One hundred years ago, on 3 May 1921, the partition of Ireland became law in the British parliament. As the Marxist revolutionary, James Connolly, had predicted, partition created “a carnival of reaction both North and South”. It took years of terror, pogroms and bloodshed to establish what the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, James Craig, termed a “Protestant state for a Protestant people”. In the South, the newly established Free State was baptised in the blood of the Republicans who resisted the Treaty and partition.
We are 16 months into a pandemic that according to some reports has claimed 6.9m lives and plunged capitalism into its deepest-ever crisis, and the ruling class is still torn by internecine squabbles over patent waivers, export bans and priority-deals.
The following is a statement by the International Marxist Tendency on Israeli violence against the Gaza Strip in recent days, which is continuing to escalate. We say: stop the bombing, end the occupation – workers and youth of the world, mobilise and fight for a free Palestine as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East!
Draghi’s ‘Recovery Plan’ is being hailed as the saving grace of the beleaguered Italian economy. But this litany of half-measures comes nowhere close to resolving the dire crisis of Italian capitalism. And while ‘Super Mario’s’ plan might provide some short-term relief to the bosses – workers and youth will be left high and dry.
All over the world, solidarity protests have been organised in support of the Colombian workers and youth, who are locked in battle with the reactionary regime of Iván Duque. Comrades of the IMT have intervened in these demonstrations to show their support for this inspiring struggle.
The democratic mandate for a Scottish independence referendum has been renewed, with the Scottish National Party (SNP) hailing their victory in the Scottish Parliament elections as a ‘landslide’.
Colombia’s national strike has been ongoing for 13 days now and has managed to secure Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla’s resignation and the withdrawal of the tax reform. It is still going strong in the streets, its lungs filled with fresh air. The government attacks the movement in an attempt to destroy it, but it is all in vain; every injury it sustains arouses its fury, develops its consciousness and intensifies its resolve. It is a movement filled with the energy of change that draws strength from the dignity the people have been deprived of for so long.
The Israeli bombing of Gaza has already killed at least 48 Palestinians – among whom 14 are children – and injured hundreds, while six Israelis have been killed by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. The international media has once again presented the bombings as a legitimate retaliation against Hamas’ decision to fire rockets into Israel. However, as usual, they give a completely one-sided view of the real causes of this escalation of the crisis in Israel and Palestine.
The movement in Colombia that successfully beat back Duque’s tax theft is at a crucial juncture. Our Colombian comrades have written the following 10 theses for how the struggle must proceed. The logic of this fight is a struggle for power with the regime. The main slogan must be: Duque Out!
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. Yet while the rest of the world seems to be on fire, China appears to have remained safe from the extreme economic decline, being the one of the few economies to grow in 2020. China registered a 1% increase in GDP due to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict lockdown measures and the endeavour of frontline workers. To the outside world, the Chinese state continues to appear strong, proudly brandishing the slogan of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’.
On 11 April a huge explosion at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran caused a power cut. When the power suddenly stops, this causes the rotors of the giant machines used to enrich uranium to stop spinning which, according to Iranian officials, caused 60-70% of them to be destroyed. They were quick to blame “countries” which were aiming to ruin renewed efforts to save the nuclear deal through “nuclear terrorism”. This was a clear implication that Israel was the culprit. Not long later, Israeli press confirmed this was indeed the case.
Keir Starmer is doubling down in the wake of Labour’s dismal election results, accelerating the shift to the right. If we want a real ‘change of direction’, we need an urgent change of leadership. Starmer out! Fight for socialism!
A revealing new report shows how the crisis of capitalism is robbing an entire generation of its future, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has deepened and exacerbated the system’s senile decay.
The results of yesterday’s elections are a catastrophe for Labour. The blame for this lies entirely with Starmer and the right wing. We need a new leadership. No confidence in Starmer! Fight the Tories with socialist policies!
The Bolsonaro regime’s handling of the pandemic in Brazil has been catastrophic. 400,000 people have died (officially), the healthcare system is collapsing and now hunger is rampant. The wretched capitalist system in Brazil has created a humanitarian nightmare and an ideal breeding ground for new, more dangerous variants. Even the ruling class is beginning to distance themselves from Bolsonaro as the mood in society turns to bitter anger against the regime.
Concerns are rising about the impact that the catastrophic situation in India could have on the COVID–19 pandemic on the African continent. Africa’s vaccine supply relies heavily on India’s Serum Institute, the source of the AstraZeneca vaccines distributed by the global COVAX project which is supposed to provide vaccines to poor countries. India’s export ban on vaccines has severely impacted the predictability of the rollout of vaccination programs and will continue to do so for the coming weeks and perhaps even months.
The Chilean bourgeois institutions, like an old rickety wardrobe, creak through all their cracks at the slightest breeze. This last month, these failing institutions have been brought to their knees, as the result of a bill that would authorise, for the third time, a withdrawal of 10% of pension funds by contributors from private pensions. President Sebastián Piñera was defeated on this issue and once again, it was the organisation of the working class that was the driving force of his defeat, expressed in a formidable mobilisation of dock workers and the threat of a general strike.
After a five–day strike that began on April 26, the Trudeau government deprived the dockers of CUPE 375 of their right to strike through passing back–to–work legislation. The union executive chose not to defy the law and agreed to return to work on Sunday, May 2. Even if the dispute is not settled, this government of the bosses has taken away these workers’ best weapon. At some point, someone, somewhere, will have to dare to challenge the use of unjust and undemocratic back–to–work legislation.
At our British comrades' Philosophy day school, Daniel Morley discussed the accusations of 'fatalism' levelled at Marxism by its enemies. Ironically, it is Marx's accusers who would make human beings passive victims of fate. They say that Marxism is a 'teleological' theory, according to which all of human history is preordained. They even accuse Marxism of being a religion, with the role of God replaced by iron laws of history, leaving no role for active, conscious human beings to change history. This is, of course, a caricature. Marxism is the only philosophy that explains the contradiction between free will and determinism. It is only by understanding the objective laws that govern society that we can change it.
The leader of left-wing party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, (who recently resigned as vice president in the Spanish coalition government to stand as a candidate for the Madrid Regional Assembly) received a letter yesterday containing a death threat against him and his family and four bullets. The Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska and the Director of the Civil Guard received similar envelopes with threats and bullets. One of them is signed: "Civil Guard. National Police." These threats should be taken seriously.