United States of America

I Predict a Riot

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Tensions are mounting as the housing bubble nears its limits.

Last February the sirens howled in Hollywood as the LAPD rushed reinforcements to the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue. While a police captain barked orders through a bullhorn, an angry crowd of 3,000 people shouted back expletives. A passer-by might have mistaken the confrontation for a major movie shoot, or perhaps the beginning of the next great LA riot.

Bet your Bottom Dollar

Issue section: 
Author: 

Bush's faces more problems in his second term than many realise, argues Chris Harman.

The re-election of George Bush at the end of last year has left many people, particularly on the US left, shellshocked. As they see it, an administration dominated by the neocons and bolstered up by the votes of the religious right can now get away with anything it wants for the next four years.

This ignores three things. First, the intractability of the position US imperialism faces in Iraq. It is bogged down in a ground war it did not expect and does not have sufficient troops easily to deal with, and which is paralysing its capacity to act elsewhere.

Happy Birthday Big Bill

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Mike Davis commemorates the centenary of a high point in American socialist history.

A hundred years ago the Industrial Workers of the World was formed and US bosses trembled.

Brand Hall, Chicago, 27 June 1905. Big Bill Haywood pounded his gavel and brought the founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to order: 'This is the Continental Congress of the working class. We are here to confederate the workers of this country into a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism.'

Five Hundred Years of Fighting the Beast

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Voices of a People's History of the United States', Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, Seven Stories £10.99

The campaigner and ex-slave Fredrick Douglass once said, 'If there is no struggle there is no progress. The struggle may be a moral one or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand.' And in a way that statement sums up Howard Zinn's and Anthony Arnove's wonderful new book, Voices of a People's History of the United States. Using speeches, poetry, lyrics, essays and testimonies this book charts often ignored struggles for equality and justice.

Scrutinising Democracy

Issue section: 
Author: 

US election shenanigans can't hide from the internet.

Months before the US presidential race started, the internet was a hive of activity and discussion about it. Indeed, the election was always going to be one where electronic media played a huge role. Back in January this year Democratic contender Howard Dean was described by the Guardian as the 'web's candidate for president'.

Losing West Virginia

Issue section: 
Author: 

Is it time (to paraphrase Brecht) to elect a new American people?

American liberals usually profess great enthusiasm for the common people. But sentimental populism took a hard blow on 2 November. The people, by a slim but decisive majority, elected fear, deception and greed to four more years in the White House. Indeed, with the exception of the Democratic redoubt on the Great Lakes, continental America, from Idaho to Alabama, has become a one-party nation under god. Not even Bruce Springsteen and 48 Nobel laureates could ultimately swing Ohio to John Kerry.

US after the Elections: Never Mind the Ballots

Issue section: 
Author: 

The re-election of Bush depressed the world, but now the anti-war left in the US is regrouping.

So much for the commentators who thought George Bush was going to mellow in his second term. His new attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, is the man who called the Geneva Convention 'quaint' and doubted whether torture restrictions applied to 'enemy combatants'. He has also made Condoleezza Rice secretary of state. Bush was sending out a signal - in his view he has political capital to spend.

Poor, Black and Left Behind

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Hurricane Ivan highlights US rulers' contempt for the black and poor - a contempt echoed by John Kerry's campaign

The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Ivan saw affluent white people flee the Big Easy in their SUVs, while the old and car-less - mainly black - were left behind in their below sea level shotgun shacks and ageing tenements to face the watery wrath.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - United States of America