The World Socialist Party of the United States Turns 100

From the July 2016 issue of the Socialist Standard It is now just a century since the World Socialist Party established itself in the USA. Other such organizations arose at about the same time in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere, from similar circumstances: SPGB comrades became world travelers to escape conscription in The Great War, […]

The cause of and cure for climate disruption

There is a political dispute going on about climate change, global heating, or global climate disruption. The dispute, unfortunately, is not simply about what to call it but about whether ‘it’ is happening at all, and if it is whether ‘it’ is being caused by human activity. 

Bernie Sanders Bows Out

Having acquired less delegates than Hillary Clinton in the primaries, Bernie Sanders has endorsed her as the Democratic candidate for the US presidency in the elections in November. Even if had won the nomination and actually become President of the United States of America, his freedom of action would be very restricted by economic and […]

The insanity of coal mining

National Public Radio (NPR) and the Centre for Public Integrity (CPI) teamed up to produce a special investigative report on the increased incidence of black lung disease in coal miners. The results of their combined investigations were released on the NPR’s radio stations on July 9–10, 2012 and broadcast on Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS) television […]

The ‘democratic socialism’ of Bernie Sanders

To a socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is far and away the least distasteful of the current contenders for the American presidency. He seems decent and sincere. Although he is running in the Democratic Party primaries, he has a long history as an independent politician, starting with his election in 1981 as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. […]

Waste and want: Grapes of Wrath revisited

In his famous novel The Grapes of Wrath (Chapter 25), John Steinbeck described how food was destroyed during the Great Depression: Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people come for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges if they could drive out and pick them […]

Council Communist

Book Review from the February 2016 issue of the Socialist Standard ‘Marxism in a Lost Century: A Biography of Paul Mattick‘, by Gary Roth. Chicago. Haymarket Books, 2015 This biography will be of special interest to many readers of the Socialist Standard. While Paul Mattick (1904–1981) never joined the World Socialist Movement (WSM), his views […]

Socialism as a Practical Alternative

A talk given at the Community Church of Boston on May 11, 2014 (with minor edits for context) Since the keyword in the title of my talk is “practical,” I’d like to kick things off with a little thought experiment. Could anyone suggest some practical things President Obama might do in regard to the Ukrainian […]

How Progressive Ideas Protect Inequality

Excerpted by Karla Rab from an article by John Spritzler “There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” [NYT, Nov. 26, 2006] There is indeed a class war whose outcome will determine whether our society will remain one based on inequality with […]

Profit Hotel (dirty gossip about the capitalist mode of production)

J. EDGAR, I HARDLY KNEW YA You will never hear an economist argue that increases in productivity are bad. But where do you think the government ever got all that nifty surveillance technology from? From the surveillance industry, of course. If you’re wondering why there was no surveillance industry in 1917 (Pinkertons, yes! police spies, […]

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