Theory & History

Capitalism and the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919

By Keishia Taylor The 1918-1919 “Spanish Flu” killed between 50-100 million people, more than the number of deaths in the First and Second World Wars combined. According to expert Laura Spinney the Spanish flu “re-sculpted human populations more radically than anything since the Black Death.” The war plague The influenza epidemic began in the spring of 1918, quickly spreading throughout ...

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1930s Great Depression & global crisis today

“The shock to the global economy from COVID-19 has been both faster and more severe than… even the Great Depression.” That comment by economist Nouriel Roubini on 24th March indicates the growing possibility of global events entering an entirely new period. One way to prepare is to study and draw lessons from the 1930s. By Per-Ake Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (our ...

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Fine Gael forced to back down from celebrating repressive colonial police

By Manus Lenihan Widespread anger has forced the government to retreat, at least temporarily, from holding a commemoration for the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP). These two police forces upheld colonial, landlord and capitalist rule in Ireland. They were a blunt instrument in the hands of the big landlords, carrying out evictions and beating down protests, ...

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Shortages and expensive prices. Medicines and vaccines: the market makes us sick!

This article by a trade union shop-steward in a major pharmaceutical company was first published in Lutte Socialiste/De Linkse Socialist, monthly paper of PSL/LSP – our sister organisation in Belgium. In recent weeks, a number of scandals connected to the pharmaceutical sector have broken out. Firstly, over the very high treatment costs for a sick baby, in response to which ...

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Review: People’s Republic of Walmart

People’s Republic of Walmart: How the World’s Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism By Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski Verso Books, 2019 Among the most common arguments conservatives hurl at socialism is that planned economies always fail. Typically capitalists argue that, despite the flaws of the free market, it’s far better than any other system that has existed ...

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The Berlin Wall comes down as power lay in the streets

On 9th November 1989 the Berlin Wall was pulled down in dramatic scenes. In the latest of our series marking the events of 1989 in Eastern Europe, Ingmar Meinecke of SAV (German section of the CWI-majority), who as a teenager participated in these events, explains what happened.   “Dear friends, fellow citizens, it is as if one has opened the windows ...

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Review of From Lucifer to Lazarus – A Life on the Left

From Lucifer to Lazarus – A Life on the Left  By Mick O’Reilly Published by Lilliput, 2019 Reviewed by Michael O’Brien This autobiography by the former Irish Regional Secretary of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers’ Union (ATGWU, since renamed Unite) is, among other things, an important window into a period of the Irish workers’ movement going back to the ...

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Capitalist rivalry, trade wars & Globalisation Today

The last year-and-a-half has seen a steady escalation of a trade war between the world’s two major capitalist powers, the United States and China. This dispute takes place against the background of the world economy undergoing a period of what has been described as “slowbalisation” and a reversal of the process of globalisation, writes Cillian Gillespie. In May of this ...

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Review: The Socialist Manifesto

Published by: Verso Books, 2019 In this year’s State of the Union address, Donald Trump stated that “America will never be a socialist country.” More recently, he declared that he will be running in 2020 to fight a “socialist takeover.” Why, all of a sudden, do we have this anti-socialist rhetoric? Because socialist ideas are making a comeback! A recent ...

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Collapse of the Soviet bloc 1989

Revolutionary movement with counter-revolutionary consequences Rob Jones – Sotsialisticheskaya Alternativa ( sister organisation of the Socialist Party in Russia) This article is the first in a series to commemorate the events of 1989 In Poland, on the 13th September 1989, the ‘Solidarnosc’ trade union, after winning an overwhelming majority in an election, formed the first ‘non-communist’ government in the former ...

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