Notes from the Editors

Monthly Review, June 2000 | Go to article overview

Notes from the Editors


On keeping the MR flag flying: Between us there are 177 years of life. The issue of continuity has plagued us for some time and we have from time to time explored and experimented with ways of maintaining the unique tradition of MR as an independent, nonsectarian advocate for and educator on socialism and Marxism. With that in mind, we have asked John B. Foster and Robert W. McChesney to assume the responsibility of being Acting Editors. We are pleased that they have agreed. In addition to their direct editorial responsibilities, John and Bob will participate in the development of a more permanent editorial board as well as a battery of contributing editors, not only academics but also labor and social movement activists. We expect to continue to guide the magazine as long as possible.

Longtime MR readers are surely aware that Foster and McChesney were not picked from a hat. They are younger academics who grew up with the magazine and with MR Press books. Over the years they became intimately involved with our work. John has been a Director of the Monthly Review Foundation for many years and Bob has recently joined the Board.

John Bellamy Foster has written important and innovative articles and books in political economy that are squarely in the tradition established by Baran and Sweezy, most notably in Monopoly Capital, and has established a reputation as a major environmental sociologist. His publications include The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment; The Faltering Economy: The Problem of Accumulation Under Monopoly Capitalism; The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism: An Elaboration of Marxian Political Economy; as well as the just-published Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature.

Robert W. McChesney has been a frequent contributor to MR and was the lead editor of a special issue of MR (later expanded into the book, Capitalism and the Information Age). He is the author of Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935; Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy; Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times; and co-author of The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism and It's the Media, Stupid! An internationally recognized authority on the media, he brings a political sensibility consistent with MR's ongoing analysis of imperialism and monopoly capitalism and expands our horizons into new areas that will play an important role in the struggle for revolutionary social change in the new millennium.

We welcome them with pleasure and look forward to our ongoing association.

Paul M. Sweezy and Harry Magdoff

During the last few years, student movements opposed to licensing agreements with companies that rely on sweatshop labor to produce shoes and clothing (such as Nike, Reebok, the Gap, and Disney) have emerged on university and college campuses throughout the United States. These student protestors have united during the past year and become an organized nationwide movement, United Students Against Sweatshops, which is demanding that university and college campuses join the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), based in New York. The WRC was set up by the student movement to monitor the conditions under which university-licensed goods are produced. Such monitoring will make it possible for schools to enforce licensee compliance with Codes of Conduct that many universities and colleges have already established in response to student pressure.

The movement, however, has faced strong opposition from university administrations. In the opening months of this year, campuses erupted as students increased the magnitude of their protests. We have personal experience with events in Madison, Wisconsin and Eugene, Oregon that stand as concrete examples of this nationwide struggle.

The antisweatshop movement at the University of Wisconsin at Madison emerged a few years ago, partly in protest against a licensing agreement between Reebok and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.

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