The general strike of the winter of 1960-61 destroyed in practice all the myths of the ‘bourgeoisified’ working class in Belgium and in Europe. For five weeks, a total of 1 million workers made the bosses and their state tremble. In this article we look back at those dramatic events.
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán secured his third successive term in the 2018 general election. Now, for the first time since 2010 polls show that the “united opposition” would defeat his party if an election was held today. According to the survey conducted by one of the best known Hungarian pollsters Medián, Fidesz support fell by 6 percent in a single month to 34 percent in December, while the opposition added 2 percent and took over Fidesz at 36 percent.
Trump has been summarily banned from Twitter and a host of other major social media platforms after he encouraged supporters to storm the Capitol building last week. While there is a gratifying irony in this, Marxists must soberly consider the implications of this move by the Big Tech capitalists.
“This autumn, too many people have neglected to follow advice and recommendations." This was the explanation for the deadly wave of coronavirus sweeping over Sweden given in late November by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in an address to the nation. While shifting blame to the general public, he was conveniently silent about the government's responsibility for decades of cuts to healthcare, understaffing in the elderly care sector, and lacklustre testing capacity. Now the government has been forced to introduce several measures that they for a long time argued against. But it is all too, little too late.
Public outrage over the meagre rations offered to hungry children, along with the recent intervention by Unicef, have again brought the burning issue of UK food poverty to the fore. Capitalism cannot feed those in need.
A growing reliance on food banks was already seen over the last decade due to Tory austerity. Now this has exploded with the COVID-19 crisis. To fight hunger, we need a socialist plan of food production and distribution.
In yet another scandalous provocation, on 11 January the US has decided to designate Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism”. The statement, signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, comes as the Trump administration has less than 10 days left in office. It has no basis in reality and is clearly motivated by cynical political calculations.
Last Tuesday, a wave of student protests erupted in Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul. Students from the Boğaziçi University protested against the new rector of the university and former wannabe parliamentary candidate for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP-party, Melih Bulu, who was appointed to the university post on 2 January by Erdogan’s decree.
Results from the general secretary election for Unison (Britain's biggest trade union) show the enormous potential strength of the left, if united. The left wing must now look ahead and fight for a majority on the union NEC – a key step in transforming the labour movement.
Alan Woods, editor of marxist.com, looks at the tumultuous state of the world at the dawn of 2021. Capitalism is in a profound crisis. While a handful of billionaires enrich themselves, the vast majority are trapped between the coronavirus pandemic and poverty. But Marxists remain optimists. The working class and youth are beginning to stretch their muscles in preparation for the battles to come.
The political, economic and social crisis triggered by the pandemic has affected all countries across the globe. It is yet another nail in the coffin of the old order, which is being questioned by the masses everywhere. In this context, we are calling on our comrades and supporters to donate generously and help us build the forces of Marxism! Join us in the fight!
2021 has kicked off with a bang. If anyone had any remaining doubts, yesterday's events exposed the depth of the crisis of US capitalism—and it is only the beginning. Even in the turbulent years before and after the US Civil War, we have never seen the US Capitol building breached by protesters—and encouraged by the sitting president! Anti-terrorist attack emergency protocols were activated as tear gas wafted through the corridors, and at least one person was shot and killed. As former president GW Bush put it, these are the scenes one would expect in a “banana republic"—not in the bastion of world imperialism.
Recently, it was brought to the attention of the In Defence of Marxism Editorial Board that some individuals have been interacting with others on the Chinese internet in the name of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), even soliciting translations and articles in the name of our organisation and promising fees in return. We wish to make it absolutely clear here to all our readers that our organisation has never accepted any contributions from such individuals, nor do we pay for articles or translations.
With the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the UK; and products by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and others already being administered around the world, one would think we are approaching the end of this pandemic. However, pharmaceutical profiteers and political representatives of the ruling class are bungling the rollout in some of the worst-affected countries. In their haste to return to ‘normal’ and get the economy moving again, they are ignoring the science, cutting corners and putting lives at risk.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Tories have ignored teachers regarding making schools safe, instead pushing to open schools in the interests of the bosses’ profits. Now the teachers have forced a Tory retreat, thanks to mass militant action.
On Monday, it was announced at the Old Bailey that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the US to face charges of endangering the lives of informants in Afghanistan, and for collusion with Chelsea Manning to hack US government computers. This news has rightly been greeted with enormous relief from Assange’s supporters. Yet there is a caveat. The British court’s ruling was based on concerns that the US prison system would be incapable of preventing Assange from taking his own life. In fact, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution, stating that Assange should be extradited to the US. The message is clear: the British judicial system is subservient to the whims of US imperialism.
Johnson and the Tories have attempted to blame a new variant of the virus for the catastrophe that is unfolding. But it is their recklessness that has landed us in this situation. We need a bold socialist response to the pandemic.
Amar Fayaz, the Pakistani comrade of the IMT who was recently returned by the state authorities following his abduction on 8 November 2020, has recorded this message of thanks for the solidarity he received from comrades and supporters all over the world, which was instrumental in ensuring his release.
Boris Johnson has announced his Brexit deal to great fanfare, promising a bright future of prosperity and freedom. But dark clouds are gathering for British capitalism, which faces a perfect storm. This rotten Tory government must go.
We have just received the great news that comrade Amar Fayaz has been released today, the security agencies dropped him at his village. Amar’s release was made possible through the immense and successful international campaign organised by students, youth and workers from all around the world. We will update our supporters as we get more details on Amar’s release.