Marxist Theory

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?

Socialism and Democracy: Workers' Liberty special issue (no.17), January 1994

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Former Labour leader Michael Foot has just died. While sending condolences to his family, friends and comrades, we republish this 1982 pamphlet, in which we debated him on whether direct action to bring down the Tories was anti-democratic.

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The Russians Withdraw from Afghanistan (1988)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan must be perplexing for those on the left who supported their invasion or did not oppose their presence.

They argued that Afghanistan was a different case from Vietnam or other battles against imperialism. The USSR claims to be socialist; and even if we reject this claim we can point to the frankly reactionary prograrnme of the Afghan rebels and the support for them from the United States. In comparison the Afghan government and its Russian backers are , if no more, 'progressive'.

The withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan must be perplexing for those on the left who supported their invasion or did not oppose their presence.

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The Russians Withdraw from Afghanistan

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan must be perplexing for those on the left who supported their invasion or did not oppose their presence.

They argued that Afghanistan was a different case from Vietnam or other battles against imperialism. The USSR claims to be socialist; and even if we reject this claim we can point to the frankly reactionary prograrnme of the Afghan rebels and the support for them from the United States. In comparison the Afghan government and its Russian backers are , if no more, 'progressive'.

The withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan must be perplexing for those on the left who supported their invasion or did not oppose their presence.

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Czech Imperialism and the National Question in Central Europe (1938)

Between the two imperialists world wars the Marxists considered Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland to be imperialist powers, because in these three states there were oppressed national minorities – Croats, Kosovars and others in Yugoslavia, Slovakians and Sudeten ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, Ukrainians in Poland. If it could be taken apart from the entire context which in fact it had, and if German imperialism had not been German imperialism, Hitler's claim to the Sudetenland, where the majority wanted to unite with Germany, would have been more or less reasonable.

Between the two world wars Marxists considered Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland to be imperialist powers, because in these states there were oppressed national minorities

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Politics, polemic and Marxism: Engels' Anti-Dühring

Introduction by Sean Matgamna

"Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement." V. I. Lenin

The great Marxist scholar of the Bolshevik Party and victim of Stalinism in the 1930s, David Riazanov, writes about Engels' great exposition of Marxism, Anti-Dühring.

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In Defense of Revisionism (1946)

The survival and expansion of Russian Stalinism threw all the political compass points of Trotsky's pre-World War "Trotskyism" into seismic confusion. Years of political ferment produced two "Trotskyisms" - Shachtmanites and Cannonites. The tiny Irish Group in this document declared for Shachtman.


The survival and expansion of Russian Stalinism threw all the political compass points of Trotsky's pre-World War "Trotskyism" into seismic confusion. Years of political ferment produced two "Trotskyisms" - Shachtmanites and Cannonites. The tiny Irish Group in this document declared for Shachtman.

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