At the Socialism 2010 conference in Oakland, Calif., SocialistWorker.org contributor Leela Yellesetty spoke on “What Would Socialism Be Like?” This three-part article is based on her talk. In the first part, she answers the time-worn charge that socialism wouldn’t work with this question–who can say that capitalism is working?
I woke up in the early 1970s. Since such an awakening happened in my life, I believe something similar happens also in the life of others. Though I didn’t realize it I had stood for sometime at a crossroads. I had to take the left. This sounds reductive but in retrospect it feels that my transformation happened more or less like that. Before, I was one person. Afterwards—the interval might have been months long, maybe a couple years—I was another. No need to over-dramatize and claim that the event happened as if it arrived like a thunder bolt. In any case, over a period of time, in the same way revolution happens, I revolted against my own self of the time; against my old life. And I became another. Today, as a result, part of my personal philosophy of life is that people can and do change. Fundamentally.
Working-class and pro-working-class socialists and left anarchists have long fought for shorter working hours (with no reductions in pay) for some very good radically democratic reasons. It isn’t just that workers’ everyday lives and collective marketplace and workplace bargaining power are enhanced when they are freed from the scourge of over-work and when working hours are spread more evenly across the workforce. Beyond these real and meaningful gains, rank-and-file socialists and left anarchists have long supported decent working hours so that workers can have enough time to develop tastes and build knowledge and organizations to fight for a world beyond the rule of capitalism, the profit- and accumulation-addicted system that, in Karl Marx’s famous 1848 words, “resolve[s] personal worth into exchange value” and “le[aves] no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment.’”
The Communist Manifesto is a political pamphlet written by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. First published in 1848 in London, the manifesto helped fuel the Spring of Nations revolutions of the same year.
All income growth of the past few years is going to the top 10 percent, without paying more in taxes. IMF says that higher taxation of the top earners would not impinge on economic growth, explains economist Michael Roberts.
An article written for the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, to be read in Beijing today.
Socialism a century ago seemed to be the wave of the future. There were various schools of socialism, but the common ideal was to guarantee support for basic needs, and for state ownership to free society from landlords, predatory banking and monopolies. In the West these hopes are now much further away than they seemed in 1917. Land and natural resources, basic infrastructure monopolies, health care and pensions have been increasingly privatized and financialized.
Numerous correspondents sent me the latest lengthy Atlantic essay by the brilliant and eloquent but bourgeois Black Identitarian Ta-Nehesi Coates and asked for my reflections. I reluctantly agreed to read and comment on Coates’ long treatise.
The Historical Gastonia Textile Mill Strikes Are Not Forgotten
When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South.
Left Forum 2017, Gramsci’s Importance for the Left Today, John Jay College, CUNY, 6-2-2017, New York City, Laura Flanders, Chair, The Laura Flanders Show, Chris Hedges, Truthdig, On Contact RT, Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work; Left Forum, Kate Crehan, College of Staten Island, Graduate Center, CUNY
The recent death of the Russian poet with whom I was acquainted, Yevgheny Yevtushenko, prompted these considerations of the role of poets in social-cultural-political progress in general and in a particularly spectacular fashion in Russia. In few other countries have poets played a more significant than in Russia. Nonetheless, for centuries Russian poets have been harassed, persecuted, and punished for their songs. Dostoevsky imprisoned, Pushkin exiled, Yesenin, Mayakovsky and Tsvetaeva suicides, Mandelshtam and others perished in the cultural events of 1937. Poets seldom lead easy lives anywhere. The poet sees the ideals but he must flee from the world in order to rejoice in them and he cannot remain unaffected by the caricatures of these ideals around him.
I want to speak about the big picture in terms of what happened last Tuesday, Nov. 8, with Trump’s election. That event is important for a party like ours, a revolutionary communist party at the center of world imperialism. Yes, U.S. imperialism is weakening, but it is still the center of world imperialism.
THE 2016 presidential election has created an environment where millions of people who are sympathetic to socialism will be pressured to choose between the revolting and ridiculous Republican bigot Donald Trump and the supposed “lesser evil” Hillary Clinton.