Opinion

Tory attacks on trans rights must be stopped

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Without awaiting the findings of a public consultation on the issue, the Tories have rejected self-identification for trans people. Laura Miles argues we need bold action to reverse the decision

Amid rising transphobic hate crimes and toxic transphobia elsewhere, such as Donald Trump’s exclusion of trans people from medical support and Hungary’s restrictions on trans people’s ID documents to their birth sex, the Tories’ blatant transphobia has been starkly revealed. In mid-June, the Tories signalled their intention to reject updating the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. Self-identification to obtain a gender recognition certificate, a key reform to allow trans people to change their birth certificate more easily, is now off the cards.

Rag trade is fraying at the edges

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The pandemic has driven the fashion industry into in a deep crisis, leading to an in-depth questioning not only of the incredible waste involved, but its actual role in society

While the effects of the global pandemic become apparent, restrictions on daily living have caused an existential crisis for the fashion industry.

“This is the largest crisis that the modern industry has ever faced,” declared Imran Amed, founding editor of BusinessofFashion.com.

“We’re going to see a wave of insolvencies and bankruptcies as the year continues.” With shops and factories shuttered, the BBC reported that from generating an annual £2.02 trillion in global revenues, the industry saw sales plummet by 34 percent in March.

Interview - Global economy on the edge

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Socialist Review spoke to Marxist economist Michael Roberts about mounting debt, the long recession, and the future prospects for capitalism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

Companies and states have taken on a massive amount of debt. What are the implications of this?

Even before the pandemic global levels debt levels were at post-war highs. This was not just public sector debt built up after bailing out the banks and other sectors during the great recession of 2008-09.

It included a huge build up of corporate debt as companies in the advanced economies borrowed at very low interest rates made possible by central banks.

Rebellious Daughters: Mother Jones & Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

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In the second of our monthly series we celebrate the lives of union organiser Mother Jones and India independence leader Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

Mary "Mother" Jones (1837-1933) was born Mary Harris in 1837 in County Cork, Ireland. Her father Robert fled to Canada after taking part in a revolt against the landowners.

Mary became a schoolteacher but was barred from most schools because she was a Catholic. She later moved to Chicago and worked as a dressmaker.

She met George Jones, an iron worker and union organiser, in 1861 and they married and had four children. Sadly George and the four children died in a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in Autumn 1867.

Sojourner Truth & Elisabeth Dmitrieff - Rebellious Daughters #1

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We begin a monthly celebration of some of the most dynamic, fighting women from history.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born a slave in New York and named Isabella Baumfree. She was bought and sold four times and subjected to harsh physical labour and violent punishments. In her teens, she was united with another slave with whom she had five children.

Between 1826-27 Truth ran away with her infant Sophia to a nearby abolitionist family. The family bought her freedom for $20 and helped Truth successfully sue for the return of her five-year-old-son Peter, who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama. She was the first black woman to sue a white man.

Afghanistan the hidden defeat

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US imperialism has suffered a massive historic defeat with the planned withdrawal of troops. This is being presented as some sort of success. The hard truth is very different.

The most powerful country in the world has failed to defeat the Taliban after years of bloody warfare. Not only is this America’s longest war, but taking into account inflation, it is the third most expensive war in US history.

A conservative estimate is that the war has cost well over $900 billion and other estimates double that figure. And there is the toll of 2,300 US dead and over 20,000 wounded.

Coronavirus and capitalist crisis

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Pandemic is triggering what may be the deepest economic crisis of our lifetimes.

As its most essential level, capitalism, as Marx pointed out, is based on a circuit. Capitalists use their capital to assemble raw materials, machinery and labour-power in workplaces, and through exploiting labour-power, generate goods and services.

They sell these goods and services to other capitalists or to workers, hopefully for a profit, expanding their capital. Then they buy more raw materials and machinery, and hire more labour-power, to begin the process anew.

If at any point, and for whatever reason, this circuit breaks down, a crisis will erupt.

A year for resistance

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Sexual violence always been used by state forces to intimidate and humiliate those fighting back, but the international women’s movement is fighting back strongly.

In a world in which far right authoritarian governments are on the rise from Brazil to India, the use of violence in general and sexual violence in particular are weapons of choice. It is not surprising that this was a central focus of many of the International Women’s day protests which took place this year across the global south from Chile to Pakistan.

Off the Shelf: The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World

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Readers recommend an old or forgotten text that is worth revisiting. This month Phil Webster praises a hefty work of Marxist history.

It is almost 40 years since this excellent piece of Marxist history was first published. It is a wonderful example of how the Marxist method can be applied to a detailed study of a period of history: in this case ancient Greece and Rome.

In the first half of the book, Ste Croix explains the class structure in the ancient world of Greece and Rome, showing that class is the key concept for understanding it (and the medieval world), as well as modern capitalism.

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