Opposition to Abolishing Nuclear Weapons–and What Could Help to Overcome It

Given the fact that nuclear war means the virtual annihilation of life on earth, it’s remarkable that many people continue to resist building a nuclear weapons-free world.  Is the human race suicidal?

Before jumping to that conclusion, let’s remember that considerably more people favor abolishing nuclear weapons than oppose it.  Public opinion surveys—ranging from polls in 21 nations worldwide read more

A Rapidly Globalizing World Needs Strengthened Global Institutions

The world is currently engulfed in crises—most prominently, a disease pandemic, a climate catastrophe, and the prevalence of war—while individual nations are encountering enormous difficulties in coping with them.

These difficulties result from the global nature of the problems.  An individual nation is unable to institute adequate measures to safeguard public health because diseases spread easily across national boundaries.  Similarly, an individual nation cannot stave off the deterioration read more

The Great Evasion

Two related events—the 75th anniversary of the January 24, 1946 UN General Assembly Resolution 1 (which established a commission to plan for the abolition of nuclear weapons) and the January 22, 2021 entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (designed to finally implement that goal)—should be a cause for worldwide celebration.

In fact, however, they are a cause for shame.  The nine nuclear powers have read more

Is the Nationalist Tide Receding?

Nationalism—placing the interests of one’s own nation above the interests of other nations—has been a powerful force in world affairs for centuries.

But it seemed on the wane after 1945, when the vast devastation of World War II—a conflict fostered by rightwing, nationalist demagogues—convinced people around the globe of the necessity to transcend nationalism and encourage international cooperation.  Indeed, the widespread recognition of the interdependence of nations led to the creation read more

Trump’s Broken Promises to U.S. Factory Workers

Back in 2016, while campaigning for president, Donald Trump discovered a useful tactic for drawing the votes of disgruntled blue-collar workers: denouncing the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and promising to restore them.  At a rally in hard-hit Ohio, he assailed the Democrats and assured his listeners that he would turn the state into a “manufacturing behemoth.”  read more

Memories of Voter Suppression

Back in July 1962, when, according to Donald Trump, America was “great,” I was in the Deep South, working to register Black voters.  It was a near-hopeless project, given the mass disenfranchisement of the region’s Black population that was enforced by Southern law and an occasional dose of white terrorism.

It all started in the fall of 1961, the beginning of my senior year at Columbia College.  My roommate (Mike Weinberg) and I, both white, had joined the campus chapter of the Congress read more

Where Does the Democratic Party Stand on War, Peace, and International Relations?

After nearly four years of the Trump administration, U.S. voters have a pretty good idea of the policies that the President and his Republican allies champion when it comes to America’s dealings with other nations.  These policies include massive increases in military spending, lengthy wars abroad, threats of nuclear war, withdrawal from climate and nuclear disarmament treaties, a crackdown on refugees, and abandonment of international institutions.

But what about the Democrats?  Do they, as read more

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