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IIRE Notebooks

No.35-36 The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action

No.35-36 The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action

Brazilian socialists André Passos Cordeiro, Ubiratan de Souza, Pepe Vargas, Raul Pont and João Machado describe in The Porto Alegre Alternative how Porto Alegre's participatory budget was born, how it works, how it developed in interaction with popular movements and spread with local Workers' Party (PT) victories, and how it has staked out new ground in promising a radically democratic alternative in the interests of the poor to top-down political and economic decision-making.

No.33-34 The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder

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No.33-34 The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder

The US shift towards "unlimited war" precipitated by the events of 11 September 2001 was long in the making. Gilbert Achcar traces the rise of militant, anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism to its roots in US policies aimed at control ling the oil reserves of the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, the "Muslim Texas". He examines the disintegration of class-ridden societies in the Middle East today and shows how these processes are rooted in the interests and policies of US imperialism. The US war on terrorism is raising this disintegration to new heights of destruction and disorder.

No.31-32 Globalization: Neoliberal Challenge, Radical Responses

No.31-32 Globalization: Neoliberal Challenge, Radical Responses

In this clear and concise overview, Robert Went refutes the myth that globalization is an entirely new phenomenon and an unavoidable process. While recognizing that globalization poses serious strategic challenges to progressive movements, he argues that these challenges are not insurmountable and that there is hope for real change. Viewing globalization in its historic perspective, Went argues that there can be no return to the postwar mode of expansion, but that the current trend must be altered.

No.29-30 Understanding the Nazi Genocide: Marxism after Auschwitz

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No.29-30 Understanding the Nazi Genocide: Marxism after Auschwitz

Auschwitz was a pre-eminently modern genocide. If racial hatred was its first cause, its execution required a 'rationality' typical of modern capitalism. In this book on the slaughter of the European Jews in 1941-45, Enzo Traverso sustains a dialogue with writings on the Shoah from Hannah Arendt to Daniel Goldhagen. To faciliate this dialogue he draws on the critical and heretical Marxism of Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School, which grasped late capitalism's pent-up capacity for destructive upheavals exacerbated by bureaucratic organization and advanced technology.

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