In this epoch of capitalist crisis, it is only a short step from an amorphous striving for basic rights and modest reforms to drawing fully revolutionary conclusions. The rising interest in socialism is a worldwide phenomenon, with different versions flowing from each country’s traditions and history. Here in the US we are experiencing our own variant, distorted through the prism of a country with an anticommunist past and without a traditional mass workers’ party.

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?

With the heinous murder of Freddie Gray, the #BlackLivesMatter movement came roaring back to life. Tens of thousands of people again flooded streets across the country to protest against racism and police brutality. These once-routine and largely unrecognized murders are now churning up powerful forces long dormant in the womb of society.

The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland is just the latest in a string of police killings of black men to hit national headlines. But it seems that it may mark the end of a national ebb in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. As things heat up in the coming months, an important question must be asked: what is the way forward for the movement?

In a world bleak with news of ISIS, Boko Haram, and the never-ending murders of unarmed black men by the police, Europe offers more than a glimmer of excitement and genuine hope. The election of Syriza in Greece has electrified the world. Podemos in Spain is shaking up politics as usual in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. By taking the global struggle against austerity to the next level, Greek and Spanish workers are showing the way forward. However, these political parties didn’t arise in a vacuum. They are the result of a protracted process of crisis and class struggle, of wave after wave of strikes and social movements, the testing of traditional leaders and organizations, of trial and error, small victories and big defeats. In short, they are the result of life experience itself.

On February 1, 3,800 workers walked out of 9 oil producing facilities in the US. In the past three weeks, the strike has spread to 6 additional plants, including the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, which has a crude capacity of 600,000 barrels a day, the largest of its kind in the country. The strike now involves 6,550 workers, at plants accounting for 20% of the country’s refining capacity. This is the largest walkout since 1980, and there is the possibility of it spreading to more workplaces.

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