Author: John McClure

I Can’t Believe What I Just Watched on TV

I can’t believe what I just watched on tv.  This evening’s briefing by the President was horrifying. Trump is being pushed on how the Federal government will address the grotesque situation in which state and city governments are compelled to bid against each other in the “free market” for PPEs, thus driving the price of gloves, masks, gowns etc. higher and higher. We’re getting production ramped up, he said, but we won’t intervene in the market. It’s up to the governors to have purchased these things in preparation or to purchase them now. ” We’re not an ordering clerk. We’re a back up and we’ve done an unbelievable job.” Forty years of neoliberal Republicans give the President a standing ovation; the ghost of Roosevelt bows his head in shame; outside, in the streets, the protests are already beginning. Or is only the sound of chickens coming home to roost? After all, the logic has been with us since the Reagan Revolution of the 80s. We can’t nationalize production and distribution in a time of crisis. That’s socialism. We can’t even set a fair price for the goods on an emergency basis and leave the governors to deal with the producers. That’s socialism too. NO, we’ll intervene to get production up and then allow the producers (“our base,” to quote Bush) to get the best price they can in a...

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Keeping Ourselves Honest, Treating Friends Well: An Open Letter to “The Hill”’s Krystal and Sagaar

Dear Krystal and Sagaar, I’m a dedicated follower of your show “The Rising,” (a ground-breaking daily news and opinion series produced by the political newspaper The Hill). I respect the focus on class issues, the sharply skeptical treatment of the media and the political establishment, the often brilliant defense of your favorite Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders. And I’m drawn to the passionate, deeply exasperated, and optimistic tone you adopt in your commentary. My thanks to Jacobin’s Connor Kilpatrick for pointing me to your program back in December: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/12/krystal-ball-rising-the-hill-msnbc. I was really disappointed, though, by your Valentine’s Day coverage of...

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NO DANCING IN THE STREETS: Spain’s Left Finds a Fragile Solidarity in the Shadow of Resurgent Francoism

NO DANCING IN THE STREETS: Spain’s Left Finds a Fragile Solidarity in the Shadow of Resurgent Francoism John McClure November 14, 2019 The last episode of Spain’s exhausting national election saga, which I recounted in a previous posting, began last April and ended in September with the appalling failure of the Socialists (PSOE) and the new left Podemos to form a government. The two parties had done well enough in April’s national elections to form a ruling coalition, but after months of negotiations they could not reach an agreement on power sharing. So new elections were called for November,...

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Something Darker than Farce: the Spanish Left Again Turns Victory to Defeat

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” Karl Marx, the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Late in July, a full three months after the April 28th national elections, the effort to forge a broad government of the left once again failed decisively in Spain. As in 2016, so in 2019, the stage was set for cooperation and victory, but the two progressive parties in a position to form a government could not close the deal. Their failure,...

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