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The battle for democracy in the Arab revolution

Sean Matgamna examines the prospects of the Arab Revolution, and compares it to certain events in recent history.

The Arab revolution, the inspiring mass popular movement for freedom and democracy, sweeping across the Middle East might be compared to the “Springtime of the Peoples”, in 1848, when mass popular revolution spread from France to Germany, then to other countries, such as Hungary and Italy.

Most of them were quickly defeated.

The for now unanswerable question hanging over the Middle East is whether the Arab revolution will culminate in bourgeois democratic regimes or Islamist totalitarianism.

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Machine Gun

At the gates of the homes, at the gates of the palaces
that we have conquered
everywhere in the city
where the riot drags on cold, dull and strong,
everywhere at the doors of our homes
the machine-gun in the dark cowers.

Dull, to bring death;
blind, low, at the base of the earth,
blind, cold, of steel, of iron,
with the metal of their hate
elemental,
with their steel teeth ready to bite,
their clockwork,
wheels, nuts, springs,
their short black mouths on the mounts
squat ...

A poem written by Victor Serge in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in 1919.

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What is Leninism?

Author: 

Leon Trotsky

This excerpt from Leon Trotsky’s “New Course”, written in December 1923, delineates the fundamental characteristics of the Bolshevism which Trotsky advocated and defended against the encroachment of Stalinism.

Leninism cannot be conceived of without theoretical breadth, without a critical analysis of the material bases of the political process. The weapon of Marxian investigation must be constantly sharpened and applied. It is precisely in this that tradition consists, and not in the substitution of a formal reference or of an accidental quotation.

This excerpt from Leon Trotsky’s “New Course”, written in December 1923, delineates the fundamental characteristics of the Bolshevism which Trotsky advocated and defended against the encroachment of Stalinism.

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Stalinism, sepia and sentiment: Sydney Lumet's film about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. (1984)

SIDNEY Lumet's 'Daniel' is a powerful emotional account of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Communist Party USA members who were victims of a legal Iynching in the early '5Os, and of their children.

A discussion of the politics of Sydney Lumet's film 'Daniel', about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Communist Party USA members who died in the electric chair in 1953, victims of a legal lynching.

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Children: no more threats and punishments

By Jayne Edwards

I am a midday assistant at a primary school. The observations I have made in my job have confirmed what I think about how children are treated by all those who have authority over them — teachers, teaching assistants and the midday staff.

Control of children is maintained by the threat of something bad happening to them — get sent to the head, call in parents, low scale public humiliation or just shouting to reduce them to tears. Even “good” teachers demand this kind of conformity.

Teachers and other staff face all sorts of problems but that shouldn’t mean that we don’t address the way children are treated by adults in school.

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Tough On Kids, Tough On the Causes of Kids! (1997)

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, Jack Straw, recently proposed a curfew on children. He opened his heart and mind to Workers Liberty reporter Patrick Avakuum.
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"This business of kids goes to the heart of everything. Children are everywhere. It's a self multiplying nightmare that will grow worse, generation after generation, if it is not tackled now!"

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The Irish Workers Group and the Irish "National Question": The Irish Left Before the 1968-69 Crisis

Irish Militant

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Most people know the none-too-funny joke: “Every time the English find an answer to the ‘Irish question’, the Irish change the question”.

The third part of a response to Rayner Lysaght on the history of revolutionary socialism in Ireland.

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The Origins of Work’s Control of Industry in Revolutionary Russia

Article in defence of Workers Control in the Russian Revolution. Written in Feb 1918, it was published in The Revolutionary Age, an American Communist paper, in November 1918

A MISTAKE MADE BY BOLSHEVIKI
(From The Boston Traveler, Nov 21,1918)
One of the big mistakes made by the Bolsheviki in
Russia, was their failure after they got in power to

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What is left anti-semitism?

What is “left-wing anti-semitism”? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it?

There are three difficulties, three confusions and obfuscations, that stand in the way of rational discussion of what we mean by “left-wing anti-semitism”.

The first is that left-wing anti-semitism knows itself by another and more self-righteous name, “anti-Zionism”. Often, your left-wing anti-semite sincerely believes that he or she is only an anti-Zionist, only a just if severe critic of Israel.

The fact that their proponents are surely not racists does not answer the questions raised by root-and-branch "smash Israel" agitational themes.

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