Clash of the Nincompoops — The 2016 Presidential Election (It Matters, But not the Way You Think)

  Talk given at the Community Church of Boston, November 13, 2016 You might have seen clips of House Speaker Paul Ryan warning a crowd in Wisconsin (Joe McCarthy’s home state!) that if Republicans were to lose control of the Senate, guess who would become chairman of the Senate Budget Committee? A guy named Bernie Sanders! […]

Who or what is ALEC?

No, ALEC is not a new kid on the block. ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC was born in 1973 – the brainchild of Paul Weyrich and a group of Republican Party state legislators. This was not Weyrich’s first brainchild: he also fathered the Heritage Foundation and somewhere along the way coined the […]

Manufacturing the news

Mark Fishman, associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, investigated routine news production by examining the work practices of reporters and other news workers. His research findings were published by the University of Texas Press in 1980 in a book entitled Manufacturing the News. At the beginning of his book, […]

USA: illusions of democracy

The United States of America has been under one-party rule since its birth at the drafting of the Constitution. This document was drawn up by a small group of men (the founding “fathers”) representing four major economic interests – money, public securities, manufactures, and trade and shipping. In the conclusion to his classic work An […]

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 ‘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. […]

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 […]

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