Americas

This is a call to all national and international organizations, to the workers and the youth of the world, to send the following resolution to the Mexican authorities in solidarity with comrade Stephanie Arriaga (Fanny) and her family, who are currently victims of extortion and death threats. Comrade Fanny is an outstanding fighter for the rights of students and workers at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional(National Polytechnic Institute)and is an activist in the Mexican section of the International Marxist Tendency.

American politics has been fundamentally transformed. For decades, anyone who would have described themselves as a “socialist” would have been viewed as some sort of extra-terrestrial. Today, Bernie Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist” draws massive crowds and is posing a threat to Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for upcoming presidential election this fall.

Federal Police arrived at the home of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at 6am on Friday, March 4th, executing a bench warrant, commanding him to appear before the authorities to give testimony. Lula was released 3 hours later and has not yet been indicted.

Hillary Clinton Testimony to House Select Committee on Benghazi.

In the current campaign to receive the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, Hillary Clinton has tried to portray herself as a defender of women’s rights, appealing to “sisterhood” and the possibility of becoming the first female president in order to galvanize support. While there is certainly a layer who views her as the most progressive candidate because of her gender, many young women and men in the U.S. can see right through the smoke and mirrors, and recognize Clinton as a member of the increasingly hated establishment.

Mass enthusiasm and interest in the Bernie Sanders campaign has swept the entire planet. As his viability as an electable candidate gathered momentum, a chain reaction of support was unleashed throughout the country.

America is going through the biggest political upset in living memory, perhaps longer. Never has the American Establishment, having lost control over the situation, been in such a state of confusion.

Although it had been widely predicted, the landslide victory of Bernie sanders in the New Hampshire primary produced shock waves. After narrowly losing in Iowa (and it is quite likely the result was rigged), Sanders beat Clinton by a margin of more than 20 last Tuesday.  This result has produced bewilderment among the commentators. That was something that was not supposed to happen.

On January 20, the Bank of Canada downgraded its 2016 growth forecast for Canada from an already meagre 2 per cent to 1.4 per cent. “Highly uncertain” were the words chosen by the usually optimistic bank to describe the economic environment.

The Iowa Caucus results are in. Bernie Sanders, who identifies himself a socialist and calls for a “political revolution against the billionaire class,” was defeated by Hillary Clinton by a mere 0.3%—far less than the statistical margin of error. One year ago, Clinton was set to cruise unopposed to the Democratic Party nomination. Sanders was portrayed as an irrelevant protest candidate and trailed her by 50 points.

These days, it would seem that nearly everyone is a socialist of some sort or another. That was certainly not the case back when Socialist Appeal was founded fifteen years ago. To be sure, what most people understand as “socialism” at the moment is far from the fully revolutionary conception defended in the program at the back of our paper. But this marks a dramatic change in consciousness nonetheless.

Whether you live in the United States or somewhere else in the world, if you share our vision of a world organized around raising the living standards of humanity and establishing abundance for all rather than accumulating profits for “the billionaire class,” there are many ways you can support the work of the US section of the IMT as we launch our campaign to strengthen our national center by acquiring an office space in New York City!

With a population larger than Canada and over 70 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants each, California is the largest and by many measures one of the most important states in the US. Home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley, a number of the country’s busiest seaports, the biggest agricultural center, and with 54 of the Fortune 500 companies, California will be key for the socialist revolution and thus for building the forces of Marxism today.

After increasing outrage around statements made by billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump, many on the left, academics, and sections of the capitalist media have begun to raise the question, “Is Trump a fascist?”

The decade long rule of the Harper regime has come to an end. The Trudeau Liberals have formed a majority government, sweeping through eastern Canada and making large advances in Quebec and Ontario. Many Canadians heaved a sigh of relief as the election results came in. The perception is that the days of Harper’s right-wing reactionary policies are at an end.

On Wednesday December 9th, over 400,000 public sector workers organized in the Common Front staged a massive 24-hour strike. All over the province, public buildings were shut down by picketers and mass demonstrations were held. Jacques Letourneau, the president of the CSN called this the biggest public sector strike since the revolutionary general strike of 1972. He stated that “There were 210,000 on strike at the same time then and today there are more than 400,000.” The working class is flexing its muscles in Quebec, posing a real challenge to the austerity agenda of the Couillard government.

With 53% of the votes the Venezuelan opposition has managed to secure 112 seats in the National Assembly. This gives them a sweeping two third majority and wide ranging powers. Drunk with victory and seething with revenge, they have started to announce plans to reverse every single one of the gains of the Bolivarian revolution. This has provoked ferment amongst the revolutionary rank and file, which at the same time is directing part of their anger at bureaucrats and reformists within its own ranks.

Late into the night on 6th December, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council announced provisional but conclusive results for the parliamentary election. The counter-revolutionary opposition MUD had won 99 seats to the Bolivarian PSUV’s 46, with another 22 remaining to be allocated. This is a serious setback and it is our duty to analyse the reasons and explain the likely consequences.

The President [Speaker] of the Brazilian parliament, Eduardo Cunha is manoeuvring in an attempt to save his own skin. [Cunha has been charged with taking millions in bribes in connection with a kickbacks scheme that has embroiled state-run oil company Petrobras.] What does his acceptance of the request to initiate impeachment against Dilma mean? And what position should the working class adopt?

Venezuelans will go to the polls on December 6 to elect deputies to the National Assembly. A combination of factors have made this one of the most difficult challenges the Bolivarian Revolution has faced in the 17 years since President Chávez was first elected in 1998. In addition to the usual challenges of a profoundly undemocratic opposition and belligerent imperialist provocations we have to add a combination of national and international economic factors which have put Venezuela in a very tight spot and which lead to one conclusion: either the revolution is completed, or it will be defeated.

The “Great Recession” may have “technically” ended in June 2009, but what really matters are full employment and a steadily increasing quality of life. Capitalism’s inability to provide this is not due to individual malice or indifference— though there are plenty of sociopaths on Wall Street—but because under capitalism, creating jobs and paying workers are mere afterthoughts to the real reason for the system’s existence: profits. This is the inner contradiction and absurdity of a socio-economic form that can exist only through the exploitation of workers, and yet is unable exploit all the able, willing, and available workers, millions of

...

On November 15, Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, was handcuffed by police and murdered execution-style. There must be justice! There has been no justice for Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or Mike Brown. Terrance Franklin didn’t get justice when he was murdered in 2013 in the same neighborhood as Jamar Clark. How can we expect any justice from a system that systematically excludes and terrorizes whole layers of the population?

Canadians have voted for change and rejected the austerity of the Harper Conservatives. After a decade in office and a historically long campaign, the Conservative era of cuts and division is over. However, Canada’s labour party, the New Democrats, did not capitalize on this anti-austerity mood.

Both the internal and external debt of Brazil are skyrocketing. The internal debt has reached R$3.6trn and the external debt is now US$555bn. International capital is becoming worried about default.

Today, the capitalist class is nothing more than a parasite. It has nothing to offer those suffering from disease and illness but elaborate marketing scams and patent speculation.

This Fall we are launching a subscription campaign for Socialist Appeal [US]. As we have grown and expanded our work around the country, the quality of our writing and production has improved as well. From the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the crisis in the Middle East; from the convulsions of the EU to the state of the US labor movement; from historical analysis to key aspects of Marxist theory, we aim to provide the most insightful analysis of US and world events. And we hope to broaden the scope of our work through this year’s subscription campaign by

...

Millions of workers and youth are looking for a way to overthrow the Harper Conservatives. After almost 10 years in power, the Tories are being dragged down by corruption, secrecy, vindictiveness and now they are presiding over a new recession. The key question is: how can we get rid of this capitalist government?

On August 26, after the end of the demonstration for the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared by the state 11 months ago, the Mexico City police attacked a group of activists on their way home, injuring several of them. Amongst them were mothers of the Ayotzinapa students as well as leading members of La Izquierda Socialista (IMT) and the CLEP (Polytechnic Students Struggle Committee).

After years of monotonous two-party ping-pong, American politics has started to get interesting. Without a mass political party of our own, US workers are forced to abstain, cast a protest vote, or choose between one capitalist party or another. So far, these are still the only options for 2016. But although the current contest is being played out within the narrow constraints of the two-party system, the limits of the current set up are increasingly apparent. Just a few months ago, it was shaping up to be a snoozefest between yet another Bush and another Clinton. However, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—and above all, the American electorate—had other ideas.

In this article we will be analysing the objective conditions which led to the emergence of SIMADI and the currency exchange controls in general, which since their implementation have been unable to reach their stated objective of preventing capital flight.

“New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed . . . a race for rent.”—Frank Lloyd Wright

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has reacted with deafening silence to the release of the summary report and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) on June 2, which called the Indian residential school system an act of “cultural genocide.” Appearing at a closing ceremony in Rideau Hall, Harper did not utter a word about the commission or its 94 recommendations, and since then has only continued to distance himself from the report. His indifference to the catastrophic impact of residential schools reflects the real priorities of the federal government and its continued unwillingness to address the suffering of indigenous peoples.

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?

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?”

9 months ago, a group of Ayotzinapa teacher students were attacked by local police in the town of Iguala, Guerrero, and 43 were disappeared against their will. Now, new evidence has now come to light proving the involvement of the Mexican Army in the events of September 26, 2014.

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

...

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.

Over the past couple of years Peña Nieto's government in Mexico has taken giant steps in carrying out reforms which the big bourgeoisie for a long time could only dream of. It presented itself as an unstoppable government which the workers' movement could not confront in a serious manner. But decades of such attacks and struggles have led to a build-up of pressure below the surface that constitutes a great challenge to the system and the regime that supports it. A feeling that things are not going well and that we must act to radically transform the system is taking root in Mexican society.

The 2015 provincial election in Alberta was truly historic. Not only have the people of Alberta elected the first NDP government in the history of the province, but also the 44-year reign of the provincial Progressive Conservatives has - finally - come to an end. This represents a historic and seismic shift in the history of the province, and marks a new stage in the class struggle both provincially and nationally.