National Sections of the L5I:

Issues

Russian Troops Out! Self-determination for Chechnya!

In March the LRCI and the Trotskyist Faction agreed a joint declaration on the Russian occupation of Chechnya. This statement is part of the process of regroupment discussions set out by both tendencies in December 1995 Read more...

French workers rock Juppé

For three weeks in December French workers took to the streets in mass protests, strikes and occupations. Paul Morris explains the events and their aftermath. Mathieu Roux of Pouvoir Ouvrier (French section of the LRCI) examines the response of the French left. We also print translations taken from the bulletins and newspapers issued by Pouvoir Ouvrier during the strikes. Read more...

Germany: the return of the class struggle

After many years of “good-bye to the working class”, in which, “new global questions facing humanity” seemed to make all orientation to the working class appear hopelessly out of date, a discussion has recently broken out in Germany over the “rebirth of the social question”. One prominent German trade union leader, Schmithenner, summed it up;

“The ‘social question’, which many people thought had been resolved, has announced its return with a vengeance…and this return of the traditional battlegrounds of social conflict within the capitalist market economy comes at a time when the idea that post-materialist culture and lifestyles were now all that mattered had carried the day in scientific and political discussions.”1 Read more...

Balkan wars: A peace to end all peace?

The history of the Bosnian crisis is littered with failed imperialist peace plans. Each of them involved a recognition by imperialism of territorial gains made over the slit throats and raped bodies of tens of thousands of civilians. These plans drawn up by retired senior politicians and diplomats—Vance-Owen (Mark I and II), Owen-Stoltenberg, the Contact Group and now Clinton— have all put multi-ethnic Bosnia on the dissecting table. Read more...

Zapatistas: The “first post-modernist guerilla group”?

With Mexico’s economy in deep crisis, in September President Ernesto Zedillo invited the EZLN to particiapte in National discussions on political reform. They immediately accepted. This came in the wake of an unofficial referendum in Chiapas which revealed that a majority of the population wanted the Zapatistas to abandon “the armed struggle” and form a political party. Despite the EZLN’s statement that they would never give up their weapons, the EZLN is on the brink of entry into ‘normal’ Mexican bourgeois politics? Keith Harvey looks at the Zapatistas’ recent evolution and argues that there has always been a reformist logic behind the revolutionary rhetoric. Read more...

Fascism: yesterday and today...

The rise of fascist front parties across Europe is a symptom of a deepening social crisis. How do these parties relate to “classic” pre-war fascism? How do they differ from established conservative parties? Clare Heath argues that the right answer to these questions is crucial to smashing the renewed threat of fascism. Read more...

France: The FN: twists and turns of a fascist front

The French Front National (FN) was founded in 1972 as a coalition of fascist tendencies. It grouped together Vichy collaborators, young thugs and a handful of non-party fascists, like Jean-Marie Le Pen, who had played minor roles in the post-war history of the French far-right. By 1980 the FN had only 270 members, of whom scarcely 100 were fully paid-up.1 Three years later the FN won 2.2 million votes in the European elections and Le Pen’s face was on the front page of every newspaper. Over the next 10 years, the FN was able to put down deep roots and is now a fundamental feature of the political landscape. Its impact on every other political party has been enormous. Read more...

The MSI: “The cudgel and the double breasted suit”

Italy is the only western European state in which a fascist party has joined a government since 1945.1 The entry of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) into the coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi prompted alarm amongst the left in Italy and around the world. It also provoked some revealing reactions from the bosses’ press. The Economist reassured its readers:

“Hitler and Stalin were monsters. Mussolini by comparison was a farmyard rooster . . . the true mark of fascism, belief in a peculiar variety of one-party corporate state—not, it should be said, a belief shared by this newspaper—is not Nazism or racism. Let the word ‘fascist’ be reserved for those who profess that belief, and today’s neo-fascists be judged for their own ideas, not Hitler’s.”2 Read more...