Marxism and war

REVIEW: An honest opponent of “pseudo-anti-imperialism”

Rohini Hensman’s book is a welcome intervention into debates on the international socialist left. Above all it is a damning indictment of the state of those broad sections of the left, especially in Britain, who have embraced a negative, anti-Western, anti-US, “pseudo-anti-imperialism” — a politics that is also effectively pro-imperialist (of Russia, China, Iran), anti-democratic, anti-liberatory and ultimately anti-working class. The central locus of the book is the conflict in Syria, where much of the left has been utterly wretched. But Hensman probes deeper, criticising the Russian and...

War, Realism and the "Lesser Evil". The Socialist Attitude on the Problem of War by Julius Jacobson, in Anvil and Student Partisan, Fall 1950.

One of the greatest tragedies of a Third World War which is now drawing closer is the lack of organized opposition to it. The mass of people are not enthusiastically pro-war but they are resigned to it, while the organized social, political and cultural movements, with rare exceptions, are exerting their influence to create the necessary enthusiasm for the all-out Atom War. Military men with their national honor, business men with their funds, publishers with their journalists, politicians with their rehearsed inflammatory speeches, are all busily using their respective resources to instill an...

Trotskyism, Stalinism and the Second World War

Barry Finger reviews The Two Trotskyisms Confront Stalinism: the Fate of the Russian Revolution volume two, edited by Sean Matgamna (Workers’ Liberty, 2015). ­Revolutionary socialism at its liveliest is always a vast theatre of ideological battlegrounds, a Permanent War of Questions, as Julius Jacobson — a one-time follower of Max Shachtman — so aptly put it. For those, and there were precious few, who still valiantly retained the capacity, the sitzfleisch as well as the activists’ militant vigour, in the years leading up to and through the Second World War, to think through and refine volumes...

Connolly and the Easter Rising

The final part of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here . The date of the Rising was set for Easter Sunday. However, crisis struck the rebels’ plans when the arms shipment from Germany was intercepted. When the more moderate Volunteer leadership around Eoin McNeill became aware of the IRB’s plans, the orders for manoeuvres on Easter Sunday were called off at the eleventh hour, with an ad placed in the Sunday Independent just to make sure that the message was relayed. McNeill’s actions were, to Tom Clarke, “the blackest and...

Connolly and the First World War

Part 11 of Michael Johnson’s series on the life and politics of James Connolly. The rest of the series can be found here . In March 1914, Asquith made his new and final proposal on Home Rule, putting forward a scheme whereby the Ulster counties could exclude themselves from the new Irish constitution. It was supposed to be a temporary exclusion, for six years, but a general election in the interim delivering a Tory majority could make it permanent. It was clear that Ulster was holding out for permanent exclusion — partition — if could not prevent Home Rule from passing. Adding to the...

Treize questions sur le terrorisme, l’intégrisme et l’anti-impérialisme

* Ce texte a été publié en 2001 dans Workers Liberty, publication de l’Alliance for Workers Liberty, au moment de l’intervention américano-britannique en Afghanistan. (NPNF) 1. Comment peut-on affronter le problème du terrorisme et de l’intégrisme (1) ? Tout d’abord en ne soutenant pas le gouvernement américain. Pendant soixante ans, les Américains ont été les associés et les alliés du régime fondamentaliste saoudien. Ils ont aidé l’Etat pakistanais et l’Arabie saoudite à financer les talibans dans les années 1990. Ils ont fréquemment appuyé des mouvements fondamentalistes afin de contrer des...

Articles on socialists, the working class and "Remembrance"

Why the poppy is wrong (November 2010) "Our remembrance" - speech by Ed Maltby (November 2012) We need our own remembrance (March 2013) Plus materials on the 2012 University of London Union controversy, in which ULU Vice President Daniel Cooper was witch-hunted for taking an anti-militarist stand: Statement: defend the right to criticise war and militarism! (November 2012) Workers' Liberty routs Tories at packed anti-war meeting (November 2012) The lessons of "Poppygate" (March 2013)

Czech Imperialism and the National Question in Central Europe (1938)

Between the two imperialists world wars the Marxists considered Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Poland to be imperialist powers, because in these three states there were oppressed national minorities – Croats, Kosovars and others in Yugoslavia, Slovakians and Sudeten ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, Ukrainians in Poland. If it could be taken apart from the entire context which in fact it had, and if German imperialism had not been German imperialism, Hitler's claim to the Sudetenland, where the majority wanted to unite with Germany, would have been more or less reasonable. In reality it was...

Another day

A reflection on the right to strike of British soldiers in the Second World War Download PDF

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