In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, much of the political debate in this US is about, strangely enough, contraception. Nancy Cohen situates the present within the history of what she calls the sexual counterrevolution -- the backlash against the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s. She suggests that the forces of reaction are trying to achieve what they can before being entirely marginalized by shifting demographics and changed social attitudes.
Those strange people's culture is to blame, we're told, when wife-battering or other interpersonal violence occurs in the households of immigrants from certain parts of the world. But does culture determine violent or misogynist behavior? And are non-Western cultures in fact regressive, as they're so often represented to be? Leti Volpp talks about double standards and the perilous politics of culture.
Victor Serge lived a remarkable life in the cause of revolution. Translator and biographer Richard Greeman reflects upon the journalist, novelist, and poet's anarchist youth in France with the Bonnot Gang, his involvement in the Bolshevik Revolution, his imprisonment in Stalin's gulag, and his enduring dissident or libertarian Marxism during some of the darkest days of the 20th century. He discusses Serge's belief in the double duty of the revolutionary: to protect the revolution from threats from without, and to defend it from authoritarianism within.
He calls the ongoing economic crisis we're in the Second Great Depression. He says the Right is wrong about US corporate taxation. David Ruccio also contends that even mainstream economic logic militates against austerity. Ruccio comments on these and other issues, including the size of the US debt and the nature of the Greek crisis.
It seems logical: if you don't have enough education your economic prospects will be diminished, while those who have a lot are able to succeed in our purportedly knowledge-based economy. But what if that's only partially accurate? John Marsh posits that economic inequality and poverty are not causally connected to differing levels of education. He argues that we need to reject the appealing notion of education as a cure-all and look deeper at class power and structural inequality.
Last month at Left Forum, Amiri Baraka, Bill Fletcher, Jr., and Haki Madhubuti debated the merits of the late Manning Marable's controversial biography of Malcolm X. And three plays written by Tom Stoppard consider a host of nineteenth-century Russian radicals. Patrick Dooley's Shotgun Players is staging the trilogy's first installment.