Trotsky's 'ABC of Materialist Dialectics' is a brilliant short explanation of Marxist philosophy. It was written as part of a defence of Marxism against a middle class revisionist tendency in the American Trotskyist movement in the late 1930s, which attempted to challenge its basic principles. As opposed to pragmatism and empiricism, Trotsky defended dialectical materialism as a richer, fuller, more comprehensive view of society and life in general. Originally published 8 December 1939.
We received this article from ELAPRE, a group of revolutionary youth in Haiti. Haiti has experienced the same intensification of the class struggle we have seen in many countries around the world. In recent years, the masses in Haiti have fought to change society and could have overthrown the Moïse government many times. But his government is saved by the ruling class and the reformist leadership of popular movements. Seeing no way forward on this basis, ELAPRE was formed to study the ideas of Marxism, learn the lessons of the past, and to build a revolutionary organisation capable of leading the struggle for socialism.
The reactionary Modi government has forced through a new policy that will exclude the poor from education and privatise the sector. This must be resisted: we demand free education for all!
The following was written by a comrade in India about the appalling situation facing healthcare workers in India: before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is now fifty years since the publication of the first edition of this work. It was written as a reply to Monty Johnstone, who was a leading theoretician of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Johnstone had published a reappraisal of Leon Trotsky in the Young Communist League's journal Cogito at the end of 1968. Alan Woods and Ted Grant used the opportunity to write a detailed reply (published 12 July 1969) explaining the real relationship between the ideas of Lenin and Trotsky. This was no academic exercise. It was written as an appeal to the ranks of the Communist Party and the Young Communist League to rediscover the truth about Trotsky and return to the original revolutionary programme of Lenin.
The following is a statement about the situation unfolding in Belarus. For a general political strike! Down with the Lukashenko regime! For socialism and genuine democracy!
The Lebanese government has resigned under pressure from the masses. This is an inspiring achievement, but the revolution must not stop here. Instead, it should take power into its own hands.
For weeks on end, the George Floyd protests against racism and police violence shook America. Support for the movement overflowed all demographic boundaries as an estimated 10% of all American adults—some 25 million people—participated in at least one protest. However, although mass gatherings have continued unabated in some cities, in most of the country the torrential river has inevitably receded into its banks as it was deprived of a revolutionary outlet—for now.
On 30 July, Ex-Taiwanese president and former KMT chairman Lee Teng-hui died. Despite being a lifelong KMT bureaucrat, the series of political changes under his presidency in the 1990s earned him praise from bourgeois liberals and a nickname of “Mr. Democracy.” The fact remains that, after the democratic reforms of the 1990s, the KMT still exists as a major party in Taiwan. We take this opportunity to consider how it managed to transform from an apparatus of a dictatorial party-state into a party adapted to a bourgeois democratic system.
An article by our British comrades at Socialist Appeal (‘Storytelling, “culture wars” and the Left’) has drawn the ire of ‘left-wing’ journalist Paul Mason. He said that our “mouldering” organisation needs to abandon its outdated worldview. Alan Woods explains that the thin gruel of Mason’s post-modernism is no substitute for the science of Marxism.
The explosion in Beirut last week has caused an explosion of rage and struggle, as the Lebanese masses take once again to the streets. We say: trust nobody but your own forces! Workers of Lebanon, overthrow the whole rotten system!
British journalist Paul Mason recently released an essay titled 'The Left, the Party and the Class', clarifying his positions on the future of the left. His ‘new narrative’ exposes the bankruptcy of his politics. Mason is nothing but a left cover for the Labour right's agenda. There is no future for the left on the basis of such reactionary ideas.
The Revolution Betrayed is one of the most important Marxist texts of all time. It is the only serious Marxist analysis of what happened to the Russian Revolution after the death of Lenin. In this book, Trotsky provided a brilliant and profound analysis of Stalinism, which has never been improved upon, let alone superseded. With a delay of 60 years, it was completely vindicated by history. Without a thorough knowledge of this work, it is impossible to understand the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the events since then in Russia and on a world scale.
With the death of King Charles and the defeat of the Presbyterian counter revolution, Oliver Cromwell moved to crush the most radical wing of the New Model Army. With the Last Stand of the Levellers in 1649 and the suppression of the Diggers, the English Revolution as a popular struggle for freedom and democracy died. However, these courageous class fighters planted the seeds of the modern socialist movement, which battles on to this day.
Starting on 14 July, Bastille day, protests by thousands of Israeli youth and workers have been shaking the Israeli regime. While with every new demonstration, more anti-Netanyahu protesters joined (the last one was attended by 10,000-15,000). Far-right counter protests could only mobilise between five and 500 people. Here, we publish a report by one of our supporters from Jerusalem which we received a week ago, followed by an analysis by Franz Rieger.
20 August will mark the 80th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky. To commemorate his life and works, the International Marxist Tendency will organise an online rally, with talks, video and discussion about this revolutionary titan (full details here). In the run up to this event, we will be republishing materials by and about Trotsky on marxist.com, starting with this pamphlet by Alan Woods (originally published in 2000).
A massive explosion caused untold destruction and bloodshed in the Lebanese capital yesterday. This tragedy was a disaster waiting to happen, and will provoke the anger of the masses against the corrupt clique at the top of society. Only working-class struggle can put an end to this intolerable situation, Alan Woods writes.
A year ago today, the Indian government led by the right-wing Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) revoked the special status of India’s only Muslim-majority state of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and divided the state into two federally controlled Union Territories. What is the situation today?
On Sunday 2 August, former King Juan Carlos I left Spain for a sumptuous retirement in the Dominican Republic. This drastic move was avowedly motivated by an avalanche of revelations about the outrageous corruption and criminality in which he had been involved for decades. Juan Carlos’ flight was concocted with the current King Felipe VI and the government, led by the PSOE Social Democrats.