National Sections of the L5I:

Issues

Marxism and the Second World War

Fifty million people died in World War Two. Now anniversary events are taking place across the world to mark the beginning of the slaughter. This article, originally published in the British socialist paper Workers Power in 1989 explores some of the myths that we are taught about the war. Read more...

1939-1945 War and counter revolution

What were the real causes of the destruction of 1939-1945? The Second World War explained from a Marxist analysis Read more...

Revolutionary Defeatism and World War Two

During the First World War the German revolutionary, Karl Liebknecht declared "the main enemy is at home”. Lenin, elaborated the policy or revolutionary defeatism. By this he meant that the defeat or an imperialist power at war was preferable to a victory won at the cost of the class truce at home. Read more...

World War 2 - When "communists" were strike breakers

The Second World War was supposedly the "finest hour" of the British Communist Party (CP). It grew to 56,000 members, controlled many workplace organisations and had great influence in the unions. But throughout the war the CP acted as the puppet of Kremlin foreign policy. Read more...

Revolutionary theory and imperialism: from Hilferding to Trotsky

The imperialist epoch can celebrate approximately its ninetieth anniversary.1 Lenin and the other great Marxists of the early twentieth century certainly did not anticipate such longevity. Like Marx before them they envisaged that the crises and contradictions of the capitalist system would provide the objective conditions for the working class to despatch it to the museum of social history. Read more...

Britain 1988 - The state of the unions

The year 1988 opened with an eloquent rebuttal of the arguments from all those who have bid farewell to the working class. The strikes in Ford, on the ferry services, in the mines, in the NHS and in the civil service all demonstrate not merely the physical existence of the working class, but also its continuing capacity for class struggle. Read more...

The Transitional Programme fifty years on

Half a century has passed since the Transitional Programme (TP)1 of Leon Trotsky was written. In those fifty years much has occurred that Trotsky’s programme neither foresaw nor prepared for. Trotsky’s perspectives were based on the premise that ‘Mankind’s productive forces stagnate’.2 Yet, in the metropolitan countries the second imperialist war was followed by an unprecedented economic boom for almost twenty years. In turn this boom created the conditions for the resurgence of social-democratic reformism, a force Trotsky believed would be decisively destroyed in the war. Stalinism too not merely survived but gained a new lease of life through its expansion into eastern Europe and eventually parts of Asia. The condition for these unforeseen developments was the defeat of the revolutionary upsurge that occurred during the war in Europe. The defeat of that upsurge was achieved by counter-revolutionary force in the areas occupied by the Soviet Armed Forces and Allied imperialism. It fell victim to the no less fatal snares of democratic counter-revolution in much of western Europe. Read more...

Founding the Communist International

Proceedings and documents of the First Congress March 1919. Edited by Riddell, Pathfinder 1987, Reviewed by Peter Mason Read more...