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latest news

Greece
Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

29/01/2015: An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

  Britain, Greece

Greece
Why did Syriza and the communist party (KKE) fail to reach an agreement?

27/01/2015: For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

  Greece

Greece
Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

27/01/2015: Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

  Europe, Greece

China
Slowest growth rate since 1990

25/01/2015: Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

  China

Cuba
Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased

24/01/2015: Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

  Cuba, US

Northern Ireland
Water service workers win important victory

23/01/2015: A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

  Ireland North

Sri Lanka
Mobilise now to defend our demands

22/01/2015: Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

  Sri Lanka

 US
Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address

21/01/2015: "Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

  US, Video

Russia/Ukraine
Facing a turbulent 2015

21/01/2015: As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

  Russia, Ukraine

Greece
Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes

20/01/2015: Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

  Greece

Nigeria
The Massacre in Baga

19/01/2015: Socialism or Barbarism

  Nigeria

Review
‘Eleanor Marx - a life’

17/01/2015: Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

  Review

 Video
Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor

16/01/2015: Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

  Video

Nigeria
2015 general elections and the working masses

16/01/2015: Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

  Nigeria

  Video
Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland

15/01/2015: "You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 Video
A year of struggle in Brazil

14/01/2015: LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

  Brazil, Video

Sri Lanka
New but uncertain period opens up

14/01/2015: President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

  Sri Lanka

Iran
Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years

13/01/2015: International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

  Iran

Germany
What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?

13/01/2015: Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

  Germany

France
Millions march for solidarity

12/01/2015: Unity against racism and capitalism!

  France

New Zealand
Extreme poverty worsens

12/01/2015: Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

  New Zealand

France
Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity

10/01/2015: The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

  France

Norway
General strike called for 28 January

10/01/2015: Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

  Norway

Sri Lanka
Rajapaksa defeated

09/01/2015: Period of uncertainty opens

  Sri Lanka

Sweden
New elections cancelled

09/01/2015: “Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

  Sweden

Greece
Towards a Syriza government?

08/01/2015: General elections on 25 January

  Greece

France
Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015: Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

  France

Hong Kong
Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’

07/01/2015: A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

  Hong Kong

Israel-Palestine
A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide

06/01/2015: Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

  Israel / Palestine

Northern Ireland
The Stormont House Agreement

05/01/2015: Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

  Ireland Republic

Environment
Market forces hold back renewable energy

01/01/2015: Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

  Environment

New Year
Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015

31/12/2014: As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

  Britain, Europe, World Economy

Britain
In defence of TUSC

30/12/2014: As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

  Britain, US

 CWI
National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism

28/12/2014: A socialist solution to national oppression

  CWI

Scotland
Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader

27/12/2014: Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

  Scotland

US

Global capitalism fueling poverty and immigration

www.socialistworld.net, 01/05/2006
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

System change needed

Greg Beiter, Socialist Alternative, US

Recent years have seen a massive wave of immigration to the United States from the “Third world,” especially Latin America. Politicians and corporate media personalities like CNN’s Lou Dobbs continually attack these undocumented workers as “illegal aliens” and “criminals.”

The real criminals, however, are not immigrant workers, but the corporate chieftains and politicians who, in their insatiable lust for profits, plunder the natural resources of poor countries, set up sweatshops, and wage wars for oil and empire. It is their policies that create the grinding poverty and social breakdown throughout the neo-colonial world which forces millions to flee their home countries in search of work here.

While U.S. corporations earn record profits, 128 million people in Latin America live on less than $2 per day (USAID.org). More than 130 million have no access to safe drinking water, and only one in six persons enjoy adequate sanitation service (NACLA.org).

Big business sets up shop in all corners of the world, searching for the cheapest labor and slackest environmental regulations. They argue that in a globalised world we need “free trade” and capital should be free to pick up and move to any country with the best market conditions - yet they oppose the rights of workers to move to countries with more favorable labor markets.

The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, allowed U.S. companies to massively step up their assault on working people by laying-off unionized workers in the U.S. and setting up sweatshops across the Mexican border.

NAFTA has spelled a complete disaster for workers in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. U.S. workers have lost around 395,000 jobs, while their new jobs pay on average 23% less. Simultaneously, poverty has exploded in Mexico, with two-thirds of the population now living on less than $3 per day.

Millions of poor Mexican farmers have been driven into bankruptcy after being forced to compete with subsidized U.S. agribusiness (which relies on the cheap labor of Mexican immigrants, who are often paid less than minimum wage).

Most immigrant workers don’t want to leave their country of origin. They would prefer to stay with their families, where they know the language and culture. The risks they face coming to the U.S. are many: death in the desert, suffocation and starvation in shipping containers, or kidnapping and exploitation by smugglers.

Immigrants only come to the U.S. out of dire economic necessity. They come hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families – a goal they share in common with U.S. workers. However, this goal comes in direct conflict with the logic of capitalism and the desire of big business to maximize profits.

We can’t allow borders and nationality to divide us. In reality, workers of all countries have more in common with each other than we do with the bosses in our own countries. Although a U.S. worker and Bill Gates are both U.S. citizens, their lives are worlds apart. A U.S. worker and an immigrant worker are both likely living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to get by, while Mr. Gates has billions of dollars to live in luxury.

Our struggle is international, a struggle against corporations that seek to increase profits by pitting workers in different countries against one another in a race to the bottom. If corporations can push down wages in Mexico and China - or among immigrant workers in the U.S. - they are in a stronger position to demand U.S. workers make similar concessions in order to “compete.” We see this playing out daily, from the auto industry to software development.

On the other hand, if workers in Mexico or China win higher wages and benefits, U.S. workers will be in a stronger economic position to demand better wages and benefits here.

Build the Latin American Labor Movement

As long as massive poverty is the norm in the “Third world,” no matter how many fences are built and laws are passed, millions of desperate workers will find a way into the U.S. and other industrialized countries in search of a better life, and multinational corporations will want to outsource as many jobs as possible to take advantage of cheap labor in poor countries.

The only viable answer to this situation is building the labor movement in Mexico and throughout Latin America to fight for decent jobs and living conditions. The U.S. labor movement needs an internationalist outlook, with a policy of mobilizing its massive resources – financial, human, and political – to help build the strongest possible workers’ movement in Mexico and Latin America.

A fighting workers’ movement in Latin America will very quickly come up against the narrow limits of capitalism in the neo-colonial world and the resistance of U.S. imperialism, as has happened again and again.

That is why the workers’ movement needs to be armed with a clear programme and strategy for overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with socialism, where working people have democratic control of their workplaces and the resources of their society.

Rather than U.S. corporations exploiting their labor and resources to make mega-profits for their owners, the workers of Latin America could use this wealth to create jobs, schools, hospitals, public services, and infrastructure.

The potential impact of such policies can be seen now in Venezuela, where the left-wing government of Hugo Chavez has used Venezuela’s oil revenue to benefit ordinary workers and peasants instead of enriching the elite, as was the tradition. However, the Venezuelan revolution has unfortunately not yet gone all the way in decisively toppling capitalism and instituting democratic socialism, which means these reforms are limited and precarious, as the Venezuelan capitalists and U.S. imperialism prepare for a counter-revolution.

International Socialism is the Solution

While some claim that globalization is rendering the nation-state obsolete, the reality is that capitalism needs national borders and nation-states. Corporate America uses the U.S. government to assert its interests - that’s why they spend so much money on lobbying and funding corporate politicians!

Big business needs its own nation-state and military to pursue its interests internationally against competitors, because it is in direct competition for the world’s markets and resources.

For example, U.S. capitalists engaged in a bitter dispute with their competitors in France, Germany, Russia, and China over the invasion of Iraq. U.S. imperialism out-muscled these countries, and used its military might to topple Saddam’s regime in an attempt to grab Iraq’s oil and assert its power over the Middle East. Today we see sharpening trade tensions between the U.S. and China and Europe.

Simultaneously, big business needs a state apparatus – police, military, courts, jails, etc. - to prevent the working class and oppressed at home from rising up. Just look at the racist “war on drugs” that has criminalized a generation of black and Latino youth, or the brutal state repression of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The nation-state, which at one point in history played a progressive role in developing the economy and society, has now become a tremendous obstacle to the further development of society. With the development of global capitalism, our society and economy are increasingly globally integrated. Problems such as poverty, war, and global warming are international and cannot be solved on a narrow national basis. International coordination and planning is desperately needed.

However, with capitalist nations constantly divided by ruthless competition, genuine global cooperation is not possible. But there is a social force whose material interests compel it to organize together on an international plane - the working class. The working class is economically and socially bound together globally by capitalism. It is an international class that is united by common interests and faces a common enemy.

In taking power, the working class would be able to free the economy and society from the artificial confines of the national boundaries capitalism has established. Instead, a democratic socialist plan would link together the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with the rest of Latin America in a voluntary socialist confederation of the Americas to share our resources, knowledge, and technology.

A socialist confederation of the Americas would lay the foundation for decent living standards for working people across both continents, while protecting our environment. People would no longer be forced to leave their homeland for economic reasons, and free movement across borders would no longer be something to fear.

Only through fighting for a socialist world can we end this brutal capitalist system that pits workers against each other, seeks to take away our rights, and drives our living standards into the ground. When the workers of the world unite, the only thing we have to lose is our chains.



Europe

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US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address, 21/01/2015

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NEWS

Greece: Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten
29/01/2015, Editorial of The Socialist, newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
An inspiration for workers and youth across Europe

China: Slowest growth rate since 1990
25/01/2015, chinaworker.info reporters:
Economy decelerated 30 percent in five years

Northern Ireland: Water service workers win important victory
23/01/2015, Donal O’Cofaigh, Socialist Party, Fermanagh:
A victory for all workers and an inspiration to resist the ‘race to the bottom’

Sri Lanka: Mobilise now to defend our demands
22/01/2015, Tu Senan, International Coordinator of the Tamil Solidarity campaign:
Article first published in the Colombo Telegraph

US: Kshama Sawant gives socialist response to Obama’s "State of the Union" address
21/01/2015, Socialistworld.net, via socialistalternative.org:
"Why can’t Barack Obama say “Black Lives Matter”?"

Review: ‘Eleanor Marx - a life’
17/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI. Article published in the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Clare Doyle reviews ’Eleanor Marx - A Life’ by Rachel Holmes

Video: Joe Higgins questions Irish Central Bank governor
16/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
Socialist MP grills establishment over banking bubble and collapse

Nigeria: 2015 general elections and the working masses
16/01/2015, Aj. Dagga Tolar and Kola Ibrahim, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Boko Haram and the war in the north-east

Video: Ruth Coppinger calls for referendum on abortion rights in Ireland
15/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
"You march in Paris, yet uphold laws any religious fundamentalist would envy"

Video: A year of struggle in Brazil
14/01/2015, socialistworld.net:
LSR members intervene in struggles of 2014

Sri Lanka: New but uncertain period opens up
14/01/2015, Clare Doyle, CWI:
President Sirisena aims for clean government but will face difficulties

Iran: Labour and children’s rights activist, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, sentenced to another nine years
13/01/2015, Campaign in Support Workers of Iran:
International action needed to overturn latest conviction and to immediately release Behnam

France: Millions march for solidarity
12/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Unity against racism and capitalism!

New Zealand: Extreme poverty worsens
12/01/2015, CWI Reporters, NZ/Aotearoa:
Workers need to build political alternative to major parties’ big business agenda

France: Counter terrorist threat with workers-led mass unity
10/01/2015, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) website editorial:
The shocking, cold blooded slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, and more killings in subsequent days, has been met with mass outrage

Norway: General strike called for 28 January
10/01/2015, Trond Sverre and Elise Kollveit (CWI, Oslo):
Two-hour protest against worsening working conditions

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa defeated
09/01/2015, TU Senan, CWI:
Period of uncertainty opens

Sweden: New elections cancelled
09/01/2015, Questions answered by Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden):
“Peace deal” between government and right-wing opposition

France: Deadly attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo
08/01/2015, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
Defend freedom of speech! Don’t let us be divided!

Hong Kong: Politics transformed by ‘Umbrella Revolution’
07/01/2015, Editorial from Socialist magazine《社會主義者, of CWI in China and Hong Kong:
A fighting democratic movement must be created to continue and build upon this historic “first round”

Israel-Palestine: A successful Socialism conference in the shadow of national divide
06/01/2015, Or Dar, Socialist Struggle Movement, CWI in Israel-Palestine:
Over 150 people participated in the ‘Socialism Conference 2014’ in Tel Aviv, organised by the Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM - CWI in Israel-Palestine)

Environment: Market forces hold back renewable energy
01/01/2015, Pete Dickinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Have capitalist governments around the world finally woken up to the danger of global warming?

Britain: In defence of TUSC
30/12/2014, Clive Heemskerk, from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
As the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gears up for its biggest ever electoral stand…

CWI: National Question a key feature of political crisis of capitalism
28/12/2014, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI Scotland):
A socialist solution to national oppression

Scotland:Blairite wins election as Labour’s new Scottish leader
27/12/2014, Philip Stott, SPS (CWI Scotland):
Murphy’s election means trade unions must build a new workers party

Obituary: Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
26/12/2014, Conor Flynn, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia):
Former Australian Labour Party (ALP) prime minister

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Greece: Why did Syriza and the communist party (KKE) fail to reach an agreement?
27/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January

Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement
05/01/2015, Michael Cleary, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Agreeing Not To Agree, Again

New Year: Political and economic ingredients for volatile 2015
31/12/2014, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
As crisis of capitalism worsens, vital to organise and continue the struggle

Latin America: The end of one cycle and the beginning of another
17/12/2014, socialistworld.net:
Document on Latin America, agreed by CWI International Executive Committee

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
15/12/2014, CWI International Executive Committee:
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Sri Lanka: Presidential Election January 8, 2015
11/12/2014, Interview with Siritunga Jayasuriya, USP (CWI Sri Lanka):
Socialist candidate challenges all other forces

Australia: Major community victory stops Melbourne’s East-West Toll Road
08/12/2014, By Socialist Party (CWI Australia) reporters, Melbourne:
Socialist Party leads successful campaign against Toll Road and for investment in public transport

World Perspectives: A turbulent period in history
27/11/2014, International Secretariat of the CWI :
Signs of revival of class struggle signposts the future

Ireland: Lies and distortions against community protests, the AAA and the Socialist Party
21/11/2014, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) reporters:
Government and Water Charges completely undermined

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu threatens “heavy hand” response to synagogue attacks
19/11/2014, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement (SSM):
New rounds of repression answered by new wave of rage and protest

Ukraine: Competing ’elections’ deepen divisions
15/11/2014, Rob Jones, CWI Moscow:
Working people need socialist alternative to warring oligarchs and outside powers

Northern Ireland: 20 years after the ceasefires
10/11/2014, Ciaran Mulholland, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
In 1994, the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries called ceasefires. Four years later the Good Friday agreement was declared to mark the end of the ‘Troubles’…

Germany: 25 years since November 9
09/11/2014, By Robert Bechert, CWI, who was living in Berlin in 1989:
Berlin Wall brought down by mass revolutionary movement

Elections in Brazil
07/11/2014, Andre Ferrari, LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Narrow win for Dilma sets scene for more crisis and instability

Russia’s 1917 socialist revolution
07/11/2014, Clare Doyle, CWI:
November 7th anniversary of workers taking power

Ireland: Stunning Dublin by-election victory, huge water protests…new chapter for working class resistance
04/11/2014, Kevin McLoughlin, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
How the Anti Austerity Alliance won a parliamentary seat and the way forward for the Left

Kurdistan: Battle for Kobanê at a crossroads
31/10/2014, Serge Jordan, CWI:
What does US military ‘assistance’ mean for the Kurdish struggle?

A ‘third industrial revolution’
28/10/2014, Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
New technological innovations are having a huge impact on the capitalist system, a subject explored in a new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society.