Reviews

Venezuela Reframed

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Venezuela’s state capitalist economy and its political dynamics have been shaped in the past 16 years by the indigenous population. In Venezuela Reframed the author argues that constitutional rights for indigenous people were made a priority through state-led capitalist development. He seeks to assess how successful Chavez’s Bolivarian movement has been in extending these rights.

A Rebel's Guide to James Connolly

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A Rebel’s Guide to James Connolly is a much needed effort to claim the ideas and struggles of James Connolly as a fighter for the working class — hell bent on sparking the wave of revolution that went on to seize Europe in the latter half of the First World War.

Connolly was a writer, orator, organiser and fighter for the working class, who dedicated his life to fighting capitalism and imperialism. He also gave his life for that fight — executed by the British state in 1916 for his part in the Dublin Easter Rising.

Crowds and Party

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For a decade or more there has been a sustained assault on the need for a political party in order to achieve social change. Many of the great movements of 2011 such as Occupy and 15M in the Spanish state explicitly rejected parties and leadership. This is now changing.

My Turn

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Doug Henwood sets out to challenge the idea that Hillary Clinton represents anything to do with progress or real change. “The case for Hillary boils down to this: she has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn.” Now Bernie Sanders’ challenge has forced her to tack left. Even her feminist claims have been undermined by polls showing women prefer Sanders. Rejecting misogynist attacks on Clinton, Henwood explains he’s not interested in analysing her policies as she’s unlikely to stick to them. It’s her political record that counts, and it’s “not inspiring”.

The Egyptians

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Egypt’s 25 January revolution in 2011 was a moment in which history flipped upside down. It was a period of momentous events that are far from over. The counter-revolution of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who seized power in May 2013, appears to have put the lid back on the street movements, strikes and protests that were unleashed by the Arab Spring.

Debt or Democracy

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This book addresses many popular misconceptions about money and debt. Ninety seven percent of money that circulates within the economy has not actually been created by the state, but by private banks, out of thin air, as fractional reserve loans.

Without the constant rolling-over of this debt-based money, there would be no economy. So GDP growth depends on maintaining high public, corporate and individual debt. This is why any level of austerity is a fraud.

1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition

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Kieran Allen’s new book is an essential and unparalleled joy to read. I grew up in Derry during the troubles, witnessed the signing of the Good Friday agreement, and watched the rise and fall of the Celtic tiger; I have now witnessed the movement against the water charges and felt the joy of the Yes vote for gay marriage. At times you can almost feel the hand of history on your shoulder… and to think that all these events have been shaped by the 1916 Easter rising.

Makhan Singh: A revolutionary Kenyan trade unionist

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Many vital leaders through 200 years of struggle against racism, imperialism and capitalism are forgotten, or appear simply as footnotes. So it’s always a pleasure to be reminded of their activities.

Makhan Singh was a communist, born in India in 1913, who was central to the development of trade unions in Kenya, an east African state that was part of the British Empire.

UKIP

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This is a work written by academics. They spell out their own attitude to UKIP in the introduction as “refusing to condemn without first consulting the evidence”. They have clearly been given unprecedented access to the party and those who run and lead it.

The time frame covered runs from early 2014 to the middle of 2015, taking in the European elections of 2014, three significant by-elections and the general election of 2015.

War Against the People

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An Israeli security company, International Security and Defence Systems (ISDS) — with the very active support of the Israeli government — was brought in to advise the Brazilian government on security measures during the 2014 World Cup and this year’s Olympic Games.

On its advice, in 2010 a large contract was awarded to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for drones, electric fences, ground radar, sensors and satellite technology.

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