The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital.
Eugene V. Debs (via cultureofresistance)
This is what I mean when I say there is no real Left (as a political party) in the US.
When people read a news website, they don’t usually imagine that it is being run by a major producer of fighter jets and smart bombs. But when the Pentagon has its own vision of America’s foreign policy, and the funds to promote it, it can put a $23 billion defense contractor in a unique position to report on the war on terror.
Hampstead Heath, in leafy north London, is proud of its walk-on part in the history of Marxism. It was here, on a Sunday, that Karl Marx would walk his family up Parliament Hill, reciting Shakespeare and Schiller along the way, for an afternoon of picnics and poetry. On a weekday, he would join his friend Friedrich Engels, who lived close by, for a brisk hike around the heath, where the “old Londoners”, as they were known, mulled over the Paris Commune, the Second International and the nature of capitalism.
Today, on a side road leading off from the heath, the Marxist ambition remains alive in the house of Eric Hobsbawm. Born in 1917 (in Alexandria, under the British protectorate of Egypt), more than 20 years after both Marx and Engels had died, he knew neither man personally, of course. But talking to Eric in his airy front room, filled with family photos, academic honours and a lifetime of cultural objets, there is an almost tangible sense of connection to the men and their memory.
I Feel Like Going Home - Yo La Tengo from I am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
In the midst of nationwide protests over inequality, Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank, released a study arguing that most poor people in the United States shouldn’t actually be considered poor. Without offering a formal definition of poverty, they claim that Americans view poverty as deprivation in three things—food, clothing, and shelter—and by that standard, current poverty statistics grossly exaggerate the severity of living conditions. They point out that many poor people own consumer electric products and even cars, suggesting that the poor suffer from, amongst other things, a weak work ethic as a result of welfare policies. First off, while the notion that poor people use welfare programs to enjoy the accoutrements of a middle class lifestyle fits in neatly to the “welfare queen” trope that has been used to justify cuts in public transfers to poor people, it is far from reality. The latest Consumer Expenditure Survey tells a radically different tale: The poorest 20 percent of Americans spend much less than the average American on every category of spending, including alcohol (37 percent of what the average American spends), entertainment (41 percent), housing (52 percent), food (54 percent), audio/visual equipment (56 percent), and education (59 percent). Overall, expenditures of the poorest group are just 44 percent as high as the average American. Even that low level of spending is twice as high as their after-tax earnings, suggesting it is funded by borrowing, savings, and government transfers.