Why are Iranians Protesting?

by R Arun Kumar

[This article originally appeared in People’s Democracy, the weekly journal of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).]

IRAN is witnessing unprecedented protest demonstrations for the past one week. Hundreds of thousands of people are on the streets demanding a better life. This is the first time in eight years, since the protests against alleged electoral fraud in 2009, that Iran is once again witnessing such protests and unrest. According to official statistics released by the government, more than 20 people have died and hundreds were injured in the protests. Thousands more were detained by the security forces. The Iranian interior ministry states that the average age of most the detainees is between 20 and 25 years, which means that most of the protesters are under the age of 25.Read More »

Britain’s richest plot to stash cash away from the reach of a Corbyn government

by Steve Sweeney

Morning StarJanuary 07, 2018

BRITAIN’S super-rich are planning to hide cash desperately needed for schools, hospitals and other public services from an incoming Labour government.

According to Tilney Investment Management Services, schemes are being formulated by mean-fisted asset managers and individuals to protect their wealth from reforms that would see Britain’s wealthiest pay their fair share of tax.Read More »

21st-century Marx

by Terrell Carver

Aeon Essays | January 03, 2018

Marx T-Shirt

The 21st century has already welcomed back Karl Marx (1818-1883), rather on the assumption that he had faded away and has now returned to haunt us. After the financial crashes of 2008, his leonine face appeared on international news magazine covers, feature articles in quality broadsheets, TV documentaries and blogposts. The questions Why now? and Why Marx? are easily answered: capitalism suddenly appeared unstable, unmanageable, dangerously fragile and anxiously threatening. It was possibly in an unstoppable downward spiral, pushing individuals, families, whole nations into penury and subsistence. It also appeared hugely unfair and internally contradictory in very dramatic ways: banks ‘too big to fail’ would get taxpayer bail-outs, recklessness and fraud would go unpunished, the super-rich beneficiaries of oligarchical stitch-ups would maintain their ‘high net worth’. Invocations of risk, competition, ‘free’ markets and rising living standards for all no longer seemed credible. So what were we all to think?Read More »

The new Mafia capitalism

by John Green

Morning Star | January 04, 2018

MISHA GLENNY’S new series McMafia was launched on BBC TV on New Year’s Day. It is an appropriate if depressing opener for the new year.

It aims to highlight a new stage in the evolution of global capitalism: Mafia capitalism. We are, though, not talking here of a few family Cosa Nostras controlling the underworld, but well-organised crime syndicates, with links to governments and security services, gnawing their way to the core of capitalism.Read More »

India: Naxalbari Again

Frontier | Vol. 50, No.26, Dec 31 – Jan 6, 2017

[Aneek, an independent, radical Baanglaa monthly from Kolkata, India, in its 53rd years of publication, interviewed three leaders of the Naxalbari Uprising. The leaders with working class background were organizing armed struggle of the poor-landless peasantry in the Naxalbari region since the earliest days of the revolutionary initiative. Following is Dulal Chandra’s interview, the first of the three, conducted by Arijit and Subhasis from Aneek, and published in the monthly’s May 2017 (vol. 53, no. 11) issue. The interview was conducted on November 17 and 18, 2016 at Dulal Chandra’s Siliguri home, more than 450 km north of Kolkata. Dulal Chandra, a trade unionist, breathed his last in August, 2017. Aneek, the interviewers and the translator of the interview, Farooque Chowdhury, pay respect to the revolutionary.]

I, Dulal Chandra, was working with comrade Charu Majumdar, one of the leaders of the Naxalbari path, since 1964. I was not practicing revolutionary politics in that period as it was not there. At that time, I was working with a trade union associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM). Gradually, I turned out as a leader of the trade union in Siliguri, a few hundred kilometers north-east of Kolkata. I was a member of the district executive committee of Darjeeling District Beeree [also spelled bidi, handmade cigarette] Workers’ Union.Read More »

Cuban Anniversary: A caravan retold in photos

Granma | January 08, 2018

The following selection of photographs is from the book Caravana de la libertad, by Cuban authors Luis Báez and Pedro de la Hoz. The text summarizes the journey of rebel troops led by Fidel from January 1 through the 17th, 1959, the day when they arrived in Pinar Del Río, the country’s westernmost province.

Columbia military base, now the Ciudad Escolar Libertad, January 8, 1959. Photo: Archive

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Anniversary of the Cuban Revoltuion: The legend has not died

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Granma | January 03, 2018

Photo: Ernesto Ocaña

My generation was born in the first years following the triumph of the Revolution of 1959, and some of us in the months beforehand. When the bearded ones took Santiago, and later reached Havana in the caravan, the People’s Republic of China had existed only a decade and the socialist states in Europe had barely reached their 15th anniversaries. The Soviet Revolution and its multi-national state, where many of us studied, had the longest history: 40 years of resistance to international capitalism and fascism. But, adolescents after all, in the 70s, we thought our parents and their revolutions were old – and some revolutionaries were, in fact, but not for reasons of age.Read More »

Remember and rekindle the spirit of the Emancipation Proclamation

by Jesse Jackson

People’s World | January 04, 2018

Remember and rekindle the spirit of the Emancipation Proclamation

4th U.S. Colored Infantry. | Library of Congress

One hundred fifty-five years ago on Jan. 1, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, helping to transform this country from a union of states into a nation, from a country stained by slavery into one moving at great cost closer to “liberty and justice for all.”

On Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president, issued the proclamation on his own authority as commander-in-chief “in time of actual armed rebellion” against the United States. The emancipation was grounded in his wartime powers, as a “fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion.”Read More »

US: Student Debt Slavery: Time to Level the Playing Field

by 

Common Dreams | January 07, 2018

“If the federal government won’t act and individual action seems too daunting, however, there is a third possibility for relief – state-owned banks that cut out private middlemen and recycle local money for local purposes at substantially reduced rates.” (Illustration: enisaksoy/Getty Images)

This is the second in a two-part article on the debt burden America’s students face. Read Part 1 here.

The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells through bankruptcy and walk away. Not so with students. Their loan rates are high and if they cannot pay, their debts are not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, the debts compound and can dog them for life, compromising not only their own futures but the economy itself.

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Joining Arms With Actresses at Golden Globes, Activists to Highlight Demand for End to Sexual Abuse

by 

Common Dreams | January 07, 2018

Powerful Hollywood women are joining racial and justice advocates at Sunday’s Golden Globes in an effort to spotlight the problem of and solutions towards the vile yet rampant exploitation, harassment, and abuse of women across industries. (Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/flickr/cc)

The 2018 Golden Globes is set to make prime time the demand for a world free from sexual harassment and abuse as leading gender and racial activists will hit the red carpet alongside actresses.

“Too much of the recent press attention has been focused on perpetrators and does not adequately address the role race, ethnicity and economic status play in sexual violence,” the justice advocates, who include #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, National Domestic Workers Alliance director Ai-jen Poo, and National Farmworker Women’s Alliance president Mónica Ramírez, declared in a joint statement.

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