socialism

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at six new books for reds and greens covering climate change and disease’ capitalist power and the planet’s future’ brain, body, and environment’  oceanic art and science’ essential fungi and life, and the political economy of water.

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Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change
By Mary Beth Pfeiffer
Island Press, 2018

Ever since his unexpected rise to British Labour Party leader, veteran socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has faced sustained attacks and smears from the media, Tories and the right-wing of his own party. But over the past month, the attacks have become an unprecedented avalanche.

A population of 800,000 makes Mansa a small town by Indian standards. The main market town of the agricultural Malwa region of Punjab, it has a long history of peasant struggle.

A stronghold of the revolutionary peasant movement since the 1920s, and the communist movement since the 1930s, within a few years of Indian independence left-wing peasants’ struggles had expropriated the region’s large feudal landowners.

Prominent Brazilian human rights activist and counciller for the left-wing Party of Socialist and Liberation (PSOL) Marielle Franco was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro on March 14. The openly gay councilor was outspoken in defence of the poor and against racism.

Below are overviews of six new books for an ecosocialist bookshelf, compiled by Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus. They look at the Science for the People movement, health care under capitalism, the criminalising of poverty, Yemen in crisis, the origins of everything, and communism and democracy.

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From militant suffragette at the beginning of the 20th century to campaigner against colonialism in Africa after World War II, British Sylvia Pankhurst dedicated her life to fighting oppression and injustice.

Anyone who is a public figure can expect a bit of hate mail. Recently I received about half a dozen colourful phone messages after WA One Nation parliamentarian Charles Smith published a Facebook meme attacking the City of Fremantle for having "the most Un-Australian [sic] council in the Nation". Included were my contact details and those of the Mayor, with outraged right-wingers encouraged to communicate their rage at us for "destroying Australia Day".

As I marched through Sydney streets on February 17, along with activists from 30 community groups and trade unions opposed to the blatant privatisation scams that pass for NSW transport infrastructure, I am sure I was not the only one in the crowd reflecting on the ridiculous contradiction between what is possible for our society and what is forced on us from above.

This was yet another clear case of government working in the narrow and selfish interests of a small corporate elite. Similar examples of community resistance to corporate greed can be found all around the country.

Simon’s unexpected death, at the age of 51, is a big loss for friends, family and the socialist and workers’ movements.

“So, how come the left is so divided?”, we get asked routinely. After a conversation in which we try to put 150 years of struggle into its historical context, they inevitably respond with: “Yes, but don’t you think you’d be able to fight the right better if you were bigger and stronger?”

The answer is yes!

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