Party and class

"Building the AWL" (1983)

Author: 
Sean Matgamna and Martin Thomas

Document written for a conference of the Workers' Socialist League (a forerunner of AWL) in 1983. It has been abridged here to remove ephemeral references (and "WSL" has been replaced in the text by "AWL").

Trotsky's anatomy of centrism and sectarianism (1934)

Author: 
Leon Trotsky

Click here to download as pdf.
Introduction to Trotsky (SM)

"Why does everything come down to Trotsky — what Trotsky said, what he did...?" A comment not long ago from a renegade Marxist, one of those free-spirited, "clever", emancipated ex-Marxists who thought up the "Euston Manifesto". The truth of course is that nothing at all "comes down" to Trotsky — or Marx, or Lenin, or Rosa Luxemburg, or anyone else.

James P. Cannon: "Trade unionists and revolutionists"

Cannon at 19
Author: 
James P Cannon

"The party is the highest prize to the young trade unionist who becomes a revolutionist, the apple of his eye. But to the revolutionist who becomes transformed into a trade unionist – we have all seen this happen more than once – the party is no prize at all".

This speech by James P Cannon, from 1953, deals with how revolutionaries relate to trade-union activity and its pressures. It was made in the context of a faction-fight in the American Trotskyist movement, in which a section of the movement's "senior" trade unionists joined with people (led by Bert Cochran) who wanted a "softer" attitude to Stalinism, but is instructive way beyond the immediate references.

The theory of Permanent Revolution and Ireland: is there a socialist quintessence in Irish nationalism?

Author: 
Sean Matgamna

[This is a copy-edited and slightly expanded version of the text in Solidarity replying to Lysaght.]

A dozen years on from the “Good Friday Agreement” (GFA) things in Northern Ireland are far from settled. The Good Friday system is far from stable.