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Blood and Gold: the Spanish Conquest of the Americas

When the Spanish arrived in the Americas 500 years ago, they encountered diverse cultures across the continent, including powerful civilisations such as the Mexica and the Incas. This article, first published in issue 40 of In Defence of Marxism magazine (click here to subscribe), takes a look at the material foundations of these rich cultures, their internal contradictions, as well as the conditions of contemporary Spain itself at the time of the conquest. Only by understanding these conditions can we in turn understand the devastation that the conquest wrought, and the wider role of these events in the ascent of capitalism.

China: economic downturn augurs epoch of instability and struggle

The news that Evergrande has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States has sounded the final death knell for China’s real estate industries. A series of corporate defaults, a recession in the real estate market, soaring unemployment and a rapid decline in people's consumption have debunked the ruling Communist Party of China (CCP) regime’s fraudulent claims of a “strong economic recovery” in China.

Europe’s rotten new deal on refugees

The Mediterranean might be a paradise for holidaymakers, but it is simultaneously a graveyard, where at least 27,000 migrants have died in attempted border crossings since records began in 2014. A new EU deal is being touted as the best chance for a more ‘structured’ approach to this ‘problem’: distributing migrants more evenly across the continent. In reality, it will do nothing to alleviate the nightmare, and merely balances the reactionary interests of European powers.

Coup in Gabon: pressure continues to build on the African continent

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, 12 military officers appeared on Gabon’s national television to announce they had cancelled the results of the latest elections, dissolved all state institutions, and closed the country’s borders. This latest military coup against a puppet of French imperialism continues a process that has already seen seizures of power in a number of African countries, including Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Green austerity and the climate culture war

Capitalist politicians are increasingly wrapping-up austerity measures in ‘green’ packaging – provoking a backlash amongst ordinary people, and polarising the working class. This article was originally published by our comrades in Britain in the wake of the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which penalises thousands of working-class commuters in the name of protecting the environment.

As Ukraine’s offensive stalls, are negotiations on the agenda?

The failure of Ukraine’s counter-offensive has brought to the fore all the contradictions in the Ukrainian war effort. Disaffection is spreading in the army and among civilians, while at the same time Ukraine’s western allies are getting cold feet and starting to talk about negotiations.

Who killed Prigozhin?

When the news of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s demise hit the headlines yesterday, the usual pundits appeared on our television screens with the alacrity of a flock of vultures, anxious to pick over the bones of a dead animal in the African savannah.

Western imperialism turns a blind eye as Saudi regime massacres migrants

A damning new investigation accuses Saudi Arabia of deliberately slaughtering hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Saudi-Yemeni border over the past 12 months. The 73-page report, based on extensive eyewitness testimony and expert analysis of satellite imagery, as well as footage of injuries, lists a litany of allegations against Saudi border guards. It describes them as having “used explosive weapons and shot people at close range, including women and children, in a pattern that is widespread and systematic”. 

In Memory of Leon Trotsky

21 August marks the anniversary of Leon Trotsky's death, following an attack by a GPU agent, on the orders of Stalin. This article by Alan Woods, commemorating Trotsky, was originally published in the year 2000. We share it today in memory of a revolutionary titan whose work and sacrifices preserved the authentic traditions of Marxism and Bolshevism for future generations. 

The Assassination of Leon Trotsky

We republish here an account by Sieva 'Esteban' Volkov, Leon Trotsky's grandson, who was present at Coyoacán, Mexico when Trotsky was struck down by a GPU agent on 20 August 1940, passing away the following day. Volkov himself sadly passed away earlier this year, severing one of the last living links to the outstanding revolutionary who, along with Lenin, led the Russian working class to victory in the October Revolution of 1917. Read our editor-in-chief Alan Woods' tribute to Volkov here.

[Video] Alan Woods on world perspectives: clear the decks for communism!

The world has reached a turning point: now is the time of revolutions and counter-revolutions. It has never been more important for Marxists to understand the economic and social processes happening all around us. We publish here the transcript and video of a talk given by Alan Woods at the recent World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). Alan gives a detailed account of the current world situation, from the war in Ukraine to the explosive situation in West Africa. Ultimately, what is clear is that there is no country anywhere in the world where the capitalists are safe from class struggle. If you agree, and you want to join the fight for communism, then join the IMT today!

Singapore: a safe harbour from capitalist crisis?

Since the start of the pandemic, Singapore has seen an unprecedented level of capital inflow. More than $400 billion SGD (nearly $300 billion USD) in capital flowed into the country in 2021 alone. The capitalists of the region and beyond sense the coming economic crisis and accompanying political and social turmoil and are betting big on Singapore to be the safe harbour to ride out the storm. However, the crisis of capitalism on a world scale will only worsen, and the capitalists will find that they can run, but they can’t hide.

Supreme Court approves assault on Communist Party of Venezuela

Lucha de Clases – the Venezuelan section of the International Marxist Tendency – expresses its firm opposition to the recent attack on the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), orchestrated by the leadership of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and carried out by the judiciary. This manoeuvre has stripped the PCV’s membership and the legitimate leadership of the party of legal control of its name, symbols and legal identity.

French imperialism is collapsing in West Africa

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, last Thursday to discuss how to respond to the recent coup in Niger. The deadline put forward by ECOWAS for the coup leaders to step aside and restore President Mohamed Bazoum to power elapsed the previous Sunday without the military intervention that countries like Nigeria had threatened.

Wildfires devastate Hawaii: capitalism’s latest climate horror

The Hawaiian island of Maui has been devastated by wildfires, leaving nearly 100 dead at the time of writing. The inferno has been described as the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the state of Hawaii. But in fact, there was little natural about this tragedy. It was an accident waiting to happen, facilitated by the capitalism-created climate crisis, and disproportionately affecting poorer neighborhoods on an island treated as a luxurious plaything by the wealthy.

IMT World Congress 2023: the communists have arrived!

The 2023 Congress of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) marked a major turning point in the history of our organisation, amidst a sea change in society. Having almost doubled our forces since the pandemic, the Congress was full of youthful fighting spirit and determination. Over 400 comrades assembled from more than 40 countries, raised €630,000 for the revolutionary cause, and declared triumphantly: the communists have arrived!

"The Eighteenth Brumaire": a masterpiece of Marxism

The fall of the short-lived Second French Republic in December 1851 marks one of the most rapid and complete reversals in modern political history. Born out of the February Revolution of 1848, the Republic appeared to promise a new era of progress and democracy for the whole of Europe. But this proved to be a false dawn. In less than four years the most democratic republic on Earth was transformed into its opposite: the naked dictatorship of Napoleon III.