Against the Current, No. 95, November/December 2001

Against the Current, No. 95, November/December 2001

Social Justice or War

— The Editors

THE WORLD-SHATTERING TERRORIST crime of September 11; three weeks of military buildup; then came, inevitably, the United States bombing of Afghanistan, the beginning of an open-ended campaign with unknown and incalculable consequences.

Indonesia: The Old Order Reviving

— Malik Miah

DEMOCRACY SUFFERED A blow in Indonesia on July 23, when President Abdurrahman Wahid was removed from office by an alliance of discredited New Order forces and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), which betrayed the interests of the people who voted for it as a party for democratic change . . . .

Colombia: Closing the Circle of Violence

— Cecilia Zárate-Laun

ON JULY 16, 2001 Carlos Arturo Marulanda-Ramirez, former Colombian Ambassador to the European Union, was detained by INTERPOL in Madrid, under international orders from the Colombian Prosecutor General.  He accused Marulanda of crimes against humanity, among them organizing paramilitary groups to torture, assassinate and displace peasants.

Paramilitaries, Multinationals and Colombian Labor

— Dianne Feeley

SINCE THE COLOMBIAN labor federation, CUT, was founded in 1986 nearly 4,000 trade unionists have been assassinated. Transposed to the United States that would represent 21,000 trade unionists executed! And the number is growing: 1,522 have been killed since 1995, with 129 assassinated in 2000 and 91 so far this year. For every five trade unionists killed in the world, three are Colombians . . . .

Reflections After Genoa

— Clayton Szczech

LIKE WATTS, KENT State, Waco, and Seattle, “Genoa” now means something much more than a mere geographical location in popular consciousness. This birthplace of Christopher Columbus hosted the 2001 summit of the Group 8 (G8), the largest European protest in over twenty years, and the first death of an anti-capitalist protester of the global North in decades. Less well known is that Genoa also saw the advent of bitter movement in-fighting, routinized mass protest, unaccountable leadership, and fascist police tactics . . . .

Random Shots: Notes for Life Under Siege

— R.F. Kampfer

WHEN ONE THINKS of communities around the world that have been under siege for decades, one wonders how the U.S. will cope in the absence of a quick fix. Return to normal? This is normal for a lot of people. It's safety that is an aberration and an illusion.

The War and the Crisis

Fortress America: Are We Safe?

— Michael Ratner

I LIVE A few blocks from the World Trade Center.  I saw the explosion in the North Tower and looked on in shock as the second plane flew 200 yards over my head and crashed into the South Tower.

Airline Workers: The Thanks We Got

— Rodney Ward

MEMO TO OUR Employees: Thank you for your loyalty, please don't let the door hit you on the way out.—The Airlines

Flight Attendants.  Many people think of our safety demo's ("there are two doors in the front of the plane"), or joke about "Coffee, Tea or Me," or scoff that we are simply overpaid Waitresses in the Sky—as if waiting tables was an easy job! What most do not understand is that while much of our job involves service, only a fraction of our training does.

U.S. Labor as Collateral Damage

— Malik Miah

WHAT IMPACT IS Bush's war against terrorism having on American workers?  A look at what's happened to airline workers since the tragic events of September 11 provides a glimpse of what is in store for workers as the economy stumbles into recession.

Statement: NYC Labor Against War

SEPTEMBER 11 HAS brought indescribable suffering to New York City's working people.  We have lost friends, family members and coworkers of all colors, nationalities and religions—a thousand of them union members.  An estimated one hundred thousand New Yorkers will lose their jobs.

The Rebel Girl: The War, the Women, the West

— Catherine Sameh

NOT SINCE THE Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis that followed (1978-79) has "the Islamic world" so captured the attention of the U.S. media and its consumers.  September 11 and the aftermath have revealed a new chapter not only in the fifty-plus-year history of U.S. geopolitical hegemony in the Middle East, but also the Orientalist discourse that dominates the media's analysis of that involvement.

Arab Americans' Double Jeopardy

— interview with Anan Ameri

ANAN AMERI IS Cultural Arts Director at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn, Michigan, which serves the Detroit-area Arab community, the largest anywhere outside the Middle East. A native of Palestine, her reflection on Jerusalem, "Can I At Least Have My Scarf?" appeared in the November-December 2000 issue of Against the Current (ATC 89).  She is a longtime leading activist in the Palestinian-American community and served as the first president of Palestine Aid Society.

David Finkel of the ATC editorial board interviewed Anan Ameri two weeks after the September

Pakistan's Politics of Polarization

— Farooq Tariq

THE SEPTEMBER 11 incident has had a polarizing effect on politics in Pakistan, to an extent never seen before.

Looking Over the Edge

— David Finkel

SEPTEMBER 11 WAS the day the United States' global empire came face to face with the monster that U.S. policy so greatly helped to create.  October 7 marked the beginning of the empire's strike back. After two weeks of bombing, the immediate question was not whether, but when, a U.S.-organized military occupation of Afghanistan would begin.

Poem: certain inalienable rights

— Kim D. Hunter


your creator is invisible
your flag is omnipresent


Dialogue: Why Did Capitalism Win?

— Peter Drucker

Ellen Meiksins Wood's essay "Eurocentric anti-Eurocentrism" (ATC 92) and Christopher McAuley's response (ATC 94) touched on a number of issues relating to the origins of capitalism,  Our symposium continues with this contribution by Peter Drucker, a long-time advisory editor of Against the Current who has worked for several years in Amsterdam for the International Institute for Research and Education.  He is the editor of the newly published Third World lesbian/gay anthoogy Different Rainbows (London: Gay Men's Press).


Samuel Farber's Social Decay and Transformation

— Charlie Post

Social Decay and Transformation:
A View from the Left
Samuel Farber
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2000; xxii + 177 pp. $55 (hardcover only).

SAMUEL FARBER'S SOCIAL Decay and Transformation addresses a paradox of U.S. politics. On the one hand, the untrammeled operation of the capitalist market over the past two decades has produced various forms of social decay, what Farber describes as “a regress from the democratic, egalitarian and humanist elements of modernism.” (xv) . . . .

Johanna Brenner's Women and the Politics of Class

— Angela Hubler

Johanna Brenner's new Women and the Politics of Class, containing essays written over a sixteen year period, comes at critical period in American feminism.  As Brenner writes, feminism has reached a "political impasse."  Despite enormous political, economic, and social changes over the past one hundred years, resulting in what she calls "the best of times" for some women, for others it is the worst of times: deteriorating conditions in women's lives; enduring male domination in the home and outside it. Violence against women persists, perhaps is even increasing; sado-masochistic representations of heterosexuality are more widespread than ever; increasing numbers of women are impoverished; occupational sex-segregation continues; previous gains, like abortion rights and affirmative action, are under attack.  Even the U.S. government recognizes the contradictions, noting that the increase in poverty among women has come at a time when "the national poverty rate has decreased."

Global Labor: Socialist Register 2001

— Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Socialist Register 2001:
Working Classes, Global Realities
Leo Panitch & Colin Keys, Editors
(New York: Monthly Review Press, 2001) 392pp., $24 paperback.

FOR ALL INTENTS and purposes, I discovered the Socialist Register during the early `90s. When I say “discovered” I, of course, do not mean that I was the first to come across it. Rather, having heard of it for years, I actually read it . . . .

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Stan Weir, 1921-2001

— Norman Diamond

STAN WEIR was a dear friend and inspiration to many of the new generation of socialists that arose in the mid-1960x, particularly in the Independent Socialist (later International Socialist) current.  His pamphlet on "The New Rank and File Revolt" was a particularly valuable contribution in that period.  Stan's unwavering commitment to socialist values was a prototype for the character of the fictional "Joe" in Harvey Swados' novel Standing Fast.