Socialist Review issue

March 2016 #411

Stand up and be counted


by Sally Campbell
David Cameron has set the date, 23 June, for the referendum on EU membership, and there’s a whiff of panic in the air. The Tory party is split...
by Simon Guy
Junior doctors announced three 48 hour strikes as SR went to press: 9 to 11 March, 6 to 8 April and 26 to 28 April. As this comes after the...
by Ayesha Saleem
A left wing campaign to vote No to membership of the EU has recently been launched in Scotland. Left Leave consists of some of the Labour Party left...
by Lewis Nielsen
Can a democratic socialist turn the White House red? Will the Republicans really go for a multi-billionaire who describes Mexicans as “rapists”? The...


Brian Richardson

As activists mobilise for UN Anti Racism Day, Brian Richardson assesses the state of racism in Britain and across Europe, and asks what anti-racists' priorities should be in the coming period.

Tom Kay

Capitalism continually forces workers to fight — whether to defend conditions, challenge racism or take on the whole system. But how do revolutionaries ensure that they mobilise the widest...

Hsiao-Hung Pai

Author Hsiao-Hung Pai set out to understand where bigots learn their behaviour. She talks to Socialist Review about the results of her research, her new book, Angry White People.

David Gilchrist

In a follow-up to his piece on the radical theatre of the 1930s, David Gilchrist examines how the events of 1968 kick-started a new theatre of the people. The 7:84 company took popular forms of...


In my view column
by John Newsinger
Why do British governments grovel to the Saudi royal family? Is it because of our “shared values”, as the New Labour minister Kim Howells famously put it, or is it because they stand shoulder to...
by Diana Swingler

The Contagious Diseases Acts were symbolic of bourgeois society's desire to control working class women's bodies, writes Diana Swingler. Let's celebrate the campaign that got them repealed

by Mary Smith

A century ago Constance Markievicz was preparing for the Irish Easter Rising. Mary Smith outlines the remarkable life of an upper class woman who was both a paramilitary leader and the first woman...

In perspective column
by Joseph Choonara

The weakness of the global economic recovery vindicates Marxists' analysis of the 2008 crisis.

by Chris Fuller

By early 1916 a flagging British war machine had to resort to conscription to round up enough men for the trenches of Europe. Chris Fuller looks at the machinations of the politicians and the...


by Matt Foot
In their battle against an intransigent monotone Tory ideologue imposing unjust contracts the junior doctors can draw inspiration from the recent victory of legal aid lawyers. In December 2012...
by John Clossick
Michael Bradley’s article on political trade unionism (February SR) raised important issues about how socialists in workplaces and union branches can relate to current community political campaigns....
by Roddy Slorach
Socialist Review has promoted an important debate on mental health issues in the last few months, with a diversity of views addressing a complex subject. The last contribution from Susan Rosenthal (“...
by Michael Rosen
Susan Rosenthal (Feb SR) identifies the illusion of the individual in psychology and therapy. There is clearly some connection between the materiality of social existence and individual lives, but...
by Sabby Sagall
Susan Rosenthal (Feb SR) lumps together the different psychological sciences — psychiatry and psychoanalysis — failing to recognise that with the founding of psychoanalysis, Freud established a new...


by Simon Assaf

Egypt’s 25 January revolution in 2011 was a moment in which history flipped upside down. It was a period of momentous events that are far from over. The counter-revolution of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi...

by Delia Hutchings

Doug Henwood sets out to challenge the idea that Hillary Clinton represents anything to do with progress or real change. “The case for Hillary boils down to this: she has experience, she’s a woman...

by Charlie Kimber

For a decade or more there has been a sustained assault on the need for a political party in order to achieve social change. Many of the great movements of 2011 such as Occupy and 15M in the...

by Robbie Shaw

A Rebel’s Guide to James Connolly is a much needed effort to claim the ideas and struggles of James Connolly as a fighter for the working class — hell bent on sparking the wave of revolution that...

by Ayesha Saleem

Venezuela’s state capitalist economy and its political dynamics have been shaped in the past 16 years by the indigenous population. In Venezuela Reframed the author argues that constitutional...

Neurotribes book cover
by Roddy Slorach

This wide-ranging and accessible bestseller is the first popular science book to win the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize. It addresses a question which remains hugely controversial. What is...

by Pam Corr

Don’t Mention the Children is only the second anthology of poems Michael Rosen has written for adults.

In his introduction he explains that the poems arise out of three different kinds of...

by Mark Krantz

“Revolutionary Syrians often describe their first protest as an ecstatic event, a kind of rebirth,” explain authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami in Burning Country. “At first I was...

Humanitarian Ethics book cover
by Margaret Woods

Hugo Slim describes himself as being in the tradition of liberal European Christian philosophy with little knowledge of other traditions of human thought. He nevertheless believes that the human...

by Sally Campbell

Subtitled “A Cultural History”, this enjoyable read sets out to understand the origin and the changing cultural meanings of the concept of the zombie in Western popular culture.


Art / Exhibitions
by Hella Baan

Hieronymus Bosch was known as “the devil maker”. In honour of the 500th anniversary of his death the exhibition Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius is taking place at his birthplace in the...

Art / Exhibitions
by Blythe Taylor

Thirteen miles off the coast of Peru lie the Chincha Islands, three small islands inhabited by large numbers of seabirds. These birds produce what became an incredibly valuable and sought after...

by Saoirse MacDermott-Cox

The Coen Brothers’ latest movie tells the story of a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, the real life MGM studio executive and “fixer”. He covered up scandals and dealt with the press, as the movie...

by Rebecca Townesend

This is a beautiful and distinctive looking stop-motion animation written by Charlie Kaufman, who also wrote the films Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It captures...

by Ken Olende

The aspirational residents of a new upmarket residential tower block engage in a war for power and resources. Society collapses in a mess of booze, violence and largely degrading sex.


by Kevin McCaighy

At a time when historical programming consists almost entirely of royalist sycophancy and “celebrities” ambling around ruins, it is instructive to recall the early works of radical film-maker...

by Sarah Bates

RnB superstar Beyoncé surprised everyone last month with a politically-charged performance during the halftime show at the NFL Super Bowl. Flanked by dancers dressed in a highly sexualised 21st...

by Peter Robinson

This powerful and disturbing film from Chile is set in a retirement home “for priests who can no longer serve”. Although it is naturalistically shot, the setting — a down-at-heel fishing village...