Vladimir Lenin

Why we need more Bolsheviks today

Published on: Mon, 03/07/2017 - 12:31
Author

Martin Thomas

Few except the most conservative deny the emancipatory grandeur of mass action in the October 1917 Russian revolution. Common, however, is the claim that there was too much “party” in the revolution — the Bolsheviks were too organised, too ruthless, too pushy, and that led to Stalinism. This article seeks to refute that claim.

October 1917 is often described as a “Bolshevik coup”, suggesting that the Bolsheviks took advantage of momentary excitement and disorder to seize an existing machine of power. In fact, in the weeks after 25 October 1917, the Bolshevik (and then Bolshevik/ Left SR

Learning from the three Ls

Published on: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 13:36
Author

Hal Draper

It was once a tradition for revolutionary socialists to mark every January by remembering the life and work of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In this 1949 article, the US socialist Hal Draper discusses the relevance of the socialism of “3Ls” for the German working class, then under the yoke of imperialist occupation, and for the American working class facing a war-mongering ruling class.


We socialists are not hero worshippers. But we have our heroes. Socialists are not hero worshippers because the very essence of socialism — far deeper than demands for specific social reforms or

The myth of Bolshevik "shock doctrine"

Published on: Fri, 03/06/2016 - 21:30
Author

Martin Thomas

Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine is a left-wing book, an indictment of neoliberalism. She argues that to impose neoliberal economic doctrine, governments impose political "shock" tactics - from military coup and mass murder in Chile to milder forms of atomising the population, in Britain under Thatcher - in order to break social connections and norms.

Klein, however, throws in some side-swipes against the Bolsheviks, whom she describes as also having contrived social disaster and dislocation in order to make a population pliable to their will. In doing so she makes a misquotation which

What is Leninism?

Published on: Thu, 11/12/2014 - 10:55
Author

Leon Trotsky

From The New Course, 1923

Leninism cannot be conceived of without theoretical breadth, without a critical analysis of the material bases of the political process. The weapon of Marxian investigation must be constantly sharpened and applied. It is precisely in this that tradition consists, and not in the substitution of a formal reference or of an accidental quotation.

Least of all can Leninism be reconciled with ideological superficialty and theoretical slovenliness.

Lenin cannot be chopped up into quotations suited for every possible case, because for Lenin the formula never stands higher

Priests Who Don't Believe in God? (1993)

Published on: Fri, 29/08/2014 - 13:25
Author

Sean Matgamna

"Must The Priest Believe?" — in God! — would, I thought, as my eye first flicked over the programme page, be a satire or a skit.

But no, it was a serious edition of Joan Bakewell's "Heart of the Matter", provoked by the case of a Church of England priest, Anthony Freeman, unfrocked for publishing a book explaining why he no longer believes in God.

He doesn't want to be sacked either — he thinks he should continue as a priest! The exclamation mark embodies my own incredulity — but possibly my ideas about these things are old-fashioned. There are quite a number of such Church of England priests

Must The Priest Believe in God?

Published on: Fri, 29/08/2014 - 13:25
Author

Sean Matgamna

"Must The Priest Believe?" — in God!
— would, I thought, as my eye first
flicked over the programme page, be a satire
or a skit.

But no, it was a serious edition of Joan
Bakewell's "Heart of the Matter", provoked by the
case of a Church of England priest, Anthony
Freeman, unfrocked for publishing a book
explaining why he no longer believes in God.
He doesn't want to be sacked either — he
thinks he should continue as a priest! The
exclamation mark embodies my own incredulity
— but possibly my ideas about these things are
old-fashioned. There are quite a number of such
Church of England priests

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