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12 April 2013 – Amandla!
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is in the midst of the biggest crisis in its 27-year history. This crisis has arisen from a South African Communist Party (SACP)-driven attempt to oust democratically elected COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, under the guise of corruption charges. The conflict’s roots are in longstanding political contradictions and ideological tensions between COSATU and its Alliance partners – the ruling African National Congress and the SACP. At stake is not only the leadership of COSATU, but its political and moral direction.
4 April 2013 — The Bullet • Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 797
The public sector is a key battleground for a progressive trade union strategy and for an alternative to neoliberalism in Europe. On the one hand the existence of a public sector is a continuing example that a not for profit driven production of goods and services is not only possible in the 21st century – it is also preferable. Continue reading this...
17 November 2012 — The Bullet • Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 731
For the past months there has been an intense debate both in Greece but also in international media regarding the rise of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn in Greece. The reason is obvious: for the first time in a European Union (EU) country a political party that in contrast to most of the varieties of the European far Right does little to hide its openly neo-nazi ideology and the culture of the nazi street gang that has been its trademark since the 1990s, has been one of the rising political forces. Continue reading this...
12 September 2011 — The Guardian
We are living through an extraordinary political situation: the end of the debt-fuelled boom, the banking crisis of 2007-10, the defeat of New Labour and the rise to power of a Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition. What sort of crisis is this? Is it a serious wobble in the trickle-down, win-win, end-of-boom-and-bust economic model that has dominated global capitalism? Does it presage business as usual, the deepening of present trends, or the mobilisation of social forces for a radical change of direction? Is this the start of a new conjuncture?
30 September 2011 — williambowles.info
Note: This is in the way of a continuation of my last essay ‘In the belly of the beast‘.
Nothing could illustrate the paradox better than the Labour Party, ‘the party of labour’, financially supported largely by Britain’s biggest trade unions (representing around five million public employees) bankrolling the party which has led the way in attacking what’s left of the gains made since 1945. In a word, a traitorous political party that once again, faces the task of reinventing itself.
14 September 2011 — Daily Kos
An Italian radio program’s story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.
18 September, 2011 — Global Research
The Obama administration is intent on applying supply side principles to get the American economy out of the present recession, but supply side principles are based on the belief that if the government cuts taxes on the wealthy, they will invest their savings in new factories, that newly hired workers will increase employment, and that more output will increase tax receipts. But there is no way to make sure the wealthy actually invest their wealth in productive enterprises, especially in the U.S.
11 August 2011 — MRZine
The way Egyptian scholar and researcher Samir Amin sees it, nothing will be the same as before in the Arab world: protest movements will challenge both the internal social order of Arab countries and their places in the regional and global political chessboard.
1 August, 2011 — Jews sans Frontieres
For personal reasons, I don’t have time to write the lengthy article that what is happening in Israel now deserves. But something is happening. There is an unprecedented wave of protests that are explicitly against neoliberalism, sweeping over Israel. They started from Tel Aviv but seem to be expanding to many cities. A few observations: Continue reading this...
15 February, 2011 — MRZine
What is happening in Egypt is of immense importance, not only due to the importance of the country but also due to the radicality of the demand. The demand is not just that Mubarak should leave — that is a first step — but that the system be changed, putting an end to the neoliberal system associated with the military dictatorship. That is going to be a long series of battles for months — and perhaps even more — to come. . . .
7 February, 2011 — The Real News Network
William K. Black: Reagan obstructed prosecutions against a wave of fraud
William K. Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, teaches White-Collar Crime, Public Finance, Antitrust, Law & Economics. A former financial regulator, he held several senior regulatory positions during the S&L debacle. Black is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One (2005) which focuses on the role of “control fraud” in financial crises. Black developed the concept of “control fraud” — frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a “weapon.” Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined.
10 December, 2010 — The Anything and Everything
It’s odd that what has almost never been overlooked by a single Marxist commentator in human history, seems to be ‘outside of the box’ for many progressive ‘pundits’ and many in the progressive sphere. Of course, after Bush pushed — the MSM willing — for his debacle/bloodbath in Mesopotamia, there seemed to be a great deal of thought put into, apparently, what many had interpreted as a purported failure of the ‘mainstream’ press. Commentators who took this line of approach, one would almost have to wonder, if they had ever read any of the MSM’s scrawlings? And if such persons making such an argument have read the mainstream ‘news’ media; on U.S. foreign policy and a panoply of other things, and believed what it is that they are reading, then such commentators are surely living in a surreality of their own.
3 July, 2010 — The Real News Network
Leo Panitch: Free movement of capital and strengthening power of global elites G-20 objective
Leo Panitch is the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and a Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto. Panitch is also the author of “Global Capitalism and American Empire” and his most recent release “American Empire and the Political Economy of International Finance”.
Contradictions of the Mosaic Left: Perspectives for Protests within the Crisis
‘There is no question that immediate economic crises can in themselves not bring about fundamental changes; they can only prepare more favorable ground for the diffusion of certain approaches for thinking through, posing and solving, the questions that are decisive for the whole further development of the life of the state.’ – Antonio Gramsci, Analysis of the Situation: Relations of Force. Prison Notebooks, 13th Notebook, § 17
When the public became aware of the economic crisis through the collapse of some of the big banks in the Fall of 2008, it took a while before the left and social movements took up the challenge of posing fundamental questions, of shifting “the further development of the life of the state” (Gramsci). Neoliberalism’s legitimation was undermined; still, the question of whether capitalism itself was in crisis was more typically discussed in bourgeois Sunday supplements than in influential groundbreaking strategy papers of the left and social movements.
The left was caught by surprise by the scale of the crisis, and its initial silence shows that analyses, policies and politics were hardly conceived in such a way that its own concepts could become practicable [=wirklich] (or even germane).
13 May, 2010 — newdemocracyworld.org
The chief goal of the $1 trillion rescue package recently agreed upon by European finance ministers, with support from the IMF and the US, is not to protect Euro-zone bankers from taking a haircut on their bonds but to dismantle the European welfare states and rebuild them on the neo-con American model. The rescue package represents the most sweeping capitalist offensive against the European working class since 1945.
There were other options available. The finance ministers could have restructured the debt of Greece and other vulnerable PIIGS, accepting less than full payment on their bonds. But rather than restructure the debt they want to restructure society. Was it Rahm Emanuel who said that “a good crisis should never be wasted?” The ministers do not intend to waste this one. As they impose austerity on the working classes of their respective societies, European governments will claim that the gigantic debt was necessary to solve the crisis and that it cannot be repaid without jettisoning social democracy.
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