Max Shachtman

How not to quote Lenin

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 12/06/2019 - 09:08
lenin

“The October Revolution is an imperishable page in the history of the great movements of the masses to take their destiny into their own hands that began with the French Revolution.

“It was the second stage of the elemental upsurge of the Russian masses that began in February.

Bolshevism, the civil war, and after

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 27/02/2019 - 11:18
Lenin

Review of In Defence of Bolshevism, £12 including UK postage. Purchase here.

Mass socialist parties, trade unions, workers councils and organs of struggle are places for debate, discussion, deliberation and opposition, where, ideally, everything is openly evaluated. Their functionality requires constituencies free to transmit their will to the administrators of power, not only within these organisations themselves but also to the broader institutions and arenas in which they participate.

A deviation from the road

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 30/01/2019 - 11:20
IDoB cover

“The force of things and the behaviour of men have contradicted all Lenin’s optimistic forecasts, his hopes in a superior democracy as much as his semi-libertarian ideas expressed in the State and Revolution and other writings of the same period, at the dawn of the revolution. Nothing in the individual theses of Trotsky has stood the test any better, in particular his wordy and abstract theory of the ‘permanent revolution’.” — Boris Souvarine, Stalin. A Critical Survey of Bolshevism, 1939.

Reading about Rosa Luxemburg

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 12:33
RL reading

As we go to press on 15 January 2019, it is exactly the 100th anniversary of the murder of the Polish¬German revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg. She was killed by a right-wing militia operating under the Social¬Democratic government which was heading off the German workers’ revolution.

We have a pamphlet in production on Luxemburg and the German revolution. Readers can also find a good summary of Luxemburg’s political work in two articles, from 1935 and 1938, by Max Shachtman.

In defence of Ernest Erber

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 10:35
lenin

Russia was ruled by 130,000 landowners. They ruled by means of constant force over 150 million people … And yet we are told that Russia will not be able to be governed by 240,000 members of the Bolshevik Party – governing in the interests of the poor and against the rich. – V.I. Lenin, Will the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?, 1917

No party like the Bolshevik party

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 17/10/2018 - 09:06

In Defence of Bolshevism, the new book from Workers' Liberty, had its launch at a lively meeting in central London on 12 October. Edited by Sean Matgamna, the collection of texts by American Trotskyist Max Shachtman represents one of the greatest polemics in the Marxist tradition. It is the defence of a revolutionary socialist consciousness being developed in the working class as the irreplaceable pre-condition for the self- emancipation of the working class.

Under the Banner of Marxism

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:45
In Defence of Bolshevism

The AWL’s new book, In Defence of Bolshevism, will upset many people on the left – and is warmly welcomed for doing so.

The bulk of the book consists of texts by the foremost Heterodox Trotskyist, Max Shachtman. In 1949, Shachtman published Under the Banner of Marxism, originally written as an answer to Ernest Erber, a former Third Camp comrade who had just deserted.

In this review, however, I want to pay attention to the book’s introduction by Sean Matgamna, tying in the texts with today.

In defence of Bolshevism

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 12:57
In defence of Bolshevism front cover

Shachtman’s polemic against Ernest Erber, which Workers’ Liberty have reprinted, is one of the Marxist movement, like Marx’s Poverty of Philosophy or Engels’ Anti-Dühring.

Erber considered himself a socialist of sorts until his death, quite recently, at the age of 96. Mostly he gave his energies to the career he made after quitting, as a town planner, and to domestic life. He wrote occasionally for the reform-socialist journal Dissent.

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