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.
One of the magnificent features of the Arab revolutions is the ruthless manner in which they have exposed the dirty, duplicitous, hypocritical, blood-soaked truth about the global political establishment. As the revolutionary wave spread to envelop almost the whole of North Africa and the Middle East, Western politicians, diplomats, university heads, business executives and government bureaucrats squirmed, as evidence of their ties with the despots of the Arab world circulated across the internet.
Rick Kuhn looks at the history of the revolutionary strategy known as the united front, which aims to draw wide layers of workers away from the influence of their reformist leaders and into revolutionary struggle. Rick’s study draws out lessons for socialists from these experiences.
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.
Allen Myers cuts through the debate on the so-called transitional method to expose how this important Marxist concept has been both used and abused by various currents on the left.
Tess Lee Ack draws together anecdotes and lessons from her involvement in the founding years of international socialism of 1970s Australia, from which Socialist Alternative was formed in 1995.
Mick Armstrong critically assesses the experience of the Workers' Party, concluding that a far more independent approach was required by revolutionaries who participated.
Anne Picot debunks the commonly held idea that the USSR was an example of a planned economy.
Marxist historian Robert Bollard surveys a range of responses to Mikhail Gorbachev on the broad left, and finds them wanting.
Ian Birchall reviews the final Notebooks of Victor Serge, written between 1936 and 1947.
Darren Roso explores the foundation of the French Communist Party, outlining Trotsky's political approach to winning over leading syndicalists to the Marxist movement.
US socialist Joel Geier recounts how a debate on soviet imperialism and the Hitler-Stalin pact led to a crisis in Trotskyism and the birth of the International Socialist tradition.
Mick Armstrong traces the development of Trotskyism in the context of the far left in Australia.