revolutionary organisation

The crisis in mainstream politics presents a challenge for the left

Issue section: 

There is a strong tradition of intervention in elections from the revolutionary left. Charlie Kimber learns from the experiences of Marx, Engels and Lenin, while confronting the reality of today.

In six months time Britain will go to the polls for a general election. The Socialist Workers Party believes we need a serious left intervention in the election.

The first question is whether revolutionaries should bother with elections and parliament at all. After all, we understand that real power does not lie in parliament. It exists in the wholly unelected sphere of the ownership and control of the offices, factories, call centres, transport hubs and so on.

The trouble with Lenin

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Continuing the debate on the role of Leninism, Joseph Choonara argues that the Bolshevik leader's concept of the party remains the model around which socialists should unite.

"Dead Russians," Respect MP George Galloway once said, "must be discussed in private." But Lenin and the contested tradition known as Leninism have today become a topic of intense public discussion among many who consider themselves radical opponents of capitalism. Much of the commentary is negative.

Lenin, Luxemburg and the War

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Lenin's critical response to Rosa Luxemburg's Junius pamphlet

Rosa Luxemburg's First World War Junius pamphlet, written in prison and so vividly described by Sally Campbell in February's Socialist Review, was arguably the greatest anti-war statement of the last century.

Its haunting theme, socialism or barbarism, prophetically cast its shadow over the 20th century and continues to do so now.

What sort of party do we need?

Issue section: 

In our ongoing series of debates on the role of Leninism today, Alex Callinicos replies to Ian Birchall's contribution in last month's Review. He returns to the fundamentals of Leninist organisation and presents a different account of the political arguments of the 1980s

There has been a shift in the focus of anti-capitalist debate. A decade ago, in the immediate wake of Seattle, Genoa, and Florence, in a climate of popular revolt against capitalism and war, a major question was: party or movement? In other words, were various forms of localised organisation sufficient for what Michael Hardt and Toni Negri call the "multitude" of those oppressed by capital to break the power of the ruling class?

Organise to win - politics, leadership and the movement

Issue section: 
Author: 

The student protests and actions against corporate tax-dodgers have posed the question of how best to organise a movement against government cuts and fees. Mark L Thomas argues that coordinated activity and open political discussion are vital to the resistance.

One argument that has gained a new lease of life in the student revolt and the campaigns against corporate tax-dodgers is that the best way to organise resistance to the cuts is through loose, decentralised and "leaderless" networks that allow for the greatest spontaneous expression of activity.

South America's New Revolt

Issue section: 
Author: 

Che Guevara's vision of continental revolution is being revived, argues Chris Harman, but political leadership remains essential.

Nearly four decades after the murder of Che Guevara, a new ferment of revolt is beginning to spread across South America. Three governments have been driven out in three years - in Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia - by spontaneous uprisings. In Peru the Toledo government that took office after the fall of the Fujimori near-dictatorship is being shaken by recurrent rebellion against its economic policies. In Brazil discontent with the policies of the Workers Party government of Lula elected just 20 months ago is giving birth to new left currents.

How to Fight the System

Issue section: 
Author: 

Coalitions can't substitute for revolutionary organisation but are a vital prerequisite.

A couple of years ago Paul Foot wrote an article in Socialist Worker arguing that people who were involved in the anti-war movement needed to belong to something more, a political organisation that took up other issues as well. We received two letters criticising his argument. They were from people who argued that they already had a wider organisation, the electoral united front the Socialist Alliance, and saw no reason to be in the Socialist Workers Party.

The Party's Just Begun

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Spontaneous activity is not enough - we need collective organisation.

'We are many - they are few.' With that historic reminder, the poet Shelley ended his furious poem about the massacre of trade unionists at Peterloo. The line has been quoted (well, misquoted really, since Shelley, in self imposed exile in Italy, wrote, 'Ye are many - they are few') a million times since. It reminds the world's exploited masses of their numerical superiority over their exploiters. The line was written nearly 200 years ago, and its simple truth grows more obvious every day.

Subscribe to RSS - revolutionary organisation