The social struggles in France

The strikes that began on December 5 continue in a number of sectors, particularly those related to public services. Readers living outside France should note that there has been a mobilization against the abolition of pension systems in favor of a new system that significantly postpones the effective retirement age and considerably reduces pensions, sometimes by as much as 30%. The strike continues to paralyze a large part of public transport, especially in the Paris region, despite attempts to intimidate, pressure and repress both by the management and managerial staff of striking enterprises (mainly SNCF, national trains, and RATP, metro, bus and a part of the trains in the Paris region) and the police, especially during demonstrations and picket lines. Despite government provocations and media propaganda, the movement still enjoys the support and sympathy of a majority of the population according to polls. (1)

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On the pension strikes in France

The following communiqué by the International Group of the Communist Left sheds light on the situation and dilemma’s of the pension strikes in France that hold the country in their grip since last autumn. It treats most important questions that the workers and the milieu’s of politicized minorities of the proletariat are confronted with, and provides an  account of the groups’ position and implication in this ongoing proletarian struggle.

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Freedom, Equality and Solidarity in the Dutch Health Care System

An Essay by Fredo Corvo

According to a critical commentary in this review, an article by ‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of the self-chosen death of Noa Pothoven (a severely traumatized Dutch youngster) suggests that “‘(state) assisted suicide and euthanasia’ would be routinely practiced in the Netherlands by way of a cynical reply of the bourgeoisie and its state to a degradation of the country’s health service, to the extent of constituting ‘a real mass crime’ committed against the ‘damaged and unproductive’ and the elderly in particular”. (1)

The following essay takes up the challenge that “a debate among those who adhere to the cause of proletarian emancipation should also take into account that certain moral dilemmas based on the development of medical science and technology, demographic developments like increases in life expectancy, and changing patterns of need for cure and care, will not somehow be automatically resolved after a proletarian revolution, but will have to be taken up by the proletarians collectively under qualitatively different conditions.” (Ibid.)

From a layman’s point of view, this essay examines qualitative developments in medical care in the field of technology, medical ethics and budget cuts. However, in order to analyze the financial results of measures taken by the Dutch state for each medical condition, the expertise of a medical economist would be required.

 

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‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of a failure of ‘youth care’ in the Netherlands

The following presents an article by ‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of the tragic suicide of a youngster, that was immediately subjected to an international media campaign on “state sponsored euthanasia” in the Netherlands. Our commentary shows how easily one can fall into hawking a rant, when not observing minimal standards of verification. In a separate topic article we present the results of a first examination of official mortality statistics in this country by medical end-of-life decisions over the period 1995 – 2015.

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