The dominant idea of contemporary bourgeois thinking is that increasing international integration of economic activity, or “globalisation” will lead to prosperity and peace for all. But globalisation is not a concept that helps us understand the world around us. It is an ideological construct used to trumpet capitalist victory – to conceal the crisis-ridden nature of the system and its perpetual failure to meet the needs of the world’s working class.

Bruce Boon looks at the darker side of the World Cup: the working conditions of the workers, including child and forced labourers, who make footballs and other merchandise for FIFA and the multinational sponsors of the tournament. He also looks at the sham codes of conduct that these companies draw up with the help of NGOs to show that their workers are actually treated well.

Ten days after the devastating tsunami that wreaked havoc in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 it is becoming increasingly clear that much more could have been done to avert the massive destruction and the death of 146,000 people (so far) in the region. It is also clear that a lot more could be done to assist in aid and relief after the disaster.

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