National Sections of the L5I:

The working class

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From reserve army to frontline troops: women in the global workforce

When the early socialist campaigners talked about women’s liberation they saw the right to work, access to an independent wage and integration into the collectivity of the workplace as key steps to freedom from subservience and family drudgery.Today, more women do paid labour than ever before: but what does that mean for women’s liberation? Read more...

Thatcher, Major and the unions: Fighting “the enemy within”

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. Read more...

The working class movement in South America today

The São Paolo Forum of the “New Left” met in Managua in July. Keith Harvey explains how it failed to come up with either a diagnosis or a cure for the continent’s ailments.

It has become commonplace on the Latin American left to root its present crisis in two related events—the collapse of Stalinist ruling governments in Eastern Europe and the USSR and the defeat of the FSLN in the 1990 Nicaraguan elections. Read more...

The general strike 1842

One hundred and fifty years ago the first prolonged general strike of the British working class was at its peak. Tens of thousands of workers in Lancashire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire mounted flying pickets, seized control of whole towns and organised armed militias. To the horror of the employers and aristocrats they transformed their strike from a wage struggle to a struggle for political power. Paul Morris tells the story of this key event in working class history. Read more...

The myth of the underclass

The recent events in Los Angeles have led bourgeois commentators and academic “Marxists” to brush up the old concept of an “underclass”. Lesley Day and Colin Lloyd argue that this idea is not only useless for analysing the class structure of the US urban centres but is a positive diversion from the search for a working class solution to the crisis of the US inner cities. Read more...

1991 - A new beginning for German workers

Introduction

The political revolutionary upsurge in the German Democratic Republic during 1989-90 destroyed the Socialist Unity Party (SED) which had ruled on behalf of the Stalinist bureaucracy since the foundation of the state in 1949.

Like all ruling Stalinist parties, a major part of its membership consisted of place-seekers, managers and functionaries whose adherence to the party provided access to material privileges and power. With the collapse of the old regime this parasitic layer’s nominal commitment to Stalinised “Marxism” vanished, along with the social advantages of party membership. Read more...

The British working class today

Why is the tide of opinion set against Labour at the present time? The survey suggests three main reasons. The first is that Labour is thought of predominantly as a class party and that the class which it represents is—objectively and subjectively—on the wane.’1 Read more...

Britain 1988 - The state of the unions

The year 1988 opened with an eloquent rebuttal of the arguments from all those who have bid farewell to the working class. The strikes in Ford, on the ferry services, in the mines, in the NHS and in the civil service all demonstrate not merely the physical existence of the working class, but also its continuing capacity for class struggle. Read more...

Building the Minority Movement in the 1920s

A theoretical supplement published by Workers Power newspaper in the 1980s that explains the role of the National Minority Movement built by Communists in the 1920s and its lessons for trade union organising Read more...

The 1984 Miners strike, the Left and the general strike

Throughout the 1984 miners' strike, Workers Power has fought for the TUC to call a general strike. We have argued that it is necessary in order to secure a victory for the miners and to smash the entire Tory offensive that the MacGregor closure plan is merely one part of. We have been justified by events. Read more...