Articles

Catastrophism: A Climate Justice Activist’s Perspective

By Harold Lavender

Review of Sasha Lilley (ed.), Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth (PM Press, 2012)

Images and talk of catastrophes are pervasive in today’s world. Much discussion of the subject ignores issues of social justice and is not very favourable to a left-wing perspective. Yet the spectre of catastrophic climate change haunts the future. Climate change is wreaking destruction on many, is getting worse and poses a potential threat to life on the planet. This raises many serious questions about how the Left should respond.

Reflections on an Historic Election: Argentina Enters a New Crisis
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Reflections on an Historic Election: Argentina Enters a New Crisis

By Bob Lyons

The historic Argentinean mid-term elections of 27 October resulted in a breakthrough for the revolutionary left, and has exposed more clearly the outline of the tendencies emerging at the time of the primary votes held in July. The political, economic and social fissures revealed by the vote can be grouped around three themes:
1.    the end of the Kirchnerist experiment and the resulting strategic incoherance of the Argentinean bourgeoisie as a whole;
2.    the radical deepening of the economic and fiscal crises of the Argentinean state expressed as a loss of political legitimacy, and a series of policy cul-de-sacs;
3.    the growing presence of a workers and social vanguard determined to resist the consequences of the global crisis as expressed locally.

In what follows we will attempt to situate the election, and especially the results for the revolutionary left, within the context of the above themes.

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When Soldiers Lay Down Their Arms

By Mike Gonzalez

In every revolutionary crisis the state will slip off the velvet glove to reveal the iron fist underneath; that is the nature of the beast, as Lenin reminded us. Armies are there to serve the capitalist order, whether their activity is described as “peacekeeping,” “national security” or simply the maintenance of public order.

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Chris Hedges: From Moral Gadfly to Eclectic Radical

By Jase Short

Chris Hedges is one of the most celebrated intellectuals of the contemporary US Left. A former New York Times reporter who essentially lost his job for taking a public stand against the invasion of Iraq, Hedges straddles the line between cynical doomsayer and principled critic of mainstream politics. In spite of many lapses in judgment in his intellectual work, the general thrust of his political standpoint is a welcome relief to those who have a hard time finding intellectuals who take the crises of global capitalism seriously.

Socialism from Below and Indigenous Resurgence: Reclaiming Traditions
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Socialism from Below and Indigenous Resurgence: Reclaiming Traditions

By DL Simmons

With the indigenous activists of Idle No More and Defenders of the Land calling to make the summer of 2013 “Sovereignty Summer” — a “campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Aboriginal rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-native supporters” — it’s a good time to look at the relationship between indigenous struggle and radical politics. With this in mind, we are glad to publish a revised and updated version of a piece that originally appeared in the special Indigenous Resurgence issue of New Socialist in 2006.

During the peak of the Red Power movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many newly radicalizing indigenous people became interested in exploring various theories of revolution and socialist organization.

Articles

Up Against the Neoliberal Parties: What Should the Left Do? Four Views

The editors of New Socialist Webzine recently sent the following short description of the situation in which the Left finds itself today to a number of people we respect and asked them for their thoughts. We are glad to publish four responses, from Cindy McCallum Miller, David McNally, Leanne Simpson and Cloé Zawadzki-Turcotte. We welcome additional constructive responses from readers.

Articles

Workers in the Global North: A Labour Aristocracy?

Review of Zak Cope, Divided World, Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism (Kersplebedeb, 2012)

By Charlie Post

A specter has haunted anti-capitalist radicals and revolutionaries for more than 150 years—the specter of working class reformism and conservatism in the global North of the capitalist world economy. Why have those who Marx called the “grave-diggers of capitalism,” the wage-earning majority of the industrialized societies, embraced politics that either seek to “balance” the interests of capital and labour (reformism) or blame other workers for falling living standards and working conditions (conservatism)? 

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What is the ANC and Where is the Left in South Africa?

By Chris Webb

About a month ago I stood with some 200 striking farm workers in South Africa’s Hex River Valley, a rich agricultural region that produces table grapes for export. The workers were on strike against severe pay cuts and outsourcing, which came about when a major fruit export company took over the farm from its previous owner. The workers were a mixed group. Some were Zimbabwean migrants, but the majority were Xhosa speakers from the more impoverished Eastern Cape, where 72 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Most of them currently lived in the valley’s informal settlements, expanses of matchbox houses and zinc shacks on the dusty ground between the grape farms. As we marched toward the farm, the workers began to sing struggle songs praising the African National Congress (ANC) and the role of struggle leaders like Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani.

Moving Forward After the Elections in Greece Part II – Building a Working Class Alternative
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Moving Forward After the Elections in Greece Part II – Building a Working Class Alternative

Kokkino

This is Part II of Kokkino’s statement after the June elections in Greece, revised and slightly abridged from the version published in International Viewpoint. Kokkino is a revolutionary socialist organization in Greece, which has been in the throes of a major debt crisis since 2009.

Kokkino is part of the broader Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which is the main force against the austerity measures being imposed on Greece by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition of a proposed bailout. SYRIZA’s anti-bailout stance resulted in a dramatic growth in its popular support in the run-up to the recent elections – from just under 5% of electoral votes in May to 27% in June.

Part I of this statement offers an analysis of the election’s political outcome. The final sections, reprinted here, focus on strategic questions for the radical left in Greece. Although the context is quite different, there is much to be learned from the experience of major social mobilization in Greece since the eruption of the debt crisis. – New Socialist 

Moving Forward After the Elections in Greece Part I – Analyzing the Outcome
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Moving Forward After the Elections in Greece Part I – Analyzing the Outcome

By Kokkino

This is Part I of Kokkino’s statement after the June elections in Greece, slightly abridged and adapted from the version published in International Viewpoint. Kokkino is a revolutionary socialist organization in Greece, which has been in the throes of a major debt crisis since 2009.

Kokkino is a small group that’s part of the broad Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which is the main force against the austerity measures being imposed on Greece by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a condition of a proposed bailout. Syriza’s anti-bailout stance resulted in a dramatic growth in its popular support in the run-up to the recent elections — from 17% of votes cast in the election held in May 2012 to 27% in June.

Part I of Kokkino’s post-election statement offers an analysis of the election’s political outcome. Part II focuses on the strategy for building a working class alternative, and will be published soon in this webzine. – New Socialist

Articles

Share Our Future: The CLASSE Manifesto

By Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale (CLASSE)

For months now, all over Quebec, the streets have vibrated to the rhythm of hundreds of thousands of marching feet. What started out as a movement underground, still stiff with the winter consensus, gathered new strength in the spring and flowed freely, energizing students, parents, grandparents, children, and people with and without jobs. The initial student strike grew into a people’s struggle, while the problem of tuition fees opened the door to a much deeper malaise – we now face a political problem that truly affects us all. To find its remedy and give substance to our vision, let us cast our minds back to the root of the problem.

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Editorial: Why Greece’s June Elections Matter to All of Us

The final opinion polls before the June 17 parliamentary elections in Greece report that SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) has the support of between 25 and 31.5% of voters, up from the 16.7% it won in the May 2012 elections, when it stunned many people by leaping to second place among Greece’s many political contenders. It’s possible that SYRIZA could come first this time.

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Occupy This!

Review of Judy Rebick, Occupy This! (Penguin, 2012).

By Donya Ziaee

Reading long-time activist Judy Rebick’s new e-book Occupy This! re-awakened memories of my experience at the Occupy Toronto encampment in its very early days. The optimism, excitement and hope with which Rebick pens her latest book is quite reminiscent of the sentiments that drew me, and perhaps many others, to the camp in the initial period.

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Syria: Understanding the regime and the revolutionary process

By Khalil Habash

The Syrian revolutionary process has since the beginning been met by circumspection by some on the left and even led some to separate it from the other uprising in the region, accusing it of being a conspiracy of Western imperialist and reactionary regional countries such as Saudi Arabia. This trend has unfortunately continued, despite the criminal actions of the regime. Others have limited their position to the refusal of any foreign military intervention, on which we agree, but refused to bring full support to the revolution, on which we disagree. Opposition to foreign military intervention in Syria is not enough. Such a position is meaningless if not accompanied by clear and strong support for the Syrian people’s movement.

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Greek Elections: The Vengeance of a People in Struggle!

By Panagiotis Sotiris

Vengeance came down hard, with the force of an earthquake, in Greek elections. Despite the efforts by corporate media, despite the various forms of open blackmail from the part of the EU – IMF – ECB Troika, despite the timing of the election in order to steal some form of support for at least some of the pro-austerity forces, the results of the election are an explosive rejection of the politics of austerity and limited sovereignty in Greece.

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