The Global South vs. the West

YEMEN MARCHES FOR PALESTINE Thomas Friedman wrote a column in the New York Times this week entitled “A Titanic Geopolitical Struggle is Underway.” The column clarifies the neoliberal imperialist view of Israel’s Gaza genocide, as well as the Ukraine war. Before reading it, my conclusion was that it Bibi must have pictures of US politicians on Epstein’s island for Biden and his Democratic colleagues to pursue a policy of supporting genocide that will almost certainly cost them the election in November.  But Friedman puts the genocide in context. The “titanic” struggle (will it sink too?) he describes is between what […]

Zionism vs. Nazism

Palestinian and Israeli unity: Just to be clear, I am 100% in favor of a ceasefire, a free Palestine, and against Zionist genocide. I was weaned on antisemitism, drank it in with my mother’s milk. My uncle used to “joke,” “Hitler was half right. He should have killed the other half.” My mother scoffed, but didn’t argue with him. I think most US and European gentiles have been inculcated with antisemitism almost as much as with anti-Black racism. And, as with racism, white gentiles need to own our prejudices which persist despite our arduous efforts to contradict them and […]

Worldwide Support for Palestine

War is the midwife of social change goes the cliché, butchering what Marx said. Russia after World War I, China after World War II.  The war in Gaza has triggered something worldwide. Where it goes remains to be seen, but there have been more people in the streets for Palestine than for any cause, at least since the Vietnam War, if even then. My Facebook feed is full of all kinds of people supporting Palestine and attacking the Zionists. I haven’t yet seen much of a class analysis, so let me venture there. The world has been in class warfare, […]

The Classless Society

Buried in the New York Times´ rave review (by Phillip Maclak) of the superb series, Boots Riley’s “I’m a Virgo,” is this sentence: “Riley, himself an avowed communist, has always been an unabashedly political artist.” It’s refreshing to see the word “communist” used so casually. At the same time it reflects the weakness of the  US communist movement, no longer considered a threat, at least in the US neoliberal media.  With the notable exceptions of China, Vietnam, Cuba and perhaps India, communist parties have become mere shadows of their former selves. Most leftists squirm at the use of the word. Between […]

Occupy Earth?

It’s time to do something. Humanity is facing an existential emergency – this is not news. War, climate collapse, and global wealth inequality are fanning the flames of an apocalyptic catastrophe – if we – the people of the world, the 99% – don’t act now. The person who came up with the idea that “we are the 99%,” David Graeber. was one of the founders of the Occupy movement in New York (2011-12). He was also co-author with David Wengrow of the Dawn of Everything, and died weeks after finishing this groundbreaking book, subtitled A New History of Humanity. Let’s make this […]

Godfather of Harlem

The Godfather of Harlem, a series currently on MGM+ and Hulu, is among the best shows on television since The Wire. It’s the story of real-life gangster Bumpy Johnson, played brilliantly by Forrest Whittaker, navigating Harlem in the early sixties (1963-65), between his friend Malcolm X, his sometime ally Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and the five Italian Mafia families. Nearly all the characters are historical.  Each episode, especially in the first two seasons, is finely crafted with parallel plots between the Mafia families, Bumpy’s family, and Malcolm’s family. The episodes are often centered around historical events, like the 1963 March […]

Capitalism and Climate Collapse

This seems so obvious it hardly needs explanation: the cause of impending climate collapse is capitalism. As I said in my blog last week, one step we can take is transforming the public schools to educate the next generation in combatting climate collapse. But beyond that, we need to advocate vigorously for our governments to do what it takes to curtail the continued spewing of greenhouse gasses by the fossil fuel and energy sectors of the economy, which most likely will ultimately require nationalization of those sectors. We need to plan for a post-capitalist society. The term “Socialism” has such a […]

Transforming the Public Schools to Save the Planet

Like Leonard Cohen says, everybody knows. Everybody knows that the climate is on the verge of collapse and the public school system is failing students spectacularly. We have an immodest proposal that can bring these crises toward a joint resolution.  We propose to reorient the entire school system so that its main focus for everyone — students, teachers, and parents alike — is to study the earth and the climate crisis for the purpose of developing solutions.  We’ll start with one school, appropriately named Brookfield in Oakland, California. A few of us got the idea when the school board voted […]


I’m reprinting this article from Susan Watkins of the New Left Review because, while it’s long, it is by far the best analysis of the Ukraine war that I’ve read. NEW LEFT REVIEW #137 September/October 2022 Editorial FIVE WARS IN ONE The Battle for Ukraine SUSAN WATKINS A classic analysis of the Second World War defines it as the outcome of five different types of conflict.footnote1 First, war between the top imperialist powers—Germany, Japan, the us, Britain—competing for the position of world hegemon. For this, the challenger powers had both to assert control over a key region—for Japan, China and […]

The Death of Gorbachev

The deafening silence on the left regarding Gorbachev – at least of my FB friends and facebook groups –is almost funny, considering what a pivotal figure old Gorbie was. It would behoove the left IMHO to understand just what happened in the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union, the single biggest global political tragedy since World War II.  The left has a self-defeating tendency to be too ruthless or not ruthless enough, a Stalin-Gorbie counterpoint I suppose. On the one hand Gorbachev oversaw the disintegration of the union of socialist republics. This was an enormous defeat for the socialist movement. […]