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Links 12: Editor's introduction

Capitalist crisis, neo-liberal myths

The gradual spread of the international capitalist economic crisis is having profound effects on all shades of political opinion. In this issue of Links, we concentrate on both economic and political aspects, in particular the undermining of neo-liberal “free market” ideology.

Allen Myers traces the origins of the “Asian” crisis to the period of long-term relative stagnation in the capitalist world economy. Heightened competition for overfilled markets threatens to combine deflation in prices of commodities with speculative inflation of stock market prices.

James Petras looks at the aftermath of US imperialist interventions against left governments, contrasting Washington’s willingness to spend vast sums in undermining and overthrowing its perceived enemies with its tight-fisted “neglect” of counter-revolutionary regimes once it has installed them. Michel Chossudovsky exposes one of the underpinnings of “free market” propaganda: the assertions of international economic organisations like the World Bank, according to which the capitalist order is steadily reducing poverty in the Third World.

Late last year in the Philippines, the Socialist Party of Labour was created through a fusion of parties coming from quite different political traditions. The new party’s political platform analyses the context of the global economic crisis and the opportunities and challenges it is creating in the Philippines.

Boris Kagarlitsky examines the devastation of the Russian economy since 1991, and the processes that are transforming Russia into a country “peripheral” to the capitalist metropolises. Renfrey Clarke analyses the repeated defeats and retreats by Russia’s liberals.

The capitalist drive for austerity has produced a “backlash” against women’s liberation as governments try to roll back the material gains won by the feminist movement. Margaret Allan gives a historical overview of the movement in Australia and the role of socialists within it.

Links number 11 included an analysis of the process of capitalist restoration in China. In this issue, we reprint a resolution of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, which concludes that the Chinese state is now capitalist, an instrument for suppressing any resistance of the working class to the reintroduction of capitalist property relations.

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