Jun 11 2020

CRISIS AND THE NEED FOR CONFLICT

Mike Macnair makes the case for seeing current political developments in the world as a move from neo-liberalism proper to nationalist rivalry. This is similar to the case Allan Armstrong has made on this blog about the switch from neo–liberal hegemony to Right populist ascendancy.

 

CRISIS AND THE NEED FOR CONFLICT

 

Here’s my boy – America First, Britain Second!

What we are seeing today is a situation where the United States is lashing out towards Iran and in the Middle East more generally, as well as China and Russia. Continue reading “CRISIS AND THE NEED FOR CONFLICT”

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Jun 06 2020

CAPITALISM IS A VIRUS – VALUE CHAINS

Following our earlier posting, Capitalism and Health – Plus Ca Change, we are posting this edited article from Left Voice in the USA.

 

 

CAPITALISM IS A VIRUS – VALUE CHAINS

Belokamenka is a rural community in the Russian arctic with a permanent population of just 85 people. The locality is hundreds of miles from anything resembling a city and is one of the last places you would expect a major outbreak of COVID-19. And yet in late April, more than 200 temporary residents — workers on a liquid natural gas supply facility construction site — were diagnosed with the disease. The outbreak spread quickly throughout the 600 acre construction site in large part because of the crowded living conditions of the workers and the total lack of any social distancing measures. But how did the virus manage to get to such a remote location in the first place? How did a disease that was originally diagnosed in Wuhan, China manage to make it to the farthest reaches of the globe in such a short period of time, despite all efforts to contain it? The answer is simple: the disease spread so quickly — quicker than any previous virus — by following the very same circuits that connect the global just-in-time supply chain, a chain that is powered by the kind of cheap energy that the Belokamenka facility makes possible and the kind of cheap immigrant labor needed to build such a facility. While human viruses have often followed the flow of commodities — the bubonic plague, for instance, traveled along trade routes for years — the speed and massive scale of globalized capitalism has produced a scenario in which disease can spread across the entire planet in just a matter of weeks. In this respect, COVID-19 is the first great pandemic of the age of global capitalism.

However, as Kim Moody explains, the very same circuits that have allowed both products and diseases to travel across the globe at lightning speed are only made possible by the highly-exploited labor of millions of logistics workers across a handful of companies, and these circuits are thus extremely vulnerable to disruption. As Moody explains: Continue reading “CAPITALISM IS A VIRUS – VALUE CHAINS”

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May 11 2020

INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW, Volume 4, part A

Allan Armstrong is in the process of writing Volume Four of the Internationalism from Below series. This volume is entitled, Communists, nation-states and nationalism during the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave’.

Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, Allan has not been able to complete the research to finish this. However, the part which deals with the situation in Latvia, Finland and Ukraine, between the February 1917 Revolution and the Treaty of Brest Litovsk in March in 1918, has been finished.  This begins with an examination of the role of Social Democrats, including the Leninist wing of the Bolsheviks and the Radical Left in addressing the ‘National Question’. It also outlines the beginnings of a renewed ‘Internationalism from Below’ approach, which was later to develop in Ukraine.

This part of Book Four can be accessed at:-

https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/internationalism-from-below-book-4a-3.pdf

This E&L website will give notice when the full book is available. Continue reading “INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW, Volume 4, part A”

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Apr 18 2020

INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW – Volume 3

Allan Armstrong has completed the third volume of his book – Internationalism from Below: Reclaiming a communist tradition to challenge the nation-state and capitalist empire. This volume is titled, Revolutionary Social Democracy, Nation-States and Nationalism in the Age of High Imperialism and the Second International (1889-1916). It can be read online at:-

https://allanarmstrong831930095.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/internationalism-from-below-book-3doc-1.pdf

Most of the theories the Left uses today to address the ‘National Question’ have their origins in the period of High Imperialism leading up to the First World War and the outbreak of the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave. These theories are linked to the names of Kaul Kautsky, Otto Bauer, Rosa Luxemburg, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. All emerged in the context of a Second International struggling with the impact of High Imperialism and the growing threats of war.  The authors  of these theories sometimes competed over their claims to provide  an orthodox Marxist underpinning for their approach to the ‘National Question’. However, during this period an ‘Internationalism from Below’ trend also emerged. It was less concerned with being orthodox, but analysed the latest developments in the formation of nations and nation-states from the perspective of revolutionary Social Democrats living in oppressed nations. These writers and activists included James Connolly in Ireland, Kazimierz Kelles-Kreuz in Poland and Lev Iurkevich in Ukraine. Their theories were to be tested in the 1916-21/3 International Revolutionary Wave, which forms the subject of Volume 4. Continue reading “INTERNATIONALISM FROM BELOW – Volume 3”

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Jan 26 2020

UKRAINIAN UNIONS URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY

We are posting two pieces form the Ukrainian Solidarity Committee

The first is statement following the Honchurak government’s attack on labour and social rights. The second is a report on the demonstrations held in Kyiv on January 15th .

 

1. UKRAINIAN UNIONS URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY

Ukrainian unions urgent appeal for solidarity

On 28 December 2019, on the eve of the New Year holidays, without any warning and agreement with social partners, without timely publication and wide discussion, Honcharuk’s Government attacked labour and social rights of Ukrainians!

Continue reading “UKRAINIAN UNIONS URGENT APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY”

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Jul 26 2019

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

Murdo Ritchie reviews the book, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism and other Arguments for Economic Independence by Dr Kristen R. Ghodsee.

 

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

 

Inessa Armand 

 

“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”  Inessa Armand

The collapse of “socialism” in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union may have changed borders but it didn’t make the Earth move –at least for many women.  The economic, personal and sexual changes that occurred, changed many women’s lives but not to their benefit according to this new book. The provocative cover title has two parts the first in large type joined by a conjunction to the second in smaller lettering.  But the writer makes the case for understanding both in their inter-linked entirety.  She is quite clear “unregulated capitalism is bad for women.” (p1)  Continue reading “WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM”

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Aug 22 2018

STOP UNION BUSTING IN UKRAINE

 

HOW WORKERS IN UKRAINE’S STEEL INDUSTRY ARE FIGHTING FOR WAGES, RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

 

UKRAINIAN UNIONS UNITE IN MAJOR STRUGGLE WITH GLOBAL GIANT ARCELOR MITTAL

 

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Jun 22 2018

HOW WORKERS IN UKRAINE’S STEEL INDUSTRY ARE FIGHTING FOR WAGES, RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

This is an update on a major workers’ struggle in Ukraine, which this blog has been covering. This report first appeared at https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org/2018/06/04/how-workers-in-ukraines-steel-industry-are-fighting-for-wages-rights-and-democracy/

 

HOW WORKERS IN UKRAINE’S STEEL INDUSTRY ARE FIGHTING FOR

WAGES, RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY

Striking steel workers in Krivyi Riy

A major struggle of workers at the global corporation ArcelorMittal plant in Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine has been underway. The company has only just secured a rotten Ukrainian court to rule against arbitration of the dispute in an effort to delay the joint unions campaign and strike action. We publish a article on the campaign by Maxim Kazakov Ukrainian socialist and activist of the Social Movement, which has been translated by Open Democracy Ukraine Solidarity Campaign calls on the labour movement to organise solidarity with this important struggle of Ukrainian trade unions. Continue reading “HOW WORKERS IN UKRAINE’S STEEL INDUSTRY ARE FIGHTING FOR WAGES, RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY”

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Apr 26 2018

SYRIA – DOUBTS, LAW AND GRAND STRATEGY

Yassamine Mather argues that behind the cruise missile strikes in Syria lies the plan to bring about regime change in Iran

 

SYRIA – DOUBTS, LAW AND GRAND STRATEGY

 

 

Irrespective of what the experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons say, there is no doubt that the Syrian dictator is capable of using weapons of mass destruction against his own population and it is possible that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attack in Douma.

However, the point remains that the tripartite alliance of the US, UK and France has failed to prove that the Syrian government was responsible for this terrible act before launching a military attack. In addition, after all the fake documents produced prior to the Iraq war, can anyone trust the advice of international ‘experts’? There is a level of justified scepticism amongst ordinary people about British government claims of being certain who was behind the ‘chemical attack’ used to justify the military operations of April 14. Continue reading “SYRIA – DOUBTS, LAW AND GRAND STRATEGY”

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Apr 14 2018

UKRAINIAN UNIONS UNITE IN MAJOR STRUGGLE WITH GLOBAL GIANT ARCELOR MITTAL

 

UNIONS UNITE IN MAJOR STRUGGLE WITH GLOBAL GIANT ARCELORMITTAL

APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

A major dispute is developing in the industrial city of Krtviy Rih in south east Ukraine. Trade unions form both the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) and also the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) have united their demands and held a joint conference to launch the campaign.

Their dispute is with the steel giant Acelormittal, part of the Mittal Steel Company which is a world wide corporation.The workers at Kryviy Riv are calling for international solidarity in their struggle. International support is important and has assisted the Ukrainian unions against the mining company, EVRAZ ,and more recently to defeat the trial of 94 miners for protesting.  Ukraine Solidarity Committee will be publicising the campaign and calls for assistance. We publish below a report by the KVPU on the conference to launch  the campaign.

 REPORT FROM KVPU

Workers at the Arcellormittal plant

 

On March 27, the Conference of the labor collective of the PJSC “ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih” that was announced at a rally organized by nine trade-union organizations on 14 March was held in Kryviy Rih. At the Conference, the representatives of the labor collective of the PJSC “ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih” made requirements to the Chairman and CEO of steel group “ArcelorMittaland” Lakshmi Mittal and to the CEO of PJSC “ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih” Paramjit Kahlon. Continue reading “UKRAINIAN UNIONS UNITE IN MAJOR STRUGGLE WITH GLOBAL GIANT ARCELOR MITTAL”

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