Battle of Ideas

Racial hatred before and after Brexit Matthew Wed, 09/21/2016 - 12:47
Tory poster

Britain’s EU referendum cannot simply be regarded at its face value as a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. It was a noxious campaign on immigration, which was preceded by years of political and media discourse that has mainstreamed anti-immigration sentiment.

The life of Ernest Mandel and the impasse of orthodoxy

Submitted by martin on 1 September, 2017 - 12:12 Author: Martin Thomas

Ernest Mandel (1923-95) was the world's best-known Trotskyist for some decades; the interpreter and synthesiser for the "Orthodox Trotskyist" mainstream; and also a prolific writer many of whose books reached readerships far beyond circles sympathising with Trotskyism.

Jan Willem Stutje, a Dutch academic professing "a close affinity" to Mandel's ideas, has written a biography which is of great interest for the reasons that biographies are generally interesting, that they help us see how the subject's ideas intertwined with their life and times.

Cuba: the role of the working class

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2017 - 7:30 Author: Pablo Velasco
Castro and Guevara

What role did the Cuban working class play in the 1959 revolution? This is the key question discussed in Steve Cushion’s provocative book, A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory, (Monthly Review, 2016). Whilst the book demonstrates the active role workers played in Cuban history during the 1950s, the author is soft on Castroism and inflates the role of the Stalinists.

"The horizon of socialism" - interview with Bhaskar Sunkara

Submitted by AWL on 24 August, 2017 - 10:06
Bhaskar Sunkara

Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of the US socialist magazine Jacobin, spoke to Solidarity. (For an interview with another Jacobin editor, Peter Frase, when he took part in a tour of Momentum groups last autumn, see here.) What’s your assessment of the current political situation in the US, and how is the left responding and developing in that context?

Antinomies of the concept of hegemony

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2017 - 7:43 Author: Paul Hampton
The H Word

Hegemony is a primary concept for understanding global politics today. Principally it expresses the hierarchy of states under US leadership, but hegemony has deeper meanings associated with the ways ruling classes maintain their rule. For socialists, hegemony also encapsulates working class leadership in the struggles of other oppressed layers, along with Marxist leadership of the labour movement. Antonio Gramsci used hegemony in a rich variety of contexts in his important contributions to Marxist thinking.

The new opposition in the post-Mandelite Fourth International

Submitted by martin on 9 August, 2017 - 11:28 Author: Martin Thomas

1. How the Fourth International's world view was shattered in 1989-91

Since the 1990s, the "Fourth International" has become more and more like a loosely-Marxist think-tank, or association of think-tanks, geared to left social democracy.

"Fourth International" here refers to the international network associated with the ideas of Ernest Mandel, otherwise called "USFI" or "United Secretariat of the Fourth International", though it ceased to have a leading body called "United Secretariat" as long ago as 2003.