9 April 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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Chile: The fissures of neoliberalism and the return of an “explosive” class struggle

18/02/2020 - 08:30

For months now, Chile has been at the centre of world news: the multifaceted popular revolt that erupted on 18 October, 2019 around an increase in the price of metro tickets has become one of the major events of the last thirty years for this country which is often described as one of the “laboratories” of neoliberal capitalism in “Latin”" America.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

Neither Washington nor Beijing - A backgrounder

17/02/2020 - 07:47

The western mainstream media tends to depict the situation of HK merely in a one dimensional manner, presenting Hong Kong a victim of Beijing's tyranny while the US and the UK as supporters of Hong Kong's autonomy and democracy. On the other hand, Beijing claims that it remains committed to Hong Kong's autonomy and democracy but the latter is now under threat from “foreign intervention”. The two sides mirror each other in terms of their argument. The real picture is actually much more complicated.

- IV541 - February 2020 / ,

“Winter in the Bookshop”

16/02/2020 - 19:47

The Bookshop was the functional centre of the International Group (IG) the precursor to the IMG. The IG was led by some older comrades such as Pat Jordan, Ken Coates, Alex Acheson and Ken Tarbuck. Grouped around them was a younger set recruited from the Labour Party and the Young Socialists. There was also a sprinkling of black comrades such as Dick Skyers and George Powe. Ken attracted several students from the University including Brian Simister who became dedicated to improving the Marxist education of IG members. These students soon drifted into the orbit of the Bookshop. Sylvia has not written a history: it is better than that. She recollects the activities, the feelings and the hopes of young people coming into politics. The story is delightfully irreverent and funny.

- Reviews section / , ,

Michel Lequenne (1921-2020): A very particular Trotskyist

16/02/2020 - 15:52

Michel Lequenne died on 13 February 2020, at almost 99 years old.He was a singular, atypical Trotskyist, an outstanding character, by the strength of his convictions, his polemical verve, his extraordinary – self-taught! – political, literary, artistic and historical culture, his propensity for dissent, his fidelity to the legacy of Red October.

- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / ,

Russia: Origin and consequences of the debt repudiation of February 10, 1918

16/02/2020 - 09:11

In February 1918, the repudiation of the debt by the Soviet government shocked international finance and sparked off unanimous condemnation by the governments of the great powers.

This decision of repudiation was intrinsic to this first big movement for social emancipation which rattled the Russian Empire in 1905. This huge revolutionary uprising was caused by the conjunction of many factors: the Russian debacle in its war with Japan, the wrath of peasants demanding land, the rejection of autocracy, workers' demands... The movement began with strikes in St Petersburg in 1905 and soon spread throughout the empire like wildfire, adopting different forms of struggle.

Out of the process of self-organization by the masses emerged councils, or soviets in Russian: peasants' councils, workers' councils, soldiers' councils and so on.

- Economic and debt crisis / ,

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or Covid-19) in France: medical information, thoughts and practical advice

16/02/2020 - 06:45

This article was written initially for a French audience. Practical information has been changed to make it more relevant to at least part of the International Viewpoint readership.

- IV541 - February 2020

Colombia: After the social explosion of November 2019

15/02/2020 - 09:09

On 21 November 2019 Colombia experienced a social explosion unprecedented in the history of the country since the middle of the last century. On that day, the National Strike Directorate (CNP, Comando Nacional de Paro) called for a protest march against the announcement of regressive economic counter-reforms. The CNP is made up of the central trade unions (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores – CUT, Confederación General de Trabajadores - CGT, Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia - CTC) and by organizations of students, peasants, Indians, pensioners and environmental activists who, in recent years, have led the resistance by these social sectors to the policies of the Colombian state.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

Ireland's Left Turn

14/02/2020 - 16:39

Last Saturday, Ireland bucked the European trend as its voters turned sharply left. Sinn Féin was the main beneficiary, but the party has some big choices to make in the months ahead if it's going to capitalize on this breakthrough.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

Anticapitalistas y Podemos: six years of ups and downs from the Teatro del Barrio to the expected farewell after the coalition government

13/02/2020 - 16:58

“It's not pretty, it's not beautiful, but among those of us who defend social justice it's not goodbye, it's au revoir.” With these words, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias conveyed this Wednesday in a video broadcast with Teresa Rodríguez a feeling that underlies Rodríguez' departure from the Andalusian leadership: it foreshadows the probable absence of Anticapitalistas from Vistalegre III and anticipating their departure from Podemos, which will be decided in a congress at the end of March, after the State Citizens' Assembly (Vistalegre III) of Podemos.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

Analysing a disastrous result

13/02/2020 - 09:12

This analysis of the British general election result of 12 December 2019 was published by the editorial board of Socialist Resistance on 12 February. A last section dealing in detail with the elections for Leader and Deputy Leader has been omitted. The full version can be found on Socialist Resistance.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

No accident- On the ‘coup' in Thuringia

12/02/2020 - 12:49

Thomas Kemmerich knew what he did when he accepted his election as prime minister of Thuringia in the Landtag of Erfurt. He was not surprised by the result, it was rather part of his political calculation: to become prime minister with the aid of the AfD and then to form a minority government of the so-called political centre. This insane strategy could only have been successful in case of a toleration by the AfD. Such a government would have been pushed ahead by the AfD permanently tightening up its demands. A minority government formed by the bourgeois parties CDU and FDP would have been the ideal constellation for such a scenario. [This article will be updated in the light or more recent events.]

- IV541 - February 2020 /

Building a party at the service of new generations of activists

12/02/2020 - 08:37

In January International Viewpoint published Farooq Tariq's article “Why we left the Awami Workers Party. Lessons to be learned”. Here Pierre Rousset fills in some of the background.

- IV541 - February 2020 / ,

Russian antifascists sentenced to 6-18 years prison

11/02/2020 - 13:50

The trial of seven Russian antifascists accused of terrorist offences ended today in Penza, western Russia.

- News from around the world /

“Deal of the century”: Trump endorses apartheid, Israel applauds

11/02/2020 - 08:09

The “Trump plan” for the Middle East, pompously dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, immediately appeared for what it was: a plan to recognize a colonial fait accompli, with complete alignment on the positions of the Israeli right. The fact that it was rejected by all Palestinian forces and by the Arab League is not a surprise, as the content of this “plan” is outrageously favourable to Israel and tramples on all Palestinian national rights. It remains to be seen what consequences Trump's proposals could have, more than 26 years after the Oslo Agreement, launched with great fanfare, of the “peace process” - whose bankruptcy is well established.

- IV541 - February 2020 / , ,

Nine years of struggle for democracy in Syria

10/02/2020 - 08:27

As Bashar al-Assad brutally crushes the last areas not under his control Joseph Daher, Syrian socialist activist, gave this wide-ranging interview to Socialist resistance.

- IV541 - February 2020 / ,

Where can the conflict between the United States and China lead?

09/02/2020 - 07:40

The United States and China are today the only two “global” powers to confront each other on the world stage. The more this conflict deepens, the more a trend emerges: the separation into two systems with competing hegemonic ambitions.

- IV541 - February 2020 / ,

A new episode in the struggle of Turkish car workers

08/02/2020 - 10:53

The Turkish engineering industry has grown exponentially over the last fifteen years. From 285,737 vehicles in 2001, automotive production has grown to 1,749,572 vehicles in 2017. Turkey is the largest exporter of cars to the European Union, with assembly plants of Fiat, Renault, Mercedes, MAN, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, etc., and a number of other companies. But the resistance and organization of workers has developed in parallel with this period of industry expansion.

- IV541 - February 2020 /

How women shake up the political world

07/02/2020 - 11:41

The originality of the Haitian feminist movement lies in the fact that it can be thought of neither in terms of a wave (first, second or third) nor in terms of a defined current (liberal, black, decolonial, etc.). This movement in contradistinction to other feminist movements contributes enormously to the identification of problematic national realities, such as violence against women and girls, political participation, impunity, national sovereignty and the fight against obscurantism.

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Al-Mounadil/ah Newspaper threatened with suspension, and its website with closure: No to stifling the freedom of expression!

06/02/2020 - 13:09

The following statement, published on 30 January 2020, explains the Moroccan judiciary's threat to close the revolutionary socialist newspaper and website, al-Mounadil-a (“the Militant”). As the al-Mounadil-a editorial board suggests below, such threats are parts of a wider attack by the state against the the left and progressive forces in the country.

- 2. News from around the world /

The White House, “best enemy” of the Islamic Republic

06/02/2020 - 11:32

The assassination of General Ghassem Soleimani by an American drone on 3 January 2020 in Baghdad is undoubtedly another step in the confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. The targeted assassination of Soleimani, ordered by Donald Trump himself, took place following a long period of mounting tension between Iran and the United States. This act which can undoubtedly be characterised as state terrorism is of course illegal from the point of view of international law (what would have been said if a Western minister visiting abroad had been liquidated by Iran?).

- IV541 - February 2020 / ,