From Slavery to Mass Incarceration
The fate of US blacks, from the time of Jefferson to that of Reagan and Clinton, trapped within four successive ‘peculiar institutions’, under a sociological spotlight. The origins of American racism and its outcomes in today’s hyperghetto and prison regimes.
A reigning doctrine of international relations proclaims that, despite everything, the world is entering a new epoch of hopeful cosmopolitanism—narrow state sovereignty being overcome by the common and, where necessary, armed resolve of a ‘Pacific Union’ of democratic nations. What then of the asymmetric hegemony of the United States?
US Elections: Testing Formula Two
If the eighties were the decade of the Right in the West, the nineties saw a comparable sweep by the Centre-Left. Does the loss of the US Presidency by the Democrats presage another turn of the wheel in Atlantic politics? With Bush at the helm in the New World, what are the prospects for the Gores of the Old?
The Rise of America’s Prison-Industrial Complex
Why look at the famous incarceration rates of the US only from the standpoint of the consumer—America’s two million prisoners? David Ladipo shows how practical and profitable they are for the producer—attracting investment and generating employment where small towns and impoverished counties need them most. What could be more rational than sentencing laws that keep the industry booming?
Chronicle of a City Foretold
Andy Merrifield on Mike Davis, Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City. What are the patterns, and what will be the consequences—social, cultural, political—of the massive influx of immigrants from lands south of the Rio Grande into North American cityscapes?
The Boom and the Bubble
In the last four years, the US economy has posted its best performance since the sixties. What is the connexion between the formidable boom in the real economy and the historically unprecedented bubble on the stock market? Could the inflation of asset values far beyond the rise in corporate earnings be preparing a Japanese-style nemesis?
Clinton’s finest hour, on the welfare front. The moral hysterias and mean calculations of US reform are now a benchmark for post-social-democracy in Britain. Joel Handler considers the fall in American welfare rolls, and the realities of poverty and vulnerability behind them.
Anatomy of Clintonomics
The performance of the American economy is widely hailed as stellar, and the policies of the US President as financially prudent and socially progressive. Robert Pollin dismantles Clinton’s record as steward and reformer. Stock bubble and poverty sump as ‘residuals’ of the New Economy?
The New Imperial State
Globalization is the watchword of the moment. Does it mean the irresistible sway of markets over states—or are welfare regimes in Europe or dirigiste governments in East Asia still potentially robust? Neither, Leo Panitch argues: the reality is an unprecedented dominance of the United States over world capital flows and allied political systems alike.
Seattle Diary: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas
“Seattle has always struck me as a suspiciously clean city, manifesting a tidiness that verges on the compulsive. It is the Singapore of the United States: spitpolished, glossy, and eerily beautiful. Indeed, there is, perhaps, no more scenic setting for a city set next to Elliot Bay on . . .” read more
Inequality and Unemployment in Europe: The American Cure
“What is the relationship between inequality and unemployment? This question is perhaps the most important issue in the political economy of Europe, and it has relevance for other regions with developing transnational ties, including the United States and the North American region.” read more
Kosovo: The War of NATO Expansion
“nato has established a Kosovo protectorate at the cost of great suffering for its people, and in a manner calculated to store up future problems. The bombing by nato generalized and greatly intensified the persecution of the Kosovans and destroyed infrastructure throughout Yugoslavia. There were . . .” read more
The Bosnian Protectorate and the Implications for Kosovo
“The international Contact Group proposals for the future of Kosovo, put forward at the Paris/Rambouillet talks, in February 1999—advocating an international Implementations Mission in Kosovo—were based on the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement of November 1995, which ended the Bosnian conflict. If nato gets its way, . . .” read more
Against the Double Blackmail
“The prize-winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin American patriotic terrorist who sent a letter-bomb to a us consulate in order to protest against the Americans interfering in local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return . . .” read more
The NATO Powers and the Balkan Tragedy
“Western powers usually legitimize military interventions in terms of a proclaimed commitment to some universalist norm or to some goal embodying such a norm. These declared goals can oscillate, but they are important because a central element of their foreign policy, particularly when it involves starting a war, . . .” read more
Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City
“Sometime during 1996, at the very latest, Latinos surpassed Blacks as the second largest ethno-racial group in New York City. (They long have been the largest census group in the Bronx.) There were no street celebrations in El Barrio or Washington Heights, nor did the mayor hold a . . .” read more
Protecting the Kosovars?
“Once again, and led by the United States as usual, a war is being conducted—this time in Europe—against an unprincipled and racist dictator who will almost certainly survive the onslaught, even though thousands of innocents will pay the actual price. The pretext this time is, of course, the . . .” read more
Springtime for NATO
“When Western leaders assemble in Washington, later this year, to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of nato, how will they assess the Balkan campaign of Spring 1999? The aim of the summit is a new mission statement for nato, transforming it from a defensive alliance into a . . .” read more
Why There Will Be No Revolution in the US: A Reply to Daniel Lazare
“In recent years, Daniel Lazare has emerged as one of the most provocative and insightful critics of the us federal constitution and the superstitious reverence for it which is cultivated by the American political establishment. In his brilliant polemic The Frozen Republic (1996), Lazare subjected American political . . .” read more
Securing Occupation: The Real Meaning of the Wye River Memorandum
“As a formal document, the Wye River Memorandum breaks no new ground.Its stated purpose is merely to reaffirm and ‘facilitate implementation’ of ‘prior agreements’.Nonetheless, the Memorandum illuminates the process set in motion at Oslo and dispels lingering illusions.In these remarks, I will first sketch the crucial historical background, . . .” read more
America the Undemocratic
“The United States, as every American schoolchild knows, is the oldest and still greatest political democracy on earth. Non(Un?)-Americans may disagree, but on one point there is complete unanimity: the United States is different. Just how different can be gleaned from two seemingly innocuous statements by the man . . .” read more
Power in the Global Arena
“I would like to talk primarily about the United States, its place in the evolving world order, and the prospects for the future. The record of prediction in human affairs is not exactly inspiring, but the task is hopeless without at least a fair grasp of what has . . .” read more
US War Crimes in Somalia
“In his foreword to Mogadishu! Heroism and Tragedy, Ross Perot wrote: ‘Read this book carefully. Never forget its contents as you watch the tv docu-dramas of smart bombs going down air shafts, where war is presented in a sterile, sanitized environment. Remember, war is fighting and dying.’ . . .” read more
The Strategic Triad: The United States, Russia, and China
“The official end of the Cold War, marked by the growing incapacity and then the collapse of the Soviet Union, inevitably meant a reduction of us military expenditure. This had long been regarded as essential from a strictly economic point of view: the extraordinary prodigality of the . . .” read more
Fosterites and Feminists, Or 1950s Ultra-Leftists and the Invention of AmeriKKKa
“‘It suffices but to mention the chauvinist ideology which still penetrates the core and culture of our national life, rendering many people susceptible to infliction from this social disease.’—Claudia Jones” read more
Confronting Neoliberal Regimes: The Post-Marxist Embrace of Populism and Realipolitik
“The dominance of neoliberal policies in Anglo-American countries during the past two decades has not only had a profound impact on the character and programmes of major parties, but has also led to dramatic changes within the ranks of former Marxists and critical theorists. These former radicals now . . .” read more
Behind Blue Eyes: Whiteness and Contemporary US Racial Politics
“In a quiet office at a Washington think tank, a tract is composed on the biologically determined intellectual inferiority of blacks. Out on a Brooklyn street, as black demonstrators march through a segregated white enclave, the residents yell racist epithets. At an urban college campus in California, Latinos . . .” read more
A Minority of One: An Interview with Norman Mailer
“I think of you as someone who’s always been in the opposition, always a dissident, not just to the wider society but even in his own circles. I remember you once saying to me that you’d refined your dissidence, you could give it a name, you were now . . .” read more
Bosnia and the Revival of US Hegemony
“The primary concern of us policy-makers, Democrats and Republicans, since the Second World War has been ‘world leadership’. Where necessary and possible domestic issues have been subordinated to the overarching goal of constructing and sustaining us hegemony over allies, confrontation with adversaries and domination of clients. . . .” read more
A New American Politics: Who Will Answer the Invitation?
“Joel Rogers (nlr 210) has done the Left in the us a great service in pointing out that the current political conjuncture in the us ‘is the unstated invitation to progressive action, our opportunity to do some good.’ As Rogers argues, liberalism is dying, the . . .” read more
Sympathy for the Devils: Notes on Some White Guys in the Ridiculous Class War
“It seems like another era, though it was less than five years ago, when I was sitting around the Men’s Wisdom Council, grunting Ho with the guys, and studying their hodgepodge, Shake-and-Bake ‘traditions’ for a book I was writing on changing conceptions of white straight men. But now, . . .” read more
The Hollywood Left: Aesthetics and Politics
“Two generations after McCarthyism, the Hollywood Left has almost receded from living memory. Its principal figures now show up mainly in the obituary columns of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, their experiences with the blacklist reduced to a sentence or deleted entirely. The most politically . . .” read more