16 July 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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When Bootlicking Overrides Fighting Epidemic

12/05/2020 - 07:36

The Wuhan Covid-19 epidemic spread in lightning speed and it has turned into a global pandemic. It was avoidable from the very beginning. There were several weeks to stop it from spreading to the whole country before the “chunyun” – Spring Festival travel rush, which during Chinese New Year 2018 transported 3 billion passengers to and from their home village or town. Yet Beijing had acted too late despite Wuhan municipal government having known about the spread of the virus early on. We (...)

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

An Appreciation of Neil Davidson (1957-2020)

11/05/2020 - 22:05

Socialist Resistance and supporters of the Fourth International were deeply saddened by the recent death of Scottish Marxist writer and activist Neil Davidson from a brain tumour.

- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / , ,

“Only an anti-systemic revolution, breaking with the iron laws of capitalism can open the way for a new society”

11/05/2020 - 13:13

“Capitalism is not only an unsustainable system: it is a destructive one, leading the planet, and therefore humanity, to a catastrophe without precedent in history.”

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

In France, facing the coronavirus: lies, incompetence and social reaction

11/05/2020 - 06:42

The beginning of the first phase of mitigating some of the measures taken to deal with the coronavirus epidemic starts on 11 May. This deadline has been prepared by the French government in a haphazard manner and the polls show deep distrust on the part of the majority of the population.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Why doesn't official Russian historical politics need the real Lenin and how is his method relevant at a time of crisis

10/05/2020 - 09:42

“The (Russian) state needs a Lenin shorn of his political ideas and real biographies, a Lenin-monument. Whenever he becomes a true Lenin, a rebel and destroyer of the old order, the authorities automatically begin to regard him as a monster.”—says the historian and political theorist Ilya Budraitskis. In this comprehensive interview, conducted in Russian by Marine Voskanian for Business-Online and most generously translated for LeftEast by Sean Guillory, Budraitskis explains how Lenin was a heretic for the socialists of his time, and why demanding greater redistribution doesn't necessarily mean being a leftist.

- Features / ,

Remembering George Shriver

10/05/2020 - 09:34

George Shriver was born in India in 1936 of missionary parents. He died April 24, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona.​ Having joined the Socialist Workers' Party in his 20s, he was a lifelong Fourth Internationalist.
I knew about George Shriver (who used the party name George Saunders) long before I got to know him. Since the early 1960s he had been part of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), which I joined in 1973, and shortly after I joined a very important book was published that he (...)

- Features / , ,

Reimagining the Frontline from Heaven's Edge

10/05/2020 - 09:32

“I hated unions,” says Sathya Vani, now Joint-President of Sri Lanka's Domestic Workers' Union (DWU). “My parents were part of a union, who did nothing for them. So for a long time I avoided trade unions.”

Vani's parents work in a tea plantation in the Kandyian hill country. “We saw how our parents suffered,” she continues matter-of-factly. “We wanted a better life.” A better life is not always easier.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , , , ,

Pandemic and Oil Crisis Could Make Second Arab Spring Return With a Vengeance

09/05/2020 - 13:03

As the world confronts a global economic crisis exacerbated by the current pandemic, what lessons can the U.S. left learn from those outside our borders?

In this interview, Gilbert Achcar discusses with Ashley Smith how Middle Eastern oil-exporting countries' price war has impacted the world, the ongoing revolutionary actions that could result in a “Second Arab Spring” and how the U.S. left must revive the true meaning of internationalism. The following transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Pierre Granet has left us

09/05/2020 - 06:53

Pierre Granet was born on 6 Septembre 1949 in Marseilles and died on 2 May 2020 in Toulouse. He became politically active as a high-school student in Cannes from 1963, notably in soldiarity with the Algerian revolution . He rapidly joined the JCR and the PCI, then French section of the Fourth International, and remained an active militant until the end of his life, as member of the LCR then the NPA. This tribute was written by his comrades from Toulouse.

- In Memoriam - Obituaries and appreciations / , ,

Socially Necessary Work

09/05/2020 - 06:15

As the pandemic rages we realize that “necessary work” is not Wall Street and its stock market or the manufacturing of cars but the health and well-being of society. That is, the work that is central to society turns out to be what socialist feminists call “social reproduction.” These are the functions necessary to sustain human life, whether performed inside or outside the home, whether paid or unpaid. For the most part this has been considered “women's work,” and if paid work, generally poorly paid.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , ,

Hong Kong after the uprising

08/05/2020 - 08:11

For the third time since the handover of Hong Kong from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty, the region exploded in protest in 2019. One million people took to the streets in a 9 June mobilisation called by the Civil Human Rights Front, a coalition of pro-democracy groups, in the biggest demonstration since 1997. Three days later, tens of thousands of masked protesters surrounded Honk Kong Island's Central Government Complex to prevent lawmakers convening.

With the big demonstrations having receded and with the government on a new offensive, this article looks at the Chinese Communist Party's latest moves and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the pro-democracy movement.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Fight like a nurse, facing off with Bolsonaristas in Brasilia

07/05/2020 - 07:54

As Covid-19 deaths spiral upward in Brazil, health care workers are not backing down in the face of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's threats. Nurses in Brasilia, Brazil's capital city organized a May Day action across from the presidential palace. Harassed by Bolsonaro supporters, the nurses stood strong and gained national attention as they courageously fought for their fallen co-workers in the fight against Covid-19. [No Borders News]

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

Call for donations: Support the Fourth International presence online!

06/05/2020 - 12:59

By making a donation towards our goal of 10 000 euros you will contribute to broadening the dissemination of our writings and analyses, of an open and critical Marxism at the service of anti-capitalist, ecosocialist, feminist, anti-racist and internationalist struggles.

- News from around the world /

Response Forced Doctors Onto a Hunger Strike

06/05/2020 - 07:43

Pakistani authorities made a bad start to the coronavirus response, using the crisis to push through an IMF agenda of hospital privatization. Faced with protests by health professionals, the government immediately opted for repression — showing that it considers health care for the masses mere unnecessary spending.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,

PRT Mexico: Our lives are worth more than your profits

05/05/2020 - 13:20

As of May 3, Mexico has 22,088 confirmed coronavirus infections and 2,061 Covid-19 deaths. The real figures are likely significantly higher. If these numbers follow the pattern in Brazil, then Latin America's first and second biggest economies will soon rank beside the U.S. and Western Europe as global pandemic hotspots. Meanwhile, Left-of-center populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has surprised his supporters by pivoting to the right. As the Guardian explained, AMLO as he is known, “has introduced austerity measures so severe that his critics have compared him to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. This week, the president, popularly known as AMLO, unveiled more cuts in response to the Covid-19 crisis, including the abolition of 10 government departments, a hiring freeze and a 25% cut in government salaries. He also eliminated Christmas bonuses.”[No Borders News]

- IV544 - May 2020 / , ,

Dangerous times in the USA

05/05/2020 - 08:50

This has been a rather impressive week [13-19 April] even for Donald Trump. Whenever you think that he has reached the nadir of his Presidency, he always manages to continue the downward trend; it is like a sink-hole that appears in the middle of an area that simply sucks everything in its path downwards.

- IV544 - May 2020 / , ,

Self-Extinction of Neoliberalism? Don't Bet on It.

04/05/2020 - 15:01

For the second time since the turn of the century, governments in North America and Europe are intervening massively with public funds and in conjunction with central banks to bail out entire sectors of the economy and prevent a general economic collapse. The ongoing rescue operations necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic has already reached a much higher scale than the one deployed against the 2007–08 financial crisis. These operations clash with the basic tenets of neoliberalism in that they constitute a massive regulatory intervention by the state in reining back the market, whereas deregulation and market “survival of the fittest” are central to neoliberal ideology.

- Debate / , , , ,

The Assassination of Arif Wazir: The Struggle Will Continue!

04/05/2020 - 12:08

On Friday, the 1st of May, Arif Wazir, a leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), was shot three times by unknown assailants near his home in Wanna, Waziristan. He was critically injured and rushed to a local hospital. He was then shifted to Dera Ismail Khan and further to Islamabad's PIMS hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries the next day on Saturday. Arif Wazir hails from Ahmadzai Wazir tribe of Wana Waziristan. He was the first cousin of Comrade Ali Wazir, the main leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement and a Marxist member of Pakistani parliament.

- IV544 - May 2020 /

Health from Below in a Global Pandemic

04/05/2020 - 06:58

The fact that the current coronavirus pandemic has spread conditions of dystopia tells us a great deal about the politics of health. A virus may be a natural phenomenon, but the destruction wrought by this pandemic is a product of the way our society is organized. The scale of suffering and dislocation created by a health emergency is the result of human actions and inactions, just as the differential impact on various communities follows along the lines of prevailing social inequalities, disproportionately hitting people who are racialized or Indigenous, with specific devastating consequences for those who are homeless, incarcerated, elderly, living with disabilities and migrants without status.

- IV544 - May 2020 / ,