Globalisation

The new world disorder: war and imperialism

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". For contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files, read on.

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". Contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files...

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Trump’s “America First” means workers last

Author: 

Lance Selfa

Perhaps it’s foolish to take anything Donald Trump says as an articulation of core principles or beliefs. But this passage from his inaugural address hit many like a bolt of lightning: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.

Labour leaders like Jimmy Hoffa Jr. are giving Trump the cover to paint his economic programme — which in reality is based on tax cuts for the rich, allowing corporations free reign, and selling the US as a low-wage economy — as “populist” and pro-worker.

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Stop Trump: On the streets against the “Muslim ban”

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Editorial

Organise, on the streets and in the labour movement! Argue for socialist, democratic, internationalist ideas which offer a real answer both to Trump’s rancid, right-wing, regression, and to the discredited status quo. That is how we can block Trump.

Against a determined push by Trump, the liberal bourgeoisie will not safeguard the mild cosmopolitanism on which it prides itself. It falls to the labour movement to defend even the limited bourgeois ameliorations.

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Ports and workers’ power

Author: 

Martin Thomas

"The RWG [container] terminal [in Rotterdam, 2.35m teu capacity], with its fully automated cranes, is operated by a team of no more than 10 to 15 people on a day-to-day basis. Most of its 180 employees aren’t longshoremen, but IT specialists” (Journal of Commerce, 4 Feburary 2016).

The managing director says: “We are in fact, an IT company that handles containers”.

Compare: in 1900 the Port of London was the busiest port in the world. It had 50,000 workers shifting cargo mostly by hand, as they had done for thousands of years. It handled 7 million tons of cargo.

Port work went through a technological revolution in the 1960s and 70s, with “containerisation”. Now it is going through another technological revolution, with automation.

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The magnates worry

The international gathering of capitalist magnates and rulers in Davos on 20-23 January worried about “global risks”. Among those it noted “elevated protest activity” in comparison to the previous “two decades of relatively reduced protest action”.

Since 2010, “protest intensity has reached a new and higher plateau... We are again approaching 1980s protest levels, when causes of social turmoil ranged from cold war tensions and anti-apartheid sentiment to the Tiananmen Square protests”.

The international gathering of capitalist magnates and rulers in Davos on 20-23 January worried about “global risks”.

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Basic income and the 21st century working class

Author: 

John Cunningham

Until reading Guy Standing’s book A Precariat Charter I had not come across the term “precariat” although I understand that it has been in circulation for some time, as early as the 1950s. So what is it?

According to Standing, the precariat is “an emerging class characterised by chronic insecurity, detached from old norms of labour and the working class”. The precariat has few of the democratic rights associated with citizens and are, in fact, denizens — another word that had me reaching for the dictionary.

A review of A Precariat Charter by Guy Standing (Bloomsbury, 2014).

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Culture and Reviews: 

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Hegemony is not in the DNA

The forty-odd years since the end in the early 1970s of the “golden age” of West European, Japanese, and American capitalism have not brought a relative decline of the USA and a rise of inter-imperialist rivalries.

The main theses of Leo Panitch’s and Sam Gindin’s book The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, an important new book which Paul Hampton reviewed recently in Solidarity, are restatements of what the authors have argued in many articles. They are, I think, plain fact and important fact.

The forty-odd years of turbulence since the end in the early 1970s of the 1950s-60s “golden age” of West European, Japanese, and American capitalism have not brought a relative decline of the USA and a rise of inter-imperialist rivalries.

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The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire

A review of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin.

The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin is one of the best Marxist analyses of the modern epoch published in a long time. The book (Panitch and Gindin 2012: vii) is devoted to understanding “how it came to be that the American state developed the interest and capacity to superintend the making of global capitalism”.

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The world of neo-liberalism

A background document for the 2013 annual conference of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (26-27 October), by Paul Hampton and Martin Thomas.

See below for a critical comment from Barry Finger

1. The AWL has pioneered a distinctive assessment of the development of global capitalism over recent decades, which underpins our orientation, concrete slogans and differences with much of the left.

A background document for the 2013 conference of the AWL, and a critical commentary from Barry Finger

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