Social and Economic Policy

Swimming against the stream

Author: 

Todd Hamer

“One of the most outstanding features of Bolshevism has been its severe, exacting, even quarrelsome attitude towards the question of doctrine.” — Leon Trotsky

According to the common sense, the far left is a place where rows over obscure points of dogma lead to endless arguments, fractures and splits. How else to explain the dozens of tiny grouplets claiming to hold the holy grail of revolutionary wisdom? But seen from close quarters, the opposite is the case.

A review of Can Socialism Make Sense?

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The left should not "Trumpify" itself!

Author: 

Michel Husson

On 23 January 2015, several days after being named as the Finance Minister of the new Greek government, Yanis Varoufakis answered questions from Channel Four. His first objective, he explained, was to take emergency steps to reduce the social effects of the crisis, and the third was to re-negotiate the debt. Between these two, and before even getting to the question of the debt, Varoufakis named as his target the system of oligarchy: “We are going to destroy the Greek oligarchy system”.

The idea that the left should develop its own "national sovereignty narrative" plays into the hands of the xenophobes.

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Residents plan Heathrow campaign

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Four Tory Councils are set to take legal action against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead will be joined by Greenpeace in seeking a judicial review of the decision to go ahead with a third runway.

Court action is likely to delay any final decision actually being implemented. For the residents of the area and those who will be most directly affected the words of David Cameron, “No ifs, No buts. No third runway” now ring very hollow.

The interest in a working-class environmentalism amongst some of the unions appears to have faded in recent years. This is something that needs to be urgently rediscovered if the fight against Heathrow is to be won once and for all.

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Is socialism against human nature?

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Our recently published book Can Socialism Make Sense? takes on the arguments against socialism. In this abridged excerpt a critic of socialism (B) is answered by a socialist (A) on the question of human nature.

B: You can’t change human nature. Humanity remains an animal. Human nature — competition, individualism, selfishness, predatoriness — produces, protects, and preserves capitalism.

In a world of material well-being, of democratic collectivism, individualism would flower in a way it can never flower under capitalism.

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Bankers’ greed brings us down

Author: 

Editorial

“For questions about the survival of big European banks to be swirling almost ten years after the financial crisis started is utterly damning”, writes the big business magazine The Economist.

Questions are indeed swirling. On 26 October, the Bank of England asked British banks to say how much they are owed by Germany’s huge Deutsche Bank and Italy’s oldest bank, MPS, in case those banks prove unable to pay. Deutsche Bank’s share price has fallen by over 50% this year.

In today’s global-markets capitalism, the financial piping is central. Banks are not quiet enterprises, doing backroom work in a steady and cautious fashion, but the leaders in general capitalist speculation, corner-cutting, and reckless greed. If banks go down, as they did in 2008, they bring everything else down.

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Heathrow: oppose third runway

Author: 

Editorial

On 25 October, the Tory government announced that it would back the building of a third runway at Heathrow. Tory MP Zac Goldsmith signalled that he would resign and fight a by-election as an independent candidate, and other Tories objected.

In a bid to reduce the disruption in the Tory party, prime minister Theresa May has said that the decisive parliamentary vote will not be taken until the winter of 2017-8. Construction is due to start in 2020 or 2021.

The real driver for airport expansion is that it will benefit corporations in and around London.

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The true face of capitalism

Author: 

Joan Trevor

Philip Green is the multibillionaire chairman of the fashion retail Arcadia Group, owner of chains such as Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins. With his wife Cristina he has a fortune of £4.3 billion.

He has attracted hostile press before and now he is being reviled as the unacceptable face of capitalism for his part in the downfall of British Home Stores (BHS). On 20 October, MPs supported a motion recommending Green be stripped of the knighthood he was awarded in 2006 for “services to the retail industry”.

The real distinction to be made is not between “good” and “bad” capitalists but between workers and those who employ them.

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Corbyn’s environment policy: radical and visionary

Author: 

Todd Hamer
Jeremy Corbyn’s Environment and Energy policy is a fleshed out version of the policy he announced last year. It shows Corbyn at his most radical and visionary. Anyone who cares about the future of human civilisation should read it and rally to the Labour Party to make it a reality.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Environment and Energy policy is a fleshed out version of the policy he announced last year. It shows Corbyn at his most radical and visionary. Anyone who cares about the future of human civilisation should read it and rally to the Labour Party to make it a reality.

Corbyn’s broad vision is to solve the climate crisis whilst maintaining 21st century level of material wealth and abundance. His proposed National Investment bank will provide £500 billion of investment, creating 300,000 green jobs that will “accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy”.

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Tax the billionaires!

Author: 

Editorial

The EU, after a long investigation, found on 30 August that Apple has evaded $13 billion (£10 billion) in taxes. That’s just Apple. The EU has also ordered Starbucks to pay €30 million to the Netherlands, and is likely to order Amazon to pay €400 million to Luxemburg.

The EU, after a long investigation, found on 30 August that Apple has evaded $13 billion (£10 billion) in taxes.

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Don’t let the Tories make us pay!

Author: 

Gemma Short

In the post-Brexit crisis the Tories will use any opportunity to make workers pay and prove that Britain PLC is a ″good place for business″. Signs are, despite Theresa May′s rhetoric of a ″government not just for the privileged few″, they are looking at a whole raft of anti-worker measures.

In the post-Brexit crisis the Tories will use any opportunity to make workers pay and prove that Britain PLC is a ″good place for business″. Signs are, despite Theresa May′s rhetoric of a ″government not just for the privileged few″, they are looking at a whole raft of anti-worker measures.

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