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

IS Network Constitution

NAME

International Socialist Network (hereinafter referred to as IS Network)

WHERE WE STAND

IS NetworkWe are a network of activists who believe that the present capitalist system, rooted in inequality, exploitation and oppression, and driven towards crisis, war and destruction of the environment, must be replaced by socialism: a system of real democracy and co-operative production for human needs.

Those who produce the wealth under capitalism – the working class – have the power to overthrow it. The emancipation of the working class can only be the act of the working class itself. We stand for the self-activity of the oppressed and exploited, and for socialism from below.

Read more: IS Network Constitution

Documents for ISN Conference 2013-06-09

Docs for ISN Conference 2013-06-09Documents for ISN Conference 2013-06-09. Various documents prepared for ISN conference, including the constitution, proposed constitution, reports, etc.

PDF, 15pp, 2013

 

 

Report: 'Are we all becoming more anxious?' - the politics of mental health in the age of austerity

Last Wednesday over 50 people* attended a joint-meeting organised by the IS Network and rs21 entitled, 'Are we all becoming more anxious? - The politics of mental health under austerity.' The meeting was made up of a diverse audience and was attended predominately by people who are neither in the IS Network or rs21 and several who had not been involved with the left before. The meeting was introduced by brief contributions from Rachel Eboral (rs21), Claire English (Plan C) and Ben Watson (Mad Pride).

The meeting then opened up for discussion, whereby there was a combination between people making political points about mental health and class, about medicalisation, forced treatments, etc which was combined with people telling aspects of their own mental health experiences often in illuminating and moving ways. Other subjects discussed included problems with provision, challenges for service users and workers trying to organise in mental health, to the social construction of illness, the marketisation of remedies, right through to the question of collective agency and left organisations in general. One person spoke on how for many of those attending it was the first time they had open, honest discussion among themselves as socialists about mental health issues, which are still often surrounded by stigma and shame.

A subject that was also discussed was how left wing groups are frequently not acknowledging or being supportive of those in their midst who are suffering from mental health crises or problems. This would appear to suggest more serious consideration for all of those on the left in how they should be relating to each other politically, how they are talking to each other, the tone of what they say to each other and the impact it might have on others.

Thankfully the meeting also provides some evidence that despite the catastrophic failures of the left in the last few years there remains an audience to hear and participate with socialists in discussing ideas.

Thanks go out to all of our speakers and all of those who helped with or attended the meeting.

*Attendance would likely have been higher but shortly before the meeting there was a well-attended demonstration outside the US embassy at the same time in solidarity with the protests in Ferguson. Before the meeting ended a few people who had been on the demonstration earlier gave a brief report back to a positive reception.


Further Reading:

We Are All Very Anxious: Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It, Plan C http://www.weareplanc.org/we-are-all-very-anxious#.VICrLtKsV8E

Not ‘crazy’ as in wacky, but ‘mad’ as in ‘fuck this’, Søren G, rs21 http://rs21.org.uk/2014/11/19/not-crazy-as-in-wacky-but-mad-as-in-fuck-this/

Freud and the October Revolution, Jules Alford, IS Network http://internationalsocialistnetwork.org/index.php/ideas-and-arguments/analysis/431-freud-and-the-october-revolution

'Splitting in Two: Mad Pride and Punk Rock Oblivion' by Robert Dellar, Unkant Publications http://www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk/?location_id=2192&item=2219

Peter Sedgwick: the dissidents’ dissident, Dave Renton https://livesrunning.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/peter-sedgwick-the-dissidents-dissident/

Poster: Søren G

IS Network National Members Meeting

The next IS Network National Members Meeting will be held on the weekend of 24th and 25th January in Toynbee Hall in London. The meeting will take place 10-6 on the Saturday and 10-4 on the Sunday. Further details and the agenda will be sent out nearer the time, but we can confirm that the event will have a creche, and we can help with travel costs and accommodation. For questions about this now, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
There will be three bulletins published in the run up to the National Meeting, and the deadline for the first of these will be 1st December. Please send any bulletin pieces to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have something which you would like to be taken as a motion or resolution for voting on, please make this clear when you submit a piece. The agenda for the meeting including which pieces will be voted on and when will be sent out in advance. 

IS Network National Women Members Meeting

ISN National Women's Members Meeting
Chadswell Healthy Living Centre, London, WC1H 8JF
Saturday 29th November
11am-6pm 

For self-defining women only.

 

Calling all women in the network!

With its roots in the rape crisis of the SWP, the IS Network has its eyes firmly set on the questions of feminism, socialism, and left organisation – and yet, it can fall into the same bad practices as every group on the left.

The IS Network women's caucus is calling this national meeting for women members with the intention of reinvigorating discussions and debates that are far from finished.

We hope this meeting can be a space where we can organise, strategise, and debate, together, over what it means to be a socialist feminist and a woman organising on the left today.

Please get in touch if you require crèche facilities, or if you would like help paying for transport costs, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling/texting 07824797278

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AGENDA

11.00-11.15 - Meet and greet.
11.15-12.45 - What do we mean by socialist feminism?
12.45-13.15 - What are the priorities of women on the left today?
13.15-13.30 - BREAK
13.30-14.15 - Where do we see the IS Network going?
14.15-14.45 - LUNCH
14.45-15.45 - What makes an organisation 'good on gender'?
15.45-16.15 - Strategising for the next NMM
16.15-16.30 - BREAK
16.30-17.00 - Women's Mag.
17.00-18.00 - AOB

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IS Network national members' meeting - details and bulletin deadlines

 

The next IS Network national members' meeting will take place on Saturday 27th September, 10am-6pm, at The Priory Rooms in Birmingham. The focus will be on discussion of the future politics and structure of the Network.

In the run-up to the meeting members are encouraged to submit theoretical discussion pieces, organisational proposals, thoughts and experiences, and any other material to shape the focus of the day. These will be collated in a series of discussion bulletins which will be made available in the downloads section of this website, via email and in the national IS Network discussion group.

All submissions can be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Deadlines

- Bulletin#1 is available now
- Bulletin#2 deadline: Sun 7th September
- Bulletin#3 deadline: Sun 21st September

Draft Agenda

10.00  Report back from priorities from previous meeting
10.45  Caucuses
12.00  Break
12.15  Caucus report backs
12.45  Politics of the Network, what we stand for, etc.
14.00  Lunch
15.00  Political priorities
16.15  Break
16.30  Organising the Network
18.00  Finish

Venue and travel

The Priory Rooms
Quaker Meeting House
40 Bull Street
Birmingham, B4 6AFT 

The venue website is http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/ and it's in easy walking distance from New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill station.

A crèche will be available and the venue is fully accessible. If you have any questions or need assistance with travel please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..