January 20, 2012
The Great Recession and the Failure of Capitalism, Paul Mattick,Professor of Philosophy, Adelphi University, New York, Part of the 2011 Ethics Awareness Week from the Center For the Study of Ethics.
December 7, 2011
29. Nov 2011 – Translation of the editorial of Kosmoprolet #3 by Friends of the Classless Society (Berlin)
All over the world, events are keeping up with the pace of a crisis, the end of which was just recently cheerfully proclaimed by people who thought ludicrous amounts of sovereign debt to be the recipe for an economic miracle. By racking up debt to their ears, governments worldwide were able to contain the so-called financial crisis; but then, the rating agencies presented them a bill that they promptly passed on to wage workers. The whole maneuver did not lead to recovery but to an even more menacing state budget crisis, the handling of which through uncompromising austerity measures has aroused anger. Resistance is mounting. We are at the threshold of a social crisis. Those who feel the effects of the governments’ austerity programs in their everyday life are starting to realize ever more clearly that these are not temporarily painful, yet necessary sacrifices. They are becoming aware of the fact that the drastic cuts will not only last for years or even decades, but that their own future is becoming ever bleaker. We are probably at the start of a new era: Ever since society was brought back down to the earth of cold hard economic facts, the culturalist carnival of differences has come to an end. Society’s colorful superstructure has scaled off to reveal, in Orthodox Marxist terms, the drab, universal base. And the crisis has achieved what activists striving to link struggles have been incapable of for decades: millions have taken to the streets simultaneously with the same purpose. All they’re left with is an ever more precarious survival under the reigning conditions. For them, it’s all or nothing.
April 28, 2010
From The New York Times:
It was a silent call to arms: an easy-to-overlook message urging New Jersey students to take a stand against the budget cuts that threaten class sizes and choices as well as after-school activities. But some 18,000 students accepted the invitation posted last month on Facebook, the social media site better known for publicizing parties and sporting events. And on Tuesday many of them — and many others — walked out of class in one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years.
Michelle Ryan Lauto, 18, a college freshman, joined students who walked out of High Tech High School in Bergen County. It was Ms. Lauto’s Facebook message urging students to take a stand against budget cuts that led to the protests around the state. “All I did was make a Facebook page,” she said. “Anyone who has an opinion could do that and have their opinion heard.”
The largest turnout was in Newark, where thousands of students from various high schools converged on City Hall.
The protest disrupted classroom routines and standardized testing in some of the state’s biggest and best-known school districts, offering a real-life civics lesson that unfolded on lawns, sidewalks, parking lots and football fields.
The mass walkouts were inspired by Michelle Ryan Lauto, an 18-year-old aspiring actress and a college freshman, and came a week after voters rejected 58 percent of school district budgets put to a vote across the state (not all districts have a direct budget vote). Read the rest of this entry »
March 4, 2010
NY1 – Four people were arrested Wednesday night after an argument broke out at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority hearing in Brooklyn.
It happened inside the Cantor Auditorium of the Brooklyn Museum.
Police say a speaker was led away and later handcuffed after she went up to the podium to try and speak out of turn. She was asked to stop and when she didn’t, witnesses say she was taken outside.
“I have no connection to her, but I just felt an adult or someone should be involved because she looked like she was probably under 18,” said one witness. “And then he really started rough-handling her and really kind of backed her out. So then I followed her and I followed him and I kept saying ‘Why are you doing it? What’s going on? Why isn’t any adult involved?’ And then he took her around and locked the door behind her.”
Others in the audience got involved, too. Some were led out into the hallway and handcuffed. One was cuffed inside the auditorium.
In all, four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.