The development of capitalism in Japan

Date:

In 1869 feudalism was abolished and the clans surrendered their fiefs to the government. All classes were declared equal before the law and barriers on local movement and internal trade removed. Individuals were allowed acquire land and all the professions and trades were thrown open.

Introduction to Emma Goldman

Date:

Emma Goldman was born in 1869 in a Jewish ghetto in Russia where her family ran a small inn. When she was 13 the family moved to St Petersburg. It was just after the assassination of Alexander II and so was a time of political repression. The Jewish community suffered a wave of pogroms. The severe economic hardship of the time meant that Emma Goldman had to leave school after six months in St Petersburg and work in a factory.

The changing nature of the working class

Date:

What we strive for is a classless society, one where as well as there being no ruling class there is no working class. Why then the obsession with the working class for anarchists rather then with just people? To this audience perhaps a strange question to start with but one that is key when we come to talk about the nature of the working class.

Syndicalism and Anarchism

Date:

In the 1860s the modern socialist movement was beginning to take shape. The International Working Mens' Association or First International was becoming a pole of attraction for militant workers. As the movement grew points of agreement and of disagreement between the Marxists and the Anarchists about what socialism meant and how to achieve it were becoming clear. This led to the Marxists using less than democratic means to expel the anarchists.

The Paris Commune

Date:

The commune was formally installed in the Hotel de Ville two days later in the glorious spring sunshine of Tuesday, 28 March. The national Guard battalions assembled, the names of the newly elected members were read out , as, wearing red, they lined up on the steps of the Hotel de Ville under a canopy surmounted by a bust to the republic. On high the red flag was flying as it had done ever since 18 March and guns saluted the proclamation of the Paris Commune...

This is the notes for a talk given to a WSM meeting in October 1993 that was heavily based on The Communards of Paris, 1871: edited by Stewart Edwards, and published by Cornell Paperbacks; CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS

As its in note form it includes sections copied from this book.

Leninism and the failure of the Russian revolution

Date:

The Russian revolutions of 1917 demonstrate that a revolution is possible but they also warn against authoritarian methods of introducing socialism.

1968 - When France Rebelled

Date:

 

Paris 1968

 


THESE DAYS you are more likely to hear the word 'revolution' on the soundtrack of a film or on the latest pop release than you are to hear someone talking about bringing one about. It is partly for this reason that people think of revolutions as buried deep in history. Yet, as little as 25 years ago France was on the verge of a total revolt with 12 million workers on strike, 122 factories occupied, and students fighting against the old moribund system in which they found themselves.

In the late sixties in France real wages were on the rise, but large sections of the working class were still suffering from low pay. This was despite foreign trade having tripled. 25% of all workers were receiving less than 500 francs (£46) per month. Some unskilled workers were only getting 400 francs per month. Unemployment was at half a million, in a period which was considered a post-war boom. Trade union membership had dropped to around 3 million, as opposed to 7 million in 1945. Not many victories had been won in the preceding years. Michelin boasted that they had only talked to trade unions three times in thirty years. So how did everything change so quickly in the France of 1968?

 

Student Unions ordered to fund SPUC's anti-choice case - Bigots send for sherrif

Date:

THE FIGHT between SPUC and the student unions over the provision of abortion information has entered a new phase. SPUC's solicitors, are now seeking costs from the student unions for the earlier stages of the case. This is despite the fact that the legal case is ongoing. In fact this is the first time in the history of the Irish state that one party has been awarded legal costs over the other while the case is still being disputed. Talk about impartiality!

The Irish left and the x-case referendum - Where were the vanguard?

Date:

The Irish Left is very small. However history has shown that it is possible to have influence far out of proportion to your numbers. So what strategy did these highly organised groups committed to fighting for womens' liberation adopt.

Sorting out the Vote in the 1992 Abortion Referendum

Date:

It is hard to analyse the most important result from the Referendum, namely the 'substantive issue' or the Abortion Referendum. It would only be possible to give an accurate reading of this Referendum if a further poll was taken. People need to be asked why they voted 'No' on the day.