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How Power Works PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Hedges   
Sunday, 30 October 2016 13:27

Chris Hedges -

AtticaHeather Ann Thompson’s book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” is a detailed study of the inner workings of America. The blueprint for social control employed before and after the crushing of the Attica revolt is the same blueprint used today to keep tens of millions of poor people, especially poor people of color, caged or living in miniature police states. Thompson meticulously documents the innumerable ways the state oppresses the poor by discrediting their voices, turning the press into a megaphone for government propaganda and lies, stoking the negative stereotypes of black people, exalting white supremacy, ruining the lives of people who speak the truth, manipulating the courts and law enforcement, and pressuring state witnesses to lie to obstruct justice. Her book elucidates not only the past but also the present, which, she concedes, is worse.

“America by the early twenty-first century had, in disturbing ways, come to resemble America in the late nineteenth century,” Thompson writes near the end of her book. “In 1800 the three-fifths clause gave white voters political power from a black population that was itself barred from voting, and after 2000 prison gerrymandering was doing exactly the same thing in numerous states across the country. After 1865, African American desires for equality and civil rights in the South following the American Civil War led whites to criminalize African American communities in new ways and then sent record numbers of blacks to prison in that region. Similarly, a dramatic spike in black incarceration followed the civil rights movement—a movement that epitomized Attica. From 1965 onward, black communities were increasingly criminalized, and by 2005, African Americans constituted 40 percent of the U.S. prison population while remaining less than 13 percent of its overall population. And just as businesses had profited from the increased number of Americans in penal facilities after 1870, so did they seek the labor of a growing captive prison population after 1970. In both centuries, white Americans had responded to black claims for freedom by beefing up, and making more punitive, the nation’s criminal justice system.”

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The Only Force That Can Combat Imperialism Today Is a Worldwide Struggle of Workers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joomla! Administrator   
Monday, 25 April 2016 01:30

John Bellamy Foster
Interviewed by Mohsen Abdelmoumen -

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Can we consider you a modern Marxist?

John Bellamy Foster: What is meant by "modern" nowadays is always a complex topic, but setting that aside I would answer Yes, in the concrete sense that I am engaged in the development of historical materialism in the present and see my analysis as part of a broad revolutionary intellectual heritage and scientific tradition going back to Marx.  I am particularly concerned with the reunification of Marxism in theory and practice, transcending the Cold War divisions, which split apart Marxism as well, and building on the classical historical materialist tradition.  Central to this reunification is the challenge represented by the ecological crisis -- along with the political-economic crisis of our time, and the new fissures opening up in contemporary imperialism.  The left has to be open to new strategies for the development of socialism reflecting the changing conditions of the present as history.  Western Marxism needs to free itself from Eurocentrism and put imperialism at the center of its analysis.

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Malcolm X as Relevant Today as 50 Years Ago PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Gilmore   
Saturday, 21 February 2015 08:55

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X was brutally murdered in New York City. With his assassination, the United States missed a chance to fully address some of the racial issues that persist to this day.

He was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Neb. He was raised mostly in Lansing, Michigan, where his father, Earl, an outspoken follower of the black self-determination proponent Marcus Garvey, was killed, allegedly by white supremacists. Earl’s death devastated the Little family and eventually led young Malcolm, an exceptional grade school student, to drift into a life of petty crime and drug abuse.

Malcolm went to prison in Massachusetts some years later. It was here where he found himself and his voice when he converted to the religion and worldview of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X emerged from prison a changed man. He became the leading spokesman for racial separatism in America, but also against racism in a very different way from traditional civil rights groups. And he did more than speak out against racism in the abstract; he also spoke out on particular concerns, some of which remain with us.

In a May 1964 speech, he talked about police brutality in black communities.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015 12:05
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