Predictions are difficult to make, especially, as the old joke goes, when they are about the future. Particularly fraught have been predictions of the demise of capitalism. Conventional wisdom would have us believe that because capitalism remains the world’s dominant economic system, predictions of the system’s demise are not only wrong, but destined to be wrong in the future.
Socialist political parties should work to connect rather than direct progressive struggles and organisations.
A mass uprising – one of the largest in the history of the United States – exploded after police murdered George Floyd in late May 2020. While thousands stormed the streets, some seasoned organisers mused on Twitter whether to even support the rebellion. Others were flat-footed at best, doing nothing more than issuing tone-deaf statements. Still others felt immediate solidarity, but stumbled to find a meaningful way to connect with the movement as explicit socialists.
Dear President Biden,
Your broken promises are piling up. I took note of these headlines in just the last couple of weeks: “Joe Biden Surrenders On Federal Unemployment Benefits,” “Biden Drops Student Loan Forgiveness From Latest Budget,” “Biden offers to keep 2017 Trump tax cuts intact in infrastructure counteroffer to GOP,” “U.S. Says It Will Not Rejoin Open Skies Treaty With Russia.”
The sense of relief that came over many Americans after the malignant pandemo-fascist Donald Trump’s removal from power seems increasingly misplaced. The feeling of relaxation is understandable. The pandemic is in significant retreat inside the U.S. as summer dawns, thanks in part to the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts. The improved U.S. health outlook combined with Biden and the Congressional Democrats’ large opening stimulus package to spark some modest economic recovery and hiring expansion. Significantly vaccinated fans, shoppers, diners, vacationers, drinkers, entertainment seekers, and gamblers have returned to American major league baseball, basketball, and hockey games, beaches, bars, restaurants, hotels, casinos, movie theaters, concerts, and shopping malls.
by New Frame
Johannesburg, South Africa
June 6, 2021
The social devastation of mass unemployment renders South Africa a non-viable society for millions. Something must give.
Unemployment in the United States peaked at 24.9% during the Great Depression. On the eve of Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933, unemployment in Germany was at 24%. The protests that launched the Arab Spring in 2011 were ascribed, in part, to what the International Labour Organization called an “extremely high youth unemployment rate of 23.4%”.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”—a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 8, 2021
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Paul Street, history professor and author, about the Biden administration and its continuity with the Democratic and Republican administrations’ policies and programs to benefit the elite and corporate interests not working class Americans.
In 1889, Clara Zetkin wrote: “Wherever busy folk are drudging under the yoke of capitalism, the organised working men and women will demonstrate on May Day for the idea of their social emancipation.” In today’s world, the murderous claws of oppression have dug deeper into the flesh of humanity. The globalization of capital, establishment of post-Fordist economic arrangements of flexible specialization, financialization of the accumulation process and neo-colonial strangulation of the Global South have led to a barbaric situation. Amid this generalized chaos, May 1 acts as a blazing streak, inviting the wretched of the earth to reflect intensively on their own history of joy, tenacious resistance, collective courage and strong solidarity.
Republished with permission from IWW
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.
One thing this pandemic has demonstrated in stark terms is class struggle. Those people deemed essential, though often applauded in public, have been treated as expendable. In truth, they were always treated this way. But this last year has made this struggle visible for anyone paying attention.
It is not unusual for critics of United States foreign policy, whether or not they feel free to use the term “imperialism,” to express regret that a previously rational system has soured. Such sentiments are routine for liberals and hardly unknown among social democrats.
“There is a misconception that capitalism and free markets are the same things. This is not the case. Capitalism relies heavily on state protection and state intervention. Capitalism and the state are twin pillars of control that have developed in tandem, supporting and reinforcing one another both deriving their power from private property (not to be confused with personal property).”