Socialist Worker

Revolution


Doesn't Russia show socialism won't work?

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?

A week debating all the key issues on the left

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.

One in ten will vote for a revolutionary in the French presidential election

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.

The Coup – Party Music

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.

In the Blue House: a bright tale of dark days

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.

Celebrate uprisings of women workers

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.

'Millions came to realise how intolerable their economic and social existence was'

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.

Student conference: Students and Revolution

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.

Kate Rankin

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.

Karl Liebknecht: jailed in 1916 for saying 'Down with the war!'

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.

How wars can lead to revolution

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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