At our British comrades' Philosophy day school, Daniel Morley discussed the accusations of 'fatalism' levelled at Marxism by its enemies. Ironically, it is Marx's accusers who would make human beings passive victims of fate. They say that Marxism is a 'teleological' theory, according to which all of human history is preordained. They even accuse Marxism of being a religion, with the role of God replaced by iron laws of history, leaving no role for active, conscious human beings to change history. This is, of course, a caricature. Marxism is the only philosophy that explains the contradiction between free will and determinism. It is only by understanding the objective laws that govern society that we can change it.
A brutal second wave of COVID-19 is ravaging India, with 350,000 new infections registered daily: although this official number barely scratches the surface. The situation across the entire country is nightmarish. But for those in the poorest strata of society, it is a vision of hell.
Last summer, tens of millions of people in the US participated in the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the racist police murder of George Floyd. Nearly one year later, on 20 April 2021, his killer Derek Chauvin was convicted of three charges: second-degree unintentional felony murder; third-degree “depraved mind” murder; and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin’s conviction is a far cry from justice for George Floyd and all those constantly facing police brutality.
Huge fires have inflicted massive damage on Cape Town, destroying priceless cultural artefacts and forcing thousands to evacuate. This preventable disaster was a product of the decrepit capitalist system, and has thrown the deep inequality and social rot in South African society into sharp relief.
Capitalist governments the world over are making the most of the COVID-19 pandemic to criminalise protest and to clamp down on dissent while the real criminals of this pandemic – the bosses – get away with murder. It is vital that the workers' organisations fight back to defend these basic democratic rights.
A revolution is underway in Myanmar. The masses are showing immense courage in the face of brutal violence by the military junta. Workers and youth are preparing to defend themselves and allying with the organisations of oppressed ethnic groups. An armed workers' uprising and an all-out, continuous general strike must be organised to topple the murderous junta!