Feature

The privatisation of military power

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Over the past 15 years a creeping process of outsourcing has been taking place inside the military. John Newsinger argues that the use of mercenaries and contractors undermines democracy.

The Iraq war will be seen as a turning point in the history of warfare. Not because of the illegality of the invasion or the unprecedented incompetence of the occupation, important though these were, but because it was the first modern public-private war.

Nature, nurture: mind the trap

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Is it the DNA we are born with or our environment that determines how we act? John Parrington, author of The Deeper Genome, looks beyond this false dichotomy to a dialectical approach.

Imagine if someone invented a portable supercomputer that required only the wattage of a light bulb to run, but had the literary imagination of a William Shakespeare or Emily Brontë, the scientific genius of an Albert Einstein or Marie Curie, and the musical talent of an Amadeus Mozart or Billie Holliday. In fact such a computer already exists — it’s called the human brain.

Opportunities and challenges for the left in Argentina

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Last month Heike Schaumberg looked at Argentina's 2001 neoliberal crisis and the uprising that followed it. With a general election approaching and a Trotskyist on the presidential ballot, she asks whether the far left can make electoral gains and how that relates to the wider social movements.

Argentina will hold a general election to elect a new president on 25 October and it is possible that the far left may see noteworthy results. The Trotskyist left got 3.31 percent of the vote in the presidential primaries this August, which elects the parties’ and alliances’ main candidates for the presidency and provincial governors.

This was enough to secure a place for Nicolás del Caño of the Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores (Workers’ Left Front, FIT) in the presidential race.

Trojan treaty

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International big business aims to smash barriers to higher profits. John Sinha explains what is actually at stake if TTIP passes.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a bilateral trade deal between the EU and the US. Its claimed purpose is to boost trade by removing non-tariff “barriers”. These so-called barriers are the regulations which protect workers’ rights, health and safety, and the environment.

Reformism, islamism & revolution

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The crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood by general Sisi's counter-revolutionary regime has generated much debate on the Egyptian left about how to relate to Islamists. Anne Alexander argues that we must recognise the tensions within such organisations and work with their members.

The left in Egypt is gripped by an intense debate over the question of how revolutionaries should relate to the Islamist movement in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. The starting point was a statement published by the Revolutionary Socialists (RS) on 19 July, followed by a longer document calling on the left to rethink its attitude to the Muslim Brotherhood in order to build more effective opposition to the military regime of Abdelfattah al-Sisi.

So why not join the Labour party?

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Many socialists will consider joining Corbyn's party to defend him, but is it the right move for revolutionaries, asks Sally Campbell.

Shaun Doherty has outlined how important it is for socialists — even revolutionary ones — to back and defend Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. But if we’re so keen to help Corbyn hang onto his position, why don’t we just join the Labour Party? Surely that’s where the battle will take place and where Jeremy needs numbers of defenders against the right of the party?

Corbyn the triumph and the challenge

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Jeremy Corbyn's crushing victory over the Blairites sent the Establishment reeling. We must organise to defend him and, even more importantly, the principles he was elected on, writes Shaun Doherty.

In politics as in life always expect the unexpected. Jeremy Corbyn’s astonishing and crushing victory in the Labour Party leadership contest was beyond everyone’s wildest dreams a few months ago. When I think of the local MP who, for most of my 40 years of teaching in Islington would cycle up and down the Holloway Road, the main artery of his constituency, supporting every strike and progressive campaign under the sun, I could barely have imagined his current elevation.

EU referendum debate: Better to stay and fight

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In last month's Socialist Review Joseph Choonara put the case for voting No to EU membership. James Anderson is not convinced, seeing potential for an anti-racist, internationalist Yes vote.

The debate was opened by Joseph Choonara (July/August SR) with standard criticisms of the European Union (EU). Its policies are indeed capitalist, neo-liberal, anti-democratic, racist, murderous, and — he might have added — implicated in Nato’s reckless eastwards expansion to Ukraine. Not unlike UK policies in fact.

But unfortunately, like others on the left, he simply assumes that the only way to oppose EU policies is to leave it. There is no analysis of the likely consequences, no explanation of why we should “go”, or where.

Greece's long hot summer

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Greek workers have refused to surrender despite Alexis Tspiras capitulating to the Troika. Costas Pittas reports on how we can see workers' power in the industrial and political turmoil.

Over the last five years July and August have ceased to be months of relaxation for Greek society. Dramatic political developments and struggles by workers no longer automatically come to a halt in the summer heat. This year the speed with which the situation has evolved since 5 July, the day of the referendum, is unprecedented.

The Tories' war on us all

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Siobhan Brown looks at the likely impact of the Tories' welfare reforms.

The introduction of the Tories’ Welfare Reform and Work Bill in July marked the ongoing viciousness of the Conservative government intent on destroying the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society.

Touted by the Tories as making it “pay more to be in work than out of it”, they are now trying to pose themselves as the real party of working people.

The failure of the Labour Party to mount any serious challenge to the bill shows its continuing inability, in its current incarnation, to provide any opposition to austerity.

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