September 2015
Volume 28
Number 9



left Box

Z Magazine is an independent monthly magazine founded in 1988. Our mission is to publish in depth articles that critique society's political, economic, social life and institutions. We see the race, class, and gender dimensions of personal life as equally important in understanding current circumstances and as necessary for developing visions and strategies for progressive change.






We survive through income from paid subscriptions, sales of videos and books, online Sustainers, individual donations. and periodic fundraising. We are non-profit, tax exempt under the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. We are currently in dire need of funds. To donate by mail, send checks payable to Z Magazine, 215 Atlantic Ave, Hull, MA 02045 (508- 548-9063). To donate online go to: and become a Sustainer.


Recent ZMagazine

Paul Street: Beyond False Dichotomies

The reality in most cases is that there are many in-between or other alternative options, not just two mutually exclusive ones…. There are two ways in which one can commit a false dilemma. First, one can assume that there are only two (or three, though that case is strictly speaking be a ‘false trilemma’) options when there really are many more

Lawrence Wittner: Review of Upton Sinclair: California Socialist

Can a dedicated socialist have a significant impact on American life? Lauren Coodley’s biography of prominent socialist novelist and agitator Upton Sinclair shows that, with a lot of talent and fortitude, that kind of influence is possible

Nathan Robinson: Review of Rudolph Rocker’s “Nationalism and Culture”

When Rudolf Rocker’s Nationalism and Culture was released in 1937, it was hailed by no less an assemblage of luminaries than Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Thomas Mann. The historian Will Durant called it “magnificent” and “profound,” and even the New Republic gave it a positive notice

Eric Laursen: Review of Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era

Co-operatives—not to be flippant—are big business. They exist in 100 countries, have more than 800 million members, and provide some 100 million jobs. Co-ops market half the world’s agricultural production, and 120 million people in 87 countries go to credit unions for their banking and financial services needs. Health care co-operatives service some 100 million people in more than 50 countries. In the U.S. alone, some 30,000 co-ops provide over 2 million jobs

John Pietaro: The Pervasive Reality of Strange Fruit”

The song “Strange Fruit” lives on as legendary poetry and music that makes perhaps the strongest argument against race hatred of any artwork. Though it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday, the piece’s relevance calls for it to be renewed and relived, over the course of generations and, likewise, struggles.

Midge Quandt: A Review of “Latin America’s Radical Left”

The radical left in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador enshrines participatory democracy in their constitutions; and it rejects the state-centered strategy of the old left. It also repudiates neo-liberalism

Stephen Bergstein: Supreme Court To Rule On Same-Sex Marriage

By late June 2015, the Supreme Court will decide whether the U.S. Constitution recognizes the right to same-sex marriage. Although same-sex marriage is a true culture war issue, the chances are good that the Court will extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

David Swanson: How Did Syria Get Here?

Syria was shaped by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement (in which Britain and France divided up things that didn’t belong to either of them), the 1917 Balfour Declaration (in which Britain promised Zionists land it didn’t own, and the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Britain, France, Italy, and Japan used rather arbitrary lines to create the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, the British Mandate of Palestine (including Jordan), and the British Mandate of Iraq.

Eric Bonds: The Wastes of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

Journalists have described how the fumes from burning trash settled over the Ballad air base like fog, and how soldiers would try to filter out some of the pollution by placing wet towels over air-conditioning intakes at night, which would turn black by the morning.

Michael Albert: An Interview with John Pilger

It doesn’t matter who has been in the White House—Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt—the U.S. will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to U.S. demands and pressures.

Linda Gordon: Anti-Woman Terrorism

The proper definition of terrorism, often forgotten, is not only inflicting violence on civilians but doing so in order to intimidate, frighten and coerce others into conformity to the values of the terrorists. When the 19th-century Russian anarchist terrorists assassinated Tsarist agents, they did so in order to make others less willing to serve the Read more…

Ramzy Baroud: Obama’s Admission On Middle East Violence

Not only does the conventional wisdom in U.S. media blame the bloody exploits of IS on the region itself, as if the U.S. and western interventionism are not, in any way, factors at least worth pondering

Bill Berkowitz: Drone Assassinations Are Being Carried Out in Our Name

According to a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, “At least 2,464 people have now been killed by U.S. drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones [Afghanistan and Iraq] since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago.”

Norman Solomon: CIA Evidence From Whistleblower Trial Could Tilt Iran Nuclear Talks

An emerging big irony of United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling is that the government has harmed itself in the process of gunning for the defendant

Michael Albert: Do Not Drone Me

Drones are on the verge of being able to stay in the air for weeks and maybe months on end. They can not only have weapons for shredding people like a giant disposal might, but also super cameras

Joel Chaffee: Events, Books, Film, and Music

Events, new book and film releases and other items of interest to progressives

Various Reviewers: Books on History, Work, and Tar Sands

Doing History from the Bottom Up turns standard academic method upside down

Chris Williams: Can Bolivia Chart A Path Away From Capitalism?

Arguably, no other country thus far in the 21st Century raises the question of an “exit strategy” from neoliberal capitalism more concretely, and with greater possibility and hope, than Bolivia

Paul Street: The Chicago Blackhawks, Indian Logos, and the U.S. Empire

In the United States, however, American Indian names and logos—appropriated from indigenous people the U.S. military and white settlers largely exterminated in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries—persist in professional, collegiate, and high school athletics and also in the military

Hilary Klein: Ya Basta!

Twenty-one years ago, in January 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) captured the world’s imagination when it rose up to demand justice and democracy for the indigenous people of Chiapas, taking on the Mexican government and global capitalism itself. The EZLN is named after Emiliano Zapata, a hero of the Mexican Revolution

Lawrence Wittner: Will The U.S. Government Reject Children’s Rights, Again?

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Sue Sturgis: Governors’ Big Oil-Assisted Lobbying Pays Off

The Obama administration released its draft five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf and for the first time it includes waters off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, But environmental advocates blasted it for putting coastal ecosystems and economies at risk.

Ramzy Baroud: War Begets War: It’s Not About Islam, It Never Was

First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world.

First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam set in motion a system to abolish slavery over 1,200 years before the slave trade reached its peak in the western world. Freeing the slaves, who were owned by pagan Arab tribes, was a recurring theme in the Koran

William Boardman: “Low Life Scum”

Would you want to change places with a despised war criminal? Would you really like to change places with John McCain or Henry Kissinger? With Dick Cheney or George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld or any of hundreds of other predators still at large?

Edward S. Herman: Anti-Terrorism Rally in Paris?

Hypocrisy runs deep in the imperialist and colonial-settler states. The United States has regularly and deliberately bombed and killed journalists in states under attack, including Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, among others

Norman Solomon: Race, Leaks, and Prosecution at the CIA

Information about the CIA program only reached the public because Risen took the risk of putting it in a book.

Lily Murphy: Stephane Hessel: 1917-2013

Two years have passed since one of the great political and social thinkers of our time Stephane Hessel died. Hessel enjoyed a long life, from his birth in Berlin to his final breath in Paris, where one of his last works Indignez-Vous, (Time For Outrage) was published. The book packs a large punch and it Read more…

David Barsamian: Inside the Middle East: An Interview with Abdullah Al-Arian

Abdullah Al-Arian is Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar

Joel Chaffee: Upcoming Events

Upcoming events for activists, new progressive books and film releases

Al Gedicks: Review of Dawn Paley’s Drug War Capitalism

Based on extensive travels, interviews, and research in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, Dawn Paley invites the reader to consider other factors and motivations for the war on drugs

Lawrence Wittner: Review of Betty Medsger’s The Burglary

The Burglary tells the story of how, on March 8, 1971, in the midst of the Vietnam War, eight peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in an effort to discover whether the FBI was working, illegally, to suppress American dissent

James Petras: Brazil’s President Declares War on the Working Class

The Brazilian working class is facing the most savage assault on its living standards in over a decade

Andrew Gavin Marshall: From Ferguson to Freedom

The protests resulting from events in Ferguson and New York have spurred a nation-wide anti-police brutality and social justice movement

Stephen Bergstein: Court Watch

Federal Court strikes down mandatory drug-testing for welfare recipients

Paul Street: Latin America Takes the Lead in Opposing Torture

It wasn’t just Europe that collaborated with CIA extraordinary rendition and torture. Fifty four nations spread across five of the world’s six inhabited continents participated in the U.S. global torture network

Zoltan Grossman: The War at Home Meets the Wars Abroad

Do you ever get a sense of déjà vu? When you get a creepy feeling that you’ve been there before or experienced something before? On Saturday, December 13, I was participating in a #BlackLivesMatter march down 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia, Washington, with about 50 other people.

Jenny Brown: Stirring Troublemaking

The year had a spirited and determined feel. Every time we turned around there was another sit-in or strike or ingenious job action

Winston Alpha: The Limits of #ICan’tBreathe

These slogans are catchy and make a powerful impression when spoken by a large group, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are—slogans. Here’s the reality: the system doesn’t respond to slogans, it responds to demands.

Bill Berkowitz: The Role of Healthcare Workers in the Bush Torture Project

The role of health care workers in facilitating torture is one of the sickening details uncovered by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s 500-page executive summary of its investigation of George W. Bush’s administration’s torture program

Sujatha Fernandes: Why USAID Could Never Spark A Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba

When the AP news story broke about USAID infiltrating Cuban rap groups between 2009 and 2010, I was not surprised. Infiltration is something that Cuban rappers have been wary of for some time

Lawrence Wittner: The $7 Million University President

Despite repeated complaints about Jackson from faculty and students, RPI’s board of trustees has invariably expressed its total confidence in her. This unwavering support appears to be based not only on Jackson’s fundraising prowess, but on the corporate approach that she and the board share

Patrick Kennelly: The Unspeakable in Afghanistan

  Two thousand fourteen, marks the deadliest year in Afghanistan for civilians, fighters, and foreigners. The situation reached a new low as the myth of the Afghan state continued. Thirteen years into America’s longest war, the international community argued that Afghanistan is growing stronger, despite nearly all indicators suggesting otherwise. Most recently, the central government Read more…

Ramzy Baroud: Five Reasons Why 2014 Was a Game Changer in Palestine

In terms of losses in human lives, 2014 has been a horrific year for Palestinians, but there are some very good signs that things are changing

Edward S. Herman: Speaking Truth to Power or to the Powerless?

One of the clichés repeated often by liberals and leftists, which always rubs me the wrong way, is that we must “speak truth to power.” But those with power usually already know the truth, but avoid it because it’s contrary to their interests or they don’t want to know it or hear about it, for the same reason

Karen Andersen: Sony, The Interview, and Hollywood Illusions of Creative Expression

The Interview got its shot by blowing the head off of No. 1 U.S. evil enemy Kim Jong-un, but it wasn’t Rogen’s creativity that came up with that plot twist. It came from the CIA. Though The Los Angeles Times reported that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg claimed it was their idea to have Kim Jong-un as the target, an email from Sony’s senior vice president Marisa Liston, published in the Daily Beast, indicated that it came from Sony through the intelligence agency

Gregory Elich: Who Was Behind the Cyberattack on Sony?

In the rush to judgment, few were asking for evidence and none was provided. Computer security analysts, however, were vocal in their skepticism

Dahlia Lithwick: The 10 Worst Civil Liberties Violations of 2014

The world may not actually be falling apart, but it feels like America is. From police brutality and botched executions to voter suppression and election corruption, 2014 was a terrible year for civil liberties. Protests were quelled by military-grade weapons in scenes worthy of a banana republic and the divide between the rich and the poor in the freedom and justice they are afforded is Dickensian in its scope.

Joel Chaffee: Free Listings

Events and new releases of interest to progressives

Edward S. Herman: Justice Belied

Edward S. Herman Reviews a book on the “Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice

Michelle Renee Matisons: All Lives Matter

the white supremacist policing practices behind the murder-by-cop epidemic is really a capitalist, white supremacist, hetero-patriarchal policing system that must be analyzed and fought as such.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann
Skip to toolbar