Browsing: Politics

Lenin

Lenin at 150 – an appreciation

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” – Lenin (born April 22, 1870) David McNally writes: I have long been allergic to the Lenin cult nurtured in many quarters. More than one radical group has been ruined by puffed up “generals” passing off their hectoring commands in place of real politics. But Lenin himself, that’s another story. Perry Anderson once observed that Lenin effectively created a Marxist “science of politics.” But there is more to it than that. It is true that Lenin was uniquely attentive to the concrete specificities of political struggle. The…

Coronavirus

COVID-19: marking the death knell of the old world and midwife to the new

In just two weeks the world has been educated as to the incompatibility of free market neoliberal nostrums and the political and geopolitical order they support with the needs of humanity and the planet. On a national and international level coronavirus is ravaging not only the lives of its victims and those affected by its social and economic consequences, it has taken a bludgeon to a status quo that is now lies broken and blooded on the ground. To watch Donald Trump and Boris Johnson address their respective nations to update them on the pandemic’s impact and their response is…

Coronavirus

Capitalism doesn’t have a handbrake

A further report from Maria Maza in Spain. Things are getting more and more difficult as days pass by. We are seeing the Government implementing measure after measure as events are coming. No emergency protocol whatsoever on any western country, but witnessing it in my own country is heartbreaking. To give them their due, they’ve been ruling for just two or three months, and a considerable number of the ministers had no previous experience on governing and face a corrosive campaign of hate and lies from the racist and authoritarian far-right. Plus this is overwhelming to all countries. Some of…

Coronavirus

The pandemic, the working class and the left

The Coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across the world. Every few days the scope and scale of the disease is increasing. Hundreds of thousands of people are being infected, many thousands have already died and many tens of thousands will die. In China where the outbreak was first identified, it has been brought under control but elsewhere it is spreading rapidly. In its wake the virus is transforming everyday life. The main way to fight it is self-isolation and social distancing. No longer can people socialise as they did. Grandparents cannot help look after their grandkids. The schools are shut. The…

Coronavirus

Lessons from the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in Greece

This is an important report from Panagiotis Georgakopoulos , head of the intensive care unit at the hospital of Patra for many years. Panagiotis was also head of the national organisation of public health prevention policies during the Syriza government. Starting from Achaia region… The first case of Covid-19 infection in Greece was identified at the end of February and concerned a young woman from Thessaloniki who had recently traveled to Milan, Italy. The second case of Covid-19 infection involved a 66-year-old man, who had recently traveled to Israel and Egypt, and firstly visited a private doctor in Amaliada city,…

Coronavirus

Coronavirus and community activism

  How can we centre community organising and mutual aid in response to coronavirus? by Jonathan Neale Medicare protest outside Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. Image rights: Holly Otterbein, Twitter. Some of the environmentalists and leftists I know tell me not to be fooled by the mainstream hype about covid-19. Others are pleased that the lockout in China has reduced pollution. Some say the real issue is not the disease, it’s racism. I want to suggest a different way of responding to epidemics. Communities I was an HIV counsellor in the UK between 1988 and 1994, before we had the retroviral…

John Wight

How far will corporate America go to stop Bernie Sanders?

In words commonly, if erroneously, attributed to American novelist and prominent 1930s socialist Sinclair Lewis, we are told that ‘When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross’. Though no serious person would attempt to equate the current Trump administration with the goose-stepping fascism of Sinclair Lewis’s era, the aforementioned quote makes the salient point that cultural, historical and national specificities dictate what fascism looks, sounds and operates like in a particular country in any given period. On the scale of fascist tendencies, we live in a worrying time wherein authoritarian and ethno-nationalist…

John Wight

Sinn Fein’s historic victory in Ireland is a tribute to Sands, McGuinness and Adams

In his classic volume of prison letters, Soledad Brother, George Jackson writes that ‘Patience has its limits. Take it too far and it’s cowardice.’ While no one familiar with the life of George Jackson would normally dare contradict the kind of wisdom acquired through extreme adversity and hard struggle, the historic victory of Sinn Fein in the 2020 Irish general election suggests that patience can in politics be more courageous than impatience in pursuit of a people’s and nation’s liberation. The torturous and tragic history of Ireland is inextricably linked to the crimes of British colonialism and empire. It’s partition…

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