Battle of Ideas

Songs of liberty and rebellion

Author: 

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko who wrote this denunciation of Russian anti-semitism, was the USSR's licensed-rebel poet in...the late 50s and early 60s.
"Over Babiy Yar/ there are no memorials....I am frightened...Dreyfus. I am he...I am also a boy in Belostok...the public-bar heroes are rioting...the corn-chandler is beating up my mother..."

Yevgeny Yevtushenko who wrote this denunciation of Russian anti-semitism, was the USSR's licensed-rebel poet in...the late 50s and early 60s.

Publications: 

The end of the road for the Provos

"Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique - in the possession of what is known as a 'physical force party' - a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agree upon no single principle, except upon the use of physical force - [A party that] exalts into a principle that which the revolutionists of other countries have looked upon as a weapon - men as the only means of attaining it." — James Connolly, 1899

Around the world: 

Publications: 

In Memory of Heroes: Warsaw's Three Insurrections During World War II

Author: 

A. RUDZIENSKI
Warsaw's Three Insurrections During World War II

Warsaw belongs to those heroic and
martyrized cities like Stalingrad.
London, Budapest and Berlin that
marked turning points in the war.
But Warsaw is distinguished from
these other cities by this—that the
imperialist war passed through War-
saw at its beginning, at its climax,
and at its end, leaving in its wake
dead and barbarous ruins that have
not been seen since the remote times
of Attila and Genghis Khan.
When Hitler invaded Poland, it was
Warsaw which bore the whole weight

Jeremy Corbyn and the Middle East

Below are some articles discussing Corbyn's politics in connection with the Middle East, particularly Iran, and more generally.

Corbyn and the Middle East: the hypocrisy of the right, a challenge for the left (by Sacha Ismail, July 2015)

For Corbyn, and better politics (by Colin Foster, July 2015)

James Bloodworth is wrong about Jeremy Corbyn (by Sacha Ismail, August 2015)

A collection of articles from the last year discussing Corbyn's politics in connection with the Middle East, particularly Iran.

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Our New Book: Can socialism make sense?

Author: 

Paul Hampton

This is a review of the new book by Workers' Liberty Can socialism make sense?

A review of Can Socialism Make Sense? by Sean Matgamna.

Publications: 

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Is The Time Ripe For The Slogan ‘The United States Of Europe’ ? (June 1923)

Author: 

Leon Trotsky
Is The Time Ripe For The Slogan ‘The United States Of Europe'? Trotsky in June 1923

The motor force driving to war was this, that the capitalist forces of production had outgrown the framework of European national states. Germany had set herself the task of “organizing” Europe, i.e., of uniting economically the European continent under her own control, in order then seriously to set about contending with Britain for world power. France’s aim was to dismember Germany.

When a class-struggle socialist stood for Labour in Angela Eagle's seat (1987)

Below is the text of a pamphlet called "How to fight elections" about the election campaign of a socialist in Wallasey constituency in 1987. Wallasey is now Angela Eagle's seat.

In 1987, the constituency which is now Angela Eagle's, previously a Tory seat, was contested and almost won by a class-struggle socialist Labour candidate, Lol Duffy - before he was removed and she was imposed. This is the story.

Stop the anti-Corbyn coup!

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Labour’s right is trying to stage a coup. If the Corbyn leadership and the unions stand firm, and force the right wing to put up a candidate against Corbyn in a new leadership contest which Corbyn wins, this attempted coup could turn into a rout. The way will be open for the unions to get through Labour Party conference democratic reforms which they have already put in draft form, and for the Labour Party really to be revived as a living movement, close to the unions, and with the right wing discredited.

Labour's right wing is trying to stage a coup. We must rout them!

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The Last Time the Labour MPs Revolted Against Party Democracy

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

At its Scarborough conference in 1960, the Labour Party voted in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament by Britain.

This decision had tremendous implications for British politics, for it opened a fundamental breach in Labour-Tory foreign and 'defence' policy bipartisanship, one of the pillars on which class collaboration rests and on which depends the possibility of orderly changes in party government at Westminster.

In 1960 the Labour left won the party to British unilateral nuclear disarmament, and then buckled under the big right wing counter-attact that followed.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Who is Tom Watson?

Author: 

David Pendletone

Watson comes from a Stalinist-Labour bureaucracy background. He used to boast that his father had been expelled from school for writing pro-Cuba graffiti. On leaving school, Watson got a job in the Labour Party headquarters in Walworth Road. He then went to study Politics at Hull University in 1990; after initially eschewing student politics he became involved in the Labour Club and in 1992 became the Union President.

Watson has always been a machine-politician Stalinoid intriguer.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Against the Europhobes, against the Euro-capitalists: For a workers’ united Europe

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

There are two basic lines of possible working class policy in relation to the European Union.

The first advocates building on what the bourgeoisie has created and uniting the working class across the EU to fight the bourgeoisie for democratic and social reform and, in the course of doing that, building towards socialist transformation by working-class revolution on a European scale.

Such an approach does not imply backing what the dominant capitalists and their servants do, or the way that they do it.

Working-class socialist policy and Europe.

Publications: 

Around the world: 

The three versions of Brexit

Author: 

Harry Glass

In the forthcoming European Union (EU) referendum, the question on the ballot paper will be “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

The duty of the revolutionary left is to weigh up these concrete alternatives from the perspective of the working class internationally — its global interests, its European interests and lastly the specific impacts for workers in the UK.

The idea of a left exit from the EU is not just fanciful, it is utterly delusional.

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Soft left "breaks" under Brexit pressure

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Left-wing writer Paul Mason has joined the push for Britain to block migrant workers from Europe. Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson, and former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, have made similar calls. There is talk in some Labour left circles of swinging over to a similar line.

Left-wing writer Paul Mason has joined the push for Britain to block migrant workers from Europe. Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson, and former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, have made similar calls.

Around the world: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

For a united states of Europe!

Leon Trotsky argued for a United States of Europe in "The Peace Programme" of 1915. Excerpts:


The economic unification of Europe, which offers colossal advantages to producer and consumer alike, in general to the whole cultural development, becomes the revolutionary task of the European proletariat in its struggle against imperialist protectionism and its instrument militarism.

The United States of Europe - without monarchies, standing armies and secret diplomacy - is therefore the most important integral part of the proletarian peace programme.

Leon Trotsky argued for a United States of Europe in "The Peace Programme" of 1915.

Publications: 

Connolly, the rise of Irish labour and Home Rule

Author: 

Michael Johnson

By January 1908, Connolly finally had an organ of his own once again, when he founded The Harp as the newspaper of the Irish Socialist Federation (ISF) in the USA.

Part seven of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Workers' Liberty 3/54: Europe: the Stalinist roots of the “left exit” myth

Author: 

Paul Hampton

Workers' Liberty 3/54: Europe: the Stalinist roots of the “left exit” myth

Download pdf or read online here.

The revolutionary left once had reputable politics towards Europe, an inheritance from Trotsky that was not finally dispensed with until the early 1970s. The story of how the British revolutionary left went from an independent working-class stance to accommodation with chauvinism and Stalinist “socialist-in-one-country” deserves to be better known.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Third Camp politics from the 1930s to the 21st century: an interview

Author: 

Phyllis and Julius Jacobson, interviewed by Kent Worcester

An interview with Phyllis and Julius Jacobson has just been published on the website of the US socialist magazine New Politics. Click here to read it online.

Early-90s interviews with the US socialist veterans Phyllis and Julius Jacobson about their activity in the SWP, the Workers' Party, the ISL, and after.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The life and politics of James Connolly

Author: 

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson's series on the life and politics of James Connolly has been serialised in Solidarity.

All of the editions of the series so far are listed below:

Michael Johnson's series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The mirage of the "internationalist no"

Author: 

Martin Thomas

From Solidarity 3/12, 12 September 2002


Even if a strong internationalist campaign for "no" were theoretically possible, it certainly will not happen.

At the Socialist Alliance National Council on 7 September, John Rees of the SWP said flatly and clearly that he wanted a "no" campaign run in unity with "other left forces", including, by name, the Communist Party of Britain. The Communist Party has a long, long tradition of British nationalism - on Europe especially.

Even if a strong internationalist campaign for "no" to the EU were theoretically possible, it certainly will not happen.

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Pages