Against the Current 37

— The Editors
AFFIRMATiVE ACTION FOR the rich and gimmicks for everyone else: Though his media consultants billed it as a crucial turning point and defining moment of his presidency, neither George Bush's State of the Union address nor his 1993 budget proposals offered any significant deviation from the gospel he inherited from Reagan.
Bush once again is proposing dramatic cuts in the capital gains tax. At the same time he wants to slash $5 billion from 246 domestic programs—home heating insurance,...
— Colin Gordon
THE DEBATE OVER health care reform is a lot like the U.S. health care system itself Both encourage limited participation and both generate far more paper than results.
In late 1990, business anxiety over health care costs and a panoply of Congressional studies generated a flurry of interest in national health care reform, even national health insurance. While the prospects for real reform soon faltered (apolitical casualty of Operation Desert Storm), Harris Wofford's startling run in...
— Midge Quandt
"NED [Ihe National Endowment for Democracy] wants to do civic education ... and teach the Nicaraguan people to be members of a democratic society...." —interview with Diane Ponasik, Nicaragua Desk officer, U.S. Agency for International Development, May 16, 1991
"There has been a great decadence in values ... Nicaraguan youth need a moral and Christian orientation.—interview with Pablo Avendaño, Director of Programs, Center for Youth Formation, Managua, June 26, 1991
— Michael Friedman interviews Mario Quintana
Mario Quintana is the General Secretary of the Nicaraguan Teachers Union ANDEN and member of the Sandinista Assembly, a governing body of the FSLN. He was interviewed July 221991 in Managua by Michael Friedman, a bilingual high school science teacher in New York. Friedman worked in the FSLN's paper Barricada Internacional and the Nicaraguan Fisheries Institute from 1982-1987. The transcript has been excerpted by ATC.
Michael Friedman: How has the change in government affected teachers? Mario...
— James Petras and Pablo Pozzi
FROM PETERSBURG TO Pretoria to San Salvador, we are informed by the ideologues of the economic elites, privatization and the free market are the wave of the future In this essay James Pctras and Pablo Pow take a closer look at the Argentine success story. Petras, profressor of sociology at SUNY Binghamton, a frequent contributor to ATC and author of numerous works on Third World economics and politics, is working on a new book on U.S. global power and domestic decay. Pozzi is a professor of...
— Phil Kwik
IN HIS DECEMBER 13 victory speech, the new General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1FF), Ron Carey, said: "Good-bye to the Mafia .... This union has been won back by its members."
The stunning victory of the reform slate in the first-ever, one-member, one-vote election in the 13 million-member union represents just that a victory by the union's rank and file. Officers in fewer than thirty of the union's 638 locals supported the Carey slate. None of the Joint...
— Dan La Botz
THE ELECTION OF Ron Carey to the office of General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IB1) with the support of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (FDU) is not only a victory for the Teamster reform movement, but also for a particular strategy for reform and revitalization of the labor movement the rank-and-file stratey.
At this point it is only a qualified vindication, in the sense that it remains to be seen what Carey and there-form forces in the Teamsters will accomplish in...
— Kim Moody
"Reform candidate Ron Carey yesterday appeared headed for a stunning victory in the first direct election of a Teamster union president, completing a historic three-year government effort to transform the union into one of the most democratic in the nation." (emphasis added) —Frank Swoboda, Washington Post, December 12, 1991
Mr. Carey, president of a Teamsters local in Queens, is the insurgent victor in an election that the Federal Courts are supervising in a settlement of an...
— Christopher Phelps
A NATIONAL DEBATE over higher education has raged in the past year over the charge that tenured leftists are dominating the campuses, pushing a "politically correct" agenda down the throats of their unsuspecting students and moderate colleagues. This caricature, an open and vicious attack on multiculturalism and the scholarly left, is still being widely disseminated, but it is increasingly overshadowed on campus by the material crisis of the university.
Three trends have converged upon the...
— an interview with Varda Burstyn
VARDA BURSTYN, A writer and activist in Toronto, is co-chair (with Sunera Thobani) of the Health and Reproductive Technologies Subcommittee of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC). She spoke with Dianne Feeley and David Finkel of the ATC editorial board regarding the issue of reproductive and genetic technologies.
ATC: Please tell us about the background of the reproductive technologies debate and the brief that NAC submitted to the Royal Commission (government-appointed...
— R.F. Kampfer
"THE OFFICIAL CHANGE of name from 'Union of Soviet Socialist Republies' to Commonwealth of Freedom loving People' (or 'Free Commonwealth' for short) ... was decreed by the Marshall of Peace in the early nineteen fifties?"—Arthur Koestler, The Age of Longing (1950)
Deja Vu All Oveer Again
"President Nixon threw up on the steps of the Kremlin today. He was heard to mutter something about borscht, and was suddenly on his knees. Before his bodyguards couldassist him, several peasants of...
— Varda Burstyn
A BRIEF LIST of some of the medical terms in this interview, and their meanings, is as follows.
Petri dish—A standard item of scientific equipment, a shallow glass dish where artificial fertilization takes place.
In Vitro Fertilization (M)--Specifically, a fertilization process in which sperm and egg are brought together in a petri dish More generally, a cluster of technologies in "medically aided procreation (MAP)." These involve procedure sat all stages, including drug-induced ovulation...
— Catherine Sameh
IN EARLY JANUARY, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for a moratorium on the sale and use of silicone breast implants while new data on their safety is reviewed. The FDA move comes in response to thousands of complaints made by women who have the implants, and to newly published internal memos from the country's largest manufacturer of silicone gel implants, Dow Corning Wright, which raise concerns about their safety.
Until now the implants have not been regulated by the FDA. Now...
— Ingrid Washinawatok
AS THE NEW YEAR begins we, as Indigenous women, hope 1992 begins a new era in history. The Quincentenary has occupied more of our thoughts the past few years. Preparation for 1992 has involved strategy for the proposed celebrations, gearing public relations toward positive views of our people; slogans such as Five Hundred Years of Resistance have been coined, conferences planned, organized and realized; projects such as rewriting the falsehoods into truth have begun and are near completion....
— Pam Galpern
LA MUJER OBRERA is an organization of Hispanic Women garment workers. Its principal objective is for workers to obtain genuine economic, social and political power--a goal that is far from being realized in this country.
The structure of the organization is a set of concentric circles. The board of directors are six women workers, as are three of the six women on staff. The organizing committee is made up of representatives from the various factories, who are using a workers' rights manual to...
— Peter Drucker interview Felice Yeskel
FELICE YESKEL IS director of the Program for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Concerns at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is also a long-time activist and holds a doctoral degree in organizational development. She spoke with Against the Current editors Peter Drucker and David Finkel about her work and the history of organizing around these issues on campus.
ATC: Please begin by telling us about how you began working at U-Mass Amherst, and what activist background you brought.
— Michael Löwy
Arsenal Surrealist Subversion 4
Edited by Franklin Rosemont
Black Swan Press (1726 West Jarvas Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626), 1989, 224 pages.
THERE HAS ALWAYS been a deep "elective affinity' between Surrealism and revolutionary politics, since the early days of the movement in Paris during the 1920s, Andre Breton's meeting with Trotsky in Mexico (1938) and their common document on Art and Revolution was one of the highest moments of this spiritual fusion.
ARSENAL Surrealist Subversion, the...
— Marian Swerdlow
Sisterhood and Solidarity
Feminism and Labor in Modern Times
Boston: South End Press, 1987, 248 pages, $35 cloth, $9 paper.
IN THE RENEWAL of the pro-choice movement, class-conscious feminists have been concerned with the disproportionately small numbers of working-class women, including women of color, among its leaders and activists. There has been discussion of possible explanations and solutions for this isolation and the limitations it imposes on the movement.
Diane Balser's recent book,...
— David Mandel
IN BEFORE STALINISM, author Samuel Farber sets out to show that the demise of soviet democracy, which began so soon after the October Revolution, was not due merely to unfavorable "objective circumstances,' the economic collapse, Civil War and foreign intervention. He argues that "mainstream Bolshevik ideology" was characterized by an insensitivity to the importance of the institutional underpinnings of a working democracy and, to a degree, by outright authoritarian tendencies.
— Ernest Haberkern
TIM WOHLFORTH begins his article "The Grip of Leninism" (ATC 36) with an appeal to socialists to rethink their position as a result of recent events beginning with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is always a good idea to re-examine one's views in the light of new facts. Unfortunately, Woh1frth's new fails to do that.
Instead, he repeats the attacks on the Bolshevik Revolution and "Leninism" that have been standard for seventy years. There is no new information, no presentation of previously...
— Martin Glaberman
ROBERT A. HILL, the literary executor of C.LR. James, has arranged for what amounts to James' collected works to be published by Blackwell Publishers. Among the first books to be published will be the prospectus for a book on American Civilization, written in 1950 (referred to by Kent Worcester in ATC 35) and a later, more finished draft done in 1956.
Some of James' writings from the period 1940-1953, which have appeared only in mimeographed form, should eventually appear in this series. Some of...