including Social Forums
Thursday 24 April, from 10am
At the Royal Festival Hall
(Waterloo tube/station, London)
Anti-Capitalism: A Marxist Introduction, edited by Alfredo Saad-Filho (Pluto Press)
This book is well worth reading, but it could have been even better. The essays by a range of well-known Marxist academics include some important scholarship and many interesting insights, but it is an uneven book, with some chapters letting down an otherwise valuable collection.
The chief merit of the book is to explain that capitalism is necessarily a system in which wage labour is exploited by capital. Genuine anti-capitalism means understanding the exploitative nature of capitalism and opposing that, rather than the surface appearances of globalisation. There is a real sense that Marxist political economy is undergoing resurgence and this book is a powerful contribution to this revival.
On November 1999 the Dutch branch of the French organisation ATTAC was founded. Through the introduction of a "tobin-tax" they want to curtail "the flow of speculative capital". In most Dutch Left-wing magazines (with the exception of DusNieuws) the initiative was embraced without much criticism. In other countries, however, discussions on the analyses and goals of ATTAC are more common.
(from De Fabel van der ilegaal http://www.gebladert.nl)
The World Social Forum will meet once more in Porto Alegre, Brazil, at the end of January. Michael Albert, co-founder of the radical political website ZNet, makes a proposal.
From Korea to India, from South Africa to the US, and from Brazil/Venezuela/Argentina/Colombia to Italy and Russia, diverse struggles with varied approaches are growing rapidly:
After the Florence European Social Forum, Michaela Collins continues her analysis of the Social Forums, by asking: where do we go from here?
At the centre of the ESF was the million- person march against the War on Iraq. This sums up both the problems and the potential of the Social Forums.
Lucy Clement, Mike Rowley and Martin Thomas report on the European Social Forum held in Florence from 6 to 10 November.
Paul Hampton looks at the TUC's report Globalisation: Myths and Realities
This report seeks to give a labour movement perspective on the question, but misses the whole point about a working-class response to globalisation.
Over the last few years a new attitude of rebellion has been seen across the world. In cities like London, Prague, Melbourne, genoa and Seattle, activists protesting against third world debt, sweatshop labour, road building and animal rights abuses have come together with indigenous struggles of workers and peasants in poorer countries and with trade union activists.
The anti-capitalist movement exploded onto the world political scene in Seattle two years ago. There is very little material available on the development of the constituent parts of the anti-capitalist movement. Many commentators say Seattle “just happened”.
In fact the movement seems to have different roots in different parts of the world. In the USA three streams converged at Seattle.
Reclaim The Streets, etc., are not the new revolutionary vanguard, no-one is suggesting that we drop our class perspective to chase after the environmental movement. However, large numbers of youth are becoming, to one degree or another, politicised by actions like the June 18 and November 30 protests against capitalism. The fact that we can now discuss ideas like the nature of capitalism, class, privatisation, globalisation, etc, with significant numbers of youth without them thinking we are just weird is hugely welcome.