Feature

It’s now or never for action on the climate

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

While the Covid lockdown raised hopes that we could rein in global warming and cut pollution, it wasn’t enough, warns Martin Empson

This year ought to have been very different for the environmental movement. 2019 had seen an explosion of environmental activism. Global climate strikes had brought hundreds of thousands of young people onto the streets, inspiring a new generation to radical action over the environment. In the UK, Extinction Rebellion involved tens of thousands in protest occupations around its three demands and created a broad and extensive network of activists around the country.

Antisemitism and the attack on the left: What do socialists say?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The forthcoming report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will unleash a new wave of attacks on the left in the Labour Party, it also sets a trap for our movement, writes Rob Ferguson

As Socialist Review goes to press, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is due to publish its inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. It is very unlikely to find in favour of Corbyn and his team, the most consistent anti-racist leadership in Labour’s history. It is astonishing that Labour is the first party to be subject to a full statutory investigation by the EHRC since the 2006 Equality Act became law.

The fight for our health

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Social inequality is reflected most harshly in our chances to lead a healthy life, argues Esme Choonara. But the fight for better healthcare rests in the fundamental way our society is organised

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the devastating health inequalities faced by working class people and in particular those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds. It has also revealed how decades of underfunding, understaffing and privatisation have undermined our NHS. So although our health, or lack of it, may sometimes feel very personal, it is clearly shaped by social and economic factors including housing, income, working conditions, discrimination and pollution levels.

The horror and the unthinkable

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Could the unbelievable happen and Trump win a second term in the White House? The game changer will be the radicalisation of the protest movements, not the campaign for Biden, writes Lewis Nielsen

After four years of his bigotry, racism, climate change denial and attacks on working-class people, is it really possible that Donald Trump could be reelected in November? To answer these questions, we have to understand the extent of political polarisation taking place in the US. In 2020 alone we have seen both the hope and horror that has defined the country at the heart of neoliberal capitalism. Let’s start with the horror. In California and Oregon wildfires have destroyed an area equivalent to the size of Wales.

Decolonise education, enrich learning

Issue section: 
Author: 

An African proverb says, ‘until the lion learns how to write, the story will always glorify the hunter’. Thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, BAME people have a chance to realise its truth, writes Julie Mukajee

The version of the British Empire I was taught in schools was totally different to what my parents taught me. My dad always said, “we don’t have to be taught our history by the British. Let me teach you.” He told me of the atrocity of the Bengal Famine, Partition, Subhas Chandra Bose, my parents’ family who took part and lost their lives in the struggle for Indian Independence, the Indian soldiers who fought for the British during WW2. It was neither pretty nor forgiving. It was not about how charming Lord Mountbatten and the British rulers were.

Reconstructing further education for a post-Coronavirus world

Issue section: 
Author: 

Sean Vernell on why its time to ditch the old education model

There is a growing awareness that a post-coronavirus and post-George Floyd world cannot be the same as the one that preceded it. However, there is little agreement about what that world will look like. In the Further and Adult education sector (FE), during the lockdown staff have launched themselves into supporting their students and their communities. From creating imaginative online teaching resources and providing one-to-one support to setting up foodbanks and making PPE for their local hospitals — FE staff have been on the frontline.

Secondary schooling and the new futures for education

Issue section: 
Author: 

Lisa Tunnell draws out the lessons from the pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the faults and inequalities of the system we live under. This is as true of the education systems as in other areas of life. Many educational issues have been exposed, such as the unequal access to distance learning, the poor provision of Free School Meals and the push for an unsafe wider reopening of schools. However, the pandemic has also shown the importance of schools, not just as places of learning, but as hubs of the community.

Vygotsky, social environment and development

Issue section: 

The 1917 Revolution created a breakthough in materialist theory of learning, writes Shirley Franklin

Vygotsky lived in Russia between 1896 and 1934. He was driven by his commitment to promote the development of children and adults and to create the best possible educational opportunities for the population of revolutionary Russia. All aspects of his approach to psychology and theory of children’s development — play, thinking, learning, language, the zone of proximal development, working with people with learning difficulties, mental health issues and more — are rooted in a social and materialist theory of learning.

Intelligence and the human spirit

Issue section: 

Fraudulent IQ tests, rote learning and unimaginative teaching shape modern education but, argues John Parrington, playtime, culture and imagination are the true foundations of creativity.

The ability to think rationally is an essential feature of being human, but it is hard to imagine how our species could have gone from living in caves to sending rovers to Mars in the space of 40,000 years without another crucial element — our creative impulse. Both Einstein and Picasso believed that their respective genius in science and art was based upon an ability to view the world as would a child. But clearly there is a difference between an adult with a childlike ability to think outside the box, and actually being a child.

How we can defund the racist police

Issue section: 
Author: 

The death of George Floyd catapulted the demand to abolish the police into the mainstream of US politics, writes Thomas Hummel. It is a call that all socialists support, but the changes do not run deep enough.

The roots of the police in the United States reach back in two directions. On the one hand, their formation is directly connected to pre-Civil War slave patrols. These armed groups of white men would hunt down runaway slaves trying to make their way north. On the other, their origin traces back to the growth of large industrial centres in the north. With the rapid expansion of these cities the rich needed to protect their wealth and property from the poor immigrants they employed who lived in conditions of deprivation.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Feature