Issue 25

January-June, 2004: What happened in globalisation?

By Barry Sheppard

by Murray Smith.

Murray Smith is an international officer of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and a leader of the International Socialist Movement (ISM), a Marxist current within it.

At a meeting in Toronto in the fall of 2000, some 750 activists responded to a call to "rebuild the left" by developing a structured movement against capitalism. This call for a new political formation that would be "more than a movement, less than a party" was similar to other initiatives in Canada and around the world that have been undertaken as the traditional organisations of the political left have waned.

The call was based on the understanding that the discovery and creation of a new kind of left politics is not going to be easy. It was in this spirit that, when the first Toronto initiative faltered, a group of independent socialists continued to meet with other activists across Ontario to try to learn from the experience and find a way forward. The group asked hard questions about how radically different from that first initiative a new political formation of the left would need to be. And they exchanged ideas and assessments of the political situation in Canada and the world, both to focus debate and to arrive at areas of political agreement.

Out of this process—a ray of sunshine during the long winter of 2003—this political statement was completed, launching the Socialist Project as a new political formation on the Canadian left.

* * *

This appeal was adopted by the fifteenth national congress of the LCR, held in Saint-Denis from October 30 to November 2, 2003.

Together, we fought intransigently in defence of workers' rights in the spring of 2003. Together, we have fought against unending imperialist war. Together we have fought against capitalist globalisation, against turning the whole world into a commodity and for the new internationalism incarnated by the anti-globalisation movement.

We are faced in France and on an international level with an offensive against the rights of peoples and of workers, with a headlong rush towards the destruction of the resources of the planet, with a state of permanent war aimed at maintaining the hegemony of the US and European great powers.

By Murray Smith

Murray Smith is an international officer of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and a leader of the International Socialist Movement (ISM), a Marxist current within it.

The Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire [LCR] held its fifteenth national congress from October 30 to November 2, 2003. This was the first congress of the organisation since June 2000, an unusually long gap. It should have taken place in 2002 but was postponed because of the presidential election campaign. Originally rescheduled for the end of June, it was again postponed because of the May-June movement. In fact, these two events, emblematic of the political and social crisis that is shaking French society, constituted the political and social backdrop to the congress.

By Murray Smith

Murray Smith is an international officer of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and a leader of the International Socialist Movement (ISM), a Marxist current within it.

By Humphrey McQueen

Humphrey McQueen is a leading Marxist writer in Australia and an activist in the Socialist Alliance. A version of this article appeared in the Journal of Australian Political Economy, No. 51 (Jime 2003).

CONTENTS

Globalising capitals

Labour times

Money-capital

Commodity-capital

Production-capital

The nation-market-state

Summing up

Notes