Imperialism

Marxism and imperialism

We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition.... Our tasks... we realize not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a 'defence' cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit...

Solidarity with Iraqi workers!

A Workers' Liberty/ Solidarity pamphlet, March 2005. Trade unionists or Islamists? Who represents Iraqi workers? The "reactionary anti-imperialists" Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 1) Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 2) Why socialists can not support the USA in Iraq (part 3) Self-determination and democracy in Iraq Is Iraq another Vietnam?

The new world disorder: war and imperialism

Number 2/3 of Workers' Liberty magazine is a special issue on "The new world disorder: war and imperialism". For contents, and links to download articles from the magazine as pdf files, read on. The USA as hyperpower by Colin Foster. "Rome fell. Babylon fell. Scarsdale's turn will come". The super-plutocracy of the US rich, symbolised by such posh commuter towns as Scarsdale (near New York), is fated to decline. Thus Paul Kennedy summed up the message of his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which was the central reference point for discussions of the shape of the world at the time...

School history and Black Lives Matter

A good historian and history teacher is a blend of detective, lawyer, and story-teller. At its simplest history is story-telling with evidence, though for many years history in schools was simply the story of rulers, of so-called great men. The stories of the little people, often far more interesting, were neglected. And the more oppressed the people, the more likely that their story remained untold in history books. Imagine for a minute you are a trans man or woman, or a black trans man or woman. You have all the experience of isolation in a cruel world full of prejudice and, to add salt to...

"Active class struggle is central to anti-racist struggle"

The Repeat Beat Poet is a hip hop and spoken word artist, broadcaster and activist. He talked with Janine Booth from Solidarity; the whole conversation is online here. On recent events in the USA: There are shamefully still regularly extrajudicial killings of Black people in the US and across the world, but because of lockdown, the killing [of George Floyd] is a moment of vindication for a lot of activists. The protests are vital in achieving concessions from the oppressive system we’re living in, and show mobilised oppressed peoples how they can bring themselves together and collectivise...

US-Iran: a clash of imperialisms

The conflict between the USA and Iran in the Middle East which has now flared hot again is a conflict between two imperialisms. They are two different sorts of imperialism. The USA is a world power, Iran, a regional power. The sway of the Iranian state over the oppressed nations within its own borders (Kurds, Azerbaijanis, Baluchis, etc.) is directly political and military. Its less direct sway in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, etc. is also politico-military. Being much less strong economically than US capital, Iranian capital has to rely on such politico-military methods. The USA, for decades...

Why we don’t look to “the international community” to defend the Kurds

“The policy that attempts to place upon the proletariat the insoluble task of warding off all dangers engendered by the bourgeoisie and its policy of war is vain, false, mortally dangerous. “’But fascism might be victorious!’ ‘But the USSR is menaced!’ ‘But Hitler’s invasion would signify the slaughter of workers!’ And so on, without end. “Of course, the dangers are many, very many. It is impossible not only to ward them all off, but even to foresee all of them. Should the proletariat attempt at the expense of the clarity and irreconcilability of its fundamental policy to chase after each...

A poundshop Lloyd George?

“Principles mean nothing to him — never have. His mind doesn’t work that way. “It’s both his strength and his weakness”. That was how the Tory politician Arthur Balfour described David Lloyd George, prime minister 1916-22, a leading government minister 1906-16, and a dominant figure in Liberal Party politics for most of the first half of the 20th century. A minister who worked with Lloyd George saw him as having an “absolute contempt for detail” but a strange capacity to improvise and “pick up the essential details of a question by conversation”. A biographer described him as “always in a...

Peronism: not a model for socialists

In an interview featured in Tim Alberta’s new book American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump, President Donald Trump compared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Eva Perón. Specifically, Trump remarked that Ocasio-Cortez has “talent”, but “doesn’t know anything”. This alludes to how Eva Perón went from popular radio and film actress to powerful symbol for the political movement spearheaded by her husband, Juan Perón. The latter was President of Argentina from June 1946 to September 1955, and again from October 1973 until his death in July...

Immanuel Wallerstein 1930-2019

Immanuel Wallerstein died at the age of 88 on 31 August. He was one of the last great exponents of the 1950s-60s theory of imperialism known as “dependency theory”, and continued to write until only a few years ago. He was born in New York, the son of Polish Jews fleeing antisemitism, and worked almost all his life in US universities. He named Marx first among those to whom he “acknowledged a continuing intellectual debt”. He described himself as one of a “gang of four” with Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, and Andre Gunder Frank, all also now dead. Gunder Frank was the most prolific and...

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