Against the Current, No. 85, March/April 2000

— The Editors

[This is a guest editorial, for the occasion of International Women's Day, written for Against the Current by Veronica Dujon of the Sociology Department at Portland State University.]

WOMEN ARE AFFECTED in unique ways by current forms of global economic integration. Their experiences, concerns and needs must be a central part of the groundwork for understanding and transforming this global economy.

— Francisco T. Sobrino
In Argentina, the Alianza, a coalition of the Union Civica Radical (a traditional party of the center right) and Frepaso (an amalgam of Peronistas opposed to President Menem, social democratic and center-left elements), triumphed over the ruling Justicialista [Peronista] party, bringing to an end ten years of Menem's rule.
— Boris Kagarlitsky

IN THE EAST there is a proverb: "Don't brag when you're on your way to war." Vladimir Putin's generals have obviously never come across it.

The Chechens undoubtedly planned on eventually abandoning Grozny. While Grozny could not be surrendered without a fight, no one would have set out to hold it at any price. The Chechens' primary aim is to keep Russian forces relatively confined and immobile, while causing them continual, debilitating losses.

— Hillel Ticktin and Susan Weissman
THE POWER BROKERS in and around the Kremlin have orchestrated a transfer of power that could serve as a model for modern democratic rule—the kind of demonstration democracy (demonstrate the form, forget the content) practiced to a high art form in the United States.

The oligarch Boris Berezovsky has bragged that he could make anyone president with enough money and control of the media. It looks like he has.

— Jack Breseé
Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted . . . Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released.” —Amnesty International, April 1999

“IT'S 1999. WHY is Leonard Peltier still in prison?”

— Malik Miah
SOME 50,000 PEOPLE, ninety percent African Americans, marched in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 17, the federal holiday honoring the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The march protest was organized by the NAACP demanding that South Carolina's government remove the Confederate flag from its statehouse. Until the state officials do so, the NAACP pledged to continue its economic boycott of the state.
— Stephanie Luce
GEORGE FRIDAY IS an organizer with the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN)—a national network of organizations working to build alternatives to the two-party system. An African-American woman who grew up in the South, George is currently based in Rockwell, North Carolina, and focuses her work in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. She was interviewed by Stephanie Luce from the ATC editorial board.
— Milton Fisk
THE RECENT GROWTH of obstacles to getting health care here in the United States has led to a renewed interest in Canada's system of universal access, called Medicare. Premium inflation has accelerated after stabilizing in the mid-1990s.

Employers, who had trusted Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to limit their expenses for employee health care, are either limiting employee coverage or simply not contributing to it. The steady rise in the number of uninsured in this country is a reminder that a robust economy doesn't mean generalized affluence.

— Catherine Sameh
Since late December, thousands of anti-gay people have flooded Vermont Governor Douglas Racine's office with calls of protest. Fueled by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the popular radio talk-show host who urged listeners to call Vermont, anti-gay forces have not let up.
— R. F. Kampfer

KAMPFER PREPARED FOR Y2K by stockpiling ammunition. He figured that would get him anything else he needed.

The siege of Grozny shows us that the Russian General Staff has forgotten the hard-won lessons of Stalingrad (not to mention Moscow in 1812, as Boris Kagarlitsky explains elsewhere in this issue).

Before the modern car-alarm, there was a device advertised in pulp magazines that would deliver a powerful electric shock to anyone who touched your ride.

I can imagine how my grandfather would have reacted...

— Bill Resnick

IT GOT INTOXICATING that Tuesday (Nov. 30, `99) in Seattle, without chemical assist. That capitalist machine that has looked so mighty and irresistible, for that day was stopped and defeated.

Seattle marked the emergence of the next new left, a wildly diverse and creative bunch. And they will be operating on a changing terrain, where not just corporate misbehavior but capitalism appears the problem, and can be fought.

— Frank Borgers
AS THE CLOUDS of teargas lifted from the streets of Seattle two images emerged in public consciousness: The edifice of the WTO brought crashing to its knees, simultaneously revealing an odd Lilliputian army of labor, environmental, church and assorted activists that had appeared out of nowhere to assault what had been presumed to be an unassailable new world order.
— Barbara L. Tischler
THE EFFORTS OF women to end the war in Vietnam have been subsumed into a paradigm that suggests that, some time in the late 1960s, women activists left the antiwar struggle for the new feminist cause, leaving behind the movement that had initially ignited their activist energies. This story of ideological abandonment overstates the case. The variety of organizational, theoretical, and personal lessons learned in the antiwar movement profoundly influenced the organized, theoretically nuanced, and personally impassioned movement of, by, and for women, whose diverse constituent groups shared the idea of liberation from male authority.
— Arlene Keizer

CENTRAL TO FEMINISM is the hope that conditions for women will improve as time passes, that belief in the equality of women will take hold all over the world and lead to a change in women's life circumstances, regardless of their “race,” ethnicity, class and sexual orientation....

— Alan Wald

Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America by Ellen Schrecker (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1998) 573 pages, $17.95 paperback.

Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, The Cold War, and Modern Feminism by Daniel Horowitz (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998) 354 pages, $29.95 hardcover.

— Jessica Kimball Printz
The Big Boxcar by Alfred Maund. First publication 1957. Reprint, with a new introduction by Alan Wald. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. 178 pages. $14.95 paperback.
— César Ayala

Las carpetas: persecución política y derechos civiles en Puerto Rico by Ramón Bosque-Pérez and José Javier Colón-Morera, (Río Piedras: Centro para la Investigación y Promoción de los Derechos Civiles, 1997), 359 pages.

— Kim Hunter

Ethics Into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement by Peter Singer (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), $17.95 paperback.

— Eric Hammel
MICHAEL LÖWY WRITES (in his exchange with Terry Murphy, ATC 84, page 42) that “I don't believe in `natural laws' of economy or history,” and that “the model of scientific objectivity developed in physics or astronomy cannot be applied to the social sciences (where)) subject and object partially overlap, and where opposed social interests inevitably affect the process of knowledge.”
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