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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

2023: The year in review on The Left Chapter

Palestinian flags fly at a Solidarity with Gaza march in Toronto, Canada on October 21 -- from our post: "End the Siege of Gaza Now!": Thousands march in Toronto in solidarity with Palestine

2023 is done and what a terrible end to the year it was with the ongoing genocidal slaughter in Gaza and the appalling, complicit hypocrisy of the United States and the western world on full display.

This, of course, was far from the only event or development of note in 2023. And from Palestine to Argentina, Cuba, Pakistan, Canada, South Africa, Yemen, the People's Republic of China and beyond, we looked at news of collective struggles, victories and resistance here on The Left Chapter.

Every year we do a post looking back over various pieces and contributions.

As with last year we are looking at a featured post from each month. It will be based on its numbers, the feedback it got, its shares and reactions to it, and its ongoing relevance.

There are also links to twelve other notable pieces from various times of the year.

In 2024 we have plans for new features and ideas that will be unveiled shortly.

Thanks very much to all our readers and contributors.

Here is looking forward to a better year ahead, and a Happy, Healthy and Red New Year to everyone.


By Abby Zimet

In gratitude, we mark the death of Henry Kissinger, America's peerless war criminal. As U.S officials laud an "elder statesman" and "erudite strategist," the rest of us, and surely millions of brown-skinned people, celebrate the end of an "iconic napalm rights advocate" whose lies, hubris, towering inhumanity and many blood-soaked foreign policy follies left a legacy - in Vietnam, Chile, Cambodia, Argentina - of an "enormous pile of corpses" that may number four million. The consensus: "Burn hot, Henry."


By Gabriel Haythornthwaite

At this point, Remembrance Day is the most Orwellian holiday of the year in the Western world.

Here and elsewhere in the orbit of Pox Americana, elites and publics alike have virtually zero Remembrance of War Past—exemplified in the baffling ovation given by all Canadian Parliamentary parties to a Nazi war criminal who was welcomed into the country after WW2.

All in the zeal to boost current Imperial Wars, demonstrating that the elite forgetting of War History is driven by a willful denial of what produces War Today. All the better to project Endless War into the Future.


By Vijay Prashad

If the “two-state solution” is no longer practical and if the “one-state solution” is blocked by the Israeli political class, then all that remains for Netanyahu and others is the “three-state solution.” This is the solution that seeks to remove large parts of the Palestinian population from East Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank, and perhaps even from within Israel’s 1948 lines and send them to the three states of Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. The bulldozers coming behind the tanks in Gaza are attempting to push the Palestinian refugees (70 percent of them are descendants of those sent to Gaza in the Nakba or Catastrophe of 1948) through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. This “three-state solution” is precisely ethnic cleansing, a crime under international law. For decades, the Israeli political class has been willing to conduct genocidal policies—including this bombardment of Gaza—to facilitate its ethno-national, apartheid state project that requires the erasure of Palestinians and Palestine.


By Thomas Palley

September 11, 2023, marks the fiftieth anniversary of General Pinochet’s military coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende. While it is now widely recognized that Pinochet authorized large-scale human rights abuses, there is an accompanying narrative that he also unleashed an economic miracle via embrace of Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys” vision of a market economy.

The “Pinochet economic miracle” narrative is profoundly misleading. Worse yet, it is a political menace for two reasons. First, it risks tacitly promoting the notion that dictatorship may be legitimate to the extent it offers a road to prosperity. Second, the Pinochet regime embraced Neoliberalism which promotes anti-democratic tendencies by fracturing society. The claim of a Pinochet economic miracle lends support to Neoliberalism, thereby encouraging acceptance of Neoliberalism despite its anti-democratic proclivities.


By Steve Taylor and Orin Langelle

Valued for its termite-resistant wood for building purposes, pulp to create products like writing and toilet paper, and its oil, which has numerous health and household benefits, the eucalyptus tree generates big business worldwide. Native to Australia and Tasmania, the prehistoric tree has been planted in such volumes that eucalyptus plantations cover some 25 million hectares around the globe—larger than the entire land area of the United Kingdom. By 2028, according to forecasts, the global eucalyptus oil market is projected to exceed $213 million, while the worldwide market for eucalyptus pulp will expand to nearly $17 billion.

But the eucalyptus industry has a dark side. Eucalyptus plantations growing in regions spanning South America, southern Africa, southern Europe, and Australia have significant detrimental impacts on local communities and biodiversity. Communities located near eucalyptus plantations are likely to face water shortages—as these plantations utilize huge amounts of water—and pollution from agrochemicals, including exposure to glyphosate, which has been linked to various health problems, including increased cancer risk.


Not homelessness, housing issues, poverty, racism, no...

The real "scandal" is that no one -- over the age of 5 -- could "take" an ill-fated tourism vagina "joke" about Regina and that -- apparently connected somehow -- there are no strip clubs there for the author to do whatever it is he wants to do in.

This is literally the premise of a ridiculous piece by Jesse Kline in the National Post that proves that in Canada any misogynist drip can publish the most outrageous rubbish in what purports to be a national news and opinion outlet of some repute. Interestingly, this was posted by him July 19 even though the vagina-Regina "scandal" to which he is referring happened quite some time ago now.


Released in English on June 19, a powerful statement from a speech given by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Member of the European Parliament Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos during the debate on the “Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the EU” at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


With the feudal spectacle of the coronation of a new king looming in England many -- quite rightly and understandably -- are decrying the sickening absurdity of the public purse being used to pay for a lavish shindig anointing an incredibly wealthy man who was literally born into staggering privilege.

While the British government has been predictably tightlipped on what will be squandered for Charles' big day out, estimates say it will likely be in the neighbourhood of £100 million. Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarch campaign group Republic said of this “Charles is already king. There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime. At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis."


Both Starmer and Singh are playing their roles propping up the system in service of reactionary stability at a time of rising mass disenchantment with the political and capitalist status quo. By totally embracing and reinforcing the ideological and political underpinnings of the neo-liberal order as well as capitalism as a system they are ceding the ground very dangerously to the far right and far right ideas which many are turning to as the seemingly only real "alternative" to a crushingly oppressive and cruel day-to-day reality.

When social democrats overtly and aggressively embrace "open for business" ideas and policies while viciously fixating on attacking their left flank as Starmer is doing now or engage in the kind of Walmartization of "progressive" policy and overt hypocrisy vis-à-vis Canada's Liberal government as Singh and the NDP do, they disenfranchise by narrowing the space open to people for meaningful change. As played out in the US in 2016 with the election of Trump and has historically in many other cases, this sense of disenfranchisement and powerlessness all-too-often becomes a catalyst for rising fascism and the alarming fictions it uses to channel and harness mass anger and disempowerment.




We must strengthen the struggle against the monopolies and the bourgeois classes, for the overthrow of capitalism, for the strengthening of the class struggle against the imperialist war, for socialism!


Since becoming the world's most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community.

The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage "color revolutions," instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a "rules-based international order."

This report, by presenting the relevant facts, seeks to expose the U.S. abuse of hegemony in the political, military, economic, financial, technological and cultural fields, and to draw greater international attention to the perils of the U.S. practices to world peace and stability and the well-being of all peoples.


It is amazing how when it comes to what are likely isolated crime incidents the media and police propaganda responses are truly always déjà vu all over again. Don't buy it. Nothing has changed about the nature of our police forces and the need for dramatic and fundamental reforms, far greater oversight of police and massive defunding of hugely bloated police budgets.

Twelve other interesting pieces to check out from 2023:

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