National Sections of the L5I:

Political Economy

Asian economies: from boom to bust

The collapse of the Thai currency last summer unleashed a chain of banking and company failures throughout South East Asia. Keith Harvey assesses the likely effect on the world economy in 1998 and the impact on the Asian class struggle. Read more...

Hungary: capitalism triumphs

In 1989 the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party voted to dissolve itself and relinquish its monopoly of power. Eight years and two governments later many of the old Stalinist bureaucrats at that conference are at the helm of state as the country reintroduces capitalism. Keith Harvey maps out the country’s tortured journey back into the hands of imperialism Read more...

Against market socialism

Defending the very idea of socialism is one of the most important tasks for Marxists today. It has to be defended not only against its capitalist critics but also the theorists of “market socialism”. Although the ideological offensive of the free-marketeers in the 1980s was primarily aimed at the remnants of Keynesianism, their arguments originated as a critique of the economic policy of the early USSR. The dominance of the neo-liberals, and the paralysis and collapse of the Soviet Union, led many “socialist” economists to concede the need for market mechanisms even in a future socialist society. In the first two-part articles, Keith Harvey defends the need for socialist planning. 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...

China: “socialism” with capitalist characteristics

On present trends China could be the biggest economy in the world by the year 2010. But will it be capitalist? Peter Main explores the contradictory dynamic of the present phase of economic development. 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...