Conflicts, crises and struggles appear into the news media without much context. This is for two reasons. First, the compression of space – the brevity of a television news report or of the print media’s 300 word story – prevents any broad context from being offered to a readership which might not know how to assess a conflict, crisis or struggle. Second, the ideology of the governing class is one that proceeds with the premise that too much depth would give people too much understanding of how the world works. Far better to have a ‘free media’ that merely skims the surface, if it at all reports on a story. Shallow news reports saturated with corrosive ideological implications are what is on offer particularly when a crisis strikes. Events appear as a sudden crisis with no history.

From the Tricontinental, each month, we will produce a brief dossier on a current event that we believe requires some elaboration. These dossiers will provide a short anti-imperialist history of the crisis, offer interviews with key experts on the region and on the issue at stake and provide human stories of the people who are at the heart of the crisis.

To suggest crises that need elaboration or to offer information as well as stories for these events, please contact us at [email protected].

 


Dossier no. 32 provides a brief introduction to the history of the communist movement in India, which turns one hundred years old on 17 October 2020. Founded by a handful of Indian freedom fighters who were inspired by the October Revolution, the Indian communist movement has a history of glorious struggles and significant achievements. The communists in India have tirelessly worked to advance the rights of the working people, and to demonstrate the possibility of a future without the exploitation of human beings by human beings.


In South Africa, grassroots activists talk of ‘the politic of blood’, referring to ongoing assassinations and other forms of repression. This dossier shows how grassroots activists and trade unionists have been subjected to ongoing repression by the state, beginning under apartheid and continuing under the rule of the African National Congress (ANC), much of which has never been fully acknowledged outside of activist circles.


The emergence of COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean has accelerated – sometimes dramatically – a series of economic and social processes that had long been underway and revealed the result of decades of neoliberal policies. The increasingly authoritarian policies, precariousness of labour, and the current social crisis are among the consequences of the neoliberal model, which puts capital before people.


In dossier no. 29, we argue against the return to normal – specifically in the healthcare systems of the bourgeois order. In part 1, we go over what the pandemic has shown us about the healthcare system; in part 2, we attend to the voices of leaders of healthcare workers; and in Part 3, we lay out an agenda for a new healthcare compact based on the demands of healthcare workers, their unions, and their movements.


This dossier on the global pandemic focuses on three main elements: the structural features that resulted in our present crisis (from policies of austerity to the increasing wave of financialization), the most dire and immediate needs for the global working class, and a brief introduction to the idea of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) – including some critiques of the concept and some ways to sharpen the way we think about it.