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Eye on Civil Society


Local elections a thunderous rebuke for ANC
ANC polls less than 60% for first time since end of apartheid
Weizmann Hamilton, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI in South Africa) 12 August 2016

Nothing could have captured the full dimensions of the ANC’s humiliation more resoundingly than Zuma’s presidential address at the official announcement of results ceremony. Four young black women, courageous anti-rape activists, stood in front of Zuma’s podium facing the entire ANC establishment, holding up placards reminding the country and the world of the rape accusations Zuma was acquitted of ten years ago.

2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio Eclipsed By Controversy

Dave Zirin the author of Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy says, it's the perfect opportunity for the anti-democratic forces in Brazil to market themselves as if they are the saviors of the country
Dave Zirin on the Real News Network 2 August 2016

The Great Rip Off

South Africa loses billions in export misinvoicing
Brian Ashley and Dick Forslund (AIDC)small>1 August 2016

“Export underinvoicing is not due to underreporting of the true value of gold exports, but rather to pure smuggling of gold out of the country. In other words, virtually all gold exported by South Africa leaves the country unreported.”

Mega-philanthropy: Charitable deeds or monopoly tyranny?
Liepollo Lebohang Pheko (Rolling Stone) 29 July 2016

How can a small club of extremely rich white men who have bullied markets, governments and competitors in the most undemocratic ways, now be looked upon to decree on democracy and accountability merely by the size of their bank balances and trust funds? This perhaps is the most insidious form of state capture.

Budget Failures, Displacement, Zika
Welcome to Rio’s $11.9B Summer Olympics
Dave Zirin (The Nation ) 27 July 2016

There’s an old expression in Brazil: “it is for the English to see.” This means the country’s elites will construct, when necessary, a veneer for Global North outsiders. This veneer displays a more attractive version of Brazilian society than what actually exists. Northern tourists and investors have long been happy to enjoy the fantasy on display as long as they could extract their pleasures or profits, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro could have been another chapter in this long history of facades for foreign consumption.

Brazil: Government to attack labor rights
Zé Maria (PSTU) 21 July 2016

The Government Fear (PMDB) repeats the same steps of President Dilma, EN. First, with the pension reform, which has been postponed to the end of the year, due to the rejection that generated among workers. Now, announces that he wants to change the labor laws: allow widespread outsourcing, flexibility to working hours and wages, allowing labor laws can be changed or eliminated in collective bargaining.

India’s Heart of Darkness Exposed by the Crackdown in Kashmir
Radha Surya 21 July 2016

The facts speak for themselves. There is no escaping the implications of the horrors with which innocent, mostly unarmed civilians of India-held Kashmir have been bombarded ever since the present crisis erupted. The ongoing crisis in Kashmir has laid bare the palpable darkness that resides at the very heart of what is often perceived as a vibrant and successful democracy. As a mighty surge of mass resistance to Indian occupation welled up across Kashmir in the wake of the killing of beloved militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8, the Indian state unleashed a crackdown of which the savagery knew no bounds. Kashmiris are accustomed to sweeping as well as limited and less visible crackdowns by Indian forces. This is an old story. Still the current crackdown is of a different order of magnitude. Its ferocity may be without precedent in recent years. It is possible that repression on this scale was witnessed in Kashmir only in the nineties when India launched a brutal counterinsurgency operation to crush a rebellion against Indian rule. Now the no holds barred strategy has returned to a land which has been turned into a war-zone by Indian forces. Hardly surprising then that Kashmiri novelist and writer Mirza Waheed was moved to declare that something unimaginably dark, something sinister, has happened in India. Too many people here have called for more Kashmiris to be killed (

Why is the Capitalist West Fighting with Capitalist Russia?

Alexandr Buzgalin and Paul Jay discuss the antagonism between Russia and US despite the former adopting 'Jurassic Park capitalism' since the demise of the USSR
The Real News Network 18 July 2016

Bill Gates’ silver-bullet misfiring at the Mandela Memorial Lecture
Patrick Bond 15 July 2016

On July 17, Bill Gates will deliver the annual Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg, justifying his philosophy of market-oriented, technology-centric philanthropy. Last year, French economist Thomas Piketty’s speech on inequality attracted healthy debate, with even business notables endorsing his concerns, given South Africa’s intense social conflict.

To illustrate, South Africa’s Gini Coefficient measuring inequality is the world’s highest (at 0.77 on a scale of 0 to 1, in terms of income inequality from employment). Since 2000, social protests have numbered an average of 11 per day. From 2012-16 the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report category measuring worker militancy ranked South Africa’s proletariat as the angriest on earth, while PricewaterhouseCoopers Economic Crime surveys awarded the gold medal for world corruption to the Johannesburg bourgeoisie in 2014 and 2016.

SA must take to streets or will pay billions in nuclear bribes
Feinstein (BizNews) 11 July 2016

Andrew Feinstein has come full circle – a young ANC Parliamentarian in South Africa’s first democratically elected Government, he resigned and left the country after discovering his colleagues had accepted $300m in bribes when initiating the country’s unnecessary R70bn Arms Procurement Deal. But even those numbers are paltry compared with the plundering which will happen if President Jacob Zuma gets to implement the proposed nuclear power build programme he is so obsessed about. Feinstein reckons the nuclear deal will generate tens of billions in bribes – and the only way to stop it is for South Africans to once again march in the street. In this fascinating interview in London, he told me his journey from politician to investigator and now a best-selling author whose latest book has been turned into a 90 minute documentary by Hollywood star Danny Glover. Feinstein is using this movie to warn South Africans that their country’s sovereignty is at risk – and unless they stop the nuclear build, as with the Arms Deal, they will repent at leisure. – Alec Hogg

Land Question and the Socio-Economic Crisis in India!
Sajith Attepuram (CWI-India) 20 May 2016

As the outcome of the state assembly elections are discussed extensively, it is important to relook at the causes for the persisting social crisis and the indifference of the political parties over it, particularly the ‘so called left’ in allying itself actively once again in political opportunism!

China’s economy: ‘Dead panda bounce’

China Worker 4 July 2016

Has China’s economy turned a corner?
Has China’s economy turned a corner? Premier Li Keqiang and the Chinese government certainly want us to believe that. The reality however is continuing weak growth despite a series of major stimulus measures that revive memories of Beijing’s mega-stimulus package in the wake of the 2008 global capitalist crisis. The build-up of debt, which is the inevitable result of these policies, is increasing the risk of a financial collapse or as a ‘best case’ scenario Japanese-style economic stagnation. This is something that even senior Chinese officials are now openly warning about.

Flight of corporate profits poses biggest threat to South Africa’s economy
Patrick Bond 22 June 2016

Last week the South African Reserve Bank Quarterly Bulletin confirmed that foreign corporations are milking the economy, drawing away profits far faster than they are reinvested or than local firms bring home offsetting profits from abroad. Can anything be done to stop the haemorrhaging?

Regime change in Latin America: Why Russia is concerned?
Russia Today 18 May, 2016

A Russian diplomatic call to outlaw the US-sponsored policy of “regime change” is timelier than ever following recent events in Latin America.

The developments there are now routinely described as ‘institutional’ coups d’état, with popular presidents removed from power and replaced by neoliberal functionaries, enjoying almost unhidden support of the US government and American financial capital.

Now, in Brazil, the Battle for Democracy is Fought on the Streets
Carlos Aznárez (The Dawn) 14 May 2016

The coup has been consummated. Brazil now joins Honduras and Paraguay in the list of countries that Imperialism used as a giant laboratory to test, with undoubtable success, their technique to destitute neo-developmentalist governments. This recipe is labeled as “moderate” by some analysts that are not experiencing its results in their own flesh, and for those who compare it with the inhuman dictatorships that these countries suffered a few decades ago. In fact, they are brutal, like capitalism is in essence. In Argentina, for example, in just a few months, 120,000 workers were laid off, as inflation increased dramatically, crushing hopes for a better future. This onslaught in Latin America has to be analyzed in a broader context: it’s part of the same strategy that the heads of Washington DC implemented in the Middle East, destroying one country after the other, until they found out they could attain the same results with more ease in Latin America.

What Are the Origins of May Day?
Rosa Luxemburg (Jacobin Magazine) 2 May 2016

The happy idea of using a proletarian holiday celebration as a means to attain the eight-hour day was first born in Australia. The workers there decided in 1856 to organize a day of complete stoppage together with meetings and entertainment as a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour day.


‘Dilma’s mistake was to promote class conciliation’
Interview with João Pedro Stédile 28 April 2016

What will be the reaction of the Brazilian people and the MST in particular if Dilma Rousseff is removed from office?

First of all, we’re confident that it’s possible to stop the coup in process now that it has reached the Senate. We believe that the government has a greater representation in the Senate than in the Chamber of Deputies [which voted on April 17 to recommend to the Senate an impeachment investigation]. The Senators themselves are older, more experienced in politics. They know that a Parliamentary coup like the ones that took place in Honduras [2009] or Paraguay [2012] would lead Brazil to a deeper crisis.

China: Li Keqiang’s ‘war against pollution’ is firing blanks

Jiangsu’s toxic school scandal highlights ecological catastrophe
China Worker 22 April 2016

In March 2014 China’s premier Li Keqiang’s declared “war against pollution”. As smog levels in major eastern cities including Beijing went off the charts, the one-party dictatorship of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) knew this issue could, much like the economic downturn and endemic corruption, be the trigger for mass unrest and the possible downfall of the regime.

US: The un-Democratic Primary
Why we need new party of the 99%
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle, originally published on 22 April 2016

Despite a decisive victory Tuesday providing further confirmation of her likely nomination, in many respects Hillary Clinton emerges from the New York primary more damaged, her party more divided, than she entered it.

What came to be called The Battle of New York has served only to further expose what millions of people in the U.S. are becoming painfully aware of – the Democratic Party primary is rigged in favor of the establishment.

Repression Against Landless Peasants Movement in Brazil

Joaquin Pinero of the MST talks about the latest round of repression against the movement and how it is connected to the current political crisis in Brazil.
The Real News 21 April 2016

NUMSA’s Political Perspectives on the Crisis of Leadership in the ANC and SA
“Demanding Zuma must fall without adding that neoliberal monopoly capitalism must fall and that the Freedom Charter and Socialism Must Rise is just class suicide, with nothing that the working class can gain at the moment.”
(Karl Cloete, NUMSA Deputy General Secretary, December 2015)
NUMSA 20 April 2016

A. Corruption in South Africa and the role of the ANC and its alliance

1. By December 2013, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) completely wrote off the ANC and its alliance formations as having any capacity to complete the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and therefore transform South Africa in the interest of the majority – who are the black and African working class, and the rural poor - and through this, for the entire country.

Brazil's Impeachment Vote a Political Trial to Subvert Democracy

If President Dilma Rousseff is successfully impeached it will shake confidence in the entire Brazilian democratic system, says Maria Mendonca of the University of Rio de Janeiro
The Real News Network 19 April 2016

Brazil’s corruption crisis
Gwynne Dyer, & Hurriyet 18 April 2016

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

On April 17, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff faces an impeachment vote in the lower house of congress. The charge? That she manipulated government accounts to make the deficit look smaller than it really was before the last election.

Nigeria: On the deepening fuel crisis
Ola Kazeem in Nigeria 13 April 2016

Nigeria is an oil-rich country and yet periodically it faces massive fuel shortages. The inept Nigerian bourgeoisie is incapable even of building the necessary fuel refineries to provide enough fuel for the home market. The reason for this is that it is more profitable to trade in importing refined fuel than to produce it themselves! Here we provide a comment on the situation from a comrade in Nigeria.

Wealth of the Russian Elite and the Growing Poverty of its People

Professor Aleksandr Buzgalin, Moscow State University says 1% of Russians own 70% of its wealth while 20.3 million are living in official poverty
The Real News Network 13 April 2016

Interview with Lula Da silva
Luiz ignacio lula Da silva interviewed by Glen Greenwald (The Intercept) 12 April 2016

The life trajectory of Brazil’s former President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”) has been extraordinary. Born into extreme poverty, Lula left the presidential office in 2010, after serving two terms, with an unprecedented 86% approval rating, seemingly destined to enjoy almost universal respect on the world stage and to be remembered as one of modern history’s greatest statesmen. Similar to the post-office path of Tony Blair and Bill and Hillary Clinton, Lula, since his term ended, has amassed great personal wealth by delivering speeches and providing consulting services to global power centers. The moderately left-wing party he co-founded, the Worker’s Party (PT), has now controlled the presidency for fourteen straight years.

Can GDP Growth and Carbon Emissions be Delinked?

Nate Aden of the World Resource Institute identifies 21 countries that succeeded in maintaining economic growth while also decreasing carbon emissions - can this feat be replicated elsewhere?
The Real News Network 12 April 2016

Austerity Gathers Pace in Volatile South Africa
Patrick Bond (The Bullet) 8 April 2016

A wedge is being quickly driven through Pretoria’s political elite, splitting even those who worked closely in the murky 1980s Durban spy scene during the fight against apartheid. Amongst the victims are vast numbers of poor people beginning to bear the brunt of the diverse shakeouts in the ongoing confrontation now underway between the country’s two most powerful 21st century politicians: President Jacob Zuma and his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. That battle began in 2005, when Mbeki fired then-Deputy President Zuma following a corruption conviction against a long-time Zuma associate.

Immanuel Wallerstein 7 April 2016

I have been as appalled as anyone at the style and content of Donald Trump’s search for the U.S. presidency. I have at no point been tempted in any way to support him. I do not intend to vote for him.

Dangerous Times in India
The Country’s Extreme Right Is Targeting College Students
Vijay Prashad (AlterNet) 6 April 2016

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde said, in a major policy address this week in Washington, DC, that India “remains a bright spot, with strong growth and rising real incomes.”

Attempted coup in Brazil seeks to reverse election results
Mark Weisbrot 5 April 2016

If you are following the news of political turmoil in Brazil, it may be difficult to get a grasp of what is really going on. This often happens when there is an attempted coup in the Western Hemisphere, and especially when the U.S. government has an interest in the outcome. Usually the information about that interest, and often Washington’s role, is the first casualty of the conflict. (Twenty-first century examples include Paraguay in 2012, Haiti in 2011 and 2004, Honduras in 2009, Ecuador in 2010 and Venezuela in 2002.)

How many bullets are needed, to fell South Africa’s growing legions of mining critics?
Seething contradictions lay bare the East Coast’s corrupted economy
Patrick Bond 5 April 2016

Society’s conflict with a mainstay of South Africa’s corporate economy – resource extraction – is permanently on display in the platinum, gold and coal fields of Limpopo, Northwest and Mpumalanga. Now too, the country’s East Coast is confronting mining houses which land-grab from peasantries, facilitated by vast state infrastructure subsidies, in spite of – or maybe because of – crashing commodity prices. Meanwhile food, transport and electricity prices soar, compounding the misery and anger, as state welfare grants shrink.

‘Bazooka’ died for SA not just for Xolobeni
Lubabalo Ngcukana 3 April 2016

Friends and family gathered to bid farewell to late anti-mining leader Sikhosiphi "Bazooka" A luta continua, the struggle continues, speakers declared at the emotionally charged funeral of late anti-mining activist and community leader Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe.

How Montanans stopped the largest new coal mine in North America
Nick Engelfried (Waging Nonviolence) 2 April 2016

Montana communities won a victory against one of the world’s biggest coal companies earlier this month, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine – the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

Bangladesh: Stop the Rampal power project
The world’s largest mangrove forest lies on the deltas of three rivers: the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is here, in an area of outstanding natural beauty called the Sundarbans, that the Bangladeshi government plans to site a coal-fired power plant.
Pete Mason, Barking and Dagenham Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) 1 April 2016

The Politics of Openings, the Politics of Closures
State, Nation and Universities in India and Africa
Amrita Pande, Faisal Garba and Ruchi Chaturvedi 31 March 2016

We are academics raised and educated in various parts of the world, and now living and working in South Africa. The predicaments of its higher education landscape and society mark our work and thought. In this article, we approach that story from our other locations: the rest of the African continent and India.

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption
A Dangerous Subversion of Democracy
Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Fishman and David Miranda ( The Intercept) 31 March 2016

The multiple, remarkable crises consuming Brazil are now garnering substantial Western media attention. That’s understandable given that Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country and eighth-largest economy; its second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, is the host of this year’s Summer Olympics. But much of this Western media coverage mimics the propaganda coming from Brazil’s homogenized, oligarch-owned, anti-democracy media outlets and, as such, is misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete, particularly when coming from those with little familiarity with the country (there are numerous Brazil-based Western reporters doing outstanding work).

The Realist’s Dilemma
Rodrigo Nunes (Jacobin Magazine) 30 March 2016

Let’s get the question out of the way: is there an ongoing coup in Brazil?

If by “coup” one means tanks in the streets and the constitution being ripped apart, the answer is “no.” As Brazil’s already discredited institutions seem caught in an endless spiral of further disgrace, the military has until now stayed out of the chaos. If President Dilma Rousseff falls within the next month, it will be through constitutional means — either the electoral court will void her last presidential campaign, or she will be impeached by Congress.

How Putin’s leverage shaped the Syrian ceasefire
Gareth Porter (Middle East Eye) 30 March 2016

When Russian President Vladimir Putin had a substantive meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, it was an extremely rare departure from normal protocol. Yet, there was some political logic to the meeting because Putin and Kerry have clearly been the primary drivers of their respective governments’ recent policies toward Syria and their negotiations have led to a stunningly successful Syrian ceasefire and possible Syrian negotiations on a political settlement.

Book Review: Blood On My Hands
CWI-India 27 March 2016

From reading circles to raising slogans, anything questioning the present regime is now an act of sedition. Even voting for a non-BJP government to power inside this limited democracy is an anti-national act. Not just the Muslims but every one is in an obligation to prove oneself as a nationalist.

China: Massive job destruction has already begun
China’s rulers are destroying ten times as many coal mining jobs as Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’ Mrs Thatcher
China Worker 25 March 2016

A tsunami of job destruction is heading towards heavy industry in China. This is especially in the coal and steel sectors which suffer from a flooded market and falling prices. Coal prices have fallen by 50 percent since 2012, pulled down by the slump in China’s housing construction which was the main driver of global demand. Coal and steel output in China have both fallen by 6 percent in the first two months of 2016, a faster rate of contraction than in the past two years.

Interview with Kshama Sawant
Kshama Sawant on Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and building socialism in the U.S.
Charles Davis (Telesur) 27 March 2016

Kshama Sawant is unlike almost any other elected politician in the United States, with the exception of Bernie Sanders: She calls herself a “socialist.”

In 2013, Sawant stunned Seattle’s political class by running an explicitly left-wing campaign for city council, demanding a US$15 an hour minimum wage, rent control in one of the country’s least affordable cities, and increased taxes on the rich to fund increased services for the poor and working class – and then actually winning, not as a Democrat but as a member of Socialist Alternative, a third party that believes in bottom-up democratic socialism. In 2015, she did it again, increasing her margin of victory from a squeaky 1 percent two years before to a decisive 18 percent over the establishment’s offering.

Facts belie the hype about labour costs

Brian Ashley and Dick Forslund 22 March 2016

Unless reliable, quantifiable data is publicly available, reports cannot be taken seriously, writes Brian Ashley and Dick Forslund.

The employment report by Mike Schussler (“The unemployed are the real poor”, Mail & Guardian, June 8 to 14) has sparked a heated debate about labour cost development and wage levels for workers.

At the core of the debate has been which data to use when discussing these issues.Everyone knows that there are many problems with the official statistics. One problem is the sudden big jumps, or “structural breaks”, in the number of reported employees.

‘Prime Minister’ Lula: The Brazilian game-changer
Pepe Escobar (Source: RT) 18 March 2016

Only three days after massive street demonstrations calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, and less than two weeks after his legally dubious four-hour detention for questioning, former Brazilian President Lula is about to spectacularly re-enter the Brazilian government as a Minister, actually a Super-Minister.

Moody’s is moody about South Africa
Patrick Bond (The Post, 16 March 2016) 16 March 2016

Moody’s rating agency is spending this week in South Africa, potentially delivering yet another blow to the country’s economic ego. The dreaded ‘junk’ label is still months away, but senior vice president Kristin Lindow is likely to drop the rating to the lowest-possible investment grade.

The agency is considered utterly chaotic – having labelled Lehmann Brothers bank an excellent investment just a week before it went bankrupt in 2008 and facing a myriad of lawsuits by angry clients rated poorly since – but its voice is vital to world financiers.

When polemic distorts the research evidence
Gilad Isaacs (The Mercury) 17 March 2016

National minimum wages are preferred to sectorally or regionally differentiated systems, because they are easier to enforce.

THE CONTEMPT for evidence-based research in a recent article by Free Market Foundation director Eustace Davie “National minimum wage will hurt workers” is staggering. The polemic distorts (or ignores) the evidence, indulges in alarmist exaggeration and latches on to one unsubstantiated claim – that a national minimum wage will kill jobs and hurt the unemployed – and repeats, repeats, repeats.

China: Twin meetings, mass layoffs and failed reforms
A panel of socialists give their views on what’s happening in China
China Worker 14 March 2016

With China’s Lianghui or ‘twin sessions’ – the National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – underway in Beijing, asked a panel of socialist activists to explain the trends taking place in China. Vincent Kolo is editor of, Wang Linyu is a young mainland activist and Jor Yen from Hong Kong is active in Socialist Action and writes for the CWI’s Chinese magazine Socialist.

Japan: Five years after the Fukushima disaster
Former Prime Minister says government was on verge of evacuating 50 million people and declaring martial law
China Worker 10 March 2016

The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011 was the second worst nuclear disaster ever, after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Some scientists warn that Fukushima’s destructive effects may even be even worse than Chernobyl. At Chernobyl there was a meltdown in one reactor, while at Fukushima three of six reactors suffered explosions and meltdown. This followed the powerful Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, which killed almost 16,000 people. The huge tsunami knocked out the Fukushima nuclear plant’s electrical supply and water cooling systems, causing the fuel elements in the reactor cores to melt.

The Brazilian Earthquake
Pepe Escobar 9 March 2016

Imagine one of the most admired global political leaders in modern history taken from his apartment at 6 am by armed Brazilian Federal Police agents and forced into an unmarked car to the Sao Paulo airport to be interrogated for almost four hours in connection with a billion dollar corruption scandal involving the giant state oil company Petrobras.

Media and Opposition Accuse Lula da Silva of Corruption

Political scientist and media analyst Joao Feres Jr. talks about who is behind the latest corruption accusations against Brazil's former President Lula da Silva and how these accusations are designed to undermine Lula's probable run for president in 2018
Joao Feres Jr interviewed by Gregory Wilpert on the Real News Network 8 March 2015

Iran Elections: Heavy blows to hard-liners
Hamid Alizadeh 5 March 2016

The result of the elections for the Iranian parliament and Assembly of Experts marks a shift in the political situation of the country. Under the pressure of the masses the regime is changin its direction, but this will only lead to a new period of instability and an upturn in the class struggle.

The London Fix: Price-Making in Capitalism
Economic trickery, fraud and crime in Africa
Khadija Sharife 4 March 2016

Barring some resources in Russia and elsewhere, South Africa claims more than 70% of global platinum production, and over 95.5% of known global reserves of this metal. In 2014, the country’s platinum sales totaled over R84 billion (upward of 7.5 billion USD). Despite its global dominance at the level of resource ownership and production, South Africa (from government to industry) has little input in the price-making process. Indeed it is a price taker. Instead, the ‘value’ and price of platinum is determined primarily by large banks in an institutional set-up that is a de-facto insider racket.

Brazil's Embattled Government Faces Yet More Challenges

With yet another corruption scandal unraveling near President Rousseff and more bad economic news, Alfredo Saad Filho examines the prospects of Brazil's PT government
Alfredo Saad-Filho interviewed by Gregory Wilpert on the Real News Network 28 Ferbruary 2016

China: Crisis set to deepen
Year of the Monkey opens with economy in worst situation for decades
Editorial from¡¶Éç»áÖ÷ÒåÕß¡·Socialist magazine issue 36 (February-March 2016)

As its factories restarted after the Chinese New Year holidays, China was facing its worst economic crisis in decades. The government¡¯s official data do not give the true picture, maintaining the fiction of GDP growth of 6.9 percent in 2015. Even this represents the weakest growth in 25 years. But several independent agencies put the figure as low as 3 to 4 percent. The economic pain is spread unevenly, with industrial strongholds like the northeast suffering what is close to a full-blown recession (i.e. negative GDP), while things are better in the richest first-tier cities and some of the country¡¯s second-tier cities.

Finding alternatives to austerity
Making cuts in government spending now will only serve to push recession closer, further increasing unemployment. It is economically wrong and the people don’t want it
Dick Forslund (The Mercury) 23 February 2016

Japan: Social and political unease after “twenty lost years”
Weakness of opposition is Prime Minister Abe’s only strength
Carl Simmons, Kokusai Rentai (CWI in Japan) 22 February 2016

Shinzo Abe recently became the longest serving Japanese prime minister in nearly four decades. His Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government has regained its lead in opinion polls, despite the huge demonstrations of last summer against new security laws, which a majority of the population clearly opposed.

A Marxist view of Modi’s Hindutva

Analysis of the present situation in India from an internationalist perspective
Peter Taaffe speaks to Jagadish Chandra, New Socialist Alternative (CWI in India) 18 February 2016

Zika and microcephaly: the Government lose ugly to the mosquito
Women who must decide whether to continue or not pregnancy
Ana Pay, national women's secretariat PSTU 16 February 2016

The World Health Organization (who) has declared a State of emergency of international public health due to the increase of cases of microcephaly associated with the Zika virus. Among the 26 countries facing the problem, Brazil is the most hit, with more than 4 1000 reported cases and effectively confirmed 404. Faced with an inefficient government action to control the mosquito Aedes Egypt, virus, transmitter and the drama of thousands infected pregnant women, there is no alternative but to ensure infected women the right to decide on the continuation of the pregnancy.

India needs a Raise!
We demand a Decent Living Minimum Wage!!
CWI-India 5 February 2016

Indeed the Working Class/People of Karnataka and India in general need a RAISE and get a decent Living Minimum Wage, which has to take into account the stark realities of the day and the super profits that the bosses make. This case is more so in the case of Garment and Textile working people predominantly women in the country.

World Bank punches South Africa’s poor, by ignoring the rich
Patrick Bond 11 February 2016

“South Africa can claim to have one of the world’s most redistributive public purses,” argues Johannesburg Business Day newspaper associate editor Hilary Joffe, drawing upon World Bank research findings. But not only is this nonsense. The Bank’s silences about poverty and inequality speak volumes.

Ethiopia: Hunger and deadly repression
Crisis for imperialism and a fight-back from below
Per-Ãke Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden) 10 February 2016

Ethiopia has in recent years experienced perhaps the strongest economic growth in the world. The winners have been the dictatorial regime, its allies and multinational corporations. If a certain layer in society has an increased purchasing capacity, the overwhelming majority of workers and poor peasants have gained little or nothing from the upturn. Since November, the country has been tormented by an incipient famine that could affect 15 million people. And in the last two months, more than 150 people have been shot dead when protesting against the regime’s land grabbing.

The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Zika Virus
Dave Zirin (The Nation) 3 February 2016

A major public-health crisis is stalking Brazil in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and it is spreading rapidly throughout the hemisphere. The Zika virus, delivered through mosquitos, has led to a sudden and staggering growth of brain disease in fetuses and newborns. As reported by the BBC, “There have been around 3,500 reported cases of microcephaly—babies born with tiny brains—in Brazil alone since October.”

China’s road to the Middle East
Vijay Prashad 2 February 2016

China’s President Xi Jinping has been on a tour of the Middle East, straddling the politics of the region – a stop in Saudi Arabia was balanced by a stop in Iran.

Xi’s most dramatic statements came at the Arab League, where he reaffirmed openly – for the first time in decades – China’s commitment to the Palestinian people.

BRICS Faces External Capitalist Crisis, Growing Internal Strife
Patrick Bond (teleSUR English) 30 January 2016

Last week, listening to activists and allied academics at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Mumbai’s Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), the magnitude of the responsibility faced by the BRICS’ leadership suddenly became clearer. The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa network’s incorporation into global economic governance is looking tattered after hollow victories last month, first in restarting the long-stalled World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi and then in the long-standing International Monetary Fund (IMF) “voice and participation” dispute over voting shares.

The Demonization of Vladimir Putin
John Wight 31 January 2016

Vladimir Putin is probably the most popular Russian leader there has ever been, polling up around a phenomenal 80% as recently as November 2015 in a study carried out by a team of American researchers. This makes him inarguably the most popular world leader today, though you would think the opposite given the way he’s routinely depicted and demonized in the West.

The issue of housing and some lessons from the Occupation Village Soma

The significance and prospects of families fighting the occupation Village Soma after the victory (partial, but fundamental), with the SUPREME COURT decision that determined when the suspension of the repossession of 1/17/2016, which would, as warned, a huge tragedy and a real social chaos.
Alexandre Mandl (Esquerda Marxista) Translation Bing Translator 29 January 2016

The Flint Water Crisis from the Ground Up

Sean Crawford 28 January 2016

What has come to light in Flint, Michigan, over the last few months is scarcely believable. My entire city has been poisoned with lead by the criminal negligence of its very own government!

The high cost of being poor in South Africa
Daily Vox 27 January 2015

For many of South Africa’s urban poor, poverty is a trap they cannot escape. Their poverty means they often pay higher prices for goods and services, and a disproportionate amount of their income is spent on accommodation and transport. The biggest cost is not just financial – they’re also “time poor” between working long hours and travelling hours to and from work. *MINENHLE MAJOZI told Mbali Zwane the price she pays to live in the City of Gold.

For The Rich Only – Modi’s Acche Din!!

Dudiyora Horaata (CWI India) 26 January 2015

The year that was 2015, was a mixed bag as for as the Political process in the country is concerned. The advent of the Right Wing forces led by BJP-RSS combine which has installed Narendra Modi administration in May 2014, while undoubtedly cheered by the Capitalists, Feudal lords, Mercantile Class and most of the Corporate driven Electronic & Print Media, but the ordinary working people including the socially volatile salaried Middle Classes and the rural masses have begun to steer out of the initial awe & paralysis of sorts.

Death by Saffron
Campus Politics in the Time of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Radha Surya 25 January 2016

Some images never become stale, never lose their power to re-awaken emotion and rekindle anguish. India has been bequeathed an image of this nature by the heart-rending death by suicide of Rohith Vemula on January 17, 2016 on the campus of Hyderabad Central University (HCU). Rohith Vemula, vibrant activist and promising research scholar, was a Dalit, a member of the social group formerly known as untouchables. In a poignant picture from December 2015 the youthful Rohith Vemula and a fellow student are shown leaving the student hostel from which they have been expelled by the university administration (

China's Warning Signs and the Crisis of Capitalism

Alan Woods 21 January 2016

Facebook and India: Introducing a digital caste system
Chris Spannos (New Internationalist) 19 January 2016

All societies share rich commons, the cultural and material resources shared by all, and owned equally by either everyone or no one. The air we can freely breathe, the sun that shines on us all. We once shared land too, but the development of small landholding enclosures created private property.

China—Canary in the Global Economy Coalmine?
Jack Rasmus (teleSUR English) 18 January 2016

What’s happening in China? Is it becoming the locus of the next financial crisis? Some well positioned capitalists are beginning to suggest so, including no less than that guru of global hedge fund and financial speculators, George Soros. The Bank of Central Banks, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Geneva, is saying the same; so too are a growing list of research departments of major global banks ,like UBS and Societe General in Europe.

With capitalism in crisis, ‘Look East’ – but first blame the West
The Chinese financial meltdown is another instance of the system’s core contradictions, but one potentially big enough to pull it all down
Patrick Bond (originally at teleSUR)
11 January 2016

In the macho world of high finance, occasionally an accidental whistle-blower gives away the game just by blowing off steam and revealing his giant ego. One popped up last week: Richard Fisher, the former 2005-14 president of the United States Federal Reserve System’s Dallas bank branch.

Dry industry: the semi-arid collapse
Aretha Melo and Thiago Laurentino, Translation Bing Translator 7 January 2015

The water crisis in the Southeast, especially in Sao Paulo, has put under spotlight the necessary debate on the privatization of water. In the Brazilian semi-arid region, covering almost the entire Northeast and part of Minas Gerais, this process of commodification is given by a different physiology, which we call the "dry industry".

The Caatinga, vegetation that extends over 895 1000 kilometers of semi-arid, is today one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet. Deforestation for the establishment of large estates to agribusiness and mining areas, extremely harmful practices and hidrointensivas associated with these activities, besides the production of charcoal and firewood, which make up about 30% of the energy matrix of industries in the region, sets up a scenario of environmental devastation to the semi-arid, which aggravates the restriction of access to water because it directly affects the cycle of rains and the prolongation of droughts in the region.

South African Capitalism’s Train-Smash

Patrick Bond (teleSUR English) 2 January 2016

The great sweeps of capital accumulation flowing above, through and from South Africa are leaving local businesses weaker than at any other time in memory. This may be just the medicine a mostly divided and yet often over-confident left opposition requires in 2016. Corporations are now at their most unpredictable and unpatriotic, with rapid expatriation of dwindling profits, the near death of several mega-mining firms that once ruled the roost, and a schizophrenic ruling class giddily backslapping some days, but inconsolably depressed most others.

The crisis of Petrobras and the Brazilian working class challenge
A vile campaign to discredit the Petrobrás and privatize it
Nazarene Godeiro, national coordination ILAESE 19 June 2015

Article dedicated to 344 dead in industrial accident of 1995 until 2014, i.e. more than 1 per month, being the most outsourced.

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