Marxism

Why Kautsky Was Wrong (and Why You Should Care)

Why Kautsky Was Wrong (and Why You Should Care)

During his lifetime, Karl Kautsky was such an influential theorist he was called the “Pope of Marxism” — but he was also famously branded “the renegade Kautsky” by Lenin for his betrayals of revolutionary socialism. In recent years there have been efforts to revive Kautskyism in order to justify reformism and electoralism. This approach is as wrong as it always was: Kautskyism remains a renegade socialism that is fundamentally opposed to revolution.

Out of the Voting Booth, Into the Streets: Revolutionaries and Electoral Politics

Out of the Voting Booth, Into the Streets: Revolutionaries and Electoral Politics

Most on the broad left view electoral activity as all-important to progressive reform and even the advance of socialism. They focus almost exclusively on elections, inevitably to the benefit of parties of the liberal bourgeoisie, like the Democrats. By contrast, revolutionary socialists recognize the electoral system as a weapon in the hands of the ruling class that can never be used to transform the system in any lasting way.

Neither Dogmatism nor Eclecticism, But Marxist Dialectics

Neither Dogmatism nor Eclecticism, But Marxist Dialectics

Marxism represents a complete and vigorously materialistic world-view. A complete world-view differs from an eclectic one in that each of its aspects is connected in the closest way with all the others, and therefore one cannot with impunity eliminate one of them and...

The Spectre of Spontaneism

The Spectre of Spontaneism

“We don’t have a mass revolutionary party. If we did, I would join. Once upon a time, a revolutionary vanguard existed. After the defeat of the New Left, the vanguard has to be rebuilt. We need to knit together activists. Without soviets there would have been no...

Report Back from the Socialism Conference in Sydney

Report Back from the Socialism Conference in Sydney

Earlier this month, I attended Socialist Alternative’s Socialism conference in Sydney. For readers outside Australia, I’m referring to the Australian Trotskyist organization (which was a cousin of sorts to the ISO in the US before the latter disbanded), and not the...

In Defense of Revolutionary Organization

In Defense of Revolutionary Organization

What kind of party do we need? Or what kind of party should revolutionary socialists be focused on building? I want to propose some answers to the organizational questions we’re facing. But more than that, I want to invite those who are asking the same questions to...

Is There a Socialist Mode of Production Separate from Communism?

Is There a Socialist Mode of Production Separate from Communism?

A specter is haunting communism: the specter of “socialism” Reformists and Stalinists, social democrats and communists alike have invented “socialism” as a replacement for Karl Marx’s revolutionary communism. They try to divert the left-wing movement from its goal of...

Building Followers and Bitter Dissidents, But Not Leaders

Building Followers and Bitter Dissidents, But Not Leaders

“A supporter of the theory of scientific communism does not take anything on word. He judges everything by reason and experience…. Bureaucratic and artificial discipline has crumbled to dust at the moment of danger. Revolutionary discipline does not exclude but...

Socialism Needs Democracy, Democracy Needs Socialism

Socialism Needs Democracy, Democracy Needs Socialism

The authentic Marxist tradition has always stressed that democracy is fundamental to socialism. Marx defined socialism as the “self-emancipation of the working class.” In the Communist Manifesto, he and Engels said that the first step on the road to socialism and then...

No U.S./NATO Arms to Ukraine 

No U.S./NATO Arms to Ukraine 

Sharp divisions among revolutionary socialists The question of war has always been a key division among socialists. It divides reformist supporters of the capitalist state from revolutionary opponents of the capitalist state. Since the late 1800s, it has divided soft...