is capitalism’s crisis putting revolution back on the agenda?

A guest post by Mark Kosman. Every attempt to go beyond capitalism has ended in failure. But are capitalism’s present problems putting anti-capitalist revolution back on the agenda? To answer this question, this article looks at past revolutions, with particular emphasis on class struggle, while rethinking aspects of the Marxist, anarchist and feminist traditions.

In the 20th century, every attempt to go beyond capitalism ended in failure. Either people looked to socialist politicians, whose reforms made capitalism even more secure, or they supported revolutions that degenerated into repression and mass killing. Consequently, today, few people have much hope that humanity could ever successfully transcend capitalism.

But are capitalism’s present problems putting anti-capitalist revolution back on the agenda? And could a future revolution liberate humanity in ways that past revolutions failed to achieve? To try to answer these questions, I am going to look at past revolutions with particular emphasis on aspects that are rarely considered in conventional left discourse. These include humanity’s origins, gender and military history and the revolutionary transcendence of work and democracy. Continue reading “is capitalism’s crisis putting revolution back on the agenda?”

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slutwalk: because we’ve had enough

Bahar Mustafa reports on London SlutWalk

Picture it. A beautifully warm day in June, sunshine spilling over central London, luscious greenery surrounding the pavements en route, vibrant cheers and chants resonating from the front of the march of about 5,000 energetic, lively and colourful people; a mishmash of corsets, garters, nipples, bare bottoms, fishnets and lipstick. But more noticeable than anything was the vivacious confidence of the crowds of passionate people pissed-off at the victim-blaming culture of sexual violence and rape against women that has gone unchallenged for far too long.

SlutWalk saw its first ever march in Toronto in January 2011. Around 1,000 women and dozens of men took to the streets in protest at Constable Michael Sanguinetti’s despicable comments warning young female university students that they ought to “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.” The movement quickly spread to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Mexico City, Sydney and now London. Continue reading “slutwalk: because we’ve had enough”

change of venue: feminism event 20th february

a day of mutual learning and exchange hosted by The Commune, 20th February, London. This will now take place at The Arbour, 100 Shandy St, London E1 4ST.

We believe that most of the left has a pretty poor record on gender. Even if overt sexism is less common than in the past, informal hierarchies and alienated, gendered relations run rampant. But this practice can – and must – change if we are ever going to revolutionise society.

As against swallowing the old left traditions, we believe it is important that the left critically reappraise our theory, practice and organisation in the light of socialist feminist politics, as well as the experience of working women’s struggles more broadly.

This is not a day for The Commune to lay down any ‘party line’, but rather to create a space for discussion of the insights of anti-capitalist feminism and the inter-relation between class and gender struggles. We hope to exchange ideas in a participatory, un-dogmatic and inclusive manner. We have planned three workshops. Continue reading “change of venue: feminism event 20th february”

feminism, organisation and class struggle

a day of mutual learning and exchange hosted by The Commune, 20th February, London

We believe that most of the left has a pretty poor record on gender. Even if overt sexism is less common than in the past, informal hierarchies and alienated, gendered relations run rampant. But this practice can –  and must – change if we are ever going to revolutionise society.

As against swallowing the old left traditions, we believe it is important that the left critically reappraise our theory, practice and organisation in the light of socialist feminist politics, as well as the experience of working women’s struggles more broadly.

This is not a day for The Commune to lay down any ‘party line’, but rather to create a space for discussion of the insights of anti-capitalist feminism and the inter-relation between class and gender struggles. We hope to exchange ideas in a participatory, un-dogmatic and inclusive manner. We have planned three workshops.  Continue reading “feminism, organisation and class struggle”

women at the cutting edge…

An event hosted by Feminist Fightback. Saturday 30 October 11am – 5pm, QMW Mile End Road, London E1  (provisionally – please check feministfightback.org.uk for confirmation).

Open to people of all genders. Free creche available: please send an email to feminist.fightback@gmail.com to confirm a place.

On 20 October the ConDem government’s “Spending Review” will detail enormous cuts in public services. We are already feeling the impact of earlier cuts, many effected by Labour: nurseries and libraries are closing, jobs are being lost. As the government “austerity drive” steps up, the reality is that cuts will hit the lives of all but the wealthiest. In many cases women will be hit the hardest with recent reports estimating that women will suffer 72% of the tax and benefit cuts. Continue reading “women at the cutting edge…”

feminism, socialism and political organisation: questions for the contemporary left

a session at The Commune’s summer school ‘Beyond Resistance’: this session is from 2pm on Saturday 19th June

It is now thirty years ago since the publication of Beyond the Fragments: essays by three women active in feminist and socialist groups, both Leninist and libertarian, on the need for the left to consider anew the question of organisation in light of insights gained from the women’s movement.

As feminists drew attention to the underdevelopment of socialist theory on the relationship between the sexes, they connected this to the gendered nature of power relationships within the male-dominated left. Politics was not just about what you said and did, but how you said and did things. Their experiences of organising autonomously as women fed into a critical consideration of forms of political organisation. Continue reading “feminism, socialism and political organisation: questions for the contemporary left”

sex worker organisation in uganda: an interview

Since 2008, Uganda’s sex workers have been organising to fight for healthcare, safer workplaces, social recognition and protection against systemic police abuse.

This is a group interview with: Macklean Kyomya, 27, a sex worker for more than a decade, who now runs a support network for men and women struggling against discrimination and criminalisation; Namakula Nakato Daisy, the country coordinator for the African Sex Worker Alliance; and Benjamin, a male sex worker  in Kampala. Continue reading “sex worker organisation in uganda: an interview”