United States

Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, and Madison, but also from Portland, Dallas, NY, NJ, Boston, Italy/North Carolina, met in Minneapolis on the weekend of June 29 and 30 for the first-ever Midwest Regional School. The presence of so many comrades from other regions, including a comrade from the Italian section of the IMT, Falce Martello, was a huge boost and made the weekend that much more electric.

“Billions racked up in public debt to plug budget holes, pay overdue bills, and put money into its mismanaged pension funds... this has resulted in decrepit commuter trains and buses, thousands of unsound bridges, 200 hazardous dams and one of the most inequitable public school systems... Retirees may lose their pensions as the funds dwindle, low-income and disabled people may lose their health care as costs escalate...”

State-funded schooling is seen as a pillar of so-called Western Democracy, educating all children regardless of race or income to create a smarter and stronger society. However, under capitalism, genuine equality in education is impossible, so long as a small minority can accumulate private property while others have to work just to survive. The Founding Fathers envisioned a system of common schooling where all students would learn the same core of reading and writing, as well as how to be good citizens. But the logic of private capital accumulation will never allow this.

The recent attacks in Colorado, Connecticut, Boston, and across the country have shocked everyone. As has been previously explained in the pages of Socialist Appeal, these repeated incidents of violence signify the decay of American capitalism. The decline of capitalism offers no future for today’s youth, only distractions, desperation, and escapism. High unemployment, debt, lack of health care facilities, alienation, and a widespread feeling of insecurity is enough to push some over the edge. Only by changing society to one which will give everyone hope of a better future, only by engaging people in a way that they will want to live their lives rather than escape from them, can we put


Ever since the birth of the United States of America, the slogan of the the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, has been an integral part of the foundation of capitalism.

Christopher Jordan Dorner (June 4, 1979 – February 12, 2013) was a former LAPD police officer who was charged in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers and their families from February 3–12, 2013. Dorner was the subject of one of the largest manhunts in LAPD history, spanning two U.S. states and Mexico. In this article Jose Manuel analyses these events and the conditions that led to them.

In no bourgeois democratic country in the world do men and women have equal rights. In some countries they might have equality before the law, but this does not mean that they are equal when it comes to wages and social rights.

In the Spring of 2006, millions of immigrant workers flooded the streets of the United States to say “enough is enough!” The spark was an ultra-reactionary “immigration reform” bill sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. But the frustration had built up for decades, as dangerous working conditions, low wages, discrimination, and the constant fear of raids and deportations reached the breaking point. The boundless energy and determination to fight overflowed the “safe” limits of the traditional immigrant rights and non-profit charities.

Boston, April 17, 2013—Two days later, still stunned by the horrific scene of two bombs scattering the festive crowds cheering runners crossing the finish line of the 117thrunning of the Boston Marathon, residents of the Boston area are left asking, “Why?”

The week of March 4 was historic for Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its all-time record high on Tuesday, and continued to break that record throughout the week. Friday brought with it the monthly jobs report. Initial estimates are that 236,000 new jobs were added in February, somewhat higher than the 160,000 predicted by most economists. 

In President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, he announced his intention to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by 2015. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.”

The big bad wolf has finally arrived—and he has very real teeth. After weeks of political maneuvering and cynical finger-pointing, the “unthinkable” has become the “inevitable.” $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will now begin raining down on American workers, children, the elderly, and the poor. That it has come to this should come as no surprise. Despite the honest illusions many had in Obama, his real agenda was always clear.

Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad, goes the saying. It is an apt description of the warring factions of the US political establishment, especially the Republicans, who are engaged in a ferocious battle over the government budget, and to hell with the consequences.

This was the pointed question posed in a recent article on the website of Forbes, the proud and unapologetic mouthpiece of capitalism. In the words of the article’s author, Igor Greenwald: “Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western world for, give or take, 400 years. And in that virtual eye blink in the grander scheme of things it has produced more wealth than all the prior economic systems put together... But nothing—not even the bestest thing ever—lasts forever. Stuff happens. Things change. Systems work until they don’t. How close is capitalism to the end of its useful life? What comes next?”

The answer to this question once seemed like a no-brainer. During the years of the postwar boom, college was sold as a kind of normal stage of life for young Americans, and attaining a degree from a public university was a sure way toward a higher salary. It was often quite affordable as well, thanks to things like Pell Grants and a greater amount of public funding. Those days seem far away now.

The following interview, conducted in October 2012 by journalist Arash Azizi, was originally published in the Farsi-language journal Mehrnameh, the leading journal of humanities in Iran. In it, John Peterson gives a basic overview of the history of political parties and class interests in the United States, which shows that the U.S. political spectrum has not always been "the same," and that things can and do change, often dramatically.

In the course of 2012, two major industrial Midwestern states, Indiana and Michigan, have become so-called "Right to Work" states. This that means although unions must represent all the workers in unionized workplaces, workers who do not join the union can now "opt out" of paying union representation fees. It is the end of the "closed shop" in these states, a key victory of the labor movement in past struggles. The goal of big business is clearly to weaken the unions and then eliminate them all together.  

For the first time since Merriam-Webster began tracking the most looked-up words on their website back in 2003, they have settled on two words instead of one word for the top word searches in 2012: socialism and capitalism. This, just days after a new Gallup survey showed an increase positive views of the word "socialism" among both Republicans and Democrats. Both of these notable developments fall almost exactly a year after a Pew Research Center poll showed that a plurality of young adults aged 18 to 29 favor socialism over capitalism.

The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has prompted a public outcry and heartfelt mourning across the country. The gunman killed 26, including 20 young children, before turning the gun on himself. The media will surely be flooded with every minute detail of the killer’s life in the coming weeks, and the issue of gun control will once again come to the fore. But what will not be seriously discussed is the root cause of shootings like this, and why they have become so commonplace. It seems that only shootings with a high death toll get national coverage at all, as dozens of smaller incidents have just become “business as usual.”