Battle of Ideas

Which battle is this?

Submitted by cathy n on 8 April, 2017 - 8:20 Author: Ann Field

“The Battle of Grangemouth – A Worker’s Story”, written by former Ineos convenor Mark Lyon, is as “a vital new book”, “a book which had to be written”, and “one of the most important books in modern working-class history.”

That is what Unite claims in its advertising campaign for the book, published by Lawrence & Wishart in association with Unite itself.

Momentum grassroots conference: an opportunity almost missed

Submitted by AWL on 14 March, 2017 - 1:46 Author: Simon Nelson and Sacha Ismail

Two hundred Momentum members, including about 80-90 delegates from local groups, attended the 11 March national grassroots networking conference held by the organising committee appointed by the old, pre-coup Momentum National Committee. For a fairly comprehensive factual report of what happened, see here.

The outcome of the conference was overall a positive one, but there were a number of problems that marred what could have been a much better event.

Labour movement unity, not nationalist separatism! Matthew Wed, 06/29/2016 - 13:46

Will there be another referendum on independence for Scotland after the EU referendum? That is now a central focus of mainstream political debate in Scotland. And that spells bad news for socialists and the broader Labour and trade union movement.

At a UK level the EU referendum saw a 51.9% majority in favour of “Leave” on a 72% turnout. In England 53.4% backed “Leave” on a 73% turnout. But in Scotland 62% backed “Remain” on a 67% turnout.

The paradox of February

Submitted by AWL on 8 March, 2017 - 7:24 Author: Leon Trotsky

Continuing a series of extracts from Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. On 2 March 1917 a Provisional Government is formed; it has the support of the Petrograd soviet. Trotsky explains why the February revolution ended with a transfer of power to the liberal bourgeoisie.

Read the rest of the series

What is the “social strike”?

Submitted by Matthew on 8 March, 2017 - 11:02 Author: Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

The left we have and the left we need [1997]

Submitted by Matthew on 13 October, 2009 - 1:18 Author: Sean Matgamna

The 18-year period of rule by the Tory Party, which was ended on 1 May by the election of a New Labour government, was one of profoundly radical change. The bourgeoisie remade and reshaped institutions and social relationships and, to a considerable extent, the working-class itself.

To find anything comparable to it in scope, depth and consequence you must go back to the 6-year rule of the post-war Labour government in the second half of the ’40s.

The Bolsheviks and Democracy: Martov’s Mysticism

Submitted by dalcassian on 26 February, 2017 - 11:06 Author: Albert Goldman

THE PUBLICATION IN English of a  of essays by the late Menshevik leader Martov under the title of The State and the Socialist Revolution [1] is intended by its publishers, the semi-syndicalist, semi-anarchist, semi-socialist International Review group, to furnish theoretical arguments for all those who behold in Stalinism a necessary and inevitable product of Leninism.

Trump: threat to abortion rights worldwide

Submitted by Matthew on 1 February, 2017 - 11:10 Author: Elizabeth Butterworth

One of Trump’s first executive orders after being installed as President was to reintroduce the Mexico City Policy, or “Global Gag Rule”: a technicality in the funding of overseas aid, which was introduced by Reagan, revoked by Clinton, re-introduced by Bush and revoked again by Obama.

Eugene Debs: The Day of the People (1919)

Submitted by dalcassian on 4 January, 2017 - 2:11 Author: Eugene V. Debs

(Soon after Debs made this speech, Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Ruxemburg were murdered by German reactionaries)

Upon his release from the Kaiser’s bastile – the doors of which were torn from their hinges by the proletarian revolution – Karl Liebknecht, heroic leader of the rising hosts, exclaimed: “The Day of the People has arrived!” It was a magnificent challenge to the Junkers and an inspiring battle-cry to the aroused workers.

Left anti-semitism: racism as anti-racism (1984)

Submitted by dalcassian on 13 February, 2017 - 7:49 Author: Clive Bradley and Martin Thomas

Both published in Socialist Organiser, summer 1984.

***

'That's funny, you don't look anti-Semitic', by Steve Cohen, an anti-racist analysis of Left anti-semitism (Beyond the Pale collective, £2)

This book should be read and re-read by everyone active on the left. For years, the left - revolutionary or otherwise - has glibly held up its hands in horror at the very idea that it might be anti-Semitic. Anti-semitism is rarely mentioned except as an afterthought to ward off criticism from Zionists.