Theory & History

Revolutionary Beethoven

By Bill Hopwood- Socialist Alternative — our sister organisation in Canada This December 250 years ago Ludwig Beethoven was born. Beethoven’s musical beauty and genius is best understood in the context of the revolutionary changes of his time — in society and art. A towering figure of music, Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770. He grew to be a ...

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The bitter legacy of Margaret Thatcher

By Mike Forster (Socialist Alternative- our sister organisation in England, Wales and Scotland) Thirty years ago, Margaret Thatcher with tears in her eyes ended her eleven year reign as Prime Minister of Britain. A pioneer of neoliberalism, she fought for the interests of her class — the rich, while the working class grew to so hate her, many celebrated when ...

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Review: The Return of Nature

The Return of Nature By John Bellamy Foster  Monthly Review Press, 2020 Reviewed by Keishia Taylor John Bellamy Foster’s ground-breaking Marx’s Ecology in 2000 demonstrated that Marxism, from the beginning, dealt with ecological questions. Its long-awaited sequel, The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology, developed these ideas from the deaths of Marx and Darwin to the 1960s, tracing a continuous ...

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Engels, Marx & the “Irish Question”

A lesser known aspect of Marx and Engels’ work is their attention to events and processes in Ireland. This is reflected in Marx’s Capital, where he references the shirt factories in Derry and the effect their development had on the broader local economy. However, it was primarily Engels who studied events in Ireland. This was in part through his relationship ...

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John Hume from civil rights to peace process – A critical assessment

On 3 August, John Hume, former leader of the nationalist SDLP, passed away at the age of 83. He was eulogised by establishment figures in the North – including Unionists – as well as in the South, Britain and internationally. His passing was also met with genuine expressions of respect from the mass of ordinary people in Northern Ireland, among ...

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Engels @ 200: A revolutionary thinker for a world in turmoil

By Katia Hancke  Friedrich Engels was born 200 years ago, yet as a thinker was profoundly radical and strikingly modern. While his lifelong collaboration with Karl Marx resulted in many co-authored works, as well as extensive correspondence between the two in which they developed their ideas jointly, Engels also wrote his own brilliant contributions to contemporary debates in the socialist ...

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The Battle of Cable Street: Lessons for combatting the far right

By Thomas Carmichael 84 years ago today, on 4th October 1936, Communists and socialists came together with Jewish and Irish workers in an historic stand to stop Oswald Mosley and several thousand of his fascist Blackshirts from marching through the East End of London. In what became known as The Battle of Cable Street, Mosley and his thugs, with police ...

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Review: The Jakarta Method by Vincent Bevins

Reviewed by Manus Lenihan The beautiful Indonesian island of Bali attracts visitors from all over the world. But most holidaymakers have no idea that just over fifty years ago the Indonesian military and police killed 80,000 unarmed civilians on that island. The beaches of Seminyak boast gourmet restaurants, five-star hotels and cocktail bars; in 1965-66, the same beaches were the ...

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Book Review: White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

By Rebecca Green, Socialist Alternative USA After the brutal murder of George Floyd, Robin Diangelo’s 2018 book White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism became Amazon’s #1 best seller. Already, 1.6 million copies have been sold. An article Diangelo published on the same topic in 2011 caught steam before Michael Brown was killed in 2014, and ...

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80 years after his assassination: The life & ideas of Leon Trotsky

By Daniel Waldron This year, 21st August marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Leon Trotsky in Mexico following an assault at the hands of a Stalinist agent. Alongside Lenin, Trotsky was the central Bolshevik leader of the October revolution in Russia which created the world’s first workers’ state. He would wage a lifelong struggle against both capitalism and ...

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