Why should Marxists want to narrow our appeal to 'the workers', enrolling people from other classes only to the extent that they rally behind the working class? Why not seek a broader unity of 'ordinary people'?
Originally published in Workers' Liberty magazine, January 2001. By Chris Reynolds
The pivot of Marx's critique of political economy is the concept of abstract labour, or universal social labour - labour as the expenditure under standard conditions of a quotient of average labour-power. Abstract labour, according to Marx, is the substance of value.
Russian president Vladimir Putin's personal fortune is estimated at $40 billion, making him one of the richest men in Europe.
He owns vast holdings in three Russian oil companies which are concealed behind a vast network of offshore companies. The level of corruption over which he presides accounts for an enormous amount of Russia's GDP - putting half of the economy in the hands of various shades of criminal enterprise.
Will Hutton and Andrew Adonis’s Saving Britain: How We Must Change To Prosper In Europe has bold ambitions, which, combined with its left-of-centre slant, distinguishes it from many in the burgeoning genre of books about Brexit. The book, published less than a year before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU, argues that Brexit is part of a project to create “Thatcherism in one country”, that we can and should stop it – and make profound changes in Britain.
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.
“If our resolution does not foresee any specific method of action for the vast diversity of eventualities,” said Jean Jaurès in urging the adoption of the famous anti-war resolution of the Second International at its special conference in Basel on November 24, 1912, “neither does it exclude any. It serves notice upon the governments, and it draws their attention clearly to the fact that [by war] they would easily create a revolutionary situation, yes, the most revolutionary situation imaginable.”
“Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique... in the possession of what is known as a physical force party — a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agreed upon no single principle, except the use of physical force as the sole means of settling the dispute between the people of this country and the governing power of Great Britain..."
During the 1980s, a lot of people who thought of themselves as Marxists [grew] indifferent or hostile to any project of building a Marxist organisation. This tribe, and it was quite an important component of the Labour left, marched or ambled, in so far as it expressed itself explicitly, under the idea: we will develop the influence of Marxism by promoting left-wing ideas in the existing broad labour movement, trade unions and Labour Party.