Theory & History

Occupy Wall Street: Tremble Ye Bankers the People Are Coming

Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world said earlier this year that “There has been class warfare going on... and my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them”. The onset of neo-liberal capitalism in the late 1970s that saw a shift away from manufacturing because the rate of profit for the corporations therein had flatlined, towards a finance capitalism in particular, facilitated a huge squeezing of the US working class, dashing the American Dream for the majority and massively increasing the wealth of the tiny minority of super-rich.

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Karl Marx – the relevance of his ideas today

“So Karl Marx, it seems, was partly right in arguing that globalisation, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth distribution of income away from labor to capital could lead to capitalism to self-destruct (though his view that socialism would be better has proven wrong). Firms are cutting jobs because there is not enough final demand. But cutting jobs reduces labor income, increased inequality and reduces final demand”- Nouriel Roubini

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The other 9/11 – The Pinochet Coup in Chile 1973

The capitalist media and commentators have given great emphasis to discussing the consequences and lessons of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York a decade ago. Yet this was not the first ‘9/11’. Following the first 9/11, thousands were slaughtered and thousands more tortured and suffered the horrific consequences which followed. This slaughter took place not in the US but in Chile on September 11th 1973. It was planned and executed not from the tribal territories of Afghanistan or Pakistan but in the head-quarters of the CIA and the White House, in collusion with the ruling elite in Chile and its armed forces. This 9/11 should be commemorated, and its lessons studied, by socialists and workers everywhere.

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No to War – No to Terrorism

The following article was written in the immediate aftermath of the criminal  attacks in New York on September 11th. It deals with the attitude of Marxists to these horrific events and to the methods of terrorism generally.

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The British Poll Tax: When mass non-payment defeated Thatcher

The following article is from Socialist View, the journal of the Socialist Party. It outlines the history and key lessons of the mass campaign against the Poll Tax that was led by members of Militant in Britain, the forerunner of the Socialist Party. This campaign succeeded in organising mass non-payment of the hated poll tax, with 18 million refusing to pay it thus forced it's abolition and the resignation of Thatcher herself.  There are many important lessons that can drawn from this campaign, most notably that it was organised on a national basis and with a clear understanding of the kind of strategy and tactics necessary to defeat the attack. The Socialist Party in Ireland is committed to help build such a campaign to defeat the introduction of the household charges in January of next year.

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Water Charges Struggle: The lessons for today

The following article was written in Spring 2001 in Socialist View, the political journal of the Socialist Party, about the Dublin anti-water charges that existed from 1993 to 1996. In January 2012 the government will introduce a household charge of €100 as a step towards introducing a property tax and water charges. Working class activists who will be critical to building a campaign of mass non payment to these charges in every community can draw crucial lessons from this campaign which the Socialist Party played a key leading role in.

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Capitalism uncovered

Ha-Joon Chang exposes today’s rapacious capitalism, dominated by finance and driven by short-term profit maximisation. He provides a devastating critique of the ideology of ‘free-market’ economics. But while pointing to fundamental contradictions of the system, Chang draws back from a real alternative. socialistparty.net reviews "23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism".

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Lenin – the original dictator?

Vladimir Lenin, the main leader of the Russian revolution, made the following insightful observation in mid-1917: “During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred, and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonise them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the ‘consolation’ of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarising it”. (State and Revolution)

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