Battle of Ideas

Immanuel Wallerstein 1930-2019

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 11/09/2019 - 09:10

Immanuel Wallerstein died at the age of 88 on 31 August. He was one of the last great exponents of the 1950s-60s theory of imperialism known as “dependency theory”, and continued to write until only a few years ago.

He was born in New York, the son of Polish Jews fleeing antisemitism, and worked almost all his life in US universities. He named Marx first among those to whom he “acknowledged a continuing intellectual debt”.

Socialist Party split still unclear

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:06
SA logo

The first issue of the monthly newspaper of the new Socialist Alternative group (a splinter from the Socialist Party) is now out.

Unfortunately it has little to mark it out politically from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party. The editorial on Boris Johnson is completely evasive on the question of Brexit. The only real difference is that Socialist Alternative have realised, correctly, that it is embarrassing for them to talk about “Lexit” after all that has happened, especially when their main selling point is that they are more hip and trendy than the Socialist Party.

The history of "left communism"

Submitted by martin on Fri, 26/07/2019 - 07:47
Pannekoek, Bordiga, Damen, Chirik

Above, from left: Pannekoek, Bordiga, Damen, Chirik

A note to supplement Todd Hamer's article "Transforming the labour movement: a reply to our critics"

The nearest that Lenin came to summing up, in "textbook" form, the lessons to be learned by Marxists from Bolshevism and the Russian Revolution, was his famous 1920 pamphlet, Left-wing communism: an infantile disorder.

The roots of Lexitism

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 11:17
Lexit square

The Brexit crisis at Westminster is also rippling across the left in Britain. Although the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) remains committed to its pro¬Brexit position, its report of its conference on 29¬30 December show that at least some of its members are uneasy.

The "revisionism" debate of 1898-9

Submitted by martin on Sun, 28/07/2019 - 10:41
Kautsky's reply to Bernstein

The "revisionism controversy" in the German socialist movement in 1898-9 is often described, with hindsight, as showing that the movement was already rotten. It is held that such central figures in the movement as August Bebel and Karl Kautsky opposed Eduard Bernstein's revisionism only half-heartedly, and really had gone most of the way to accepting Bernstein's gradualist approach.

Corbyn in the 1980s

Submitted by martin on Wed, 17/07/2019 - 08:51
The Times on Corbyn

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity.

We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

Israelophobia is Stalinist regression

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 03/07/2019 - 11:04
dyke march

Barry Finger reviews Paul Kelemen’s book The British Left and Zionism: History of a Divorce (Manchester University Press, 2012)

This volume, which joins the herd of independent minds in churning the same old depleted groupthink, purports to challenge the claim that changes over the decades in the left’s appraisal of Zionism and the Palestinian cause stem from antisemitism.

The life and work of Georg Lukács

Submitted by martin on Sun, 16/06/2019 - 20:45

Georg Lukács (pictured above in 1919) was one of the best-known Marxist writers of the 20th century.

He joined the Hungarian Communist Party in December 1918 and was a People's Commissar in the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic of March-July 1919. After fleeing to Vienna, he published History and Class Consciousness (in 1923, but collecting texts written since 1919).

He lived in the USSR between 1929 and 1945.

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