Against the Current, No. 124, September/October 2006

Binge and Hangover

— The Editors

THE LORDS OF empire set out to show that the United States, not Iran or any
other potential rival, will rule the “new” Middle East. Unable to attack Iran
directly, however, they instead employed the willing regional branch office
of the U.S. military-industrial complex, the Israeli Defense Force, to destroy

Elections and Regime Crisis

— The Editors

WILL THE DEMOCRATS "regain control of Congress"? Will Joseph Lieberman change parties? Will Hillary Clinton be the Democratic frontrunner for 2008? How much does any of this matter?

Michael Berg for U.S. Congress in Delaware: A Voice Against War

— Roger Horowitz

ON JUNE 8 Americans awoke to the news that the U.S. military in Iraq had killed Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, alleged leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In the midst of press coverage that cravenly accepted government claims that this was, once again, a turning point in the war, one voice in the mass media dramatically countered government claims - that of Michael Berg, Green Party candidate for Delaware's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Vogeler Senate Campaign

— Marc Sanson, Mike Wunsch and Rae Vogeler

WITH JUST FOUR months until the general election, Green Party candidate Rae Vogeler has established herself as the main opposition to millionaire incumbent Senator Herb Kohl. Vogeler's campaign took off last September when the mother of two decided that Wisconsin needed a Senator to stand up for working people, end the war, and fund good jobs, quality education and affordable health care:

California Greens Advance: The Camejo and Chretien Campaigns

— Mike Rubin

IN CALIFORNIA THE Green Party is changing both in its social composition
and in its political diversity. The party’s support for immigrants’ rights,
especially around the issue of state driver’s licenses, has won the party
growing support among Latinos. Leading activists such as Nativo Lopez, Chair
of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), and Miguel Araujo, from
Centro Azteca, have come into the Green Party.

The Massachusetts Plan: "Universal Coverage"?

— David Cohen and Judy Atkins

ON APRIL 12, 2006 Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed legislation that is being touted nationally as the model for providing health care for all people. The goal of the legislation is to provide health insurance for the State's 780,000 people who have no health insurance, by July 1, 2007.

The Lessons of Lebanon

— Uri Avnery

SO WHAT HAS happened to the Israeli army? This
question is now being raised not only around the world, but also in Israel
itself. Clearly, there is a huge gap between the army’s boastful arrogance,
on which generations of Israelis have grown up, and the picture presented
by this war.

The Middle East in Flames

— Andrew Kennedy and Suzi Weissman Interview Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is the author of Eastern Cauldron and The Clash of Barbarisms,
both published by Monthly Review Press. His book of dialogues with Noam Chomsky
on the Middle East, Perilous Power, is forthcoming from Paradigm Publishers.
He was interviewed by Andrew Kennedy on August 1 for the September issue of
Socialist Outlook (n10, London).

What Happened - and Didn't: Behind New York's Transit Strike

— Steve Downs

EARLY ON DECEMBER 20, 2005, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, representing
some 33,000 of New York City’s subway and bus workers, called a strike. When
dawn broke, there was no public transportation in NYC and millions of people
walked, hitched rides, rode their bikes, or stayed home.

Strike Lessons from the Last Twenty-Five Years: Walking Out and Winning

— Steve Early

LABOR’S STRIKE EFFECTIVENESS and organizational strength have long been connected.
Throughout history, work stoppages have been used for economic and political
purposes, to alter the balance of power between labor and capital within single
workplaces, entire industries, or nationwide. Strikes have won shorter hours
and safer conditions, through legislation or contract negotiation.

The "Labor Aristocracy" and Working-Class Struggles: Consciousness in Flux, Part 2

— Charles Post

WHATEVER THE THEORETICAL and empirical problems with the economics of the labor aristocracy thesis, its defenders still claim that well paid workers have generally been more reformist and conservative in their politics than lower paid workers. They point to the example of mostly white New York City construction workers ("hardhats") attacking antiwar demonstrators in the Spring of 1970; and contrast them with the militancy and progressive politics of some of the recent "Justice for Janitors" campaigns.

Liberation, Then What?

— Jeffery R. Webber

IN A LUCID contribution to our understanding of contemporary Africa, David Seddon and Leo Zeilig recently charted that continent's two waves of popular protest and class struggle over the last 40 years, as well as pointing to signs of a nascent third wave.

Bird, Diz and Max at Town Hall, 1945: Birth of a Revolution

— Connie Crothers

HIP-HOP HAD A musical parallel in the 1940s. It was the music now called be-bop, although it wasn't called be-bop then. It was "the new thing" or "the revolution in music."

In Memoriam

Morris Slavin: 1913-2006

— Christopher Phelps

MORRIS SLAVIN, A historian of the French Revolution and one of the last remaining veterans of the American Trotskyist movement of the early 1930s, died on February 6 in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 92. The vast majority of Slavin's years were spent in Youngstown, Ohio, but his childhood took place in Russia.