Profits Over People (With a Little Help from Their Friends)

Florida is the latest state to have on its November 4 ballot an initiative that would legalize medicinal cannabis sativa (aka marijuana) for people with debilitating medical conditions such as cancer and cerebral palsy. Florida has already legalized the use of Charlotte’s Web for children suffering from epilepsy. A recent poll believes 62% of Floridians will vote for Amendment 2, a slim margin over the 60% needed for passage. [Editor’s note: this piece was written before the election; in the event, the measure failed, with only 57% voting in favor. Advocates vow to continue the struggle.]

Hopefully Florida will not follow corrupt Rhode Island’s path through this process. Continue reading

The Union’s Election Day Dilemma

I had meant to write something about the election before now. But with these candidates, what is there to write? They are all corporate tools. A vote for any of them, even the “less worse”, is nothing more than a vote for more corporate control over Rhode Island’s teachers, parents and students. Continue reading

The ISO and “Leninism”

In my mind, the thorniest of questions – the $64 question is: what do/can we take from Lenin, Trotsky, and the Bolsheviks that can actually be useful to us today in 2014 under US Imperialism? I first want to quote from Lenin himself at the beginning of The State and Revolution where he decries the fate of leaders after death under bourgeois society’s relentless propaganda machine: Continue reading

Time for a New Environmental Movement

I attended the Peoples’ Climate March in New York City on September 21st . Actually, I really wish I stayed the entire weekend instead of rushing through one day. I don’t remember seeing so many people attend a rally at least since the announcement of a troop surge into Iraq by President Bush in early 2007. It would be very difficult to count the number of people who came because crowds literally stretched the streets further than the eye could see. The organizers put together a team of 35 crowd spotters, who took their results to a mathematician, at Carnegie Mellon University who crunched their results and estimated 311,000 people marched along the route.  Continue reading

Occupy and the ISO

Editor’s note: the following piece was written in January 2014, in the midst of the factional fight inside the International Socialist Organization (ISO), to which the members of the editorial collective belonged at the time. This piece was meant as a contribution to the work of the ISO Renewal Faction, though it was not published during the period of the faction fight. The faction was expelled from the ISO in February 2014; the documents of that struggle, however, are still available on Though the internal organizational suggestions are now obsolete, we nonetheless believe that the points raised are still salient, and thus have decided to publish this piece. Continue reading

Eyewitness from Flood Wall St.

On September 23rd, at 5:30am, I picked up my personal belongings and exited New York City jail, along with a handful of others. We were arrested during #FloodWallSt, one day after the #PeoplesClimateMarch. It was an exhilarating and beautiful few days of action that reminded me how much we can still accomplish in the streets, and made clear to me what issues are going to help unify the climate justice movement in the coming years. Continue reading

Theses on Workers’ Democracy and the Role of Socialist Militants

The following theses are offered as a starting point for discussion on all questions of how socialist militants should orient in the given period. Our previous models, in particular the model of the “Leninist” sect, have run aground. Whether this is due to a fatal flaw in the model, or simply to a change in material conditions that have made a once-viable model no longer so, it is clear that we need to rethink our approach as socialists to basic questions of democracy and workers’ power from the foundations up. It is also likely that comrades who prefer “communist” or “anarchist” (at least: class-struggle anarchist) terminology will find something that resonates here, and I invite those comrades to engage in this discussion. Continue reading

Revolution: How the Working Class Can Change Society

Paul Hubbard writes on the revolutionary power of the working class.

Revolution is the motive force of history. All the great epoch-changing progress of human society has been accomplished by revolutionary upheavals that transform not only human relations, but economic relations, and society as a whole. This was true during the great French Revolution of 1789-1793, the English a century earlier around the Protestant Reformation and the Cromwell rebellion, and the 1776-1789 American War of Independence against the British crown. The revolutions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries laid the basis for the development of modern capitalist society. That is, they elevated that class of merchants, bankers, landlords, and factory owners into the rulers of society. Starting with the events in Paris in 1871 known as the Paris Commune, the character of revolutions changed, a change that has continued into the 21st century. The assault by the Paris workers on the French bourgeoisie that resulted in the formation of the Paris Commune became a living historical laboratory for Karl Marx and his close collaborator, Frederick Engels. It confirmed all of the ideas they had laid out 24 years earlier in the Communist Manifesto. Continue reading

The Face of Police Brutality

joshua_robinson2.sm_bA young Black man has been brutally beaten by the police – and not only have his attackers gone unpunished, but their victim has been sent to jail instead.

On the evening of March 5, Joshua Robinson was stopped by police, allegedly for a traffic violation, while driving home from his girlfriend’s house on Providence’s South Side. By the police department’s own account, officers began beating the 21-year-old Joshua while he was still behind the wheel of his car, first striking him in the forehead with a flashlight, then choking him, dragging him out and throwing him to the ground, punching him repeatedly in the face, kneeing him in the ribs, and pepper-spraying him.

In mug shot photos which have circulated on social media, the extent of the police abuse is painfully apparent: Joshua’s left eye is swollen shut, dark bruises spread over both cheeks, and lacerations run above his eyes and across his forehead. And yet it was Joshua who was arrested that night, charged with – and later in district court, convicted of – assault and resisting arrest.
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The epidemic of rape and rape culture in the United States

Paul Hubbard comments on the crisis of rape culture in Steubenville, the Catholic Church, and throughout capitalist society.

On March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day, a day that highlights not only the progress of women in society, but most importantly how far we still have to go to achieve real emancipation.

On March 17th, two Steubenville, Ohio football players, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found delinquent and sentenced to at least one year in juvenile jail for the rape of a 16 year old young woman at a party last summer. The two teenagers could also be held until they are 21 years old. Only massive pressure and outrage forced the authorities to prosecute. Attorney general Mike DeWine has now announced the convening of a grand jury to further investigate the circumstances of the crime.
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