24 February 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.
Updated: 30 min 16 sec ago

Why They Killed Patrice Lumumba

Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:39

Patrice Lumumba was a radical leader of the Congolese independence movement who resisted Belgian colonialism and corporate interests. That's why he was assassinated in a US-backed coup 59 years ago today [24 January].

- IV540 - January 2020 / ,

A presidential election to ensure the system's continuity

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 08:51

In the days leading up to 12 December 2019 in Paris, New York and even Montreal in a temperature of -13°C, Algerians organized themselves in front of the polling stations to put the case for voters not to endorse the electoral masquerade. They wanted to set an example from the outside to the Algerian people. This gave confidence to the people to contest the presidential election called by the de facto regime in order to ensure its continuity.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

The Power of Gulf Capitalism

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 10:07

ADAM HANIEH HAS produced a compelling and well-documented account of the modern evolution of capitalism in the Persian Gulf. Skillfully utilizing the Marxist categories of class, state, and mode of production he situates the role of Gulf capitalists, organized around the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), within the larger global capitalist economy. His concluding chapter ties the economic trends he details to an analysis of the political crises of the past decade.

- 7. Reviews section / , , , ,

Syria's Unfinished Revolution

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 08:43

PERHAPS MORE THAN any other recent question, the Syrian Revolution confused and divided the international left. Many dismissed the revolt as a “color revolution” orchestrated by the United States, and some became willing spokespeople for Bashar al-Assad's regime, recycling its talking points and conspiracy theories.

- 7. Reviews section / , ,

Problems with an Electoral Road to Socialism in the United States

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 08:35

In a welcome sign, the recent revitalization of the socialist left, particularly the spectacular growth of Democratic Socialists of America, has revived debate about the road to socialism. Also, fortunately, the discussion, which has partially played out in the pages of Jacobin, has gone beyond a simple revisiting of the old “reform versus revolution” argument of early twentieth-century social democracy. Vivek Chibber “Our Road to Power,” Jacobin, 5 December 2017) and Eric Blanc (most recently in his debate with Charlie Post, “Which Way to Socialism,” Jacobin, 21 July 2019) have raised important problems with applying a revolutionary model from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to modern industrial countries with parliamentary systems. Blanc's observation that “a government elected by universal suffrage has vastly more popular legitimacy than the tsarist autocracy” is particularly valid and important.

- 3. Debate / ,

“We the (Seditious) People”: Repression and Revolution in South Asia

Thu, 01/23/2020 - 08:20

Colonial-era sedition laws used to criminalize dissent to protect imperial sovereignty. Now that “The People are sovereign” in independent India and Pakistan, why are they still being charged with sedition?

- IV540 - January 2020 /

Fighting back is the only way out of Bolsonaro's Brazil

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 10:20

Brazil dominates Latin America's economy. And although the coup in Bolivia, uprisings in Chile, Ecuador, and Columbia, Trump's threats against Iran, Australian megafires, mass strikes in India and France, anti-government protests in Lebanon, and the British elections have pushed Brazil off the front of the international pages, what happens in Brazil will go a long way to determining the social and politic balance of power in Latin America in the coming period. In just one year, far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has done a lot of damage. The Amazon rain forest is burning, social services, education, culture, women's rights, and unions are under attack. Bolsonaro and his followers have given the green light to the murder of indigenous activists, they have threatened LGTBQ people and elected officials, their fingerprints are all over the assassination of Party of Socialism and Freedom Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle France, and they have launched a campaign against “cultural Marxism.” Yet, despite legitimate fears, Bolsonaro has not managed to consolidate a neo-fascist party, his administration is enmeshed in growing corruptions scandals, and the judiciary was forced to release former Workers Party (PT) president Lula in October, who stands as a unique electoral threat to Bolsonaro's reelection in 2022.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

The Puerto Rican Summer

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 06:26

The summer of 2019 will go down as a major moment in Puerto Rico's history.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

A second wind to defeat Macron

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 07:10

The movement for the withdrawal of the pension counter-reform entered its 46th day of strike at the RATP and SNCF on 18 January, the 46th day of mobilisation in various forms across the country.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

Heroism of reason

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 23:18

Livio Maitan, Memoirs of a critical communist. Towards a History of the Fourth International, Preface by Daniel Bensaid, translated by Gregor Benton, edited with and introduction by Penelope Duggan, Resistance Books, IIRE, Merlin Press, 2019, 455 pages

- 4. Features / ,

An Unrepentant '68er's Life

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 23:18

An Impatient Life by Daniel Bensaïd. Translated by David Fernbach Foreword by Tariq Ali.Verso Books, 2013 and 2015, 392 pages.

- 2. Daniel Bensaïd archive / , ,

In the Struggle You'll Earn Your Rights

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 20:19

Russian Socialist Movement's Statement on the Proposed Constitutional Reforms and the Change of Russian Government

- 2. News from around the world /

“The priority for the Left Bloc is clear: to increase the income of those who live by their labour”

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 07:20

“What is missing in this budget is not just the willingness to negotiate, which the government demonstrated very late. It lacks answers and a strategy for today's problems”, said Catarina Martins, in her speech in the 2020 budget debate.

- IV540 - January 2020 / ,

“This struggle is historic” - striking railworkers speak

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 14:17

As the strike movement in France continues we republish testimonies from two striking railworkers from the NPA newspaper L'Anticapitaliste.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

Megafires in Australia: in the image of capitalist excess

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 09:31

As of 3 January, the forest “mega-fires” ravaged 60,000 km², the equivalent of twice the size of Belgium. 500 million animals were charred in the disaster, say scientists at the University of Sydney. New Zealand's glaciers are covered in soot. Temperature records have been broken, January and February could exceed 50°C in the shade. Nothing is under control. These fires are out of the ordinary.

- IV540 - January 2020 / ,

Remembering and Forgetting: No to War with Iran!

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:14

The criminal negligence of the Iranian regime and military — shooting down a passenger airliner that had just taken off from their own Tehran airport — should immediately remind us of the dozens, if not hundreds of occasions when United States forces have caused the same kind of civilian collateral carnage.

- IV540 - January 2020 / ,

The Lebanese October revolution against sectarian realism and neoliberal authoritarianism:

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:43

As the Lebanese revolutionary uprising enters its third month, the ancien régime has already unleashed its counterrevolutionary practices in all its forms. Fear mongering of pre-October 17 sectarian tensions alongside blaming the impending economic collapse on the continuous protests and reviving the spectre of the civil war are rife on Lebanese TV channels as members of the Lebanese ruling class battle to hold on to a sinking structure. Although the momentum is not as prominent as it used to be during the first weeks of the revolution, slogans, chants and demands are witnessing a sharp politicization that opens endless possibilities for class conscious struggles as the anger of the masses are directed at the main perpetrator of the economic crisis, local banks. Mattia Gallo, from Global Project, interviews Elia El Khazen on the recent developments and the “Nationalize the banks” campaign of which he is a member.

- IV540 - January 2020 / ,

A progressive government born under the gun in Spanish state

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 05:28

Amid rising tensions in a badly fragmented parliament (including 10 parliamentary groups and 22 parties), the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, won a very tight second vote (167 to 165 with 18 abstentions) to be confirmed prime minister of the first coalition government in the history of post-Franco democracy, which has until now rotated between two dominant parties.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

The movement is holding on...but not spreading

Mon, 01/13/2020 - 05:32

Taken as a whole, the current movement against Macron's planned pension reform is now on a par with the three main social movements of recent decades launched in response to pension reform: those of 1995, 2003 and 2010.

- IV540 - January 2020 /

Daniel Bensaïd 25 March 1946 - 12 January 2010

Sun, 01/12/2020 - 16:54

“Daniel was profoundly internationalist. (…) [He] ensured the historical continuity of open, non-dogmatic, revolutionary Marxism and adaptation to the changes of the new era, with the perspective of revolutionary transformation of society always in his sights.”

- 2. News from around the world / ,