Battle of Ideas

Corbyn is right: occupy the palaces of the rich to help the homeless!

Jeremy Corbyn has said that empty properties owned by the rich should be requisitioned or occupied for the homeless

Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that the empty houses of the rich in Kensington be requisitioned to house the victims of the Grenfell fire.

Why is the basic human need of shelter privatised? Why is land distributed so that some have large homes with many spare rooms, or multiple homes, and others are packed into overcrowded death-traps?

How can we have empty homes when 170,000 people are homeless in London alone?

Issues and Campaigns: 

The Labour Party in perspective (1996)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

"The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement...

A survey of the history of the Labour Party - and of Marxists' efforts in relation to it - up to the eve of Tony Blair taking office and dramatically restructuring the party, in 1997.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

How to go forward from 8 June

Author: 

Editorial

The 8 June election result has re-energised Labour’s activist base and helped put basic working-class demands back on the agenda. The increase in turnout among young voters, and the huge Labour lead among young voters, signal a major shift in British politics. All of this opens up a new period of Labour revival and recomposition.

The election result opens up new chances to instil socialist purpose in the labour movement, but it is down to us to do the instilling: it is not happening automatically or organically.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Does the labour movement need a Marxist educationalist group like the AWL?

An examination of the role of a Marxist “Fighting Educationalist Group” in the class struggle and in the transformation of existing labour movements.

Click here for other discussion of the same issue.


“It is necessary to find the particular link in the chain which must be grasped with all one’s strength in order to keep the whole chain in place and prepare to move on resolutely to the next link.”

V I Lenin

An examination of the role of a Marxist “Fighting Educationalist Group” in the class struggle and in the transformation of existing labour movements.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

The Labour Left in the 1980s and Trotskyism: a survey by banned Marxist paper, Socialist Organiser (1990)

Author: 

Editorial in Socialist Organiser
A critical survey of the Labour Left in the 1980s, written in July 1990, when the Labour Party banned Solidarity's predecessor, Socialist Organiser.

On 25 July [1990] the Labour Party's National Executive Committee voted to ban Socialist Organiser.

After Manchester: is more police the answer?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

A central part of the Labour Party’s response to the Manchester atrocity has been to emphasise its call for more police officers — and now also more intelligence personnel. Labour is also promising more prison guards and borders agents.

The idea that more police is any kind of answer to the social decay, atomisation and despair in which Islamism as well as nationalism have grown is wrong.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

The waning of Chavismo?

Author: 

Pablo Velasco

For the last seven weeks Venezuela has experienced violent opposition protests intent on toppling the elected Maduro government. Since the beginning of April, over 50 people have been killed during demonstrations orchestrated by the right-wing Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD – Democratic Unity Table).

Venezuela was never a socialist alternative and the unravelling of its modest reforms has punctured its radical and “anti-imperialist” pretensions.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

"How to fight elections" - the story of a class-struggle socialist Labour Party election campaign

How to fight elections is the story of Labour's election campaign in Wallasey, Merseyside, in 1987, when sacked shipyard worker and Workers' Liberty supporter Lol Duffy came within 300 votes of unseating Tory minister Linda Chalker - despite a virulent campaign by the press and sabotage by the right wing of the Labour Party. Includes the story of the campaign, pictures and a roundtable discussion between key participants.

Workers' Liberty's 1987 pamphlet tells the story of the election campaign in Wallasey, Merseyside in which revolutionary socialist worker Lol Duffy very nearly defeated Tory minister Linda Chalker.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Another Day: British Socialists Meet For European Unification (1949)

The British Center of the Socialist Movement for the United States of Europe, in its London conference, October 22-23, attended by delegates or observers from local Labor Parties, the Independent Labor Party, the Commonwealth and Fabian Societies, as well as several unions and
pence organizations, produced a series of resolutions which are of importance to the world socialist movement.

Report of Conference of the Socialist Movement for the United States of Europe, 1949.

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

John Reed: Soviets in Action: An Eyewitness Account of Working Class Democracy in the Russian Revolution

Author: 

John Reed
The American Journalist John Reed describes what happened in the Russian workers revolution of 1917 and after.

Through all the chorus of abuse and misrepresentation directed against the Russian Soviets by the capitalist press there runs a voice shrill with a sort of panic, which cries: ‘There is no government in Russia! There is no organisation among the Russian workers! It will not work! It will not work!’

There is method in the slander.

Defend Jackie Walker? Not like this! Antisemitism and the left

Author: 

Ruth Willis

The most informative thing about the recent controversy in Momentum — around comments made by Vice-Chair Jackie Walker at an antisemitism training event — has been less the words Jackie Walker herself said, and more the comments made by some of those who have rallied to her defence.

Racist antisemitism has been a shocking feature of debates among leftists over the removal of Jackie Walker as Vice-Chair of Momentum.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trotsky and the Jewish Question

Revised version of an article published as "Marxism and the Jewish Question" in "Two Nations, Two States" (2002, new edition 2016)

Revised version of an article published as "Marxism and the Jewish Question" in "Two Nations, Two States"

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Livingstone and the “anti-Zionist” left

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
The Ken Livingstone affair focuses attention on one of the major problems inside the left.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Ken Livingstone: Bad History, Worse Politics

Author: 

Dale Street
Ken Livingstone keeps on demonising Zionism as hand-in-glove with, or favoured by, Hitler. Dale Street examines the historical record.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Dealing with Livingstone

Author: 

Editorial
The AWL's take on the Labour Party's suspension of Ken Livingstone from the right to hold office for a year.

Publications: 

Against supporting "progressive imperialism" in Iraq

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Contents [Note 1]

Ex-Marxist Blairites and “Reactionary Anti-Imperialists”

Their case for backing Blair

Support for lesser evils?

Not a penny for this system!

Progressive Imperial Democrats?

Was it the bourgeoisie that won “bourgeois democracy”?

The Russian experience

No imperialism?

Capitulators of today and yesterday

Mañana Third Campists

Conclusions

Edited and reworked version of articles which first appeared in Solidarity 3/63 to 3/65, 2 December 2004 to 20 January 2005, in response to polemics in favour of critical support for the USA in Iraq

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

Notes on early Irish history

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Ireland has a singular history. Unlike England, it was never part of the Roman Empire. There was trade with the Roman Empire most importantly with Roman England, and Ireland was culturally influenced by the Roman Empire. For instance, a Roman script replaced the primitive and clumsy Ogham script. In the period of the final decline of Rome, the Irish joined the other barbarians in raiding Roman and immediately post-Roman England for loot, including slaves. Among those slaves was, famously, the future Saint Patrick.

How Ireland became "Irish"

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Pages