16 January 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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Order Prevails in the Arab World

15/01/2019 - 21:08

Through butchery and sectarianism, the autocracies of the Arab world have survived this round. But in the long run, any order dependent on murder and bloodshed is doomed to collapse.

- IV528 - January 2019 / , , , , ,

DSA Two Years Later: Where Are We At? Where Are We Headed?

15/01/2019 - 17:27

It has been two years since the explosive surge of the Democratic Socialists of America, now the largest socialist organization in the United States and the largest since the 1940s. And DSA has had some remarkable successes. Today as the country turns its attention to the presidential election of 2020, we ask: How DSA is doing? What is it accomplishing? And where is it going? What do the various caucuses and political tendencies within DSA propose as a future direction for the group? Is there a genuine left wing of DSA, and if not, what is the alternative?

- 4. Features /

Arrest of trade union leaders highlights continued repression

15/01/2019 - 08:57

Although this article was published last November it is part of the current context. At least two people have been killed in protests over fuel price hikes, after the doubling of prices. President Mnangagwa isnt in the country - he is currently visiting Russia. This has been roundly criticised by the opposition. [IV]

- IV528 - January 2019 / ,

Europe's Political Turmoil — Part II

14/01/2019 - 17:41

We have already seen examples of the havoc that the far right in power could wreak — against immigrants and refugees, against civil liberties, against vulnerable populations even within the limits of constitutional rule. But given Europe's history, the question inevitably arises: would the far right in power stay within constitutional limits? Could further advances for the far right ultimately lead once more to the establishment of fascist regimes in Europe?

- IV528 - January 2019 / , ,

Water as a Form of Social Control

13/01/2019 - 12:45

From Detroit and Flint, Michigan to Gaza and the West Bank in Palestine, those struggling against institutionalized racism and apartheid are no strangers to water struggles.

- 4. Features / , ,

Nationalism, Patriotism, Hate Crimes

13/01/2019 - 08:21

French President Emmanuel Macron's November 11, 2018 speech, during the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, called rising nationalism across Europe a “betrayal of patriotism” and warned against “old demons coming back to wreak chaos and death.”

- IV528 - January 2019 / , ,

Yellow Jackets and labour movement at a crossroads

12/01/2019 - 06:41

A look back at the year 2018. The emergence of the Yellow Jackets was first and foremost an expression of the rejection of tax injustice, crystallized in the rejection of the new fuel tax, which everyone has since understood was intended only to finance the compensation in the 2019 budget for employer social security contribution exemptions.

- IV528 - January 2019 /

Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism

11/01/2019 - 16:13

Bernie Sanders has so far received little attention for his internationalist positions, even though he spoke out and voted against the war in Iraq, proposed a drastic reduction in US military spending, strongly criticised the coups d'état organised in Latin America by the CIA and opposed US support for the Saudi offensive in Yemen. The US left generally considers that in foreign policy he has not deviated from the consensus between Democrats and Republicans, criticizes him for his lack of involvement in the BDS movement (boycott, disinvestment, sanctions) and recalls that during the decades he has been in the Senate he has sometimes voted in favour of military intervention or spoken of the need to preserve US power. Even if in his youth he applied to be a conscientious objector during the war in Vietnam, he went to Cuba after the revolution and organized diplomatic meetings with the Sandinist revolutionaries, since he has been in the Senate his dissent in the Democratic Party has been limited to domestic political issues, with few exceptions.

It is also true that since the end of the Vietnam war, there has not been a strong left-wing internationalist current in the United States and that many of those who, on the margins, within the radical left, identify as such, are at the same time bogged down in an alignment with so-called "socialist states" or at least with the "enemies" of American imperialism. Bernie Sanders was therefore not isolated by not promoting internationalist solidarity.

Since his campaign for the Democratic primaries two years ago - during which he also abstained taking any notable internationalist positions - and with the resurgence of a new left, however, the construction of mass internationalism in the United States seems necessary. Especially since Donald Trump is taking a caricatural chauvinism forward at a great rate. And that on a global scale the dangerous resident of the White House serves as an example for the resurgence of state authoritarianism and a kind of neo-fascism. Bolsonaro's victory in Brazil is only the most recent example of this danger.

It was precisely in the aftermath of the neo-fascist candidate's success in the first round of the Brazilian presidential election that Bernie Sanders delivered a speech in Washington calling for "building a global democratic movement against authoritarianism". He picked up and built on what he wrote on 13 September 2018 in an editorial published by the Guardian, where he stated that "It should be clear by now that Donald Trump and the rightwing movement that supports him is not a phenomenon unique to the United States," and that "All around the world, in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, in Asia and elsewhere we are seeing movements led by demagogues who exploit people's fears, prejudices and grievances to achieve and hold on to power."

Sanders' proposal to the global left deserves to be taken seriously. Today, internationalism is not on the rise and the fact that a world-renowned personality is calling for the reconstruction of bonds of solidarity to fight authoritarianism together can have an impact. Faced with the multiplication of authoritarian regimes and the rise of extreme right-wing movements, the resurgence of an internationalist movement is the task of the moment. As Bernie Sanders says in his speech "We need a movement that unites people all over the world who don't just seek to return to a romanticized past, a past that did not work for so many, but who strive for something better,"; that it is not enough to defend what has been achieved but that we must "reconceptualize a genuinely progressive global order based on human solidarity," and "reach out to those in every corner of the world who share these values, and who are fighting for a better world." It is a good basis for opening the discussion on how to build an international movement. Jan Malewski

- 4. Features / ,

On the managed and farcical national election in Bangladesh

11/01/2019 - 08:26

The 11th National Election in Bangladesh was held on 30 December 2018.

- IV528 - January 2019 /

The far right: A global phenomenon

10/01/2019 - 08:30

In recent years, the reactionary, authoritarian and/or fascist extreme right wing has been in the ascendant all over the world: it already governs half of the world's countries. Among the best-known examples are: Trump (United States), Modi (India), Orbán (Hungary), Erdoğan (Turkey), Daesh (Islamic State), Salvini (Italy), Duterte (Philippines), and now Bolsonaro (Brazil). But in several other countries we have governments close to this trend, even if they do not have such an explicit definition: Russia (Putin), Israel (Netanyahu), Japan (Shinzō Abe), Austria, Poland, Burma, Colombia and so on. In fact, the distinction between these two groups is completely relative.

- IV528 - January 2019 /

The language of capitalism isn't just annoying, it's dangerous

10/01/2019 - 08:00

A new book argues that words like “innovation” are doing more than telling you who to avoid at parties.

- 7. Reviews section /

BDS: Repression and Progress

09/01/2019 - 11:20

It wouldn't be surprising for, let's say, Fox News to fire a commentator for expressing support for the Palestinian struggle. But some fans of CNN, known for its 24/7 denunciations of all things Trump, might be taken aback that a “liberal” media outlet would take such action.

- 2. News from around the world

Disciplined for Acting with Integrity

09/01/2019 - 11:19

Is the wolf of academic repression once more at the door of the University of Michigan (U-M)?

- IV528 - January 2019 / ,

Mourn, then organise again

08/01/2019 - 11:49

This brilliant essay is an attempt to recover a hidden and rather discreet tradition: the tradition of "left-wing melancholia." This state of mind does not make up part of the Left's canonical narrative: the Left is more given to celebrating glorious triumphs than tragic defeats. Nonetheless, the memory of these defeats — from June 1848 to May 1871, January 1919 and September 1973 — and solidarity with the defeated nourish revolutionary history like an invisible underground river. In the depths of resignation, this left-wing melancholia is a red thread that crosses revolutionary culture, from Auguste Blanqui to critical cinema, passing by way of Gustave Courbet, Rosa Luxemburg, and Walter Benjamin. Traverso forcefully — and counter-intuitively — reveals the full subversive, emancipatory charge of revolutionary mourning.

- 7. Reviews section / ,

Franco Never Left

08/01/2019 - 08:05

Spain's far right is enjoying its biggest breakthrough since the 1970s. But it grows from a reactionary swamp that has festered ever since Franco's dictatorship.

- IV528 - January 2019 / ,

Towards a Gay Communism

07/01/2019 - 13:07

Mario Mieli's book, written in the late 70s, reveals a world lost to us now – the radicalisation of the late 60s and early 70s, which provided the context for what was then called the gay liberation movement. Huge mobilisations arose against the war in Vietnam, while black people in the US rose in rebellion in cities across America after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 – rebellions which inspired the Stonewall riot, the founding event of the gay liberation movement, the following year. In Britain, a national miners' strike brought down the Tory government in 1974. Many on the far left believed that capitalism was in its death agonies and that revolution was on the agenda of the day.

- 7. Reviews section / ,

Class war on new ground

07/01/2019 - 09:22

Socialists are in a hurry these days. With the idea of socialism catching on among a widening swath of the U.S. population, and class conflict showing signs of heating up there can be little time for idle talk. Rather, there is an urgent need to diagnose the current political and economic situation, identify what is new and what is not about that situation, and propose a strategy for the way forward based on the diagnosis.

- 7. Reviews section / , ,

Baba Jan adjournment debate rejected

07/01/2019 - 09:21

The National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has rejected an adjournment motion moved by Ali Wazir, the lone leftist member from North Waziristan, to debate Baba Jan's case in the lower house of Parliament. The motion was also signed by Pashtun Tahafooz Movement (PTM) leader MNA Mohsin Dawar and MNA Riaz Fatyana.

- IV528 - January 2019 /

Feminism: An interview with Cinzia Arruzza

06/01/2019 - 13:11

The Italian feminist Cinzia Arruzza is an associate professor of philosophy at the New School of Social Research in New York and author of the book Dangerous Liaisons: Marriages and Divorces between Marxism and Feminism. She has just finished writing a “Manifesto for a Feminism for the 99%” along with Nancy Fraser and Tithi Bhattacharya. In this interview for ctxt - Revista Contexto Josefina L. Martínez asked her about the relationship between capitalism and patriarchy, gender and class, in the new wave of international feminism.

- IV528 - January 2019 /