International

How Lenin led to Stalin

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FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes?

What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.

Thinking about Anarchism - Revolution

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ANARCHISTS SAY that capitalism can not be reformed away. We say it must be overthrown through a revolution. Many people however believe that the failure of the Russian revolution of 1917 shows revolutions just replace one set of rulers with another. The failures of the revolutions in Nicaragua, Iran and Cuba to fundamentally change life for the workers of these countries seems to point to the same thing. So why all this talk of revolution?

British Labour party offer no path to socialism

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FEW GENUINE socialists would claim the Irish Labour Party has any sort of glorious socialist past, outside of Connolly's involvement in setting it up. It's record is one of abstention from real struggles, attacks on the left and, in coalition, attacks on Irish workers. Many of its supporters believe Labour can come to power in Ireland in the long term through an alliance with the Workers Party.

An anarchist critique of Lenin

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THE COLLAPSE of the regimes in Eastern Europe has thrown up all sorts of questions about socialism. So let's go back to the beginning. The Russian revolution of 1917 was, initially, a shot in the arm for socialists everywhere. It was possible, it existed and now it only remained to imitate it everywhere else. But as time passed it became obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. Instead of being the inspiring picture of our future, Russia had turned into a squalid class-ridden dictatorship. As purge followed purge and the new rulers allocated themselves the best of everything, the socialist movement in the West floundered as it sought explanations for what had gone wrong.

Class - thinking about anarchism

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WHY IS THE concept of class so important to anarchists? Why are we constantly talking about classes and class struggle? Some of our opponents accuse us of living in the past, they claim the working class is dying out. After all you don't see too many workers wandering around in donkey jackets, cloth caps and heavy boots. So that settles the question, doesn't it? No, it doesn't, so let us get away from silly caricatures and get down to basics.The modern world, like the societies that preceded it, does not consist of a single group of people who have more in common than they have dividing them. Sadly there is no single 'humanity', not yet. In every country there is still a division of people into classes which have conflicting interests.

The Alternative Plan - What the Lucas plan proposed

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What was the alternative Lucas Corporate Plan? Over a period of two years a series of proposals that later became known as the Lucas Plan were drawn together through the active involvement of most of the workers in the 15 different Lucas factories. Its aim was to shift Lucas Aerospace, as a company away from the production of military goods, mainly for NATO (an emphasis that was capital intensive and had high profit margins for Lucas's owners) and towards the production of socially useful goods (which was a labour intensive field, relying more on the skills already in the Lucas Company).

Lucas Aerospace and the fight for useful work

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JOBS ARE UNDER threat all over the place. It is not just ones that are useful to us; like nursing, teaching, bus drivers; that are chopped. There are also workers in plants producing weapons, nuclear power, and so on whose futures are far from secure. Workers like those making missiles in Shorts in Belfast whose jobs could well vanish if privatisation plans are put into operation. While we don't want to see anyone tossed onto the dole we also need to question what is being produced and in whose interests, As well as fighting to save the jobs we should be bringing up this issue.

Daniel Guerin: Towards a libertarian communism

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Of all the reading which I did, in 1930, on the boat which took me to Indochina and back, of books which ranged from Marx to Proudhon, to Georges Sorel, to Hubert Lagardelle, to Fernand Pelloutier, to Lenin and Trotsky, those of Marx had without any doubt the greatest impact. These (books) opened my eyes, uncovered the mysteries of capitalist surplus-value, taught me about historical materialism and the dialectic.

Daniel Guerin obituary

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DANIEL GUERIN DIED on the night of April 13th last (1988). He was 84 years of age. The news reached us when the summer issue of Workers Solidarity was already in preparation, hence this belated obituary. One of France's best revolutionary activists and thinkers, he was best known in Ireland as the author of books such as Fascism and Big Business, 100 Years of Labour in the USA and Anarchism.

The Russian Tragedy by Alexander Berkman (Phoenix Press )

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ALEXANDER BERKMAN was no mere theorist. All his life he was an active anarchist militant. Born in Russia, by the age of fifteen he had been expelled from school for membership of a group which met to read radical books. By the age of nineteen he was in America and active in a revolutionary anarchist group.

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