Charles and David Koch: Two Heads of the Bourgeois Hydra

Today we introduce one of our newest comrades in the League for the Fifth International. His name is Robert Biester, and he currently resides in the US midwestern region.

On August 21, 2019 David Koch died after years of fighting prostate cancer which he was diagnosed with in 1992. With his death he left behind his brother and a multi-billion dollar company, Koch Industries, which profits off the extraction of fossil fuels, the refining of said fossil fuels, and many other products. This company has in its pockets the groups that preach “free market” and “individualist” ideas that capitalism has thrived on for decades now. These puppets include Americans for Prosperity and Kansas Policy Institute who have helped destroy all attempts at improving public infrastructure by calling such spending “frivolous” and a waste of money. They also have a tendency to call unions the pawn of big government and preach to workers not to organize or else they are hurting the “freedom” of the bourgeoisie. Because “freedom” in bourgeois terms is the freedom to exploit the working class, it is important to discuss the Koch’s influence on American politics and the implications of David Koch’s death on these political escapades. More

The “Cultural Fascism” of Andy Ngo and Quillette

by Marcus Otono

There was another clash between the fascists of the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer and the anarchist collective known as Antifa in Portland, OR the weekend of June 30th. While these dustups have become quite commonplace since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there was a qualitative difference in this time and some of the previous battles between these two ideologically opposite forces. That difference was the beating and injury of a so-called “journalist” for the on-line and right-wing platform called Quillette. More

Climate Change Comes to the Midwest

by Ashley Wherry

Currently the Earth has warmed 1 degree Celsius since the 19th century, and according to the United Nations we are on track for warming closer to 3-5 degree by 2100. We have seen only a portion of the warming expected by the end of the century, and it is already having huge impacts on human life and our environment. More

Solidarity with Rideshare Strike!

Workers Power

On the morning of May 8th Uber and Lyft drivers around the country in several major cities will be striking for job security, livable wages, and fairer commissions on fare rates. This strike was provoked by a 25% pay cut for all Uber drivers and is the second work stoppage by Uber and Lyft drivers this year, with a previous several thousand strong action having taken place in March. More

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – a Socialist in Congress?

Dave Stockton

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caused a sensation on June 26, 2018, when, in the primaries for New York’s 14th congressional district, Bronx and Queens, she defeated the chair of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley. She then went on to win the election, becoming the youngest woman to enter Congress. More

The Green New Deal – a Challenge to Both Parties

Marcus Otono

The Green New Deal, GND, resolution introduced by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, a New York member of the House of Representatives, and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, has been met by widespread enthusiasm from the left. It is an ambitious set of goals for the reordering of US society and economy to fight the looming climate emergency and deal with some of the more vexing economic problems, like the health care crisis in the US and out of control income inequality. More

The Caravan from Central America – Let Them In!
La caravana de Centroamérica – ¡Déjenlos entrar!

Tobi Hansen

They have been on the road since October 12, a “caravan” of more than 7,000 refugees from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, heading for Tijuana on the US-Mexican border. Now they have reached southern Mexico. They have chosen this course of action because they no longer see any hope of a minimally decent and secure life in their own countries. Entire families, including grandparents and young children, see this not as a political demonstration but an expression of sheer material necessity. They march together so they can protect themselves from those who want to exploit and harm them, the people smugglers and the criminal gangs, who kidnap and use fugitives for drug trafficking or prostitution. More

Han estado en la carretera desde el 12 de octubre, una “caravana” de más de 7,000 refugiados de Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador, con destino a Tijuana en la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos. Ahora han llegado al sur de México. Han elegido este curso de acción porque ya no ven ninguna esperanza de una vida mínimamente decente y segura en sus propios países. Familias enteras, incluidos abuelos y niños pequeños, ven esto no como una manifestación política sino como una expresión de pura necesidad material. Marchan juntos para protegerse de los que quieren explotarles y hacerles daño: los traficantes de personas y las bandas criminales, quienes secuestran y usan a los refugiados para el narcotráfico o la prostitución. Continuar

The Political Contradictions of DSA

by Marcus Otono

Watching the far left in the United States attempt to make sense of the dizzying rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) can’t help but remind one of the old story of a group of blind men attempting to describe an elephant. Their critiques, no matter how virulently or mildly expressed, usually focus on one or two aspects of the overall phenomena of DSA or its history and leave everything else out. Just like in the story, this results in critiques that are not necessarily wrong, but fail to address the essential question: How to transform a group in which tens of thousands of members think of themselves as revolutionary socialists into an actual revolutionary socialist group. More

Workers’ Party Tennessee – A Modest Proposal

by Marcus Otono

The League for the Fifth International has been consistent throughout the entirety of its existence and even in its precursor organizations, about the need in the United States for a party of labor. This was an easy position to support, albeit not so easy to accomplish. And we weren’t alone in seeing this need. Indeed, most of the socialist organizations also supported this position throughout the decades, as witnessed by the many attempts to found said party of labor by groups on the socialist left. More

Middle Tennessee DSA Endorses Prison Strike

Per the resolution passed at the July 2018 general meeting, the Middle Tennessee chapter of Democratic Socialists of America endorses the upcoming National Prison Strike called by incarcerated men and women. This strike, which begins on August 21 and extends through September 9, 2018, is a response to the April 2018 uprising at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, during which seven men lost their lives. More

The More Things Change

REVIEW  On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War by Kim Moody

Every 10 years Kim Moody produces a major analysis of the political economy of US capitalism and the working class, identifying problems and possibilities, and advancing a strategy for the labor movement to reverse its decline and begin to advance. On New Terrain is a valuable addition to this at a crucial juncture for the US working class under the Trump-led Republican hegemony. More

Gun Control — Who Controls the Guns?

With the possible exception of abortion rights, there is no single issue in the American political landscape more divisive than the debate over gun control. And just like the abortion debate, the differing sides of the gun debate are rife with contradictions on both sides. More

New York: From Union Struggles to Class Struggle at The New School

In the last weeks of summer term 2018, the New School, a private non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, New York City, was shaken by a series of struggles by its workers who were finally fighting back, and they won overwhelming solidarity from students. More

Strikes and Occupations at The New School

Students and Workers stand up to union busting and firing by the self-proclaimed progressive private university in New York. More

Labor Notes 2018: Successes pose new challenges for union activists

Three thousand trade unionists assembled in Chicago for Labor Notes’ biennial conference on 8-11 April. Many there claimed it was the biggest Labor Notes conference ever. But numbers alone cannot convey the energy, the diversity, the militancy on display. More

One Year of Trump – Horror Without End?

On January 20, Donald Trump’s inauguration took place: a day that will go down in history not for the surprise victory of the right-wing populist anti-establishment candidate. No less impressive was the day after, which saw the largest mobilization since the protests against the Iraq war, with an estimated 5 million people taking to the streets as part of the Women’s March. The international character of the mobilizations anticipated the profound international impact of Trump’s inauguration. More

Another Trickle Down Tax Scam

The Republicans needed a win. After almost a year in power, in both the legislative and the executive branches of government, all they had to show was a president with the lowest approval ratings ever, a massive and very public failure of their initial attempt at governing – the failure to repeal Obamacare, and public perception being driven by the “Outrage of the Week” from Donald Trump’s twitter account. Not to mention an ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the American election of 2016 and the Republican collusion in that interference and a Senate candidate in the very Republican state of Alabama with a history of child abuse. So yes, the Republicans badly needed a win. And of course when the Republicans win, the rest of us lose. More

Dump Trump with the DSA?

No week goes by without another “outrage of the week” sponsored by Trump. Climate change, immigration policy, abortion rights or LGBTQ-rights; it seems like everything is under constant debate and attack since Trump took office at the beginning of the year. But, instead of being overwhelmed and accepting the new situation, his opponents have mobilized against him. For example, hundreds of thousands took to the streets on the “Women’s March.” Across the United States, and beyond, more than two million have demonstrated against his policies. More

Medicare For All — Policy or Populist Sop?

On September 13, 2017 Bernie Sanders, the independent Senator from Vermont and erstwhile Democratic Party presidential candidate, introduced his latest version of a reform of the US health care system that he called Medicare For All. While he acknowledged that the prospects for passing in Congress or being signed into law by the ruling Republican Party were nil, his stated purpose was to bring the concept of single payer health care into the conversation that has been on-going since the debate on and passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” in 2010. More

The Revival of the Democratic Socialists

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) grouping has witnessed astonishing growth over the past year, going from around 5,500 members to 26,000. It now claims 2,000 members in New York City alone. The DSA’s growth began with the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2015, thanks in part to Sanders’ self-designation as a “democratic socialist” and his call for a “political revolution.” More

American Dream Turns Into a Nightmare
El sueño americano se convierte en una pesadilla

For 800,000 Dreamers the morning of September 5 saw their American Dream turn into a nightmare. Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. More

Para 800.000 soñadores la mañana del 5 de septiembre su sueño americano se convirtió en una pesadilla. El Fiscal General de Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, anunció el fin del programa de la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA) de Barack Obama. Continuar

Charlottesville Terror Attack

It’s not like we haven’t warned that this was coming. In article after article on the rise of Donald Trump and his brand of right-wing populism, we’ve stated that, as bad as his policies might be, the worst aspect of his regime would be the emboldening of the fascist and white supremacist elements that make up much of his base of support. More

The Threat of Another Korean War

US President Donald Trump, so far a spectacular failure in his domestic policies, is compensating for this by exercising his power as the Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation in the world. Having launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase and killed 39 ISIS fighters with the “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afghanistan in April, he is now threatening North Korea with a devastating war, conventional or even nuclear. More

Trump’s First 100 Days and the Resistance

In the US, a president’s first 100 days in office is always a period of reflection on the efficacy and direction of any changes in policy from one administration to the next. That’s especially true this year, with the Republican sweep of the US Congress and Presidency, plus holding on to most of the statehouses and governorships. Since May Day coincides,  more or less, with the end of that 100 day period, to analyze May Day in 2017 is to analyze Trump’s first 100 days in microcosm from the perspective of class struggle. More

USA: May Day, 2017

The irony of May Day in the USA is that this workers’ holiday, celebrated officially in 66 countries in the world and unofficially in most of the rest, had its origins in the United States. Most American workers will blithely go about their business on May Day, 2017, and work their eight hours without a thought to the fact that it was the May Day strike in Chicago for the eight hour day that became the focal point for the movement that actually allowed them to have an eight hour day. The anarchists and socialists who struck, fought and, yes, died, for this most basic and embedded of all of today’s workers’ rights have been all but forgotten in their own country. More

For a Workers Party in the USA. If Not Now, When?

Millions on the street against the inauguration. Several thousands with spontaneous protests against the “Muslim Ban”. In Milwaukee alone, about 15,000 took the streets during the actions of “A day without Immigrants”, led mostly by Latinos. As much as the Trump administration provokes nationally and internationally, so too is the diverse and massive resistance. More

Millions March Against Trump

It was the largest international demonstration since the Iraq War. The ‘Women’s March’ on 21 January capped a two day explosion of resistance to the inauguration of Donald Trump. More

“America First” Signals Intensification of US Unilateralism

Anyone who doubted that Donald Trump’s arrival as 45th president of the United States heralded a major change in both the country’s internal and external relationships must surely have been forced to think again by his inaugural address and the barrage of executive orders issued in his first week. More