One year ago, the Catalan independence referendum on 1 October became a turning point in the whole political situation in Catalonia and throughout the Spanish state. What we call the “Republican October” was characterised by an abrupt entry of the masses into the political arena. It saw an impressive mobilisation from below that challenged the apparatus of the state and the hesitation of the leaders of the Generalitat, becoming one of the most important challenges faced by the 1978 regime in 40 years. It could have gone much further. What was missing?
While all eyes are on the unfolding trade war between China and the United States, another crisis in the world economy is threatening to spin out of control. Since April, Argentina and Turkey have seen their currencies collapse and inflation spiral. Other so-called emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa are also coming under similar pressures.
Rob Sewell discusses the battles facing members of the civil service union, and why Socialist Appeal supports Janice Godrich for PCS assistant general secretary.
It is not the task of this article to go into any detail of the seizure of power in October 1917. Leon Trotsky has brilliantly captured this event in his History of the Russian Revolution, John Reed in Ten Days that Shook the World and many other pieces, including recent articles from In Defence of Marxism. The fact of the matter is that the resounding slogan of the Bolshevik Party, "All Power to the Soviets!” received an immediate and overwhelming endorsement from the soldiers and working class in virtually every town and city throughout the Russian Empire.
New waves of student protest have been erupting in the universities and colleges of Mexico City. Students in all the major universities in the capital have come out en masse in solidarity after 14 students at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) were injured by porros (semi-fascist shock groups) earlier this month.
In early June of this year, the workers of the Chinese welding equipment manufacturer Jasic Technologies in Shenzhen attempted to legally unionise to protect themselves from chronically poor working conditions and brutal treatment by the management.
10 years ago, on 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers – one of the largest and oldest investment banks in the world – filed for bankruptcy after being engulfed by the subprime mortgage scandal.
100 years ago, the world was shaken by the October Revolution. We rightly celebrate this heroic act as the first instance of workers’ power in history. But how exactly did the Bolsheviks and the working class exercise this power never-before wielded by the working class? What problems did they face – economic, administrative, political and military, from within and outside Russia – and how did they meet these problems?
The current wave of electoral campaigns associating themselves with socialism to one degree or another is an indication of the dramatic shift that has taken place in the consciousness of the US working class. This was never predicted by bourgeois political analysts and just a few years ago would have seemed impossible.
In St. Petersburg, 2,000 people took part in a rally organised by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) at Lenin Square, in front of Finland Station, to protest against Putin's counter-reform to pensions. Comrades of the IMT raised the slogan of revolution!
Over the last week, some sections of the ruling class have changed their tune about the debate around land expropriation without compensation in South Africa. The rabidly conservative and far-right Afrikaner groups such as Afriforum, which were given a strong voice in the mainstream media at the beginning of the debate, are increasingly being squeezed out by the big capitalists.
The following is the latest editorial from Revolució: magazine of the IMT in Catalonia. The Catalan Marxists offer a balance sheet of the political situation in Catalonia and the rest of the Spanish state, and explain the tasks ahead for the left wing of the Republican movement.
Two weeks ago, British Prime Minister Theresa May embarked on a three-day jaunt across Africa, visiting South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. The purpose of May’s whistle stop tour (aside from showcasing her inimitable dance moves) was to strike up post-Brexit trade relations with Africa’s “emerging economies”. The visit was a cringe worthy affair that saw May shuffle awkwardly from one public relations blunder to the next, and it highlighted the decline of British imperialism and the crisis facing the capitalist class as the Brexit cliffedge looms.
Despite the rosy picture presented to us by self-styled socialists like Bernie Sanders, after the latest election, it is clear that the same instability and political polarisation that has affected other countries has finally reached Sweden.
The Russian masses are in uproar over President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to raise retirement ages for men from 60 to 65, and for women from 55 to 63 by 2034. In addition, VAT is being raised from 18 to 30 percent. The tremendously unpopular ‘reform’ has sent Putin’s approval ratings plummeting by 15 percentage points (from 82 to 67), and has resulted in major demonstrations across the country.
A lot of fuss is being made about what one can and cannot say about the state of Israel. Especially virulent is the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn’s so-called “anti-semitism” in Britain. In reality this is a blatant attempt to silence any criticism of Israel and its discriminatory policies against the Palestinian people. In light of all this, Francesco Merli looks at the new law that openly discriminates against Palestinians living in Israel, officially reducing them to the status of second-class citizens.
"The development of the International Left Opposition is proceeding amidst sharp crises that cast the fainthearted and the short-sighted into pessimism. In reality these crises are completely unavoidable. One has only to read the correspondence of Marx and Engels attentively, or to preoccupy oneself seriously with the history of the development of the Bolshevik Party to realise how complicated, how difficult, how full of contradictions the process of developing revolutionary cadres is."
Two centuries ago, a child was born whose very name would cause the world’s ruling classes to tremble at a communistic revolution. And yet, despite their century-long efforts to discredit, mock, and distort him, Karl Marx’s specter continues to haunt them. The reason is simple: Marx was right! More than ever, his books, pamphlets, speeches, notes, and letters provide an unparalleled wealth of ideological and practical tools for the working class in its struggle for a better world.
This summer has been one of freakish weather events the world over. No longer is climate change a thing of the future. From California to the Arctic Circle, exceptional temperatures are creating tinder box conditions. In Greece, 91 people were killed in a horrific blaze. In Japan at least 77 people have died and more than 30,000 have been admitted to hospital with heat stroke. 54 people have been killed by the heat in Quebec, Canada.
Alun Morgan, an IMT member from Bridgend in the UK, sadly died on Friday 24 August at the age of 68 after suffering a fall followed by a cardiac arrest. Alun was a very loyal supporter of our British section, Socialist Appeal. He did a lot of work in collecting material from various archives in preparation for the first two volumes of the collected works of Ted Grant. Recently, Alun was helping with material for the third volume.