socialism

Alarm bells should be ringing as the threat of war looms on the horizon, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned in his July 18 weekly column.

The warning came after tensions again flared with neighbouring Colombia, and the Central American nation of Costa Rica agreed to 6000 US troops being deployed on its soil.

Chavez placed Venezuela on high alert and broke diplomatic relations with Colombia after a July 22 meeting of the Organisation of American States (OAS).

This election campaign is crazy.

It’s crazy that so much fear is being whipped up about the few thousand of the world's 43 million refugees and displaced people who manage to get on a leaky boat to Australia.

But neither mainstream party is willing to stop sending troops to the decade-long military occupation of Afghanistan. This war is largely responsible for 2.8 million Afghan refugees worldwide — the same war is opposed by most in Afghanistan and most citizens of the countries whose armies occupy it.

Green Left Weekly spoke to Peter Boyle, the national convener of the Socialist Alliance, about the political climate of the 2010 federal elections.

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Many progressive people are feeling depressed about the federal election. How do you see it?

Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition are in a “race to the bottom”, as Socialist Alliance lead Queensland Senate candidate and Murri community leader Sam Watson aptly put it.

Brain science — neuroscience — is big business, big science and big research. Neuroscientists are offering to explain, mend and manipulate the mind. Many see no problems with this.

For example, Eric Kandel, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on memory, said: “You are your brain.”

This is an extraordinary, arid reductionism. This is the idea that you can collapse the complex phenomenon that goes on in the human mind into being simply the working of cells or molecules.

The article below is the Socialist Alliance’s updated Climate Charter. For more information, visit the Socialist Alliance website.

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For years, climate scientists have warned us that we need to act on climate change. Now, science is saying that climate change is taking place more rapidly than everyone previously thought.

The warning signs are obvious. April and May were the world’s hottest months since records began. This year’s Arctic ice sheet melt is taking place at a pace never seen before.

Wilder Marcano is a director of the network of communes in Caracas. The communes are part of the push, supported by President Hugo Chavez, to deepen popular power and create a new, revolutionary state. Venezuelanalysis.com said on February 8 there are 184 communes “in construction” across the country.

Francisco Chavez Abarca, who was recently extradited to Cuba, has admitted being contracted by Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to carry out destabilising acts in Venezuela in the lead-up to the September National Assembly elections.

Posada Carriles is a former CIA agent wanted for his role in a 1976 attack on a Cuban plane that left 73 passengers dead. He lives in Miami. The US government, going against international law, has refused Venezuelan and Cuban requests to extradite him.

Fidel Castro Handbook
By George Galloway
MQ Publications, 2006

Review by Ramona Wadi

In the introduction, to the Fidel Castro Handbook author George Galloway describes himself as “a partisan for Cuba, for the revolution, for the leadership”. While a partisan view may be shunned in journalistic terms Galloway has no hesitation in embracing a revolution and being loyal to a cause that inspired working class and other exploited people throughout the world.

Just days after the ALP replaced Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard as PM, Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese delivered a blunt warning to governments around the world, especially Third World governments, not to be tempted to go for what he called “resource nationalism”.

“As you know, the original May proposal for a super tax caused a furious national debate in Australia”, Albanese told a gathering of mining executives and big investors at Lord's in London.

Last week was another ugly political week in Australia. There was much to be disgusted about, but one line disgusted me particularly.

It was from an apologist for the Julia Gillard Labor government who dared to offer this whispered excuse for the PM's shameless embrace of racist scapegoating of desperate asylum seekers:

“Julia Gillard is pretending to be conservative so that [Coalition leader Tony] Abbott can't use this issue to win the elections. Once Labor wins, they will implement a different policy.

“It's clever politics.”

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