Socialist Worker


Occupation forces are thugs and terrorists

\"WERE WE to fail it is more than 'the power of America' that would be defeated,\" Tony Blair said last weekend. \"The hope of freedom and religious tolerance in Iraq would be snuffed out. Dictators would rejoice. Fanatics and terrorists would be triumphant.\"

The new dictators act like the old dictator

THE BIGGEST single group of people who suffered repression under Saddam Hussein's regime are in revolt against the US occupation. And George Bush's only answer to the Shia uprising is to act in the same brutal fashion as the government that was toppled a year ago.

How was the Russian Revolution defeated?

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was greeted across the world with enormous popular enthusiasm. In the midst of the bloody slaughter of the First World War the workers' and soldiers' councils had taken control of the country. The new soviet government took Russia out of the war, instituting far-reaching reforms. Factory committees took over enterprises. The peasants won the land. Legislation gave women the most advanced freedoms anywhere in the world.

No such thing as a natural born monster

AILEEN WUORNOS was executed by lethal injection in October 2002. She was only the second woman to be executed in Florida since the American Civil War. Aileen had killed six men. She was hailed as the US's first women serial killer and there's nothing the media loves more than a mass murderer, and if she is a blonde prostitute with a lesbian lover then just watch the headlines flow. Police officers involved in her case were said to be negotiating book and movie deals about her case before she was even arrested.

Can there be socialism in one country?

There are two fundamental reasons why socialism has to be international. Both rise from the nature of capitalism. The first is very simple and material. One of capitalism's historic achievements has been the formation of a world market. If we think about our own everyday lives, it is immediately apparent that we depend on the products of the world.

When is a war not a war at all?

OF ALL the great phrases that our leaders have come up with over the years, surely the "war on terror" has to be their finest. How to name wars is something that gives important work to politicians, historians and journalists.

Labour's scapegoating feeds the right wing

NEW LABOUR ministers have poured fuel on the fire of racism with their lies about asylum seekers. They branded refugees and migrant workers a "problem" and a "drain on resources". It should come as no surprise to them when they get their fingers burnt. The Tories and right wing press have gleefully seized on the issue of asylum to attack New Labour, calling for immigration minister Beverley Hughes to resign.

Don't duck the politics

THE HEADLINE news in France's regional elections was that there was a big swing away from the ruling right to the parties of the "plural left"-the Socialists, Communists, and Greens. But, for the revolutionary left, the story was a different one.

Respect is great-tell people about it

WE WOULD all like to wipe the smile off Tony Blair's face. Last Saturday's demonstration showed that the massive anger over the war on Iraq has not gone away.

Another war to shame Blair

TONY BLAIR sought yet again to justify the conquest of Iraq in a recent speech. He harked back to what he plainly regards as an earlier triumph, NATO's 1999 war against Yugoslavia. Blair cited this as a precedent for the Anglo-American attack on Iraq. Even "before September 11", he explained, "the world's view of the justification of military action had been changing. The only clear case in international relations for armed intervention had been self defence... But the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency."

Supporting national liberation struggles

In the 1840s famine struck Britain's colony in Ireland. The British government enforced the export of food from Ireland. One and a half million people died from starvation, and a million and a half emigrated.

New musical expression of anti-fascism

ONE OF the proudest moments of my life was compering the 200,000-strong Anti Nazi League carnival in south London in 1994. It was the perfect combination of politics and music. And, oh boy, did we need it!

They knew Iraq war would fuel terror

THE WORLD will be a safer place," foreign secretary Jack Straw told parliament two days before the war on Iraq. "Iraq", Tony Blair said in the same debate, "will be the test of whether we take the threat of terrorism seriously." A year later at least 15,000 Iraqis have lost their lives in this "test", each one dying as horribly as the 200 people blown to pieces in Madrid last week.

Spain's people grasp the genuine connections

"THIS IS not the time for politics. We must show our unity against the terrorists, regardless of class or party." So proclaimed all the mainstream politicians in Spain and Britain after last week's bombings. But the governments supporting last year's war did not lose one minute in trying to squeeze the political advantage for themselves.

Right of the oppressed to organise their own defence

At the heart of capitalism is an ongoing class struggle between capital and labour. That is the ABC of Marxism. But the alphabet has more than three letters. Class domination in capitalism is interwoven with many other sorts of human oppression. These provide a basis for divisions among the exploited. Disadvantaged groups have been held down on the grounds of being "different", and they in turn have fought back.

You learn more from Czech TV

When European politicians led a demonstration through the streets of Madrid last week in the wake of the train bombings, there was one familiar face missing. Surely Tony Blair would not miss the opportunity to rub shoulders with other political leaders and to adopt his "people's princess" face of pouting lip and moist eyes?

A murderer who wants to rewrite the laws

BLAIR HAS effectively abandoned his attempt to say international law supported the invasion of Iraq. Speaking to a hand-picked business audience last week, he said "it may be that under international law" the US and Britain are not authorised to topple regimes they don't like.

What is racism and why must we fight it?

Socialism depends on workers overcoming the divisions within their own ranks. The most virulent of these divisions is racism, in all its forms. The racism of Hitler and the Nazis produced the organised mass murder of millions of Jews and Gypsies in the 1940s. What is racism?

Big Macs, little Macs, same old...

LOSE WEIGHT. Eat a McDonald's. That was the amazing sales pitch the junk food giant tried to pull off last week. Even it has noticed that there is widespread concern about people's health as obesity becomes an increasing problem. So McDonald's announced they would cut back on their "supersize" products to appear as promoters of healthy eating. Call me cynical, but I have little trust in a company that puts tap water, available for free, in a bottle and sells it for 95p. Obesity is a serious issue, and can lead to damaging health problems.

Desperate claims from a drowning man

'THE ENEMY within." That chilling phrase sums up how top establishment figures see people who dare to reveal the truth about the war. They dragged GCHQ worker Katharine Gun through the courts for 12 months to terrify others out of speaking out. The government was forced to drop the case against her only because it would have had to reveal the legal basis for attacking Iraq in court.

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