Editor's Choice

Another Day: Eye-Witness Account of the Start Of The Irish Troubles, 5 October, 1968

[The fuse to the explosion that engulfed the old, Protestant- ruled Northern Ireland sub-state and led to the British Army taking control of N I in August 1969, was lit when Orange police attacked a civil rights march in Derry, on October 5,1968. This brief eye-withness report was written by Peter Graham in a letter to Sean Matgamna* Three years later, in October 1971, Peter Graham would be murdered by members of the urban guerilla group, "Saor Eire" (Free Ireland) of which he was a member..
*(Middle name, family name, Anthony: thus "Tony") ]

Dear Tony,

The origins of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty: the thirteen basic questions

The origins of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty: the thirteen questions
(This is an expanded version of the text in Workers Liberty 3/26)

The political tendency now organised as AWL originates from Workers’ Fight, a small Trotskyist group formed in 1966. Why, and how?

Workers’ Fight came into existence as a distinct tendency in response to two linked “crises”.

C L R James and Trotskyism

C L R James died on 31 May 1989, at the age of 88.

Born in Trinidad in 1901, he was an agitator for West Indian and African independence, and an associate of the pioneering West Indian and African nationalists; a militant in the US and British Trotskyist movement; a prominent mainstream Trinidadian politician in the late 50s and early 60s; a lone, aged prophet for the generation of black militants who became active in the 60s and 70s; and author of many books and articles on a wide range of subjects.

Gaddafi, Ken Livingstone, Anti-Semitism, and the left

In the 1980s, fervent - and paid - supporters of Gaddafi were accepted by many as a respectable section of the British left! This article from Socialist Organiser 343, 28 January 1988, tells about it, and the lessons we must learn.

Do you like shoddy thrillers? Try this story, then.

The cast of characters:

A very well-known actress and film star, Vanessa Redgrave.

Her brother, a less well-known actor, Corin Redgrave.

Colonel Gaddafi, military dictator of Libya.

Various unnamed members of the Libyan intelligence service.

How Europe underdeveloped Africa

By Chris Reynolds

In the Middle Ages, Ethiopia was not underdeveloped.

Walter Rodney — a black Marxist historian assassinated in 1980 as he tried to build a working-class party in his native Guyana — wrote: “The kings distinguished themselves by building several churches cut out of solid rock. The architectural achievements attest to the level of skill reached by Ethiopians as well as the capacity of the state to mobilise labour on a huge scale.

Why Stalin Needs Slaves: Forced Labor Under Bureaucratic Collectivism (1947)

The experience of all ages and nations demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it may appear to cost only their maintenance, is in the end the dearest of any ... [The slave] can have no other interest but to eat as much and to labor as little as possible. Whatever work he does beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own. (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations)

Workers' control in the 1936-37 Spanish Revolution

I propose to give an account of what I saw while in Spain, and of the further developments since my return. The work of economic reconstruction commenced immediately after the various barracks and buildings occupied by the fascists had been retaken by the armed workers, and it is being carried on parallel with the military activities against fascism. There was no question of patching up the capitalist framework — it was realised by the workers at the very outset that capitalism had failed in every respect and that a new social order would have to be established.

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