A century ago (1 July 1921) was the official founding day of the Chinese Communist Party. It began as a genuine revolutionary party led by dedicated and heroic cadres, but went down to tragic defeat in the 1925-7 revolution. Today, the CCP is an instrument of capitalist domination, but its early history is filled with inspiring and cautionary lessons for revolutionaries today. For more information, we recommend these two articles on the history of the CCP from 1927-37, and 1937-49; as well as China: From Permanent Revolution to Counter-Revolution by John Peter Roberts, available from Wellred Books here.

The International Marxist Tendency proudly presents the relaunched In Defence of Marxism theoretical journal. Translated into multiple languages, readers from all over the world will be able to subscribe, and four times a year will receive the physical magazine, posted to your door. Or you can choose to subscribe to our digital editions, which will land directly in your email inbox. The magazine will become available from 16 July, but you can subscribe today!

The civil war in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray entered a new phase over the last few weeks when Tigrayan rebels recaptured Mekele, the regional capital, and forced the federal government forces to retreat. The swift defeat of the Ethiopian forces was a stunning reversal in a civil war that has led to the displacement of nearly two million people in the Tigray region, widespread hunger and atrocities on all sides.

Late on 28 June, news started emerging in the South African media that the monarch of eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), a landlocked kingdom in Southern Africa, had fled the country due to an ongoing protest movement. King Mswati III has ruled this kingdom, which is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique, with an iron fist since 1986. He is the last absolute monarch in Africa, and the masses have forced him to run.

22 June is the 80th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two. This bloody catastrophe, which claimed the lives of almost 5m Soviet troops and saw the Nazis plunge deep into Soviet territory, was facilitated by the wrecking behaviour of Stalin and the bureaucracy. Their decapitation of the Red Army in the infamous Purge Trials, and total mismanagement of the war effort, were paid for in blood by the Soviet people, who were ultimately able to turn things around through their heroic efforts and sacrifice – despite their leaders.

World capitalism is lurching from one crisis to another, making life unbearable for billions of people. Growing numbers of workers and youth are desperately seeking a way out. As consciousness is transformed, an era of revolutionary eruptions on a world scale is in preparation. We publish here a slightly edited version of the draft World Perspectives document that will be discussed at the 2021 World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency this summer.

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