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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What Do the Pro-Democracy Protests in Hong Kong Mean?

CollageHeiko Khoo, regular writer on a popular Chinese website and participant in the East German struggle for democratic rights in 1989, here introduces a highly interesting discussion on what is happening in China and the implications of the pro-democracy protests continuing in Hong Kong. The discussion took place at the recently held conference of The Socialist Network in Bratislava. The audio quality at the beginning is not very good but it quickly improves so listen on…

The Socialist Network – Bratislava Conference Report

Conference ReportThe Socialist Network last week concluded its 2014 Conference. The Conference was held from 3-5th of October in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in Eastern Europe. Participating in the conference were comrades from Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, Pakistan, Turkey, Britain and Ireland. Thanks to all who organised the conference and contributed to its proceedings. Below is a brief summary of the Conference by our Web Editor. Video and audio recordings and photos will be made available shortly.

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Foreign Companies Feel the Chill in China

China about to push the US aside
Article published 4/7/2014  in The Washington Post by Simon Denyer, The Post?s bureau chief in China

BEIJING ? China is the fastest-growing major economy in the world and has seemed to hold boundless promise for foreign companies. In a country once inhabited by people in Mao suits, an expanding and urbanizing middle class is hungry for Western goods. One U.S. retailer alone ? Gap ? expects to triple its sales of clothing between 2013 and 2016. But a growing cluster of problems is confronting foreign companies here, leading many executives to wonder where the good times might have gone.

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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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