Battle of Ideas

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
Lukacs

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.

A new humanist politics?

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 05/06/2019 - 11:02
mason

Paul Mason’s latest book, Clear Bright Future, is written as a defence of humanism and human-centred politics, against the resurgent threat of the far-right, from Trump to Bolsonaro, Le Pen to Salvini. The title is a reference to Leon Trotsky’s testament. Mason entreats us to fight “all evil, oppression, and violence”, and shares Trotsky’s optimism for the future.

The break-up of Yugoslavia

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 05/06/2019 - 09:25
milosovic

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.

How left "anti-Zionism" fed an antisemitic ferment

Submitted by martin on Mon, 01/04/2019 - 21:50
Brenner

In the mid-1980s, Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity, ran a long debate - discussion articles, letters, rejoinders, from a wide variety of views - on Israel-Palestine.

One of the contributions then was from Lenni Brenner, author of two books very influential on the "absolute anti-Zionist" left (Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and The Iron Wall). The following reply to it by Sean Matgamna was written at the time but never published, except in a small-circulation pamphlet collecting the debate with unpublished additions.

Trump: the unpredictable face of neoliberalism

Submitted by cathy n on Fri, 11/08/2017 - 11:57
Sample

Martin Thomas spoke to Andrew Gamble about the character of the Trump government. Andrew Gamble is a Professor in Politics at the University of Sheffield and the author of many books on political economy. [The interview was recorded at the end of July, before the North Korea crisis blew up]

MT: Since the 1940s the world markets have been structured by a series of institutions: the WTO, the IMF, the G20, the G7, NATO. The USA has been central to all of these. Is Trump going to blow them up?

As we were saying: when the Morning Star nearly went under

Submitted by martin on Thu, 30/05/2019 - 13:53
Morning Star 1991

Our comment in 1990 when the Morning Star lost its bulk sales in the USSR and Eastern Europe, nearly went under, and appealed frantically for funding from the trade unions in order to survive.


Some of the best people I have ever encountered in the labour movement - or anywhere else, for that matter - were CPers, that is, Stalinists, in one degree or another.

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