Fighting global capitalism

Fair trade, free trade, and socialism

Trade is a vital part of the neoliberal economic, political and ideological regime that now dominates the world economy and most national states. At various summits in recent years the world’s most powerful governments have promised to introduce a better deal on trade, aid and debt for the world’s poorest countries, especially in Africa. At the same time, there are many charities and NGOs making proposals to make trade fairer. A number of organisations came together in 2006 in the Make Poverty History coalition, call for trade justice. Others advocate buying only goods with the fairtrade mark...

Super League? An absolute shocker

Europe’s richest football clubs have announced an exclusive Super League, but have met with near-unanimous opposition. This is a move by Europe’s richest clubs, not its best clubs. One of England’s “Big Six” founding this Super League, Tottenham Hotspur, has not won the domestic league title for sixty years! Of the three clubs involved from Italy’s Serie A, one (AC Milan) has not qualified for the Champions League for the past eight seasons. These clubs would be the only members of this “Super League”. With no promotion into or relegation out of it, they would not have to play to a decent...

"Public ownership is just as necessary for banking as health and education"

Marxist economist Michael Roberts (thenextrecession.wordpress.com) has long argued and campaigned to take the banking and financial system into public ownership. He spoke to us about why. Why is public ownership of banking and finance an important demand for the working class and labour movement? What are the key arguments? Banking is an important service for ordinary workers, households and businesses, particularly small businesses. When we get our wage packets, they’re normally paid into bank accounts, and when we conduct most of our transactions they’re conducted with bank cards or credit...

How class struggle shaped fossil fuel

The devastating and sometimes fatal Texas power outages of February 2021 show “how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America,” so spewed Texan governor Greg Abbot: “It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.” As eye-popping as this shameless lying may be, Abbot only acts as the personified caricature of the irrationality we see systemically with international capitalism. The urgent necessity to halt climate change is universally accepted by scientists. It is the greatest danger facing humanity. Leading bourgeois economists, champions of capitalism, are urging...

Study guide: Fossil Capital by Andreas Malm

See a review here, a previous one here, a recording of a talk on the book here: and get the book here. Download a version of this study guide as a PDF here. Possible study schedule A suggested 9 week study schedule: Chapter 1: Setting the scene, the fossil economy (read chapter 2 if you like, or come back to that later with chapter 12) Chapters 3 and 4: Energy types and prime movers; proto-fossil economy; the industrial revolution and the first structural crisis Chapters 5 and 6: the advantages of water, and of reservoirs and aqueducts; some peculiarities of the capitalist mode of production...

The climate movement and the workers' movement

Protest outside the Vestas wind turbine factory (on the Isle of Wight, 2009), in support of the workers' occupation to stop it closing Often, when you speak to people in the youth-led environmental movement, you encounter people who don’t think climate change has anything to do with the liberation of oppressed groups – the working class, LGBTQ people, people of colour, and so on. It can be frustrating. One’s instinct might be to dismiss them as "bourgeois" or as having antagonistic class interests. But “to write people off lightly is not the mark of an organiser” (Ray Dunne, Trotskyist union...

Workers, trade unions and climate politics

Calvin Lawson - an RMT rep in Newcastle, part of the RMT Environmental Action Group, and co-lead on trade union strategy for Labour for a Green New Deal - spoke to Solidarity. Our trade union group within Labour for a Green New Deal is working with local groups to establish union link officers who can connect with trades councils, union branches and so on to support workers’ struggles but also take up environmental questions. We’ve organised some roadshows to encourage discussion and engagement, for instance in the North East where I’m based and working with Unison in the Manchester area. That...

Free Nodeep Kaur

Women have been at the forefront of resistance to India’s Hindu nationalist regime and women activists have been targeted for repression. In its most recent phase, Indian farmers’ protest movement against the Modi government’s neoliberal agricultural reforms has involved women in large numbers. Two high profile cases of repression against young women in the movement have dramatised the harsh repression against it. The Western media has given quite a bit of attention to Disha Ravi, a 21 year-old climate activist arrested on 13 February in connection with Greta Thunberg’s tweeting in support of...

Myanmar: solidarity against the coup

The Burmese military is stepping up repression to secure the coup it launched on 1 February, but facing strong resistance – mass street protests (in their eleventh consecutive day as we go to press) plus widespread strikes and workers’ actions. (See here for our report last week, with some photos, and here for the week before.) In the last three days armoured military vehicles have appeared on the streets of some cities. Water cannons, rubber bullets and perhaps live rounds have been used against protesters. There is an intermittent internet blackout, prominent social media activists have been...

Coal-mine backtrack

Cumbria’s Labour county council has announced that it will reconsider the development of a new deep coal mine. A spokesperson for the council said this was due to the official Climate Change Committee’s advice in December 2020 with regards to the UK’s sixth carbon budget. It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that digging coal to burn, whether for electricity or steel-making, is not a good way to reduce carbon emissions. Whilst the current trend might look like it is going against new coal, the inconsistency and lack of alternative economic opportunity undermines any climate ambition...

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