The Russian Revolution and the black struggle

31st October 2017 Socialist Action 0

By Martin Woodley

1 The lock step of socialist advance and black struggle

Marx identified the class struggle as the locomotive of history. Yet, the struggle between classes as defined by Marx is fundamental but it far from exhausts the types of conflict typical of the modern era. In particular, the struggle of black people for liberation is one of the primary metrics by which it is possible to characterise the twentieth century. How does this titanic struggle relate to the class struggle as defined by Marx, and how should communists understand and relate to the black movement and black consciousness?

Women and October: women’s lives mirrored the arc of the revolution

30th October 2017 Socialist Action 0

By Mary McGregor

The inequality of the two before the law, which is a legacy of previous social conditions, is not the cause but the effect of the economic oppression of women.’ Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

Such was the significance of the October Revolution for women’s lives – most directly in Russia but also internationally (think, for example, of Sylvia Pankhurst – invited to Russia by Lenin in 1918 – and the inspiration the Bolshevik victory lent to her work with working class women in London’s east end, her involvement in the early Communist Party and in the anti-colonial struggle) that it cannot be entirely obliterated from officially permitted history. Hence an exhibition at the British Library records something of the role of women in Russian progressive politics and directly in the Bolshevik struggle. Most importantly, it hints at how women’s social, political and economic position improved or declined along with the arc of the revolutionary process itself.

The economic legacy of October 1917

25th October 2017 Socialist Action 0

By Mark Buckley

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 is an event of world-historic importance. It was the first time in history that the working class and its allies seized political power and held onto it for long enough to impact the entire world in a sustained way.

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Russia’s February Revolution – led by women

8th March 2017 Socialist Action 0

The first Russian Revolution of 1917 – known in all the historical literature as the February Revolution – actually began on International Women’s Day March 8, which under the old style Russian calendar falls in February. This revolution was led by women.

Photo: nein09

Russia shifts left

6th December 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Brian Williams

The Western media are presenting the big story of the Russian parliamentary election as being the loss of support by Putin’s United Russia party. It is not – the big story is who United Russia lost support to.

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Capitalism hits a brick wall in Russia

1st October 1998 Socialist Action 0

First published: October 1998

In one of the most spectacular financial explosions in history, on 17 August, in the space of one day, Russia’s entire financial system collapsed. Stock markets around the world were sent reeling, not because of Russia’s weight in the world economy, nor the big losses incurred by Western banks speculating on the Russian bond market, but because Russian capitalism had run into a dead-end from which there appeared to be no way out. What really rattled the markets was the possibility that, faced with destitution this winter, the Russian people might call a halt to the re-introduction of capitalism, which having already resulted in the greatest peacetime industrial collapse in history, now promises worse. As one commentator said, it began to dawn on the markets that capitalism’s victory over socialism might turn out to be only a short episode at the end of the 20th century. Even the financial press, and people like George Soros, echoed this sentiment.