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November issue of Socialist Voice November 8, 2018

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Brexit and “backstops” – Difficulties for the EU continue to intensify: Eugene Mc Cartan

As the time for a final deal between the British state and the European Union draws near, the British government is attempting to push through its minimalist Brexit strategy so as to secure its “special relationship.”

 

Illusions of choice and happiness: Laura Duggan

When people are discussing happiness, there are few things that come to mind as immediately as freedom and autonomy. As Starbucks said, “happiness is in your choices.” We are told that without freedom we cannot be happy, and that freedom, boiled down to the basics, simply means choice.

Manipulation and the role of social media: Lauren Smith

Social media and Google serve three strategic purposes for the US government. Firstly, they allow the United States to conduct espionage; secondly, they facilitate the spread of disinformation; and thirdly, they serve as conduits for the transmission of social contagions.

Organising to halt our descent into misery : Tommy Mc Kearney

Theresa May once told a Tory party conference that people viewed Conservatives as “the nasty party.” She claimed this was an unfortunate misunderstanding, to be rectified by improving the party’s public-relations campaign. While few readers of Socialist Voice would fall for that type of self-serving nonsense, too many others accept […]

Trade Unionism

Industrial relations law – Seeing the wood and the trees :Jimmy Doran https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/11/industrial-relations-law-seeing-the-wood-and-the-trees/

There is no doubt that union density and union activity have declined drastically over recent years. The only time there was any increase was at the height of the global financial crash—and this was not an increase in total membership, it was an increase in density, resulting from the fact that good union jobs survived the recession.

Unions can be schools of socialism, but they are not socialist: Nicola Lawlor

https://socialistvoice.ie/2018/11/unions-can-be-schools-of-socialism-but-they-are-not-socialist/

To paraphrase and develop Marx, in certain conditions unions can be the schools of socialism for working people; but they are not socialist in themselves, and in fact only rarely act as such schools. Unions are a product of their conditions.

War destroys not only lives: Jenny Farrell

The 11th of November 2018 is the centenary of the ending of the First World War. During that bloody slaughter the propagandists described it as “the war to end all wars.” A hundred years and as many wars later, the militarists in the United States and Europe—many of them the […]

Venezuelan government not responding to workers’ demands: Paul Dobson

In late October the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) called for an “urgent” meeting with President Nicolás Maduro to discuss a series of government shortcomings in the area of workers’ and campesinos’ rights. The proposed meeting, according to the general secretary of the PCV, Óscar Figuera, should be held “with […]

Presidential election – Sinn Féin the big loser: Tommy Mc Kearney

Sinn Féin is the big loser from the presidential election. Given a golden opportunity to present itself as the principal alternative to a triumvirate of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Labour Party, it offered the Republic’s electorate a package so bland that it blended in with the wallpaper. Surely

Book Review:

Books – Between sectarianism and neo-liberalism: Pat Lynch

Paul Stewart, Tommy McKearney, Gearóid Ó Machail, Patricia Campbell, Brian Garvey, Between Sectarianism and Neo-Liberalism: The State of Northern Ireland and the Democratic Deficit (Glasgow: Vagabond Voices, 2018) If, like me, you mourn the loss of intelligent debate among Irish republicans as they descend into the gobbledegook of bourgeois democracy

Samantha Power and the Irish cousins: Dan Taraghan

Samantha Power was born in Ireland but was taken to America at a young age by her parents, a doctor and a dentist. She attended Yale University and subsequently became a war journalist. Later she was an adviser to Barack Obama, who appointed her US ambassador to the United Nations […]

Cinema – On Mandy, capitalist media, and the working class: Oisín Ó Murchú

Panos Cosmatos’s film Mandy (2018) has received widespread acclaim for its visually arresting murder-and-revenge story, set in a heavily aestheticised 1980s rural America (thanks to the cinematography of Benjamin Loeb). This article is not so much a review of the film as a critical assessment of some of the political […]

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