One of the successes of the internet is that almost any information you need can be a few key presses away–if you know how to access it. Among all the junk that nestles in the web, the are a few real real gems–often put together by individuals for the benefit of other activists and socialists across the world.
One such site is the longstanding Marxists Internet Archive (MIA) at www.marxists.org.uk. This online resource is a fantastic store of writings and speeches by revolutionaries and Marxists. The archive is continually being updated. One recent addition, following his death last year, is a selection of Duncan Hallas’s articles (available direct at www.marxists.org.uk)
Another nice feature of the MIA is the ability to search using keywords or phrases, which is very useful if you are trying to track down precisely which book a Trotsky quote is from.
Writings aren’t simply limited to the ‘big names’ of Marxism. There are writings from everyone you would expect, but many others you might not.
Last month’s ‘Socialist Review’ carried an obituary of the Marxist historian Christopher Hill, in which Brian Manning referred to Hill’s 1940 essay on the English Revolution which inspired him and others so much. The complete essay can be found at www.marxists.org.uk
The MIA has existed, according to its Introduction, for 15 years, and is independent of any political party or line, with volunteers from many political traditions involved. This means in practice that the MIA is very eclectic in its choice of Marxists to be archived. So Stalin and Mao’s work sits uneasily beside that of Marx, Engels, Trotsky and Lenin.
There are hundreds of pieces by hundreds of revolutionnaries, enough for everyone to find something of interest, but if this is not enough go to www.geocities.com/resistancemp3/ where you can find an online resource of audio recordings of many revolutionaries speaking. Many are taken from the annual Marxism event, but others such as Malcom X and Noam Chomsky are included. This site also includes the only recording I have ever heard of Trotsky speaking.
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