Against the Current, No. 222, January/February 2023

The Smoke Thickens

— The Editors

The ghost of elections past -- or future?

THE SMOKE HAS cleared, or more accurately thickened, over the U.S. midterm election results. The result of the Georgia Senate runoff means that Democratic control of the Senate (51-49) will become a bit less razor-thin. Has the crisis of “our democracy” passed? Not by a long shot.

The rightwing intention going into the November election was evident....

Five Memphis Police Indicted for Murder

— Malik Miah

What it says about policing and why abolition is only answer.

ANOTHER BLACK MAN was murdered by police in a modern-day lynching in Memphis, Tennessee. The city is nearly 70 percent African American, including a Black female police chief.

What was unexpected and a surprise to many is that the police officers were all African Americans. Some asked how could the police be a racist institution if the savage beating was done by African American officers who live in the community....

From ATC authors and friends

Davis 2023 Showed Us A Ruling Class Incapable of Resolving Global Crises

— William I. Robinson

World Economic Forum -- masters of the globe, but not in control.

THE TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATE and political elite were back in Davos, Switzerland, from January 16-20 for their annual conclave amid the most severe crisis of global capitalism since the founding of the World Economic Forum half a century ago. In earlier years, participants in the exclusive gathering jet-setted into the Swiss resort town exuding confidence in the hegemony of global capitalism. But this time around, uncertainty over their ability to manage the crisis, maintain control, restabilize global capitalism and rebuild fractured....

Michigan Appellate Courts Curb Death in Prison Sentences for Minors

— Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Michigan State Capitol, Lansing, Michigan.

A DECADE AFTER the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole (LWOP) sentences for justice-involved children under age 18 ("juvenile lifers"), Michigan appellate courts are course-correcting years of arbitrary sentencing outcomes which have been an affront to the rule of law.

LWOP sentences are often referred to as a "death in prison" or "death by incarceration" sentences because a person who receives the extreme punishment is condemned to die in prison unless her/his sentence is commuted by the Governor, which is unlikely to occur in most cases.

Solidarity with Ukraine!

THE UKRAINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK (U.S.) reaches out to unions, communities and individuals from diverse backgrounds to build moral, political and material support for the people of Ukraine in their resistance to Russia’s criminal invasion and their struggle for an independent, egalitarian and democratic country....

Against Multipolar Imperialism: Toward Socialist Multipolarity

— Promise Li

Multipolar Imperialism

AS THE LATE Samir Amin wrote in 2006, “the challenges with which the construction of a real multipolar world is confronted are more serious than many ‘alterglobalists’ think.” Sixteen years later, Amin’s call for nations to “delink” from the Western-led economic order appears more ignored by state elites in the global South now than ever before....

Ukraine: Free Market Will Not Win the War

— Šuliokas Justinas

Warring countries usually centralise their economies, as the countries that fought World War II did. In this way, investment, labour and all the country’s economic resources are devoted to the ultimate goal of winning the war. Ukraine is doing the opposite, which could undermine its war effort and even risk fragmenting the state and society, says political scientist Luke Cooper.

In a recent report, A Market Economy in a Global War?” A researcher at the London School of Economics (LSE)....

Student Days in Iran

— Yassamine Mather

Women's strike at Al-Zahra University.

THE THREE DAYS of protests announced by Iranian university students early in December to mark Student Day was a clever choice. They knew it was not going to be supported by royalists. Student Day commemorates three leftwing students, Ahmad Ghandchi, Shariat-Razavi and Bozorg-Nia,...

Clean Energy or Weapons? What the “Breakthrough” in Nuclear Fusion Really Means

— M.V. Ramana

ON DECEMBER 13, THE US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had reached a “milestone”: the achievement of “ignition” in nuclear fusion earlier in the month. That announcement was hailed by many as a step into a fossil fuel-free energy future. US Senate majority leader Charles Schumer, for example, claimed that we were “on the precipice of a future no longer reliant on fossil fuels but instead...

Solidarity Statement with Protests in China

Protesting with blank pieces of paper, Nanjing (Weibo)

OVER THE PAST weekend, major Chinese cities such as Urumqi, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Beijing, and over 50 universities —including elite institutions —were rocked by riots, mass demonstrations, and vigils. A protest movement on this scale and with such overtly political demands as “freedom” and “democracy” has not been seen in China for several decades,...

Election Results in Israel: Full-steam Right

— Yacov Ben Efrat

Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of "Jewish Power" and far-right incoming Minister of National Security. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI, AFP)

ISRAEL IS UNDOUBTEDLY a unique creature in the family of states: its borders are not defined and it lacks a constitution. It crowns itself a Jewish state, but the question of who counts as a Jew has no consensual answer. According to the Nation-state Law, it is not the ” state of all its citizens.” Its Jewish character is in constant conflict with its desire to maintain a democratic regime. It has occupied Palestinian territories for 55 years but treats them as....

International Food Crisis & Proposals to Overcome It

— Eric Toussaint & Omar Aziki

Sengalese woman in her field

CONTRARY TO A notion that spread in 2022, the global food crisis started before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise in the cereal prices due to speculation. On a global scale, from 2014 to 2021, the number of people affected by serious food insecurity increased by over 350 million, from 565 to 924 million. The rate of increase was particularly sharp from 2019 to 2021, and affected more than 200 million people. In 2021, some 2.3 billion peoples (29.3% of the world population) experienced moderate or serious food insecurity.(1)....

See all the articles by ATC authors and friends not printed in ATC.