Online pamphlets

What is the Muslim Association of Britain?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Since September 2002, Stop the War Coalition protests have been co-sponsored by an organisation called the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). More recently, the SWP-sponsored Respect electoral coalition has worked closely with the MAB, with former MAB President Anas Altikriti heading Respect’s Yorkshire and Humberside slate for the European elections in June 2004.

A briefing on the Muslim Association of Britain and its links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The trouble with Northern Ireland

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Why is Northern Ireland so intractable? Sean Matgamna looks to the intricacies of Irish history and the peculiarities of the Six County entity for an explanation.


There are two distinct peoples in Ireland, who see and define themselves differently and antagonistically, the Catholic “Irish-Irish” Nationalists and the Protestant “British-Irish” Unionists.

Why is Northern Ireland so intractable? Sean Matgamna looks to the intricacies of Irish history and the peculiarities of the Six County entity for an explanation.

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How the PLO came to advocate "two states"

In 1959, based in Kuwait, Yasser Arafat started a magazine called Our Palestine. In the guise of another variant of Arab nationalism, the magazine, and the small group linked to it, al Fatah, in fact promoted something new: a distinct Palestinian nationalism.

For most people then the Palestinian question was a “refugee problem”, and a problem of “Arab land”, not the question of the rights of the Palestinian nation.

In the guise of another variant of Arab nationalism, the magazine, and the small group linked to it, al Fatah, in fact promoted something new: a distinct Palestinian nationalism.

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The first Irish left

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Identifiable left-wing politics first emerged in Ireland at the end of the 18th century.
It was the result of three revolutions.

The American revolution, which broke out in 1776. The French revolution, which started in 1789. And the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 in which the English Parliament kicked out the would-be absolutist Catholic King James and put William of Orange and James’s Protestant daughter, Mary, jointly on the throne, under the control of Parliament.

Identifiable left-wing politics first emerged in Ireland at the end of the 18th century. It was the result of three revolutions.

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Iraq debate 4: an analogy with the USSR in 1928/9

A postscript to the discussion in Solidarity of the politics of our former comrades who now purvey a stupid right-wing caricature, a reductio ad absurdum, of AWL politics on Iraq.

The difference between wanting a democratic Republic in Iraq and politically supporting the occupation forces.

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The anatomy of the Stalin-made left

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling Party Line,
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Party Line.

Leon Trotsky was a Nazi,
And I know it for a fact.
First I read, then I said it,
Before the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

(Anti-Stalinist song of the 1940s, to the tune of “My Darling Clementine”)

Fenner Brockway, the leader in the 1930s and 40s of the anti-war Independent Labour Party, tells a story from 1939 in his second volume of memoirs, Outside the Right (1963).

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Workers' Power: a tale of kitsch Trotskyism

The full pamphlet, "Workers' Power: a tale of kitsch Trotskyism" is now available to download here.

This article was written in 1993 by Martin Thomas and Jim Denham as an introduction to a large collection of documents dealing with Workers' Power
Workers' Power, a tale of kitsch Trotskyism. Documents 1973-93 (available in paper form for £5 post-free from the AWL office).

A pamphlet looking at some of the debates with the Workers' Power tendency that helped shape the politics of Workers' Liberty, from the 1970s to the 1990s.

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Socialism, the hope of humanity (1945)

Author: 

Max Shachtman
What Do the Socialists Want? What is socialism? The simplest way to find the answer to these questions is to ask yourself: "What do I want?

What Do the Socialists Want? What is socialism? The simplest way to find the answer to these questions is to ask yourself: "What do I want? What do the tens of millions like me throughout the world want?" Everyone has different tastes, different ambitions, different hopes. But almost all are agreed in wanting durable peace in a world free of the scourge of war; security and prosperity in place of unemployment and low standards of living; freedom and equality in place of special privileges, special rights and special powers for the minority, in place of the rule of the many by the few.

The IRA in a West of Ireland Town in the 1930s

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Below the great political generalities - opposition to British Imperialism, Partition, the "sell-out of Republican principles" by De Valera's constitutional Republican party, Fianna Fail - what was the IRA? Let us look at what it was in the 1930s in one area, Clare, and particularly in one town, Ennis, part of Eamonn De Valera's constituency.

We are not, in this excursion, in which we will look at the labour movement in that town, wandering off the subject: we are trying to bring the IRA of that time and of such places, and the sort of people who joined it, into clearer focus.

Below the great political generalities - Imperialism, Partition, the "sell-out of Republicanism" by De Valera - what was the IRA?

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The ABCs of socialism today: an outline of the basics

Author: 

Max Shachtman/Hal Draper/Leon Trotsky
Pieces by the man who was second only to Trotsky as an expounder of the ideas of the early Trotskyist movement, Max Shachtman; two by Hal Draper; one by Leon Trotsky; a discussion piece on Trotskyism now, and an account of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty by Sean Matgamna.

Modern Socialism (1879)

Author: 

E. Belfort Bax
Ernest Belfort Bax: Modern Socialism (1879)

There is probably no word better abused at the present moment than the word Socialism. With those to whom it expresses anything beyond anarchy and a weekly distribution of property, it is generally deemed to cover certain cut-and-dried schemes, such as St. Simonism, Fourierism, or Owenism. This, though historically correct, is actually false, in so far as the Social democrats, Communalists, or Nihilists of the Continent are concerned. Such schemes as the above have little but an historical curiosity for the majority of modern Socialists.

Liberalism versus Socialism E. Belfort Bax (1890)

Author: 

E. Belfort Bax
Liberalism versus Socialism E. Belfort Bax (1890)

What is the crucial distinction between Liberalism or Radicalism and Socialism? This is a question very often asked. That they are actually often opposed is not to be denied. But the general opinion seems to be that Liberalism, if its principles are thoroughly carried out, is not in any necessary conflict with Socialism. We propose to examine this position with special reference to the economic basis respectively of Liberalism and Socialism.

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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