International

The history of the Left and the Fight for Women's Liberation

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The struggle for women's liberation has generally been bound up with other, wider social and economic changes. The first written evidence of equality with men being put seriously on the agenda was during the reformation starting in the sixteenth century. This questioning of established religion also bought the questioning of other long held beliefs.

Types of Feminism and Anarchism

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The conservative view of women argues that the sexual division of labour is 'natural' and that woman's role as wife, mother and home-maker is biologically given. They believe, to quote Freud, that "Anatomy is destiny". I am going to look at the different traditions of political thought that have developed to critique this vision of women's role in society. There are broadly speaking, four theories; Liberal Feminism, Traditional Marxism, Radical Feminism and Socialist Feminism. I am going to present these in the historical order that they developed but all these theories are still evident in politics today.

Factory committees in the Russian Revolution

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The factory committees appeared in Petrograd and Moscow around February/March of 1917, and quickly spread. Elected directly by the workers in each enterprise, they appear initially to have formed in a response to theatened closures, and to press for the 8-hour day, though the scope of their demands would soon extend.  But by 1918 they were being suppressed by the new Bolshevik government.

The International Backlash Against Abortion in the 1980's

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In Ireland where our own constituition enshrines such edicts as "Mothers shall not be obliged _ _ _ _ _ to engage in labour to the neglect of therir duties in the home", the battle for abortion rights can seem like a mamouth up hill struggle. However what makes our fight even more difficult is the current onslaught which womens rights, in particular abortion rights are experiencing internationally. Even in those countries where limited abortion rights have been won they are now under constant attack.

Feminism and Anarchism

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Feminism & Anarchism, comrades might wonder why we have chosen this subject for discussion. Due mainly to our involvement in the Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign we have had to deal with the feminists organised in the 'Womens Coalition' and to adopt a position in relation to their structure and interventions. This involves dealing with the ideology of feminism. Feminism as a philosophy locates the unequal position of women in society in gender terms. Patriarchy - male power and domination over women in every aspect of their lives - is identified as the enemy, the obstacle to womens liberation. Womens oppression is not differentiated in class terms - feminists see all women as oppressed by all men.

Abortion in Ireland - a Historical Perspective to the 1990's

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Abortion was totally illegal in Ireland under all circumstances until the Supreme Court judgement in the "X" case earlier this year, which seems to permit abortion in the extremely limited case of threatened suicide by the mother. The 1861 Offences against the Persons Act states that any person "performing, attempting and or assisting in an abortion is liable to penal servitude for life". Laws such as this on the statute books of other European countries have been relaxed, liberalised or abolished in the face of the general realisation and acknowledgment that women always and everywhere will exert their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In Ireland powerful reactionary forces have succeeded in not only preventing the liberalisation of laws here on abortion but have gone much further with a constitutional amendment, the 8th Amendment, and a series of court actions which have outlawed the distribution of information on abortion. Ireland is now the only country in the world that actually bans information on abortion. The offensive by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) against womens' rights in Ireland is part of a world wide offensive against abortion rights. The upholding of Ireland's information ban by the E.C. Court of Justice places the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland in an international context.

New World Order: Same Old Slaughter

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"It's a proud day for America and, by God, we kicked the Vietnam syndrome for once and for all" declared Bush.   The imperialists' victory over Iraq was no surprise given their massive technical and military capacity. What is more interesting is the ready help given them by the "free press". This article focuses on how the media provided a "licence to kill" in the Gulf.

The Friends of Durruti in the Spanish Civil War

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THE WAR in Spain (1936-1939) has often been portrayed as a simple struggle between Fascism and democracy. In fact it was anything but. A military coup launched in July 1936 was defeated by worker's action in most parts of Spain. There then followed a wide ranging social revolution (see Worker's Solidarity 33). As many as 5-7 million were involved in the collectivisation of agriculture and thousands in worker's control of industry. About 2 million of these were also members of the oldest union in Spain the anarcho-syndicalist; CNT.

In Defence of the Truth: The Kronstadt Uprising against the Bolsheviks

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We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party (the largest Leninist group in England).

Vote No to Maastricht

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