Archive for February, 2015

“Evangelical Boilerplate” by Molly Worthen (THE NATION, 2/23/15)

February 24, 2015

Does it make sense in the year 2015 to review a biography of Billy Graham? Is there any chance that a significant number of such evangelists will ever accept people of color as equals?

Graham’s eldest child, who now runs his father’s Evangelistic Association, “promoted Sarah Palin” for president in 2012 (after all those decades of make nice with the civil rights movement!).

A. Garavente

“The Cost of a Decline in Unions” by Nicholas Kristof (TIMES, 2/19/15)

February 24, 2015

Kudos to Nicholas Kristof for admitting that he was wrong about seeing unions as impediments to a healthy economy.

He should have added that as unions have declined so has the workingclass. Workers in the USA are being included in the middleclass, even as they are being paid stingy wages.

Greece, Italy and Spain have workers. In the USA, such people as that have dropped off the unemployed roster. If we can’t find jobs for people, why even acknowledge their existence?

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition (NJFAC)

” Larry Vs Marco” by David Brooks TIMES, 2/13/15

February 17, 2015

If “Capitalism’s great triumph over socialism has been followed by a series of humbling setbacks since,” wasn’t that victory a Pyrric one?

More to the point: has the economic depression (not “great recession”) really come to an end?

Hiding the workingclass in the vaunted middleclass, of course, does make it difficult to assess its actual condition.

“Moderate conservative David Brooks rarely throws sufficient light on the situation.

A. Garavente

“Congress, Don’t Be Fooled; Obama Still Believes in Unlimited War” by Bruce Ackerman (TIMES, 2/12/15)

February 17, 2015

But Donald Rumsfeld said he didn’t do quagmires!

Can’t Obama get him on the phone?

Are the American people expected to tolerate this quagmire indefinitely?

Has anybody called Dick Cheney? Surely, the former Shadow President–the “take charge guy”– would know?

A. Garavente

“How I Became a Radical” by James Gustave Speth, THE NATION, 2/16/15

February 10, 2015

The question is not how individuals like Speth (or myself, for that matter) become radical. Some variation of this essay could be written by millions of Americans.

The left should organize a political party–call it radical or progressive–that represents the American workingclass, a more significant proportion of the population ┬áthan is generally acknowledged. (Everybody claims to be middleclass!)

The workingclass constitutes those people who rely on a wage or a salary for their existence. If properly led, such people would openly favor a higher minimum wage and a shorter work week as two of their immediate needs.

A progressive political party would work 24/7 for the attainment of such reforms. The two-party system is dead in the water.

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition

“Chiang vs, Mao” by Thomas J. Christensen

February 10, 2015

J.V. Stalin was not a role model for Mao Zedong. On the contrary, Mao had to overcome the control of a group of Stalinist stooges usually referred to as the “Returned Students’ faction.” That struggle took place from 1931 to 1938.

Though Mao never held the title secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he did function as one after the short-lived reigns of Wang Ming, Bo Gu and Luo Fu between 1931 and 1938.

His rise to power was possible primarily because he held the reins of power during the Agrarian Revolutionary Civil War (1927-1937), the leading force of a vast peasant uprising.

Though this rebellion reached its apogee by the spring of 1932, it was still a force to be reckoned with in 1934, when its leaders attempted a “strategic shift” (aka: the Long March, 1934-1936).

That’s what Mao was doing when leaders of the CCP apparatus (Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping) were attempting to proletarianize what had been a peasant resistance.

A. Garavente

National Jobs For All Coalition