All thinkers have their father-thinkers; none more so than Daniel Bensaïd. The figures of Charles Péguy, Walter Benjamin and Louis Auguste Blanqui recur throughout his work. In this article, Émile Carmes studies Bensaïd's deep engagement over the years with the work of Blanqui.- 7. Reviews section / Fourth International, Daniel Bensaïd
Student protests in Albania: “What we are witnessing is the direct effect of the neoliberal reform in education”
Albanian students are protesting en masse against a new hike in tuition fees in one of the poorest countries of the continent. While the medium wage in Albania is 350 euros per month, the tuition fees can go up to 2000 euros per year. Government wanted to make students pay for retake exams but it was forced to retreat to try to calm down the movement. But it seems not enough. We interviewed Redi Muçi, lecturer at the Faculty of Geology and Mining and member of Movement For University (Levizja Për Universitetin), one of the organizers of the protests.- IV527 - December 2018 / Albania, Youth and student movements
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a drastic reform of Russia's pension system this June, just as the World Cup began: the retirement age would be increased from 55 to 63 for women and from 60 to 65 for men. Although President Vladimir Putin tried to stay out of the debate, the announcement caused his approval rating to plummet from 80 per cent to 63 per cent. After hundreds of protests around the country, Putin went on television to tell the nation he would change the planned reform, revising the pensionable age for women to 60 and promising a significant increase in the value of pensions.- IV527 - December 2018 / Russia
Capitalist climate governance has always relied on pseudo-reforms that leave the richest free to accumulate capital, while dumping taxes on working people to nudge them in the 'right direction'. But as the protests of the gilets jaunes show, many working people no longer accept the moralising terms of capitalist approaches to climate change. In this article, Andreas Malm argues that if we really want to save this Planet, we must pursue a different kind of climate politics, one that could learn a great deal from the methods and tactics of the gilets jaunes.- 4. Features / France, Ecology and the Environment, Climate
Protests in Hungary: “The slave labor law was clearly written to appeal to German industrial interests!”
Protests against what is being called Viktor Orban's “slave [labour] law” in Hungary are turning into a questioning of his entire regime. For nearly 2 weeks now, Hungarians have been taking to the streets in Budapest and in other cities across the country, protesting labour law reforms that will allow bosses to force workers to work up to 400 extra hours a year. For many observers, this movement is unlike others the country has experienced. We interviewed Gergő Varga, editor of the web site Mérce.hu.- IV527 - December 2018 / Hungary, Trade unions, Far Right
In the early 1930s there were more Trotskyists in China than anywhere else outside Russia. The defeat of the Chinese revolution in 1927 was one of the decisive factors in the emergence of Trotskyism as a distinct body of thought, and a powerful influence in shifting Trotsky's views on the nature of Stalinism. It is thus hardly surprising that those who had been on the sharp end of the defeat should be especially receptive to his critique.- 7. Reviews section / China, Reviews
Major trends of changing geopolitics impact Asia and Europe and provide space for positive interventions from peace movements for people's security. Even as the rise of Asia is seen as impacting international geopolitics the current reality in the Asian Continent is as follows:
Most riven by nationalist tensions of various kinds, religious, ethnic or otherwise.
Uncertain implications of China's general rise even as no other country has so many neighbours (14) although border demarcations with most (12) have been agreed upon.
Four of the five most significant world powers (as evaluated by population size/total GDP/military strength) operate here – Russia, China, India, Japan – plus two other emerging powers of Turkey and Indonesia.- 4. Features / USA, Ecology and the Environment, Economy, China, India, Asia
In July this year, 89 workers at the Shenzhen Jasic Technology Co. Ltd demanded the right to set up a workplace union. In the past decade there has been an explosion of strikes in Shenzhen, and this dispute is one of the many where workers have demanded better working conditions, owed wages, unpaid social insurance, and severance pay. Yet, the Jasic case is unusual in that it was supported openly by a group of some 50 self-proclaimed Maoists and Marxist university students, along with a small group of older citizens. Coming from different parts of China, they organised themselves into a ‘Jasic Worker Support Group' and descended on Jasic to stand in solidarity with the workers who were battling the police.- IV527 - December 2018 / China, Trade unions
Militarist hawks and liberal pundits alike are up in arms (figuratively speaking, of course) over Donald Trump's “victory” proclamation and announcement of U.S. troops' withdrawal from Syria. Howls of Republican outrage may signal a further deterioration of the big twit's shrinking political support on the home front. The Trump gang's crisis of legitimacy deepens by the day. But what does it actually mean for the cascading disasters in the Middle East?- IV527 - December 2018 / USA, Syria, Turkey
Ten years after the bankruptcy of Lehmann Brothers, more and more analyses are being produced centring on two questions: how did it happen? Can it happen again? But they are almost all centred on the workings of finance, past or future. The point of view adopted here is a little different, since it seeks to identify the economic roots of global disorder. Its guiding principle is as follows: the exhaustion of the dynamism of capitalism and the crisis that opened ten years ago are leading to an increasingly chaotic globalization, bringing new crises, economic and social.- IV527 - December 2018 / Economy
In recent days, the media has reported on the significant presence of women of all ages in the yellow jackets' mobilization. On the ground, they are indeed present at roundabouts and appear regularly in the media. Several figures have emerged, such as Priscilla Ludoski, who initiated a petition that gathered nearly a million signatures, or Jacline Mouraud, who posted a video on facebook at the end of October. They denounce the decline in their purchasing power, tax injustices, low salaries, but also the condescension of the government and its contempt for the working class, summed up by the slogan calling for Emmanuel Macron to resign.- IV527 - December 2018 / France, Women