Fighting global capitalism

Globalisation in trouble

"Expectations were low as the meeting began in the Argentine capital", or so the Economist magazine reported on the latest World Trade Organisation meeting of trade ministers, in Buenos Aires on 10-13 December. "They sank even lower as it progressed. Delegates failed to agree on a joint statement, let alone on any new trade deals". Eighteen years ago, at a similar meeting in Seattle in November 1999, the WTO appeared as a manifestation of the chiefs of global capital triumphantly carving up the world. Tens of thousands of anti-capitalist protesters, trade-unionists, students, and others...

An instructive story about how laws are made

The US Congress has passed the tax-cuts scheme pushed by Donald Trump and long desired by Republicans. The Republicans say that a lot of people will get tax cuts in the short term, and that the big benefits ceded to the rich and to businesses will "trickle down" into improvements from workers. Everyone else says the tax changes are a shameless act of social larceny. The truly instructive story is about one detail. As part of his populist pitch pre-election, Donald Trump had sworn to close a particular tax loophole advantageous to hedge fund and private equity managers, "carried interest". It...

Nine years on: the new left, neoliberalism, and the new right

Click here to download as pdf The global credit crash of 2008 and the ensuing travails have produced delayed political effects. A shift to more right-wing, nationalist, and "identity" politics may move neoliberalism sharply to the right, or even explode it from within. The economic turmoil has also produced new life on the left, as yet on a low wattage. For those who fight for a cooperative commonwealth to replace the grey miseries of neoliberalism, or the brutalities of the more right-wing alternatives, there are three imperatives: to be inside the new left-wing surges, helping them or their...

How states compete to offer low taxes

Law professor Sol Picciotto has proposed a new approach to stop tax avoidance by transnational corporations. He spoke to Ed Maltby from Solidarity. Taxing transnational corporations already involves international agreement, based on tax treaties. The issue is, what kind of agreement? Until now, there has only been loose coordination. That's because governments like to hang onto what they call "sovereignty". This means that TNCs can play off one government against another. Current agreements mean governments compete to offer tax breaks to MNCs. Governments need stronger co-operation, but so far...

Industrial news in brief

Workers at the UK′s train operating companies are facing a huge attack on their pensions due to government legislation that ends the contracting-out of the Second State Pension. The legislation means higher National Insurance contributions for both employees (1.4%) and employers (3.4%). The government has also passed legislation to help employers out with this — by allowing them to carry out annual raids on occupational pensions schemes, without even having to consult with scheme trustees. You might think rail unions would mount a robust defence against any attempts by industry employers to...

Turkish workers commemorate historic struggle

The Association of International Workers' Solidarity (UID-DER) in Turkey organised a commemoration this year of the 15-16 June 1970 workers' protests against anti-union laws, known as "The Great Workers' Resistance".

Forging global solidarity

LabourStart’s “Global Solidarity Conference” in Berlin on 23-25 May 2014 was its fourth major gathering and, with more than 300 participants, its biggest. The conference was hosted by the German trade union ver.di, and comprised nearly three days of plenaries and workshops covered a range of themes. A substantial chunk of the conference examined “Digital communications” — how unions can use electronic media to build themselves and their campaigns: LabourStart’s raison d’être! In an introductory session, Derek Blackadder, who works for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, described the work...

Revolutionary politics, imperialism, and anti-racism: a further reply in the "Marxism and religion" controversy

Marcus Halaby’s polemic against Workers’ Liberty’s politics on religion, Islamism, and anti-imperialism (“The AWL’s anti-anti-imperialist Islamophobia”) is worth reading because it illustrates some differences between the political method of Workers Power and ourselves in Workers’ Liberty. Click here for the debate of which this is part, which started with a Facebook outcry in 2013 against the introduction to Workers' Liberty 3/1 of January 2006 Marcus expends more than 3,000 words before he reaches what he calls “the crux of the matter”: our disagreement on imperialism. We’ll start with it...

Callinicos and the SWP: wrong on imperialism

At the Second Congress of the Communist International, in the debate on the national and colonial question, just after his book Imperialism had been translated into German and French, Lenin warned delegates they should “establish concrete facts and to proceed from concrete realities, not abstract...

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