In This Issue
Insurgent Notes No. 3 appears (in mid-March 2011) in the midst of a social ferment that portends the regroupment necessary to confront, at last, the ongoing attack on the world working class of the past four decades. The creation of extra-union “interprofessional committees” in the French movement of last fall, the riots in London in December against massive budget cuts in the U.K., the revolt sweeping the Arab world from Algeria to Bahrein, and the recent Bolivian general strike against Morales are so many signs that the “bad old days” are ending. It was high time.
Centered as we are in the U.S., we take special note of the month- long mobilization in Wisconsin in response to the all-out attack on public unions and collective bargaining rights there. Hence our first two articles, by Loren Goldner and S. Artesian, deal with the Madison movement and the historical backdrop to it, both in Wisconsin history and in the empire of the billionaire Koch brothers, who are prominent among the forces financing the charge against U.S. public employees.
On a similar theme but offering a more general overview, John Garvey takes up the question of the crisis of education in the U.S.—the crisis of the reproduction of labor power—and the way in which teachers’ unions have generally stood in the way of attempts to deal with it. Dealing yet again with the public sector, Henri Simon offers an analysis of the crisis of the pension system in France as a backdrop to the important movement against pension reform there last fall.
Finally, as part of our ongoing polemic against the ideologies of the complacent left, we present two articles of a more historical and theoretical nature. S. Artesian begins his planned series offering a critical examination of Marx’s theory of ground rent, and Loren Goldner analyzes the authoritarian and fascist origins of “anti-imperialist” ideology in the interwar period, using the example of the Bolivian MNR.