In his long and cloyingly hagiographical obituary-biography of Al Richardson in Revolutionary History (a journal devoted to the history of the revolutionary Marxist movement: vol 8, no. 4) John McIlroy* in passing revives an old dispute centred on an article I published in Workers’ Liberty 10 years ago.
“Is it necessary to recall that Marxism not only interprets the world but also teaches how to change it?
By Sean Matgamna
Alan Clinton, who in 1974 co-edited, with Richard Chappell, a collection of Trotsky’s writings on Britain in three volumes, has died of cancer at the age of 61. He lived a political life that encapsulated the history of the British left over 40 years. He is entitled to the respect of an honest, critical account of his political life.
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?
Can we change the world without taking power? Without organising ongoing, structured, political movements (parties)? John Holloway, in a much-read book (Change the World Without Taking Power, Pluto 2002) says we can.
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.
Communism and philistinism
This is the second part of an obituary article of James Patrick Cannon, one of the founders of the international Trotskyist movement.
Chapter 2: The appeal to history
Foot's safe good causes
Foot invokes the saints of British radicalism (even the suffragettes - who were, technically, small-scale terrorists and mostly not at all radical except on votes for women). He justifies their extraparliamentary actions and claims their tradition for himself.
Chapter 1: Is direct action against an elected capitalist government undemocratic?
Marxists are democrats
The cry "For Parliamentary Democracy: the Trotskyists are the enemy of democracy" is - perhaps predictably - the political standard under which Labour's right and soft left are trying to rally forces for a counter-offensive against the serious left.