Theory & History

Why some socialists can't see revolutions

By Marce Cameron

Revolutionary socialists have a duty to support socialist revolutions in other countries. Such international solidarity is vital. Since capitalism is a global system of exploitation and oppression, the struggle to replace capitalism with a socialist world order based on shared wealth, social equality and ecological sustainability requires the cooperation of working people across national borders.

What is exploitation?

By Allen Myers

Nearly all societies in the world today are based on a division of labour. No individual or family produces everything it needs to live. Everyone specialises in one or a few activities. At least some of that activity goes to the benefit of others, and, in return, in one way or another, we receive the things we need that we don’t produce ourselves. The production and transfer of such goods and services is what makes up the economic system of any society.

Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto

Reviewed by Nick Everett

Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto
By Max Lane
Verso 2008 312 pages
RRP (Australia) $49.95

In May 1998, Indonesian dictator General Mohammed Suharto was forced out of power when his cabinet ministers and the other generals — faced with escalating mass protests — abandoned him. A second upsurge of protest, drawing in even larger layers of the population in November 1998, forced Suharto’s successor as Indonesian president, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, to call elections. These events signalled the end of Indonesia’s New Order dictatorship, which had dominated Indonesian political life throughout most of the archipelago’s post-colonial history.

Salute to anti-racist champions

Reviewed by James Crafti

Documentary written and directed by Matt Norman
92 minutes

During the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the black-power salute on the Olympics medal podium having come first and third respectively in the 200-metre sprint. Next to them Australian Peter Norman wore a badge in solidarity with his US colleagues’ defiant expression of opposition to racist oppression. Directed by Peter Norman’s nephew Matt, Salute tells the story of how the three men came to be on that platform together and the consequences they faced for making their political statement.

What is direct action?

By Allen Myers

The name of this paper refers to something that has a long tradition in movements for social change. In its most fundamental sense, direct action is the idea that, if you want something done, you should go and do it yourself, not wait for someone else to do it for you.

Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out

Written and directed by Clifton Ross
PM Press 2008
Bilingual with subtitles in Spanish and English
85 minutes

Reviewed by Nick Everett

Social gains of the socialist revolution in Venezuela

By Marcus Pabian

A centralised planned economy to meet the needs of the people, essential for a socialist revolution, is taking shape in Venezuela. It began when the Chavez government, reinstated by a workers’ and soldiers’ revolution that defeated a US-backed coup in April 2002, gained control of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in early 2003.