Monday 19 November 2012

Action in support of Gaza - Saturday in Brighton - photos and video

There was a march in solidarity with the people of Gaza last Saturday. The march ended with a picket of the EcoStream store, trading on the Occupation. More information here

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Should socialists be happy about the re-election of Obama?

 When I woke up this morning and heard the news, I was happy.  perhaps happier than I expected.  Maybe I was happier at  the defeat of Romney than the victory of Obama, but whatever, I was not neutral on the issue.

So what to make of this feeling of happiness?

Clearly, on policy issues there is barely a difference between the parties. Indeed, Obama has arguably followed a more hawkish foreign policy than many Republicans would have been prepared to countenance. But acknowledging that the parties are not very different on policy is not the same as not worrying either way about the electoral outcome.  The story is the same over on this side of the pond - you need have no illusions in Labour to want the defeat of the Coalition, and in electoral terms only Labour in the short term can deliver that defeat.

On the positive side, the Obama victory revealed that most Americans have no time for the ultra reactionary policies of the Tea Party, despite all the hype. This can be seen in Romney's mad dash for the centre ground at the end of the campaign - which did him no good because no-one believed it.  The Obama victory also represents a defeat for the Republican war on women, particularly on abortion rights, although they can still do a lot of damage through the State legislatures which they control. 

It is also significant that Obama could not allow the US motor industry to go to the wall.  He went for a bailout when Romney was advocating letting it go bankrupt. 

The Democratic Party is still the party with which the organised working class in the US identifies itself most closely, even if not always especially enthusiastically.

Most importantly, Obama's victory raises workers' expectations and intensifies their demands.  Of course, the Democratic Party is never going to be the vehicle for the realisation of those demands - the mass of ordinary people in the US need a new broad left party just as much as we do, and that is what socialists in the US, as here, need to build.

Thursday 1 November 2012

China's rise.....

Monday 12 November
7.30 pm
Friends Meeting House
Ship Street

China’s rise – Strength and Fragili­ty is the first book being joint­ly pub­lished by Resis­tance Books, the IIRE and Mer­lin Press. Author Au Loong Yu will be vis­it­ing Britain from 12 to 22 Novem­ber to launch the book at meet­ings around the coun­try.
The book looks at the dra­mat­ic polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ments in China from a Marx­ist per­spec­tive. It argues that to under­stand China today it is also nec­es­sary to study the Chi­nese rev­o­lu­tion and it describes the unique social for­ma­tion that exists today in China as bureau­crat­ic cap­i­tal­ism.
By exam­in­ing the speci­fici­ties of Chi­nese soci­ety, and the strug­gles for democ­ra­cy and for improved con­di­tions, the authors show that Chi­nese bureau­crat­ic and repres­sive cap­i­tal­ism is begin­ning to exhaust its strength. China is increas­ing­ly rely­ing on rapid­ly expand­ing pub­lic debt. Strug­gles by Chi­nese work­ers sug­gest that they are begin­ning to over­come the demor­al­iza­tion inflict­ed by the crush­ing of the democ­ra­cy move­ment of 1989 and that they are build­ing up their con­fi­dence to fight against this unjust sys­tem.
It is not just the 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple who live in China whose futures will be at the very least pro­found­ly affect­ed by the future of such strug­gles – but all of those who live on this increas­ing­ly inter­de­pen­dent plan­et. If China seems to be every­where in the media at the minute, this speak­ing tour offers a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to find out more.