In the centenary year of the Irish Rebellion in 1916, Socialist Action continues its series on the topic. Below is a short article by Lenin, ‘The British Liberals and Ireland’, which first appeared in March 1914, that is before the outbreak of the First World War. It is reproduced in full from the invaluable Marxist Internet Archive and can be found here.
To mark this year’s centenary of the Easter Rising this website will be carrying a series of articles on the Irish liberation struggle, starting with Lenin on the Irish Rebellion of 1916. Lenin was the foremost exponent of Marxism of his generation whose leadership was decisive in the success of the Russian Revolution. This was made possible by the development of a theoretical outlook which informed the anti-imperialist wing of the socialist movement which subsequently became the worldwide communist movement.
Lenin was the foremost exponent of Marxism of his generation whose leadership was decisive in the success of the Russian Revolution. This was made possible by the development of a theoretical outlook which informed the anti-imperialist wing of the socialist movement which subsequently became the worldwide communist movement.
The following article by Michael Burke, examining how imperialism has developed since 1916, originally appeared on the Socialist Economic Bulletin website.
A new situation requires a new analysis, and each new factor in the situation requires a specific and concrete analysis, placing it and its weight correctly in the overall situation.
By Alan Davies
Lenin emphasised that it is a fundamental error to conceive of the class struggle as between the working class of one country and the capitalist class of that country – of the British working class against British capitalism, of the French working class against the French capitalists, etc. Instead, Lenin noted: ‘The socialist revolution will not be solely or chiefly, a struggle of the revolutionary proletarians in each country against their own bourgeoisie – no, it will be a struggle of all the imperialist-oppressed colonies and countries, of all dependent countries, against international imperialism’ (Lenin V. I., 22 November 1919). Lenin’s point continually needs understanding and emphasising, particularly in imperialist countries.1
The political current Counterfire, which has its origins in the SWP, has chosen to produce as one of its first publications Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukács by Chris Nineham (Nineham, 2010). Such a choice is highly interesting in placing theoretical concepts developed by Lukács in the early 1920s as a basis for the approach of Counterfire. These concepts were specifically rejected by Lenin in very strong terms – he referred to Lukács’s views as ‘purely verbal’ Marxism. As ideas of, or similar to, the early Lukács are the basis not only of Counterfire but of other currents, and as they reveal more generally a misunderstanding of Marxism, analysing why these ideas are wrong – and why Lenin so specifically rejected them – is of importance to more than simply small circles.