National Sections of the L5I:

History

Congress and the birth of India

14 August marks the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence. Richard Brenner examines how the British Raj met its end, not through some enlightened decision to “give India self-government” but through the actions of the mass movement against foreign rule, led by the Indian National Congress and its foremost representatives, Mahatma Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Read more...

Che Guevara’s legacy

Mark Abram reviews Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, by Jon Lee Anderson Bantam Press, London 1997, £25 Read more...

Harold Wilson and the 1964 Labour Government:The devaluation of socialism

HAROLD WILSON won the Labour leadership in 1962 after the unexpected death of the right-winger Hugh Gaitskell.

Although the candidate of the left, backed by Tribune, Wilson had not played a prominent role in the battles over nuclear disarmament and nationalisation. His reputation was made as the quick-witted scourge of old fashioned Toryism and the champion of state-directed modernisation. Read more...

Trotsky and revolutionary unity: The fight for the Fourth International

Dave Stockton surveys Trotsky’s struggle against centrism in the 1930s Read more...

Russia 1905: Lenin, Trotsky and the permanent revolution

On the 90th anniversary of the St Petersburg General Strike Paul Morris explains the debates about party, programme and revolutionary strategy that helped shape the Russian Revolution of 1905 Read more...

Ernest Mandel (1923-1995): From Trotskyism to centrism

Ernest Mandel, leader of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI), and one of the key figures of post-war Trotskyism, died on 20 July 1995 at the age of 72.

The lengthy obituaries that appeared in several major European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Le Soir (Belgium), The Guardian (Britain), and the fact that his death was reported by the French Communist Party daily, l’Humanité, all indicate that Mandel had a far greater influence and was more widely known than any of the other post-war leaders of the Fourth International. Read more...

Spanish civil war: Trotskyists and the POUM

Andrés Nin, the leader of the POUM until his murder at the hands of Stalinist agents in Spain, was expelled from the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) in 1927. He formed a Spanish section of the International Left Opposition, led by Leon Trotsky.

Between 1930 and February 1933 Trotsky and Nin corresponded about the tasks of the Spanish revolution, which had opened with the fall of King Alphonso and the declaration of the Second Republic in 1930. Over the next eight years the revolution went through many ebbs and flows until the final victory of the counter-revolution at the hands of Franco in March 1939. Read more...

The fate of the Stalinist states

The destruction of the USSR enormously strengthened imperialism’s position on a world scale. But now Washington and the European powers are worried that further de-stabilisation or disintegration within the Confederation of Independent States (CIS) could present them with serious problems, especially if, in the ensuing chaos, nuclear weapons were to get into the hands of unreliable semi-colonial countries, let alone Islamic fundamentalists and “terrorists”. The USA and the EU are certainly not promoting the further disintegration of the Russian Federation or other CIS states like Georgia. Yugoslavia has presented them with a frightening model of what the consequences of this might be. Western leaders speak of the harmful effects of nationalism, and even of the need to violate the national sovereignty of small states with the excuse that they are defending human rights. In reality, this violation takes place to stabilise imperialist interests. Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Haiti and Somalia are clearly very important tests for this doctrine of limited sovereignty. The Caucasus and Central Asia could soon be added to the list. Read more...

Fighting the "enemy within" - Thatcher Major and the Tories

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 she had united the Tory party around the goal of breaking the strength of the British trade unions. This, the Thatcherites argued, was essential for the restructuring of industry and the restoration of British capitalism’s profitability. Read more...

Vietnam two decades on, once more the dollar is god

The Vietnamese Communist Party swept victoriously into Saigon nearly twenty years ago. Brought to power in a mass, revolutionary war would the Stalinist regime escape the fate of its Russian and East European backers? Twenty years on the answer is clearly no. Chris Bryant examines the Vietnamese bureaucracy’s journey from anti-imperialist victory to an attempt at capitalist restoration. Read more...