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Hegel and Marx

13th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

First published: October 1998

The philosophical works of Hegel were central to the development of Marx’s thought. A consideration of this philosophical background illuminates why Marx was concerned with some particular problems and why Hegel had such an influence on his thought.

The immediate political background to the development of Hegel’s thought was the French revolution – the founding work of Hegel’s philosophy, the Phenomenology of Mind, was written in Jena, site of the battle between Napoleon and the feudal German monarchies. This context led Hegel to be particularly concerned with the question of change!

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The era of permanent US aggression: Stop war in Iraq

13th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

First published: February 2003

The coming attack on Iraq is the latest in a series of wars waged by the US government – including the first Gulf War in 1991, the attack on Yugoslavia and the bombing of Afghanistan. But many more people than before have understood the real motives for the war and are therefore opposing it.

This is a vital change. Not only would an attack on Iraq kill thousands of Iraqi people but, if successful, it will be far from being the last, or even the biggest, aggressive war envisaged by the US. In his ‘axis of evil’ speech, George W. Bush has already named North Korea and Iran as potential future targets. The Pentagon ‘nuclear posture review’ document in 2002 named a hit list of countries against which Washington is prepared to use nuclear weapons, including Iran, North Korea, Libya and China. At the end of February, responding to a question from the anti-war MP Alice Mahon, Tony Blair declared that after Iraq, North Korea was next.

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Investment not cuts

1st September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Jane West

Last week Ed Balls made a speech on the economy, entitled ‘There is an alternative’, which saw the first break in the political consensus in support of cuts and a framework of ‘paying down the deficit’, and puts forward a strong case for investment rather than cuts.

Not surprisingly, the speech was a leading item on the news the day after it was made and was widely covered in the print media, as Balls is the first senior politician – apart from Ken Livingstone in setting out his case as Labour candidate for London Mayor – to advocate an alternative strategy to that of the Coalition.

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Investment not cuts

1st September 2010 Socialist Action 0
By Jane West

Last week Ed Balls made a speech on the economy, entitled ‘There is an alternative’, which saw the first break in the political consensus in support of cuts and a framework of ‘paying down the deficit’, and puts forward a strong case for investment rather than cuts.

Not surprisingly, the speech was a leading item on the news the day after it was made and was widely covered in the print media, as Balls is the first senior politician – apart from Ken Livingstone in setting out his case as Labour candidate for London Mayor – to advocate an alternative strategy to that of the Coalition.

Some truths about immigration

15th June 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

The new coalition government in Britain has begun a process of attacking working class living standards through public spending cuts, slashing public services and reducing public sector pay, jobs and pensions. Meanwhile one of the dominant themes of the Labour leadership campaign is not an attack on this reactionary economic policy but a wholly ill-informed debate on immigration.

By blaming immigrants for the consequences of New Labour’s own economic failures, and completely distorting the real reasons for its defeat, two purposes are served. One is to forestall any proper debate about that defeat; the other is to set up immigrants in general, but especially poorer Eastern European and black and Asian immigrants, as the culprits within the widespread discontent about economic policy. For now, this is a narrative being created almost entirely by some of Labour’s leaders. But, as unrest grows at the consequences of the new government’s policies, it will no doubt be gratefully seized on to further channel working class anger towards reactionary rather than progressive solutions.

Some truths about immigration

15th June 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

The new coalition government in Britain has begun a process of attacking working class living standards through public spending cuts, slashing public services and reducing public sector pay, jobs and pensions. Meanwhile one of the dominant themes of the Labour leadership campaign is not an attack on this reactionary economic policy but a wholly ill-informed debate on immigration.

By blaming immigrants for the consequences of New Labour’s own economic failures, and completely distorting the real reasons for its defeat, two purposes are served. One is to forestall any proper debate about that defeat; the other is to set up immigrants in general, but especially poorer Eastern European and black and Asian immigrants, as the culprits within the widespread discontent about economic policy. For now, this is a narrative being created almost entirely by some of Labour’s leaders. But, as unrest grows at the consequences of the new government’s policies, it will no doubt be gratefully seized on to further channel working class anger towards reactionary rather than progressive solutions.