Capitalism, Crises, and a Socialist Alternative: In Conversation With Michael A. Lebowitz By Rebekah Wetmore and Ryan Romard

17 January 2013 — MRZine

Rebekah Wetmore and Ryan Romard (RW/RR): The crisis of world capitalism starting in 2007 was the most severe crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression and thus far the recovery, both globally and within <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Canada, has been weak at best.  With this mind, to what extent is the current crisis cyclical and in what ways is this related to a broader, systemic crisis of the capitalist system?

Continue reading

Cuba, Socialism and Cybernetics By Ivet González

7 Jan 2013InterPress 

Cubans See Internet as Crucial to Future Development

HAVANA, Jan 5 2013 (IPS) – The Cuban government’s economic reforms must consider the myriad opportunities offered by the Internet, a key platform of the dominant economic model on the planet, according to interviews with both experts and average people. 

Continue reading

Books: The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”

25 November 2012 — Monthly Review Press

The Conductor and the Conducted

<div class=”bookinfo”><strong class=”bookinfo”>What was “real <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>socialism”—the term which originated in twentieth-century <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>socialist societies for the purpose of distinguishing them from abstract, theoretical <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>socialism? In this volume, Michael A. Lebowitz considers the nature, tendencies, and contradictions of those societies. Beginning with the constant presence of shortages within “real <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>socialism,” Lebowitz searches for the inner relations which generate these patterns. He finds these, in particular, in what he calls “vanguard relations of production,” a relation which takes the apparent form of a social contract where workers obtain benefits not available to their counterparts in capitalism but lack the power to decide within the workplace and society.
<div class=”byline”><img class=”Thumbnail large alignright” style=”margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;” src=”http://monthlyreview.org/press/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/contradictions-of-real-socialism-300×452.jpg” alt=”The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”” width=”180″ height=”271″ />
<div class=”entry-content”>

Continue reading

Turkey's 'zero-problem' policy at crossroads By Ramzy Baroud

 12 October 2012Asia Times

It seems that media consensus has been conclusively reached: Turkey has been forced into a Middle Eastern mess not of its own making; the “zero problems with neighbors” notion, once the foreign policy centerpiece of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been condemned to a romantic notion of no use in realpolitik. 

Turkey‘s “policy’s goal – to build strong economic, political, and social ties with the country’s immediate neighbors while decreasing its dependency on the United States – seemed to be within sight,” wrote Sinan Ulgen nearly a year ago. “But the Arab Spring exposed the policy’s vulnerabilities, and Turkey must now seek a new guiding principle for regional engagement.” – Read the rest here…

Marikana, where the ANC’s chickens came home to roost By William Bowles

26 August 2012

Anc logo

The African National Congress (ANC) won a resounding victory in South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 with a host of promises that it would improve the lives of the Black majority (85% of the population). And whilst there have been gains in some areas, overall, most Black South Africans are materially worse off now than they were under Apartheid.

Continue reading

Black Agenda Report 22 August 2012: Obama's Left Apologists / Blasting the GOP / Massacre at Marikana

012 — Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Fletcherism and Fakery: Guarding Obama’s Left Flank

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Obama’s key apologists on the Left have released their 2012 position paper, in which “the facts of the Obama presidency – his actual behavior on war, austerity, and civil liberties – are deemed irrelevant.” We need four more years of Obama, they say, to open up “space” for progressive action. In reality, Obama’s “great legacy has been to create vast political space for Wall Street and the Pentagon.”

American Unipolar Moment Has Ended, Global Multipolarity Emerges BY M Zarrar Haider

28 February 2012 — Pakistan Observer

Emerging multipolar world

The last two decades witnessed the expression of unipolarity in terms of unilateralism with invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the endemic Global War on Terror (GWOT). We are now in a new, fast-evolving multipolar world in which some developing countries are emerging as economic powers; others are moving towards becoming additional poles of growth; and some are struggling to attain their potential within this new system where North and South, East and West, are now points on a compass, not economic destinies. A new global order is rapidly emerging where the United States will no doubt remain a very important player.

Continue reading

Video: Contracorriente: Discussion with Michael Lebowitz

Cuba — February 2010.

View on YouTube website

Interview by Aurelio Alonso.

Michael Lebowitz is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. Some of his recent books include Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class, Palgrave Macmillan (2003), Build it Now: Socialism for the 21st Century, Monthly Review Press (2006) and Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, Monthly Review Press (2010).