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After the Killings in Orlando: Grief, Anger and Vigilance

from the Bureau of the Fourth International
June 20, 2016

The killings perpetrated at the Pulse lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) nightclub in Orlando in the United States leave us in profound grief. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones, predominantly from the Latino community, and all the victims of hate crimes against LGBTIQ people around the world. We are participating in and initiating solidarity rallies, in many countries grieving over the biggest concentrated slaughter of LGBTIQ people since the Second World War.

The fact that Daesh hailed this slaughter reveals even more clearly the ultra-reactionary character of this organization. But the bigotry behind this is not new, not created and encouraged by one single culture or religion. In the US, the country where the killer was born and raised, right-wing politicians denouncing the Orlando massacre nonetheless hypocritically persist in blocking LGBTI rights. Denunciations from other sources in other countries in the name of Christianity refuse even to acknowledge that the victims were LGBTIQ people. LGBTIQ people - and particularly trans women - are targets of murderous hate crime across the globe.

The dead and wounded in Orlando were the victims of an ongoing, bloody clash between two right-wing ideologies...

A Socialist Convergence in Philadelphia

by Robert Caldwell
June 11, 2016

The Bernie Sanders campaign represented a breakthrough on the U.S. left--not because the insurgency within the Democratic Party offered a new opportunity to transform the graveyard of social movements, but primarily because the campaign surfaced a growing desire of millions for a left program and opened a much larger space to talk about socialism, while also exposing the limitation of the Democratic Party.

Inside the July 25-28 Democratic National Convention (DNC), Sanders’ delegates will be up against the largest barrier they have seen thus far. But the streets of Philadelphia will be full of street protesters orienting not only toward Bernie but also to the social movements, most notably Black Lives Matter, the demand for $15/hour, and the Climate Justice movement.

Sanders supporters and the broader left will converge on Philadelphia beginning on the eve of the DNC and tens of thousands will attend a number of events, including both permitted and unpermitted marches... Because the days will be packed with marches and street actions, those wanting to build dialogue are focusing on building nightly events. “Socialist Convergence: carrying forward the political revolution” will be a four-evening series of panels and discussions after the daytime street actions in Philadelphia concurrent with the DNC. Solidarity has endorsed and is part of organizing the Convergence, which will be held nightly at the Friends Center.

U.S. Labor: What's New, What's Not?

by Kim Moody
May 1, 2016

We all know that there’s something different about today’s working class. One obvious difference is that today’s working class produces fewer things “you can drop on your toe,” as The Economist famously put it, and more that you can’t. What’s actually changing in capitalist production in the United States?

While Marx mostly spoke of industrial workers who extracted or made goods, he did not, in fact, define the proletariat by what commodities it produced. As he wrote in Capital, “capital is indifferent to the particular nature of every sphere of production.” For Marx social classes were defined by their relations to capital...

In a sense, the current debate over just how much employment is or isn’t “precarious” misses the bigger change in U.S. working-class life over the past three decades or more: the decline in living standards experienced by the vast majority of this class. One measure of this is the fall in both hourly and weekly real wages which despite some ups and downs remain below their 1972 level. So stagnant has been the income of the working class majority that 30% of the workforce now relies on public assistance to get by. Furthermore, the labor share of income has declined in relation to capital, whose piece of the pie climbed from 18.8% in 1979 to 26.2% in 2010.

What is to be Done with the Banks? Radical Proposals for Radical Changes

from the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
April 17, 2016

Nine years after the outbreak of the financial crisis that continues to produce damaging social effects through the austerity policies imposed on victim populations, it’s time to take another look at the commitments that were made at that time by bankers, financiers, politicians, and regulatory bodies. Those four players have failed fundamentally in the promises they made in the wake of the crisis: to moralise the banking system, separate commercial banks from investment banks, end exorbitant salaries and bonuses, and finally finance the real economy. We didn’t believe those promises at the time, and for good reason. Instead of a moralising of the banking system, all we’ve had is a long list of misappropriations that have been brought to light by a series of bank failures, beginning with that of Lehman Brothers in 15 September, 2008.

No measures designed to avoid further crises have been imposed on the private finance system. Governments and the various authorities meant to ensure that the regulations are respected and improved have either shelved or significantly attenuated the paltry measures announced in 2008-2009. The concentration of banks has remained unchanged, as have their high-risk activities. There have been more scandals implicating the fifteen to twenty biggest private banks in Europe and the United States— involving toxic loans, fraudulent mortgage credits, manipulation of currency exchange markets, of interest rates (notably, the LIBOR) and of energy markets, massive tax evasion, money-laundering for organised crime, and so on. The scandal of the Panama papers shows how banks are using the tax heavens...

June 20, 2016
from the Bureau of the Fourth International
The killings perpetrated at the Pulse lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) nightclub in Orlando in the United States leave us in profound grief. Our thoughts are with the victims...
June 11, 2016
by Robert Caldwell
The Bernie Sanders campaign represented a breakthrough on the U.S. left--not because the insurgency within the Democratic Party offered a new opportunity to transform the graveyard of social...
May 1, 2016
by Kim Moody
We all know that there’s something different about today’s working class. One obvious difference is that today’s working class produces fewer things “you can drop on your toe,” as The...
April 17, 2016
from the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt
Nine years after the outbreak of the financial crisis that continues to produce damaging social effects through the austerity policies imposed on victim populations, it’s time to take another look...

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June 24, 2016
by various authors
Now that Donald Trump, an overt racist, has wrapped up the Republican nomination for US President, a chorus of voices is proposing a “left strategy” which can “defeat Trump” by electing the...
June 22, 2016
from the Bureau of the Fourth International
Since the Mexican government passed an alleged "educational reform"--actually a reform that profoundly affects working conditions, attacks job security and the rights of unions to organise in the...
May 28, 2016
Emily Pope-Obeda
While the machinery of deportation has reached an unprecedented scale in recent decades, its roots are both deep and critical for understanding its place in modern U.S. society. The massive...
May 17, 2016
by Dianne Feeley and David Finkel
Glenn Shelton, a retired president of Michigan Mailhandlers Local 307 who never stopped fighting for the rights of working people, and a member of Solidarity, died March 24 after a battle with cancer....
May 3, 2016
by Dianne Feeley and David Finkel
The Detroit Public School system (DPS) has been under state control for 15 years, the last decade under the direction of a series of Emergency Managers. The result has been a staggering debt, now more...

All recent articles