Class Struggle On The Baseball Diamond

players league

For nearly a century, baseball players were chained to their teams through contracts that included a reserve clause, under which a player was not free to sell his services to another team once his contract had expired. Only two options were open: a player could either sign another contract with the same team, or he could retire. The effect of this arrangement was to hold player salaries down.

In 1922, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the reserve clause did not violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Baseball was a game, not a business, the Court averred and as such it was exempt from anti-trust laws. So firmly entrenched did the reserve clause become as a result of this decision, that baseball fans can be forgiven for thinking that no serious challenge had been mounted prior to Curt Flood’s legal battle in 1970 and the arbitration decision five years later that ruled Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free-agents.

READ MORE ->

Korea: Still an Unknown War

cumings

Any time that a book appears by Bruce Cumings, one of our foremost scholars on Korea, it merits attention.  His latest book, The Korean War, is particularly welcome given the recent sharp increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  The past informs the present, and perhaps nowhere is that more so than in the case of the two Koreas.  While South Korea has changed dramatically since the advent of democracy, it is still the case that relations between the two Koreas continue to be influenced by the war.

READ MORE ->

Taking on the Religious Right

Godandhisdemons

Michael Parenti has written a compelling work, whose themes are so relevant for our time: the essentiality of rational thought, the struggle to maintain a secular and tolerant society, and the abuse of religion for reactionary political and obscurant objectives. As Parenti points out, “That ‘old-time religion’ is still very much with us and having a considerable impact on U.S. political life.” And that impact has only grown in recent years.

READ MORE ->