Tag Archives: social democracy

The Trials of Tony Judt

Even as ALS tightens its grip, the Leftist historian remains outspoken

By Evan R. Goldstein
The Chronicle Review

On a Monday evening in mid-October, the historian Tony Judt appeared onstage at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, in Greenwich Village. “I hope you don’t mind if I begin by shooting the elephant in the house,” he said, speaking from an electric wheelchair, wrapped in a black blanket, with a Bi-Pap breathing device attached to his nose. “As you can see,” he continued, his voice gravelly and labored, “I’m paralyzed from the neck down, and also use this rather ridiculous-looking tube on my face to breathe.”

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Consider the Germans: Co-determination and Works Councils


By Thomas Geoghegan
Harper’s Magazine

Come on: Is the West really in such decline? Yes, we can sit here on our island continent and gloom about the rise of China, as our elite now like to do. Or we can go out into the world and start competing like the Europeans. For here’s a strange fact: since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors—China foremost among them—Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. Sure, China just pulled slightly ahead of Germany, but that’s mostly because the euro has soared, making German goods even more expensive, and world trade has slumped. Meanwhile, the dollar is dropping, and we still can’t compete with either nation. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.

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Latin America: Social Movements in Times of Economic Crises

By Prof. James Petras

The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. Never in the history of the 20-21st Century has an economic crisis caused so much loss to so many workers, employees, small businesses, farmers and professionals with so little large-scale public protest.

To explore some tentative hypotheses of why there is little organized protest, we need to examine the historical-structural antecedents to the world economic depression. Continue reading