The Bigger Picture: Autumn Series of Online Seminars

The Bigger Picture

A series of GFTU online seminars – every third Thursday – starting on 15th September 2022

Trade Unionists have to deal with the day to day and the here and now. But what happens at work is affected by wider, global forces also. The balance of those world forces, particularly the US and China is changing. The changes will have dramatic impact.

For free, stimulating online discussion with international experts in these areas, join the forthcoming GFTU seminars on:

China in the World Today: 7.00-8.30pm on Thursday 15th September

The Decline of US Imperialism: 7.00-8.30pm on Thursday 20th October

NATO – Friend or Foe? : 7.00-8.30pm Thursday 17th November

More sessions are planned for the New Year.

China in the World Today

The Chinese people have adopted a completely different developmental approach than the West. This route is constantly vilified and attacked and distorted in the media. So what is the truth, what are the policies that are driving China, is it a force for peace and progress and social and economic development or not? Is a country that has raised 850m people out of extreme poverty as bad as it has been depicted? Do the people have a say or is everything determined by the 96m Communist Party members? Why have 147 of the 193 nations who are members of the UN signed up to its vast belt and road initiative? Why has the US surrounded China with arsenals of weapons? How does China’s foreign policy compare with that of the US and Britain?

To consider these and many other issues surrounding China and our perceptions of it join Keith Bennett and Carlos Martinez (who are both expert writers and advisors on China), to take part in an informed discussion.

The Decline of US Imperialism

The United States is marred by severe structural difficulties that are increasingly impairing its former ability to get its way and shape the world to suit its narrow interests. A combination of increasing indebtedness (already larger than its GDP), sustained neglect of its domestic infrastructure, poor economic performance and extraordinary levels of military spending are driving it to lose its world supremacy in almost every field.

This situation the US faces is compounded by the rise of China as part of an emerging multipolar geopolitics, but more acutely by the growing challenge to the petrodollar. All of this lies to an important degree at the base of both the string of defeats suffered by Latin America’s right-wing forces and the beginnings of the re-emergence of the Pink Tide with left wing electoral victories in Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile (possibly also in Colombia and Brazil), plus the survival and recovery of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. This context offers promising opportunities to progressive forces in Latin America.

This discussion will be facilitated by Dr Francisco Dominguez, Specialist in the political economy of contemporary Latin America at Middlesex University.

NATO – Friend or Foe?

For some, NATO is a guarantor of peace and a defender of democracy; for others, it is an aggressive expansionary military block, leaving wars and interventions in its wake.

To make an informed judgement let’s look at some of the facts: how and why was NATO formed? How is it funded? What is it doing in the world today? Why is this question of interest to trade unionists and community leaders? How does NATO relate to the UN and the EU? How is Britain involved in NATO and how much does this cost us? 

To consider these questions and others CND General Secretary Kate Hudson will provide participants with a critical analysis and background to stimulate debate.

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