On Being Ten

— Greetings from Our Friends

THE OPPORTUNITIES TO organize a principles and militant left, with enormous popular outreach, have rarely been better. The forces dedicated seriously to this task are pitifully inadequate, in part because they are so scattered and isolated. there are reasons, and we know them, but they can be overcome. Stable and persistent left institutions will be at the heart of such endeavors, desperately needed if we are to avoid a very ugly future. Congratulations to Against the Current for its contributions to fulfilling this role for ten hard years, with insightful analysis and informative commentary. —Noam Chomsky

I’M DELIGHTED TO support Against the Current on its tenth anniversary of the new series. I find that although I subscribe to a lot of journals, the international focus on grassroots labor and women’s struggles and the timeliness of the articles always attracts me to read Against the Current first. I am also impressed with the range of opinion shown in the articles. one never feels one is merely receiving a sectarian line, yet the articles are always analytical yet empirical in the best senses of those terms. I particularly like your focus on global women’s struggles. Now more than ever, we surely need Against the Current as an unrepentant advocate of an international socialist and radical democratic perspective.

Keep up the good work! —Ann Ferguson

AGAINST THE CURRENT’s ability to survive and even flourish through the past decade demonstrates that it is possible to make headway against the current of mainstream reaction. This inimitable journal provides a lifeline enabling left-thinking people to keep their heads above the waves of politics-as-usual. Its incisive analyses of current events and ideas provide distinctive perspectives entirely absent from the mainstream, and scarce even in the alternative media. —Alison M. Jaggar

IT IS EASY to swim with the current. To follow the dominant trends. To adopt the conventional wisdom. to join the latest fashion. But the current will lead us nowhere. Worse, it will lead us to a very ugly waterfall of economic crisis and ecological catastrophe. This is why Against the Current is so important. By keeping alive, in an open, democratic and pluralist way, the ideas and hopes of revolutionary socialism, feminism, anti-racism and internationalism, it helps us all to resist the sickening and chocking tide of conformism. This is why people read Against the Current, not only in New York and San Francisco, but also in London, Mexico, Montreal and Paris. —Michael Löwy

AGAINST THE CURRENT has consistently provided the U.S. left with a voice and platform from which to engage in revolutionary class politics. Contrary to other journals that have succumbed to liberalism, post-modernism and identity politics, ATC has been in the forefront of integrating class, gender and race in a coherent revolutionary framework. While many on the Anglo-Saxon Left capitulated to Clinton or Gorbachev preparing the way for the rise of the extreme right, ATC sustained a clear oppositionalist position that has been vindicated by history.

ATC has sustained its commitment to working-class politics – its reports on strikes and working-class struggles clearly distinguishes it from the "culturalists" who have broken the link between class and culture. Except for a few lapses into arcane histories of the sectarian left, ATC has made a serious effort to relate the big picture of highlighting significant popular struggles and their theoretical significance.

Finally ATC has retained a firm internationalist perspective in reporting on the major popular struggles in Mexico, Brazil, Central America and elsewhere. the vital and innovative conservation of the left, in defense of class, community and working-class family values is essential to the recovery of the revolutionary project of which ATC will surely be a part. —James Petras

THERE ARE A number of socialist publications in which theoretical issues are discussed on the highest level. There are a number of other first-rate journals and magazines that cover struggles in workplaces and communities from a socialist perspective. But no other publication maintains a better balance of theoretical and practical articles than Against the Current. Each and every issue is a storehouse of information, from the technical details of socialist theories to the experiences of activists on the front lines of social change. Against the Current plays a unique and irreplaceable role on the left today. —Tony Smith

FROM THE LIBERATING youth rebellions of the 1960s Against the Current’s publishers have survived into one of the harshest of times since the factorization period of the first industrial revolution. The condition of human life in places of work are worse today than during the 1930s depression. Millions have come to expect that particular layoff which will get to them but they do not know when. The jobless know. Each morning only the street awaits their arrival and those already on the street live an understanding of the word genocide by its computer-age definition. Both the employed and unemployed have been abandoned by the officialdoms of organized labor. The total condition insures the mergence of a deep radicalization.

Against the Current is one of the few socialist publications in the United States that is capable of aiding the discussions necessary to efforts at change. Its views are internationalist by principle and experience. Its producers know that a new radicalism like a truly democratic and international unionism cannot be built from on high or without respect for the separate ideas and cultures of the participants. —Stan Weir

ATC 62, May-June 1996