Wed, 15 Sep 2021 23:13:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Imagine socialism” | Ohio Wesleyan University Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:00:28 +0000

“Imagine socialism”

Ohio Wesleyan English Teacher’s First Book Explores Early Socialism Writings

By Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan professor Mark A. Allison’s new book examines British socialist writing through the long 19th century – the century of socialism’s origin. (Cover image courtesy of Oxford University Press)

DELAWARE, Ohio – The title of the new book by Ohio Wesleyan University professor Mark A. Allison – “Imagining Socialism: Aesthetics, Anti-politics, and Literature in Britain, 1817-1918” – immediately raises two questions: Why an English professor would he write a book on socialism? And what is “anti-politics?” “

“These are good questions,” said Allison, Ph.D., English professor Ben T. Spencer of the OWU. “In Britain, writers and artists were very important supporters of socialism throughout the 19th century.

“For example, Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw has given hundreds and hundreds of pro-socialist speeches, and HG Wells, remembered for his sci-fi classics like ‘War of the Worlds’ and “The Invisible Man,” wrote works of socialist propaganda that sold as well as his novels, ”Allison said.

“The more I searched for that connection, the more it made sense. Unlike other forms of social organization, such as, say, monarchy or democracy, there has never been a fully realized socialist society. Imagination, this key trait of artists, was needed to imagine what it could be. Hence my title, “Imagining Socialism”.

And “anti-political? “

“Most people think socialism means great government and state control,” said Allison, who joined Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2007. “But all of the founders of socialism had a bad opinion. of politics, which they associated with partisanship, corruption, and unnecessary activity.wars.This was especially true in Britain, which, like America, has a long history of distrust of centralized authority. .

“Socialists were mainly interested in what they called ‘social’ rather than ‘political’ reform,” he continued. “They thought that if you wanted to make society fairer, you had to focus on places like the workplace, the school and the local community. By transforming the constituent elements of civil society, you could promote cooperation instead of competition, leading to social harmony. Over time, these reforms would reduce the scope of institutional policy, or even replace it altogether.

“As I investigated socialism’s ‘anti-political’ approach to reform, I discovered that there was a second reason writers and artists were so central to British socialism,” continued Allison, who is also co-director of the Ohio Wesleyan Honor Program. . “The arts themselves have resources that could help depoliticize collective life.

“For example,” he said, “William Morris, the great poet and great thinker of art, argued that while men and women were allowed to approach all work with equal pride and the same creativity that skilled artisans bring to their work, this would eventually allow citizens to relate to each other in mutual respect which would eliminate the need for a formal policy.

“Robert Owen, director of a cotton mill and founder of British socialism, believed that the way to achieve a form of non-governmental society was to educate young people to seek their own happiness through the good of the collective. “Allison continued. . “Owen called it ‘rational education.’ But when you look at his school’s program, you find that teaching song and dance was at the heart of it. These activities literally taught the children to “harmonize” with each other: to channel their natural desire to excel into some form of effort that would improve group performance.

“While nineteenth-century socialists approached social problems from different angles, they repeatedly turned to the arts in their efforts to tame ‘politics’ and imagine the world differently.”

Mark A. Allison, Ph.D.

Although Allison’s book deals with the British tradition of 19th-century socialism, it does address the concerns of the day: growing economic inequality, exasperation at political polarization and deadlock, and the surprising resurgence of interest in socialism among Millennials and Generation Z.

“When I started researching this book, socialism was not on the contemporary radar,” Allison said. “Then the Great Recession of 2007-2008 happened and things started to snowball.

“Bernie Sanders ran two unexpected presidential campaigns, and Jeremy Corbyn had his five-year term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Newspapers have started to publish opinion polls showing that young people have more favorable views on socialism than on capitalism. Suddenly, what I considered a very specialized subject no longer seemed to me specialized at all. “

What does Allison want readers to take away from her book?

“First of all, I believe in the intrinsic value of literature and literary analysis,” he said. “The backbone of this book is the close examination of the works of great 19th century writers, some famous, others unjustly forgotten.

“Beyond that, I will quote the last words of my introduction: ‘It would be foolish to believe that a literary study of 19th century British socialism could open the door to utopia. But it would be vanity to think that the struggles of so many intelligent, committed and well-meaning men and women have nothing to teach us today.

Learn more about Imagining Socialism and Allison and Ohio Wesleyan’s English Department at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate specializations and participates in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and holistic perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world contexts. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the “Colleges That Change Lives” book and is on the US News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Learn more at

Source link

]]> 0
We will not pay for the failures of capitalism Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:48:15 +0000

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, September 15, 2021

Join the Youth Fight for Jobs protests on October 9

Alex Smith, Socialist Party of Liverpool

There are massive attacks on young people on the immediate horizon. The end of the increase in universal credit, scheduled for the end of September, should hit young people harder. Rents outside London continue to rise and the Conservatives’ national insurance hike shows they want to make workers pay.

With 20% of employers planning layoffs after the leave, youth unemployment is expected to rise. It is totally unacceptable. We must not make workers and young people pay for the disease of capitalism. A determined response is needed.

That’s why Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) marches are taking place in 13 different cities on October 9, to coincide with the end of the holidays. During these marches, young workers, students and trade unionists will mobilize to make people understand that it must be the super-rich, and not the working class and the young, who are paying for the Covid crisis. Demands raised will include calls for rent and social housing controls, a minimum wage of £ 12 an hour as a first step to £ 15, and proper training, under union control, with full pay and guaranteed employment. at the end.

Union support

Many YFJ marches already have the formal support of local professional councils and union branches, and the nationwide campaign has won the support of seven unions. In Merseyside we recently won the support of the remaining members of the heroic ‘Liverpool 47’, the Socialist Labor advisers who challenged Thatcher in the 1980s.

The solidarity shown by the “Liverpool 47” to the YFJ campaign crosses the efforts of capitalism to drive a wedge between the younger and older generations of the working class. A new generation of class fighters in the YFJ campaign should regain courage and take over the class struggle – and begin to wage our own fight against capitalism.

Unions are potentially the most powerful force in society: the organized working class. It is for this reason that the YFJ is fighting fiercely for unions to lead a coordinated response to the youth employment crisis, and for a future with decent jobs and wages.

Join Youth Fight for Jobs in this fight, to help us free ourselves from low wages, poverty and the exploitation of capitalism.

  • For more information and to participate, visit:

Financial appeal

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the class character of society in many ways. This clearly shows to many that it is the working class that makes society run, not the CEOs of big companies.

The results of austerity have been shown graphically as utilities struggle to cope with the crisis.

  • The material of the Socialist Party is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report workers fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels etc.
  • We must be prepared for the stormy events to come and the need to arm the labor movements with a socialist program – a program that puts the health and needs of mankind before the profits of the few.

Inevitably, during the crisis, we were not able to sell the socialist and raise funds as we normally would.

We therefore urge all our viewers to donate to our Fight Fund.

In The Socialist for September 15, 2021:


Take wealth from the super-rich to fund: NHS and social care, wages and benefits go up

Deaths of despair: health crisis – capitalism on the dock

On the front line, and still fighting for the NHS

Solidarity with the strikers of the Charité and Vivantes hospitals in Berlin

What we think

We need a new political party for workers and youth

What is behind labor shortages and what can be done to address them?

Climate change

Climate change, capitalism and the struggle for socialism

Young people and students

We will not pay for the failures of capitalism

Scrapped Tuition Fees – End of University Commercialization

Back to campus: students must stand up and fight

Campaigning for Socialism in Oxford Brookes United

Youth Fight for Jobs launches campaign in Brighton

Workplace News

NSSN union rally reflects working class anger to fight back

Oaks Park School: Redbridge Labor supports scabs

Save jobs and services – nationalize rail

Weetabix – workers have had enough

Carmarthenshire Unison: “Recognize Our Union Now!”

Goodlord conflict: Labor leaders withdrew from support for strike


Social assistance plans: sticking plaster instead of surgery

Hands off the increase in universal credit

Unite young and old to defend the triple lock of pensions


Putting socialism on the map in Chichester

Claiming pride in protest in Nottingham

Fight Fund Goal Met: Help us continue to raise our banner and program


Nuclear Madness: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

TV Review – Grenfell: The Untold Story


The Socialist September 15, 2021 |
Join the Socialist Party

| Make a donation
| audio | PDF | Ebook

Source link

]]> 0
Here is a political movement which looks like trouble for climate action and not it is not only the anti vaxxers Wed, 15 Sep 2021 06:10:16 +0000

As preparations begin for another so-called ‘freedom rally’ to oppose the lockdown, we wonder if Covid is the only thing motivating protesters. No … as you might expect, there are other tensions and influences and after Covid they might just turn to anti-climate action.

As the official rally start time approached, the Telegram channel was strained. Messages poured in from potential participants struggling to find a way to get to the starting point after a heavy police presence.

The trolls had found the channel, happily mocking “suburban gronks in sportswear getting fined live.” At 12 noon, it looked like the Melbourne Freedom Rally on August 21 was going to be a failure.

Instead, minutes later, a group of hundreds of protesters gathered at the corner of Little Collins and Bourke Street and quickly snowballed to form a crowd of at least 4,000, according to one estimate. subsequent police.

Braving arrests and fines, protesters marched through Melbourne’s locked CBD in what Reignite Democracy Australia director and rally organizer Monica Smit (since arrested and charged with incitement) said with exultation as the Facebook livestream of the group was a great victory for the movement.

From small fringe rallies in March 2020, the protest movement can now boast of two of the largest unauthorized rallies in recent Australian history, with the July 24 march in Sydney also drawing crowds of several thousand. Unlike typical forms of Australian street protest, these rallies met without legal approval or without the support of established parties or militant organizations.

While demographic evidence and polls are limited, it’s clear that the crowds at these rallies extend beyond the pre-pandemic anti-vaccination movement, which is distorting the wealthy.

Crowds at the Sydney and Melbourne gatherings were noticeably young, and the old gathering had a notable turnout from the city’s southwest suburbs.

The youthful face of the movement seems to be reflected in the Melbourne Institute polls on vaccine reluctance. It found that although overall reluctance has decreased since July, reluctance and opposition to vaccination combined among 18-44 year olds stay higher (28.2%) than the national average (20.3%). In addition, the number of people of all ages opposed to the COVID-19 vaccination fell from 9.2% to 11.7% in New South Wales in August.

It can be difficult to categorize the beliefs uniting the last two Freedom Gatherings. While opposition to the lockdown measures is universal, some rally participants are voicing their grievances in terms of lost business or work while others are also speaking out against the current crop of coronavirus vaccines.

Opposition to the vaccine can go as far as total rejection of vaccination for medical (or religious) reasons or opposition in principle to the introduction of vaccine warrants or passports. Participants have varying starting points but they are united in rejecting current COVID-19 containment measures and wary of the political and medical authorities behind them.

Many groups organizing the gatherings are more easily characterized.

While Reignite Democracy Australia, the largest national anti-foreclosure organization, promotes itself as a platform for disenfranchised people from all walks of life, listing “inclusionAlongside “integrity” among its core values, its leader Monica Smit was associated with both the Victorian Liberal Party and extreme right groups.

How the movement is seen

Other big groups, including Australians vs The Agenda, are less shy about their ideological orientations, to accuse Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews used pandemic controls to create a “socialist, communist and fascist state”.

Although this description may seem confusing to ears versed in political theory or 20e century, it reflects an increasingly globalized conspiratorial language that views conventional political labels as part of a fictitious political process.

Instead of seeking to operate within public discourse, this milieu presents itself as free-thinker outsiders bringing together a new counter-public to challenge, expose and (sort of) defeat a totalitarian media-politics-business cabal.

While these groups structure their struggle in terms of personal and spiritual freedom, their rhetoric has an obvious resonance with the far right, which has been far from shy in seeking to join and recruit among this audience. In Germany, this anti-containment movement was inspired by the language of business disruption and innovation, calling themselves “Querdenker” or in English, “diagonalistsAnd it is this label that I think also applies best to the organizations that drive the Australian movement.

The bond between Australian diagonalists and their international counterparts is more than academic. Like a Goalkeeper Australia report revealed, dates for Australia’s “Freedom Rallie” are set and even posters produced through an international diagonal group Worldwide Demonstration, whose operators appear to be German residents calling themselves the Free Citizens of Kassel.

While the Australian protests are organized and led by local groups, Worldwide Demonstration functions as a clearinghouse of ideals and a space for coordinating gatherings for maximum media impact.

The essential role of social media

The media impact is essential, both organizational and personal. Australian Diagonal Movements are eager to attract clicks and views on as many platforms as they can accommodate – RDA’s homepage proudly lists its followers across multiple platforms.

In addition to raising public awareness, social media platforms function as launching pads for the enterprising leaders of these movements, including serial reality TV listener Smit and a gallery of live broadcast “independent” journalists. . In addition to providing inspiring imagery and stories, the far-right globalized media ecosystem also enables Australian diagonal leaders to promote themselves to a global audience.

Depending on attention and events but without a concrete political strategy, the current diagonalist movement finds itself at an impasse. While they are unlikely to storm state or federal parliaments (physically or electorally), it would be a mistake to reject this movement. In addition to producing the largest unauthorized right-wing rallies in recent history, the movement has the potential to further engage those without business, work or other support through state and federal responses to the pandemic that have been implemented early but late.

Will everything disappear with the Covid?

The co-option and standardization of diagonal language and agenda is also a problem. The conflict between the mainstream and the right wing of the coalition government over the role of restrictions and identification measures in facilitating the new normal will likely be a central issue as next year’s elections approach, while several far-right parties have made clear their intention to attract diagonal voters. .

The election is unlikely to be the last word, as various state and federal COVID-19 measures are likely to remain after vaccination targets are achieved, leaving more ground for the diagonal struggle to be exempted.

In the longer term, the deep hostility of diagonalism to scientific expertise and the suspicion of state and collective action in response to crises have obvious implications for the shape of climate policy as policy measures move forward. mitigation and adaptation are intensifying.

It should also be remembered that the current policy of blame and the goal of a return to normalcy are likely to fuel, not stifle, this movement.

Source link

]]> 0
Economics and Politics: The American Economic System Tue, 14 Sep 2021 14:17:42 +0000
Through Jennifer Nicoll Victor, Ph.D., George Mason University

The economy is intimately linked to politics. Governments set economic policies that affect global markets, employment, wages, working conditions, and other factors affecting economic livelihoods. In turn, economics affects politics, sometimes in mysterious ways. In the United States, although there is a free market system, there are examples of free markets and controlled practices.

The market economy is based on the principles underlying the doctrine of let it go economy. (Image: Chaay_Tee / Shutterstock)

Leave Economy

In 1776, Scottish economist Adam Smith formulated ideas on the free market economy in his seminal book, The wealth of nations. The book describes the principles underlying what has become the doctrine of let it go economy – a French term which literally means “to let it be” or “to let it be”. The idea is that if the markets for goods and services are left unaffected or unregulated, they will naturally develop an effective equilibrium or equilibrium. The invisible forces which guide the economy towards equilibrium have been expressed by Smith as an “invisible hand”.

To better understand the idea of ​​the laissez-faire economy, it helps to look at a basic graph of supply and demand.

In this chart, the vertical Y axis represents price and the horizontal X axis represents quantity. The supply curve represents the incentives of the producers and has a positive slope. When prices are low, there is an incentive for suppliers to produce only a few goods. When prices are high, suppliers prefer to produce and sell more goods. The demand curve is opposite. It has a negative slope and represents consumer incentives. When the price of products is very high, consumers demand a low quantity. When the price of goods is very low, consumers demand more. The point of intersection between the supply and demand curves represents an equilibrium point.

Photo by Karl Marx.
Karl Marx wanted the workers to own the means of production. (Image: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)

This is a transcript of the video series Understanding the US government. Watch it now, on Wondrium.

Industrial revolution and the free market system

Smith’s ideas were compelling and ushered in a new era of liberal economic thought. But in the 1800s, the industrial revolution was in full swing. And with the great advancements in technology and machinery, the world’s producers have dramatically increased their capacity to manufacture goods and in many cases reduced their costs. As might be expected, the evolution of technology has had real-world implications for the free market’s ability to balance.

In 1867, the influential German philosopher and economist Karl Marx wrote about the fact that the free market system did not sufficiently take into account the role of workers and that laissez-faire capitalism would lead to their exploitation.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were examples of abusive labor practices, 50- or 60-hour work weeks, low wages, unsafe conditions, and even child laborers. According to Marx, the solution to such problems was that the workers own the means of production, so that there would be a stronger bond between the producers, managers and entrepreneurs, on the one hand, and the workers who carried out work to create goods, products and services, on the other hand.

Learn more about the first innovators of the American textile industry.

Economic Philosophies of Adam Smith and Karl Marx

To some extent, the economic philosophies of Adam Smith and Karl Marx can be viewed as the end points of a continuum.

At one end is a purely liberal capitalist system, without regulation or formal organization. At the other end of the spectrum is a purely socialist system where the collective rights of workers are privileged over an individual’s ability to produce and trade goods.

In fact, no country in the world has an economic system that is a pure version of either of these examples.

Adam Smith’s ideas about the free market are so well supported by the mathematics behind them, that one wonders why markets don’t work perfectly all the time. It turns out, however, that under certain conditions the invisible hand does not do its magic and the balance is not found. This is called a market failure.

Why is a market failure occurring?

First, the drive to create public goods imposes particular challenges on societies and markets. When people are looking to create something that cannot be controlled, it is difficult to get people to contribute to it. In other words, public goods create the conditions for free riding, which leads to problems of collective action.

A graph showing blue bars with a red arrow pointing down.
The third source of market failure are sectors that lack sufficient competition among suppliers. (Image: Eightshot_Studio / Shutterstock)

Second, some industries have significant barriers to entry. Often times, high start-up costs are a common obstacle for a producer trying to enter a market. For example, in a perfect market, a number of airlines at different prices and levels of service would be created to meet market demand. However, an airline is a very expensive business to start up, so barriers to entering the airline market mean that there are often insufficient suppliers relative to the demand for the service.

The third source of market failure are sectors that lack sufficient competition among suppliers. We often talk about monopoly. Monopolies are formed when one or a small handful of producers dominate a particular economic sector. In many industries where monopolies exist, the problem is that a single producer can raise prices above an equilibrium price.

Learn more about American capitalism.

Other sources of market failure

Fourth, some industries naturally have negative externalities which are a direct consequence of the production of their goods. For example, coal and steel are huge industries with huge markets. However, the process of their production is extremely taxing on workers and on the environment. These negative consequences are known as negative externalities and can be viewed as a type of market failure.

The last form of market failure comes from information asymmetry. In some industries, producers and consumers have access to different levels of product information. When consumers don’t really know how a product was made, what ingredients are in it, or the price at which other producers are selling a product, then producers have more market information than consumers. When this happens, it is impossible for the invisible hand to produce the point of balance.

Common questions about the American economic system

Q: What is the idea behind the doctrine of let it go economy?

The idea behind the doctrine of let it go economy is that if the markets for goods and services are left unaffected or unregulated, they will naturally develop an effective equilibrium or equilibrium.

Q: What were the economic philosophies of Adam Smith and Karl Marx?

Adam Smith purely favored free market capitalist system, without regulation or formal organization. On the other hand, Karl Marx supported a purely socialist system where the collective rights of workers were privileged over an individual’s ability to produce and exchange goods.

Q: What do we mean by monopoly?

When sectors lack sufficient competition between suppliers, we often talk about monopoly. Monopolies are formed when one or a small handful of producers dominate a particular economic sector.

Keep reading
The Federal Bureaucracy in the United States: Challenges
Alexander Hamilton Reports: Creating a Bank of the United States
The Economic Consequences of the American Revolution in Massachusetts

Source link

]]> 0
The rise of private equity reveals the reality of capitalism Mon, 13 Sep 2021 10:46:27 +0000

Looting is experiencing an unprecedented rise. The global value of transactions by private equity firms is expected to reach $ 1 trillion (£ 723 billion) for the first time this year.

And private equity firms have around £ 2.5 trillion waiting to be deployed in buyouts.

The buyout barbarians are targeting Britain, where state-owned companies, those listed on the stock exchange, are trading at low valuations.

Private equity firms made more deals in Britain in the first half of the year than in the same period in any other year.

The number of buybacks is up 60% in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

Private equity firms have announced approaches to 13 UK listed companies since early 2021.

The European head of private equity at Blackstone explains that Britain’s “favorable business environment” explains why “there are plenty of opportunities”.

Private equity works that way. You and I decide to start a business.

We collect funds from our clients and put them in a fund in a tax haven.

We find a few companies that we want to buy, using a little of our own money (equity) but financing as much as possible with debt, or “leverage”.

What is the real value behind the fashion of NFT digital art of the rich?
What is the real value behind the fashion of NFT digital art of the rich?

We then sell or insert the companies on the stock exchange at a profit after cutting costs or selling assets. We return the money to our investors.

Before doing this, however, we take our share – known as “deferred interest” – 20% of profits above a certain amount.

Because we have invested some of our own money in the fund, we can view this as a capital gain rather than income. This means that it is taxed at 28 percent, not 45 percent.

Between 2006 and 2015, private equity bosses pocketed at least £ 165 billion in deferred interest.

There were three billion in private equity in 2005. There were 22 last year.

Charges associated with the redemption of private equity, such as transaction closing costs and annual management fees, are charged to the accounts of the acquiree, not the private equity fund.

Typically, a £ 10bn transaction generates an upfront fee of £ 50m (0.5% fee) for completing the sale and £ 30m per year in management fees.

This is on top of the huge fees that the accountants and lawyers overseeing the case are taking out of the process.

The shareholders of the Morrisons supermarket chain are voting on a private equity offer next month.

Morrisons freehold land and buildings are worth around £ 5.8bn.

It is more than the market value of the business as a whole.

So even without selling stores, new owners could increase their returns by borrowing against their value.

A 2019 study found that when companies buy listed companies, 13% of jobs are cut over two years and the wages of those who remain go down.

If a buyout goes well, private equity bosses receive huge returns.

If the business goes bankrupt, the private equity firm sells the assets to pay off the debts.

Private equity does the dirty work of capitalism in the dark. But it’s not much better in the light.

A public company, publicly traded, owes a little bit of debt to shareholders, but not to the rest of us.

So Debenhams was plundered by private equity in the early 2000s, but when it laid off all of its staff and closed all of its stores, it was a stock exchange company.

For the bosses, taking money off the backs of the workers is the most important thing.

Private equity is not the “unacceptable face of capitalism”, it rather shows the reality of how this system works.

Source link

]]> 0
Anarchy and socialism, Filipino style Fri, 10 Sep 2021 16:00:00 +0000

Banaag at Sikat ”, the monumental novel that Lope K. Santos published in 1906, is the first great novel of the proletariat in Asia. Its two main characters, Delfin and Felipe, represent the twin poles of socialism and anarchy; the novel oscillated between these two poles. I translated this novel under the title “Radiance and Sunrise”, which will be published in December by Penguin Random House as part of their South East Asian Classics series.

In the chapter titled “Darkness and Light”, the characters come to bury the rich and greedy old man, Don Ramon, who is the father of Meni, the wife of Delfin. The two men are abandoned in the cemetery.

Felipe said, “Shouldn’t we commemorate all of Don Ramon’s evils, his greed, his carnal ways, his oppression of the poor? I have always hated the hypocrisy of our old ways. When a rich man dies, his life should be an open book where all his misdeeds are exposed, so that no one follows in his footsteps. “

“I don’t agree with you, Felipe. On the contrary, exposing a man’s wickedness would only awaken the evil that lies dormant in others. But I see the benefit of extracting socialist teachings from the life of Don Ramon, because our country can learn a lot from the death of a rich man.

“Yes. The death of a man like Don Ramon should mean freedom for the oppressed, not the death of his source of sustenance.”

“And even with the death of Don Ramon and your father, Captain Loloy, the cycle of oppression will remain unbroken as long as the legacy agency is in place. It’s just money and authority changing hands.

“But when will that day of change come?” Will it ever happen? “

“I’m just as tired of waiting. But we have to be patient and let things take their natural course. Nations and their peoples, like everything else, change over time.

“But we can act now, Delfin.” Felipe’s eyes sparkled. “We can certainly bring about change through revolution! “

“Yes, Felipe, but a revolution cannot take place before an evolution. A nation will only take up arms if it can no longer bear to be oppressed. A revolution must first gain momentum before it can explode.

“That’s why I say it’s high time we took up arms. The oppressed masses are already desperate.

“I don’t think this is the right time. Look at them, they are not yet part of an organized movement. They don’t go wild. They will not move without a leader or a martyr to rally them to action. The revolutionary movement must come from below if we are to bring down oppression. “

“Let’s not forget the government,” Felipe added. “We can succeed in bringing down capitalism, but it will be for nothing if there is no change in our local government. We must also prevent the transfer of wealth and power to the government oligarchs. “

“I assure you, Felipe, the rise of the revolutionary system will also lead to the rise to power of the socialist republic which will ensure the common well-being.”

“But what good is having an alternative system of government? We will always put the power to rule in the hands of a few. We should abolish all form of government altogether and allow an autonomous system to flourish instead. “

Delfin froze as he waited for Felipe to speak. “It is true that our lives are still dictated by religious beliefs, but that will change soon. We are taking our first steps into the era of revolutionary heroes. We have seen figures like José Rizal and Andres Bonifacio stir up the revolutionary sentiments of our masses, and we have come to shape our ideals after them. They have already changed the course of our history. But I believe we need more heroes to wake our masses from their slumber. Only then can we say that we have made good progress in the second phase. And then we can move on to the third phase, which is when a real social revolution can take place. “

“And then, what comes next, Delfin?” “

“Then we will achieve a true egalitarian state. The time will come when we no longer subscribe to the notion of a supreme being as the all and the end of all things, where we no longer worship individuals but instead consider each member of society as our equal.

“I believe what anarchist Grave said about socialist revolutions. He stressed the importance of disseminating socialist ideas beyond geographic borders. Respect for human rights must be universal, which means that the same socialist ideals must also be upheld in other countries. Western civilization in the twentieth century has already seen the dawn of socialist reform.

Felipe was elated. “Yes, thanks to the martyrs of anarchism, we now have the instrument to oppose the ruling class and dethrone false kings.”

– You speak of means which can only lead to bloodshed, Felipe. We cannot achieve peace and harmony by violent means.

“Not if it means liberating the oppressed masses.”

“However. We are talking about lives at stake …”

“Lives! What about the lives of the ruling class martyrs? What about the millions whose blood they shed?

“I understand where you come from. But that doesn’t mean we should be just as cruel.

“Yes. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Only death can put an end to the abuse of power.

Delfin pleaded his case. “But what you say is unlikely to happen in the future, especially in our country. What will become of humanity if you get rid of the government?

“At your first point, I say, why not? In the second, after having plowed the land, the harvest will be abundant, and the wealth can be evenly distributed among our people. “

“We have to start somewhere. The seeds were sown, thanks to the revolutionary movement of the Katipunan in 1896. We must establish our own ways of governing our affairs. Once these are in place, we can work towards establishing a socialist state. I am optimistic. The future of our society is in the hands of the heroes and of our country. But you can’t force the hand of fate. We have to be patient and let things take their course. The wheel of fate will inevitably turn. The old regime will die, and in its place will arise a new regime that will shine like the day.

The shine, the sunrise and a new day are recurring images in this redemptive novel of hope.

Source link

]]> 0
Race, capitalism: posture will get South Africa nowhere Fri, 10 Sep 2021 11:30:11 +0000

By Roger Southall

It IS likely that historians will conclude that there was no reason why the recent riots and looting of supermarkets, shops and warehouses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, South Africa’s two largest provinces. more important economically, have caught up with so many generally law-abiding citizens in their wake. There were apparently many dynamics at play, from the absolute poverty of many black citizens to the social media manipulation by supporters of former President Jacob Zuma, angered by his arrest.

However, one explanation that has been touted in various quarters has been that the upheaval was the result of the “racial capitalism” to which South Africa has been subjected over the centuries.

Such an explanation goes back to the racialized politics of the past and how they paired the political ideologies of segregation and apartheid promoted by white governments in South Africa prior to the democratic transition in 1994.

This view argues that the inequalities of the present, which continue to have a strong racial dimension, as well as the brutal treatment inflicted on the black poor – for example, by the 2012 Marikana police in the North West Province, when the police shot dead 35 protesting minors – are a product of the history of racial capitalism in South Africa.

It is hard not to agree with the thrust of much of the analysis that is presented in this vein. It is widely believed that the democratic transition of 1994 was the result of an “elite pact” that transformed the country’s politics but did little to undermine the foundations of white economic power.

It is continuity as much as change that characterizes the post-apartheid political economy. Nonetheless, South Africans must be careful to attribute all current crises to “racial capitalism”. Blaming racial capitalism for all the ills of the country can easily become a way to deflect responsibility from the country’s current politicians – and South Africans themselves.

The past as present

The colonial conquest took place in tandem with the development of capitalism. Both projects demand that non-whites, especially Africans, become instruments of service to others. Africans have been stripped of their land and property and have become the tools of their oppressors. This process was not stopped by the arrival of democracy.

When Lonmin miners in Marikana, in the platinum-rich Northwest Province, demanded a reasonable increase in their wages, the state colluded with foreign capital to crush their dissent. Inequality feeds this objectification of the human being, leading to greater exploitation of the poor, who are predominantly black.

The problem with the solution that is often provided – that the whole system of “racial capitalism” should be overturned – is that it is so remarkably bland. So it’s worth trying to deconstruct it.

So what should be done?

Does this imply that racism and capitalism are inseparable? If so, should the additional implication that capitalism itself be overthrown? Which might be a great idea, but first, is it practical and likely? Who should do the reversal? At what human and other cost (because it is unlikely that capital and the state will give up without a fight)? And what would be put in the place of capitalism? Is this a new socialist order, and if so, will South Africa follow historical examples (which on the whole have not been very successful) or chart it its own way?

Or is it the implication that capitalism can be deracialized? This is exactly what, in theory, the African National Congress (ANC), which has governed the country since 1994, has pledged to do through employment equity legislation. and economic empowerment of blacks.

Although the profile of the company, in terms of ownership and management personnel, has seen significant changes, most would agree that the achievements of ANC policies have been remarkably modest.

However, there remains a subject of considerable debate as to whether this is due to corporate resistance, social factors (such as the insufficient supply of suitably trained black personnel) and / or the incompetence of the workforce. ‘State.

Leaving aside the whole question of whether a deracialized capitalism would be less exploitative than a racialized capitalism, and if it would be less patriarchal, the most fundamental question is how South Africa can achieve this if current strategies – which most would agree are well-intentioned – prove insufficient to achieve their goals.

Should black employment equity and economic empowerment be enhanced, when the dominant cry of the business establishment is that increased regulation is a major obstacle to the influx of much-needed foreign investment? ? Will this increase or discourage a much needed increase in employment? Or should current strategies be rethought?

Often left out in such an analysis is the question of what kind of state will be needed to bring about the transformation into the more humane society that South Africans seek. The current disillusionment with the post-1994 order highlights the limits of South African democracy and how ANC domination has eroded it. Lately, a lot of attention has been focused on the ANC’s deployment strategy, how this has led to the substitution of political loyalty to the party for the ability to do the job, how deployment has led to corruption, how he destroyed crown corporations, how he undermined the effectiveness of government, and how he brought down local government.

The answer that is generally given is that it is necessary to undo the merger of party and state and to consolidate the independence of the state to allow expertise to flourish and ensure the rise of meritocracy. But then we end up with the conundrum of whether the ANC is capable of bringing about such a transformation, or if the ANC itself should be removed from power.

This, in turn, requires not only that he loses an election, but that he graciously acknowledges his loss if he does. Perhaps the two dimensions of that last sentence are improbable.

No easy answers

So where does all this lead in South Africa? Frankly I do not know. But I know that the answers to South Africa’s many problems are far from easy.

This doesn’t mean South Africans can’t come up with solutions their own way, and unless they give up, they have to believe they can. But, this is going to be extremely hard work. South Africans will have to talk to each other, listen to each other and negotiate hard with each other to find their way.

But one thing South Africans must take away from such complexity is that no realistic and achievable response will be obtained by taking postures. Alas, there are no easy answers. – The conversation.

  • Southall is Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

Source link

]]> 0
Chanie Rosenberg Obituary | Socialism Tue, 07 Sep 2021 17:15:00 +0000

My friend Chanie Rosenberg, who died at the age of 99, was a remarkable and inspiring revolutionary socialist, active in Britain for more than seven decades after arriving in 1947 with her partner, Tony Cliff. She is one of the last survivors of the Revolutionary Communist Party (1944-49), then in 1950 participates in the foundation and construction of what has become the Socialist Workers Party.

Chanie was born into a middle-class Lithuanian Jewish family in Cape Town, South Africa (one relative was poet and artist Isaac Rosenberg). Anti-black racism disgusted her, as did anti-Semitism amid the rise of fascism in Europe.

First drawn to left-wing Zionism as an antidote, she studied Hebrew at the University of Cape Town, after graduating from Good Hope Seminary, and in 1944 moved to Palestine to live in a kibbutz, where she witnessed anti-Arab racism.

In Palestine, she met and married in 1945 Ygael Gluckstein, a Palestinian Jewish Trotskyist, better known by his pseudonym Tony Cliff. She herself joined the small Trotskyist movement and, after the couple moved to London, was a courageous and determined activist of the Socialist Review Group (where her brother Michael Kidron also played a leading role), later the SWP.

Chanie challenged right-wing stereotypes that Marxists were austere and humorless. She worked as a math teacher in Islington and Hackney elementary schools, then for 12 years at John Howard School (now Clapton Girls’ Academy) and was secretary of the Hackney National Union of Teachers. As the main breadwinner, Chanie combined family life, union activity, writing, art, sculpture, music, swimming and political activism, with a verve few could match.

She has remained politically active her entire life, from the Aldermaston marches against the bomb in the 1950s to the Stop the War coalition in the 2000s; from the confrontation with the fascists of Oswald Mosley in the Ridley Road market in the 1940s to the mass protests of the Anti-Nazi League against the National Front in the 1970s.

I remember traveling to Burnley with Chanie (80) in 2002 for an ANL protest against the BNP. While some of us were anxious, she was totally fearless. Tear gas, water cannons, fascists and riot police did not stand in the way of the tireless Chanie, who visited Prague in 2000 and Genoa in 2001 as part of the major anti-capitalist mobilizations.

Throughout, she was cheerful, warm and extremely optimistic about the struggles for a better society.

Tony passed away in 2000. Chanie is survived by her four children, Elana, Donny, Danny and Anna, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Source link

]]> 0
Solidarity forever: capitalism and work Wed, 01 Sep 2021 23:07:01 +0000

Labor Day is here, and it’s about work in America. Our beloved workforce. Especially the middle-income American blue collar workers who have literally made this country a great country. They make our businesses work. They produce our goods and services.

They are also the brave soldiers who defend our nation and our freedom in all regions of the world. American workers built this country, and today, though often overlooked by the current administration, these workers of all colors are the heart and soul of America.

They built this country. They defend the country, and their values ​​remain the bulwark of our country. The first Labor Day in the United States was September 5, 1882. It was a beautiful day. In 1894, Congress passed a law making the first Monday in September in each year a federal holiday.

President Grover Cleveland enacted it. Cleveland, a free trader, staunch supporter of the gold standard and killer of government overspending, is one of my favorite presidents.

Here, in 2021, Labor Day should not be confused with unions. The peak unionization rate in the United States was 1954 at 28% of total employment. At the end of last year, it was only 9.6%. Private sector unions have fallen to just 6%. Government unions, which really are the lifeblood of the labor movement today, hold at around 35%.

I have always had a soft spot for private sector unions. today they are mostly construction workers with hard hats ?? energy, pipelines, telecommunications and more. Some of the first great leaders of private enterprise unions, people like Samuel Gompers and much later George Meaney, Lane Kirkland, James Hoffa, were great patriots.

Strongly anti-Communist in their day, they negotiated higher wages and benefits, but they didn’t hate business.

For the most part, union leaders after WWII were conservative Democrats, with strong family values, loyalists, and they knew that if companies failed their jobs would be lost.

Today it is the government unions that lead the Democratic Party, including the teachers’ union but also many others. They don’t like the private sector and free enterprise. Overall, they hate business. They have awakened and truly form the backbone of the progressive far left wing of the Democratic Party, which is the driving force behind the Democratic Party today.

It’s a shame it has to be like that. These government unions live off the watering hole of public taxpayers. They love more government spending to line their pockets and encourage higher and higher taxes on the very geese that lay their golden eggs, because without the successful taxpayers i.e. men and women businesswomen, that is, ordinary middle class American blue collar workers, these government unions do not get paid. Think about it.

I’ve got big oxen with this crowd, but none bigger than my ox with the teachers’ unions. Their behavior over the past few years has been appalling. They don’t want to teach. They just want to be paid. They don’t care about the cities, the school boards and the parent groups that are supposed to run our education system. They oppose school choice, charter schools, religious schools, homeschools, because they know they can’t compete with them.

They had tantrums during the pandemic whenever it seemed like the public was going to force them to teach in class. They always complain and follow unscientific ideas that are only about politics, not health. When they teach, they teach crazy things, like the critical race theory, based on crazy, anti-historical ideas, that our founders and all other white people are necessarily white supremacists.

They teach children the wrong history, the wrong values. They teach discrimination as a solution to what they perceive to be discrimination. They teach racism as the answer to all of our problems. It’s absurd. Guess they’re gonna have to be a part of Labor Day, but I wish they weren’t.

Meanwhile, the bigger picture for America’s 154 million workers is not good. I’m glad they are going back to work because the economy has opened up and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4%. That’s wonderful. Right now, however, the whole orientation of the Biden administration’s economic and social policies is anti-labor.

Their $ 6 trillion spending program, massive tax hikes at all levels, huge regulatory burdens on central planning, dependence on welfare from the Big Company-type government, the bankruptcy of Medicare tries to force unionization wherever the federal government touches the economy, which is virtually every nook and cranny, their disregard for the benefits of legal immigration and clear borders to protect us.

It is all a question of redistribution. There is not a single iota of job creation, growth or prosperity in these Biden plans. Groups like the Tax Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania / Wharton business model, and the NAM-Rice University models show the Biden go-woke, go-broke plan to lose millions of jobs while lowering GDP and reducing our capital stock.

If this happens, the stock market will suffer tremendously along with the economy. Ironically, government unions and teachers who hate free enterprise are among the biggest beneficiaries of the stock market boom and the corporate profits that flow from it.

About 70% of their pension funds are invested in equities. This crowd loves great government socialism. They hate free enterprise capitalism, but they live off the gains of this very free market capitalist system.

Here’s a basic wording that the Biden and their leftist allies don’t understand. Higher taxes on businesses and investments, foreign trade and inheritance will lead to lower profits. A fall in profits leads to a fall in wages. Falling profits also lead to lower expenses for the company’s equipment and technology. Less training of workers. and lower family incomes.

Profits are the breast milk of stocks and the lifeblood of the economy. Tax them, according to the awakened Bidens, and you devastate the economy and its workforce.

Here on Labor Day, I want to repeat that America is talking about our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit of happiness includes the virtue of work, not well-being. This pursuit of happiness is about rewarding success, not punishing it. This pursuit of happiness includes equality of opportunity at the starting line of life’s endeavors, but not equality at the finish line.

Until this finish line, we are guided by our God-given talents to work, prosper, protect our families, protect our country. I think former union leaders would agree with most of what I said. Not all, but most. Sadly, today’s government labor leaders and the Biden administration they support probably disagree with a single word I write.

So I’m going to invest my optimism in a good way or in our immensely practical workforce that is much smarter than you might think. They got us here, with a few issues here and there, but somehow they managed to get us out even though they never seem to deserve the credit. As a confirmed optimist, I will bet on them again. When it comes to thinking about Labor Day, they are the ones I think of first.


From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox News. Image: Lane Kirkland of the AFL-CIO, detail of a photo by Richard Whitney, via Wikipedia.

Source link

]]> 0
Socialism at stake as Haitians respond to disaster – people’s world Wed, 01 Sep 2021 19:44:04 +0000

Félix Pierre Genel, 36, whose arm was amputated after being injured in the earthquake, is treated in a hospital in Cayes, Haiti, on August 25, 2021, a week after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The disaster was only the latest in a series of disasters that hit the Haitian people. | Matias Delacroix / AP

Conspirators in Florida employing Colombian mercenary soldiers arranged to kill Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7; rivalry between Haitian oligarchs may have played a role. A deadly earthquake followed, followed by flooding from a tropical storm. Amid the chaos, emergency services are lacking in rural areas. The US Marines intruded, as the US military had also done after the 2010 earthquake that killed some 230,000 people. The unwanted effects of all of these persist.

The marginalized descendants of the rebel slaves who founded independent Haiti in 1804 are resisting, however. The turmoil of socialist ideas and practice is evident.

The assassination of Moses marked the end of ten years of corrupt and despotic rule. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton propelled President Michel Martelly to the presidency of Haiti in 2011. Moïse, her protégé, became president in 2017 on the basis of 500,000 votes drawn from six million eligible voters. Haitian political parties and their candidates serve a corrupt oligarchy.

Moses had ruled by decree, having refused to allow legislative elections. His term was to end in February 2021, but supported by the US government and the Core Group, he remained in office, defying Haiti’s 1987 constitution. He called for a new constitution that would allow agricultural conglomerates to swallow up small land holdings. Although he’s gone, the proposal is still alive.

Composed of the ambassadors of the United States, Canada, France and Brazil and representatives of the United Nations, the OAS and the European Union, the Core Group met in 2004, immediately after the progressive government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled in a US-designed coup . Aristide was elected in 2000 with a majority of 92%.

The Core Group oversees governance in Haiti and oversees political activities in general. With a United Nations military occupation force that remained until 2017, the entity aims to maintain a Haitian status quo satisfactory to foreign powers.

For three years, aggrieved Haitians periodically organized large demonstrations. As economist and socialist Camille Chalmers has described, they have called for: relief from shortages of fuel and other goods due to the withdrawal of neoliberal-inspired subsidies, more looting of billions of funds from the PetroCaribe program of Venezuela, the resignation of Moïse, an end of American interventionism and the end of the support of the Core Group to the autocratic regime of Moïse.

In August 2019, Haitian progressives from 62 organizations met to discuss constitutional change and aspects of a transitional government. The business at hand, according to participant Chalmers, was “to establish the revolutionary left as a united force” and to develop a transitional program to deal with current political problems. They deliberated for three days and established the Patriotic Forum.

The Patriotic Forum gave birth to the “People’s Political Front” (PPF), which is now a potential vehicle for an alliance of six parties ready to participate in the elections. The alliance includes the socialist party Rasin Kan Pèp La. (“Roots of the popular camp”) Functioning since 2015, this party has organized street mobilizations and published statements and analyzes remarkable for their anti-imperialism.

Interviewed in 2018, Guerchang Bastia, member of the party, described the role of his party as “to be present with the masses … to develop genuine popular education …. So that when the masses are in the streets they will recognize you as a leader [with] a proposal for a new company. The aim of the left-wing organization, Bastia said, “is to create a new relationship with the masses. [and] build the strength to fight against the capitalist system.

Examining the situation in Haiti ahead of a virtual meeting of international supporters in March 2021, Chalmers outlined the tasks ahead for the socialist cause and the PPF. Founding member of Rasin Kan Pèp La and frequent spokesperson, he declared that “the Haitian people must take their destiny in hand. [with] a redefinition of the patron-slave relationship maintained between the international community and Haiti, and particularly between Haiti and the United States.

A United States Marine Corps VM-22 Osprey, with a cargo of aid, lands at an airport August 28, 2021, in Jérémie, Haiti. The plane and its crew are based in Jacksonville, NC | Alex Brandon / AP

Chalmers sees international solidarity as a “pressing need [required] for the success of the Haitian people in their struggle for a radical change in the mafia system installed to guarantee … the political, economic and social interests of the imperialist powers, multinationals and corrupt local elites.

According to sociologist Lautaro Rivara, a member of the Dessalines Brigade in solidarity with Haiti: “The history of the class struggle in Haiti is predominantly a history of rural workers, as we can currently see in the protagonism of peasant organizations… in the convocation and organization of the Patriote Forum. Today, as the People’s Patriotic Front, it is the best defender of the popular classes in the country.

Rivara indicates that more than half of the Haitian population lives in rural areas and practices subsistence agriculture. Illiteracy rates remain high, and health care and education for them are rudimentary or lacking. Large numbers of needy and fearful Haitians have settled in cities or, more recently, in countries like Chile, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

Following the example of the American military occupiers (1915-1934) in the fight against a guerrilla insurgency, the paramilitary forces allied with the Duvalier dictatorships (1957-1986), and later the American intelligence agencies, perpetrated massacres in the Haitian countryside. The now-terminated United Nations occupation force also led a counterinsurgency mission, according to Chalmers. Privatized paramilitaries were responsible for many murders during the Moses era.

Regarding international solidarity, Chalmers praised the contributions of the Cuban government and people; the Bolivarian revolution of Venezuela; Jubilee South, based in Latin America and the Caribbean; and the Dessalines Brigade formed by the Brazilian Landless Movement and Via Campesina.

Via Campesina recently published a report on the grim Haitian realities. Accessible here in English, it describes the factional fighting between the adherents of former Presidents Martelly and Moïse over the disposition of funds stolen from PetroCaribe and foreign reconstruction funds following the 2010 earthquake. , such politicians would work overtime to defeat any popular mobilization.

The US government is also inclined. The report accuses US agencies of complicity with corrupt sections of the Haitian government by turning a blind eye to the profits from drug trafficking. He asserts that “imperialism wants a new Haitian constitution to allow transnational corporations to buy land legally and openly in Haiti in order to squander and steal the state’s natural resources.”


WT Whitney Jr.

Source link

]]> 0