The Historic Moment of the 2016 Election

This article was originally published on Dissident Voice.

The 2016 presidential election presents the American working class with a historic moment.  No, I am not talking about the possibility of the first rich, neoliberal woman president.  Nor am I talking about the social democrat masquerading as a socialist.  Nor am I talking about the arrogant, racist, borderline fascist Donald Trump.

The historical moment is not in the outcome of the election itself. After all, the State is subservient to capitalist elites.  So long as economic power is concentrated in the hands of a privileged few, the State will always act to safeguard the private property and power of the capitalist ruling class.  Rather, the moment presents itself in the delegitimization of the political system, especially the growing hatred of the two corporate parties. Continue reading

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How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace

This year, I was invited to be a speaker for a panel at Left Forum.  The panel was appropriately titled, “How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace.”  David Hungerford of the Coalition for Social Justice hosted it.  Other panelists included Sara Flounders of International Action Center and Kazem Azin of Solidarity with Iran-SI, Iran Forum.  Any one of these activists and thinkers alone would be worth listening to.  It was truly remarkable having all of them in one room presenting on such a pertinent (and as David explains in his presentation an under-recognized) topic as sovereignty, imperialism, and world peace.

There’s no better introduction than just watching them speak for yourself.  Check out Hungerford, Flounders, Azin and I’s presentation below:

US Imperialism and the Crisis in Syria

The following is a transcript of a presentation I gave at Left Forum for the panel titled, “How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace.”  You can view a recording of that panel here.

I’ve been asked to speak about US imperialism and the crisis in Syria. It is perhaps misleading to speak of “a Syrian crisis” as if it is a catastrophe occurring independently of the developments in the wider Middle East region. This is how the corporate media prefers to present complex phenomena – especially if the West’s bloodied hands are at the root.

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Why the Refugee Acceptance Movement Must Become an Anti-Imperialist Movement

This article originally appeared on Truthout.

Corporate media have been filled with news about the growing crisis of Syrian refugees. Politicians and journalists alike ask what the United States ought to do about it. An increasing number of governors have declared their intent to reject refugees. In a brazen attempt to stand strong against defenseless people fleeing terror, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie harshly bragged that he would not even admit “orphans under five.” This is nothing but political posturing for a dysfunctional party that must appeal to racist fears to stay relevant, as governors do not have the constitutional power to refuse to accept refugees.

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Do Muslim Lives Matter?

Before the UK parliament voted for aerial bombardment campaign in Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron called the head of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser” for his opposition to the war.  Americans who opposed the war in Iraq (and the few who took a principled stance against US imperialism in Afghanistan) are familiar with such accusations:  the corporate-imperialist party line is “war is the answer.”  Questioning the party line means you’re the enemy.  “You’re either with us or against us.”

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TPP and Corporate Control

No thanks to the Obama administration who wanted to keep the agreement a secret, the New Zealand government released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  This “free trade” agreement currently includes 12 member countries encompassing 40% of world GDP (Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan).  President Obama tried to assure the public that it need not know what is in the trade deal because he and the corporate lobbyists who shaped the deal had the public’s best interests in mind.  With the release of the full text, we now know that it is worse than even its harshest critics feared. Continue reading