Online pamphlets

A SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIALISM (1884)

Author: 

William Morris, H. M. Hyndman, E. Belfort Bax, H. Quelch and others
A SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIALISM BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION! 1884

SOCIALISM, as a social and political system, depends altogether upon the history of mankind for a record of its growth in the past, and bases its future upon a knowledge of that history in so far as it can be accurately traced up to the present time. The groundwork of the whole theory is, that from the earliest period of their existence human beings have been guided by the power they possessed over the forces of nature to supply the wants arising as individual members of any society.

Vladimir Lenin on democracy and dictatorship

Lenin called for the "dictatorship of the proletariat" as a great expansion of democracy.

By "dictatorship" he meant the rule of a class, not of a Hitler or a Stalin. This is an abridged version of Lenin's "Theses on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat", adopted by the founding congress of the Communist International in March 1919. Long-forgotten contemporary references and examples have been cut.

Lenin called for the "dictatorship of the proletariat" as a great expansion of democracy.

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Ms German replies to critics of SWP and Stop the War Coalition links with political Islam (2004)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
Reply to Lindsey German's reply to critics of the SWP's relations with Muslim clerical fascists and their arguements to justify it.

"The British are... doing all in their power to foster the Moslem Brotherhood, a clerical-fascist organisation in Egypt... [the Moslem Brotherhood] refused to participate on 21 February, 1946, "Evacuation Day" as this was a real anti-imperialist movement and not a communal one..
"Slogans of solidarity among Moslem, Christian and Jewish workers were shouted throughout the demonstrations, and the fascist leader Ahmed Hussein, who tried to worm his way into the demonstration, was howled down and not allowed to speak."
Tony Cliff, writing in 1946

William Morris: Ecology and the shift to socialism

Author: 

Paul Hampton

The sixth part of a series by Paul Hampton

Sometime in 1882, William Morris decided he was no longer a radical and began to associate himself explicitly with socialism. He stated in How I Became A Socialist (16 June 1894) that by the summer of 1882 he was ready “to join any body who distinctly called themselves Socialists.” (Edward Thompson, William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary, 1976)

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Libya, anti-imperialism, and the Socialist Party

WL3-34
Peter Taaffe of the Socialist Party on the "no-fly zone" in Libya; the Socialist Party on imperialism; how the proto-AWL separated from the proto-SP; and other disputed questions.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

James Connolly's Socialism Made Easy: 1 WORKSHOP TALKS (1909 version)

Author: 

James Connolly
James Connolly discusses socialism and objections sometimes raised against it

Contents:

SOCIALISM IS A FOREIGN IMPORTATION!

I AM NOT INTERESTED IN INTERNATIONALISM. THIS COUNTRY IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

CAPITAL IS INTERNATIONAL

BUT THE SOCIALIST PROPOSALS, THEY SAY, WOULD DESTROY THE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER OF THE WORKER. HE WOULD LEAN ON THE COMMUNITY, INSTEAD OF UPON HIS OWN EFFORTS.

LET US BE PRACTICAL. WE WANT SOMETHING PR-R-RACTICAL.

WOULD YOU CONFISCATE THE PROPERTY OF THE CAPITALIST CLASS AND ROB MEN OF THAT WHICH THEY HAVE, PERHAPS, WORKED A WHOLE LIFETIME TO ACCUMULATE?

Trotsky's courtroom speech "In Defence of Insurrection"

Author: 

Leon Trotsky

The 1906 speech of Leon Trotsky, on trial for his life, to the Tsarist court; introduction by Sean Matgamna.


The “war on terrorism” being waged by George W Bush’s US hyperpower and its political satellites, such as Tony Blair’s Britain, poses strongly the question of the attitude of Marxists toward political violence.

Naturally, we are against, unequivocally against, both the objectives and the methods — indiscriminate slaughter of civilians — of the terrorists of political Islam, who now hold the centre of the political stage.

The 1906 speech of Leon Trotsky, on trial for his life, to the Tsarist court; introduction by Sean Matgamna.

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1871: the Paris Commune

Author: 

Max Shachtman

The following account was written by Max Shachtman for the then-revolutionary US Communist Party’s “Little Red Library” in the early 1920's.


“This history... is due to their children, to all the working men of the earth. The child has the right to know the reason of its paternal defeats, the Socialist party, the campaign of its flag in all countries. He who tells the people revolutionary legends, he who amuses them with sensational stories, is as criminal as the geographer who would draw up false charts for navigation.”

An account of the Paris Commune written by Max Shachtman for the US Communist Party in the early 1920's.

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In memory of the Commune

Forty years have passed since the proclamation of the Paris Commune. In accordance with tradition, the French workers paid homage to the memory of the men and women of the revolution of March 18, 1871, by meetings and demonstrations. At the end of May they will again place wreaths on the graves of the Communards who were shot, the victims of the terrible “May Week”, and over their graves they will once more vow to fight untiringly until their ideas have triumphed and the cause they bequeathed has been fully achieved.

Lenin on the Paris Commune of 1871.

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A Socialist’s View of Religion and the Churches (1896)

Author: 

Tom Mann
"I want to expose the demoralising effect produced by the teaching that salvation consists in reflecting upon and believing in Christ’s sacrifice, irrespective of the life one leads." Tom Mann was a founder of the modern British labour movement. He died in 1941, a member of the British Communist Party.

I MAKE no apology for writing this chapter upon Preachers and Churches. In our day every institution is open to criticism, and rightly and necessarily so; and although—if this should meet the eyes of preachers—many of them will doubtless consider it presumption on my part to attempt even to deal with such a subject, let it be so. We live in England, and not in Russia—plutocratic England, it is true, but with Democracy getting a good grip.

The Working Class Self-Education Movement: The League of the "Plebs"

Author: 

Colin Waugh

In October 1908 industrial workers who were union-sponsored students at Ruskin College in Oxford founded what they called the League of the “Plebs”. Former students who had returned to their jobs as miners, railwayworkers, textile workers and engineers, supported them.

From January 1909 they began to organise socialist classes in South Wales, the North East, Lancashire and other working-class areas. Under the umbrella of the National Council of Labour Colleges (NCLC), there were, by 1926-27, 1,201 classes like this across Britain, with 31,635 students.

Between 26 March and 6 April 1909 union-sponsored students at Ruskin College, Oxford, conducted the “Ruskin College strike” (actually a boycott of lectures). In September 1909, they opened the Central Labour College.

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Savage Violence in 20th Century Irish Schools: Why Did People Stand For It?

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

In his understated attack on the Catholic Church in Ireland for the sexual abuse of children, Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke also of the torture of children. In this the attitude of the 26 County Irish state itself was all-defining. This article by Sean Matgamna tells what happened when Socialist Senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington, acting together with a small group of concerned Dublin parents, who had set up "The School Children’s Protection Organisation”, tried to do something about the physical ill-treatment of children in the Church-run Irish schools.
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The violence inflicted on children in Irish schools in the first three-quarters of the Twentieth Century is today scarcely believable. John O'Mahony examines some documentary evidence, and remembers the Ennis National School...

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