Academic workers -- from exploited staff to tenured faculty to poorly paid adjuncts and grad students -- are on the chopping block, as states target public education from coast to coast. Union leader and political scientist Steve London talks about how the Professional Staff Congress, which represents workers at CUNY, is fighting back against austerity meted out by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. He also revisits the New York City fiscal crisis of 1975 and its parallels with today.
What's going to happen in 2012? Will, as some people suggest, an apocalyptic event occur next year on December 21? Or did the ancient Maya make another set of predictions, and if so, what can or should we expect to happen? John Major Jenkins has been investigating ancient Maya culture and cosmology, and the 2012 question, since the 1980s.
It epitomizes corporate production in our neoliberal age: an industry tied into circuits of global finance, producing for markets far away; involving political cronyism, the superexploitation of immigrant labor, and the dramatic depletion of the environment. It might surprise you, but it's the wine industry. Investigative journalist Will Parrish lays bare wine production on the North Coast, in the third installment of our series on California.
Michael Paller discusses Jean-Paul Sartre's activities during World War II, which included writing the play No Exit, an expression of Sartre's existentialist philosophy. Tom Ross talks about the Tennessee Williams play The Eccentricities of a Nightingale. And Robert Bray comments on Williams's political views and the playwright's coming-out on national television in 1970.
California's budget tribulations grind on, with the outcome promising to bode badly for residents of the state, regardless of whether the Republicans or Democrats prevail. Yet what is at the root of the problem? California historian Jeff Lustig and tax authority Lenny Goldberg pick apart the political and social problems besetting the state -- from Prop 13 to high land prices to racism and extreme disparities in income.