Globalisation

The new world disorder: war and imperialism

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". For contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files, read on. The USA as hyperpower by Colin Foster. "Rome fell. Babylon fell. Scarsdale's turn will come". The super-plutocracy of the US rich, symbolised by such posh commuter towns as Scarsdale (near New York), is fated to decline. Thus Paul Kennedy summed up the message of his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which was the central reference point for discussions of the shape of the world at the time...

Robert Fine's "Cosmopolitanism"

The sociologist Robert Fine, who was a long-time sympathiser and sometime activist with Workers’ Liberty, passed away on 9 June 2018 at the age of 72. As our series of book reviews to commemorate his life illustrates, Fine dedicated his scholarship to many far-reaching topics in social and political theory. These topics include the rule of law, the anti-apartheid movement and independent trade unions in South Africa, racism and antisemitism, and the political thought of GWF Hegel, Karl Marx, and Hannah Arendt. Since Dale Street’s review in Solidarity #432 and Dan Davison’s tribute article in...

A left case for Brexit

The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks. The left should deplore and, if necessary, physically resist such acts of violent racism. But fighting fascism does not mean accepting globalisation. The fact is, working class people...

Rewind Labour’s policy on Europe

Labour right-winger Chuka Umunna is using European issues as a device for self-promotion and to bash Corbyn, but on the Single Market he is right. It will be abject if Labour ends up using its votes in the Commons to save the Tory government on a possible pro-Single-Market amendment which will be debated in the House of Lords on 8 May and may be backed by enough Tory rebels to defeat May unless Labour gives her its votes. The Single Market means free movement of workers and free movement of trade, through a more-or-less common set of regulations, across Europe. There are Single Market rules...

Danger in US-China tit-for-tat

As I write on 10 April, US stock markets are recovering after dipping in the wake of tit-for-tat tariff announcements by US president Donald Trump and by the Chinese government on 4-5 April. Trump and then the Chinese authorities have announced new 25% tariffs on a range of imports from each other. Those are bigger than and additional to the new tariffs introduced by Trump in March on steel and aluminium, and the Chinese retaliations for them. With China running a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger, responsible-adult pose, majority plutocrat opinion is now hoping that the announcements are largely...

Editorial: Trump threatens trade war

On 1 March Donald Trump announced tariffs of 25% on steel imports, 10% on aluminium imports. Other governments are alarmed by this shift towards trade war. The OECD, a consortium of the world’s 35 strongest capitalist economies, has criticised the move. Further argument will come at the meeting of the finance ministers and central bank governments of the G20 (20 strongest countries) in Buenos Aires on 19-20 March. Socialists should be alarmed too, for our own distinct reasons. Socialists do not endorse capitalist free trade. We are not for the unfettered rule of markets. We are for fettering...

Davos: saving the world for the capitalists

At the end of January, the world’s elite met in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to discuss how to maintain and improve their position in the economy. Both the setting and the speeches were utopian, as the politicians and bankers professed the virtues of neoliberalism. While millions were spent on round-the-clock security and caviar, we were told of the dangers of largesse spending by the state and the need to slash public services. Life is tough at the top. There is growing discontent with capitalism around the world and it is being expressed in several different ways. It has...

WTO stalemate in Buenos Aires

"Expectations were low as the meeting began in the Argentine capital", or so the Economist magazine reported on the latest World Trade Organisation meeting of trade ministers, in Buenos Aires on 10-13 December. "They sank even lower as it progressed. Delegates failed to agree on a joint statement, let alone on any new trade deals". Eighteen years ago, at a similar meeting in Seattle in November 1999, the WTO appeared as a manifestation of the chiefs of global capital triumphantly carving up the world. Tens of thousands of anti-capitalist protesters, trade-unionists, students, and others...

Trump’s “America First” means workers last

Perhaps it’s foolish to take anything Donald Trump says as an articulation of core principles or beliefs. But this passage from his inaugural address hit many like a bolt of lightning: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great...

Stop Trump: On the streets against the “Muslim ban”

Organise, on the streets and in the labour movement! Argue for socialist, democratic, internationalist ideas which offer a real answer both to Trump’s rancid, right-wing, regression, and to the discredited status quo. That is how we can block Trump.

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