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Politicians see that austerity isn’t working


I love the way the media say that Britain is in a "technical" recession. Statisticians say that when an economy shrinks for six months it’s in recession. The British economy shrank during the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. So it’s in recession—there’s nothing technical about it.

The key lessons of Bradford West


The superlatives have fast run out in attempts to sum up George Galloway’s victory for Respect in the Bradford West by-election.

Has the economic crisis nearly ended?


Is the world economy past the worst of the crisis? This is what the stock markets have been signalling these past few months, pushing share prices upwards.

Obama’s recovery is far from certain


"It's halftime in America, too… This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. Our second half is about to begin."

Tories' dependency culture is in crisis


Anyone in any doubt that the Tories are still scum should listen in on the House of Commons debates on the Welfare "Reform" Bill. The sheer callousness with which government backbenchers dismiss critics of the Conservative-Liberal coalition’s attacks on benefits is enough to make the blood boil.

Rulers are creating a crisis of democracy


I read recently a book by the economist Barry Eichengreen called Golden Fetters. This is about the collapse of the gold standard during the Great Depression of 1929-39.

Fear and confusion as eurozone slides


A couple of weeks ago the economist Paul Krugman said he was "both terrified and bored" by the eurozone crisis. I know what he means.

Crisis of capitalism is far from over


Leon Trotsky paints a brilliant portrait of the last tsar, Nicholas II, in his great History of the Russian Revolution. He treats Nicholas’s weakness, malice, and stupidity as symptoms of a decaying regime.

Paralysis in EU as Greek crisis grows


The old ones are sometimes the best. "Denial is not a river in Africa, but it is a state occupied by many eurozone politicians."

Ed’s off the fence, and it’s not good


It was probably an advantage for Ed Miliband that people were a bit vague about exactly where he stood when he stood in last year’s Labour leadership election.

Athens resistance sparks elite crisis


There are moments when the fundamental conflict defining capitalist society becomes visible for all to see. Athens on Wednesday of last week was one of them.

Obama’s Afghan exit strategy


Barack Obama concluded his announcement that US forces had assassinated Osama Bin Laden by saying, "Tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to."

Financial crisis is far from history


Hardened boosters of capitalism must be tempted to dismiss the global economic and financial crisis as history.

Libyan intervention reveals splits among global elite


Western intervention in Libya has exposed the extraordinary flux in relations among the great powers. In the first place, they’re badly split.

Is this a revolution or just a coup?


Leon Trotsky recalls in his memoirs that, immediately after the Russian Revolution of October 1917, Lenin said to him in German, "Es schwindelt"—"It makes one dizzy."

Alex Callinicos: a reply to Laurie Penny's reply


I hadn’t intended to respond to Laurie Penny’s reply (<a href="http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2010/12/deregulating-resistance">A response to Alex Callinicos</a>) to my piece on Comment is Free (<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/26/student-protests-laurie-penny?showallcomments=true#comment-8939439">Student demonstrators can't do it on their own</a>), which in turn was a response to her original Guardian article, which appeared on Christmas Eve (<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/24/student-protests-young-politics-voices">Out with the old politics</a>). But there has been such a flurry of criticism and support all over Fa

New US splurge will increase global tensions


John Maynard Keynes argued that one of the main reasons why capitalist economies are so unstable is because they are driven by investments that are essentially bets on an uncertain future. The present moment is one of peculiar uncertainty even by these standards.

Pressures on Ed Miliband will grow


"No more cliques, no more factions, no more soap opera," announced David Miliband in what proved to be his swansong at the Labour Party conference.

Vince Cable is no Marxist


Vince Cable's assault on "spivs and gamblers" in the City may have won him a standing ovation at the Lib Dem conference, but it has caused outrage at the Daily Mail and in the Confederation of British Industry. Is it time for Marxists to welcome Comrade Cable to our ranks?

Economy is still on the Big Dipper


SPECULATION ABOUT the prospect of a double-dip recession has become almost obsessive in the financial markets. The US central bank, the Federal Reserve Board, is worried that the American economy might slip back into slump.

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