In highly autocratic countries, when elections occur they are often hijacked – or are basically staged mobilizations to legitimize a pre-determined result. In the United States, it’s different — instead of stuffing the ballot box, it’s the registration process and the nature of campaigning that ensures that the corporate candidates win.
IV 451 August 2012 PDF
Neville Alexander, the South African revolutionary, educationist and acclaimed linguist, died in Cape Town, South Africa on 27 August 2012 following a long battle with cancer. He was 75. He was born in Cradock in the Cape Province. His maternal grandmother was a freed slave from Ethiopia, who was sent to South Africa. Neville attended a convent in Cradock, where he was taught by German nuns. He moved to Cape Town in 1953, where he enrolled for a BA at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
In the days following the fall of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, left political and Arab nationalist organisations, whose activists had played a motor role in the revolution, regrouped under the name of the January 14 Front. This rapidly broke up and each organisation then acted alone. The ability of these organisations to intervene in the struggles was reduced. Their dispersion at the October 2011 elections seriously marginalised them.
This article seeks to show how the current crisis of the Euro zone stems from the original design faults of the “Euro-system”, whose contradictions, revealed by the financial crisis, are of a structural nature. This demonstration is carried out through a statistical and analytical methodology which gives this study a “technical” nature. But it is a necessary stage for the development of a more solid diagnosis of possible exits from the current crisis, or rather from its specifically European dimension. This crisis has deeper roots than the symptom through which it has been expressed, namely a sovereign debt crisis. Thus, there are only two responses adapted to the structural nature of the European crisis: either the breakup of the Euro-system, or its radical refoundation. The others confine themselves to staggering the contradictions over time or programming a socially unacceptable regression.
Eighteen months after mass protests and strikes ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak from power, the basic aspirations that drove Egypt’s uprising remain largely unfulfilled writes Adam Hanieh in an article written before Morsi’s removal of Tantawi. The vast majority of the population has seen little substantive improvement in living conditions. Political decision-making continues to be dominated by a military junta closely tied to the United States. Many of the old Mubarak apparatchiks remain firmly ensconced in positions of influence, and few have seen their ill-gotten wealth or decades of corruption challenged. Even where new political forces have entered the state structures – as has been the case following recent parliamentary and presidential elections – most appear eager to reconcile with prominent individuals and practices associated with the old regime.
No event since the end of Apartheid sums up the shallowness of the transformation in this country like the Marikana massacre. What occurred will be debated for years. It is already clear the mineworkers will be blamed for being violent. The mineworkers will be painted as savages. Yet, the fact is that heavily armed police with live ammunition brutally shot and killed over 35 mineworkers. Many more injured. Some will die of their wounds. Another 10 workers had been killed just prior to this massacre.
The economic crisis has lasted more than three years. During this time, the regulation of finance has barely advanced, while multiple measures affecting the living conditions of the masses have been taken.
During the 1930s, US president Herbert Hoover liked to say that recovery was “just around the corner”. During the current crisis and most especially in Europe it would be difficult to count the number of statements by leaders (Nicolas Sarkozy was a specialist at this) periodically announcing either the end of the crisis, or more prudently, for example after a European summit, that we are now on the right road.
In Caracas, we caught up with Gonzalo Gómez, a founder of the radical website aporrea.org and militant in the Trotskyist organization, Marea Socialista. In this interview, Gonzalo describes his own path to militancy, the different phases of the Bolivarian process, and the dangers of bureaucracy, the “bolibourgeoisie”, and the stultifying internal life of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV). He also stresses the centrality of the creativity and dynamism of social movements from below, the complexities of workers’ control, and the dynamics of the current conjuncture prior to the October 7, 2012 general elections.
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