Unions Agree to Organise a New Independent Socialist Workers Federation in South Africa

360Published: 23 May 2016.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

On May Day 2016 unions representing more than a million workers met and decided to take all necessary steps to create a new independent militant workers federation in South Africa. This move logically follows on from the expulsion by the pro-ANC Government Congress of South African Trade Unions of the radical National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa which The Socialist Network  reported on 18 months ago. Below we print the stirring and forward-looking statement of this historic gathering…

“History was made in South Africa on 30 April 2016 when 1406 representatives of 29 separate  trade unions and one existing federation, NACTU, with 22 affiliates, supported by a range of civil society and community organisations, came together to commit themselves to building a new, worker-controlled, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, independent, financially self-sufficient, internationalist, socialist-orientated and militant union federation.

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THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO Chapter 2 The Ruling Class

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 21 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Below is Chapter 2 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 the next 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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THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO … Intro & Chapter 1: Capitalist Economy

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 5 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

One of the key tasks agreed at the founding meeting of The Socialist Network in Istanbul in August 2012 was the need to discuss and develop a Socialist Manifesto. It is hoped that 2016 will be the year when we are able to deliver on this commitment.

An important contribution towards such a Manifesto is the first draft of a book currently being written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. The early Chapters of the book have recently been the basis for a series of discussions on the TSN?s international Coordinating Committee. As a result of the discussions Jonathan has reorganised the book and updated its content.

Below is then updated Introduction and a new first chapter entitled Capitalist Economy. The  chapters that follow are being prepared for publication shortly on our website. 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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British people keener on socialism than capitalism

socialism-768x348Published:19 Feb 2016.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

There is now growing international support for the general idea of socialism among populations in the richer countries. Evidence for this has been widely talked about in the United States with Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tapping into the new mood. The same process has been taking place in Britain as this recent report from the leading polling agency YouGov demonstrates.

British people are more likely to view socialism favourably than capitalism

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After Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory, Which Way Forward for the British Labour Left?

LRC 2016Published: 26 February 2016.
Authors: Mick Brooks & LRC.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Last weekend the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), a key left-wing group in the British Labour Party, held a Special Conference to discuss how best to respond to the huge change that has hit the Labour Party with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. More specifically, the Conference was called to decide on a new political and organisational strategy to continue the transformation of the Labour Party as well as how to relate to the emergence of the Labour left-wing pressure group Momentum. For the consideration of the Conference the leadership of the LRC issued a strategy statement the political part we reproduce below. But first we carry the speech by Mick Brooks who introduced the leadership statement to the Conference.

?Comrades,
In the view of the National Committee of the LRC, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is a political earthquake.

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The Transition To SocialismPublished: 5 February 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne
(TSN Policy Coordinator).

Intro by: TSN Editor.

One of the key tasks agreed at the founding meeting of The Socialist Network in Istanbul in August 2012 was the need to discuss and develop a Socialist Manifesto. It is hoped that 2016 will be the year when we are able to deliver on this commitment.

An important contribution towards such a Manifesto is the first draft of a book currently being written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. It has been agreed that this draft form the basis for a series of discussions on the TSN?s international Coordinating Committee. For such discussions we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

To this end we are publishing Jonathan?s draft book section by section on our website. Here is the first section below which includes the Chapter Headings, the ?Introduction? and ?Part 1 – A New Society?.

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US Presidential Elections: Does the Rise of Bernie Sanders have a wider significance?

Collage1Published: 4 February 2016.
Author: Owen Jones.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

The results of the first contest for the Democratic nominee for US President, held in Iowa a few days ago, resulted in a virtual tie between the establishment figure of Hilary Clinton and the ?socialist? challenger, Bernie Sanders. This is an incredible result for Sanders who is calling for ?a political revolution? to take back wealth and power from ?the billionaire class?. Now the next question in the Democratic Party contest is whether Sanders can extend his growing support among white youth and workers to the black and hispanic population, as well as to older voters.

The success of Bernie?s Sanders campaign so far is clearly part of a wider international movement for radical change driven by the world economic crisis and the inexorable rise of inequality. The following article by Owen Jones compares the rise of support for a more radical alternative in the US to similar developments in Europe, and highlights the generational aspects they represent.

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The World Elite Meets in Davos as the Richest 1% Now Own More Than the Rest of Humanity

Collage med res 2Published: 22 Jan 2016.
Author: Michael Roberts.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

The latest report from OXFAM shows that inequality between the rich and poor has sharply accelerated since the onset of the world economic crisis in 2008. The payment of the banks debts at the public?s expense, followed by the provision to them of cheap money from the central banks, have combined to massively boost the assets of the wealthy. This has been in stark contrast to the austerity imposed on working people internationally which has caused their living standards to fall dramatically.
… A key part of the story has been the use by the rich, the corporations and the corrupt of tax havens to hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes on it. OXFAM are running a campaign against these tax havens at “evenitup.org“.
… Below we publish a comment on OXFAM?s wealth report by Michael Roberts, the marxist economist. In it he defends the statistics in OXFAM’s report against its capitalist detractors.

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UN Climate Change Agreement in Paris – just another case of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’?

Collage med res
Published: 11th January 2016.

Intro by Pat Byrne (TSN Editor).
Detailed analysis of the UN Agreement by: Mike Davies (Chair, Alliance for Green Socialism).

Radio interview on the consequences of the Agreement with Chris Williams (author of ?Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis?).

Introduction – Another Toothless Agreement

Less than a month has passed since the United Nations Climate Change Conference brought together representatives of 196 countries in Paris and made an Agreement which is supposed to stop the rise of Global temperatures. On one side the mainstream media greeted the Paris Agreement as a major step forward in the battle against climate change. On the other a wide range of environmental groups have denounced the Agreement as merely window dressing, a serious of pious promises without enforcement rules which will have no effect on the growing ecological threat.

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World Economy Today – A Poisonous Concoction

Published: 9 December 2015.
Author: Michael Roberts.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Stock markets are falling around the planet as prices for raw materials – oil, metals etc. continue to fall. Is this a sign of an approaching international economic slump?

Here we publish the latest assessment from renowned marxist economist, Michael Roberts, which looks at what these falling commodity prices indicate for the world economy.

Oil Slides Again

Oil Crude oil prices have hit a seven-year low after last week?s decision in Vienna of OPEC, the oil cartel, not to put any limit on oil production next year.

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