This is an excerpt from the founding document of the AWL tendency, "What We Are And What We Must Become", written in 1966 by Rachel Lever, Sean Matgamna, and Phil Semp.
Leon Trotsky once said that the small revolutionary movement he led was like the apex of an inverted social pyramid, upon which the whole weight of capitalist society pressed down.
Parables For Socialists 20
THIS IS DYSTOPIA, LADY!
What world is this, sir?
This is Dystopia, lady!
World of hallucogenic sights
And waking nightmares;
On demonstrations in the 1960s, it was common to hear marchers chanting “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, we will fight and we will win”, in honour of the Vietnamese Stalinist who led the fight against US occupation. The best sections of the left replied with their own rhyme — Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh — how many Trots did you do in?” They were referring to the mass murder of the Vietnamese Trotskyists by Stalinist forces in 1945. Sixty years on, the massacre has largely been forgotten.
Texte provenant de la brochure We Stand for Workers Liberty (Nous défendons la liberté des travailleurs) publiée par l’organisation trotskyste britannique Alliance for Workers Liberty.
Traduction d'une article de Pablo Velasco, Solidarity 3/170, 2 April 2010.
Une décennie après que Hugo Chavez ait proclamé la «révolution bolivarienne» au Venezuela, son projet est enlisé dans la stagnation. Malgré toute la rhétorique sur le «socialisme du 21e siècle», le régime bonapartiste continue de présider sur un capitalisme vénézuélien et d'étouffer l'émergence d'un mouvement ouvrier indépendant authentique.
By Leon Trotsky (August 1937)
Reactionary epochs like ours not only disintegrate and weaken the working class and isolate its vanguard but also lower the general ideological level of the movement and throw political thinking back to stages long since passed through.
By Sean Matgamna
And what is reason but sums, cold calculation
Les nations n'ont pas toujours existé. En Europe, la croissance du commerce a créé des unités avec une langue commune, une culture, des lois, un système fiscal et des communications, les États-nations qui se sont développés entre les 16e et 19e siècles.
A la fin du mois de décembre, les dernières troupes américaines se retireront d'Irak, huit ans et huit mois après l'invasion de mars 2003.
A response by Martin Thomas to Iain McKay's bulletin, "The AWL versus anarchism", circulated at AWL summer school 2011.
This is a copy-edited and slightly expanded version of the printed text.
Click here for the debate on Libya of which this is part.
Click here to download the printed Workers' Liberty supplement as pdf.
Click here to download the text, as slightly edited and expanded, in pdf format.
Libya, anti-imperialism, and the Socialist Party
Did Taaffe equate the Libyan rebels with the Nicaraguan contras?
Anything other than "absolute opposition" means support?
Intellectual hooliganism and AWL's "evasions"
What is more important in the situation than stopping massacre?
Bishop Taaffe and imperialism
What is the "anti-imperialist" programme in today's world?
From semi-colony to regional power
Taaffe's record as an anti-imperialist
The separation of AWL and the Socialist Party
Militant in the mid 1960s
How did we come to break with Militant? Anti-union laws
What is a Marxist perspective?
Our general critique of Militant's politics
"We can't discuss what Grant and Taaffe can't reply to"
The US in Iraq and union freedoms
Socialists and the European Union
Toadying to Bob Crow
Ireland: why socialists must have a democratic programme
Postscript: Militant and the Labour Party, 1969-87 - a strange symbiosis
- What is a Marxist perspective?
- The Socialist Party and the workers: “Every sect is religious”
- Afghanistan: Grant, Taaffe, Woods hail Stalinist coup and back the invaders
Appendix: What We Are And What We Must Become: critique of Militant, written in 1966, which became the founding document of the AWL tendency
Appendix: The RSL (Militant) in the 1960s: a study of passivity: an account of how What We Are And What We Must Become came to be written, and the battle around its ideas.