21 October 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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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.

- Reviews section / , , ,

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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Latest issue of Amandla

10/09/2020 - 12:37

The most recent issue of the South African journal is now available - focusing on women are the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

- News from around the world

Impact of European policies on the Global South and possible alternatives

10/09/2020 - 12:02

The year 2020 was marked by two events that revealed, once again, the limits of the capitalist system. First, the CoViD-19 pandemic caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the deaths of several hundred thousand people and counting, highlighted the vulnerability of human societies in the absence of adequately funded public health services. It also served to highlight which activities are essential to the existence of human societies. Second, the pandemic precipitated the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. By revealing the fragility of societies where exchanges are extremely rapid and production chains are internationalized, the pandemic also revealed the most irrational aspects of the economic system that governs and structures social relations in almost all parts of the world. Thus, capitalism appears to be incapable not only of providing for basic human needs but also of reproducing its own functioning. All governments that initially try to protect both the law of profit and their citizens' lives inevitably find themselves tempted to defend the former against the latter.

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Globally, the pandemic hits women

09/09/2020 - 10:16

In his article, “C'est la lutte finale“, Mike Davis argues: “The current pandemic on a global scale exposes and widens the existential divides within and between societies, and reminds us that the survival of the poorest fifth of humanity is increasingly at question.” It's an important piece in many regards, but there is a significant omission – the word women does not appear in almost 9,000 words

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Lebanon's neoliberal and confessional political system in question

08/09/2020 - 09:15

On 4 August a new tragedy struck Lebanon. An explosion of unprecedented magnitude in the country's history left more than 180 dead (Lebanese, Syrians and other nationalities), more than 7,000 injured and 300,000 homeless. It is the entire neoliberal and denominational political system that is called into question.

- IV548 - September 2020 /

For an internationalist anti-war movement against national myths

07/09/2020 - 07:49

On the ongoing Greco-Turkish rivalry in the Mediterranean.

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Behind Lebanon's Catastrophe

06/09/2020 - 10:03

Suzi Weissman interviewed Gilbert Achcar for her program on Jacobin Radio, August 8, 2020 on the massive August 4 chemical explosion and subsequent political upheaval in Lebanon. The discussion took place on 8 August shortly before the Lebanese government resigned. This is an abridged version of his recorded remarks, transcribed by Meleiza Figueroa.

- IV548 - September 2020 /

Dead Trotskyists Society: Provocative Presence of a Difficult Past

05/09/2020 - 09:02

EVEN THOUGH ALLEN Ginsberg's “America” was not among the ardent verses recited in the 1989 teen drama Dead Poets Society, his 1956 anti-capitalist protest poem hurled a celebrated challenge of defiance against the stifling conformity of his native land: “When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?”

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