deutsch |  english |  español  |  français  |  italiano  |  nederlands  |  polski  |  português  |  svenska  |  türkçe  |  中文  |  عربي  |  русский

latest news

Britain
After the referendum

24/06/2016: Tories Out! General election now! Fight for a 24 hour general strike

  Britain, Europe

Pakistan
Budget 2016-17

24/06/2016: The digits change but reality remains a nightmare for most

  Pakistan

Britain
EU referendum

23/06/2016: Whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

  Britain

Taiwan
Student protests win important victory

23/06/2016: Education ministry retreats over increased tuition fees

  Taiwan

Italy
Prime Minister Renzi’s party routed

22/06/2016: Five Star mayors elected in Rome and Turin

  Italy

Ireland
The left wing case for leaving the EU

22/06/2016: Article by Paul Murphy, Irish MP and former MEP and CWI member

  Ireland Republic

Hong Kong
New protests as kidnapped bookseller speaks out

22/06/2016: Gangster methods of China’s regime exposed

  Hong Kong

Ireland
This weak government can be beaten

21/06/2016: “The reality is that a small clique of hard-left, Trotskyite politicians, who are quite upfront about seeking to overthrow the current system, are now arguably setting the political agenda.” (Shane Coleman, Irish Independent 17 May 2016)

  Ireland Republic

 Pakistan
Women health workers protest in Sindh

21/06/2016: Lady Health Workers organisation protests at non-payment of wages

  Pakistan, Women

Britain
EU referendum

19/06/2016: Whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

  Britain

US
Stand together against bigotry, war and terrorism

17/06/2016: Orlando – massive wave of solidarity with LGBTQ community

  US

Asia
Conflict in the South China Sea

16/06/2016: Territorial disputes resemble pieces on a ‘geopolitical chessboard’ as the US and China struggle for hegemony in Asia

  Asia, China

Middle East
ISIS under pressure on several fronts

15/06/2016: Working classes, through bitterest of experiences, will take to road of mass struggle again

  Iraq, Middle East, Syria

France
Massive protest demonstration in Paris

15/06/2016: Workers march as Senate debates hated labour law reform

  France

 US
Over 100,000 sign petition for independent Sanders challenge

13/06/2016: Surge in support for petition initiated by socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

  US, Video

US
Orlando massacre

13/06/2016: Stand with our LGBTQ Sisters and Brothers! Fight back against Scapegoating & Islamophobia!

  US

Belgium
New trade union action plan

13/06/2016: “The cup is full !”

  Belgium

Egypt’s workers in revolt

12/06/2016: Review of "The Egyptians: a radical story"

  Egypt

Environment
EU green myths

11/06/2016: The truth about the EU and the environment

  Environment

EU
Left parties turning against bosses’ Europe

10/06/2016: Progress in Portugal and Spain, confusion in Britain

  Europe, Portugal, Spain

History
China’s ’Cultural Revolution’ 1966-67

10/06/2016: 50 years ago the ’Cultural Revolution’ began in China.

  China, History

Britain
Youth and the EU referendum

09/06/2016: Fight for our future, starting with a Leave vote to smash the Tories

  Britain

Muhammad Ali
A fighter who inspired millions

09/06/2016: Establishment forced to incorporate his legend into re-writing of history

  Sport

Review
The working-class case against the EU

08/06/2016: Review of ‘And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

  Review

China
1989 mass movement and June 4 massacre

08/06/2016: Video by CWI comrades in China and Hong Kong

  China, History

Greece
Victory for Athens bus cleaners

07/06/2016: Strike action wins major concessions from contractors and bus administration

  Greece

Northern Ireland
Biggest union votes to support exit from the EU

06/06/2016: Union and Labour leaders should join NIPSA and other combative unions in opposing bosses’ club

  Ireland North

Venezuela
On the brink of collapse?

04/06/2016: Counter-revolution gaining ground

  Venezuela

Germany
After party conference, where is DIE LINKE going?

03/06/2016: SAV/CWI member Lucy Redler elected to national committee

  Germany

Portugal
Lisbon dockers victory against precarious work

02/06/2016: Militant strike action blocks bosses attempts to undermine collective bargaining

  Portugal

Britain
Tories tearing themselves apart over EU referendum

01/06/2016: Socialists say, ‘Vote Leave to get Cameron out!’

  Britain

France
Fight against Valls/Hollande government intensifies

31/05/2016: Gauche Revolutionnaire statement underlines vital need for political alternative

  France

Spain
Left government on the horizon in June elections

31/05/2016: Establishment parties panic as Podemos and United Left agree joint election challenge

  Spain

Greece
Bus cleaners renew strike after management’s broken promises

29/05/2016: "Triple-oppressed workers - immigrants, women and low-paid – show way forward"

  Greece

Congo
Day of Protest 26 May

28/05/2016: New massacres in mineral-rich region

  Congo

Sweden

The reality of Swedish neo-liberalism

www.socialistworld.net, 28/05/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Sweden once had a reputation as some kind of ‘social-democratic model’ with far-reaching public services and social support. But that has been dismantled by two decades of attacks – what the Economist magazine calls a ‘silent revolution’

Per Olsson, Rättisvepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden)

The article below was written before the explosive events of the past week in Sweden (see http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/6327). It details the background of a dramatic turnaround in a country once held to be a model of equality and security. The anger of the most disadvantaged in Swedish society, displayed on the streets, has now hit the media world-wide. Socialistworld.net will carry further updates from Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden).

Sweden has weathered the crisis and the country is showing that slashing welfare, lowering taxes and imposing caps on government expenditure is working. That is the message from the capitalist press, think-tanks and right-wing governments around the world. The Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg, was even named Europe’s best finance minister by the Financial Times. But Sweden is no exception to the rule. Years of austerity and right-wing policies have seriously undermined the social fabric of society, while Swedish capitalism has become even more imbalanced and unstable.

The old Swedish model is no more. Instead, Sweden has become a model of neo-liberalism. It has had a more rapid liberalisation than any other advanced economy in the world, in terms of privatisation and deregulation. This was the conclusion of the American think-tank, The Heritage Foundation, last year.

Recently, the arch-conservative Economist magazine published a survey headlined, ‘The Nordic Countries, The Next Supermodel’. Singling out Sweden in particular, it said: “The leftward lurch has been reversed: rather than extending the state into the market, the Nordics are extending the market into the state”. It described the process, triumphantly, as a “silent revolution”, where the welfare state has been dismantled, private companies run schools, elderly homes and nurseries, and transport is fully deregulated.

“Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare’s nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%”. (Economist, 1 February 2013)

This ‘silent revolution’ has transformed Sweden to such extent that “Milton Friedman would be more at home in [the capital] Stockholm than in Washington, DC”, concluded the Economist. The profound changes taking place in Sweden over the last 25 years are more accurately described as a counter-revolution against all the social gains made in the past.

It was the social-democratic government of the late 1980s that started what is known in Sweden as the “the system change”. Since then, regardless of which party or parties are in power, this massive onslaught on the public sector has been combined with deregulation and privatisation, so-called market-oriented reforms.

Attacking welfare, attacking unions

Unlike most European countries, Sweden experienced a recovery after 2009, with annual real GDP growth reaching 6.1% in 2010 and 4% the following year. However, this followed the largest drop in modern times, when GDP fell by 5.5% in 2009. Unemployment is still high, 7.5%, and long-term unemployment has increased to 30% of all unemployed, much higher than in 2006-08. Last year, workers experienced a 0.4% fall in real wages.

The crisis of 2008-09 hit Sweden hard, but for several reasons it was relatively short-lived and was mainly restricted to the industrial sector, which is heavily dependent on global investment and trade. In 2009, industrial production dropped by 20% and investment fell by 23%. Tens of thousands of industrial workers lost their jobs. The service sector was less affected thanks to household spending fuelled by tax cuts for those in work and the continuation of the credit boom. Yet, even in the course of the crisis, household debts increased and people were prepared to take loans to buy a house or flat as housing prices increased by 7% in 2009.

From 2006 to 2010 the right-wing government – a coalition of four traditional bourgeois parties led by the Moderates (the Swedish Tories) – cut taxes on wages four times (by roughly €7 billion, 2.4% of GDP). It has also reduced corporate and payroll taxes, lowered the property taxes and abolished wealth and heritage taxes. These tax cuts benefitted the rich, above all.

Nevertheless, they did act as a stimulus to the economy, damping the effects of the global capitalist crisis of 2007-09. However, the government’s intention was also to buy popular support, sow divisions within the working class, and force the unemployed to accept low-wage and insecure jobs. Tax cuts for the better off were accompanied by draconian cuts in unemployment benefit and sick pay. Sweden became one of few countries where pensions are taxed at a higher rate than wages.

There was another motive behind the government’s policy: to weaken the trade unions. The first decision the government took after coming to power in autumn 2006 was to make severe changes to the unemployment benefit funds, which are controlled by the unions in Sweden. From 1 January 2007 the contributions were increased considerably and tax rebates for unemployment benefit fund payments and union membership were abolished. This was followed by other decisions which meant an even greater difference in the various contributions paid to unemployment funds – the higher the unemployment figure among members in one union, the higher the contribution.

The government aimed to make it too expensive to be a trade union member and to smash the links between union membership and the unemployment insurance. This is one reason why Swedish trade unions lost 273,000 members between 2007 and 2011, and why the level of unionisation has fallen to 70%, compared to 85% in 1993.

These neo-liberal policies meant a rapid dismantling of welfare. “In 2005, Sweden had the second most generous unemployment insurance scheme in the world but, according to a new report, the income replacement benefits for out-of-work Swedes ranks below the OECD average. And, for the first time since 1952, the duration of Sweden’s sickness insurance benefits, 52 weeks, is below the OECD average”. (The Local, 12 May 2012)

Spending on welfare benefits, such as pensions, unemployment and incapacity assistance, has fallen by almost a third since the early 1990s, to 13% of GDP, putting Sweden only just above the OECD average. Over the last few years, the holes in the social safety net have got bigger and there has been an unprecedented increase in inequality. “Sweden has seen the steepest increase in inequality during the past 15 years amongst the 34 OECD countries, with disparities rising at four times the US rate”. (Financial Times, 21 April 2012)

Economic imbalances

The recovery after 2009 was driven largely by an increase in exports as global demand started growing again, in particular for capital goods – engineering products comprise more than half of Sweden’s exports – and commodities such as iron and steel. Sweden sends most of its export to Germany and Norway, two countries that have experienced growth over recent years. Swedish capitalism also benefited from the boom in China and other Asian countries: Asia now accounts for 13% of Swedish exports. But Europe is still by far the biggest market: more than 70% of Sweden’s exports go to European countries.

In the last quarter of 2011 there were already signs of slower growth in Sweden as the crisis in Europe worsened and the global recovery was losing speed. “After two years of market gains, we foresee losses of market shares in 2012-13 due to a less favourable demand composition and worsening competitiveness”. (Swedbank economic forecast, 24 April 2012)

Since then, the economy has stagnated, while unemployment is on the rise, reaching 8% in January this year. Youth unemployment is much higher. According to the United Nations Regional Information Centre, in March, Sweden had “the highest ratio of youth unemployment vs unemployment in general in the OECD. Unemployment among the under 24s in Sweden is 24.2%, or four times the average unemployment rate”.

Swedish capitalism has become over-dependent on a limited number of products, while reliance on global demand has made it more imbalanced and dependent on short-term events. Owing to industry’s dependence on foreign markets, it is inevitable that the particular problems in Europe will affect exports. This year, Sweden will be back to sluggish growth, at best 1-2%. At the same time as export growth slows, building and construction is almost back to the same difficult situation as in the crisis year, 2008.

Private consumption and the expansion of the private service sector can no longer give the same boost to demand and growth. This is due to several reasons. Firstly, rising unemployment and inequality; over the last 18 months, the number of redundancies in industry has doubled. Further cuts in social spending mean further job losses in healthcare and education, for example, and a crisis is developing in retail. In addition, reduced job security and more people in precarious work have made it easier and cheaper for the bosses to sack workers.

The fiscal discipline mantra

It is also the result of the right-wing policies and austerity measures that have been implemented. The present Swedish government must be regarded as one of the EU’s most neo-liberal and hawkish. ‘Fiscal discipline’ has become a law that requires a budget surplus equal to 1% of GDP on average over the business cycle, combined with a system of annual expenditure limits.

Government spending, relative to GDP, has been falling for many years (under the present government, from 52.9% in 2006 to 51.8% in 2011), while infrastructure is in a state of decline. Over the last 25 years, Sweden has spent less than the European average on operating, maintaining, and investing in infrastructure. For example, railroad operations and maintenance receive far below the EU average. Even local governments’ budgets have to be balanced, meaning annual cut-backs.

These harsh policies undermine the domestic market and reinforce the present trends towards greater inequality. “Eurostat said recently that, after Bulgaria, Sweden had the second biggest rise in the percentage of its population deemed at-risk-of poverty”, wrote Reuters (21 March 2012) in an article headlined ‘Swedish Equality Fades Away As Rich Get Richer’. The other side of the coin is that the number of US-dollar millionaires in Sweden reached a record level last year – 61,000 individuals. There were ten Swedes on the Forbes magazine’s ‘Richest People in the World 2012’ list, despite Sweden having only 9.5 million inhabitants. In 2012, the combined wealth of the 119 richest Swedes equalled 40% of the GDP. The gap between rich and poor has never been greater.

Household disposable income will experience a modest growth, at best, while wage growth remains subdued. It is unlikely that the government will implement any further tax cuts – apart from lowering corporate taxes, that is. Private and household debt has reached alarming levels. Household debt surged to 170% of disposable incomes last year, compared with 90% in 1996. According to the OECD, Swedish house prices were overvalued by 30% in relation to income. When unemployment rises and income weakens, households will face more difficulties servicing loans and the housing bubble will start to burst.

In addition, the government is in a dead end. Its so-called ‘job-promotion’ policy is a complete failure: unemployment is much higher now than in 2006 and the employment rate is lower. Only a third of those unemployed have access to unemployment benefit, the rest have to live on social benefits, families or friends. In 2006 most unemployed people received benefits from the unemployment insurance system linked to the trade unions. The job-promotion policy has been reduced to one of creating “unskilled, simple jobs”, in the words of prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, in other words, low-paid temporary jobs. Already close to one-in-five workers are on a temporary contract, over a quarter of the workforce works part-time (mainly women), although most of them want to work full time.

On top of all this, the present property bubble is bound to implode. Sweden has one of the most overvalued housing markets in the world, with house prices overvalued by an estimated 25-30%. Sweden is heading towards a new crisis, while right-wing policies and neo-liberalism are becoming increasingly unpopular.

The mood has turned against privatisation and the looting of the public sector by venture capitalists. The ruling coalition is losing ground and the government would be outvoted if an election were held today. But discontent with government has not turned into huge support for the Social Democrats (SAP – Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party). Despite the anti-governmental mood, SAP is only supported by 31.9% of voters, just a slight increase on the last election in 2010, when it won only 30.6%, its lowest vote since 1911.

The lack of a genuine left-wing alternative and the low level of struggle and consciousness, has given the Sweden Democrats, a right-wing racist party, a chance to capitalise on the general mood of discontent. Its support is up to 10% – the third biggest party. Right-wing populist and racist parties exist in every Scandinavian country. In that respect, Scandinavia is a warning of what could happen if the workers’ movement is not prepared to organise a serious fight-back against market-oriented policies.

Looting the health service

Significantly, close to 80% in opinion polls want a ban on profit in the welfare sector. The opinion pendulum started to swing after a wave of shocking scandals in privately-run elderly care homes. (One fifth of elderly care, residential or home help, is in private hands.) Many scandals have been exposed, but none as horrendous as that of a home for elderly people run by Carema, a private company owned by venture capitalists hiding profits in a tax haven.

A report by stockholmnews.com (11 November 2012) revealed: “A patient died due to sepsis caused by a poor management of wounds. Several significantly malnourished patients. Unnecessary amputations. A lack of supply when it comes to medical drugs. Many falling accidents. A lack of both expertise and personnel. These are some of the abuses that a doctor has reported about at the Koppargården, health and social care accommodation for elderly located in Stockholm, run by the private company Carema”.

The same scandalous conditions were then revealed at other homes run by Carema and other private companies, whose aim is to make profits not provide care. “Everything is only about saving, saving, saving”, said Carema’s employees. Research also shows that staffing levels in for-profit nursing homes are lower than those in the public sector. The private companies operating in the public sector act as looters. They are paid by taxpayers’ money to run elderly homes, hospitals and schools but all the money they make is ferried to tax havens and then distributed to the shareholders. When Sweden has privatised its public services, public financing has generally been maintained while the management of the services has been contracted out.

Looting education

Education is another sector showing the appalling effects of privatisation, with the education system in a state of crisis. Market reforms have led to an astronomic growth in the numbers of privately-run so-called ‘free schools’ as the government aims to turn the clock back to the old socially-segregated school system which promotes a small elite.

This turn towards a market-oriented education policy actually began in the late 1980s and, as with other such policies, it was supported by the Social Democrats. The introduction of a school voucher system in the 1990s meant that nearly anyone could start a school and receive public funding. Since then there has been a huge increase in the number of privately-run schools. Today, more than 20% of primary and secondary school children attend a privately-run school funded by public money.

Sweden and Chile are the only countries were profit-making schools are publicly financed with taxpayers’ money. “Private schools are siphoning off millions of crowns of taxpayers’ money instead of reinvesting it in better education, according to the LR [one of Sweden’s two teachers’ unions]. In a report today the union claimed a handful of companies have earned close to US$20 million from running private schools funded by the state”. (Swedish radio, 4 January 2012)

The same report concluded that private schools are seen as a safe investment for profit-hungry private equity firms. The private school sector is controlled by six private companies. The biggest of the six, Academedia, is owned by the venture capital firm, EQT, registered in the tax haven of Guernsey. Academedia has over 100 schools and 45,000 pupils in Sweden. It made record profits of over $29 million in 2010.

Schools run by private companies spend less money on each pupil/student and have fewer teachers than publicly-run schools. Private schools lack libraries, canteens, school playgrounds, etc. In Stockholm you can find private schools in cellars. Instead of having access to a playground at break times, some students have had to make do with a cemetery! The introduction of private schools has increased social and ethnic segregation and an overall decline in standards. “Neither pupils/students nor society as a whole has gained from the last 20 years of deregulation”, concluded LR. Results in Swedish schools are falling behind, according to international studies, such as PISA and TIMSS, while the number of students who qualify for high-school programmes has decreased for six years in a row.

The struggle against privatisation and for public welfare will shape further developments. That is why members of the Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden) took the initiative by setting up the campaign, Welfare Without Profit, which has become a broad and genuine grassroots movement bringing together trade unionists, left activists and local campaigners.

The campaign and its call for an end to privatisation and for massive investment in public welfare are catching the mood. It even got an echo within the Social Democracts, which is deeply divided on the issue. Its leaders defend privatisation and profit-run schools, elderly homes, etc, but are being challenged openly by party members. As a reflection of the change in mood, last year’s LO (TUC) congress in June 2012 decided, against the will of the leadership, to support the non-profit principle in welfare. However, after the congress, the leadership altered that to a curb on profit, which shows that the present trade union leaders are not prepared to organise a fight against the rule of capital and neo-liberalism.

The battle lines are drawn in what can become one of the most important struggles in recent history. The campaign for public welfare is a struggle against decaying capitalism that regards further privatisation as an article of faith. It is a struggle to overthrow the old parasitic capitalist system and to replace it with a democratic socialist society.



Europe

 video

US: Over 100,000 sign petition for independent Sanders challenge, 13/06/2016

 further videos

CWI - get involved


solidarity

tamil solidarity campaign kazakhstan

featured links

Socialist Party Ireland

cwi links

Marxist.net, CWI marxist archive

cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

analysis and commentary


cwi publications

marxism in today's world che

Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

Por Tony Saunois

A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Britain: After the referendum
24/06/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary:
Tories Out! General election now! Fight for a 24 hour general strike

Pakistan: Budget 2016-17
24/06/2016, Muhammad Khan Ahmedani Socialist Movement Sindh, Pakistan:
The digits change but reality remains a nightmare for most

Britain: EU referendum
23/06/2016, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

Taiwan: Student protests win important victory
23/06/2016, CWI Taiwan:
Education ministry retreats over increased tuition fees

Italy: Prime Minister Renzi’s party routed
22/06/2016, Chris Thomas, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Five Star mayors elected in Rome and Turin

Ireland: The left wing case for leaving the EU
22/06/2016, Originally published on sluggerotoole.com:
Article by Paul Murphy, Irish MP and former MEP and CWI member

Hong Kong: New protests as kidnapped bookseller speaks out
22/06/2016, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Gangster methods of China’s regime exposed

Ireland: This weak government can be beaten
21/06/2016, By Paul Murphy, Anti-Austerity Alliance MP and Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) member:
“The reality is that a small clique of hard-left, Trotskyite politicians, who are quite upfront about seeking to overthrow the current system, are now arguably setting the political agenda.” (Shane Coleman, Irish Independent 17 May 2016)

Pakistan: Women health workers protest in Sindh
21/06/2016, Sughran Khaskheli:
Lady Health Workers organisation protests at non-payment of wages

Britain: EU referendum
19/06/2016, Editorial of the Socialist, issue 906:
Whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

US: Stand together against bigotry, war and terrorism
17/06/2016, Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative:
Orlando – massive wave of solidarity with LGBTQ community

Middle East: ISIS under pressure on several fronts
15/06/2016, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Working classes, through bitterest of experiences, will take to road of mass struggle again

France : Massive protest demonstration in Paris
15/06/2016, Naomi Byron in France for The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales):
Workers march as Senate debates hated labour law reform

US: Over 100,000 sign petition for independent Sanders challenge
13/06/2016, socialistworld.net:
Surge in support for petition initiated by socialist councillor Kshama Sawant

US: Orlando massacre
13/06/2016, Immediate reaction from Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, Seattle:
Stand with our LGBTQ Sisters and Brothers! Fight back against Scapegoating & Islamophobia!

Belgium: New trade union action plan
13/06/2016, Nicolas Croes, PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium):
“The cup is full !”

Egypt’s workers in revolt
12/06/2016, Christine Thomas:
Review of "The Egyptians: a radical story"

Environment: EU green myths
11/06/2016, Claire Laker Mansfield, originally published in Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
The truth about the EU and the environment

History: China’s ’Cultural Revolution’ 1966-67
10/06/2016, Edited version of article written by Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe for Militant (predecessor of the Socialist) in February 1967.:
50 years ago the ’Cultural Revolution’ began in China.

Britain: Youth and the EU referendum
09/06/2016, Editorial from the Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales):
Fight for our future, starting with a Leave vote to smash the Tories

China: 1989 mass movement and June 4 massacre
08/06/2016, Socialist Action (CWI) reporters in Hong Kong:
Video by CWI comrades in China and Hong Kong

Greece: Victory for Athens bus cleaners
07/06/2016, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Kasimeris (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
Strike action wins major concessions from contractors and bus administration

Northern Ireland: Biggest union votes to support exit from the EU
06/06/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland):
Union and Labour leaders should join NIPSA and other combative unions in opposing bosses’ club

Venezuela: On the brink of collapse?
04/06/2016, Tony Saunois, Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI):
Counter-revolution gaining ground

Germany: After party conference, where is DIE LINKE going?
03/06/2016, Michael Koschitzki, SAV (CWI in Germany):
SAV/CWI member Lucy Redler elected to national committee

Portugal: Lisbon dockers victory against precarious work
02/06/2016, João Félix Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal):
Militant strike action blocks bosses attempts to undermine collective bargaining

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Asia: Conflict in the South China Sea
16/06/2016, This is an abridged version of an article by Vincent Kolo, originally published on chinaworker.info.:
Territorial disputes resemble pieces on a ‘geopolitical chessboard’ as the US and China struggle for hegemony in Asia

EU: Left parties turning against bosses’ Europe
10/06/2016, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Progress in Portugal and Spain, confusion in Britain

Muhammad Ali: A fighter who inspired millions
09/06/2016, Hugo Pierre, Socialism Today (originally published in 2003):
Establishment forced to incorporate his legend into re-writing of history

Review: The working-class case against the EU
08/06/2016, Hannah Sell, article from Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Review of ‘And The Weak Must Suffer What They Must?’ by Yanis Varoufakis

France: Fight against Valls/Hollande government intensifies
31/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Gauche Revolutionnaire statement underlines vital need for political alternative

Austria: Only 31,026 votes prevent far right’s Hofer becoming president
24/05/2016, Sonja Grusch, SLP (the Austrian section of the CWI):
‘Breathing space’ offers chance to build a fighting, democratic left alternative

Britain: EU referendum exposes gaping political fault-lines
24/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party England & Wales):
New road can open up for labour movement if working class relies on its own forces

Brazil: Fall of President Dilma Rousseff unleashes offensive against working class
19/05/2016, André Ferrari, LSR (‘Freedom, Socialism and Revolution’ - CWI Brazil):
The impeachment process and historic crisis of the PT (Workers’ Party)

Ireland: ‘Jobstown trials’ to go ahead
18/05/2016, Kieran Mahon, Anti-Austerity Alliance / Socialist Party Councillor, Dublin:
Government loses battle on water charges but wages war on Left

Saudi Arabia: Gathering storms over the House of Saud
13/05/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Collapse of oil prices expose fragile foundations of oil Gulf monarchies

France: New stage in battle over labour law
12/05/2016, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Hollande’s decision to over-rule parliament provokes another round of struggle

Ireland: 100th anniversary of the execution of James Connolly
12/05/2016, Three articles on Connolly’s life and ideas :
Revolutionary socialist, militant workers' leader and internationalist

Belgium: Trade unions announce new plan of action
11/05/2016, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium) Reporters:
Call for two national demonstrations, building towards general strikes

Britain: 90th anniversary of epochal general strike
05/05/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) general secretary:
When workers tasted power

Israel/Palestine: The Marxist left, the national conflict and the
Palestinian struggle

29/04/2016, Socialist Struggle Movement (CWI Israel-Palestine):
The necessity of a class approach and a socialist alternative

France: One-day strike set for 28 April
26/04/2016, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France):
A final stage before indefinite action against Hollande’s government?

US: The un-Democratic Primary
22/04/2016, Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle, originally published on counterpunch.org:
Why we need new party of the 99%

Capitalism: a failing system
18/04/2016, Peter Taaffe, from May edition of Socialism Today, magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
A new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, analyses the downward course of the US economy – and the limits of the whole capitalist system

Review: ’Militant’ by Michael Crick
14/04/2016, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary:
Lessons of Militant vital for anti-austerity struggles today

US election turmoil
01/04/2016, By Tony Saunois (CWI Secretary) who recently visited the US for meetings of Socialist Alternative:
Bernie Sanders campaign - an opportunity to build a new party of the 99%

Britain: A new moment
28/03/2016, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), published in April 2016 issue of Socialism Today:
Extracts from a statement discussed at the Socialist Party’s recent congress

Ireland: 100th anniversary of Easter 1916 Rising
26/03/2016, Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
A revolt against imperial power and war

History: When Khrushchev denounced Stalin
26/03/2016, Niall Mulholland, from Socialism Today (April 2016 issue of the monthly journal of Socialist Party, England & Wales):
1956 ‘secret speech’ a devastating blow to Stalinist regimes

11th CWI World Congress: World Perspectives
22/03/2016, socialistworld.net:
Amended agreed version of the World Perspectives document agreed by the CWI’s 11th World Congress

Germany: Big gains for right-wing, nationalist, AfD in state elections
22/03/2016, Sascha Stanicic, Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
DIE LINKE (Left Party) urgently needs to change course