March 2023

Honor International
Women's Month
The CCDS Socialist Education Project Fourth Monday Series presents


Monday, March 27, 2023, 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern

Darien De Lu, President, US Section, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Darien draws support and strength from her "activist home" in WILPF, where she has been active for over 30 years. She speaks multiple languages and has traveled extensively in Latin America, North Africa and West Africa, the Middle East, many parts of Asia, and all of Europe. She considers herself fortunate to have over forty years of participation in—and education from—many of the political movements that have often found innovative expression in California, such as nonviolent direct action, feminist process, ecological activism, and the ending of nuclear weapons and power. 
Wei Yu is CODEPINK's China is Not Our Enemy campaign coordinator.

Wei was born in Tianjin, China and has lived in the US since her high school years. While in university pursuing her degree in Sociology and International Studies, Wei conducted an independent research project on neocolonial bias in Global North academia. Wei has worked with several nonprofit organizations serving women, racial minorities, and other progressive causes. Wei is passionate about anti-imperialist and peace-building work and enjoys experimenting with vegan recipes in her free time. 
Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director at Western States Legal Foundation,
Oakland, California

Jackie moved with her family from New York to California in the late 1960s, where as a high school student she protested the Vietnam War and became a mstudent leader in the new ecology movement.
In the late 1970s, she became active in the grassroots California movement against nuclearpower. Through the anti-nuclear power movement, she learned about the horrors of nuclear weapons and discovered the existence of one of the two main U.S. nuclear weapons research and development laboratories in her own backyard. As a consequence of her first trial stemming from an arrest while nonviolently blocking the gates to the Livermore nuclear weapons lab, she became the Executive Director of WSLF in the spring of 1984, where today, in addition to organizing, speaking,and writing, she still designs T-shirts, banners and brochures.
Sunday, March 5, 2023
(December 14, 1932 – May 10, 2018)

by Harry Targ

(A version of this article was originally presented at a Symposium in Honor of Berenice A. Carroll called “Pen and Protest: Intellect and Action”, November 17, 2007)

 “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” Marx’s prescient comment in the German Ideology was relevant in 1972 when Berenice Carroll published her provocative article called “Peace Research: The Cult of Power." Berenice’s analysis of the reification of power and what it means for scholarship and action remains particularly important for our own time.  

Dominant Paradigms and the Study of the Cold War
If we think back to the time when “The Cult of Power” was written dominant paradigms in international relations, political science, and history continued to reify power as the central concept driving political analysis. The world was understood as one dominated by two superpowers overseeing two competing power blocs. The bipolar world was a particular variant of the state system that was created in the seventeenth century. The ultimate units of analysis were separate and distinct nation-states. Since a few were more powerful than all others, which was always the case, international relations became the study of powerful states. The arms race of the post-World War II period concerned some analysts of international relations, so they fashioned peace research that was committed to conflict management or resolution among the big powers.

This scholarly lens on the world seemed increasingly divorced from political reality. The dreams of human liberation that came with the rapid decolonization of the African continent were being derailed as what Kwame Nkrumah called “neo-colonialism” replaced formal colonialism. Gaps between rich and poor peoples and nations began their steep climb. Covert operations, military coups, big power interventions in poor countries increased. Wars ensued against peoples in South and East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. And multinational corporations were spreading their operations all across the globe, initiating the first great wave of outsourcings of production and jobs. For many Americans and Asians, the most wrenching experience of all these manifestations of global disarray was the Vietnam War.
In this historical context, radical peace researchers began to argue that our understanding of these phenomena required a significant paradigm shift. If we wanted to understand the world in order to change it we needed to break out of the state centric, great powers, conflict management conception of international relations. We needed to develop theories and prescriptions that helped us understand the world we lived in so that we could work on the reduction of the enormous gaps between human potential and human actuality; and, therefore, human violence.

These peace researchers called structural violence, the difference between how humanity could live, secure in economic and social justice, versus how most people live. They asked questions about the structures and processes that prohibited the full realization of human possibility. Peace researchers also saw an inextricable connection between direct violence, or killing which was the more traditional subject of peace research, and structural violence, which involved the institutionalization of human misery.

Further, they hypothesized that there were connections between imperialism, dominance and dependence, the workings of capitalism, patriarchy, institutionalized racism, social and economic injustice and both direct and structural violence.

More specifically, radical peace researchers began to see that both direct and structural violence were the resultants of a global political/economic/ and cultural system in which Centers of Power within and between countries controlled and exploited Periphery countries and people. A system of imperialism existed whereby ruling classes in core countries collaborated with ruling classes in peripheral countries to exploit masses of people. This was a system that had its roots in the rise of capitalism out of feudalism. It was a system of imperial rule. It was a system of patriarchy. It was a system of institutionalized racism. And wars were the result of struggles for imperial control and domination. Radical peace researchers borrowed ideas from dependency theory and grafted them onto traditional theories of imperialism to offer an alternative paradigm to the state-centric, power driven model that dominated the academy and political punditry.

The Cult of Power
Berenice Carroll added to the emerging paradigm shift in her article “Peace Research: The Cult of Power,” by deconstructing the use of “power” as the concept central to the traditional paradigm. Also she alerted peace researchers to the implicit acceptance in their work of the cult of power. Perhaps most importantly, Carroll offered an alternative conception of power that would radically redirect study in a way to link the “pen to protest.” 

In her seminal article, Professor Carroll pointed out that virtually all theories of international relations began with a conception of power. And the power variable had seeped into the public consciousness of world affairs as well. In its contemporary usage “power” referred to control, dominance, and the ability to shape the consciousness and behavior of others; individuals, groups, and/or nations. 

The dean of international relations study in those days was Hans Morgenthau, who wrote the classic international relations text, Politics Among Nations, which went through eleven editions from its first imprint in 1949 until the 1970s. Morgenthau said that power was central to human affairs: ‘Power is the control of the minds and actions of others,” and “international politics like all politics involves the struggle for power.” 

Carroll pointed out that theorists sometimes defined power as the ability to dominate. Sometimes they defined power as the instrumentalities of control (such as military capabilities). Sometimes they defined power as a perceived status ordering of nations. But what was central here was control and domination. And as long as the ability to control and dominate were unequally distributed only those with the greatest power were worthy of attention.

Berenice reminded us that there used to be definitions of power in public discourse that emphasized liberation rather than control. These older definitions included words like strength, competence, rigor, energy, empowerment, the ability to actualize. To quote Berenice, “Thus it appears that the currently predominant understanding of power as control and dominance is a development of recent decades. The more traditional meaning centered on the idea of ability and strength.” 

She went on to warn radical peace researchers that while they clearly had a better grasp of reality, they too reified power in the modern usage. She suggested that peace researchers failed to “…challenge the prevailing conception of power as dominance; its preoccupation with institutions, groups or persons which are perceived as powerful, and to some extent also in a tendency for the researcher to identify with those institutions, groups, or persons which are seen as powerful;” that is the elites, the key decision makers, the nation-states and the superpowers. The danger, she implied, is that we, the most progressive of scholars and activists, may be inadvertently embracing the conceptual tools that reinforce the status quo rather than take sides for social change.To illustrate her point in a way relevant to both peace and (I would add) feminist theory, Carroll offered a vivid quote from a distinguished scholar of that time Karl Deutsch who wrote:
 "Today, and for one or more decades to come, the nation-states are and will be the world’s main centers of power. They will remain such centers as long as the nation-state remains man’s foremost practical instrument for getting things done.”

What implications for peace and feminist theory did Professor Carroll suggest should be deduced from this “cult of power?” First, scholar/activists needed to reject the notion that power represents dominance. Second, scholar/activists needed to broaden their research lens from focusing on so-called powerful institutions, like the nation-state, or decision-making elites and begin to examine the entirety of the social/political/ and cultural terrain. Third, scholar/activists needed to utilize the older conception of power as actualization, competence, assertion of rights; in other words a vision of power that understands that historical change is a complicated affair involving masses of people not ordinarily studied or valued by contemporary scholarship. Fourth, scholar/activists needed to reject a frame on reality, accepted even by the more radical, that presents history as  the struggle between the powerful and victims and which portrays people as impotent to assert their rights and prerogatives. (Discourse in the academy is particularly good at framing political reality such that people are powerless, or ignorant, or lacking in resources to assert themselves, or are in the end the cause of their own victimhood. This projection is particularly strong among those who never set foot off the college campus as they pontificate about the behavior of the people).

Summing this up, Professor Carroll writes”
“…one of the most pernicious effects of the cultist conceptions of power is that it has built up a strong association between the lack of power in the sense of dominance and powerlessness in the sense of helplessness…To break out of this mold what seems most urgently needed is to restore to public consciousness and to the consciousness of scholars the idea of power as competence; to develop that idea more fully by differentiating the kinds of energy, ability, and strength which it may imply and, in particular, to seek to study powers of the allegedly powerless-the kinds of competence and potentialities for autonomous action which are available to those who do not have the power of dominance….”

Where are we today?It seems to me that Professor Carroll’s argument is as critical to us as peace researchers, feminists, worker rights activists, anti-racist activists, and, indeed, all social justice activists today. While the academic world is perhaps more complicated today and there are manifestations of a theoretical diversity that may not have been as developed in 1972, I would argue that the main lines of “the cult of power” argument still hold. Power is reified in our academic disciplines. Top-down models of human experience still predominate in the social sciences and humanities. For most fields non-elites remain voiceless and invisible.

At best they are presented as victims, not actors on the world stage. Academic paradigms, whether consciously conceived or not, therefore project a profound pessimism about social change and human possibility. And, for some scholars, the victims become the cause of their own victimhood. The most well meaning of us as scholars and concerned citizens present a view of the world that demeans and discourages the vast majority of humankind.
Where do we go from here?

1)We need in our scholarship to emphasize the centrality of workers, women, people of color, and all so-called marginalized people as shapers of history, or at least to recognize their role in creating history.

2)We need to engage in research projects that might help the voiceless gain a voice, the powerless to increasingly and more effectively shape their own destiny, and individuals, groups, and classes gain self-confidence and strength in their social projects.

3)We need to extend our scholarship to the study and celebration of those who have chosen the path to empowerment and the evaluation of their relative successes and failures. This would not be an exercise in romanticism but rather an exercise in developing a more sophisticated understanding of history and change.

4)We need to build our theories and our research skills through active engagement in the process of social change. Theoretical validation comes from engagement not withdrawal.
5)We need to relate models of empowerment to all sectors of society. We cannot embrace the issue of competence, strength, and self-actualization for one constituency and use traditional models of domination to try to understand other parallel constituencies. Here is where understanding the connections between class, race, and gender play a particularly important role.

Berenice Carroll ended her ground-breaking article by quoting Hannah Arendt:
“It is only after one eliminates this disastrous reduction of public affairs to the business of domination, that the original data in the realm of human affairs will appear or rather reappear in their authentic diversity.”
True Story of 'If I Had a Hammer'. 
submitted by Marilyn Albert

In 1952, the lyrics were revised a bit by a fellow radical activist, Libby Frank, who insisted on singing "my brothers and my sisters" instead of what Seeger and Hayes had written: "all of my brothers." Hayes objected ("It doesn't ripple off the tongue as well. How about 'all of my siblings?") but finally agreed. A decade later, the melody itself was rewritten by Peter, Paul & Mary. Most people nowadays sing it as they heard it on PPM's record, admitted Seeger. This Peter, Paul & Mary version reached #10 in October 1962.

The above story is on CCDS NCC member Marilyn Albert confirms that Libby Frank told it to her many years ago.  If you would like to help Libby Frank, now in her 90s, please send a contribution to:
 Judith Elson
1012 W. Upsal Street
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Statement of Mourning From the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism For the
passing of Charlene Mitchell
(June 7, 1930-Decmeber 14, 2022)

Charlene Mitchell was a groundbreaking leader in the Communist PartyCPUSA from the 1940s until 1991, an organizer of the campaign to free
Angela Davis, and a founder of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression in the 1970s, Charlene Mitchell was one of the greattwentieth century leaders in the fight against racism, in support of the working class, and a visionary strategist for the building of a Socialist
movement in the United States. She was an advocate for what is called today “intersectionality,” linking the struggles of class, race, and gender.

Comrade Mitchell was also well-known and admired all around the world; everywhere where there existed a vibrant socialist movementand/or government. She was particularly admired for her work in solidarity with the freedom struggle in South Africa and the Cuban

When CCDS was initiated in 1994, Charlene Mitchell brought together a broad movement of communists, socialists, anti-racists, feminists, and peace activists. Through CCDS she worked to create a broad progressive majority. Her work in support of keeping the socialist vision alive in the difficult period after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of neoliberal policies of the United States government during both Republican and Democratic administrations was incalculable. The rise of democratic socialism today and a new militancy among youth is a
continuation of the lifetime of struggle that Charlene Mitchell carried out throughout her long and productive life. The struggles that she initiated continue today. We in CCDS and the broad left have lost a great leader.

A statement issued by the National Executive Committee CCDS
Silencing Dissent:
How the Military-Industrial Complex Dominates the Conversation and What We Can Do About It

March 21, 2023, 8 pm Eastern

Joan Roelofs presentation will be based upon the theme of her most recent book, The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-war Protest in the United States (Clarity Press, 2022), and related topics. 

Professor Emerita of Political Science at Keene State College, Joan Roelofs has been an anti-war activist ever since she protested the Korean War. She has been associated with the Pledge of Resistance, Monadnock Greens, Greens/Green Party USA, NH Peace Action, World Beyond War, The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Code Pink.

Sponsored by the Move the Money Task Force (MTM) of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). MTM seeks to shift funding from the Pentagon budget to underserved and unmet domestic needs.  
The Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and
Socialism (CCDS) endorses the Jewish Voice for Peace
statement below and joins with peace activists around the
world to demand:
--Justice for the Palestinian people.
-An end to United States military support for the State of Israel.
-That no US public assistance or private investment of any sort shall be provided
to Israel until the illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land is halted,
and further, until an International Court of Justice process is put in place to
rightfully restore Palestinian lands that have been illegally seized or unlawfully
-Economic assistance to help the Palestinian people overcome poverty,
exploitation, and physical devastation,
-And United Nations condemnation of Israeli crimes against humanity
Jewish Voice for Peace issued the following press release:
28 FEBRUARY 2023

“On Sunday in the occupied West Bank, we saw the inevitable
outcome of Zionist ideology: Israeli settlers destroying Palestinian

homes, livelihoods, and lives in an effort to force Palestinians from
their land.
In the worst settler attacks in decades, nearly 300 Israeli settlers
rampaged through the Palestinian villages of Huwara, Zatara, and
Burin on Sunday, burning homes to the ground, lighting vehicles on
fire, and injuring 350 Palestinians. At least one Palestinian, 37-year-
old Sameh al-Aqtash, was killed, just days after returning from
volunteering with relief efforts in Turkey. Sameh was the father of
three children, the youngest a four-month-old girl.
During the attacks, the Israeli military not only failed to protect
Palestinians from the settler violence, but also prevented
ambulances and medics from treating the injured. Video footage
showing Israeli soldiers standing by while settlers undertook attacks
next to them makes it indisputably clear: The Israeli settler
movement is supported and enabled by the Israeli state.
This mass violence is what Zionism has always been leading
towards; Zionism has always required the displacement and
removal of Palestinians from their lands to make way for a Jewish
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the current far-
right extremist Israeli government is escalating the ethnic cleansing
begun in 1948 with the Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians were
forced from their land. Make no mistake — the Israeli government’s
oppression of Palestinians and occupation of their land is the root
cause of every violent death.”
Support the BDS Mpvement
SAVE THE DATE: April 17-23 It's time to get ready for the 2023 Medicare for All Strategy Conference!

This annual gathering is a chance for activists and organizers fighting for Medicare for All across the country to come together, strategize, learn from each other and build community for the fight ahead! This year's conference, "Everybody In: Racial Equity & Medicare for All," will be focused on centering race in our conversations about healthcare and building the multi-racial healthcare justice movement we need to win Medicare for All. We'll be featuring speakers, workshops, interactive discussions, and more! The conference will take place ONLINE from April 17-23, 2023, and will include a week of evening events followed by a weekend of live workshop.

“Plantation Politics”: How White Mississippi Lawmakers Want to Seize Power in Majority-Black Jackson
 "What we don't need is a takeover of our city," Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba
"When legislators asked for additional funds for Jackson infrastructure because all of the City’s prime real estate is occupied by government buildings which pay no taxes, we had no idea that this bill would morph into this power grab for the few resources that the city maintains.

The State seems to enjoy using Jackson as a whipping board. They never distribute resources equitably whether it is funding from the BP oil spill settlement or other windfall or simply federal dollars allocated to the state. After years of neglect, they now want to give the appearance that Jackson has incompetent leadership therefore the can’t handle all of the federal funds allocated to help the City.

But if the recent scandals on the state level are looked at, the State should not handle any funds local or federal because it seems to be festering with crooks.

We will fight this in the streets and in the courthouse."

Kathy Sykes, Jackson resident, formeer legislaturor, and CCDS member
From Democracy Now: Mississippi’s Republican majority in the state Legislature has put forth a slew of bills in recent months to put the majority-Black capital of Jackson under a white-led superstructure.

Under the proposed bills, the Capitol Police would be expanded and given greater authority over much of Jackson without being accountable to local leaders or residents, and a separate court system would be set up in the city, composed of judges appointed directly by white state officials.

This comes after Jackson suffered a number of water crises in recent years stemming from systematic disinvestment by the state, and after the federal government approved $600 million late last year to address the city’s infrastructure problems.

“These bills are an attack on Black leadership, a way to seize power of a majority-Black city which cannot be seized democratically through an election,” says Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. We also speak with community activist Makani Themba, who described the state’s plans in a recent piece for The Nation as “Apartheid American-Style.”
US House Votes Against Socialism

Feb 27, 2023 | PDA Blog
 by Randy Shannon – PA 17th CD Chapter, PDA, Treasurer
– Progressive Democrats of America, National Board Secretary
HealthCare4AllPA, Board of Directors
One of America’s greatest leaders of our time was Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He articulated the hope and determination of black Americans to fully participate in the US economic and social expansion of the post war era. And he led a national movement to realize the goals of ending the era of “Jim Crow” discrimination.

Dr. King’s deep study of history enabled him to place the black freedom movement within the context of the struggle of all working people for liberation from the oppressive and limiting shackles of the economic system of capitalism. Dr. King articulated this dynamic to his followers, although these thoughts have been suppressed.

A Harvard-trained black historian, Carter G. Woodson, believed that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization were realized when he and the organization he founded announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

It’s notable that the US House of Representatives passed a resolution with a 328-86 majority condemning socialism at the beginning of Black History Month. According to The Hill, several Democrats who voted against the resolution expressed concerns regarding the future of Social Security and Medicare. They noted that Republicans on the Rules Committee rejected an amendment that sought to clarify that opposition to the implementation of socialist policies in the U.S. does not include federal programs like Medicare and Social Security.

In light of the overwhelming vote by all Republicans and a majority of Democrats in the House for this resolution condemning socialism during Black History month, some of Dr. King’s statements about socialism seem especially relevant. Dr. King’s words should be taken as moral and political justification for the 86 Democrats who voted against the resolution and the 14 who voted present. 

I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic… [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive… but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has out-lived its usefulness.” – Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952.
In a sense, you could say we’re involved in the class struggle.” – Quote to New York Times reporter, José Igelsias, 1968.

And one day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth.’ When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society…” – Speech to Southern Christian Leadership Conference Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1967.

Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” – Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.”- Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.

Dr. King’s words are prophetic. Today capitalism in the USA is characterized by war, poverty, hunger, homelessness, official murder of African-Americans, abuse of minorities, women, and gender nonconformity, and a climate Armageddon. His statements must be the guiding light for America’s progressive majority. 

Democratic socialism must be expanded though social security, public education, and public infrastructure. It must be expanded with Medicare for All, student debt forgiveness, free public transportation, unhindered access to union membership, a full employment program, free education, and many more programs that people living in European democratic socialist countries enjoy.
The East Palestine Train Fiasco Lays Bare a Far Bigger Crisis

It’s a stark reminder that plastics, from cradle to grave, are poisoning people—and the planet.

By Matt Simon
Wired via Mother Jones

FEB 26, 2023 - The plastic crisis looks like a sperm whale filling up its stomach with bags. It looks like cucumbers and bananas—which have perfectly good skins of their own—wrapped in single-use plastic. But before all that, it looks like a burning train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio.

Before it derailed, Norfolk Southern’s 9,300-foot-long freight train was carrying 20 cars containing hazardous materials. The fire cooked off a haul of vinyl chloride—the chemical that makes PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic and is also a carcinogen—and bathed the area in a plume of smoke loaded with highly toxic chemicals. Also on the train were butyl acrylate and ethylhexyl acrylate—both toxic ingredients in plastics—and a slew of other chemicals, which mixed together and burned. The incident has made global headlines, but the cause of this toxic slurry—namely corporations’ insatiable appetite for plastic—hasn’t been the focus.

“This is a major industrial accident that has resulted in a mixture of chemicals used for a variety of purposes,” says Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit group. “You’re creating conditions for new chemicals to be formed. It’s not only the individual chemicals that went into the mixture, but it’s also what’s being produced as it’s being burned.”

“The thing about dioxins is they’re potent at really low levels, and are persistent and bioaccumulative.”

Vinyl chloride is one of around 10,000 chemicals that have been used in plastics, according to one estimate. Over 2,400 of those chemicals are of concern to scientists, meaning they’re either toxic or persist in the environment and organisms. According to the National Cancer Institute, vinyl chloride is associated with lymphoma, leukemia, and cancers of the brain and lungs. One study found that workers exposed to PVC dust had significantly higher risk of cancer.

The chemical at the center of the Ohio derailment is actually one of the longer-studied carcinogens in an occupational setting, with data going back to the 1970s, according to John Bucher, former associate director of the National Toxicology Program. “There were studies in some of the vinyl chloride production plants and PVC production areas where people were showing up with cancers, primarily in blood vessels in the liver,” says Bucher.

That’s what makes the disaster in Ohio so alarming. Five rail cars of vinyl chloride burned—some of it done intentionally to reduce building pressure—likely producing toxic compounds called dioxins. Because hot air from a fire rises, the flames from the train sent a black plume high into the air, potentially spreading toxicants far beyond the site of the derailment. “The thing about dioxins is they’re potent at really low levels, and are persistent and bioaccumulative,” says Schettler. This means they persist in the body instead of breaking down. “You don’t want dioxins deposited in the soil around East Palestine that are not going to go away, and are going to bioaccumulate in people who are exposed to it.”

When one chemical is found to be dangerous, manufacturers substitute in others that may be just as toxic, if not more so.

The Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the air in East Palestine to be safe. Officials have also said the water is safe to drink. But there are still many unknowns about these individual chemicals and the way they mix together and burn, according to Gerald Markowitz, a historian of occupational and environmental health at the City University of New York. “There is real concern that there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen,” says Markowitz.

Given that it’s so toxic, what was vinyl chloride doing on a train? PVC is one of the most common kinds of plastic, used most notably in piping, but also in packaging and consumer products like shower curtains. There are some 5,000 businesses in the US alone that produce the various kinds of plastic, says Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics and a former EPA regional administrator. And they all need ingredients. “It’s not just trains, it’s also trucks moving the stuff,” says Enck. ...Read More
Move the Money campaign in NYC. Try this in your city!
The only question now is, can progressives rally behind Brandon Johnson in April?

March 1

It’s closet Republican Paul Vallas vs. progressive Brandon Johnson in the runoff election.
First, let me congratulate Commissioner Brandon Johnson on his second-place finish in the first round of Chicago’s mayoral election. I didn’t vote for him but he’s got my support in the runoff.

Johnson now becomes the only candidate with a chance to stop Paul Vallas and his right-wing, “law-and-order” crowd from taking control of City Hall in the upcoming runoff election on April 4th.

Vallas, who ran on the racist, dog whistle refrain of “taking the city back”, was the only white candidate in the low-turnout race and easily captured the white-backlash, anti-Lightfoot vote with backing from the Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P) and its MAGA leader John Catanzara. But look for him to pivot to the center in the runoff and try and paint Johnson into a far-left corner.

Johnson, running with heavy financial and organizational backing from the Chicago Teachers Union, edged out incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first Black and openly gay female mayor, by three points while losing to Vallas 34.8% to 20.2%. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia finished fourth with 13.8%, ahead of Willie Wilson with 9.5%.

They were followed by a group whose only apparent purpose in running was to skim votes away from Lightfoot. While their individual numbers may seem minuscule, Ja’Mal Green (2.1%), Kam Buckner (1.8%), Sophia King (1.2%), and Rod Sawyer (0.4%), taken together, more than covered the gap between Johnson and Lightfoot.

Polls suggested that had Johnson and Garcia run closer, Lightfoot would’ve had a chance. That didn’t happen.

Please forgive the woulda, coulda, shoulda analysis, but if you combined the vote totals of the top three progressive (anti-Vallas) candidates of color, it would have put one of the three in the winner’s circle with no runoff needed. But instead, the toxic vitriol and factionalism that has split the Chicago progressive/left since the 2019 election grew even worse this time around, enabling Vallas to cakewalk into first place.

The only question now is, can the Johnson, Garcia, and Lightfoot forces come together and pick up the pieces of what was once a powerful progressive, multi-racial movement in the city, and get behind Brandon Johnson for mayor? They’ve only got 35 days left to do it.
Statement from Frank Chapman, Executive Director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, on the Results of the Police District Council Elections in Chicago 

March 3, 2023

On the 28th of February, for the first time in the history of this country, the people of Chicago elected people into Police District Councils in 22 police districts to serve as community representatives with the power to hold police accountable for what they do and don’t do. We have been fighting for years to create the democratic option to say who polices our communities and how they are policed, and now it is a reality. This past Tuesday, we won a decisive majority in the Police District Councils. In each district, representatives could be elected to three seats. We won all three seats in 7 districts and 2 of the 3 seats in 6 districts, meaning the people’s movement won a total of 13 districts across the city outright. We were overjoyed to see that, as our candidates won in 13 districts across the city, Brandon Johnson secured his spot in the run-off election for mayor, another historic accomplishment of the progressive people’s movement. Winning this majority in the District Councils required continuous struggle. The Fraternal Order of Police sought to get candidates elected who would distort and undermine the purpose of the District Councils as stated in the law. Those attempts failed.

We supported these District Council candidates in every way possible. Through months of work on the ground, we were able to get 71 candidates on the ballot in 21 districts across the city. The Fraternal Order of Police only managed to get 17 candidates on the ballot. And of those 17, only 8 of their candidates were elected. They hold a majority in only three districts, and there is not one district where they hold all three seats. In short, we knocked the FOP out. And we did it with people. Our candidates were grassroots people who had no campaign office, no big donors, and no independent field operations. All they had was the movement, the support of their communities, the support of the ECPS coalition, and the support of the Brandon Johnson campaign. The working class and oppressed people in the Black and brown communities who make up the newly elected District Councils won their votes door by door and block by block.

This decisive victory for the people of Chicago represents the culmination of decades of continuous struggle in the fight to stop police crimes and bring about community control of the police. From fighting for CPAC, to passing ECPS, to implementing it, we mobilized hundreds of thousands of working class and oppressed people moved by the demand for justice. This struggle, sparked by the murders of Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald, has been guided from its outset by survivors of police crimes and their loved ones. Our people, through self-organization have, by way of legislative fiat, enhanced their capacity to hold the police accountable for the crimes they commit against us. Fundamentally, this is a great step forward and moves us in the direction of community control of the police. Now, in this moment following the Black-led rebellion that put 25 million people in the streets across the country, we can rightly claim that we are the blossom bloomed from the seeds of this rebellion.
It’s only through the power of the people that we can end the police tyranny in Black and brown communities and bring about justice for the people. These councils are a tool to consolidate that power. People across this city should celebrate this victory, knowing it will bring us that much closer to the city we deserve. 
All Power to the People!
The Chicago Alliance was born in 1973 out of the movement to free Angela Davis and all political prisoners. Since then, the Alliance has defended the rights of workers and oppressed people in Illinois and around the world.
We defend the rights of workers and oppressed people. We struggle against white supremacy, the prison-indsturial complex, and state violence. We demand community control of the police and full representation for Black people and other poor and oppressed people at all levels of government.
We're trying something new, and you are all invited.

Saturday Morning Coffee!

It will be more of a hangout than a formal setting. We can review the news in the previous days' Leftlinks, or add new topic. We can invite guests, or just carry on with those who show up. We'll try to have a progressive stack keeper, should we need one. Most of all, we will try to be interesting and a good sounding board. If you have at point you would like to make or a guest to invite, send an email to Carl Davidson,

Continuing weekly, 10:30 to Noon, EDT. The Zoom link will also be available on our Facebook Page.

Meeting ID: 868 9706 5843

Let's see what happens!
  Our first ever Red Books Day Celebration in Corvallis, Oregon
was a great success.

by Courtney Childs

 The Gazette Times ran the announcement submitted in the Tuesday paper. A few people entering the library mentioned that they saw it in the paper. Our display was fairly imposing on the library plaza. We had a 10'x10' awning because of rain, but we didn't impede traffic. Plus we had good signage, so people could easily figure out what we were doing. 

       We offered free books and DVDs on socialism/social justice/peace topics. These were donated by June Hemmingson, Denis White, Andony and myself. I didn't keep track of how many items were taken, but the boxes were considerably lighter when we packed up. We also had a list of library materials on socialism - several of these references sheets were taken.

       Rain was variable during the event. At one point is was hard to hear the reader because of the rain falling on the awning. Not too much wind. We were well sheltered. I brought two chairs, but they weren't used.

       We began the event with singing Solidarity Forever, then got into the reading with only five of us at the start. We were soon joined by a few more. Most of the event there were eight people present, plus occasional stops by library patrons. Denis and I were the only ones present from our local CCDS chapter. Andony recruited three students from his Platypus group.

       We traded off the reading amongst the eight who were there for the full event, each doing about a page, or 5 minutes. Some readers were louder and clearer than others, but all were inspiring. We skipped most of "III. Socialist and Communist Literature."  We finished at a bit past the hour, with all joining in chorus for the final line, "Working Men of All Countries Unite!"

        As we packed up to leave, we agreed that we will do it again in 2024, possibly on the OSU campus.
Broad Alliance Ousts Racist Memphis D.A.

Article published:
March 2, 2023

New Majority politics trounced law-and-order scaremongering Shelby County, TN. This marks a major win for the national movement seeking criminal justice reform within the electoral arena.

Without the hard work of a pro-democracy alliance last year, the police officers who murdered Tyre Nichols most likely would not be facing trial. The former district attorney of Shelby County, Amy Weirich gained notoriety as one of the most punitive, racist prosecutors in the country, while always letting cops off easy. She was as quick to pursue the death penalty and transfer youth to adult facilities as she was to loath to entertain conviction review under new evidence; she was known for easy ethics, shown by her record of prosecutorial misconduct, and for cutting indulgent deals with law enforcement.

Voters booted Weirich out of office in August 2022, thanks to the work of a broad local pro-democracy alliance with strong backing from national groups. The victory testifies to the power of coalition and collaboration under a “new majority” strategy, and marks a major win for the national movement seeking reform of the criminal legal system within the electoral arena.

Shelby County 
Shelby County is home to Memphis, TN, a city where underdevelopment and super-exploitation are as bedrock as the bluff the city is built on. FedEx, the giant anti-union logistics company, and other high-value low-wage industries, have made it their home. Shelby County is 52% Black, 40% white, 6% Latix and 2% Asian, making it by far the largest community of color in the state, and the biggest contributor of Democratic votes statewide races. Memphis has suffered all manner of racist disenfranchisement, from a raft of preemption policies and laws that explicitly target the city, to partisan voter purges and high rates of felony conviction. 
Tennessee is ruled by a regime uniting white Christian nationalists and big business, sometimes referred to as “the New Confederacy.” Through its political instrument, the Republican Party, the New Confederacy holds all statewide offices, eight of nine congressional seats, and a supermajority in both legislative houses. The New Confederacy’s crime and punishment program — curtailing civil liberties for communities of color and diverting funds from social programs to bloated police and prison budgets — is well developed in Tennessee, which disenfranchises more than one out of every five Black residents, more than almost any other state in the US. Law and Order politics — a generalized fear-mongering about racialized crime and the promotion of state violence as the only solution — are a key part of Shelby County’s political culture. This narrative has buoyed GOP candidates by pulling white Democrats and some conservative Black Democrats in line with the GOP base. The city’s white business elites have long depended on this political strategy to rule the majority Black community. 

In 2018, Democrats swept Shelby County elections for the first time, winning races for mayor, trustee, sheriff and other posts. Three things made this possible. First, national political polarization and the Blue Wave had made their way down into local politics. Second, local progressive electoral and non-profit organizations such as Memphis For All and the Memphis Central Labor Council (CLC) had gotten much stronger and more sophisticated. Third, pro-democracy forces coalesced around a New Majority political strategy: a multi-racial cross-class progressive politics, built on volunteer enthusiasm, real conversations with infrequent voters and significant investments to expand the voting electorate among youth and communities of color. This marked a shift away from a Black-white binary politics which relied on a smaller electorate of super-voters, which had been at the core of democratic strategy for 25 years. 

Why this D.A. race mattered
White supremacy is the faultline in the foundation of this country, and at least since Michele Alexander’s incisive work, the main front against it has been the struggle against mass incarceration and police violence. The national ecosystem of organizations fighting for criminal justice reform, especially within the electoral area, has grown mightily during the last eight years. National groups like Working Families PartyJust ImpactSheriffs for Trusting Communities and many more have built the muscle to team up with local groups and win elections at the center of the criminal punishment system, especially District Attorneys. 
In Shelby County, the District Attorney is elected only every eight years. That’s the longest term in the county and the country, for DA or any elected office. By 2022 Amy Weirich was the last GOP candidate still in county-wide office, and she faced her first reelection bid since the 2018 blue wave had begun to change the tide. The Black freedom uprisings that began in 2014 helped give form and force to long-held aspirations of reforming the criminal legal system. A new conscious base of volunteers and voters with clear visions of change took shape. 

Pro-democratic forces had stumbled in previous attempts to make criminal justice reform the centerpiece of their program, succeeding instead on the power of national anti-MAGA sentiment and moderate economic populism. The DA’s race was a chance to change that and continue to prove the power of the New Majority strategy. So much about what needed to be changed had gotten clearer over the last eight years: bail reform, conviction review, an end to the death penalty and youth transfers, prosecution of wage theft, restorative justice, and a generalized approach to prosecution that would divert as many people away from jail as possible. Weirich wanted none of this, and keeping her in power became a top priority for the Tennessee GOP. 

Setting the stage for the fight
As a general election, the fight was always going to be a highly partisan square-off between a broad pro-democracy front for the common good under the Democratic banner and the New Confederate alliance under the GOP banner. Leftists and progressives had anticipated the battle for years, without identifying a clear candidate to lead the ticket.
A three-way primary in May 2022 ended with Steve Mulroy as the Democratic nominee. A white law professor and former county commissioner, Mulroy had connections with Labor, the white Democratic establishment, and Black electeds who had introduced New Majority politics four years before, especially the county mayor (not the same as the city mayor). Mulroy’s primary victory helped assure the participation of labor and the continuity of the New Majority strategy. It also reinforced the power of white Democrats, and sapped some enthusiasm from activists who backed the other primary candidates, both of whom were Black women.

Throughout the primary, most progressive groups chose to focus fire on Weirich to drive up her negatives while saving their funding for the general election. Weirich’s opponents, and eventually Mulroy’s backers, included established Black political institutions, most voters of color, and white progressives. It also included most segments of labor, including the building trades. 
As the general election got underway, additional New Majority institutions also emerged as crucial: immigrant community and civic groups, especially Latinx forces, independent political organizations like Memphis For All, education reform groups, new Black community organizations and young voters. Finally, in line with national trends kicked off by the Dobbs ruling, liberal white women showed up to support in greater numbers than in past cycles. As important as any other single ingredient, however, was the support of national groups as real partners, rounding out the coalition
Amy Weirich’s New Confederate front primarily included white Republicans, with the backing of the state GOP and corporate donors. She was able to pull a small number of white Democrats and an even smaller number of older Black Democrats who were won over by her reactionary law-and-order messaging. The white leadership of the police and sheriffs’ unions supported Weirich, but their membership was divided, primarily along racial lines.

What happened
In January a mobile billboard bearing ugly facts about Weirich circled the County corrections building where she worked. A website documenting her abhorrent record was launched. Soon after standard billboards went up too. Pickets and press conferences outside Weirich’s office at the jail were common. Rallies and candidate forums and volunteer recruitment events took place throughout the spring. By May, a small army of volunteers and paid staff were fanning out through Memphis’ dozens of neighborhoods, knocking doors and telling the truth about Weirich. Paid media, like TV and mail, field work, like door-knocking and phone-banking, and events like debates, continued to build until the August 4 election crescendo. 

Mulroy did a good job of making a positive public case for reform, winning endorsements, building a program to reach the Democratic base and crafting a message that addressed people’s fears and hopes. He asserted that the path to lowering crime was fixing the broken bail system so innocent poor people weren’t locked up, treating kids like kids instead of sending them to life-altering prison, and focusing DA resources on violent crime. The endorsements he earned from the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake were particularly powerful.

Two large coalitions were formed: a c4 coalition that could wade directly into the race, called People For Fairness and Justice, and a c3 coalition, that focused on voter turnout and issue education, called the Justice and Safety Alliance. The creation of the former was led by progressive issue-based groups—Stand For Children and Just City—with the support of labor and IPOs (Independent Political Organizations)—the Memphis CLC and Memphis For All. The latter was led by the same, with the key addition of faith-based groups, namely MICAH. It took all hands, moving in each in their lane, to win. 

These coalition groupings outspent the Mulroy campaign five to one. Without such significant resources, it’s unclear if Weirich could have been beaten. These groups introduced contemporary electoral techniques, expanded what people believe is politically possible, and connected activists to the election. This was achievable in large part through national backing of the Working Families Party, Stand For Children, Just Impact, as well as Showing Up for Racial JusticeMovement Voter Project, and others. Support was more than financial, it also bolstered strategy, administration and operations. These connections with national groups are an echo of the kind of alliances that have often been crucial to changing the South, from the Abolitionist movement and Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement. 

Part of the winning strategy was to do everything. The coalitions’ election work combined all conventional tactics, including peer-to-peer-texting, phone banking, door-knocking, digital advertising, mail, radio and significant TV, which proved important. Mulroy was enjoying a significant lead in early polls, but that lead fell by half when Weirich started airing commercials. It was recovered when Mulroy built a TV presence. Door-knocking was also vital: the coalition was able to honestly count every supporter, and check against the election data to see if they had voted. 

The c3 program made vital large non-partisan investments, including voter registration through multiple coalitions. The turnout effort included texting 100,000 people, with unusually high positive response rates. There were more phone banks and poll parties than anyone could remember ever having before. It took multiple independent structures—party, candidate, c3 coalition, c4 coalition, PAC—each moving program, often without coordination, and often in spite of interpersonal tensions, to do all this work. It culminated in a 12-point win for Mulroy.
What changed 
As with any important election, it would have been unwise for the candidate and the Democratic party to have gone it alone, leaving aside progressive non-profits and IPOs. In Memphis, the c3 and c4 coalitions these groups formed had the strongest connection to crucial national partners and the most sophisticated electoral tools. They were most closely in touch with large segments of the activist base, and most comfortable with a progressive approach to issues. This election demonstrated the crucial importance of this sector.
Locally the campaign cemented the hold of the Democratic Party over Shelby County through the use of a New Majority political strategy. Before this race, it was unclear whether, in a city with high crime and poverty rates, a strong white power structure, and extremely cruel and powerful institutions of law and order, the Republicans might be able to retain control over the DA’s office. Many believed that law-and-order politics transcended party and could not be pried loose. They were wrong. Democrats also maintained control of all county-wide offices and expanded their majority on the county commission to 9-4.
In most cases the coalitions and IPOs which helped deliver the victory didn’t have a robust long-range plan going into the races; they “built the plane while flying.” Groups learned basic election skills they didn’t have before. Voters became activists, activists became organizers, and organizers became leaders. Many activists who got their start in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns became leaders in this fight. Because few future elections will garner such national support, however, the local pro-democracy alliance will have to build on this victory by cementing sustainable collaborative structures over a long timeline and build deeply with voters over years. 

What’s next
This campaign showed that a New Majority politics can win against law-and-order politics.
It opened an opportunity to transform the District Attorney‘s office, to expand the movement for criminal justice reform, and to grow the strength and coordination of IPOs, including national groups like WFP. There is an opportunity on the community level to have strong relationships among community organizations, which can fuel efforts for voter education. Because Mulroy, a progressive reform-minded DA, finds himself enclosed within the GOP state regime, his administration holds an opportunity to learn how to use prosecutorial discretion to accomplish a reform agenda, threading the needle between state preemption laws that have outlawed local attempts to decriminalize things like marijuana, and a state law that empowers the attorney general to step in if the DA isn’t enforcing the law. 

Next steps include trying to transform the vibrancy of the election into stable long-range capacity, as well as supporting the new DA through co-governance and applying pressure when needed. Coming out of this election, Left-progressive forces will be more willing to work together, having built unity in the best possible way, through shared practical work and shared victory. People put their hesitation, their strategic differences and even personal histories aside to come together around this historic campaign, and together they won.


Jeffrey Lichtenstein (he/him) is the former Executive Secretary of the Memphis and West Tennessee Central Labor Council, CWA organizer and a founding member of Memphis For All. He came to the workers’ movement through United Campus Workers of Tennessee where he was part of the fight to stop outsourcing and win a living wage; he came to electoral politics through the Fight For $15 and the Bernie campaign. His work is focused on expanding democracy against MAGA facism. He now lives in Philadelphia.

Josh Adams is a political organizer for Memphis for All. He began advocating in 2014 as a student at the University of Memphis. After years of organizing for various organizations as a volunteer, Josh joined Memphis for All's team to assist local voters as they restructure the local political landscape.
As President Biden proposes his new budget, which expands military spending, as well as social services. Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee, co-chair of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus, recently reintroduced the People Over Pentagon Act to cut $100 billion from the Pentagon budget and reallocate funds to overlooked priorities like healthcare and education. Lee is one of three House Democrats who have announced their candidacy for outgoing California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat. Lee is the highest-ranking Black woman appointed to House leadership and would be just the third Black woman to serve in the Senate’s 233-year history. She shares her platform on foreign policy, reproductive rights and racial justice on Democracy Now! “We’re going to fight to make sure that the resources of our country go directly to the American people, because it’s a budget for the American people,” says Lee.
No cold war!
Normalize Relations with ChIna!
Sunday, August 2, 2020


Harry Targ

(It is time to change from confrontation to cooperation. End the New Cold War now. 11/15/2021)

Beginning in 1969 President Richard Nixon, guided by his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, fashioned a new policy toward China; what became known as “playing the China card.” It was motivated by a desire to push back and ultimately create regime change in the  Soviet Union. Cognizant of growing hostilities between the two large communist states, Nixon and Kissinger developed this plan to play one off against the other. Central to this policy was launching a diplomatic process that led to the1979 US formal diplomatic recognition of China. During the 1970s, the United States and China supported the same political allies in various parts of the world, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia for example. The split in the socialist world between the Soviet Union and China significantly contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the weakening of socialism, for a time, on the world stage. Thus, from a US imperial point of view “playing the China card” worked.

In a speech on Thursday July 23 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the Nixon opening to China was a mistake. “We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come: that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it.” (Edward Wong, Steven Lee Myers, “Officials Push U.S.-China Relations Toward Point of No Return,” The New York Times, July 25, 2020). If it is true that the Nixon/Kissinger foreign policy toward China did in fact facilitate the weakening of socialism as a world force, why is the Secretary of State now calling “playing the China card” a mistake?

The answer to this question, or more broadly why is United States foreign policy returning to a policy hostile to China, perhaps creating a “New Cold War,” has several parts. First, as Alfred McCoy has described (In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power, Haymarket Books, 2017), the United States, relatively speaking, is a declining power. As to economic growth, scientific and technological developments, productivity, and trade, the US, compared to China particularly, is experiencing stagnation or decline. China has engaged in massive global projects in transportation, trade, and scientific advances and by 2030 based on many measures will advance beyond the US.

According to McCoy, the United States has embarked on a path to overcome its declining relative economic hegemony by increasingly investing in military advances: a space force, a new generation of nuclear weapons, cyber security, biometrics, and maintaining or enhancing a global military presence particularly in the Pacific (what Obama spokespersons called “the Asian pivot”). In other words, rather than accommodating to a new multipolar world in the 21st century, the United States is seeking to reestablish its global hegemony through military means.

Second, the United States is desperately seeking to overcome the end of its monopoly on technological advances. In computerization, transportation, pharmaceuticals, it is challenging Chinese innovations, claiming that China’s advances are derived not from its domestic creativity but from “pirating” from United States companies. For example, the prestigious and influential Council on Foreign Relations issued a report last year entitled “Innovation and National Security: Keeping Our Edge.” The report warned that “…the United States risks falling behind its competitors, principally China.” China is investing significantly in new technologies, CFR claims, which they predict will make China the biggest inventor by 2030. Also, to achieve this goal they are “exploiting” the openness of the US by violating intellectual property rights and spying. Therefore, the CFR concluded, since technological innovation is linked to economic and military advantage and since US leadership in technology and science is at risk, the nation must recommit to rebuilding its scientific prowess.

Third, while the United States is engaged in efforts at regime change around the world and is using brutal economic sanctions to starve people into submission (such as in Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and 36 other countries victimized by economic sanctions), China is increasing its economic ties to these countries through investments, trade, and assistance. And China opposes these US policies in international organizations. In broad terms Chinese policy stands with the majority of countries in the Global South while the United States seeks to control developments there.

Fourth, although Trump foreign policy is designed to recreate a Cold War, with China as the target, a policy also embraced by most Democrats, there is at the same time counter-pressure from  sectors of the capitalist class who have ties to the Chinese economy: investment, global supply chains, and financial speculation. Moreover, sectors of Chinese capital own or have substantial control over many US corporations and banks. In addition, the Chinese government controls over $1 trillion of US debt. For these sectors of US capital, economic ties with China remain economically critical. In addition some writers, such as Jerry Harris, point to the emergence of a “transnational capitalist class” whose interests are not tied to any nation-state (Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Democracy, Clarity Press, 2016).

Consequently, while the trajectory of US policy is toward a return to cold war, there is some push back by economic and political elites as well. As the New York Times article above put it, “In the United States, tycoons and business executives, who exercise enormous sway among politicians of both parties, will continue to push for a more moderate approach, as members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet who represent Wall Street interests have done.”

Fifth, American domestic politics provide the immediate cause of the transformation of US/China policy. Candidate Donald Trump’s popularity is declining dramatically because of the spread of the covid pandemic, its impacts on the US economy, and the rise of racial tensions in the country. A classic antidote for politicians experiencing declining popularity is to construct an external enemy, “an other,” which can redirect the attention of the public from their personal troubles. President Trump has sought to deflect the cause of the spreading pandemic onto the Chinese. It is this external enemy that is the source of our domestic problems. In this context the President is talking tough with the “enemy” of the United States, and, as Secretary of State Pompeo suggests, it is about time that the US government gives up illusions about working with China. Only a Trump administration, he suggested, would be capable of doing this (forget President Obama’s “Asian pivot”).

Finally, the ideological package of racism, white supremacy, and American Exceptionalism so prevalent in United States history has resurfaced in dramatic ways as the Trump administration and its allies have opposed nationwide protests against police violence and structural racism. White supremacy at home is inextricably connected with American Exceptionalism abroad. For example President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 claimed that the white race has been critical to civilization.  Years later Madeleine Albright, the Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration (and more recently President Barack Obama) spoke about the  United States as the “indispensable nation,”a model of economics and politics for the world. Pompeo continues this tradition claiming that the United States stands for a “free 21st century.” This sense of omniscience has been basic to the ideological justification of United States imperial rule.
Each of these elements, from the changing shape of economic and military capabilities, to political exigencies, to the pathologies of culture, require a peace and justice movement that stands for peaceful coexistence, demilitarization, building a world of economic justice and the rights of people to determine their own destiny, and inalterable opposition to racism, white supremacy, and exceptionalisms of all kinds.

Panel: China-US relations at turning point?                                                    

US Ambassador Arrogantly Lectures China on ‘Threat’: ‘We’re The Leader In This Region (Asia)’!

By Ben Norton

Mar 4, 2023 - Washington's ambassador to Beijing referred to China as a "threat" and "great challenge". He stated arrogantly, "The United States is staying in this region. We're the leader in this region", referring to the Indo-Pacific.

The ambassador, Nicholas Burns, insisted, "We're going to hold our own out here. And I feel optimistic - I'm just concluding my first year as ambassador - about the American position in this country [China] and in this region".

In an interview with the US Chamber of Commerce, Burns made very aggressive comments, going so far as to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic, claiming Beijing is not being "honest about what happened three years ago in Wuhan, with the origin of the Covid-19 crisis".

The ambassador simultaneously praised the "bipartisan support in the Congress between Republicans and Democrats for a really robust American policy to defend our interests out here in the Indo-Pacific, to compete with the Chinese."

Burns said all of this at a February 27 event organized by the Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful corporate lobby group in Washington.

The panel discussion, titled "American Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty", also featured the US ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nides, and the third in command of the State Department, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland.

Nuland is a hard-line neoconservative who was a key sponsor of a 2014 coup that overthrew Ukraine's democratically elected, geopolitically neutral President Viktor Yanukovych and installed a pro-Western regime, setting off the war that continues to this day.

This Chamber of Commerce event on "American leadership" came one day before the US Congress held the first hearing of its hawkish "Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party". The committee's chairman, Republican Congressmember Mike Gallagher, described Washington's new cold on Beijing in extreme terms: "This is not a polite tennis match. This is an existential struggle over what life will look like in the 21st century — and the most fundamental freedoms are at stake”.

On the Chamber of Commerce panel, Ambassador Burns said "China is going to be one of the great challenges for Americans going forward". He added, "This is obviously a very difficult moment in the US-China relationship".

Referring to this "difficult relationship", Burns complained that the Xi Jinping administration is "a very difficult government here in the People's Republic of China".

The ambassador insisted that the US is not waging a new cold war on China and Russia, but rather a forceful campaign of "competition".

"From my perspective, sitting here in China, looking out at the Indo-Pacific, our American position is stronger than it was five or 10 years ago. It's the strength of our alliances; it's the strength of our private sector; it's our innovative capacity and our R&D capacity which comes from our research institutions and our Big Tech companies", Burns said.

He called for "competing" with Beijing in four areas - military, economy, technology, and human rights:

  • One of the great advantages we have right now, in dealing with a very difficult government here in the People's Republic of China, in a competitive relationship, is that we have large-scale bipartisan agreement that we ought to be competing with China for military power in the Indo-Pacific.

  • Competing in the economic and trade sphere for a much more level playing field for American business, because it's not level right now.

  • We're certainly competing on technology.

  • And of course we defend our values. We defend human rights. We take issue, great issue, with what the Chinese have done in Xinjiang, and Tibet, and Hong Kong, with the lack of religious freedom here.

  • And I think there's large-scale agreement, frankly, in our country, and also between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, that we've got to be competing in those four areas.

Burns hysterically condemned "the balloon incident", calling it "an outright violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the United States", adding that "President Biden was absolutely correct in ordering the shoot-down of that balloon".

The ambassador didn't mention that US government experts have acknowledged that the Chinese balloon likely had crossed into US territory by accident, due to unforeseen weather conditions. ...Read More

On anti-Asian racism: The historical record abroad and at home

by Harry Targ

Posted on March 25, 2021 by Thorne Dreyer
With the election of Joe Biden, the shift in the direction of escalating tensions with China has continued.

 Why is the United States returning to a policy hostile to China, perhaps creating a “New Cold War”? In addition, is there any relationship between U.S .foreign policy and anti-Asian violence at home? There are several answers to these two questions.

The United States seeks to maintain its global hegemony
As Alfred McCoy has described (In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power, Haymarket Books, 2017), the United States, relatively speaking, is a declining power. As to economic growth, scientific and technological development, productivity, and trade, the U.S., compared to China particularly, is experiencing stagnation or decline. China has engaged in massive global projects in transportation, trade, and scientific advances and by 2030 based on many measures will advance beyond the U.S.

According to McCoy, the United States has embarked on a path to overcome its declining relative economic hegemony by increasingly investing in military advances: a space force, a new generation of nuclear weapons, cyber security, biometrics, and maintaining or enhancing a global military presence particularly in the Pacific (what Obama spokespersons called “the Asian pivot”). In other words, rather than accommodating to a new multipolar world in the 21st century, the United States is seeking to reestablish its global hegemony through military means.
The U.S. is challenging the legitimacy of Chinese innovations.
Further, as Vijay Prashad has suggested, the United States is desperately seeking to overcome the ending of its monopoly on technological advances. In computerization, transportation, and pharmaceuticals, the U.S. is challenging the legitimacy of Chinese innovations, claiming that China’s advances are derived not from its domestic creativity but from “pirating” from United States companies.
To illustrate this U.S. concern, the prestigious and influential Council on Foreign Relations issued a report in 2019 entitled “Innovation and National Security: Keeping Our Edge.” The report warned, “…the United States risks falling behind its competitors, principally China.” China is investing significantly in new technologies, the Council asserts, which they predict will make China’s scientific advances superior to the U.S. by 2030. Also, to achieve this goal they are “exploiting” the openness of the U.S. by violating intellectual property rights and spying. Therefore, the Council on Foreign Relations concluded, since technological innovation is linked to economic and military advantage and since U.S. leadership in technology and science is at risk, the nation must recommit to rebuilding its scientific prowess.
In addition, the United States is engaged in efforts at regime change around the world in Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, and 36 other countries victimized by economic sanctions. China, to the contrary, is increasing its economic ties with these countries through investments, trade, and assistance. It also criticizes U.S. policies in international organizations. In broad terms Chinese policy stands with the majority of countries in the Global South while the United States seeks to control developments there.

Connections between foreign policy, domestic politics, and racism
American domestic politics have also affected the transformation of U.S./China policy. For example, President Donald Trump’s popularity declined in part because of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, its impact on the U.S. economy, and the rise of racial tensions in the country. And the classic anecdote he used was to construct an external enemy, an “other,” which it was hoped would redirect the attention of the public from his declining popularity. Hence, the President sought to deflect the cause of the spreading pandemic onto the Chinese (the “China Virus” or the “kung flu”).

President Trump talked tough with the ‘enemy’
of the United States.
In this context President Trump talked tough with the “enemy” of the United States, and, as his Secretary of State Pompeo suggested, it was about time that the U.S. government gave up illusions about working with China. Only a Trump administration, he suggested, would be capable of doing this (even though President Obama had already launched the policy of the “Asian pivot,” a military, diplomatic, and economic expansion of the U.S. presence in Asia).
With the election of Joe Biden, the shift in the direction of escalating tensions with China has continued. Biden’s new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, recently declared that China represented a geopolitical threat to the entire international system and U.S. hostilities were visibly evident at a significant meeting of key U.S. and Chinese diplomats in Anchorage, Alaska.

And to underscore the connections between domestic and foreign policy Blinken said: “More than at any other time in my career — maybe in my lifetime — distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away…. Our domestic renewal and our strength in the world are completely entwined.”

The media is advancing the narrative of China as the external threat.
In addition, Blinken identified eight core elements of United States foreign policy which would include ending the global pandemic, addressing immigration issues, rebuilding alliances with other countries, renewing democracy, and “confronting China.” (Deirde Shesgreen, “Blinken Lays Out Biden’s 8 Foreign Policy Priorities, from Covid-19 to China,” USA Today, March 3, 2021). Some commentators have suggested that the media coverage of the interactions of representatives of the two countries exaggerated the hostility of the meeting. Even if that is the case, it should be noted that the media is advancing the narrative of China as the external threat.

American exceptionalism
America’s destiny required the U.S. “…to set the world its example of right and honor….We cannot retreat from any soil where providence has unfurled our banner. It is ours to save that soil, for liberty, and civilization.…It is elemental….it is racial. God has not been preparing the English-speaking and teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. No! He has made us the master organizers of the world to establish system where chaos reigns. He has given us the spirit of progress to overwhelm the forces of reaction throughout the earth.” Senator Albert Beveridge, Indiana, Congressional Record, 56 Congress, I Session, pp.704-712, 1898).

The ideological package of racism, white supremacy, and American Exceptionalism so prevalent in United States history resurfaced in dramatic ways in the Trump Administration. And violence against people of color and women have remained a centerpiece of domestic life. Violent acts against Asian Americans have risen, even before the Atlanta massacre.
White supremacy at home is inextricably connected with American Exceptionalism abroad.
Therefore it seems fair to conclude that white supremacy at home is inextricably connected with American Exceptionalism abroad. In 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt declared that the white race was critical to civilization. But years later both Madeleine Albright, the Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, and President Barack Obama spoke about the United States as the “indispensable nation,” a model of economics and politics for the world.
Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo continued this tradition claiming that the United States stands for a “free 21st century.” And President Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear that the United States, as opposed to China, represents a model for institutions and values for the world. This sense of omniscience has been basic to the ideological justification of United States imperial rule.

It is clear that the ideology of white supremacy abroad is connected to the ideology of white supremacy at home. Looking at data on the United States role in the world and the North American continent, the United States was at war for 201 years from 1776 to 2011. Ten million indigenous people were exterminated as the “new” nation moved westward between the 17th and the 20th centuries. At least 10 million people were killed, mostly from developing countries, between 1945 and 2010 in wars in which the United States had some role (overwhelmingly Asian peoples). In addition, world affairs was transformed by the use of two atomic bombs; one dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 instantly killing 80,000 people and the other on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 killing another 70,000. And in years subsequent to the dropping of those bombs, millions of Koreans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians were killed by the U.S. war machine.

A better future and the survival of the human race require us to realize, as Paul Robeson suggested, that what is precious about humanity is not our differences but our commonalities. Exceptionalist thinking separates us. Sharing what we have in common as human beings, both our troubles and our talents, is the only basis for creating a peaceful and just world.

[Harry Targ is Professor Emeritus at Purdue University. He taught United States foreign policy, international relations, and Peace Studies. Harry is a co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, and blogs at Diary of a Heartland Radical.]
Read more articles by Harry Targ on The Rag Blog and listen to Thorne Dreyer’s Rag Radio interviews with Targ.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023

FACES OF THE ENEMY: To Pursue War Governments and Their Media Create Enemies

Harry Targ

We live in a World of Cognitive Warfare

 A recent document prepared by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)  suggested that “in cognitive warfare, the human mind becomes the battlefield. The aim is to change not only what people think, but how they think and act. Waged successfully, it shapes and influences individual and group beliefs and behaviors to favor an aggressor's tactical or strategic objectives.”

This NATO document, of course, is addressing the world of international relations but the concept of “cognitive warfare” seems to parallel efforts “to change not only what people think, but how they think and act.” This project animates the efforts of media conglomerates-print, electronic, social media platforms. Changing how people think and act has its historic roots in campaigns to convince citizens to support wars, consume cigarettes, forget climate disasters, and to find flaws in populations because of class, race, gender, sexual preference, and/or religion. Creating images of enemies is central to launching wars. The processes of “branding” are similar in all realms of human experience.

Perhaps challenging the process of “branding” should be on the agenda for all those who seek a more humane society. Break up “branding machines.” Democratize the ability to describe and express experiences. And, in the educational sphere, teach students to analyze brands and to evaluate their relative accuracy.
In August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese armed motor boats attacked two U.S. naval vessels off the coast of North Vietnam. The administration of Lyndon Johnson defined the attacks as an unprovoked act of North Vietnamese aggression.

Two days later it was announced that another attack on U.S. ships in international waters had occurred and the U.S. responded with air attacks on North Vietnamese targets. President Johnson then took a resolution he had already prepared to the Congress of the United States. The so-called Gulf of Tonkin resolution declared that the Congress authorizes the president to do what he deemed necessary to defend U.S. national security in Southeast Asia. Only two Senators voted "no." Over the next three years the U.S. sent 500,000 troops to Vietnam to carry out a massive air and ground war in both the South and North of the country.

Within a year of the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incidents, evidence began to appear indicating that the August 2 attack was provoked. The two U.S. naval vessels were in North Vietnamese coastal waters orchestrating acts of sabotage in the Northern part of Vietnam. More serious, evidence pointed to the inescapable conclusion that the second attack on August 4 never occurred.

President Johnson's lies to the American people about the Gulf of Tonkin contributed to the devastating decisions to escalate a U.S. war in Vietnam that cost 57,000 U.S. troop deaths and upwards of three million Vietnamese deaths.

Forty years later, George W. Bush and his key aides put together a package of lies about Iraq- imports of uranium from Niger, purchases of aluminum rods which supposedly could be used for constructing nuclear weapons, development of biological and chemical weapons, and connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.

As the Vietnamese and Iraqi cases show, foreign policies built on lies can lead to imperial wars, huge expenditures on the military, economic crises at home, and military casualties abroad.

Now is the time for the American people to insist that their leaders tell the truth about the U.S. role in the world. The same goes for peoples everywhere.

“Since wars begin in the minds of men (and women), it is in the minds of men (and women) that the defenses of peace must be constructed'.” (The first sentence of the Preamble to UNESCO's Constitution is translated into nine languages and carved in stone on a monument erected at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris).
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Macro and Micro Analyses of Higher Education
Chapter Two: Discourses On Ideology
Chapter Three: Branding
Chapter Four: What Do Universities Do?
Chapter Five: Universities and War:
In the following pages, you are going to find a lot of specific information about what is happening at one major public research university, but we believe what is happening at Purdue is analogous to a canary in a coal mine.  We believe that Purdue under Mitch Daniels, a former George Walker Bush administrator and Governor of Indiana, is becoming a high profile and influential spokesperson for the transformation of public higher education in the 21st century in directions that we find dangerous and that go against how we value higher education.  We realize that, while we address extensively institutional changes and policies at Purdue, Indiana’s Land Grant University, our interest is in using this case study to illustrate larger patterns and issues that should be of concern to readers who care about the future of higher education in a broader sense.

Harry Targ's pieces do tend towards a wider-angle perspective than do those by Dan Morris, although both of us rely on our "boots on the ground" level understanding of Purdue to counteract and contest official media versions of what is happening at Purdue. We write at a moment when there is something of a "media desert" in terms of local news coverage of higher education in small markets such as Lafayette, Indiana. We have both tried to work to rectify the "media desert" landscape in our community by contributing to the Lafayette Independent,  an electronic newsletter.  We appreciate efforts by local journalists such as Dave Bangert and the student staff of the Purdue Exponent to offer coverage of the university in ways that are more substantial, and, often, more critical, than what one finds in the area's only mainstream newspaper, the Journal and Courier, and main local TV news source, and the Purdue NPR radio station, whose ownership in the last year has been mysteriously transferred to an Indianapolis corporation. Paradoxically the richest data for many of the essays below come from the official daily public relations newsletter from Purdue called   Purdue Today.  This public relations source celebrates Purdue’s latest connections with multinational corporations, the military, and state politics, and provides links to editorials published by Purdue’s President and other officials in the national press. Ironically, oftentimes what Purdue celebrates becomes the data for our more analytical and discursive writings.
Like alternative media sources, we see this book as another intervention in offering an alternative view of what is happening at our campus, but we also write with the hope that readers can apply the readings we bring to Purdue to begin conversations  about the promise and problems of contemporary higher education on campuses. The authors wish to praise and encourage further research and activism around the transformations of higher education in general. We identify with what some scholars have referred to as Critical University Studies (CUS). The essays below, we believe, are part of this emerging tradition of critical and self-reflective scholarship.

The authors also wish to identify at least three major elements of the transformation of higher education. First, Purdue, like many other universities, is once again pursuing research contracts with huge corporations, and perhaps most importantly, the Department of Defense. As essays below suggest, Purdue research is increasingly justified as serving the interests of United States “national security.” Often this is conceptualized as helping the United States respond to “the Chinese threat,” rarely identifying what exactly is the threat, or considering the possibility that contributing to a new arms race with a perceived adversary may increase, rather than reduce, the possibility for conflict between nations.

Second, the work below and other writings in CUS, highlight the purposive transformation of the content of higher education. Universities are moving resources away from the liberal arts, creating new programs in “artificial intelligence” and “data science,” and in response to political pressures are diminishing programs that emphasize interdisciplinarity, intersectionality, and the structural problems of race, class, gender, and sexual preference in history and contemporary society. Essays below on “civics literacy” suggest that leading administrators at Purdue, while refusing to defend its universally praised Writing Lab after it was ridiculed on Fox News for its recommendation that student writers select gender-neutral terms such as postal worker when writing about occupations, seek to avoid the controversaries around Critical Race Theory by requiring all students to study in some fashion “civics literacy.”

President Daniels has made it clear that the study of civics literacy will illustrate the “vitality” of US political institutions (as opposed to over-emphasizing the slaughter of the original inhabitants of the North American continent or the history of slavery and white supremacy).
Third, the essays below do not dwell enough on the transformation of the university as a workplace. While there have been attacks for years on the tenure system, a system of job security which was initially designed to protect faculty from external political pressures, recent additions to the transformations of the university as a work site should be noted.
Adjunctification is a term that refers to the qualitative increase in the hiring of various forms of part time instructors:  full-time instructors for a set time period,  instructors to teach less than a full complement of courses, and instructors with various arrangements that limit their work life, their ability to do research and prepare for their class time, and their time to serve the many needs of students. The fundamental trend in higher education is to “cheapen” and make insecure instructors, ultimately to destroy the job security that comes with academic tenure. In many cases this impacts negatively on the quality of the educational experience. (In colleges and universities in general about 70 percent of classes now are taught by instructors who are not tenure-line faculty).

And finally, every effort is made by universities to limit and derail the workplace concerns of non-teaching staff, particularly opposing their right to form unions.
One positive development from all of this-destroying the tenure system and job security, adjunctification, increased exploitation of graduate students, and finally restricting the rights and the wages and benefits of staff has been the rise of labor militancy. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and various unions such as the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the United Electrical Workers (UE) with a history of militancy have been organizing graduate students and staff.

Finally, the authors acknowledge that in the months after we completed our manuscript, Purdue administrators and trustees have announced a series of initiatives without an appropriate level of input from university stakeholders and the wider Lafayette area community:
1. Purdue is building a housing complex near the Discovery Park part of campus to attract higher income earning technologists to relocate in West Lafayette. To encourage new high-income residents, the West Lafayette city government has authorized $5,000 cash incentives for any purchasers of these new housing units adjacent to Purdue. Such offers are not available to lower income earners or students.
2. To deal with record enrollments, Purdue has purchased a privately constructed apartment complex across from campus at a price well more than the cost of its construction.
3. Purdue officials have expanded partnerships with Saab, Rolls Royce, the Raytheon Corporation, one of the world’s five largest military contractors, and undertaken a controversial business mission with the Indiana governor to Taiwan to pursue research and production of semi-conductors, in part to respond to what Purdue officials have described as a ”Chinese threat” to national security in the United States.
4.The College of Liberal Arts has announced it will be partnering with the College of Science to develop a new interdisciplinary degree program  in artificial intelligence. CLA calls its “new field” of interest, “sociogenomics.”
5. Purdue received an award recognizing its “excellence in counterintelligence,” one of only four such award recipients in 2022. Purdue joins those few universities which protect “sensitive national information from foreign adversaries.” The award announced in Purdue Today, August 24, 2022, noted that the university continues to work with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) and the FBI.

In short, the transformation of Indiana’s Land Grant university continues at a rapid pace. And while the essays below concentrate on the developments and forces leading to these changes, the broader point of this collection of essays is to suggest that higher education in the twenty-first century is changing in a rapid and largely deleterious way. The appended essay by Carl Davidson reflects a similar critique of the university during the height of the Cold War. What we are witnessing today is a revitalization of that trend.

For those who value the university as a site for informing students about the world and debating the value of changes occurring in it, the developments highlighted in these essays are a warning. And for faculty and students alike the antidote to the militarization of the university, the transformation of the curricula, and the disempowering of those who work in universities is organizing against those elements of change that are antithetical to the educational process.

And More:
 “The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue has created a category of its own. As part of the nation’s leading national security university, it is rapidly becoming the world’s premier institution focused on Tech Statecraft, a new model of diplomacy bridging the gap between technology experts, government officials and policymakers, and business leaders to ensure tomorrow’s tech secures our freedoms,” said (Daniel) Kurtenbach. ‘I’m excited to contribute to the Krach Institute’s already-impressive momentum by enhancing and building its innovative partnerships and relationships to achieve our shared vision of a future that prizes individual freedom through trusted technology.’ ”

The Man Who Changed Colors, the new mystery novel by esteemed labor journalist Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a sequel to his acclaimed debut The Man Who Fell From The Sky. It's the story of one reporter's search for the truth when a shipyard worker mysteriously falls to his death. Release date: April 10.

Also in development, an exhilarating non-fiction thriller about the group of San Francisco dock workers who refused to load arms to send to a fascist regime in El Salvador (title & release date TBD).

So Far From Home is a collection of fiction and creative nonfiction stories by immigrants working in Singapore, a long way from their own Viet Nam, China, Philippines or Malaysia.

From Little Heroes Press we will have the inspiring true story of a group of New York City kids who got the bill banning pesticides in school yards and public arks into law (Working title: Please Don't Poison Me!). Release date TBA.

We will also have A Piece of The Pie, a sequel to the adorable The Cabbage That Came Back. In this installment, Bunny Rabbit organizes the workers in mean Mr. Weasel's pie factory. Who better than a field rabbit to teach your kids the value of a grass-roots campaign?

So stay tuned, there are many great things to come from your favorite labor and social justice publishing house. And don't forget to check out our current catalogue, it's not too late to buy a book from our Hard Ball Press web site for the holidays

Solidarity forever, Timothy Sheard, editor Hard Ball & Little Heroes Press

From the CCDS Socialist Education Project...
A China Reader

Edited by Duncan McFarland

A project of the CCDS Socialist Education Project and Online University of the Left

244 pages, $20 (discounts available for quantity), order at :

The book is a selection of essays offering keen insight into the nature of China and its social system, its internal debates, and its history. It includes several articles on the US and China and the growing efforts of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.

Click here for the Table of Contents

Taking Down White Supremacy 

A Reader on Multiracial and Multinational Unity 

Edited by the CCDS
Socialist Education Project

166 pages, $12.50 (discounts available for quantity), order at :

This collection of 20 essays brings together a variety of articles-theoretical, historical, and experiential-that address multi-racial, multi-national unity. The book provides examples theoretically and historically, of efforts to build multi-racial unity in the twentieth century.

      Click here for the Table of contents

Vijay Prashad, “The Rise of ‘The Darker Nations’ in the 21st Century: Responses to Crises of War, Poverty, and Environmental Disaster

CHANGEMAKER PUBLICATIONS: Recent works on new paths to socialism and the solidarity economy

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