Theory & History
The following article was written in the immediate aftermath of the criminal attacks in New York on September 11th. It deals with the attitude of Marxists to these horrific events and to the methods of terrorism generally.
The following article is from Socialist View, the journal of the Socialist Party. It outlines the history and key lessons of the mass campaign against the Poll Tax that was led by members of Militant in Britain, the forerunner of the Socialist Party. This campaign succeeded in organising mass non-payment of the hated poll tax, with 18 million refusing to pay it thus forced it's abolition and the resignation of Thatcher herself. There are many important lessons that can drawn from this campaign, most notably that it was organised on a national basis and with a clear understanding of the kind of strategy and tactics necessary to defeat the attack. The Socialist Party in Ireland is committed to help build such a campaign to defeat the introduction of the household charges in January of next year.
We publish this article some days before the actual anniversary of 9/11 as a contribution to the discussions and debates taking place internationally on the significance and consequences of this event.
The following article was written in Spring 2001 in Socialist View, the political journal of the Socialist Party, about the Dublin anti-water charges that existed from 1993 to 1996. In January 2012 the government will introduce a household charge of €100 as a step towards introducing a property tax and water charges. Working class activists who will be critical to building a campaign of mass non payment to these charges in every community can draw crucial lessons from this campaign which the Socialist Party played a key leading role in.
Ha-Joon Chang exposes today’s rapacious capitalism, dominated by finance and driven by short-term profit maximisation. He provides a devastating critique of the ideology of ‘free-market’ economics. But while pointing to fundamental contradictions of the system, Chang draws back from a real alternative. socialistparty.net reviews "23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism".
Vladimir Lenin, the main leader of the Russian revolution, made the following insightful observation in mid-1917: “During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred, and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonise them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the ‘consolation’ of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarising it”. (State and Revolution)
This week is the 75th anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War, on 18 July. We mark this hugely important event in world history with an article first published on socialistworld.net in 2009.
In the hearts and minds of workers particularly black workers, the poor, and youth across the world, Malcolm X remains an icon of revolutionary spirit and commitment to justice, freedom, and liberty for the most oppressed people in the world. May 19 marked the 86th birthday of Malcolm X; it has been 46 years since his public assassination.
The Spirit Level – now available in paperback – argues that inequality of wealth and income are the biggest determinants of social wellbeing and quality of life. socialistparty.net reviews this work which, in many ways, makes the case for socialism.
Terry Eagleton's "Why Marx Was Right" is a wonderfully written and accessible introduction to the thought of Karl Marx. It is fashionable to dismiss Marxism as "outdated" or "irrelevant" as it pertains to contemporary economic and political problems. Eagleton provides a much needed correction to this ignorant viewpoint.
Eagleton takes the many objections voiced by the enemies of Marxism (e.g. Marxism is "great in theory" but only leads to bloodshed; Marxism is utopian; Marxism reduces everything to economics; Marxism is deterministic, etc.) and demolishes them one by one.