Marxism and the National Question in Scotland

UK Scotland flagWe have entered into a new period on an international scale: a period of deep economic crisis, social and political instability. The masses everywhere are beginning to question things that were previously taken for granted. The whole political scene is a seething cauldron. In such a period sharp and sudden changes are implicit in the situation. The Scottish referendum was just such a sudden change, a political earthquake that upset all the calculations of the politicians. It represented a fundamental turn in the situation.

A Review of Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel”

GunsGermsSteelHistorical materialism is a dynamic method for understanding the complex and contradictory past, with profound implications for our understanding of the world and the class struggle today. For Marxists, history is not something dead and buried, an ossified collection of facts and interpretations established for all time, but a living treasure trove of lessons for the present and the future. Even without consciously applying the Marxist method, many of the most intellectually honest and critical scientists and historians are independently drawing conclusions similar to those of the Marxists. We publish below an expanded and slightly revised version of a 1993 review of Jared Diamonds best-known work, originally printed in the British Socialist Appeal, in the days before it had a presence on the internet.

WWI—Part Eight: Victims and Aggressors

Serbian retreat WWIWhile the armies of the Great Powers were busy slaughtering each other in Flanders, Tannenberg, and Gallipoli, their weaker brethren were watching with keen anticipation from the sidelines, like vultures waiting to gorge themselves on the corpses of the defeated party. As long as it remained unclear which of the big bandits would prove the stronger, the little bandits had to be patient and wait for their opportunity to arrive.

WWI—Part Seven: Turkey Joins the War

ataturk-and-the-young-turksAt the turn of the 20th century, the Ottoman Empire was in a state of terminal decline. In 1908 Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Three years later the Italian bourgeoisie proclaimed its colonial ambitions by grabbing Libya in North Africa from the Ottomans. Later they seized the islands of Rhodes and Kos. A year later a league of Balkan nations drove the Ottomans from their last foothold in Europe.

WWI—Part Six: Tsarist Russia and the War

German soldiers Battle of Marne WWIIn the bloody struggle for world domination Russia entered as a second-rate partner of the Entente. The apparent strength of the Russian Empire concealed its internal contradictions and fundamental weaknesses. Russian tsarism combined elements of a semifeudal, semicolonial country, heavily dependent upon foreign capital, with the aggressive characteristics of imperialism. Indeed, despite the economic backwardness of Russia, which never exported a single kopek of capital, Lenin included it as one of the five main imperialist countries.