A quarter of a century after the death of Ernest Mandel, this article is not intended as a tribute. In the spirit of living Marxism that he embodied, we will limit ourselves rather to showing how his economic writings are still relevant, while sketching the questions, old or new, that they suggest.- Ernest Mandel Archive / Ernest Mandel, Economy, Marxism
Concern for the environment appeared strongly in Mandel's writings only from the 1970s. It hardly appears, for example, in Marxist Economic Theory (1962). It is true that we already find, in this “inaugural” work, the idea of “stopping growth” under socialism: “When society has a supply of automatic machines large enough to cover all its current needs (…) it is likely that “economic growth” will be slowed down or even temporarily halted. Man, completely free from all material and economic concerns will be born".- Ernest Mandel Archive / Ecology and the Environment, Marxism, Ernest Mandel, Ecosocialism
In recent years, discussion on the definition and explanation of the class nature of the bourgeois state has expanded considerably. Although still mainly conducted in the GDR, France, Great Britain and Italy, the ‘Stamocap'III theory and debates on the class nature of the ‘national democratic state' (in some former colonies in Africa and AsiaIV) make it a debate that is truly global. We do not want to talk here so much about the specific content of the most important works on this subject that have appeared so far. Rather, our intention is to raise some general problems related to the application of the historical-materialist method to the problem of the class nature of the bourgeois state. Directly or indirectly such problems play an important role in this discussion. - Ernest Mandel Archive / Marxism, Ernest Mandel
The Covid-19 crisis in South Africa has resulted in welcome signs that our government, at last, is becoming serious about actually governing the country. It acted early and effectively by declaring a state of disaster, developed new legislation, and implemented a range of important measures, across government sectors, to flatten the curve of the epidemic. As the numbers of proven infections escalated, it acted decisively and appropriately to halt further spread by imposing a lockdown. It has done so openly and with an unusually high degree of transparency. Political parties seem to have dropped tit-for-tat politics in favour of a focused non-sectarian approach.- IV546 - July 2020 / South Africa, Covid-19 Pandemic, Public health services
A socialist biologist explains the tight links between new viruses, industrial food production, and the profitability of multinational corporations.
The new coronavirus is keeping the world in a state of shock. But instead of fighting the structural causes of the pandemic, the government is focusing on emergency measures.
Yaak Pabst, for the German socialist magazine Marx21, spoke to evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace, author of Big Farms Make Big Flu (Monthly Review Press, 2016) , about the dangers of Covid-19 and the responsibility of agribusiness and sustainable solutions to combat infectious diseases.- IV546 - July 2020 / Covid-19 Pandemic, Ecology and the Environment
‘Yes. I joined the United National Party (UNP).'
‘I will lighten up the UNP'
‘Had Marx been alive today, he would shake hands with [former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and leader of the UNP] Ranil Wickremesinghe and embrace him'
The quotations above were extracted from recent statements issued by Professor Vikramabahu ‘Bahu' Karunaratne to print and electronic media.- IV546 - July 2020 / Sri Lanka
Rarely given any space in international media, Slovenia has recently been filling the (web)pages of newspapers like Le Monde, The Guardian, Courrier International and the BBC. Reports were about thousands of people protesting on bicycles against the new right-wing government, led by Janez Janša and his Slovenska demokratska stranka (SDS - Slovenian Democratic Party). They are known internationally for their ideological, political and financial links to Viktor Orbán's Fidesz. Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, the Slovenian government combined strict public health measures (broadly supported by the public) with a vicious attack on public institutions, journalists, NGOs and practices of formal democracy.- IV546 - July 2020 / Slovenia, Covid-19 Pandemic
On Saturday 20 June, at Manhattan's Planned Parenthood clinic in Soho, New York City for Abortion Rights organized a clinic defense against aggressive groups of far-right anti-abortion evangelicals. These well-funded and organized groups, which included At the Well Ministries, Love Life, and Operation Save America (a rebrand of the notorious Operation Rescue of the 1990s) have mobilized across the country, making New York City their next target for enforcing their hateful, reactionary agenda: forced birth, forced gestation, Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ persecution. Operation Save America was previously headed by Flip Benham, who remains strongly associated with them, and seemed to be the headliner of this action. A misogynist and bigot, Benham has made a career of stalking abortion doctors, destroying Qurans in public, following teenage trans girls into bathrooms, and, as has recently come to light, paying off Norma McCorvey (the “Jane Roe” of Roe V. Wade”) to publically convert to Christianity and “repent” her abortion. His sons, the “Benham Brothers”, who were not at the action, are closely involved with Love Life, an extremely well-funded non-profit organization dedicated to stripping bodily autonomy from all those who can become pregnant. Calling their action “#JesusMatters”, the antis appropriated the language of the Black Lives Matter movement, denouncing abortion as a racist campaign of black genocide and comparing their actions to the nationwide protests against racist police brutality.- IV546 - July 2020 / USA, Women, Anti-racism
The French “mainstream media” has not exactly relayed this, but a demand has made its way from across the Atlantic, thanks to historic mobilizations against racism and police violence: that of the abolition of the police. This slogan, which was the prerogative of some small groups who in general also advocated the abolition of prisons, is today discussed in increasingly broad circles and is now the subject of a national campaign: #8to-Abolition. This obviously remains a minority phenomenon, but it has taken on a scale that no one could have suspected a few weeks ago, and raises for public debate a question whose radicalism is only matched by its simplicity: should we abolish the police?- IV546 - July 2020 / France, USA
Syria faces many socio-economic problems. The global Covid-19 pandemic has intensified them and provoked new demonstrations. Before the pandemic broke out in mid-March 2020, the poverty rate of the population in Syria was estimated at more than 85%. It has certainly increased since then. In addition, the value of the Syrian pound has fallen steadily, down by around 105% since the beginning of May against the US dollar and by almost 360% since June 2019. The living conditions of the great majority of the Syrian population are increasingly miserable. This is without forgetting the consequences of the massive destruction caused by the war, estimated at around US$500 billion, and the continuing authoritarian and neoliberal policies of the despotic Assad regime.- IV546 - July 2020 / Syria
Reporters Without Borders' latest ranking places Egypt in 166th place out of 180 countries, down three places from last year. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECFR) recorded, from 20 September to 21 October, 2019, 4,321 imprisonments, 2,932 people remanded in custody, 55 disappearances. Journalists are paying a heavy price: between October and December 2019, 25 of them were arrested.- IV546 - July 2020 / Egypt
Throughout June hundreds of thousands of Americans in hundreds of cities and towns protested the killing of George Floyd who had been murdered by police in Minneapolis. But there were also LGBTQ Pride Marches in support of the protests against racism. There were large Black Pride marches in New York and Los Angeles and in other cities, some for Black trans people who are often victims of police violence. Many in the LBGTQ movement pointed out the common origins of both civil rights movements—of Black and LGBTQ people—in resistance to discrimination and police violence.- IV546 - July 2020 / USA, Anti-racism, LGBT