National Sections of the L5I:

Analysis by Country

Militant Tendency faced with a turn

Militant’s turn to standing candidates against Labour contradicts everything they said and did in the 1980s. It is the result of the collapse of their political perspectives, argues Richard Brenner. Read more...

Algeria: state of siege

Algeria won its independence from France in 1962. Today the tanks that are patrolling the streets of the capital, Algiers, are there on orders from the leaders of the National Liberation Front which led the struggle against the French. Algeria, as Emile Gallet explains, has become a classic example of imperialism’s new policy of “militarised democracy” in the semi-colonies. Read more...

Stalinism and the Derg

With the new Ethiopian government still trying to establish its authority over the whole of the country and discussing plans for a “return to democracy”, Andy Simmons examines the lessons to be drawn from the revolutionary overthrow of the Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and the dictatorship that followed it. Read more...

The crisis of Stalinism and the theory of state capitalism

In 1917 Russian capitalism was forcibly overthrown and history bore witness to the first state and society in which the working class was the ruling class. Yet the revolution that gave birth to this state was a fragile flower. Its Bolshevik leaders understood that it could not survive in the harsh climate of external hostility and isolation. In time armed aggression by the imperialist nations would, they believed, deliver a fatal counter-revolutionary blow unless workers’ revolutions in the advanced European countries came to the assistance of the world’s first workers’ state. Read more...

Poland’s transition to capitalism

Jan Bielecki is Poland’s Prime Minister. Ten years ago he was a Solidarnosc member in Gdansk, delivering lumber for his living. Under martial law he was an underground activist, assisting the Gdansk shipyard to keep its printing press going. In January 1991 Bielecki was chosen by President Lech Walesa to oversee the country’s transition to capitalism. Another 13 of Bielecki’s cabinet have Solidarnosc membership going back to 1980 when the ten million strong mass movement pitched itself into a battle against the Stalinist dictatorship.1 Read more...

The USSR at the crossroads

Since mid-November 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev has sponsored a creeping coup against his own policy of glasnost. Fragile and limited democratic rights have been conceded by the bureaucracy since 1985 and extended de facto by the struggles of the new workers’ movement and the revolt of the nationalities. They are all under attack. Read more...

1991 - A new beginning for German workers

Introduction

The political revolutionary upsurge in the German Democratic Republic during 1989-90 destroyed the Socialist Unity Party (SED) which had ruled on behalf of the Stalinist bureaucracy since the foundation of the state in 1949.

Like all ruling Stalinist parties, a major part of its membership consisted of place-seekers, managers and functionaries whose adherence to the party provided access to material privileges and power. With the collapse of the old regime this parasitic layer’s nominal commitment to Stalinised “Marxism” vanished, along with the social advantages of party membership. Read more...

Cuba—the final domino?

A small island nation of ten million people, Castro’s Cuba has long been used to hostile encirclement. But as the Cuban Communist Party (CCP) prepares for its Fourth Congress this year, the country can rarely, if ever, have been more isolated.

The winds of popular revolt have even swept through that last bastion of Stalinist orthodoxy in Eastern Europe—Albania. But Cuba under Castro has set its face against the historic upheavals occurring an ocean and a continent away. Read more...