Category Archives: Proletarian politics

“However, our politics must be working-class politics. The workers’ party must never be the tagtail of any bourgeois party; it must be independent and have its goal and its own policy.” — Friedrich Engels, Apropos of Working-Class Political Action

How to do better things with words

The left has historically concerned itself with language and its use, given the need to engage in agitation and propaganda. Some of our efforts in trying to improve our communication strategies are, deservedly or not, classics of the genre, such … Continue reading

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What does a Corbyn victory mean?

With Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots campaign in full swing, we must decide how to best orientate towards the front runner for the Labour leadership position. There’s no doubting that his campaign has opened up the space for the left to break … Continue reading

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SYRIZA: Was capitulation inevitable?

With the events of January 25th, a shot rang out across Europe, which would reverberate across the world. The election of the first radical left government in decades, which threatened to challenge the rule of austerity in the European Union. … Continue reading

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The four contradictions of liberalism

Liberalism produced some of the greatest political advances of our age. As socialists we often obscure this, but civil and political rights combined with representative democracy make for one of the most potent and liberating achievements of the period following the … Continue reading

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Between Ideology and Public Discourse

Our political and economic system is in crisis. There is a crisis of affordable housing, of decent jobs, of cuts to public services and cuts to social welfare provisions. There is a crisis of democracy which shows itself at every … Continue reading

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Spain is not Greece, or is it? Electoral prospects for the left in 2015.

After the electoral victory of SYRIZA in Greece, the attention of the European left has justly focused on its enormous difficulties in tackling a very unfavourable international conjuncture, as well as the very promising opportunities it opens up. It’s undeniable … Continue reading

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“It’s boring but necessary”: An Interview with Jos Alembic (aka “Q”) on Changing Dutch Political Discourse

I recently had a discussion with Q, a member and founder of Marxist Center and the Communist Platform, a political lobbying organization in the Netherlands that seeks to inject a more traditional class-oriented slant into the national political discourse, with … Continue reading

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Why autonomists make good journalists

Much loathed and admired within the leftist community, autonomists represent a small but mixed bunch. With their focus on the daily, small-scale class struggle, their squats and auto-reduction, and their sometimes incomprehensible jargon they elicit both fascination and contempt from … Continue reading

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Building Revolution — Article from the ‘United Irishman’, May 1971

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Irish Republican Movement evolved from a conventional nationalist project with a strategic emphasis – if not obsession – with militarism to an explicitly socialist project which placed a premium on mass politics. That evolution … Continue reading

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Critical notes on the “Manifesto of the Initiative for Democratic Socialism” (MIDS)

This is a critique of the Manifesto of the Initiative for Democratic Socialism (Slovenia) The ideological dominance of capitalism as the only feasible mode of production is coming to an end. In the second half of the 1970s, when rapid … Continue reading

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Notes on Ideology, Power, the Media and the Irish Crisis

An introduction to the study of ideological power structures and their relevance in the Irish economic crisis (Notes from a presentation to the Dublin Left Forum 10/05/2014) Introduction Since the onset of the crisis that the Irish state thus far … Continue reading

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The Strategy of Attrition: Part I

Conquest or Destruction of the State? Right from its beginnings in early 19th century, socialism has been bedevilled by debates over strategy in a way that right-wing ideologies have not. Would salvation come, as Fourier dreamed, from wealthy benefactors funding new … Continue reading

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Democracy and the role of the party

Democracy in Crisis “In sharp contradiction to the belief that democracy is only a way to Socialism is another viewpoint which is also quite popular in Socialist ranks, namely, that true democracy is possible only in a Socialist society and … Continue reading

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Working Class Hero

There is a fairly widespread argument concerning the working class that goes something like this: The Working class is now only a small fragment of the population. The old class politics is therefore permanently dead and can not be resuscitated. … Continue reading

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