25 September 2020

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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Strengthening of normalization process of Israel after agreement with the UAE

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On 13 August the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel entered into a US-sponsored peace accord that further deepens the process of normalization of the colonial and racist apartheid state.

- IV548 - September 2020 / ,

Democratic space reduced, Italian government given breathing space

24/09/2020 - 08:56

As expected the constitutional referendum to reduce the number of MPs in both houses by a third passed by 70 per cent to 30 per cent. This means an Italian MP will represent up to 150,000 voters, the highest in Europe and considerably more than here [United Kingdom]. Democratic space and access is severely reduced and it makes it even more difficult for new or smaller parties, particularly alternative left wing or ecological ones, to be represented.

- IV548 - September 2020 /

US Postal Service in Crisis — Why?

23/09/2020 - 09:29

THE U.S. POSTAL Service, a publicly owned institution with a large (630,000) unionized workforce and a history dating to 1775, is facing a financial crisis that could present a real opportunity for the Trump administration to enact its program of privatization as well as weakening its employee unions.

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Hong Kong in Revolt: A Conversation with Au Loong-Yu

22/09/2020 - 09:40

For the past year and a half, Hong Kong has been in turmoil, with a new generation of young and politically active citizens mobilising to protest Beijing's tightening grip over the city. In Hong Kong in Revolt: The Protest Movement and the Future of China (Pluto Books 2020), prominent Hong Kong leftist intellectual Au Loong-Yu retraces the development of the protest movement in his place of birth over the past two decades, setting them within the context of broader political trends in mainland China and beyond. Published after the Chinese authorities enacted a new draconian National Security Law that effectively signalled a new stage in the crackdown, this book provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the events of the past months, dispel some myths, and, possibly, draw a few early lessons.

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The Fight for Indigenous Liberation

21/09/2020 - 21:13

As Long as Grass Grows:
The Indigenous Struggle for Environmental Justice,
from Colonization to Standing Rock

By Dina Gilio-Whitaker
Beacon Press, 2019, 222 pages.

Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NODAPL Movement
Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon, editors
University of Minnesota Press, 2019, 420 pages.

Speaking of Indigenous Politics: Conversations
with Activists, Scholars, and Tribal Leaders

J. Kéhaulani Kauanui, editor
University of Minnesota Press, 2018, 400 pages.

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WikiLeaks: Defend Assange and Civil Liberties – History, Great Britain, and Julian Assange

21/09/2020 - 07:49

BELOW ARE THE comments Clifford D. Conner made at a September 8th press conference in front of the British consulate in New York City. Conner is an historian and author of Jean Paul Marat: Tribune of the French Revolution and The Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump. The court in Britain is holding hearings on the Trump administration's request to have Julian Assange, the Australian editor, publisher and founder of WikiLeaks, extradited. Assange would be tried in a Virginia court on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.

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Despite disasters and crimes, the Bolsonaro government continues

20/09/2020 - 07:10

The Bolsonaro government in Brazil is a huge catastrophe and a dangerous threat: ineffectiveness in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, disastrous international relations, a deliberate anti-environmental line, attacks on democratic institutions, human rights and the (precarious) gains of civilization. Its policy towards indigenous peoples is genocidal in nature. Even before the pandemic, its economic policy had failed. Brazil is the second most affected country in the world in number of Covid-19 cases and deaths, behind only the United States, with more than 125,000 deaths. The picture could be even worse, but Bolsonaro has been prevented by court rulings from imposing his line.

- IV548 - September 2020 /

What future for Mali?

19/09/2020 - 10:41

In Mali, the seizure of power by the military on 18 August, 2020 opens a new page in a country which is experiencing an unprecedented crisis. The situation continues to deteriorate seriously.

- IV548 - September 2020 /

Questions without Answers: The Dutch and German Communist Left

18/09/2020 - 12:29

Left-communism was initially a response to setbacks faced by the communist movement after the failure of the German Revolution. The movement put its hopes in workers' self-activity, yet remained apart from most of the working class. In this book, Philippe Bourrinet discusses the history of this movement, from its roots in the Dutch and German revolutionary Left before and during the First World War to its final evolution. The book provides a detailed overview of its theoretical debates, and traces how left-communist ideas evolved into council communism. However, the strong focus on theoretical debates means the reader learns little about the movement's relative weight in the workers' movement or about its social composition. Ultimately, the left-communists hit a dead-end as the movement was caught in its own contradictions.

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World Congress in Defense of Public Education, Sept 26-27

18/09/2020 - 10:51

The following invitation to participate in the First World Congress in Defense of Public Education and Against Educational Neoliberalism was written by a broad coalition of educators in Latin America and Europe. Educators from all over the world are encouraged to register and take part. For more information about how to take part, email: congresomundialdeeducacion2020@gmail.com. First published in Spanish by Otras Voces en Educacíon, translated by No Borders News.

- News from around the world /

Cop Shoots Jacob Blake: Kenosha Intensifies Racial Reckoning

18/09/2020 - 09:29

“And I contend that the cry of ‘Black Power' is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro,” King said. “I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., in response to a frequent question asked by reporters in 1966)

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Opening Up the Schools?

17/09/2020 - 08:08

SIX MONTHS SINCE the worst health crisis in 100 years began, there is no sign that it is under control in most parts of the world. In the United States, it has created mass unemployment, exposed the vast rifts between the rich and poor, and promises to widen them unless the social movements impelled by Black Lives Matter and teacher/community organizing can continue to reframe the political, social and economic landscape.

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The crisis triggered by the pandemic and the economic policy of the European Union

16/09/2020 - 18:33

This chapter will address the pandemic crisis at the level of political economy and, in particular, the fundamental decisions that the European Union is adopting, whose measures will take precise form once its particular institutional procedure is completed.

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Radiance and sunset of Podemos - reasons for a farewell

16/09/2020 - 18:33

The creation of Podemos in the Spanish state was an important attempt to build an anti-neoliberal and pluralist mass party to the left of social-liberalism. That experience, which started very well, has finally ended very badly. Perhaps, for this reason, the title of this article could have been “Radiance and decline of Podemos ... as an emancipatory political project.”

- Building new parties of the left / , ,

Nonviolence and Black Self-Defense

16/09/2020 - 09:13

WHILE THE POST-World War II Southern Civil Rights Movement is viewed as a nonviolent movement, reality is more complicated. Charles Cobb, Jr., who was a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) field secretary from 1962-67, points out that mass marches and other forms of direct action necessitated nonviolence in the face of government officials and the presence of a well-armed KKK.

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Macron on an imperial visit

15/09/2020 - 07:30

Emmanuel Macron has paid another visit to Lebanon, and also to Iraq to seek to consolidate the role of the French imperialist power in the region.

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Aegean Sea: urgent anti-war mobilization needed

14/09/2020 - 09:11

There has been sabre rattling since June in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, in an area encompassing the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey and the nearest Greek islands, as well as the island of Cyprus. The most obvious cause is of course the expansionist ambitions of Erdogan, on which we will not dwell here: in difficulty in his country, reigning only through mass repression and imprisonment, the Turkish leader tries to find a way out by mixing fundamentalist and nationalist discourses, against a backdrop of military deployment against his people and against neighbouring peoples.

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When Chinese eat grass: the economic crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic

13/09/2020 - 08:52

LAST YEAR, DURING THE HEIGHT of the trade war with the US, it was reported that a top Chinese official vowed that China would continue to defy US's bullying, even if this required Chinese people to eat grass instead of rice for a year. The trade war dealt a blow to exports, one of the three main growth engines (the other two being aggregate investment and household consumption).

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Experiments in Free Transit

12/09/2020 - 08:44

AMONG THE FEW positive aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some localities have taken the impressive step of implementing free transit. Several cities in Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Toledo and Youngstown announced free fares as of March 16. Towns in Vermont and Nevada have done so as well.

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Black Lives Matter & the Now Moment

11/09/2020 - 09:12

WE LIVE IN an extraordinary moment. One in which many cross currents tussle for sustained dominance. A moment when armed white supremacy groups attempt break-ins to legislative offices in states like Michigan. One in which the science of contagion is in battle with a myopic individualism, wherein the wearing of a mask for medical protection becomes a signifier for a political symbolic battle around hegemony.

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