The need for a socialist workers’ party that could rebuild rank and file union organisation and mount sustained resistance to every ruling class attack could not be more sharply posed. This is a task that Socialist Alternative has dedicated itself to over the last fifteen years. While we are still far from being the mass party we need to be – a party that could intervene in and attempt to lead every struggle by workers and the oppressed – we have, despite the generally difficult political climate, made modest steps forward and are now the largest organisation on the revolutionary left in Australia. This article is an attempt to sum up the lessons of the debates in the International Socialist Tendency (IST) about the assessment of the political situation and perspectives for building revolutionary organisations that led to the formation of Socialist Alternative in 1995.
Corey Oakley looks at the discussions about socialist organisation that have been thrown up by unity talks on the Australian left.
Sandra Bloodworth attacks the persistent myths and misconceptions about "Leninism with an examination of Lenin's writings and activities as he struggled to build a revolutionary party.
In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the newly formed Communist International attempted to develop a revolutionary approach to union work in the West. Mick Armstrong looks at the application of that strategy in Australia and Britain.
Mick Armstrong offers a critical assessment of Murray Smith’s approach to broad left parties – one of the key debates on the socialist left internationally over the last fifteen years.
Sandra Bloodworth argues that Lenin and the other great revolutionaries of the early twentieth century provide us with a theory of revolution for advanced democracies.
Viktoria Ivanova reviews the book Lenin: The Logic of Hegemony, a contribution to recent debates about Lenin by Alan Shandro.
Rjurik Davidson, winner of the Ditmar Award, author of Unwrapped Sky, The Stars Askew and other fiction, examines Antonio Gramsci’s political practice in his early years.
Liz Walsh reflects on the experience of launching the Victorian Socialists.
Mick Armstrong critically assesses the experience of the Workers' Party, concluding that a far more independent approach was required by revolutionaries who participated.
Ian Birchall examines how the Communist International engaged with syndicalists in an attempt to build an revolutionary working-class movement in the wake of the Russian Revolution.
Darren Roso reviews a new biography of Werner Scholem, a leading figure in the ultra-left faction of the German Communist Party during the tumultuous Weimar republic.
Darren Roso explores the foundation of the French Communist Party, outlining Trotsky's political approach to winning over leading syndicalists to the Marxist movement.
Sadia Schneider reviews a new collection of essays on the application of Lenin's ideas to the contemporary politics.
Duncan Hart examines the concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in its historical context, and argues that Hal Draper was wrong to argue that Lenin’s interpretation was an anti-democratic departure from that of Marx and Engels.