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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Writing out anti-bourgeois art

Author: 

Hugh Daniels

Hugh Daniels reviews Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, at the Royal Academy until 17 April.

A review of Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, at the Royal Academy until 17 April.

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Marxism and autism

Author: 

Janine Booth

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

For autistic people, modern capitalism is both developed and distressing. It brings huge advantages, but it also great distress.

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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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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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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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