On why proposing the disintegration of the European Union shouldn’t be what leftists want

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“ If it now disintegrates, if we all pick up our stumps and leave, developments at the economic level will only benefit the extreme right. The deflationary forces will be unleashed from the collapse of the euro, and they will only benefit forces like Marine Le Pen. It will not benefit the Left, just like Brexit did not benefit the Left. From a consequentialist point of view, I believe Lexit is profoundly wrong. As leftists, we have always protested our government when our government was wrong, which is most of the time. That does not mean, with the exception of a few anarchists in our midst, that we were against having a government. Similarly, as a Europeanist, it is my duty to protest and to disobey the edicts of Brussels and Frankfurt and so on, but at the same time I do not see why I should be proposing the disintegration of the European Union, even though I am extremely critical of its spirit and architecture ”

Yanis Varoufakis, ‘The European Choice’, Jacobin Magazine

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On the PSOE and corruption in Spanish politics

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“The PSOE leadership race is largely seen as a choice between former leader Pedro Sánchez and the establishment-backed Susana Díaz. Since his enforced resignation in November Sánchez has turned to the left, adopting Podemos’ proposals in a range of areas, while Diaz, who was instrumental in his ousting, has clung to the political center (…) Corruption within the Spanish state and political class is out of control. In terms of its breadth and the elite’s sense of impunity it is incomparable to any other European country. There is a new case almost every day and it is impossible to keep track of all the names and cases (…) The PSOE have completely lost their youth vote. They are now the party of the passive classes. They win votes in the south, primarily in Andalucía and then amongst older people who still see PSOE as the party which after the (post-Franco) transition had slightly improved their living conditions ”

Eoghan Gilmartin & Brais Férnandez & Jaime Pastor, ‘Back to the Streets’, Jacobin Magazine

On the link between terrorism and attempts to suppress ‘militant Islam’

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“ Whenever Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron struggled to explain why British blood and finance had to go on toppling regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, they were explicit: it was to prevent terrorism in the streets of Britain. The reason was given over and over again: to suppress militant Islam. When that policy clearly leads to an increase in Islamist terrorism, we are entitled to agree with Corbyn that it has simply failed. Regimes were indeed toppled. Tens of thousands died, many of them civilians every bit as innocent as Manchester’s victims. Terrorism has not stopped ”

Simon Jenkins, ‘Corbyn is right: of course Manchester was linked to British foreign policy’, The Guardian

On how discriminating LGBTs will bring Hungary closer to Russia

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“ Hungary’s government is welcoming a hate group that promotes a worldview demonising an entire class of people. What are we to take from that? Are we to think that the Hungarian government was unaware that the World Congress of Families held these beliefs? (…) This is not normal conservative politics […] There’s a geopolitical angle which is about Russia and the Kremlin trying to sell its message. The Kremlin uses [groups like] the WCF to assert its soft power in central European society. By elevating this conference to a state-level event, we now almost see that Fidesz is positioning itself as a far-right party. It goes against European values because people rally against the equality of men and women or of a minority group like the LGBT community. They are obviously going against legislation which tries to secure these groups rights and status. In political terms, it will allow the Hungarian government to assert its own ultra-conservative position on the world stage and help relations with the Kremlin. The Russian people here wouldn’t be allowed to participate without the Kremlin’s knowledge, so their presence will help establish some high-level connection between Hungary and Russia ”

Robert Tait, ‘Hungary’s Prime Minister welcomes US ‘anti-LGBT hate group’ ‘, The Guardian

On being called a terrorist rather than a criminal and the consequences it provoques

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“ There are a few key variables which determine what you are called and how you are treated when you commit a deadly act designed to cause widespread fear. Namely: how many people you killed; where you killed them; whether you shouted Allahu Akbar as you killed them and the colour of your skin. The whiter your skin, it seems, the more likely you are to be classified as a criminal rather than a terrorist (…) Right-wing terrorism doesn’t just get less media attention than Islamist terrorism – it gets less attention in policy. As the ADL report notes, the US still doesn’t have a federal domestic terrorism statute and federal spending on training law enforcement on issues such as rightwing violence and terrorism is extremely low. This is clearly ridiculous ”

Arwa Mahdawi, ‘How a neo-Nazi turned Islamist flipped terror narratives upside down’, The Guardian

On Trump’s increase of military action in Yemen

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“ What we have seen generally under the Trump administration is a massive increase in the amount of military action being taken in Yemen. There are real concerns about what legal regime Trump thinks he is acting under, whether there are safeguards they are trying to follow to limit the number of innocent people being killed. Areas of active hostilities is a very poorly defined term that doesn’t have any clear meaning ”

Kate Higham, Reprieve, London-based human rights group

On nationalism and criticizing your own country

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“ It’s good to love your country. But it’s also fine to sometimes dislike what it does; to criticise it; to hold it up to global standards and – when it commits injustice – to demand its punishment and sanction within the global system (…) In its place, it is the culture of what the management theorist Peter Drucker once called ‘the universal educated person’ that must be our bulwark to nationalism, exclusionism and theories of ethnic supremacy ”

Paul Mason, ‘Theresa May says Corbyn hates Britain but she is the one who doesn’t understand it’, The Guardian