Marxist Theory

Stalinism and Afghanistan: socialists and the 1979-89 war: Workers' Liberty 3/55

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

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Afghanistan’s “Great Saur Revolution”, in April 1978, and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that flowed from it 20 months later, at Christmas 1979, were two of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century.

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What is Wrong with “One Solution, Revolution!”?

by Albert Glotzer
Many of the core activists of today’s left had their thinking shaped by the dramatic struggles of 1979-84, or of the late 1960s and early 70s — times when capitalism seemed to be in intractable crisis, and mass working-class action to change society was a prospect near at hand.

Adjusting to the huge expansion of capitalism since the 1980s, and the ebb of labour movements (a temporary ebb, but a long temporary ebb) is difficult.

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A socialist world is possible

By Colin Foster

Socialism means democratic control by the producers — the workers — over what is produced and distributed.

That’s how it will end poverty, class inequality, exploitation, boom-slump cycles and the trashing of the environment. That is how it will ensure good social provision for all, in place of the chaos and inhumanity of the free market.

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Our sort of revolution

By Mark Osborn

How can exhausted, downtrodden workers, bombarded with prejudices, come to see their place in the world as part of a revolutionary class? Or will better-off workers always see their interest in getting what they can out of the system, and will worse-off workers always be helpless objects for charity and welfare?

These questions were answered in practice in France in May 1968. In April 1968 many people were still saying that the working class had been irrevocably tamed. By June they were eating their words.

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The background to Lenin's Iskra

Author: 

John O'Mahony

Click here for the series on The Roots of Bolshevism of which this article is part
By John O'Mahony

The 'Tsar Liberator', Alexander II, was on the eve of his death ready to make some concessions to the reform-minded liberals. The work of the Narodnaya Volya assassins put an end to reform from above for a generation. In the 1880s and 90s, the Tsarist regime was a frozen ice-cap on top of Russian society.

What happened between the killing of the Tsar and the beginning of the 20th century, when the Iskra-ites - Plekhanov, Axelrod, Zasulich, Lenin, Martov, Potresov - started their work. To introduce these ideas, in this article I will briefly outline what happened between the killing of the Tsar and the beginning of the 20th century, when the Iskra-ites - Plekhanov, Axelrod, Zasulich, Lenin, Martov, Potresov - started their work.

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From the archives: Nay-saying, opportunism and principle

Revolutionary socialists take as their fundamental stand "intransigent opposition" to the entire capitalist system in which we live. But sometimes capitalist governments do things which help us, or are at least lesser evils.

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Why the Working Class?

A look at what class society is and who can change it - by Mike

A slightly better known authority than myself once stated that: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle." Today that struggle is between the class of exploiters - the bourgeoisie - and the class of the exploited - the proletariat. The proletariat have no choice but to sell their labour power to the bourgeoisie, who control the means of production. As such they are often named the working class.

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Pacifism and war

There are many sorts of pacifist: the recent votes in the Commons on war against Iraq have shown that. Many of those who opposed Blair will now "come on side" and support "our troops" like the Daily Mirror.

In this article from early 1917 Leon Trotsky discusses the nature and limits of 'official pacifism' in the run-up to World War One and counterposes it to socialist class struggle- the only force on earth with the interest and the strength to stop all war.

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The Marxist policy on trade

Author: 

Paul Hampton

A revolutionary alternative to both free trade and fair trade is the perspective held by the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. It is based on the core ideas of Marxists a century ago, applied to the circumstances we live in today.


Karl Marx and Frederick Engels first wrote about world trade in the 1840s, when British capitalism was the dominant industrial force in the world economy and free trade had just become the commercial policy of the British government.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels first wrote about world trade in the 1840s, when British capitalism was the dominant industrial force in the world economy and free trade had just become the commercial policy of the British government.

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