Dan La Botz's blog
|Dan La Botz September 18, 2016|
Mexico’s dissident teachers have been engaged in a strike against the Education Reform Law since May 16 of this year--four months! Their strikes of tens of thousands, led by the National Coordinating Committee (la CNTE), a caucus within the Mexican Teachers Union (el SNTE), have also engaged in protest marches, the blocking of highways and railroads, the commandeering of government vehicles, and the occupation of government buildings.
The government has responded by docking teachers’ pay, firing them, sending the police to beat them, and issuing warrants and arresting teacher leaders. One can only call what has gone on in Chiapas and Oaxaca and to a lesser extent in Guerrero and Michoacán class war.
Now there also appear to be death squads carrying out executions of teachers and their allies. So far at least three assassinations have taken place: a teacher, a parent, and a lawyer for the union. This is an ominous and very dangerous escalation of political violence.
|Dan La Botz August 22, 2016|
[Stockholm - August 21] The Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded posthumously to Karl Marx (1818-1883) for his book Das Kapital, a decision that has shocked and “dismayed” the economic establishment.
Lars Enquist, spokesperson for the committee, said that awarding Marx represented “an attempt to rectify shameful past errors on the part of the bank’s award committee.” He then read a remarkable statement to the media and the public explaining this year’s award:
On Indigenous Day, David Brooks Admires Native Americans’ Sense of Community—But Fails to Ask What Made It So
|Dan La Botz August 9, 2016|
For a minute this morning, I asked myself if conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks might be about to follow Chris Hedges into the far left. Or perhaps wander off into the woods to find a commune.
Brooks has written an interesting column in which he suggests that maybe Americans, especially millennials, want more than material comforts in our highly individualistic society, that they want community.
|Dan La Botz August 3, 2016|
The last few years of repeated strikes and demonstrations by the teachers of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán, and the government’s violent repression of these protests--including forced diseappearance of students, massacres of supporters, and assassinations of individual teachers--has led to interest in the background of the teachers’ movement. The following article is meant to provide a long historical overview of the Mexican teachers’ movement, together with a bibliography for further reading.
|Dan La Botz July 28, 2016|
For three days the wounded and defeated soldiers of Bernie Sanders’ army, tired and disappointed but still idealistic and hopeful, marched and picketed around the convention center in Philadelphia, while inside many of Sanders’ delegates booed Hillary Clinton’s name every time it was mentioned.
|Dan La Botz June 28, 2016|
The Mexican Federal Police and Oaxaca State Police killed nine people and wounded more than one hundred others, while dozens more were beaten and yet others were arrested and jailed in what has been the most violent and bloody attack on teachers and their supporters in Oaxaca since the tremendous upheaval of 2006. Several teachers leaders have also been arrested and jailed on a variety of charges; warrants have also been issued for others.
|Dan La Botz June 24, 2016|
There are 500 delegates from more than 100 political organizations in the Americas here at the São Paolo Forum being held this year in San Salvador. Yesterday at the opening session I found myself seated next to Julio Molina, a delegate from the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) of the host country, El Salvdor. We introduced ourselves and when the session ended went out to talk about our mutual interest in history.
|Dan La Botz June 23, 2016|
There were demonstrations yesterday at Mexican Consuls in several American cities protesting the Mexican government’s violent repression of teacher protests in Oaxaca. Many of the protests also criticized the U.S. government for supply the Mexican government with military equipment being used in military and police actions against the teachers.
There were protests in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles among other cities. The one pictured here, which grew to a couple of hundred people, took place in Manhattan at the Mexican Consul.
|Dan La Botz June 21, 2016|
The mood among the 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters meeting in Chicago McCormick Place was improbably optimistic this past weekend, with many of the speakers proclaiming to cheering crowds that the movement has been victorious—even though Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party has received a majority of the popular votes and a majority of elected delegates and super-delegates, as well as the endorsements of President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
That disjuncture—between the Sanders’ movement’s belief that we have achieved something quite important and Clinton’s clear victory in the primary—provides the contradictory context for this conference of progressives, radicals, and socialists searching for the way to the future, I among them.
|Dan La Botz June 15, 2016|
Elliott Liu. Maoism and the Chinese Revolution: A Critical Introduction. Oakland: PM Press, 2016. 148 pages. Bibliography. Notes. Photos. Tables.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Maoism became the dominant political tendency not only in China but also in Western Europe and the United States, while it also influenced developments in Asia, Latin America and Africa. In the United States thousands of young activists rallied to Maoism, a political theory and practice that appeared at the time to be a democratic alternative to the bureaucratic Communism of the Soviet Union.
|Dan La Botz June 15, 2016|
For a year now presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been the hope of millions in the United States, people who were disgusted with the role of the banks and corporations in politics, angered by the increasing inequality in society, appalled by our country’s racial injustice, and opposed to a foreign policy based on military intervention. Throughout the nation millions rallied to Sanders’ slogans calling or a fight against the “billionaire class” and for a political revolution. Taking up the demands and embracing the spirit of Occupy Wall Street first and then of Black Lives Matter, the Sanders campaign has been an unprecedented radical, populist movement, rejecting Wall Street and Washington and suggesting a more democratic, egalitarian, and peaceful future.
|Dan La Botz June 5, 2016|
After Muhammad Ali refused induction--we had the champ in our corner.
When in June of 1963 I graduated from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, just south of San Diego, California, I went to my local Selective Service Board—the draft board—and registered as a conscientious objector. My paternal grandfather, a Dutch immigrant and baker, was a socialist pacifist and his four sons had registered as conscientious objectors (C.O.s) in World War II and two of them—my father Herb and my uncle Bert—had been drafted and had done what was called alternative service (the alternative to serving in the military) at a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Big Flats, near Elmira, New York.
|Dan La Botz June 3, 2016|
Douglas Schoen, a former advistor to Bill Clinton, predicts in a column in the Wall Street Journal that Hillary Clinton may not be her party’s nominee. He suggests that if Sanders wins California, which he may well do, Clinton, with her legal problems and negative ratings in the polls, may be dumped and the convention could choose Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Schoen says in a Fox News interview that Biden is “chomping at the bit.”
This scenario may be unikely, in a year when politics has brought us many unlikely developents, but it's worth thinking through. Certainly Sanders' supporters should think about how they would react to such a development.
|Dan La Botz May 31, 2016|
The National Coordinating Committee (la CNTE) and allied dissident groups in the Mexican Teachers Union (el SNTE) declared a general, indefinite strike on May 16. Tens of thousands of teachers left their classrooms, shutting down many schools in four states: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. There have also been protests in the State of Morelos and the State of Mexico.
|Dan La Botz May 15, 2016|
Luiz Bernardo Pericás, Caio Prado Júnior uma biografia política. Sao Paulo, 2016. 484 pp. Photos. Illustrations. Acronyms. Chonology. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Available only in Portuguese at this time.
Pericás’ Caio Prado is a well researched, well documented biography of Caio Prado, the renowned and important Brazilian historian. This biography is distinguished by the author’s concern to present Prado not only as a Marxist intellectual but also as a member of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and a committed political activist--and to show the relationship between the two. The author argues that Prado’s politics were integral to his work as a historian.