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.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Amazon employees endure oppressive working conditions but there are now struggles taking place to improve these and to gain union recognition across the globe. These are hard fought battles as the company uses any dirty tricks: lying to staff, spying on union organisers and sacking activists, to fight their own workers.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
One of the hallmarks of this increasingly dangerous world has been the growing hostility of the US towards China as it becomes more powerful and assertive. To understand this conflict it is necessary to also understand China's development since its revolution and the aspiration that the United States had to bring it into its orbit as a capitalist economy serving US economic interests. When it became clear that China would not follow the path prescribed for it by the US and was seeking to develop its own direction, including nurturing hi-tech industries, the US responded quickly to try to halt this. These moves began in earnest under President Obama and were continued by Donald Trump. President Biden will not depart from this path but will seek to collaborate more with US allies, alienated by Trump’s approach, to put pressure on China. The question is whether or not China can overcome attempts to isolate it and the barriers created by sanctions designed to strangle the development of its hi-tech industries.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
W. E. B. Du Bois was an outstanding intellectual and activist. Born in 1868, the year that black people in the South were enfranchised he put his science, learning and life in the service of the struggle for equality for black people in America. He was an internationalist and fighter for peace which meant that like so many he became the subject of the US state witch hunts against progressives.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
SOCIALIST CORRESPONDENT ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION MEETING Speaker: Steve Howell – Former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, Author of Game Changer, the story of Labour’s 2017 election campaign, and a US-UK joint citizen. Chair: Elly Baker
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
The West has, over decades, used its technological capabilities to spy on a host of other countries and organisations. Spy hardware was built into communications systems by Crypto AG. Crypto was a Swiss firm founded in 1952 and secretly bought by the CIA and the West German spy service. In all, 120 countries were sold apparatus which enabled their communications to be decrypted by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The information gathered was actively used by the West to intervene for example, in the Egyptian/Israeli negotiations at Camp David in 1978, and to aid the British during the Falklands war. Crypto continued in use until 2018 its capabilities having been superseded by the use of software. We are now all spied on through our use of search engines and social media and the NSA has a huge capacity to process all that data fed in from Google, Facebook etc.
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.
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.