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1968 year of revolt

Joel Geier, associate editor of the International Socialist Review, spoke on ``1968: Year of Revolt'' at the University of Illinois, Champaign, IL on March 26, 2008. He was a leading member of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s and witnessed the 1968 protests in Paris. He discussed a vital yet hidden history of struggle and its relevance to today.

The International Socialist Review is sponsoring a national meeting tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the remarkable year 1968. It was a year of conflict, class struggle and revolutionary upheaval around the world. 1968 saw the Vietnam Tet Offensive; the May general strike in France; the Black Power salute at the Olympics; the student struggle in Mexico and the massacre in Tlatelolco Plaza; the Prague Spring and Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia; the police riot at the Democratic Party convention; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and urban rebellions; the birth of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement in Detroit. 1968 offers lessons to a new generation of activists and radicals organising for a better world.

Vietnam: On the road towards the renewal of socialism

By Tran Dac Loi

Years ago, while we were fighting the US war of aggression, the word “Vietnam” became very familiar to the world. However, over the past decades, less information about Vietnam has reached to the outside world, and therefore understanding of Vietnam has become less among its world friends. It is against this background that I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a broad overview about history of Vietnam, with the main focus on its development over the past 30 years.

Theses on the class nature of the People's Republic of China

This resolution was adopted by the 18th Congress of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, held in Sydney, January 5-10, 1999.

I. Theoretical framework

1. For orthodox Marxists, as Lenin explained in his 1917 book The State and Revolution, the state is a centralised organisation of force separated from the community as a whole which enforces, through special bodies of armed people and other institutions of coercion, the will of one class, or an alliance of classes, upon the rest of society.

Socialists in the Australian women's liberation movement

By Margaret Allan

To understand the development of feminism in Australia, it is useful to briefly recap the political situation that gave rise not only to the women's liberation movement, but to the whole range of social movements that sprang up in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

During the Second World War, women were drawn into many non-traditional areas of work, such as making ammunition and ships. These were much higher paid jobs than women were used to, and many women who did not previously work for pay experienced life as working mothers for the first time. There was some public child-care provision, and the ideology that women were incapable of metal work and similar trades conveniently disappeared as everyone was urged to “do their bit for the war effort and the boys at the front”.

When men began returning from the war in large numbers in 1945, women were forced to give up these jobs. It was the start of the “baby boom”: women were encouraged to have babies to repopulate. This was also the start of the economic boom of the 1950s.

Movement history: Socialists and the anti-war movement

By Gus Horowitz

This is the text of a speech that was printed in the Militant, the newspaper of the us Socialist Workers Party, on October 10, 1969, shortly before the massive anti-war demonstrations scheduled to occur in mid-November of that year. Gus Horowitz was the SWP's national anti-war director during that year and through the first half of 1970. Minor spelling and punctuation changes have been made in the text reprinted here. The introduction was by the Militant.

Introduction

On Labour Day weekend [September 1969] in New York, the Socialist Workers Party held its national convention. One of the central points on the agenda was a resolution assessing developments within the movement against the Vietnam War and the role of the SWP within that movement.

Discussion on the resolution was initiated with a report by Gus Horowitz, a member of the party's national committee and its representative to the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

Interview with Malcolm X

By Barry Sheppard

This article is taken from a chapter of volume one of a political memoir, covering the years 1960-1973. Barry Sheppard was a central leader of the US Young Socialist Alliance and Socialist Workers Party during the years 1960-1988.

***

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925. In February 1946 he was sentenced in Massachusetts to 8-10 years' imprisonment for burglary. While in prison, he was won to the Nation of Islam, a Black Nationalist religious sect founded by W.D. Fard and headed at that time and until his death by Elijah Muhammad. Emerging in the early 1930s, the Nation of Islam was one of the groups that developed as a result of the decline and splintering of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, which had galvanised a large section of the Black community after World War I. The Nation of Islam taught a religious doctrine that Black people were blessed by God and that whites were devils specially created to oppress Black people. They called for the creation of an independent Black nation in the United States, but tended to stress that the achievement of this state would be the work of God, not human beings.

Vietnam's long history of struggle

By Nguyen The Phiet

The author is the Vietnamese consul general in Sydney. This is an edited and abridged version of a talk given to an educational conference of the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective in January 2005.

I have been asked to present a brief account of our history and of our anti-French and anti-US struggles and the important factors that made our struggles victorious, particularly those factors which I think are still relevant in our efforts for national defence and construction of our socialist homeland.

Vietnam has an age-old history. The ancient Viet, the ancestors of the presentday Vietnamese, and several other ethnic groups settled in Vietnam's territory right from the dawn of humankind. They explored and conquered nature to survive and develop. Over thousands of years of nation building, they had to fight continuously against foreign invaders and foiled invaders' attempts to assimilate this nation.

Vietnam has a history of building and safeguarding the country for thousands of years. This history can be divided into the following periods:

Russia awakes: social protest 100 years after the beginning of the First Russian revolution

by Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov

Aleksandr Buzgalin and Andrei Kolganov are economists and political scientists at Moscow State University who are associated with the social and political journal Alternativy.

Contents

Prehistory

Historical context

The anatomy of civil disobedience

The January events: early lessons and the future

It is Not Only about the Law on Monetisation of Benefits

Appendix : Protest actions in 2005: a brief chronology

January 2005 was a profoundly significant month for Russia in many ways, but above all as the month when our people, after a sleep of many years, demonstrated their capacity for joint actions in defence of their common social interests. As many as 300,000 people in more than fifty regions of Russia came out onto the streets over a four-week period, beginning with the symbolic date of the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday". Why did this happen? What was the objective meaning of these events? What could the left have done, or not done, to assist these mainly spontaneous initiatives of the population? What lies ahead, and what can and should be the strategy and tactics for supporters of social renewal? What lessons should we draw from the first successes and failures?

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