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Understanding modern capitalism

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Marxist Theory After Trotsky
Tony Cliff £12.99 (introductory offer) Bookmarks
Issue 1848

Marxist Theory After Trotsky
Tony Cliff £12.99 (introductory offer) Bookmarks

THIS IS the third volume of writings by Tony Cliff, a founder member of the Socialist Workers Party who died three years ago. It includes his most important contributions to Marxist theory, which he developed in the decades after the Second World War.

Central was his analysis of Stalin’s Russia, reprinted here as the chapter ‘The Nature of Stalinist Russia’. In it, Cliff both amassed a huge amount of empirical evidence and returned to the classical ideas of Marxism to show that Russia was not some form of socialist or workers’ state.

It was instead another form of capitalism-state capitalism. It was a radical departure in the late 1940s when almost all the left considered Stalin’s Russia some form of advance on Western capitalism. This volume also contains Cliff’s explanation of how the post-war boom in the West rested on unprecedented levels of arms expenditure.

These two pieces, taken together with his theory of revolutions in the Third World, amount to the foundations of an analysis of capitalism as a whole. Other pieces include a chapter on the family from his book on women’s oppression and previously unpublished notes on Marxist theory.

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