China’s Leadership Rejects Capitalist Model

Published: 27 October 2017. 
Author: Michael Roberts.

Intro by: TSN Editor.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has just finished. These Congresses are only held every five years and must approve the next Five Year Plan and the leadership of the Party for the coming period. At this Congress President Xi Jinping consolidated his power and won support for his policy platform for China which confirms its pro state ownership model. This will have profound consequences for the global economy and political developments.

Below we publish an important assessment of the significance of the Communist Party Congress and China’s economic and political direction, from renowned marxist economist, Michael Roberts.

Xi takes full control of China’s future

Xi Jinping has been consecrated as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong after a new body of political thought carrying his name was added to the Communist party’s constitution.  The symbolic move came on the final day of a week-long political summit in Beijing – the 19th party congress – at which Xi has pledged to lead the world’s second largest economy into a “new era” of international power and influence.

Read moreChina’s Leadership Rejects Capitalist Model

Venezuela on a Knife-Edge

Middle class protest while the poor vote for the Constituent Assembly

Published: 3 August 2017
Author: Heiko Khoo

Here we reproduce an excellent article published on the Chinese news site,

Despite the ferocious and violent campaign orchestrated by the US backed Venezuelan opposition, the election of a Constituent Assembly was carried through successfully on Sunday 30th July. Delegates were elected from a wide range of organizations representing those sections of the population who have an interest in protecting the social gains of the revolution, by establishing mechanisms to reorganize economic and political power in the interests of the masses.

Venezuela’s popular revolution began in 1998 with the election of Hugo Chavez as the country’s president. Four years after his election in 2002, the opposition, backed by the United States, orchestrated a coup d’état, kidnapped the president, and installed a puppet regime. However, the depth of popular support for the revolutionary movement ensured that this coup d’état was swiftly brought to an end by a mass popular uprising.

Chavez had an extraordinary capacity to express the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Venezuelan masses. He attempted to use the rules of capitalist democracy to shift the balance of power in favour of the poor and the exploited. Venezuela’s vast oil reserves gave Chavez leeway to secure progress in welfare, education, housing, women’s rights, healthcare and indigenous rights, and to enact hundreds of other progressive social and economic reforms. The living standards of the upper strata of society rose at the same time as the poorest sections of society were elevated out of economic penury.

Read moreVenezuela on a Knife-Edge

Why are China and India Growing So Fast? State Investment

Published: 15 July 2017
Author: John Ross
(Senior Fellow Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, Beijing)

We reprint below an important new article by a leading Marxist economist based in China. 


The world’s two most rapidly growing major economies are China and India. Both China and India show a common pattern of development which differs sharply from the slowly growing Western economies. China and India’s fast expanding economies have rapidly growing state investment even while their private investment is either growing very slowly or declining. In contrast the slowly growing Western economies rely on private investment with no rapid growth of state investment. It will be shown below why rapid expansion of state investment is correlated with fast economic growth, while reliance on private investment leads to slow economic growth.

Read moreWhy are China and India Growing So Fast? State Investment

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.

Read moreSocial Democracy in Europe is Now Swinging Decisively to the Left

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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


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.

Read moreTHE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO Chapter 3: The Working Class

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.

Read moreModern Imperialism and the Working Class