Battle of Ideas

Rooting out the conspiracy theories

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 11:55 Author: Omar Raii
conspiracy theory

I used to think that conspiracy theorists were just silly. I must have made countless jokes about people who think the moon landings were faked, that Prince Philip ordered Diana’s death or that, despite NASA’s protestations, the Earth is in fact flat. But it’s become clear for some time now that conspiracy theories have reached a whole new level of influence.

Review: "Beyond Apartheid" by Robert Fine with Dennis Davis

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 10:08 Author: Eduardo Tovar
"Beyond Apartheid"

One of the numerous commendable causes to which the late Robert Fine committed many years of his life was anti-apartheid activism. Accordingly, our series of book reviews to commemorate Fine continues with Beyond Apartheid: Labour and Liberation in South Africa (Pluto Press 1990). Fine embarked on this project in collaboration with Dennis Davis during the final years of apartheid. Although both are credited as authors, Fine wrote the text itself, whilst Davis helped shape the main contours and ideas of the project, and commented on the drafts.

Referendum magic for Ireland?

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 11:04 Author: Micheál MacEoin
Irish border

At the Another Europe is Possible conference on 8 December 2018, Workers' Liberty moved an amendment on Ireland.

The strategy document wanted to "support the self-determination of the... Irish people, by supporting their right to a referendum on...unification...", presenting that as analogous to supporting the right to a referendum in Scotland on separation.

"We belong to history": the end of coal and the miners

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 10:03 Author: John Cunningham
Spanish miners in 2012

In the summer of 2012 a small group of ex-miners and labour movement activists met in a pub in Sheffield. We had just heard of the Spanish miners’ strike against the attempts by the right-wing government of Manuel Rajoy to withdraw subsidies to the mining industry and thereby, in effect, close it down.

A ‘fact-finding’ trip to Spain then followed and on returning to the UK a Spanish Miners Solidarity Committee was formed, raising 28,000 Euro in something like six weeks – money that went to support the families of the strikers. After which time the miners called off the strike.

The story of the Limerick Soviet

Submitted by SJW on Fri, 19/10/2018 - 16:02
Date
Location

Menard Hall, Galway Street, London EC1V 3SW

Description

After WW1, there were tremendous working-class uprisings across Europe. Inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution, workers organised Soviets (Russian for ″democratic workers′ councils″) and vied for power against their various capitalist governments. The Soviets were mass experiments in direct democracy and attempted to rebuild society in the interests of the working-class.

All these movements were eventually defeated. But a century on, these years remain the high water mark of working-class power and are rich in lessons for socialists today. In Limerick, Ireland′s third largest city, workers took power in April 1919.

Join us for a film showing and evening of discussion with Marxist historian Rayner Lysaght. Food and refreshments available.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2203944956343773

Unions and the Inland Empire

Submitted by martin on 17 September, 2018 - 1:24 Author: Martin Thomas
The Warehouse Workers' Resource Centre marches with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights on May Day 2018 in Southern California

Pic: The Warehouse Workers' Resource Centre marches with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights on May Day 2018 in Southern California

Review of "Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain", edited by Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Immanuel Ness

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach employ about 14,000 dockworkers, with the number fairly static as throughput has risen. The whole logistics industry around those ports employs over 500,000, with the number increasing.

The most important years in human history

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 11:46 Author: Todd Hamer
burning fuel

“Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. ” (Chapter 10 Capital, Marx)

Debra Roberts, one of the authors of the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has said that: “the next few years are the most important in our history” (by “our” she is referring to all humanity).

The anxieties of Brexit Britain

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 12:18 Author: Matt Kinsella
middle england

Jonathan Coe’s latest volume Middle England has been widely described as the best “state of the nation” novel of the last decade, and deservedly so. Whilst Ali Smith’s Autumn was an impressionistic take on the immediate aftermath of the referendum – the first post-Brexit novel – Coe’s book manages to balance the coverage of political events in the run up to June 2016 with an intimate look at how it all unfolds in the lives of characters last seen in Coe’s two Rotters’ Club novels, as well as introducing many new ones.

In defence of Ernest Erber

Submitted by AWL on 5 December, 2018 - 10:35 Author: Alan Johnson
lenin

Russia was ruled by 130,000 landowners. They ruled by means of constant force over 150 million people … And yet we are told that Russia will not be able to be governed by 240,000 members of the Bolshevik Party – governing in the interests of the poor and against the rich. – V.I. Lenin, Will the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?, 1917

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