Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States, has attracted huge crowds and generated enormous enthusiasm at campaign stops around the country. He calls himself a socialist and urges a “political revolution against the billionaire class.” What does Sanders’ campaign reflect and represent? How should revolutionary Marxists approach it?
During the 11th to the 13th of June the downbeat 5th Congress of the PT (Partido Trabalhador – the “Workers Party”) took place. This was a congress marked by disinterest in the plenary speeches, by booing from its participants, by pessimism about the political situation, demonstrating a crisis in the Party that deepens every day. This situation is set to continue as this Congress reaffirmed the political line that caused all this, a line promoted by the interests of a corrupted leadership.
The momentum and élan that was built up amongst students and organized workers for a showdown with the Liberal government heading into the spring of 2015 in Quebec has dissipated. Workers and youth who were excited with the possibility of fighting back will have to wait until the fall. A feeling of disappointment hangs in the air as everyone is asking “what happened to the Quebecois spring?”
"I’ve worked all over the world… in some tumultuous places. I’ve never seen this kind of a transition peacefully done." - David Swann, Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party
Midterm elections were held in Mexico with an abstention rate of over 55%. Election day was diverse and contradictory. We saw a struggle for an open boycott in states like Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chiapas and Michoacan. An independent candidate in Nuevo Leon won. As well, different expressions of local discontent were revealed as the advance of Morena in Mexico City and the retreat of the PRD, which has ruled the capital since 1997, has shown. The general characteristic of this election is that it reflects a growing criticism of the regime and the need for change. Contrary to official statements, what we saw was not the strengthening of democracy, but rather an increased questioning of all political parties and the outdated and corrupt state institutions.
One response against the robbery by the capitalists and the cartels has been the arming of the people, above all in the rural areas. In Michoacán, the exactions by the Knights Templar cartel have become as unbearable as the overall violence, with the entrance on the scene of these narco-thug groups, many of them deserters from the state armed forces. One of the things making this situation unbearable has been the onset of the practice of entering people's homes in order to rape women, pushing popular tolerance over the edge.
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