National Sections of the L5I:

USA

Can America's first Black President change society?

There will be huge celebrations if Obama wins. And these celebrations will be all the more intense given the oppression black people have endured in North America over hundreds of years.Just think of the long years of slavery, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement and the systematic discrimination against US blacks to this day, and it is obvious why the entry of a black man into the White House will be met with an explosion of joy. Read more...

1968 in the USA: From civil rights to Black Power

On 1 February 1960, an impulsive and practically unplanned act of bravery by four black college students sparked the great civil rights' revolt in the USA. The students went into a Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina and then sat down at a lunch counter which was reserved for whites. Read more...

James P Cannon and the fight for communism in the USA

Bryan D Palmer, a Canadian based professor and writer on the history of the North American labour movement, has published the first volume of his James Cannon biography, James P Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left (1890-1974) Illinois, 2007. Simon Hardy reviews its lessons for today Read more...

Why is there no socialism in the United States?”

Mainstream American politics is “big business” and the latest presidential contest is no exception. The eye-watering amounts of money thrown at Obama and McCain by the American rich testify to the simple fact that both the Democrats and Republicans are capitalist parties – neither has ever represented the independent interests of American workers. Andy Yorke asks, “Why have American workers never had a party of their own?” The answer, he argues, can be found in the historical struggles of the working class. Read more...

Will Barack Obama bring a new deal for American workers?

Barack Obama has electrified the American president elections and fostered the belief amongst American workers, African-Americans and youth, that, if elected, he will bring radical change. Dave Stockton looks beyond Obama’s celebrity and radical language and finds a candidate itching to serve the capitalist class. Read more...

Obama and McCain face dilemma over backing for Wall Street

A month ago Barrack Obama looked like he had lost his once apparently solid lead over John McCain. McCain's appointment of Sarah Palin, a hardline member of the Christian Right, had trumped Obama's triumphalist rally at the party conventions. This choice played well to the reactionary mass base of the Republic party that feared McCain was "too liberal" on issues like abortion. With Palin's appointment McCain's popularity immediately surged, closing the gap with Obama till he was neck-to-neck with the Ohio senator. At the same time Obama moved to the right on a series of issues  civil liberties, Iraq, Afghanistan, healthcare, and so on  while saying little about any real, radical plans on the economic crisis that would make him different to the Republicans. He declared on CNBC "I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Such was Obama's retreats in the opinion polls, commentators began to point to the John Kerry debacle in 2004 where an unpopular Bush won a secure majority, after the Democrats "triangulated" themselves into looking no different from the Republicans. But then, on the 7th September, the titans of US finance went to the wall. Read more...

The oppression of black people in the USA today

The systematic oppression of black Americans is deeply embedded in the fabric of US society. In a nation made up of immigrants, blacks were the ones brought there forcibly and kept as slaves for 150 years. Although racism afflicts many ethnic groups, racism against black people is "justified" by a racist ideology derived from slavery and the hundred year old apartheid system of Jim Crow, which insists on their inferiority to whites. Though officially hidden today, it underpins the horrific inequality in education, employment, housing, healthcare, and levels of poverty dividing black and white Americans.A 2008 report by the National Urban League (Annual Report on Socio-economic Conditions in Black America), which investigates the realities faced by black citizens, has uncovered some brutal facts. It finds that there is still indisputable evidence that the criminal justice system is pitted against young black men, and systematically criminalises them. Read more...

Will Obama bring change to America?

The battle for the White House is on. The parties have officially endorsed their candidates, running mates have been picked and policy proposals are coming into focus. Read more...

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