American Workers Have Been Given a Raw Deal

Although Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that American workers are “thriving” during his presidency, this contention rings hollow.  The mishandled coronavirus pandemic, of course, has created levels of unemployment, hunger, and misery in the United States not seen since the Great Depression.  But even in the years before the pandemic, when Trump claimed he had created “the greatest economy in history,” that economy left American workers far behind.

During pre-pandemic years, the labor read more

Making America Feared Again: The Trump Administration Considers Resuming Nuclear Weapons Testing

Americans who grew up with nightmares of nuclear weapons explosions should get ready for some terrifying flashbacks, for the Trump administration appears to be preparing to resume U.S. nuclear weapons tests.

The U.S. government stopped its atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1962, shortly before signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963.  And it halted its underground nuclear tests in 1992, signing read more

Humanity is an Endangered Species

Have you noticed recently that things are collapsing?

Sure, the rightwing, nationalist rulers of many countries never stop telling us that they have made their nations “great” again.

But we would have to be dislocated from reality not to notice that something is wrong―very wrong.  After all, the world is currently engulfed in a coronavirus pandemic that read more

Let Them Eat Weapons: Trump’s Bizarre Arms Race

In late May of this year, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control bragged before a Washington think tank that the U.S. government was prepared to outspend Russia and China to win a new nuclear arms race.  “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here,” he remarked.  “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”

This comment was not out of line for a Trump administration official.  Indeed, back in December read more

The Subversion of New York City’s Official Policy to Curb Police Brutality

In early November 1966, my sister and I―armed with a bucket of home-made paste, a wide brush, and a thick roll of “Vote No” posters―headed off from my student apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to plaster the surrounding area with the signs.  The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (PBA), a very powerful police union, had placed a referendum on the New York City ballot to remove civilians from the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

We were a very small part of  a read more

If Farmworkers Are “Essential,” Why Are They Treated So Badly?

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, spurred to action by the coronavirus pandemic, issued a memorandum that identified the nation’s 2.5 million farmworkers as “essential” workers.  Soon thereafter, agribusinesses began distributing formal letters to their farm laborers, also declaring that that they were “essential.”

Of course, it shouldn’t have required a government-business effort to establish this point.  Without farmworkers, there is no food.  And the read more

Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Help Curb War and Militarism?

Decades ago, when I began teaching international history, I used to ask students if they thought it was possible for nations to end their fighting of wars against one another.  Their responses varied.  But the more pessimistic conclusions were sometimes tempered by the contention that, if the world’s nations faced a common foe, such as an invasion from another planet, this would finally pull them together.

I was reminded of this on March 23, when the UN Secretary-General, António read more

The Coronavirus Pandemic, Like Other Global Catastrophes, Reveals the Limitations of Nationalism

We live with a profound paradox.  Our lives are powerfully affected by worldwide economic, communications, transportation, food supply, and entertainment systems.  Yet we continue an outdated faith in the nation-state, with all the divisiveness, competition, and helplessness that faith produces when dealing with planetary problems.

As we have seen in recent weeks, the coronavirus, like other diseases, does not respect national boundaries, but spreads easily around the world.  And how is it being read more