Nationalism and the 'national question'

1916: The Easter Rising

Published on: Mon, 06/05/2013 - 16:58

Ireland and the Revolutionary Tradition of Easter Week

From Labor Action, 14 April 1941

Easter Sunday morning, 1916. Three o'clock. James Connolly. Irish revolutionary leader, was talking to his daughter and some of her friends, all asking why the revolt so carefully prepared had been countermanded.

Connolly knew that the arms from Germany had been intercepted, he knew that the arrangements had broken down, but he knew that the British government was going to strike. He could not let the revolt be stamped out without resistance. It seemed to him, and rightly, that the resulting demoralisation

The split in SDS

Published on: Wed, 13/11/2019 - 14:09
Author

Jack Weinberg, Jack Gerson, and Jesse Lemisch

Across the world large and radical student movements came into prominence in the 1960s, fighting on their campus and against university administrators but raising wider political questions: opposition to the Vietnam War, opposition to the police, and opposition to capitalism. Their politics were often muddled and contradictory, during heavily from the contemporary New Left movement.

In America, students organised themselves on a national level into Students for a Democratic Society. This was a serious organisation, which had 30,000 supporters by the time of its collapse, and along with the

Free Catalan political prisoners!

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 11:32
Author

Phil Grimm

A wave of unrest has swept through Catalonia following the harsh sentencing of pro-independence leaders by the Spanish Supreme Court.

Twelve politicians and civil society leaders were found guilty of crime including sedition, misuse of public funds and disobedience following their involvement in the 2017 referendum on and subsequent declaration of Catalan independence from Spain.

That referendum had been declared illegal. The Spanish constitution contains undemocratic vetoes on any region declaring independence without the consent of Spain as a whole. Defendants were sentenced to hefty fines,

Rosa Luxemburg on 1905

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 10:19
Author

Martin Thomas

“The extent to which the party rises to the occasion [of a revolutionary upsurge] — that depends in the greatest degree on how widely [the Marxists have] known how to make their influence felt among the masses in the pre-revolutionary period...”

It depends on “the extent to which [they were] already successful in putting together a solid central core of politically well-trained worker activists with clear goals, how large the sum of all their political and organisational work has been”.

Volume 3 of the new Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, published this year, shows how false the idea is that

The break-up of Yugoslavia

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 09:25
Author

Sarah Correia

Sarah Correia is a researcher at the London School of Economics. She will speak at Ideas for Freedom, 22-23 June, on the case in Eastern Europe where the collapse of the old bureaucratic “one-party” regime around 1989 led to outright regression — the breakdown of the federal state of Yugoslavia into war.

The understandings of how things worked between nationalities in the old Yugoslavia varies. But a lot of the time there were no big apparent issues. The idea of being “Yugoslav”, and that being compatible with diverse national sub-identities was popular. A significant minority saw themselves

Letter: One king or another

Published on: Fri, 23/11/2018 - 11:35
Author

Daniel Randall

Like Dale Street, Solidarity 486, I rather wonder whether the “pro-independence fundamentalists” who have described David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King as a “clarion call for Scottish independence” can possibly have been watching the same film I saw.

The entire endeavour, both in terms of the actual film itself and the story it’s telling, end up feeling a little... well, pointless. Chris Pine gives a measured, reserved performance as Robert the Bruce, but with the effect that his reasons for risking everything to undertake a dangerous war against the English crown seem rather inscrutable, a mystery

Luxemburg, economics, crises, and the national question

Published on: Thu, 30/08/2018 - 13:09
Author

Martin Thomas

This article seeks to review and reflect on the two volumes of Rosa Luxemburg's Complete Works published so far.

Only a scattering - a much thicker scattering since the 1970s, but still a scattering - of Luxemburg's writings have been available in English until now.

Since the 1970s there has been a "Collected Works" in German. Even that misses out a lot. The new Complete Works, edited by Peter Hudis, will be fourteen volumes.

As Hudis explained in an article in Solidarity 356 (11/3/15: bit.ly/hudis-rl), "given the amount of time, care, and attention that she gave to developing her major

Permanent revolution: Trotsky's theory and later constructions

Published on: Sat, 25/08/2018 - 07:54
Author

Sean Matgamna

From The Left in Disarray

Central to the formation of the ideas of the ostensible left on imperialism and anti-imperialism has been the fact that the Orthodox Trotskyists conflated working-class socialist revolution and the anti-colonial revolutions of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, in what they saw as a variant of Trotsky's permanent revolution.

What is "permanent revolution", as Trotsky expounded it? The French revolution had been a particularly radical bourgeois revolution against the remnants of feudalism in France. Tsarist Russia needed a similar revolution to establish civil liberty and a

Should we reverse history?

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:29
Author

Sean Matgamna

Sean Matgamna replies to Ashok Kumar's "National rights and the decolonial gaze". More debate on the Right of Return here.

Sometimes a person will have to do odd things for socialism.

Trotsky recorded that when women induced the soldiers not to fire at the crowds at the outset of the February Revolution, they had to get at them by first crawling under the belly of Cossack horses. What Trotsky referred to so summarily loses much of its meaning in the minds of modern people who have no experience of horses.

Your horse has a very small brain — the size of a chestnut, perhaps. A horse is

A split in Iraqi socialist group

Published on: Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:54
Author

Nadia Mahmood & Martin Thomas

Nadia Mahmood of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq spoke to Martin Thomas about a split within her organisation.

Nadia: The resignation of our comrades Muayad Ahmed and Yanar Mohammad was announced after the central committee’s decision to take away Falah Alwan’s membership of the party.

MT: There must have been some political issues behind it, like the referendum?

Nadia: We always have different political views in our party. We always take decisions based on votes. That is basic. As regards the referendum, we had our differences but we set them out. So it wasn’t an issue. And the referendum

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