Europe is standing on the edge of a precipice. This is the judgement, not just of the Marxists, but of the most serious strategists of Capital. Barely six weeks have passed since the latest Greek rescue package, and it is already unravelling. There is now a general crisis of confidence in the ranks of the bourgeoisie internationally. The panic, which is reflected in the wild gyrations of the stock exchanges, has spread rapidly from Europe to America. It is a kind of deadly contagion that has infected all the euro zone’s big countries.
There is now open speculation about the euro’s survival and even that of the European Union itself. The whole situation hangs in the balance. And all for what? Because Greece cannot pay its bills. But this was surely no surprise. Every serious person knew full well that the crisis of the Greek economy was so deep that all the rescue packages could do was to buy a little time.
A deal to raise the debt ceiling has now been reached, after weeks of incredible fear-mongering on the part of both bosses’ parties and Wall Street, and will reach the President’s desk by the deadline on August 2nd. The contents of the final agreement remain rather vague, but the broad outline is enough to make clear what it means for workers in the U.S. It includes $2.4 trillion in spending cuts. President Obama stated on the 31st of July that “everything will be on the table,” and he has previously stated that Social Security and Medicare would not be spared cuts (in the name of “compromise”), so we can safely assume that a large portion of the $2.4 trillion in “savings” will be from the coffers of these vital public programs.
As I write these lines the destinies of Greece are being decided in a titanic struggle in which the Greek working class is confronting the big banks and capitalists of all Europe. The EU is subjecting Greece to the most shameless blackmail. They say: either accept draconian cuts in your living standards, or else we will refuse to hand over the next tranche of 12 billion euros.
That would mean that the Greek government would soon run out of money. It would not be able to pay the wages of nurses, doctors, teachers or policemen. Greece would be bankrupt.
Yesterday a milestone was passed in the social and political situation in Greece and throughout Europe. Impressive mobilizations rolled across the country: half a million in Athens and rallies of thousands of people gathered in Thessaloniki, Patras, Larissa, Volos, Heraklion, etc. This places Greece on the threshold of a revolutionary situation. It means that, for the first time in decades the developed capitalist countries of Europe are faced with the prospect of a revolution with continental dimensions.
The Paris Commune of 1871 was one of the greatest and most inspiring episodes in the history of the working class. In a tremendous revolutionary movement, the working people of Paris replaced the capitalist state with their own organs of government and held political power until their downfall in the last week of May. The Parisian workers strove, in extremely difficult circumstances, to put an end to exploitation and oppression, and to reorganise society on an entirely new foundation. The lessons of these events are of fundamental importance for socialists today. We publish this article ahead of the 140th anniversary of the Commune's suppression, tomorrow, 28 May.
As the last Russian soldier crossed the Oxus River going back from Afghanistan into the Soviet Union in 1989, the Japanese-American philosopher at St. James’s University, Maryland and a CIA operative, Francis Fukuyama, came out with his iniquitous thesis on the “end of history”. However, although the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Soviet Union had collapsed, this thesis was soon refuted by history itself as the first Gulf War broke out in 1991.
There is no future without the past. An empirical, mechanistic and a pragmatic approach to the revolution sweeping across the region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea would end up in a flawed analysis and a disastrous fate for the mass upheaval.
We provide a brief historical outline of the development of the Gaddafi regime from the bourgeois Arab nationalism of the early days, to the period of so-called Islamic socialism, to the recent period of opening up to foreign investment, with major concessions to multinational corporations and the beginnings of widespread privatisations.
What started as a genuine revolution against Gaddafi, has been taken over by reactionary bourgeois elements. In the Interim Council, and now the newly formed Interim Government, direct representatives of imperialist interests have been promoted to leading positions.
It is the worst disaster for Japan since the war, since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This triple whammy of a force-9 earthquake, a tsunami, followed by a nuclear disaster, has shaken the country to its very foundations. And the consequences of this multifaceted catastrophe are widening by the day.
In the first instance the demands of the Revolution are democratic. Of course! After 30 years of a brutal dictatorship the youth long for freedom. Naturally, their desire for democracy can be abused by bourgeois politicians who are only interested in their future careers in a “democratic” parliament. But we are obliged to take up the democratic demands and give them a sharply revolutionary content. This will inevitably lead on to the demand for an even more fundamental change in society.
The Arab Revolution is a source of inspiration to workers and young people everywhere. It has rocked every country in the Middle East to their foundations and its reverberations are being felt all over the world. The dramatic events in North Africa and Egypt mark a decisive turning point in human history. These events are not isolated accidents apart from the general process of the world revolution.
Friday, 28 January 2011. The flames of anger are spreading through all Egypt and nothing can stop them. The fate of the Mubarak regime hangs in the balance. Today there were violent clashes on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities as the struggle for power has entered into a new stage. The call went out for mass protests after Friday prayers. The regime warned that any protests will be met with the full force of the state. The stage was set for a dramatic confrontation.
When watching Comic Relief or any other sort of international aid fundraiser, viewers are often startled with images of starving children, and an attempt is made to portray the African continent as a complete humanitarian disaster, composed of destitute countries that are plagued by famine, drought, disease, corruption, and civil war. Whilst it is true that natural disasters and adverse conditions have hindered the development of many African countries, these media sources do not attempt to address why the continent is prone to civil war and corruption and no effort is made to explain the root cause of the problem: imperialism.
Two months have passed since Venezuela's legislative elections on September 26, which gave a marginal victory to the forces of the revolution in the total vote and a 98-67 majority in terms of seats in the new National Assembly which will be installed in January. What lessons are being learnt from that experience?
As in all other European countries also in Austria the government is trying to make the workers and the youth pay for the capitalist crisis. Austria was severely affected by the crisis. In 2009 it was in deep recession with a sharp decrease in industrial production. And at the beginning of 2009 the government had to intervene with huge sums to prevent the collapse of the shaken bank system.
Events have taken a turn in Britain as the first mass reaction took place this week against the programme of vicious cuts being introduced by the Tory-led coalition. On Wednesday, November 10th, London witnessed an overwhelming response from the students as a demonstration of over 50,000 marched in protest at the attacks taking place in Higher Education.
The massive and militant demonstration that took place last Saturday, October 16, organised by the FIOM metalworkers’ union represents a clear turning point in the Italian political situation. October 16 shows the way. It is time to call a general strike.
On Saturday, October 16, more than 3 million people took the streets of France in hundreds of demonstrations in cities and towns throughout the country in the latest national day of action against the proposed counter-reform of the pensions system. The number was on a similar scale as October 2, the last time the trade unions called a day of action on a Saturday but the movement has certainly developed further. The demonstrations were another show of strength of this movement which has lasted for months and seen 5 national days of action since the end of the summer holidays.
For the last 10 weeks the capitalist media has been whipped into a frenzy by the story of 33 trapped miners in the San Jose Copiapó copper and gold mine in Chile. Though the event has been widely covered, it has not been much reported on, but rather, it has been turned into a narrative that leaves an increasingly unoriginal Hollywood salivating with eyeball dollar signs. The television reporting, as the miners were being rescued, was nothing less than abysmal.
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