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Human rights and political rights

18th May 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: 18 May 2006

One of the most frequent intellectual sleights of hand carried out by apologists for imperialism is the reduction of ‘human rights’ to ‘political rights’. That is, when they claim to be speaking about ‘human rights’ they in fact eliminate most human rights and reduce these to a much narrower range of political rights – most imperialist apologists are also in practice totally selective in which countries they chose to discuss political rights in, but that is another aspect.

Consider the difference between these two issues. Human beings are real living entities. They eat, drink, get ill, raise children, are sexually active, want entertainment, have interests and hobbies. Their needs range from the absolutely vital for survival, for example food and health care, through those issues rated by almost all societies as extraordinarily desirable, such as finding friends and having partners for sexual activity, through knowledge and skills vital for participation in wider human culture and access to higher paid employment, such as the ability to read and write and education, to the desirable but less than truly essential – having a black iPod as opposed to a white one. The real ability to undertake all these, both separately and according to priorities determined by the individual, constitutes the sum of their real human rights.

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Le Vénézuela et le socialisme du 21éme siècle

1st May 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: May 2006

La visite de Chávez à Londres à la mi-mai a donné l’occasion d’approfondir notre compréhension de nombreux éléments de la révolution vénézuelienne. Les principaux points sur lesquels Chávez a insisté dans son discours dans le meeting de solidarité à Camden Town Hall le 14 mai ont été particulièrement instructifs.

Premièrement revenons sur des notions de base. Ce qui est en train de se passer au Vénézuela est la première tentative consciente de créer une société socialiste depuis la révolution sandiniste au Nicaragua. C’est donc aussi la première lutte offensive à un niveau étatique depuis plus de 25 ans. Ceci est déjà considérable. Après un quart de siècle, la classe ouvrière est en train de mener une lutte directe pour obtenir le pouvoir d’Etat. Qui plus est, la révolution vénézuelienne a la particularité d’être la première prise du pouvoir étatique victorieuse par le biais essentiellement d’une insurrection urbaine, depuis la révolution russe de 1917 et ses suites immédiates.

Agency

Venezuela and 21st century socialism

1st May 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: May 2006

Chávez’s visit to London in mid-May gave an opportunity to deepen understanding of many details of the Venezuelan revolution. Particularly instructive were emphases in Chávez’s speech to the solidarity rally in Camden Town Hall on 14 May.

First let us return to fundamentals. What is taking place in Venezuela is the first self-defined and conscious attempt to create a socialist society since the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. It is therefore also the first offensive struggle at a state level for over 25 years. That is already momentous. After a quarter of a century the working class is waging a direct struggle for state power. Furthermore the Venezuelan revolution has the specific form of being the first successful taking of state power essentially through urban insurrection since the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its immediate aftermath.

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Challenging the US global offensive, part 1

1st October 2004 Socialist Action 0

First published: October 2004 (pamphlet)
 
The European Social Forum and the struggle for socialism

 

1. Introduction

The European Social Forum (ESF) and the World Social Forum (WSF) are today the largest and broadest international movements against social injustice and neo-liberal capitalism. Socialist Action supports both.

The ESF, in addition to its fundamental goal of social justice, particularly embodies key steps forward that Socialist Action has championed for years.

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Challenging the US global offensive, part 2

1st October 2004 Socialist Action 0

7. The situation in the imperialist countries

The overall orientation of the imperialist bourgeoisies has already been described above. However the capitalist class in the imperialist countries is such a small section of the population that it cannot maintain its rule without gaining support from wider layers of society. Undermining the position of the imperialist bourgeoisies therefore requires severing them from their wider layers of social support. This must be achieved in a very specific and concrete political situation.

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Une riposte à l’offensive américaine mondiale

1st October 2004 Socialist Action 0

First published: Oct 2004

Voici la traduction en français de la majeure partie de la brochure rédigée par Socialist Action en vue du Forum Social Européen qui a eu lieu à Londres en 2004. A part les parties traitant du Forum social non traduites, la brochure reste un document de référence pour analyser la situation internationale et les rapports de forces mondiaux, même s’il faudrait y intégrer les développements récents. Le lecteur trouvera bien entendu des références aux forums sociaux qu’il lui faudra re-situer dans le contexte de la brochure.

1) LA SITUATION POLITIQUE INTERNATIONALE ACTUELLE

Aujourd’hui ce qui domine l’actualité politique internationale sont les effets de la guerre en Irak, à savoir la résistance prolongée à l’occupation dans ce pays, le mouvement international contre la guerre, et l’impact de tout ceci sur de nombreux pays. Cette situation politique immédiate à la fois regroupe, et repose sur, un certain nombre de tendances politiques, sociales et économiques déjà observées sur le long terme :