Against the Current 40

— The Editors
THE SUPREME COURT RULED June 29 on the Pennsylvania Abortion Act--and both pro- and anti-choice activists, in an unusual version of the spin game, rushed to declare defeat. For the right wing, the hope had been that the Court would reverse Roe v. Wade. The decision fell short of that. The Court did uphold three provisions of the Pennsylvania law: parental consent, "informed consent" and a mandatory waiting period. A fourth provision was struck down--spousal notification--and Roe was not...
— Justin Schwartz
EVERY FOUR YEARS, progressives in the United States drop whatever they are doing and rush to support the least disgusting Democratic candidate in the primaries—this year Tom Harkin or Jerry Brown—then in the general election they reluctantly back Clinton or Dukakis or Mondale.
They do not do this because they like Democrats. Progressives say rather that the Democrats are the lesser evil. That they are evil is not denied. But; it is said, the Republicans are even more evil. The...
— Steven Ashby
THE ENIGMA OF H. Ross Perot had everyone talking. The Bush and Clinton campaigns were running scared. The political pundits, and the left with them, shook their heads and wondered, how does he get away with it? The billionaire who claims to side with the "little guy," the ignored working class American; the corporate head who effectively lobbied for government contracts that made him super-wealthy, who now attacks corporate lobbyists and bought-off politicians; the self-avowed people's candidate...
— Joanna Misnik
IN ITS PROCESS of rethinking, the Committees of Correspondence (CofC) has already made a contribution to the rebuilding of a socialist movement in the U.S that will benefit all participating in its reconstruction.
Their contribution is measured by much more than the impressive number of participants--over 1,400--at the July 17-19 national conference in Berkeley, California, initiated by the CofC. It lies in the inspirational honesty with which this grouping of former Communist Party (CPUSA)...
— Joe Hicks, Antonio Villaralgosa & Angela Oh
THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS are taken from talks at an American Civil Liberties Union forum in Los Angeles after the rebellion. The session was taped by KPFK radio, which supplied it to ATC. We have substantially abridged them for space. Our previous issue (ATC 39) carried substantial coverage of the rebellion.
Joe Hicks is executive director of the southern California Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Antonio Villaraigosa is vice-president of the ACLU Board of Directors, a business agent for...
— Cecilia Green
IN 1776, ADAM Smith (1978: 451) wrote, in an authoritative and proprietary voice: "Among our slaves in the West Indies there is no such thing as a lasting union. The female slaves are all prostitutes, and suffer no degradation by it." Thus, and in a multitude of other ways, as I point out later in this three-part essay, did the alleged "culture" of the oppressed come to constitute a subterranean cesspool in which ruling whites disposed of and concealed their refuse of culpability, conferring it...
— James Petras and Chronis Polychroniou
SINCE COMING TO power in April 1990, the conservative government of New Democracy (ND) in Greece has proceeded, under the leadership of Constantine Mitsotakis, to implement a series of economic policies designed to stabilize the Greek economy and make it competitive in the European market.
In reality, the policies of ND have exacerbated the weaknesses of the Greek economy. Declining living standards, educational and health budgets, and mass unemployment are the principal results of the...
— The Empowerment Project
WITNESSES IN PANAMA say that the protests during George Bush's visit to Panama on June 11, during which he was tear-gassed and rushed off the stage of Panama City's Parque Porras, involved an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 Panamanians from various walks of life, equaling the number of Bush supporters.
This contradicts official reports that only a small group of "leftists" accounted for the disruption. In addition, 100 Panamanians were arrested during the demonstrations, and some Panamanian human...
— Marcello Wechsler
THE "UPSET"--AS the results of the elections to the thirteenth Knesset are being called--brought an end to the Likud's fifteen-year rule and made it possible for Labor Party chair, Yitzak Rabin, to be called upon to form the next government. The gap between the number of seats won by the Likud and Labor, almost nonexistent in 1988 (39 for Labor versus 40 for the Likud), grew this time to twelve (44 for Labor versus 32 for the Likud).
But the same cannot be said for the gap between the extreme...
— Josie Wallenius
ONE OF THE WOMEN at work always wears a golden cross and chain around her neck and she is one of the kindest people I know; and she said to me as I set out for East Jerusalem and a tour of the occupied territories of Palestine with the "Grandmothers For Peace" of the United States:
"I will pray for you."
And I answered:
"Don't be daft, don't pray for me. Pray for the children of Palestine."
Another middle-aged woman said, "Be careful of the terrorists."
And I answered: "You mean the...
— Ann Ferguson
THE FIRST CENTRAL American Women's Movement Encuentro took place March 23-27, 1992 at Montelimar, dictator Somoza's former villa and now a luxury beach resort on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. The idea of an "encuentro," or "encounter" of women working for social change is not new in Latin America: There have been five international Latin American feminist encuentros since 1981. What was new was to hold such an event in Central America, far from the ordinary sites of international conferences...
— Catherine Sameh
IMAGINE MY SURPRISE to find that Batman Returns is a film as much about corporate greed, urban decay and the oppressed getting revenge as it Is about the glorified violence of superheroes. Much of the focus in this sequel to Batman is on Catwoman, and in spite of all the press about Michell Pfleffer's sex appeal, I want to draw attention to the femmist aspects of the film.
Catwoman emerges when Selina Kyle, a working-class secretary, is murdered by her boss, a rich factory owner who dumps toxic...
— Stan Weir
TROTSKYISM CAME INTO being in countries around the world eleven years after the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Communist Party leaders ordered the expulsion of James P. Cannon, Max Shachtman and Martin Abern in 1928, for reading a banned document, written by Leon Trotsky, which Cannon had recently obtained while in Russia.
Cannon, Shachtman and Abern had all been party officials. These "three generals without an army," as they were humorously called, were given public forum especially by the...
— Stan Weir
THE VOICE OF A foreign correspondent came from my car radio with a report from Hungary via Paris. He announced that thousands of chanting high school and university students had taken over a radio station in Budapest. Minutes later came the story of how the head of the Hungarian Writers Union had climbed atop a statue in a Budapest square to tell 50,000 demonstrators that their revolution would fail without the full support of industrial workers.(1)
For his humorous closing the correspondent...
— R.F. Kampfer
UNDER STALINISM, Cossacks were suspected of czarist sympathies. Now some of them are allying with the Stalinists in the anti-ethnic-separatist bloc.
The Tatars would tenderize and season their meat by keeping it under their saddles during the day's ride. How the quality of life has deteriorated in modern times!
Remember how indignant we were when cigarette papers went up to thirty-five cents for a pack of 100?
Civil War buffs will be struck by the similarities between United Auto Workers...
— Robert Hornstein and Daniel Atkins
HIGHWAYS 13 AND 113 cut a narrow north-south swath through Delaware, connecting America's most popular corporate domicile,(1) Wilmington, with the fashionable seaside resort, Rehoboth Beach. Just a few steps beyond the shadows of Wilmington's office towers and a short distance from the Delaware gold coast that runs from Rehoboth Beach to the Maryland state line, there exists another Delaware(2) that has not shared in the state's celebrated decade long economic harvest of plenty.(3)
It is likely...
— Patrick M. Quinn
Notebook of a Sixties Lawyer
by Michael Steven Smith
New York: Smyrna Press, 1992. 230 pages, cloth $19.95, paper $9.95.
DURING PERIODS OF lulls in the tempo of radical struggle such as the one that grips the moment, it is increasingly difficult--and correspondingly necessary--to maintain continuity between previous waves of radicalism and those to come.
The history of the left and labor movements in the United States tells us that veterans of the Knights of Labor carried a tradition and culture...
— David Futrelle
Women of the Klan:
Racism and Gender in the 1920s
by Kathleen M. Blee
University of California Press, 1991, 248 pages, $24.95.
IT'S EASY TO imagine our enemies as alien, demonic Others. When historian Kathleen Blee set out to interview women who had been active in the Indiana Klan during its heyday in the 1920s, she was startled to find that she shared a disturbing degree of rapport with her informants, who were in many cases just like her--intelligent, aware, and in many cases vaguely...
— Samuel Farber
Socialism Unbound
by Stephen Eric Bronner
New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1990. 241 pages. $49.95 cloth, $16.95 paper.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS, Stephen Eric Bronner has been an able exponent and analyst of the thought of Rosa Luxemburg. His Rosa Luxemburg. A Revolutionary for Our Times (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987) is one of the best short expositions of Rosa's political thought and career.
Socialism Unbound is a much more ambitious project than Bronner's previous works on...
— Patrick M. Quinn
PHIL CLARK, a former member of the Chicago branch of Solidarity, died May 18 in Chicago following a decade-long affliction with Parkinson's disease. Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota on May 27, 1921, Phil joined the Socialist Workers Party during the late 1930s while an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota.
Phil left the SWP after World War II when the organization requested a number of its gay members to resign. He spent ten years as a journalist and gardener in Mexico before moving to...