Following its failed crypto scheme, authoritarian president Nayib Bukele’s cash-strapped government is making moves to reverse El Salvador’s metal mining ban. Its reintroduction would be a disaster for the nation’s already contaminated water supply. Salvadorans participate in a protest against mining outside the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador
Matt Karp on class dealignment and why the Left’s weakening connection to blue-collar workers isn’t a problem we can wish away. Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at North Coast Air aeronautical services at Erie International Airport on October 20, 2020 in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Jeff Swensen / Getty Images) In a recent article, Chris Maisano raises some
French president Emmanuel Macron plans to hike the retirement age to 64, sparking massive protests. The government claims the current retirement age is unsustainable: but what French workers really can’t afford is to work till they drop. Placards with the face of Emmanuel Macron being held during the march against pension reform in Paris, France, on January
In Russia, mounting authoritarianism and the wartime crackdown on dissent have hobbled trade unions. A five-day strike by food couriers showed that at least some workers are refusing to be muzzled. Yandex.Eats food delivery couriers push their scooters along a pedestrian bridge in Moscow on April 30, 2021. (Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP via Getty Images) In
House Republicans have wasted no time in red-baiting the Left, and the centrist leadership of the Democratic Party has apparently been happy to join them. Representative Nancy Pelosi during an event to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 2, 2023. (Ting Shen / Bloomberg
Rosa Parks was born on this day in 1913. Far from being a face of respectability politics, she was a defiant and seasoned working-class organizer who despised the cringing submission that Jim Crow induced and who doggedly fought oppression in all its forms. Rosa Parks speaking at the conclusion of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights march, with Reverend
Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne’s new detective show, Poker Face, is a brilliant working-class riff on Knives Out. Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face. (Paramount, 2023) It’s a relief to watch Poker Face, the new hit mystery series created by Rian Johnson of Knives Out and Glass Onion fame, currently airing on Peacock. Not just because it’s a delightful show, made
Following every juicy, unhinged twist and turn of Rod Dreher’s writing is trash TV for leftist intellectuals. Rod Dreher. (Elekes Andor / Wikimedia Commons) For some time, I have been trying to figure out exactly how to describe the quality of horrified fascination that the right-wing writer Rod Dreher evokes for so many of the people I know — many of them the
J. D. Vance, the faux-populist senator from Ohio, says that Donald Trump “kept the peace” as president. He has a short memory. Ohio senator J. D. Vance speaking in Columbus, Ohio. (Sarah L. Voisin / the Washington Post via Getty Images) In an op-ed this week for the Wall Street Journal, Ohio senator J. D. Vance praises Donald Trump’s record as president and endorses
Israel’s air strikes on Iran highlight the risk that Israeli bellicosity and Biden administration fecklessness could combine to produce a disastrous regional war in the Middle East. Eli Cohen, Israel's foreign minister, speaks at a news conference with Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, in Jerusalem, Israel, on January 30, 2023. (Kobi Wolf / Bloomberg
The City University of New York is the crown jewel of the city’s once-robust welfare state, a vital resource for working-class New Yorkers. Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul are starving it. Ahead of the final state budget, over a thousand New Yorkers including students, faculty, staff, and supporters of City University of New York (CUNY) and State University
In 2020, Quaker Oats and its parent company, PepsiCo, announced the retirement of the Aunt Jemima brand for their syrup and pancake mix. The move was a response to backlash against the negative “Mammy” stereotype the brand invoked. But the discourse being what it is, there was inevitably a backlash to the backlash, with some […]
Emmanuel Macron plans to raise France’s retirement age — but this Tuesday, well over a million people mobilized against him. One of the biggest social movements in years, it has a chance to deal a decisive blow to attacks on welfare. Protesters march through the streets of Paris as part of a nationwide protest and strike against President Macron's pension reform
On the evening of June 14, 2017, an electrical fire broke out on the fourth floor of a West London high-rise apartment block. This fire grew and took hold on the cladding that had been added to the exterior as part of a revamp a few years before. The cladding had a core equivalent to […]
The Bush administration’s war on terror meted out unthinkable violence in the Middle East while imposing an atmosphere of repression and nativism at home. It was the perfectly malignant petri dish for helping produce Donald Trump. George W, Bush speaking at campaign rally in Burbank, CA in 2000. (Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group via Getty
With its upstart golf league, LIV Golf, Saudi Arabia has picked a fight with the American golf establishment. And because that establishment has stiffed so many pro golfers for so long, the Saudis appear to be winning. Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the 16th tee as former US president Donald Trump looks on during day one of the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster
In several Canadian provinces, burned-out health care workers are leaving in droves, a result of wage suppression and attacks on workers. The fight for labor rights is key to fixing Canada’s health care crisis. Ontario's pediatric care crisis had the Sick Kids Critical Care Unit busy moving children between hospitals and making space for the most severe cases.
Unlike with other academic workers, unionization among tenure-track faculty is rare. But unions can make it easier for tenure-stream faculty to fight back against the corporatization of higher ed. Elisheva Gross, a continuing lecturer in the University of California system, supporting a graduate student worker strike. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Much of the world is likely to have a recession this year, and Britain is expected to be especially hard hit. We can thank years of stagnant wages for workers — made worse by the Tories’ return to cruel austerity policies. A sign painted on the side of a house directs people to a local food bank in Leeds, England. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) The year 2023 looks
The organizer of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech was also the leader of the first successful black labor union. For A. Philip Randolph, labor and civil rights were one and the same. A. Phillip Randolph, socialist, labor organizer, and civil rights leader, speaks at the Fair Employment Practices Committee
We are rightly skeptical of apps because the tech industry has plundered the commons, but a new app for union organizing should be given the opportunity to demonstrate proof of concept. Anything that makes union organizing easier has the potential to do good. A construction worker uses his phone while on break. (Anthony Wallace / AFP via Getty Images) Among
Millions of renters are suffering immensely right now as they face down imminent evictions in a housing market that has seen rents skyrocket in recent years. Joe Biden’s recently announced renters relief plan won’t do much to aid them. Florida tenants struggling with rent watch news of US President Joe Biden in their home on January 19, 2022. (Chandan Khanna
Karl Marx was one of the greatest intellectuals of the nineteenth century. He was also one of its greatest writers. Like Charles Dickens, Honoré de Balzac, and the Brontë sisters, Marx looms large among the peaks of nineteenth-century prose. Ludovico Silva’s newly translated Marx’s Literary Style, originally published as El estilo literario de Marx in […]
Ukraine is being sized up by neocolonial vultures from BlackRock to the EU for a carve-up after the war is over. On the menu is deregulation, privatization, and “tax efficiency” — measures that may have already begun. Ukrainian rescuers examine a damaged residential building after a Russian shelling in Kherson, southern Ukraine, on January 29, 2023, amid
Following recent victories at Yale and Northwestern, graduate student workers at the University of Chicago are voting on whether to unionize at the end of the month. We spoke with workers there about the history of their effort and what they think is next. University of Chicago graduate student workers after submitting a petition for union recognition to the
In his monumental collage series Projections (1964), American artist Romare Bearden encapsulated a century of African-American strife. Builders, matriarchs, and blues guitarists coalesce in lyrical street scenes, juxtaposing their dilapidated homes with the sleek urban landmarks they helped construct. Bearden charted the transition from chattel
I have had what I have been privately referring to as a poetry block for several years: I can barely read it, I certainly can’t write it, and it’s difficult to properly read anything about it. I used to live for poetry, and I still make a living by, occasionally, teaching it. It’s a strange […]
Across Eastern Europe, the war in Ukraine has reinvigorated narratives that present life under Soviet rule as akin to Nazi genocide. It’s bad history — and it indulges the nationalist groups who collaborated with Adolf Hitler. The Memorial of Red Army Soldiers is scaffolded ahead being dismantled at the Antakalnis Cemetery in Vilnius on December 6, 2022.
The United Packinghouse Workers of America was a beacon of “civil rights unionism.” And in the aftermath of Emmett Till’s grotesque lynching in 1955, the union spearheaded a mass campaign on Till’s behalf in the North and South. Four women from the United Packinghouse Workers of America Louisiana delegation to the trial of Emmett Till’s murderers, standing
Protesters against a massive police militarization complex in Atlanta have been slapped with domestic terrorism charges for throwing bottles and breaking windows. That should be deeply worrisome for anyone who values the right to dissent. Police arrest a protester during a "Stop Cop City" protest in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 21, 2023. (Benjamin Hendren
Yesterday, staff at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse did something no British workers at the company had previously done: they walked off the job. Amazon workers on strike outside the Coventry Amazon fulfillment center on January 25, 2023. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) It’s 5 a.m. and Amin is on the picket line outside the Amazon warehouse in Coventry.
Austerity-minded Jeff Zients’s appointment as White House chief of staff signals Joe Biden’s return to the fiscal hawkishness that has always been his sweet spot. US president Joe Biden makes an announcement on additional military support for Ukraine in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on January 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
In a world where norms and codes of conduct mattered, George Santos’s would be an open and shut case. But as long as he remains useful to the narrow Republican House majority, the chronically dishonest congressman likely isn’t going anywhere. Representative George Santos leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on January
Synthpop icon Molly Nilsson speaks about the future of creative pursuits in a neoliberal world, her hatred of pessimism, and her admiration for revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg. Swedish Singer Molly Nilsson performs live in in Berlin, Germany, 2015. (Frank Hoensch / Redferns via Getty Images) On her days off from working at the cloakroom at Berlin’s Berghain
Analytic philosophy, a branch of the discipline that emphasizes rigorous argumentation, is often dismissed as a set of abstract puzzle games. But analytic philosophers have reinterpreted Marxism to provide a radical critique of capitalist society. Workers packing syrups and fruit delicacies into glass jars at a bottling plant, circa 1890. (Hulton Archive
Before their illiberal turn, Poland and Hungary were lauded as postcommunist poster children. Both nations have combined moderately redistributive welfare states with attacks on civil liberties — but inflation is putting their growth model to the test. Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki welcomes Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán in front
Labor minister Yolanda Díaz is Spain’s most popular politician — and her new Sumar electoral vehicle promises to greatly expand the Left’s support. But the project remains marred by infighting, with strained relations between Díaz and her Podemos allies. Yolanda Díaz during the presentation of the working coordinators of Sumar in Madrid, Spain on September
The mainstream pro-choice movement has mounted a highly individualized defense of abortion rights, one centered on privacy and choice. But abortion rights can also also be rooted in achieving economic justice for everyone. Abortion rights activists attend the Women's March Action Rally for reproductive rights at Mariachi Plaza on October 8, 2022 in Los
Joe Biden has repeatedly pushed to cut Social Security in the past. But a proposal to end the payroll tax exemption for the rich would bolster the crucial government service and even has Joe Manchin’s support. The president has no excuse not to support it. President Joe Biden speaks during an event with a bipartisan group of mayors in the East Room of the White House
Left political strategies have traditionally divided between social democratic parliamentarism and the Leninist idea of “smashing the state.” Nicos Poulantzas argued that neither strategy was adequate and developed his own vision of “revolutionary reformism.” The Petrograd Soviet in 1917. (Wikimedia Commons) The publication of Nicos Poulantzas’s
The US health care system forces new parents to pay thousands of dollars simply to have their child delivered into the world. That’s absurd. We could easily make childbirth free for all. A pregnant woman holds her belly on September 27, 2016 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images) Last year, Elizabeth Bruenig wrote a piece at the
The great labor historian Michael Denning reflects on what Antonio Gramsci’s work has to tell us today. A mural of Antonio Gramsci in Rome, 2015. (Nicholas Gemini / Wikimedia Commons) Italian communist leader and theorist Antonio Gramsci is perhaps more referenced than actually read. But his work is worth wrestling with. As an organizer, Gramsci developed
The CEO of United Airlines has stated publicly that airlines are selling more flight tickets than they can actually staff, causing chaos for customers. Yet Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg all but refuses to do anything about it. Pete Buttigieg during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on January 21,
Elon Musk has cultivated an image as a down-to-earth billionaire who can propel us into a wondrous climate change–free future. But even his most ambitious visions leave the plutocratic status quo intact. Elon Musk after a T-Mobile and SpaceX joint event on August 25, 2022 in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. (Michael Gonzalez / Getty Images) In 2015, the blog Wait But
Syriza’s surrender to the troika in 2015 continues to hang over Greece’s radical left. With general elections coming this spring, it needs to break out of its impasse — and create a real alternative to the country’s permanent austerity regime. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras speaks to the press outside his office in Athens on June 6, 2019. (Louisa Gouliamaki /
From the Cold War to the war on terror, Washington has backed a series of Ethiopian governments while turning a blind eye to their human rights abuses. The Biden administration’s appeasement of Abiy Ahmed’s government is the latest example of this shabby record. US secretary of state Antony Blinken meets with Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed during the
Almost a year into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the state is cracking down ever harder on all signs of dissent. Today exiled or jailed, the Russians who spoke out against the war are key to rebuilding a peaceful, democratic society. Russian artist Alexandra Skochilenko, 32, who was detained in April on charges of spreading "fake information" about
Algeria’s national cinema emerged from the cross-cultural exchange and solidarity that was vital to resisting French colonialism and war. It’s a striking example of the internationalist energies of film committed to national liberation struggles. Algerian film director Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina (third from left), Greek actor Yorgo Voyagis (second
Though Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns, and other developments have brought the themes of class and economic inequality back into public consciousness in recent years, this resurgence has been accompanied by denunciations of Marxism as an outdated framework for social and political analysis. Pundits and politicians warn
After a decade that produced a series of shocks, the European Union seems to have weathered its worst moment of crisis. Yet the EU still suffers a fundamental lack of democracy — and the Left should be in the forefront of demanding its reform. European Parliament president Roberta Metsola (at the rostrum) speaks during the conference on the Future of Europe in
Taiwan has been subject to the machinations of great powers for much of its history. A better international order would ensure that all nations, big and small, have an equal voice in the global arena. Chiang Kai-shek and his wife walk past government officials, military leaders, and servicemen in Taipei, Taiwan, after attending the rally marking the 60th anniversary