Marxist Theory

Trotsky’s criteria for a workers’ state

Author: 

Martin Thomas

In a thorough study of Trotsky’s writings about bureaucratism and bureaucracy in Russia from 1917 to 1936, US socialist Thomas Twiss has shown that Trotsky’s conceptions changed as he grappled with the unexpected evolutions of the state.

A review of Thomas M Twiss, Trotsky and the problem of Soviet bureaucracy, Chicago: Haymarket Press, 2015. $36/ £25.99.

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Fossil fuels and the rise of capitalism

Author: 

Neil Laker

“The millowners told the workers to bow down to the steam idol or starve”

Fossil Capital explores the crisis posed by climate change by looking at the origins of capital’s dependence on fossil fuels. It is a significant contribution and a sound introduction to Marxist ecological thought. Above all the book demonstrates how capital accumulation and the global climate have a deep and inseparable relationship, and in particular that the history of the working class is an environmental one.

A review of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming by Andreas Malm (Verso, 2016).

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Work, time, and the working class

Moishe Postone, a Marxist writer based at the University of Chicago and author of Time, Labour, and Social Domination, and Critique du fétiche-capital: Le capitalisme, l’antisémitisme et la gauche, was in London in May, and discussed capital and labour with Martin Thomas from Solidarity.

Moishe Postone, a Marxist writer based at the University of Chicago and author of Time, Labour, and Social Domination, and Critique du fétiche-capital: Le capitalisme, l’antisémitisme et la gauche,discusses capital and labour with Martin Thomas.

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Connolly, Millerand, and De Leon

In 1900, the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP) scored a victory when the Paris Congress of the Second International recognised its delegates, E.W. Stewart and Tom Lyng, as representing a separate national group from the British socialist organisations.

Amongst the delegates supporting this stance — against the British SDF — were those from Daniel De Leon’s American Socialist Labour Party (SLP), whose struggle against reformism and opportunism in the socialist movement was admired by the Irish socialists.

The fifth part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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Can socialism make sense?

A new book from Workers’ Liberty which makes the case for socialism.

A new book from Workers’ Liberty which makes the case for socialism. In a time when socialism is the most searched word on the Merriam-Webster dictionary website, more and more people call themselves socialists, and a self-confessed socialist is leader of the Labour Party, this book explores what socialism means, whether it can rise again, how, and why.

It answers questions such as: What about Stalin? Are revolutions democratic? How can we have a planned economy? and is socialism still relevant?

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Ellen Meiskins Wood (1942-2016): a Marxist who put class centre

Author: 

Andrew Coates

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, was a noted intellectual figure on the international left who influenced several generations of thinkers and activists.

Born in New York as Ellen Meiksins one year after her parents, Latvian Jews active in the Bund, arrived as political refugees, Wood studied in California before establishing herself as an academic in Canada, based at York University in Toronto.

Her writings were thought-provoking and luminous.

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, influenced several generations of left academics and activists. She was a Marxist who combined creative and original thinking with a powerful defence of the centrality of class and class struggle to socialist politics.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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A workerful world

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Eighty-four years ago, John Maynard Keynes wrote: “The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption”, and predicted that that generation’s grandchildren (that is, the “baby boom” generation now in their sixties) would work only three hours a day.

Twenty years ago Jeremy Rifkin published a book entitled “The End of Work”, and predicting “a near-workerless world”.

Driverless cars and autopiloted planes are an advance, not a step backwards.

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Marxism At Work: Shift Work Explained

Our bodies have evolved so that we're awake by day and asleep at night. The brain’s ‘circadian clock’ monitors light levels and releases a chemical, melatonin, to prompt us to sleep when it’s dark; it releases other chemicals that keep us awake during the day.

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Tasks of Communist Education (1923)

Author: 

Leon Trotsky

It is frequently asserted that the task of communist enlightenment
consists in the education of the new man. These worda
are somewhat too general, too pathetic, and we must be particularly
careful not to permit any formless. humanitarian interpretation
of the conception “new man” or the tasks of communist
education. There is no doubt whatever but that the man
of the future, the citizen of the commune, will be an exceedingly
interesting and attractive creature, and that his psychology

An article by Leon Trotsky, first published in a publication of the pre-Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Socialism and Democracy: democracy, direct action and the class struggle

Was advocating extra-parliamentary direct action to bring down the elected Thatcher government anti-democratic? Are 'by democratic means' and 'by parliamentary means' identical concepts?

Debate with Michael Foot

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