Democratic Left

No War, No Empire

John Valdespino joined the U.S. Army in 2014, after two years of not being able to find a job that could pay the rent. He quickly regretted his decision, and in the aftermath of the 2016 elections, he began listening to and reading analyses of U.S. politics from a leftist perspective. Since then, he’s begun…

Drones over Djibouti

For most Americans, the 2017 death of four Green Berets in a remote village in western Niger begged a very simple question: What were they doing there? Quite a bit, as it turned out, though the grander “why” remained unclear. The incident prompted several rounds of hand-wringing and soul-searching, which culminated in a new National…

The Enemy’s Enemy is Not Your Friend

Rohini Hensman is a Sri Lankan scholar-activist who has long been involved in the labor, feminist, and anti-imperialist movements. Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker interviewed her by email about her recent book, Indefensible: Democracy, Counter-Revolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism. Could you say a few words about your background and how it has informed your criticism of apologists…

Climate, Solidarity, and Resistance

The newly empowered U.S. Left needs a foreign policy. But what should it be? In a 2018 article in In These Times, I laid out the main points to consider: (1) climate change; (2) the emergence of a post–cold war socialist paradigm; (3) a response to this late stage of capitalism, in which the world…

Born to be Militaristic

When I arrived in Vietnam in 1970, members of my platoon had lost a friend to a booby trap just two weeks before. I was smoking dope in a guard bunker when a group of them went into the outskirts of Bongson and gunned down an old woman who was hoeing in her garden. They…

Satyagraha for 21st-century Socialists

As end-of-empire America lashes out in terror both domestic and foreign, the U.S. Left faces a seemingly unprecedented urgency. With the fate of the planet at stake, it is harder than ever to sit still amid abstract debates about the meanings of nonviolence and violence; strategy and tactics; socialism, democracy, and revolution. How then, to…

Building a Powerful Antiwar Movement

On the anniversary of the start of the 2003 Iraq war this spring, I looked back at the pictures of the massive worldwide protests. Millions of people were in the streets, but they weren’t enough to stop the bombing. The U.S. war machine ground forward. In strategic campaign terms, we had a clear demand (don’t…

War is a Racket

Fifty years ago, the peace/antiwar movement in the United States was at its height. Led by priests, poets, politicos, and pranksters, it included a wide range of class, race, and gender perspectives from the boiling-hot sixties. I was seven years old, but felt enough of its backwash that by the time I was twelve, I…

The State of the Sudanese and Algerian Uprisings: Livestream Event

  Wondering about the recent people’s overthrow of dictators in Algeria and Sudan? Tomorrow. June 1, check out this panel by comrades familiar with what’s going on, whether it’s the “chaos” described in the media, or what Jacobin calls “The Long Arab Spring.”  Event description Today in Sudan and Algeria, people’s uprisings that broke out…

Hamza Hamouchene of the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists. Via Facebook

Plan, Market, and Wal-Market

The burden of analysis from Phillips and Rozworski (P&R) is that communist planning systems, aside from their multiple affronts to human freedom, failed at logistics, and were further handicapped by the limited computing power available in their heydays. Now we have giant corporations that rely on planning, and they are doing just fine.

Cover for PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF WALMART