Spectre of Communism

Labor struggle in the USA: the sleeping giant stirs

This week on International Marxist Radio, Tom Trottier, a leading comrade of Socialist Revolution, the US section of the International Marxist Tendency, speaks about exciting developments in the labour movement in the United States of America!

After a long period of relative inactivity, the US working class is beginning to move. As the ongoing crisis of capitalism continues to worsen living conditions for the vast majority, workers in the US, as elsewhere, are looking to the mass organisations. This has taken the form of a significant growth of the trade unions, as the working class seeks to defend their standard of living against stagnant wages and rising prices.

It has also seen an explosive development of radical new unions, set up by fresh layers: Amazon workers, Starbucks workers, and so on. New leaders like Chris Smalls of the Amazon Labour Union, and a left-wing layer at the top of the Teamsters, are also being pushed forward and tested by events. Shawn Fain (mentioned in the episode, which was recorded a few weeks ago) has also been elected to the leadership of the UAW on a class struggle programme.

Given the dominance of the US as both an economic and an imperialist giant, the strengthening of the labour movement in the belly of the beast is of decisive importance for workers’ struggles internationally.

Spectre of Communism

The fall of woman: Engels, Morgan and the family

On this week’s episode of International Marxist Radio, Fred Weston, a leading comrade of the International Marxist Tendency, discusses the historical roots of women’s oppression.

While we are often told that the oppression of women is innate to human relations, this could not be further from the truth. In reality, in pre-class societies, hunter-gatherer men and women generally existed in an egalitarian relationship. These were arguments raised by Lewis Henry Morgan, a materialist anthropologist whose work informed Engels’ writings, particularly his classic text The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. 

The emergence of the patriarchal family did not occur randomly, or as merely the product of a shift in people’s ideas, but was the result of the development of private property, inheritance and class society. And if we can point to a time before these things existed, we can imagine (and fight for) a world where they are consigned to the dustbin of history!

We would like to draw readers’ attention to the issue 41 of In Defence of Marxism magazine, which includes an excellent article by Fred that formed the basis for this discussion. Get your copy of the latest IDoM here: 

Spectre of Communism

Pakistan on the brink!

This week’s episode welcomes Adam Pal, leading comrade of Lal Salaam, the Pakistani section of the International Marxist Tendency, to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Pakistan. 

In the midst of a deep political crisis, the Pakistani ruling class is split, with different factions leaning on sections of the military high command to maintain their position. This has led to the immense social instability that has characterised the country in the recent period.

On top of this, the Pakistani economy is on the ropes. Economists are already comparing the situation in Pakistan to that of Sri Lanka, which earlier this year saw a social explosion that brought the government to its knees. Without doubt, such a movement of the masses in Pakistan is on the cards.

Spectre of Communism

Banking crisis: will there be a new recession?

This week’s episode welcomes back Niklas Albin Svensson, a leading member of the International Marxist Tendency, to discuss the ongoing turmoil in the global banking system.

A few weeks ago, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed, but the failure of SVB was not the end of the story. Rather, what we have seen is a sudden flurry of bank collapses, which has so far culminated in the forced merger of Credit Suisse into UBS and the dramatic fall in Deutsche Bank’s share price.

While a total collapse of the banking system has so far been avoided, this does not mean that the situation is stable. In reality, crises like this are inevitable under the capitalist system, and the ruling class have only managed to temporarily alleviate the worst of this crisis by laying the grounds for a deeper one.

Read Niklas’ latest on the banking crisis: