European Strikes Confront the Assault of Capital

All throughout Europe the organized peoples have been on strikes and protest actions against the massive assault of capital against the so-called ‘welfare state’. Governments from the United Kingdom to Greece have sought to greatly reduce the meaning and scope of the variegated systems of protection that exist in Europe against the depredations of the ‘free market’, using the great financial crisis produced by that same ‘free market’ as an excuse. They seek to support private capitalists such as banks and insurance companies by aiding them with enormous loans, while at the same time using the state debt this entails as a pretext for declaring insolvency in the face of popular demands for relief against the effects of the crisis and the rising unemployment. In so doing, they have however been forced to show their true face more than in these days most liberal governments like to do: they have brazenly and openly declared the maintenance of the profit system to be of greater importance than the well-being of the citizens whom they supposedly represent. This is the true ‘dictatorship of capital’, and more and more the peoples of Europe are seeing it for what it is. Continue reading “European Strikes Confront the Assault of Capital”

More on the Fake Left: The Chimaera of “Dissent” Magazine

In the last article on the fake left, one of the greatest menaces to socialist politics in the West today, I criticized the hypocrisy of the Euston Manifesto clique. Now it is time to turn towards their American equivalent, the so-called Cold War liberals and the supposed ‘radical democrats’ who represent the left foot of imperialism. For several decades they have found their home at Dissent magazine and its sister paper Democratiya, which recently has merged into the former. It is worth taking a brief look at the content and outlook of these bulwarks of false leftism in America, since they are all too common among the intelligentsia in the wake of the massive expansion of militarism in the West since the days of Eisenhower-Kennedy. Moreover, it is precisely the claims to left-wing, even socialist, legitimacy that makes these tendencies of thought so dangerous; it hopelessly muddles the boundaries between genuine socialism of whatever stripe and a liberalism that is dressed up in the language of the social-democracy of old but has more in common with Noske than with Marx. It is not because of sectarianism that we must insist on the importance of differentiating an essentially liberal attitude to politics – even a ‘left liberal’ one – and socialism, but it is because sometimes a similarity of language can mask highly significant differences in the goals either group genuinely seeks and the interests they represent in practice. Continue reading “More on the Fake Left: The Chimaera of “Dissent” Magazine”

A Reform Bill for Turkey

The referendum on political and judicial reform which had held Turkey in a state of tension has been decisively resolved in favor of the ruling AK Party of Prime Minister Erdogan. The vote, covering 26 amendments to the Turkish constitution, went a surprisingly confident 58%-42% in favor of the reform, which has widely been interpreted as a strong vote of confidence in the government. This despite the continuous obstructions to various reform proposals on the part of the AKP by the nationalist clique controlling the Turkish judiciary and much of its civil service, including a injunction by the constitutional court against legalizing the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in public places such as universities. The previous Turkish constitution of 1980 itself had been created after a military coup by nationalist forces ushered in an almost 20 year uninterrupted rule of this section of Turkish society, which is strongly reliant on the military, the Turkish bourgeoisie (centered largely in Istanbul) and its intelligentsia. The democratic legitimacy of the successive nationalist governments can be highly doubted despite their veneer of liberalism and their appeals to the liberal West, in particular with an eye to the repeated attempts (some successful) to ban any opposing party which threatened to be too successful and did not support their lines on the religion question or the Kurdish one. Continue reading “A Reform Bill for Turkey”