Boomers vs Millennials

I just read a thoughtful article by Chauncey Robinson in the PW, posted below. I would only add that when comparing this generation and the zeitgeist of  that time with the generation of the sixties and the zeitgeist of that time, it is important to keep in mind the differences in the material conditions in which each generation grew up. I remember a friend in Detroit, for example, telling me a few years ago that he could get fired from one auto plant and go down the street and get hired in another at union wages and a full package of benefits on the same day. Not like that today! And to mention another example, the right wing then was a pale imitation of its current self. Its presidential candidate – Barry Goldwater – had been taken to the woodshed by Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 elections. Without acknowledging such major differences, such conversations may generate heat, but no light. I would further add as a cautionary note that the term generation is a broad generalization that can easily conceal as much as it reveals. Many of the most prominent personalities of the extreme right today – Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, etc. – came of age in the radical, counter cultural sixties.

Player of the week

No contest here: it’s Steph Curry, point guard of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the league’s MVP last year. Curry heard during the off season that neither he nor his team were quite deserving of the awards and titles that they won. Not surprisingly, this clamor in the sports world, which thanks to ESPN goes on all day and night (not complaining), has given Curry, if he needed any motivation this season, more than enough to prove his critics wrong and to repeat his exploits from last season. In the first week of league play Curry has been nothing short of magical, a ballerina and Houdini on the basketball floor. LeBron may still be the best player in the world, but Curry is a close second and no one is more entertaining to watch. The basketball in his hands is like a brush in Van Gogh’s. Both see and do things in their respective craft and art form that leave the rest of us mere mortals looking on in wonder.

Part 2: Thoughts on Greece, Syriza, and its left critics

This is part two of a three-part series. See part one here.

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” – Karl Marx

“What childish innocence it is to present one’s own impatience as a theoretically convincing argument!” – Frederick Engels

If any of us wants to judge the conduct of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Syriza in their negotiations with the Eurogroup (the finance ministers and heads of state that make up the Eurozone) in July, a close look at the concrete situation in Greece and Europe is necessary. At the core of any analysis is an examination of the distribution of power among contending class and social forces, the larger socio-economic matrix in which these forces collide, and the parameters and limits of social change.

That may seem obvious and not require mentioning, but I’m afraid it’s a method some on the left seem averse to and thus avoid.

Click to read more:

Thoughts on Greek crisis and in defense of Syriza, Part 1

This is part one of a three-part series. Originally written for People’s World – check out the original article here.

The current crisis in Greece and the Eurozone is fluid and far from settled. The latest clash last month between Greece and its elite adversaries in Europe – Germany in the first place – is provoking a wide-ranging debate. I can’t claim to be an expert so what follows is offered in a provisional spirit.

Reflections on Socialism

“Reflections on Socialism” first appeared on on June 4, 2005. Read it on

The main political task at this moment is to assemble the necessary social forces to defeat Bush and his counterparts in Congress and elsewhere.

The urgency of that task, however, should not be converted into a rationale for socialists and communists to push the mute button on the socialist alternative. To the contrary, we should bring our vision of socialism into the public square; we are, after all, the Communist Party and socialism is at the core of our identity.
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