redchuck4's blog

Rethinking Same-Sex Marriage

Like any radical, progressive or socialist, I celebrated New York State's (NYS) legalization of same-sex marriage as a step toward full legal equality for LGBT people. All the while, remembering that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act excludes married gays and lesbians from the federal benefits that come with marriage.

However, the way in which same-sex marriage legislation was won in NYS leads me to rethink my political assessment of the issue. For a number of years, I have disagreed with many on the left who argued that while we should support the right of same-sex couples to marry, the focus of the mainstream LGBT organization on marriage was an adaptation to hetero-normativity and tended to ignore the substantive social and economic oppression of queers. I believed that this attitude might lead radicals to abstain from mass, socially disruptive struggles for marriage equality as a democratic-civil right.

Despite what some on the organized left are arguing, the NYS same-sex marriage legislation was not the result of mass mobilizations and struggles. There have been no mass demonstrations, sit-ins at County Clerks offices or even dissident local officials officiating at same-sex marriages in defiance of NYS law. Instead, mainstream LGBT organizations in NYS engaged in a tepid lobbying and TV/radio ad campaign.

Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (Book Review)

Review of David McNally, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance. (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2011)

By Charlie Post

book coverIn late 2007, over twenty years of global economic growth came to a screeching halt. A financial panic began in the sub-prime mortgage market, leading to the bankruptcy (Goldman Sachs) and near bankruptcy (AIG, GM) of major financial and industrial corporations. While capitalist state bailouts for corporations deemed “too large to fail” stemmed the tide of economic collapse, millions of workers in both the global North and South faced attacks on their jobs, wages, working conditions and, for many, their housing. Unemployment, which had fallen to a “mere” five or six percent in the advanced capitalist countries in the 1990s and early 2000s, quickly spiked. Underemployment also rose rapidly.

Despite the hopes of many liberals and social democrats, the state bail-outs of failing capitalists did not produce a “return of the state.” Capitalist states reverted to neo-liberalism, attacking social services and public sector workers in the name of “balanced budgets” and “deficit reduction.” While corporate profits have begun to rise, there has been no new wave of investment and hiring. Unemployment remains at its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and real wages continue to decline.

New Anti-Capitalist Party (France) on Tunisia

Mike F. (NY) has translated this statement from the NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party), our French comrades, on the Tunisian Revolution:

STATEMENT FROM THE NPA (January 26, 2011);
SOLIDARITY WITH THE ONGOING REVOLUTION IN TUNISIA.

One after the other, the pitiful declarations of members of the Fillon government, from Alliot-Marie to Lemaire and including Sarkozy, have shown that they do not understand the reasons for the revolt of the Tunisian people.

Their explanations try to camouflage their political choice to the support for a friendly dictatorship, sanctioned by Sarkozy during his trip in 2008.

The so-called transitional government to prepare for the elections, stacked with politicians from the RCD, is rejected by the great mass of the people who overthrew Ben Ali after a month of continuous demonstrations, despite ferocious police repression.

The revolution continues its forward march to force the resignation of this government and to construct organs of power where the people are represented, heard and make the decisions.

Daily demonstrations, a teachers' strike and a strike in the city of Sfax called by the UGTT [main trade union federation] show that the youth and the Tunisian people do not want to be robbed of their social and democratic revolution.

OCTOBER 2ND AND BEYOND: Rebuilding Our Movements

Hopefully, tens of thousands of working people will descend on Washington, DC on Saturday, October 2nd. The unions, civil rights, immigrant, women’s and LGBT organizations that have built this demonstration to counter the “Tea Party” and the right’s program of new wars abroad and attacks on unions, immigrants, people of color, women and queer folks at home.

In 2008, most of us in the labor, civil rights, anti-war and immigrant rights movements celebrated the election of the first African-American President. Some of us believed that Obama’s promises of “hope” and “change” would result in more progressive government policies. Others recognized that Obama was an even more conservative Democrat than Clinton, but believed his election would energize progressives to fight for their agenda—an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, single-payer healthcare and amnesty for undocumented immigrants and an easy path to citizenship.

The Left and Obama

How should the left relate to Obama? A response to Linda Burnham
Charlie Post*

Structural Adjustment Comes Home to Roost

When the meltdown of the sub-prime mortgage market last Fall began to spread to major banks, investment houses and insurance companies, the Bush administration responded with massive bailouts the f

Celebrating Teen Pregnancy?

For years, I've taught sociology at a community college in New York City. I'm always looking for current examples to illustrate how class, race and gender work in contemporary capitalist socities.

Anti-War Movement(s)-- Then and Now...

Another Comment on FRSO/OSCL's Which Way is Left?

COMMENTS ON FRSO, WHICH WAY IS LEFT?

[This contribution was originally presented to a November 18, 2007 joint meeting of Solidarity, Freedom Road Socialist Organization/OSCL and an independent study group of activists interested in revolutionary organization]

The color-blind racism of “Law & Order”

Confession: I am a major Law & Order (L&O) junkie. I just can’t get enough of new episodes and reruns (including episodes I have seen at least a dozen time) of the original L&O. L&O Criminal Intent comes in a close second (although I have never gotten the hang of L&O Special Victims Unit). As a friend and comrade who shares my obsession put it, “It’s got cops and lawyers — what more can you ask from a mainstream TV show?”