Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Its advocates idealistically hope that Universal Basic Income (UBI) will change the world, undermining the logic of capitalism. But there are flaws in how possible schemes would operate. Most do not propose to pay an amount of money that people could actually live on with inevitable negative consequences. Some groups would lose out, it would tend to subsidise low-wage employers as people would still have to work and there would be tax increases on low and medium earners along with cuts to welfare spending to finance it. Nor is UBI only an idea of the left. Neo-liberals have proposed it as a way of further cutting and privatising services. To fulfill its utopian ideals UBI would need to be set at the level of a decent wage. To pay this to everyone would be mindbogglingly expensive especially when a progressive government would have many other priorities.
Monday, August 17, 2020
This is the first of a two-part tribute to Denis Goldberg, hero of the struggle for the liberation of South Africa. It deals with his early life, how he became active in the fight against apartheid and the important contribution he made. It also covers the Rivonia trial, where Denis was sentenced with Mandela and others to life imprisonment, and with the twenty-two years he spent in prison. The article reflects on Denis approach to politics and life: his sacrifice, dedication and sense of comradeship also his thoughtfulness, sense of humour and boundless optimism. Denis contributed to The Socialist Correspondent and was a speaker at our conferences – he was an inspiration to us all and will be greatly missed.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic continues to demonstrate the inability of capitalism to deliver for people. The more neo-liberal and parasitic countries are then the worse they have done. Trump's handling of the crisis has been catastrophic for Americans, but whatever damage it does, the United States remains the world's hegemonic superpower. It is now, however, facing conflicts with other capitalist powers over their different strategic interests. Above all the US has decided to ramp up tensions with China as it seeks to prevent it challenging its global dominance.
Friday, August 14, 2020
After the financial crash of 2008 some thought that the culpability of the banks would lead to fundamental change - it did not. Nor will it necessarily post-coronavirus, with financial institutions set to benefit from economic support measures put in place by governments and big tech companies and others making big profits in the pandemic. Many hope that the evidence of how workers are key to the creation of wealth and the social solidarity built during the pandemic can lead to change – but that will not happen automatically, change will only occur if it is fought for.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Slavery was essential to the development of capitalism and as such the continued power of big companies and financial institutions rest on that legacy. Even if they agree to reparations or token responses to the demands of Black Lives Matter and others, they continue to remain in power, still reaping the benefits of their brutal past.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
The Democratic Party establishment closed ranks behind Joe Biden to ensure that Bernie Sanders would not become its candidate to challenge Donald Trump for the Presidency, leaving voters and the left with an unappetising choice. Despite this establishment show of strength, however, the left is continuing to make advances within the Democratic Party.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
You are invited to join the Socialist Correspondent analysis and discussion meeting: USA vs China, and the New Cold War Amid escalating rhetoric about ‘human rights’ and ‘national security’, China is now being cast, alongside Russia, as an enemy of the West. • What are the real factors underlying this fracture? • Is this the end of the current model of globalisation? • Are the attacks on Huawei and TikTok steps on a path towards military conflict?
Sunday, April 19, 2020
China was where the coronavirus outbreak originated, bit also where there was an effective response, bringing it under control. China has offered what it has learned about the virus along side practical support to other countries and Cuba too continues its tradition of health care solidarity with others. This contrasts sharply with the response of the United States which has tightened sanctions not only on Cuba, but on Venezuela and Iran.