National Sections of the L5I:

Issues

Zapatistas: The “first post-modernist guerilla group”?

With Mexico’s economy in deep crisis, in September President Ernesto Zedillo invited the EZLN to particiapte in National discussions on political reform. They immediately accepted. This came in the wake of an unofficial referendum in Chiapas which revealed that a majority of the population wanted the Zapatistas to abandon “the armed struggle” and form a political party. Despite the EZLN’s statement that they would never give up their weapons, the EZLN is on the brink of entry into ‘normal’ Mexican bourgeois politics? Keith Harvey looks at the Zapatistas’ recent evolution and argues that there has always been a reformist logic behind the revolutionary rhetoric. Read more...

Fascism: yesterday and today...

The rise of fascist front parties across Europe is a symptom of a deepening social crisis. How do these parties relate to “classic” pre-war fascism? How do they differ from established conservative parties? Clare Heath argues that the right answer to these questions is crucial to smashing the renewed threat of fascism. Read more...

France: The FN: twists and turns of a fascist front

The French Front National (FN) was founded in 1972 as a coalition of fascist tendencies. It grouped together Vichy collaborators, young thugs and a handful of non-party fascists, like Jean-Marie Le Pen, who had played minor roles in the post-war history of the French far-right. By 1980 the FN had only 270 members, of whom scarcely 100 were fully paid-up.1 Three years later the FN won 2.2 million votes in the European elections and Le Pen’s face was on the front page of every newspaper. Over the next 10 years, the FN was able to put down deep roots and is now a fundamental feature of the political landscape. Its impact on every other political party has been enormous. Read more...

The MSI: “The cudgel and the double breasted suit”

Italy is the only western European state in which a fascist party has joined a government since 1945.1 The entry of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) into the coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi prompted alarm amongst the left in Italy and around the world. It also provoked some revealing reactions from the bosses’ press. The Economist reassured its readers:

“Hitler and Stalin were monsters. Mussolini by comparison was a farmyard rooster . . . the true mark of fascism, belief in a peculiar variety of one-party corporate state—not, it should be said, a belief shared by this newspaper—is not Nazism or racism. Let the word ‘fascist’ be reserved for those who profess that belief, and today’s neo-fascists be judged for their own ideas, not Hitler’s.”2 Read more...

Central Europe: The political economy of capitalist restoration

The process of capitalist restoration in Eastern Europe has been underway for five years. As well as the practical task of reorganising the workers’ movement in these countries Marxists have to come to grips with that process theoretically.

Keith Harvey explains the problems thrown up by this unique historical event focusing on Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic Read more...

1994 - Cause and effect in the global recession

The 1990-94 recession began in North America and the United Kingdom. The rate of corporate profits peaked in the US and Britain in 1988. Profits continued to decline in the US, UK and Germany in 1989 and 1990. Company profits did not reach their high point in Japan until 1989 and fell for the next three years. The fall in the mass of profits there led to a fall in new investment during 1990. As a proportion of GDP domestic investment peaked in the USA in 1987 at 17%, was stagnant the following year and declined in 1990 and 1991. The 7% fall in business investment in the USA during 1991 was the biggest drop since 1975. Read more...

Against Capitalist Restoration! For Proletarian Political Revolution!

Despite nearly half a century of military and economic rivalry between the USSR and the USA, the Soviet Union formed one of the two central pillars of the imperialist world order.

From 1945 to 1991 the Kremlin, its satellites and indeed its Stalinist rivals, acted again and again to divert and abort the development of a world-revolutionary wave that could have isolated and eventually defeated imperialism. The counter-revolutionary role of Stalinism was concealed from millions by limited wars with imperialism in Korea and Vietnam, by the logistical support given by Stalinist states to national liberation struggles, and above all by the overthrow of capitalism by Stalinist parties. Today the downfall of the USSR appears as an unmitigated catastrophe for many fighters against imperialism and capitalism world-wide. Read more...

British capitalism under the Tories: results and prospects

For the last fifteen years successive Tory governments have attempted to set the British economy to rights. In 1979 Thatcher claimed that the economy was overmanned and inefficient. Her aim was to let the competitive pressures of the free market regenerate British capitalism. Read more...