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Fighting the far right on the campuses

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One arena in which the far right is trying to build is in universities. Lewis Nielsen and Naima Omar investigate.

In a context of growing political turmoil and polarisation, the far right are attempting to win the battle of ideas. They aim to seize on the racism that comes from the top of society — from islamophobia to myths about refugees — and sharpen it. In the process their goal is to make their ideas more acceptable and in turn to win larger numbers to their politics.

Joseph Arch and the revolt of the fields

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In the 1870s agricultural workers across Britain began a whirlwind campaign to organise trade unions. Martin Empson looks at the involvement of the now little known leader of the movement, Joseph Arch, who died a century ago this month and whose contribution shouldn’t be forgotten.

Joseph Arch, agricultural labourer, trade unionist and Liberal MP, died in February 1919 at the age of 92. Today he is almost forgotten, yet in his lifetime tens of thousands of agricultural workers looked to him as a leader. In the 1870s, in response to poverty and unemployment in agricultural communities, he was at the heart of an explosion of trade unionism that terrified landowners and farmers.

The day the Zulus beat the British Empire

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The Zulu victory over British forces at Isandlwana in southern Africa 140 years ago profoundly shocked a Victorian society ideologically bound to the notion of white superiority over black "barbarism". Barry Conway explains why the victory should be celebrated by every socialist.

This month sees the 140th anniversary of the Battle at Isandlwana. This, the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War and a decisive win for the Zulu, will be commemorated and celebrated across KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Isandlwana brought the name “Zulu” to the attention of the world and established them as the paramount native force on the African continent.

Terror tacticians

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The Ku Klux Klan is back in the spotlight. Huw Williams looks at its blood-drenched record.

The film BlacKkKlansman by Spike Lee, in the context of the rise of the far-right in the US and globally, has once again put a spotlight on the history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The KKK claims a near 150-year history since its origins in the US’s Deep South after the American Civil War of 1861-65.

The war on trans

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Proposals aimed at enabling trans people to more easily transition have met with attacks from the right, and sadly parts of the left. Laura Miles argues that socialists must support the fightback.

Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November 2018 commemorated 369 trans people murdered globally that year. The 2017 figure was 325, itself an increase on 2016. These figures don’t cover the much higher numbers who took their own lives.

Celebrating Rosa Luxemburg

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A remarkable figure amid a revolutionary ferment, Rosa Luxemburg lit the way for generations to come. Sally Campbell recalls her legacy, and we reprint Luxemburg's final article, written the day before she died in January 1919.

Rosa Luxemburg is, without a doubt, one of the most important revolutionaries to emerge from that tumultuous period that ran from the end of the 19th century through to the aftermath of the First World War. This was a time of immense social, political, technological and economic change. It was also the time when socialist revolution became real — and Luxemburg contributed to theorising and partaking in those revolutions, right up until her murder at the hands of the counter-revolutionaries in Berlin on 15 January 1919.

Continuity and change in the Labour Party

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First published in 1988, Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein's The Labour Party: A Marxist History was indispensible to those trying to understand the power and limitations of reformism. Charlie Kimber explains why he has contributed to an updated edition covering the period from Blair to Corbyn.

An extraordinary transformation in the image of the Labour Party happened in 2015 with Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader. A party that had acted as an efficient and loyal servant of the capitalist class was suddenly speaking about a challenge to big business, the banks, and the super-rich.

Is left populism a viable strategy?

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Several socialist thinkers claim the left should employ the “populist” model being taken up by the right. Héctor Puente Sierra explains why they are wrong.

Phenomena as varied as Donald Trump’s election, Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity and the Brexit vote have been explained in the mainstream media as the result of “populism”. The term is abused by the defenders of the neoliberal consensus to dismiss anybody that questions the dominant economic and political set-up — whether the racist right represented by Italy’s new Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, or the radical left.

Pick of the year

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Our writers’ cultural and literary highlights of 2018

Eve R Stone Light

There was an evening during the hot sunny summer and Beyonce and Jay-Z were on stage in East London. Every time I think of it, I smile.

My favourite book of the year turned out to be the first book I read, Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. It is quite simply a masterpiece. I am hoping to find Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel Unsheltered under the Christmas tree.

What has #MeToo achieved?

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The #MeToo phenomenon is still going strong, but what exactly are its demands, and how can we judge what it has achieved so far? Sally Campbell assesses the trajectory of the movement.

In September Christine Blasey Ford bravely and matter-of-factly testified before a senate hearing about her accusation of attempted sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The next day president Donald Trump, at a rally, mocked Blasey Ford and bemoaned that “A man’s life is shattered”. He said of her and her supporters, “They destroy people. They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.”

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