Sally Campbell

European bosses' club

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Montage of EU suits

The EU was never about peace or defending workers' conditions, but a means of expanding the bosses' power. Sally Campbell argues for unity with Europe's workers but hostility to its rulers

In January 2013 Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) in which he promised to renegotiate the “terms of the relationship” and put the result to a referendum in 2017.

Cameron was seeking to stem the growing support for Ukip, undercut the Eurosceptic wing of his own Tory party, defer the EU question until after the May 2015 general election, and simultaneously blame Britain’s economic troubles on the Eurozone debt crisis.

Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany

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Krautrock is rather an offensive term. It certainly isn’t one that any of the bands that emerged out of the West German 1968 generation would use to describe themselves.

The term came from the British music press, which greeted the avant-garde groups with headlines such as “Can: They Have Ways of Making You Listen” and “Kraftwerk: The Final Solution to the Music Problem?”

But the long, slow fallout from the Nazi period is precisely the situation which generated a radical new cultural scene.

Spain: Defeat for abortion rights attack

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Pro-choice campaigners were celebrating last month as an attempt to savagely restrict access to abortion in the Spanish state collapsed.

The right wing People’s Party government approved a law last December, which would have made abortion illegal except in very limited circumstances.

Protests by tens of thousands throughout this year have exacerbated divisions within the ruling party, leading prime minister Mariano Rajoy to finally announce the bill dead.

Why does Capitalism lead to war?

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Death from the sky

The century since the slaughter in the First World War has been littered with endless more bloody wars. Sally Campbell argues the drive to war is not accidental but inherent in the logic of capitalism.

In the 20 years running up to the First World War there were approximately 100 binding agreements between the Great Powers promising peaceful coexistence. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague was set up in 1899 “with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments”. This was at the behest of the peace-loving Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (nickname: Bloody Nicholas).

Theatre: 1984

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Playhouse Theatre, Until 23 August

We all know about 1984, whether we have read the book or not. George Orwell wrote it just as the world was staggering out of the most brutal war ever, with the Stalinist regime victorious in the East, and McCarthyism taking hold in the US. But it has become shorthand for any discussion of state repression, surveillance and attacks on civil liberties.

The Double

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Director: Richard Ayoade, Released 4 April

The opening scene tells us everything about Simon James. He sits on a commuter train, nervously staring ahead. A man comes up to him and says, "You're in my place". We glance with Simon around the empty carriage. Uncomprehending but seemingly unable to argue, Simon gives up his seat and stands for the rest of the journey.

Why read The Junius Pamphlet

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Right up until July 1914 anti-war activity was rife across Europe, led by the socialist parties of the Second International. In the face of growing nationalism Rosa Luxemburg and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) organised mass rallies and the SPD headquarters put out statements confirming their stance against war: "The class conscious proletariat of Germany, in the name of humanity and civilisation, raises a flaming protest against this criminal activity of the warmongers."

Limits of Intersectionality

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A whole series of new and renewed groups, protests and movements have appeared in response to the "new sexism" - personified by raunch culture popular on campus - that are increasingly defining themselves as feminist. Some of those involved with these movements are drawn to the ideas of "intersectionality", which attempt to explain how race, gender and class oppressions "intersect" and influence each other.

Classic Read: Roxana

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Daniel Defoe

First published in 1724

This lesser known novel by the author of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders is the "autobiography" of a professional mistress, set during the Restoration of the late 17th century. But it feels like Defoe's own time - the new world of capitalist London, in which traders are competing with aristocrats and a delicate social etiquette is coming under strain.

Engels revisited

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There has been a recent resurgence in writers about women's oppression looking to Marx and Engels for answers, with some arguing he crudely emphasised class at the expense of oppression. Here, Sally Campbell looks at the claims of those writers and defends Engels from the critics

There is a common assertion that Marxism as a set of ideas does not or cannot account for oppression. Some argue, for example, that Marxism is a form of economic determinism that reduces all the complexity of human interaction down to production; because we see workers' revolution as the solution, we see all other struggles - against racism or gender oppression - as subordinate to the struggle in the workplace.

This comes from the right - they want to attack revolutionary ideas, full stop.


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