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Socialism Today 134 - December/January 2009-10

Socialism Today 134 - December/January 2009-10

Where is the world economy going?

Is the worst post-war economic downturn coming to an end? Are the green shoots of recovery really visible, as many politician would have us believe? Opinion is divided, with some commentators counting down to the next crisis. What is clear, is that this is a time of acute economic instability. Any growth is likely to be slow, with governments and big business out to offload the costs onto working-class people. LYNN WALSH reports.

Venezuela: new phase, new dangers

The coming to power of Hugo Chávez in 1998 represented an important positive change in the world situation. This was the first government which did not embrace the ruthless neo-liberalism pushed by every ruling elite in the 1980s and 1990s. It enacted popular reforms, enthusiastically supported by workers in Venezuela and internationally, and by the Committee for a Workers’ International. But there are ominous signs that creeping bureaucracy and repression are taking hold. ALEJANDRO ROJAS (CWI) reports.

Germany: new government’s savage cuts by stealth

NOBODY HAS to fear an ‘ice storm’, insists Angela Merkel, re-elected German chancellor, in relation to her new government. "We are no social danger", Guido Westerwelle, her vice-chancellor, felt compelled to say of his own liberal FDP party. Despite plans to increase attacks on working people, the ruling parties are hoping not to provoke growing political instability and discontent. STEPHAN KIMMERLE

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Youth unemployment
How capitalism fails youth

Sri Lanka
The vested interests behind Rajapaksa

Stalin's one-sided civil war
Peter Taaffe reviews Vadim Rogovin's outstanding account of Stalin's great purge

Labour's early victory
Ed Doveton recounts the struggle for working class political representation

Michael Moore
Capitalism: a love story

The rise of Solidarnosc
Andrzej Wajda's Man of Iron

Noir fiction and Michael X; psychology