Battle of Ideas

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: 

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: 

Around the world: 

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.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Pages