Lessons from a ground-breaking political artist
By Christina Prentice
Tate Britain’s current spotlight on Sylvia Pankhurst’s art work gives an extraordinary new insight into the most important feminist leader of the 20th century.
It challenges the view that she gave up art for politics and brings alive the importance of her distinctive brand of feminism – not the narrow struggle for parliamentary democracy for elite women, but a hegemonic view of the struggle needed to take the whole of society forward, in Britain and internationally.
By Paul Roberts
The Western backed parliamentary coup in the Ukraine was a significant advance for the US-led project of advancing its sphere of influence and pushing Russia further back in Eastern Europe. The US’s goals in the country have nothing to do with greater self-determination for Ukraine and are all about bringing it under imperialist control. Moreover this objective is not new, but has been the long-term aim of the US since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, to which end, aided and abetted by the EU, it has been funding and orchestrating pro-Western movements and organisations in Ukraine.
By Nicky Dempsey
Vile attacks on immigrants and ethnic minorities are continuing all across Europe.
Reaction is being whipped up by the pro-austerity parties, who also lend support to each other’s agendas. The latest example, but by no means the worst, is Merkel’s support for Cameron on her recent visit to Britain. While she was completely unwilling and unable to offer any encouragement on his central demand for a European referendum, the consolation prize offered was support for yet another ‘clampdown on benefit tourism’.
As part of a campaign launched by Venezuela’s extreme right-wing opposition leaders, which they have called La Salida (The Ousting), groups of violent Venezuelan opposition thugs launched a wave of violent street disturbances in various parts of Venezuela on Wednesday 12 February. Tragically this has resulted in the death of at least two people with the authorities reporting that 23 people were also injured.
By Bridget Robertson
The recent floods across the south west, which are set to spread this week further across the country, highlight the urgent need to both prepare for and do to everything possible to avert climate change.
The extraordinary and completely heroic actions of the Egyptian people have driven Mubarak from power. After thirty years of brutalism and torture, the US and Israeli backed dictator has been ousted. At a cost of hundreds of martyrs who gave their lives, after last week's defeat of Mubarak’s thugs in two days of street fighting, after the movement began to spread to working class strikes, after a final attempt by Mubarak at defiance yesterday night, after the gigantic outpouring of the people in answer today, the dictator has been driven out.
By Brian Williams
The political current Counterfire, which has its origins in the SWP, has chosen to produce as one of its first publications Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukács by Chris Nineham (Nineham, 2010). Such a choice is highly interesting in placing theoretical concepts developed by Lukács in the early 1920s as a basis for the approach of Counterfire. These concepts were specifically rejected by Lenin in very strong terms – he referred to Lukács’s views as ‘purely verbal’ Marxism. As ideas of, or similar to, the early Lukács are the basis not only of Counterfire but of other currents, and as they reveal more generally a misunderstanding of Marxism, analysing why these ideas are wrong – and why Lenin so specifically rejected them – is of importance to more than simply small circles.
By Alan Davis
The outpouring of popular rebellion in Egypt has inspired progressive people throughout the world. Literally millions were on the streets. The mass mobilisations are continuing despite the killing of hundreds of people by the security services and then the assaults on the protestors by state security thugs.
But in the last few days the various manoeuvrings at the top in Egypt and internationally have intensified.
By David James
Anyone who wants to understand why Cameron chose to launch his attack on multiculturalism last week, to the delight of the English Defence League and other fascist groups, need only follow the daily tracker polls carried by YouGov – which are a useful resource. Cameron’s speech was an attempt to bolster Tory support by one of the oldest capitalist manoeuvres – attempting to promote racism to divert the population’s attention from the real problems that are affecting them.
The Egyptian regime is attempting to suppress Al Jazeera’s reporting from the country. It has already closed down the Al Jazeera Arabic service in Egypt. Now it is attacking the English language service as well. On 31 January it arrested six Al Jazeera journalists. It was forced to release them after international protests but it detained all their equipment – TV cameras, recording equipment, laptops.
By Andrew Brown
The uprising of the people of Egypt, following the revolution in Tunisia, is one of those truly inspiring political events. For several decades US administrations believed they could trample on the Arab peoples with impunity. Buttressed by its client state in Israel, US imperialism believed that while peoples in other parts of the world might revolt, a series of quisling regimes, such as the Saudi and Egyptian dictatorships, together with the increasingly compliant Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, would be sufficient to prevent this happening in the Arab world.
By Bryan ConnorDuring the international financial crisis US imperialism has succeeded in striking further blows against its European and Japanese capitalist competitors. Data on the US economy to be published later this week will probably show US GDP has regained its pre-crisis level. That means an average zero percent US growth for three years – a terrible performance. But Japanese and European production are even worse, remaining below their previous levels four years into the crisis. The US, however, has been pursuing policies that worsen the economic position of its European and Japanese competitors – pushing Japan to engage in confrontational policies with its largest trading partner, China, and in Europe both cheering on every step of belt tightening in countries such as Greece and Ireland and trying to break up the Euro.
By Andrew Williams
The uprisingThe mass uprising in Tunisia which overthrew the hated Ben Ali regime has inspired protests across the Arab world. The struggle now unfolding in Tunisia turns around whether the ruling class can reimpose the old regime, with a few very limited concessions to the masses, or whether the mass movement is able to push things further and impose more radical changes.Whatever the outcome of this struggle, the mass movement in Tunisia has showed a truly tenacious willingness to mobilise and fight, despite armed repression. This demonstrates the continuing capacity for struggle across the semicolonial world, and has sent shock waves through right-wing regimes world-wide, especially in the Maghreb and Middle East.
By Andrew WilliamsThe Tory-led government has already responded to the emergence of a significant wave of resistance to the start of its assault on public services with threats to the right to protest. In response to the wave of student protests it has raised the potential of using water cannon against demonstrations and called for even tougher police tactics. It has justified this by claiming it is a majority of the protesters that are violent, and therefore all protesters must be treated as presenting a threat to breach the peace. Such claims also de-legitimise protest and deter participation in future demonstrations through fear of violence from the police.
By Stephen MacAvoy
The huge upturn in student militancy in the past month is a significant boost to every progressive who wants to defeat the Tory-led offensive against the working class. It is the beginning of forces in Britain joining the resistance against the capitalist offensive which has been unfolding across Europe.
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