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Strength in Numbers

TO FIGHT AUSTERITY WE NEED A UNITED LEFT

By Simon Hardy, Anticapitalist Initiative (Britain)

October 9, 2012 –  Submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

The urgent need for unity on the radical left is something that has been eloquently put forward by Dan Hind on the Al-Jazeera website. Asking a very pertinent question as to whether there can be a SYRIZA-type organisation in Britain, Hind draws out some of the most important lessons of the Greek struggle and poses a challenge to the British left — can we break out of the ghetto as well?[1]

To plot a possible trajectory we have to be clear of the political alignment that has emerged for the left under the Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government. While Ed Miliband’s Labour Party might be surging ahead in the polls, the possibility of a Labour left revival is simply not on the cards. The Labour Party is hollowed out and bureaucratically controlled and all the best intentions and actions of Labour left activists will not change that. The Labour left is reduced to the old argument that there is nothing credible outside the Labour Party. They mockingly point to all the twisted contortions of the far left in Britain in the last decade (Socialist Alliance, Scottish Socialist Party, Respect, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, Left list, Respect renewal, etc.) to forge a new unity and conclude that the Labour Party is the only show in town.

But this is not an argument made from the Labour Party left’s strength, it is an argument about the radical left’s weakness. They cannot point to any meaningful gains made by the Labour left in recent years because there hasn’t been any. Even the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), the only significant bastion of the socialist left in the party, has failed to grow. On the crucial issue of the coalition government’s spending cuts they couldn’t even get any commitment from their municipal councillors to vote against cuts to local government budgets. Some have claimed that the Labour Party could act as a dented shield against the coalition onslaught, but the truth is that the Labour Party is no shield at all.

The most significant recent press offensive by the Labour Party has been to force the government to re-examine the west-coast mainline rail franchise deal, not to re-nationalise it but to try and keep Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains on the line. Yet barely a peep about the privatisation of the National Health Service, including privatising the pharmacies, some of which are also being taken over by Branson’s Virgin company.

The Labour left is generally principled on issues like privatisation and fighting austerity, but they are drowned out by the party apparatus, which is overwhelmingly neoliberal and anti-socialist. John McDonnell’s failure to even get on the leadership ballot in 2010 speaks volumes. As does the obvious non-growth of the labour left activist base. The magazine Labour Briefing, which recently became the official organ of the LRC, probably has a readership of around 500-600 people, smaller than some of the revolutionary left newspapers.

This is not to say that the Labour left has no role to play – far from it – they should just face reality squarely in the face and realise that reclaiming the Labour Party is a dead-end project.

But there is some truth in their criticism of the revolutionary left. Even where we have built new organisations that looked like they were about to achieve lift off (Respect, SSP), they collapsed in ignominy, usually caused by ego clashes and ridiculous control freakery by various organisations. While some of us criticised the political basis of these projects, the reality is that the political weaknesses barely even had time to come to the surface – the inveterate problems of the far left ran these initiatives into the ground long before they even had a chance to be put to the test of any kind of political power.

So a Labour left that can’t get anywhere and a revolutionary left that can’t get anywhere.

What lessons can we draw from these ”realities”? Certainly pessimism, although understandable, would be the wrong conclusion. The lesson of SYRIZA shows what can be done if the left gets its act together, puts aside its own empire-building projects and tries to do something that might actually make a difference. We have to start from the objective situation and work backwards – the reality of the cuts and a potential lost decade to austerity needs to sharpen our minds and our resolve. Starting from the necessity of a united, credible left we can work backwards to imagine the steps that we can take to get there.

I would go so far as to say that anyone at the present time who opposes attempts towards greater unity is, perhaps unconsciously, holding back the movement. The crisis is so acute and the tasks of the hour so urgent that we have no time for people who spend their hours constructing excuses for fragmentation, isolation and weakness. They are the past, and we desperately need a future.

Dan Hind is right and his voice joins a growing chorus of others who see the need for unity on the left. Does this mean every sect and group can just get together? No, of course real differences emerge. But there is so much that unites us in the current political context that it is criminal – absolutely criminal – that none of the larger groups are seriously talking about launching a new united organisation. The three-way division of the anti-cuts movement is the bitter fruit of this backward attitude on the British left — a situation that should deservedly make us a laughing stock in other countries.

If the success of SYRIZA raises the benchmark for what the left can achieve then the natural next question is, “How could we create an organisation like SYRIZA in Britain?“ I think this question should dominate the discussions on the left in the coming months. But let’s be clear – I am not saying we should just transplant SYRIZA’s program and constitution and graft it onto the British left. Such an attempt would be artificial. An organisation like SYRIZA means a coalition of the radical left, united against austerity, united against privatisation, united in action and united in fighting social oppression. The kind of program that any new initiative adopts is largely the result of who is involved in it, certainly it should have an anti-capitalist basis, though it can leave some of the bigger questions unresolved, at least initially.

Let’s focus on the goals that Hind identifies: “campaign for an end to the country’s predatory foreign policy, for the dismantling of the offshore network, for democratic control of the central banks, urgent action to address the threat of catastrophic climate change, and reform of the national media regimes.”

Each constituency does not need to dissolve itself, we just need to ensure checks and balances to prevent “swamping” of meetings. Each local unit of the organisation would retain certain autonomy while a national committee was permitted to adopt political lines, within the remits established at a conference. If an organisation or individual does not like any of the policies then they should have full freedom to speak their mind about it, while accepting that there is unity in the campaigns and actions the organisations agrees to pursue.

Everyone has to accept that they might be minoritised at some point. But they also have to understand that abandoning the organisation over a constitutional dispute or over this or that policy means abandoning the vital struggle for building a credible radical left in this country. Do people want us to live in glorious isolation for another decade or more, as people’s living standards plummet?

We also have to overcome the very real difference in size between constituent parts on the left. The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) for instance is still the largest group on the radical left in Britain, although it is much smaller than it was when I joined the left in 2001. Members of the SWP argue that launching a new party is not practical because, as they will numerically “dominate it”, it would cause problems (as it has in the past). But there are a number of ways to overcome this, if there is a political will to make it happen. Changing the culture on the left also means changing how we “intervene” into campaigns or broad organisations, and taking a more open approach, transforming sects into networks and “giving of yourself” for the greater need of the new organisation, these can all be thoroughly healthy steps to take.

Possible alternatives, definite pitfalls

The danger is that the left attempts some kind of united initiative, but limits it to an electoral coalition – replicating the Socialist Alliance (1999-2004) but without the enthusiasm. While a genuine socialist alliance would be a step forward from the current situation, it will suffer the same crisis as the last version, where all the left groups did their campaigning work under their own banners but stood together only in the election.

Let’s put it bluntly, British people generally don’t vote for electoral coalitions. They are here today and gone tomorrow, people respect the concept of a party or at least something more tangible that looks like it is going to last beyond the next internal spat. The Scottish Socialist Party was credible because it was united and forced the smaller groups involved to campaign as SSP activists first and foremost. Putting party before sect is essential to the success of any project, just as it was in the early days of the Labour Party or any of the Communist parties internationally.

The Respect débâcle shows the danger of personality politics (the “great man” view of politics, when the entire project is hung around one person’s neck). But its fragmentation also shows what happens when large constituent groups (in this case the SWP) act like control freaks and treat a coalition like their personal property. Although they blamed the disastrous outcome on John Rees, the fact is that the entire party was complicit in the mistakes that were made, both opportunism in political terms and bad practice in the organisational centre of the party. It was a feeling of loss of control when Galloway started to criticise the SWP’s handling of Respect that led the SWP leadership to “go nuclear” in the words of one protagonist.[2] While we can be critical of the conduct of Galloway and some of his positions, the complaint about organisational manoeuvres and people swamping meetings is one that many on the left will be sadly familiar with. This kind of practice must stop.

The political problem with Respect was not so much its “liberal” program, at the end of the day it was largely old Labour social democratic in much of what it said, the unstable core at the heart of it was the drive for electoral success with people who had no real interests in extra-parliamentary movements and struggles. A temporary alliance with careerists can come back to bite you, as it did for Respect in the east end of London, where Respect councillors jumped ship, first to the Tories and Liberal Democrats and then to Labour.

Again this points up the importance of political movements on the streets and in the workplaces as being paramount, with elections as a subordinate part of that strategy. Moreover, it means a much more democratic and accountable relationship between any elected representatives and the rank and file members, one where they are subordinated to the wider organisation and struggle, and not seen as its “leaders” merely because they have been elected to a position within the capitalist state. This is a point that SYRIZA will also have to debate out in the coming months.

Today the remains of the cycle of left unity initiatives exists in the form of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), an electoral alliance between the SWP and the Socialist Party (CWI), as well as a handful of independents. But again the TUSC only exists for elections and has no activist base. It seems to be doubtful that the TUSC can be transformed into something better; rather it appears to be a marriage of convenience for the two bigger Trotskyist groups. Its last conference had less than 60 people at it, despite the fact that the combined membership of the constituent groups must be over 1000 – real decisions are of course taken by the SWP and SP party leaderships.

While the past should not be forgotten, it can be forgiven, if people can prove their earnest support for a new initiative. Otherwise we are locked in a vicious circle with no way out.

Differences with SYRIZA

Regardless of the subjective problems of the British left’s sect-building ethos, there are two objective problems if we consider ourselves in relation to what the Greek left has achieved. The first is that SYRIZA’s success is clearly the result of a country in complete meltdown. Wage cuts of 40% and closure of important services is at a qualitatively higher level than anything we have in Britain… so far. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that only around 10% of the cuts have gone through, so worse is to come.

Second, Syriza was launched in 2004 and has had the best part of a decade to build up its support in elections before the explosion in 2012. In most elections they received around 5% of the vote, which to the British left would be nothing short of a breakthrough. Patience and a long-term view of politics is essential to make such a project work. But then, maybe the British “explosion” will happen sooner since any new organisation built will be involved in tenacious struggle against austerity from day one.

We also could not limit ourselves to electoral politics as SYRIZA seems to have an inclination to do. While some of the more radical elements within the coalition are organising forums and initiatives outside of the parliamentary process, it is essential as part of our strategy to see elections as a subordinate part of the wider struggle, not the primary focus. If SYRIZA imagines that it can really reverse the austerity measures and revive Greece only through governing the capitalist state they will be in for a rude shock. When it comes to Greece’s political and economic future, the European Central Bank and the leaders of France and Germany, not to mention the Greek capitalist class, are all in a far more powerful position than the parliament in Athens; removing their support and control mechanisms would be a crucial task for any radical government.

Campaigning for a united, radical left formation in Britain should be an essential part of the Anticapitalist Initiative’s (ACI) work in the coming months and years. Even more so, 2013 should be the year that serious steps are made to bring together a re-alignment on the left. We have had our fingers burnt in the past, but we cannot let past failures haunt us. If we fail to rise to the challenge, then we will deserve the defeats inflicted on us by the ruling class.

But the working class and the poor do not deserve them. It is not their fault the left is so weak – it’s ours. Now we have to get our house in order so that we can create a movement that can fight austerity and challenge capitalism.

Simon Hardy is a member of the new Anticapitalist Initiative (ACI), which, according to its website, seeks “to search out avenues for unity and co-operation that presents radical and socialist ideas in a way that is more appealing to new layers of activists. We will promote activity and struggle that aims to overcome division and sectarianism and points the way to a new type of society without exploitation and oppression.”

 

Notes

[1] Read Dan Hind’s article here http://aje.me/U5lUOj. It subsequently drew a critically examination from Socialist Workers Party member Richard Seymour at his Lenin’s Tomb blog http://www.leninology.com/2012/08/the-problem-of-left-unity.html.

[2] See http://www.socialistunity.com/galloway-on-respect/ and also http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Car-crash-on-the-left.

Originally at LINKS: International Journal of Socialist Renewal: http://links.org.au/node/3054

**END**

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Karl Marx

MARXISM 2011 TIMETABLE

Central London 30 June – 4 July

Final timetable out now: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/timetable.html

Book online: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/bookonline.html

 

New speakers and sessions now confirmed:

* Kamal Abu Aita of the Egyptian tax collectors’ union will join the general secretary of the PCS civil service workers’ union Mark Serwotka and striking workers at the opening rally, which takes place on the evening of a day of coordinated strike action by up to a million workers

* Panos Garganas of the Greek Socialist Workers Party will speak on “Greece & the Eurozone Crisis”

* Laurie Penny (Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism) will join Nina Power (One Dimensional Woman) and Judith Orr (Sexism and the System) to discuss “Women, Class & Capitalism”

*Mireia Rosello of the Spanish “indignados” movement will join Sean Vernell of the lecturers’ UCU union to speak on “Youth, Anger and Revolution in Egypt, Spain, Britain…”

* Omar Bargouti, Mohammed Tonsi & Wassim Wagdy will participate on the panel “Eyewitnesses to the Arab Spring”

* Gilbert Achcar (The Arabs and the Holocaust and The Clash of Barbarisms) will debate Simon Assaf on the Libyan intervention

 

Other highlights:

* Owen Jones launches his acclaimed book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class

* Terry Eagleton (Why Marx was Right) speaks on the Communist Manifesto

* John Bellamy Foster (The Ecological Rift) on “Marxism and Ecology”

* Tariq Ali speaks on “The Arab Intifada and American Power”

* Iain Sinclair (Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire) on “London and the Olympics”

* Graham Turner (No Way to Run an Economy) asks “Where is the Global Economy Going?”

* Peter Thomas (The Gramscian Moment) on “Gramsci and us: Building Socialist Hegemony Today”

* Danny Dorling launches Bankrupt Britain

* Alberto Toscano (Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea) on “University Struggles then and Now”

* Ben Fine (From Political Economy to Economics) on “Reading Marx’s Capital”

* Peter Hallward (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment) on “Marx against Fatalism”

* Owen Hatherley speaks on his book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

* Stuart Christie and Andy Durgan debate the Spanish Revolution

* Authors China Mieville and Max Schaefer discuss “Committed Fictions: Politics and Writing”

* Ronnie Kasrils launches The Unlikely Secret Agent

* Guglielmo Carchedi (Behind the Crisis) on “Marxism and Crisis Theory”

* Alex Callinicos (Bonfire of Illusions) on “Crisis and Revolution after the Arab Revolts”

* Istvan Meszaros (Beyond Capital) on “The Structural Crisis of Capitalism”

Join thousands of others at Europe’s biggest festival of radical ideas—featuring over 200 meetings, debates, film screenings, and musical performances.

For more go to: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

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World Crisis

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL – ISSUE 130

Now Out

See: http://www.isj.org.uk

Analysis

The return of the Arab revolution
Alex Callinicos

Engels on the power of nature

The return of fear
Iain Ferguson

Tunisia: the people’s revolution
Chamseddine Mnasri

Act One of the Egyptian Revolution
Philip Marfleet

Social media and social movements
Jonny Jones

The origins of the united front policy
John Riddell

The Tories, Eton and private schools
David Renton

I love the sound of breaking glass: the London crowd, 1760-2010
Keith Flett

Feedback

Facing the crisis: the strategic perplexity of the left
Stathis Kouvelakis

Sexuality, alienation and capitalism
Sheila McGregor

Counterpower, participatory democracy, revolutionary defence: debating Black Flame, revolutionary anarchism and historical Marxism
Lucien van der Walt

The social roots of “impairment”
Lee Humber

Book reviews

We want rebel music
Lee Billingham

Natural’s not in it
Martin Empson

State of the union
Chris Bambery

Forgotten famine
John Newsinger

Africa’s opening
Andy Wynne

Pick of the quarter
This quarter’s selection

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Socialism and Hope

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL ISSUE 129

http://www.isj.org.uk/

CONTENTS:

Analysis
The student revolt and the crisis

Mad as hatters? The Tea Party movement in the US
Megan Trudell

Police killings and the law
Simon Behrman

Labourism and socialism: Ralph Miliband’s Marxism
Paul Blackledge

True crime stories: some New Labour memoirs
John Newsinger

Marxism and disability
Roddy Slorach

Decoding capitalism
Joseph Choonara

What’s wrong with school history?
Andrew Stone

Why we should be sceptical of climate sceptics
Suzanne Jeffery

Tony Cliff’s Lenin and the Russian Revolution
John Rose

Feedback

Sex work: a rejoinder
Gareth Dale and Xanthe Whittaker

Discussing the alternatives
Grace Lally

Book reviews

A tangled tale
Yuri Prasad

Revolution rewritten
Jack Farmer

Analysing honour
Mark Harvey

Globalising Gramsci
Adrian Budd

Intellectual weapons
Alex Callinicos

Pick of the quarter

This quarter’s selection

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Global Economic Crisis

MARXISM AND THE ALTERNATIVES TO THE CRISIS

International Socialism
A seminar hosted by the quarterly journal of socialist theory

Marxism and the Alternatives to Crisis

It has been three years since the economic crisis first manifested. The credit crunch has given way to financial crash and the Great Recession. The ruling classes of Europe, faced with a growing crisis in the Eurozone, have embraced austerity and cuts in order to shift the cost of the crisis to workers, students and the unemployed.

In response, we have seen movements of resistance right across Europe. In countries like Greece, France and Ireland, strikes and protests have been complemented by alternative programmes and debates about the way forward for the movement. In Britain, the student revolt has marked a turning point in the struggle. This seminar will bring together academics and activists to discuss the current situation and what lies ahead.

With:

Alex Callinicos: (Editor of International Socialism and Professor of European Studies at Kings College London)

Jane Hardy: (Author of Poland’s New Capitalism and Professor of Political Economy at the University of Hertfordshire)

Stathis Kouvelakis: (Author of Philosophy and Revolution and lecturer at Kings College, London)

Costas Lapavitsas: (Member of Research on Money and Finance and Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies)

Tuesday 7 December, 6.30pm
Brunei Lecture Theatre,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
Russell Square campus,
London, WC1H 0XG

Free entry – All welcome

http://www.isj.org.uk * isj@swp.org.uk * (020) 7819 1177

International Socialism
http://www.isj.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7819 1177

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Recession 2

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM 127

Out now!

http://www.isj.org.uk

This issue leads with an article on “Marxism and feminism today”. Neoliberal capitalism promised women genuine equality and personal fulfilment. But the realities of women’s oppression persist, reinforced by a debased culture of lap-dancing and cosmetic surgery that has taken the transformation of women into objects to new extremes. This has provoked a new wave of feminism in reaction.

Judith Orr gives the new feminism a critical welcome, arguing for a materialist analysis of the relationship between women’s oppression and class exploitation. Genuine liberation, she concludes, is inseparable from the struggle against capitalism.

The issue also includes interviews with Shlomo Sand (author of The Invention of the Jewish People) and Richard Wilkinson (co-author of The Spirit Level). John Newsinger looks at the great wave of sit-down strikes in the mid-1930s that broke bosses’ resistance to the unionisation of basic industry in the United States. Gonzalo Pozo looks at the theory of the permanent arms economy developed by Tony Cliff, Mike Kidron, and Chris Harman. The late French Marxist philosopher Daniel Bensaïd is remembered in an article by Sebastian Budgen. Plus analysis, feedback, reviews and pick of the quarter

Issue 127

Analysis
The mould cracks

Marxism and feminism today
Judith Orr

Interview: Zionism, socialism and nationalism
Shlomo Sand & John Rose

Interview: Reviving the spirit of equality
Richard G Wilkinson & Iain Ferguson

1937: the year of the sitdown
John Newsinger

Reassessing the permanent arms economy
Gonzalo Pozo

The Red Hussar: Daniel Bensaïd, 1946-2010
Sebastian Budgen

Empire and literature
Gareth Jenkins

Feedback

Another side of anarchism
Ian Birchall

A response to the sex work debate
Gareth Dale and Xanthe Whittaker

Book reviews

Economic development
Joseph Choonara

Sharing history
Penny McCall Howard

Gramsci rendered whole
Chris Bambery

Driving American decline
G Francis Hodge

Philosophy on the barricades
Stacey Whittle

Drama in three acts
Louis Bayman

Dispelling “the Malthus myth”
Martin Empson

Poles apart?
Adam Fabry

Irrational records
Paul Blackledge

Contesting the revolutionary tradition
Leo Zeilig

Pick of the quarter

This quarter’s selection

To order, contact the office on 020 7819 1177, email isj@swp.org.uk or visit the website at http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?s=buy

DON’T FORGET MARXISM 2010 STARTS ON THURSDAY – http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

International Socialism
http://www.isj.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7819 1177

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Global Capitalism

THE GEOPOLITICS OF CAPITALISM

International Socialism Journal Seminar Series

The Geopolitics of Capitalism

With Gonzalo Pozo Martin (International Socialism and Historical Materialism journals)

Tuesday 8 June, 6.30pm

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Russell Square Campus, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG, Room B102 (Brunei Gallery building, first floor) MAP

Free entry / All welcome

For more details contact isj@swp.org.uk or call 0207 819 1177

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INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM 126

http://www.isj.org.uk

Issue 126

Analysis
The radical left and the crisis

Venezuela at the crossroads: Voices from inside the revolution
Luke Stobart

Crisis and conflict in Pakistan
Sartaj Khan & Yuri Prasad

Climate politics after Copenhagen
Jonathan Neale

The changing face of racism
Richard Seymour

CLR James and the Black Jacobins
Christian Høgsbjerg

25 years after the Great Miners’ Strike
Jack Robertson

Tony Cliff: Deflected permanent revolution in Africa
Leo Zeilig

Rethinking imperialism: past, present and future
Gilbert Achcar

Conceding the Russian Revolution to liberals
Kevin Murphy

Book Reviews

Getting the “Change We Need”
Brian Richardson

Fighting for women’s liberation today
Siân Ruddick

Socialism through devolution?
Tim Evans

Refusing to be pessimistic
Dan Swain

Resisting revisionism
Matthew Cookson

Apologising for the Chilean coup
Nathaniel Mehr

Vote for Prisoner 9653
John Newsinger

Finance and capitalism in Europe
Christakis Georgiou

A true reflection of the system
Ken Olende

Pick of the quarter
This quarter’s selection

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Socialism and Hope

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Karl Marx

MARXISM 2010

http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

Central London 1-5 July

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, JOHN HOLLOWAY & ALEX CALLINICOS discuss the idea of communism

BEN FINE, COSTAS LAPAVITSAS, ALFREDO SAAD-FILHO, GUGLIELMO CARCHEDI, ANDREW KLIMAN, JOSEPH CHOONARA, GRAHAM TURNER on dimensions of the economic crisis

Prospects for the Middle East considered by SHLOMO SAND, author of the acclaimed book The Invention of the Jewish People; GILBERT ASHCAR, author of The Arabs and the Holocaust; HAIFA ZANGANA, author of City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman’s Account of War and Resistance; GHADA KARMI, author of Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine

Marxist philosopher ISTVAN MÉSZÁROS speaks on alternatives to parliament

US academic HESTER EISENSTEIN, author of Feminism Seduced, joins NINA POWER, author of One Dimensional Woman, and Socialist Review editor JUDITH ORR to discuss the challenges facing the struggle for women’s liberation.SHEILA ROWBOTHAM speaks on new book Dreamers of a New Day: Women who Invented the Twentieth Century.

PETER THOMAS presents his roadmap to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks

DANNY DORLING speaks on his book Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists

Panel on civil liberties with solicitor GARETH PEIRCE, former Guantanamo Bay inmate MOAZZAM BEGG and GERRY CONLON of the Guildford Four. JOHN HENDY QC discusses the anti-union laws.

Guardian feature writer GARY YOUNGE, TARIQ ALI and RICHARD SEYMOUR of Lenin’s Tomb speak on racism, Islamophobia and identity.

Authors and academics: OWEN HATHERLEY (Militant Modernism), ALBERTO TOSCANO (Fanaticism), G M TAMÁS, SHEILA COHEN (Ramparts of Resistance), JANE HARDY (Poland’s New Capitalism), GARETH DALE(Popular Protest in East Germany 1945-1989), KEVIN DOOGAN (New Capitalism?), NEIL DAVIDSON (Discovering the Scottish Revolution 1692-1746), COLIN BARKER, PAUL BLACKLEDGE (Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History),MARTIN EMPSON (Marxism and Ecology), JONATHAN NEALE (Stop Global Warming, Change the World), CHRISTIAN HOGSBJERG, JOHN ROSE (Myths of Zionism), PETER HALLWARD (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment)

Trade unionists MARK SERWOTKA (general secretary PCS), JEREMY DEAR (general secretary NUJ), KEVIN COURTNEY (deputy general secretary NUT)

Politicians TONY BENN, JEREMY CORBYN MP, CHRISTINE BUCHHOLTZ (Die Linke Bundestag member).

Join thousands of others at Europe’s biggest festival of radical ideas—featuring over 200 meetings, debates, film screenings, and musical performances.

For updates go to: http://www.facebook.com/marxism and http://twitter.com/Marxism2k10

Book online now: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski: https://rikowski.wordpress.com

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Karl Marx

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Chris Harman

CHRIS HARMAN MEMORIAL MEETING

Chris Harman Memorial Meeting
There is going to be a memorial meeting for Chris Harman. The celebration of Chris’s life is open to all SWP members and supporters. 

The details are:
5pm – 7.30pm, Saturday 17 April, Brunei Gallery, SOAS (central London)

• We have booked The Lamb, in Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3LZ to get together for a drink afterwards.

Socialist Workers Party: http://www.swp.org.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Zombie Capitalism

New from Bookmarks Publications

Zombie Capitalism: Global crisis and the relevance of Marx, by Chris Harman

A major new study of capitalism from Marx to the 21st century

Praise for Zombie Capitalism:

“A powerful, comprehensive and accessible critique of capitalism from one of the world’s pre-eminent Marxist economists. This book needs to be read far and wide. It is a clear, incisive warning of the massive dangers posed by a ‘runaway system’ and the threat it poses for the future of humanity.” Graham Turner, author of Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis 

“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the present crisis and its place in the history of capitalism and an important contribution to Marxist political economy” Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies, King’s College London

To read an interview with Chris about his new book, click here

To read Chris’s article “The Rate of Profit and the World Today”, click here

ISBN: 9781905192533; July 2009 428pp; £16.99

To order Zombie Capitalism for the special offer price of £15, click here

To request a review copy, email: publications@bookmarks.uk.com

Chris Harman is the editor of International Socialism journal (http://www.isj.org.uk). His previous books include A People’s History of the World (Bookmarks 1999 and Verso 2008), Revolution in the 21st Century (Bookmarks 2006), Economics of the Madhouse (Bookmarks 1995), The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After (Bookmarks 1988), Explaining the crisis (Bookmarks 1984) and The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918 to 1923 (Bookmarks 1982).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Why Read Marx’s ‘Capital’ Today?

Joseph Choonara will address this question at a book launch fir his new book: Unravelling Capitalism: A Guide to Marxist Political Economy

 

Karl Marx was the greatst critic of capitalism. Yet his ideas are widely dismissed or misunderstood. Joseph Choonara introduces Marx’s approach to understanding capitalism and outlines how this can be applied to capitalism as it has developed since Marx’s time.

 

Thursday 28th May, 6.30pm, Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London

Refreshments are provided

All Bookmarks events are free, but you will need to reserve a place.

Email: events@bookmarks.uk.com

Tel: 020 7637 1848

Bookmarks: http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/cgi/store/bookmark.cgi

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk