The apparent social peace in Portugal in recent years – without major uprisings or noteworthy social turmoil – hides a much more complex and bitter reality beneath its fragile surface. Whilst the mainstream media, nationally and internationally, hailed the economic recovery after Portugal’s debt crisis as a new dawn, the scars left in society by a decade of austerity, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have created the potential for future revolutionary developments.
COVID-19 is ravaging India with a brutal second wave, which Modi is using as a pretext to cut across on-going farmer and worker struggles, despite failing to undertake effective measures to protect people from the virus. The battle against Modi’s reactionary anti-farmer and worker laws must be combined with a struggle for a people’s lockdown: providing adequate support and resources to millions of households crushed by poverty, disease and death. Worker and farmer solidarity is the only answer to Modi’s rotten regime! For a joint struggle to win a decent existence! Build for an indefinite general strike!
For a long time, the CDU/CSU was considered the most stable conservative party in Europe. But the battle now raging in public for candidacy for the chancellorship between Armin Laschet (CDU) and Markus Söder (CSU) has shown that this central pillar of German capitalism is riven with deep cracks. Laschet has prevailed, but stability is gone.
Plans for an exclusive European Super League have been defeated thanks to mass protests by football fans across England. This is a major victory for supporters. But the fight to stop the profiteering and plunder of ‘the people’s game’ continues.
Ever since Engels' arrival in London in 1870, he was keen to write a comprehensive work on science and dialectical materialism. The notes and studies for such a work make up the present volume, originally published in 1925. It is an essential read for all those who want to develop a deeper understanding of Marxist philosophy.
Last summer, tens of millions of people in the US participated in the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the racist police murder of George Floyd. Nearly one year later, on 20 April 2021, his killer Derek Chauvin was convicted of three charges: second-degree unintentional felony murder; third-degree “depraved mind” murder; and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin’s conviction is a far cry from justice for George Floyd and all those constantly facing police brutality.
Huge fires have inflicted massive damage on Cape Town, destroying priceless cultural artefacts and forcing thousands to evacuate. This preventable disaster was a product of the decrepit capitalist system, and has thrown the deep inequality and social rot in South African society into sharp relief.
The scandalous announcement by football’s top clubs of a new elite breakaway ‘European Super League’ is the logical conclusion of profit penetrating the world of sport. To save the ‘beautiful game’, we must kick capitalism out of football.
On 19 April, the Venezuelan People’s Revolutionary Alternative (APR) organised the public launch of its founding congress period. This is an important step forward for the APR, which was established in August last year by socialist and revolutionary organisations, in response to the anti-working class course taken by the Venezuelan government of president Maduro. The congress will discuss the APR’s programme, a political document and its organisational structures.
On 7 April 2021, voters in South Korea’s capital Seoul, and the key port city of Busan, delivered a stunning rebuke against the ruling Democratic Party (Minjoo). Although the conservative People Power Party (PPP) took hold of these two key cities, the election was regarded by the South Korean masses as a referendum on both President Moon Jae-in and the political establishment as a whole. As in many countries in the world, a socialist, working-class political alternative is sorely needed.
At a White House dinner on 24 February, Joe Biden held up a microchip and recalled a popular saying: “Remember that old proverb: for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost.” And – as the proverb goes – without the horse, the messenger was lost; without his message, the battle was lost; and so on until, eventually, the empire itself was lost. For the empire which is the United States, that nail – according to Biden – is the microchip.
The German federal constitutional court has ruled the rent cap in Berlin as unconstitutional, bringing to an end the Berlin rent cap experiment. This means that Berlin tenants will have to dig deeper into their pockets to be able to afford a roof over their heads. The German left-wing party DIE LINKE and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) with its eight member unions now have to go on the offensive!
How do we acquire knowledge, and how reliable is it? Is there a real world beyond our senses, or is each of us an isolated atom? Can we really understand the workings of society and change it for the better? In his talk at a day school on philosophy, hosted by our British comrades at Socialist Appeal, Alan Woods (editor of In Defence of Marxism) mounted a defence of materialism against the trends of subjective idealism, such as positivism and postmodernism, that deny the possibility of objective and scientific knowledge about the world and society.
The ruling class in Bangladesh announced a nationwide lockdown following 10 days of Independence Day celebrations, in which they cosied up to the reactionary Modi regime of India. Meanwhile, workers are facing death and infection on a massive scale, and the health sector is in a parlous state. Anger beneath the surface is building towards an eruption.
Protests erupted across Turkey on Saturday 20 March after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree withdrawing Turkey from the Istanbul convention, an international treaty to prevent and combat violence against women. The withdrawal has sparked anger, thousands have taken to the streets at protests throughout the country.
A failed attempt to unionise Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama is a lesson in the need for a bold and effective strategy by the US labour leaders. Even a goliath like Amazon is no match for the power of the working class when effectively organised. The battle goes on!
Over the weekend of 9-11 April 2021, Der Funke, the German section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), held its national congress. We intently discussed the perspectives for the class struggle, and the tasks facing our revolutionary organisation. Although circumstances meant the congress had to take place online, the mood was militant and enthusiastic.
Marxists are often accused of ‘Eurocentrism’ and ‘class reductionism’ (particularly in academic circles) when we argue for the struggle of workers of all races and nations against capitalism. It is said our emphasis on international working-class solidarity ignores the experience of people from the former colonial world, who must ‘decolonise’ their minds of Western-imposed ideas (Marxism included), and fight their own battles for liberation. But what is the best way forward for oppressed peoples throughout the world? Hamid Alizadeh, a leading activist of the International Marxist Tendency, tackled these questions at our 2020 Marxist University (catch up on all the lectures here!)
For several weeks now, Turkey has been making international headlines for various reasons. Not the least of these were the back-to-back sackings of the governor of the Central Bank, Naci Ağbal, on 19 March, followed by his deputy. Erdoğan’s move was followed by a sharp 15% one-day collapse in the value of the lira. Mainstream, bourgeois economists were aghast at what they regarded as insane, erratic behaviour from Erdoğan. But there is method in the madness. Above all, Erdoğan is terrified of a social explosion.
The second round of Ecuador’s presidential election has produced a victory for the right-wing candidate, the banker Lasso, and a defeat for the left-wing candidate, Andrés Arauz. It is important to try to understand the reasons why this happened, and the perspectives for the workers’ movement in the Andean country.