4 June 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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How not to go crazy in lockdown

30/03/2020 - 21:34

Many of us have been confined to our homes for more than ten days. Taking out the trash, shopping, or walking the dog have become the three easiest escapes. The truth is, the Covid-19 crisis will probably make us more demanding with science fiction, but it can also make us go crazy on the way. So, I've compiled 5 tips for surviving confinement.

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

Let's act for self-organization and against the coronavirus and the authoritarian temptations of the regime!

30/03/2020 - 06:36

This statement was released by the Parti socialiste des travailleurs (PST - Socialist Workers' Party) in Algeria on 25 March 2020.

- Covid-19 - Statements / , ,

Popular revolt, feminist mass strikes, and Covid-19 in Chile

30/03/2020 - 06:31

As is the case everywhere, the big news in Chile is the rapidly escalating coronavirus contagion. But just last October, Chile's neoliberal order was shaken to its core when a popular revolt exploded, detonating general strikes, occupations, and mass mobilizations. Pushed into a corner, the mainstream parties were forced to agree to hold a national referendum, scheduled for April 2020, to rewrite the Constitution, a holdover from the Pinochet dictatorship. And just two weeks ago, more than 1,000,000 women struck and took to the streets on March 8 and 9 on International Women's Day to demand social and economic equality. Now the coronavirus has forced this struggle into quarantine while the government's only bold action in the face of the pandemic is to postpone the Constitutional referendum. Perhaps nowhere on earth is the class struggle and the struggle against the Covid-19 crisis so intense as in Chile.

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

Coronavirus: “We could probably have had a vaccine and/or treatment ready...”

29/03/2020 - 22:15

This interview with doctor Gérard Chaouat, immunologist, CNRS researcher was conducted by l'Anticapitaliste and published on 25 March.

- IV542 - March 2020

Epidemics, working-class self-organization and socialism

29/03/2020 - 08:17

The COVD-19 pandemic and the attendant economic crisis raise big-picture questions of great importance to socialists. Disasters, natural, human-made or a combination of both, such as wars, famines, economic depressions and epidemics, often trigger great political and social crises affecting all areas of life. This brief article offers reflections on the ways that crises have raised the question of the relationship between self-organization and socialism.

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

2,000 dead as coronavirus ravages France

28/03/2020 - 20:55

As of March 28, France ranks fifth in global Covid-19 deaths, with 1,995 deaths (365 and 299 on Thursday and Friday respectively) and approximately 33,000 dedected coronavirus infections. As the contagion rages out of control in neighboring Italy, Spain, and Germany, French health workers have battled to treat the sick and dying. Wednesday's death of a sixteen-year-old girl has only compounded the national tragedy. President Emmanuel Macron has ordered series of belated emergency measures (yesterday calling in the military), yet non-essential businesses continue to operate placing millions of workers at risk. It is too early to tell when the Covid-19 peak will hit France and tens of thousands of lives are at risk in the coming weeks and months.

Compounding the health crisis in France, the coronavirus arrived in the midst of a massive battle over Macron's attempt raise the retirement age and impose neoliberal cuts on pensions. After large-scale strikes across France in the fall and winter, including the longest transportation strikes in the nation's history, Macron hopes to ram through his attacks under the cover of effective marshall law. He may succeed in the short-term, but Macron will struggle to suppress the anger fueling recent strikes, a growing immigrant rights movement, and the long-running Yellow Vest protests as the coronavirus crisis drags on.

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

Worker families in dire need of aid - Emergency Announcement : Urgent call for financial solidarity

28/03/2020 - 16:38

It is clear that we are about to experience a massive social crisis far beyond anything experienced thus far in Pakistan. Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement is announcing an emergency #LabourReliefCampaign to help vulnerable workers.

- News from around the world / ,

Ireland nationalizes hospitals – “It can be done”

28/03/2020 - 08:48

Late on 24 March, Ireland's Health Minister Simon Davis announced “For the duration of this crisis the State will take control of all private hospital facilities and manage all of the resources for the common benefit of all of our people. There can be no room for public versus private when it comes to pandemic.” Here Eamonn McCann looks at how production can be reorganized to solve the coronavirus crisis and more. It has been done before and it can be done again.

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

Covid-19 opens up a new political period in Italy

27/03/2020 - 23:23

Nine hundred and ninteen people died in Italy on Friday 27 March from Covid-19, the highest number of deaths anywhere in the world on a single day. Antonello Zecca is an organizer with the Sinistra Anticapitalista (Anticapitalist Left) in Italy. He has written extensively on Italian politics, social and labor movements, and the Left, many of his articles, including his most recent on the Covid-19 crisis, can be found at International Viewpoint. Here, Zecca replies to questions from No Borders News.

- IV542 - March 2020 /

Right to strike “confined” in France

27/03/2020 - 07:36

There are a growing number of strikes and protests by workers to impose safer conditions or refuse non-essential work in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. See also “Mercedes Benz: peoples' lives are worth more than profits”.

- IV542 - March 2020 / , ,

Mercedes Benz: peoples' lives are worth more than profits

27/03/2020 - 07:35

There are a growing number of strikes and protests by workers to impose safer conditions or refuse non-essential work in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. See also “Right to strike “confined” in France”.

- IV542 - March 2020 / , ,

South African union demands action on Covid-19

26/03/2020 - 07:46

The South African government finally responded to calls to take stronger action to combat the coronavirus pandemnc and ordered a lockdown of the country from midnight on Thursday 25 March. This statement by Andrew Chirwa, president of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Andrew Chirwa is the president of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) was issued on 21 March as Covid-19 infections in South Africa continued to rise and raises criticisms of President Cryil Ramaphosa of the African National Congress. NUMSA's workers were in the front line of the fight to overturn apartheid and is today one of the nation's most influential unions.[IVP]

- IV542 - March 2020 / ,

Statements and theses on Covid-19

25/03/2020 - 12:16

Fourth International organizations around the world are reacting to this crisis with their own statements and theses. As we can we are making these available here.

- News from around the world / ,

Culture Wars and Class Wars

25/03/2020 - 08:52

Recent articles on left-wing websites have deprecated the notion of ‘culture wars', saying that the Left should avoid them and concentrate instead on class war. The basic idea being put forward is that we should avoid political and cultural clashes among the working class and potential allies, and concentrate on uniting workers against the bosses. Let's build working class unity against the capitalists – and what right-thinking socialist could disagree with that?

- IV542 - March 2020 / , ,

A Medical, Economic and Social Crisis

25/03/2020 - 08:27

The global coronavirus outbreak is not (fortunately) the end of civilization, nor is it (unfortunately) the end of capitalism. It is, however, a very deep systemic crisis with interlocking public health, environmental and economic dimensions — and reveals the need for a profound social transformation both in the United States and internationally.

- Covid-19 - Statements / , ,

Coronavirus threatens the lives of billions

25/03/2020 - 08:27

As the devastating novel coronavirus (COVID-19) literally threatens the lives of billions of the earth's people, two truths about the contagion remain unchallenged: All nations are ill-prepared for the arrival of the virus, and once it lands, despite herculean efforts in some cases, little can be done to stop its spread.

- Covid-19 - Statements / , ,

Theses on the Left and the corona crisis

25/03/2020 - 08:26

1. The corona crisis is a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and will have dramatic consequences. It involves a global health crisis, a health care crisis and a financial and economic crisis. In a world that has long been characterized by a high degree of instability, by lack of international leadership and the rise of nationalism, racism and right-wing populism, as well as the weak level of organization of the working class, of social and left-wing movements.

- Covid-19 - Statements / , ,

Statement by Socialist Resurgence on Covid-19

25/03/2020 - 08:26

The rise of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, brought the global economy to a crashing halt. Virtually all of the contradictions of capitalism, some previously hidden behind an economic boom, are brought into stark relief amidst lockdowns, panic, and emergency measures.

- Covid-19 - Statements / , ,

Covid-19 crisis: give priority to reproduction over production

24/03/2020 - 06:20

In Volume I of Capital, Marx compares capitalism to a vampire which never stops sucking the life out of workers: with this image, he shows how the “natural” movement of capitalism is to consume labour power to the maximum, since ideally labour, to generate profits, should never stop, and be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- IV542 - March 2020 / , ,