The October Revolution of 1917 seemed to many observers to be an attempt to stand Marxism on its head.
Those who said that included George Valentinovich Plekhanov and Pavel Borisovich Axelrod, the founders of the Russian Marxist movement, and Karl Kautsky, the most authoritative Marxist of the Second International (1889-1914).
In June 1968 women sewing machinists in the Ford car plant in Dagenham took a stand for equal pay in a strike that stopped production for three weeks. They succeeded in getting abolished their lower “women’s rate” of pay and precipitated wider action: there were other equal pay strikes that year and the National Joint Action Campaign Committee for Women’s Equal Rights (NJACCWER) was formed by women trade unionists, who organised a demonstration for equal pay in 1969. Without the Ford women, there would have been no
Nothing will ever efface for me the memory of my first real strike - on the Salford docks - the first time I saw my class acting as a surging, uncontrolled force breaking the banks of routine capitalist industrial life and, for a while, pitting itself against those who control our lives.
Blatantly recognisable, but with a style which never overwhelms the content, his films are individual, personal - yet awesome in scale and power. So protective was he of his artistic vision that he lived for most of his career in self-imposed exile from the Hollywood system in Britain, even reconstructing Vietnam here because he didn't like flying. He was idiosyncratic, maverick, reportedly very difficult and perfectionist; but that is frequently the mark of an artistic genius.
Eric Hobsbawm somewhere discusses one of the oddest conundrums in labour historiography, one paralleled now in the historiography of IS/SWP: the 20th century reputation of the Fabian Society as far-sighted pioneers of independent labour representation - the gap between what was and what is afterwards widely accepted as having been.
Émile Zola was one of the foremost novelists of late 19th century France. He was also sympathetic to socialism and a hero in the “Dreyfus Affair” of the 1890s. This interview with him by Max Beer appeared in the Social Democrat (magazine of the Social Democratic Federation, then the main Marxist group in Britain) of October 1902. Beer was the British correspondent of the German socialist paper Vorwärts and author of a History of British Socialism.
The Fountain Head deserves a review in spite of the fact that it is as blooming a stinkeroo as ever came out of a Hollywood studio. But since this dim view of its merits as a film has no necessary connection with the reason it invites discussion, we skip the bill of particulars. If you blunder into it looking for an evening's entertainment, let the consequences be on your own head.
Frederick Engels' description of Robert Owen's life and work.
In 1843 Frederick Engels — who had been living abroad and been in contact with a number of socialist thinkers of different persuasions, inclunding Marx — decided to go to England, where he spent 21 months working as a clerk in his father’s large spinning firm in Manchester.