Invent the Future

"We must dare to invent the future" - Thomas Sankara

On 1 October 2019, Invent the Future editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed on Telesur English regarding the significance of China’s National Day celebrations and the situation in Hong Kong. Tweet

We must strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection. We will be more conscientious in promoting green, circular, and low-carbon development. We will never again seek economic growth at the cost of the environment. (Xi Jinping)1 The cost of development Few events in human history have resonated throughout the world as profoundly as the Chinese revolution. Standing in Tiananmen Square on 1 October 1949, pronouncing the birth of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong said “the Chinese people have stood up”. In standing up, in building a modern socialist society and throwing off the shackles of feudalism, […]

A version of this article first appeared in the Morning Star on 21 August 2019. Climate change is the most important political issue of our generation. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humanity needs to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and hit next zero by 2050. The cost of failure is climate breakdown: vast areas of the planet rendered uninhabitable; hundreds of coastal cities (including New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Lagos) permanently submerged; food and water scarcity; vicious climate wars; hundreds of millions of climate refugees. How to tackle climate change effectively? The […]

A version of this article first appeared in the Morning Star on 7 August 2019. George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ is, for many, the defining account of the Spanish Civil War. Although it took up the ideological perspective of just one of the many different factions that participated in that war, and although Orwell’s personal experience of the action was limited to a short stint on a quiet front, ‘Homage to Catalonia’ has been reissued dozens of times and is on school and university curricula throughout the western world. Orwell’s perspective made its way even further into the popular consciousness […]

A version of this article first appeared in the Morning Star on 19 July 2019. ‘Crippled’ is a well-written, thoroughly-researched and harrowing account of how austerity – and the classist, ableist ideology that accompanies it – has impacted millions of disabled people. It is, in the words of Rob Delaney, “a ferocious, thoroughly substantiated indictment of this government’s maltreatment of its disabled children, women and men.” Frances Ryan provides comprehensive statistical evidence demonstrating that disabled people have been disastrously and disproportionately affected by the last decade of public spending cuts. This evidence is very effectively combined with interviews and case […]

A slightly modified version of this article first appeared in the Morning Star on 25 June 2019. The first volume of Samir Amin’s memoirs, A Life Looking Forward: Memoirs of an Independent Marxist, was first published over a decade ago, in 2006. It dealt primarily with his early life and the experiences that contributed to his intellectual formation and the major ideas with which he is associated: the critique of Eurocentrism; the notion of the ‘long transition to socialism’; and his insistence on ‘delinking’ from the imperialist triad of the US, Europe and Japan. This second (and final) instalment, published […]

Most governments in the world enjoy precious little popular support. For example, when British prime minister Theresa May was forced to announce her resignation in May 2019, the masses didn’t rush out to the streets to declare their undying fealty; more like, the ground shook with the simultaneous muttering of the words “good riddance” from millions of homes and workplaces throughout the country.1 It may then have come as a surprise to some when, in early 2019, millions of ordinary Venezuelans – working people, peasants, students, barrio-dwellers – flocked to the streets to defend their elected government from an attempted […]

This article first appeared in the Morning Star on 15 April 2019. In the popular imagination, the German Democratic Republic is indelibly linked with ideas of authoritarianism, poverty, secret police, stuffy bureaucracy and a generalised absence of democracy. Victor Grossman is uniquely well placed to challenge this McCartheyite narrative. Born in New York in 1928, he joined the Communist Party while studying at Harvard in the late 1940s. He was drafted into the army and, while stationed in Austria, defected to the GDR. Marrying a German woman, studying and working, raising children and grandchildren, he lived in East Germany until […]

This article first appeared in the Morning Star on 25 March 2019. John Lister’s well-written and scrupulously researched book is a crucial weapon in the defence of the NHS. It advances a rigorous explanation of the economic theory behind the private finance initiative (PFI), its putative benefits and the reality of its implementation in the NHS over the last quarter-century, drawing on the specific experience of the Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals in Yorkshire built as part of a £311 million deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Championed by Tory chancellor Norman Lamont, the concept of PFI originally surfaced in […]

This post was updated on 7 April to reflect the updated situation and to include some discussion on the impact of Brexit on Ireland. The date set for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, 29 March 2019, is now in the past. The Brexit deadline has been extended, and is likely to be extended again. MPs can’t agree on what a deal should look like, only that the deal presented by the government isn’t very good. Labour and the Tories are in negotiations with a view to finding common ground on a softer Brexit, but at the time […]

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