Battle of Ideas

Support the Corbyn campaign - fight for working-class politics and socialism

Author: 

Editorial

The huge support for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Labour leader is a reminder that what seems like an overwhelmingly dominant right-wing “consensus” in bourgeois politics can be limited and unstable. It shows that large numbers of people, including working-class and young people, want a politics that is different to, to the left of, the consensus of neo-liberalism — that the “market” must rule, the welfare state must be cut back, and getting rich is the best thing to aspire to in life.

Being "anti-austerity" is not enough. We should argue explicitly for a political project based on working-class struggle and replacing capitalism with socialism.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The problem with Bernie Sanders

Author: 

Eric Lee

The Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is probably the most exciting development in US politics since the 1930s.  And it's not a coincidence that both the resurgent left of that decade and the Sanders phenomenon have followed the spectacular economic crashes of 1929 and 2008.
 

Sanders campaign for the presidential nomination is an inspiration. But it needs a strategy for building a left political organisation.

Publications: 

Around the world: 

Report of RS21 meeting on Europe and Q&A

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Eighty people attended the London public meeting on Europe held by the socialist organisation RS21 on 15 July. RS21 should be congratulated for organising the event; the class-struggle left needs much more debate on these issues.

A report of the 15 July discussion on the European Union held by the socialist organisation RS21, and a Q&A based on it.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Corbyn and the Middle East: the hypocrisy of the right, a challenge for the left

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The controversy sparked, or ramped up, by Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance on Channel 4 News on 13 July raises important issues for the left.

(You can watch it on the Channel 4 website here.)

What should the left say about Jeremy Corbyn's softness on Islamists like Hamas and Hesbollah?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Articles on Greece and Syriza


Oxi still means oxi! Theodora Polenta, 15th July, 2015

Solidarity with Greece, and with the Greek workers and left! Sacha Ismail, 9th July

Greek left mobilises for “no” on 5 July Theodora Polenta, 3 July, 2015

Greece: rescue? At what price? Theodora Polenta, 24 June, 2015

A collection of articles on Greece going back to July 2014, with a link to older articles.

Around the world: 

Ukrainian socialists set up "Social Movement"

Author: 

Dale Street
New organisation says it wants "an alliance of the working class and (progressive) intellectuals.”

In mid-June a meeting of Ukrainian socialists in Kiev founded a new left-wing party, “Social Movement” (SM). According to an interview with some of its leading members, published on the website of the Russian Socialist Movement:

Activists from five of Ukraine’s biggest cities attended the meeting: Kiev, Odessa, Cherkass, Dnepropetrovsk and Krivy Rog. Politically, they ranged from “moderate social-democrats” to “radical Marxists”.

Independent Working-Class Education: a world to win

Author: 

Max Munday

Hosted by educationalists and labour movement activists at Northern College on the last weekend of May, the IWCE's "A World To Win" was an excellent event which discussed key moments in the development of trade unionism in this country - from the Combination Acts to modern blacklisting, violent rioting in 1700s Liverpool to the GMB organising in ASDA.

The IWCE project aims to bring Marxism and working-class history back into the labour movement.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

TUSC: “Immigration is not central”

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Shortly before the general election, South London Workers' Liberty held a public debate with representatives of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and the Green Party.

Andrea Carey, a member of Green Left, and Paul Callanan, who is an organiser for TUSC and for the Socialist Party, debated our comrade Jill Mountford, who was also speaking for the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory.

Shortly before the general election, we debated representatives of the Green Party - and the "Trade Union and Socialist Coalition" led by the Socialist Party.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Labour and Unite: an open letter to Nick Cohen

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Nick,

I’d guess you still regard yourself as being on the left. So why was one of your first comments after the election an attack on the trade union movement from the right?

A reply to Nick Cohen's call for the Labour Party to expel Unite.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Where did ISIS come from?

Author: 

Dashty Jamal, Worker-communist Party of Kurdistan

It is true that ISIS is a dangerous force that has started a devastating war in the Middle East in which the results are beheading, raping and ruining the traces of civilisation.

It is true that ISIS wants to drag civilised societies into the same primitive Sharia reign of Islam.

A Kurdish socialist discusses the historical and political background to the rise of the ISIS.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

"Left" and right make solidarity with the "People's Republics"

Author: 

Dale Street
Two conferences were held last month by European far right and Stalinist left, to build support for one-party puppet regimes in Donetsk and Lugansk

In what is threatening to become an annual ritual, two conferences in solidarity with the Donetsk and Lugansk ‘People’s Republics’ (DPR/LPR) – one aimed at the far right, and one at the (Stalinist) ‘left’ – took place last month.

Last year two such conferences – one for the right, one for the ‘left’ – were staged by the same organisation (‘Novaya Rus’’) in the same hotel (Hotel Intourist) in the same place (Yalta) in a matter of weeks.

Bernie Sanders and fighting austerity in the US

Author: 

Barry Finger

A discussion piece on the campaign by Bernie Sanders, to get the Democratic Party nomination for President. Sanders calls himself a social-democrat and supports reforms on a range of issues including the introduction of universal health care. Barry Finger is a member of the editorial board of US socialist journal New Politics.

Will the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination help strengthen working-class campaigns?

Publications: 

Around the world: 

Austerity, the unions' failure and the rise of UKIP

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The context for the rise of UKIP was set by two things: their sustained electoral intervention over two decades, and the failure of the labour movement to fight austerity.

The context for the rise of UKIP was set by two things: their sustained electoral intervention over two decades, and the failure of the labour movement to fight austerity.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

How green are the Greens?

Author: 

Todd Hamer
The Greens present no real alternative on ecological issues.

Given the amount of air time the Green Party has had in this election, it is surprising how little they have mentioned imminent ecological catastrophe. But maybe just as well, as their environmental politics are rubbish and misleading.

Challenging fundamentalism: Workers' Liberty in further conversation with Marieme Helie-Lucas

Author: 

Marieme Helie-Lucas

In March 2015, Algerian sociologist and revolutionary socialist-feminist Marieme Helie Lucas spoke to Solidarity, the newspaper of Workers' Liberty, about the Muslim far-right, and the struggle for secularism, women's rights, and socialism (click here). Here, we continue the conversation.

A continuing discussion on religious fundamentalism, feminism, secularism, and socialism.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Anti-semitism and anti-Muslim racism in Europe: WL 3/49

Download as a pdf or read online.

Analysing the realities and definitions of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim racism today. How do we build a united struggle against them?

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Tasks of Communist Education (1923)

Author: 

Leon Trotsky

It is frequently asserted that the task of communist enlightenment
consists in the education of the new man. These worda
are somewhat too general, too pathetic, and we must be particularly
careful not to permit any formless. humanitarian interpretation
of the conception “new man” or the tasks of communist
education. There is no doubt whatever but that the man
of the future, the citizen of the commune, will be an exceedingly
interesting and attractive creature, and that his psychology

An article by Leon Trotsky, first published in a publication of the pre-Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Pages