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Remembering Jerry Cohen


This has been a bad summer for left wing intellectuals. The radical political economists Giovanni Arrighi and Peter Gowan died within a few days of one another in June. And then last week the socialist philosopher GA "Jerry" Cohen died suddenly at the age of 68.

Banks go back to bubble bonuses


Can you believe the banks? While the world economic crisis has deep underlying causes, it was precipitated by the collapse of the credit bubble that had been inflated by major banks in a frenzy of borrowing and lending.

Afghan war brings political fallout


FURTHER EVIDENCE has appeared this past week about how corrupt British politics is. No, this isn’t about MPs on the take or reporters phonetapping. It’s about Afghanistan.

New challenges in South Africa


I’ve just returned from spending a fortnight in South Africa. It was my first visit since the early 1990s. A lot has happened since then.

Electoral reform, crisis and the left


After the Second World War the Labour and Tory parties completely dominated British politics, sharing around 96 percent of the popular vote between them. According to some opinion polls, they will be lucky to get more than half the total vote in this week’s European elections.

Obama is marching into the graveyard of empires


Two events last week underlined the fact that Barack Obama is not kidding when he says he intends to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

Will the global economy recover?


The idea that the green shoots of economic recovery are sprouting everywhere has become entrenched among a layer of economic pundits. They cite the fact that the stock markets have been rising quite strongly.

This recession still has a way to run


Is the worst of the economic crisis over? BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has been babbling about this for the past week or so, and Barack Obama has now joined them.

A neoliberal attack on the public sector


There is an increasingly ugly and strident – but also quite ridiculous – campaign building up against the public sector.

Slavoj Zizek’s Ideas need to link with reality


Nearly a thousand people will be attending a conference this weekend on "The Idea of Communism" in central London.

The real change facing Obama


Barack Obama’s administration is starting to put itself about internationally. Having stayed away from the World Economic Forum in Davos, the US sent a high-powered delegation headed by Vice-President Joe Biden to the Munich security conference the weekend before last.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn: Defend this key Thai socialist


Sometimes the really important social conflicts between exploiter and exploited find expression by distorted means, via conflicts among the exploiters themselves.

Obma's scramble to buy time from voters


The conventional view is that Barack Obama’s presidency is going to struggle with the contradiction between the huge expectations invested in him and the glum realities of office. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.

Barack Obama is already tied to Israel


So what is Israel trying to achieve with its assault on Gaza? And what role is being played by the US and its outgoing and incoming presidents?

Damian Green, the police and civil liberties


How should socialists react to the immense furore over the police arrest of Tory frontbencher Damian Green and search of his parliamentary office and home?

Contradictions in Gordon Brown’s economic policy


The parallels between the present crisis and the 1930s are growing. Summing up the steep falls in financial markets, last Saturday’s Financial Times said, "All this is consistent with the fear that the world is heading for a true depression, that will at least bear comparison with that of the 1930s."

G20 has no answers to crisis


You would have had to be very naive to believe that the G20 meeting in Washington last weekend would really mark, as Gordon Brown put it, "the birth pangs of this new global order" demanded by the world economic crisis.

Challenges facing Gordon Brown’s bounce


The surest thing to emerge from Labour’s surprise victory last week in the Glenrothes by-election is that Alex Salmond doesn’t walk on water any more. The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and first minister of Scotland has dominated politics north of the border for the past few years.

IMF still wields the neoliberal cosh


Neoliberalism is for mugs. This has turned out to be one of the main lessons of the present economic crisis.

Thinking through the current crisis


There have been a flood of pieces in the international press recently about how the financial crash has meant Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes – reduced to intellectual pariahs in the heyday of neoliberalism – are back in fashion.

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