Friday, August 27, 2021
For centuries enormous struggles have taken place a across Latin America against Spanish, British and US imperialism and their domestic allies. In the course of that time there have been tremendous victories, like the Cuban revolution, and huge defeats like the overthrow of the Popular Unity government in Chile. But people across the continent have kept resisting and fighting for change. Even a few months ago few would have predicted that a self-declared Marxist would be elected president of Peru. In Bolivia, after a bitter defeat for the left and Evo Morales and a campaign of right wing terrorist violence, nevertheless, Luis Arce from Morales’s party, the Movement Towards Socialism, won the presidential election. In Chile the left has a majority on the convention writing the new constitution for the country. None of this was achieved by purely electoral politics – these successes arose from the struggles of the working class, social movements and indigenous peoples.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
More than 4 million people, by official estimates have now died from coronavirus. Inequality between rich and poor has been the cause of high death tolls as countries lack the infrastructure and resources to treat and vaccinate people. Even in some rich countries, such as Britain, there have been high death tolls as governments have little regard for the welfare of their people. But some countries, such as China and Vietnam, have done a much better job of looking after their populations.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Capitalism has major issues to address about the failures of its neoliberal model. Greater state intervention in the economy is being pursued in the United States and Britain. Although this may seem a radical departure from neoliberal orthodoxy, nevertheless it is nothing like the levels of nationalisation and state intervention which once prevailed. Facing global challenges, especially from China, will these modest departures from free market dogma be enough to save capitalism?
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
The Working Class and 21st Century Capitalism. The growth in homeworking during the pandemic has highlighted that workers are being watched and monitored to an ever greater degree. This is all about speeding up work and extending the working day to increase exploitation. It has major implications for the health, well-being and privacy of employees and their families and for how Trade Unions respond.
Monday, August 23, 2021
It is ten years on from NATO’s 2011 seven-month long bombardment of Libya, and this once secular, peaceful and prosperous country is still in turmoil. The destruction of Libya was part of a bigger plan by the US to oust Middle Eastern leaders who they believed threatened their interests. Colonel Gaddafi the Libyan leader, brutally murdered during the war, was for a time, at the forefront of efforts to develop his country and build anti-imperialist alliances. Libyan people once benefited from its oil wealth but now the face chaos, danger and hardship in a civil war brought about by the United States.
Friday, August 20, 2021
Boris Johnson's quick-fix Brexit deal created a de facto border down the Irish sea, creating turmoil in Northern Ireland. Unionists in particular, see their interests threatened by this and have launched strong opposition politically and in the streets. On the other hand nationalists see it as a possible route to a united Ireland. Meanwhile the UK government is seeking an amnesty for soldiers responsible for killings during the troubles.
Monday, May 17, 2021
Historically the Middle East has been the centre of conflict between different imperial powers with its strategic and economic importance in terms of trade routes and oil. For over thirty years the US has been embroiled in “endless wars” there. Now it is attempting to use proxies in the area so that it can withdraw much of its military presence to concentrate on new priorities. The situation, however, is highly complex with other resurgent regional and world powers asserting themselves in a shifting pattern of alliances. Russia, Turkey, Israel, the Gulf States and Iran are major players. The peoples of the Middle East are continuing to suffer and there is a real threat of major conflict between big powers, whether by accident or design. There is, therefore, a duty on the movement in the west to mobilise unconditionally against war wherever it is instigated and whatever the supposed justification. Also to support the Palestinians in their fight against Israeli oppression.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Joe Biden’s political appointments and domestic policies are the backdrop to the United States strategy to maintain its world dominance. These policies are being forged by veteran Washington insiders - key figures who were also prominent in the Obama era. Domestically policies are aimed at stabilising the US economy post-pandemic and preventing social dislocation and potential further unrest. This includes a big stimulus package for the economy and progressive measures on trade union rights and policing in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. But the Republicans will block much of this and the left will need to push Biden and Harris to fight for these policies. Though Biden’s rhetoric is different from Trump’s, he has appointed foreign policy hawks to his cabinet and will continue with the policies of Obama and Trump aimed at confronting the rise of China and Russia on the world stage. To be able to focus on that more effectively, however, the US is seeking to get out of major military commitments in the Middle East, which have proved a quagmire and instead to use proxies as a more effective way of achieving its ends.