Over the past 30 years, Brazilian governments -both military and civilian- have proclaimed the need for \”agrarian reform\” but have resisted implementing an effective policy. INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) the federal government agency in charge of land distribution has pursued a policy of settling landless families in distant frontier lands, usually... Read More
Brazil is the ninth biggest economy in the world, geographically almost as large as the USA with nearly 200 million people and in the deepest economic crises in 70 years. Like South Korea, Brazil is an industrialized country with 75% of the people living in cities. Brazil has the ignominious distinction of having the worst... Read More
By most economic measures the Cardoso regime was the worst in the 20-21st century. But one of the positive results of its failures was to provoke a massive shift to the left among the electorate. In the October 2002 Presidential elections, Workers Party’s presidential candidate Luiz Ignacio “Lula” da Silva received a record 52 million... Read More
The election of Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva has raised great expectations on the center-left. For most leftist writers, his election heralded a new epoch of progressive changes which, while not revolutionary, defined the “end of neo-liberalism”. Noted progressive religious figures, like Leonardo Boff, announced imminent “change” which would challenge U.S. hegemony and lead to... Read More
The best way to understand Brazil\’s position on the FTAA is to began by examining the key policymakers involved in making foreign economic policy. The president of the Central Bank is Henrique Meirelles, former president of Fleet Boston Global Bank, an orthodox neo-liberal with excellent working relations with Wall Street. The Minister of Finance is... Read More
The election of Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva raised great expectations on the center-left. For most leftist writers, his election heralded a new epoch of progressive changes which, while not revolutionary, defined the “end of neo-liberalism”. Noted progressive religious figures, like Leonardo Boff, announced imminent “change” which would challenge U.S. hegemony and lead to great... Read More
Let me begin by saying there are serious political issues that raised by the Lula regime in Brazil. One is the notion that the business of government is to guarantee the interests of the financial ?markets? (financiers, bankers, speculators, creditors etc) before any social or economic policy or reform can be considered. Another is that... Read More
Corruption has devastated the Lula regime in Brazil. Every sector of Lula\’s \”Workers Party\”(PT) has been implicated in bribery, fraud, vote buying, theft of public funds, failure to report illicit campaign financing and a host of other felonious behavior, revealed almost daily between May-July 2005. All of Lula’s closest and most important advisers, congressional leaders... Read More
”Marty, what do you think of the corruption scandals in Brazil? Do you think we should pull out?” ‘Are you kidding? That’s standard operating procedure down there, joost lika Florida in 2000. Where we gonna get 20% interest rates’? Marty amused himself imitating the way he thought immigrant workers spoke. David sighed, ‘Alas, you’re right.... Read More
Brazil is a country of paradoxes: President Lula embraces free trade, signs military agreements with Washington, is acclaimed as “Statesman of the Year” by the billionaires club at Davos in 2010 and has enriched bankers from Wall Street to the city of London; yet many western and a few Brazilian writers , Fidel Castro and... Read More
Two elections in Latin America this fall will have decisive importance in the direction of economic and foreign policy for the coming decade. Introduction Venezuelan legislative elections on September 26 will determine whether President Chavez can secure the two-thirds majority needed to proceed with his democratic socialist agenda without the procedural obstructionism of an increasingly... Read More
Introduction: Brazil has witnessed one of the world’s most striking socio-economic reversals in modern history: from a dynamic nationalist industrializing to a primary export economy. Between the mid 1930’s to the mid 1980’s, Brazil averaged nearly 10% growth in its manufacturing sector largely based on state interventionist policies, subsidizing, protecting and regulating the growth of... Read More
Introduction: For decades social critics have bemoaned the influence of sports and entertainment spectacles in ‘distracting’ workers from struggling for their class interests. According to these analysts, ‘class consciousness’ was replaced by ‘mass’ consciousness. They argued that atomized individuals, manipulated by the mass media, were converted into passive consumers who identified with millionaire sports heroes,... Read More
Introduction: The Brazilian working class is facing the most savage assault on its living standards in over a decade. And it is not just the industrial workers who are under attack. The landless rural workers, public and private salaried employees, teachers and health professionals, the unemployed and the poor are facing massive cuts in income,... Read More
<Introduction: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office through a well-organized, carefully planned operation among the corrupt Brazilian political elite, closely linked to the stock-market, financial institutions and foreign energy companies. This ‘legislative coup d’état ‘eliminated the democratically-elected ‘political intermediaries’ and installed a regime directly controlled by the CEO’s of leading multi-nationals. The corporate... Read More
Introduction: Wall Street and the Pentagon greeted the onset of 2016 as a ‘banner year’, a glorious turning point in the quest for malleable regimes willing to sell-off the most lucrative economic resources, to sign off on onerous new debt to Wall Street and to grant use of their strategic military bases to the Pentagon.... Read More
Introduction: Leftwing academics, writers and journalists have written tendentious articles where they manage to transform reactionary political leaders into working class heroes and present their dreadful policies as progressive advances. Recently, leftist pundits throughout US and Latin America have plagued the reading public with gross distortions of historical events contributing, in their own way, to... Read More
Introduction The decisive electoral victory of far-right Brazilian presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro startled politicians and analysts of the traditional parties of the left and right. The possible implications for the present and near future raises a number of fundamental questions whether it represents a ‘model’ for other countries or is the result of the specific... Read More
Introduction In recent weeks the White House has embraced the contemporary version of the world’s most murderous regimes. President Trump has embraced the Saudi Arabian “Prince of Death” Mohammad bin Salman who has graduated from chopping hands and heads in public plazas to dismembering bodies in overseas consulates – the case of Jamal Khashoggi. The... Read More
Introduction The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China’s growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and... Read More
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.
He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.
His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).
He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.