The New Green-Red Zagreb

In the local elections held in Croatia on 16 and 30 May 2021, a left-green political platform Zagreb je Naš/Možemo! (‘Zagreb is Ours’/’Yes, We Can!’) won 23 out of 47 seats in the City Assembly, and its candidate for mayor, Tomislav Tomašević, won a convincing victory, defeating his right-wing opponent with 65% of the votes.

The platform was formed in early 2017 by a group of activists from social movements and NGOs working on issues of public space, the commons, environmental concerns, independent culture, human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ initiatives, workers’ rights, and more. Frequently presenting themselves with ‘one foot in activism, the other in electoral politics’, the motivation for fielding candidates in the 2017 Zagreb local elections was to advance a genuine alternative to the corrupt nationalist-populist politics that had defined local government in Croatia’s capital for two decades.

Continue reading

How Gaza Dethroned The King Of Israel

How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year leadership of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end.

Netanyahu’s ‘achievements’ for Israel cannot be judged according to the same criteria as that of Ben Gurion. Both were staunch Zionist ideologues and savvy politicians. Unlike Ben Gurion, though, Netanyahu did not lead a so-called ‘war of independence’, merging militias into an army and carefully constructing a ‘national narrative’ that helped Israel justify its numerous crimes against the indigenous Palestinians, at least in the eyes of Israel and its supporters.

Continue reading

Peru: Journalist Warns Of Bolivia-Style Coup After The Election

Peru’s elitist right-wing forces behind presidential contender Keiko Fujimori are leading a “political propaganda” campaign of fraud allegations against her leftist rival Pedro Castillo and even considering a military coup to block his rise to power, a local journalist has declared.

“What is happening in Peru is that we have this election strategy of fear made by the right-wing forces, the private media, and also by the economic powers supporting Fujimori… claiming that if Castillo wins the election, the country will become a dictatorship like Venezuela,” said Luis Garate in an interview with Press TV.

Warning of a potential coup attempt by Fujimori’s military-backed ultra-right elements, Garate further underlined that the threat posed by these right-wing forces “is that they are trying to impose this alternative reality, the fake news.

Continue reading

A Peasant-Teacher Just Won The Peruvian Elections

On the ground in Lima, the cloud of political uncertainty remains so thick it can be difficult to grasp the basic facts about this election and its historic importance for the people of Peru.

The election of peasant-teacher Pedro Castillo from the Perú Libre (Free Peru) party as the new Peruvian president on 6 June was a victory for the country’s popular forces – an outcome almost impossible to imagine even just a few months ago. Castillo’s win has seen Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former Peruvian neoliberal dictator Alberto Fujimori, lose the presidential race for the third time in ten years – and to a coalition of rural peasants, the urban working classes, Indigenous communities from the Andes to the Amazon, and leftists of all stripes.

Continue reading

Meet The Communists Who Now Govern Chile

Javiera Reyes, who is 31 years old, is the new mayor of the Santiago municipality of Lo Espejo in Chile. “I grew up in a home where [former President of Chile] Salvador Allende was always the good guy,” she told us, “and [military dictator] Augusto Pinochet was a tyrant. That marked my life.” Reyes’ comment reflects the old divides that have convulsed Chile’s politics since General Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état against former President Salvador Allende of the Popular Unity coalition on September 11, 1973.

Almost 50 years have gone by and yet Chile is still influenced by the legacy of that coup and of the Pinochet dictatorship, which lasted from 1973 to 1990. The May 2021 election that propelled Reyes to the mayor’s office in Lo Espejo also voted in a new Constitutional Convention to rewrite the Pinochet-era Constitution of 1980.

Continue reading

What Thomas Piketty’s New Data Tells Us About The Canadian Left

French economist Thomas Piketty uses enormous quantities of data to make his points. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, he used tax records going back to the 18th century to prove real wealth is concentrated in a very few families, who will keep getting richer unless war or revolution intervenes.

More recently, in Capital and Ideology, he used French, British and American post-electoral surveys to argue that since the Second World War the expansion of education to include most of the middle class and much of the working class has resulted in the creation of the “brahmin left” — a new professional/administrative class that votes left against the wealthy “merchant right,” but is far from the working-class values of its roots.

Continue reading

Will Keiko Fujimori Burn The Country Down Before Accepting Defeat?

Lima, Peru – Keiko Fujimori, the political heiress to the jailed Peruvian former dictator Alberto Fujimori, appears to have lost her third election in a row. This time, she has been defeated by Pedro Castillo, a leftist teacher from the rural Andes who narrowly leads in a deliberately delayed poll. Facing a possible 30 years sentence for an array of corruption-related charges, Keiko is now challenging hundreds of thousands of ballots already deemed to be valid.

In a move that resembles former US President Donald Trump’s recent defeat and subsequent rejection of election results, Fujimori is going for a hat-trick: she has called “fraud” on the two last elections after losing, both times without success.

Continue reading

US Coup Machine Unleashes New Sanctions On The Nicaraguan People

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced new unilateral coercive measures, or ‘sanctions’, against members of the elected government of Nicaragua.

News of the new sanctions was accompanied by simultaneous statements by officials of the State Department aimed at the Nicaraguan government. Accordingly, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro tweeted a letter in which he urged the President of OAS Permanent Council to convene an urgent meeting on Nicaragua.

The latest planned interference comes as the U.S. escalates its campaign against the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government with five months remaining before the 2021 presidential election.

Continue reading

Peru: Castillo Ahead By 100,000 Votes

Peru Libre candidate Pedro Castillo has rejected accusations of fraud in the Peruvian elections and has encouraged his supporters to defend the vote in a “historic vigil”. Monday night’s vigil showed the streets of downtown Lima full of supporters of Prof. Castillo, who waving flags and chanting “the people united will never be defeated” showed exemplary discipline and commitment to the new Peru that is coming.

On the other hand, the narco-corrupt candidate Keiko Fujimori, in her desperation for a defeat that is becoming inevitable as the hours go by, denounced on Monday night something that even the most fanatic of her supporters do not believe; a “systematic fraud”, for which she did not provide any consistent evidence.

Continue reading

The US Stake In Nicaragua And Honduras’s 2021 Elections

The issues that concern the US in Central America are rooted in more than a century of intervention in its politics. The forms of intervention have changed, of course, but always based on the fundamental aim of pursuing US corporate interests. For decades this meant supporting dictators like Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza or Guatemala’s Efraín Ríos Montt, but later it was more convenient to “promote democracy” until, two decades ago, democratic elections in Latin America produced the “wrong” results. This brought a further shift in US intervention, towards what William Robinson (who worked in Nicaragua in the 1980s) called promoting polyarchy, a limited form of democracy with “elite rule by transnational capitalists and agents or allies, in which the participation of the masses is limited to choosing among competing elites in tightly controlled elections” (a system which has applied in Honduras for several decades).

Continue reading

Fujimori Also Cried Fraud In 2016

Peru’s far-right presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori is making allegations of electoral fraud, as leftist candidate Pedro Castillo has maintained the lead in the official count. This is not the first time she’s made unsubstantiated claims, however there is far more at stake for Keiko in this election.

Today’s sequence of events have been remarkably similar to the presidential election in 2016, in which Keiko Fujimori also failed in the second round run-off, at that time against liberal candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Like in this election, exit polls showed Fujimori ahead by a tiny margin within a statistical margin of error. Once the votes were counted, that small lead was reversed to deliver a narrow victory to her opponent.

Continue reading

MORENA Party Leads Legislative Elections In Mexico

Mexico’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party is emerging as the winner of the legislative elections carried out on Sunday

The party led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is expected to obtain between 190 and 203 seats in the Lower Chamber.

The National Electoral Institute (INE) Counselor Lorenzo Cordova revealed that the preliminary voting range of MORENA goes from 34.9 to 35.8 percent, which would ensure between 190 and 203 legislators.

After clarifying that the results offered are preliminary, Cordova noted that Morena leads the largest elections in the country’s history, in which 15 out of 32 governors, 30 local congresses, and over 1,900 city councils were renewed

Continue reading

On Nonduality, Politics, And Freedom

A lucid perception of reality reveals that our entire experience of what we call the world is inseparable from the awareness in which it appears, and that this awareness is boundless, timeless, and head-over-heels in love with all that is. There is no possible experience of the universe which is not painted upon the canvass of infinite loving awareness, with paint that is made of that same awareness, by a painter who is that same awareness.

Separation is an illusion. There are no true separate and isolated objects. We behold an ineffable unfolding of processes in the appearance of time using sense organs and brains which perceive and understand only a very tiny slice of what’s going on around us, and then our woefully inadequate primate minds pin labels on different aspects of this experience.

Continue reading

Third Parties In The US Are More Important Than You Think

Donald Trump put the kibosh on the idea of a new right-wing party at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Trump’s followers will remain in the Republican Party, where they’ve established themselves as the biggest and most influential faction. Even so, the mere fact that the possibility of a new “MAGA” or “Patriot Party” was discussed reflects the ongoing desire for more clearly defined political parties in the United States.

Americans across a range of political persuasions yearn for three or more parties. Recent polls showed 63 percent of Republicans think a third party is necessary, which is up 10 percent since 2018, and 68 percent want Trump to lead it. A poll of Republicans taken in mid-February registered a double-digit majority — 46 to 27 percent — ready to abandon the GOP and join a Trump party.

Continue reading

A Critique Of The Rank-And-File Strategy

Kim Moody first gave a systematic statement of the “rank-file strategy” in a working paper for the socialist organization Solidarity in 2000. Since then he has kept on refining it, such as in 2017’s On New Terrain and in more recent essays. The DSA adopted a version of it as its official position on labor organizing, and Jacobin constantly discusses it. Labor Notes, influential among union militants, is built around some of its basic ideas. And it has been a regular point of debate for leftists. Most recently, Kate Doyle Griffiths wrote an important set of articles in Spectre about its strengths and limitations.

Moody formulated the strategy during a time of defeat and decline for the struggles of the working class and the oppressed.

Continue reading