Place: Russia/USSR

In Defense of Socialist Internationalism: Answering the Propaganda of the Authoritarian “Left”

We have been slimed. An article by Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal on the recent Socialism 2019 Conference — which appears on their rancid website, The GrayZone, and is apparently being widely circulated — is a scurrilous attack not only . . .

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Theoretical Lies of the World Bank

In 2019, the World Bank (WB) and the IMF will be 75 years old. These two international financial institutions (IFI), founded in 1944, are dominated by the USA and a few allied major powers who work to generalize policies that . . .

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Review: We Need To Talk About Putin

Mark Galeotti, We Need to Talk About Putin: How the West Gets Him Wrong (London: Ebury Press, 2019). 160 pp.

Call for the Formation of a Transnational Socialist-Humanist Solidarity Network

Critical developments around the globe compel the creation of a new type of transnational socialist and anti-authoritarian solidarity network.

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Russian Revolution

Muraskin and Epstein criticize Harrison’s view of the Russian Revolution; Harrison replies.

Indefensible: Idlib and the Left

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This text was contributed to Freedom by Leila Al-Shami: British Syrian activist and writer, co-author (with Robin Yassin-Kassab) of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War. Leila’s blog on popular struggles, human rights and social justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective can be found here.

Desperately seeking socialism: why the Soviet Union’s left-wing dissidents matter today

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The following text appeared on OpenDemocracy, and features a review by Gabriel Levy of Ilya Budraistkis’ book Dissidents Among Dissidents, a new collection of essays published in Russian in 2017 by Free Marxist Publishers. It was originally published on People and Nature

This new collection of essays seeks to rebalance our understanding of dissent in the late Soviet Union, drawing attention to democratic socialists from the 1950s into the 1980s.

War, Imperialism, and Class Polarization on a Global Scale

From East Asia to the Middle East and from South Africa to Europe

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Adapted from a presentation to the Chicago Convention of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization, July 13, 2018.

Revolution in a Warming World: Lessons from the Russian to the Syrian Revolutions

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It doesn’t take much imagination to associate climate change with revolution. If the planetary order upon which all societies are built starts breaking down, how can they possibly remain stable? Various more or less horrifying scenarios of upheaval have long been extrapolated from soaring temperatures. 

Une déclaration sur le voyage de Mélenchon en Russie

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This is a declaration signed by two French militants and a young Ukrainian left-wing activist describing the details of Jean-Luc Mélenchon's trip to Russia not long ago, and the scandal of the ignorance of part of the left under the pretext of anti-imperialism.

Beyond Fake News

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1. “All Governments Lie”

As 1950s investigative reporter I.F. (“Izzy”) Stone famously stated: “All governments lie.”[1] Fake news has historically been the weapon of the rulers, especially when in need of excuses for military aggression.

Theoretical Lessons of the Russian Revolution

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Often, it seems that the legacy of the Russian Revolution of November 1917 lays like a dead weight upon the living. Everywhere voices are raised – from anarchists to social democrats and from liberals to conservatives – telling us that we need to jettison its legacy of authoritarian socialism, of prison camps, and ultimately, of economic and social collapse.  At the same time, the left of today stands for grassroots democracy, opposition to war and imperialism, opposition to racial and gender oppression, and once we move to the left of social democracy, abolition of capitalism and of the state.

Russiagate or Deep State? What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia

The bizarre denialism of some on the left and right about Russiagate doesn't bode well for the future of American politics

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When it comes to the Russiagate scandal, progressives usually take one of two positions.

They either dismiss the scandal as a lot of hooey, a “nothingburger,” just a way for warmongers and the “Deep State” to revive a cold war between Washington and Moscow. Or they treat the scandal as just a means to an end, a way to cast doubt on the 2016 presidential election, implicate the administration in a variety of crimes, and ultimately impeach the president.

Stalinism: The Complete Negation of Socialism

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This is the last of three articles commemorating the Russian Revolution of 1917 and analyzing its fate under Stalin. The first part, “Glorious Harbinger of a New Society: The Bolshevik Revolution,” was published in New Politics, number 62, winter 2017, and the second part, “The Tragic Fate of Workers’ Russia,” in New Politics, number 63, summer 2017. 

On the One Hundredth Anniversary of Two Revolutions: Russia and Georgia, Bolshevism or Menshevism

Book Review

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Eric Lee. The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution, 1918-1921. London: Zed Books, 2017. 259 pages. Timeline. Notes. Index. (For further information see: http://www.ericlee.info/theexperiment/)

In his new book The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgtten Revolution, 1918-1921 the journalist and historian Eric Lee does two things. First, he tells the little known and complicated story of the Georgian Revolution and the short-lived independent state that it created.

Bolshevism, Real and Imagined: A Reply to Mitchell Cohen

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The greatest flaw of Mitchell Cohen’s “What Lenin’s Critics Got Right” in the most recent Dissent is that it repeats what Lars T. Lih, independent researcher and author of Lenin Rediscovered:‘What Is To Be Done’ In Context (Haymarket, 2008) and a biography of Lenin (Reaktion Books, 2011), calls the “standard textbook interpretation” of Lenin’s thought and, by extension, Bolshevism as a movement.

Herman Axelbank, Max Eastman, and the Documentary “Tsar to Lenin”

ImageThe Russian Revolution, the only—if only briefly—successful workers’ revolution took place in the era of photography and film, consequently thousands of hours of film footage from the revolutionary period existed. In the late 1920s, as the revolution’s red star was fading, a Russian-born man decided to collect as much as possible of the existing film—some of it shot by individuals, some by governments, some by new agencies, some by who-knows-who. Eventually, over 50 years this man collected some 271 motion picture film reels. He was a fanatic. Glad he was.

From Russia With Love: Lenin's Letter to American Workers

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Just before Christmas, on December 21, 1917, a strange freighter pulled into Elliott Bay in Seattle. This vessel bore an unfamiliar flag—a red flag. This was a Russian ship, the Shilka, out of Vladivostok, Russia. Only a few weeks before, on November 7, the Bolshevik Revolution had taken place in Russia and its leader, Vladimir Lenin, proclaimed a workers' and farmers' state.

Bolsheviks and Beyond: Revisiting John Reed’s "Ten Days that Shook the World"

ImageTen Days That Shook the World By John Reed(Introduction by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and A. J. P. Taylor) Penguin Classics / Random House, 368 pages revised ed., 2007 (originally published 1919) Paperback:  $13.44 (available from numerous retailers) ISBN: 978-1420-930-252

The Tragic Fate of Workers’ Russia

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[This is the second of three articles commemorating the Russian Revolution of 1917 and analyzing its fate under Stalin. The first part, “Glorious Harbinger of a New Society: the Bolshevik Revolution,” was published in the previous issue of New Politics, number 62, winter 2017. The text below is slightly expanded from what appeared in the print issue.]

 Soon after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on March 3, 1918, the Soviet republic was under siege. Various anti-Bolshevik forces, some supported by the Allies or the Central Powers, were gathering. If these forces succeeded in reversing the October Revolution, what would be the result?

US enforces its No Fly Zone over Rojava, leading to World War III…Or Not

The continuation of six years of genocidal war

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For the first time in the six-year Syrian war, the US shot down an Assadist warplane on June 18, in defence of its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed military and political front dominated by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG). Assadist warplanes had carried out the highly unusual act of bombing the SDF in the town of Ja’Din, near Tabqa in Raqqa Province.

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