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Welcome to the new age of the neo-cons

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Will Trump return to the go-it-alone imperialism of the Bush years, asks Simon Assaf

The crisis for US and Western imperialism can only intensify with the advent of a Trump presidency. The go-it-alone policy Trump advocates, which was pioneered by George W Bush’s “new American century”, failed bitterly in Iraq. According to one commentator the coterie who will be running the new US foreign policy will make Bush’s neo-cons seem like “a bunch of old history professors”.

Who's to blame for Trump's win?

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The election of a bigoted, right wing billionaire to the position of President of the US was a shock. Lewis Nielsen interrogates the various explanations being put forward for Trump's win.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election in November ranks as one of the biggest political earthquakes of recent times. People around the world are predictably shocked and disgusted that a racist billionaire bigot now holds the highest elected office. Trump’s words and actions in the two weeks since his election have sent deliberately mixed messages — but mostly they have been pretty horrifying. He has welcomed White Supremacists, anti-abortionists and rabid warmongers into his circle (not to mention family members).

Is this the end of the neoliberal consensus?

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The Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump's victory in the US have both damaged the neoliberal project of the past three decades. Joseph Choonara questions the depth of neoliberalism's crisis and advocates continuing struggle against capitalism armed with clear socialist politics.

The global neoliberal order has suffered two wounding blows this year. First the Brexit vote removed from the European Union its second biggest economy. The howls from large capitalist firms, who overwhelmingly advocated a Remain vote, still echo. Now Donald Trump has won the US presidential election on the back of a campaign that promised to reverse the country’s longstanding commitment to free trade and to enact a major economic stimulus package.

Pick of the year

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Socialist Review contributors pick their literary and cultural highlights of 2016.

Nicola Field

My theatrical highlight of 2016 was the National Theatre’s The Threepenny Opera — which I saw live and then via live feed at the gorgeous East Dulwich Picturehouse — starring the brilliant Rory Kinnear. Biting socialist politics on the bourgeois stage: I cried both times.

Syria: not victims but citizens

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Max van Lingen spoke to author Leila al-Shami about collecting Syrian voices from the grassroots for her book, Burning Country.

Why did you want to write a book about the Syrian struggle?

Both Robin and myself felt the information coming out of Syria was very poor. The media focused mainly on the humanitarian crisis or the rise of Islamic groups and extremism. Syrians were either seen as victims or as terrorists.

Russian Revolution in pictures

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Sally Campbell spoke to artist Tim Sanders and historian John Newsinger about creating a graphic representation of Russia 1917.

Two and a half years ago Tim Sanders, regular cartoonist for Socialist Worker, approached Bookmarks the socialist publisher with a proposal for a graphic history of the Russian Revolution. This month the result, 1917: Russia’s Red Year, will hit the shelves.

States of exclusion

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The nation state with distinct borders is a recent idea, tied up with the development of capitalism. It is workers and the poor who suffer at its edges, writes Phil Marfleet.

Why are borders so important to the modern state? Why do politicians and the media obsess about “border security”? What lies behind the politics of exclusion?

Until the early modern era (17th to 18th centuries) borders between local kingdoms and principalities in Europe were fuzzy and seldom closely controlled. Mobility of goods and people was essential to sustain regional economies — most of the population was tied to the land but many people moved relatively freely as merchants, artisans, itinerant labourers, pedlars, seafarers and pilgrims.

Spanish coup tramples hopes

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Héctor Sierra explains a tumultuous year in the Spanish state as the maneuverings of the right in the Socialist Party forced out leader Pedro Sánchez for wanting to work with left wing Podemos.

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

Black Lives Matter

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The rise of Black Lives Matter in the US marks an end to the Civil Rights movement's claim that black people in high places could be the solution for all, writes Brian Richardson

“Hands up, don’t shoot!” “I can’t breathe.” These slogans have emerged based on reports of the last desperate actions and words uttered by Michael Brown and Eric Garner before they died at the hands of the police in Ferguson Missouri and New York City in 2014. In the wake of these atrocities, a new movement, Black Lives Matter, was born and protests erupted across the US.

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