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History

Trotsky’s suppressed letter: an introduction by Alan Woods

Trotsky's Suppressed LetterIt is a well-known fact that accident can play a considerable role in both history and the lives of individuals. In the course of my life I have observed many accidents and extraordinary coincidences. But I have never experienced such a unique and unforeseeable concatenation of circumstances as that which I am about to relate here.

Hands off Rosa Luxemburg!

The following article from 1932 is a short but impassioned defence of the legacy of the German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, murdered 100 years ago in the cause of working class liberation. The article, authored by Leon Trotsky, skillfully refutes the slanders made by Josef Stalin against Luxemburg in a 1931 article—slanders which include her not being a revolutionary. In particular, repeated attempts were made by Stalin to drive a wedge between Lenin and Luxemburg. While certain disagreements did exist between these two figures (and these are by no means unimportant), Luxemburg stood firmly in the camp of Bolshevism after 1917, and this was recognized by practically everyone at the time.

Luxemburg, Liebknecht and the German Revolution

Rosa LuxemburgTo commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Rosa Luxemburg, we share this article by Marie Frederiksen, author of The Revolutionary Heritage of Rosa Luxemburg. Marie explains how the Spartacist Uprising of 1919 was defeated due to the weakness and mistakes of the young German Communist Party, ultimately resulting in Luxemburg’s execution. These events are also explored in Germany 1918-1933: Socialism or Barbarism, available now from WellRed Books.

[VIDEO] Bob Rae, Mike Harris, and the fight against Doug Ford (Part Two)

RaeHarrisFordPart2In part two of his history of Ontario in the 1990s, Alex Grant details the experience of the fight against the Mike Harris Conservatives. In response to government poor bashing and massive attacks on organized labour, a series of citywide general strikes, the “Metro Days of Action,” were organized across Ontario. At its height this movement brought out more than one million workers in the 1996 Toronto general strike, and yet this event is almost totally forgotten today. This movement had the potential to bring down the Harris government, but it was sold out by the labour leadership and the opportunity was missed. Facing similar attacks today, militant workers and youth need to assimilate this history in order to build a new movement that does not commit the mistakes of its predecessors.

[VIDEO] Bob Rae, Mike Harris, and the fight against Doug Ford (Part One)

Bob Rae Mike Harris and the fight against Doug FordThose who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The election of the right-populist Doug Ford government in Ontario, as well as the CAQ government in Quebec, share similarities with the experience of class struggle in Ontario in the 1990s. In July of this year Fightback editor Alex Grant spoke on the lessons of the 1990s for the struggles of today. This is a forgotten history that needs to be reclaimed by the movement against the vitriol of the right wing, and the apologism of the reformists and labour bureaucrats.

Toronto: Over 70 discuss the sexual revolution in the Soviet Union

On May 23, more than 70 students and workers gathered at Ryerson University for Fightback’s event on the Sexual Revolution in the Soviet Union. Presenting on the topic was Fred Weston, editor of the In Defense of Marxism website and author of a recent series of articles on sexuality in the USSR. He explained that to learn the real lessons for the struggle against oppression today, we have to start with an honest appraisal of what the Russian Revolution was able to achieve in the early stages of the revolution, and why and how these achievements came to be reversed under Stalinism, placing all of these developments in their historical context.

From emancipation to criminalisation: Stalinist persecution of homosexuals from 1934

gulagIn March 1934 Stalin re-criminalised homosexuality across the whole of the Soviet Union. Henceforth anyone involved in homosexual acts could be sent to prison for three to five years. In the early years of the Russian Revolution, however, homosexuality had been legalised – but this is something you will find little mention of in the literature produced by the official Communist Parties after 1934. Today’s Stalinists, who model themselves on Stalin’s regime, have a lot of explaining to do.

100 years since October: We need a new revolution!

On November 7th 1917, the working class of Russia took power. For the first time in history, the socialist revolution was victorious. One hundred years later, as millions of youth all over the world are looking to fight against capitalism, the Russian revolution is a source of inexhaustible inspiration. We must study the lessons of the Russian revolution to prepare this struggle if we want to lead it to victory!

National Post Slanders Russian Revolution

In a largely substanceless piece filled with tired myths about the Soviet Union, Robert Fulford of the National Post puzzles over the fact that “smart people” continue to be drawn to communism. The following is a response to this.

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