United States

Reflecting on the Lessons of the 1960’s

The following text was prepared as a contribution to a discussion on the lessons the 1960's initiated by the primarily Chicago-based Platypus group, which is involved in the revived SDS organization. In the spring issue of their publication, the Platypus comrades reported on their frustration on the cancellation of a public panel discussion on the political experiences of the 1960's after Mike Klonsky and Rick Ayers, prominent SDS leaders from 40 years ago, abruptly withdrew from the forum after seeing the questions that would be posed to the panelists.

The Immigration Question in the Workers’ Movement in the US

In confronting the existence of ethnic, racial, and linguistic differences between workers, the workers' movement has historically been guided by the principle that "workers have no country."  Any compromise on this principle represents a capitulation to bourgeois ideology.

Editorial: The United States - locomotive of the world economy... toward the abyss

Times are hard for the world economy! Not only has it still to get over last year’s sub-prime crisis in the US housing market, the overall situation of the capitalist economy has never seemed so dangerous since the late 1960s: despite all the efforts of the ruling class to fend it off, the crisis is back with a vengeance.

The Class Struggle in the US

There are so many things that are going wrong in today's world -- wars without end that are killing and displacing millions around the world; health epidemics that condemn millions to early deaths and suffering; famines; homelessness; degradation of the environment that is menace the future of all life on earth; growing pauperization of the working masses of the world....

Correspondence on the Union Question

Dear Internationalism. I've read your series on how decadence affects capitalism in the International Review. Even though the union movement is portrayed as being progressive in the 1920's and 30's, it had moved away from being a worker's movement and became a hindrance on the working class.  In the US, the situation was different...

Resurgence of Class Struggle in the US

In the last few months, there has been a series of simultaneous strikes and struggles in the US, the likes of which we haven't seen in quite a while. This includes a number of official union strikes, such as the strike by the Access-A-Ride drivers in New York who provide transportation for people with disabilities...

UAW Manages Austerity Against the Workers

After a 48-hour strike in September, General Motors and the United Auto Workers sealed a deal that will undoubtedly serve as a pattern setter for the rest of the industry, that will cut costs and sacrifice worker and retiree medical benefits forever.

Capitalism is the Enemy, Not Immigrant Workers

Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly and an army of rightwing talk show hosts are busy flooding the air waves with propaganda messages blaming immigrant workers, legal and illegal, for the social problems that beset American society, particularly the working class. According to this rightwing propaganda line, the deterioration of our neighborhoods, increasing crime, unemployment, what they call "cultural and linguistic pollution," are all caused by immigrant workers.

Strike at GM: The union obstacle in the US

Workers have to face violence or the threat of it when they struggle, but they also have to deal with all the manoeuvres of the unions and their political allies.

Failure of Immigration “Reform”

The failure of the so-called "immigration reform" legislation in the Senate this summer is an absolute disaster for the dominant fraction of the American ruling class and yet another example of its increasing difficulty to control its own political apparatus.

Solidarity Is the Key to Advancing Class Consciousness

As we have pointed out in other articles on the US national situation - see in particular Inter 142 - American capitalism is currently besieged by a twin malady: an historic crisis of its imperialist power and an economic crisis that is becoming more and more unmanageable...

War in Iraq: A failure for US imperialism

Wednesday 18 April was an ordinary day in Baghdad. Like virtually every other day of the week, there were bombs. These killed over 190 people, many of them women and children. As so often before, the main target was a market, al-Sadriyah, very close to a building site employing workers who were risking their lives to earn a miserable wage to help their families survive. These attacks, among the most bloody since the fall of Saddam in 2003, were carried out in the same market which was hit on 3 February, killing 130 people. The aim of those who perpetrate such crimes is to kill as many people as they can. The purpose is destruction, the annihilation of human beings whose very existence makes them enemies. This is the rule of bestial hatred; this is a society in profound decomposition.

Ruling Class confronts the Crisis of American Imperialism

The collapse of Stalinism in 1989 and, in its wake, the disappearance of the system of imperialist military blocs that had dominated the world imperialist arena since the end of WWII, left the US as the world hegemonic imperialist power. However this historical moment of glory, the zenith of American imperialism, also had a downside. US imperialism found itself with no place to go but down and facing a crisis of historical proportions.

Media Scandals Are Key Weapon in Intra-Ruling Class Clashes

Scandals are an integral weapon in the internecine struggles within the ruling class, a central means for putting pressure on rival fractions or groups, to force policy changes or to drive certain individuals from positions of power or influence. According to one estimate the Bush administration has been battered by more the 34 scandals in the past six years. Understanding this political backdrop to media scandals is crucial, for otherwise it is impossible to understand where they come from and why they become the subject of such attention.

VA Tech shootings show barbarism of capitalism’s decomposition

As this issue of Internationalism goes to press, details are still emerging regarding the senseless mass slaughter of 33 people-including the apparent shooter who committed suicide-on th

America and Iran head towards bloodshed

I don’t know how many times the president, secretary Rice and I have had to repeat that we have no intention of attacking Iran” (Guardian 10/2/07). These were the words of US Defence Secretary Gates in February a few days after President Bush threatened Iran with retaliation for its involvement in Iraq and as a US fleet of some 50 ships, including two aircraft carriers and others with cruise missiles, moved within striking distance of Iran...

U.S. Sinks Deeper into Iraq Quagmire

The concerted efforts of the dominant fraction of the U.S. ruling class to force a readjustment of imperialist policy in Iraq has run into fierce resistance from hardline stalwarts in the Bush administration. Since the failure to change the ruling team in the 2004 elections, the administration has been under pressure to modify its failed policies...

U.S. Escalates War in Iraq

In his address to the nation on January 10th, Pres. George Bush completely rejected the central recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, ignored the political meaning of the Republican electoral defeat in November, and escalated the war in Iraq by sending more troops and threatening hostilities against Iran and Syria...

The Sean Bell Case: Police Brutality is a Class Question

In the early morning hours of Nov. 25th five New York City undercover police officers pumped fifty bullets at nearly point blank range into a car occupied by three unarmed black men. Sean Bell, the driver was killed and two passengers were seriously wounded. So outrageous was this assault that even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Governor George Pataki quickly issued public statements decrying the obvious use of “excessive force” by the cops...

The US prepares a midcourse correction in imperialist policy in Iraq

The dominant fraction of the U.S. ruling class has utilized the November election as a means to adjust the implementation of imperialist policy, to force a recalcitrant Bush administration to make a much needed midcourse correction in Iraq. By last winter a consensus had emerged within the dominant fraction that the situation in Iraq was an absolute mess, a quagmire that jeopardized the long range, global interests of American imperialism. The U.S. military was clearly stretched so thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it was incapable of responding to threats in other parts of the world. This was an intolerable situation because the exercise of military might abroad is an absolute necessity for American imperialism in a period in which its hegemony is under increasing challenge. To make matters worse, the Bush administration’s bungling of the war in Iraq had completely squandered the ideological gains the U.S. ruling class had made in manipulating popular acceptance of its overseas imperialist adventures in the aftermath of 9/11. 

The Crisis of American Imperialism's World Dominance

The collapse of the Russian superpower in 1989 and with it the disappearance of the system of imperialist blocs that dominated world affairs since the end of World War II, left the US as the dominant imperialist power.  After more than a decade and half, in spite of a relentless questioning of this hegemony, the US has been able to maintain its economic, political and particularly its military global supremacy.

Capitalist Decomposition Creates the Immigrant Crisis

The current immigration crisis that has captured so much attention in the capitalist media is not solely limited to the U.S. but is increasingly experienced by all capitalist metropoles in Europe and North America. The rioting in France last autumn by immigrant youth and the children of immigrants, primarily from North Africa, the recent flood of illegal immigrants and refugees to Spain’s Canary Islands, and the massive immigrant demonstrations in the U.S. this spring, predominantly by Latinos, but also including Asian and European immigrants stand as a clear reminder that this issue is a problem of global capitalism that exposes the bankruptcy of the capitalist economy and the inexorable decomposition of its outmoded social system.

Immigrant Demonstrations: Yes to the Unity of the Working Class! No to Unity With the Exploiters!

This spring hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers, most of them “illegal aliens”, as the bourgeoisie calls them, predominantly from Latin American countries, took to the streets in major American cities across the country, from Los Angeles, to Dallas, to Chicago, to Washington DC, and New York City, protesting a threatened crackdown proposed in legislation advocated by the right-wing of the Republican party. The movement seemed to erupt overnight, coming from nowhere. What is the meaning of these events and what is the class nature of this movement?

The Working Class in the US Returns to the Path of the Class Struggle

Clearly the proletariat in the U.S. is completely inscribed in the same generalized return to struggle that has been occurring on the international level since 2003, as the world working class struggles to emerge from the disorientation, confusion and reflux in consciousness that ensued after the fall of the two bloc system at the end of the 1980s, which was so deep and so profound that in many ways the proletariat, while not defeated in the historic sense, experienced great difficulty in even recognizing is own identity as a class and in having confidence in itself as a class with the capacity to defend itself.

"Latino" demonstrations in the USA: Yes to the unity of the working class! No to unity with the exploiters!

This spring hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers, most of them “illegal aliens,” as the bourgeoisie calls them, predominantly from Latin American countries, took to the streets in major American cities across the country, from Los Angeles, to Dallas, to Chicago, to Washington DC, and New York City, protesting a threatened crackdown proposed in legislation advocated by the rightwing of the Republican party. The movement seemed to erupt overnight, coming from nowhere. What is the meaning of these events and what is the class nature of this movement?

The IWW and the failure of revolutionary syndicalism in the USA, part ii

In this article, the second in the series, we will see how far the IWW’s theory and practice allowed it to live up to its own goals, and to the greatest challenge yet faced by the workers’ movement world wide: the outbreak of history’s first great inter-imperialist conflict in 1914.

West Virginia mine disaster: All mines are dangerous

Despite the frightening rhythm of explosions and collapses, and the resulting deaths and injuries to workers in China’s mines, it took an explosion at a mine in Sago, West Virginia, where a group of miners were trapped underground, slowly dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, for the British media to remember just how dangerous coal extraction can be.

The IWW: The failure of revolutionary syndicalism in the USA, 1905-1921

We continue our series on the experience of anarcho- and revolutionary syndicalism with the first of a two-part article on the Industrial Workers of the World.

The meaning of the New York City transit strike

A common tactic in the capitalist onslaught against pensions and medical benefits is the attempt to create “multi-tier” systems, in which new employees receive lower benefits or pensions. It was precisely this attempt to divide the workers that was at the heart of the recent struggle in NYC transit. It was precisely this attempt to divide the workers that was at the heart of the recent struggle in NYC transit.

Bush Bashing Pits Hawks Against Hawks

The American ruling class continues to grapple with the political mess created by its botched election in 2004, which kept the wrong team in power and failed to achieve a corrective adjustment in imperialist policy. The disagreements within the ruling class focus on how best to handle the quagmire in Iraq, so that the U.S. will be able to continue to intervene militarily throughout the world in order to oppose challenges to its continued dominance as the sole superpower in the world...
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