In order to understand the significance of the escalation of events following the September 2017 referendum about Kurdish independence on the territory of the present Iraqi State and the reactions of the governments in the region and worldwide, we have to go back to historical developments that took place more than a century ago. This article is published at the same time as "Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’: a prime illustration of capitalism’s senility" and we recommend reading the two articles together.
The centre of the cyclone of decomposing capitalism is today the central country of the bourgeois system: the United States.
The German bourgeoisie was among the very first to recognize the political talent and potential of Emmanuel Macron.
General elections in Germany are scheduled for mid-September. Germany also has seen the rise of a right wing populist protest party, the “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD).
In France, Emmanuel Macron and his new movement “La République En Marche” (LREM) spectacularly won the summer 2017 presidential and legislative (parliament) elections.
In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May had called early elections for June 2017, with the goal of winning a larger majority for her Conservative Party before entering negotiations about the conditi
One of the peculiarities of the 2016 US presidential elections was that (like in the proverbial “banana republics”) neither of the two candidates would accept their defeat.
Today, there is a president in the Oval Office who wants to run the country like a capitalist business, and who appears to have no understanding of things like the state and statesmanship, or diplo
In reaction to the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House, the media in the rest of the world, and the spokespersons of “liberalism” in America itself, painted a grim picture of a p
Last year, the ruling “elites” of world capitalism were shocked by the outcome of the referendum in the United Kingdom about British membership in the European Union (“Brexit”), and by the result of the presidential elections in the United States (President Trump). In both cases, the results obtained did not correspond to the intentions or the interests of leading factions of the bourgeois class. We are therefore embarking on a series of interconnected pieces which will aim at making an initial balance sheet of the political situation in the United States and Britain in the aftermath of these events. To widen the scope of our examination, we will also develop an analysis of the politics of the ruling class in the two main countries of continental Europe, France and Germany. In France, presidential and parliamentary elections took place in the early summer of this year. In Germany, the general elections to the Bundestag took place in September. The bourgeoisie of both countries is obliged to react to what has taken place in Britain and the USA – and they have reacted.
The history of Turkey, particularly its relatively recent history, is a complex one and we can't possibly cover all of it in one article. For example, we will produce a separate piece to look at the intimately-related "Kurdish Question", in which the demand for national self-determination was already an anachronism at the turn of last century. But in looking at some significant examples of the operations of the Turkish state from its inception, and particularly since the 1990's, we can clearly identify the global developments of economic crisis, repression, militarism and irrationality that have marked the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. We can ask the questions of what global components of the decadence of capitalism, and what specific elements of Turkey's past, affect and direct the present situation of a totalitarian, militarised and increasingly Islamicised state; and we can also ask to what extent this dire situation is the result of the unbridled ambition of one man and his "vision" or whether it represents the latest twists of Turkish imperialism in the increasing chaos in the Middle East imposed on it by a generalised capitalist decomposition.
This article, written by a close sympathiser of the ICC in the US, is a further contribution to our effort to follow the evolution of the situation in the US after the election of Trump. It follows on from an article written by the same comrade in April.
The following account consists of the presentations given by the CWO and the ICC, and the summaries of the discussion produced by two close sympathisers of the ICC. We hope it gives a clear enough picture of what was a very stimulating and positive meeting.
“The overall judgment we made of this tendency in recent issues of Internationalisme, however severe it might have been, was absolutely well-founded. We must however make a correction concerning its definitive character. The Chaulieu tendency was not liquidated, as we presented it, but found the strength, albeit after a very long delay, to break with the Trotskyist organisation and form itself into an autonomous group. Despite the heavy weight of this heritage on the group, this fact represents a new element that opens the possibility of its later evolution. The future alone will tell us to what extent it constitutes a gain in the formation of a new revolutionary movement. But right now we must say to them that they won’t be able to carry out this task unless they rid themselves completely and as quickly as possible of the scars they have inherited from Trotskyism and which can still be felt in the first issue of their review”.
The election of Donald Trump as president of the USA, which closely followed the unexpected result of the EU referendum in the UK, has created a wave of unease, fear, but also questioning across the world. How could our rulers, those who are supposedly in charge of the present world order, allow such things to happen – turns of events that seem to go against the “rational” interests of the capitalist class? How did it come about that a chancer, a narcissist thug and hustler is now at the head of the world’s most powerful state? And more important: what does this tell us about where the entire world is headed.
On the 11th November, the ICC is hosting a Day of Discussion on the Russian Revolution. Several comrades have been already been reflecting seriously on the importance of this all-important episode in the history of working class struggle. A comrade on our discussion board, Link, has already reposted a presentation he prepared for a previous meeting on the topic. It can be found on our discussion forum here.
The text that follows has been sent to us by a close sympathiser of the ICC. We are publishing it in the hope that as many comrades as possible will read it prior to the meeting in the hope that it will stimulate further thought and discussion.
We encourage all comrades to attend the meeting if they are able and to consider making further contributions, either in the form of texts or participating on our forum.
For the most “responsible” factions of the world bourgeoisie, the international upsurge of populism has created a succession of problems and obstacles, not least Brexit and the unpredictable reign of Trump in the USA. In the last few months we have seen some vigorous attempts to stem the populist tide, the most evident expression of which was during the French presidential election last April/May, when weighty international figures like Merkel and Obama, plus the French Socialist Party and others gave their unqualified backing to the pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron, widely seen as the most effective barrier to the populist, anti-EU Front National. However, the underlying social forces generating the populist tide have by no means gone away and its political expressions continue to exert a real weight in bourgeois political life. The result of the general election in Austria – coming soon after the spectacular gains made by the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland in Germany - provides further confirmation that populism is much more than a political bubble and expresses a real dysfunction at the roots of capitalist society.
Prior to capitalism, many societies had developed mythologies of the end of the world. The apocalypse anticipated by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, seen as the final destiny of this world, was understood to be the precursor of a new heaven and a new earth that would last for all eternity; whereas in the Hindu vision, new worlds and even new universes are endlessly born, dissolved and reborn in a vast cosmic cycle.
But if the idea of the apocalypse is not new, what is new in the capitalist mode of production is first, that the world inhabited by humankind for hundreds of thousands of years can be destroyed by the technologies that human beings themselves have created, rather than by supernatural beings or an inexorable fate. And second, that such a destruction would not be the prelude to a new and better world, but destruction pure and simple.
Since the end of August the army of Burma (Myanmar) has been persecuting, torturing, raping and killing thousands of inhabitants of the state of Rakhine (traditionally also called Arakan), people from the Muslim Rohingya minority. This is a particularly impoverished area to the west of Burma, a country where the great majority of the population are Buddhist. Rejected and deprived of civil rights for decades, the Rohinigya have been victims of even more extreme violence since the attack on around 30 police stations by an armed group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
The 2016 UK Referendum on membership of the EU produced a result against what the central factions of the British bourgeoisie considered as their best interests. The international populist tide was amplified with the election of President Trump. And the specific political difficulties of the British government were exacerbated by the general election of June 2017. Called to increase the Conservative government’s majority and strengthen its position in negotiations over British withdrawal from the EU, the election resulted in a loss of seats and the need to form an alliance with the DUP from Northern Ireland.