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From: The Socialist issue 986, 14 March 2018: Determined UCU strikers; We're out to win

Search site for keywords: What we saw - Capitalism - Women - Russian - Sexism - Art - Trotsky

What we saw

Frida Kahlo barbie

Frida Kahlo barbie   (Click to enlarge)

The Mexican communist and artist Frida Kahlo is to be immortalised as... a Barbie doll. This farcical, tone-deaf plan is part of US multinational Mattel's 'celebration' of International Women's Day.

Kahlo spent her adult life railing against capitalism. She also hosted exiled Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky during his later years campaigning against Stalinism. To transform her into a commodity for corporate profit is preposterous.

To add insult to injury, Kahlo's art is known for its honest appraisal of the human body, in particular her own. Barbie, by contrast, is the grotesque epitome of misogynist body imagery.

Mattel says the Kahlo Barbie "celebrates the ideological contributions of Frida Kahlo." No it doesn't. Both Kahlo and the origins of International Women's Day are about militant struggle against capitalism and sexism.

The Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin is closer to the mark: "During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice... After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons."

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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