Take up McDonnell call for scenario-planning

John McDonnell at Labour’s conference

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is absolutely right in his call to “start work now” on how to meet potential challenges to a Jeremy Corbyn-led government  We’re taking up his call. RDM supporters are holding a Planning Day on October 28. We will assess the UK’s constitutional crisis and develop strategies to counter the inevitable state-financial market attacks against a Corbyn-led government. Email info@realdemocracymovement.org with October 28 in the subject line. Read our blog on John McDonnell’s call to “start work now” on scenario-planning


 Revolution series

From Russia with love

Red Guards from the Vulkan factory in Petrograd

Significant political and other legacies, notably cultural, outlive both Stalinism and the restoration of capitalism in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. A crucial part of the legacy is  the theory of the state in capitalist society because this leads directly to the question of who has the power in society – and, conversely, who doesn’t. For example, would a Jeremy Corbyn-led government have real power or be subordinate to the powers of the state? If the latter, can the power of the present state be broken without revolution? Read more

Russian Revolution: A huge leap into the unknown

Red Army poster

Red Army poster

“The Russian revolution took the world – and Russia – by surprise.  Although reforms and modernisation were overdue, no one thought it would erupt as it did. Lenin himself did not expect it. Even in November they didn’t believe it – and they didn’t know if they would stay in power. There were several points during the civil war when it appeared that the Whites would win and restore the status quo.” The fragile young Soviet state had to deal with civil war and invading armies from 14 countries while wracked by famine. Propaganda efforts in many languages by counter-revolutionary White forces and their allies, such as the US and Britain, sought to present the revolution as blood-thirsty and horrific. Read more

 

One hundred days that shook Bavaria

Revolutionary sailors occupying the courtyard of Berlin castle December 1918

The Bavarian revolutions of 1918-1919 – and those in the rest of
Germany – were the first to take place in an advanced capitalist country. Inspired by the Russian Revolution, whose centenary is marked this year, they challenged the German state and the established political order. What happened in Bavaria holds important lessons for those struggling for system change today, while the role of the German SPD, the equivalent of the UK Labour Party, in suppressing the revolutions in blood cannot be ignored, especially as the prospects of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government grow.Read more

Young, gifted and Black – art’s power for the people

Support for Black power arose out of frustration with the pacifist orientation of the Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King. Leaders like Malcolm X called for justice “by any means necessary”. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party in October 1966 to defend victims of police violence.  The party championed Black self-determination. At the same time, its 10-point programme was distinctly anti-capitalist and socialist. It appealed to all oppressed and working class people to unite against the ruling classes and the state. Read more


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More blogs

The UK’s ‘economic model’: what it is and how to change it

What is the Tory economic model, and what is Labour’s alternative? How will it fare in the context of a desperately fragile global capitalist economy drifting on a grotesquely distended, increasingly volatile balloon of unserviceable debt? Read more

Union leaders must turn words into deeds

The pay claim of 3.9% + £800, made by an alliance of unions for the 1 million NHS staff, adds another intractable problem to the chaotic government of Theresa May, but it also puts the leaders of the trade unions on the spot. They might have to lead a fight for the first time in many years which would bring them into direct conflict with the government and the state. Read more

A lesson from Greece: in government but not in power

The huge energy, optimism and determination of the 2011 Greek spring, the series of general strikes, the occupation of the squares, the popular assembly that arose spontaneously outside the parliament building in Syntagma square, all this has been frittered away, suffocated by subordination to the Troika. Firefighters without contracts, and museum staff continue to protest, but it’s all to no avail. The lessons are clear: for the Greeks in the home of democracy, and for people everywhere, preparations for reconstituting state and society so that the people really do have power can’t be postponed. Read more

Nemesis: Neoliberalism & Sustainable Development

Back in the 1980’s, just about anything went. A lot disappeared. But one particular phrase emerged that stuck – sort of. It was called sustainable development. Even Margaret Thatcher thought it was pretty cool. But there was another development that emerged that really stuck. It wasn’t entirely new. It had been around for centuries in a different guise. But in the consumerist high tech society that was emerging during the 80’s, the neoliberal model had found a lucrative market in which to flourish. Read more.

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