The summer of 2018 has produced the hottest ever recorded temperatures across the northern hemisphere, and across 4 continents with an untold number of people dead as a consequence. There have been horrendous fires around the globe and the oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up. It's not just a case of excessive temperatures: there have been storms and flash flooding too... Capitalism is driving the world towards disaster, reflecting its blind and destructive impulses and its historical bankruptcy.
Seventy years of the National Health Service, founded in 1948, has been celebrated on TV, by a service at Westminster Abbey, and by numerous events in hospitals. The NHS is, in its own words, “our country’s most trusted and respected social institution” . Even those who protest at the way it is run do so because they are against “the assault on the NHS” (Socialist Worker 3/3/18). People love the NHS, and want to protect it. It all seems too good to be true, a national institution loved by all from the Countess of Wessex at the service in Westminster Abbey (even if royalty invariably use private hospitals) to the poorest in the land, and from right to extreme left of the political spectrum. This ideology, supported by all the bourgeoisie’s political forces, is based on many falsehoods...
The spectre of an accelerating trade war is haunting capitalism. It may seem difficult to understand in a period where production has never been so global and the “free movement of capital and labour” has been an almost unassailable credo of the world’s leading politicians and economists for decades. But it is precisely the inherent contradiction between capital’s thrust towards conquering the globe, and the inhibiting framework of the nation state, which is behind this new surge of protectionism.
Ever since the UK’s Referendum of June 2016 the British bourgeoisie has been in a turmoil of division and instability. For generations identified as an experienced and skilful manipulator of the social situation, the British bourgeoisie, in the form of the Cameron government, made a fundamental mistake when, in trying to take the steam out of increasing populism, it called a referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.
On 25 May, Harvey Weinstein, the now notorious American film producer, was led in handcuffs from a New York police station to a court where he was charged with rape and sexual abuse. He was freed on bail while awaiting trial and fitted with an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements. At the beginning, media coverage of the “Weinstein affair” served mainly as a pretext for embarrassing US President Trump and pushing towards his impeachment. However, the international impact of this case shows that there is much more involved than yet another Machiavellian strategy of the bourgeoisie. It reveals a real and profound indignation around the condition of women in this society...
The following article is one of several through which we plan to deal with the rise of China and its consequences for imperialist relations worldwide. For reasons of space we will focus in this article on the New Silk Road. In future we look in more detail at Chinese ambitions in Africa and Latin America and examine its overall rivalry with the US.
This article was written soon after the formation of the new populist coalition government in Italy. It places immediate events in a global context, so its overall analysis has in no sense lost its validity a few months later. In future, we will try to update the analysis, particularly given the need to examine the swollen growth of Salvini's political influence, and the encouragement, by his government, of a pogrom-like atmosphere in Italy.
In a region scarred by imperialist war and sectarian divisions, the recent social protests in Iran, Jordan and Iraq offer hope that there is another possibility: the united struggle of the exploited against capital and its brutal violence. This article, written by a close sympathiser, looks at the massive demonstrations that have swept through central and southern Iraq.
Starting on July 8, 2018, a number of spontaneous protests broke out in central and southern Iraq involving thousands of demonstrators. It spread through eight southern provinces very quickly and, about a fortnight later, onto the streets of Baghdad. These followed significant protests in Jordan and Iran on exactly the same issues. The movement in Iraq would have been aware of these protests and inspired by them given the basic similarities.