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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

“Speaking Truth to Power” Is No Substitute for Taking Power

Norman Solomon Truthout
Progressives often applaud the idea of “speaking truth to power.” But this concept is hazardous. If taken literally and deployed as a single-minded strategy, it can divert attention from the crucial need to take power away from those who abuse it.

books

Tariq Ali on 1968 and Today

(Interview with David Edgar) London Review of Books
Tariq Ali, a key figure in the British New Left of the 1960s and a well-regarded Marxist writer and activist, offers an extended take on the politics and culture of the1968 anticapitalist movements and their echoes in today’s resistance worldwide.

books

Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation

Sean Ledwith Counterfire
A first-rate compendium of environmental sanity, the book under review is also a sound, radical and compelling critique of capitalist planning, making the case that only a revolutionary transformation on socialist principles can generate the political framework needed to save the planet.

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A Memoir of Life as Che Guevara’s Kid Brother

Peter Canby The New Yorker
Che’s youngest sibling, Juan Martin Guevara, remembers his revolutionary brother and the family's travails after his murder by the Bolivian military with the aid of the CIA.

 American Radicals and the Change We Could Believe In

Eric Foner The Nation
The Obama era reminded us all that popular movements play an essential role as catalysts for political action. The enthusiasm generated by the Sanders campaign was a surprise, but it did not spring from the void. Any new radicalism needs to learn from the past, but not simply to reenact it. The new American radicalism must be open and multifaceted, speaking the language of American society but receptive to insights from an increasingly interconnected world.

The Sixth Anniversary of the Start of the Arab Uprisings

Gilbert Achcar Jadaliyya
Six year's ago, Mohamed Bouazizi's protest inspired millions of others to protest their regimes and the status quo. The protests did not bring the renewal that was promised by the branding phrase "Arab Spring," but rather what followed were more of the old calamities. To say that the old Arab regime is better than the revolt against it is like saying that the accumulation of pus in a boil is better than incising the boil and letting the pus out.

An Open Letter to Naomi Klein, about "This Changes Everything"

Ted Glick EcoWatch
Naomi Klein argues the urgency of climate crisis could form the basis of a powerful mass movement weaving all the seemingly disparate issues into a coherent narrative to protect humanity from the ravages of a savagely unjust economic system and a destabilized climate system. Climate activist Ted Glick responds, is it realistic to think, by 2018 or 2019, a mass social movement with an essentially revolutionary agenda is going to bring about the change in power relations?
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