Refugees and the National Question

Borders as a demarcation of the ownership of land are as old as the existence of property itself. There simply is no existence of property without the demarcation and defence of it. With the advent of major empires such as the Rome or China, gigantic fortified borders were set up: Hadrian’s Wall, Limes, the Great Wall of China. So the existence of such borders to defend an empire against the invasion of rivals is nothing new. 

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Mass Migration and Capitalism
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A few facts are enough to show the horror of the situation facing the migrants:

  • On 27 August, in Austria near the Hungarian border, 71 bodies (including 8 women and 4 children) were discovered in an advanced state of decomposition, locked into a lorry abandoned by the roadway;
  • A few days later, the body of a little boy of three, drowned at the same time as his mother and brother, was washed up on a beach at Bodrum in Turkey.

These were both cases of migrants from Syria fleeing the nightmare of four years of war. This phenomenon of refugees has now been globalised on an unprecedented, going well beyond the exoduses of the worst years of the 20th century.

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Readers' Contributions
Portrait of Max Raphael in 1910, by Max Pechstein

The main purpose of this article is to bring the work of Max Raphael into the field of contemporary marxist attention and discussion where it belongs. The bourgeoisie calls many of its intellectuals “marxist”, which not only serves to give them a sheen of credibility but usually helps to debase genuine marxist contributions. Many learned individuals have important things to say around the various ideological spheres that have grown up around society and this is to be expected. But unlike the bourgeois “marxists” who pronounce on the ideologies of the ruling class, the views of Max Raphael are very clear on the necessity of the revolutionary overthrow of a corrupt and destructive capitalism by independent working class action, and this fact alone leads us to express an interest in trying to understand his works. Raphael wrote dozens of books and many more papers on art, mostly in French and German with a few in English. He said that if one wanted to understand his views on art then all of them should be read. We can’t do that or even approach it, but we can draw out some elements in order to give us a deeper perspective on art within a framework of the workers’ movement.

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Tianjin Explosion
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On August 12th, at 22.50 (China local time), there was a warning of a small fire in one of the industrial warehouses in the district of Bihai, in the port city of Tianjin, China. Some firemen rushed to the scene. Some 40 minutes later, there was a tremendous explosion equivalent to 3 tons of TNT, and some seconds after that another brutal explosion, equivalent to 21 tons of TNT, which could be seen even via satellites surrounding the earth.

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Imperialism
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After four years of the war in Syria and around a year since the establishment of the “Caliphate” of the Islamic State, a new turn by Turkey, fully backed by the forces of NAT0, sees it enter the war, dumping its previous jihadi allies and turning its fire on its Kurdish “partners in peace”. A number of questions are raised by Turkey’s new front: why this turn now by Turkey? What does this mean for the Turkish/Kurdish “peace process” and its two-year old “cease-fire”? Are there any elements within the forces of Kurdish nationalism that represent the interests of the working class in any way? Will this move lead to any sort of halt or alleviation in the descent of the whole region into instability and war?

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South Africa

This article highlights the formidable effect of the apartheid system on the class struggle, combined with the action of the trade unions and parties of the bourgeoisie, up until the end of the 1960s when, faced with the unprecedented development of the class struggle, the bourgeoisie had to “modernise” its political apparatus and revamp its system.

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Zimmerwald 1915

An internal text originally published during debates within the organisation in 1984, which gives an extended account of the different tendencies present in the Zimmerwald Conference against the World War, held in September 1915.

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Public Meetings
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The International Communist Current is organising a day-long public meeting in London on October 10 2015.

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World War I

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country"

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Situation in Greece
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As the Greek government – almost immediately after the victory of the ‘No vote’ which it had campaigned for -  agreed to the intensification of austerity measures, there was genuine sympathy from workers internationally for their Greek comrades.  The extent of the attacks on jobs, incomes, pensions and a whole range of essential services has struck a chord because this is not something restricted to the workers in Greece. But at the same time every part of the bourgeoisie’s political spectrum felt confident to use the situation for its own benefit, and against the consciousness of the working class, above all by distorting the real meaning of class solidarity.

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