National Sections of the L5I:

Liberation

Fighting the rise of the far right in Europe

In April the racist Republikaner Party stunned Germany by attracting 11% of the vote in a state election. Here Mark Harrison looks critically at the left’s response to the challenge posed by the growth of far right and fascist parties throughout Europe.

In the March 1992 regional elections France saw Le Pen’s Front National (FN) gain 3.3 million votes. The Vlaams Blok in Belgium won 10.4% of the vote, and 12 seats in parliament, in the November 1991 elections as compared to 3% in 1987. In Germany the Republikaner continues to grow and is now backed by the owners of the multinational corporation, Muller. In Sweden the “New Democracy” won 6.6% of the vote in September 1991 against a background of increased racist attacks on black people and immigrants from Eastern Europe. Read more...

The rise of the right across Europe

Over the last year far right and fascist parties, like the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the Front National (FN) in France, the Republikaner Party in Germany and the Lombardy League in Northern Italy, have either grown considerably or achieved significant votes in local and national elections. Dave Beech looks at the factors underpinning these developments and explains what the workers’ movement’s response needs to be. Read more...

The situation in Yugoslavia and the position of proletarian revolutionaries

Yugoslavia faces the prospect of a horrific civil war between the peoples and ethnic groups that make up this most multi-national of European states. Revolutionary Marxists condemn without hesitation the fomentors of national strife. The Serbian, Croatian and Slovenia nationalists are all guilty of this. Cynically playing with the fire of chauvinism which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths during the Second World War, reviving the pogromist traditions of the Chetnik and Ustasha fascists, they have brought the country to the brink of a repetition of these events. Read more...

Class and sexuality

With Labour in retreat on lesbian and gay rights Mark Harrison spells out the limitations of OutRage and the politics of “direct action”. Read more...

AIDS, capitalism and oppression

Infectious diseases have long inflicted suffering and misery on the human race. Today in semi-colonial countries infectious diseases are all too familiar, estimated to be the cause of death for 17 million people (45% of all deaths in such countries) each year.1 Deprived of the resources necessary for the provision of elementary sanitation the masses of the semi-colonies have all too often become the helpless victims of infectious diseases. Read more...

Breaking the chains of Stalinism: women in the Eastern Bloc

“In the last decades only the surface signs of tradition were destroyed. Traditional structures, like the slave-life of women in the family, remain.”1

These words from a Soviet woman worker show the reality of women’s “liberation” under Stalinism. For decades women in the USSR and Eastern Europe were told that they were equal and free, and that the “woman question” had been solved. These lies, together with the claim that socialism had actually been established, are being cruelly exposed as the regimes crumble one by one. The danger now facing women is that they may exchange one illusion for another. Instead of the bureaucratic chimera of “socialism in one country” and women’s liberation, they are now being offered an equally fantastical picture of what the market economy and mass consumerism can do to lighten the crushing burden of domestic toil. Neither of these alternatives can advance the condition of women workers. Read more...

From slavery to socialism: An action programme for women in the USSR and Eastern Europe

An action programme for women in the USSR and Eastern Europe

Working women in the USSR and the rest of Eastern Europe are faced with twin dangers. The collapse of the Stalinist dictatorships threatens both the restoration of capitalism and the possibility of a hardline bureaucratic crackdown. The restoration of capitalism would bring untold hardship for the vast majority of women in the degenerate workers’ states. But what, apart from the planned property relations, remains for working women to defend in the degenerate workers’ states? Read more...

LRCI resolutions on the Gulf Crisis

Passed by the LRCI International Secretariat, August/September 1990

On the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

The Iraqi attack on Kuwait was motivated by economic aggrandisement necessitated by the Iran/Iraq war and the expenses of maintaining the reactionary military Bonapartist regime of Saddam Hussein. Though this seizure of Kuwait has outraged the imperialist powers it is not a genuine blow against imperialism. Iraq seeks to become the dominant regional Arab power, a power that imperialism must work through and deal with. Its claim to be a liberator of the Kuwaiti people from their reactionary rulers is a fraud. As such we condemn the Iraqi invasion and call for the withdrawal of Iraqi troops. Read more...