Invent the Future

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

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 […]

The series of articles about why the Soviet Union no longer exists has been compiled into a book and published by LeftWord books. The paperback can be purchased on Amazon (delivers to UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy) or directly from the publisher. It is also available in Kindle format: US | UK | Australia | Canada. Andrew Murray has reviewed it for the Morning Star. Tweet

This article first appeared in the Morning Star on 28 November 2018. Glyn Ford’s latest book, ’Talking to North Korea’, is that rarest of things: a helpful, sensible, balanced, interesting and informative book about North Korea. Ford is a former Labour MEP and expert in international relations. He has visited Pyongyang over a hundred times, toured the entire country, and met with government officials at the highest level. He is therefore uniquely well placed to explain and contextualise North Korean politics, and to give pragmatic and thoughtful suggestions as to how to move the peace process forward. The book does […]

Marxism

Samir Amin: obituary

This article first appeared in issue 5 of Transform: A Journal of the Radical Left, November 2018. On 12 August 2018, the global revolutionary movement lost one of its most outstanding thinkers. Born in Cairo in 1931, Samir Amin studied in Paris and received his early political education as a member of the French Communist Party. Moving back to Egypt in 1957, he worked as an economic advisor to the Nasser government before moving to Mali (1960) and then Senegal (1963). In 1975, he co-founded the Third World Forum, a network of intellectuals in Africa, Asia and Latin America, working to formulate models of […]

The recent high-profile summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Beijing at the beginning of September, has inspired some familiar accusations in the North American and West European press: China is the new colonial power in Africa; China is attempting to dominate African land and resources; Africa is becoming entangled in a Beijing-devised debt trap; Chinese investment in Africa only benefits China; and so on. This article addresses these accusations and concludes that they are based on shaky foundations; that China is by no means an imperialist power; that increasing Africa-China relations are of significant benefit to […]

NB. This is extracted (and updated) from a much longer article – Will the People’s Republic of China go the way of the USSR? – published on 31 May 2018. So long as socialism does not collapse in China, it will always hold its ground in the world. (Deng Xiaoping)1 The first of October marks the China’s National Day, the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. With China’s rise and its increasing importance to the global economy, China is a ‘hot topic’ in the world of politics and economics. And, after four decades of market-oriented […]

This article first appeared in the Morning Star on 23 August 2018. ALGIERS, Third World Capital is a fascinating, vibrant, endearing and engaging memoir, providing fresh insight into some important episodes of the second half of the 20th century. Elaine Mokhtefi, a white North American woman of Jewish heritage, became involved in politics at university, becoming an activist in the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), an organisation committed to global government and world peace. Moving to Paris in the 1950s, she was introduced to the Algerian liberation struggle via the emigre Algerian population in that city. An interpreter and organiser […]

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