On 26 April 1937, twelve bombers of the German Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria flew low over the Basque country of Spain in the midst of civil war. They tore down over the small town of Guernica, where they let loose their fiery arsenal. In his monumental Grundrisse (1857), Karl Marx made the offhand, but accurate remark, ‘The impact of war is self-evident, since economically it is exactly the same as if the nation were to drop a part of its capital into the ocean’. A permanent war economy is a waste, even if there are massive profits to be made by these warfare companies. Today, global military spending is over $2 trillion, with the United States by itself spending almost half this amount. Total US military spending is now at $989 billion. If you add the immense secret budget of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, the US military budget is already over $1 trillion. But it is not the human toll of the wars that bothers the powerful— their indignation is reserved for those brave people who expose their crimes and call them to account.
In the Ruins of the Present traces the challenges posed by globalization and what these challenges produce for our society. The first attempt to address the problems of globalization was neo-liberalism. It failed. Next came cruel populism, which expresses itself in narrow, hateful terms. It will also fail. The Left is weak – decomposed by globalization. The need of the hour is for the Left to recompose itself, to become a vital force for a fragile humanity.
Globalisation and Its Alternative lays out Samir Amin’s assessment of the concept of globalisation as well as his concept of ‘de-linking;’ that is, for the Third World to compel imperialism to accept its conditions and to be able to drive its own policy. Amin’s perspective helps us understand the current crisis of capitalism and imagine a world based on a multi-polar, internationalist people’s agenda, rather than one driven by global capital.
This dossier traces the history of graphic production in post-Revolutionary Cuba, particularly through OSPAAAL. Cuba, once a darling of U.S. imperialism, would carve its own path towards socialism. Among the Revolution’s inheritances was a well-developed means of mass communication and a U.S.-trained labour force. Overnight these advertising experts and art school kids would turn into the graphic artists of the Cuban Revolution. Like the artists of the Cuban Revolution, it is the imperative of cultural workers of today to seize what we know in order to dream and to construct a world that is not only possible, but necessary.