History

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Review: The Bolsheviks in Power

Review of a new book on the first year of Bolshevik power. Documents the Bolshevik assault on soviet democracy and the opposition.

How the Revolution was Lost?

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.

1905

Overview of the 1905 Russian revolution, plus an analysis of why Rosa Luxemburg's account of the mass strike is wrong about anarchism.

Workers Against Lenin

A short review of a book which discusses labour protest under Lenin. Essential reading.

Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803

The traditional history of the 1803 rising is of little more than a 'blood sacrifice' intended to confirm Ireland's right to independence. Ruan O'Donnell's book concentrates on exploding the myth that the rising was doomed from the start. It was planned not as a noble gesture of a handful of nationalists but rather as a mass uprising intended to decapitate the British state in Ireland at the very moment of a French invasion and liberation of the country.

The insurrection of Easter 1916 in Dublin

The Easter 1916 rising in Dublin is often portrayed simply as nationalist blood sacrifice but it can also be examined as an insurrection which was seriously planned to defeat the British army. It is credited with transforming political attitudes in Ireland, leading to the partally successful war of independance but nationalist histories tend to understate the other reasons why the situation was transformed and to completely ignore the wave of workers struggles that broke out during the war.

Review: James Connolly 'A full life' by Donal Nevin

Revolutionary martyrs, being unable to speak for themselves, are liable to be claimed by all sorts of organisations with whom in real life they would have had little in common. When they are of national or international importance, like the Irish syndicalist James Connolly, this also mean that biographies often tend to be very partisan affairs, aimed at recruiting the dead to one cause or another. The story of their life becomes reduced to a morality tale whose conclusion is whatever positions the author holds dear today.

Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Ken Loaches 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' got its North American release this week. In many ways this film is similar to his earlier film 'Land and Freedom' in seeking to introduce the elements of class struggle in both events to a mainstream audience which would only be aware of them as interesting military conflicts.

Nationalism, socialism and the partition of Ireland : Class struggle in Belfast 1880-1920

The period of Irish history from the 1880's to the 1920's defined and divided politics including socialist politics, on the island for the rest of the century. The most militant workers struggles occurred in the second half of that period, north and south, concentrated in the last five years.  In terms of working class struggle the periods of militancy of northern and southern workers coincide. Yet the working class was divided and these struggles remained almost completely isolated from each other.

James Connolly, blood sacrifice and defeating British imperialism in Ireland

At 11.30 in the morning of April 24 1916 Bugler William Oman, a member of a syndicalist workers militia the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), sounded the ‘fall-in’ outside his union headquarters. This was the start of an insurrection in Dublin which was to see around 1,500 armed men and women seize key buildings throughout the city, and to hold these positions against thousands of British Army soldiers for almost a week. In the course of putting down the insurrection, 1351 people were killed or severely wounded and 179 buildings in the city centre were destroyed.(1) [French translation] [Italian Translation]

  


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