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United States

US labour and the new movement against capitalist globalisation

By Barry Sheppard

In the demonstration in Seattle at the close of 1999, a new generation of radicalising youth emerged to take on the World Trade Organisation. Tens of thousands of trade unionists also participated, demonstrating that there is a potential for this movement to begin to mobilise working people.

The targets of this new movement are globalising corporations and the international financial and trade organisations dominated by the rich countries, above all the United States. Clearly, these young people have deep internationalist sentiments, and wish to fight for better conditions for the world's poorest people exploited by these corporations and institutions. This anti-corporate consciousness can rapidly deepen into anti-imperialism, and can begin to question capitalism itself.

The participation of trade unionists in Seattle reflects the fact that the radicalising youth have a natural ally among working people and the trade unions. But the participation of the major US trade union federation, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) was marred by the political line it sought to bring to the action. As the editors of the July-August 2000 issue of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review put it:

 

Facing the crisis

By Boris Kagarlitsky

The first years of the twenty-first century are not bearing out the hopes of the global elites. As is often the case, the pompous ceremonies have been followed by major setbacks. A warning that should have been heeded was the Asian crisis of 1997-98, the consequences of which were overcome only at vast cost. Ideologues and journalists, however, reassured the world with references to the peculiarities of the “new economy” that had triumphed in the late twentieth century in the US and Western Europe. According to this theory, we have entered a new phase of history in which the main factor of development is becoming a talent for innovation which in theory is organically present in Western culture. The Asian countries, oriented toward industrial production, are held to be simply incapable of entering this beautiful new world.

Movement history: Socialists and the anti-war movement

By Gus Horowitz

This is the text of a speech that was printed in the Militant, the newspaper of the us Socialist Workers Party, on October 10, 1969, shortly before the massive anti-war demonstrations scheduled to occur in mid-November of that year. Gus Horowitz was the SWP's national anti-war director during that year and through the first half of 1970. Minor spelling and punctuation changes have been made in the text reprinted here. The introduction was by the Militant.

Introduction

On Labour Day weekend [September 1969] in New York, the Socialist Workers Party held its national convention. One of the central points on the agenda was a resolution assessing developments within the movement against the Vietnam War and the role of the SWP within that movement.

Discussion on the resolution was initiated with a report by Gus Horowitz, a member of the party's national committee and its representative to the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

US empire after Iraq: analysis and perspectives

By Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund

The authors are longtime socialist activists in the United States and wrote "The Bush Doctrine" in issue 22. Miah is a member of the editorial board of Links; Sheppard and Lund are contributing editors.

CONTENTS

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

2. Obstacles for imperialism revealed by the war

3. Tasks of revolutionary socialists

"We will be called imperialists regardless, so we might as well be competent imperialists." (Stephen Peter Rosen, professor of strategic studies at Harvard University, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2003.)

"It's time for the US to behave more like an occupying power." ("The Bremer Regency", editorial, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2003.)

"The notion that you can't export democracy through the barrel of a gun is simply wrong. We did it in Germany, Italy, Japan and elsewhere." (Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 4, 2003.)

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

The most powerful military power humanity has ever seen is beating its chest and proclaiming to the world: "Do what we say or face the consequences".

Interview with Malcolm X

By Barry Sheppard

This article is taken from a chapter of volume one of a political memoir, covering the years 1960-1973. Barry Sheppard was a central leader of the US Young Socialist Alliance and Socialist Workers Party during the years 1960-1988.

***

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925. In February 1946 he was sentenced in Massachusetts to 8-10 years' imprisonment for burglary. While in prison, he was won to the Nation of Islam, a Black Nationalist religious sect founded by W.D. Fard and headed at that time and until his death by Elijah Muhammad. Emerging in the early 1930s, the Nation of Islam was one of the groups that developed as a result of the decline and splintering of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, which had galvanised a large section of the Black community after World War I. The Nation of Islam taught a religious doctrine that Black people were blessed by God and that whites were devils specially created to oppress Black people. They called for the creation of an independent Black nation in the United States, but tended to stress that the achievement of this state would be the work of God, not human beings.

How are revolutionary parties built?

This document was submitted by the US International Socialist Organization Steering Committee to the organisation's convention in Chicago, February 68, 2004. A report along these lines was presented by International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki, and the perspectives were adopted by the convention.

 

Independent unions: the way forward for US labour

Malik Miah is an area representative for Local 9, the largest local of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which has 4000 members, at the United Airlines maintenance base in San Francisco. He is editor of Local 9's bimonthly newsletter Way Points (www.amfa9.org/waypoints) and a member of the editorial board of Links. Caroline Lund is a trustee and member of the executive board of United Auto Workers Local 2244, a local of 5000 members at the New United Motor Manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. She edits a plant newsletter, The Barking Dog (www.geocities.com/abarkingdog/), and is a contributing editor of Links.

 

 

CONTENTS

Proposal for new course

How the unions changed

Demoralised and defeated

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