social democracy

Beyond the Party: The evolution of the concept of “the Party” since Marx – Junius Collective (Pour une Intervention Communiste)

An essay by Pour une Intervention Communiste on the origins and development of the concept of “the Party” in the Marxist tradition, with critical analyses of the contradictions of Marx’s and Engels’ vacillations on this issue, and their partial responsibility for the subsequent career of the Party concept in its permutations at the hands of Liebknecht, Bebel, Kautsky, Lenin, Trotsky and Bordiga (social democratic continuity, the dictatorship of the Party), and its radical yet insufficient reformulations by Luxemburg, the KAPD and others (“return to Marx”, “historic Party”, the “Marx Party”—or even the “Debord party”) as a revolutionary minority whose goal is to promote proletarian autonomy.

'I am concerned at the break-up of the Soviet Union and the leadership it gave!' - Jeremy Corbyn's words of wisdom on Stalinism

Corbyn Cuba

The following is the text of a speech that Jeremy Corbyn gave in 1991 at a meeting to discuss the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the speech, Corbyn does criticise the Soviet Communist Party for its elitism but he clearly has no understanding of the way the Soviet regime did all it could to sabotage any genuine revolutions. Corbyn also makes no clear references to the mass killings, secret police, militarism and economic failures that were fundamental to the Soviet system.

Voting as Counter-Revolution – how the politicians who gave us the vote saw things 100 years ago

A hundred years ago, the British ruling class decided to extend the vote to women over thirty and to working class men. By doing this they hoped to restore people's faith in parliamentary government and thereby counter any revolutionary tendencies inspired by the Russian Revolution. As Sylvia Pankhurst said in 1923:

Why I’m still not voting

Corbyn, rather than being the saviour of the working class in Britain, demonstrates the futility of even the best of intentions when operating within logic and limits of capitalist democracy.

Different critics of the Bolsheviks - Karl Kautsky

24 March 1918, Mitteilungsblatt (der Berliner SPD). Translation (in part) of Verschiedene Kritiker der Bolschewiki. Reproduced for reference.

Thoughts on Mark Fisher and the “slow cancellation of the future”

Mark Fisher's Ghosts of My Past shows the world through Fisher’s eyes, a beautifully depressing elegy for cultural progress and passion in a world dominated by cheap stimulation and the marketplace

Contrasting populisms: Lambie’s labourism and Hanson’s opportunism

Contrasting populisms: Lambie’s labourism and Hanson’s opportunism

The Australian Left are keen to conflate the anti-politics offered by Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson. While they share similar cultural prejudices, they could not be further apart in their material solutions.

Socialism and the Negro Problem: W.E.B. Du bois

W.E.B. Du Bois published this article as a public criticism of attitude and strategy of the Socialist Party of America, accusing it of compromising on racism to appeal to white workers.

1950: Austrian General Strike

In post war Austria the rivalry between the Communist party and the Social Democrats came to ahead in 1950 with the Communist party initiated strike call out. The strike failed largely due to the resistance of the Social Democrat labour organisations.

1927: Austrian General Strike

In the Summer of 1927 the Austrian Social Democrats remained powerful despite their history of collaboration with the government. In response to the acquittal of the murderers of a worker and his 8 year old son Viennese workers came out in force, in a series of riots. Fearing a revolution the Social Democratic party called a general strike and used its powerful Socialist Republican Guard to police the workers and keep them off the streets.

This history of the event has been written by a pacifist and so views this betrayal as a positive development.