Monthly Archives: May 2014

EDITORIAL: A TURBULENT WORLD A NEW POLITICAL SITUATION

EDITORIAL: A TURBULENT WORLD A NEW POLITICAL SITUATION

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2

At the dawn of the current century a new international scene began to consolidate with its own features that are in many ways opposed to the earlier epoch (1), which was characterized by the strengthening of capitalism which had extended its own survival for the umpteenth time, constantly postponing its inevitable end.

This apparent invincibility lasted only one decade (2) and today we see how the bastions of this system– the United States and the European Union – are sinking rapidly and sharply into decay. At the same time China and Brazil – among others – are striving to develop their new powers as imperialist nations, while relying on the regional blocks that they already lead. They are developing themselves despite the difficulties present in rising precisely in the middle of the another, hopefully final, decline of capitalism. Continue reading

UNITED STATES: THE CRISIS OF THE EMPIRE, THE POLARIZATION, THE DISINTEGRATION AND THE MOVEMENT

By Carlos Petroni

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

All the workers and the oppressed in the United States know first hand the depth of the crisis happening in the country. Without even seeing the statistics, most people know that unemployment has doubled. While officially reported at 10%, reflecting only those who are still collecting unemployment insurance, in the real world it is actually about 20%.

Social services have been cut drastically (by 18% according to official figures) as education, health services, housing, bridges and roads (but not limited thereto) are all crumbling in plain sight.

The big economic bailout and rescue plans for the economy, pushed by the Obama administration, has all gone down the sewer with the ‘plumbing’ assistance of big bankers and businessmen in the country. At least half a dozen major banks sucked up 50% of the funds. Continue reading

EUROPE: The Imperialist Titanic

Europeans know splendor like they know decadence (and its consequences), but even throughout several different generations of experience, they have not always learned from their history. Will they learn this time? There has been anger, confusion, rebellion, xenophobia and impotence. Will anything good emerge from this?

 By Nicolás Barros

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

The situation in Europe is far from good. Europeans have routinely trashed and irrationally exploited the environment for centuries. More recently there has been a lack of  investment in new and improved technologies and manufacturing plants;  instead  there has been only pushes  to spend on useless and unnecessary construction, to withhold  capital from increasing manufacturing capacity, and  even at times to invest capital in manufacturing outside of Europe. After all this, the chickens are coming home to roost. Continue reading

What is the Working Class Aristocracy? What is the Labor Bureaucracy? Why do they exist?

THE BARRIER BETWEEN REVOLUTION AND COUNTERREVOLUTION

What is the Working Class Aristocracy? What is the Labor Bureaucracy? Why do they exist?

Resolution of International Left

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

“The trade union bureaucrats, like the bureaucrats of false Communism, live in the atmosphere of aristocratic prejudices of the upper strata of the workers. It will be a tragedy if the oppositionists are infected even in the slightest degree with these qualities. We must not only reject and condemn these prejudices; we must burn them out of our consciousness to the last trace. We must find the road to the most deprived, to the darkest strata of the proletariat, beginning with the Negro, whom capitalist society has converted into a pariah, and who must learn to see in us his revolutionary brothers. And this depends wholly upon our energy and devotion to the work”

Trotsky, Leon, Militant

May 1, 1929

 

To address the debate over whether a sector of the working class (the labor aristocracy) benefits from the surplus value extracted from the countries oppressed and exploited by imperialism, we must start with the analysis of the origin of the labor aristocracy itself. This is also necessary in order to see how the bourgeois project that incorporates a layer of the working class in to a higher level of benefits, salaries and privileges — as practiced in every country in the world — is part of the dominant class “divide and rule” strategy against the oppressed and exploited. Continue reading

The Working Class Movement – On its way to become a revolutionary social force?

The Working Class Movement: Obstacles and Adversaries in its Way

By Carlos Petroni

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

The labor aristocracy and the labor bureaucracy are the most difficult obstacles to overcome to advance the mass movement in the midst of a situation of deep crisis  of the capitalist economy and social breakdown.

In places as different as Europe, the United States or Argentina, in the face of this political, economic or social crisis one can perceive the absence of an organized workers’ movement possessing a concrete political program and a leadership that having realized the depth of the changes in the world, mobilizes massively, providing leadership for all of the classes of society affected by the crisis of capitalism and formulates a workers’ socialist alternative.

Without concrete political program and effective leadership, there may be mass protests that can cause an imbalance and even the replacement of governments or political parties in power, however it will not achieve a change of system for one that would guarantee full employment, a sustainable economy, good salaries, quality education and housing, and universal health care for all. Continue reading

MEXICO: The War on Drugs… A Labyrinth Without Exit

By Anastasia Gómez

International Left ReviewSPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

Mexico is now looking  into  “a deep dark hole that leads to nowhere.” In a real war for the control over narco criminal enterprises, where the drug cartels and the governments of both Mexico and United States play leading roles, the entire population suffers from the horrors of war on a daily basis.

The talk about narco-corridos, narco-trucks, narco-fosas, narco-ranchos1, etc. has become commonplace and no one is shocked by it anymore. The daily news reports of hangings, burnings, corpses littering the large avenues, reports of those missing and abducted, narco-funded churches, military troops guarding different cities, new discoveries of drug plantations or huge drug shipments aren’t news to anyone either.

Nor is anybody surprised by the daily clashes of narcos against narcos, narcos against military, military against policemen, policemen against politicians, politicians against drug traffickers, and a range of possible variants involving even more recently formed paramilitary forces. This is a war that has already gone beyond the framework of drug trafficking and has turned into a mafia war, where crime cartels have expanded their criminal activities to include theft, extortion, abduction, trafficking of people, (mainly Central American immigrants), to name only a few. Moreover, these criminal activities are not confined to the actions of capos, politicians, corrupt security forces, producers, distributors and thugs, but is a phenomenon that has become increasingly integrated into the economic structures of the country. Continue reading