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International

No real differences among the British ruling class

In spite of lurid headlines about his private life, Boris Johnson remains the man most likely to be Britain’s next prime minister.
Tousled hair, pompous accent, indiscreet and bullying behaviour, not to mention taking part in egregious self-promoting photo opportunities—yet nothing appears to damage his popularity among the Tory faithful. There is often, though, a perception beyond the Conservative Party membership that “Bojo,” as he is sometimes called, is something of a clown and therefore not to be taken seriously.
Any such reading would be a mistake.

Current Affairs Ireland Socialism

CPI summer school: An assessment

The recent CPI national school on 21–23 June began with the national chairperson giving a good introduction, which was followed by a brief talk on Irish history, with a different slant on the roles played by the state and its allies the church and its sycophantic followers.
Questions were posed to the audience about how we can change the tide of political discourse and about recent phenomena

Imperialism International

The new scramble for Africa

Failing to see the irony, the Government and Fianna Fáil voted—on World Refugee Day, of all days!—to send fourteen members of the army’s Ranger Wing (Ireland’s SAS) to war in Mali.
The minister for defence, Paul Kehoe, told the Dáil that the country was a victim of “terrorism,” and we must play our part.
Mali is not just some poor country plagued by “terrorism.” It’s worse: it’s a poor country plagued by imperialism.

Culture

The working class becomes the subject of art

Courbet painted The Stone-Breakers in his home town of Ornans, in eastern France, in 1849. He was thirty years old. Marx and Engels had published the Communist Manifesto the previous year, which stated as its opening fanfare: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” and “Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other—Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.” This is the defining insight of the middle of the nineteenth century.

International

The spoils of economic war How the United States and Saudi Arabia profit from sanctions on Venezuela and Iran

The United States has been playing the role of the world’s economic bully. So far it has imposed sanctions against Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Crimea, Cuba, Cyprus, Eritrea, Haïti, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

International

The EU tightens its grip

Over the course of the many referendums fought on the various EU treaties, the Irish establishment always sold the idea that neutrality and foreign-policy decisions would remain with the Irish state. But, as time progressed, those forces that strongly opposed these treaties and argued that there was only one direction […]

History Ireland

Uaigh na mairtíreach

I gceantar Bhaile na Lochlannach, ar bhruach thuaidh na Life, tá cnoc íseal a raibh coill bheag air tráth agus plásóg nó plásán ina lár. Thug na Sasanaigh “the Arbour” ar an bplásóg agus ansin Arbour Hill ar an gcnoc. Timpeall na bliana 1840 bhunaigh arm Shasana reilig ar an […]

Ireland

An unhelpful contribution

Seamus Mallon’s recently published book A Shared Home Place is not merely an unhelpful contribution in a difficult situation but is positively dangerous. Thanks to his profile as a former leading member of the SDLP and former deputy first minister, he is gaining publicity for an ill-conceived and poorly thought-out […]

Political Economy

The face of monopoly capitalism

Amazon is Europe’s largest internet retailer, with a turnover twice that of its twenty largest competitors. In 2017 its chief executive earned $2.16 million per hour, while Amazon workers receive the statutory minimum wage, which in the EU varies between €1.42 and €11.27 per hour. In 2018 the company generated […]

Current Affairs Housing Ireland

Raise the roof!

Last month we saw the largest housing demonstration in Dublin so far, under the banner of Raise the Roof, as more than 20,000 citizens took to the streets. This campaign, launched by the ICTU, is going from strength to strength as the trade union movement takes the lead, uniting with […]