Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was: “one of the greatest political leaders in our history, who gave Brazil a new direction and brought her into the modern world, particularly benefiting the working class.” Leonardo Boff takes a closer look at Lula’s leadership.
Richard A. Bachmann reviews Ron Aronson’s new book, “We – Reviving Social Hope” and reminds us of the importance of collective action to sustain hope.
Victor Grossman, Tikkun’s Berlin Correspondent, recounts the series of political missteps of the Social Democrat Party which have led to the AfD gaining popularity in Germany.
Victor Grossman observes: “Only one force is genuinely suited to exposing the lies and redirecting emotions away from attacks on the poorest victims and towards solidarity with them against the truly guilty forces on high. It is the Left.”
“Where are the presidents who welcome destitute refugees with open arms despite the most virulent slander against them?” asks Ariel Dorfman. He examines Pablo Neruda’s crucial role in persuading the Chilean president to welcome Spanish refugees.
Patriarchy: A major obstacle to world peace
Discussions on peace are central to humanity since they force us to deal with some fundamental issues regarding our human existence, its purpose and nature. As we all know, world-peace is much more than just the state of ‘absence of war ‘. The voluminous literature on ‘just peace’ and ‘just war’ testifies to this fact well. My purpose is not to engage with this literature directly but to offer some reflections on what I consider to be the major impediment to world peace today. Today, we live in an incredibly interconnected world that one or two generations ago was simply unimaginable.
MAKING EVERYONE HAPPY
Victor Grossman Tikkun’s Berlin Correspondent February 12 2018
Thanks be to God! – Gottseidank! That, on Wednesday, was surely the reaction of millions of even nonbelieving Germans! After four and a half months of haggling and recrimination and, four days past the deadline, an all-night session, the three parties had finally settled on a coalition government program – 179 pages long. With a collective sigh of relief there could now be a return to normality.
A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection between racism and poverty and seek the spiritual power to end both.
Editor’s Note: Victor Grossman is Tikkun’s correspondent in Berlin. Here he reports on the struggle inside the socialist party about whether it should join the government of Angela Merkel, primarily out of fear that a new election might give the rapidly growing fascist an even larger representation in the German parliament (Bundestag). GROKO OR NO GROKO
Berlin Bulletin No. 139, January 27 2018
It happened in Bonn last Sunday, on January 21st. There were close to 650 delegates, the gallery in the congress hall was also packed with observers.
Editor’s Note: While the article below by Alfred McKoy details the decline of U.S. international status and power during the Trump regime, my reaction is to ask: what attitude should spiritual progressives take to that decline? On the one hand, there are many anti-imperialists who will actually cheer on this development after decades of wishing to constrain the destructive impact of American power with its primary goal of promoting the international interests of American corporations in particular and the global capitalist system in general. What could be better than to have American power decline, some are asking. That this is being facilitated by a dictatorial, racist, sexist and idiotic President Trump is worrisome because of the still strong possibility that he might stumble into nuclear war, endangering not only Americans but all life on the planet. Yet, in the long run, the anti-imperialists argue, if Trump can be restrained, his presidency may go down in history as the moment the U.S. stopped running the world, to the benefit of many in nations around the globe!
Sharing wisdom from the hopeful message of Chanukah and Christmas.
Manuel Zelaya: An Open Letter to the American People
December 22, 2017By José Manuel Zelaya RosalesPeople of the United States:For the past century, the owners of the fruit companies called our country “Banana Republic” and characterized our politicians as “cheaper than a mule” (as in the infamous Rolston letter). Honduras, a dignified nation, has had the misfortune of having a ruling class lacking in ethical principles that kowtows to U.S. transnational corporations, condemning our country to backwardness and extreme poverty. We have been subject to horrible dictatorships that have enjoyed U.S. support, under the premise that an outlaw is good for us if he serves transnational interests well. We have reached the point that today we are treated as less than a colony to which the U.S. government does not even deign to appoint an ambassador. Your government has installed a dictatorship in the person of Mr. Hernández, who acts as a provincial governor–spineless and obedient toward transnational companies, but a tyrant who uses terror tactics to oppress his own people.
Thanks to Tikkun’s media ally TomDispatch.com for its analysis, below, of the European versions of Trumpism by John Feffer and the introduction by Tom Engelhardt. In that introduction, Engelhardt wisely notes that there is a method to Trump’s outrageous tweets–it plays to his most racist base. Feffer adds another dimension by pointing to the failure of liberalism as the source of decent people (not all of whom are racist, sexist, homophobic, antiSemitic, Islamophobic, etc) being willing to turn to the Right (I’d add–not because they think that the Right has a solution but because the Right gives them an opportunity to show how angry they are at the world that liberal politics has created–a giant “fuck you” to the Left that I explore in my article on the psychodynamics of the 2016 election https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/the-psychopathology-of-the-2016-election). But there is another element I also want to add to the method behind Trump’s outrageously racist tweets: they often serve an important function by distracting the media, and through them the American public, into sideshows at the very moment when major disastrous decisions are being implemented by the Republican Congress and parts of the Trump Administration. Now, at the very moment when the Congress is implementing a tax cut that will essentially destroy the possibility for funding much of what liberal and progressive forces have created in the way of an (admittedly inadequate) social support network for middle income working people and the poor, the tweets and outrageous statements by Trump distract attention from what will be a disaster for tens of millions of Americans (though a disaster that will not even begin to become clear till after the 2018 elections, and in their fullest level, when taxes on middle income people rise while the tax breaks for corporations remain in place –which wont be till after the 2020 election).
FROM GENDER TO JAMAICA
by Victor Grossman, Tikkun’s Berlin Correspondant
It didn’t affect many people directly, but even small victories are welcome these days. Germany’s Constitutional Court just ruled that no-one should be forced to declare themselves officially male or female. It thus created a third open category anyone can opt for (or be opted by parents when still a child). I think everyone can approve this step toward getting along together in the world and join in quiet applause. The Bundestag was given a year to conform to the decision with new laws, reprinting questionnaires and probably some signs.
Los Angeles Black Worker Center
October 5, 2017
Discrimination has created a crisis in the Black community. Although the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids racial discrimination in the workplace, black workers continue to face higher rates of discrimination in the workforce than white workers do. ‘Whether working full-time or part-time, Black workers earn only three-quarters of what white workers earn,’ as stated in the introduction of the brief. , ,
Dear Friends and Allies:The Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) and National Employment Law Project (NELP) demonstrates the need for California to explore expanded anti-employment discrimination to better protect workers in the era of Trump. You can download the white paper HERE
You can view the white paper HERE
Los Angeles, California, October 5, 2017 – The National Employment Law Project and the Los Angeles Black Worker Center released a white paper today that offers analysis on why anti-discrimination laws must be strengthened to protect communities of color in the workforce as national civil rights enforcement agencies are threatened with cuts and elimination. The report is published as a broad coalition of unemployed, underemployed and union workers call on Governor Brown to sign Senate Bill SB 491- The California Anti-Employment Discrimination Action of 2017- a bill that would begin the process of expanding anti-discrimination enforcement authority to local governments to fill the enforcement gap.