21 June 2003
What's wrong with the current system?
24 May 2003
To Kill a King is an interesting new film about the English Revolution in the mid 17th century. A revolt, led by parliament, broke out against the tyranny of Charles I's regime in 1642. After years of civil war and attempts to compromise broke down, revolt became a full-blooded revolution.
19 April 2003
"THE internationalisation of economic life makes it necessary to settle controversies by fire and sword." That was how the revolutionary Nikolai Bukharin, writing in 1915, described the link between and the economic system and war. He was analysing imperialism, a word that has rightly been used to describe the US war against Iraq. Imperialism is not just a term of abuse or a description of empires.
22 March 2003
MANY YEARS ago when the benefits of parliamentary democracy were shared by very few of the world's population, the Russian revolutionary Lenin pointed to a fundamental problem. He argued that "hidden beneath the polished exterior of modern democracy are deceit, violence, corruption, mendacity, hypocrisy and oppression of the poor". Tony Blair's New Labour has managed to illustrate each one of them in six short years. One measure of the outcome is the declining number of people who vote in elections.
08 March 2003
ON SATURDAY 15 February democracy came onto the streets to demonstrate against war and barbarism. The demos are part of a process where politics has become so generalised that a casual conversation about the weather becomes a full blown discussion about the lies and deceits of George Bush. Old-timers start to look for comparable events, to explain, in the words of Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On".
15 February 2003
FOR WE who live on this planet under capitalism, there is the daily drip, drip, drip of frustration and resentment. And then, with eerie regularity, there are the horrors of famine, plague and war. The horrors have their roots in the daily apparatus of pedestrian human suffering. Thirty years ago I became a socialist and a revolutionary. Two things drove me to it.
01 February 2003
THERE WAS a small revolution in St Albans last week, one that should give Tony Blair pause for thought as he shackles Britain to the chariot wheels of US imperialism. A meeting called by the Stop the War Coalition turned out to be the biggest protest meeting the city has seen in living memory.
11 January 2003
"What the fuck do you want?" Those were Joe Strummer's first words to me, backstage at London's ICA in the winter of 1976. I'd been photographing the gig for the New Musical Express, a revelation of the burgeoning punk scene. Born John Mellor in 1952, Joe Strummer, son of a British diplomat, boarding school, art college, cartoonist, artist, busker, musician, lived for a while in Newport.
23 November 2002
THE PETER and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg was once a prison but is now a museum. You can wander round its cells and see grainy photographs of its former occupants, political prisoners under the old Russian Tsars 100 years ago. A large number are women-revolutionaries usually from middle class backgrounds who braved torture and exile for their cause.
23 November 2002
IT IS with deep sadness that present and past members of Portsmouth SWP record the death of Jill Molyneux last week. Jill was a lifelong socialist whose first political involvement was in solidarity with the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. She joined the International Socialists in 1972.
09 November 2002
THIS YEAR is the 85th anniversary of one of the most important and uplifting events of the 20th century. But you wouldn't know that from any of the papers or TV. The revolution in Russia in 1917 is an event hated by people who defend the system we live in. That's because the mass of people took their lives into their own hands. Historians who are hostile claim it was a conspiracy by a small bunch of revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks.
26 October 2002
SOCIALIST Worker readers will be saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the paper's oldest readers. Beatrice Mary Jones was born into a fairly privileged family in August 1901. As a teenager she read about the harsh lives of working class people, and in 1917 her sympathy for the Russian Revolution led her aunty to declare her a "Bolshie".
28 September 2002
DUNCAN HALLAS, who died last week, was a lifelong fighter for revolutionary socialism. A whole generation of supporters of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) remembers him as an inspired speaker and teacher of Marxist ideas. Year after year he would fill halls with hundreds of people at the SWP's annual Marxism event as he spoke about a range of topics - historical materialism, the struggle of the working class in Britain, the revolutionary tradition, the origins of humanity.
21 September 2002
AS revolutionaries we do not simply want to win a few small changes in society. We want to run the world in a completely different way. We think it is necessary to smash the presently existing state. But there's an immediate problem: the other side will do everything in its power to stop us. And they have a lot of power.
13 July 2002
THE POET Shelley has inspired hundreds of books throughout the 180 or so years since he died. But Paul O'Brien's new book, Shelley and Revolutionary Ireland, finds a lot of new and very interesting things to say about Shelley and his fight against oppression. The book is about Shelley's two visits to Ireland in 1812.
15 June 2002
FOR MOST people the idea of revolution is closely associated with violence. This message is hammered home in school textbooks, and historical novels and documentaries. There you will find gruesome descriptions of the "reign of terror" of 1793 during the French Revolution.
08 June 2002
MANY PEOPLE have heard about the great revolution in France in 1789. But they think nothing much happened in Britain at that time. This is not true. The events inspired political and economic revolution in Britain and led to the birth of a new class. Eighteenth century Britain was shaped by the revolution that took place in England much earlier, in the 1640s.
08 June 2002
THE RICH and powerful always want to put us off the idea of revolution. They have consciously promoted the argument that in Russia the revolution led to terror and dictatorship, that Lenin led to Stalin. This idea has been encouraged for decades and by a wide range of people. Writers who supported the old Stalinist rulers of Russia continually promoted the argument that Lenin led to Stalin.
01 June 2002
IN THE past people selling Socialist Worker would sometimes be told, "Get back to Russia." Today it would be more appropriate to turn this taunt on vendors of the Financial Times as Russia's suffering shows the horrors of market capitalism. But it is still important for revolutionaries to understand what happened in Russia. How could the revolutionary hope of 1917 to be turned into dictatorship by 1930?
18 May 2002
Marxism 2002 will be one of the biggest left wing events in Europe this year. At Marxism we will be discussing all the issues thrown up by the political crises of recent months, in over 200 meetings and forums. From what fascism is to imperialism and war, from the relevance of Marxism today to revolution in Latin America, we will be looking at the big debates facing the left.