Over the past several weeks, groups of angry people in some of South Africa’s poorest townships have been attacking the small convenience stores in their own neighbourhoods — which are mostly owned by and employ immigrants. A longer trend of xenophobia reaches back to the 2008 crisis. In other words, the costs of economic hardship are shouldered by one part of the vulnerable who get poorer and poorer, and then angrily turn on another part of the vulnerable, namely the shop workers. It is these shops that are burnt down, while the quiet theft of capitalism proceeds unchallenged. In this context, it is important to remember organizations such as the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union that built solidarity throughout Southern Africa and that produced a historical dynamic and traditions of dignity that last till this day. It such organisations that fought hard to create a socialist consciousness against the cheap trap of ethnic nationalism. There would be no victory for the South African people against apartheid if not for their hard struggle.
In the Ruins of the Present traces the challenges posed by globalization and what these challenges produce for our society. The first attempt to address the problems of globalization was neo-liberalism. It failed. Next came cruel populism, which expresses itself in narrow, hateful terms. It will also fail. The Left is weak – decomposed by globalization. The need of the hour is for the Left to recompose itself, to become a vital force for a fragile humanity.
Globalisation and Its Alternative lays out Samir Amin’s assessment of the concept of globalisation as well as his concept of ‘de-linking;’ that is, for the Third World to compel imperialism to accept its conditions and to be able to drive its own policy. Amin’s perspective helps us understand the current crisis of capitalism and imagine a world based on a multi-polar, internationalist people’s agenda, rather than one driven by global capital.
Raw minerals are needed for everyday life, but when that life is also the cost of our infrastructural needs it is time to start asking questions. Why do 60% of the world’s mining companies have their headquarters in Canada? In this briefing we provide the financial details of ten Canadian mining companies. This data becomes a corporate crime rap sheet when it is read alongside concise accounts of the most horrendous violations committed–globally–by these companies. Canadian wealth is deeply dependent on a depraved indifference to human life, an indifference seemingly shared by Canadian mining companies.
The Industrial & Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) – a trade union, rural peasant movement, and urban squatters’ movement – formed on the docks in Cape Town in 1919. Within a decade, the ICU had expanded across Southern Africa without regard for national borders and counted people from various African countries and the Caribbean in its leadership, as well as people who were Indian and mixed race. The largely forgotten history of the ICU is well worth recovering in a time of escalating chauvinism and xenophobia. Our Dossier #20 offers an introduction to this extraordinary popular movement.
Our first red alert — a brief two-page assessment of key crises that can be easily printed out and distributed — is on Kashmir to help shed light on the current conflict and human rights violations. Kashmir is fundamentally contested, each acre claimed by one or the other neighbouring country.
Frustration with the resilience of Iran and with its ties to China and Russia have pushed the regional allies of the US – and the US itself – to renew threats against Iran. The hybrid war against Iran has included economic sanctions, sabotage, and assassinations, as well as an information war. To break through the information barrier, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research interviewed Professor Mohammed Marandi of the University of Tehran. This conversation focuses on the unilateral US sanctions policy against Iran, on Iran’s resilience, and on Iranian relations with China and Russia.
In the face of increasing neoliberal policies, the working-class movement in India has seen several major general strikes. Our eighteenth dossier – an interview with K Hemalata, President of the Centre of India Trade Unions – discusses the challenges and struggles facing the Indian working class and how they are able to organise workers who initially were apprehensive and afraid to join working class movement.
Dossier no. 17 reflects on the hybrid war unleashed against Venezuela. We document the repertoire of tactics, but also the motives behind them. We are interested not only in the recent attack on Venezuela, but in the similarities between this attack and others in Latin America over the past decades. This general onslaught in Latin America needs to be understood not in terms of the war against this country or that one, but in terms of the method of domination that shape the current neo-liberal and imperialist offensive in the region.
The modern global economy, essentially guarantees the continued expatriation of profits and natural assets from resource-rich but capital-poor countries, facilitating the enrichment of the global economic elite and Multinational Corporations (MNC), at the expense of developing countries. To elaborate on the themes of corporate plunder, resource nationalism and people-centered forms of resource management, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research spoke with Gyekye Tanoh, head of the Political Economy Unit at the Third World Network-Africa based in Accra (Ghana).