Political Economy

Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities

by BAR contributor Ann Garrison

Cheri Honkala has always believed in taking direct action on behalf of the poor and dispossessed. A lifelong activist, currently with the Green Party, Honkala has tried to play by the duopoly’s rules. But the rule-makers are the biggest rule-breakers. “I learned about what it means to really run for office in a frontline community that’s run by the Democratic Party, also known as the local mob, and it has not a damn thing to do with Russia.”

In Healthcare Battle, Corporations Continue to Win While Public Loses

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Both Trumpcare and Obamacare are privatized insurance systems tailored to the needs and greed of healthcare corporations. Corporations wrote the Affordable Care Act, and only the rich benefit from Trumpcare. “The only rational objective for the majority of the people in the U.S. is to move toward the complete elimination of the for-profit healthcare system.”

July 4th and the Crisis of US Exceptionalism

by BAR contributor Danny Haiphong

U.S. imperialism has finally found the enemies it has been searching for all these years. Most of the world’s people are already in some form of resistance to Washington’s bullying. Love of war is what makes the U.S. truly exceptional. Domestically, “only an opposition that fights for a potential world war with Russia is acceptable to Washington.”

Their System, Our Lives: A Political Obituary in Service of Revolutionary Emancipation

by BAR contributor Danny Haiphong

The class conflict remains the central contradiction among human beings – a fact that too many “movement” leaders seem eager to forget. As a result, they attempt to shore up “a crumbling imperialist system and the ideas that sustain it.” The longer this system is allowed to prevail, the worse the human condition becomes. “By 2021, only 1 percent of the population will own 70 percent of all wealth in the US.”

The Ghosts of Grenfell: Genocide in the Mainland of Capitalism

by Danny Haiphong

The fire that killed an unknown number of mainly Black and Asian Londoners has plunged Britain’s right-wing government deeper into crisis. Brits are connecting the capitalist dots. “Parliament has spent years enforcing austerity cuts on every public service that exists as a safety net for poor and working people,” leaving housing projects like Grenfell unsafe and unsound.

Capitalism Kills, Socialism Heals

by Danny Haiphong

Death is a for-profit enterprise. In defense of capitalism, the ruling classes are prepared to kill on a staggering scale. “It is estimated that since World War II, US wars have murdered between 20-30 million people worldwide.” The rich wage economic and political warfare against public health systems in every country under their control. In contrast, Cuban “life expectancy has gone up decades” since the 1959 revolution.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge

by Ann Garrison

The resurgence of a more genuinely “left” Labor Party under Jeremy Corbyn has lefty Americans wondering if the magic can be exported. It’s not likely, as long as the Democrats can sucker almost everyone to the left of Citibank. The UK may have a leftist prime minister before the U.S. gets a real left party. New elections could be called late this year, “which raises the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister sooner rather than later.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 19, 2017

Time for a Constitutional Right To Vote

“We need visionary demands,” said Bruce Dixon, speaking at the Black Agenda Report panel at the annual Left Forum conference in New York City. A constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote would “invalidate” all the restrictions that disenfranchise so many in the United States. “If it’s not in the Constitution, any sheriff, any mayor, any governor or state legislature, any county official, can make a rule that interferes with your right to vote,” said Dixon. Democrats had “the moral high ground” to pass such an amendment in the 70s and 80s, but instead decided to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard voting rights.

Democrats Spread Confusion in Black America

“We need revolutionary change in this country,” said Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist who ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket and is currently organizing the Black Alliance for Peace. The Democratic Party has been “the main impediment for us developing the kind of radical, oppositional politics and consciousness that we have to build,” said Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “Most of our community understand where the Republicans are coming from, but it has been the Democratic Party that has been the source of ideological confusion” in Black America.

The Rulers are in Crisis

The rulers of the U.S. face a “crisis of legitimacy,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “All of the institutions of governing and ruling the people are being rejected by the people,” said Monteiro. This crisis exists in “all the major centers of global capitalism,” and demands that the left make “strategic decisions about how we move forward.”

Don’t Get Paranoid About Infiltrators

At a Left Forum panel on “Infiltration and Cooptation of the Left,” veteran activist Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, said a “security culture” to identity agents of the state is “useful” to movement organizations. But, “we don’t want to create paranoia.” Zeese advocates a “nothing to hide” approach, based on the fact that “what we are doing is right, we’re on the right side of the issue.” If an organization does become hopeless infiltrated, however, “it’s OK to just leave and start” another one.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

The Crisis of US Imperial Governance and the Struggle for a New World

by Danny Haiphong

The struggle against neo-liberal capital and anti-Russian hysteria is a struggle to transform and revolutionize society,” writes Black Agenda Report contributor Danny Haiphong, who delivered the following remarks at BAR’s “Resisting Trump, Exposing the Democrats” panel the Left Forum, in New York City. “This system has run its course,” said Haiphong. “It cannot hold onto political legitimacy any more than it can spur economic development.”

Russia’s Vladimir Putin v. NBC’s Megyn Kelly

by Ann Garrison

Vladimir Putin mopped the floor with NBC’s Megyn Kelly last weekend, responding to her canned anti-Russia spiel with the contempt, and even humor, it deserved. NBC failed to broadcast a far more newsworthy interchange between Kelly and Putin, doubtless because it called attention to Washington’s deep ties to jihadist terror. “Vladimir Putin said that the U.S. is using terrorists against Assad and that the same terrorists are likely to bite back.”