Against the Current 46

— The Editors
LET BOSNIA DIE: The great Western democracies had reached that decision long before they made their intentions unmistakably and all but officially clear in the summer of 1993. By July, the endless rounds of meaningless announcements—proclaiming cease-fires that were never implemented, peace conferences that never convened, protection promised (but almost never actually provided for) aid convoys—could no longer hide the ultimate reality of both European and U.S. policy.
That policy...
— an interview with Cecilia Green
Cecilia Green spoke with David Finkel of the ATC editorially shortly after she returned from a delegation to Haiti. She has served as coordinator of the Haiti Solidarity Group in Ann Arbor and will be Visiting Faculty at the Evergreen State College in the 'Political Economy and Social Change" Program for the academic year 1993-94.
Against the Current. You were in Haiti at the time the highly publicized negotiations for "restoring democracy' were being concluded. How do people on the ground in...
— Nancy Delaney and David Linn
WHEN THE UNIVERSITY of California began building volleyball courts(1) of redwood and beach sand in People's Park in July 1991, nobody was surprised that many hundreds of oppositionists took to the streets in outraged spontaneous protest.(2) Both the university and the city were well aware of the parks special value and venerability as a counter-cultural center; they made little secret of the fact that their volleyball project was only the latest in a long line of attempts to gentrify the...
— Chris Gaal
U.S. CORPORATIONS OPERATING plants in Mexico's free trade zone treat the local environment in much the same way that they treat their workers. These corporations cut costs when it comes to wages, and cut costs in the same way when it comes to protecting the local environment Indeed, along with extremely low wages, a major part of the whole attraction that investment in Mexico's zone offers U.S. companies is the ease with which they can ignore environmental laws. Mexico's existing environmental...
— Don Fitz
IF WE DIDN'T already know that money was the source of all evil, we might be tempted to say that it was oil. Burning fossil fuels is the largest cause of air pollution, acid rain, and global warming. Oil spills ruin beaches, kill plant and animal life, and destroy livelihoods such as those based on fishing and tourism. Oil makes it easy to transport goods huge distances unnecessarily. This undermines the self-reliance of communities and renders them dependent on multinational corporations.
Oil...
— Robert Brenner
BILL CLINTON'S FIRST "Hundred Days" were to inaugurate his plan to "rebuild America." In fact, they brought the obliteration of what was an extremely mild, but nonetheless unmistakable, attempt to reverse the Reagan-Bush free market road to industrial oblivion. Clinton wanted little more than to re-establish the state's minimal responsibility for capitalist socioeconomic development, as defined by the nineteenth-century U.S. government and the New Deal. He sought to mildly stimulate demand at a...
— Bill Resnick
WHO IS BILL Clinton and how should we understand the new administration? Are they basically technocratic neoliberals committed to rationalizing the U.S. economy for an edge in furious international competition? Are they stealth social democrats (as right wingers hysterically tell their troops) pushing public planning and income redistribution with cunning maneuvers? Or are they virtually exhausted of any political commitment, scrambled by years of compromise and dealing, desperately trying to...
— Jennifer Viereck
CLIFFORD DANN IS spending 1993 in a U.S. prison, for "assaulting a federal officer." According to his sister, Carrie Dann, a member of the Western Shoshone National Council, he is a prisoner of war.
On the surface, Dann, 59, appears a simple, humorous, quiet man. He has spent his life outdoors under the wide desert skies near Crescent Valley, Nevada, doing much of the maintenance and heavy labor on the horse and cattle ranch that supports several generations of his Western Shoshone family. He...
— Deborah Billings
May 25, 1993: "Today they will criticize me, but tomorrow the people of Guatemala will thank me. —Ex-President Jorge Serrano Elias in a radio and television address announcing the coup. (New York Times, May 26, 1993)
POPULAR MOVEMENT AND trade union members, teachers and students filled the streets of Guatemala City throughout the month of May, vehemently protesting newly-imposed government policies regarding student identification requirements and hikes in electricity rates. Late in the...
SINCE 1989, MEXICO's national petroleum company (Pemex) has seen a drastic reduction in its unionized membership. Over 130,000 have been either laid off or transferred into 'confidential' or non-union positions, leaving the once strong oil workers union (STPRM) with now just 70,000 members.
Demanding reinstatement or full severance pay under Mexican Labor Law, nearly 5,000 ex-Pemex workers began marching from the oil-producing states of Guanajuato, Veracruz, Tabasco and Jalisco to Mexico City in...
— Catherine Sameh
NOT A DAY goes by in Oregon that the battle over lesbian and gay rights isn't making the news. Either the infamous Oregon Citizen's Alliance (OCA) is passing laws against gay rights or fighting pro-gay efforts to end discrimination. Whatever the case, the OCA has not slowed down since Measure 9 was defeated last November, and the likelihood of their organizing dying down is nil.
In fact since Measure 9 the OCA has pushed through anti-gay ordinances throughout the state, with voters in eight...
— R.F. Kampfer
"REGARDLESS OF HOW long they last, the new boundary lines have been drawn across the living bodies of nations that have been lacerated, bled white and exhausted. The Balkan states breathe mutual hatred, and hatred no less acute fills the fragments of nations caught within the separate states. Suspended owing to utter exhaustion, the war will be resumed as soon as fresh blood is flowing in the arteries." —Leon Trotsky, The Balkan Wars (1912)
It seems incredible that those Croats who are...
— Jeanette Habel
“Socialism and Man [sic] ... the risks and the risky splendor of utopia….”—Che Guevara, Socialism and Man
I BASICALLY AGREE with what Christopher Phelps had to say in the May-June 1993 issue of ATC. As he emphasized, trying to navigate between the Scylla of imperialism and the Charybdis of apology" isn't easy when it comes to Cuba. The complexity of the social formation on this island is generally underestimated, as is the specific character of its belated nationalism,...
— Paul Buhle
LOREN GOLDNER'S "POSTMODERNITY Versus World History" Only-August 1993) is surely one of the most provocative theoretical pieces published in ATC, and the subjects it raises deserve continued discussion. I have only a single point to raise, although I consider it a serious one for Marxist theory and for our entire vision of socialism.
In hoisting a banner against the alltoo-frequent reductivism of the multiculturalist perspective, Goldner insists properly that the 'West' was shaped by the "East'...
— Alan Wald
Hammer and Hoe:
Alabama Communists During the Great Depression
By Robin D.C. Kelley
(Chapel Hill, NO University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 369 pages, paper $12.95.
ROBIN KELLEY HAS produced a brilliantly researched and theorized exposition of the appropriation and transformation of U.S. Communist ideology and institutions by the indigenous African-American community of Alabama. This is a book that has the potential for revolutionizing the study in the 1990s of the African-American and...
— Douglas Wixson
Labor into Art:
The Theme of Work in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
by David Sprague Herreshoff
(Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991) 181 pages, cloth: $24.95.
WHEN EARLY BRITISH settlers came to America, Stephen Innes points out in Work and Labor in Early America, their desire was to gain control over their own labor. It was a necessary condition of their reconstituted existence in a new land to feel and act as free people.
Circumstances were such, however, that by the middle of...
— Ethan Casey
Manufacturhig Consent:
Nom Chomsky and the Media, 167 minutes.
Directed by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick.
AT ONE POINT in "Manufacturing Consent," two Canadian filmmakers' masterful explication of Noam Chomsky's ideas about the insidious symbiosis among state power, corporate interests and the mass media, Chomsky explains why television interview shows place such a premium on sound bites and concision. "The beauty of it is that you can only repeat conventional thoughts," he asserts. There is...