23 February 2019

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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An open history: Blanqui and Bensaïd

31/12/2018 - 07:21

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 / ,

China to take over Kenya's main port over unpaid huge Chinese Loan

31/12/2018 - 07:03

The Kenyan government risks losing the lucrative Mombasa port to China should the country fail to repay huge loans advanced by Chinese lenders.

- IV527 - December 2018 / , ,

The Poisoning of Flint

30/12/2018 - 11:03

Racism, inequality, and austerity politics were the culprits in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan. And residents are still living with the consequences.

- 7. Reviews section / ,

Student protests in Albania: “What we are witnessing is the direct effect of the neoliberal reform in education”

30/12/2018 - 11:01

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 / ,

With its controversial pension reforms, Russia is looking after its rich

29/12/2018 - 10:56

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 /

A Lesson in How Not to Mitigate Climate Change

29/12/2018 - 10:56

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 / , ,

An Overview of Chinese Debt

28/12/2018 - 16:51

Are Chinese corporations overleveraged? Since the central government injected massive sums of money in the economy as part of a stimulus plan to fight the Great Recession, debt levels in the Chinese economy have skyrocketed.

- 4. Features / , ,

Protests in Hungary: “The slave labor law was clearly written to appeal to German industrial interests!”

28/12/2018 - 07:26

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 Mé

- IV527 - December 2018 / , ,

Trotskyism in China

27/12/2018 - 07:25

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 / ,


27/12/2018 - 03:27

Workers at the Portuguese Port of Setúbal returned to work on December 15, drawing to a close a virtual paralysis of the port since November 5.

- 2. News from around the world / ,

India's urban and rural working class to embark on two day nationwide strike in January

27/12/2018 - 03:15

The shutdown in rural India coinciding with the trade union's strike will unite the farmers and workers to challenge the pro-corporate and anti-people rule of far right BJP government.

- IV527 - December 2018 /

Asia and Europe in Changing Geopolitics, Rising Powers, Peoples' Security

26/12/2018 - 10:56

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 / , , , , ,

The Jasic Workers Mobilisation, a High Tide for the Chinese Labour Movement?

26/12/2018 - 06:43

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 / ,

Adam Smith and the Yellow Vest Movement.

25/12/2018 - 09:18

It is sad to see how completely misrepresented Adam Smith (1723-1790) is when pundits call upon him to vindicate neoliberalism and the status quo. It seems many have not really bothered to read his works.

- 4. Features / ,

Trump's “Withdrawal” — What Next?

25/12/2018 - 06:44

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 / , ,

The dockworkers struggle at the Port of Setúbal: Portugal is the “wild west” when it comes to labour relations

24/12/2018 - 07:37

For years, the casual workers of the Port of Setúbal have had “regular” jobs. So “regular” that they are forced to pass a power of attorney to administrative employees of the companies who sign a contract of employment for them when needed.

- IV527 - December 2018 / ,

Economic crisis and global disorderV

23/12/2018 - 07:55

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 /

Women in the yellow jacket movement: class revolt, gender transgression

22/12/2018 - 09:39

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 / ,

In the wake of the yellow jackets, a major youth movement could develop in France

22/12/2018 - 07:50

Since the beginning of December, French high schools and universities have seen the development of a mobilization that gives us hope that a major youth movement can be created.

- IV527 - December 2018 / ,

Brinksmanship and blinksmanship

21/12/2018 - 09:51

Ashley Smith provides the background for understanding the latest twists and turns in the developing superpower conflict between the U.S. and China.

- IV527 - December 2018 / , ,