The recent blackout on the US East coast highlights the inability of the capitalist class to provide even the most basic services in the heart of imperialism. The ability of capitalism to keep even something as important as its global headquarters, New York,  has been undermined by the blind mechanics of the profit-drive, the central component of capitalism itself. By Kurt Penca. Originally published on the new issue of the American Socialist Appeal.

Last week, the Republican National Convention met in New York City, but while inside the delegates were busy worshipping Bush, oustide massive protests – the largest in the history of U.S. political conventions – took place with an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 participating throughout the day. The mood was one of anger against Bush, but there was also a growing realisation that the Democrats are not much different.

Three years on the world is no safer after Bush's so-called "war on terror". What is becoming ever clearer is that the war in Iraq is not about fighting terrorism, but about the economic, military and strategic interests of US imperialism.

After decades of relative prosperity, peace and stability, the world of the American worker has been turned upside down. The depth of the distrust felt by millions of Americans was revealed in a Reuters/DecisionQuest poll according to which, fully 61 percent of Americans have lost faith in their leaders and institutions over the past four years. At the top of the list contributing to this feeling was the war on Iraq, followed by the 2000 presidential election fiasco, the numerous financial scandals, and terrorism. John Peterson looks at the meaning of these findings.

We’ve changed his name, but other than that 100% accurate. Not a socialist, but an honest man, “all-American” sort of guy – short hair, goes to Church, works out at the YMCA. But his whole world has been turned upside down in the last few years – from a confident, satisfied kind of guy, to one totally disillusioned with the system.