[Marxism] Swans Release: December 15, 2008

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 14 17:30:49 MST 2008

Swans Commentary
December 15, 2008

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COME ON, GOOD PEOPLE, COME ON!  We know, this is the time of the year when
you receive letters galore from the ACLU, Amnesty International, Greenpeace,
and countless other organizations and charities that want to reach into your
wallet. They do have a big marketing budget, don't they? -- and they all tell
you they want to change the world, or at least alleviate its suffering. We
have no marketing budget and we are not promising to change the world -- not
that we aren't trying...but one has to be realistic. What we bring you is
different voices, some darn serious, others quite humorous or poetic. We
bring you book reviews. We bring you analysis. We bring you an
extraordinarily diverse pool of authors from many countries. We bring you
famous and not so famous authors. We bring you alternatives. We bring you
originality and quality twice a month, rain or shine. Again, where else can
you find what we bring, and all commercial free? So open your checkbook and
write that darn check. It won't save the auto industry but it will save
<em>Swans,</em> and it will make a huge difference both emotionally and
practically for our work ahead. Thank you and our very best wishes for the
coming year. ***Donate Now!***  http://www.swans.com/about/donate.html

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Note from the Editors: First, on behalf of the civilized world and the
millions of innocent victims of his illegal war, thank you, Sir, whoever you
are, for greeting Mr. Bush, in his final victory lap to Iraq, as the
liberator that he truly is. One could not have asked for a more fitting year-
end gift than the sight of your shoes hurling past the soon-to-be-former
president's head! That he will reflect on the significance of this gesture
may be expecting too much, but with impeachment never on the table and
indictment unlikely (pleeeease, Patrick Fitzgerald! ) it may be as close as
we get.

Now, on to our annual tradition in which we reflect on the events of the year
-- more or less. If you're not yet familiar with all of our contributors'
quirks and fancies, start by reading about Peter Byrne's bad dream in which
Swans' cast of characters reveal themselves in a visit to his otherwise
peaceful café. Then turn to pun-loving photographer Art Shay, who looks back
on the decaying US auto industry through his camera lens and inside anecdotes
of the Big Three. Jan Baughman introduces one small creature that touched
many lives during the stressful times of 2008, while Martin Murie enlists two
extraterrestrial lizards to send a warning to all earthly activists. Femi
Akomolafe lends a delightful perspective from Ghana on his pure joy and the
historical significance of Barack Obama's election.

When Charles Marowitz looks back on the year 2008, he sees 1929 all over
again for both our political and financial crises. Yet America's not the only
country that's struggling -- Gilles d'Aymery presents a series of vignettes
that paint a stark portrait of the year behind and the challenges ahead, from
Europe to the Middle East; to Africa and its resource-rich environment that's
being pillaged. Political perspectives come from Louis Proyect, who likens
Obama's brand of change to that of Tony Blair, and Michael Doliner, who
describes the collapse of capitalism and the elites' need to recognize the
trap of class war. Michael Barker scrutinizes Noam Chomsky's open letters
from 2008 and the alternative political agendas they endorse; and R. Scott
Porter hopes that we've learned from the past year (or eight) and won't be
doomed to repeat its mistakes. Finally, Guido Monte looks at the future world
through rose-colored glasses and multilingual verse, with collage by Giuseppe
Zimmardi. We close with your letters, our best wishes for the holidays, and a
warning that the next edition will feature our always irreverent and
sometimes prescient Infamous PredictionsTM for the year ahead.

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Bad Dream Of The Year - Peter Byrne

Auto Eroticism - Art Shay

2008: Emerging From The Smoke - Jan Baughman

Two Lizards - Martin Murie

Ghana: A Review Of 2008 - Femi Akomolafe

Looking Backward To Ahead - Charles Marowitz

2008 In A Nutshell - Gilles d'Aymery

Why Third Way Politics Refuses To Die - Louis Proyect

What Next? - Michael Doliner

Noam Chomsky And The Power Of Letters - Michael Barker

Future World - Poem by Guido Monte

2008, Privilege vs. Competence - R. Scott Porter

Letters to the Editor

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Gilles d'Aymery

"Hungry man, reach for the book: It is a weapon."  B. Brecht

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