Solidarity 571, 11 November 2020

Socialist politics can push back Trumpism

"The Democratic establishment cannot comprehend what will happen after Biden is elected. We are not going back to business as usual. There is too much pain out there, too much inequality, too much injustice. If we cannot begin to address the crises facing this country, then the future will be very, very dismal indeed. The people are giving us an opportunity now; if we blow it by not being bold and aggressive, the next Trump who comes along will be even worse than this one.” – Senator Bernie Sanders The thousands of people who poured onto the streets of US cities on news of Donald Trump’s...

Trump's defeat: excerpts from the US left

The working class needs a party Maria Svart, National Director of the Democratic Socialists of America, from a "dispatch" here While breathless... expectations of a blue wave totally flopped, there was a red wave — our kind of red! So far, 28 out of our 37 nationally-endorsed campaigns have won; we have “squads” in [15] state legislatures... and we won 8 out of 9 major ballot initiatives. We’re still just a political organisation [i.e. not a party], but contrast that with a Democratic Party that fails to listen to working class people and fails to invest in building grassroots power. It has...

Behind the scenes battle over Biden?

It is no secret that there are disagreements amongst supporters of Solidarity and Workers Liberty about the US Presidential election and a Biden vote. It’s no secret because we’ve had the debate out in the open, in this paper and on the Workers’ Liberty website. All the signs are that something similar has been going on at the Morning Star (and presumably, also within the Communist Party of Britain). With one big difference: it’s all behind closed doors, signified only by the dramatically differing tone and content of various articles and editorials in the Morning Star (all dates are from the...

Trumpism: down but not out

We can allow ourselves a moment of conditional satisfaction, if not rejoicing. The American electorate has decided to cancel series two of the Trump Presidency, and not just on the grounds of good taste. The raging pandemic, mass unemployment, and racial injustice were major reasons for his ouster in addition to his misogyny, racism, corruption and numerous other displays of narcissistic malevolence. Unfortunately Trump’s defeat has not been as resounding as many hoped. Seventy million Americans voted for a sociopath knowing full well what he was like. Biden achieved a record breaking popular...

"Green" goes beyond curbing carbon

The founding document of the AWL is a polemic against the passivity of the Militant tendency: “The patient is suffering from sleeping sickness and blurred eyesight. But Doctor Militant is obsessed with a patient who suffers from hysteria and an extra sensitivity to the light. The prescription? Sleeping pills and dark glasses!” I was reminded of that image when reading Zack Muddle’s article in Solidarity 567 “Overdoing doom saps activism”. Commenting on my book review in Solidarity 565 he suggests (on the basis of a review of another work by Wallace-Wells with the same name) that The...

Lukashenko's base narrows

Workers’ strikes expressing open defiance of Belarus’s dictator-president Lukashenko continue to grow, though only incrementally, in Belaruskali, Grodno Azot and the Belaz car works in Zhodino. Medical staff, who as in Hong Kong have been partly radicalised by the injuries they have seen inflicted by security staff on protestors, have taken to street protests. Workers are being sacked in many areas for defiance or for “Italian strikes” (“working to rule”). The numbers involved in such protests are difficult to quantify, but many oppositionists claim the action is seriously affecting industrial...

Israel demolishes Palestinian village

B’ Tselem, the Israeli campaign for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, reports: “On 3 November 2020, with the eyes of the world on the US elections, Israel demolished an entire Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley. A convoy of bulldozers drove up to the tiny shepherds’ community of Khirbet Humsah and razed it to the ground”. You can see a video of the demolished village here. Israeli forces left 74 people, 41 of them children, without shelter in the wind and rain. They demolished residential tents and sheds, livestock enclosures, storage sheds, kitchens, portable...

To win the future, change the movement

The Socialist Campaign Group of left-wing Labour MPs, which relaunched itself at the start of 2020, has published a pamphlet, Winning the Future, on “Socialist Responses to the Coronavirus Crisis”. At a time when drive and radicalism are desperately needed, but Labour’s left is depressed and in retreat, the attempt to rally and raise ambitions is welcome. The pamphlet’s focus on developing and fighting for left-wing policies hopefully indicates a shift from previous Labour left reticence there. Its call for discussion of its proposals throughout the labour movement is encouraging. After an...

Thoughts on the vaccine news

There’s a tiny spark of optimism in the gloom of this November lockdown. On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced, to everyone’s surprise, interim analysis showing their vaccine candidate for Covid-19 may have up to 90% efficacy in preventing symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in participants who received two doses three weeks apart. That was based on analysis of 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a trial expected to enrol 44,000 people across the globe. Experts were cautioning that initial Covid-19 vaccine efficacy could be much lower. The US Food and Drug Association had set its bar for approval...

Back to the lockdown, then forward to...?

We’re now in a new era of lockdowns. This article reviews the progress of some of them and looks back to discussions around the first wave of lockdowns. Ireland’s lockdown, running from 21 October to 2 December, with non-essential shops shut (as well as cafés, pubs, etc.), but schools open, has brought a 66% reduction in new case rates from peak. Northern Ireland’s lockdown, 16 October to 13 November, which included closing schools to 2 November, has produced a 40-odd% reduction in new cases from the peak. Wales’s, from 23 October to 9 November, has brought new infections only, at best...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.