The Democratic Alliance (DA) presents itself as a model party, free from the factional fighting and corruption scandals that have plagued the ANC. But if we look beneath the surface then a completely different picture emerges. Behind the squeaky clean facade is a house divided, and there all manner of things crawling out of the woodwork.

On October 9th, 1967 Ernesto “Che” Guevara was killed by the Bolivian army, backed by the United States. Fifty years later, Guevara remains one of the most popular revolutionaries amongst workers and youth around the world. To commemorate the figure of Che, but also, and most importantly, to understand the relevance of his life and ideas to today's struggles, we are publishing an edited version of an article written for the Italian Marxists’ theoretical magazine ten years ago on the 40th anniversary of his death.

Over the past period, especially since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there has been a systematic and vitriolic attack on the ideas of Marxism. From the citadels of higher learning to the pulpit, from free market institutes to the gutter press, a deafening torrent has rained down on the Marxist viewpoint. In order to confuse and disorient the class conscious worker, nothing is spared by the arch defenders of capitalism to discredit scientific socialism. But given that capitalism has meant the return of mass unemployment and the social ills of the inter-war period, a layer of workers and youth are searching for answers to their problems. Increasingly they are driven by the harsh realities of life under capitalism to look for a way out.

In this talk from a recent Socialist Appeal day school, Alan Woods (editor of In Defence of Marxism) explores Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution and how it has been vindicated throughout history - both in the positive sense, by the Russian Revolution, and in the negative, by the Chinese Revolution of 1925-27.

Capitalism is in its deepest crisis in its history. It is an economic, social and political crisis, which is now expressing itself in political turmoil and growing class struggle across the globe. While the ruling class attempts to bury Marxism, it has in fact never been so relevant as it is today. In this updated article Alan Woods explains the essence of Marxism and its role today.

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