29 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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Fighting Back against Hungary's Ban on Legal Gender Recognition

02/08/2020 - 08:19

One of the laws voted on by the Viktor Orban government during the pandemic makes mandatory a “sex at birth” rubric on official identification documents. This makes legal gender recognition impossible, violently ruling against trans and gender non-conforming persons' right to exist. Tina Kolos serves as vice-president of Transvanilla Transgender Association – the only active NGO focusing only on trans issues in Hungary. They have kindly answered our questions about the effects of the law in Hungary, the trans community's fight against it, and the broader associational landscape in which Transvanilla carry out legal and social work.

- IV547 - August 2020 / ,

Nigerian solidarity with July 20 BLM strike

01/08/2020 - 07:24

This statement was issued to the national press on July 20, 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter uprising in the United States and internationally. While Nigeria has thus far been spared the brunt of the coronavirus crisis, its oil oligarchy and international companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron combine brutal repression and super exploitation to ensure the country remains one of the most unequal in the world, on part with Brazil and Mexico.

- IV547 - August 2020 / ,

It's Time to Socialize Big Pharma

31/07/2020 - 09:35

We don't have to leave ourselves at the mercy of the most profitable sector on Earth to get the drugs we need. We must nationalize the pharmaceutical industry and turn the medicines millions rely on into public goods.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

The new rise of the women's movement

30/07/2020 - 10:56

The new rise of women's and feminist mobilizations in recent years is an inescapable fact. In July 2019 the women's commission of the Fourth International, through an international seminar, started the process of writing a resolution to propose to the March 2020 meeting of our International Committee to outline our positive appreciation of this upsurge.

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented the holding of our meeting. Nevertheless we think it is useful to publish the resolution as it was at the end of 2019, knowing that a new version at our meeting in early 2021 will take into account the state of the mobilization we have seen since then and in particular the way that the Cov-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of women's work in both the public and private sphere.

- IC 2020 / , ,

Proposal for a programmatic debate

30/07/2020 - 10:56

In 2019 the IC of the Fourth International discussed a “Proposal for a programmatic debate”. Following this it decided to pursue in a broad and open way the discussion on our conception of a new society. In this light it requested three of its commissions that alongside organizing ongoing activity in the existing social movements develop our thinking on the type of society that we want. These three commissions, on Ecology, LGBTIQ questions and women's oppression and feminism, each wrote a short contribution to develop the discussion. We publish these three contributions, along with the original document below, in the spirit of promoting such a discussion which is more than ever necessary today. These contributions were of course written before the Covid-19 pandemic.

- IC 2020 / , , ,

Some notes to contribute to our debate on the future society.

30/07/2020 - 10:55

This contribution to the debate in the FI on the “Future Society” takes up a series of elements from the document “Capitalist Destruction of the Environment and the Eco-Socialist Alternative”, but also some paths explored in a more personal way by authors, members or not of our current. It should undoubtedly make a greater distinction between what is part of the society we want and the strategy to achieve it. Finally, questions are only raised because they will necessarily be the subject of other contributions (question of social reproduction, democracy, etc.). Ecology Commission

- IC 2020 / , , ,

Feminist notes for thinking about our project of society

30/07/2020 - 10:55

A contribution from the Women's Commission.

- IC 2020 / , , ,

Future society – remarks from the LGBTIQ commission

30/07/2020 - 10:55

The question of the relationship between the fight for LGBTIQ liberation and our vision of socialism was addressed to some extent in the document On Lesbian/Gay Liberation agreed at the 15th World Congress of the Fourth International in 2003 ”On Lesbian/Gay Liberation ” particularly its second section, “0ur standpoints”.

The LGBTIQ commission therefore started from that text in writing these theses for the IC and also attempted to incorporate key insights from Peter Drucker's book Warped: Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism (2015). We have tried to make our language more inclusive than in the 2003 text and adding new points which we hope reflect key discussions which we and the movement have had more generally since then.

We think this is an important, if not an easy, discussion. Especially in these dark times it is important to affirm the principle of hope.

- IC 2020 / , , ,

Far-Left Fascism: The Non-Existent Disorder …

30/07/2020 - 10:41

As I watched the coronavirus pandemic spread globally and the resulting global economic crisis my only thoughts were that Trump would run his re-election campaign based on divide and rule and trying to create a white-backlash, writes Susan Pashkoff. It was an obvious deduction and I claim no powers of divination (think of that as a good thing as I often sit postulating what is the worst thing that can happen while praying to non-existent gods that hopefully I am wrong).

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

Worker organising under the pandemic: reflections from China

29/07/2020 - 08:14

Below is our [Chuang] translation of an anonymous Chinese article from the mainland left blog Worker Study Room (工人自习室), originally published in May 2020. It is the only attempt we're aware of to provide a systematic overview of workers' lives and job conditions, labour struggles and related activism in China since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in January, although there have been accounts of individual cases, some of which are cited here. It is also written from a perspective with which we are largely sympathetic. That said, the emphasis here, as in much writing of this style, is placed on somewhat schematic and dry documentation of exact demands made within the workplace and the precise order of events, to the exclusion of any substantial inquiry into the broader psychology of proletarians confronted with a moment such as this. The piece is a good representation of what we consider to be the most fruitful left-wing current in contemporary China, which concerns itself primarily with worker inquiry and the transmission of workers' stories between factories. At times, writing from this current can produce a “workerist” form of analysis that sometimes risks missing the forest of capitalism in the trees of individual factory struggles, and which can occasionally even fail at its own allotted tasks when its descriptions of events are too banal to hold the interest of anyone aside from other similarly workerist activists.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

Authoritarianism & Lockdown Time in Occupied Kashmir and India

28/07/2020 - 06:32

Pandemics generate their own vocabularies, and the “novel coronavirus” is no exception. In the United States the vocabulary of COVID-19 of “sheltering-in-place” and “lockdowns” resonates with Cold War era anxieties about nuclear war and more recent fears about gun violence.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , ,

The pandemic has exposed the nakedness of European neoliberalism

27/07/2020 - 07:24

“It is essential to build a new militant solidarity-based internationalism that can construct an eco-socialist project that responds from different contexts and regional particularities to the common challenge of facing a post-capitalist scenario.”

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

From one Arab Spring to another

26/07/2020 - 08:20

The crisis of the neoliberal stage of capitalism has been unfolding spectacularly under our eyes in recent months, provoking ever greater social upheavals in an ever greater number of places.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , , , , , , ,

Jeremy Corbyn's Opponents Burned the House Down to Stop Him — Now Keir Starmer Is King of the Ashes

25/07/2020 - 09:36

By sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey on a trumped-up pretext, Keir Starmer has set the seal on a drastic shift to the right for the British Labour Party. That shift comes just as the key arguments by Jeremy Corbyn's opponents to justify a break with his left leadership have been falling apart in the face of overwhelming evidence.

- IV546 - July 2020 /

An ultra-parasitical global financial system that enjoys unwavering protection

24/07/2020 - 12:06

During the evolution of the pandemic in Europe, the financial system has received little attention in the media. It was only at the end of February/beginning of March that a very sharp fall in the stock markets made the front page of newspapers and television broadcasts. Indeed, between February 20 and March 9 we saw a collapse in prices of between 23 per cent and 30 per cent, depending on the financial centres. We now know that it is thanks to the intervention of the Fed (Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States). Today, the support it provides to financial investors is without fail.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

The Debate in the Left on the Elections in the United States

23/07/2020 - 09:07

The Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), which now claims 70,000 members, will go into the November 2020 national presidential election endorsing no candidate. The last DSA Convention voted if Bernie Sanders was not the nominee, it would endorse no one. The motion, however doe not stop DSA members as individuals from working for or voting for Biden, and some will work for him while many can be expected to vote for him, despite the fact that virtually no DSA members actually support him politically.

- IV546 - July 2020 /

Covid-19: Africa's crisis deepens

22/07/2020 - 08:43

The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the economic, social and food crisis in Africa. This deterioration has hit people hard, especially the most precarious.

- IV546 - July 2020 / ,

Covid-19: Asian contrasts and lessons

21/07/2020 - 07:07

The evolution of the pandemic is particularly contrasted in Asia where it is much more difficult to compare national situations and policies than in Europe. However, we can try to identify a few lines of reflection, which are necessarily fragmentary.

- IV546 - July 2020 / , , , , , ,

Emancipation and science: Ernest Mandel 25 years later

20/07/2020 - 08:45

This year marks 25 years since Ernest Mandel died. Mandel was one of the most significant Marxist economists of the second half of the twentieth century. In 1982, he was central to founding our Institute. A prolific scholar and activist until the end of his life, Mandel wrote dozens of books and hundreds of articles.

- Ernest Mandel Archive / , ,

The work of Ernest Mandel, a significant legacy for revolutionary combat in the 21st century

20/07/2020 - 08:45

Ernest Mandel (1923-1995), who died a quarter of a century ago, has left us a significant theoretical legacy. It is unavoidable for anyone who wishes to make a balance sheet of the 20th century and contribute to the elaboration of revolutionary perspectives for the 21st century.

- Ernest Mandel Archive / , ,