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How the Democrats sabotaged Bernie Sanders

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The chance of a radical socialist challenge to the US establishment seemed on the cards, but as Sanders seemed set on winning, the machine came into action..

Sadly it looks as if there will not be a red in the White House. But for a while it was a joy to see the Democrat establishment in the US on the run and the American media in panic mode. Bernie Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism for a while topped the polls and swept the early primary states’ elections.

The Democratic party elite spent six months scrambling around for a candidate to defeat Sanders, and eventually made the decision to unite around Joe Biden. And unite they did.

Everything will change

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Socialist Review spoke to Giovanna Moretti, a Sicilian doctor, who has been living amid the coronavirus in Italy for a month.

Socialist Review: Tell us about this tragedy that has been shaking Italy for more than a month.

Giovanna Moretti: The time of the interview, there are about 35,000 positive people mainly in Northern Italy in Lombardy and the city of Bergamo is paying the highest price. But the virus has now spread to Liguria and Emilia Romagna.

In Bergamo, the most affected province in Italy, the coffins are transported by military trucks. It is heartbreaking. Patients die alone. Sometimes after a video call to family members.

Coronavirus, the workplace and the trade unions

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Why workers need to take the lead on action

The sheer scale of the crisis facing workplace activists and the trade unions presented by the coronavirus pandemic are hard to understate.

An unprecedented public health emergency, which is almost certain to touch every working class family in some way is interlaced with a massive economic shock that may generate a recession on a greater scale than the global financial crisis of 2008-9 in the short term with mass layoffs.

Miss World 1970: Our aim was to stop the spectacle

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New film Misbehaviour, out this month, dramatises the protest at Miss World 1970. Jo Robinson, a participant, tells what happened on the night.

‘The lightning rod was that we all went to the first ever Women’s Liberation Conference in Oxford [in February 1970]. It was amazing. Sheila Rowbotham spoke, men ran a crèche. There were over 500 women – we couldn’t all fit in.
It was exciting because people were speaking about what it was like being a woman and the inequalities that we were feeling in life in general.

Putting the struggle back into International Women's Day

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Our celebration of women’s struggles begins by revealing the contrast between how capitalism has sought to commodify the event, and its origins in the fight against oppression. We then hear from activists around the world about their priorities in the fight for equality, respect and liberation. Interviews compiled by Jan Nielsen.

International Women’s Day has come a long way. It began as a militant, socialist protest against the inequality and exploitation endured by working-class women. It won the support of tens of thousands of working-class men and women, who marched and went on strike for the right to vote and equal pay. Today, it still has a radical edge in some parts of the world, but too often those radical origins are almost buried underneath a tide of tokenism and commodification.

Iraq's climate crisis: war, water and resistance

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The ‘land of the two rivers’ renowned for its fertile valleys and agriculture is turning into a vast wasteland. Richard Donnelly explains how the US occupation and neoliberalism has drained the country of life.

Iraq is thirsty. A water crisis is gripping the country. One-in-five of its 38 million people do not have access to clean water, and its historically fruitful farming lands are increasingly scorched and sterile.

What makes a disease go viral?

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Lee Humber finds the true origins of the Coronavirus epidemic in the innards of the food industry.

Viral epidemics are not uncommon. This year’s flu season is shaping up to be the worst in years, according to the US Centre for Disease Control. In the US alone there have been 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalisations and 10,000 deaths.

More than 200 people in the UK had died from the 2018-19 winter strain of flu virus by February 2019, and there were more than 2,000 critical cases despite the relatively small numbers of people contracting it — meaning the virus had become more virulent. People who had been previously fit and well became critically ill.

The looming tragedy of extinction

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Global capitalism is not only creating climate change but bringing about the extinction of millions of animal and plant species. Sarah Ensor explains the crisis, and what we can do to stop it.

In less than 80 years global capitalism has created a biodiversity crisis on a scale that has never been seen before in human history. One million of the estimated eight million animal and plant species on Earth are currently at risk of extinction. If the causes of this catastrophe aren’t challenged, many will die out without ever being identified, named, understood or appreciated for their vital role in our ecosystems.

Nineteen Eighty-Four and all that

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Seventy years after his death, George Orwell has been canonised by the literary establishment as a liberal critic of totalitarianism. John Newsinger argues that his life and his work show him to be a harsh a critic of capitalism, and a staunch supporter of the struggles of the “common people”.

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was first published in 1949 when its author was already seriously ill. He was to die, aged only 46, in January 1950. One consequence of his early death was that his book was successfully hijacked by the right, both in Britain and the United States. It was turned into an ideological weapon in the Cold War, used to defend the interests of British and American imperialism and to undermine the left throughout the world. It is today once again a bestseller, speaking to a new audience in a very different world.

Interview: Hegel, history and revolution

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Terry Sullivan and Donny Gluckstein spoke to Socialist Review about Hegel, history and dialectics and why we still need to understand them.

Why should any socialist today care about Hegel? Wasn’t he just a difficult, abstract, bourgeois philosopher?

We would argue Hegel is worth careful attention even though he is a difficult, abstract and bourgeois philosopher and reading him is “like chewing gravel”. That was one reason to write a book that makes the core of his thought accessible. What is significant is not this or that particular piece of writing, but the overall method and approach that he adopted. This was applied by Marx in his time, and can and should still be applied by socialists today.

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