John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

RDG: The Politics of the SWP

Pamphlet produced by the Revolutionary Democratic Group (RDG) in 1997. This pamphlet is being shared here as a historical document. The fact that we are sharing it does not imply agreement by the IS Network with the politics it argues.

Introduction

With the publication in early 1985 of 'Republican Worker', the paper of the Revolutionary Democratic Group (RDG), the division within the state capitalist tendency came out in the open. In 1983 the SCT was synonymous with the SWP. Now this is no longer true. There have been a number of splinters from the IS/SWP in the past including what became Socialist Organiser, the Revolutionary Communist Group, Workers Power, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Red Action and the Socialist Federation. The difference between these and the RDG is that we continue to stand on the basis of a state capitalist analysis ofthe Soviet Union. At the moment the majority of state caps follow the SWP and only a small minority support the RDG. But as has happened before, on the basis of correct politics even a tiny minority can win over the majority. Every serious marxist therefore asks herself/himself what are the political differences and root causes of the division. Every philistine on the other hand is content to know that one group is a Goliath and the other one merely a David. Marxists read on. Philistines stop here.

PDF, 63pp, 1987

Bradford/Leeds IS Network Podcast, Episode 2

'This is Bradford and Leeds IS Network branch's podcast 'A Letter from Domestic Extremists' episode 2. Present were Javaad Alipoor, Ged Colgan, Brian Collier and Paris Thompson. Javaad spoke about the Left Unity conference, Ged about the growing Chinese hegemony in the world and the challenges to the US, and Paris waxed lyrical (but not uncritical) about the third issue of The Exchange. Watch this space for more!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5uq40j0otcof6q0/domestic%20extremists%202.mp3?n=99051055

46m, 46.14MB, mp3

Exchange Issue 03

Exchange 01

Exchange Issue Three. When we started The Exchange a few months ago it was a part of a growing trend among sections of the revolutionary left. The three organisations involved in the editorial team for the publication (the Anticapitalist Initiative, the International Socialist Network and Socialist Resistance) were talking about the prospect of a united organisation at a national level and locally we were developing closer links and ways of working together. In producing a magazine together we hoped to provide a space to discuss the big questions facing the left, to work together on a joint project and to have a voice with which we could spell out our common vision for the left: the building of a democratic culture and organisation in which people from different tendencies could work together to develop a more relevant and effective revolutionary politics. What this might look like we don’t know. By its
nature such a process has to be experimental and open ended. The point isn’t to develop and put forward a fully worked out revolutionary politics but to have a revolutionary politics which is in constant development. One where we are willing to learn from one another and – something the left misses out too much – try things out.

The experience of working on The Exchange does give us some clues as to what the future might have in store and we hope we’ve gone some way towards a model of a left wing publication which does something different. We’ve tried to move away from what we think are bad habits and models practiced in the production of a lot of left wing papers and magazines: the maze of acronyms and jargon; the shrill sloganising tabloid; the bland recruitment tool; the gossip rag; the giver of lines; and the converter of activists into peddlers. Models that are all too common but don’t really work.

What we hope we’ve come up with is a format which gives space to different voices and traditions and lets us look critically both at the world we’re trying to change and our practices in trying to change it. We’ve tried to make something that gives people something to think about whether or not they’re already on the left and hopefully we’ve made something that shows to people that the left is a place where interesting debates and activities are happening and where they can contribute. This hasn’t been true of a lot of the left for a long time but things are beginning to change.

It’s the prospects and process of this change that issue three is aimed at. Here we look at what direction Left Unity might take, how and in what way revolutionaries might work better together, and the opportunities for resisting austerity and pose an alternative to capitalism as well as the obstacles to that. We’ve got contributors from across the revolutionary left who have different approaches but who are interested in building more links and a better kind of left.

PDF, 48pp, 2013

 

Bradford/Leeds IS Network Premiere Podcast

Says Brian C of Bradford/Leeds IS Network:

This is our inaugural podcast. It's me (Brian C) and Javaad A talking about the typhoon in the Philippines,left regroupment and the stuff that's coming out about Orgreave. We have decide to call it 'Letters from Domestic Extremists' and this is Number One!

28m 40s; mp3

Exchange Issue 02

Exchange 02

Exchange Issue Two. The second issue of The Exchange brings together a range of articles looking at the struggles we face against austerity and the issues we face building a movement of resistance. The exchanges here try to look to the problems of the left and wider social movements – to ask how we might go forward, how we might contribute to the enrichment and revival of communist ideas, and how our work, in the here and now, can help to develop the left as a strong and serious force. This issue was jointly produced by supporters of the Anticapitalist InitiativeSocialist Resistance and International Socialist Network.

PDF, 12pp, 2013

 

Exchange Issue 01

Exchange 01

Exchange Issue One. This paper was put together by a working group from the Anti-Capitalist Initiative in Manchester. We looked to organisations and activists who we thought, through our own experience and work alongside them, had something distinctive, critical and productive to contribute on the question of how communist politics and organisation can go forwards. The capitalist system is still stuck in crisis, unable, yet, to find a way out – but the politics and organisation of the left, too, are suffering a long, ongoing crisis of their own. The exchanges here try to look to the problems of the left and wider social movements – to ask how we might go forward, how we might contribute to the enrichment and revival of communist ideas, and how our work, in the here and now, can help to develop the left as a strong and serious force.

PDF, 12pp, 2013