The following is a review of The First Five Years of the Communist International, consisting of Trotsky’s writings and speeches related to the tasks of building the Third (Communist) International. This book is rich with lessons for the workers’ struggle today and is a must-read for all aspiring revolutionaries! A new edition, with an introduction by Fred Weston (editor at marxist.com) is available from Wellred Books!
We re-publish the third in George Collins’ series of articles on the degeneration of the Soviet Union and the rise of Stalinism. Here, he describes the theoretical battle over the Stalinist distortion of ‘socialism in one country’, and Trotsky’s principled defence of Marxist internationalism. Read part one here, and part two here.
A century ago, on 2-6 March 1919, the first congress of the Third International took place in Moscow. This marked the birth of the Communist International, which became a vital school of revolutionary ideas and strategy. Rob Sewell (editor of Socialist Appeal, British journal of the IMT) looks back on this momentous event.
It is a well-known fact that accident can play a considerable role in both history and the lives of individuals. In the course of my life I have observed many accidents and extraordinary coincidences. But I have never experienced such a unique and unforeseeable concatenation of circumstances as that which I am about to relate here.
Trotsky's 'ABC of Materialist Dialectics' is a brilliant short explanation of Marxist philosophy. It was written as part of a defence of Marxism against a middle class revisionist tendency in the American Trotskyist movement in the late 1930s, which attempted to challenge its basic principles. As opposed to pragmatism and empiricism, Trotsky defended dialectical materialism as a richer, fuller, more comprehensive view of society and life in general. Reprinted in 1994 with a new introduction by Rob Sewell.
The following is an introduction to the latest publication by Marxist Books, The Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism, by the editor of In Defence of Marxism, Alan Woods. This new selection of writings on dialectical materialism is now available for purchase at a special launch price on MarxistBooks.com.
The International Marxist Tendency invites you to Marxist University 2020 – In Defence of Marxism: a four-day online school on July 25-28. The event will be devoted to defending revolutionary socialist ideas, and educating workers and youth in Marxist theory! Read more about the event, and sign up on our dedicated page: university.marxist.com!
May 1968 was the greatest revolutionary general strike in history. This mighty movement took place at the height of the post-war economic upswing in capitalism. Then, as now, the bourgeois and their apologists were congratulating themselves that revolutions and class struggle were things of the past. Then came the French events of 1968, which seemed to drop like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky. They took most of the Left completely by surprise, because, they had all written off the European working class as a revolutionary force.
The winds of revolution are once again blowing over the African continent. From Burkina Faso to South Africa, from Burundi to Nigeria, we have seen a radicalisation of the workers and the youth and the rise of mass movements that have challenged corrupt capitalist regimes in one country after another.
Of all the catchwords used by capital’s paid and unpaid defenders, ‘freedom’ is surely the most used and the least understood. “Capitalism is freedom” according to Turning Point UK. Milton Freedman’s Capitalism and Freedom remains a holy text for those faithful to the church of Free Enterprise. In fact, it is impossible even to begin a discussion on the nature of capitalism without hearing, ‘individual freedom’, ‘free choice’, ‘free trade’ or ‘free markets’.