April 2021Spectacle

Good Links from March

Here are some of the best reads we pulled out from our March GOOD READS -- a roundup that appears at the end of each weekly update.


Talkin' Green New Deal

The Biden administration’s first few actions on climate change have been promising — if limited. The politics for moving forward on climate policy are difficult — how can the administration stress the importance of systemic change without inviting a break with public opinion? In Foreign Policy in Focus, the challenges of stressing climate action from the lens of national security are investigated. Though approaching climate change from the perspective of Pentagon-centered militarism can be troubling, the prospect of building a “Blue-Green Alliance” through labor solidarity is explored in a report published by the Labor Network for Sustainability. The first objective for this alliance? As outlined in Dissent, getting the PRO Act passed.

How will mass transportation, critical to any Green New Deal program but nearly leveled by the pandemic, regain and enhance its appeal as a new, post-pandemic world emerges? A quickie from Streets Blog explains.

And two more articles to combat climate doom-ism: an interview with climatologist Michael E. Mann in The Guardian; and the newest report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research discloses how a Green New Deal would be paid for.

Economic Intrigue

With Democrats back in power, it won’t be long before the words “fiscal responsibility” begin to seep back into the political discourse. Concerns over the federal deficit are squashed in an article published in DC Report, as an article in Common Dreams asks bluntly: “are debt whiners fools or just liars?”

Although the rift between the Sanders and Warren wings of the left have yet to fully heal, her recent interview with journalist Anand Giridharadas reminds readers the rift is worth mending — Warren’s strong capacity for economic analysis and bureaucratic strategy makes her and her clique a strong ally in the battles against the capitalist order.

From Monthly Review by way of Portside, an analysis of how a race-neutral approach to discussing and measuring inequality ignores the embedded logics of oppression that maintain systemic inequalities.

And in the New York Times (sorry for the paywall), how middle-class Joe became an avatar for the poor. What’s propaganda and what’s hopeful tidings of a leftward maneuver from the Biden admin? That’s for you to decide.

Organizer's Armory

Where should organized socialists focus their attention next? Some guidance on where socialists should strike next in a Democratic Left interview with the left’s de-facto commando of the socialist left, AOC. (Got a problem? Send hate-mail over to thesocialist@mdcdsa.org.)

From Organizing Upgrade, an encyclopaedic overview of different formations that can be the vectors for organizing, from unions to alt-labor to “edge organizations … not necessarily built to last” but dedicated to campaigns that meet the moment, including direct action. The collapse of the anarchist federation Black Rose recounted in a Medium post. Good lessons for the socialist left on how festering disagreements can corrode otherwise promising formations.

The collapse of the anarchist federation Black Rose recounted in a Medium post. Good lessons for the socialist left on how festering disagreements can corrode otherwise promising formations.

A great mass resource for defunding the police published online earlier this month: how to do it, what it looks like, what institutions to focus on and where to call in reinforcements. Given the (avoidable) fatal uses of force deployed by DC’s MPD between 2018 and 2019, as explained in this excellent Washington City Paper article, we may need to make use of this resource sooner rather than later.

From Slate, how an impromptu Amazon boycott may not have been the work of some over-eager activists, but a twisted maneuver from some anti-union bastards over at Amazon. An essential reminder on the need to incorporate workers into any worker-solidarity action.

In organizing approach, an article in Democratic Left emphasizes the importance of cross-generation alliance. And, in Portside, a review of Eric Lotke’s Union Made, a novel about labor organizing and organizers, highlights why labor organization is so important — specifically, in enabling community and connection between individuals.

And a brief update on the sort of big-corporate interest organizers will be up against: voter suppression efforts in Georgia backed by corporate cash. An in-depth analysis published by Popular Info covers the often-contradictory campaigns pursued by corporate behemoths in Georgia: “[one] Sprite ad encourages voters to “VOTE EARLY” or “VOTE BY MAIL” — two options that would be significantly more difficult under the bills advancing in the Georgia legislature. Yet, since 2018, Coca-Cola has donated $34,750 to the sponsors of both pieces of legislation to restrict voting.”

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