Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Monday, February 26, 2018

International Socialism 157 online

Sorry for the shocking neglect of this blog - and in the bicentenary of Marx's birth as well - its only with the current UCU strike over pensions that I am having time to get back around to updating this - just to say the latest issue of International Socialism journal is online, with pieces on Zimbabwe after Mugabe, Marxism, feminism and transgender politics, globalisation, the legacy of the 1917 Russian Revolution in colonial Africa, Eric Hobsbawm, and so on.  In terms of events coming up this year of interest, there are marches against racism taking place internationally on UN Anti-Racism Day on Saturday 17 March - which in the UK will be the first opportunity to tell Theresa May we don't want Trump visiting later this year - for details of the UK marches see here, while Marxism 2018 takes place in London from 5-8 July 2018.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

From Tsar to Lenin (1937 documentary)

By way of celebrating the centenary of the October Revolution, check out this excellent 1937 documentary (narrated by Max Eastman, Trotsky's translator) on the Russian Revolution

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

International Socialism Journal #156

The latest issue of International Socialism is out, with articles on the centenary of the Russian Revolution including 'The orphaned revolution: the meaning of October 1917' by Alex Callinicos, 'Maxim Gorky and the fellow travellers' by Cathy Porter, 'The Russian Revolution and the British working class' by Pete Jackson, and a review article by the historian Steve Smith. There are also other pieces on Corbynism, racism in 19th century America and Marx’s Capital at 150 among other things - well worth checking out...

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Celebrating 1917 - Saturday 4 November, London

1917 conference image

Celebrating 1917

  Saturday 4 November 2017 • Central London • 10:30am-5:30pm
A one-day conference to debate and discuss the legacy of 1917 on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution.


Why Celebrate 1917?
  • Dave Sherry, author of Russia 1917: Workers' Revolution and Festival of the Oppressed
  • John Molyneux, author of Lenin for Today
  • Sally Campbell, editor of Socialist Review

The Bolsheviks and 1917
  • Kevin Corr and Gareth Jenkins, contributors to International Socialism

Culture and Revolution
  • Cathy Porter, author of Alexandra Kollontai: A Biography
  • Roger Huddle, editor of Reminiscences of RAR

The Festival of the Oppressed
  • Judith Orr, author of Marxism and Women's Liberation

How the Revolution was Lost
  • Esme Choonara, author of A Rebel's Guide to Trotsky

The Revolution and its Relevance Today
  • Steve Smith, author of Russia in Revolution
  • Alex Callinicos, author of Imperialism and Global Political Economy
  • Amy Leather, national secretary of the SWP

Tickets are £10/£5 concessions.
To book your place at this conference phone 020 7840 5600 or see the link here

There are many other events and conferences taking place across the UK (and obviously also internationally) to mark the centenary obviously - for example in Preston on 13-15 October, in Glasgow on 28 October, and London from 9-12 November.

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Monday, July 03, 2017

International Socialism #155 out now

The latest issue of International Socialism is out now, with analysis of the glorious general election of 2017 in Britain and also an interview with a French activist regarding 'the meaning of Macron'.  Other topics discussed include Podemos in Spain, the Russian Revolution at its centenary, and the state of the class struggle in Egypt and China - check out the full contents list anyway and consider subscribing if you do not currently... 

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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ten things everyone should know about the Labour Party - Paul Foot

  1. Labour, which is linked to organised workers, is better at any time than the Tories, who are linked to organised capital.
  2. ‘Without struggle there is no progress’: everything worth winning by the workers and the dispossessed has to be fought for.
  3. The less Labour fights the Tories, the less it is likely to beat them at the polls or anywhere else.
  4. The more Labour compromises and prevaricates, the more the fighting spirit of the people who vote Labour is dampened.
  5. The more that fighting spirit is dampened, the stronger and more confident grow employers, racialists and reactionaries of every description.
  6. The power of the elected parliament is all the time frustrated by the power of the undemocratic banks, corporations, judges and the media.
  7. The more a Labour government tries to be fair to the banks, corporations, judges or media, the more it becomes their captive.
  8. The more it becomes their captive, the more it attacks the people who vote Labour, thus ensuring a Labour defeat next time.
  9. This vicious circle is written into the history of the whole century. Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson couldn’t avoid it. There’s no chance that Blair and Co, further to the right even than Attlee and Wilson, will avoid it either.
  10. (Conclusion) Vote Labour, but keep up the fight down below to build the resistance into a force which is strong enough to dictate to the undemocratic elite at the top of society – and put an end to their interminable dictatorship.  
  11. Paul Foot, 'Ten things everyone should know about the Labour Party', Socialist Review, 179, (October 1994)

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marxism 2017 - ideas for a world in turmoil

View image on Twitter

Marxism Festival 2017 is a four day political festival hosted by the Socialist Workers Party involving debate, discussion and culture from 6-9 July 2017 in central London.

We live in a time of political turmoil: from the vote to leave the EU to the election of Donald Trump.

The election and re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party pose new questions for the left.  Marxism festival is a place to debate how best to respond to the challenges we face.

Marxism 2017 takes place against a backdrop of continuing economic crisis, global instability and debates over immigration and freedom of movement.  We will seek to discuss questions raised by all of these issues: from resisting the racist backlash and Islamophobia to war and imperialism, from climate change to the role of nation states.

One hundred years on from the Russian revolution we hope to explore what we can learn from it today in order to better fight the Tories and challenge capitalism.

We will also explore many other issues at Marxism 2017 including oppression, science, Palestine, economics and much more.

If you would like to get a ticket for Marxism 2017, or for more info, you can call our office on 0207 840 5620 or book here

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