Against the Current 41

— The Editors
THE NEW POLITICAL dispensation following the November 1992 election marks, in the first place, the end of an era, and good riddance to it. Not only is the Reagan-Bush administration "history," but--at least temporarily--the ascendance of the fanatical religious right in political influence and social policy has been checked. It is perfectly understandable that, at the moment of the electoral result, so much of the country and particularly the left felt that a gigantic weight had been removed...
— Joaquín Solano & César Ayala
JOSE GARCIA, A young Dominican man, was killed on July 3 by police officer Michael O'Keefe from the 34th precinct in upper Manhattan. Officer O'Keefe claims that Garcia was a drug dealer and that he was armed with a .38-caliber revolver. Residents from the Washington Heights area who witnessed the killing of Garcia insist that he was unarmed and that the .38-caliber gun said to have been taken from him was planted.
During the protests that erupted in the Washington Heights area of upper...
— Stephanie Coontz
IN SOME WAYS, of course, the "family values" polemics of the recent election campaign were ludicrous, as one might expect from a debate over competing television images--Murphy Brown vs. Ozzie and Harriet, the Waltons vs. the Simpsons. The pitiful level of the discussion illustrates historian Alan Dawley's comment that when Americans say "that's history," what they really mean is, "You can forget it."
While liberals gleefully responded to the Republican offensive by ridiculing Dan Quayle,...
— Mary McGinn
WHEN TOM LANEY, Recording Secretary for United Auto Workers 879 Ford Local in St. Paul, Minnesota heard about the death of a Mexican Ford worker in a union struggle for democracy and full profit-sharing, he invited a Mexican Ford worker to speak at his local. Later, with other members of his local, Laney travelled to Mexico and together with Mexican and Canadian auto workers, decided to organize a tri-national commemorative event for Cleto Nigmo on the anniversary of his death.
On January 8,...
— The Editors
ESSENTIAL BACKGROUND for understanding the new North American Free Trade Agreement and the real effects of hemispheric economic integration on workers' rights, working conditions, wage levels and environmental protection is found in Unions and Free Trade: Solidarity vs. Competition, by Kim Moody and Mary McGinn. This book is published in Detroit by Labor Notes and can be ordered for $7 plus $2 postage from Labor Notes, 7435 Michigan Avenue, Detroit MI 48210.
Against the Current 33 (July-August...
— Dianne Feeley
LAST SUMMER, JUST as the nation was recovering from the hoopla of the Republican convention, two progressive conventions challenged the long-held strategy of working inside the Democratic Party in order to provide an electoral arena for soda! change. Although the two conferences were different in constituency and scope, both the Progressive People's Convention, held in Ypsilanti, Michigan August 21-23, and the founding convention of the 21st Century Party, held in Washington, D.C. August 29-30,...
— Manuela Dobos
A WAVE OF NATIONALIST hatred, mass killing and warlordism has washed into the space left by Stalinism and has engulfed Yugoslavia. The war raging among Serbs and Croats and (as yet only) Bosnian-Herzegovinian Moslems is fifteen months old and already has proven to be the most rapacious violence Europe has seen since World War II. There are already 2.5 million refugees.
Leaving aside for the moment the deeper reasons for its outbreak, it should be clear from the conduct of this war that the...
— Steve Downs
EARLY THIS YEAR for a few months it looked like the pattern of concessions and retreat, followed by more concessions, which had been the lot of public sector workers in New York City, would be broken. Subway and bus workers represented by Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) rejected, by a two-to-one margin, a contract that their local officers had urged them to accept.
But they did more than just vote down a poor contract offer. Transit workers mobilized independently of their...
— Cecilia Green
IT MAY BE NOTED that the only thing "natural" about family is mating (and that may take homosexual as well as heterosexual form), conception, and childbearing. Family forms, and all attendant institutional accretions, are derived from cultural selections within a particular techno-economic base and mode of re/production. Of course, family form is subject to class and gender (and sexual-identity) contestation, but there are certain limits and conditions which shape the options available and the...
— Catherine Sameh
OREGON IS IN the national spotlight these days for right-wing activity, thanks to the Oregon Citizens Alliance. These are the proud sponsors of Measure 9, which would amend the Oregon constitution, taking rights away from homosexuals.
Measure 9 has the following requirements: The state cannot "recognize" phrases such as sexual orientation; state and local governments cannot "promote, encourage or facilitate" homosexuality; public schools, colleges and universities must teach that homosexuality...
— R.F. Kampfer
ONE REPUBLICAN enthusiast characterized the North American Free Trade Agreement as "the greatest source of jobs since World War II." Always nice to look on the bright side.
If you want to know what the Republicans really mean by "family values," check out the Godfather movies.
Haven't the media been a lot softer on Pat Robertson, who sees demons lurking everywhere, than they were on Shirley McLaine?
If people could pick out their own relatives, how many would stick with the ones they have?
The...
— The Editors
"Who will screw the people?" As this issue went to press three weeks before Election Day 1992, a Clinton victory seemed highly probable, barring any eleventh-hour war, scandal or collapse. It appears, then, that the twelve year Reagan-Bush era of right-wing Republican rule is over, to be replaced by a new dawn of Democratic neoliberal austerity. Our next issue will attempt to look ahead to the new political dispensation.
News from the left: Solidarity, the socialist organization that sponsors...
— The Editors
The following two articles by Joanna Misnik and Manuel Aguilar Mora are edited transcripts of talks on "Lessons of Twentieth Century Revolutions" presented at the opening session of the 1992 Solidarity summer school. Joanna Misnik is a member of the national committee of Solidarity and an editor of Against the Current. Manuel Aguilar Mora is a leader of the Mexican Revolutionary Workers Party (PRT) and author of several works on Mexican politics and economy. A third talk from this panel, by...
— Joanna Misnik
THE POLITICAL CENTURY we are passing from opened in the Balkans in 1914, with World War I and with the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. It is closing, in the 1989-1992 period, with the collapse of the Soviet system (the aftermath of the Russian Revolution), and with a slaughter in the Balkans. It is almost as though the circle of history has come around and closed on us. I think this is interesting to note, because there are some similarities, and some differences, between the situations at the...
— Manuel Aguilar Mora
I WANT TO emphasize the lessons of the Twentieth Century Revolution--a title that the organizers of the summer school invented to overwhelm us. I want to limit myself to some lessons we can draw from the Latin American experience. Of course this is a very difficult task, but it is indispensable to draw the lessons of this incredible century that is going to finish soon.
Apparently Edmund Burke, the conservative Englishman who confronted the French Revolution in his time two centuries ago, said...
— Samuel Farber
THE SYMPOSIUM CONDUCTED by Against the Current on my book Before Stalinism (Verso, 1990) brought up serious issues in the Marxist revolutionary socialist tradition that are not limited to the question of when and why the Russian Revolution began to degenerate. For my part, I first want to restate some of the key theses and arguments put forward in that work.
Without questioning that there were major qualitative differences between Stalin's and Lenin's rule in Russia, Before Stalinism shows that...
— William Meadows
The State of Working America, 1990-91 Edition
By Lawrence Mishel and David M. Frankel
Economic Policy Institute, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., $29.95 cloth.
THE STATE OF Working America is a publication of The Economic Policy Institute, which was founded in 1986 with a network of economists and other scholars interested in encouraging public debate about policies to achieve economic growth and prosperity for the majority of citizens, not just the privileged few.
The research data in this volume show that...
— Michael Steven Smith
I WORKED WITH George Novack (who died July 30) at Pathfinder Press, the publishing arm of the Socialist Workers Party, in the early 1970s at the party's building on West Street in Greenwich Village. He was one of the editors, along with George Weissman and George Breitman--the "three Georges" we called them.
Weissman, like Novack, was from Boston and had too, like Novack, been educated at Harvard. George Breitman was a self-taught working class intellectual from Newark. The three Georges were a...