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...

Russian troops out of Kazakhstan! For democracy and workers’ rights!

The price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), a cheap alternative to petrol used by car drivers in Kazakhstan, was hiked on New Year’s Day. The cost of a litre of LPG had been 50 tenge (about 10 pence) for most of 2021, jumping to 120 tenge on 1 January. Drivers began to protest. In Zhanaozen, an oil producing town of 160,000 in the country’s west, roads were blocked. The regime is particularly wary of actions by the oil workers in Zhanaozen, where a massacre of strikers took place in December 2011. There were more officially registered strikes in Kazakhstan in the first half of 2021 (39) than the...

The Zapatistas are not a model for climate action

Some climate campaigners are promoting the Zapatistas in Mexico as an inspiration and model for building the climate movement. This is a snare, misunderstanding Zapatista politics. An honest account of the Zapatistas’ evolution shows their aims and methods are a long way from what is needed to mobilise millions of workers to prevent dangerous climate change. The spark On 1 January 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), consisting of 3,000 poorly armed, mostly Mayan guerrilla soldiers, emerged from the Lacandón jungle in Chiapas, southern Mexico, seizing towns and the city of...

"A bright chapter in the history of class struggle" - Indian farmers humble Modi

“Mr Modi, you apologised when you withdrew the farm laws – when will you apologise for killing 700 farmers? “… The farm law is a glimpse, now for the CAA and labour code” (From a graphic circulating among Indian activists. The CAA is the anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act) A year-long mass movement of India’s farmers, with strong working-class support, has defeated Narendra Modi’s far-right government. On the morning of 19 November Modi announced that the three farm laws passed in September 2020 would be repealed soon. The government’s retreat comes a week before the first anniversary, on...

Conspiracy theory and class theory

“A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. “What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance, and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet, fascism has given them a banner. Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of...

An introduction to socialist feminism

Workers’ Liberty believes that the liberation of women can only happen with the emancipation of humanity as a whole, through the socialist transformation of society. That transformation can only happen through working-class struggle, with women playing a full and equal role. The working class is the vast majority of people: immensely diverse, but united by our dependency on waged labour to survive. Men and women both depend on waged labour, but it is mainly women who have a burden of both waged labour and unpaid domestic labour. Class societies have used women’s historic and current role in...

Is Fairphone fair for workers?

If you own a smartphone, you’re almost certainly contributing to several big problems in the world. These include a negative environmental impact, the production of mountains of e-waste as perfectly good phones are thrown away, and of course the exploitation of workers in the supply chains, from the mines in the Congo to assembly lines in China. A decade-old Dutch company, Fairphone, has set out to change all this by producing an “ethical” smartphone. Last week they announced their latest — and by far their best — model, the Fairphone 4. Thousands of people participated in the online launch...

The World Transformed: scratching the surface

A lot of radical things were said at this year’s The World Transformed festival. As one participant said, many speeches only scratched the surface. Clear political conclusions or concrete demands weren’t always drawn out. For example, at a panel on “Kill The Bill,” speakers said that we cannot support police reform and that we must instead “abolish the police” – all the while talking about the negative implications of the police bill. Occasional jibes were made at “white people talking about Trotsky or whatever, telling us how to do a revolution.” Nevertheless, TWT was an informal, accessible...

What will be in Labour’s Green New Deal motions?

There has been controversy around the Green New Deal motions to Labour Party conference (25-9, Brighton), after the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted by Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) was ruled out by the Conference Arrangements Committee. Following protests it was reinstated. “Green Jobs Revolution”, submitted by 22 CLPs, is one of several left-wing motions in the Green New Deal section. There are also CLP motions under the title “Global Climate Justice” and motions from the FBU, BFAWU and TSSA unions. Then there is a more right-wing or conservative motion from the GMB, some...

A balance sheet of "Corbynism"

Just over a year after Jeremy Corbyn was elected, in September 2016, the new Labour Leader addressed the Burston Strike Rally in Norfolk.

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