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International

A tribute to Bobby Sands and Pat Arrowsmith: previously unpublished letter

Forty years ago on the Ist March 1981 the Irish Republican fighter Bobby Sands began a hunger strike for the principle of a return to special category status for political prisoners. He died 66 days later. Nine other republican prisoners also died on hunger strike. Their struggle and sacrifice transformed politics in the Six Counties and laid the basis for the emergence of Sinn Fein as a mass political party throughout the island of Ireland. During the strike Sands was elected as a member of parliament and when he died his funeral was attended by 100,000 people. The strike radicalised…

International

Commemorating István Mészáros

Tamás Krausz writes from Hungary to mark the 90th anniversary of his birth:  István Mészáros certainly has an important and prominent place in the recent history of Marxism – mainly because in his work he never yielded to the temptation to submit to the siren voices of bourgeois philosophy. Unlike many others, he never sold his soul to the devil – as Lukács called the spirit of capitalism, a system that is always laden with fascism – right up until today. Just as István knew exactly that it was necessary to sail between the Stalinist scylla and the capitalist charybdis,…

Recent

China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse – book review

Andrew Burgin reviews Richard Smith’s new book ‘China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse’ Pluto 2020 It has become a truism that we live in the most dangerous phase of imperialism. Rosa Luxemburg’s assessment that the future we face is either that of ‘socialism or barbarism’ no longer fully expresses the depth of the interlocking crises facing humanity. As the Hungarian Marxist Istvan Meszaros wrote in 2003: ‘if I had to modify Rosa’s words it would be ‘barbarism if we are lucky. …the extermination of humanity is the ultimate concomitant of capital’s destructive course of development.’ The world situation has deteriorated even…

China

The Left must oppose the US cold war on China – not sit on the fence

Fiona Edwards writes: The US ruling class is ramping up its belligerence towards China. This new cold war threatens not just China but all of humanity. It is vital that the Western left grasps the enormous stakes involved in ensuring the total defeat of US’s new cold war and discards any temptation to take a neutral position on this massive life-and-death issue. US imperialism is desperate to contain the rise of China, retard the country’s economic development and maintain the US’s domination of world affairs. The Covid-19 pandemic is greatly accelerating the relative economic decline of the US vis-a-vis China,…

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