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Issue 28

Notes on the Bolivarian revolution

by Roberto Jorquera

Since late March, Roberto Jorquera has been the Green Left Weekly correspondent in Venezuela, where he has also travelled extensively to help organise the first solidarity brigade from Australia. This article was completed on May 19.

Contents

Revolutionary democracy

Debates within the Chávez forces

Political consciousness

Not a Europe of citizens: The EU on the road to military power

By Winfried Wolf

Winfried Wolf is a writer living in Berlin who for many years was an activist in the Trotskyist Fourth International. He was an independent member of the German parliament on the Party of Democratic Socialism list from 1997 to 2002. This article first appeared in Labour Focus on Eastern Europe.

Contents

Old goals in new clothes

Franz Josef Strauss: `Why not us?'

EEC as competitive battleground

New bloc competition

European corporate power?

Base and superstructure

Tensions

War as a `third way'

Lenin revisited

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?

Joseph Stalin

By Armando Hart

Armando Hart is the former minister of culture of Cuba. Our translation largely relies on a CubaNews translation by Ana Portela.

These thoughts are intended as a tribute to all revolutionaries, without exception, who suffered the great historical drama of seeing the socialist ideas of October 1917 frustrated. We write this with admiration and respect for the Russian people, who were the protagonists of the first socialist revolution in history and who defeated fascism decades later under the leadership of Stalin. The same Russian people, 130 years before, defeated the military offensive of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Fundamentally, I have the experience of fifty years of working for socialist ideas in the beautiful trenches of the Fidel and Martí-inspired Cuban Revolution, that is to say, the first revolution of Marxist orientation that triumphed in what has become known as the West.

The USSR: The thwarted transition

by Ariel Dacal Diaz

Ariel Dacal Diaz is chief editor in the politics section of Social Sciences Publishers, a leading Cuban publishing house. Our translation relies largely on a translation by Ana Portela for CubaNews.

The 1905 revolution and its lessons

by Doug Lorimer

Doug Lorimer is a member of the National Executive of the Democratic Socialist Perspective in Australia. This is a talk presented to the DSP's January 2005 Marxism Summer School.

Contents

Soviets of workers' deputies

January 1905 protest

Bolsheviks and Mensheviks

Anti-feudal revolution

Marxism versus Narodnism

Marxism and the peasantry

Monopoly capitalism

Russo-Japanese War

Lessons drawn by Lenin

Footnotes

 

One hundred years ago this month, the first proletarian revolution in the new imperialist epoch of capitalism began. This revolution, the first Russian revolution, was born of mass discontent aggravated by a deeply unpopular war, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. It began with a wave of strikes, riots and street demonstrations protesting the police shooting on a peaceful mass workers' demonstration in St Petersburg, the capital of the vast Russian Empire, on Sunday, January 22, 1905 (January 9 in the Julian calendar still in use in Russia at the time), killing 1000 and wounding 2000 of the 200,000 marchers.

Links 28: Editor's introduction

Lessons of Russia's revolution Earlier this year, socialists marked the 100th anniversary of the first Russian revolution. For revolutionaries at the beginning of 1905, the historical "model" of previous proletarian revolution—from which to draw both positive and negative lessons—was the Paris Commune of 1871. The 1905 revolution greatly enriched Marxism's storehouse of revolutionary theory.
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