Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2006

Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006 featured discussions and debates which focused on the key issues facing socialists today. We carry reports from some of those sessions in the socialist this week and next. We also feature some of your comments and letters about the weekend.

How can the consequences of globalisation be combated?

This Socialism 2006 discussion forum saw around one hundred people pack in to hear Simon Tormey (Centre for the Study of Global and Social Justice), Andrew Glyn (author of Capitalism Unleashed) and Lynn Walsh (editor of Socialism Today - the Socialist Party's monthly magazine) debate the key questions posed for socialists in a globalised world.

Sean Figg

There was common agreement from the speakers and the audience that globalisation has sharpened and made more obvious the inequalities and contradictions of capitalism. This arguably new phase of capitalism has seen an increased polarisation of wealth between the northern and southern hemispheres and further class polarisation within the 'privileged' north. This is a result of attacks on the welfare states of Europe, the privatisation of natural resources like water in Latin America, increased environmental destruction and ongoing war and terrorism the world over.

Andrew Glyn expertly outlined the features of this new form of capitalism but it was Lynn Walsh who gave a clear analysis of the roots of globalisation in the shifting balance of class forces and underlying changes in technology from the late 1970s and 1980s, leading to new global social relations. Therefore, neo-liberal globalisation is not simply a change in policy by the capitalist class but the result of a more profound change in the structure of capitalism.

This was a crucial point in the debate as it makes arguments from those who believe that we should try and reform capitalism in order to return to its supposed 'golden age' between 1950 and 1973-74 very problematic. It was issues in this vein that occupied most of the meeting - which way forward for socialists in a globalised world?

Simon Tormey argued that forms of struggle and the approach socialists should take need to change in the context of a globalised world. Simon argued around three core points. 'Dis-aggregation' - that traditional forms of organisation (political parties, trade unions etc) with a clear structure and purpose are increasingly irrelevant and that looser 'networks' are more appropriate today; 'de-ideologisation' - 'big ideas' like Marxism no longer hold much appeal; 'diversity' - rather than organising along class lines new movements build cross-class alliances to campaign.

This argument provoked a large number of contributions from the audience. Some speakers pointed out that it was a response to the features of the 1990s. These features flowed from the collapse of Stalinism and the throwing back of the idea that society could be organised in a different way. The capitulation of the leadership of the trade unions and traditional workers' parties, such as the Labour Party in Britain, to an accommodation with 'the market' led to a relatively low level of class struggle. The attitudes and methods of non class-based movements, such as the anti-capitalist movement, were elevated and generalised as the new way forward for struggle by political theorists such as Simon.

Lynn pointed out that Simon's approach was a repetition of 'soft-anarchism', originating in the 1960s, and was based on a superficial examination of society. Other speakers from the audience highlighted that class struggle, as expressed in trade union organisation and action, had turned a corner and was on the increase again and that new workers' parties were in the first stages of being built in a number of countries around the world.

Lynn concluded by emphasising that the fundamental relationship between workers and capital is unchanged, so the ideas and methods of Marxism will inevitably come to the fore again.

Hopefully the debate can continue at Socialism 2007! Tickets on sale now!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 7 December 2006:

NHS campaigns unite

Blair's health service lies

NHS mass protests continue

Building the national day of action

ITC programme fails

Diary of events

War and terrorism

Bush and Blair still in denial

"The greatest strategic disaster in American history"

Workplace news

Strike threat forces victory

300,000 workers in PCS strike Ballot

"Merry Christmas Mr SCCrooge"

Blood service staff prepared to fight job losses

UCU: Left victory in sight

JJB workers fight sackings

Socialist Students

"Stop the rent rises!"

Campaign to Defeat Fees is building across London

CDF online petition launched!

Fight Blair's divisive academy programme

Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006

Britain's Muslims under siege - which way forward?

"Inspired and informed"

Do you have to be red to be green?

Socialism 2006 - another major step forward

Socialist Party news and analysis

200 march against Lincoln's far right

Trident - a waste of our money

Privatised rail bosses hike up fares

MPs wannabe rich

International socialist news and analysis

Chávez re-election - a set-back for the right

Balance sheet of WASG national conference

Political tensions rage in Bolivia


Home   |   The Socialist 7 December 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: Socialism or anarchism?

triangleCapitalism oppresses women - fight for socialism!

triangleLambeth & Southwest London Socialist Party: Fighting sexism, fighting for socialism

triangleCoventry Socialist Party: Celebrate International Women's Day


triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleBlair's multimillion plans to fight 'populism'


triangleTrump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

triangleEurope and the workers' movement after Brexit


triangle200 years of Marxism meeting

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018