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Review of "Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming"

“Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming” by David Klein (and which I edited and illustrated), was reviewed by Michael Gasser.

The review is in the Jan/Feb issue of “Against the Current”:
http://solidarity-us.org/site/node/4548

It also appears on System Change Not Climate Change:
http://systemchangenotclimatechange.org/article/climate-change-radical-primer

***
Climate Change: A Radical Primer
by Michael Gasser

Review of Capitalism & Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming

By David Klein, illustrated and edited by Stephanie McMillan
An ebook available for download at Gumroad, a site where people can sell their work directly to their audience: https://gumroad.com/l/climatechange#. You choose your own price.

GWcover2MOST BOOKS ON ecosocialism, while they may be of interest to those who already know something about socialism, especially those who already are socialists, are not particularly useful for those who want to be aware of both what climate change is and what capitalism is.

Naomi Klein’s best-selling book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism and the Climate, filled part of this gap, but as several reviewers have noted(1), by “capitalism” Naomi Klein seems to mean the variant of it that is usually called “neoliberalism,” the austerity and privatization enforced around the world by international financial institutions since the 1980s. As valuable as her book is, it is not, and does not pretend to be, a Marxist take on the crisis.

With Capitalism & Climate Change ecosocialist David Klein, with considerable help from revolutionary cartoonist Stephanie McMillan, gives us the best available primer, from a radical perspective, on what the ecological crisis is about and what is causing it. Far from challenging Naomi Klein’s similarly titled book, however, David Klein frequently relies on Naomi Klein, and in some ways, the two books complement each other.

Because they appeared within months of one another and because of their similar titles, it is natural to want to compare them. (For simplification, in what follows when I write simply “Klein,” I’ll mean David Klein).

Capitalism & Climate Change is divided into two sections, the first covering the nature of the climate crisis itself, the second capitalism’s role in creating the crisis, its inability to get us out of it, and what we can do about it.
What Science Tells Us

Klein starts Part 1,“What does climate science tell us?” with a look at the climate change denial movement, how it is funded, and how it challenges mainstream climate science. While some of this section will be familiar from Naomi Klein — who also begins with this topic — what will be new is the discussion of the lengths the deniers and their financial backers have gone to to intimidate mainstream climate scientists, up to and including anonymous threats against individual scientists.

In more ways than one, the climate change deniers, or more significantly their financial backers, mean business!
Continue reading Review of "Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming"

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Audio interview: Peace & Justice Report

Here’s a half-hour audio interview I did with Bob Connors of the Peace & Justice Report, for WSLR (Sarasota, FL), talking about “Affirmations for Revolutionary Militants,” what is capitalism, the role of art in a revolutionary movement, how to organize, why the working class needs to lead our way out of this nightmare, what got me started personally, and more!

http://peacejusticereport.podomatic.com/entry/2015-12-28T21_00_42-08_00

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Book review of "Capitalism Must Die" is in "top ten" for 2015!

Aaron Leonard’s review of “Capitalism Must Die!” made the top ten list of book reviews on rabble.ca!

See it here:

http://rabble.ca/books/reviews/2015/12/best-book-reviews-2015

Here’s what they said:

“Capitalism must die! Your economic guidebook to revolution,” by Aaron Leonard

coverSmallWhy it’s great: Spoiler alert: capitalism is terrible. How do we know? Because author Stephanie McMillian’s colourful cartoons definitely told us so! Her playful blend of colours and style is inviting and brings us in to the serious message that capitalism is definitely destroying the world.

Why you should read this: Aaron Leonard conducts a very illuminating interview with the author where she candidly discusses why we so urgently need to defeat capitalism. Couldn’t be a better time to read it.

Here’s the review itself:

https://stephaniemcmillan.org/2015/09/22/interview-capitalism-must-die-your-economic-guidebook-to-revolution/

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3 recent audio interviews

Here are 3 recent interviews:

November 22: I talked with Derrick Jensen on Resistance Radio (prn.fm) about the “Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants” —
http://prn.fm/resistance-radio-stephanie-mcmillan-11-22-15/

November 20: I talked with Richard Estes on “Speaking in Tongues” (kdvs 90.3 fm in Davis, CA) about why NGOs suck —
http://169.237.101.62/archives/2015-11-20_3775_320kbps.mp3

November 19: Sarah Cruz (One Struggle/Miami) and I talked with Devon Bowers of the Hampton Institute. Sarah talked about elections, and I talked about surplus value —
http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/podcastportal.html

 

 

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Recent Events

At Burning Books in Buffalo, NY, October 29
At Burning Books in Buffalo, NY, October 29
With Theresa, Leslie, Eliza, Nate and Shontae at Burning Books in Buffalo, NY, October 29
With Theresa, Leslie, Eliza, Nate and Shontae at Burning Books in Buffalo, NY, October 29

 

At Gallery X, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Oct. 17. Photo by Wendy Figg.
At Gallery X, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Oct. 17. Photo by Wendy Figg.

 

Talking about organizing with Emily, Jeff, Tim and Earl in Columbus, OH on Sept. 6.
With Emily, Jeff, Tim and Earl in Columbus, OH on Sept. 6.

 

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Interview: Capitalism must die! Your economic guidebook to revolution

Originally published at rabble.ca: http://rabble.ca/books/reviews/2015/09/capitalism-must-die-your-economic-guidebook-to-revolution

Capitalism is so, so terrible. Here are the tools you need to crush it.

September 10, 2015

Capitalism must die! Your economic guidebook to revolution

Capitalism Must Die! A basic introduction to capitalism: what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it 2nd edition

by Stephanie McMillan
(INIP, 2015; $27.00)

What is capitalism, how does it work, and why, oh why, is it so terrible? All of these questions, and more, are answered by author Stephanie McMillan in her recent book, Capitalism Must Die! A basic introduction to capitalism: what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it. McMillan uses her 30 years of experience in organizing against capitalism and her clever cartoons to debunk and deconstruct this destructive practice and create a useful tool readers can put into practice.Aaron Leonard recently corresponded with McMillan about her book, capitalism, cartoons and other matters. This interview has been edited.

***

Some of your images are so playful, yet your message is so serious — how did you arrive at a place of undertaking radical politics through comics?

I loved drawing, and reading comics, ever since I was a kid.

By age 10 I had learned to draw Snoopy by tracing Peanuts, and decided I wanted to be a cartoonist someday. I was in high school during the Reagan years, as the U.S./USSR inter-imperialist struggle was heating up [in the form of the Cold War] to what seemed a very dangerous pitch. I wrote my first article for the school paper, with an accompanying illustration, about the dangers of and need to oppose nuclear weapons.

Then I went to college in New York, studying animation while organizing with the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCP) [the youth group of the U.S. Revolutionary Communist Party]. I quickly realized that it was more important to focus on revolutionary change rather than pursue a career for myself, but my father, dying of cancer, asked me to finish school and graduate. After fulfilling my parents’ wishes, I spent the next period of my life organizing, while supporting myself with a succession of temp/clerical, factory and retail jobs.

In the late 1990s, for various reasons, I left the RCP. I still wanted to contribute to the cause of revolution, but now had no organizational framework in which to do that. I thought about how an individual could reach people with ideas and make a social impact. I decided that comics could be an effective vehicle because they are appealing, fast and easy to produce, and can carry a message to a wide audience.

My cartoons evolved through several stages, including traditionally formatted editorial cartoons, gag cartoons, and a sequential narrative comic strip. Recently I was challenged by a comrade to develop a “proletarian conception of cartoons,” and that’s led to a new series of comics that go beyond a critique of capitalism to also assert a working-class alternative. They’re often paired with theoretical and political texts.

 

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Washington Post's ComicRiffs article: "Kickstarter of the Day: Stephanie McMillan affirms your anti-capitalism (plus: goats!)"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2015/06/09/kickstarter-of-the-day-stephanie-mcmillan-affirms-your-anti-capitalism-plus-goats/

Comic Riffs
Kickstarter of the Day: Stephanie McMillan affirms your anti-capitalism (plus: goats!)
By Michael Cavna
June 9 at 2:00 PM

IN HER BATTLE against capitalism, cartoonist-activist Stephanie McMillan does need funds to raise awareness of global plights through her art. And one of the reliable ways so far has been turning to the power of the crowd.

“I love the crowdfunding model, because it requires developing a strong relationship with readers, who decide what work they want to help succeed,” the Florida-based illustrator says as she seeks backing for her “365 Affirmations for Revolutionary Militants” desk calendar. “It’s a way to find out quickly if a project is a good idea or not.”

Comic Riffs caught up with McMillan, who has won an RFK Award for her comics journalism on the Occupy movement, to talk about financial models, the modes of profit and production — and which furry animals best embody her cause:

MICHAEL CAVNA: I know you’ve had success with crowdfunding in the past, Stephanie (i.e., “Mischief in the Forest”). What spurred you to turn to Kickstarter for your new project?
Continue reading Washington Post's ComicRiffs article: "Kickstarter of the Day: Stephanie McMillan affirms your anti-capitalism (plus: goats!)"

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Interview on HuffPo: "Speaking Truth to Power Through Affirmations?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-lopez/speaking-truth-to-power-through-affirmations_b_7531854.html

Speaking Truth to Power Through Affirmations?
by Victor M. Feraru
Posted: 06/08/2015 3:12 pm EDT Updated: 06/08/2015 3:59 pm EDT

Stephanie McMillan has devoted most of her adult life to speaking truth to those in power through multiple books that illustrate the destructive effects of capitalism.

On Facebook and her own website McMillan shares The “Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Militants” which are popular enough that she decided to create a desk calendar that will bring these animated encouragements to life.

McMillan has started a Kickstarter fundraising campaign that is more than 50 percent to its goal. It ends Friday, June 12. It goes without saying that McMillan’s message does not resonate with those in corporate America. I asked McMillan a few questions about the affirmations and the campaign.

Question: What are daily affirmations? What is their purpose?

McMillan: The “Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants”
are simple and colorful drawings with inspirational messages (basically like memes) that encourage revolutionaries who want to end global capitalism.

There are already plenty of Affirmations for people who want financial success, romance, spiritual uplift, weight loss and other things. But until now, none have existed for people who want to fight exploitation, oppression, and the destruction of the planet; none for those who are struggling to change society based on the needs of humanity and nature rather than on the pursuit of profit. This is the most important thing that people can be doing, but so often people try to discourage us — they argue that it’s impossible or crazy — instead of offering positive support.

Fighting for social change can be difficult, and revolutionaries sometimes feel isolated, overwhelmed or discouraged. We need encouragement, and reminders that we are strong and not alone. So I created these affirmations to fill that need.
Continue reading Interview on HuffPo: "Speaking Truth to Power Through Affirmations?"

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Review of "Capitalism Must Die!" by Paul Buhle

Capitalism Must Die! A basic introduction to capitalism: what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it

Some 20 years ago, while creating a book of Mike Alewitz’s labour murals, the artist and I faced the inevitable question: what would a revolutionary artist want his book to be called? He insisted on a word that seemed to me long outdated, belonging to another, faraway world: agitprop. As in, the way that the Communist International of the 1920s, before (and, lamentably, also after) Stalin’s seizure of power, described the agitation and propaganda value of art. It seemed to me, notwithstanding my own lifetime of left politics, so very unartistic.

Alewitz was stubborn (and he won): the point of his art had been from the beginning to transform society by visually assaulting capitalism and capitalists, by telling the stories of the working class and the oppressed. Perhaps I should add that most of his revolutionary murals – from St. Paul, Minnesota, to New York, to Nicaragua, to the Connecticut community college where he has taught for decades – have been painted over. The people in power clearly don’t like his artistic message.

Stephanie McMillan is an agitprop artist and no doubt proud of it. The granddaughter of a once-famed German animator, she studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with the political descendants of blacklisted animators in the U.S., and then turned in the 1990s to cartooning. It was in her nature to begin self-syndicating, an ambitious and (for most artists) frustrating – make that heartbreaking – effort to succeed on their own terms. Thanks to skill and temerity, she broke through to big as well as small publications, and, in 2012, won the Robert F. Kennedy award for editor­ial cartoonists. She also set herself on being a political organizer, from anti-poverty groups to Occupy and beyond. In a commercial publishing world with scarce room for left-wing artists, she has brought out two books from Seven Stories Press and other works that could be considered semi-commercial (as in, distributed by herself and her supporters without much commercial publicity or attention). “Undaunted” is her middle name, or should be.

The actual art in Capitalism Must Die! can only be described as utilitarian, serving the purpose of illustrating the ideas in her prose. The prose is straightforward and reminds me of the “basics” in the socialist study classes of my youth (during the early 1960s). We did not get into ecology back then, but the historic rise of capitalism, grinding the faces of the poor, the spread of the system across the planet (true to Marx’s own formula) to newly available resources and oppressed populations – all of this seems familiar. What is new here, in a society of declining literacy, is her skill in mixing images and interpretive paragraphs. Any young person who hates their job, or can’t find one, can understand intuitively her description of exploitation as the source of profits. McMillan excels in using this seemingly obvious point to explain how the system at large is fast murdering the planet.

She writes and draws as a socialist revo­lutionary who knows that working-class folks will not automatically be won over to understanding that something drastic both needs to be done and can be done. If there is a rub, it is in her appeal for a renewed Marxism-Leninism dependent on a vanguard party (“The trouble with Leninism,” an old anarchist postcard of the 1960s read, “is that everyone wants to be Lenin.”). On the positive side, she has plenty of useful suggestions – including points that many of us have tried to live by – on being democratic, patient (even in disagreements with other radicals), and determined to carry through for the long haul.

No one should expect an artist to have all the political answers. Stephanie McMillan prompts the questions and helps her readers along, and that is a lot. Read this book and pass it along to a young person, too.

Paul Buhle co-founded the New Left journal Radical America in 1967 at age 22 and has edited a dozen non-fiction comics and books including Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz.

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Review: Cartoonists and Revolution

This originally appeared in Against the Current
https://solidarity-us.org/node/4430

by David Finkel

In an era of wars and revolutions
American socialist cartoons of the mid-twentieth century
By Carlo and others; edited by Sean Matgamna
London, England: Phoenix Press, 2013, 314 pages, $15 paperback.

Capitalism Must Die!
A basic introduction to capitalism: what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it
By Stephanie McMillan
Fort Lauderdale, FL: Idees Nouvelles, Idees Proletairiennes, 2014, 241 pages, $12 paperback.

HEAVILY MUSCLED, BLACK and white, mostly (although not all) male proletarians confront profit-bloated moneybag (all white male) capitalists, Jim Crow racism, the war industry, and the grim visage of Stalin.

A one-eyed fighting rabbit, “Bunnista,” takes on the greedy bosses (mostly but not all white and male) and their “omnicidal” system destroying the planet in the course of exploiting labor and nature.

The first set of images dominate the collection In an era of wars and revolutions, compiled by Sean Matgamna, a leading member of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) in Britain. The second, the creation of Stephanie McMillan, is an illustrated manifesto setting out her Marxist-inspired account of how capitalism operates and the necessity to overthrow it.

 

Both are entertaining as well as educational, and put together certainly throw some light on changes in radical political culture over the past seven or so decades. Matgamna has compiled an assortment of mostly Trotskyist and Third Camp cartoons from the immediately pre-World War II period through the mid-1950s, with a handful of earlier contributions from the 1920s Communist press.

The artists include Carlo (Jesse Cohen) and Laura Gray (Slobe) and several others. For insight into these artists and their world, you can look up articles by Kent Worcester (http://newpol.org/content/sculptor-painter-and-cartoonist-laura-gray) and “Cannonite Bohemians After World War II” by Alan Wald (http://www.solidarity-us.org/pdfs/ATC%20159-Wald.pdf).

The coloration of these cartoons is generally pretty dark, and much of the imagery is likely to strike today’s readers as rather grim and outdated.  It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that these cartoons and the papers where they appeared — The Militant, Daily Worker, Labor Action, Socialist Appeal, etc. — actually addressed a working-class audience engaged in a labor movement that was stronger and substantially more politicized than today’s.

Matgamna acknowledges the masculinist shortcomings of the works:  “The socialists who drew these cartoons were, themselves and their organizations, militant for women’s rights, but little of that is in their work…Even so, the old symbols, the fat capitalist and the big powerful worker, are still intelligible. They depict truths of our times as well as of their own.” (1-2)

Stephanie McMillan brings the same hatred of exploitation and oppression, along with the ecological and feminist priorities of today’s movements. Her Bunnista character, whom I take to be an alter ego of sorts, appears to have evolved in recent years from a mainly environmental activist to a fully-fledged revolutionary fighter.

One feature I especially appreciate —  missing in the period cartoons chronicled by Matgamna — is McMillan’s ability to turn a humorous critical light on the movement itself. Recycling a classic radical joke, one of her characters pronounces that “Being a revolutionary militant requires tremendous sacrifice, resolve, persistence, and hard work. It ends in violent death or prison.” To which Bunnista replies: “Your recruitment pitch could use some work.” (178)

In another case, without quoting Marx, she nicely paraphrases his classic quip about the arm of criticism and the criticism of arms. (241)

In a welcome development, both of these books are “licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution — Non-Commercial” licensing arrangement. That means the art can be used with attribution, for non-commercial purposes and without alteration.

One could discuss the cartoons and text at greater length, but better to look for yourself. Ordering information: Phoenix Press, 20E Tower Workshops, Riley Road, London SE1 3DG, England; Stephanie McMillan, P.O. Box 460673, Fort Lauderdale FL 33346; steph@minimumsecurity.net.

May/June 2015, ATC 176

Continue reading Review: Cartoonists and Revolution

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Interview in Counterpunch

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/18/feeling-trapped-in-a-dead-end-system/
May 18, 2015

Feeling Trapped in a Dead-End System?
Cartoonist Stephanie McMillan’s Affirmations Encourage Resistance

by MARK HAND

Activists and organizers for social change undoubtedly experience periods of burnout. Working long hours — typically without pay and little appreciation — on campaigns, issues and causes where victories are few and far between can be demoralizing. Some activists get so frustrated with the perceived lack of results from their hard work, the divisions within the Left, and the rampant apathy among the general public that they give up entirely and retreat from activism.

2014-10-30-get-seriousCartoonist, writer and organizer Stephanie McMillan saw the depression, feelings of hopelessness and other difficulties faced by her fellow activists. And she wanted to do something to help people overcome these. So she started writing uplifting messages to empower individuals to continue working for a better world. She calls her inspirational messages “Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant.” Similar to the memorable characters in her popular comic strips Minimum Security and Code Green, McMillan’s affirmations are accompanied by cute and colorful animals, plants and insects.

McMillan is almost finished writing 365 affirmations, and when she puts the final touches on the last one, she hopes to gather them all up and offer the entire collection as a 365-day perpetual desk calendar. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is holding a campaign that ends June 12 to raise enough money to get the calendars printed.

In mid-May, a few days after McMillan launched her fundraising campaign, I asked her why she decided to write these affirmations. The conversation then moved on to broader questions about living in a world filled with barriers to positive change.

Mark Hand: When did you start writing and drawing the Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants?

Stephanie McMillan: I started on January 1, 2014, to provide an alternative for revolutionaries to the same old New Year’s resolutions. I intended to post them every day for a year, but some of them straggled into 2015. I’m finishing up the final 34 this month, daily through June 12, to wind up with 365 on the final day of the Kickstarter campaign.

MH: What inspired you to write them?

SM: Capitalists constantly push us to want things that keep us trapped in the system and obsessed with trivialities that distract us from resistance. All kinds of support is available if we strive to make money, worship a god, lose weight, find romance.

But there is a huge lack of inspirational literature to encourage and uplift people whose lives are dedicated to social transformation. Most writing on the Left is theoretical and political — these are obviously crucial, but there isn’t much that addresses us on the ideological level, on helping us change our ways of thinking so we stay strong, on track, and motivated, that helps us establish standards of behavior that serve our goals. All we hear is the constant barrage of capitalist ideology telling us that we’re wrong, our aspirations are impossible, we’re crazy to try, and “we can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em. No wonder many people feel so hopeless, depressed and overwhelmed.

I started writing the Affirmations to bolster my own resolve and strategic optimism, and when I started sharing them, I saw that they filled a strong need for many others as well. So I decided to draw them regularly.
Continue reading Interview in Counterpunch

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Review/interview on HuffPo

Is Capitalism All That Bad?

by Victor Feraru
Why is capitalism bad for the world?

Stephanie McMillan, an award winning writer and political cartoonist attempts to answer that question and explain what capitalism means to those who don’t have a lifetime to study its concepts, in her book Capitalism Must Die.

Conspiracy theories, false solutions and misconceptions of human nature are common diversions that keep us from understanding the connection between capitalism’s structure and its many harmful effects,” McMillan says. She did not just start thinking about this kind of stuff.

McMillan, who graduated from New York University, says that she has been working against capitalism since high school.

During the three decades she has been trying to expose the insidious nature of capitalism, she realized that most people do not know what it is. In fact, she says, even those who are against capitalism are not always clear of the components that make it so toxic for the future of the world.

“The most immediate example of capitalism ruining the world is pollution,” says McMillan.

The second and equally as important is the way that we are literally sucking the world’s natural resources dry.

Contrary to popular belief, our forests, oil and clean water, to name a few, are finite, and when they are gone, they’re gone. And not acknowledging global warming will not make it go away.

A capitalist is “a wealthy person who uses money to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism,” according to Merriam Webster and capitalism is “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.”

Simple enough, right? It is more complicated than that.

McMillan is not alone in her assessment. Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs wrote on CNN.com:

The idea of sustainable development is that raw capitalism is far too powerful for its own good. Global capitalism is a juggernaut, with the world economy now doubling in size every generation. Yet on a finite Earth, with a billion new people being added every 15 years, that juggernaut is now laying siege to the physical bases of life and the social support systems that make life pleasant and decent. Sustainable development offers a path out of this growing crisis.

Having a curious mind (and some questions about the validity of all of this), I reached out to my correspondent friend Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and unapologetic political dissonant, who still manages to travel the world and answer emails regularly at the young age of 86. I asked him why capitalists who want to own the world are so hell bent on destroying it.
“They don’t want to. But ruining the world is an externality, which doesn’t enter into business transactions,” Chomsky says.

He thinks that above the socioeconomic toxicity that rises from capitalism, its effects on the environment are the most discernable.

“The most obvious, and ominous, example is destruction of the environment, a virtually automatic consequence of the institutional structure of capitalism,” explains Chomsky.

Although most of the business in the world revolves around capitalism, making it as Chomsky and McMillan call “unavoidable,” such as using computers or banking and investing our money, it is best to know that in our not-so-distant future, the choices corporations are making today are not only exploiting people, but also putting the whole planet we live on at risk.

Don’t take my word for it. Pick up a copy of McMillan’s book. It is a good place to start. It is important to understand just how serious the implications are if we continue on the route we are allowing these companies to go.

Follow Victor M. Feraru on Twitter: www.twitter.com/victorhuffpost

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Join us on May Day in Grinnell, Iowa!

If you’re anywhere near Grinnell, Iowa on May 1, please join me for an event: “Taking Back International Workers Day!” There will be presentations by student Thomas Estabrook on the history of May Day, railroad worker Robert Allen on the need for struggle, and I’ll have a new comics slideshow about the role of the working class in the fight against capitalism. One of the slides is below.

Details available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/910467872308730/

SurplusValueColor

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"Teaching Capitalism" – a professor reviews "Capitalism Must Die!"

2012-12-18-our-badOriginal post here: http://uprootingcriminology.org/classroom/teaching-capitalism/

Teaching Capitalism

by Gary Potter,
Professor, School of Justice Studies
Eastern Kentucky University
April 16, 2015

Almost every semester I teach an undergraduate or graduate course in criminological theory. At best I can devote three weeks to radical, critical and feminist criminology because of the plethora of other lesser theories in the discipline. It is almost absurd to suggest that I can, even superficially cover the 1,152 pages of Marx’s Das Kapital and the 912 pages of The Grundrisse (Penguin Books editions) in an hour or two. The truth is that I am in my 30th year of trying to read and understand The Grundrisse myself. Even if I had a full semester devoted to a critique of capitalism trying to make the esoteric concepts and ideas relevant to students, particularly undergraduates, is an insurmountable task. Well, at last help has arrived!

Stephanie McMillan has produced a 244 page book of texts and cartoons titled Capitalism Must Die! What It is, Why It Sucks, and How to Crush It which makes the complex and indecipherable easy to understand. Available here: https://stephaniemcmillan.org/shop/

In Part 1, Ms. McMillan explains in easy to read text and with wonderful illustrations how capitalism works and why it must constantly and rapaciously grow through exploitation. In Part 2 she offers ideas on how we might organize to confront this ruthless system of global exploitation.
Continue reading "Teaching Capitalism" – a professor reviews "Capitalism Must Die!"

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New book: "Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming"

The ebook by CSUN professor David Klein, which I’ve illustrated, is due out next week!
[EDITED 1/8: It’s available now! Pay what you like, download here: https://gumroad.com/l/climatechange]

I wrote the foreword, pasted below the cover.
GWcover2
Foreword by Stephanie McMillan

2014 was the hottest year on record. If we don’t quickly find a way to stop global warming, we’re cooked. This ghastly reality is now staring us right in the face.

It’s finally become fashionable for the leftish intelligentsia—public intellectuals, paid activists, liberal editors—to bend themselves, with much concern and expressions of urgency (albeit a bit late for some), to the challenge of global warming. But most of them seem constitutionally incapable of dealing with the underlying situation that drives it. They identify the problem variously as corporate greed, sociopathic elites, brainwashed consumers, corrupt politicians. When they can no longer avoid mentioning capitalism, they unfailingly qualify it: “capitalist excess,” “corporate capitalism,” “crony capitalism,” “the broken system.”
Continue reading New book: "Capitalism and Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming"

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Counterpunch: a very nice review of "Capitalism Must Die!" (and interview)

Cartoonist and Journalist Stephanie McMillan Provides a User-Friendly Guide
How to Stop Capitalism in its Tracks

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/05/how-to-stop-capitalism-in-its-tracks/

by MARK HAND

If capitalism keeps chugging along, we’re all in big trouble. That’s the prognosis of Stephanie McMillan, an award-winning political cartoonist and author of the new book, Capitalism Must Die! A Basic Introduction to Capitalism: What It Is, Why It Sucks, and How to Crush It.

The most urgent reason to stop capitalism in its tracks, according to McMillan, is its prominent role in harming the planet. Capitalism possesses an inherent growth imperative. This means that the normal functioning of capitalism is causing water shortages, ailing oceans, destroyed forests and ruined topsoil.

But even if an ecological catastrophe weren’t upon us, capitalism would still need to be dismantled because it’s based on exploitation, McMillan said in an interview. “There’s no reason why the social result of production needs to be in private hands and that only a few people should own what everybody produces,” she said.

McMillan uses her book to introduce and popularize basic concepts of revolutionary theory. “I wanted to provide something that was accessible to people, that people wouldn’t be afraid to pick up,” she said. But once they pick it up, readers will find a “doorway into deeper levels of theory because we always need to learn more about the system,” she explained.
Continue reading Counterpunch: a very nice review of "Capitalism Must Die!" (and interview)

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Statements from workers in Haiti to workers in Bangladesh

Last year when I met some members of the Bangladesh Trade Union Federation near Dhaka, I brought a solidarity letter from the autonomous organization Batay Ouvriye (Workers Fight), in Haiti. The Bangladeshi workers responded with a message in return, and a photograph raising their fists in an expression of working class unity.

The message was translated into Kreyol and sent to Haiti shortly afterward. Then last month I participated in events organized by unions of Batay Ouvriye in three areas: Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, and Caracol. The workers in each place (mostly garment workers, but others too) requested that their photographs and statements of internationalist solidarity be sent to the workers of the BTUF. The statements have been translated into Bangla, and are below, along with photos.

হাইতির শ্রমিক শ্রেণীর পক্ষ থেকে, আমরা, হাইতির উত্তরাঞ্চলের শ্রমিকরা, বাংলাদেশের শ্রমিকদের সাথে সংহতি প্রকাশ করছি । আমরা তাদের বলতে চাই, যে লড়াই আপনারা গড়ে তুলছেন, আমরা হাইতিতেও অভিন্ন লড়াই গড়ে তুলছি । এটাই অদ্বৈত সংগ্রাম । আমাদের সবার উপর সাম্রাজ্যবাদী শক্তিসমূহ তার শক্তি প্রয়োগ করে চলেছে । আপনাদের মত আমরাও নির্যাতিত । আমাদের কাজ করে যেতে হবে যাতে শ্রমিক শ্রেণী বিশ্বব্যাপী অভিন্ন দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি নিয়ে, অভিন্ন লড়াই গড়ে তুলে, যতক্ষণ পর্যন্ত না আমরা পুঁজিবাদী ব্যবস্থা উচ্ছেদ করতে পারছি। আমাদের দরকার পুঁজিবাদী ব্যবস্থা মোকাবেলার জন্য, বিশ্বব্যাপী শ্রমিকদের ঐক্য।
পুঁজিবাদ নিপাত যাক।
বিশ্বব্যাপী শ্রমিক শ্রেণীর লড়াই, দীর্ঘজীবি হোক ।

In the name of the Haitian working class, we, workers in northern Haiti, stand in solidarity with workers in Bangladesh. We wish to tell them that the struggle they are waging in Bangladesh is the same struggle we are waging here in Haiti. It’s ONE STRUGGLE. The imperialist forces are projecting their power on us all. We are victims of it as much as you are also victims of it. However, we have to work so that the working class worldwide builds unity in the same worldview to wage the same struggle until we can overthrow the capitalist system. We need a worldwide workers’ union to confront the capitalist system.
Down with capitalism!
Long live the working class struggle worldwide!

সকোয়া সংহতি প্রকাশ
আমার নাম জ্যাক, হাইতির সকোয়া (Union at Codevi, Free Trade Zone) ইউনিয়নের সদস্য । আমরা , সকোয়া জাতীয় ও আন্তর্জাতিক পরিসরে অন্যান্য সংগঠনের সাথে ঐক্যবদ্ধভাবে আন্দোলনকে এগিয়ে নিয়ে যাচ্ছি। আমরা শ্রমিক শ্রেণী, বিভিন্ন দেশে, বছরের পর বছর, এমনকি এখনও, যারা অবদমিত এবং যাদের সংগ্রাম করার অধিকার নেই। অইসব দেশগুলোর মধ্যে বাংলাদেশের শ্রমিকরা নিজেদের মধ্যে ঐক্য গড়ে তুলছে। আমাদের বিজয়ের প্রতীক হিসাবে ছবিট তোলা হয়েছে। আমাদের শৃঙ্খল না ভাঙ্গা পর্যন্ত অবশ্যই আন্দোলন চালিয়ে যেতে হবে।
দুনিয়ার মজদুর , এক হও।

SOKOWA Solidarity Statement

My name is Jacques, member of the SOKOWA (Union of CODEVI Workers in Ouanaminthe) union in Haiti. We in SOKOWA are aligning ourselves with other organizations to move the struggle forward nationally and internationally. We, the workers in the working class in various countries, for years until now, have been victims of intimidation and repression in our struggles. Among such countries is Bangladesh where workers are kept from uniting themselves. Thus, the photo taken as a symbol of solidarity represents a victory for us. We must continue to struggle together until we break our chains.
Workers of the world, unite!

PortAuPrince
Port-au-Prince

CapHaitien
Cap Haitien

Caracol
Caracol, Ouanaminthe

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Brief interview: Revolutionary Comics

[Appears in The Socialist: http://www.thesocialist.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/TS-RADICALART-2014.pdf]

by Jen McClellan

CSUN did a week of lectures in October, titled “Comics v. Capitalism v. Climate.” The first presentation I caught was given by Professor David Klein and Stephanie McMillan, who spoke fearlessly about the incompatibility of capitalism and
…. well … life.

Jen:
Stephanie McMillan, you critiqued capitalism for needing exponential expansion in order to survive. You offer, in response to this destructive system, inspiration via cartoons, and suggest that transformation away from capitalism will be economic, political, and ideological. You also emphasize that the working class are the only ones that are able to offer a solution. My first question then is – if we live in a system that sucks every last ounce of energy out of its workers, (giving them less than enough to live decently as human beings) then where are they going to find the time or strength to study economics, become politicized, or develop an ideology?
Continue reading Brief interview: Revolutionary Comics

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Photos of recent events

Comics Journalism panel, at AAEC (Association of American Editorial Cartoonists) convention, October 10, San Francisco. With Jack Ohman, Susie Cagle, Patrick Chappatte, Andy Warner, Dan Archer, Dan Carino, and Mark Fiore. Photo by Jenny Robb:

aaecPanel

Preparing for the Cartoon Death Match, October 9, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco. With Ron Turner, Mark Fiore, Don Asmussen, and Vishvajit Singh. (I won!) Photo by JP Trostle:

DearthMatch

“War, Imperialism, and Oppression… and Resistance,” cartoon presentation with Ted Rall and David Klein, October 15, CSUN (California State University at Northridge):

classS

Reading a solidarity statement at an event celebrating the 2-year anniversary of SOKOWA (Autonomous Union of Workers at Codevi, Ouanaminthe), November 12:

Caracol

Earth at Risk, panel on Capitalism and Sociopathy, with Charles Derber, Derrick Jensen, and Stan Goff. November 23, San Francisco:

ear

Fight for $15 march through a Burger King, December 4, Miami:

fight15

Scope Art Show, Dec. 4-7, Miami Beach. I had a few original drawings here from “The Beginning of the American Fall” (about Occupy):

scope

scope2

scope3

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Cartoon Death Match

“There’s poor people who need aid and what do we send? A cartoonist. Wonderful.”
—Turner on McMillan

San Francisco Magazine, on the 13 funniest things said at the Cartoon Death Match:
http://modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-13-funniest-things-said-satire-fests-cartoon-death-match

The fierce final battle.
The fierce final battle. Photo by JP Trostle.
The spectators scream for blood. Photo by JP Trostle.
The spectators scream for blood. Photo by JP Trostle.
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Tonight: anti-capitalist conference call presentation: Water Troubles

Please join me tonight (online/phone) at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, for the first installment of an approximately-monthly event. I’ll moderate discussions of various issues in the context of capitalism and imperialism. Tonight it’ll be on water access and quality. The description and list of speakers is below. Hope you can make it!

byCapitalismHoriz

To register for the call go to: http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/JWKOI3SLQZQ2MWG3

Invite your friends to join us! https://www.facebook.com/events/357969924358146/

Details behind the cut… Continue reading Tonight: anti-capitalist conference call presentation: Water Troubles

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Upcoming events

Wednesday, August 21, online
“Brought to You by Capitalism: Water Should be Free”

The first in a monthly series of panel presentations via conference call, addressing various effects of capitalism and resistance. This month the call will feature David Soll (author of “Empire of Water,”), a member of the Detroit Water Brigade, and possibly another speaker. I will be the moderator.
6 pm PT/ 9 pm ET
Hosted by InterOccupy.
Register here: http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/JWKOI3SLQZQ2MWG3

Thursday, August 28, Miami
“Capitalism Must Die!”

A slideshow presentation (with cartoons) explaining what capitalism is and why it must be eliminated.
Disorientation Week
Florida International University, South Campus, GC 343
6:30-8:30 pm
Free; presented by One Struggle/South Florida.
https://www.facebook.com/events/646958485400883/

Wednesday, Sept. 27, online
“Brought to You by Capitalism: Climate Change”

The second in a monthly series of panel presentations via conference call, addressing various effects of capitalism and resistance. The call this month will feature David Klein (professor at CSUN/California State University at Northridge), and other speakers. I will be the moderator.
6 pm PT/ 9 pm ET
Hosted by InterOccupy.
Register here: http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/JWKOI3SLQZQ2MWG3

November 22-23, San Francisco
“Earth at Risk”

I will participate on a panel on “Capitalism and Sociopathy,” part of a conference which includes Vandana Shiva, Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Dahr Jamail, Richard Manning, Diane Wilson and many others.
Presented by Fertile Ground Institute.
http://www.fertilegroundinstitute.org/

Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2015, Minneapolis
“Wonder Women”

My comics will be included in a multimedia group show.
Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota

TBA (details still being worked out):

Oct. 9-12: San Francisco
Week of Oct. 13: Los Angeles
Week of Nov. 3: Sudbury, ON
Future topics for “Brought to You by Capitalism” will include workplace organizing, the World Bank, clinic defense, and revolution.

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Anti-Imperialism Day

One Struggle’s third year of organizing an anti-imperialist event on July 28, the anniversary of the first US invasion of Haiti in 1915. Speakers talk about what imperialism is, and the effects it’s had on the countries they come from.

AntiImpDay1

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Collective Art Project

At “Art is a Weapon” last night, we each drew representations of different aspects of imperialism, and then talked about them. I put them together on a big piece of paper, to hang at the upcoming event on Anti-Imperialism Day, July 28, at Veye Yo, Miami.

CollectiveArtProject

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Tonight in Fort Lauderdale: Art is a Weapon!

ArtFBevent2
Please join me tonight for “Art is a Weapon in the Battle of Ideas,” an event presented by One Struggle.

I’ll show slides of a broad range of political art, and talk about art’s political role and impact, historically and today. The presentation will be followed by open discussion.

We’ll do an art project together, too! (Hint: start thinking about a specific aspect or incident of imperialism that especially angers you). Also, if you’re an artist, please bring work to share.

The presentation addresses several questions: How does culture advance political aims? How do we use our art as part of the
anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist struggle? Why does the bourgeoisie love abstract expressionism?

8 p.m. tonight!
Sunshine Cathedral
1480 SW 9th Ave, (just south of Davie Blvd).
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315

We will be in room 8, upstairs in the courtyard.
Free; donations welcome.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/494449554033166/

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Photos: NYC events

Left Forum panel on international wage struggles:
nyc01

Left Forum panel on political cartoons:
nyc02

At LF with Seth Tobocman and Ted Rall:
nyc03

Greg Farrell, “Cartoons for the Struggle” at La Difference Auto School, Brooklyn:
nyc04

Discussion after our presentations at La Difference:
nyc05

The event ended with a cultural presentation by Granchimen:
nyc06

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Comics Bulletin: ‘Captalism Must Die!’ doesn’t pull any punches

http://comicsbulletin.com/review-captalism-must-die-doesnt-pull-any-punches/

by John Yohe
June 4, 2014

The subtitle to Captalism Must Die! doesn’t pull any punches. Artist/writer Stephanie McMillan’s latest book is “A basic introduction to capitalism, what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it.” ‘Nuff said?

This is not, like McMillan’s previous books, a narrative with sequential art, which may disappoint fans (I confess, it did me at first). Instead, it’s a more text-heavy non-fiction book explaining capitalism and class theory, interspersed with one-page cartoons that serve as ‘in other words’ visual explanations of McMillan’s at times jargon-y text. Also as necessary pauses, breaths, and laughs.

Early on, McMillan states that she’s not trying to write an academic-sounding text, but rather something that’s accessible and easily understandable. The problem is that she’s dealing with Theory-with-a-capital-T: that is, what is known in academic/university circles as Marxist theory, but is called by people who actually try to live it as ‘class theory’ and/or ‘proletarian theory,’ and therefore the use of some academic-y terminology is inevitable, and therefore maybe a little intimidating and/or the cause of eye-rolling to casual readers.
Continue reading Comics Bulletin: ‘Captalism Must Die!’ doesn’t pull any punches

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Review of "Capitalism Must Die!" Coloring Book

Original post (with images): http://funologist.org/2014/05/25/best-kid-present-ever/

Best.Kid.Present.Ever.

by Paxus Calta-Star

Some years back political cartoonist Stephanie McMillian did a visitor period at Twin Oaks and I had fantasies of one of the communities new industries being radical humor. She is a clever, quirky, cartoonist with an impossible message to deliver and just the right tool to do it. Her latest salvo in this on-going public education and activation campaign is on target and at exactly the right price.

Your kids deserve this book

I discovered Stephanie’s work while I was staying at an amazing squat in Barcelona called Can Masdeu. The squats library had a copy of the book she illustrated, As the Word Burns: 50 simple things you can do to stay in denial. Which is a quick read, if it does not cause your brain to explode.
Continue reading Review of "Capitalism Must Die!" Coloring Book

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A review of “Capitalism Must Die!” from Sequential Tart

http://www.sequentialtart.com/reports.php?ID=9120&issue=2014-05-12

Capitalism Must Die!
by Katie Frank

Reviews may contain information that could be considered ‘spoilers’. Readers should proceed at their own risk.

Grade: 7
With a subtitle like “A basic introduction to capitalism: what it is, why it sucks, and how to crush it,” Capitalism Must Die! is a book with a clear sociopolitical agenda. If you think you will hate it based on the title alone, you probably will. With that said, the book provides an overall well-written, easy to understand introduction to anti-capitalism in the Marxist tradition. It defines terms without using a lot of jargon, and uses short comics and cartoons to introduce and illustrate difficult concepts with real-world examples. The tone of the writing is forceful and impassioned without being overly preachy or antagonistic toward the reader, which can often put people off of explicitly political books. McMillan has clearly spent a lot of time in activism and political education, and it shows in how fluently she translates high theory into everyday language.
Continue reading A review of “Capitalism Must Die!” from Sequential Tart

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Review of "Resistance to Ecocide" in Comics Bulletin

Review: ‘The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance To Ecocide’: Don’t let the cute bunny fool you

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/6677/review-the-minimum-security-chronicles-resistance-to-ecocide-dont-let-the-cute-bunny-fool-you/

A comic review article by: John Yohe

Don’t let the cute bunny fool you, The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance To Ecocide is a radical and much needed (comic) book on how to save ourselves, and our world, from capitalism.

Writer/Artist Stephanie McMillan uses each of her cartoon characters, human and non, to represent different aspects of, or different philosophies within, the environmental movement, or within its more radical edges. Mainstream environmental activists, the kind that, say, listen to NPR and recycle their Starbucks cups, do appear, but only to be mocked mercilessly by her main characters—McMillan isn’t wasting time with those basic useless ideas, and she assumes her readers don’t either.
Continue reading Review of "Resistance to Ecocide" in Comics Bulletin

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Upcoming events

Left Forum, New York, May 30-June 1, 2014
Details to come

***

“Capitalism Must Die!” book release
https://www.facebook.com/events/280087702160369/
May 1, 2014

This will be part of the One Struggle May Day event/rally after-party,
which includes music by Kazoots and Unity Rise!
https://www.facebook.com/events/635664916487255/
39 NW 54 ST. Miami, FL 33137

***

Environmental Art Exhibition (group show): April 18-May 10, 2014
7th Circuit Productions/Moksha Gallery
228 NE 59th ST MIAMI FL 33137

Opening April 18:
https://www.facebook.com/events/521578937950568/
“Moksha Roots Live”, the official after-party for The Rhythm Foundation’s “Big Night in Little Haiti”. Come out and vibe with us, support the gallery opening, live music, DJs, and a drum jam that bring together the diverse cultural roots of Miami.

Everglades Awareness Benefit May 10:

https://www.facebook.com/events/839603659389807/

Ploppy Palace Productions and The Miccosukee Tribe will be hosting a concert to raise awareness and funds for Everglades protection and public education. As part of this three stage extravaganza, some of South Florida’s top bands, spoken word artists and community activists will join together to raise awareness for this vital natural resource.

***

No Restraint: Activist Zines and Comics (group show)
April 24 – May 16, 2014 | Reception: April 24, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Eastfield College. 3737 Motley Drive. Mesquite, TX. 75150
http://eastfieldgalleries.blogspot.com/

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One Struggle Creates Chapter on Campus

Scarlet & Black (student paper) http://www.thesandb.com/news/one-struggle-creates-chapter-on-campus.html

By Nora Coghlan, coghlann17@grinnell.edu

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, author, cartoonist and activist Stephanie McMillan visited Grinnell for a series of events surrounding her work as a founding member of the anti-capitalist, revolutionist group, One Struggle. Grinnell’s newly founded One Struggle chapter is the first on a college campus, and is slowly gaining support throughout the campus community.

“I decided this year … to entertain the idea of starting a One Struggle chapter knowing that it might not have enough support on campus,” said the organizer and head of the Grinnell chapter, Vincent Kelley ’16. “There was enough interest in people who seemed to think that such an analysis and an organization was needed on campus and we were eventually able to form a chapter here at Grinnell.”
Continue reading One Struggle Creates Chapter on Campus

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"Capitalism Must Die!" ebook now available!

A couple days ago, after 3 years of working on it, I finally finished the ebook version of “Capitalism Must Die!”

Here it is: https://gumroad.com/l/hOGG

Feel free to download it and share it with others. I want it to be widely distributed and contribute to the fight against capitalism, so I’ve made it “pay anything or nothing” and used a Creative Commons license. I hope it is useful. We really need to bring the system down, or all could soon be lost.

The print version should be available by the end of the year or so.

Solidarity!

CMDcover111213sm

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Mobilizations & Mass Movements: Tools to Fight Capitalism! Presentation

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 p.m.
Sunshine Cathedral MCC, 1480 SW 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/191466051042554/

Does holding a sign on a street corner accomplish anything, or is it a useless waste of time? What’s the relationship between a mobilization & a mass movement? What’s the difference between an activist and a militant?

Stephanie McMillan will make a presentation on these topics, followed by open discussion.

Free! Donations welcome.

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Interview on Comics Grinder

http://comicsgrinder.com/2013/09/17/interview-stephanie-mcmillan-and-activism-in-comics/#more-9985

Stephanie McMillan is an important voice. She is doing her part to make this a better world through her activism and her comics. And, fortunately for us, those two passions turn into some very compelling work. Her latest collection of comics, “The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide,” is published by Seven Stories Press. This book is a 160-page trade paperback priced at $12.71 and is set for release on October 8, 2013. Be sure to visit our friends at Seven Stories Press here and visit Stephanie McMillan here.

The following is an extensive email interview that I hope you’ll enjoy and be inspired by. What really motivates our actions? What sort of world do we accept and what sort of world could we aspire to? These are some of the ideas up for discussion in this interview.
Continue reading Interview on Comics Grinder

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Review: ‘The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide’

By Henry Chamberlain
Comics Grinder

“The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide” is full of whimsy and wisdom as it follows its characters on a journey to save the planet. It’s all up to a group of friends to figure out if they can smash the capitalist system or just give up and go shopping. What makes Stephanie McMillan’s comic strip such a page-turner is her ability to find the right mix of humor and intelligent discourse.
MScover
Stephanie McMillan’s sense of urgency and comedy is irresistible. She has placed a whole new generation with the burden of saving the planet but they’re pretty clueless. There’s Kranti and Bananabelle, who just barely know the struggles from the past. Kranti, an African-American, is quick to join a protest rally and yell, “By any means necessary!” And Bananabelle, intuitively, recognizes that won’t go over well with the “mainstream liberals.”
Continue reading Review: ‘The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide’

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"hard hitting facts and goofy humor"

Review of The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan

Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2012. 160 pp. $14.95. paper.

by Rosalie Morales Kearns

Years ago I attended a women writers conference where a woman in our fiction-writing workshop read aloud to us from a novel she had started. As I recall, the plot involved members of a book group, all women and all survivors of domestic violence, who agreed to a revenge pact. Each one, they decided, would kill a man who had abused someone else, a man with whom she had no connection.

It was a hot, sunny day, I was a bit drowsy from lunch, I was being read aloud to. Violent men were about to meet their doom in deeply satisfying ways. What stands out in my memory is how soothing the experience was.

I don’t know whether the writer ever finished her novel, but of course it leapt to mind as I read The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad, a satire by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan. The title handily telegraphs the novel’s plot: as members of a knitting group start confiding in each other, they find out that they’re all survivors of rape, and the rapists in question (high school counselors, relatives, clergymen, ex-husbands) have never even been arrested, let alone prosecuted. The women avenge each other by killing those rapists. With their knitting needles.
Continue reading "hard hitting facts and goofy humor"

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New Times: review of "Capitalism Must Die!"

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2013-08-22/culture/lt-i-gt-capitalism-must-die-lt-i-gt-stephanie-mcmillan-s-new-comics-journalism/

By Erica K. Landau

If adolescent rebellion is, for most kids, just a developmental phase, for Stephanie McMillan it was more like a political awakening. Even as a middle-schooler, this Broward County native dreamed of joining a commune and resented missing the ’60s.

But as an adult, she had to make a living. She was just a few years out of college when her job at a corporate-owned media outlet collided with her radical beliefs.

It was 1992, and McMillan was writing for the popular Fort Lauderdale alt-weekly XS (later known as City Link). She had just finished an article about the detention and deportation of immigrants. Because, however, she also was directly involved in the issue she was covering — McMillan was an advocate for detainee rights — her boss said her work could not be viewed as objective: It would undermine the paper’s reputation.

Give up participating in the struggles she believed in, she was told, or give up writing and reporting hard news.

So McMillan stepped away from the news side and instead wrote XS’s event listings, a position she held until it was eliminated in 2008. The early and sudden change of office tracks allowed her to remain an activist outside of work but, as it turned out, did not spell the end of her serious journalistic pursuits.
Continue reading New Times: review of "Capitalism Must Die!"

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New book!

MScoverOctober 8, 2013 is the official publication date of my new graphic novel, “The Minimum Security Chronicles: Resistance to Ecocide.” It’s a compilation of comic strips that ran from April 2010 to October 2012, which together make up the story of a group of friends who try different strategies and tactics to stop ecocide. During this process, they hear of a particular geo-engineering project being planned, and focus their efforts on preventing that. It’s not only a thrilling story of trying to save the world, but also a thought experiment gaming out different revolutionary strategies.

I received advance copies, and they look pretty good! Full color throughout, 160 pages, Seven Stories Press.

Watch this space for order info!