Day of Discussion
Front cover of the newspaper of the German Social Democratic Party on August 4 1914, announcing that it was prepared to defend t

September 20, 2014, 11 am to 6 pm

Lucas Arms, 245A Grays Inn Rd, Kings Cross, London WC1X 8QY

In all the noisy commemorations about the First World War, some things are more or less left in silence. First, that a crucial responsibility for the war lay with the ‘Labour’ and ‘Socialist’ parties who in 1914 voted for war credits and set about mobilising the workers for the war effort; and second, that the war was ended by the revolutionary struggles of the working class.

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Middle East
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Iraq has been in an almost permanent state of war for four decades. It has been the theatre of three imperialist wars since 1980. But history is not just repetition. This new conflict, after 100 years of capitalist decadence, is the expression of the decomposition of a society which has become totally irrational. The tragedy unfolding in Iraq goes well beyond the frontiers of this country. As we go to press, the murder of three young Israelis, and the revenge murder of a Palestinian of the same age, is sharpening tensions in Israel/Palestine, with Netanyahu using it as a new opportunity to step up the simmering conflict with Hamas and with Iran.

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Economic Crisis

City and media commentators think that things are definitely looking up for the British economy. The statistics that they are basing themselves on certainly show a vigour in the economy that has not been present for six long years, since the crash of 2008. The housing market is moving forward at a great pace, and not just in London. So much so, there is definite anxiety about an unsustainable bubble. Unemployment has fallen sharply – much faster than predicted by the Bank of England. The UK car industry has seen a long period of growth with sales rising for 27 months in a row (although presumably some of the demand is met by German output, for example). Some see exports doing well, but the UK’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened by more than expected in April, because of weaker manufacturing exports, which were offset by the usual surplus in the services sector.

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Political Discussion

The ICC in Britain will be holding a Day of Discussion in September 2014. This year, the theme will be World War One – part of our response to the international campaign of the bourgeoisie ‘commemorating’ this barbaric war

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Middle East

In Egypt, the army’s candidate Abdel al-Sisi has won a ‘landslide’ victory, polling between 93% and 96% of the votes. True, the elections were widely boycotted, and only 46% of the electorate went to the polls (government estimate) and the main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, was banned; true this election was in fact an out and out farce comparable to the one that Bashir Asad organised in war-shattered Syria on 3 June (and even Asad only polled 88.7% of the vote!). But just as the sectarian divisions in Syrian society have led many – such as Christians and members of the Alawite sect that the Asad family belongs to – to support Asad’s brutal regime out of fear of what would happen if he lost the civil war, so in Egypt the fact that many ordinary people continue to support the rule of the army is also a product of fear.

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Democracy and Decomposition

As the results of May’s elections to the European Parliament became clear, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said it was “more than a warning. It is a shock, an earthquake.”  The ‘seismic’ outcome was that about a quarter of the seats would be taken up by parties that are ‘malcontents’ when it comes to the European dream.

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Printed Press

Readers will be aware that we have reduced the frequency of the publication of World Revolution.

On the positive side, our website is now our main publication, which we can update as necessary between publication dates giving a proletarian view on significant events in the world. It is also able to reach readers in parts on the world that our papers cannot.

At the same time, the rise in postal charges means that producing and selling papers is increasingly expensive.

From this issue we will be producing World Revolution quarterly, 4 issues a year. Our new subscription prices will appear in the next issue. All existing subscribers will get the full number of issues they have paid for.

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Imperialism
The crisis in Ukraine is the most dangerous in Europe since the break-up of Yugoslavia a quarter of a century ago, as Russia attempts to defend its interests in the region against the tendency for western European powers to gain more influence, threatening civil war internally and destabilisation in the region.
 

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War Without End

Our rulers just can’t get enough of war.

A whole year of ‘commemorations’ of World War One, with opinion divided among them about whether this was a Good War or a Bad War. The right wing tends to argue that this was a Good War. The Kaiser was Bad, and had to be stopped. And Britain’s empire was, on the whole, a Good Thing, which had to be defended. The left wing can then pose as very radical, and say, this was a Bad, Imperialist War.

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Class Struggle in the 80s

We've just passed the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the miners' strike in Britain, a strike which began in March 1984, lasted nearly a year and involved some 120,000 workers; a strike moreover which had its roots in the whole period beforehand of international class struggle. Despite returning to this question over a couple of decades, and particularly on anniversaries, we make no apology for looking at this issue once again given that the lessons of this strike and its defeat, the role of the trade unions - particularly the National Union of Miners - are important not only for the working class in Britain but also for the proletariat internationally.

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