Revolutionary Lessons

Do we need a revolutionary party?

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Josh Hollands argues that a revolutionary party can play a crucial role in helping workers to organise against the system

As we've seen this year, mass strikes, demonstrations and occupations have the ability to transform the consciousness of workers in a tremendous way. Workers can begin to use the energy that was once wasted on generating profit to build a new society, one where resources are harnessed to fulfil people's needs. In a revolutionary situation workers can develop new ideas at an amazing pace. Lenin noted that "months of revolution sometimes educate citizens more quickly and fully than decades of political stagnation".

Could there be an international revolution?

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Emma Davies argues that international revolution is possible - and essential if we are to overthrow capitalism

The past few years have shown the increasingly interconnected nature of the world we live in. We've seen the knock-on effects one event can have internationally - whether it's the financial crisis or the wave of dissent that has spread across the Arab world and beyond. Capitalism is truly global in nature. Any revolution that seeks to put an end to capitalism would have to spread internationally. Could this ever happen?

Do we need reform or revolution?

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Lois Clifton argues that in a period of serious crisis the debate between reform and revolution becomes even more important

The revolutions that have swept across the Middle East have forced the question of reform or revolution back onto the political agenda.

As Western elites scrambled to regain political leverage in the region, a contradiction became clear - revolution is fine in Egypt, but elsewhere workers should only fight for gradual reforms.

Workers are brought up to believe that capitalism is normal. Society tells us that anyone who believes the status quo can be changed is simply extremist, utopian or unrealistic.

What is permanent revolution?

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Regi Pilling looks at what Leon Trotsky meant by permanent revolution and if it still has relevance today.

At the start of this year the dictator Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades, was toppled by mass protests and strikes. But today we see the military violently retaking Tahrir Square, protesters attacked and strikes outlawed. Should the revolution stop now that Mubarak has gone? Could it move beyond political changes to economic and social transformation? Could socialism be brought about?

Their democracy or ours?

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Donny Gluckstein looks at what democracy means under capitalism - and our alternative

Democracy is today's all-popular buzzword, beloved alike of mainstream politicians, the Arab revolutionaires, and young people protesting in Spain. For people like David Cameron democracy means a parliament which gives rein to the tyranny of market forces, and the grotesque inequalities that brings. Those facing poverty and unemployment expect the opposite of this democracy - freedom from want, and a just society.

How can we end oppression?

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Emma Davis looks at how socialists understand oppression

We live in a society blighted by oppression. This February, David Cameron gave a speech about the country's supposed problems with immigration and diversity - on the same day the racist English Defence League took to the streets in Luton to intimidate Muslims. Despite significant gains over the past century women earn an average of 17 percent less than men. Homophobic and transphobic attacks are on the rise.

Why does a mass strike matter?

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Kevin Best looks at why socialists argue for mass strikes

Revolutionaries are arguing hard and organising to put coordinated strikes - and a general strike - at the heart of resistance to the cuts. Strikes represent the working class's most potent weapon, utilising its unique social position as the producers of wealth in society, the source of bosses' profits.

Could we win the army to revolution?

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Mariam Green looks at how a revolution can split the army


Events in the Middle East and North Africa make the question of the role of the army in revolution more than just a matter of academic interest. If the army is not won over it remains a tool for counter-revolution, capable of drowning a revolt in blood. How the army responds to such a situation can decisively affect its outcome.

As the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky put it, "The fate of every revolution at a certain point is decided by a break in the disposition of the army."

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