National Sections of the L5I:

Permanent Revolution 09

The retreat from Labourism

Tradition can be a valuable asset for the working class. It can embody noble principles of solidarity and struggle, carried from generation to generation and nurtured by the class’ fighting organisations. Revolutionaries seek to transform such tradition into the collective memory of the working class, so that it can learn from past victories and defeats. Yet tradition can also be a dead weight, a substitute for clear thought, an exercise in romantic consolation for those who cannot or will not fight today’s battles, and a means of concealing the reality of the past from the new generation. Read more...

The crisis of Stalinism and the theory of state capitalism

In 1917 Russian capitalism was forcibly overthrown and history bore witness to the first state and society in which the working class was the ruling class. Yet the revolution that gave birth to this state was a fragile flower. Its Bolshevik leaders understood that it could not survive in the harsh climate of external hostility and isolation. In time armed aggression by the imperialist nations would, they believed, deliver a fatal counter-revolutionary blow unless workers’ revolutions in the advanced European countries came to the assistance of the world’s first workers’ state. Read more...

Poland’s transition to capitalism

Jan Bielecki is Poland’s Prime Minister. Ten years ago he was a Solidarnosc member in Gdansk, delivering lumber for his living. Under martial law he was an underground activist, assisting the Gdansk shipyard to keep its printing press going. In January 1991 Bielecki was chosen by President Lech Walesa to oversee the country’s transition to capitalism. Another 13 of Bielecki’s cabinet have Solidarnosc membership going back to 1980 when the ten million strong mass movement pitched itself into a battle against the Stalinist dictatorship.1 Read more...

AIDS, capitalism and oppression

Infectious diseases have long inflicted suffering and misery on the human race. Today in semi-colonial countries infectious diseases are all too familiar, estimated to be the cause of death for 17 million people (45% of all deaths in such countries) each year.1 Deprived of the resources necessary for the provision of elementary sanitation the masses of the semi-colonies have all too often become the helpless victims of infectious diseases. Read more...