National Sections of the L5I:

History

From words to deeds by Leon Trotsky

Below appears the first published English translation of Trotsky’s article ‘From words to deeds’(1). Seventy years after its appearance in the paper Vpered (Forward) on 28 June 1917 (2) it remains a key document in the history of Trotsky’s convergence with Lenin’s party.

Vpered was the paper of the Inter-District Organisation of United Social Democrats, the so-called Mehraiontsi. This had been founded in 1913 by Yurenev and other members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) who rejected the discipline of both Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the party. As Yurenev wrote later: ‘In particular we refused to recognise the Bolshevik conference of 1912 as a conference of the entire RSDLP.’(3) Their initial project was to unify the Bolsheviks and the Left Mensheviks in a party of ‘United Internationalists’. Read more...

Labour Youth against the bureaucracy: 1960-64

Julian Scholefield reviews the history of the Healy group in the Labour party in the 1960s Read more...

'Not everything is possible': French Stalinism and the popular front 1936-38

Dave Stockton looks at the consequences of Stalinism's embrace of social-patriotism Read more...

The Meaning Of The Second World War

Paul Mason reviews The Meaning Of The Second World War by Ernest Mandel (Verso 1986 pbk £6.95)

Except for the Russian Revolution no event has shaped the modern class struggle more than the Second World War. The basic outlines of every contemporary war and revolutionary struggle were drawn during World War II. Yet despite its importance, the war remains a virtual closed book for the British labour movement. Read more...

Labours first taste of power: Bosses of workers government

Part four of a history of the Labour Party Read more...

Israel – an oppressor settler state

Zionism, as a colonial settler movement during the first part of the 20th century, had to be strategically allied to one imperialist power or another. Not only did these powers provide the funds for settlement but more importantly they controlled the Middle East. British imperialism was hegemonic there from 1918 until 1947-53 when it was supplanted by the USA. Read more...

Chapter 1: Apprenticeship to Marxism

In 1889 when James Connolly was recruited to socialism in Edinburgh, both Marxist and non-Marxist trends were represented in the newly formed Scottish Socialist Federation (SSF) to which he adhered. Read more...

Chaper 2: The Irish populist dimension

But the palm of honour for the clearest exposition of the doctrine of revolution, social and political, must be given to James Fintan Lalor, of Tenakill, Queen’s County. Read more...

Chapter 3: Labour and nation in Irish history

Connolly’s general conception of Irish history gave full expression to his hybrid of Marxism and populism. This emerges in a number of distinct themes, centrally the collapsing together of the “nation” and the working class. Starting from the view that pre-Norman Ireland was a communal and democratic Irish nation he goes on to portray all resistance to Norman and English conquests as revolts of labour against the “alien”system of private property. Inevitably this leads him to deny any historically progressive role to the bourgeoisie in Ireland. His major historical work, Labour in Irish History, so often claimed by the Irish left as a Marxist classic, emerges under closer scrutiny as a bold, creative but essentially un-Marxist presentation of Irish history. Read more...

Chapter 4: The Irish bourgeois revolution

Nations are the creation of a the bourgeois epoch.

In the Communist Manifesto we find their emergence described as follows:

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected, provinces with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, become lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class interest, one frontier and one customs tariff. (Communist Manifesto, Progress, Moscow, 1969, p.48). Read more...

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