Socialist Review

Lenin’s revolutionary ideas are more vital than ever

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As we celebrate 150 years since the birth of the Russian revolutionary leader, Socialist Review outlines his core beliefs, and defends his legacy from the liberal critics and the right wing.

It is still usual in certain circles to treat Lenin as the father of Stalinism. This is as true of the libertarian left as of the liberal right. Yet those who met Lenin in the early years of revolutionary Russia paint a completely different picture of the Bolshevik leader.

One of them was them was the French syndicalist Alfred Rosmer. Contact with Lenin and Lenin’s ideas converted him to Bolshevik ideas, which he adhered to for the rest of his life, although he denounced Stalinism from 1924 onwards and came to believe that Russia was state capitalist.

Technocrats will make it worse

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The political crisis in Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, intensified with the president Sergio Mattarella blocking the nominee of the alliance between the populist parties Five Star and League for finance minister.

Paolo Savona was regarded as being too critical of Italy’s membership of the eurozone and a threat to its future involvement.

The president said he would install a former IMF official, Carlo Cottarelli, as a technocratic interim prime minister.

Editorial: A hostile environment for May

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The scandal over Windrush — the deportation of some of the generation of migrants encouraged to come here in the days of the post-war boom — exposed the Tories’ racist agenda.

For years this government has been blaming people from elsewhere for the effects of their policies on people here.

The anger has been so vociferous and focused on prime minister Theresa May and home secretary Amber Rudd, that they have been forced onto the back foot.

The Hard Stop

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In August 2011 the taxi 29 year old Mark Duggan was travelling in was forced to stop by police on Ferry Lane, Tottenham, in north London. Four seconds later he lay dying on the pavement, shot in his arm and chest by a firearms officer.

This killing of a black man lit a tinderbox which saw mostly young people riot around the country. Fighting pitched battles with police, they were condemned by Tory prime minister David Cameron as “thugs”.


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Combining sculpture, painting, collage and film, this is the first major exhibition of London-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare.

Presented in the indoor galleries and open air of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Shonibare's work here follows pieces on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth and at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. His work, at once vibrant and varied, fits well into these differing spaces.

As well as producing beautiful and dramatic pieces, Shonibare references themes from environmental destruction to the Arab Spring. Stand out works include the playful collage Climate Shit and intricate sculpture Alien Man on Flying Machine.

Saying no to Zimbabwe's constitution

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Socialist Review spoke to Tafadzwa Choto of the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe about the significance of the recent referendum on a new constitution

Can you explain the background to the constitutional referendum? How far back does it go?

The constitutional question dates back to 15 years ago as Zimbabweans have been demanding a new democratic constitution to replace the 1979 Lancaster House constitution that was negotiated and ushered in at Zimbabwe's independence. Social, economic and political demonstrations by workers, students, peasants, women, war veterans and even by the middle classes, forced the Zanu PF government to accept the need for a new constitution.

Dancing with Duchamps

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Marcel Duchamp was one of the most influential artists of the last century. Associated with the Dadaist movement, Duchamps managed to playfully and provocatively affect the course of modernism by challenging received wisdom about what art should be.

At the Barbican, London, until 9 June

Producing works like Bicycle Wheel and Fountain (which was a signed urinal) he blurred the boundaries between art and life, embracing humour and experimenting with apparently random methods for producing art.

The Barbican in east London is currently running a major celebration of Duchamps's work, along with theatre, dance, music, film and lectures that encapsulates the various modernist trends upon which Duchamp had such an effect.


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