Battle of Ideas

A new humanist politics?

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.

How left "anti-Zionism" fed an antisemitic ferment

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Matgamna was written at the time but never published, except in a small-circulation pamphlet collecting the debate with unpublished additions.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

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

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.

Amritsar, a hundred years on

On 13 April 1919, in Amritsar in the Punjab, India, 50 soldiers under the command of the British General Dyer opened fire on a crowd gathering in the Jallainwala Bagh – a garden-cum-open area popular for meetings and social or religious gatherings.

Many of the crowd were there to celebrate Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year. No one was armed, there were no disturbances, it was peaceful.

The British authorities put the number of dead at 379, with more than a thousand injured. The actual number of fatalities will never be known.

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