Imperialism

Marxism and imperialism

We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition.... Our tasks... we realize not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a 'defence' cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit...

Solidarity with Iraqi workers!

A Workers' Liberty/ Solidarity pamphlet, March 2005. Trade unionists or Islamists? Who represents Iraqi workers? The "reactionary anti-imperialists" Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 1) Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 2) Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 3) Self-determination and democracy in Iraq Is Iraq another Vietnam?

The new world disorder: war and imperialism

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". For contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files, read on. The USA as hyperpower by Colin Foster. "Rome fell. Babylon fell. Scarsdale's turn will come". The super-plutocracy of the US rich, symbolised by such posh commuter towns as Scarsdale (near New York), is fated to decline. Thus Paul Kennedy summed up the message of his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which was the central reference point for discussions of the shape of the world at the time...

Kino Eye: Eisenstein's unmade films about Haiti

A first for Kino Eye — films you can’t see because they were never made! The Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein had always been fascinated with the slaves’ revolt on Haiti. It was one of his lifetime ambitions to make a film about this subject but, unfortunately, none ever materialised. The nearest he came was on an extended trip to the USA and Mexico in 1930. Arriving in Hollywood in May he read Black Majesty: The life of Christophe, King of Haiti, written by John W. Vandercook. Eisenstein wanted the black singer and actor Paul Robeson to play the leading role. However, Paramount Studios, who...

Haitian revolution vs British empire

The French Revolution was a bourgeois revolution, and the basis of bourgeois wealth was the slave trade and slave plantations in the colonies. Though the bourgeoisie traded in other things than slaves, upon the success or failure of the traffic everything else depended. Therefore when the bourgeoisie proclaimed the Rights of Man in general, with necessary reservations, one of these was that these rights should not extend to the French colonies. There was the abolitionist society to which Brissot, Robespierre, Mirabeau, Lafayette, Condorcet, and many such famous men belonged even before 1789...

Britain's Caribbean troops

The West Indian Soldier exhibition at the National Army Museum in Chelsea tells (part of) the story of Caribbean soldiers and the British Empire. It tries to stress the positive aspects of soldiers’ relationship to the army, but reveals how they faced racist attitudes and treatment from higher-ups. During the First World War Caribbean troops were sent to fight the Ottomans in Egypt, as the British government did not want them fighting white people. Until 1807 the government was reluctant to even concede that enslaved men recruited into the army were automatically freed. The most interesting...

A global fight for justice and freedom

This is the speech socialist activist Maxine Mallon (pictured above protesting at the Home Office against the Nationality and Borders Bill) gave recently about the democracy struggle in Hong Kong and its wider implications and connections.

Afghanistan and the left, 2021

The disaster in Afghanistan makes it even more urgent for the left to recognise that in conflicts between big powers like the USA, and reactionary forces which conflict with those big powers without to any degree fighting for national-liberation or democracy, it is possible and indeed mandatory for socialists to support neither side. We instead fight for the "third camp" of the working class and the oppressed, against both the big powers and forces like the Taliban, even if that "third camp" is at present weak and undeveloped. When I wrote an earlier comment, I thought that most people on the...

Debating internationalism in the Democratic Socialists of America

Dan La Botz is a US socialist active in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Solidarity. He is a co-editor of the independent socialist journal New Politics, and a supporter of the Internationalism from Below initiative. He spoke to Daniel Randall of Workers' Liberty about debates in and around the DSA, especially about what approach the organisation should take to international issues. What follows is an edited transcript. This interview was conducted prior to voting on resolutions at the DSA's recent convention. At that convention, a resolution broadly representing the “campist”...

Angelo Del Boca, the honest historian of Italian colonialism

On 6 July, Angelo Del Boca, the most honest and fearless historian of Italian colonialism and its crimes, died aged 96. He was a lifelong socialist, a former partisan fighter and journalist. As a historian, his work was concentrated on the demolition of the presumed “humane and generous” character of Italy”s imperialist adventures. He was rewarded by the open and fierce hostility not just of the country”s reactionary Right but also of the intellectual and historiographical currents of social-democrats and Stalinists for ever in the search for a “progressive” patrimony. The myth of the Italians...

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