Against the Current, No. 73, March/April 1998

The IMF's Imperial "Reform"

— The Editors

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY Fund “bailout” of Korea could not be more of a misnomer. The IMF program aims to bail out not Korea, but the U.S., European and Japanese banks that made bad loans to Korean capitalists.

The crisis that exploded in South Korea in 1997 is partly of its own making, partly a product of ever more difficult conditions in overstocked world manufacturing markets, partly a result of international bankers' proclivity to withdraw their credit at the slightest inkling of trouble—and entirely the result of the unbridled, anarchic profit-seeking activities of Korean and international corporations and banks.

Random Shots: The NASA Seniors Tour

— R.F. Kampfer

MEN OF A certain age are going to hate John Glenn. With him blasting off into orbit, it's going to be harder to argue that they've earned the right to slack off a bit. Now if he drops dead, that of course will be a point in their favor.

Them Good Old Days

IT IS AS hard to find a resident of Flint whose grandfather didn't participate in the 1937 sitdown strike as it is to find a Dubliner whose ancestors didn't fight in the (1916) Easter rising.

“Titanic” is an impressive movie, but were people...

"I Don't Want To Wait Twenty-six Years for Justice" Roisin McAliskey in Limbo

— Stuart Ross

ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 1998, British Prime Minister Tony Blair stood before a packed House of Commons and announced that there would be a new inquiry into one of the most tragic events of Ireland's “Troubles”—Bloody Sunday.

Political Prisoner Dita Sari

— Emily Citkowski

DITA INDAH SARI, 25, was sentenced last April to five years in prison for organizing and leading a march of 20,000 garment workers protesting low wages and unsafe working conditions in Surabaya, Indonesia the previous summer. International human rights groups, and trade unions around the world have condemned her imprisonment. In a statement issued January 27th Amnesty International said that “It appears that she has been imprisoned solely for her peaceful work on behalf of labor rights and social change.”

The Jericho `98 March: Amnesty and Freedom for All Political Prisoners

— Steve Bloom

MUMIA ABU JAMAL, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt: These names, and the facts of the individual cases, are reasonably well known—especially among socialists and progressive activists. But it is perhaps less well-known that there are scores of similar victims of politically-motivated racist injustice doing time—many spending decades—in state and federal prisons across the United States.

For International Women's Day

The Struggles of Women in Brazil

— Dianne Feeley interviews Tatau Gadinho

TATAU GODINHO IS a member of the National Women Secretariat of the Workers Party (PT) and of the leadership of the PT in the state of São Paulo. She has been an activist in the women's movement for many years. Dianne Feeley interviewed her for ATC.

Poverty & Oregon's Welfare Reform

— Johanna Brenner

LAUDED AS A national model, Oregon's welfare reform has emphasized “job attachment” as a goal, pressuring recipients to take jobs in the private sector, and, in an expanding regional economy, cutting welfare caseloads almost in half. Although anyone with a lick of sense, including the people who run the welfare system, knows that reducing caseloads and ending poverty are two very different things, the political discourse of welfare reform and the popular imagery that accompanies it, assumes that poverty is a problem of unemployment and that putting welfare recipients to work will improve their lives and their children's lives.

Activists Speak Out: The Poverty of Welfare Reform

— Interview with Theresa el-Amin

Theresa el-Amin is Program Organizer with Southerners for Economic Justice (SEJ) in Durham, North Carolina. SEJ was founded in 1976 as a community-based organizing project. In Rhode Island she was a state coordinator for the Jobs With Justice (JwJ) Welfare/Workfare Action Day. She was interviewed by Dianne Feeley for ATC.

Activists Speak Out: The Poverty of Welfare Reform

— Interview with Amy Hanauer

AMY HANAUER RUNS the Milwaukee office of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. She previously worked as a policy analyst for State Senator Gwendolynne Moore. Dianne Feeley interviewed her for Against the Current.

LA Sweatshops: Common Threads In Struggle

— Edna Bonacich

EDNA BONACICH IS a Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Riverside. She has written and edited a number of publications on immigration, global restructuring, and labor markets. She has recently completed a draft of a book on the apparel industry in Los Angeles, entitled Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Garment Industry, co-authored with Richard Appelbaum.

Activists Speak Out: The Poverty of Welfare Reform

— interview with Heidi Dorow

HEIDI DOROW IS the director of the Urban Justice Center Organizing Project in New York City. She was interviewed by Dianne Feeley and David Finkel of the ATC editorial board.

The Family As It Really Is

— Stephanie Coontz

STEPHANIE COONTZ IS the author of two recent books on the American family, The Way We Never Were (Basic Books, 1992) and The Way We Really Are (Basic Books, 1997). She was interviewed by Susan Weissman for the KPFK (Los Angeles) radio program “Beneath the Surface.”

The Rebel Girl: We Shoot, We Score — At Last!

— Catherine Sameh

THE WINTER OLYMPICS feature snow, ice, and the amazing array of insane things done on top of them. From the spectacular to the extreme, the winter games bring us out of our cold-weather doldrums and show us a rare breed of athletes who make sense and beauty out of formidable mounds of snow and blocks of ice.

Asia's Capitalist Boom and Bust

Causes and Consequences: Inside The Asian Crisis

— Martin Hart-Landsberg

THE SO-CALLED ”MIRACLE economies” of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea are in crisis. Their currencies and stock markets have lost between 30-50% of their value over the past seven months; many of their banks are insolvent; their central banks are hard pressed to come up with the foreign exchange needed to cover international debts.

Suharto's Days Are Numbered: Protests, Riots Rise as Clinton and IMF Back Dictator's Regime

— Malik Miah

INDONESIA'S LONG-STANDING MILITARY ruler Suharto (age 76) faces the broadest opposition ever to his thirty-two-year rule. Markets swamped with people hoard basic foodstuffs as prices climb by the day. Inflation is in the double digits; unemployment is rising as factories close.

The urban poor, and village families dependent on income from now-fired workers living abroad and in the cities, are going hungry. The 13,000-island archipelago is simmering with fear and rage. Talk of impending insurrection is no longer considered a wild rumor. The army definitely takes it seriously.

The World Bank's The State In A Changing World: The Global Politics of TQM

— Gerard Greenfield

IT'S IRONIC THAT the Bill Jordan, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), welcomed the World Bank's latest World Development Report, The State in a Changing World (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1997), for its recognition of the importance of democracy.

In Jordan's words: “We welcome the World Bank's change of heart and its focus on an effective, accountable state as essential for democracy.” (ICFTU Online, June 25, 1997)

Transnational Capital and the State in China: Partners in Exploitation

— Gerard Greenfield

WHILE THE WORLD'S attention focused on 1997 as the year in which Hong Kong was reunified with China, the World Bank's attention centered on the incorporation of its neoliberal policies on privatization and labor market deregulation into the agenda of China's ruling elite.


The Destiny of A Revolution

— Donald Filtzer

Victor Serge, Russia Twenty Years After. New edition prepared by Susan Weissman. Original translation from the French by Max Shachtman. Includes the essay, “Thirty Years After the Russian Revolution,” translated by Michel Bolsey. Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1996. xlvi + 345 pp. Paperback, $19.95.