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Workers Liberty study Marx during Covid

Studying Marx’s Grundrisse

Following several other successful study groups since lockdown, from Thursday 10 December, 8-9pm Workers’ Liberty will start a weekly Zoom study group on Marx’s Grundrisse. That is Marx’s rough draft of his economic theories – of much of what was later rewritten and published as Capital, and more – written at high speed in 1857-8.

Because it’s a rough draft, Marx lets his mind roam more freely, and pursues his lines of argument further into a speculative future, than in his finished works. The Grundrisse can give us pointers to understand the capitalism of microelectronics, globalisation, and privatisation – in which some of the inherent tendencies of capitalism are working themselves out further and more thoroughly than even seemed possible in Marx’s day.In the Grundrisse, we also read Marx writing more directly and freshly about some of his basic ideas than in his finished works, giving us a better idea of how he reached his conclusions.

We will study it not as holy writ, but critically. You can participate by studying the whole text (available online, and second hand), or by McLellan’s book of extracts.

Register on eventbrite here, and find study notes here.

Isolation pay for Test and Trace workers

Safe and Equal is stepping up its campaign for full isolation, especially for Test and Trace workers (see Solidarity page 7) and for sub-contracted workers and bank staff in hospitals.

For care homes, the government, under pressure, has created an “infection control fund” which is supposed to finance full isolation pay for all care workers. But on the latest available count only 40% of care homes were actually doing full isolation pay. The big care-home chain HC-One conceded full isolation pay to the GMB union in May, but many care homes have no union.

Among domiciliary care workers, isolation pay is even scantier. Cleaners on the Tube recently regained isolation pay after the contractor ABM moved back on its concession on the issue early in the year.

Channels for pressure on this issue include local Labour Parties, which can put pressure on councils contracting out care, unions within councils, like Unison, and unions among better-off workers in the same workplace, as on the Tube and in hospitals.Link for Safe and Equal materials, other campaigns, and model motionsworkersliberty.org/agenda

Upcoming meetings

Friday 27 November, 6:30-7.30pm: Young Labour Internationalists (YLI) — UN Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence

Sunday 29 November, 6.30-8pm: The right’s culture wars and the Polish fightback

Monday 30 November, 6-7pm: AWL students — Why socialist feminism?

Monday 30 November, 7:30-9pm: Tạ Thu Thâu, Ngô Văn Xuyết, and the Vietnamese Trotskyists

Tuesday 1 December, 7:30-9pm: Shapurji Saklatvala: Labour’s first ‘BAME’ MP. (Lewisham branch)

Saturday 5 December, 9.30-11am: AWL online branch — The roots of antisemitism on the left

Sunday 6 December 12-2pm: Socialist feminist reading group — Burn it Down! (selected manifestos)

Monday 7 December, 6-7pm: AWL Students — Class struggle environmentalism

Thursday 10 December, 8-9.30pm: First session in a study group on Marx’s “Grundrisse”

Sunday 13 December, 6.30-8pm: The politics of climate change – introducing “Climate Leviathan”

For full and updated details, zoom links, more meetings and resources, visit workersliberty.org/meetings 

A big week for our fund

With a bumper last week, our supporters have come through guns blazing this week bringing our final fund amount to £19,420. Many thanks to everyone who donated over the course of the fundraising, and to the supporter in Trafford who matched the subtotal of the amount over £10,000 reached by the 22 November, which brought this total up to £19,420.

We rely on donations to fund our work. Book production, reprints, new equipment all come from our ability to fundraise, our standing orders and commitment from our supporters.

Considering we have been unable to hold our annual summer school, usually a good focus for fund-raising, the amount raised is pretty good and will help greatly with more real world activity in 2021. We know some people are waiting until the end of the month to make after-the-closing-date donations, and we welcome those too. Donate here!

(This email last week mistakenly said that the supporter in Trafford would double match money raised over the £10k target, effectively trippling communication. This was due to a miscommunication: they instead committed to match that money, thereby effectively doubling donations. Sorry.)
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The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. Contact us:

(+44) (0) 20 7394 8923

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workersliberty.org

awl@workersliberty.org

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Solidarity 573 is out…

And online at workersliberty.org/solidarity

Special lockdown subscription offer — get six issues of Solidarity by mail for just £2 here.

This week’s front page: Brexit is a step backwards!

Back page: Fight the cuts, fight the pay freeze!

Inside pages include: Marcus Garvey and the socialists • The EHRC, Corbyn, and Labour • Interview with Belarusian left activist • Labour retreats on school testing • Climate Leviathan review • Covid-19: Isolation pay news, social solidarity policies • Much, much more…

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