The short and violent road from pro-Russian oligarchy to anti-Russian one

by Stanislawski
The complete failure of the Ukrainian ?revolution? seems obvious. The perspectives for any major change have been buried for long time. Whatever will come out of the current geostrategic game between the US and the Russian Federation the Ukrainian people will not benefit from it. The question is rather how much they can still lose.

No matter how poor, corrupt and failed in all aspects of Ukrainian statehood is there still is a space to make things significantly worse for the population. Eastern Europe became a very particular place on the global map. This is where ? despite the official propaganda ? the new third-world standards have been developing. While the ?traditional? Third World regions ? parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America ? became ?developing countries? the post-soviet bloc fell into a complete economic collapse. Ukraine is definitely among those Eastern European countries which have hit the bottom in the most brutal manner. If we leave aside the absolute mafia-princedoms like Kosovo and Montenegro only Bulgaria and Romania can really compete with Ukraine in terms of absolute structural, social and economic failure. Yet, things can get worse. And they most likely will.

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The South African Communist Party is the ?living dead?

Rehad Desai

Gone are the days when we were able to have comradely debate with Jeremy Cronin and the leadership of the South African Communist Party. Cronin now follows the lead of Nzimande with a tirade of insults rather any meaningful engagement. Both graphically display what happens to a nominally socialist party that enters a parliament wedded to the programme of a party that is openly pro capitalist.

Cronin?s latest volley therefore cannot be viewed in isolation from the recent history and the present role of the South African Communist Party. So let us start there.

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Shifts Among the Left in Germany

by Dan Armstrong
The new ?Grand Coalition? government in Germany, a joint government of the Conservative CDU and its partner the CSU with the Social Democratic Party (SPD), now called the GroKo for short, is just starting to present its policies for the next period. Support for the CDU and the SPD remains static. There is a wait-and-see mood in the party and the land.

But already Left-wing social democrats are stirring. This weekend a group of 22 leading SPD members launched an appeal for a “new perspective for the left”. The signatories include numerous members of the SPD national executive, chairman of the Berlin party, chairman of Young Socialists and other influential members.

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Who?s fooling who at the BBC and what is really going on with the Chinese economy?

Below is a very useful review from the Socialist Economic Bulletin of a recent BBC documentary on China. entitled ?How China Fooled the World?. In the documentary the presenter, Robert Peston, puts forward the ridiculous idea that ?China’s exceptional growth has been fuelled by massive debt and government subsidies?. Clearly, the neoliberals are desperately casting around for ways to divert attention away from the real reasons for the Chinese economic ?miracle?. Even if you have not seen the programme I am sure that you will find the review of it of benefit to understanding what is really happening in China.

Pat Byrne

Robert Peston is the BBC?s new economics editor. He has opened his new role with a programme called ?How China Fooled the World?. For a time it is available on BBC iPlayer and Peston?s own summary is here.

In the blog and the programme Peston argues that China dodged the global economic crisis by increasing investment, specifically state-led investment. But the prevailing level of investment was already excessively high, the argument runs, and merely postponing the crisis by increasing it further will only exaggerate the inevitable crash.

The strangest thing about this argument is not the misapprehensions about the Chinese economy or even the evident lack of understanding about the forces that created what is described as the Chinese ?economic miracle?. The main fault is that Peston does not seem to grasp the mutual relations between economies, or what is the motor force of economic growth. The BBC?s economics editor is making economic howlers.

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Rest in peace Big Man — obituary for Bob Crow

Bow Crow (13 June 1961 ? 11 March 2014), secretary of the militant Rail & Maritime Trade Union in Britain passed away early morning, March 11th. We here publish an obituary written by our member Will Howley.

He was only 52 when a massive heart attack robbed the British Trade Union Movement of one of its most colorful characters who was much maligned by the Tories, the mainstream media, and even those on the left where he put himself. At 16 Bob joined London Transport in 1976. And so became a railwayman for life.

Read moreRest in peace Big Man — obituary for Bob Crow