21 January 2018

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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State and Labour During the AKP Rule in Turkey

20/01/2018 - 08:36

The AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-Justice and Development Party) is celebrating 15 years in power in Turkey. The party came to power in November 2002, against the backdrop of the major 2001 crisis and amidst a legitimacy crisis of the then mainstream political parties stemming from the crisis-ridden 1990s. The AKP's policies brought about significant transformations in the state, economy and the society.

- IV516 - January 2018 / ,

The Austrian Anti-Social Coalition

19/01/2018 - 19:12

The new government of the ÖVP (Austrian People's Party) and FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) in Austria opens the way towards radicalised neo-liberal economic and social policies. As in some other EU countries, such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark and Finland, a traditional liberal-conservative party has formed a coalition with or at least achieved the tolerance of a hard right-wing force with an aggressive anti-immigrant agenda in order to pursue or deepen its neo-liberal policies.

- IV516 - January 2018 /

Hugo Blanco: The Future Is Indigenous

18/01/2018 - 15:10

The veteran guerilla fighter and activist on the native groups at the vanguard against climate change.

- IV516 - January 2018 / , , , ,

Nothing New in Trump's Comments

17/01/2018 - 16:54

Trump's latest racist rant during a horse trading session with congressional leaders from both parties about the fate of the DACA program, has been widely denounced as an escalation of his racist discourse. Even before his latest comments, Trump demonstrated his contempt for the people of systematically underdeveloped countries by his response to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria's devastation of the Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, the world's oldest colony. These recent comments are also a noxious combination of old and new forms of racist bigotry and immigration restrictions.

- IV516 - January 2018 / ,

On the contribution of István Mészáros (1930-2017) to critical thinking

16/01/2018 - 14:32

István Mészáros, an outstanding Hungarian Marxist philosopher, died on October 1st 2017 in London. [1] Born in Budapest in 1930 into a working-class family, brought up by his mother, he began working in industry at the age of twelve. He actually lied about his age, claiming to be sixteen, in order to be accepted by the factory. Thus, "as an adult", his pay was higher than that of his mother, a qualified employee of the US transnational Standard Radio Company. The considerable difference between their weekly earnings was his first and most tangible experience of the particularly severe exploitation of women by capital. This was in 1942...

- 4. Features / , , ,

The Only Viable Economy

16/01/2018 - 14:32

István Mészáros is author of Socialism or Barbarism: From the “American Century” to the Crossroads (Monthly Review Press, 2001) and Beyond Capital: Toward a Theory of Transition) (Monthly Review Press, 1995). This essay is excerpted from his book, The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time: Socialism in the Twenty-First Century (2009).

- 4. Features / ,

After Alienation

16/01/2018 - 14:31

Since the collapse of the Berlin wall and the Soviet Union, many on the left seem to have swallowed the idea that there is no alternative to capitalism. Debate has been limited to what can (or rather cannot) be achieved within its confines. Here is a powerful book with the opposite message: What must be abolished is not only classical capitalist society but the reign of capital as such. Indeed, the Soviet example proves it is not enough to “expropriate the expropriators” if you do not uproot the domination of labor on which the rule of capital rests. An alternative exists, or more precisely, can be forged, provided it is radical and fundamental.

- 4. Features / , ,

Pension reform, neoliberalism and street fighting

16/01/2018 - 07:42

In recent weeks, the Argentine political climate has seemed to experience convulsions like never before. A pension reform project proposed by the neoliberal government of Mauricio Macri has been approved with difficulty by parliament. This measure is part of a set of adjustment policies pushed since the government of Cambiemos [Macri's right-wing political coalition] came to power. They include a sharp rise in taxes, rising inflation and reform proposals that directly attack the historic rights of workers. While this plan was supposed to be introduced progressively, the measures accelerated towards the end of 2017, so as to start the new year with a favourable budget balance.

- IV516 - January 2018 /

Cyril Ramaphosa Is Not the Answer

15/01/2018 - 14:55

Former trade union leader turned billionaire Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected president of the African National Congress (ANC). In a historic electoral conference, he defeated his rival, Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ) — medical doctor, former African Union president, and current president Jacob Zuma's ex-wife and anointed successor. But, Ramaphosa's victory is Pyrrhic. The top six top positions of the ANC's most powerful body — the National Executive Committee — are split down the middle between Zuma and Ramaphosa's factions, resulting in a stalemate dubbed “unity.”

- IV516 - January 2018 /

Solidarity with the popular protests in Iran!

14/01/2018 - 20:21

Since December 28, 2017, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been shaken by a wave of social protests unprecedented since the 2009 Green Movement. The protests first erupted in Mashhad, a holy city and Iran's second largest city near the northeastern border. Protesters opposed the rise in prices of basic goods and increasing poverty, chanted “death to Rouhani”, “death to the dictator [Ayatollah Khamenei]” and called for an end to Iran's military intervention in Syria and Lebanon. Protests quickly spread to more than 100 cities and villages throughout Iran, including the capital city of Tehran.

- IV516 - January 2018 /

Why Do So Many Western Leftists Defend Robert Mugabe?

13/01/2018 - 09:34

Apologetics for a kleptocratic tyrant have nothing to do with anti-imperialism.

- IV516 - January 2018 /

"How We Get Free": Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Lessons of Radical Black Feminism in the Age of Trump

12/01/2018 - 11:50

Forty years ago, a group of radical Black feminists who named themselves the Combahee River Collective released a statement defining their politics and describing their political work. The Combahee River Collective Statement has endured as a powerful document that clearly named the multiple oppressions that Black women faced due to their race, sex, class and sexual orientation; developed the idea of identity politics; and provided a key roadmap of the political work and organizing necessary to uproot all oppression.

- 3. Sexual politics / ,

Québec Solidaire Clarifies Its Support for Independence

12/01/2018 - 10:16

There were two main tasks on the agenda at the congress of the left party, Québec solidaire (QS), meeting in Longueuil December 1-3. One was the adoption of the party's platform for the next Quebec general election, to be held in October 2018. The other was ratification of a proposed fusion with Option nationale (ON), a small party originating in a split from the Parti québécois in 2011 after the PQ had put its goal of Quebec independence on the back burner for the foreseeable future. The fusion may add several hundred ON militants to QS's membership of 18,000.

- IV516 - January 2018 / , , ,

What we learned when women said #MeToo

11/01/2018 - 11:31

The latest example of the power of #MeToo moment came at this year's Golden Globe Awards, as celebrities wore black to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse and assault, and presenters and honorees alike spoke out about the violence and discrimination women face. Actors brought activists as guests to the event—like Tarana Burke, a longtime advocate for young survivors who first coined the phrase "Me Too." It was a sober and strong statement at a venue that is usually a celebration of glitz.

- IV516 - January 2018 / ,

Black Nationalism, Black Solidarity

10/01/2018 - 12:54

In the previous issue of Against the Current I discussed the ideology of white nationalism and white supremacy [1]. The contrasting ideology of Black nationalism must be understood in the framework of the Marxist analysis of nationalism of oppressed peoples.

- IV516 - January 2018 / , , ,

The Future of Social Control? China's Proposed Social Credit System

09/01/2018 - 11:46

China's one-party state has long sought to silence critical voices having been concerned about maintenance of control and regime stability. Following Xi Jinping's rise to power, the country has once again been witnessing a harder line in this respect as the regime has cracked down on various groups of activists and continues to narrow the space for those perceived as dissenting voices on and offline. More recently, a new plan, which would potentially establish an increasing degree of control over society through the construction of a social credit system, has received a lot of attention from critics and those concerned about this increasing state repression.

- IV516 - January 2018 /

Critical humanitarian situation in Mindanao - Urgent appeal for financial aid

08/01/2018 - 10:01

The most important initiative of solidarity taken by our association (ESSF) in 2017 already concerned the island of Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines. It was then a question of responding to the humanitarian consequences of the “Battle of Marawi” between government forces and jihadist movements - more than 600,000 people (mostly Muslim) had to flee the fighting and often found themselves totally destitute.

- IV516 - January 2018 / ,

62% oppose martial law extension in Mindanao

07/01/2018 - 12:46

Sixty-two percent of Filipinos have agreed that there is no need for the government to extend martial law in Mindanao, a latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

- 2. News from around the world /

Anticapitalistas hold second congress

07/01/2018 - 10:45

Anticapitalistas (the section of the Fourth International in the Spanish state) held its second congress in Madrid (December 7-9, 2017). To understand the context and the challenges, Juan Tortosa met Brais Fernández, a member of the group's leadership.

- IV516 - January 2018 / , , ,

The greatest radicalisation since 1979 as Iran explodes

06/01/2018 - 12:14

What began as a small protest in Mashhad, north-east Iran, against price rises, high unemployment and other economic grievances has spread across 65-70 towns and cities around the country.

- IV516 - January 2018