USA/Canada

Comments on the US Civil War

Author: 

Mark Osborn

Consider this sentence from an advert for a recent AWL public meeting on Sacha Ismail’s pamphlet, Workers Against Slavery: “When the war began, both sides, North and South, said they would preserve slavery. What changed? One thing was mass action by the slaves themselves, forcing their way into the conflict and helping to transform it into a battle against slavery.”

The self-activity of the slaves, the role of black troops and British workers’ opposition to the American Civil War.

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The other gougers

Author: 

Barry Finger

I enjoyed Ira Berkovic’s review (Solidarity 390, 20 January 2016), but he may have short changed the big shortcoming of The Big Short.

The Michael Lewis source material gives too much hero status to the subjects of this movie (and book) who created a far wider crisis by creating yet another, and hitherto nonexisting, market to short the worst of the subprime securities.

The Big Short gives too much hero status to the subjects of this movie (and book) who created a far wider crisis by creating yet another, and hitherto nonexisting, market to short the worst of the subprime securities.

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The problem with Bernie Sanders

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

Eric Lee (“A socialist President in the White House?”, Solidarity 390, 20 January 2016) is right that, were Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic presidential nomination, it would represent an “earthquake” in American politics. But is he also right to argue that the success of Sanders’s campaign is a vindication of those on the American left who attempted to orient it away from independent party-building, and towards intervention in the Democrats? I’m not sure.

Is the success of Sanders’s campaign a vindication of those on the American left who attempted to orient it away from independent party-building, and towards intervention in the Democrats?

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Big Iowa score for Sanders

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Hillary Clinton had a tiny majority in the Iowa caucus vote for the Democratic presidential nomination on 1 February, but morally the winner was socialist Bernie Sanders.

According to entrance polls, Sanders got 86% of the Democratic vote in the 17-24 age group, 81% in 25-29, and 65% in 30-39. Clinton relied on older voters.

Hillary Clinton had a tiny majority in the Iowa caucus vote for the Democratic presidential nomination on 1 February, but morally the winner was socialist Bernie Sanders.

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Bernie Sanders supporters rally... in London!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is used to rallies a bit bigger than just under a hundred people. The turnout for this one was not bad, though, because it took place not in the US but in London.

Left US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' brother Larry spoke at the rally his supporters organised in London on 2 February.

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A socialist President in the White House?

Author: 

Eric Lee

Sixty years ago, the Socialist Party ran its last presidential campaign in the United States.

In its heyday, the party could capture upwards of a million votes, achieving this result in 1912, 1920 and again in 1932. The best result was the first one, when Eugene V. Debs led the party to six per cent of the national vote. But less than a quarter century after Norman Thomas won nearly 900,000 votes at the height of the Great Depression, the total number of votes the Socialist could muster nationwide was a mere 2,044.

If America wakes up on 10 February to learn that Bernie Sanders has won both Iowa and New Hampshire, it will represent a political earthquake. Sixty years after the disappearance of the Socialists from the main stage of American politics, they have made a triumphant return. A former YPSL member from Chicago, still talking about the same democratic socialism he learned in the party of Debs and Thomas, may be on his way to becoming the forty-fifth president of the United States.

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Resistance in a year of fear

Author: 

International Socialist Organization

The horrors of the past months shouldn’t stop us from remembering that 2015 was a year of polarization in US society — with the increasing confidence of right-wing forces taking place at the same time as a less-remarked-upon growth in those looking for an alternative on the left.

At a time when the airwaves are filled with ridiculous police theories about the “radicalization” of Muslims, we need to locate and encourage the genuine and healthy process of left-wing radicalisation wherever it’s taking place.

The most obvious and widespread expression of people shifting leftward in the US is the Democratic presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, who is polling at over 30 per cent as an open (if quite moderate) socialist in party polls.

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The Conquest of the Native American "Indians" (1949)

Author: 

George Novack

The capitalist rulers of the United States mounted to power through a series of violent struggles against precapitalist social forces. The first of these upheavals took place at the dawn of modern American history with the invasion of the Western hemisphere by the nations of Western Europe and the conquest of the aboriginal inhabitants. The uprooting of the Indians played a significant part in clearing the way for bourgeois supremacy on this continent.

The terrible saga of the conquest and despoilation of the Native American "Indians", by American Trotskyist George Novack, from 1949.

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Trump: giving voice to increasing racism

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

Donald Trump has sparked outrage after he called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the US.
Trump is leading the poll, to be the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.

He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US, until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”.

Republican Presidential primary candidate calls for "complete ban" on Muslims entering US

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Students: get ready to strike!

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

In early November, students from 110 college campuses across the United States rallied, protested and walked-out over rising student debt.

They demanded free education, debt cancellation, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for workers on their campuses. They pointed to Obama’s recent comments, that the $80 billion bill for the US prison system, would more than cover eliminating tuition fees and student debt for all public colleges and universities.

As students from South Africa to the United States take to the streets for free education, debt cancellation and workers’ rights, students are fighting for the same things here.

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