Educational conferences reflect growing interest in socialist ideas

Connecticut: ‘Solution is Socialism’ By KEITH LESLIE — NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — On Nov. 4, Socialist Action Connecticut and the Central Connecticut State University Youth for Socialist Action held their second annual conference, entitled “The Solution is Socialism.” More than 100 workers, students, and activists from as far away as Alabama turned out for a…

The relevance of the Russian Revolution today

By JEFF MACKLER Leon Trotsky, co-leader with Vladimir Lenin of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, famously argued that the “Russian Question” was key to the standing of every party on earth that claimed allegiance to the heritage of revolutionary socialist politics. To this day, 100 years after Lenin’s Bolshevik Party led the world’s first…

Books: Remembering James Connolly

  By BARRY WEISLEDER  “James Connolly and the Reconquest of Ireland,” by Priscilla Metscher. (Minneapolis: MEP Publications, 2002), 243 pages. The aftermath of the 101st anniversary of the Easter Rising is a good time to become (re)acquainted with the views of the great Irish republican socialist, James Connolly. Though many of today’s Irish nationalists and “socialists” pay homage…

Coup in Chile: The first 9/11

By LAZARO MONTEVERDE Sept. 11, 2016, marks the 43rd anniversary of the violent 1973 coup in Chile against the elected left popular front government of Salvador Allende. Like the ancient Roman god Janus, imperialism has two faces. One face is political, the other economic. We must, if we wish to change the world, understand both…

Socialist Action sets ambitious goals for the coming year

The Seventeenth National Convention of Socialist Action was held Aug. 19-21 in Kansas City, Mo. The convention was preceded by the party’s traditional three-month pre-convention discussion period, which included some 50 written contributions from SA members. Delegates from across the country presented reports of their work in many movements—including struggles against global warming and for climate justice,…

To the Masses!

By MARK UGOLINI John Riddell and Mike Taber, “To the Masses” (Haymarket Books 2016), 1299 pp., $55 Thanks to John Riddell and Mike Taber for the huge effort over many years that has brought us “To the Masses” and the other wonderful books that make up their series on the Communist International in Lenin’s time.…

Interview with Socialist Action’s presidential candidate, Jeff Mackler

By NICK BAKER We are seeing a renewed interest in socialism today. The campaign of Bernie Sanders, who claims to be a “democratic socialist” to mask his 98-percent Democratic Party-line voting record, has given much publicity to the word “socialist,” and many young Sanders supporters call themselves socialists. The Sanders candidacy is no accident. His…

Soweto: the Black students’ rebellion of 1976

On the fortieth anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Rebellion in South Africa, we reprint two articles from International Viewpoint, the English-language on-line journal of the Fourth International. The author of the first article, Noor Nieftagodien, is the head of the History Workshop at Wits University. The second author, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, is currently a PHD student…

Party time? A review of two classics

By BARRY WEISLEDER Is it time to build an international revolutionary workers’ party? James P. Cannon consistently said yes. Isaac Deutscher, for most of his adult life, said no. Both were highly esteemed Marxists, selflessly dedicated to workers’ self-emancipation. But their difference on this crucial point amplified important political divergences. Some 45 years after their…

House socialists and field socialists

By BRUCE LESNICK I wholeheartedly support the populist programs that Bernie Sanders advocates—from single-payer health care, to free college tuition, to taxing the rich and more. But borrowing from Malcolm X [see excerpt below], Bernie is a house socialist and I’m a field socialist. Bernie doesn’t want to replace or overthrow capitalism. Like all house socialists, he thinks capitalism can be fixed or tamed…

A new look at 1959 novel about Trotsky

By JOE AUCIELLO Bernard Wolfe, “The Great Prince Died: A Novel About the Assassination of Trotsky,” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959/2015), 416 pp., $18. Credit the critical and popular success of two recent novels, “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver and “The Man Who Loved Dogs” by Leonardo Padura, for this year’s re-publication of this…

Leon Trotsky: Revolutionary Fighter

By JEFF MACKLER  Paul LeBlanc, “Leon Trotsky,” Reaktion Books, distributed by the University of Chicago Press, 2015, 224 pages, $16.95 paperback Paul LeBlanc’s new and admirable brief biography of Leon Trotsky comes on the 75th anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination in Coyoacan, Mexico, at the hands of Stalinist agent Ramon Mercader. Trotsky, along with Vladimir Lenin, was…