Chris Hedges – Northern Light

I gave a talk last week at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or “squarely in the red,” referring to those crushed by debt. Lire la suite

Barbara Ehrenreich – How the poor are made to pay for their poverty

Individually, the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But as Businessweek helpfully pointed out in 2007, the poor in aggregate provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them. Lire la suite

Noam Chomsky – Sur le suicide économique de l’Amérique

LF : Nous allons commencer par un panorama. Comment décririez-vous la situation où nous nous trouvons, historiquement ?

NC : il y a soit une crise soit un retour à la norme d’une stagnation. Un point de vue veut que la norme soit la stagnation et que parfois on en sorte. L’autre veut que la norme soit la croissance et que parfois on puisse entrer en stagnation. On peut débattre cette question, mais la période veut que l’on soit près de la stagnation mondiale. En l’état des principales économies capitalistes, les États-Unis et l’Europe, c’est la croissance basse et la stagnation, avec une différenciation du revenu très forte dans un changement — un changement stupéfiant — de la production à la « financiérisation ».

Les États-Unis et l’Europe se suicident de différentes manières. En Europe, c’est l’austérité au cœur de la récession, c’est ce qui a garanti la catastrophe. Il y a une certaine résistance en ce moment. Aux États-Unis, c’est essentiellement la production délocalisée et la financiérisation, et se débarrasser de la population superflue en l’incarcérant. Lire la suite

Noam Chomsky – Plutonomy and the Precariat

Quelques extraits du dernier livre de Noam Chomsky — Occupy — proposés sur TomDispastch.com.

The Occupy movement has been an extremely exciting development. Unprecedented, in fact. There’s never been anything like it that I can think of. If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead — because victory won’t come quickly — it could prove a significant moment in American history.

The fact that the Occupy movement is unprecedented is quite appropriate. After all, it’s an unprecedented era and has been so since the 1970s, which marked a major turning point in American history. For centuries, since the country began, it had been a developing society, and not always in very pretty ways. That’s another story, but the general progress was toward wealth, industrialization, development, and hope. There was a pretty constant expectation that it was going to go on like this. That was true even in very dark times. Lire la suite

Jacob Remes – May Day’s Radical History: What Occupy Is Fighting for This May 1st

American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia.

The last real general strike in this country, which is to say, the last general strike that shut down a city, was in Oakland, California in 1946—though journalist John Nichols has suggested that what we saw in Madison, Wisconsin last year was a sort of general strike. When we call a general strike, or talk of one, we refer not to a current mode of organizing; we refer back, implicitly or explicitly, to some of the most militant moments in American working-class history. People posting on the Occupy strike blog How I Strike have suggested that next week’s May Day is highly symbolic. As we think about and develop new ways of “general striking,” we also reconnect with a past we’ve mostly forgotten. Lire la suite

François Ruffin – Les graines de l’espoir

Depuis bien longtemps, j’en suis convaincu : nous avons à refaire, en sens inverse, le chemin parcouru par les néo-libéraux dans l’après-guerre.
Eux étaient marginalisés, alors. Même la droite américaine est convertie au keynésianisme. Une poignée d’intellectuels, autour de Hayek, reprend le flambeau. Leur pensée conquiert des universités, des journaux, s’implante chez les Républicains.
En 1964, pour la première fois, c’est un adepte du libéralisme, Barry Goldwater, qui représente ce parti à la présidentielle aux Etats-Unis. Une formidable campagne est alors menée (j’emprunte ici au Grand Bond en arrière, de Serge Halimi) : Lire la suite

Barbara Ehrenreich – The discovery of the poverty

The poor are just people without enough money. But a ‘culture of poverty’ gives the affluent a reason to blame them for it

It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, « discovered » poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America. If this discovery now seems a little overstated, like Columbus’s « discovery » of America, it was because the poor, according to Harrington, were so « hidden » and « invisible » that it took a crusading leftwing journalist to ferret them out. Lire la suite