FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes?
What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.
A series of letters sent to the Weekly Worker on anarchism and Marxism. Most were printed as they were sent, although letter one was cut in half (letter two, which aimed to include the material cut when the first one was published was not if I remember correctly). The letters end up, as usual, discussing the Russian revolution and the Makhnovists).
The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci once wrote that "to tell the truth is a communist and revolutionary act." If we apply this maxim to most of the left, we would draw the obvious conclusion that it is neither communist nor revolutionary.
The Socialist Workers Party is a classic example of this mentality, rewriting history to suit the recruitment needs of the organisation. One of the ironies of history is that the Trotskyists who spent so much time combating the "Stalin school of falsification" have created their own.
Part of a debate on the Russian revolution from 1994. The revolution was one of the most important events of the 20th century until the 1990's the most important debate on the left was whether or not it had failed. Now with the collapse of the USSR a far more important debate is uncovered, why did it fail.
We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party (the largest Leninist group in England).
An anarchist critique of an ISO attack on the Makhnovists. Corrects the distortions and shows how the Makhnovists show that Bolshevik authoritarian had its roots in Leninist ideology and cannot be solely explained by the civil war. Also refutes claims that the Haymarket Martyrs were Marxists as well as correcting the usual distortions about Kronstadt.
Review of a new book on the first year of Bolshevik power. Documents the Bolshevik assault on soviet democracy and the opposition.
A critique of the standard Leninist account of the degeneration of the Russian Revolution, using the SWP's How the Revolution was Lost (by Chris Harman) as its basis.
A review of Goldman's account of her experiences in Russia, plus a review of a classic collection of Kropotkin' essays. Both contain much wisdom for modern revolutionaries.
Overview of the 1905 Russian revolution, plus an analysis of why Rosa Luxemburg's account of the mass strike is wrong about anarchism.