Deepening The Higher Education Divide

American mythology promises upward mobility, and college can provide an important first step up the class ladder. With the rise of the “knowledge economy” and the decline of industrial jobs and unions, some insisted that education is the answer to economic displacement. If you can’t earn a stable, living wage as a steelworker, go to college and become a nurse or a computer programmer. And if you didn’t make that choice, it’s your own fault that you’re struggling. After all, college was affordable, accessible, and varied. You could commute to campus, take evening classes, cover tuition with loans and grants, and work part-time or even full-time while you completed the degree that would transform your life.

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When Revolutionary Moments Arise Again — What Will We Do?

The world is in a prolonged period of global unrest. Since the financial crisis of 2008, every region of the planet has experienced levels of mass protest unprecedented in recent history, from the Arab Spring in the Middle East and Black Lives Matter in the U.S., to the farmers’ protests in India and the recent upheaval in Kazakhstan.

Yet decades of social movement struggle haven’t produced a break from capitalist domination, and in most places they have failed to even accomplish the more modest aims of reform. Meanwhile, the global climate crisis has added another layer of urgency to the task of social transformation.

What can past struggles teach us about the possibility of achieving a liberated world?

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Covid Fueled By Neoliberal Austerity

On December 31, 2019 Chinese media told the world about a newly discovered disease cluster in the city of Wuhan. What was thought to be a viral pneumonia came to be known as SARS-CoV-2, Covid-19. Two weeks later Chinese scientists sequenced its genome and gave the world the ability to test and trace the disease. Covid continued to spread and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

China didn’t wait for a WHO declaration in order to take action. The government immediately adopted a zero covid strategy. They dispatched health care workers to Wuhan and built new hospitals to care for the sick. The sick were isolated and the healthy were supported in a variety of ways.

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The WTO Threatens The Farmers’ Victory — Unless We Resist

The ministerial level meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place from November 30 to December 3. Generally, during such meetings, imperialist countries pressure developing countries to abolish their agricultural subsidies according to the policies of “free trade.” The new agricultural laws [the BJP’s neoliberalizing reforms against which the farmers’ movement struggled] were a result of the dictates of such meetings.

Even now, the [farmers’ movement’s] demands pertaining to the legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), the state purchase of crops, and the legal guarantee of the Public Distribution System (PDS) stand in direct contradiction to the dictates of the WTO. Indian rulers have already committed there, in writing, not to guarantee MSP, and the coming meeting is destined to bring more of the same.

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A For-Profit Company Is Trying To Privatize Public Libraries

“Even if we don’t see a written-out master plan, the banning of books, the attacks on teaching real US history, the efforts to push out professors with views that transgress official US policy: In their myriad forms, these actions tell us that it’s important to powerful people to restrict what ideas people can access. It’s the land of the free and the home of the brave—except if you want to know what’s happened, and happens, here, or to tell people about it.

It all shows us the power of ideas. As infuriating and sad and enervating as it all is, it reminds us that knowledge is power.”

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Trump Thinks He’s Still President – What Is the Evidence?

Donald Trump thinks he’s still president according to no more reliable a source than Rachel Maddow on her February 5th show. This was confirmed in May by Vanity Fair.  Right-wing conspiracy theorists echo this analysis as recently as this month. Left-liberals are smugly confident that Kamala Harris’s running mate is in the White House, snoozing in the presidential bedroom. Inquiring minds ask what is the evidence nearly a year into the alleged Biden presidency that there has been a change of guard in Washington?

+The Obama-Biden union card check proposal was not on Mr. Trump’s political horizon, nor is it on that of the current occupant in the White House.

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Why Thousands Of Serbians Have Been Rallying Against Rio Tinto

For two weekends in a row, thousands of demonstrators across Serbia have blocked major roads and brought the country to a standstill, concerned their land, water and air risk being exploited.

They’re angry over what they’re calling a looming ecological disaster, and accusing the government of attempting to pass laws that would allow foreign investors to seize land, and disregard environmental regulations.

The most famous name among those investors is Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto, which plans to build Europe’s largest lithium mine in the Jadar Valley near the western city of Loznica.

The Serbian government decided on Wednesday to suspend two laws that would help Rio Tinto launch the mine, but tensions between it and protesters remain.

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We Need A Peoples’ Movement And Not The World Economic Forum

Detroit, which remains a major industrial center in the sectors of automotive and other sources of production and services, is a focal point for the economic and social transformations of urban areas in the United States and internationally.

Since the 19th century, the city has been a location for various forms of manufacturing, mining and shipping.

Initially there was the strategic location linked to the Great Lakes and rivers which flow into them. The mining of copper during the mid-to-late 19th century which fueled migration eventually gave way to steam engine manufacturing for shipping and the timber trade.

By the early decades of the 20th century, the first assembly line within auto production was established by Henry Ford. The production of millions of automobiles within a matter of years, created the demand for jobs and the consequent suppression and division of labor.

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Hondurans Break The US-Imposed Narco Siege Of Their Government

Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, visited Honduras the week before the presidential elections. His stated purpose was to “encourage the peaceful, transparent conduct of free and fair national elections.” He did not meet with the de facto President, Juan Orlando Hernández.

The gesture was clear and illuminating on two levels.

First, it showed that the U.S. government had already accepted the irrefutable truth that the center-left coalition led by Xiomara Castro would earn the votes of the Honduran people (as we go to publication, she was in the lead with 53.6%). Honduras’ 5.1 million voters would also elect three vice-presidents, 298 mayors, 128 deputies to the national legislature, and 20 to the Central American Parliament.

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Castro’s Victory Spells End Of US-Backed ‘Narco-Politics, Neoliberalism’

Castro’s victory is just the latest in a year of leftist victories in Latin America, including Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Pedro Castillo in Peru, and Luis Arce in Bolivia, all of which represent significant setbacks for the US’ agenda in the region.

“There will be no more abuse of power in this country,” Castro said in an unofficial victory speech on Sunday. “Today, the people have made justice. We have reversed authoritarianism.”

With 40% of votes counted, she held a commanding lead of 53.3% over her chief rival, National Party candidate Nasry Asfura, who Sputnik News journalist Wyatt Reed described as the “handpicked successor to Juan Orlando Hernandez,” the right-wing president whose two election victories were widely marred by fraud.

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This Victory Gives Confidence For Future Struggles

On 19 November 2021, a week before the first anniversary of the farmers’ revolt, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surrendered. He accepted that the three laws on agricultural markets that had been pushed through the parliament in 2020 would be repealed. The farmers of India had won. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the organisers of the protest movement, celebrated the triumph and declared that ‘this victory gives more confidence for future struggles’.

Many pressing struggles remain, including the fight for a law to guarantee a minimum support price that is one and a half times the cost of production for all crops of all farmers. The failure to address this, the AIKS notes, ‘aggravated the agrarian crisis and led to the suicide of over [400,000] farmers in the last 25 years’.

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Public-Private Partnerships Are Hollowing Out Our Libraries

“This library is full of losers,” an HR person said to me as I signed my letter of resignation from my public library job. “A bunch of losers who just take, take, take. Good for you for moving up in the world.” I was truly shocked by her disdain for my coworkers.

The HR person approved of my resignation because I was leaving an assistant position to take a professional one at another library, joining the ranks of other degreed librarians after graduating from library school. But her comment dripped with scorn toward all the people who simply showed up to work each day, collecting their modest paychecks and serving the public. Indeed, her comment reflected a more widespread attitude that I’ve found among administrators (members of the professional managerial class) within the public sector: Many are capitalist groupies who see unionized employees working for the government as leeches.

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Can A Singing, Dancing Rebellion Save The World?

COP Twenty-six! That is how many times the UN has assembled world leaders to try to tackle the climate crisis. But the United States is producing more oil and natural gas than ever; the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere and global temperatures are both still rising; and we are already experiencing the extreme weather and climate chaos that scientists have warned us about for forty years, and which will only get worse and worse without serious climate action.

And yet, the planet has so far only warmed 1.2° Celsius (2.2° F) since pre-industrial times. We already have the technology we need to convert our energy systems to clean, renewable energy, and doing so would create millions of good jobs for people all over the world. So, in practical terms, the steps we must take are clear, achievable and urgent.

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Ecuador’s Government Announces State Emergency To Impose Austerity

On October 18, 2021, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for 60 days. This declaration led to the constitutional rights of Ecuadorian nationals being suspended and heavily armed troops flooding the streets in Ecuador. The immediate reason for the declaration was the murder of an 11-year-old boy named Sebastián Obando, who was killed in a crossfire between “an armed robber and a police officer” on October 17 at a cafeteria and ice cream parlor in the Centenario neighborhood in Guayaquil.

The boy, who was shot three times, was shot in the heart, right arm and his back, said his father Tomás Obando. Lasso’s declaration of emergency built on the public outcry relating to this murder.

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