Election of Donald Trump Marks Regression to Authoritarianism

Although Trump’s message has been against “big government,” in fact his economic plan which mainly consists of tax cuts for large companies and massive spending cuts in the public sector, does not contradict the rule of a strong state/army.  His authoritarianism might be similar to what we have seen in emerging economies such as Russia and China during the past 25 years.

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Challenging Intellectuals Who Justify Iranian Imperialism; Searching for Socialist Solidarity

Below is a summary of a longer article by two Iranian socialists who are opposed to Iran’s military intervention in Syria.  This summary is followed by a response from Frieda Afary and Joseph Daher.  Both pieces were originally published on the website of the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on September 10, 2016.  http://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/challenging-intellectuals-justify-iranian-imperialism-searching-socialist-solidarity/

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New Alliances in the Middle East & Iranian Discussions on 21st Century Imperialism

Recent developments in the Middle East show that states which have been seemingly at opposite ends concerning the war in Syria, or states that have been historically hostile to each other in the post-World War II period have come together to form new alliances.  Existing alliances between Russia, China, Iran and Syria have also been strengthened.   All aim to maintain the brutal and authoritarian Assad regime (with or without Assad), and reject the Kurdish right to self-determination.

All these developments further underline the fact that the countries playing the imperialist role in the Middle East today, are not only the U.S. and Israel.   Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also acting as imperialist powers in the region.

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Comparing Piketty’s Capital and Marx’s Capital: A Critical Review Essay

Abstract:  This critical review summarizes the arguments and facts in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and then discusses the main differences between this work and Karl Marx’s Capital:  For Piketty, capital is a mode of unequal distribution of wealth which can be remedied through higher taxation on the wealthy and a responsible social state.  For Marx, capital is an oppressive relation of production rooted in what he called abstract or alienated labor which in turn leads to the unequal distribution of the products of labor and periodic economic crises.  Earlier Persian-language versions of this critique were published by Zamaneh in September 2014 and presented at the Seminar for Research on Iranian Social Movements in Berlin in October 2015.   This version was originally published by the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on April 3, 2016.  http://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/critique-of-thomas-pikettys-capital-in-the-21st-century/

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Connecting Black Lives Matter and Syrian Lives Matter

Despite the differences in the historical experiences of African American freedom fighters and Syrian revolutionaries, both have something in common:  Being treated as the dehumanized “other,” and suffering from the ways in which prejudice and discrimination have been used to impede their struggles for social justice.

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