Dr Tomasz Pierscionek. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You have worked on the theme of the Western Left. According to you, can we say that this left is in crisis?
Dr. Tomasz Pierscionek: The past decade of austerity, which has seen the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else and demonstrated that capitalism is a failing system unable to solve major global problems, provides an opportunity for the Left to demonstrate alternate programmes that benefit the majority rather than a wealthy and powerful minority. In Western Europe and the US, affected by years of indoctrination about the ‘failures’ of socialism, left-wing politicians and parties of labour have been cautious not too appear too left-wing and face the wrath of the rich and their media auxiliaries. In this way, they have failed to realise the potential of the Left to explain and advocate for socialist ideas and directly challenge capitalism. Far from being Marxists, as demonised by the media, the leaders of the Western Left have adopted the half-baked ideas of left of centre social-democracy – ie: let’s tinker at the edges of capitalism and smooth out its rougher bits whilst leaving its fundamental principles unchanged. Lire la suite »
Sam Pizzigati. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain that in front of the unprecedented ultraliberal offensive, we see weakened worker movement and trade unions?
Sam Pizzigati: By the traditional benchmarks for measuring union strength, unions in the United States — particularly in the private sector — haven’t been as weak as they rate right now since the 1920s. Just 7 percent of workers in the private sector carry union cards. Across large swatches of the United States, these numbers suggest, private sector unions barely exist anymore. Lire la suite »
Prof. Robert Jensen. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain the silence of Western media and governments regarding the massacre of the people of Yemen by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, strategic ally of the US?
Prof. Robert Jensen: I am not an expert on the war in Yemen, but it is clear that the Saudi-led coalition has used tactics that have caused widespread civilian suffering. The US media have not completely avoided the story but also have not focused on those humanitarian disasters in the same way they would if the forces responsible were US enemies. This is a longstanding pattern, what Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky called the distinction between “worthy” and “unworthy” victims, depending on who is doing the killing. It’s one way we see that an allegedly “objective” US news media tends to fall in line behind US foreign policy. Lire la suite »
Dr. Christian Parenti. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your remarkable book The Freedom: Shadows And hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, you are talking about the investigations you have done on the ground in Iraq. Do not you think that the intervention of the United States marks a historic turning point not only in the Middle East but also in the USA with the unpunished crimes of the Bush administration?
Dr. Christian Parenti: Thank you for the kind words about The Freedom. While the US role in Iraq has been a humanitarian catastrophe for Iraq and the entire region, and has badly damaged US standing in global public opinion, there is nonetheless a sick imperial logic by which some of the invasion’s outcomes advance a US imperial agenda. Call it rule by chaos, state failure as imperial strategy. Russia, China and Iran all feel threatened by the chaos. Lire la suite »
Image credit: editrrix/ flickr
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your book “Savage State: Welfare Capitalism & Inequality” is an original vision of the impact of the welfare state in contemporary capitalist society. In your opinion, can the structural crisis of the capitalist system be overcome?
Dr. Edward Martin: The structural crisis of capitalism will never be overcome precisely because capitalism is built upon the absurd promise of satisfying unlimited amidst scarcity and the maximization of profits at the expense of labor. This begs the question: who then will buy capitalist products if there is little or no purchasing power? This is what Marx meant when he argued that capitalists “become their own grave diggers.” The system implodes on itself if consumers don’t spend all of which presupposes living wage jobs. The tragedy of this system is the perpetual class struggle. The good news, on the other hand, is that public policies prioritizing justice and human rights can avoid class struggle and “inevitable revolutions.” Lire la suite »
Dr. William Alberts: “Unlike the United States, North Korea and Iran have not invaded, or bombed, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Vietnam”
Rev. William Alberts. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Do you think that Donald Trump’s statement to the United Nations General Assembly to destroy rogue states is justified? The United States, which has destroyed Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, among others, and organized permanent coups in the countries of Latin America, and who have been involved in many conflicts, are not they themselves a rogue state?
Dr. William Alberts: President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea is not only unjustified, it reveals just how psychopathic and criminally dangerous he is. “Totally destroy” a country of over 25 million human beings! That is a most horrible war crime threat. And, amazingly, he made it under the self-contradictory pretext that North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons “threatens the world with unthinkable loss of life.” Trump is a dangerous war-criminal-in-waiting. He should be removed from office – by impeachment or Congress’s determination that he is unfit for office — as soon as possible so that he does not hurt countless more people. Lire la suite »
Dr. Kim Scipes. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your book Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization is a manifesto for the unification of the labor union movement around the world. In your opinion, is this idea a requirement in the resistance to the ultra liberal offensive? Is the idea of a global labor union front feasible?
Dr. Kim Scipes: I think we have to be careful about the idea of a global labor organization. I certainly think that labor should be talking to each other, respectfully, and perhaps more importantly, listening to each other. I think a global union front—down the road—might be a good thing, but it would have to be constructed, not just asserted on the existence of unions today. If we say a global labor front is a desirable goal down the road, what are the values on which it is built? Certainly, non-oppression of other labor movements is a necessity. But there’s also got to be a sharing of resources, as well—especially between the larger unions (mainly in the Global North) with those in the Global South. Lire la suite »