Battle of Ideas

Fidel Castro's legacy: Cuba as a class society

Pablo Velasco and Sacha Ismail review Cuba since the revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment, by Cuban-American socialist Sam Farber.

The 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro and his 26 July Movement to power was a bourgeois revolution which smashed Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship, but replaced it with their own Bonapartist regime.

Half driven by US hostility and half by choice, this government opted to become a Stalinist state in 1961, adopting the model of the USSR and similar states.

The Satanic Verses, thirty years on

Last month saw the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

Rushdie’s sprawling novel defies summary: interlinking stories meld scurrilous fantasies, dark humour and cutting political satire directed not only at Islam, but British racism and Indian immigrants’ attempts to adapt. It is an honest attempt to deal with the warping pressures of racism, religion and cultural dislocation.

Stand with Myanmar's workers

“One cannot overstate the heroism of the Myanmar union movement right now in the fight against the military dictatorship, nor the horror of the military’s ongoing crimes against humanity.”

So wrote Andrew Tillett-Saks, a US union organiser working in Myanmar, on 19 March. (See Tillett-Saks' Twitter for regular English-language updates.)

There is now a steady flow of killings by the regime. Current estimates in the international media, which Burmese activists say are too low, are around 250.

Class Power on Zero Hours

The book is the culmination of six years of “getting rooted” in Greenford in West London. It documents in workers’ enquiry style some key jobs and the lives of the supporters and organisers of the Angry Workers of the World (AWW) have been doing while based in an area of West London that has an extensive history of class struggle, but not an area of London that is heavily populated by the organised left. It also seeks to lay down a kind of manifesto or programme for others to consider “getting rooted” as well.

Socialist Worker on "The Lobby": half a step forward

Socialist Worker half-breaks from its previous attitudes to tell readers that seeing "the Israel lobby" as super-powerful in world politics is an antisemitic idea

"Continuing to believe [criticism of Corbyn inside Labour is] all simply orchestrated by an 'Israel lobby' can lead you down some very dark paths… It can lead to antisemitic arguments".

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