Against the Current 51

— The Editors
YOU DON'T NEED to hold any illusions about United States foreign policy, and the interests that govern it, to be outraged and horrified by what the government of our country has perpetrated on the peoples of Bosnia and Haiti. These are the normal, natural emotions of ordinary decent people confronted with the realities, as the electronic infotainment superhighway carries the genocide onto our nightly TV screens.
In the slide toward global chaos, it's often easy for such specific horrors as Haiti...
— Karin Baker
GERONIMO JIJAGA PRATT has been in jail since 1971. Jurors from his trial for murder in 1972 now say Pratt would not have been convicted if critical evidence had not been withheld from them. An ex-FBI agent, who was with the Bureau for twenty-five years, has said, "Pratt was set up." A prison psychologist repeatedly described him as a principled individual, not a danger to society, yet he has been denied parole twelve times. What is the story?
"A Revolutionary Man"
Pratt, a former Black Panther...
— Catherine Sameh
A DANGEROUS AND misguided notion continues to be expressed in some parts of the environmental movement today that the root cause of environmental problems is population growth. When activists in this movement link population control to the fight for safe and legal abortion, the results are troubling, particularly in the context of a growing anti-abortion and anti-contraception movement worldwide.
As women's health and reproductive rights activists, we must challenge our allies in the...
— Chani Beeman
"AS WOMEN WHO have long worked to end all forms of violence against women, we are enraged by the rape and murder of our sister activist Nancy Lynn Willem. Nancy was murdered while at her workplace on the 4th of February, 1992. Our pain and anger over yet another act of terrorism against women has brought us together as Women Enraged! (WE!)." So begins the WE! Mission statement. WE! Is an activist collective committed to confronting violence against women and transforming ourselves in the...
— Dennis Dunleavy
CESAR CHAVEZ IS gone now, but the United Farm Workers' recent re-enactment of his 1966 march from the fields of Delano to Sacramento paid tribute to the movement he founded. The 320-mile march culminated on April25 at the steps of the State Capitol with as many as 15,000 people waving UFW banners and demanding pretty much the same things they did nearly thirty years ago.
The roots of the UFW movement in the 1960s were enmeshed in the collision of social forces, the economic desperation that came...
— John C. Antush
ON MARCH 13 a euphoric crowd of 600 celebrated a victory for the workers and community of Chinatown, New York The thirty-six waiters and dim-sum cart-pushers, members of the independent 318 Restaurant Workers' Union and of the Chinese Staff and Workers' Association (CSWA), who had been locked out of the Silver Palace Restaurant for seven months, defeated management's concessionary demands and would be going back to work Speakers from groups ranging from the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence...
— Peter Downs
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Big Three automakers in 1993 brought the union to a new low. In the months leading up to an agreement, company and union officials barraged UAW members with claims of corporate poverty. Both predicted a titanic struggle over concessions. But behind closed doors negotiators settled terms amicably. The ink was scarcely dry on the concessionary contracts when Ford and Chrysler announced near-record earnings and executive bonuses....
— Daniel Singer
THE TIMES ARE a-changing. Do you remember all the fuss about Francis Fukuyama and the end of history? History, as if offended by such silly pseudo-Hegelian nonsense, quickened pace. And we have had difficulty keeping up with it ever since.
Today nobody will seriously suggest that everything is for the best in the best of all possible capitalist worlds. But "the end of history" was only part of a bigger propaganda package. Helped by the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the message of our...
— an interview with Daniel Singer
Daniel Singer was interviewed by Susan Weissman for her program on KPFK. She asked about the French student demonstrations last spring. We are printing his response.
IF WE ARE offered in Europe an American future, this was very much a strike against the American future. What was the government hying to do on this occasion? I've said that one of the things it wants to do is have the working poor, like in the United States. Therefore you have to have an attack on the minimum wage.
The policy was...
— Eva Nikell
I GREW UP in a room with rabbits on the walls. My mother painted them on plywood pieces and dressed the room up to her waist with these rabbits.
This was in the very beginning of the '50s, when "everyone" - meaning every conventional Swedish family regardless of class—could afford having a housewife. For those of us who were born in that period it was the absolutely natural state of affairs: daddies working, mummies at home with the kids.
In Sweden the '50s saw the creation and...
— R.F. Kampfer
SINCE ITS BEEN revealed that a large tub of "buttered" popcorn contains as much cholesterol as eight Big Macs, think of the good news: You can take six or seven Big Macs to the show and still be ahead of the game.
Most people don't have to be led into temptation, just pointed in the right general direction.
A self-disciplined person is who can pop just one bubble-wrap cell.
Political Commentary
ALEXANDER COCKBURN TELLS us in a recent syndicated column (Detroit Free Press, May 11): "We have been...
— Tom Meisenheider
THE REPUBLIC OF Zimbabwe was born in 1980 with a stated commitment to build a socialist society. By 1990 it made an "about-face" to an avowedly capitalist model of development. What happened? What do the events in Zimbabwe portend for the possibility of socialism in the periphery?
Zimbabwe’s "Socialism"
Zimbabwe was born after a long and bloody liberation war. The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), one of two socialist-oriented national liberation movements, won the country's first...
— David Finkel, for the Editors
WE PRESENT HERE, for the information of our readers, two important statements reflecting the thinking of much of the South African working-class movement and left following the electoral victory of the African National Congress (ANC). This speech by Moses Mayekiso—a major union leader saved from possible execution during the 1980s by a massive international solidarity campaign—and the following article on Left Unity by Langa Zita, document the left’s attempts to give long-term...
— Moses Mayekiso
COMRADES, FOR THE first time, we have had a historic parliamentary session which is representative of the people's wishes. We must congratulate the civic movement for contributing to the destruction of apartheid and for contributing to the new democracy. The new political system was explained by our State President, Comrade Nelson Mandela, as a people-centered democracy in a people-centered society.
We in SANCO must take this further, by ensuring that our slogan 'People-Centered Development" can...
— Langa Zita
WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY maintained that there is a dialectical relationship between the national liberation struggle and the class struggle. We further maintained that there can be no genuine national liberation without class liberation and vice versa.
The critical word is genuine, because there are any number of postcolonial societies—societies without national oppression—which, however, are far from being class liberated. The interrelations between these two forms of liberation are a...
— John Woodford
Malcolm X:
In Our Own Image
Edited by Joe Wood
St. Martin's Press, 1992, $18.95 hardcover
"MALCOLM X IS probably the most visible (and vigorous) figure on the African-American political landscape today," reads the publisher's blurb for Malcolm X. In Our Own Image.
It's an ambiguous blurb. It could be a statement that the image of Malcolm X is currently the most displayed and politically potent icon in Afro-American affairs, or that a dead man is not only the most attended to but the most alive...
— Constance Coiner
Labor and Desire:
Women's Revolutionary Fiction in Depression America
By Paula Rabinowitz
University of North Carolina Press. $29.95 hardcover, $12.95 paperback.
DURING THE EARLY '30s Michael Gold was probably the most prominent Communist writer and critic; at the 1935 American Writers' Congress he was hailed as "the best loved American revolutionary writer." His autobiographical novel, Jews Without Money (1930), was reprinted eleven times in the first year of publication and twenty-five times...