Sunday, November 1, 2020
The second part of this obituary of Denis Goldberg deals with the period of his life following his release from prison when he was in exile and then his return to South Africa where he continued to fight for the ideals of freedom and equality for all. The personal and political challenges remained huge but Denis continued the struggle, inspiring many others with his message. In his words, “Understanding the world is not enough. As human beings in society, we are called upon by our humanity to change the world, to make it a place of greater equality…”
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Why has the United States has reacted with such ferocity in ramping up sanctions and bans on Chinese companies? Whilst China’s economy has grown and it has developed its political, economic and military power globally, it is still nowhere near being able to challenge the US’s superpower status. But what it is doing very effectively is developing world-leading digital companies like Huawei and Ant. As well as China’s cutting-edge companies, its success with state intervention in the economy is a direct challenge to free market neo-liberalism.
Friday, October 30, 2020
In the negotiations with the EU the Tories have come under fire for their confrontational approach on state aid rules, taking back powers from devolved governments and the threat of breaking international law. However the left needs to be principled in its critique of the Tories and not allow them to seize the ideological ground as defenders of sovereignty. Meanwhile their disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic continues as they aim to implement a herd immunity strategy which they wanted from the start.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Though defeated in a referendum in 2011, proportional representation (PR) is again being mooted as a way of engaging voters and making the electoral system more democratic. In fact PR would actually produce less of what the electorate wants with more horse-trading of policies. Most importantly it would dilute a clear class divide making radical change harder.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
We are now only too used to a world of war, including in Europe in the Balkans and the continuing conflict in Ukraine. The cold war is portrayed as a time of great world tensions, yet there was far less armed conflict and more attempts to achieve peaceful relations between states. The Helsinki Accords were an attempt to create a binding framework for security and cooperation in Europe, but did not fulfill their potential due to the West's lack of commitment.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
How should we understand our subjective sense of nationality? Is patriotism a useful concept?
Monday, October 26, 2020
The West demonises Russia and Putin to stir up hostile sentiment to a rival. Putin has stood up to this, which has provided an important counter-balance to Western power. However, that does not make his regime a positive one for the people of Russia. The West has its favoured opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny, but there are other forces on the ground.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
The West has a strategy of trying to encircle Russia with friendly states. Since Belarus hasn't voluntarily gone down this route it was set up for another 'colour revolution', following a familiar pattern from the likes of Ukraine. However, its President Alexander Lukashenko didn't give in to that either and has resisted the attempt to oust him from power.