Welcome to Against the Current

Against the Current No. 208, September/October 2020

A Note from the Editors

The bimonthly was launched in 1986 to promote analysis and dialogue from activist movements for social, political and economic justice, and from engaged scholars on the left. Our perspective is “socialism from below,” rooted in the struggles for self-emancipation of the working class and oppressed peoples as the foundation for a new society without exploiters or oppressors.....

From Against the Current

USA on the Brink?

— The Editors

WHAT WILL THE day and the weeks after Election Day look like? In this Trumpster fire of a political year, the difficulty of prediction is partly that much of the Republican Party has morphed into something close to the French National Front or German Alternativ fur Deutschland – parties of the racist far right which, by establishment consensus, are excluded from national government although they may be regionally or locally powerful. In the U.S. context, the human and political damage of the past four years is severe enough but the full extent of the menace remains to be tested....

History, Great Britain, and Julian Assange

— Clifford D. Conner

BELOW ARE THE comments Clifford D. Conner made at a September 8th press conference in front of the British consulate in New York City. Conner is an historian and author of Jean Paul Marat: Tribune of the French Revolution and The Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump. The court in Britain is holding hearings on the Trump administration’s request to have Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks and an Australian citizen, extradited. Assange would be tried in a Virginia court on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.....

The Fight for Indigenous Liberation

— Brian Ward

THIS YEAR’S INDEPENDENCE Day celebrations included President Trump giving a divisive right-wing speech in front of four racist presidents who expanded the settler state on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

Mt. Rushmore is in the Black Hills known as He Sapa to the Oceti Sakowin, the seven council fires or Lakota, Dakota and Nakota (the Sioux), which is sacred to the Oceti Sakowin....

Mt. Rushmore is in the Black Hills known as He Sapa to the Oceti Sakowin, the seven council fires or Lakota, Dakota and Nakota (the Sioux), which is sacred to the Oceti Sakowin. He Sapa was stolen by the United States and in 1980....

Fragments from a Past – La Lotta Continua

— Jeffrey L. Gould

MY POLITICAL ACTIVISM began in 1964 when I passed out SDS leaflets: “better a crook than a fascist” [Johnson over Goldwater]; it effectively ended by the late 1980s. Although I consider my scholarly research and writings and especially my films to be a continuation of my earlier activism, I can’t speak to activists as one in the trenches. Yet today’s political moment is too charged to remain silent....

From ATC authors and friends

Michigan Militia Terror Plot and the Election: What Does It Mean?

— Malik Miah

The struggle for freedom, justice and equality continues. www.jimwestphoto.com

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”? — Malcolm X, from an interview in the final weeks of his life, in 1965.

WHAT DOES THE Michigan “Wolverine Watchmen” militia kidnapping-terrorist plot mean for the presidential election?...

Hong Kong in Revolt: A Conversation with Au Loong-Yu

— Ivan Franceschini interviews Au Loong-Yu

For the past year and a half, Hong Kong has been in turmoil, with a new generation of young and politically active citizens mobilizing to protest Beijing’s tightening grip over the city. In Hong Kong in Revolt: The Protest Movement and the Future of China (Pluto Books 2020), prominent Hong Kong leftist intellectual Au Loong-Yu retraces the development of the protest movement in his place of birth over the past two decades, setting them within the context of broader political trends in mainland China and beyond. Published after the Chinese authorities enacted a new draconian National Security Law that effectively signaled a new stage in the crackdown, this book provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the events of the past months, dispel some myths, and, possibly, draw a few early lessons....

The Increasingly Impossible Middle Class

— David Roediger

IN 2010 THE Commerce Department prepared data for the Obama administration’s Middle Class Task Force, headed by Vice President Joe Biden. Sidestepping knotty problems — see below — of just who was middle class, part of their study proposed a host of expectations that a middle class family would hold....