state socialism

I was a teenage SWP member

A personal account of life in the Socialist Workers Party.

The Weekly Worker is known to many as the unrivalled gossip rag of the British far-left. Most workers wouldn’t give a toss about anything published in it, but to those of us who have passed through any of the various ‘revolutionary vanguards’ during our political lives, the newspaper can be a bit of a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Leninism, a fascist ideology - Miguel Amorós

A no-holds-barred, insult-laden attack on Leninism, featuring Lenin as the Virgin Mary, an extraterrestrial civilization in a distant galaxy that sends UFOs to the planet Earth to spread the gospel of socialism, “a bourgeois revolution without the bourgeoisie” (the Russian Revolution), Manichaean fairy tales, sacred scriptures, split personalities, Freemasons, zombies, and even Hardt and Negri, who, just like their predecessors in this hardly glorious tradition, have “always defended interests contrary to those of the proletariat”.

Why Mao?

Why Mao?

Noel Ignatiev takes a look at the popularity of Mao among revolutionaries in the US.

Why Mao?

Why, in spite of its long list of crimes* and the reality of modern China, does Maoism continue to attract adherents among revolutionaries in the U.S.? Part of the answer is that Maoism represents in many people’s minds the triumph of the will (no reference intended to Leni Riefenstahl’s film of that title).

Notes towards a critique of Maoism

Loren Goldner's 'bare-bones history' of Maoism.

[i]Note to the Reader: The following was written at the request of a west coast comrade after he attended the August 2012 “Everything for Everyone” conference in Seattle, at which many members of the “soft Maoist” Kasama current were present.

Where is Juliet Stuart Poyntz?

An article by Carlo Tresca on Juliet Stuart Poyntz, a Communist Party USA member who is believed to have been abducted and murdered by a Soviet NKVD assassination squad in 1937.

Where is Juliet Stuart Poyntz?

Venezuela and the ‘Bolivarian revolution’: Beacon of hope or smoke and mirrors?

Shawn Hattingh looks beyond the figure of Hugo Chavez and analyses Venezuelan style ‘Socialism for the Twenty First Century’.


The trouble with “economic growth” – Gabriel Levy

Mineworkers at work in South Africa

This article (edited version of a talk) argues that the idea of “socialist economic growth” should be junked. Socialism is about human happiness, not simply about more stuff. The article suggests socialist responses to arguments about “sustainability” and the environment.

This is Part 1 of an edited version of a talk given at the Communist University, 26 August 2012. Part 2 is here.

Capitalism and class struggle in the USSR - Neil C. Fernandez

Capitalism & Class Struggle in the USSR - Neil C. Fernandez

Neil C. Fernandez's book on capitalist nature of Soviet Union and working class struggle in it.

The critical considerations of the various "Marxist" theories of Soviet capitalism are looked at in this book.

Review: Revolution and counterrevolution: Class struggle in a Moscow metal factory and worker resistance under Stalin: Class and revolution on the shop floor

A review of two books on the topic of working class responses to Stalinism in the USSR.

Kevin Murphy, Revolution and Counterrevolution: Class Struggle in a Moscow Metal Factory, International Studies in Social History Series (New York: Berghahn Books, 2005).

Jeffrey J. Rossman, Worker Resistance under Stalin: Class and Revolution on the Shop Floor (Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 2005).

The Marikana massacre: a premeditated killing?

Benjamin Fogel on the Lonmin Massacre and the chilling bloodlust of the Stalinists in the South African Communist Party.

“Two hundred thousand subterranean heroes who, by day and by night, for a mere pittance lay down their lives to the familiar `fall of rock` and who, at deep levels, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet in the bowels of the earth, sacrifice their lungs to the rock dust which develops miners` phthisis' and pneumonia.”