Third Camp Marxism

Myanmar solidarity protests from 24 July

In Myanmar, the workers’ movement is continuing the struggle against the military dictatorship which was installed by a coup in February this year. Moe Sandar Myint and Khaing Zar Aung, leaders of Myanmar trade unions, spoke at Ideas for Freedom on 10-11 July to report that military repression against trade union activist in cities like Yangon is extremely harsh. Trade unions have issued a united call for all international brands to cease procuring any products from factories in the country, in order to strike a blow against the military Tatmadaw regime.

It's time for Georgia to choose

Two weeks ago, far-right thugs attacked the LGBTI community’s “March for Dignity” in Tblisi, Georgia. Dozens of people, mostly journalists, were badly beaten. It was a tragedy that could easily have been foreseen — and prevented. And it has triggered a historic fight led by the journalists’ union with the full support of journalists’ unions around the world.

Debating the "Progressive Alliance"

A theme of debate in more than one session at our summer school Ideas for Freedom, 10-11 July, was the “Progressive Alliance”.

I debated Frances Foley from Compass on the issue. The key argument for the “alliance”, I think, is that such strategies are needed because the working class and the unions in the UK are so weak.

Allying with other parties is the only way we can get rid of the Tories and get proportional representation.

The science of brains

InSolidarity 597 John Cunningham wrote that a materialist understanding of thought requires a deep understanding of the brain and its functioning at the physical level. Matt Cooper in Solidarity 598 called this a reductionist approach “which attempts to reduce the social-psychological to only a biological level”, arguing instead for psychology as “the study of observable behaviour… [and] the ideas, feelings or mental structures on which it is based”.

The Morning Star and the “culture war”

Everyone who takes even a passing interest in politics knows that Johnson’s government is waging a “culture war” or “war on woke” against so-called “liberals” who oppose racism and other forms of prejudice. It is also well known that this is a worked out strategy, developed by Johnson’s advisers Dougie Smith and Munira Mirza — a couple who have close links with the “libertarian”-right Spiked outfit.

This strategy began over five years ago in an anti-EU campaign based upon hostility towards other European countries and the demonisation of immigrants.

NHS: beat the 3%, beat new privatising plans!

It looks like the government’s pay “award” for NHS workers will be 3%. Maybe only 1.5% will be a basic ongoing increase, and the other 1.5% a one-off payment.

This falls way below all the claims the unions put into the Pay Review Body.

Three per cent does nothing to address the real-terms pay cuts faced by NHS workers over the last 10 years, or the 100,000 vacancies that are taking many workers to breaking point and crippling NHS services.

What is socialism?

In our editorial this week we argue to “get socialists organised”. What do we mean by socialism?

We fight for emergency policies, like taxing the wealth of the super-rich and public ownership of key industries and corporations, to allow action to halt and reverse ever-greater inequality and to slow down climate change. We fight to build a stronger workers’ movement, including trade unions, to win these steps.

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