National Sections of the L5I:

History

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...

Yeltsin’s October Counter-Revolution

International Secretariat of the LRCI, 7 October 1993

In the days between 21 of September and 5 October the bloody events in Moscow have transformed the political situation. The result of the storming of the White House and Yeltsin’s imposition of draconian emergency powers means that the social counter-revolution has been greatly strengthened. Yeltsin, representing the pro-imperialist, radical restorationist wing of the old bureaucracy and the new bourgeoisie, has taken a giant step towards unifying and concentrating the forces of the state into his hands. Pavel Grachev, Yeltsin’s defence minister, claimed; “The people were tired of dual power and illegality”. In fact, the people have had no say in events and the bloody assault on the constitutional Russian parliament was a massive act of illegality. But he is right that Yeltsin and the restorationists could not carry on in the state of dual powerlessness where parliament and president obstructed each others’ every move. Read more...

Revolutionary capitalists?

Bill Jenkins reviews Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550–1653 by Robert Brenner, Cambridge University Press 1993 Read more...

Poland stumbles on the road to capitalist restoration

The election of a new government in September will herald an attempt to make a final push to capitalism. Will they succeed? Martin Suchenak weighs up the odds Read more...

Germany 1953 - "We are workers not slaves"

Richard Brenner describes the events of June 1953 when the workers of East Germany launched a mass struggle that ended in a general strike and an uprising against the Stalinist bureaucracy Read more...

“Everything was possible”—May ’68

A quarter of a century after France was rocked by the biggest general strike in European history, Emile Gallet recalls the events and examines the actions of the left Read more...

The 1953 split in the Fourth International

Forty years ago, the Fourth International (FI) was rent by a substantial political debate over perspectives and orientation. A number of important sections (Britain, France, USA) set up the "International Committee of the Fourth International" in November 1953, in opposition to the majority "International Secretariat".

The split still reverberates today. Some of the international organisations which call themselves Trotskyist can claim to be the direct descendants of one or the other side, and virtually all of them have a clear view on the split. The split has become part of the mythology of Trotskyism, presented as a principled defence of "orthodox Trotskyism" against a political deviation led by one man ("Pablo") or as a damaging split which led to the subsequent and lasting weakness of the International. Read more...

The battle of Stalingrad

The decisive battle of World War Two was fought at Stalingrad. The Red Army stopped Hitler’s drive to conquer the USSR and began the march west which was to destroy Nazism. Despite the terrible suffering and cost in human lives, and despite the degeneration of the workers’ state under Stalin’s rule, the USSR’s war with German imperialism was a just war. It was a war to defend the remaining gains of the Russian Revolution against fascism’s determination to destroy them. But the Stalinist bureaucracy came within an inch of losing that war. Then, the military turning point signalled the start of a process that was to see the consolidation of Stalinist rule in Eastern Europe. Paul Morris explains the class issues at stake in the defence of the USSR during World War Two. Read more...

Defending the dictatorship of the proletariat

After the Russian revolution the Bolsheviks tried to establish the 'dictatorship of the Proletariat' in Russia. History shows us that this degenerated terribly, leading to Stalinism - so were the Bolsheviks right in what they did? Read more...

Women's emancipation: The communist tradition

To achieve women’s liberation we have to fight for socialism. The two things are inseparable. Read more...