Bolsheviks

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

Georgi Plekhanov

Submitted by AWL on 23 November, 2018 - 12:00 Author: John Cunningham
Plekhanov

Before the year 2018 reaches its end, the 100th anniversary of the death of Georgi Plekhanov should be noted and remembered. He is sometimes referred to as the “father” of Russian Marxism, and for good reason.

Plekhanov was the most important figure in the early Russian Marxist movement, a major theorist and voice in the Second International; and, as a member of the editorial board of Iskra, a collaborator with Lenin in the first years of the twentieth century.

Bolshevism and NGO politics, in history and today

Submitted by AWL on 24 October, 2018 - 11:16 Author: Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas discusses In Defence of Bolshevism and some other modes of politics.

This book, by way of polemics and discussions from different eras, explains what “Bolshevism” means in the field of left-wing political organising. Another way of summing it up would be: the opposite of 38 Degrees.

No party like the Bolshevik party

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 9:06 Author: Paul Cooper

In Defence of Bolshevism, the new book from Workers' Liberty, had its launch at a lively meeting in central London on 12 October. Edited by Sean Matgamna, the collection of texts by American Trotskyist Max Shachtman represents one of the greatest polemics in the Marxist tradition. It is the defence of a revolutionary socialist consciousness being developed in the working class as the irreplaceable pre-condition for the self- emancipation of the working class.

Jumbling up History

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 10:46 Author: Martin Thomas

The letter which this article replies to is here, towards the bottom, entitled "All states are racist endeavours".

Mike Zubrowski (Solidarity 480) is right that to go from saying “all nation states are intrinsically racist” or “all states are racist endeavours” to saying that *Israel*, in particular, is “a racist endeavour”, and therefore should be suppressed (by another state, in fact by a conquering state) is illogical and antisemitic in its implications.

TV fictions and AWL reality

Submitted by SJW on 14 March, 2018 - 1:03 Author: Sean Matgamna
United in anti-AWLism: George Galloway and Nigel Farage. Now joined by The Daily Express and Ashok Kumar

An open letter to Ashok Kumar

It’s been said before, and it will bear saying again. If everything published by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in the last five decades were to disappear, and if future historians of socialism had to rely on what our political opponents said about us, then the historians would find it impossible to make political sense of the story.

On the one hand we are people who do, and have always done, everything we can to help workers in their struggle against employers and governments. We throw everything we have into that.

Letter: Russian civil war: not just red and white

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 11:50 Author: Len Glover

Numerous commentators on the Russian Revolution also make comment and offer analyses of the civil war that followed. In his reply to Eric Lee (Solidarity 455) Paul Vernadsky mentions how “...the Bolsheviks fought a civil war against the White generals and the imperialist powers”.

I have no disagreement with what Paul Vernadsky has written (and I note it was a short letter not a full-length article), but it is necessary to add more detail. The Russian civil war that followed the revolution was a very complicated often confusing affair.

Letter: Failed strategy

Submitted by cathy n on 24 November, 2017 - 9:26 Author: Paul Vernadsky

Sadly Eric Lee’s response to my review of his book on Georgia (Solidarity 454, 15 November) avoids the substance of my critique.

Lee’s book argues that the Georgian Menshevik strategy between 1917 and 1921 was better than the Bolsheviks in Russia. Yet in Marxist terms, Bolshevik politics were far superior:

The Bolshevik-led Russian workers made a socialist revolution in October 1917; the Georgian Mensheviks did not lead a revolution.

Letters

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 10:41

Paul Vernadsky in his review of my book, The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution 1918-21 (Solidarity 453), is right to highlight the importance of this period for today. And he comes to the heart of our disagreement at the very end of his essay when he refers to the idea that “an impoverished, backward society cannot skip historical stages”. He calls this “Menshevik dogma”. No, Paul, that’s not “Menshevik dogma”. That’s Marxism.

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