[The second part of this is
listed seperately as: "What Is To Be Done.]
COLLAGE FOR A BLEAK APRIL
I have spent the splendid years
That the Lord God gave to my youth
(After reading Isaac Babel's story "Guy De Maupassant")
De Maupassaunt died at forty three
Crawling on hands and knees,
Eating his own shit,
His syphyllitic brain raddled, shrunk;
KARL MARX IN AUGUST
(To the tune of "Joe Hill")
I dreamt I saw Karl Marx last night,
I saw him standing there,
His hair jet black, no longer white,
Fierce eyes, with a bold young stare:
We fight the sea at Kronstadt
Across the frozen, hostile, misted sea
To Kronstadt, to attack entrenched White Guards
Manning the garrison there, mysteriously
All-powerful, where once we could command,
Talking now to our own as we talked before:
Workers' control, soviet power (with no
Bolsheviks!), peasant rights—echoing the roar
From the countryside: impossible demands!
For the whole article online, click here. For part 3 of it published in three parts, read on.
For the whole article online, click here. For part 1 of it published in three parts, read on.
"A negative slogan unconnected with a definite positive solution will not sharpen, but dull, consciousness, for such a slogan is a hollow phrase, mere shouting, meaningless declamation."
"Sects change their doctrines more readily than they change their names."
After the Dictatorship of the Lie
“The lies dished up and spread
by the powerful machinery of
government  can reach everyone,
everywhere... We are... in [an]
On the ninetieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution it is important to recognise that it was more than a Russian event. It swept across the entire Russian Empire with the long oppressed nations making their bid for freedom. The most important challenge was in “Russia’s Ireland” – Ukraine. To mark the anniversary of the proclamation of the Ukrainian Peoples Republic ninety years ago on November 22, 1917 this article examines the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-21, which was pivotal in deciding the fate not only of the Russian Revolution but the entire European socialist Revolution.
This is the 90th anniversary of the Russian workers’ revolution of November 1917. Since the fall in 1991 of the Stalinist regime which eventually overwhelmed the workers’ government and made a counter-revolution in the 1920s, more has been available to researchers in the west. Some new books have advanced our understanding of the revolution. None, however, can match the exciting exposition of the course of 1917, in Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. Written in 1930, Trotsky’s book presents a fascinating study of the ebbs and flows of a complex class struggle.
The Russian revolutionary, Alexandra Kollontai, is best known for her organisational work among Russian working class women prior to, and immediately after, the 1917 revolution and her writings on sexual morality and the family. She has become better known largely as the result of feminist interest in her life and career.
At the end of her life Kollontai made this comment: “Women and their fate occupied me all of my life, and concern for their lot brought me to socialism.”
Download whole pamphlet as pdf (12MB). The pamphlet was published in November 1987, on the 70th anniversary of the 1917 revolution.
"Great days": why the Russian revolution is important today
The story of 1917
The party of victory
Myths and realities
Leaders of the revolution: Lenin, Trotsky
Lenin on insurrection
Workers' democracy - what it was and what it will be
Trotsky on permanent revolution
Women and revolution
The national question
1. For a timeline of the revolution, click here.
2. For a short summary article from We stand for workers' liberty, click here.
3. For a PDF of the AWL pamphlet 1917: how the workers made a revolution (published in 1987 on the 70th anniversary of the revolution), click here. (Warning: this is quite a large file, 12MB.) 32 pages long, this is an excellent overview, also including articles on less well-known issues connected to the revolution such as the national question, women's liberation and black liberation.
February (March by the western calendar): workers' demonstrations in Russia overthrow the Tsar (king). Prince Lvov leads Provisional Government; Petrograd workers set up a "Soviet" (workers' councils).
“I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence and enjoy it to the full.”
Leon Trotsky, April 1940
The October Revolution showed for all time what the working class is capable of achieving, what working-class socialists, democratically organised and clear-headed, can do. It proved that the idea of working-class socialism is no delusion.
A dayschool for new activists
For various reading about the Russian revolution, click here.
For a downloadable leaflet, click here.
12-5.30pm, Saturday 1 September, The Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross (Kings Cross rail or tube)
This year is the 90th anniversary of the Russian revolution. But why take the Russian revolution as a model? Isn't it irrelevant nowadays, or worse, proof that revolution can't work? Didn't the Bolsheviks lead to Stalin's dictatorship?
“You who have really done something, must have noticed yourself how few of the young literary men who attach themselves to the Party take the trouble to study economics, the history of trade, of industry, of agriculture, of the social formations… The self-conceit of the journalist must therefore accomplish everything and the result looks like it…" — Friedrich Engels
By Larissa Reissner
By Max Shachtman
The 1917 revolution was one of the greatest democratic moments in history.
In defence of the October Revolution: Kabul 1978 and Petrograd 1917. Was the Russian Revolution a 'coup'? By Sean Matgamna (August 2004). Download pdf or read articles in html below.
Introduction. Afghanistan and the left
Under the sign of the oxymoron
Communism or Stalinism?
“And tomorrow I sail far away
O’er the raging foam,
For to seek a home
On the shores of Amerikaiy”.
(19th century Irish song)
“O my America! my new-found-land”
(John Donne, To His Mistris Going To Bed)
Bold Vladimir Columbus sets his sails due West
Into the stormy deep unknown, much-charted seas
To find Amerikaiy: he goes at last to quest
For the Unfound Land. Where others hide and bide, he’ll seize
A collection of articles on solidarity with workers in Eastern Europe before the revolutions of 1989, and on those revolutions and the prospects they opened up
SELDOM does history record the former head of a government, deposed by social revolution, facing up in an open debate 34 years later to a modern representative of the same ideological current which swept him from power. This was the situation in the February 8  debate at the University of Chicago where Max Shachtman confronted Alexander Kerensky, the head of the régime which was overthrown by the great Russian Revolution.
19O5: strikes broke out in December 1904 and January 1905. On 9 January workers marching to the Tsar's palace lo appeal for his help were shot down. The strike wave grew.
Strikes continued through the summer. Peasants withheld taxes. Sailors mutinied on the battleship 'Potemkin'.
In September a new strike wave exploded. A joint council of workers' delegates - a 'soviet' in Russian - was set up in St Petersburg (Leningrad).
By John O'Mahony
AS noted in the accompanying summary of the debate, Kerensky spent much of his time working over scraps of quotations from Lenin — from different periods, contexts, and articles indiscriminately, — la Boris Shub — under the heading of a discussion of the Russian Revolution and democracy.
While it takes at least ten times longer to nail one of these forgeries than it takes to reel off the distorted quotation, Shachtman was able to take them up effectively.
THE Independent Socialist League does not subscribe to any doctrine called Leninism. It does not have an official position on the subject and I am pretty certain that nobody could get the League to commit itself officially on a term which has been so varyingly and conflictingly defined as to make discussion of it more often semantic than ideological or political.
THE FATE OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.
When, after Korniloff’s adventure, the paramount parties on the Soviets made an attempt to make amends for their previous attitude of indulgence towards the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, they demanded the speedy convocation of the Constituent Assembly.
The Russian revolution was the most important event of the 20th century.
It was the most important event in the entire history of the working class. The working class took and held power in territory that covered one sixth of the globe.
That working class power was overthrown in the early-mid 1920s by the Stalinist counter-revolution, which though continuing to call itself "communist" and "working class" put in a brutal and savage state bureaucracy as a new ruling class over the working people.