Two New Pamphlets on Farming and Darwin

2 June, 2009 – Socialist Voice has published two new pamphlets. The PDF files may be downloaded free.

LA VIA CAMPESINA: FARMERS NORTH AND SOUTH CONFRONT AGRIBUSINESS. by John Riddell and Adriana Paz. Around the world, farm income is plummeting, pushing farmers off the land and into destitution. Militant farmers and farmworkers are fighting back.

MARX, ENGELS, AND DARWIN. by Ian Angus. How Darwin’s theory of evolution confirmed and extended the most fundamental concepts of Marxism. Why Karl Marx described Darwin’s Origin of Species as “the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.”

Venezuela: ‘When the working class roars, capitalists tremble’ By Federico Fuentes

30 May, 2009 – Green Left

Addressing the 400-strong May 21 workshop with workers from the industrial heartland of Guayana, dedicated to the ‘socialist transformation of basic industry’, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez noted with satisfaction the outcomes of discussions: ‘I can see, sense and feel the roar of the working class.’

‘When the working class roars, the capitalists tremble’, he said.

Chavez announced plans to implement a series of radical measures, largely drawn from proposals coming from the workers’ discussion that day.

The workers greeted each of Chavez’s announcements with roars of approval, chanting ‘This is how you govern!’

Chavez said: ‘The proposals made have emerged from the depths of the working class. I did not come here to tell you what to do! It is you who are proposing this.’

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Ostracism or Reconciliation? Cuba, the U.S. and the Organization of American States

1 June, 2009 – Council on Hemispheric Affairs

A fateful moment may be at hand in the future of the Inter-American movement

The fate of the Organization of American States (OAS) will be put into doubt this week during its meeting in Honduras, with the prospect of Cuba’s reentry into the organization after nearly fifty years of a U.S.-led suspension looming over the agenda.

A magical airport for Haiti won the Cuban vote for the U.S.

In 1962, President Kennedy’s ambassador to the OAS, DeLesseps Morrison, a rabid anti-communist, pushed a resolution through the organization suspending Cuba’s membership in the Western Hemisphere’s most important regional institution. Given the lack of overwhelming regional backing for such a move against Cuba at the time, this was no easy task. In fact, in order to convince Haitian President Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier to support the U.S. initiative to bar Cuba from the OAS, Ambassador Morrison had to bribe the reprehensible Haitian dictator by promising to fund the construction of a new airport in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

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Marta Harnecker, "Ideas for the Struggle #2: Not to Impose But to Convince"

1 June, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

This is the second in a series of articles on ‘Ideas for the Struggle’ by Marta Harnecker.

1. Popular movements and, more generally, various social actors who are engaged in the struggle against neoliberal globalization today at the international level as well as in their own countries reject, with good reason, actions that aim to impose hegemony on movements. They don’t accept the steamroller policy often used by some political and social organizations that, taking advantage of their position of strength and monopolizing positions of leadership, attempt to manipulate movements. They don’t accept the authoritarian imposition of leadership from above; they don’t accept attempts made to lead movements by simply giving orders, no matter how correct they are.

2. Such a hegemonist attitude, instead of bringing forces together, has the opposite effect. On the one hand, it creates discontent in the other organizations; they feel manipulated, obligated to accept decisions in which they’ve had no participation; and on the other hand, it reduces the number of allies, given that an organization that assumes such a position is incapable of representing the real interests of all sectors of the population and often provokes mistrust and scepticism among them.

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Revolutionary Haitian Priest, Gerard Jean-Juste, Presente! By Bill Quigley

31 May, 2009 by

Jean-Juste.jpgThough Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste died May 27, 2009, at age 62, in Miami from a stroke and breathing problems, he remains present to millions. Justice-loving people world-wide mourn his death and celebrate his life. Pere Jean-Juste worked uncompromisingly for justice for Haitians and the poor, both in Haiti and in the U.S.

Pere Jean-Juste was a Jesus-like revolutionary. In jail and out, he preached liberation of the poor, release of prisoners, human rights for all, and a fair distribution of wealth. A big muscular man with a booming voice and a frequent deep laugh, he wore a brightly colored plastic rosary around his neck and carried another in his pocket. Jailed for nearly a year in Haiti by the U.S. supported coup government which was trying to silence him, Amnesty International called him a Prisoner of Conscience.

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Book Review: Nancy Jacobs, "Nation-States as Building Blocks"

1 June, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Paul Nugent. Africa since Independence: A Comparative History. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. xix + 620 pp. $99.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-333-68272-2; $35.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-333-68273-9.

africa-book.jpgThis is a masterful work of usable academic history. By sharply delineating diverse trends in scores of countries, it applies expert analysis to sub-Saharan Africa, ‘the continent which has been subjected to the greatest distortions and willful misunderstandings’ (p. 1). It addresses the question of how historians may lay claim to the recent past and also how rigorous historical engagement with continuity, change, diversity, and divergence can cut through platitudes about the contemporary world. In this book, Africa has no ‘fate.'[1] It cannot be represented through emblematic case studies of portent development. Some part of the past was always up for grabs and acts of grasping created a good part of recognizable history. Supported by carefully marshaled evidence, Paul Nugent’s interpretations are nuanced and sometimes understated. Never didactic, arguments unfold over carefully crafted chapters.

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