The early Communist International’s focus was on working class self-liberation and this was reflected in the time spent on discussions on party building, work to transform the labour movement and on t
Probably the most wide-ranging and rancorous discussion at the Fourth Congress concerned the transitional slogan of a workers’ government.
The Fourth Congress of the Communist International synthesised and systematised for the first time seminal but largely latent ideas found within the Marxist tradition that had preceded it.
John Riddell’s Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International (Haymarket 2012) is a tremendous work of scholarship in the tradition of David Riazanov.
“Most people would come away shocked at what a moderate [Marx] was … if they read what Marx actually wrote.”
Discussion of Israel-Palestine is often hampered by historical illiteracy. A few trite phrases denouncing “Zionism” is the best many on the left can do.
The legacy of the great Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci has been contested in hundreds of books and articles, particularly since the 1970s — so much so that these days university students are more likely to come across him than Karl Marx. But the Gramsci they encounter comes in a confusing variety of interpretations — a proto-Eurocommunist Gramsci, a liberal Gramsci, a revolutionary Gramsci and a radical democrat Gramsci.
Back in the 1930s, a certain breed of starry-eyed European leftist was eager to make the case that the USSR somehow represented “a new civilisation”.
The AWL’s book, Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary, has started some very fruitful discussions about what it means to be a Marxist in the present period.
Toby Abse reviews Martin Thomas (ed.) Antonio Gramsci: Working-Class Revolutionary: Essays and Interviews, Workers’ Liberty, 2012, pp. 76.