Apologists for capitalism argue that it is the best, most-efficient system that could ever possibly exist. But the current period of crisis and chaos prove otherwise. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic collapse that threatens to throw society back to the 1930s, sending the world into a full-blown depression. Clearly, something is rotten at the heart of the system. The advocates of Keynesian ideas - or modern varieties like Modern Monetary Theory - cannot provide a real solution to this crisis. In his talk from this year's International Marxist University, Adam Booth, a leading activist of Socialist Appeal, explains why capitalism has failed, and what the way forward is for humanity.
On the morning of Thursday, 19 November, organisations that make up the People’s Revolutionary Alternative (APR) protested in repudiation of the media censorship of this left-wing coalition, carried out by public and private media during the electoral campaigns for the parliamentary elections on 6 December. This demonstration took place in front of the Venezuelan Television Corporation (VTV), and was attended by numerous candidates and leading figures of the alliance.
As has become customary, the recent war in Karabakh is viewed from two sides in Russia: liberals extol the virtues of Turkish generals trained by NATO and Israeli drones, while both secret and obvious Putin admirers tell us on Liva (russo-ukrainian media) that revolutionaries (in quotes or without) always lose wars. There is not a grain of truth in this dichotomy. The militia armies created by the bourgeois revolutions have had great victories. Not only in the 19th century. Actually, the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic began with the victory of the Armenian militia in the war three decades ago. Then, Azerbaijan was richer, had a more numerous and well-armed army, but if Azerbaijan had local successes in that war, then they are associated not with former president Mutalibov, the director of a local refrigerator plant, or the KGB general Aliyev, but with a short period of rule by a half-crazy dissident-pan-Turkist, Elchibey. Unlike the draftees, students and workers who were arrested on the streets of Baku, his supporters at least understood why they were fighting. It was this factor that ensured the victory of Armenia in that war; high fighting morale and conscientious discipline of the militia army, formed against the background of a high level of education and general culture. The war in Karabakh, and the hardships and casualties associated with it, became the foundation of modern Armenia.
On 12 October, the Cuban Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández appeared on the television programme Mesa Redonda [Round Table] to talk about the economic strategy “to boost the economy and overcome the global crisis caused by COVID-19." A central part of it is the "monetary reorganisation" that has generated so many rumours and uncertainty in Cuba in recent months.
[The approval by Congress of a budget of cuts, at 5.30 am on 17 November, has unleashed a wave of protests in the Central American country. A section of the ruling class opposes the budget as it increases the country’s indebtedness. The vice-president broke ranks with president Giammattei and asked him not to ratify the budget.
The general secretary election for Britain’s largest trade union is down to the wire. Victory for the left would mark a watershed for the whole British labour movement. All out for Paul Holmes: the class-fighter candidate who will stand up for members and lead a militant union!
A huge protest movement is shaking Thai society to its foundations, forcing the regime onto the backfoot. The youth at the forefront of this movement must reach out to the working class, and fight for an end to the military junta, the monarchy and the rotten capitalist system both represent.
COVID restrictions are set to loosen up in the North of Ireland – part of a cynical attempt by politicians to use the pandemic for sectarian ends. Workers in both communities need a united socialist struggle to end this chaos and crisis.
Dominic Cummings and his clique are gone. An open power struggle is playing out in the Tory Party, as the ruling class looks to ‘take back control’. This is truly a government of crisis, revealing the dire situation facing British capitalism. Note: this article was originally published on 16 November.
Negotiations between Britain and the EU are going down to the wire. With Boris Johnson in thrall to Tory Brexiteers, the UK could well crash out of Europe without a deal, creating a perfect storm for British capitalism. Note: this article was originally published on 12 November.
On Wednesday 18 November, Ugandan opposition politician Bobi Wine was violently arrested once again in the Luuka district. Various reports speak of violence towards him. One vehicle branded with incumbent President Museveni's campaign brutally ploughed into a group of bystanders in Kampala that same afternoon, leaving several people dead – although the number of casualties is still unknown. It is reported that the car was being stoned shortly before the attack. Another presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat has also been arrested. Other candidates are pausing campaigning until Wine is released.
Jeremy Corbyn is back in the Labour Party, after apologising for earlier remarks. But no amount of appeasement will satisfy the right wing. Starmer’s spiteful decision not to restore the whip shows that this war is far from over.
Victory in the Labour NEC elections shows the potential strength of the left. But this is currently being squandered by the left leaders. Instead of seeking compromise, we must mobilise members for an all-out struggle against the right. This article was originally published on 17 November, read here for a more recent update on events in the Labour Party.
On November 14 and 15, Marxists from across the United States and around the world came together for our US comrades' virtual Marxist School, “After the 2020 Elections: Preparing for the American Socialist Revolution.”
The capitalists are eagre for the COVID-19 crisis to come to an end, and many anticipate a rapid economic bounceback. But the new normal will be one of crisis, chaos and class struggle.
Yesterday, the Peruvian congress elected a new leadership headed by Francisco Sagasti, who will be sworn in as the new country’s president today. The election of Sagasti (Partido Morado) at the head of a list composed exclusively of congressmen who did not vote for the impeachment of president Vizcarra on 11 November is a desperate attempt to maintain the continuity of the institutions of discredited bourgeois democracy and to rebuild their legitimacy.
Events are moving very fast in Peru. On 9 November, the president Martin Vizcarra was removed from office; a week later the new Merino government has fallen under the pressure of the mass movement unleashed in recent days. The crisis in the bourgeois state has opened the floodgates of the class struggle in the streets and the working class and the youth have defeated the regime in this first battle.
A second wave of COVID-19 is ravaging Europe. This was not inevitable, but a deadly consequence of governments prioritising the wealth of the capitalists over the health of the population. We say: make the bosses pay to protect lives and livelihoods! To fight the virus, abolish capitalism!
The upcoming municipal elections in Brazil are being seen as a litmus test of Bolsonaro's electoral support following two years of chaos, demagogy, attacks on the working class, and now the disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is clearly a desire for radical change in Brazil, despite the shameful policies of class collaboration by leaders of the left.
Comrade Amar Fayaz was abducted on 8 November by state authorities of Pakistan from Jamshoro and his whereabouts are still unknown. This has become a common practice in Pakistan in which political workers, journalists and other citizens who raise their voices against the government or its policies are abducted with the help of police and security services, and are kept in inhuman conditions and severely tortured.