Online pamphlets

September 1939: Behind the Stalinazi pact

Author: 

Max Shachtman

I: 5 September 1939

The Hitler-Stalin pact is the most sensational news to come out of Moscow in many years.

Up to yesterday, it was the general belief that Stalin was moving heaven and earth in an earnest attempt to establish a “peace front” of the “democracies” against the “fascist aggressors”, especially against Fascist Germany.

Behind the Stalinazi pact, Socialist Appeal, September 1939

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The Euston Manifesto

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

That’ll teach me to make silly jokes! A few issues back, in a fit of self-indulgent whimsy, I mocked some ex-comrades of ours who had abandoned socialist politics to enlist in George W Bush’s neo-conservative crusade to bring bourgeois democracy and American-style capitalism to Iraq. In a little skit, I had one of them confuse the Communist Manifesto with “the Bourgeois-Democratic Manifesto”.

The Euston Manifesto

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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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An Solas/Workers' Republic, 1966-8

The activists of the Workers' Fight group (forerunners of AWL) in 1966-8 produced five issues of An Solas/ Workers' Republic, the theoretical journal of the Irish Workers' Group.

The activists of the Workers' Fight group (forerunners of AWL) in 1966-8 also produced five issues of An Solas/ Workers' Republic, the theoretical journal of the Irish Workers' Group.

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The Socialist Party and the workers: “Every sect is religious”

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

[This is a copy edited and slightly expanded version of the text in Solidarity.]

The Socialist Party operates as if the ideas of Marxism are fixed. Its bureaucratic sect structures prevent its members from discussing and learning from their own experiences.

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Anarchism, Marxism, and polemic

Martin Thomas’s article in Solidarity 3-195, “Working-class struggle and anarchism”, has prompted a long debate on our website. We print excerpts from two contributions and a reply to the debate by Martin Thomas. The original article and entire debate can be found here.


The polemicists have invoked the Anarchist Federation as proof that my criticisms of anarchism in Solidarity 3/195 were unjust. Let’s see what the Anarchist Federation says.

Its website recommends an interview with an AF member which says:

Continuing the debate on the relation of anarchism to working-class struggle and Marxism.

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Working-class struggle and anarchism

Anarchism opposes the capitalist state. Some anarchists — primarily the anarcho-syndicalists, who on this issue have the same idea as Marxists do — identify with the working class as the force to defeat the capitalist state and create a new society; but most do not.

A review of different strands in anarchist thought and their attitude to working-class struggle.

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Poplar Council: Guilty and proud of it!

Author: 

Janine Booth

Janine Booth’s recently published book “Guilty and Proud Of It!” is a story about how a group of socialist Labour councillors in Poplar, East London, refused to bow to the “norms” of capital

Janine Booth’s recently published book “Guilty and Proud Of It!” is a story about how a group of socialist Labour councillors in Poplar, East London, refused to bow to the “norms” of capitalist economics and politics, and stood up for the working-class people who voted them in. They went to prison rather than accepting inequitable taxes.

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The strange history of Socialist Action

Author: 

Martin Thomas

“Exposed” in the current right wing campaign against Ken Livingstone, as the underground group central to Livingstone’s “team”, Socialist Action have always been a weird collection of individuals. Right-wing and strangely apolitical when Martin Thomas wrote this history in February 1991 (Socialist Organiser 476), they are much more right-wing today.

It is a long story, and there isn’t space for it all here. Even a short outline has to go back to 1971, when John Ross, the chief ideologue of Socialist Action today, joined the International Marxist Group.

It is a long story, and there isn’t space for it all here. Even a short outline has to go back to 1971, when John Ross, the chief ideologue of Socialist Action today, joined the International Marxist Group.

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The forgotten massacre of the Vietnamese Trotskyists

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.

The mass murder of the Vietnamese Trotskyists by Stalinist forces in 1945 has largely been forgotten.

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“Revolutionary nationalism”, in 1920 and today

The Theses on the National and Colonial Question of the Second Congress of the Communist International, which met in July-August 1920, are one of the most important documents of revolutionary socialism. We reprint this text over on page 16. They were drafted by Lenin and amended in important respects by the Congress.

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Communist International 1920 Theses on the national and colonial question

1. An abstract or formal conception of the question of equality in general and national equality in particular is characteristic of the bourgeois democracy by its very nature. Under the pretence of the equality of the human person in general, bourgeois democracy proclaims the formal legal equality of the proprietor and the proletarian, of the exploiter and the exploited, and thus deceives the oppressed classes in the highest degree.

Communist International 1920 Theses on the national and colonial question

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