Battle of Ideas

A heroine of Poplar

Submitted by AWL on 16 January, 2019 - 11:09 Author: Ian Townson
minnie l

Minnie Lansbury was one of the rebel Labour councillors of Poplar (East London) who in 1921 forced the Tory¬Liberal coalition government to start central government payments to equalise resources between councils in poor and in well¬off areas.

Janine Booth’s biography of Lansbury is rich in detail about her life; working¬class conditions at the time; and much more. It is a solid achievement given the scarcity of material available on Lansbury to work on.

Socialism and singlejacking

Submitted by martin on 23 December, 2018 - 2:57 Author: Martin Thomas
Stan Weir

A review of Stan Weir's writings, 'Singlejack Solidarity'.

"The term singlejack... On-the-job organisers for the Western Federation of Miners and the Industrial Workers of the World... used it to describe that method of organising where dedicated advocates are developed one at a time on a highly personalised basis..."

The leading Minneapolis Trotskyist Ray Dunne was a prime example. An IWW shop steward met Dunne, aged 15, in a lumberjack camp. He identified Dunne as willing to stand up against the boss, and also thoughtful.

Trump and the world economy

Submitted by martin on 30 December, 2018 - 10:46 Author: Leo Panitch
Socialist Register

S: I can see four main sorts of possible outcomes to be considered from Trump’s economic jousting.

One: it may reshape some deals, like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] to the USA’s advantage or imagined advantage, but after a flurry relations in the world markets will settle down much as before.

Two: By generally shaking up trade relations, and putting pressure on some of China’s protectionist policies, economic life around the world may settle after the jousting into a more “globalised” form, more subject to world-market rules.

Corbynism, Marxism, and "orthodox Marxism"

Submitted by martin on 19 December, 2018 - 11:20 Author: Interview with Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton
Postone, Fine, Heinrich

Above: Moishe Postone, Robert Fine, Michael Heinrich

Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton, authors of the book Corbynism: A Critical Approach, published in September 2018, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity. A review of the book can be found here

S: Tell us first how you came to be interested in this sort of thing, and writing this sort of book.

The anxieties of Brexit Britain

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 12:18 Author: Matt Kinsella
middle england

Jonathan Coe’s latest volume Middle England has been widely described as the best “state of the nation” novel of the last decade, and deservedly so. Whilst Ali Smith’s Autumn was an impressionistic take on the immediate aftermath of the referendum – the first post-Brexit novel – Coe’s book manages to balance the coverage of political events in the run up to June 2016 with an intimate look at how it all unfolds in the lives of characters last seen in Coe’s two Rotters’ Club novels, as well as introducing many new ones.

Marxism in the drunk tank

Submitted by martin on 25 December, 2018 - 12:32 Author: Martin Thomas
Drunk tank

Michael Heinrich's "Introduction to the three volumes of Karl Marx's Capital" is also an introduction to the "Neue Marx-Lektüre" (new reading of Marx) school of thought of which Heinrich is part.

It does many things, in both its jobs, well. It is crisply-written. In discussing ideas from Marx, it refers to today's capitalism, without being swamped by today's empirical details.

In defence of Ernest Erber

Submitted by AWL on 5 December, 2018 - 10:35 Author: Alan Johnson
lenin

Russia was ruled by 130,000 landowners. They ruled by means of constant force over 150 million people … And yet we are told that Russia will not be able to be governed by 240,000 members of the Bolshevik Party – governing in the interests of the poor and against the rich. – V.I. Lenin, Will the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?, 1917

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.

The most important years in human history

Submitted by AWL on 12 December, 2018 - 11:46 Author: Todd Hamer
burning fuel

“Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. ” (Chapter 10 Capital, Marx)

Debra Roberts, one of the authors of the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has said that: “the next few years are the most important in our history” (by “our” she is referring to all humanity).

"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.

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