Battle of Ideas

Scotland: Vote Labour, Not Nationalist!

Author: 

Dale Street

“Neither Nicola Sturgeon nor her deputy (Stewart Hosie) are saying austerity can be avoided. Instead, it’s being re-badged and re-profiled, or spread out for longer. …”

“The defiant refusal to accept more austerity, which won power for Syriza in Greece last month, is not being offered here. Instead, a serious bid for a share of power in Britain requires a message that won’t spook the markets.”

Why the SNP is a party of austerity.

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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?

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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: 

An Eyewitness Account of Norway's General Strike Against the Nazis

Author: 

Norweigan Worker / Labor Action

We present a day-by-day diary of the greatest strike movement which has yet taken place in the Nazi-occupied countries. It was written by a man who. Escaped from Noray. We think that this diary in its simplicity gives a better picture of Europe than ever-so many elaborate articles.It should be remembered, however, that events like this are as yet the exception and that in general the class struggle has not yet taken on such acute form.

A participant's account of the Norwegian General Strike against the occupying Nazis.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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Q&A on the general election

Author: 

Darren Bedford

In almost every constituency, Workers’ Liberty favours a Labour vote in the general and council elections in 2015. But the Labour Party is committed to maintaining austerity, just like the Tories. Why vote Labour?

In almost every constituency, Workers’ Liberty favours a Labour vote in the general and council elections in 2015. But the Labour Party is committed to maintaining austerity, just like the Tories. Why vote Labour?

Publications: 

The Voice of Richard Wright, Black American Communist

Author: 

James M. Fenwick
This assessment of Richard Wright, the great black American Communist, author of "Black Boy", and "Native Son", appeared in the New International, late in 1941, as a review of “Bright and Morning Star”.

AMONG ALL THE THOUSANDS of authors turning out short stories and novels today, Richard Wright is one of the few who stir the depths of one’s pity and anger.

Speech on the Way to Prison (1943)

Author: 

James P. Cannon

This last opportunity to speak to you for a period, comrades, is also the first opportunity I have had to thank you all for the gifts that were presented to me and Rose on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of our movement. We were both given gold watches by the comrades of Local New York. While I will not be able to take the watch with me to Sandstone penitentiary, I will nevertheless be able to take something even more valuable than the watch or any other material gift. That is the memory of your kindness and your friendship.

This fine declaration of faith, principles and motives for socialist action was made by the great American Marxist James P Cannon as he and 15 others prepared to go to jail for their political activities.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Universities, capitalism and free speech

For centuries, university campuses have been, relatively speaking, a haven within capitalist society for free debate and criticism.

A high point, for much of the 20th century, was the right which universities in Latin America won to keep the police off their campuses and have university officials elected by staff and students. That began with the University Reform Movement in Córdoba, in northern Argentina, which opposed a focus on learning by rote, inadequate libraries, poor instruction, and restrictive admission criteria, and spread across the subcontinent.

For centuries, university campuses have been, relatively speaking, a haven within capitalist society for free debate and criticism - but today free debate and criticism on campus is under threat from several angles.

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Trade Unions: 

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Understanding the Muslim far-right in Algeria, and beyond

Author: 

Marieme Helie-Lucas

Marieme Helie Lucas is an Algerian sociologist. She participated in the national liberation from French colonialism and was close to the then-underground PCA (Parti Communist Algerien, Algerian Communist Party). She worked as a senior civil servant during the first three years after independence, before leaving to teach at Algiers University for 12 years.

Algerian sociologist and socialist-feminist activist and writer Marieme Helie Lucas argues that the Muslim fundamentalism must be understood as a populist, far-right political movement.

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After the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket: thinking through the new and rethinking the old

Author: 

Pierre Rousset

Pierre Rousset is a long-standing member of the New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), and its predecessor organisation the Revolutionary Communist League (Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire, LCR) in France.

Veteran French Trotskyist Pierre Rousset discusses the political aftermath of the January 2015 Islamist attacks in Paris.

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Greek Lives Matter: What Next?

Author: 

Barry Finger
What can Syriza do next?

The immediate political problem for Syriza and Varoufakis is to create "fiscal space" to generate a countercyclical momentum. They have to increase government spending to more than offset the declines in the nongovernment sectors. But the Greeks are caught in a straightjacket. By agreeing to join the Eurozone, Greece, like all other member states, effectively ceded their fiscal sovereignty. They no longer have a unified central bank and treasury to call upon to support their spending decisions.

Articles on Greece and Syriza

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

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Marxists, ecology and the fight against dangerous climate change: two documents

The first of these documents was passed at the Alliance for Workers' Liberty conference in 2008, in the midst of a very fruitful period of discussion and activity around these issues for our organisation.

The second was passed at the last AWL conference but one, in 2013. Note the change of position on nuclear power.

Climate change and socialist politics (AWL conference October 2008)

Two documents, from the 2008 and 2013 Workers' Liberty conferences.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Campaign for free speech on university campuses!

Below is a model motion for students to put to their students unions and for consideration at NUS conference.

This students union believes

There is a rise in meetings, debates and publications being suppressed on campus, whether by campus authorities, the state or student unions.
In one particularly alarming case, Birkbeck College management closed a conference because a far-right racist group threatened to protest.

This student union further believes

Model motion for free speech on campus.

Charlie Hebdo and the politics of anti-imperialism

Author: 

Barry Finger

"Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction." (Bill Donohue, Catholic League)

"Now, I think there’s a critical difference between solidarity with the journalists who were attacked, refusing to concede anything to the idea that journalists are somehow “legitimate targets,” and solidarity with what is frankly a racist publication." (Richard Seymour, Lenin’s Tomb)

US socialist Barry Finger contributes to the debate around the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the left's attitude to political Islam.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Borotba: charlatanism masquerading as socialism

Author: 

Dale Street

Introduction

“Hah, hah! Everybody is laughing at Borotba now!” read a comment posted beneath one of the articles translated below, after last November’s sham elections in the Lugansk and Donetsk ‘People’s Republics’ had reinforced right-wing control of the two ‘People’s Republics’.

In Britain, however, Borotba is still treated as a credible organisation and a reliable source of information – above all by the “Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance” (SARU) campaign and by the various organisations affiliated to it.

Borotba's Stalinist politics: articles from the Ukrainian left.

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Discussing the issues behind the rise of the left in Greece

A group of young socialist activists from Britain are going on a delegation to Greece between 23 and 26 January, to be there during the election. Six of the delegation members took part in the dayschool which London Workers' Liberty held on 18 January, alongside a good size group of other young people, to discuss the political issues behind Greece's dramatic political situation.

A report of the dayschool on Greece held by Workers' Liberty on 18 January.

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Resolution on Greece (January 2015)

We want the left-wing party Syriza to win the Greek elections on 25 January. What else should socialists say?

The following resolution on Greece was written and passed at the Workers' Liberty national committee on 17 January. (See the resolution we published in January 2013, when the period of intense, even pre-revolutionary, struggles in Greece had not yet clearly come to an end.)

A resolution on the situation in Greece passed at the Workers' Liberty national committee on 17 January, eight days before the Greek election.

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