Theory & History

US: How did the working class win the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

By Tamar Wilson, Socialist Alternative (our sister organisation in the United States) The Black working class, minority communities, and American poor were under consistent economic assault prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but have now entered a state of emergency in this sustained capitalist crisis. Tens of thousands of Black and brown people have died from the virus, millions more have ...

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5 reasons why capitalism can’t be patched up, and has to go

By Eddie McCabe If the world today seems chaotic and the future looks bleak, try to remember one thing: it’s not you, it’s capitalism.  The accelerating decay of this system is increasing the rate of all kinds of disasters, as well as their intensity. This reality means more hardship for billions of people daily, and devastation for millions. Naturally, it’s ...

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The origins of Covid-19: Lab-Leak or capitalist ecological crisis?

By Chris Stewart In the past month, the capitalist media in the US have shifted decisively in their reporting around the origins of COVID-19. This comes as President Biden has ordered a 90-day review by the US intelligence agencies of the likelihood that the virus originated in a lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This concerns two main scenarios, ...

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History: 250 years since the birth of Robert Owen

By Tom Costello Socialist Alternative (our sister organisation in England, Wales and Scotland) This month marks 250 years since the birth of a legendary utopian socialist. While today many of his ideas have been contorted into simple philanthropy, what is often overlooked is what he developed. Robert Owen’s radical social vision that provided inspiration for many, itself playing a pivotal ...

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The Covid crisis, the capitalist state & the role of socialists

By Conor Payne  This article responds to some issues raised by Paul Murphy TD (People Before Profit and RISE) in his recent article ‘The Covid Test’. For over a year, the Covid crisis has convulsed the world. The virus has killed millions and devastated whole societies, as we are now horrifically seeing in India. The health crisis has been accompanied ...

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Review: The People Want To Overthrow The System

The People Want To Overthrow The System By Cedric Gérôme Published by International Socialist Alternative, 2021 Reviewed by Peter McGregor This book delves into the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary processes that unfolded in Tunisia between 2010 and 2013. Gérôme, a leading ISA member who was on the ground during much of these events, explains and analyses the various factors that led ...

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“Troubled Times” republished – a Marxist guide to the national question

The national question is probably the most debated question in Irish politics. And for good reason! Irish history, especially recent history, is littered with the debris of organisations which have failed to comprehend or come to terms with it.”Peter Hadden, Troubled Times First published in 1995, Troubled Times provides a unique, socialist analysis of the national question in Ireland and its historical evolution ...

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Gustave Courbet, Realism and the Paris Commune

By Conor Burke  Gustave Courbet Was a French painter from the rural town of Ornans in the east of the country. He is most famous for being the founder of the Realist movement in painting, which is considered by many to be the first modern movement in art. It rejected traditional forms of art, literature, and social organization as outmoded ...

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“Spurn the dust to win the prize” — 150 years since the Paris Commune

By Harper Cleves 150 years ago this month, history was made when working-class Parisians established the Paris Commune on 18 March 1871. This represented the first example of a society run by and for the working class — a workers’ state. While the Commune lasted for only 72 days, it was able to implement social change that improved the lives ...

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Film review: Dear Comrades!

Reviewed by Manus Lenihan  Dear Comrades!, a film directed and written by renowned filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky, tells the story of a massacre of striking workers that took place in the Stalinist Soviet Union in 1962. This is an understated film, all in black and white, with sharp dialogue. Powerful and well-composed interior shots give way to outdoor scenes of crowds ...

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