RIP, Paul Adolph Volcker

Paul Adolph Volcker is dead at the age of 92. (Most accounts of the man suppress the middle name, though it was often pointed out with bitter glee by builders and others who were undone by his high interest rate policies in the early 1980s.) As I wrote in LBO when he left office in 1987, if capitalism gave out a Hero of Accumulation award, he would have been first on the honors list. Let’s recall what he did, because all the worshipful obits will almost certainly sanitize the history. Volcker was… Read More

Alexander Cockburn

I’m coming late to the business of remembering Alexander Cockburn, but not for lack of respect. I find the task intimidating. I learned of Alex’s death early on Saturday morning. I was stunned. I admired him a great deal. I started reading him in the Village Voice around 1975, and he changed the way I saw the world. He is probably more than half the reason I took up the lucrative and prestigious career of radical journalism. He was a magnificent writer—but as every Adorno fan could tell you (and Alex was one of… Read More

Explaining what goes on in the world: in memory of Bob Fitch

[This is the text of a talk I gave at LaGuardia College, Long Island City, Queens, in memory of Bob Fitch, who died on March 4, 2011, from complications of a fall he suffered when returning home from teaching at LaGuardia. My short remembrance, written for The Nation, is here. Thanks to Jane LaTour for the two photos of Bob reproduced here. Video by Prudence Katze and Will Lehman is here.] I want to start by saying how honored I am to be giving this, the first Bob Fitch memorial lecture. I dearly hope there will… Read More

Bob Fitch memorial: Sept 18

If you’re a fan of Robert Fitch—and if you‘re not, you should ask yourself some very serious questions—the date for his public memorial has just been announced: September 18, 4 PM, at the Brecht Forum in NYC. More details to follow; this is just a “save the date” announcement.

RIP, Bob Fitch

My old friend Bob Fitch died yesterday. I’m going to say more at some point, but for now, check out Josh Mason’s excellent obit: The Slack Wire: Fitch.

De mortuis: Teddy Kennedy & dereg

According to just about everybody, Teddy Kennedy represented the “soul” of the Democratic party, which presumably refers to his long-professed concern the poor and the weak. Now that that soul is safely buried, the Dems can move on to the important stuff, like preserving Wall Street power and escalating the war in Afghanistan. Let’s inspect that soul a little more closely though. I’ve never been inclined to hold my tongue about the recently departed. Well, yes, in personal life, but certainly not public life—especially in the midst of one of these orchestrated… Read More