Socialism From Below

The International Socialist Tendency (IST) is a current of revolutionary socialist organisations, based in different countries, which share a political outlook and seek to help each other by exchanging experience and practical support.

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Defend South Korean students struggle against Seoul National University's corporatization

Thursday 26th January 2017

- Stop Victimization of students, Scrap new campus plan

Students in Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea, have been occupying SNU’s main building for over 100 days since October 10, 2016, against a plan to build a campus extension in the city of Siheung.

SNU is a national university regarded as the most elite institution of higher education in Korea. Although a public university, SNU has been run more and more on the principle of profitability ever since its transition to a corporate entity in 2011. Such degradation on the part of an institution considered to be South Korea’s ‘top university’ is in fact representative of the (neoliberal) state of Korean higher education in general.

All of this has been fueled by South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s relentless push for neoliberal restructuring of higher education, but now Park is on the verge of impeachment as the result of a popular ...

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Turkey after the attempted coup

Saturday 12th November 2016

An interview with Ron Margulies (DSIP, Turkey) for the magazine of the IS Tendency's fraternal organisation in Germany.

by Tilman von Berlepsch

After the attempted coup d'état of the Turkish military, Erdoğan has declared a state of emergency. What powers does he have and how does he use them?

Most crucially, the state of emergency gives the government the power to rule by decree. This means that the government can issue decrees, without consulting parliament, and these decrees carry the force of law. In a state of emergency the judicial process is also simplified, making it easier to detain and arrest people, and more difficult for people to defend themselves against this.

The state of emergency was initially declared for a period of three months and then extended for another three, with Erdoğan saying that a whole year might be necessary. This is a complete abolition of basic democracy, and it ...

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We don't want Trump—but neither do the bosses (Alex Callinicos)

Saturday 12th November 2016

First Brexit and now Trump. There’s a pattern here that we must try to understand.

Of course it’s disgusting that a racist, sexist property developer has won the presidency of the United States. But something bigger is happening.

Britain and the US were the two advanced capitalist societies that pioneered neoliberalism. This followed the election victories of Margaret Thatcher is British prime minister in 1979 and Ronald Reagan as US president in 1980.

Now we are seeing in both of these countries the cumulative effects of more than 35 years of globalised free market capitalism.

These effects have been greatly reinforced by what the Marxist blogger Michael Roberts calls the Long Depression that started in 2007-8.

So we’ve seen a kind of involution of the political system. On the one hand politics—whatever party is in office—has come to be dominated by a corporate elite deeply wedded to neoliberalism.

Perhaps the clearest example of ...

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Stop the repression of South Korean trade unionists

Tuesday 24th November 2015

On 14 November 2015, about 100,000 people, most of them trade unionists, took to the streets of Seoul in response to a call by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) for a national day of protest (N14). The main focus of the protest was opposition to proposed labour “reforms” by the Park Geun-hye government, which includes measures that would reduce wages and make it easier for employers to fire workers. Many of those on the protest were also enraged by a recent policy to force schools to adopt Korean history textbooks produced by the government.

Despite the just and democratic causes of the protest, the government responded with harsh police brutality. More than 20,000 police clashed with the protesters, firing over 180,000 litres of water in a single day and leaving dozens injured, including one protester who is in a critical condition. Shamelessly, the government blames the KCTU and other ...

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