World population has grown from 2.5bn in 1950 to 6.8bn in 2007. By 2050 it is predicted to reach 9.2bn, and then stabilise (UN figures). This estimate assumes rates in many countries in the North will continue to decrease, and that the South will gradually follow suit.
This report was presented to the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International for discussion at its session of October 17, 2009, with a view to debate at the 16th World Congress of the Fourth International. .
The climate change that is underway is not the product of human activity in general but is mainly due to the fact that the capitalist system, guided by considerations of short-term profit and superprofit, has based and continues to base its development not only on the exploitation of labour power but also on the plundering of natural resources, in particular finite and non-renewable reserves of cheap fossil fuels.
Raphie de Santos a supporter of the Fourth International, whose mother escaped to Portugal in the 1930s from Franco’s Spain only to seek refuge in Scotland during the 1950s from Salazar’s dictatorship, takes a look at the evolution of Portugal’s Left Bloc.
With the economic recession and environmental crisis alternative plans for socially useful, sustainable production have never been more relevant. When the financial shit hit the fan last year the overproduction in the auto industry became visible.
After a period of remarkable expansion, the process of the World Social Forum (WSF) has stalled. The balance sheet of the most recent big assemblies turns out to be very contrasting – we can say, simplifying a lot, politically negative in the case of Nairobi (Kenya) in 2007 and positive in the case of Belem (Brazil) two years later.
During an international meeting of left parties held in Caracas from 19-21 November, 2009, Hugo Chavez launched a call for a Fifth Socialist International which, according to him, should bring together left parties and social movements. According to the president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Fifth International must be “an instrument for the unification and the articulation of the struggle of the peoples to save this planet”. In a world political situation marked by a total crisis of the capitalist system, this is a fact important enough to be underlined.
The vicious offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched by the Sri Lankan army at the start of 2006 ended in May with a brutal defeat for the Tamil national liberation movement. Civilians taking refuge in agreed no-fire zones were bombarded along with the few medical facilities. Between January and May this year, over 30,000 Tamils were killed. The leaders of the LTTE were executed summarily, as well as soldiers taken prisoner.
The party conference season in Britain this year had a bizarre “Alice in Wonderland” feel about it. The pitch of all three main parties was not the usual one about what they would do for us if they were elected and how good things would be under them. It was the complete reverse. It was about what they will take away from us and just how painful it will be.
Chris Harman, the editor of International Socialism and a central committee member of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), died from a massive heart attack on November 6th. He was 67. We, and others in the Fourth International, join in sending condolences to Chris’ family, friends and comrades.
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