18 February 2019

International Viewpoint

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International Viewpoint, the monthly English-language magazine of the Fourth International, is a window to radical alternatives world-wide, carrying reports, analysis and debates from all corners of the globe. Correspondents in over 50 countries report on popular struggles, and the debates that are shaping the left of tomorrow.
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Gilets Jaunes: a popular movement of a new kind

17/02/2019 - 15:58

The steamroller of the Macron “start-up” seemed to be advancing relentlessly. The Gilets Jaunes (“Yellow Vests”) movement has thrown his government into crisis, the popular anger has been such that it has been forced to draw back, at least symbolically. It is the first time since 2006, when the massive mobilisation of youth supported by several days of strike action called by the trade unions forced the withdrawal of the Contrat Première Embauche, that a French government has faced a crisis which it can only resolve by abandoning its project.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Letter from Zapatistas to Women Who Fight All Over the World

16/02/2019 - 16:10


February 2019.

To: women who fight all over the world. From: Zapatista women.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Palestine on a Precipice

15/02/2019 - 10:53

The rise and expansion of right-wing populism and the dramatic unfolding of global politics in the Trump era have had significant and alarming implications for the Palestinian people, leadership, and question overall.

- IV529 - February 219 / , ,

Breaking with bad politics

14/02/2019 - 08:40

The implosion of Podemos in the Community and the City of Madrid has been a surprise in terms of the time chosen, but for any minimally informed observer it was implicit in the situation. Currently the most naive or malicious opponents are pretending to be shocked by the shameful crisis of the Madrid left, but if we do a quick review of some political events of recent years, we will see that not everything that happened is an “aberration” or a “disgrace”, but the logical and inevitable consequence of a whole trajectory. Neither is it a psychodrama in which two friends are fighting, or just a bureaucratic dispute that is emaciated by power, though obviously it is also that. It is the end of a cycle for the transformational politics of this country.

- IV529 - February 219 /

The Jasic Struggle in China's Political Context

13/02/2019 - 08:45

The Jasic case, in particular relationships that were forged between students and workers, reveals important developments in China's politics. China's 1989 democratic movement saw intellectuals and students excluding workers from the very beginning. After the failure of that democratic movement, intellectuals soon divided into liberals and the New Left, cleaved by the false dichotomy of “state versus market.” Intellectuals may have adopted New Left rhetoric about “fairness” but remained indifferent to workers' situation. Students simply retreated to their study. It was not until the 2009 strikes by Guangzhou sanitation workers that workers began to receive some support from students, mostly as individuals. Small circles of leftist students had started debating and practicing ronggong, literally “mixing with workers,” that is, going to work in factories after graduation and trying to organize there. Key to this development has been the role of students who identify themselves as Maoists.

- IV529 - February 219 /

The Philippine Left in a Changing Land

12/02/2019 - 08:23

On October 21 nine members of the Philippine National Federation of Sugar Workers were shot dead while participating in a protest. The killers are assumed to be employed by local capitalists. Killings of union, peasant, and other activists have increased sharply under President Duterte. Dozens of activists have already been killed. Under Duterte's authoritarian rule, the Philippine left is faced with new difficulties.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Venezuela Defines the Future of the Region

11/02/2019 - 08:15

The struggle for Venezuela will decide the destiny of Latin America, argues Claudio Katz. We must recognise global Right's hypocrisy in its attempts to topple Maduro. But it doesn't act alone: similar forces are alive inside a government that has failed to counteract economic collapse.

- IV529 - February 219 /

The Me Too Movement in the Middle East

10/02/2019 - 08:30

The Me Too movement against sexual assault and rape has animated women throughout the world. In the Middle East too, despite the wars led by authoritarian states, various imperialist powers, and extremist religious fundamentalist forces, all of which promote patriarchy and misogyny, a Me Too movement is arising. How is this movement expressing itself in the Middle East? Below we will take up eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa:

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Socialists and the fight for democracy in Venezuela

09/02/2019 - 08:57

The U.S. and its allies are increasing the pressure against the Venezuelan government after National Assembly President Juan Guaidó declared himself to be president of the country against the elected President Nicolás Maduro last month. Gonzalo Gómez is a Venezuelan revolutionary, member of the socialist organization Marea Socialista and co-founder of the independent left-wing website He was interviewed by Eva María, and the interview was translated by Alejandro Q.

- IV529 - February 219 /

The left case for open borders

08/02/2019 - 17:59

The Left Case against Open Borders” by Angela Nagle is an essay with a misleading title. The article doesn't argue against “open borders”. Nagle argues against the cause of immigrant rights and for a more repressive immigration policy, while attacking the supposedly “upper middle class”, “identitarian” present day Left as neoliberals who facilitate the super exploitation of immigrant workers

- IV529 - February 219 / , , ,

The Protests against Russia's Pension Reform and the Reasons for Their Defeat

07/02/2019 - 10:53

Note from LeftEast editors: The main political event of 2018 on Russia's domestic scene was probably the pension reform and the unsuccessful resistance against it. In this piece published in Russian in Sotsiologia vlasti 30(4)2018 co-translated for LeftEast by Kate Seidel, Ana Gurau, and Dasha Vodchic, Ilya Budraitskis takes this episode as a lens on the government modus operandi and on the logic driving the different segments of the opposition.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Fascisms Old and New

06/02/2019 - 17:26

The rise of Bolsanaro in Brazil, Trump in the US, and the far right throughout Europe has the word “fascism” on everyone's lips. But that rising Right is distinct from twentieth-century fascism in key ways.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sanchez, Angela Merkel and Theresa May Have No Right to Issue an Ultimatum to Venezuela

05/02/2019 - 11:09

On Saturday 26 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sánchez, and Angela Merkel, followed by Theresa May, gave the government of Venezuela eight days within which to call elections. If the government of Venezuela does not comply with this order by then, Macron, Sánchez, Merkel and May have announced that they will recognize Juan Guaidó, who declared himself president of Venezuela on 23 January 2019.

- IV529 - February 219 / , , ,

Nicolas Calas: The Trotskyist Time Forgot

04/02/2019 - 09:13

Nicolas Calas (1907-88) may be the most visionary poet, art critic, museum curator, cultural historian, and lifelong Trotskyist of whom you have never heard. Writing decades before Fredric Jameson's classic The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1981) declared, “Always historicize!,” Calas embodied this precept in every dimension of his multifaceted career.

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Our children on strike for the climate! What about us? What do we do?

04/02/2019 - 08:21

All over the world, thousands of young people are starting to set off spontaneously for the climate. On 17 January, in Brussels, more than 12,000 people went on strike and demonstrated in response to the magnificent appeal made at COP24 by the 15-year-old Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg. They were more than 35.000 one week later and the movement continues.

- IV529 - February 219 / ,

Reassessing Trotsky's biography of Stalin

03/02/2019 - 19:14

The new edition of Leon Trotsky's biography of Joseph Stalin, published in 2016 by Wellred Books, is a significant contribution to our understanding of Trotsky's thinking in the last years before his assassination in August 1940.

- 7. Reviews section / , ,

Against the Repression in Greece

03/02/2019 - 07:43

In 2015 the international left invested its hopes in Syriza and its promise of a break with austerity. Today, it must call out the repression of social movements in Greece by Alexis Tsipras's government.

- IV529 - February 219 /

Money, Markets, and Monarchies

02/02/2019 - 19:39

Adam Hanieh talks about his new book to Jadaliyya.

- 7. Reviews section / , , , , , ,

The Domestic Consequences of China's ‘One Belt One Road Initiative'

02/02/2019 - 08:23

Currently, the prospects of China's ‘One Belt One Road Initiative' (hereinafter referred to as OBOR) are dim. An article published in the Financial Times in July 2018 pointed out that 234 out of 1,674 Chinese-invested infrastructure projects announced in 66 Belt and Road countries since 2013 have encountered difficulties.

- IV529 - February 219 / ,

Life in the Century's Midnight

01/02/2019 - 11:51

Around International Holocaust Memorial Day we should remember the resistance that organised itself in Nazi death camps.

- IV529 - February 219 / , , ,