National Sections of the L5I:

History

Theses on Zionism and Palestine: 1947

We reprint here an English translation of ‘Draft theses on the Jewish Question today’, first published in Fourth International in the January/February 1948 issue. They are dated January 1947 and the available evidence suggests that they were drafted by Ernest Mandel (‘Walter’) and first discussed by the International Secretariat in Paris at its 16 December 1946 meeting. Read more...

The SWP(US) in the ‘American Century’: A Case Study of ‘Orthodoxy’

In 1953 the Fourth International split in two. One of the main protagonists in the split was the Socialist Workers Party of the United States (SWP(US)). In the name of Trotskyist ‘orthodoxy’ it launched the International Committee (IC) as a rival to the ‘revisionist’ International Secretariat (IS) led by Michel Pablo.1 The SWP had been the largest national section when the FI was founded in 1938. Its decision to publicly split the FI had profound repercussions throughout world Trotskyism. Read more...

Nicaragua under the Sandinistas

The insurrection of 19 July 1979 which finally overthrew the Somoza regime in Nicaragua was an event of enormous importance for revolutionaries world wide. It was the most thorough going democratic revolution in Latin America since the July 26th Movement led by Fidel Castro destroyed the Batista regime in Cuba in 1959. Read more...

From words to deeds by Leon Trotsky

Below appears the first published English translation of Trotsky’s article ‘From words to deeds’(1). Seventy years after its appearance in the paper Vpered (Forward) on 28 June 1917 (2) it remains a key document in the history of Trotsky’s convergence with Lenin’s party.

Vpered was the paper of the Inter-District Organisation of United Social Democrats, the so-called Mehraiontsi. This had been founded in 1913 by Yurenev and other members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) who rejected the discipline of both Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the party. As Yurenev wrote later: ‘In particular we refused to recognise the Bolshevik conference of 1912 as a conference of the entire RSDLP.’(3) Their initial project was to unify the Bolsheviks and the Left Mensheviks in a party of ‘United Internationalists’. Read more...

Labour Youth against the bureaucracy: 1960-64

Julian Scholefield reviews the history of the Healy group in the Labour party in the 1960s Read more...

'Not everything is possible': French Stalinism and the popular front 1936-38

Dave Stockton looks at the consequences of Stalinism's embrace of social-patriotism Read more...

The Meaning Of The Second World War

Paul Mason reviews The Meaning Of The Second World War by Ernest Mandel (Verso 1986 pbk £6.95)

Except for the Russian Revolution no event has shaped the modern class struggle more than the Second World War. The basic outlines of every contemporary war and revolutionary struggle were drawn during World War II. Yet despite its importance, the war remains a virtual closed book for the British labour movement. Read more...

Labours first taste of power: Bosses of workers government

Part four of a history of the Labour Party Read more...

Israel – an oppressor settler state

Zionism, as a colonial settler movement during the first part of the 20th century, had to be strategically allied to one imperialist power or another. Not only did these powers provide the funds for settlement but more importantly they controlled the Middle East. British imperialism was hegemonic there from 1918 until 1947-53 when it was supplanted by the USA. Read more...

Chapter 1: Apprenticeship to Marxism

In 1889 when James Connolly was recruited to socialism in Edinburgh, both Marxist and non-Marxist trends were represented in the newly formed Scottish Socialist Federation (SSF) to which he adhered. Read more...