On July 5, we ran an article on an important strike by banana workers on the island of Guadeloupe, one of France’s colonial possessions in the Caribbean Sea.  We can now report the banana workers have won!  Below is an article from the French revolutionary weekly Lutte Ouvriere (July 7) reporting on their victory.

After 42 days on strike, the banana workers of Guadeloupe have made the bosses give in. Wednesday, June 28, they agreed to pay the workers what they owed them for holiday pay, overtime, and other things.

The strike committee already made sure that a calculation was made for each worker for what was owed for the last three years. For some, this came to a few thousand euros. The bosses also agreed to pay for the days of strike and they made a first payment of 700 euros to the workers on Monday, July 3.

They also agreed on some first steps to improve the terrible Read the rest of this entry »

Earlier this week (July 23) marked the 50th anniversary of the urban rebellion in Detroit, Michigan.  This was the era of explosions in the deprived black communities of urban America, opening with the rebellion in Harlem (New York) on the east Coast in 1964, the Watts ghetto (Los Angeles) on the west coast in 1965 and continuing in many places in between through the rest of the 1960s, with the biggest explosions coming with the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968.  Below, we’re running a piece by the comrades of the US Marxist group The Spark; this was the editorial that appeared in the current round of all their fortnightly workplace bulletins. 

by The Spark

In 1965, Detroit’s then mayor declared that the revolt in Watts couldn’t happen in “his city”. In 2017, Detroit’s current mayor declared that 1967 wasn’t an uprising. But it DID happen, and it WAS an uprising, an uprising of oppressed people. Before it was over, the Detroit revolt of 1967 would become the largest of any uprising in 20th century America. It was “the fire next time” that James Baldwin had written about in 1962.

In 1967 – no matter how many marches, how many court cases, how many laws – unemployment continued. Impoverishment drained people. Cops went into neighborhoods like an occupying army. There was a vast powder keg of unmet needs and grievances.

All it took was an “ordinary” incident of Read the rest of this entry »

by Daphna Whitmore

The_Young_Karl_Marx_film_posterThis movie is two hours of non-stop Marxist banter. Tossing around the ideas of Marx, Engels, Proudon, Bakunin and Weitling, with references to Hegel here and there, it should be as dry as hell, even for a hardened Marxist. It’s not. It is rivetting. At the Auckland International Film Festival the audience stayed and applauded as the credits rolled.

The opening scene has destitute folk collecting firewood in a forest, and moments later they are savagely beaten by police on horseback. Marx contemplates how gathering dry wood, fallen from the trees and destined to rot on the forest floor, can be treated as an act of property theft?  Read the rest of this entry »

Location: Student Central (formerly ULU), London WC1E 7HY, Malet Street,

Conference attendance fee £10.

Date/time: Tuesday 19 September (11am-8pm) – Wednesday 20 September 2017 (10am – 4pm)

Contact: capital150conference@gmail.com

Registration URL: http://bit.ly/2uhukxO

King’s College website details here.

Tuesday 19 September

 

Crises (11am–1:30pm)

  • Guglielmo Carchedi – The old is dying and the new cannot be born: the exhaustion of the present phase of capitalist development
  • Rolf Hecker – Marx’s critique of capitalism during the 1857 crisis
  • Paul Mattick jr – Crisis: abstraction and reality
  • Ben Fine, discussant

 

Imperialism (2:30pm–5pm)

  • Marcelo Dias Carcanholo, Dependency, super-exploitation of labour and crisis – an interpretation from Marx
  • Tony Norfield, Das Kapital, finance, and imperialism
  • Raquel Varela (& Marcelo Badaró Mattos), Primitive accumulation in Das Kapital

 

Mapping the terrain of anti-capitalist struggles (6pm–8pm)

  • David Harvey, Perspectives from the Circulation of Capital
  • Michael Roberts, Perspectives from the Accumulation of Capital
Wednesday 20 September

 

The future of capital (10am–12:30noon)

Read the rest of this entry »

At the annual fête de Lutte Ouvriere

The French revolutionary current Lutte Ouvriere produces scores of weekly workplace bulletins.  The bulletins are about particular issues in the workplaces while also containing a national editorial.  Below is the editorial that appeared in the June 19 workplace bulletins:

Macron won a strong majority in the second round of the parliamentary election. He is now confident that he will have the indiscriminate support he needs to push through the measures announced in his program.

For over fifty years, what passed for democracy in France was a system in which “majority” parties alternated power under labels such as The Republicans (LR) or Socialist Party (PS). Macron’s “new” majority boasts of having eliminated the professional politicians of yesterday’s majority parties. But some of them have found a way to survive by swearing allegiance to Macron.

The Macronite leaders are also proud of having made room in Parliament for what they call MPs from “civilian society”. However, these MPs are entrepreneurs, start-up bosses, company CEOs, high-level managers, property owners. They belong to petty- or middle-bourgeois circles whose main focus is the well-being of big bourgeois capital owners.

The “working-class” electorate (manual workers, jobless workers, retired workers, etc.) stayed well away from the elections. Average abstention reached a record high at Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

Below is the text of a talk delivered by Dani in Dunedin on Friday, July 21.

by Dani Sanmugathasan

Good evening! My name is Dani Sanmugathasan, and I am a member of the British Marxist and Leninist organisation called the Revolutionary Communist Group. The following talk will be on the topic of ‘Corbynmania’ – the opportunist phenomenon that’s swept through the labour movements in core economies over the last two years – and a good place to start is at the events in London earlier this month.

INTRODUCTION

“Oh, Je-re-my Cor-byn!” rang out the chants of many on the streets of London on the 1st of July at the People’s Assembly’s ‘Tories Out’ march. The People’s Assembly, Momentum, Radical Housing Network, the Socialist Workers Party, the Stop the War Coalition, the Socialist Party, and the large trade unions (PCS, RMT, CWU, Unison, Len McCluskey’s Unite the Union…) were all rallying round the Labour Party leader, the holy Son of Attlee, the man who would save Britain from the iron grip of Tory austerity.

But beside these organisations, a distinct second current of marchers – composed of such organisations as Class War, the Focus E15 Mothers, Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants, Architects for Social Housing, Movement For Justice, the Revolutionary Communist Group, and trade unions like the IWGB – led a different chant: “Labour, Tory, same old story!” These groups made Read the rest of this entry »