist is good for this movement
because it will continue to think of itself as socialist, not Liberal, and
not just Progressive. Thank you Bernie, you have played your role in
history.

Sanders loss was not a historic defeat for "the parliamentary road to
socialism". It was just one episode. Labor and Social Democratic Parties
have lost lots of elections and come back for more. so have Communist
Parties and all sorts of other parties.

It was also not a historic defeat for the left in general in the United
States. The left is growing in the United States and will continue to grow
once Sanders himself leaves the stage.

The next stage is almost certainly going to be in the streets rather than
at the ballot box.

The protest movement that is likely to arise now will take a different form
if Trump is reelected than it will if Biden is elected, but it is
nevertheless on the agenda for the simple reason that society is in a deep
crisis, and this election is not going to resolve it in any way.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Instacart workers planning strike

2020-03-27 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4agmvd/instacarts-gig-workers-are-planning-a-massive-nationwide-strike
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[Marxism] The danger of inflation in the COVID-19 recession/depression: pandemic profiteering

2020-03-25 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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With money being pumped into the economy, but many goods becoming scarce,
profiteering and inflation will be the order of the day.

Comparisons with WWII measures in the NYT and elsewhere consistently leave
out war time rationing and price controls.

Aside from the issues of how much money is needed, and how it should be
distributed, the issue of inflation is now clearly on the agenda.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Can’t Get Tested? Maybe You’re in the Wrong Country

2020-03-21 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Can’t Get Tested? Maybe You’re in the Wrong Country

Decisions and blunders made months ago have caused testing disparities
worldwide. The science, it turns out, was the easy part.

 The New York Times by Matt Apuzzo and Selam Gebrekidan March 20, 2020

Scientists around the world were waiting at their computers in early
January when China released the coronavirus genetic code, the blueprint for
creating tests and vaccines. Within days, labs from Hong Kong to Berlin had
designed tests and shared their research with others.

Within about two weeks, Australia had its own tests, and even citizens in
the most far-flung regions of the country could be tested. Laboratories in
Singapore and South Korea ramped up test kit production and ordered extra
supplies. That quick work allowed them to test hundreds of thousands of
people, isolate the sick and — so far, at least — contain the spread of the
disease.

By contrast, anxious citizens in the United States and many parts of
Western Europe have endured byzantine delays, or have been denied testing
altogether. As the coronavirus pandemic shuts down world capitals and
paralyzes entire economies, political leaders are rushing to make testing
more widely available.

But experts say that the decisive moment, when aggressive testing might
have allowed officials to stay ahead of the disease, passed more than a
month ago. It was not a question of science. Researchers say a viral test
is relatively easy to develop. Rather, scientists say, the chasm between
the testing haves and have-nots reflects politics, public health strategies
and, in some cases, blunders.

The world may be paying for those missteps right now. Testing is central to
the effort to fight the spread of the virus. Countries that test widely can
isolate infected people and prevent or slow new infections. Without early
and widespread testing, health officials and policymakers will be flying
blind, epidemiologists say.

“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
W.H.O.’s director general. “And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t
know who is infected.”

But testing has been inconsistent in what has been a patchwork response to
the epidemic worldwide.

Some countries, like France, did not have a strategy that centered on
testing to map the advance of the virus. Testing in Italy has been plagued
by political squabbles. The United Kingdom developed tests but decided not
to use them widely, as Singapore and South Korea had done. Other countries
were caught off guard by shortages of testing chemicals.

As the virus reached into the United States in late January, President
Trump and his administration spent weeks downplaying the potential for an
outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control opted to develop its own test
rather than rely on private laboratories or the World Health Organization.

The outbreak quickly outpaced Mr. Trump’s predictions, and the C.D.C.’s
test kits turned out to be flawed, leaving the United States far behind
other parts of the world — both technically and politically.

In that same period, Singapore was setting up health screenings at
airports, issuing work-from-home guidelines and releasing plans to monitor
travelers returning from abroad. Independent labs in Korea were rushing
their tests out the door.

“They were ready, and they just churned out the kits,” said Dr. Jerome Kim,
of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul.

Today, the epicenter of the outbreak is Europe and experts say the wave is
only starting to hit the United States. Faced with a growing number of
cases and limited test kits, many countries have tightened restrictions on
who gets tested. In Germany, where the first approved test was developed,
only doctors can prescribe one. In France and Belgium, only severely sick
patients get tested.

In Britain, as in many other countries, the virus is circulating so quickly
that it is no longer possible to test people and investigate whom they may
have infected, said David McCoy, a public health professor at Queen Mary
University in London. Nearly 100 people have died from the virus there.
Testing is still valuable in helping scientists understand the epidemiology
of the disease, he said.

“The window of opportunity to contain the epidemic has now shut,” Mr. McCoy
said.

‘This Could Be a Problem’

From the beginning, some countries showed greater urgency than others and
were more nimble in their response.

Australia, Korea and Singapore turned to networks of public and private
laboratories to develop tests. On Feb. 4, the South Korean government
granted fast-track approval for a company’s coronavirus test and began
shipping kits. A 

[Marxism] Idlib: Putin-Erdogan Deal is a Sell-Out of the Syrian Revolution!

2020-03-11 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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John Edmundson wrote,

"Was it not already Marxism 101 that Turkey and Russia would have more in
common with each other as capitalist powers in the region than either would
have with a revolutionary Syria? Therefore it would be obvious that at some
point, in order to avoid a war with each other they would be willing to
come up with a deal that would sell the Syrians short. I don't think anyone
needed to be claiming great prophetic skills to see that outcome in the
frame."

Although it was entirely predictable that Russia and Turkey would betray
Idlib, I would say that Marxism 101's first lesson about imperialist war is
WWI which featured Czarist but on the capitalist road Russia fighting
Ottoman, and also on the capitalist road, Turkey. War between Russia and
Turkey today is not precluded by the fact that they are both capitalist.
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[Marxism] Nancy's game

2020-02-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Hi Karen: I agree with a lot of Jim Kavanagh’s article, *Bloomberg’s Game*,
in Counterpunch, but not everything.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/27/bloombergs-game/?fbclid=IwAR1Mg-irFld8oQgaT-F6Re2JSsoUO6TMVPpdKXYNf9O2fXAqCY_BYwmj4SA


In general, I don’t think everything is completely cooked. I think the fact
that Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, Castro, Harris, and Steyer
were all in the race shows that the Democratic Party’s establishment had
not come to any agreement about a candidate prior to the primaries. The
fact that most of these jokers are still in the race reinforces this
conclusion.

This is the mirror-image of the problem the GOP had in 2016 when they ended
up with Trump.

In contrast to Kavanaugh, I think that Bloomberg would love to be
president, and probably thinks he has a shot at it, although his other goal
is to deny Sanders the nomination. However, Warren’s game is exactly as
described by Kavanaugh IMHO.

None of these characters have “objective” world views or functioning
crystal balls. Trump almost certainly thought he was going to lose to
Clinton and was as befuddled by his victory as most of the rest of us.
Bloomberg is as narcissistic as anyone and might easily be thinking that a
lot of the rest of us must love him as much as he loves himself .

However, Bloomberg is also a cunning leader of his own social class who
understands that a lot of us do not love him or his kind, and he does not
want us to escape from the hold of the two-party system’s stability. The
worst nightmare of his social class is the emergence of any sort of mass
socialist movement in the United States. Ipso facto, Bloomberg’s campaign’s
other aim is to prevent Sanders from getting the Democratic Party
nomination as Kavanaugh describes.

The biggest problem I have with Kavanagh’s article lies in his omission of
another possible scenario: a deal with Sanders.

I believe that the leaders of the Democratic Party machinery, people like
Pelosi and Schumer, really do not want Trump to win reelection. In
contrast, the financial backers of the Democrats, including Bloomberg,
Tompkins Buell, Soros, Sussman, Roberts, Steyer and all the rest could
easily survive another four years of Trump and even imagine they could make
even more money if the guy wins again.

Pelosi et al. know that if they steal the nomination from Sanders, even if
they give it to Warren, a substantial number of young voters are very
likely to stay home on election day in November. That means they might not
win the White House or the Senate, and they could easily lose the House.
They need Sanders at the top of the ticket to have a good chance of keeping
the House, let alone winning the Trifecta.

The deal that I could imagine being offered to Sanders is like this. It
happens over lunch with Nancy, Liz, Chuck, Bernie and a few others but
probably not Mike or Joe. The discussion revolves around Bernie accepting
most of Liz’s program as the Democratic Party platform plus negotiations
over the cabinet, future primary challenges, the DNC etc.

Sanders is a practical politician who has worked with Democrats and
Republicans all of his life. Could he make a deal? I think the answer is
that he probably can and maybe will.

I am not predicting anything. Rather I am discussion possibilities. I think
Warren could be the candidate, I also think Sanders could be the candidate.
I even think Hillary Clinton could be the candidate. We will have a clearer
picture next week but probably not the answer.

There is an “exogenous factor”, or rather two related exogenous factors,
worth considering: corona virus and the economy. IMHO the economy has been
at the brink of a major new downturn for a while. Trump’s policies have
desperately tried to fuel more growth until after November and might have
succeeded if it hadn’t been for the pandemic that has just struck.

I say that it has already struck. The three cases here in California of
confirmed diagnoses in people who have not traveled or been in contact with
any known carriers of the disease is strong evidence that there are
multiple carriers of the disease here in California and in Oregon. And if
this is true here, it is probably true in many other places. The incubation
period of the virus is thought to be two weeks.

The airlines are already in deep financial waters because of the Boeing 737
Max and the massive flight cancellations to date have hit them hard again.
US-China commerce has screeched to a crawl, and will slow down much further
once seagoing trade is affected by quarantines.

US stock markets have lost about 12% of their “value” in just over a week.
How far will they fall until they 

[Marxism] Cold war? NYT

2020-02-28 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Sanders Is Stirring Cold War Angst. Young Voters Say, So What?

How Democratic voters feel about Bernie Sanders’s views on foreign policy
and socialist governments tends to split along generational lines.





The New York Times by Patricia Mazzei and Sydney Ember Feb. 28, 2020



MIAMI — In the spring of 1989, as the outgoing mayor of Burlington, Vt.,
Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, traveled to Cuba on an eight-day trip,
with the hopes of meeting the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro.



The 47-year-old Mr. Sanders didn’t get time with Mr. Castro, but he toured
Havana, met with its mayor and marveled that visitors could take a cab
anywhere in the country. “The revolution there is far deeper and more
profound than I understood it to be,” he said back home, according to The
Burlington Free Press, and commended Cuba for providing free health care,
free education and free housing.



Many older Democrats with sharp memories of the Cold War have been baffled
and even offended by Mr. Sanders’s praise for the country — which is in the
spotlight after he repeated some of it on “60 Minutes” this week — and it
is one of the reasons they believe a self-described democratic socialist
like Mr. Sanders would be a risky presidential nominee.



“It was a colossal blunder,” said Bob Squires, 70, of Murrells Inlet, S.C.
“Loses Florida. If you look at Twitter, the people who had relatives come
from Cuba, they have quite a different view. Bernie’s got blinders on.”



But for many younger progressives, the negative reactions to Mr. Sanders’s
comments — which were also aired and debated in his 2016 presidential
campaign — seem like boomer panic and a pernicious form of red-baiting, and
reveal the divides within the Democratic Party.



“Socialism is a supposedly scary term that we’ve talked about so much, but
we really don’t understand,” said Nolan Lok, 18, a chemistry major at the
University of California, Los Angeles, where he cast a ballot early on
Wednesday, ahead of its primary next week.



“In a society where technology is so important, where it takes fewer people
to produce more things, we’re going to have to have a more socialistic
society, where the government needs to step in more,” he said. “The
government is going to be required to do more, and it’s something we should
welcome, not be afraid of.”



This generational divide among Democrats was vividly apparent in interviews
across the country this week assessing Mr. Sanders’s views and history,
which included trips to the Soviet Union and Nicaragua as Burlington’s
mayor as well as complimentary remarks about the Sandinistas. He has
repudiated American foreign policy backing anti-Communist governments and
resistance forces, and he has been fervently against war. But his remarks
about Mr. Castro stand out, like his expression of amazement in 1989 that
the Cubans he met “had almost a religious affection for him.”



Older liberals show varying support for Mr. Sanders’s positions, and the
generational split was less apparent in South Florida, where many Cubans,
Venezuelans and Nicaraguans do not like his views. Yet progressive voters
born after the end of the Cold War — many of them people of color —
dismissed the concerns about socialism as anachronistic and irrelevant.



For years in Washington, those left-wing views defined and to some extent
diminished Mr. Sanders, an independent congressman and then senator who was
widely regarded as a quirky outsider to the Democratic establishment. But
now as the front-runner for the party’s nomination, Mr. Sanders is being
pressured to explain his anti-imperialist worldview in the face of scrutiny
and criticism from his rivals.



Mr. Sanders, 78, was pilloried during Tuesday night’s debate in Charleston,
S.C., for his remarks on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, when he complimented the
literacy programs Mr. Castro had enacted. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor
of South Bend, Ind., said Mr. Sanders had a “nostalgia for the
revolutionary politics of the 1960s” and lamented the prospect of “reliving
the Cold War.”



Mr. Buttigieg and other Democrats say Mr. Sanders’s views are not only
misguided but also reinforce his image as a socialist, which will make him
and other Democratic candidates down the ballot easy targets for President
Trump and Republicans. And if he were to win the nomination, his stances
could jeopardize his chances in Florida, the largest presidential general
election battleground, where there is little room for appreciation of the
1959 Communist Cuban revolution.



Mr. Sanders stood by those positions at the debate, where he criticized
U.S. policy in Latin America and repeated his praise for Mr. 

[Marxism] About advice

2020-02-26 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Our dear friend and moderator just wrote,

"I  don't write advice to Australian socialists about what tactic to use
with respect to the Labour Party. How do people like you and Tony Iltis
have the gall to advise us about the Democratic Party?"

I have to say, Louis, that this is pure BS. You have opinions and you
express them. If somebody in Australia has one about your home turf, what
the fuck is wrong with listening? An outsider often has a more objective
point of view than an insider.

I am glad that comrades from other countries offer their opinion and advice
on this list. Think about it. You should be too.

In this case, I think the advice was off, but not because the advisor was
outside of the United States.

Geez...

Anthony
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[Marxism] Red-baiting in the 21st century

2020-02-26 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Red-baiting in the 21st century*

The expected red-baiting of Bernie Sanders has begun in earnest, but don’t
expect it to succeed.

The cold war ended a long time ago.

Most of Sanders’ supporters were not even born when it ended. And, how many
people in the United States care about Nicaragua, Venezuela or Cuba,
anyway? And, those who do – including those who hate the current
governments of those countries, are likely to know that those countries
have all been victims of the United States.

Sure, red-baiting will get to the aging cold warriors, but face it – a lot
of them do not clearly understand that the Soviet Union does not exist, and
that today’s Russia is capitalist country governed by a right wing
kleptocracy. In fact, there are a few lunatics on the left who still think
that Russia is some sort of workers state.

The demise of the Soviet Union and the cold war, and the long decline of
the traditional reformist Communist and Social Democratic Parties has had
an unforeseen but easily understood side effect of diminishing the
reservoir of mass anti-communism that had been so carefully built up over
decades by capitalist ruling classes.

Donald Trump is fully aware of this. He is brazen about his corrupt embrace
of Vladimir Putin. He survived impeachment because the Republican Party
coldly calculated that Trump’s corrupt ties to Russia and other countries
would not be seen as treason by the right in the United States.

Their calculation was correct, but it makes their red-baiting problematic.
After all, Sanders visited Russia a long time ago, Trump loves Russia today.

There is also the issue of China to be considered. China, as capitalist as
it is, is still ruled by a Communist Party. China is the rising power in
the world today. It is a great success story! And, Mr. Trump admires Xi
Jinping almost as much as he admires Vladdy.

How this plays out in the popular mind will depend in part on how Sanders
et al. respond to the attacks.

Will the red-baiting be nothing more than water off the back of a duck?
Will it back-fire against the red-baiters and burn their hands? Will it put
a big enough dent in Sanders’ momentum to deny him the Democratic Party’s
presidential nomination?

We will see shortly, but one thing that it probably won’t do is stop the
growth of the reformist social democratic mass movement that Sanders now
leads.

A very likely result will be that some of the more serious minded among his
youthful supporters will go back and study what happened in Russia, China,
Cuba, Nicaragua and even Venezuela.

Anthony
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[Marxism] NYT says Maduro and Mendoza made a deal in 2018

2020-02-24 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Venezuela’s Socialists Embrace Business, Making Partner of a ‘Parasite’*

The New York Times By Anatoly Kurmanaev Feb. 23, 2020

CARACAS, Venezuela — As Venezuela tumbled deeper into economic crisis in
2017 and its people searched for a way out, one name kept coming up:
Lorenzo Mendoza.

The family name is universally known in Venezuela. Empresas Polar, the food
conglomerate started by Mr. Mendoza’s grandfather, had grown into the
country’s largest private company. Its corn meal, used to make the national
dish, was in every pantry, and its beer a welcome part of social
gatherings.

As President Nicolás Maduro’s disastrous economic policies set off food
shortages and a refugee crisis, Mr. Mendoza emerged as an outspoken critic
of his administration and its persecution of the private sector.

Polished and eloquent, Mr. Mendoza also offered a stark contrast to the
gruff president. His popularity was such that pollsters measured him
against Mr. Maduro in mock presidential matchups.

Then, suddenly, Mr. Mendoza disappeared from public view, and Mr. Maduro
stopped calling him a “thief,” a “parasite” and a “traitor.” The government
quit harassing Polar with disruptive raids and began, in time, to adopt the
economic changes Mr. Mendoza had proposed, like ending crippling price
controls.

The story behind Mr. Mendoza and Mr. Maduro’s truce, sealed in a previously
unreported meeting in mid-2018, describes the rapprochement between
Venezuela’s self-styled revolutionary government and the business class it
waged war against for nearly two decades.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/23/world/americas/venezuela-economy-polar.html
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Re: [Marxism] A party of the left and historical materialism

2020-02-06 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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(In response to John Reiman's comments)

Historical materialism, in my view, means studying the real material
movement and development of human society, and continuous abstracting out
of that study the essential movement of society. This is the opposite of
taking a dead abstraction from some book, even some great books by some
great writers, and trying to impose it as a schema on living, breathing,
human history.

I think Marx's abstraction from history that the working class is the
revolutionary class in capitalist society remains valid today, but the
working class of the United States is fragmented by race, gender, region,
citizenship status, and a dozen other major impediments to uniting itself.

The vast majority of workers in the United States are not organized, not
even into unions. The really existing working class is not a class for
itself, and it is not even conscious that it is a class.

How can it achieve class consciousness? Well, part of that answer is
through the class struggle, even through the fragments of that struggle
like what we have seen in Black Lives Matter, Me-Too, the immigrant rights
movement, the various anti-war movements, and even the trade union
movement. All of these are fragmented parts of the working class struggle,
even when they are initiated and led by petty bourgeois individuals. The
student movement, which is showing some signs of life again in the United
States, is today also basically a working class movement (even if they are
mostly working class youth who would like to exit their own class.)

The other part of that answer lies in the activity of people on this list,
and others, who are part of the vanguard of human social consciousness.
True, we are not organized into anything that  could or should be called a
"vanguard party" (although some of us are members of hopelessly and
ridiculously deluded self-important sects), but we are nevertheless part of
that vanguard.

Historically, working class parties, and all revolutionary parties, start
out as parties of the conscious minority...the vanguard. Right now, most of
the people likely to be part of the vanguard of the next five to ten years
are out campaigning for Bernie Sanders.

Should we join them?

No. We should warn them about the wall they are going to hit, and offer
them another course of action for the time they pick themselves up, dust
themselves off, and start looking for a better way to fight.

That is historical materialism in my book, and I am pretty sure Marx,
Engels and the revolutionaries who followed after them would agree with me.

Anthony
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[Marxism] It?s Time for the Left to Build a Force Outside

2020-02-06 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I think that this year is a good time to talk about building a third party
to the left of the Democrats, but it is not the time to actively organize
it. For, now supporting Howie Hawkins as a protest vote, or whoever the
Peace and Freedom Party in California runs, is the least evil option.

However, both the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party have
undemocratic internal structures and leaderships committed to preventing
them from challenging the Democrats or even to running robust slates of
candidates. In other words, neither is likely to be a vehicle for a
resurgence of the left.

However, I think the possibilities for the formation of a third party of
the left are growing rapidly. The Sandernista movement is its unlikely
incubator, but the millions of Sanders activists and voters, mostly young
people, will have to go through the experience of this election and the
hatred and sabotage against their campaign orchestrated by the Democratic
National Committee.

The DNC's failed attempt to steal Iowa from Sanders is a direct
continuation of Hillary Clinton's unprincipled campaign against Sanders in
2016. Does anyone doubt it will continue to escalate this year?

What will the Sanders do if he is robbed of the nomination?

Will he launch a third party himself? I think this is very unlikely, but
not impossible.

What will the Sandernistas do if Sanders is robbed of the nomination, and
then meekly decides to support Butttigieg, Klobuchar, Biden, Bloomberg or
whomever the DNC anoints (Hillary Clinton wouldn't mind the job)?

Will some of them set off on the path of building a third party?

I think that this is the most likely scenario for the emergence of a third
party of the left in the USA.

Of course, there is the very unlikely possibility that the Democrats will
actually nominate Sanders for president. In that case the emergence of such
a party will be off the table in the near term. The "new left" that is now
growing would move deeper into the Democratic Party. It would likely stay
there for at least the following four years if only electoral factors were
at work.

The biggest unknown however, is not in the electoral arena. Mass movements
of the working class lead to the formation of mass working class parties.
This is sort of an ABC of the history of class struggle. In recent years,
we have seen momentary and partial mass movements, immigrant rights, black
lives matter, occupy, Me Too, and even a noticeable revival of trade union
militancy as demonstrated by the ongoing series of teachers' strikes.

What happens on the streets will ultimately determine the possibilities for
forming a viable new party of the left in the United States.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Brown-Green Alliance in Austria

2020-01-02 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/world/europe/austria-kurz-greens-coalition-government.html
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[Marxism] Mass graves and False positives

2019-12-21 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Mass graves and False positives (Spanish)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nEPNy_22vM
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[Marxism] Overview of Latin America's military forces

2019-12-20 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/latin-americas-armed-forces?utm_source=AQ%27s+Week+in+Review_campaign=b9d33c973a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_08_17_06_51_COPY_01_medium=email_term=0_6a33e16b5d-b9d33c973a-26120485
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[Marxism] Brexit and Impeachment

2019-12-13 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO, the Labour Party should have campaigned for "Remain" to defend the
right of free immigration despite everything else reactionary about the
European Union.

I think that it did not because of the historic dirty secret of the white
racism among British workers which combines itself with leftish economism.

IMHO Corbyn's Manifesto did not take this issue head-on because of fear of
losing racist working class votes and therefore seats in the House.

Similarly, Nancy Pelosi et al. have whittled the impeachment charges
against Trump down so far that they have almost no content, and are open to
ridicule by Congressional Republicans. Their whittling was done to please
various members of Congress on the right of that right-wing party.

However, revolutionaries in the UK should have supported a vote for Labour,
just as revolutionaries in the USA should support impeachment.

In the case of impeachment, there are three reasons: Trump is a criminal
who is attacking the working class, Trump is a criminal in terms of the
law, and impeaching Trump will deepen the crisis of the state while not
impeaching him will help the state overcome the crisis.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Holodomor, Genocide & Russia: the great

2019-11-23 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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And the Roma?
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[Marxism] Thursday in Colombia

2019-11-17 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Quick update on Colombia*

With all eyes moving from Ecuador, to Peru, to Chile and now to Bolivia,
public attention has moved away from Colombia. It may be about to return.

This coming Thursday, November 21, there will be a national work stoppage
in Colombia. Usually these things are symbolic protests, sort of like a
walk in the park, but this year is likely to be different.

The popularity of Uribismo, and of Uribe’s puppet Ivan Duque (the current
president) has plummeted. In the recent departmental and municipal
elections, Uribe’s Centro Democratic was smashed. Duque’s approval rating
according to the latest poll is only 27%, down from a high of 64% early in
his term of office. His disapproval rating is 69%.

The recent resignation of the Minister of Defense in the face of his orders
to bomb a town that resulted in the deaths of many children, and then his
cover-up of the crime, is just the most obvious symptom of the government’s
internal crisis.

The CUT (Central Unitaria de TrabajadoresI, FECODE (teachers’ union), all
the key student organizations, and many, many other organizations are all
promoting the event. Very few people who plan to participate have any idea
about what the demands of these organizations are, but people are planning
to go in a general protest and expression of anger about the government’s
austerity measures, recent military actions, corruption, antipathy to
public education, and failure to do anything to improve the country’s
stagnant economy.

The Uribistas are running an online and a media advertising campaign
against participation in the event. It is not aimed at the left but is
rather aimed at the children of the Uribistas, especially the private
university students who have for the first time shown signs of join the
mass movement in large numbers. The Uribista effort seems to be propelling
even more support for the event this Thursday.

One of the reasons that students from the private universities are joining
the movement was the attack by the riot police on students at Universidad
Javeriana a few months ago.

Now, many are worried about police provocations on Thursday to justify
police attacks. Despite these worries, this event is likely to be the first
major challenge to the Duque government.


Anthony
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[Marxism] Noteworthy election result

2019-11-10 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/10/progressive-lawyer-wins-san-francisco-district-attorney-race-continuing-national-reform-trend/

*Chesea Boudin wins DA Race in SF *

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), who has made an overhaul of the justice
system a cornerstone of his campaign for president, was among Boudin’s
highest-profile supporters. “Now is the moment to fundamentally transform
our racist and broken criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration,
the failed war on drugs and the criminalization of poverty," Sanders tweeted
 Saturday.
"Congratulations @chesaboudin on your historic victory!”


"The race for San Francisco’s district attorney kicked off in fall 2018
when then-district attorney George Gascón, himself a progressive, announced
he wouldn’t seek reelection. His departure paved the way for the city’s
first district attorney race in a century with no incumbent.

AD

"As recently as a few years ago, Loftus might have been a shoo-in for the
job. Many of the state’s highest-ranking Democrats lined up behind her,
with endorsements coming from San Francisco Mayor London Breed, California
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Dianne
Feinstein (D-Calif.)."



Boudin is the son of Weatherpeople David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin who was
adopted and raised by William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
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[Marxism] Sandinista

2019-10-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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The sad present of Daniel Ortega can be seen in the first link below.
Especially sad because the Sandinistas inspired hope 40 years ago, as in
the second link.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/magazine/ralph-drollinger-white-house-evangelical.html


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnSQFaHvxTI=PLw8I74P--tlVmX53NXBA_YtzoovpSfdlU
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[Marxism] The GOP and D. trump

2019-10-27 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Donald Trump represents a significant minority of the US capitalist class*

The recent discussion on this list about whether Trump’s “policy” in Syria
represents the interests of US imperialism or not points to a bigger, and
deeper question about Trump. It is easy to dismiss him as an accidental
figure of history propelled through the cracks in the system from real
estate and reality show to the White House, especially since his behavior
is so blatantly inconsistent and outrageous. Nevertheless, he is not an
accidental figure: he represents a significant sector of the capitalist
class and its thinking.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, and the United States won the cold war,
the ruling class of the United States was elated, but didn’t really know
what to do. They tried to continue on as if nothing had happened. They
didn’t close down all of those military basis ringing the old USSR, they
did not say “Good-bye Nato, you’re mission is over. Thank you very much.”
They tried to invent new enemies and were overjoyed when Al-Queda gave them
a new world threat to their system. No need to rework the system.

But, the system designed for the cold war, was not working very well for
its aftermath. China grew to become a new world power, US economic
dominance was fading, and US military dominance was being challenged. The
echoes of the defeat in Vietnam continue to resound around the world. The
military power of the United States has not won the hearts and minds of the
people of the world, except for a thin crust of corrupt politicians and
businesspeople. The results are the truly endless series of wars the United
States is involved in.

And, Republicans remembered their tradition and their past. They remembered
what they did after the First World War. They never ratified the Versailles
Treaty, and they never joined the League of Nations. They turned their back
on Europe, except to collect the money the Europeans owed the US. The
closed the doors to immigration. They told the Europeans they believed in
the Monroe Doctrine, and they tried to figure out how to get China out of
the hands of the Europeans and the Japanese. They ripped up the wartime
economic regulation of Woodrow Wilson and said that the business of America
is business. They orchestrated a major escalation of union busting and a
wave a racist terrorism.

Of course, these policies were a disaster, but it took a decade before that
became apparent. Even then they did not disappear, as the America First
movement took firm root within the GOP. World War II caused the GOP to make
a hasty retreat from their most openly pro-Nazi sentiments, and the
beginning of the cold war caused them to continue their patriotic alliance
of convenience with the Truman wing of the Democrats. This alliance was
embodied by Dwight David Eisenhower’s presidency.

Those ideas and policies never disappeared from the GOP. Senator Barry
Goldwater, and 1964 GOP Presidential candidate, wanted the United States to
leave the United Nations throughout his political career.

The global policy framework within which Trump works is a throwback to this
thread of traditional 20th century GOP thinking. Its basic tenets are that
the United States should stop trying to be the leader of a world system.
Instead it should look for ways to increase the wealth and power of the
United States even when those goals bring the USA into conflict with old
allies and friends. Alliances should be short term and based on expediency.

This is why Trump has no qualms about betraying the Kurds. This is also why
he has no qualms about calling for an end to NATO and trying to form a new
alliance with Putin’s Russia. Trump has formed a de facto alliance among
the three largest oil producers in the world: the USA, Russia and Saudi
Arabia. In my opinion, this is the “rational” core of his geopolitics.

Trump views Europe, all of Europe, as a headache that is more trouble than
it is worth. So, get rid of it. Trump views China as a big problem. China
should go back to being a big reservoir of cheap labor for US business to
exploit.

Within this framework, Trump works within a view of the world that does not
care whether global warming is leading to a disaster or not, and does not
care whether the economy is growing or contracting. According to this kind
of thinking, capitalism will survive no matter what, and someone will
always be able to make a buck out of every situation. Trump views
capitalism as a continuous series of real estate swindles and casino bets.
The best cheaters are the winners most of the time.

Even if the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal
and even the American 

[Marxism] Hella calendar

2019-10-22 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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John's calendar ought to focus a little on Latin America other than the
well-worn tragedy of Venezuela. For starters, there are the situations in
Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Who knows what is about to happen in Bolivia.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50119649

https://colombiareports.com/bogota-anti-corruption-student-escalates-into-full-blown-riots-at-least-5-injured/


https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/01/world/peru-protests-vizcarra-congress-intl/index.html
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[Marxism] Trump's withdrawal from Syria

2019-10-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I agree with John that the comparison between the US defeat in Vietnam, and
its ultimate disastrous withdrawal, with Trump's withdrawal of US forces
from Syria is way off the mark.

The United States was not defeated militarily in Syria as it was in Viet
Nam.

However, the United States has suffered a serious and historic reversal in
the Middle East which no sector of the American ruling class knows how to
address. The two wars against Iraq completely failed to achieve their goals
of creating compliant client states in the Persian Gulf. The endless war in
Afghanistan has failed to accomplish anything other than devastation and
death.

Trump's decision has undoubtedly worsened this disaster for United States
imperialism, threatening even to undo its one victory, the Kurdish defeat
of the Islamic State.

One thing we should keep in mind, is the boundless corruption of Mr. Trump.
Rather than thinking that this was done on a personal whim, Trump may have
found a way to make a little cash off of the situation, banking on the
endless debasement of the Republican Senate, and the undying support of the
Christian right, gun fanatics, and racists.

Whether a whim, or a bribe, this action has brought Trump several steps
closer to being removed from office before the elections next year.

A lot of gun lovers are soldiers and former soldiers, and their love for
Trump has taken a big hit with this decision. He had already proven his
disdain for soldiers, but now he is increasingly being seen as a traitor to
the grunts on the front lines.

How this will play out behind closed doors is difficult to predict, but if
the Republicans cannot find a way to remove him before next November,
Trump´s vaunted base may have flown the coop, and we could see an historic
change putting the Democrats in control of everything except the Supreme
Court and a few state houses.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Pure and simple electoralism (was Bernie Sanders is in trouble)

2019-10-03 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I was about to write something similar to what David wrote. One historic
dividing line between the revolutionary left and the reformist left was
always their attitudes towards elections. For revolutionaries, elections
are a means to mobilize and organize the working class and the oppressed.
Getting candidates elected, even electing majorities, does not overthrow
the capitalist state. In fact, it only makes the danger greater as history
has shown. Remember what happened to the people of Chile and the government
of Salvador Allende.

IMHO, other kinds of militancy are more important right now than
participation in the 2020 election. There is no movement for a third party
on the left. At this point I plan to support whomever the Greens run. If
they did not run anyone, I would support the awful and irrelevant campaign
of Jeff Mackler, but either of these choices is just to add one vote of
protest against the capitalist state and its two party electoral system.

This does not mean that the mass social democratic electoral movement is
unimportant. Bernie Sanders and DSA are both important, but fundamentally
flawed by their work building the Democratic Party. Working together with
these people inside of protest movements, unions and other non-electoral
struggles should be tied to criticism of their electoralism from outside of
the Democratic Party.

Anthony

Anthony
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[Marxism] Tim Wohlforth

2019-09-27 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Wikipedia's version of Tim Wohlforth's biography is a lot mor accurate than
the one that was posted yesterday. Here's the link for anyone interested in
this arcane topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Wohlforth
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[Marxism] Moderate the Moderator

2019-09-15 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Moderate the Moderator



Would everybody else on this list please join me in asking Louis, our
moderator, to take a few deep breaths, go stand in the corner, steel
himself for a scolding, calm down, and put David Walters back on this list?



Earlier this month Louis became enraged at David for no good reason, and
also for no reason related to MarxMail. After telling David to get fucked
several times, he kicked him off the list.



This happened in a series of emails about Left Trainspotting from 5:55 AM
EDT to 11:51 AM EDT on Tuesday September 3. Louis began politely,



“David, yesterday I posted a link to a documentary about Rittenberg that
has not shown up yet even though another post about him has. I don't
understand why you don't change the moderation rules so that anybody who
has ever had a post approved, like me, gets automatic approval henceforth.
We actually had a chat about this once.”

David replied politely,

“Louis, first, I was able to unmoderate you. Wasn't sure I could. Second,
no, the default is to be moderated for all new members. The protocol I
established is that people become unmoderated after a period of time of not
posting BS. People like John Holmes, a friend of mine though unfortunately
a Spart sycophant can post numerous times and then do a spate of
non-spotting Spart propaganda. He's on permanent moderation. As I'm always
on line within 10 hours or so of a moderated post, I can usually ok it
quickly. Anyway, you are unmoderated now. Keep it spotterly...”

Then Louis wrote,

“Go fuck yourself.”

And,

“You have some fucking nerve telling me to be "spotterly". I have posted
maybe 3 or 4 times since I subbed to a list that I have little interest in
to begin with, and mostly because someone told me that I was being
discussed there. There has not been the slightest hint in the 3 posts or so
I made that were not "spotterly".

“Anyhow, you got my dander up and will pay for it. Unlike the gossipy
trainspotter's list, Marxmail has real value. You will regret being rude to
me.”

Then Louis unsubbed David.

The thing is this list is still a valuable asset for Marxists, and not just
Louis’ personal property. Louis needs to decide which is more important to
him, his pride in his personal property, or the service he has rendered the
rest of us and the world.

Come on Louis, get off your high horse.

Comradely, Anthony
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[Marxism] Refoundation of the FARC

2019-08-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQNMQxTV46o=youtu.be

https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/08/29/actualidad/1567065255_850419.html
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[Marxism] Baby boomers

2019-08-19 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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If you count the baby boom as lasting from 1946 to 1960, and members of
that generation first became socially and politically active when they were
15 in 1961, and stayed at center stage until the last ones were 30 in 1991,
then at the very least we were the foot soldiers not only in Viet Nam, but
in Oakland, Watts, Detroit and Newark, too.

Not only that, we were the ones who made disco, the cultural edge of real
integration, happen.

Not only that, the reaction among us made Ronald Reagan possible.

Our leaders and our inspirations were all from earlier generations,
especially from among those born during the depression and WWII, but then
who writes history just by looking at the leaders? Not Marxists

Anthony
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[Marxism] Puerto Rican teachers

2019-08-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://labornotes.org/2019/08/teachers-fighting-public-schools-were-key-uprising-puerto-rico
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[Marxism] les gilets noirs

2019-07-19 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Here is a pretty good video in English re les gilets noirs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KiDo8oNPUk
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[Marxism] US Shadow Banking

2019-06-11 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Risky Borrowing Is Making a Comeback, but Banks Are on the Sideline*

New and untested players, some backed by Wall Street, have helped borrowers
pile up billions in loans. What could go wrong?

New York Times by Matt Phillips June 11, 2019

A decade after reckless home lending nearly destroyed the financial system,
the business of making risky loans is back.

This time the money is bypassing the traditional, and heavily regulated,
banking system and flowing through a growing network of businesses that
stepped in to provide loans to parts of the economy that banks abandoned
after 2008.

It’s called shadow banking, and it is a key source of the credit that
drives the American economy. With almost $15 trillion in assets, the
shadow-banking sector in the United States is roughly the same size as the
entire banking system of Britain, the world’s fifth-largest economy.

In certain areas — including mortgages, auto lending and some business
loans — shadow banks have eclipsed traditional banks, which have spent much
of the last decade pulling back on lending in the face of stricter
regulatory standards aimed at keeping them out of trouble.

But new problems arise when the industry depends on lenders that compete
aggressively, operate with less of a cushion against losses and have fewer
regulations to keep them from taking on too much risk. Recently, a chorus
of industry officials and policymakers — including the Federal Reserve
chair, Jerome H. Powell, last month — have started to signal that they’re
watching the growth of riskier lending by these non-banks.

“We decided to regulate the banks, hoping for a more stable financial
system, which doesn’t take as many risks,” said Amit Seru, a professor of
finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Where the banks
retreated, shadow banks stepped in.”

With roughly 50 million residential properties, and $10 trillion in amassed
debt, the American mortgage market is the largest source of consumer
lending on earth.

Lately, that lending is coming from companies like Quicken Loans, loanDepot
and Caliber Home Loans. Between 2009 and 2018, the share of mortgage loans
made by these businesses and others like them soared from 9 percent to more
than 52 percent, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.

Is this a good thing? If you’re trying to buy a home, probably. These
lenders are competitive and willing to lend to borrowers with slightly
lower credit scores or higher levels of debt compared to their income.

They also have invested in some sophisticated technology. Just ask Andrew
Downey, a 24-year-old marketing manager in New Jersey who is buying a
two-bedroom condo. To finance the purchase, he plugged his information into
LendingTree.com, and Quicken Loans, the largest non-bank mortgage lender by
loans originated, called him almost immediately.

“I’m not even exaggerating,” he said. “I think they called me like 10 or 15
seconds after my information was in there.”

Quicken eventually offered him a rate of 3.875 percent with 15 percent down
on a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of roughly $185,000.
Eventually he found an even better offer, 3.625 percent, from the
California-based lender PennyMac, also not a bank.

“I really didn’t reach out to any banks,” said Mr. Downey, who expects to
close on his condo in Union, N.J., this month.

The downside of all this? Because these entities aren’t regulated like
banks, it’s unclear how much capital — the cushion of non-borrowed money
the companies operate with — they have.

If they don’t have enough, it makes them less able to survive a significant
slide in the economy and the housing market.

While they don’t have a nationwide regulator that ensures safety and
soundness like banks do, the non-banks say that they are monitored by a
range of government entities, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
to state regulators.

They also follow guidelines from the government-sponsored entities that are
intended to support homeownership, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which
buy their loans.

“Our mission, I think, is to lend to people properly and responsibly,
following the guidelines established by the particular agency that we’re
selling mortgages to,” said Jay Farner, chief executive of Quicken Loans.

It’s not just mortgages. Wall Street has revived and revamped the
pre-crisis financial assembly line that packaged together risky loans and
turned those bundles into seemingly safe investments.

This time, the assembly line is pumping out something called collateralized
loan obligations, or C.L.O.s. These are essentially a kind of bond cobbled
together from packages of loans — 

[Marxism] Social Democracy and Imperialism

2019-05-26 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Thanks for the Left Voice article. It accurately pinpoints imperialism as
the material basis for the rise of labor aristocracy and bureaucracy, but
it fails to address the real role of Karl Kautsky in relation to WWI. Since
the title of the article is "Social Democracy and Imperialism: The Problem
with Kautsky" this seems like a very important omission.

Kautsky was a centrist in regards to war, advocating an abstention on the
vote in the Reichstag when the key vote on the war budget came up in August
1914. Later he opposed the war. Kautsky's attitude to WWI was very much
like the attitude of Bernie Sanders et. al. to modern day US imperialism
(which was addressed by Left Voice) of giving it "critical support".

This is in fact key to the in and out strategy of DSA and Sanders which
mobilizes around reforms addressing the needs of the working class, and
oppressed such as Medicare for all, tuition free education, and the Green
New Deal, but ties those mobilized to the Democratic Party, a central
institution of imperialism.

Anthony
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[Marxism] 21st century US political economy

2019-05-21 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/21/business/economy/migration-big-cities.html
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[Marxism] The Second Drone Age

2019-05-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://theintercept.com/2019/05/14/turkey-second-drone-age/
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[Marxism] What's there to celebrate?

2019-05-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Our friend and host Louis can be a pretty grim guy sometimes, but thanks to
him we all have one more thing to celebrate on May Day. Thanks for the
Marxism List!

Bravo, Louis. Keep up the good work.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Krugman on two parties

2019-04-23 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Despite the bullshit, Krugman’s analysis of the two parties is
substantially correct.



The Great Republican Abdication: A party that no longer believes in
American values.

New York Times by Paul Krugman Opinion Columnist April 22, 2019

So all the “fake news” was true. A hostile foreign power intervened in the
presidential election, hoping to install Donald Trump in the White House.
The Trump campaign was aware of this intervention and welcomed it. And once
in power, Trump tried to block any inquiry into what happened.

Never mind attempts to spin this story as somehow not meeting some
definitions of collusion or obstruction of justice. The fact is that the
occupant of the White House betrayed his country. And the question everyone
is asking is, what will Democrats do about it?

But notice that the question is only about Democrats. Everyone (correctly)
takes it as a given that Republicans will do nothing. Why?

Because the modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if
that’s what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans may not
think of it in those terms, but that’s what their behavior amounts to.

The truth is that the G.O.P. faced its decisive test in 2016, when almost
everyone in the Republican establishment lined up behind a man fully known
to be a would-be authoritarian who was unfit morally, temperamentally and
intellectually for high office.

In their chilling book “How Democracies Die,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel
Ziblatt call this “the great Republican abdication.” The party’s
willingness to back behavior it would have called treasonous if a Democrat
did it is just more of the same.

Levitsky and Ziblatt say that when mainstream politicians abdicate
responsibility in the face of a leader who threatens democracy, it’s
usually for one of two reasons. Either they have the misguided belief that
he can be controlled, or they’re willing to go along because his agenda
overlaps with theirs — that is, they believe that he’ll give them what they
want.

At this point it’s hard to imagine that anyone still believes that Trump
can be controlled. But he is delivering on the Republican establishment’s
agenda — certainly far more than any Democrat would.

The key point is that Republicans are committed to a policy agenda that is
deeply unpopular. By large margins, the American public believes that
corporations and the wealthy don’t pay their fair share in taxes. By even
larger margins, the public opposes cuts to safety-net programs like
Medicaid. Yet as far as I can tell, every G.O.P. budget proposal over the
past decade has combined big tax cuts for the rich with savage cuts in
Medicaid.

If the Republican agenda is so unpopular, how does the party win elections?
Partly by lying about its policies. But mainly the G.O.P.’s political
achievements depend on identity politics — white identity politics.
Exploiting racial resentment to capture white working-class voters, while
pursuing policies that benefit only the wealthy, has been the core of the
party’s political strategy for decades. That’s why, in an increasingly
diverse country, Republican support has stayed overwhelmingly white.

In a fundamental sense, Trumpism is the culmination of that strategy.
Commentators keep calling Trump a “populist,” but the only way in which he
actually caters to working-class white voters is by appealing to their
racial animus. He may be successful in doing so partly because it’s the
only thing about his political persona that’s sincere: All indications are
that he really is a racist.

His substantive policies, however, have followed the standard right-wing
agenda: In 2017 he passed a huge tax cut, largely for corporations, that
disproportionately benefited the wealthy, and almost succeeded in repealing
Obamacare, in the process gutting Medicaid.

And these policies have endeared him to the G.O.P.’s money men.
“Deep-pocketed Republicans who snubbed Donald Trump in 2016 are going all
in for him in 2020,” reports Politico.

They’re doing so even though they know that Trump was installed in office
in part thanks to Russian aid, that his financial entanglements with
foreign governments pose huge conflicts of interest and that he
consistently shows a preference for dictatorships over our democratic
allies.

As I said, the modern G.O.P. is perfectly willing to sell out America if
that’s what it takes to get tax cuts for the wealthy.

Once you accept this reality, two conclusions follow.

First, anyone expecting bipartisanship in dealing with the aftermath of the
Mueller report — in particular, anyone suggesting that Democrats should
wait for G.O.P. support before proceeding with investigations 

[Marxism] Ecuadoran corruption scandal behind Assange arrest

2019-04-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Julian Assange's expulsion from the Ecuadoran embassy in London seems to
have been motivated, at least in part, by the INA papers corruption scandal

https://defend.wikileaks.org/2019/04/03/ecuador-twists-embarrassing-ina-papers-into-pretext-to-oust-assange/
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[Marxism] James Robertson: roast in hell

2019-04-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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http://www.bolshevik.org/1917/no8/no08nrth.html
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Re: [Marxism] Marxism Digest, Vol 186, Issue 15

2019-04-09 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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The obvious answer to the "Growth can't be Green" conundrum is that human
society has to shrink while raising the standard of living of the billions
at the bottom. How much sturm und drang is going to accompany this is
unknowable, but will certainly be enormous. Whether humanity can come out
of the tunnel at all is unknowable, but a few things are certain: we need a
global state with a global planned economy, and that requires socialist
revolution in most of the most powerful countries. Anthony

On Tue, Apr 9, 2019 at 11:00 AM  wrote:

> Send Marxism mailing list submissions to
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>
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>1.  A Netflix Nature Series Says to Viewers: Don?t Like What You
>   See? Do Something About It (Louis Proyect)
>2. Re:  Why Growth Can?t Be Green ? Foreign Policy (Barry Brooks)
>
>
> --
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2019 10:55:36 -0400
> From: Louis Proyect 
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
> 
> Subject: [Marxism] A Netflix Nature Series Says to Viewers: Don?t Like
> What You See? Do Something About It
> Message-ID: <9f06c30b-4673-9ef5-b96b-3734e84ea...@panix.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>
> NY Times, April 9, 2019
> A Netflix Nature Series Says to Viewers: Don?t Like What You See? Do
> Something About It
> By Jennifer Vineyard
>
> It?s a striking image, watching a walrus climb a rock cliff. During one
> episode of the new Netflix nature docu-series ?Our Planet,? we witness
> something that shouldn?t be happening ? and is only happening now, the
> producers say, because of climate change. Desperate marine animals
> driven away from their natural habitats are trying to adapt to shelter
> elsewhere, and falling to their deaths as a result.
>
> This is not the typical scenario featured in feel-good nature
> documentaries, but ?Our Planet? has a different aim. Its creators
> partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (and a team of scientists) to
> depict how various ecosystems around the world ? from the frozen Arctic
> to rain forest jungles to coastal seas ? are imperiled by human
> activity, and what can be done to protect or restore them. ?We were
> trying to get to the heart of the issue with each of the great global
> habitats,? said Keith Scholey, an executive producer of the series, ?and
> to be very clear about the elements of destruction and the solutions.?
>
> [A look at recent Netflix originals worth your time.]
>
> In phone interviews with Scholey and Adam Chapman, who produced and
> directed two episodes of the series, and, separately, with Sophie
> Lanfear, who produced and directed one episode, they shared their
> experiences making ?Our Planet.? These are edited excerpts from that
> conversation.
>
> How did your advocacy interest shape the filming and the production?
>
> SOPHIE LANFEAR The only reason I was interested in working on ?Our
> Planet? is that it had conservation very much at the heart of the
> series. Often it?s a last-minute thing ? two lines of commentary at the
> end of the show. To me, it?s about designing the whole structure of the
> film with a conservation message, and having the visual kinds of
> sequences that show you, not tell you, what is going on with the world.
>
> ADAM CHAPMAN We set up some stringent parameters when we were selecting
> what to do. The obvious one is that they had to be the most dynamic and
> new animal behaviors that we could find. And more important, each
> sequence had to represent a much greater truth about that habitat.
>
> LANFEAR For example, when I was designing [the second episode] ?Frozen
> Worlds,? I watched every single relevant documentary I could find, and
> what I found was that none of them told the story of sea ice. Sea ice
> isn?t just this vast nothing. It?s a living habitat. The 

[Marxism] DSA gains in Chicago

2019-04-04 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/03/americas-socialist-surge-chicago
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[Marxism] Mueller report

2019-03-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://publicintegrity.org/national-security/alex-finley-analysis/like-any-good-spy-story-the-barr-account-of-the-mueller-report-contains-mysteries/?utm_source=Watchdog_campaign=198d48c515-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_05_COPY_01_medium=email_term=0_ffd1d0160d-198d48c515-101663225_cid=198d48c515_eid=afdc6da885
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[Marxism] Brexit and Irish Unification

2019-03-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*A St. Patrick’s Day Miracle: United Ireland*

*Brexit could do what centuries of Irish conflict could not.*

New York Times by Timothy Egan
 Contributing
Opinion Writer March 16, 2019





For going on three years now, Britain has taken a holiday from sanity. A
tiny island kingdom whose people once ruled nearly a fourth of the world’s
land area squabbles over the terms of its self-inflicted diminishing and
isolation.

And really, who cares? Those who believe that history has a wicked sense of
humor should care. From the depths of British bungling, hubris and
incompetence is emerging a St. Patrick’s Day miracle: the real chance of a
united Ireland.

After more than 800 years, it’s not just possible but also seems inevitable
that London’s ruling reach will no longer extend to part of the island west
of the Irish Sea. All of the centuries when borders from India to Africa,
from the Middle East to British Columbia, were drawn by besotted and
bewigged Englishmen may end with the whimpering last gasps of Brexit.

Delay Brexit, redo Brexit, no-deal Brexit. It hardly matters. As with the
fall of the Berlin Wall, you can sense the acceleration toward the
inevitable. Don’t wait for Her Majesty’s government to resolve the
sovereignty issues of Northern Ireland, which are now holding up the
divorce between Britain and the European Union. There is no solution.



Bear with me while I walk through the Groundhog’s Day of this muddle. When
Britain voted narrowly in 2016 to leave the union, it did so in a fit of
nationalism and xenophobia, and against the will of majorities in Scotland
and Northern Ireland.

Voters were promised a migrant-free Britain, unfettered from evil
globalists. Instead, they are getting a Balkanized Britain, its stagnant
economy at the mercy of forces they will no longer be able to influence in
Europe. The vote was a Trump-level temper tantrum that revealed the
fraudulence of conservative populism.

What has bollixed the formal exit — and is the root cause of all of the
rudderless rumblings in Parliament this week — is Northern Ireland. As
always, the most vexing of Britain’s old colonial possessions is the one
closest to Westminster.

The Brexit vote roused the ghosts from bloody eras past, those centuries
when it was a crime to be Irish in Ireland. The Troubles, three decades of
late-20th-century sectarian terror that took at least 3,500 lives, was the
latest iteration of that dead weight of memory.

“It almost didn’t matter where you started the story: it was always there,”
Patrick Radden Keefe writes in “Say Nothing,” his magnificent new account
of the awful years in the north.


The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 — an instance when “hope and history
rhyme” in the words of the poet Seamus Heaney — ended the Troubles.
Remarkably, it has held the peace, while essentially erasing the border
between the Republic of Ireland and the swath of historic Ulster belonging
to Britain.


No one wants to put up guard stations and customs checks along
the invisible 310-mile line separating prosperous Ireland, a member of the
E.U., from the shakily peaceful six counties of the north, which would
exit. And only the most hateful elements on both sides want a return of
violence that is sure to come with a hard border.


The solution? It’s there in the not-so-fine print of the peace agreement.
Should a majority of Northern Ireland residents desire to leave Britain, it
is required to call for a vote of those people.


That majority is fast approaching. What Prime Minister Theresa May of
Britain calls “our precious union” is held together by 10 members of
Parliament representing the old hatreds of North Ireland — the Democratic
Unionist Party. It was founded by Ian Paisley, a bigot with a Bible, who
opposed the peace agreement and referred to Catholics as scum who “multiply
like vermin.”


Keefe quotes an English journalist as saying that the unionists are “more
British than the British, about whom the British care not at all.”


Paisley is no longer with us. Nor is most of the dark sentiment he stirred
up. When the borders came down, so did many of the walls of religion and
nationality. Catholics, long a persecuted minority, will soon be a majority
in Northern Ireland if demographic trends continue.


But the conflict is less about one Christian sect against another. It’s
more about how to thrive in an interconnected world. The Republic of
Ireland is proudly progressive, led by an openly gay taoiseach, Leo
Varadkar, who is of Irish and Indian heritage. After a series of scandals,
the influence of the Catholic Church has greatly diminished. Last year,
Ireland 

[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Another teachers' strike in the making

2019-03-15 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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http://secure-web.cisco.com/1jVMsHmp2rqJo8zoK9RNzKKOY0UT5dDjeXJswJ_KZCQfEZ3-JPSD3EOc-_5Ow0aO0VGPR9nt7TMCKdTMf7bNQ4kmRkxlZjcDZqHlO_sUvkW7B8rttqlZ25UHZn79YD80AdP6UrZmiicX0WFAjaLv2ow3Q6Ej-S4DLXKu2-bxiOAIhtTxtMVHJ4o7VfmyIU6VbhwcLuaEFUIuA-6pRWUlozwcDLye5qrpfHcZUo5SJUo7XhXswt-1b_X2lNqcmggO-znbkmhFXWjCQoc3oBLGpi8Dh0xpe61W1vAydGfIF6xp79yxSWdjtTnIhIMsmzEuKl1vmEWXoAtVGoVo-nc_3Ed5QxJ2Rw5J0WFPSnXMvteuUw07a75yYMNQ9Fn9jq-Qt/http%3A%2F%2Fsacteachers.org%2Fstrike-faq%2F
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[Marxism] She's just not worth it either

2019-03-11 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/03/11/feature/nancy-pelosi-on-impeaching-president-trump-hes-just-not-worth-it/?utm_term=.e71c1c7387c2
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[Marxism] Bezos F****ing version of the Green New Deal

2019-02-25 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Fucking fracking

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-a-green-new-deal-heres-a-better-one/2019/02/24/2d7e491c-36d2-11e9-af5b-b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.2dcac68762c0=nl_most=1
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[Marxism] Haussman Plan

2019-02-22 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Oops. I forgot to include this list in my last post about Venezuela.
(thanks Richard for pointing this out).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-30/harvard-guru-advising-guaido-has-harsh-message-for-bondholders

Anthony
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[Marxism] Haussman's plan to save Venezuela

2019-02-22 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Guaido and the Venezuelan pretenders have pretty much kept their mouth's
shut about their plans to "save" Venezuela's economy, but that does not
mean that they have not been planning. Guaido, Lopez and the Cisneros
family consigliere is name Ricardo Haussmann, a Venezuelan who is an econ
professor at Harvard. (You can read all about him here).

Here is the Haussman plan to save Venezuela:

https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty/ricardo-hausmann

Haussman is correct about two things: Venezuela must default AND Venezuela
needs a big injection of cash from the outside. Whether he can sell this
plan to the bankers is another question. Haussmann would like imperialism
to make a long term investment in Venezuela to bring it back into the fold
of third world appendages of US imperialism, and make himself into the
country's savior in the eyes of its middle class and economics professors
everywhere. Aside from the political benefits, US imperialism would get
Venezuela's oil wealth back.

The problem is that Venezuela's oil is important only in the medium term
and long term. Venezuela's oil is heavy and expensive to take out of the
ground, expensive to transport, and expensive to refine. As long as the
fracking glut lasts, Venezuelan oil can be ignored. And, fracking is being
extended into other countries. Colombia is drilling its first 12 fracked
wells in a pilot project. Even though the British have suspended fracking
for now, fracking is being discussed everywhere in Europe where it is
technically feasible. China, too. India, also.

IMHO, the big oil companies are afraid that too much fracking could destroy
them by leading to a much greater collapse of prices than that which
occurred at the end of 2014. The Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy
uses this fear as an argument to frack now rather than later, because the
prices may be too low to make any money.

On the other hand, even if most of Venezuela's debt is held by China and
Russia, there could be serious opposition to default by the New York and
London bankers because they are worried about a new financial crash, and
especially worried that it could be triggered by a Chinese financial
crisis.

Haussman may not get his big bail-out for the same reason.

If Venezuela defaults, but there is no bail-out, the economic situation
within Venezuela will get worse, not better. Then the new Guaido government
will have to rule with armed force just like Maduro, only with even less
popular support and even greater austerity.

Since this is not too difficult to figure out, neither the banks, the State
department nor the pentagon are likely to be very enthusiastic about regime
change in Venezuela.

Anthony




T
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[Marxism] Russia and Venezuela

2019-02-17 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/russias-gazprombank-freezes-accounts-venezuelas-pdvsa-source-114958302--finance.html
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[Marxism] Elliot Abrams

2019-02-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Just in case you don't remember, or are too young to remember

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlCGpDJd394
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[Marxism] Marea Socialista

2019-01-27 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11933
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[Marxism] Chavez and Venezuela

2019-01-24 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Hugo Chavez, as brilliant and charismatic as he was, made the decisions to
mortgage Venezuela's future oil revenues to China at market prices, and he
used the money he received from the loans to subsidize his friends, most of
whom are long gone (The Kirchners, Lula). Maduro reaped the consequences,
but chose to fight to stay in power no matter what the consequences.
Stalinism, and its children, are still the syphilis of the workers
movement. Fools gold, is not gold. Generations will suffer from these
"mistakes".

Anthony
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[Marxism] Coup en Venezuela?

2019-01-23 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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It is not clear what is happening in Venezuela, but the President of the
National Assembly (a Cisneros family stooge) has just declared himself to
be the "acting President".

https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-46979533
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[Marxism] Impeach Trump

2019-01-19 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Two things.

First, why the Atlantic and other organs of liberal ruling class opinion
finally feel that they need to impeach Trump should not be that hard to
understand.

Trump almost certainly committed textbook treason in pursuit of a few
dollars. They don't care about the money as long as he is not robbing them
personally, but they do care about his project of wrecking the long term
global project of NATO, the European Union, and American military power
parked on bases all over the world so that his handlers in Russia can
recover some of Russia's own dissolving power.

Second, WE (Marxists and revolutionaries) should be happy that THEY (the
liberals) want to impeach Trump for our own entirely different reasons. Put
simply, we want to see the ruling class's political chumminess blow up. We
want them to hate each other, fight each other, destroy each other's power,
and in the process and MOST IMPORTANTLY, radically weaken the legitimacy of
the bourgeois state in the eyes of the working class and the oppress.

We should be happy when Trump wants to close a US military base because we
want to destroy US impoerialism, but not in order to support the military
designs of Assad, Putin, or some other capitalist despot. Our agenda is not
to replace US imperialism with Russian, Chinese or any other imperialism,
but to help foment world-wide socialist revolution (as improbably as that
may sound to those who have given up on this great project).

There are any number of little issues that follow, like the disgusting and
evil Mikhail Pence. A Pence presidency will be one of crisis, whether or
not the bourgeoisie can use it to patch up the palace or not after Humpty
Trumpty's great fall will depend on what the masses do outside the palace.
I am not talking about revolution here, I am talking about LA teacher's
strikes. It will also depend on other factors outside of the palace like
war and the world economy.

Best, Anthony
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[Marxism] Jeremy Corbyn Will Decide What Happens to Brexit (Whether He Wants to or Not)

2019-01-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Jeremy Corbyn Will Decide What Happens to Brexit (Whether He Wants to or
Not)

New York Times By Benjamin Mueller Jan. 16, 2019

LONDON — Within minutes after Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for leaving
the European Union was resoundingly defeated on Tuesday night, the leader
of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, rose in Parliament and vowed
in thunderous tones to unseat her with a motion of no confidence.

For Mr. Corbyn, a soft-spoken outsider who stormed to the head of the
opposition party three years ago, the moment marked a crossroads. After
years of lying low on the question of Brexit, steadfastly refusing to
commit to a clear course, he finally made his move, thrusting himself into
the center of the debate, where he will have to choose a side.

Having risen to the edge of power by presenting himself as an authentic,
left-wing champion of grass-roots Labour members, it is increasingly
untenable for Mr. Corbyn to defy them and avoid a decision on Brexit.

“The danger here is that the shine is coming off the Corbyn project because
of his triangulation on Brexit,” said Michael Chessum of Another Europe Is
Possible, a left-wing group campaigning for Labour leaders to back a second
referendum on Brexit. “If people start to think that Corbyn is just another
politician like all the other politicians, that is the thing that will kill
the Corbyn project.”

The timing for a decisive move, after Mrs. May’s government had just
suffered the worst parliamentary defeat in Britain since the 19th century,
seemingly could not be more propitious.

Mr. Corbyn’s no-confidence motion will almost certainly fail on Wednesday,
returning Parliament to a state of paralysis. But he will be in a position
to exercise enormous influence over whatever plan emerges from the next
tumultuous weeks — if he defines his stance.

If he decided to back a “soft” Brexit, maintaining close ties with the
European Union, that proposal would probably pass. If he backed a second
referendum that could thwart Brexit altogether, that would have at least a
chance of passing. If he stood aside and let Labour lawmakers back a
version of Mrs. May’s deal, that, too, would be likely to pass.

Mr. Corbyn called a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May,
center, as soon as her Brexit proposal was defeated on Tuesday
night.CreditJessica Taylor/House of Commons, via Associated Press

 And if he turned his back on all those options, he could drastically raise
the chances of Britain leaving without a deal, risking a recession and
perhaps even shortages of food and medicine.

Still, the choice is not an easy one. The debate over Brexit within the
Labour Party, while milder than the warfare among Mrs. May’s Conservatives,
is dangerously divisive. To achieve his ultimate goal of returning Labour
to power and reversing decades of neoliberal policies, Mr. Corbyn needs a
united party.

That presents him with a dilemma. As a lifelong critic of the European
Union, which he has portrayed as a bankers’ club that blocks left-wing
policies, Mr. Corbyn is loath to reverse Brexit and anger working-class
Labour voters who opted to leave. But the Labour activists who powered his
unlikely leadership bid are putting enormous pressure on him to do just
that.

The predicament, growing more urgent by the day, mirrors questions
confronting left-wing parties in Europe and the United States about how to
fight populist movements that trade on anti-immigrant sentiment.

Should they stand up for open borders and multiculturalism and risk cutting
loose white workers who have drifted to the anti-immigrant right? Or try
winning back those voters with a liberal version of the crusade against
global institutions, trade pacts and migration?

“If you look around Europe, center-left parties are facing a dilemma,” said
Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, who
has surveyed Labour membership on Brexit. “How do they maintain or even get
back an electoral coalition of workers and middle-class, more educated
voters?”

The daunting electoral math facing Labour has given Mr. Corbyn reasons for
remaining vague.

At the most recent general election, in 2017, the party achieved unexpected
victories in prosperous, pro-European parts of England. But if it is to
form a government after the next election — scheduled for 2022, should Mrs.
May’s government survive until then — it would also need the support of
pro-Brexit voters in small towns who remained loyal to the Conservatives
last time.

Mr. Corbyn also has allies within Labour cheering his strategy of not
taking any particular side. Like him, they rank membership in the European

[Marxism] Open borders

2018-11-28 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO "Open Borders" is what is required for all imperialist countries, but
not for other countries.

I am writing in reply to Michael Meeropol. He wrote,

"But until real wages in the world become equal with a "race to the top"
rather than a race to the bottom there will be a tension between open
borders and (global north) working class incomes 

"Pushing solidarity is important but there is no question that this reality
makes it doubly harder ... "

Open borders is the most basic democratic right, the right to move from one
place to another.

The fact that it contradicts the existence of nation states at a very
fundamental level makes it what people used to call a "transitional
demand", but in reality ALL programmatic issues that meet the needs of the
working class and oppressed are transitional because achieving any one of
them intensifies the crisis of the system in one way or another.

Achieving a $15/hour minimum wage in the USA is a good example of what I
mean.

Opponents of the working class always latch on to these effects: raising
wages will cause employers to lay off workers, opening the borders will
result in competition for jobs and resources, etc, etc.

To the extent that their arguments are true, a revolutionary and really
socialist program must have answers at a higher level.

At this point in history, our program cannot be achieved in the short run,
so our answers can serve only to educate small numbers of people.

By the same token, the programmatic points developed 50 or one hundred
years ago also need to be revised. How can anyone talk about
"nationalizing" an industry when all of the main industries operate
internationally? Take the automobile industry as an example. Nationalize GM
in the USA? What about Canada, China, Mexico and the other countries whre
GM operates?

Similarly, how can the global warming catastrophe be addressed within a
single "nation state", even one like the USA? Toothless climate change
treaties?

Capitalism has truly gone beyond the limits of the "nation-state" but
cannot do without it either.

On the other hand, if we just march around with signs saying "world wide
socialist revolution now!" we will be marching alone.

James Cannon, despite all of his warts and nose hair, once wrote about
agitation, propaganda and education. To this he should have added,
development of theory.

Today's left is atomized, but growing. Dominated by abject reformism, but
searching for answers to problems that reformism cannot solve.

There are grounds for hope, but not if we just adapt to the arguments
against struggle.

Anthony.
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[Marxism] Donald Trump, Lumpen Capitalist

2018-11-18 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I didn't read Farber's article yet, but the entire coterie around Trump is
made up of lumpen-capitalists, a class fraction that proliferates whenever
and wherever the real rate of profit falls near or below zero. Accumulation
of wealth through scams, theft and plunder characterize this sector.

They have always had an important place at the margins in the USA, but have
grown in importance.

Look at Trump's Devos, Mercer, Zinke, Mnunchin

Anthony
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[Marxism] Democrats and Trump

2018-11-03 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Lou's idea of a "united front" demonstration against Trump could be a good
idea, but what unifying slogan do you think is likely to be used: Out Now!
Impeach Trump!?

In any case, I think the Democrats and most of their coterie are not likely
to be in the mood for demonstrations if they win the house, even less if
they win the Senate. If they do win one or both, it's very liked that any
demos will take on the coloring of "Impeach Trump" lending themselves to
the presidential campaigns of any Demo willing to latch on to impeachment.

Anthony
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[Marxism] (no subject)

2018-11-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Impressions of elections in San Leandro*

Two years and three months ago, for reasons totally unrelated to politics,
we moved back to the United States from Colombia. After nearly twenty years
of life in Bogotá, we landed in San Leandro, California.

During that time, I kept up on the USA through Marxmail, the New York
Times, the Sacramento Bee and sundry other sources, but I paid close to
zero attention to the nitty-gritty details of local politics in this
country.

A few months after we arrived, Donald Trump was surprisingly elected. Ouch.
That was a wake-up call. I had thought that the next big crisis of
capitalism in the USA was going to be presided over by a Democrat and that
one result would be radicalization to the left of the Democratic Party -
something like what happened during the 1960’s when Kennedy and Johnson
presided over US escalation of the war in Viet Nam.

Now, it seems that the new radicalization is occurring during the
presidency of a racist, misogynist, authoritarian Republican. One
consequence is that radicalization to the left is occurring mostly in, and
through, the Democratic Party.

I guess you could say that the United States suffers from a form of bipolar
disorder.

Leaving aside any deeper discussion of the present conjuncture, here are my
impressions of the 2018 midterm elections from my current vantage point on
the border of East Oakland and San Leandro.

I live just inside of San Leandro at the north end of town, one block from
East Oakland (which is really in the southern part of Oakland). The
dividing line is Durant Avenue. When I was a kid, it was the dividing line
between all-white San Leandro, and all-black Oakland.

Segregation was a reality here even if it was not written into law. Here,
it was a strange kind of segregation because “white” in San Leandro meant
“not-black” most of the time, so English speaking Chicanos, various other
brown Latinos, Filipinos, and various Asians were able to live in San
Leandro and own property here.

Now both sides of the city line have integrated, but not in exactly the
same ways. Real estate prices are substantially higher here than they are
two blocks away in Oakland, so this part of San Leandro has gentrified with
leakage from Silicon Valley as well as gaining more Asian and Latino
residents, a substantial number of black residents, most of whom are
professional people, and a slew of multiracial and multicultural couples
with their kids. Now the neighborhood reminds me of the way south Berkeley
and north Oakland were back in the 60’s and 70’s.

Nearby East Oakland has mostly avoided gentrification, although real estate
prices there have risen apace with real estate prices throughout the Bay
Area. Integration there has taken the form of Latino and Asian renters
moving in. There are also a smaller number of white gentrifiers buying
moving in.

In 1960, this neighborhood was full of white trade unionists with a
smattering of small business owners and professionals. The Oakland General
motors plant was located just a few blocks away at Durant and East 14th St.
(now called International Blvd in Oakland). In 1963, GM opened its big new
assembly plant in Fremont, so the Oakland plant was turned into a parts
warehouse, but the adjacent neighborhoods remained UAW bastions: white GM
workers across East 14th street in an extension of San Leandro, and black
GM workers north of the plant and north of the white workers’ neighborhood.

In those days, there was also the giant Caterpillar tractor factory nearby
(the first Caterpillar factory anywhere, since Caterpillar was started here
in San Leandro.) My first wife worked there for a time. Not too far away,
there was a Mack Truck factory, a Peterbilt truck factory, a couple of GE
plants, many food processing plants, and dozens of machine shops and sheet
metal shops.

Black east Oakland was even more a bastion of trade unionism than was San
Leandro, especially the UAW, the ILWU and the UE.

East Oakland and San Leandro were right in the center of the World War II
industrial belt that snaked along the bay from Pittsburgh, California on
the Carquinez Straits, where US steel had a plant, through Martinez and
Richmond, where the oil refineries and chemical plants were located,
through the enormous Kaiser shipyards which stretched from Richmond almost
to Albany, through the foundries, glass factories, food processing plants,
and automobile, farm machinery and truck factories of Oakland, San Leandro
and Hayward.

In the center of it all was, and still is, the Port of Oakland. In the
1960’s it was transformed by the war in Viet Nam into one of the world’s
most important container ports.


Re: [Marxism] Democrats and Trump

2018-10-31 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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A lot of us have spent years and decades trying. In California, the Peace
and Freedom Party was effectively scuttled by the Communist Party and other
supporters of the Democratic Party who gained control of its internal
machinery soon after it was formed. The old Socialist Workers Party ceded
this ground to the old CP by refusing to join this attempt at an umbrella
party to the left of the Democrats. Instead, it ran its own invisible and
useless sectarian campaigns. IMHO left third party efforts are essential,
but are unlikely to succeed in building anything significant until there is
a mass movement outside of the electoral arena.

Anthony

On Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 9:57 AM Mark Lause  wrote:

> The bottom line is there should be some sort of national progressive
> alternative.  Whether it calls itself socialist or labor or anything isn't
> as important as challenging the dictatorship of capitalism.   This could
> have happened and it didn't.
>
> Notwithstanding complaints about Our Revolution or the ambiguities of the
> DSA--and let's throw in the almost religious flakiness of the
> Greens--something could have been done about this.  And years ago.
>
> There are literally thousands of us ready to throw ourselves into such an
> effort.  This could have happened easily if two or three or more of the
> various socialist tiddlywinks clubs had decided that building this
> alternative--even temporarily.
>
> Doesn't it make you wonder?  :-)
>
> Cheers,
> Mark L.
>
>
>
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[Marxism] Democrats and Trump

2018-10-31 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Trump has been a useful idiot for the Republicans, so the Democrats are
hoping to have their turn. This is a new twist on the old two party shell
game, that the DSA-Our Revolutipn left will bear a share of responsibility
for in the Democrats take control of the House. Also, the implications for
Democratic plans for impeachment are there for anyone interested to read.

First Up if Democrats Win: Campaign and Ethics Changes, Infrastructure and
Drug Prices

Representative Nancy Pelosi says House Democrats will focus on
infrastructure and prescription drug costs, in an effort to test President
Trump on bipartisan deals, if they gain control of Congress in the midterm
election.CreditCreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

New York Times By Nicholas Fandos Oct. 31, 2018

WASHINGTON — Democrats would use their first month in the House majority to
advance sweeping changes to future campaign and ethics laws, requiring the
disclosure of shadowy political donors, outlawing the gerrymandering of
congressional districts and restoring key enforcement provisions to the
Voting Rights Act, top Democratic leaders said on Tuesday.



If they win, they would then turn to infrastructure investment and the
climbing costs of prescription drugs, answering voter demands and
challenging President Trump’s willingness to work on shared policy
priorities with a party he has vilified. The idea, said Representative
Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, is to show voters that
Democrats are a governing party, not the leftist mob that Mr. Trump
describes — and to extend an arm of cooperation to the president after an
electoral rebuke.



“This is going to be a bitter pill for them all to swallow when they see
the election results, if they turn out as we expect,” Ms. Pelosi said in an
extended interview on Tuesday, predicting a Democratic wave. She added of
the prospect Mr. Trump would collaborate, “I don’t think he himself knows
what he is going to do.”



As Mr. Trump spends the final week of a scorched-earth midterm campaign
rallying his base around hot-button immigration issues and depicting
Democrats as a security threat, Ms. Pelosi and her deputies sought to
project a more modest and politically popular agenda on issues ranging from
health care to criminal justice changes. They said they would work to
improve the Affordable Care Act, for example, rather than rushing to
replace it with a single-payer health care plan.



Full article here
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/us/politics/democrats-midterm-elections.html
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[Marxism] Another strike

2018-10-22 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article220348595.html
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[Marxism] Assadist and Putinist BS

2018-10-16 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Given how willing Joaquin is to swallow all Trump, Putin et al.'s bullshit
propaganda about
everything, I have to ask him if he also believes in the Easter Bunny?

Joaquin knows that Putin has already terminated with extreme prejudice
thousands. Does he really
think his toleration of even his critics in the United States is limitless?
Does he think Putin's
toleration for Marxists is limitless?

Learn to spell indicments before you apply for another job in the media.
And please stop repeating brain-dead Assadist and Putinist imperialist
propaganda.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Why Manafort matters

2018-09-28 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/09/26/22258/manaforts-guilty-plea-goes-heart-russian-intelligence-operation-2016?utm_source=Watchdog_campaign=4f0beeb78f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_08_COPY_01_medium=email_term=0_ffd1d0160d-4f0beeb78f-101663225_cid=4f0beeb78f_eid=afdc6da885
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[Marxism] Peking University

2018-09-26 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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  The link provided by Red Arnie ran into a pay wall, so here is the whole
article

Chinese politics & policy Add to myFT Peking University threatens to close
down Marxism society Students continue to back workers in dispute over
trade union rights President Xi Jinping visits the Marxist literature
centre at Peking University in May to commemorate the 200th anniversary of
Karl Marx’s birth © Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock Share on Twitter (opens new
window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new
window) Save Save to myFT Yuan Yang and Xinning Liu in Beijing SEPTEMBER
23, 2018 Print this page33 China’s most prestigious university has
threatened to shut down its student Marxist society amid a continuing
police crackdown on students who support workers in a dispute over trade
union organisation. Under China’s Communist party, Marxism has been part of
the compulsory university curriculum for decades. But universities are now
under pressure to embrace “Xi Jinping thought” as the president strengthens
his ideological control over the nation. The government is also inspecting
primary and secondary school textbooks to remove foreign content. Peking
University’s Marxist Society was not able to re-register for the new
academic year because it did not have the backing required from teachers,
the society said. “Everyone can see what the Peking University Marxist
Society has done over the past few years to speak out for marginalised
groups on campus,” it added. The threat to close the society follows a
summer of student and worker unrest in the Chinese manufacturing hub of
Shenzhen. Students from Peking and other elite Chinese universities were
detained for supporting workers trying to organise a trade union at a Jasic
Technology factory. While workers’ protests have become more common in
China, the support of a small yet growing student movement has made the
Jasic protests politically sensitive. Zhan Zhenzhen, a member of the
Marxist Society at Peking University, was among those arrested in Shenzhen
last month. In July, police detained about 30 workers in the biggest such
arrest since 2015. In August, police wearing riot gear stormed a student
dormitory and took away about 40 students who had been supporting the
workers, according to witnesses. Recommended Jamil Anderlini China is at
risk of becoming a colonialist power Mr Zhan and the Marxist Society
initiated an investigation into working conditions for low-paid workers at
Peking University this year. The group said its focus was labour rights,
and it gained media attention in 2015 when it published an earlier working
conditions report. The Marxist Society said it had approached teachers in
the university’s department of Marxism for support with registration but
had been refused, with no explanation. A teacher from another department
had volunteered to register the society but said his offer was rejected by
the university’s Student Society Committee. The university’s Marxism
department did not respond immediately to a request for comment. The
Student Society Committee declined to comment. Mr Xi visited Peking
University this year to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s
birth. “Peking University is the first place to spread and study Marxism in
China. It makes a great contribution to the spread of Marxism and the
foundation of China’s Communist Party,” he said at the time. Be alerted on
Chinese politics & policy Enable alerts Copyright The Financial Times
Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Latest on Chinese politics & policy
Chinese politics & policy Pakistani men demand release of wives in China
Chinese business & finance China state groups gobble up private companies
Special Report China’s Belt & Road Initiative Special Report FT Wealth
Chilling warnings from Antarctica Belt and Road Initiative Kenyan railway
highlights sharper focus on affordability Belt and Road Initiative India on
edge over influx of Chinese cash to neighbours Belt and Road Initiative
Malaysian rethink on projects risks contagion in the region Interview Belt
and Road Initiative ‘We say, if you want to get rich, build roads first’
COMMENTS (33) Sign in + Follow Submit Comment Please keep comments
respectful. By commenting, you agree to abide by our community guidelines
and these terms and conditions. We encourage you to report inappropriate
comments. Newest | Oldest | Most recommended Yu-Tai Chia 2 days ago Under a
communist government proletariat is supposed to dictate the political
power. What this story tells us is that the People's Republic of China is
not a proletariat dictatorship. What President Xi wants is an empire and he
is the emperor 

Re: [Marxism] How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump

2018-09-25 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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In response to Jason: A short list of the political reasons not to vote for
the Democrats were listed in my post. You could start with fracking,
continue with the deporter in chief, go on to drones...

If you think these are issues of individualistic moral analysis, it only
shows that you do not understand which side you are on. That would make you
one of the majority for now.

Anthony

On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 5:20 AM Jason Hicks  wrote:

>
>
> > On Sep 24, 2018, at 7:50 PM, Anthony Boynton via Marxism <
> marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> >
> > On one level things would have been decidedly different. The Democrats
> > complicity and agreement with, and even leadership of, many of the
> policies
> > now labelled with Trump’s name would be much harder to hide, so the
> growing
> > split and crisis in the Democratic Party would be much greater.
>
> An extremely important point and a key reason that voting for Democrats
> does not equate to political capitulation unless one has some kind of
> individualistic moral analysis rather than a political one.
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[Marxism] How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump

2018-09-24 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I think there is no doubt in the mind of anyone who has half a brain and
pays attention that Russia helped Trump get elected. That includes Trump
himself even though he may not pay attention.



Discussing this topic, Michael Meeropol wrote,



“Here is a scary thought -- if Hillary had squeaked in to the Presidency,
the Court packing would not have occurred and the massive deportations and
family separations would not have occurred (as much as under Trump) and
environmental roll backs would not have occurred -- but NEITHER would the
mobilization of young people, the various women's marches, etc.

“AND -- the mass movement towards fascism would have been MUCH STRONGER and
the probability of a Republican wave in 2018 followed by a MUCH MORE
POLITICALLY ACCEPTABLE extreme right-winger knocking off Hillary in 2020
would have been much higher –



“Scary to think we actually as better off in the long run mobilizing to

fight TRUMP than complaining about Hillary's policies from a much more

isolated position ... while being placed in the very dicey position of
"defending" her from extreme right wing attacks ”



I think Michael’s speculation is off the mark.



Trump's election has indeed shaped the path that the class struggle has
followed since he was elected, but it is an over-determination not the
basic driving force. The class struggle in all of its dimensions was
already intensifying while Obama was president.



Think about the real and not rhetorical differences between Trump and
Obama. Obama started off on the environmental path that Trump is following,
Obama started off on the military path that Trump is following, and Obama
started off on the immigration path that Trump is following. And Obama
championed charter schools. The differences in these areas are mostly ones
of tempo or theatrics.



Racism, healthcare and international trade policy are the three key
differences, but who knows where Hillary Clinton would have led us on
health care and international trade, may be the substance would not have
been so much different from what Trump is actually doing.



Trump's mobilization of the ultra-right on the streets is the key
difference. And it is a big difference. But, they likely would have
mobilized if Trump had lost, too. How different would Charlottesville have
been with Hillary in the White House? Maybe Trump would have been the
keynote speaker in Charlottesville, and maybe now he would already be in
jail as a accessory to murder.



On other levels, Trump’s election changed little or nothing. The slow, year
by year bleeding of public education that led to the massive teachers
strikes of the last year (that are continuing in the state of Washington,
and maybe in several districts here in California) would have happened with
or without Trump’s election. It’s a good bet that the strikes would have
happened, too.



On one level things would have been decidedly different. The Democrats
complicity and agreement with, and even leadership of, many of the policies
now labelled with Trump’s name would be much harder to hide, so the growing
split and crisis in the Democratic Party would be much greater.



And, the opportunity for the left to emerge out of the stranglehold the
Democrats have exercised over both the working class within the Democrats
and the revolutionary left outside of the Democrats ever since the New Deal
would be that much greater.



In any case, we have to conduct our struggles with the hand that has been
dealt rather than in some contrafactual speculative alternate world.



One important and difficult to predict twist of the real path of history is
the stench of fear coming from both Democrats and Republicans around the
issue of removing Trump. Their fear of a constitutional crisis has trumped
the demonstrated patriotic fervor of the Democrats, and the long standing
patriotic flag-waving of the Republicans. It seems odd on the face of it
that they have not impeached Trump already and strung him up on a flag pole
somewhere.



What will happen after Mueller’s report finally comes out, should be very
interesting.



Anthony
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[Marxism] How Can the Left Participate in Electoral Campaigns?? ? Organizing Upgrade

2018-09-18 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Warren Mar's interesting article shows how the path of I Wor Kuen, a very
large Chinese immigrant and Chinese American Maoist movement in the late
1970's and early 80's, that was at first close to the Black Panther Party,
and then became a key component of the League of Revolutionary struggle,
one of the largest of the post Maoist parties in the USA followed a path
into the union bureaucracy and the Democratic Party through the
transmission belt of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow coalition. Their remnants are
now a key part of the Democratic Party and union bureaucracy (especially
Unite-Here and SEIU), especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Warren represents an important, but not very publicly visible, trend on the
left margin of the Democrats who have organized Asian workers into the
unions, and then marshaled them behind the Democratic Party machine.

Anthony
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Re: [Marxism] The controversial ending of the US war against Vietnam

2018-09-11 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO, the United States lost the wars in Indochina, but won a strategic
victory in the war against world revolution (misnamed the cold war).

The terrible destruction in Vietnam drew a new cordon around the countries
that had become independent of imperialism through revolution.

At the same time, the Nixon-Mao deal meant that China would not aid Vietnam
or any other revolutionary movement in return for access to US markets and
capital. An alliance that has lasted until now, although it may not last
much longer.

Michael Meeropol also raised another interesting question.

1. "Did the US in the end "WIN" the wars in Indochina by destroying the
indigenous independent revolutionary forces within "South" Vietnam thereby
leading to the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam -- the
unification of Vietnam under the Northern regime rather than a true
compromise --- leading, ultimately, to the slide towards capitalism in
Vietnam ---?"

An important part of the independent revolutionary forces in the south in
1945 were the Trotskyists who were massacred by the Viet Minh not the
United States.

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/vietnam/pirani/index.htm

After that date, the rise of independent opposition forces in the south
faced not only the repression of the puppet South Vietnamese State and the
US, but the efforts of the NLF and Lao Dong (Communist Party) to
infliltrate and coopt them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/opinion/south-vietnam-had-an-antiwar-movement-too.html

Anthony
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[Marxism] What would have happened if

2018-08-21 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Well, Lou...if you guys in New York City can pull off a revolutionary in
Brooklyn, I will do my best to join in.

Anthony
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[Marxism] What would have happened if...

2018-08-18 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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No one knows what would have happened if

But the situation in Latin America - not just Nicaragua - in 1979 into the
mid 1980's was explosive. David wrote,

" Leaving that aside is if it's applied to Nicaragua, this means...what
exactly? Not seizing power? Limiting, even against the wishes of the rural
masses and urban workers further nationalizations? What would be the point
then of the FSLN coming to power if only to topple the hated dictatorship?
In fact, the self-limitations imposed by the FSLN worked out well, huh?
Plus, Louis, you make it out to seem as if nothing else was going on the
region...like El Salvador, Guatemala, etc. I am not arguing had, as A.
Sandino suggested..."only the workers and peasants can go all the way"
...that the results wouldn't of been any different. Though we never would
know had they, the FSLN, lead the masses to just that, that an even deeper
radicalization would not have shifted the entirety of Central America
working masses to consider socialist solutions. Revolutions happen when
it's least expected, afterall."

What would have happened if the Sandinistas had gone further? Two things
are likely, much deeper radicalization in the rest of Central America and
into Mexico and crucially Colombia, AND US military intervention. Almost
certainly, the proverbial shit would have hit the fan.

What would have happened in the United States? What would have happened to
Iran/Contragate?

What would the results of such a revolutionary crisis have been? We will
never know now, but the Sandinistas and their advisers and friends feared
that they would lose.

Considering where they are now, would this have been worse? or better?

And, what if the gamble had paid off?

Certainly there are no guarantees. The Bolsheviks took the gamble, and in
the end the Russian revolution failed, but certainly without taking that
risk, no revolution in one country is likely to spread and overcome its
isolation.

The path to international socialism almost certainly lies in a series of
successful socialist revolutions in individual countries rather than in one
gigantic international uprising.

Anthony
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[Marxism] From 2011 to 2016 hydraulic fracturing water use per well increased up to 770%, flowback increased up to 1440%.

2018-08-18 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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 *http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/8/eaar5982
* *The intensification
of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing*

*1.**Andrew J. Kondash**, *

*2.**Nancy E. Lauer** and *

*3.**Avner Vengosh***
*

 See all authors and affiliations

Science Advances  15 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaar5982
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5982



*Abstract*

Unconventional oil and gas exploration in the United States has experienced
a period of rapid growth, followed by several years of limited production
due to falling and low natural gas and oil prices. Throughout this
transition, the water use for hydraulic fracturing and wastewater
production in major shale gas and oil production regions has increased;
from 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased up to 770%, while
flowback and produced water volumes generated within the first year of
production increased up to 1440%. The water-use intensity (that is,
normalized to the energy production) increased ubiquitously in all U.S.
shale basins during this transition period. The steady increase of the
water footprint of hydraulic fracturing with time implies that future
unconventional oil and gas operations will require larger volumes of water
for hydraulic fracturing, which will result in larger produced oil and gas
wastewater volumes.
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[Marxism] Ms. Ocasio-Cortez

2018-07-04 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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 I think the victory of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in a Democratic Party primary is
fantastic news, but I would not have campaigned for her or voted for her.

Whether or not she does anything progressive, radical or even revolutionary
in the future is besides the point. What is important now is the fact that
the voters in that district voted for her and her program over the machine
hack and his program.

Those mostly working class voters are radicalizing. Her program will not
ever be promoted or voted into being by the Democratic Party, so those
voters will either have to give up and go home, or will come into conflict
with their party over this program.

That's a good thing.

How should revolutionaries relate to this movement? United in the streets
in demonstrations, united in the labor movement, but separate when it comes
to elections.

The idea that we always have to be with the masses, especially in a country
like the United States where a substantial part of the masses have
reactionary consciousness on many issues, is wrong.

Sometimes we have to explain and wait.

Despite the growing mass movements, and their tendency to grow together,
when it comes to supporting the party of war in the United States (that
would be the party of Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton
and Obama) we have to separate ourselves from working class supporters of
that party, including the ones who are trying to take it over and change it.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez 's election is not much different from the election and
reelection of Ron Dellums in Oakland/Berkeley. Dellums made lots of radical
speeches and received the enthusiastic support of a large part of the left
in the Bay Area. He was instrumental in deflating the movement for the
Peace and Freedom Party.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez may turn out to be different. Maybe, she will move left
and break with the Democrats. Maybe she will become a revolutionary. Maybe,
she will do great things. But for now she is part of one of the two most
powerful imperialist political parties on the planet.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Quick note on Colombian elections

2018-06-21 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Quick note on Colombian elections*



Colombia has just elected Ivan Duque president. This should come as no
surprise to anyone who pays attention to Colombia (even though it does seem
to surprise the reporters at the Nation magazine
https://www.thenation.com/article/right-wing-wins-colombia-amid-divisions-left/).




Duque, like outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos is the scion of one of
the country’s powerful political families. His father, Ivan Duque Escobar,
was one of the most powerful 20th century Liberal Party politicians of
Antioquia. In the 1980’s, when Alvaro Uribe was mayor of Medellín, Duque’s
father was governor of Antioquia. Medellin is the capital of Antioquia and
the second largest city in Colombia. Another important friend of the two
men at the time was Pablo Escobar.



The younger Duque grew up surrounded by the politically powerful in Bogotá.
His father graduated to become the Minister of Mines and Development and
served as CEO of the municipally owned water company of Bogotá, SOFASA
(Renault manufacturing subsidiary), and Banco Popular. He also served on
the board of directors of the Banco de la Republica, the country’s central
bank. Duque’s mother also came from a politically important family.



Duque’s roots in the Liberal Party of Antioquia, plus a lifetime spent
making connections in the high society of Bogotá boosted him into the
Senate where he quickly became known as a friend of big business. He was
the key ally of the sugar and soft drink industries’ successful campaign to
squash the Minister of Health’s public education campaign against obesity.
From there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to becoming Alvaro Uribe’s chosen
successor.



The Uribista coalition has been in perpetual crisis. Aside from the number
of its leading figures who have fled into exile to avoid prosecution or
been convicted and served time in jail, the Uribistas are very short on
talent. During the last presidential election they had a field of primary
candidates who could barely compose sentences while standing on two feet.
Their eventual nominee, Ivan Zuluaga was a case in point.



One Uribista who could talk and think on his feet was Andrés Felipe Arias
Leiva. He was Uribe’s chosen successor eight years ago. Known as Uribito,
he was Uribe’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Unfortunately
for Uribe’s plans, Uribito was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months of prison
for corruption. He fled to the United States where he now lives comfortably
and anonymously.



Duque is the new Uribito, but under new circumstances. The demobilization
of the FARC ended a whole period of history in Colombia, even though
guerrilla warfare continues. The ELN is expanding into some of the areas
which were once controlled by the FARC, but it is numerically weak and has
no popular support. Guerrillaism in fact, has no popular support.



Instead a broad, but not cohesive, social democratic movement has risen in
its place. Gustavo Petro personified it in the recent elections. While much
is made of Petro’s background in M-19, he is a man whose politics are very
flexible but tend more towards the ideas of 19th century French radicalism
with a hint of environmentalism mixed in than to anything anyone would
associate with the Paris commune or the Bogotazo.



Nevertheless, Petro is a fighter.



His eight million votes represent the largest mass left wing movement ever
seen in Colombia. It has two basic wings: a movement of the working class
and the very poor displaced people of the cities of Colombia, and a
movement of the university trained technocrats, bureaucrats, and
intelligentsia of the same cities. Petro is the titular leader of the
former while Sergio Fajardo, former mayor of Medellín is the titular leader
of the latter.



Duque’s speeches were full of bland, empty posturing attempting to appeal
to Fajardo’s base. He promised not to return to war and even promised to
protect the environment. Behind the empty phrases, Duque has already
launched a lottery for Ministries. Corruption even bigger than usual is the
guiding theme of the new government.



The great danger now is further revival of the paramilitaries. The old
paramilitary organizations have been demobilized and remodeled. During the
election campaign and now after the elections, the new paramilitary
organization, the Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles), closely tied to the
Medellín oligarchy and to the cocaine trade, has threatened Petro
supporters with assassination.



According to Indepaz (Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz –
Institute for Studies of Development and Peace), between January and May
this year there were 78 

[Marxism] Trump, Korea and Trade

2018-06-14 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO D. Trump does not really give a rat's ass about No. Korea one way or
the other, except that his current road show is a lever to help the
Republican Party maintain its majorities in the House and Senate in the
upcoming November elections. Sure, he would like to get a Nobel Peace Prize
for "ending the Korean War", and sure, there are opportunities for making
quick bucks in side deals by his daughter or some other member of his
coterie, but the big prize is Congress. Trump is all about getting power
and glory to make money, and making money to get power and glory.

Behind this man stands a sector of the ruling class who want to enrich
themselves at the expense of not only the working class and petty
bourgeoisie, but also of other members of their own class.

Trump's trade war is not about making the pie get bigger so that everyone
can have a nice slice, it is about reslicing a smaller pie so that those
favored by Trump can have a bigger piece. This is the operating principle
behind Trump's "policy". This, and survival, dictate Trump's actions.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Red-Brown Zombie plague

2018-05-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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IMHO the plague is real, but not the result of nefarious infiltration (even
though there have always been infiltrators in any even moderately
significant leftist organization). This is the same type of phenomenon that
swept leftists into the cold war right during the witch hunts, and during
earlier periods of history (remember where Mussolini started). When leftist
individuals and small groups get disconnected from the working class and
mass movements on the left, some of them drift through the swampy waters
until a rightward eddy moves them into the enemy camp. In the post 1927
world, one major path has been from Stalinism to support of state regimes
in conflict with the USA and/or Western Europe. With the collapse of the
Soviet Union and the rise of Putin's klepto-orthodox rightist regime, it
was inevitable that some of the blindest and most corrupt supporters of the
old Soviet Union would go along for the ride, and that they would draw some
others into the right-wing eddies of the swamp along with them.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Book on Russia

2018-04-15 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Try "The Conundrum of Russian Capitalism" by Ruslan Dzarasov
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[Marxism] November

2018-04-13 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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“Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is bulldozing congressional Republicans into a mass
grave. Democrats outnumber Republicans, so the latter depend on a sizable
turnout advantage to win elections and sustain minority rule. But Mr.
Trump’s brand of scapegoating demagogy, which Mr. Ryan as speaker has done
nothing but enable, is a turbocharged Democratic turnout machine that
converts swing districts into Democratic seats and converts enormous
Republican advantages into razor’s edge contests. Barring a miracle,
Republicans are going to lose their House majority, and even their Senate
majority, once thought untouchable, is no longer safe.”



https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/opinion/paul-ryan-donald-trump-republicans.html?action=click=Homepage=story-heading=opinion-c-col-left-region=opinion-c-col-left-region=opinion-c-col-left-region
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[Marxism] Fourth International

2018-03-07 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Ken Hiebert just posted  a message titles "Solidarity with the Rohingya
refugees in Bangladesh
STATEMENT OF THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL", and I have to admit that I am
confused. I have not followed all of the splits, fusions, twists and turns
of the fragments of Trotskyism for quite a while, so am not sure who is
using the name "The Fourth International" these days. Could someone please
enlighten me?

Thanks, Anthony
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[Marxism] Did Russian meddling swing the election? Does it matter?

2018-03-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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John Reiman has misquoted me and misunderstood what I said in my recent
post (and probably what Mark Lause said as well). We can only guess why,
but to be charitable, he was probably just overly hasty to make a good
point.



And that is too bad, because I agree with his good point. Here it is



“One thing we have to realize is that in Russia, the "oligarchs" and the
Russian mafia are more or less one and the same. And I don't think we
really have to "guess" about Trump's connections: Trump IS connected with
the Russian mafia, he HAS served as a money launderer for them for years,
and there IS so much publicly known evidence that we don't have to "guess".
This has been in the public record for at least a year, if not longer.”



Just for the record, here is John’s unfortunate Bowdlerization:



"Anthony Boynton quotes Mark Lause approvingly: "Although we can only guess
based on what we know, Trump's behavior makes him look guilty as hell By
guilty, I mean deep-rooted financial ties between Trump and his circle with
the Russian oligarchs, among others."



But I did not write anything like that! Here is what I wrote,

“I agree with Mark Lause when he writes,



‘“I tend to think the entire issue (Russian intervention in the 2016 US
elections) as much more important than we tend to credit it. (But I tended
to think that we underestimated the importance of the impeachment question
on Nixon, too.)  Although we can only guess based on what we know, Trump's
behavior makes him look guilty as hell, and I'd bet that Mueller has
serious evidence against him . . . and is currently working to make the
case watertight.  By guilty, I mean deep-rooted financial ties between
Trump and his circle with the Russian oligarchs, among others.”

‘“The Republicans have generally demonstrated a complete lack of party
independence from the head of state . . . and the Democrats have shown a
complete inability to tie their shoes and take the most rudimentary steps.”’



“But, I think he misses what is happening in the world when he continues,

‘“All of which underscores the opportunities of which we could be taking
advantage, if we had genuinely independent social movements of any
persistence and scale . . . or any organizations more substantial than
social democratic bowling leagues.”’



“The fact of the matter is that a mass and multi-faceted social democratic
movement is growing

​in ​

the United States that includes the women’s rights movement (much more than
#MeToo), Black Lives Matter, the immigrants’ rights movement, the $15/hour
movement, the anti-gun movement and a much broader and deeper ferment.

​

“That deeper ferment is in part centered on the issue of democracy​ and is
deeply offended by the fact that Trump is in the White House despite having
lost the popular vote and patently having manipulated the vote in illegal
ways and with the aid of a foreign power.



“However you define “we” –the very broad left, the revolutionary left, the
Marxist left….- “we” are growing rapidly and are taking advantage of
opportunities. IMHO “We” includes much more than the old codgers who
graduated from the New Left of the 1960’s: “We” includes the new generation
of the left that is just coming to grips with the struggle.



“Rather than “Cheers”, I have to say, CHEER UP MARK, better days are
coming.”

Anthony
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[Marxism] Subject: [UCE] Michael Roberts on the stock market crash

2018-02-06 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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What Michael Roberts has left out of his analysis is the rising price of
energy. Falling energy prices, together with low interest rates and
histrionically very low real wages in the USA, were key to the recovery
since 2007. Energy prices are now increasing and oil has crept up to around
70/barrel.

This omission not withstanding, I think his guess that the next big crunch
will come in non-financial sector corporate debt, meaning debt centered in
industry/transportation, is a good bet, and rising energy prices will hit
this part of the debt structure harder than the financial sector.

Anthony
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Re: [Marxism] Subject: Fwd: The Bankruptcy of the American Left

2018-02-06 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Anyone who quotes David North approvingly, as this guy Chris Hedges does,
has got to be entirely out of his mind.
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Re: [Marxism] Can Trump keep up the happy face?

2018-02-01 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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I always like a lot of what John writes, but I have to take exception to
some of his observations. His latest, "Can Trump keep up the happy face?"
concludes with,

"In short, Trump will probably get a boost in his ratings following this
speech (his first State of the Union message). But he will not continue his
happy face. He cannot because his entire situation is too unstable. The
only question is when and how will a renewed working class movement
develop. In its absence, Trumps’ slide towards bonapartism will continue."

Trump really did not look all that happy while he was speaking, but that is
besides the important point: Trump has a lot of big problems that are
likely to get much worse soon even though there is no  "renewed working
class movement" in sight. The confrontation between Trump and the FBI, CIA
and the Democratic Party is a real crisis within the ruling class. John is
correct to write about Trump's corrupt relationship with the Russian
oligarch's, but misses the fact that this is exactly the point of conflict
within the ruling class that is leading to a governmental crisis.

The fact that this is happening in the midst of economic growth that has
resulted in labor shortages in places like the San Francisco Bay area where
John and I live has indeed given the working class unprecedented bargaining
power, but this has yet to result in any major advances made by workers
themselves.

That economic growth however, is making the crisis within the ruling class
even sharper, for the Republican Party, despite the fact that it loathes
Trump almost as much as his wife does, has decided to close ranks around
him.

This has brought us into uncharted waters, making this crisis potentially
much deeper than the Watergate crisis.

The second bone I want to pick with John is his talk statement that " Trumps’
slide towards Bonapartism will continue."

John is correct that Trump is attacking the institutions of the bourgeois
state across the board, including even the sacred dogs of the FBI and CIA,
and he is correct to imply that this is a big change from the actions of
his predecessors, but this is not a slide towards Bonapartism. Bonapartism,
in the sense of Louis Napoleon, is institutionalized in the Constitution of
the United States. What Trump is doing is accelerating the undoing of the
time honored and celebrated balancing act that epitomizes American
bonapartism.

While concentration of power in the office of the President has been going
on for a long time, what is different now is that Trump is trying to place
himself as an individual above the law and above the institutions of the
executive branch. This is not a continuation of the Bonapartism of Barack
Obama who also concentrated power, but who relied on and deferred to the
institutions of the executive branch.

Personally, I think this crisis is going to blow up before the working
class comes on stage, and that it will develop in a very unpredictable way
fraught with both danger and opportunity. Like John - I would be more than
happy to see a mass working class movement sweep all of the rascals out of
the halls of government. Who knows, maybe the crisis that is sweeping
through Washington DC will sned off enough sparks to light the fires of
working class anger.

Anthony






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[Marxism] Fracking and geopolitical sea change

2018-01-29 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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The NYT article below is a good general description of the sea change in
world energy markets that fracking in the USA has caused. That sea change
underlies a great deal of the geopolitical chaos and upheaval going on
which the Times only touches superficially from the point of view of US
imperialism. What this article flatly lies about is the role of the Obama
administration which made the change in fracking possible and quietly
helped it happen.

The new oil and natural gas dominance of the United States, and the
radically changed shape of the Hubbert curve for oil and gas due to
fracking, also underlies much of the disarray of the US ruling class
including the chance that Trump will survive in office. Remember Clinton’s
slogan, “It’s the economy stupid”.

Anthony

*Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy*

New York Times by Clifford Krauss Jan. 28, 2018

HOUSTON — A substantial rise in oil prices in recent months has led to a
resurgence in American oil production, enabling the country to challenge
the dominance of Saudi Arabia and dampen price pressures at the pump.

The success has come in the face of efforts by Saudi Arabia and its oil
allies to undercut the shale drilling spree in the United States. Those
strategies backfired and ultimately ended up benefiting the oil industry.

Overcoming three years of slumping prices proved the resiliency of the
shale boom. Energy companies and their financial backers were able to
weather market turmoil — and the maneuvers of the global oil cartel — by
adjusting exploration and extraction techniques.

After a painful shakeout in the industry that included scores of
bankruptcies and a significant loss of jobs, a steadier shale-drilling
industry is arising, anchored by better-financed companies.

With the price of West Texas intermediate crude above $65 a barrel, a level
not seen in almost three years, the United States is becoming a dominant
producer. It is able to outflank competitors in supplying growing global
markets, particularly China and India, while slashing imports from the
Middle East and North Africa.

This year, the United States is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia and to
rival Russia as the world’s leader, with record output of over 10 million
barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency.

“This is a 180-degree turn for the United States and the impacts are being
felt around the world,” said Daniel Yergin, the economic historian and
author of “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power.” “This not
only contributes to U.S. energy security but also contributes to world
energy security by bringing new supplies to the world.”

Forecasts show that the United States could surpass Saudi Arabia as an oil
producer this year, with output exceeding 10 million barrels a day.

At the same time, the United States is becoming a major exporter of natural
gas, another outgrowth of the shale revolution, undercutting Russian energy
dominance over Eastern Europe.

The improving energy picture comes as the Trump administration is
attempting to increase offshore drilling and loosen other regulations on
fossil fuel development. But just as the surge in oil and gas production in
shale fields during the Barack Obama administration had little to do with
Washington, the current rise is the result of private companies responding
to global markets.

Read the complete article here

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/28/business/energy-environment/oil-boom.html
4�0�K
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[Marxism] Turkey Begins Ground Assault on Kurdish Enclave in Syria

2018-01-22 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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*Turkey Begins Ground Assault on Kurdish Enclave in Syria*

New York Times by Carlotta Gall  Jan.
21, 2018



ISTANBUL — Turkish troops crossed the Syrian border into a Kurdish enclave
on Sunday morning, beginning a ground assault against American-allied
militias there, in a clash of interests between the two NATO allies.

The Turkish incursion over United States protests not only underscores
Washington’s lack of influence with Ankara, but promises to complicate
relations with the Kurds, who have provided the ground troops for the
United States-led fight against the Islamic State militant group, often
called ISIS or ISIL.

With ISIS now in retreat, the Trump administration finds itself in a
difficult position, searching for a way to maintain relations with the
Kurdish groups without alienating Turkey, which considers them terrorists
and a threat to its territorial sovereignty. The Trump administration’s
plan of helping build a Kurdish border security force in northeast Syria
has been criticized by Ankara.

“The U.S. has tried to walk a very fine line in Syria, depending heavily on
the Kurdish rebels in the fight against the so-called Islamic State, while
not rupturing the already strained relations

between
Turkey and the U.S.” said Ali Soufan, a former F.B.I. counterterrorism
agent who is now chairman of The Soufan Group
.

“As the battlefield shrinks in Syria, the line has become near impossible
to maintain, and the U.S. will likely have to either dramatically scale
back its support of the Kurdish rebels — which would be seen as yet another
U.S. betrayal of the few groups that have consistently supported and helped
the U.S. in Syria and Iraq — or risk indirect and even direct conflict with
Turkey, a fellow NATO member.”

The assault also highlights the deepening ties between Russia and Turkey.
That relationship has recovered from the nadir it hit in November 2015,
when the Turks shot down

a
Russian fighter plane over Syria. Analysts say that Moscow, which controls
the skies in the area, almost certainly had to give the go-ahead for the
Turkish assault on the Kurds.

Full story here
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/21/world/middleeast/turkey-syria-kurds.html?emc=edit_th_180122=todaysheadlines=38183359
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Re: [Marxism] Some thoughts on US perspectives

2018-01-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Hi John: I wasn't confused, but your perspectives mix things up and add to
confusion IMHO. The recent elections were not an instance of class struggle
between the working class and the capitalist class. The working class was
absent. Working class individuals voted for ruling class candidates, but
the working class as a class did not participate.

Undoubtedly, the election of Trump reflects and is part of growing crisis
within the capitalist class, and the election of Trump has led to
additional attacks on the working class, class struggle by the ruling class
and its state against the working class, but the aftermath of his election
has also seen an upsurge of struggle  by sectors of the working class, most
notably women.

My point was simple: don't confuse elections which offer only ruling class
candidates with the class struggle.

Anthony
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Re: [Marxism] Some thoughts on US perspectives

2018-01-10 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Hmmm

This document says that Donald Trump's election was a defeat for the
working class in the United States, that it also would have been a defeat
for the working class if Hillary Clinton had won the election, and that the
working class does not exist as a coherent force in the United States.

It also says that the absence of a mass working class party is the key
factor in all of this, from which a reader might concludeall of US
history has been a long interrupted string of defeats for workers.

We must have returned to chattel slavery long ago, in fact it probably was
never abolished.

I recommend going back to the drawing board.

Anthony
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[Marxism] Albert Matlz's America

2018-01-09 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Apropos of Phillip Roth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhPwtnGviyg
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[Marxism] Venezuela's Future?

2017-12-12 Thread Anthony Boynton via Marxism
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Sri Lanka, Struggling With Debt, Hands a Major Port to China

New York Times by Kai Schultz Dec. 12, 2017



NEW DELHI — Struggling to pay its debt to Chinese firms, the nation of Sri
Lanka formally handed over the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a
99-year lease last week, in a deal that government critics have said
threatens the country’s sovereignty.

In recent years, China has shored up its presence in the Indian Ocean,
investing billions of dollars to build port facilities and plan maritime
trade routes as part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative to help
increase its market reach.

Along the way, smaller countries like Sri Lanka have found themselves owing
debts they cannot pay. Sri Lanka owes more than $8 billion to
state-controlled Chinese firms, officials say.

Sri Lankan politicians said the Hambantota deal, valued at $1.1 billion,
was necessary to chip away at the debt, but analysts warned of the
consequences of signing away too much control to China.

“The price being paid for reducing the China debt could prove more costly
than the debt burden Sri Lanka seeks to reduce,” said N. Sathiya Moorthy, a
senior fellow specializing in Sri Lanka at the New Delhi-based Observer
Research Foundation.

Full article at
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/world/asia/sri-lanka-china-port.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld=click=world=rank=package=highlights=6=sectionfront
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