Socialist Worker

Revolution


Eyewitness to a revolution

11 August 2001
THE IMAGE of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 for me sums up the China of today. A highly repressive and nasty state, every bit as class ridden as the rest of the capitalist world.

Naomi Klein and Zapata: Can we ignore the power of the state?

24 March 2001
Naomi Klein praises the Zapatistas because there aren't interested in overthrowing the state, but the revolutionary Zapata who gave them their name would not have agreed with that tactic

Blazing torch of revolution

18 December 1999
"WE DEMAND total control of the branches of industry by the working people. From you capitalists, weeping crocodile tears, we demand you stop weeping about chaos you yourselves have created. Your cards are on the table, the game is up, your persecution can no longer be successful. Go off and hide. Think your own thoughts and don't dare show your faces, or else you'll find yourself without a nose, and without a head to boot." RESOLUTION passed at mass meeting of workers in the Putilov engineering works in Petrograd on the eve of the Russian Revolution

Russian workers seize power

18 December 1999
BY THE start of 1917 the slaughter of the First World War, economic ruin and hatred of the Tsar combined to spark rebellion in Russia. At the front soldiers, spurred on by Bolshevik agitators, deserted in droves and returned home. On 23 February, International Women's Day, the working class women of Petrograd filled the streets demanding bread. A revolution was under way.

The century of hope and horror

18 December 1999
THE LAST 100 years of the millennium have been an era of wars and revolutions. The first half of the century saw generations slaughtered in two world wars. It has been the century which produced the Nazi Holocaust and the possibility that nuclear weapons would destroy the world. Capitalism's crazed rule for profit threatens ecological catastrophe.

Isolation and defeat

18 December 1999
THE LEADERS of the Russian Revolution knew that the new society would be strangled at birth by the capitalist powers if it remained isolated. So revolution would have to be an international phenomenon. The Western powers, realising this, moved quickly to isolate Russia. The country was invaded by 14 capitalist powers which backed the reactionary "White Army" during the civil war that followed. The motor of the revolution, the working class, was slaughtered and atomised.

Exhibition

11 December 1999
"UNCONVENTION" is an exhibition with a difference. It has been assembled by rock group the Manic Street Preachers on the theme of love and revolution. The show brings together paintings by Picasso and Jackson Pollock with posters from the Spanish Civil War and photographs of the work ers in the south Wales valleys.

Flying the flag for revolution

27 November 1999
THIS WORKERS' banner (above) is from the period of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is one of many fascinating items on show in the "Banners at Large" exhibition at The Pumphouse People's History Museum in Manchester until 30 January next year. The banner was sent from the textile workers of Moscow to the textile workers of Yorkshire in about 1920. It was brought to Britain by Maggie Jordan, a mill worker from Shipley.

A world free from violence

27 November 1999
"YOU Marxists believe in violent revolution," is a charge put by establishment politicians and mainstream newspapers. These people claim that, unlike Marxists, they stand for peace and non-violence. This is the utmost hypocrisy. Such people organise and cheer on the most barbaric violence when it is in their interests.

The roots of the collapse

06 November 1999
THE SIGHT of rejoicing people tearing down the Berlin Wall sums up for many the hopes of the 1989 Eastern European revolutions. They demonstrated the potential of the mass of ordinary people to rise up and challenge even the most repressive regimes. They proved wrong all those who had claimed that the Stalinist regimes were all-powerful monoliths that could not be overthrown. Yet ten years on the hopes of so many of those who fought for their freedom have been turned to dust.

Do revolutions always have to end in tyranny?

06 November 1999
"SOCIETY MAY be in a mess, but a revolution would produce a new tyranny." That is one of the most common objections to the idea of revolution. Defenders of capitalism said the monstrous societies of Eastern Europe and Russia which collapsed in 1989 were the inevitable result of workers' revolution.

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