National Sections of the L5I:

Liberation

Congress and the birth of India

14 August marks the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence. Richard Brenner examines how the British Raj met its end, not through some enlightened decision to “give India self-government” but through the actions of the mass movement against foreign rule, led by the Indian National Congress and its foremost representatives, Mahatma Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Read more...

Britain: Separation for Scotland and Wales?

Elected on a wave of unprecedented popular enthusiasm, Tony Blair’s New Labour government has lost little time in shelving most of its promises of democratic and constitutional reform.

On the firm recommendation of the party’s “spin doctors”, Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell, plans for a Freedom of Information Act to open up the workings of one of the most secretive states of the Western democracies to greater public scrutiny have been swiftly dropped. Another measure making no appearance in the government’s legislative timetable is the plan to abolish the voting rights of hereditary peers in the House of Lords, Britain’s unelected second chamber. Read more...

Rethinking the road to power in Ireland

Maureen Harrington reviews the new programme of Socialist Democracy\Ireland: The Promise of Socialism is by written by three members of Socialist Democracy – the Irish section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). Read more...

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...

The left and the ANC government

South Africa’s Government of National Unity (GNU) has been in office for nearly two years. Mandela has been treated virtually as a living saint by the national and international capitalist class for achieving a “peaceful and responsible transition” from white rule to majority rule. Politicians, from Margaret Thatcher to Fidel Castro, have flocked from overseas to see the newborn multi-racial South Africa and bless it in its cradle.

Marxists must penetrate the dense cloud of incense being burned before the image of Nelson Mandela. Read more...

The US left and black liberation

Part 2: From the Comintern to the Socialist Workers Party (USA)

In the last issue John McKee described how American communists fought for a radical break with the US labour movement’s traditions of racial segregation early this century. In this, the second part of his article, he examines the debates about black self-determination in the Comintern in the 1920s and 30s and their influence on the development of the post-war left’s response to black nationalism. Read more...

The genesis of Irish nationalism - The United Irishmen and the failed revolution of 1798

In 1795 the United Irishmen, the first Irish republicans, refounded themselves as an underground revolutionary organisation. In September of the same year, the Orange Society was established as a mass reactionary alliance of landlords and loyalist peasantry. The aim of the United Irishmen was to recreate the French Revolution in Ireland; the Orangemen's goal was to prevent it. So the "two traditions" referred to in the Downing Street Declaration both have something to commemorate this year. Read more...

From the Civil War to the Comintern - Fighting racism in the USA

The oppression suffered by black workers in the USA from the last quarter of the nineteenth century eliminated much of the gains of the early post Civil War period. The reformist labor leaders of the time helped entrench this racism within the trade unions. In the first of two articles (concluding part in TI 18), John McKee explains the roots of this apartheid within the labour movement and shows how a radical, if incomplete, break with this legacy formed part of the early years of US communism under the influence of Lenin's Third International. Read more...

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