Battle of Ideas

Review: "Beyond Apartheid" by Robert Fine with Dennis Davis

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 10:08 Author: Eduardo Tovar
"Beyond Apartheid"

One of the numerous commendable causes to which the late Robert Fine committed many years of his life was anti-apartheid activism. Accordingly, our series of book reviews to commemorate Fine continues with Beyond Apartheid: Labour and Liberation in South Africa (Pluto Press 1990). Fine embarked on this project in collaboration with Dennis Davis during the final years of apartheid. Although both are credited as authors, Fine wrote the text itself, whilst Davis helped shape the main contours and ideas of the project, and commented on the drafts.

"We belong to history": the end of coal and the miners

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2018 - 10:03 Author: John Cunningham
Spanish miners in 2012

In the summer of 2012 a small group of ex-miners and labour movement activists met in a pub in Sheffield. We had just heard of the Spanish miners’ strike against the attempts by the right-wing government of Manuel Rajoy to withdraw subsidies to the mining industry and thereby, in effect, close it down.

A ‘fact-finding’ trip to Spain then followed and on returning to the UK a Spanish Miners Solidarity Committee was formed, raising 28,000 Euro in something like six weeks – money that went to support the families of the strikers. After which time the miners called off the strike.

Antinomies of the concept of hegemony

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2017 - 7:43 Author: Paul Hampton
The H Word

Hegemony is a primary concept for understanding global politics today. Principally it expresses the hierarchy of states under US leadership, but hegemony has deeper meanings associated with the ways ruling classes maintain their rule. For socialists, hegemony also encapsulates working class leadership in the struggles of other oppressed layers, along with Marxist leadership of the labour movement. Antonio Gramsci used hegemony in a rich variety of contexts in his important contributions to Marxist thinking.

On Norman Geras’s ‘Our Morals: The Ethics of Revolution’

Submitted by martin on 19 November, 2018 - 3:37 Author: Contribution to debate from Alan Johnson
Norman Geras

A friend has assigned one of Norman Geras's essays (Our Morals: The Ethics of Revolution) for his undergraduate course, and as a consequence all the students have to fill in a special form, in accordance with the university's implementation of the Government's 'Prevent' policy. - Tweet by Cambridge University academic Chris Brooke on 6 November 2018.

A backlash book. Or three books?

Submitted by martin on 13 November, 2018 - 12:22 Author: Dale Street
RAF logo

Bettina Rohl’s “The RAF (Red Army Fraction) Loves You – The German Federal Republic in the Intoxication of 68 – A Family at the Centre of the Movement” is several books for the price of one.

Rohl’s mother, Ulrike Meinhof, was one of the leaders of the early 1970s urban-terrorist RAF, otherwise known as the Baader-Meinhof Group (which Rohl insists on calling the Baader-Meinhof Gang, to underline what she sees as its essentially apolitical and criminal character).

How Marx transcended "the rule of law"

Submitted by AWL on 4 October, 2018 - 3:11 Author: Eduardo Tovar
police arrest striking miner

With the passing of Robert Fine on 9 June 2018, the British left lost a truly exceptional figure. A respected sociologist at the University of Warwick, Fine was a long-time sympathiser of Workers’ Liberty. Though he was less involved in frontline activism towards the end of his life, he never lost his commitment to working-class struggle. In short, Fine never became a stereotypical “Marxist academic”.

The development of antisemitism in Hungary

Submitted by SJW on 11 September, 2018 - 9:43 Author: John Cunningham
Fascist Arow Cross marching in Budapest

For part two click here

Bibó was not a Marxist but a member of the National Peasant Party (NPP) — a party of radical reformists who adhered to a political position which was loosely described as “the third road” (or “third way”): neither Communist (i.e. Stalinist) or capitalist.

It was, in effect, left-reformist and probably closer to the politics of Bennism (but with an agrarian orientation) than anything else to which it could be compared in the UK today.

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