Vol 7 No 2Summer 2023
Lula’s return to the Brazilian presidency opens up the possibility of deepening democracy and expanding the scope of egalitarian advance. I argue that he can in fact pursue expansionary fiscal and redistributive policies that would improve the conditions of his political base.
Even though it is scarcely remembered today, Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph laid out a path forward for the civil rights movement — the Jobs and Freedom Strategy — that bears striking relevance to the present.
American federalism is often touted as a source of local democratic engagement, political innovation, and responsive public policy. But in practice, the American states have served not as “laboratories of democracy” but as laboratories of autocracy and inequality that effectively stymie social reform, fragment social protection, and undermine social citizenship.
Review of Not So Black and White: A History of Race From White Supremacy to Identity Politics by Kenan Malik (Hurst, 2023)
Can wars foster democracy? Many scholars have argued that repression radicalizes labor. But while Britain’s reformist labor movement saw further incremental democratization, its more revolutionary Italian counterpart saw democracy crushed. In a recent book, Elizabeth Kier argues that radicalism ignited a backlash leading to Fascism, but the result had more to do with the persistent power of an elite minority.
Austerity policies have their roots in efforts by economic elites to crush working-class power after WWI and redistribute income upward. To reverse austerity, democratic control over economic policymaking is essential.
British literary responses to the Paris Commune of 1871 expressed shock and fear about the collapse of the bourgeois social order. But they also registered sympathy with the Communards and their revolutionary aspirations.
Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprising shows how the Arab revolts empowered democratic citizenship. But a focus on vibrant cultural creativity is no substitute for concrete analysis of political agency and economic structure.
Settler colonialism is often described as a singular, transnational mode of domination. But it’s impossible to understand colonialism without political economy and material interests.
What kind of revolutionary filmmaker was Jean-Luc Godard? This is not an easy question to answer in periods when the divide between art and politics is hard to bridge in practice.
In No Politics but Class Politics, Walter Benn Michaels and Adolph Reed show how an identity politics that obscures class politics and ignores economic inequality only makes the many miseries around us worse.