Marxism and Stalinism

The two Trotskyisms during World War 2: Workers' Liberty 3/48

Tracing the development of "two Trotskyisms" through from the 1940 split to the 1944 polemic between Harry Braverman and Max Shachtman. Click here to download as pdf or read online. The pagination in the pdf is correct, but, by a mishap, the pages of the printed version of Workers' Liberty 3/48, as a pull-out in Solidarity 347, are in the wrong order. Our apologies to readers. Check the printed version with the pdf, or follow this guide: Page 2 has been mistakenly swapped with page 6, and page 7 with page 11. The printed pull-out can be navigated as follows: 1: the first page, with the...

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Click here to download article as pdf.

The lessons of Stalinism

How Marxists registered and learned from - or failed to register and learn from - the great expansion of Stalinism after World War Two. Click here to download pdf.

The fall of Stalinism in Eastern Europe — Workers' Liberty 3/25

Download as pdf, or read online below. Timeline Introduction 1. The risen people: Eastern Europe after the revolutions 2. What’s in the coffin at the funeral of socialism? 3. Lies against socialism answered 4. Stalin’s system collapses 5. Why socialists should support the banning of the CPSU 6. The triumph of unreason: market madness in the ex-USSR 7. What was the Bolsheviks’ conception of the 1917 revolution? 8. Why the workers want to restore capitalism 9. In the beginning was the critique of capitalism 10. An open letter to Ernest Mandel 11. Trotsky and the collapse of Stalinism 12. And...

What was the Stalinist USSR? A Marxist debate

The main viewpoints summarised: contributions by Martin Thomas and Sean Matgamna from Workers' Liberty 16; by Martin Thomas from Workers' Liberty 43; by Tom Rigby from Workers' Liberty 45. The USSR was not state-capitalist, by Roger Clarke (WL44) Cliff's 'state capitalism' in perspective, by Sean Matgamna (WL 56) The USSR and non-linear capitalism, by Martin Thomas (WL59) Stalinism in theory and history, by Pablo Velasco A debate between Raya Dunayevskaya and Max Shachtman, from 1947, with an introduction by Chris Ford Review articles by Paresh Chattopadhyay and Martin Thomas on the book Class...

Barbarossa and the left after 80 years

This week marks the eightieth anniversary of the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. It was one of the most successful military operations of modern times. German forces advanced deep into Soviet territory and accepted the surrender of literally millions of Soviet troops. The responsibility for this defeat rests squarely on Stalin’s shoulders. Not only did Stalin kill off practically the entire leadership of the Red Army in the run-up to the war, but his policies — particularly in Ukraine — guaranteed that many Soviet citizens would welcome the Nazis as liberators. This...

Trotsky and “switching the points”

I agree with Eric Lee’s substantive argument (Solidarity 593) that socialists must aim to reconstruct mass politics, not just hope for better “leaders”. But I think he gives a skewed picture of Trotsky’s 1938 declaration about “the crisis of the leadership of the proletariat”. Trotsky’s argument was not one about poor leadership in politics in general, for example in bourgeois governments, but a specific one about the labour movements at that time. The previous 50 years or so of educational and organising work by socialists of different sorts; of industrialisation and urbanisation; and of the...

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