USA/Canada

Socialism vs sleaze

More and more leaks and side-channels from the pump of plutocracy are becoming visible. Tories are falling out among themselves. Dominic Cummings has denounced Boris Johnson’s behaviour as “mad and totally unethical”. 50% of those polled say there is a “culture of sleaze” in the government. Socialists work to switch off the pump as well as fixing the leaks. The core process of capitalist plutocracy is the transaction in which, though economic compulsion, we sell our labour-power to a capitalist, endowed with riches and control of the means of production. They pay out as meagre a “living wage”...

Strong fossil-fuel reboot, weak plans

The fossil-fuelled reboot that we have long warned of in the wake of 2020’s Covid-19 lockdowns is on course to be record-shattering — and not in a good way. Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are set to see their second highest rise in human history. No, not the second highest levels of atmospheric CO2, nor even the second highest emissions or rate of addition to these levels. In both levels and emissions, 2021 is heading towards first place. Emissions are predicted to rise by 1.5 billion tons, to 33 billion — 33 thousand million tons — over the year, and that 1.5 billion rise is...

Lessons from India and Michigan

Covid cases and deaths in India have rocked since early March, and scanty hospital provision has been overwhelmed in some areas. On the official count, India’s Covid death rate per population is still only what the UK’s was in mid-March, mid-October, or mid-June, and way below the highest rates seen in the UK or in countries like Brazil. However, in India only 22% of deaths are medically certified with a cause of death. The real rate may be much higher. The world Covid death rate has been rising again since mid-March, and is now higher than it has ever been, bar a peak around late January. A...

Three hundred anti-voting laws tabled in US

Part of the US Republican Party’s shift to more radical and authoritarian right-wing politics is its drive to suppress the number of Americans voting — particularly Americans with dark skin. Following Donald Trump’s campaign against the “stealing” of the presidential election, Republicans have introduced bills in many state legislatures to make it harder to vote. The former President’s evidence-free claim of major voter fraud in the US is now mainstream in the Republican Party. Republican politicians typically proclaim that making it harder to vote is a matter of restoring “election integrity”...

US politics, Trump, the Democrats, etc. — Conference documents

This page contains the motions on the USA, Trump and Biden, the Democrats etc., which were passed, and, below that, those which fell, in Workers' Liberty's April 2021 conference. The discussion running up to it can be found here. Image CC from here. 1. US politics, Trump etc. (passed) Developments in US politics over the past year have been the subject to lengthy debate in the labour movement, within the AWL and in our paper Solidarity . Those discussions have been useful and should continue. Our AGM should make an initial assessment and draw some political conclusions. Trump Donald Trump was...

Responses to questions

Part of an ongoing debate on the USA. Click here to read all the contributions I can't promise to be writing new responses right up to the actual conference debate, but here are some to Duncan's latest questions, deliberately brief. 1. Viable means capable of life, as the dictionary says. A viable working-class candidacy is one from a working-class party which, although maybe weak as yet, promises further life and development, and a candidacy sufficiently well-run to have scope to contribute to that. As distinct from one from a party which is only notionally and formally "working-class" (the...

Some questions

Part of an ongoing debate on the USA. Click here to read all the contributions It has come to that point of the debate when Martin files off the sharp edges of the arguments and dodges the key questions in his aim to get his propositions passed. Simple questions: 1) What makes a candidate viable? Martin asserts that WOSA in South Africa and the Labour Party on the Isle of Wight both were but gives us no criteria upon which to begin to make an assessment. 2) What should socialists argue for and educate DSA members about the Democrats? (The DSA is not the Democrats and does not just uncritically...

"Trumpist militias" and other questions

Part of an ongoing debate on the USA. Click here to read all the contributions Martin's latest contribution talks repeatedly about "Trumpist militias", which I think somewhat mischaracterises the nature of the armed far right in the US. The intent of this mischaracterisation is presumably to respond to those of us who have argued that a "fascist" without any extraparliamentary/paramilitary street movement - something we can surely all agree is a consistent element of all forms of historic fascism - is an odd kind of "fascist". Aha, says Martin, Trump does have his extraparliamentary squads...

USA: the issues

Part of an ongoing debate on the USA. Click here to read all the contributions. 1. "Trump is a fascist or quasi-fascist" • Why vote for this? To recognise sharply the danger which Daniel and his co-authors also recognise in muffled form by writing about "the threat of a mass fascist movement" in the immediate next years, and Mark by writing that "a movement around Trump... could develop in a clearly fascist direction". Duncan even writes: "no-one... disagrees Trump and the movement around him has fascist potential". Someone whose existing movement can, by cohering in the next years (not by...

Minneapolis: awaiting the verdict

As we go to press on the evening of 20 April, thousands of National Guard soldiers have been deployed in Minneapolis in preparation for the jury’s verdict in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd – and large numbers in major cities across the US. The police and the National Guard are on the back foot, but protesters may well face repression, particularly if expressing outrage at an acquittal or semi-acquittal. In a country where police killings have run at a hundred a month since Floyd’s death, it is not to be ruled out that police may kill an African...

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