7 August 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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The political instrumentalization of the Covid-19 crisis in Egypt

25/04/2020 - 08:41

As of April 24, Egypt is reporting 3,659 coronavirus infections and 276 Covid-19 deaths. However, as this article shows, the government's use of the crisis for its own political purposes casts doubt on the veracity of these figures.[NBN]

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

How South Korea flattened the curve, and who pays the bill

24/04/2020 - 12:39

As of April 19, South Korea is reporting 10,661 confirmed coronavirus cases and 234 Covid-19 deaths. The country has been widely praised for its relative success in flattening the infection curve and South Koreans rewarded President Moon Jae-in's Democratic Party with a landslide victory last week. According to the Guardian, “Moon's left-leaning Democratic party and its smaller affiliate won 180 seats in the 300-seat assembly – the biggest majority in the national assembly by any party since South Korea's transition to democracy in 1987 – according to the Yonhap news agency. The conservative opposition United Future party and its smaller sister party won 103 seats. Turnout was 66.2%, higher than any parliamentary elections held in South Korea since 1992.”

At the same time, coronavirus remains prevalent in South Korea and the danger of new outbreaks are real. And while South Korea has succeeded in flattening the curse, it cannot avoid the global economic crisis that is escalating in its wake, as the Economist reports, “the IMF expects the South Korean economy will shrink by 1.2 per cent this year, down from an earlier forecast of 2.2 per cent growth.”

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

Viktor Orbán is Using the Coronavirus Emergency to Crush Minorities

24/04/2020 - 08:11

In the last week of March, the Hungarian government gender reassignment, legislated jail terms for fake news, and put government stooges in control of theaters. Viktor Orbán's administration has done all this in the name of the response to coronavirus — exploiting its emergency powers to silence dissent and demonize minorities.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

“The health emergency could possibly end up having total control over our lives“

23/04/2020 - 18:49

“As for the way out of the pandemic, I think all the premises exist, on a global scale, for better or for worse. There may be a turn to the left capable of radically challenging the model of society that has emerged over the past forty years; but there may also be, as I said, a new xenophobic and authoritarian wave: a permanent ‘state of emergency' which is linked to increased social inequalities, where despair drives a search for scapegoats.”

- IV543 - April 2020 / , , ,

Luis Sepulveda, revolutionary activist and Chilean writer, has died from Covid-19

23/04/2020 - 18:06

Luis Sepulveda died on Thursday 16 April in Oviedo (Asturias, in the Spanish state) of Covid-19, which he had contracted at the end of February during a congress of writers in Portugal. Sepulveda was a great writer and his works, translated into more than 60 languages, have enjoyed worldwide success.

Luis Sepulveda was also an activist. Member of the Chilean Communist Party from the age of 12, he quickly moved towards a more revolutionary commitment. In recent years, he had moved away from the debates on the socialist and revolutionary left. Nevertheless he was also very close to us because he had participated, in practice and with arms, in all the debates of the revolutionary movement from the beginning of the 1970s to the mid-1980s.

- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / , ,

The Pandemic Coronavirus COVID-19 and Disabled People

23/04/2020 - 08:28

Addressing the three-fold issues facing disabled people of all ages

- IV543 - April 2020 /

Covid 19: Greek government boasts hide reality

22/04/2020 - 21:23

On 22 April Greece had 2408 cases and 121 deaths from Coronavirus. Media coverage has tended to concentrate on how it has come out well from the crisis. Nevertheless it is also home to refugee camps where the situation is catastrophic, provoking strong protests by the refugees in them.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

A Left Case for Hong Kong Self-Determination

22/04/2020 - 20:22

The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot take its poetry from the past but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped away all superstition about the past. The former revolutions required recollections of past world history in order to smother their own content. The revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury their dead in order to arrive at its own content. There the phrase went beyond the content – here the content goes beyond the phrase.”

Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852)

- Debate / , ,

Governance and Social Conflict in a Time of Pandemic

22/04/2020 - 14:36

On Monday March 29th, General Electric factory workers staged a protest against the thousands of layoffs announced by the company's management, demanding the reconversion of production and asking a simple question: “If GE trusts us to build, maintain, and test engines which go on a variety of aircraft where millions of lives are at stake, why wouldn't they trust us to build ventilators?”

- IV543 - April 2020 /

Ireland flattens the curve, but socialist policies needed

22/04/2020 - 08:09

The Republic of Ireland has succeeded in “flattening the curve” of the coronavirus' spread in relative terms over the last six week. The death toll is roughly on par with Denmark, far less than devastating hotspots in Western Europe. Although the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has received the lion's share of international praise, health care workers, trade unions, social movements, and the socialist left have had to push every step of the way. And as unemployment in Ireland races towards 20 percent, the question of who will pay for the crisis is looming large.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

Lift the blockade against Cuba to strengthen the fight against Covid 19

21/04/2020 - 06:16

The Fourth International calls on all revolutionary, progressive and democratic forces to strengthen the struggle against the blockade of Cuba and to intensify solidarity with the Cuban people. We fully support the foreign aid provided by Cuban health workers. The only way out of the crisis is international solidarity and the development of internationalism among peoples.

- IV543 - April 2020 / , ,

French Inprecor No 672/673 available in PDF

20/04/2020 - 16:41

Our sister magazine in French Inprecor is a monthly printed magazine. Lockdown and closure of the print shop means the new issue cannot be printed. Therefore it is exceptionally available in PDF format.

- News from around the world /

Germany and Austria: the good European pupils of the Covid-19 crisis?

20/04/2020 - 09:46

Once again, Germany appears in this crisis as the good European pupil: a relatively low number of deaths despite a higher number of official cases than in France, without “hard” confinement, and a government which appears to be a rather good manager. Its Austrian neighbour has even managed in recent days to “flatten” the famous curve and is considering the first measures of deconfinement. So can they claim to be “top of the class” in Europe?

- IV543 - April 2020 / , ,

A Crisis of Vast Unknowns

19/04/2020 - 08:52

Two realities confront the United States — now the world leader in confirmed Covid-19 cases, even while emerging conditions are incomparably more horrific in much of the Global South — during the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic meltdown. First, this is a crisis that would seriously challenge the most competent, clear-sighted, effective and well-prepared national political leadership. Second, that's not the political leadership we've got, by a long shot.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

Slovakia: panic and discipline at the edge of the EU

18/04/2020 - 18:05

With only 11 deaths for 5.45 million inhabitants, and only 10 Covid-19 victims in intensive care, Slovakia has been much more successful than West European countries in containing the pandemic. Citizens ask themselves how long a landlocked country can resist the pandemic. Economically, the country is vulnerable. The export-oriented economy is heading into deep recession, including the auto industry that dominates industrial production. Shops are closed except for food and pharmacies. Schools won't reopen until September. Slovaks working in Western Europe are flocking home jobless.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

Bolsonaro's necropolitical solution

18/04/2020 - 09:31

“Will some die? Yes, some people will die, I am sorry, this is life. Nor are we going to close the car factories due to the fact that there are traffic accidents.” These were the most controversial statements regarding the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, made by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on 21 March 2020.

- IV543 - April 2020 / ,

Pandemic lays bare Israel's systemic racism

17/04/2020 - 09:01

Israeli racism guides policy on coronavirus. Since the start of the outbreak, Israel has both promoted an image of equality by showing Palestinian doctors on the frontlines of treating coronavirus-infected patients to mask its bigotry. Simultaneously it has castigated only Palestinians for not “following the rules,” at least at first, even while the majority of those who have tested positive to date hail from religious Jewish communities.

- IV543 - April 2020 / , ,

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