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
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.
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.
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.
06 April 2002
One in ten people in one of the world's key industrial countries say they will vote in two weeks time for a socialist who calls for "revolution" to sweep away a "bankrupt capitalist system". That poll finding is sending shockwaves through the French political establishment as the country gears up for the 21 April presidential election. Paul McGarr reports from France.
27 March 2002
How many rappers from the US would describe themselves as socialists and advocate "millions of people moving, organising and making something happen-a revolution"? Boots Riley of the anti-capitalist band The Coup has done just that. The Coup came to notoriety after the 11 September attacks in the US last year. The original cover of their latest album, Party Music, was a picture of Boots holding a detonator in front of the exploding Twin Towers.
23 March 2002
If you are looking for an intelligent political novel you should definitely pick up a copy of In the Blue House by Meaghan Delahunt. It is a fictional account of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky's last years in exile in Mexico.
09 March 2002
'The working women's day of militancy." That was how the Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai described the first ever celebration of International Women's Day in March 1911. That probably isn't how most people view International Women's Day, which is on Friday of this week, if they have heard of it at all.
12 January 2002
THE UPRISING in Argentina shows that revolution is still possible in the modern world. It has shown mass action from below can topple governments and inflict a defeat on big business policies.
15 December 2001
Students and Revolution, a lively conference organised by student members of the Socialist Workers Party, took place in London last weekend. Around 180 students signed up for the event, which included rallies and workshops.
08 December 2001
Merseyside Socialist Workers Party members are deeply saddened at the recent death of Kate Rankin, a longstanding member of the party. Kate played a key role as branch secretary for the SWP in Liverpool, holding together and building that branch during the difficult years of the 1980s. Her commitment to revolutionary socialism always shone out.
10 November 2001
German socialist Karl Liebknecht stands out as one of the most inspirational figures in the history of the socialist movement. He spent much of his life on the extreme left of the Social Democratic Party, the German equivalent of the Labour Party, before breaking from it and helping to found a revolutionary organisation.
27 October 2001
"In a Western democracy if you lose touch with your people then you lose elections. In a monarchy you lose your head." The words were those of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US. Revolution usually seems to most people a distant prospect. It is easy to conclude that all that we can do is resign ourselves to what exists, at most pushing for marginal reforms.
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.
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
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.
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
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.