The year has barely started and we’ve already seen large popular demonstrations all over Iran. Demonstrations, that had started with economic demands, developed into a revolt against the reactionary Islamic regime. In Tunisia, the youth have taken to the streets demanding employment and an end to IMF-imposed austerity policies. These two cases bring to mind, once again, the political instability that is spreading throughout the world and revolutionary explosions that may be detonated by little sparks.

Interest in socialism has skyrocketed over the last two years. Millions of people yearn for change and want to fight back against capitalism. They are looking for ideas and an organization that can help them do just that. But there is as yet no viable point of reference, no mass socialist party, no clear and confident exit indicated out of the burning building. As a result, most people doubt whether a serious challenge to the system and its institutions can be mounted, let alone its total overturn. This explains the revival of interest in reformism.

Recent independence movements, most notably those in Scotland and Catalonia, have caused many people to draw parallels between them and Quebec. This, combined with the identitarian turn that the mainstream Québécois nationalist parties have taken recently, forces us to return to the basics and re-evaluate the Marxist approach to this question.

The student loan industry's parasitism is matched by the Democratic Party's unwillingness to take them on. Martin Scorsese’s classic 1991 film Goodfellas lays bare the basic operations of the mafia. In a classic scene, narrator and mobster Henry Hill describes the fate that befalls those who partner with the mob.

The economic situation facing the masses in Venezuela has suffered a sharp turn for the worse over the Christmas period. The problems that already existed have worsened, with prices spiralling out of control, a further collapse of the transport system and an aggravation of scarcity (of food, fuel and cash). This has led to scattered protests and incidents of looting.

 Neither taxation nor privatization will keep our water clean, bridges safe, or roads intact. Taking control over these essentials means a fight against those who hold them–and us–hostage under a failing system.

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