National Sections of the L5I:

History

1889: The Second International

The Early Years
The Second International ended the national isolation of socialist organisations after the collapse of the First International (1864-1874). During this period powerful socialist parties in many European countries - particularly the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) - had emerged. Read more...

1918: Germany - reformists versus the revolution

Towards the end of the First World War the workers of Russia rose in revolt against Tsarism. By October 1917 they had pressed on to establish, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, a Soviet (workers’ council) Republic, the world’s first workers’ state. Read more...

1907: First Youth International

In the global movement against the war in Iraq, young people, in their hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets and led the way with militant direct action against the war. Yet, on the official organisational committees of the anti-war and anti-capitalist movement they are a tiny minority. In response, many young people are starting to discuss the need to build a new youth international. Jeremy Dewar draws the lessons we can learn from the first youth international. Read more...

1936: Spain - Stalinism and the Spanish Civil War

The Spanish revolution attracted international support as many workers and youth saw it as a crucial struggle against fascism, immortalised in George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. But why did the Spanish Revolution fail? Read more...

The Hunger Strikes: 25 years on

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strikes. In 1981, 10 Irish Republican prisoners fasted to death in order to win political status for themselves and their comrades in British jails. Read more...

The birth of the Labour Party

In February 1906 the Labour Representation Committee won 29 seats at the general election. It promptly changed its name to the Labour Party. Dave Stockton draws the lessons from its founding years Read more...

1905 and the Origin of the Theory of Permanent Revolution

The Russian Revolution of 1905 was a titanic event that shaped the 20th century and the history of the working class movement. It set the pattern for the many revolutions of the twentieth century. Within a few years it had revolutionary repercussions from Mexico to China. In central and western Europe, it provoked a radicalisation of the trade union movement and inspired the struggle for bourgeois democracy. Even in ultra-conservative Britain, it was warmly welcomed in the newly formed Labour Party, inspired the women's suffrage movement and contributed to the rise of syndicalism in the trade unions. Here, Richard Brenner and Dave Stocking examine its impact on the international revolutionary movement itself and, in particular, the development of the theory of permanent revolution. Read more...

The battle of Seattle

Seattle, 30 November 1999, was a defining moment for the global anticapitalist movement. This was day the movement, which had been growing over the previous five years, finally became conscious of its power. Read more...

Industrial Workers of the World: one big union

Mark Hoskisson looks at the history of the Industrial Workers of the World one hundred years on from its foundation Read more...

The Great Miners’ Strike, 1984-85

Two decades have passed since the British miners launched a strike to defend their pits from a huge closure programme. The strike turned into one of the most decisive economic and political struggles of the twentieth century. Mark Hoskisson looks back at this contest between the British state and the thousands of working class men and women, whom the Tory prime minister of the time, Margaret Thatcher, famously described as “the enemy within”. Read more...