Archive for 'Revolution'
There are two things that are certain. One, the crisis of poverty and inequality and injustice that brought forth the Arab revolution has not been resolved and will not go away. Two, however terrible the defeats suffered by revolutionaries across the Middle East these past years, the flame of resistance has not been extinguished.
Tiananmen Square was a dress rehearsal for the future. The Chinese working class has a material interest in democracy. It has the strength to overthrow the corrupt and bankrupt butchers in Beijing and their sons and daughters. Having done that the Chinese working class will be forced to take the revolution beyond bourgeois political demands and threaten capitalism in China itself. Then and only then can we talk about genuine socialism, the self-emancipation of the working class through its own democratic organs to organise production to satisfy human need, not to make a profit.
See the Great Barrier Reef before we kill it. Kiss goodbye to the snowfields. Find some way to cool down all day every day or move somewhere a bit cool, like Tasmania. Take out flood and fire insurance. Stock up on water purifiers. Don’t buy homes too close to the coast. Definitely don’t buy a farm. If you are indigenous or poor or both, you are completely stuffed. Well, maybe not you but your grandkids for sure.
The ecological crisis in the end cannot be solved under capitalism. It will require socialism, the social ownership of the means of production under rational democratic planning, replacing anti-social capitalist calculations to maximise private profit.
Socialists today have a key role to play in the fight for immediate reforms, since real reforms will have to target the guilty capitalist enterprises and any in government who cover for them, which has an anti-capitalist dynamic.
They will also oppose fake “market” reforms, one of which is “carbon trading”, which boils down to paying for the right to pollute. At the same time, socialists should step up their efforts to win environmentalists to the understanding that the ecological problem is at root capitalism.
The mass movements have saved the revolution over and over again – in their mobilisations, in their defence of production, in their massive electoral support, and in their solidarity. They are the forces of Chavismo, not a political compromise between hostile classes.
Whatever the immediate future, these are the only forces that will carry the revolution forward.
Caracas is seeing an uprising of the middle classes and the rich. The working class neighbourhoods remain loyal to the government, but also deeply cynical about the extraordinary corruption of the heirs of Chavez. Mike Gonzalez analyses this contradictory situation in revolutionary socialism in the 21 st century
Gilbert Achcar, a veteran socialist who grew up in Lebanon, is the author of numerous books on the Middle East, including The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising and most recently Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism. He spoke with Eric Ruder for Socialist Worker US in December on the eve of the third anniversary of the Arab uprisings. Achar will be speaking at Marxism 2014 over Easter in Melbourne.
The ruling class warmongers have won the battle for the soul of Remembrance Day. Under the guise of remembering the dead, they ready the next generation of working class warriors to die in defence of capital.
It looks to me as if profit and competition are the barriers to addressing climate change. If that is the case then only a democratic revolution of workers to run society to satisfy human need can address climate change. As the banners at some environmental demonstrations and eco-socialist conferences say ‘System Change, not Climate Change.’