The Russian revolution of 1917 has been a subject of key importance to anarchists for 70 years now, for two reasons. The first reason is that for the first time in history a working class revolution succeeded in ousting the old ruling classes. The second reason is that after the old ruling class was ousted a new class came to power. Those of us who want to make a revolution to-day must understand where the successes and failures of the past came from.
FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes?
What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.
A WORLD without war, famine, poverty, racism? A world where there are no bosses ordering us around and living off our work? A world where competition is replaced by co-operation and individual freedom? Sounds nice. Who wouldn't like to see it? But it can never happen, it runs against human nature. How many times have you heard that line? How many times have you been told that people are naturally selfish, greedy, prone to violence and short-sighted?
It's hard to know how any one can consider capitalism a viable system when looking at the situation of the less developed countries. After the millions raised by Live Aid, it seems unreal that people are going hungry. A recent UN report estimates that 30 million people face starvation. Yet EC beef, butter and wine mountains rot in European warehouses, farmers are ploughing crops back into the land, in US corn belt fields of wheat are burnt.
Over the Summer unemployment reached an all time high. It would have seemed fair enough to expect some kind of militant response to this by the unemployed organisations in Ireland but in fact very little happened. In this article we look at why these organisations are so unable to mobilize unemployed people, either to demand work or to fight for improved social welfare. We go on to look at how unemployment can be fought and what exactly should we be fighting for.
A SURVEY carried out by the Connolly Unemployed Centre at three labour exchanges in Dublin's South Inner City during the recent local elections showed that 90% of respondents would vote for an unemployed party if there was one running. Is this a way forward in the fight for decent jobs for all who want them? It is worth taking a look at what happened in 1957 when an unemployed candidate made it into the Dáil.
The list of jobs to be done in Ireland is endless. Houses need to be built, roads need to be repaired, hospitals and schools need to be adequately staffed. At the same time 265,300 people are unemployed in the 26 counties (official figures for end of August, which do not include those on FAS Schemes, early retirement and SES Schemes). Why can't these jobs be given to those who want them?