This discussion-with-our-readers column takes up questions on plea bargaining and where do the prevailing ideas in society come from. These questions from World-Outlook readers arose from facts and opinions expressed in the news analysis “Trump Indictment: What Are the Issues?”
Why Bonapartist, Not Neo-Fascist
In two letters to the editor a reader asked World-Outlook to clarify our use of the term “Bonapartism” in the December 15, 2022, article “What Do U.S. Midterm Elections Reveal?” This “Discussion with our readers” column includes the letters and our reply.
Why Lenin, Bolsheviks Backed Independence for Ukraine
This is a resolution adopted by the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in November 1919. Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin drafted the original text. The resolution can be found in Vol. 30 of Lenin’s Collected Works under the title “On Soviet Rule in Ukraine.” World-Outlook is publishing it because it is relevant to the world-wide discussion and debate on Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Moscow’s brutal attack on a sovereign neighboring republic smacks of the Great Russian chauvinism prevalent under the czars, the barbaric monarchy that ruled the Russian empire for centuries before it was overthrown by workers and peasants in 1917. That same chauvinism animated the reactionary policies re-established by the late 1920s in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) during the counterrevolution led by Joseph Stalin—a regime Russian president Vladimir Putin faithfully served decades later as an officer of the KGB, the secret police. The resolution illuminates the stark contrast between the position of Putin and Russia’s capitalists today, with that of the workers and peasants’ government Lenin led after the Russian revolution.
Lenin on Internationalism, Fighting National Oppression
This is a selection of writings by Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin on internationalism, fighting national oppression, and the need for a voluntary union of soviet socialist republics. In recent posts, World-Outlook has referred to the fight Lenin carried out at the end of his life for a genuinely internationalist approach to ensuring such a voluntary union in the early years after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine this year, and Vladimir Putin’s distortions of Russia’s and Ukraine’s revolutionary history, give renewed importance to these issues.
Reform or Revolution? A Debate (III)- The Lessons of Chile
September 11 marked the 48th anniversary of the 1973 bloody military coup, backed by Washington, which overthrew the elected Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) government led by Salvador Allende in Chile. On September 12, Jacobin, a magazine that describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture,” published an interview by Mia Dragnic with Tomás Moulian titled, “Salvador Allende Was Overthrown Because His Government Showed Chile Could Be Transformed.” Eric Blanc’s article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution,” also originally appeared in Jacobin in July.
At first glance, these two articles may seem unrelated. Blanc does not discuss the defeat in Chile and Moulian’s interview does not refer to Blanc’s article. However, both pose the same issues: How can a fight be led to end the evils of capitalism and transform society to open the road to socialism? Is a genuine revolution led by the working class necessary to achieve this?
The last installment of the three-part series, “Reform or Revolution?”, this third part focuses on the lessons of the Chilean experience in the 1970s.
The Muslim Peoples of the East and the Russian Revolution
The end of the 20-year-long U.S. war in Afghanistan in August, and the takeover of the country by the Taliban, highlighted once again the worldwide political significance of the countries of the Islamic East. Are peoples in these countries condemned to permanent backwardness, as many believe, weighed down by reactionary religious ideology? Or can they be a revolutionary force in the fight to liberate humanity? What will it take to cement an alliance between working people of East and West? An article by John Riddell, with an introductory note by Mike Taber, take up these questions.
Reform or Revolution? A Debate (II)
What lessons can we draw for today from the Russian Revolution of 1917—the first socialist revolution and one of the most important events in modern human history? The Bolshevik Party, which led that revolution, viewed it as the beginning of the worldwide struggle to overturn capitalism and open the door to the socialist transformation of society by working people. This is the topic of a recent debate between Eric Blanc, a socialist historian and activist, and Mike Taber, editor of a number of books related to the history of revolutionary and working-class movements. This second part of the debate includes the article by Mike Taber.
Reform or Revolution? A Debate (I)
What lessons can we draw for today from the Russian Revolution of 1917—the first socialist revolution and one of the most important events in modern human history? The Bolshevik Party, which led that revolution, viewed it as the beginning of the worldwide struggle to overturn capitalism and open the door to the socialist transformation of society by working people. This is the topic of a recent debate between Eric Blanc, a socialist historian and activist, and Mike Taber, editor of a number of books related to the history of revolutionary and working-class movements. This first part of the debate includes the article by Eric Blanc.
Socialist Participation in Capitalist Governments
Haymarket Books has just published “Under the Socialist Banner: Resolutions of the Second International, 1889-1912.”
This review, introduced by the book’s editor Mike Taber, takes up questions such as: Should socialists accept positions as ministers in capitalist governments? What stance should they take toward bourgeois parties?