Theory & History

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 It is fashionable to dismiss Marxism as "outdated" or "irrelevant" as it pertains to contemporary economic and political problems.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. 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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The socialist alternative to IMF/EU diktats

The capitalist media say that there is no alternative to the thrust of the economic policies being advanced by the government, the EU and the IMF.  This is completely untrue. There is an alternative - a socialist alternative. Here puts it forward in the form of a ten-point programme.

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Can a socialist revolution be peaceful?

The question of violence and whether we can change the world through peaceful means is a question asked often of socialists. People are generally put off by the idea of conflict, and can find talk of revolution unsettling. It conjures images of armed struggle, civil war and chaos, things that any sane person would find distressing.

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Dissident Republicanism: Nothing to offer but a return to sectarian killings

Accordging to the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, dissident republican groups have been responsible for carrying out an average of two attacks a day since the beginning of the year. These attacks range from high profile car bombings targeted against the police and army to so-called punishment shootings in Catholic working class areas. Regardless of how “successful” they are in the attacks they carry out, argues they have nothing to offer but a return to sectarian killings

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New introduction to The Transitional Programme

Trotsky’s key 1938 work shows rich application of the method of Marxism

On the 70th anniversary of the death of Leon Trotsky, on 21 August 1940, Peter Taaffe examines one of the great revolutionary key texts, ’The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth Intenational’, also known as the Transitional Programme, and its relevance today.

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How capitalism works

Capitalism is based on the private ownership of production - the firms, workplaces and finance system. Under capitalism everything is a commodity that can be bought and sold. Basic necessities like food, water, clothing and housing all must be paid for and are a source of profit to the bosses or capitalist class - sold for more than they cost to produce or supply.

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70th anniversary of the assasination of Leon Trotsky

Seventy years ago the greatest living revolutionary of the time, Leon Trotsky, was murdered by Josef Stalin’s hit man Ramon Mercader. There had been a number of failed previous attempts on Trotsky’s life but this time a fatal blow from an ‘ice pick’ successfully destroyed the ‘brain’ of the working class and the symbol of implacable opposition to capitalism and totalitarian Stalinism. This event, celebrated in the Kremlin by Stalin and the bureaucratic elite he represented, also brought joy to the capitalist governments of Europe, America and the world.

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