Theory & History

Water Charges Struggle: The lessons for today

The following article was written in Spring 2001 in Socialist View, the political journal of the Socialist Party, about the Dublin anti-water charges that existed from 1993 to 1996. In January 2012 the government will introduce a household charge of €100 as a step towards introducing a property tax and water charges. Working class activists who will be critical to building a campaign of mass non payment to these charges in every community can draw crucial lessons from this campaign which the Socialist Party played a key leading role in.

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Capitalism uncovered

Ha-Joon Chang exposes today’s rapacious capitalism, dominated by finance and driven by short-term profit maximisation. He provides a devastating critique of the ideology of ‘free-market’ economics. But while pointing to fundamental contradictions of the system, Chang draws back from a real alternative. socialistparty.net reviews "23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism".

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Lenin – the original dictator?

Vladimir Lenin, the main leader of the Russian revolution, made the following insightful observation in mid-1917: “During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred, and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonise them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the ‘consolation’ of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarising it”. (State and Revolution)

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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention – Book Review

In the hearts and minds of workers particularly black workers, the poor, and youth across the world, Malcolm X remains an icon of revolutionary spirit and commitment to justice, freedom, and liberty for the most oppressed people in the world. May 19 marked the 86th birthday of Malcolm X; it has been 46 years since his public assassination.

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Book Review: Why Marx was right

Terry Eagleton's "Why Marx Was Right" is a wonderfully written and accessible introduction to the thought of Karl Marx. It is fashionable to dismiss Marxism as "outdated" or "irrelevant" as it pertains to contemporary economic and political problems. Eagleton provides a much needed correction to this ignorant viewpoint.

Eagleton takes the many objections voiced by the enemies of Marxism (e.g. Marxism is "great in theory" but only leads to bloodshed; Marxism is utopian; Marxism reduces everything to economics; Marxism is deterministic, etc.) and demolishes them one by one.

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A socialist programme for economic recovery

The premise of Fine Gael and Labour’s Programme for Government is that there is no alternative to continuing the austerity policies of Fianna Fail. socialistparty.net questions this assertion and argues for socialist policies to redevelop the economy.

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Labour in Irish History revisited

James Connolly was a great Marxist thinker and workers’ leader in Ireland, Scotland and the US. He was executed by the British state for his key role in the 1916 Easter rising in Dublin. Since then, Connolly’s ideas of international, working-class unity and socialism have been distorted by those wishing to link him with their banner.

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