Category: Presentations

Democracy 101 in Need of an Updateand the Role of Third Parties – Laura Wells – Sept 17, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

The United States was a leading democracy two centuries ago. Now many other nations have leap-frogged over the US by developing better political/electoral systems. As a consequence, they also have better systems for healthcare, higher education, housing, and justice combined with increased personal safety. 

   The locked-down two-party system has joined with the vast inequality of wealth and power in the US in order to raise hurdles to block solutions that people want, create, and support. We will take a good look at those hurdles, many of which are now being highlighted during the presidential campaign of Cornel West, who is running as an independent “third party” candidate.

   There are solutions, and steps we can take. We will discuss why proportional representation is key to an inclusive multi-party system, and why ranked choice voting by itself has not lived up to its expectations.

   Laura Wells has been a Green Party activist since the party became ballot-qualified in California in early 1992. She is a co-coordinator of the state Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of California (GPCA). She has run for State Controller and Governor, and ran once for Congress. Laura Wells, both as a Green Party candidate and behind-the-scenes organizer, has experienced first-hand the roadblocks put up by the two Titanic parties, including being arrested outside of the gubernatorial debate in 2010 for the accurate charge of “trespassing at a private party.”


Read More

India in the Era of Multipolarity – Raj Sahai – Sep 17, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

The Modi led BJP is in its 10th year governing India. India is 5th largest economy, has landed a mobile land rover on Moon’s South pole, improved industrial infrastructure and has reduced absolute poverty. In 2023, India also surpassed China in population, but the per capita income remained low, with unemployment rising, and widened income and wealth disparity under the neoliberal economy. Social tensions have risen with its aggressive Hindutva ideology. India is in BRICS, SCO, and G20, of which it is the president in 2023. With its strong ties with the US cemented in his visit to Washington this year, India has placed itself in the center of rising international tensions, with Russia and China emerging at the opposite pole to the US led unipolar order. National elections are due in March/April 2024. Raj Sahai will provide his assessment of the emerging economic and political picture in India.

Our speaker, Raj Sahai, is a native of India and a longtime resident/citizen of the U.S. He is a founding member of our Program Committee.

Read More

The Role of China in the Anti-imperialist Struggle – Sara Flounders – September 10, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

President Obama famously announced the US foreign policy pivot to Asia: “To preserve
US hegemony, we have to make sure that America writes the rules of the global economy
or China will." The US ruling class has pushed this topic of China to the top of our

US imperialism’s hostility to China is increasing with military threats, new rounds of
sanctions, and increasingly wild fabrications. The media have been saturated with
allegations of human rights abuses, forced labor, religious persecution and “genocide.”
Addressing these topics from an anti-imperialist perspective will be Sara Flounders.
She will comment on the recent BRICS summit, flashpoints Xinjiang and Taiwan, and
the formation of an Asian NATO.

The big question for those on the side of socialist revolution is what is the class character
of People’s China? Sara will discuss China’s road to building socialism and what it
means to have a socialist state with “Chinese characteristics.” What is the critical role of
mass mobilizations in the long struggle for communist ideals and the ideological
commitment to egalitarian ideals? How does China’s international geopolitical role
compare to that of the former Soviet Union?

Read More

Reclaiming the Militant Legacy of Labor Day – Eugene Ruyle – September 3, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Labor Day is more than just a holiday or a day for sales. From the first Labor Day March in 1882 in New York City to the historic Pullman Strike of 1894, Labor Day has its roots in struggle. It was brought to you by the same folks who gave you the weekend: the Labor Movement. Labor Day is the twin of May Day! Let’s reclaim our history!

Gene Ruyle is a retired union member with the California Faculty Association, a former delegate to the LA County Federation of Labor, and President of Veterans For Peace, East Bay Chapter. He is also a member of the ICSS Program Committee.

Read More

Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond – MaryLouise Patterson – Aug 27, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

MaryLouise Patterson is the daughter of Langston Hughes’s cherished friends Louise Thompson Patterson, and William L. Patterson. Hughes was a frequent guest at the Patterson’s home and was like an uncle to MaryLouise.   In 2016 she co-authored with Evelyn Louise Crawford a book entitled “Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond” in which they attempted to show Langston’s belief that a better world was a worker’s world that had never died.

Read More

Turkiye: the collapse of a neocolonial society under fascism, apartheid, and neocolonialism – Mehmet Bayram – August 20, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Turkiye has come to the end of its rope, living the “good life” without producing but borrowing constantly and selling off its assets, pennies-to-the-dollar. Now the country is in a total collapse with the bills becoming due and nothing to show from all the years of endless wasting away of the national resources under capitalism.

 Neocolonialism was created to be like this. Imperialism holds the client states in constant disequilibrium, debt, and violence, yet nurtures the hope of sitting at the table with the big boys one day. Unless there is a workers’ revolution and a planned economy to reverse the downward spin, the theater of constant hope stages plays involving elections, change, leaders, economy, crises, borrowing, paying, tight measures, ups-and-downs, yet, while everything changes, nothing changes. Exploitation and resource transfers continue to feed the imperialist centers.

Turkiye fostered the idea of a change, a post-Erdogan regime, while the elections approached last May. Elections, no surprise to revolutionaries, were yet another scheme to spread the lie that there was a democracy. Once the charade was over, establishing a full-scale Islamofascism under an extended regime of apartheid was again in full swing. Islamofascism is only the latest “fascism du jour” of the neocolonial, dependent, client, continuous fascism that is the default regime under imperialist exploitation. Its agents in Turkiye, the lumpen bourgeoisie, were born under imperialist dominance and know nothing else. All they need is to find a master that will treat them better, while they facilitate the resource transfer and labor exploitation. However, as the leash shortens, the docile lumpen bourgeoise flirts with whoever throws them a splinter of a bone, be it Russia, China, or the UAE. This only exacerbates the turbulent, violent, brutal system of theft under fascism and apartheid. Welcome to the modern Turkiye.

Mehmet Bayram, a journalist, has been visiting Turkiye for the last three months and will report on the daily life, politics, apartheid, and relations during the societal collapse of Turkiye.

Read More

Stalin Exonerated. Fact-Checking the Death of Solomon Mikhoels – Prof Gover Furr – August 13, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

On the night of January 12-13, 1948, Solomon Mikhailovich Mikhoels, a prominent actor and director in the Yiddish language Soviet theater and winner of the Stalin prize in 1946, together with a friend, Vladimir Golubov, were killed in a hit-and-run accident on a dark street in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR.

Mikhoels was buried with honors and praised in the Soviet press. Nevertheless, rumors that he had been murdered by the Soviet state began to circulate almost immediately. During the 1960s these rumors multiplied, occasionally being repeated in official sources.

Beginning in 1991 documents began to appear claiming that Joseph Stalin had ordered Mikhoels murdered. These documents continued to appear during the 1990s. Several of them have now been inserted in Soviet archives to give the impression that they are genuine. Today the story that Stalin ordered Mikhoels murdered is repeated by all researchers and popularizers of Soviet history. 

The Mikhoels murder case is an unusually blatant example of fraudulent “scholarship” intended to smear Stalin and the Stalin-era Soviet Union.

Grover Furr is an American professor of Medieval English literature at Montclair State University and a widely-published author focusing on Stalin and the USSR.


Read More

Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds – Eugene Ruyle – Sunday, August 6, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

As the world marks the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Eugene E Ruyle, member of the ICSS Program Committee, reviews the history of nuclear weapons and their continuing threat to human existence.

Our speaker is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies, CSU, Long Beach and President, Veterans for Peace, East Bay Chapter 162.

Read More

Wokeism – Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, Academic Freedom, Class Struggle and Radical Change – Norman Finkelstein – Sunday, July 30, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time 

In his new book, I’ll Burn That Bridge When I Get to It! Heretical Thtoughts on Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, and Academic Freedom, Finkelstein focuses his keen forensic eye on the canonical texts of identity politics. After methodically parsing them, he concludes that they are lacking in intellectual substance, and that the real purpose of identity politics is to derail a class-based movement bent on radical change.

Finkelstein recalls his own life in radical politics and his close encounters with the cancel culture, which left him unemployed and unemployable. He situates his personal story within broader debates on academic freedom and poignantly concludes that, although occasionally bitter, he harbors no regrets about the choices he made.

Norman Finkelstein first made his name while still in graduate school when he exposed an acclaimed national bestseller as a hoax. He went on in subsequent decades to subject Israel’s apologists as well as Holocaust hucksters to withering scrutiny.

This promises to be a very interesting session for all who want to fight the changes that are leaving millions of US citizens extremely vulnerable today.

Read More

Putin and NATO: a Marxist-Leninist Perspective – Alexander Mckay – Sunday, July 16 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Alexander Mckay is a UK-based political analyst and host of the fast-growing Marx Engels Lenin Institute streaming channel. He will present an examination of the changes in the Russian economy and state throughout the Putin era and how these have impacted the war in Ukraine and the plans of US Imperialism.

YouTube channel:


Official Telegram channel of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute:

Read More

US Imperial Policy in Korea – Simone Chun – Sunday, July 9 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Can there be peace in Korea under the US imperialistic strategy? Can there be peace in Korea when the US is at a virtual war with China? Simone Chun’s talk will show that the greatest threat to peace and stability in northeast Asia is the U.S. imperialistic quest and military encirclement of China. She will argue that the US peace movement must seriously oppose US imperial policy as a focal point of its struggle, and join its voice with the South Korean public as they campaign to regain their sovereignty and independence.

Simone Chun is a researcher and activist focusing on inter-Korean relations and U.S. foreign policy in the Korean Peninsula. She has served as an assistant professor at Suffolk University, a lecturer at Northeast University and an associate in research at Harvard University’s Korea Institute. She is on the Korea Policy Institute Board of Directors, and serves on the advisory board for CODEPINK. She can be found on Twitter at @simonechun.

Read More

Haiti: An Anti-imperialist Perspective – Danny Shaw – Sunday, June 25, 2023 10:30 AM Pacific Time

The US is spearheading an effort to reinvade and reoccupy Haiti, according to our speaker who last visited the island republic last month. Danny Shaw will report on the different ingredients in the neocolonial hybrid war in Port-au-Prince; the guns, the so-called gangs, and the neocolonial state. He has been working with the Haitian left both in Haiti and in the diaspora since 1998 and speaks Kreyòl.

Our speaker, Danny Shaw, teaches Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender at the City University of New York. He holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. He has worked and organized in seventy different countries, opening his spirit to countless testimonies about the inhumanity of the international economic system. He is a Golden Gloves boxer, fighting twice in Madison Square Garden for the NYC heavyweight championship. He teaches boxing, yoga and nutrition and works as a Sober Coach, keeping young people out of the military and prison industrial complex. He is the father of two young Life Warriors and mentors many through the nutritional, ideological, social and emotional landmines that surround us. He is the author of six books and numerous articles. He just posted this article in Truthout:

Read More