America Continues To Radicalise

Video from last weekend’s People’s Summit in Chicago where Bernie Sanders sums up the current stage of the struggle.    Published: 14 June 2017

The rise of the Bernie Sanders movement on one side, and the election of Trump as US President on the other, were both a reflection of the growing discontent of American working people, and a spur to a wave of radicalisation taking place across the United States. A significant indication of this are the recent opinion polls that show that Sanders is now by far the most popular politician in the country with 63% support.

This wave is lifting the socialist movement, most notably in the incredible growth of membership in Democratic Socialists of America, a group that The Socialist Network has been in contact with in recent years. Next week we will carry an interview with some left-wing members of the DSA.

 

Social Democracy in Europe is Now Swinging Decisively to the Left

Capitalism-and-Social-DemocracyPublished: 5 June 2017
Author: Pat Byrne
(British Labour Party activist)

As Britain prepares for a new General Election in which a left-led Labour Party looks set to do much better than predicted, there are clear signs that the long swing to the right within social democracy in Europe is now running in the reverse direction.

In recent years, there has been much comment on the Left that social democracy was finished and that a new mass left movement was in the process of taking its place. The rise of Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain were trumpeted as evidence for this widespread trend. While welcoming the rise of Syriza and Podemos, our Socialist Network also pointed to the potential of the left within social democracy to regain the ascendancy within the movement as an organic reflection of the rising discontent of working people hard-hit by the world economic crisis.

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Trump’s Victory Could Lead to a Big Shift to the Left in America

no-to-trumpPublished: 18 November 2016
Author: Pat Byrne

Trump’s controversial election as the next US President will soon come to be seen as a phyrric victory, ‘won’ on a false platform and a rotten bill of goods.

Never having held any public office, Trump has ignored at his peril the basic responsibilities that standing for election involves. He approached his campaign to become president as a super salesman making false and exaggerated promises left right and centre, and without a thought for the consequences. But political office is not like making a sale to a gullible customer, then ignoring their complaints while moving on to the next sucker. After an election the electorate can hold you to account.

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Turkey: After Last Week’s Dress Rehearsal Now We See a Real Coup in Action…

CollagePublished: 22 July 2016. Author: Tayfun Hatipoğlu.

Each day that goes by after the farcical “coup” supposedly organised by rebel army units, we see a real coup being put into operation by President Erdogan’s regime. One sector after another faces a massive purge. Already over 60,000 state employees have been arrested or fired. And many more are promised as those interrogated supposedly give up the names of their colleagues.

We have seen this technique before from would-be dictators in history. Hitler burnt down the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building, then blamed it on the communists in order to justify the introduction of an emergency and the assumption of executive powers. He then proceeded to round up all his opponents and launch his murderous regime. In the Soviet Union, Stalin used the assassination of his rival and Leningrad Party Boss Kirov to justify a four year purge of Soviet society that led to the murder of millions.

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Failed ‘Coup’ in Turkey only Strengthens President Erdogan’s Grip on Power

Pro-government supporters beat soldiers after “coup” collapses

Published: 17 July 2016.
Author: Tayfun Hatipo?lu.

The failed “coup” in Turkey has significantly bolstered the position of President Erdogan?s regime, giving him an excuse to go even further in repressing his critics. The farcical coup was virtually tailor-made to help President Erdogan?s AK Party regime further strengthen its power, while simultaneously giving it a claim to be ?defenders of democracy?. No wonder Erdogan greeted the coup as a ?gift from god?.

Far-fetched as it may seem to think that this coup was actually stage-managed by the regime, suspicions are raised by the fact that neither the President, the Prime Minister nor any of his ministers were arrested or injured, or any government buildings occupied. Nor, by chance, was there any damage done to Erdogan?s beloved new Presidential Palace, the prime symbol of his overweening ego. And what kind of coup would allow the President to issue a video appeal online as soon as events began to unfold, fire on his hotel after he had left it, and then allow him to fly unhindered a few hours later into Istanbul?s Ataturk airport to a waiting crowd of his supporters?

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THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO Chapter 3: The Working Class

The Transition To Socialism

Published: 10 July 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Below is Chapter 3 of the first draft of a new book written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. This will form the basis of a discussion at a future meeting of The Socialist Network’s international coordinating committee as part of a process of creating a new Socialist Manifesto. For this discussion around the book we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

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Modern Imperialism and the Working Class

Modern ImperialismPublished: 6 July 2016.
Author: Michael Roberts.

The IIPPE workshop in London on modern imperialism, organised this week by Simon Mohun, Emeritus professor of political economy at QMC London University, was highly appropriate for two reasons.

First, it brought together those scholars with the latest works on modern imperialism. Both John Smith?s new book and that of Tony Norfield have been reviewed on my blog. Smith?s book has won the prize from the Monthly Review and Tony?s has been included on the short list for the Isaac Deutscher prize for the best Marxist book of the year, previously won by many eminent leftists and Marxists. And Lucia Pradella had a book Globalization and the Critique of Political Economy: New Insights from Marx?s Writings, Routledge, 2014 that was also shortlisted for Isaac Deutscher in 2015.

The other reason, of course, was Brexit. The decision of the British people to vote in a referendum to leave the EU brings into focus the history of British imperialism and its impact on the consciousness of the British people. And the workshop spent some time considering the importance of British imperialism in the 21st century. It may be only the 5th largest economy by GDP, but as Tony Norfield has shown, it is still second only to the US as an imperialist power, when finance and military might are considered. The split in the British ruling class between its past imperialist ambitions and its recent need to integrate with Europe has come to a head with Brexit.

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Britain’s Labour Crisis – Defend Jeremy Corbyn, Bring Labour MPs under Membership Control

jeremy and refugees

Published: 4th July 2016.
Author: John McDonnell, British Labour Party Shadow Chancellor.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

A move to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing leader of the British Labour Party, has just been launched following a vote of no confidence in Jeremy by a majority of Labour members of parliament (172 votes to 40). Although the move is supposed to be based on criticism of Jeremy’s performance in the EU Referendum campaign, it has now emerged that it is part of a careful plan by his political enemies inside the Labour Party that was developed ten months ago after he was elected by a big majority of Labour members to be their leader. The timing of the plan is to remove Jeremy before the Labour Party Conference this Autumn which is expected to agree some significant changes, and forestall the possibility of many right-wing Labour MPs being deselected by their local constituency parties. 

Below we print the speech given last week on the crisis by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (Finance Minister) in support of Jeremy:

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Some Reasons for and Consequences of Britain’s Departure from the EU

EU referendumPublished: 30 June 2016.
Author: Pat Byrne.

The unexpected vote of the British public by 52-48% to leave the European Union has rocked ruling elites worldwide. Not only are they worried that Britain leaving the EU will tip the UK into recession but could slow down the rest of the global economy. In the longer term, they also fear it could mark the beginning of the dissolution of the European Union itself. Moreover, they worry that this vote against the EU signals a growing rejection of international capitalist institutions and spells the doom of pro-corporate trade pacts like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, better known as TTIP.

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Book Review of: ‘And the weak suffer what they must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

9781568585642Published: 12 June, 2016.
Author: Chris Gray.

Margaret Thatcher made two errors regarding Europe. The first – a common one among British politicians and commentators – was to imagine that a single European market was possible without something resembling a single European state. Tariffs can be lowered and quotas abolished without affecting the sovereignty of national parliaments, but a single European market requires a lot more: it demands a single rulebook. This means that member-states lose all power to set particular quality standards, environmental controls tailor-made for specific habitats or protection for workers and pensioners from cross-border races to the bottom. A single market may not need a single currency, but it needs a single federal-like state to function properly. But, then again, if a single federal-like state is in place, then we might as well have a single currency too (p121).

Varoufakis?s book is subtitled Europe, austerity and the threat to global security. The analysis deserves scrutiny. The title is a clause from Thucydides? History of the Peloponnesian war, taken from the famous passage concerning the island of Melos, which had rebelled against Athenian rule and was about to suffer the consequences.1

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