U.S. Puppeteering and the Philosophy of Chavismo: Nicolas Maduro as a Symbol of Venezuelan Sovereignty | Canyon Ryan

Analysis | August 5th, 2019

On January 23, 2019, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, at an opposition rally in Caracas proclaimed himself President of Venezuela. Quickly, the United States (U.S.) and lobbied allies announced their recognition of Guaidó as the legitimate President and denounced the elected president, Nicolás Maduro, as a usurper and dictator. Before that day, Guaidó was largely an unknown figure to much of Venezuela. Polling prior to Guaidó's self-proclamation suggested approximately 80% of Venezuelans had never even heard of him (Ciccariello-Maher, 2019). Ignoring the absence of such a mandate, as of July 2019, reportedly 54 countries support Guaidó as the interim-President of Venezuela.

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"Beacon by the Sea?": The Tourist-Neoliberal Complex in Barcelona, Anti-Tourism, and Nationalist Insurgency | Joe Hinton

Analysis | June 3rd, 2019

The Catalan capital of Barcelona has received a substantial amount of deserved attention from urban social scientists over the past quarter century. From a variety of theoretical lenses, scholars have analyzed the interplay between governance networks and distributive conflicts within the city, mostly centering around the nuanced effects and origins of the city's urban regeneration plan, the Barcelona model. The model has bolstered Barcelona's global economic competitiveness and revived its urban culture while compromising the city's public spaces, social cohesion, housing market, neighborhood authenticity, and low-income residents. Regime theorists recognize the dynamic nature of these governance networks, refuting their classification as binarily or reductively neoliberal or participatory, while social historians also emphasize the how Barcelona's once decentralized, anti-capitalist political economy was indelibly compromised by Francoism and Olympic regeneration, profitable but superficial and unsustainable place branding, and its subsequent cultural decay: key dimensions of the current distributive conflict. But, at the same time, Barcelona's pride in its progressive cultural history has been a key element of the Barcelona model, one that is somewhat antithetical to the goals of tourist-oriented growth.

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The Ebb And Flow Of Freedom: Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica in the Age of Bourgeois Revolution | Zach Medeiros

Analysis | May 30th, 2019

The power of the Haitian Revolution reverberated across the planet, but the revolution made its most profound and lasting impacts on the neighboring slave societies of the Atlantic world. In the nearby colonies of British Jamaica and Spanish Cuba, enslaved people, free people of color, and white settlers were forced to adjust-materially and ideologically-to an unprecedented, explosive event that upended life as they knew it. In Cuba, the colonial government and the planter class sought to "emulate Saint-Domingue and contain Haiti," doubling-down on slavery to supplant the former as the economic jewel of the colonized Caribbean while working to ensure the latter would not be duplicated. In Jamaica, which was home to the largest concentration of enslaved people in the region outside of Saint-Domingue, the revolution helped facilitate the slow crawl of British abolitionism, despite the sturdiness of the Jamaican slave regime. In both cases, free and enslaved people of color seized upon the new possibilities cracked open by the unmaking of Saint-Domingue and forging of Haiti. Far off imperial governments, colonial administrators, ruling elites, slaves, poor whites, and free people of color jostled for political space, sometimes in conjunction with one another, sometimes in bloody competition, all grappling with the coexistence of a resurgent slave power along with its antithesis.

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An Anti-imperialist Analysis of the 2011 Destruction of Libya | Valerie Reynoso

Analysis | April 20th, 2019

In 1969, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi led a military coup against King Idris in Libya. The coup overthrew the King and resulted in the establishment of the Jamahiriya government, which lasted nearly five decades. The results of the coup were far-reaching: it eliminated the Libyan monarchy, formed a new republic, set the foundation for an accelerated approach to Pan-Africanism, and established key alliances with the Soviet Union, Egypt, and Syria. Under Gaddafi's rule, Libyan living standards consistently increased. Healthcare was universalized and available to all; the average life expectancy rose from 55 years in 1969 to 70 years in 2011; the average literacy rate peaked 91 percent, making it one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. Libya attained the highest Human Development Index score in 2010 within the entire African continent, demonstrating it had a high level of development in the country, as well as a comparatively low rate of malnourishment at 5 percent.

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Between Developing and Defending the Cuban Revolution | Joshua Lew McDermott

Commentary | February 13th, 2019

I experienced the absolute strangeness of walking across a major city at 1am while seeing children and families enjoying the public parks free from fear, of knowing that every person I saw had full access to one of the world's best healthcare systems and the right to basic human necessities such as housing and employment, still makes my head spin. Where was the oppressive state presence I had heard so much about? The crime-filled streets? I felt I had caught just a small glimpse, for the first time in my life, of the potential harmony that we, as human beings, could achieve in society. What stood out to me most, perhaps, was the prevalence of dignity. Yes, Cuba has tremendous poverty. But the poverty is different than that in the U.S., where social isolation and a lack of access to even the most basic goods abounds despite our unfathomable wealth.

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"The Ability to Define Phenomena": A Historiography of U.S. Empire in the Middle East | Derek Ide

Analysis | December 6th, 2018

In November 1938, during the midst of the Japanese occupation of China, Mao Tse-tsung proclaimed what eventually became a lightning rod for revolutionaries around the world: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Over three decades later, in June 1971, Huey Newton declared: "power is, first of all, the ability to define phenomena, and secondly the ability to make these phenomena act in a desired manner." Although Newton had earlier drawn significant inspiration from Mao and the Chinese Revolution, these definitions could not be further apart. However, if one accepts that in the last instance coercive force is what determines power relations, but in intermediary periods of struggle power is defining phenomena and having an impact on the direction in which these phenomena move, then perhaps the chasm between the two definitions is not so wide.

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US-Saudi Ties: Drenched in Blood, Oil, and Deceit | Joyce Chediac

History | December 6th, 2018

Why do Donald Trump and the CIA disagree about the recent killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey? The CIA concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, personally ordered the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi. In an extraordinary statement for a U.S. president, Trump disputed the CIA findings. He said it didn't matter if MBS-as the Saudi ruler is known-was or was not involved in the Khashoggi killing, and that U.S.-Saudi relations are "spectacular." Trump's statement reflects his narrow cultivation of business relations with MBS, while the CIA's announcement reflects the view that that MBS has become a liability for the U.S. ruling class as a whole. The spy agency, which has deep ties to Saudi intelligence, fears that bin Salman's reckless and impulsive actions could jeopardize the security of the whole Saudi ruling clique, endangering U.S. ruling class interests in Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East.

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The Question of War with North Korea: A Geopolitical Breakdown | Devon Bowers

Analysis | September 10th, 2018

The summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un while photo worthy, was a disaster. Yet, it wasn't due to Trump 'getting played' as so many in the media would have one think, but rather was due to the US wanting to make demands without offering any concessions. North Korea released a statement early July 2018 in which they "accused the Trump administration on Saturday of pushing a "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization' and called [the meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] 'deeply regrettable." More importantly, after the summit, President Trump went and said that North Korea was still an "extraordinary threat," despite the whole intention of the summit being to lower tensions between the two nations. Given the fact that war between the two (and allied nations) may still break out, it would be pertinent to discuss what such a war would look like, starting with interested parties.

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Protectionism and Globalization Have the Same Mother: The Crisis of Capital | Celso Beltrami

Analysis | July 2nd, 2018

Beyond the metaphors, Trump's protectionist turn, which is carried out in a threatening manner and not just aimed at China, constitutes another turbulent factor, both from an economic point of view and that of imperialist relations on a world scale. These two aspects reflect two sides of the same coin, as Trump's economic measures serve an imperialist strategy aimed at both declared rivals and allies who are applying the brakes and who would like the embrace of the stars and stripes, which they have suffered for more than seventy years with varying degrees of enthusiasm, to be less suffocating. In fact, it is very doubtful that the custom duties will really be able to protect the entire US economy from foreign competition. Perhaps they will give a bit of respite to certain sectors of US manufacturing, like steel or aluminum, but many more will be hit and the retaliation will fall upon the workforce (but not just on them), who will probably be the victims of redundancies and worsening working conditions.

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What About Kurdistan? | Daniel Rombro

Analysis | May 24th, 2018

A people's right to decide their own fate is undeniable. And for the majority of those on the revolutionary left, this principle (referred to as national self-determination) is a fundamental part of liberatory politics. For the last several years, one issue of national liberation has been, generally speaking, in the forefront: Kurdistan. However, to truly understand the Kurdish issue as it exists today, and to develop the correct position one should have on it, we must also understand the origins of the modern Kurdish nation and its political aspirations. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1920, the Kurdish nation was divided by the Great Powers among Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Whereas before the Kurds had been mostly united and receiving somewhat beneficial treatment from the Ottomans, now there was division and persecution.

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China's Rise Threatens U.S. Imperialism, Not American People | Ajit Singh

Analysis | April 24th, 2018

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's "reform and opening up," initiated in 1978. At that time, although living standards had significantly improved following the socialist revolution in 1949 - life expectancy nearly doubling in the first 30 years - China still faced tremendous challenges. Seeking to overcome the country's severe underdevelopment, the West's monopoly over technology, and the isolation to which it had been subjected to during the Cold War by the United States, China implemented reforms in order to promote economic growth and development. Deng Xiaoping, chief architect of the policy, summed up the Communist Party's thinking in three simple clauses: "Our country must develop. If we do not develop then we will be bullied. Development is the only hard truth."

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"Colonialism is a Crime Against Humanity": An Interview with Oscar Lopez Rivera | Ekim Kilic

Interview | April 24th, 2018

Well, the economy of Puerto Rico is terrible. It has been terrible from the moment the United States invaded and occupied Puerto Rico in 1898.We have never been able to develop our own internal market. We have been totally, totally tore exploited. Every penny, every dollar that is made in Puerto Rico comes into the US banks.If I were going to go to a store right now and put my credit card, that money will not stay in Puerto Rico. That money comes directly into a US Bank. Yearly, billions of dollars come out of Puerto Rico. And at the same time, this is whole process of privatizing everything that is owned by the Puerto Rican people, everything that is public, they wanted to privatize it. We lost our telephone company the Puerto Rican telephone company in 1998.It was privatized.

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The US-Saudi Coalition Against Yemen: A Primer | Valerie Reynoso

Analysis | February 8th, 2018

The ongoing crisis in Yemen continues to devolve into further calamity and chaos. Understanding the existing conditions of the region, however, means examining and grappling with the historical forces underpinning the current civil war. Most importantly, United States-backed actors, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have vied for control of Yemen by any means necessary. Whether the incessant bombings of civilian infrastructure, or the targeting of innocent people themselves, the US-Saudi coalition has stopped at nothing to establish dominance. Through the billions of dollars of funding provided by the US, Saudi Arabia has inflicted wanton destruction on the Yemeni people with impunity.

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Which Red Flag is Flying?: Communist and Anarchist Solidarity in Afrin | Marcel Cartier

Analysis | February 8th, 2018

As aspiring Sultan Erdogan's assault on the radical democratic experiment in Afrin is repelled by Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen and other nationalities who comprise a diverse, multi-ethnic region, two red flags are now flying at the front lines. One of these is of course of the occupying, fascist Turkish Republic that is fighting alongside Salafist Free Syrian Army (FSA) units, as NATO's second largest army has made common cause with some of the most regressive figures imaginable. The other flag represents a diametrically opposed tendency, that of the international movement of the working-class. This blood-soaked banner of revolution and the sacrifice of the proletarian struggle is held up with pride by the communist internationalists fighting alongside the People's and Women's Protection Units (YPG and YPJ) to defend the sovereignty of Afrin, of Syria, and the revolutionary ideals of the Rojava Revolution.

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Coups and History: An Interview on Zimbabwe | Brenan Daniels

Interview | December 21st, 2017

These factional dispute within the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) ruling party have been coming to a head for over three years. With the expulsion of the former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters in Dec. 2014, the stage was set for an intensified struggle between those aligned with the now Interim President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa on the one side and the forces surrounding First Lady Grace Mugabe on the other.

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India and China: Rivals or Potential Partners in Liberation? | Ajit Singh

Analysis | November 2nd, 2017

India and China have agreed to end a two-month long military standoff taking place in the the Doklam border region, following the withdrawal of Indian personnel and equipment from territory claimed by China. While India and China have a longstanding history of border conflicts, current tensions take place in the context of India's growing ties with the United States, and the U.S. military "pivot" to China.

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The Syrian Revolution of 1925: A Gramscian Redemption | Spenser Rapone

History | September 6th, 2017

Revolutionary movements bring societies to a precarious moment of truth: either radical change takes hold, or a reversion to the status quo subjugates the potential for change. Syrians found themselves at this junction during the Great Revolt of 1925. Walter Benjamin believed that the historian's work presents "a revolutionary chance in the struggle for a suppressed past," and this work seeks to examine that suppressed past which chronicles the lived experience of 1925 revolutionaries. Numerous Syrians spilled their blood in the Great War, only to face imperial encroachment in its aftermath. France occupied Syria in 1920, and five years later, a militant, radical movement took place in the hopes of escaping occidental domination.

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Eyewitness North Korea: An American's Journey to the DPRK before the Travel Ban | Derek R. Ford

Commentary | September 1st, 2017

On August 1, Rex Tillerson announced that beginning in one month the U.S. government would be banning its citizens from traveling to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea). A few days later, I boarded an Air Koryo plane and landed in that country for a fact-finding and peace delegation. There were a total of five of us, all traveling on U.S. passports. Call us skeptical, but we didn't buy that the Trump administration was acting in our best interests, let alone acting in the name of peace and justice. Indeed, as soon as we landed the hegemonic U.S. narrative about the country began to crumble. Even though I had previously been highly critical of the presentation of the country we have been exposed to our entire lives, I couldn't quite anticipate just how different the reality actually is. And it wasn't only life in the country that was radically different, but also my experience as U.S. citizen traveling there.

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Russophobia and the Logic of Imperialism | Ava Lipatti

Analysis | June 8th, 2017

As it stands today, the U.S./NATO imperialist bloc has its eyes set primarily on two countries: Russia and China. While NATO imperial terror, including economic sanctions and military action, in countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Iran, and North Korea constitute exploitative projects in their own right, they also function to encircle Russia and China. Given the importance of Russia as an object of imperial desire, clarity on the character of Russia is imperative in order to understand the current economic and political crisis of imperialism. There are several important aspects to the question of Russia as it stands today.

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Lies and Legacy: A Conversation on Fidel Castro | Brenan Daniels

Interview | December 20th, 2016

We saw the political line of the American government come out through all media sources in the United States. Whether this was print or broadcast, the line was the same. There was also very little attention to given to Cubans in the island. The emphasis was on the Cuban exiles and their story out of Miami. Showing people living in Key Biscayne, which is one of the most exclusive and wealthiest parts of Miami, to get their take on the death of Fidel and of course to through some punches at his legacy. This was to be expected though, every emperor rejoices in the death of their enemy.

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Vladimir Putin and the Return of Russophobia: Symbols of a Changing World | Michael Orion Powell-Deschamps

Commentary | December 20th, 2016

Something peculiar has happened in modern geopolitics. Russia, a country that arose nearly as a fractured version of the much larger Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, has arisen in our time as one of the most powerful and feared power brokers in the world. President Vladimir Putin's role in Russia's rebound has led to his vilification in the United States and much of the Western world. He has been featured numerous times on the cover of mainstream Western magazines, whether leading a rebellion of nationalist leaders on the cover of the Economist or being accused of attempting to subvert American elections on the cover of Time. Some covers have even gone as far as picturing him with enhanced, evil green eyes.

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Japan: The Next Battleground for the Left | Emma Yorke

Commentary | December 7th, 2016

Anime, manga, Japanese video games. I love it all. I found Japan through my love of their art, music, and other media - I fully admit to being one of those dorky girls that's into all that stuff. Japan is a complex place; so much is nuanced, from their language to their rich, ancient history. The more you study Japan, the more questions you have...and I know I'm far from the first person to have made that observation. But I think my most troubling question is political. Is Marx welcome in Japan? What does their current social and political landscape tell us, and how does it reflect what's going on in the U.S. right now?

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Total Crisis in Egypt: A Marxist Analysis | Hamid Alizadeh

Analysis | November 23rd, 2016

Sisi's facade as the strong and intelligent military commander has been shattered time and time again as he has hopelessly failed to tackle even the most simple of problems. His violent crackdowns on protests to quash the revolutionary mood has only managed to embitter the masses even more. The random torture, arrest and disappearance of thousands of young people on the pretext of fighting the Muslim Brotherhood has in fact partially served to give a new lease of life to the Islamist organisation.

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Democracy, Brexit Stage Left: A Socialist Critique of the Brexit Vote | Bryant William Sculos

Analysis | July 19th, 2016

How do we understand an instance when a demos votes for something that is largely motivated by anti-democratic sentiments and produces anti-democratic results? Now, imagine a similar scenario but the people doing the voting have little to no say in the process leading up to voting, and some of the people who will likely be most dramatically harmed by the outcome lack both a vote and any power in the process. This second scenario is the kind of "democracy" that we're witnessing in the Brexit referendum-a democracy hardly worth the name. In Marxist theory, this first scenario is typically categorized as an instance of false consciousness-when peoples' subjective perceptions of their interests are different than their objective class-based interests (of which they are ostensibly unaware). This is often where the role of communist party and leftist intellectuals comes up; their role being to cultivate a class consciousness among the oppressed workers so that their subjective and objective interests are identical.

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Cuba's Achievements and the Imperialist Threat | Curry Malott

Commentary | July 12th, 2016

Since the historic defeats suffered by the socialist movement in the late 80s and early 90s, it has become increasingly difficult for workers' states, such as Cuba, to survive. The struggle for socialism is a global struggle and as communists in the U.S. we naturally defend any gains in this movement. All oppressed people have a stake in defending socialist Cuba. Special economic reforms, beginning in the 1990s, have been enacted in Cuba to cope with this increasingly difficult period, driven by decades of strangulating U.S. sanctions, and we stand with them in solidarity.

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Who's Afraid of Mazdak? Prophetic Egalitarianism, Islamism, and Socialism | Derek Ide

Analysis | April 27th, 2016

The year was 1974. Algeria's National Liberation Front (FLN) had liberated their country from the French occupying forces and the pieds noirs (French settlers) only twelve years prior. Under the leadership of Ahmed Ben Bella (1962-5) and then Houari Boumédiène (1965-78), Algeria underwent a series of state-building initiatives immediately following independence. The Algerian leadership operated within the parameters of a loosely defined "socialism" that became the organizing ethos under which they constructed the newly independent state.

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Meet the 'Emerging Market' Superstars of Global Economic Governance | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Policy & Research | March 16th, 2016

The rise of Raghuram Rajan and Agustin Carstens to top positions in powerful financial institutions reflects how the "Davos class" is incorporating people from every corner of earth into its neoliberal project. One is Mexican, described by the Financial Times for his "Wall Street-sized reputation for financial wizardry"; the other is Indian hailed by India's Economic Times as "the Poster Boy of Banking" whose "chiselled features are as sharp as his brain." Meet Agustin Carstens and Raghuram Rajan. As the world's economic elite gathered this week to meet in Davos, they are a perfect example of what has been called the "Davos class" - what Samuel Huntingdon described as a class who "see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations."

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The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History | Ricot Jean-Pierre

Analysis | January 18th, 2016

Today we live in a crucial moment in which peasants are confronting challenges as they grapple with global warming, with the power of multinational companies over what they eat and how they live, and with an agricultural model that can't provide them livelihood. Among the risks and catastrophes the peasants confront are lack of quality and quantity in food production, and their right to live as human beings. They also face a challenge in accessing the basic resources they need to produce, especially seeds and water.

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New Capitalist Domination and Imperialism in Africa | Jean Manga

Analysis | December 7th, 2015

The decolonization that began in the 1940s was essentially a passage towards neocolonialism, a mutation of the former colonies, a reconfiguration of the mechanisms of domination and exploitation by both the former colonial powers and other capitalists of the centre. It was necessary to adapt to the new balance of power on the international stage (the new economic-military hierarchy, the "Cold War") in both the colonial metropolises and the colonial territories. Three or four decades later, the disappearance of the so-called "communist" camp gave rise to a restructuring of the world order based on the dynamic of the neoliberalisation of capitalism that had been set in motion in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Bank Crimes Pay: Under the Thumb of the Global Financial Mafiocracy | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Analysis | December 7th, 2015

On Nov. 13, the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced it was charging 10 individual bankers, working for two separate banks, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, with fraud over their rigging of the Euribor rates. The latest announcement shines the spotlight once again on the scandals and criminal behavior that have come to define the world of global banking. To date, only a handful of the world's largest banks have been repeatedly investigated, charged, fined or settled in relation to a succession of large financial scams, starting with mortgage fraud and the Libor scandal in 2012, the Euribor scandal and the Forex (foreign exchange) rate rigging. At the heart of these scandals, which involve the manipulation of interest rates on trillions of dollars in transactions, lie a handful of banks that collectively form a cartel in control of global financial markets - and the source of worldwide economic and financial crises.

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Why Paris Reveals the Horror - and the Hypocrisies - of Global Terrorism | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Commentary | November 24th, 2015

The world was shocked and horrified at the terror inflicted upon Paris on the night of Friday the 13th, 2015, when ISIS-affiliated militants killed well over 100 civilians in one of the world's most iconic cities. An outpouring of grief, solidarity, support and condolences came in from across the world. The tragedy, and tyranny, of such terror cannot be underestimated, but it should also be placed in its global context: namely, that the chief cause of terrorism is, in fact, terrorism, and that the chief victims are the innocent, wherever they may be.

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Migration and the Worldwide Refugee Crisis: Why Now?

Interview | October 29th, 2015

More people around the world were forcibly displaced in 2014 than ever before in recorded history. Of those 59.5 million people, 19.5 million were classed by the UN as refugees. The overwhelming majority of those refugees were hosted in developing regions, but unprecedented numbers have also attempted to make the dangerous crossing into Europe. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that over 219,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean last year, which is three times the previous recorded maximum in 2011. Over 3,500 women, men and children drowned or were lost making the crossing. All this before the start of this year. The mass displacement is driven by wars, persecution and impoverishment with many different immediate causes. Nonetheless, the violence caused by resource stripping, military intervention and lethal competition between the imperial powers lies at the root of this human misery. Those fleeing poverty are responding to a situation created by capitalism and imperialism, just as those fleeing war are. "We are here because you were there", in the words of the 1970s Asian Youth Movement.

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Latin America, neo-imperialism, and Palestine | Dr. Guillaume Long

Commentary | October 8th, 2015

Latin American solidarity with Palestine has a long history, particularly on the political left. This is not something new. What is new is that the political left is suddenly in power in a number of countries in Latin America, whereas it wasn't for most of the history of the Cold War. Cuba obviously was the precursor in - I would say - south-south relations in general, not just relations with Palestine, from a Latin American perspective. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Cuba had a foreign policy that was that of a giant, including military intervention and a number of extra-continental scenarios in Africa. In fact, in the case of the Middle East, Cuba participated in the Yom Kippur war in 1973 on the Syrian side and Cuba led the way for the Latin American left, for many years, on its position on Palestine.

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Blaming the Victim: Greece is a Nation Under Occupation | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Commentary | July 21st, 2015

In the early hours of Thursday morning, July 16, the Greek Parliament passed a host of austerity measures in order to begin talks on a potential third bailout of 86 billion euros. The austerity measures were pushed onto the Parliament by Greece's six-month-old leftist government of Syriza, elected in late January with a single mandate to oppose austerity. So what exactly happened over the past six months that the first anti-austerity government elected in Europe has now passed a law implementing further austerity measures?

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Between Berlin and a Hard Place: Greece and the German Strategy to Dominate Europe | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Commentary | July 8th, 2015

"They just wanted to take a bat to them," said former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, referring to the attitude of European leaders towards debt-laden Greece in February of 2010, three months before the country's first bailout. Mr. Geithner, Treasury Secretary from 2009 until 2013, was attending a meeting of the finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada. It was the first occasion he had to meet Germany's new Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, presenting an opportunity to pressure the Europeans to end the crisis. The Europeans, specifically Germany and the European Central Bank (ECB), always had the ability to end the crisis. Putting up enough money in a regional bailout fund or allowing the ECB to fund governments (acting as a 'lender of last resort') would provide enough reassurance to the markets that no country would go bankrupt and therefore the crisis would end.

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Power Politics and the Empire of Economics: An Introduction | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Analysis | May 28th, 2015

The President sat and listened to his closest adviser as they plotted a strategy to maintain Western domination of the world economy. The challenge was immense: divisions between industrial countries were growing as the poor nations of the world were becoming increasingly united in opposition to the Western world order. From Africa, across the Middle East, to Asia and Latin America, the poor (or 'developing') countries were calling for the establishment of a 'New International Economic Order,' one which would not simply serve the interests of the United States, Western Europe, and the other rich, industrial nations, but the world as a whole. It was on the 24th of May 1975 when President Gerald Ford was meeting with his Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, easily the two most powerful political officials in the world at the time. Kissinger told the President: "The trick in the world now is to use economics to build a world political structure."

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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf... Of Nuclear Iran | Dr. Nicholas Partyka

Analysis | April 22nd, 2015

In December of 2014, US President Barack Obama announced a new diplomatic opening with long-time US foreign policy foe, Cuba. The President was lauded by some, excoriated by others. To some it was a long overdue break from a policy that was, and had been for some time, an abject failure. To others, mostly those with conservative or right-wing tendencies, this was a betrayal, of American principles, of the Cubans' hopes for democracy, or a disgraceful concession to a tyrannical regime. Sound familiar? It should. This is the same basic script that played out in 2013 when President Obama announced his first grand foreign policy initiate, re-opening the P5+1 talks about a potential nuclear deal with Iran. Those talks have been on-going since then, and are now reaching another of their self-imposed deadlines for a framework agreement. For those not initiated, a "framework agreement" can often amount to little more than an agreement on how further talks, about the real issues, will proceed.

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Colonialism, Coups, and Conflict: The Violence in the Central African Republic | Devon Douglas-Bowers

History | February 20th, 2015

The Central African Republic is currently awash in media coverage regarding the ongoing sectarian violence and general upheaval in the country. While many outlets have discussed the situation in the CAR, there have been few fully encompassing analyses of the violence that it in a proper historical context and discuss the interests of some of the countries that are in the CAR such as France or Chad while others are watching from afar, yet still interested, such as the United States. The violence in the CAR is unprecedented and worrisome; however, historically this is nothing but another unfortunate and bloody chapter regarding the instability of the country.

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Life in Gaza: An Interview | Devon Douglas-Bowers

Interview | February 12th, 2015

Daily life in Gaza is a struggle for most. Poverty, unemployment and of course the blockade weigh heavily on people. After the war many many people want to leave and try to have a life elsewhere. Hearing the Israeli occupation shoot at fishermen and farmers nearly every day is frustrating and enrages me. Seeing the remains of bombed out buildings in every neighborhood where so many of us died is a sick and painful reminder of what Israel can do to us whenever they wish.The memories of how awful it was during those 50 long days will never leave me or my nightmares. I ache inside when I think of how the children are dealing with this when I can't.

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World Economic Forum 2015: Global Governance In a World of Resistance | Andrew Gavin Marshall

Analysis | February 6th, 2015

The annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, bring together thousands of the world's top corporate executives, bankers and financiers with leading heads of state, finance and trade ministers, central bankers and policymakers from dozens of the world's largest economies; the heads of all major international organizations including the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Bank for International Settlements, UN, OECD and others, as well as hundreds of academics, economists, political scientists, journalists, cultural elites and occasional celebrities.

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Is SYRIZA Radical Enough? | Ed Rooksby

Analysis | January 27th, 2015

It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but a party of the radical left is on the cusp of power in an EU country. The latest opinion polls indicate that Syriza will triumph in the Greek national elections to be held on Sunday and although it may not win an absolute majority in parliament it would (assuming it can find coalition partners) certainly be the dominant force in any coalition government that emerged. Unsurprisingly, the imminent prospect of a left government committed to breaking with the brutal reign of austerity has alarmed the powerful within and beyond Greece. In a thinly veiled attack on SYRIZA, for example, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, recently warned Greeks about electing 'extreme forces' into power and suggested, rather in the manner of a threat, that they ought to consider 'what a wrong election result would mean for Greece and the Eurozone.'

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Cuban "Normalization": Prospects for a New Relationship | Nicholas Partyka

Analysis | December 31st, 2014

President Obama took executive action that many of his supporters on the left have been encouraging him to take for some time, which of course also angered many of his critics on the right. This general theme has played out several times of late in American politics as the President makes increasing use of executive action in order to bypass congressional gridlock, and make changes in various areas of policy. In the latest such move, the President has made the decision to take bold action to move the US and Cuba towards a better relationship. Of course this decision is wrapped up in political calculations concerning the tactics of inter-party politics in US domestic policy. Yet, nonetheless it represents a genuinely progressive step, albeit small, in the direction of a better, more rational policy towards Cuba. However, it is important not to get too carried away. Contrary to what some headlines have implied, Obama's actions do not constitute normalized relations, but only steps, the very first ones, toward normalization. In this regard the President's announcement of December 17th certainly is a historic step, one full of promise, but one not without risk, especially for the Cubans.

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The Silent Success of Cooperatives in the Bolivarian Revolution | Dada Maheshvarananda

Analysis | December 3rd, 2014

Solidarity, cooperation, and community empowerment are socialist values promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution in contrast to the individualism and selfishness promoted by the corporate-owned mass media. Cooperatives are quietly transforming people's values in Venezuela, and the rest of the world, though they have been mostly ignored by the mass media and by many political leaders, too. The International Cooperative Alliance defines a cooperative as "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise." Worker cooperatives develop trust, solidarity, and teamwork.

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ISIS and the Middle East: An Interview with James Corbett | Devon Douglas-Bowers

Interview | October 24th, 2014

ISIS can trace its roots back to a group that was founded as "Jamā-at al-Taw-īd wa-al-Jihād" ("The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad") in Jordan in 1999 by a Sunni militant named Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Originally founded with the intention of overthrowing the Kingdom of Jordan and replacing it with a religious government, the group was transplanted to Iraq in the wake of the US invasion in 2003. In 2004 Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Bin Laden and the group became "Al Qaeda in Iraq" (Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn or "AQI").

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From Pol Pot to ISIS: Imperialism, War Crimes, and Blowback | John Pilger

Analysis | October 17th, 2014

In transmitting President Richard Nixon's orders for a "massive" bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, "Anything that flies on everything that moves". As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger's murderous honesty. As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

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Black Versus Yellow: Class Antagonism and Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement | Anonymous

Analysis | October 7th, 2014

Itinerant shoppers pose for selfies as the skyline of the finance district across the bay bursts into a kaleidoscope of green and yellow lights. Below them, the waters of Victoria Harbor stir quietly, foreboding a typhoon. Despite the churning water, the nearby cruise ship hardly seems to move. It is docked to the pier at Tsim Sha Tsui, its gangplank descending into one of the most luxurious shopping malls in East Asia, a convenience allowing wealthy visitors from all across the world the ability to disembark from one climate-controlled environment to another without ever leaving the safety of AC and well-trained security. Once off the ship, they can spend money tax-free at the city's most fashionable restaurants and retail outlets, eating Japanese BBQ and then gliding over polished floors to browse retro British outfits at a boutique marketing 20s-style colonial chic.

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Exploring the Graveyard: A Concise Historical Account of Afghanistan (Part 2: Bloodshed) | Devon Douglas-Bowers

History | September 17th, 2014

Before Daoud Khan's coup, there were talks of forming a new constitution and, as a result, a number of political groups became increasingly active after 1963. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (aka the Afghan Communist Party) formed in 1965. It was during this decade that the country "underwent political polarization, with factions on the extreme left and right gaining strength." The Parcham faction was led by Babrak Karmal, the "son of a well-connected army general, who became involved in Marxist political activities while a student at Kabul University in the 1950s and was imprisoned for five years as a result."

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Why the Travel Ban for US Citizens? | Nicholas Partyka

Analysis | September 12th, 2014

There are different ways to calculate the size of national economies. However one looks at the numbers, the United States is one of the world's top three largest economies. By some of the most traditional ways of accounting for GDP, the US is the world's largest economy. Only the EU economy, taken as a bloc, is larger than the US's economy. The US Dollar is the world's main reserve currency, meaning that most international business is conducted using dollars. The US, due to its level of contribution, holds veto power in institutions like the IMF and World Bank. The decisions of its Federal Reserve make waves in international financial markets. Its multinational companies are some of the largest and most powerful organizations on earth.

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