The new edition of the rs21 magazine is out now. Since the last issue of the rs21 magazine came out there has been an explosion of protest globally in response to Israel’s latest assault on Gaza.
In this issue a series of authors attempt to grapple with the question of what imperialism means today and how, as socialists, we can best oppose it in today’s multipolar world.
We lead with an article by Søren Goard that looks at the history of Israeli terror in Palestine, while Rob Owen traces the history of imperialism and analyses the interests of the global superpowers today.
We are lucky to carry an interview with activist Anne Alexander from the MENA Solidarity Network and author of forthcoming book Bread, Freedom, Social Justice, who discusses how Egyptian activists have attempted to link the political and economic spheres through the workers’ and revolutionary movement.
rs21 is keen to foster a culture of open discussion and debate on the left. This is crucial if we are to engage with a rapidly changing world and play a positive role in the campaigns and workplace struggles we are involved in. In that spirit, we publish a critical response to Ian A‘s article on fear and confidence in the workplace. The piece takes up the question of precarity and asks how those who find themselves in a workplace for only a limited time are able to organise resistance.
This theme is continued with Pat Mollins’ article about how he fought successfully against victimisation in the privatised social care sector. This is a fast expanding area, where there is huge potential for unionisation, but also one where employers are likely to come down harshly on those trying to organise. This piece is a vital read for anyone trying to organise at work.
The rise of Ukip, contrasted with the breakthrough of groups like Podemos in Spain have highlighted the fractures at the top of the political class. In an influential piece Elizabeth Humphreys and Tad Tietze, socialists based in Australia, articulate these schisms in terms of ‘anti-politics’. Colin Barker from Manchester rs21 puts forwards his criticisms while trying to clarify what we really mean by “politics”.
The debates over anti-politics and the nature of work today come alongside growing debates about gender and oppression. Many Marxists and feminists today are returning to the works of Marx and his colleague Engels in an attempt to adjust their framework for capitalism today. Heather Brown, who published the groundbreaking book Marx on Gender and the Family last year, is one such author.
In Estelle Cooch’s interview with her, Heather Brown explains her reservations about the default acceptance of Engels’ views that has characterised some Marxist attempts to analyse gender. She argues instead that Engels never meant for his book on the origins of the family to be the seminal socialist account of women’s oppression.
Finally, as we go to press, the Scottish independence referendum is just over two weeks away. We await with bated breath the result of that vote, but what is certain is that the left in Scotland will not be the same after the lively “yes” campaign has contributed to its rejuvenation.
The Radical Independence Campaign, arguing that “another Scotland is possible” has been at the forefront of this, Suki Sangha and David Jamieson discuss how they’ve managed to use the referendum as a space to build among working class communities.
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