Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism, discusses the Western response to gas attacks in Syria. Trump, Macron, and May have all been banging the war drums over the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad. But the atrocities in Syria mask the Western imperialists' own role in propping up reactionary regimes in the region and perpetuating a never-ending humanitarian disaster in the Middle East. At the same time, their bellicose rhetoric acts as a useful distraction for these imperialist leaders, who are all facing criticism and opposition back home.

We present the International Marxist Tendency's world perspectives for 2018: constituting our analysis of the current situation in world politics, and predictions about where we are headed. This draft document will be discussed and finalised at the IMT's 2018 World Congress in Turin. It was written in the first few months of this year, and although some of the events described have developed since, these developments only further confirm our overarching analysis of the world situation.

Alan Woods, editor of www.marxist.com, discusses the hypocrisy of the imperialists regarding events in the Middle East, particularly the Turkish army's recent, brutal invasion of Afrin and the misery it is exacting on the Kurdish population.

On 27 February, the National Assembly of South Africa passed a motion on land expropriation, tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters and supported by the majority of parties in parliament, including the ANC. The motion was passed by 241 against 83 and called for a process to review the constitution and possibly change it to allow for land expropriation without compensation. Parliament’s Constitution Review Committee will conduct “public hearings” to illicit “public comment” and report back to parliament in August. If a constitutional amendment is recommended, it requires the support of two-thirds of members of the National Assembly as well as the support of 6 of the 9 provinces. Even then, the last word would be from the Constitutional Court, which is the highest decision-making body as far as constitutional legality is concerned.

The last two months have seen renewed worries about the economy. It was meant to be a period of optimism, with plenty of positive figures on unemployment, wage growth and so on. Yet in spite of the figures, the markets are jittery and the bourgeois is gradually realising that none of the problems that caused the crisis in 2008 have been resolved. If anything, they have become even worse.

In the final part of George Collins' history of the rise of Stalinism, he explains the bureaucracy's final victory over Trotsky's Left Opposition; their shameful co-operation with fascism and imperialism; and the brutal, counter-revolutionary role they played in suppressing the working class in Russia and internationally. He concludes with an optimistic assessment of the political situation in Russia in the late-80s, and while we know the tragic reality of what happened after the Soviet Union collapsed, a new revolutionary current has now gripped the minds of workers and youth worldwide.

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