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From: The Socialist issue 1019, 21 November 2018: Tories out - general election now!

Search site for keywords: What we saw - European - Soviet Union - Council - Capitalist - Amazon

What we saw

Imitation Soviet ushankas are a fashion no-no whatever your politics

Imitation Soviet ushankas are a fashion no-no whatever your politics   (Click to enlarge)

What does the European Parliament... well... do? It doesn't have any real law-making powers - those rest with the unelected European Commission. It cannot overturn the leadership of the EU, the unelected European Council.

But it can write angry letters. The latest missive is to internet retail giant Amazon, signed by 27 MEPs. It calls for "the discontinuation of sales of goods with the hammer and sickle symbol, representing the Soviet Union."

They point out that the crimes of Stalinism were grisly and sweeping. But the hammer and sickle was not of Stalin's making.

It was first a symbol of workers and peasants coming together to run society for themselves, overthrowing the murderous warmonger dictatorship of the landlords and capitalists.

It isn't the Stalinist betrayal of the Russian revolution which concerns these capitalist politicians. It's the growing interest in an alternative social system: one based on public ownership and democratic planning, not the chaos of the market and dictatorship of the billionaires.

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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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 21 November 2018

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