Books

The economics of the transitional period

The most significant thing about all those who sought to revise Trotsky's position on the Russian question is that they always deal with the problem in the abstract and never concretely explain the laws of the transitional society between capitalism and socialism and how such a society would operate. This is not accidental. A concrete consideration would impel them to the conclusion that the fundamental economy in Russia was the same as it was under Lenin and that it could not be otherwise. The germ of the capitalist mode of production, which began under feudalism through the development of commodity production, lies in the function of

...

The last couple of months have seen a ramping-up of attempts by the US to launch a coup in Venezuela. Under orders from the White House, Juan Guaidó declared himself “president in charge” at a street tally. Immediately, the rogue’s gallery of Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and others recognised Guaidó, then called on the Venezuelan army to declare itself loyal to this new ‘president’.

Today is the 140th birthday of Ioseb Jughashvili, also known as Koba, but best known as Joseph Stalin: figurehead of the Soviet bureaucracy that seized control of Russia following the degeneration of the Bolshevik regime. We publish here a review (first released on John Riddell's blog) of the new, updated edition of Trotsky's biography of Stalin, originally published in 2016 and available from WellRed Books at a reduced price for a limited time: the perfect holiday gift for any revolutionary! In his review, John explains how the expanded and revised edition

...

Wellred Books proudly presents the new edition of Leon Trotsky’s My Life.Since this book was first published, it has been regarded as a unique political and literary document. Written in the first year of Trotsky’s exile in Turkey, it contains the earliest authoritative account of the rise of Stalinism and the expulsion of the Left Opposition, who heroically fought for the ideas and traditions of Lenin.

Fyodor Fyodorovich Raskolnikov was a key Bolshevik activist and a principal organiser amongst the Kronstadt Sailors, who would prove so pivotal in the Bolsheviks' seizure of power. In these remarkable memoirs, which cover the period between the February and October Revolutions in 1917, Raskolnikov gives a first-hand account of how the Bolsheviks built their forces in the navy, describes the setbacks of the July Days (during which he, alongside Trotsky, was imprisoned by Kerensky's Provisional Government), and paints a vivid picture of the October insurrection and its immediate aftermath.

Since the death of Mark Fisher at the beginning of this year, there has been a small increase in appetite for his book Capitalist Realism: is there no alternative?This is unfortunate, as the book is a confused jumble of academic jargon which barely manages to describe a phenomenon first explained by Marx over 170 years ago, let alone offer any practical advice to socialists trying to change the world today.

On November 29, a meeting was held in Vitoria-Gasteiz to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution and to launch the Spanish edition of Stalin, by Leon Trotsky, which has been published by Lucha de Clases. The meeting was addressed by Alan Woods from the International Marxist Tendency.

On Monday, 27 November, the first meeting to launch the new edition of Trotsky's masterpiece, Stalin, took place in Madrid. The event was held at the headquarters of the Friends of Unesco Club of Madrid (CAUM) in the historic Atocha street of the capital. The room was filled with about 70 people.

Stalin was the last book Leon Trotsky was writing when his murderer, Frank Jackson (AKA Ramón Mercader) took his life. On 11 November, the new, complete Mexican edition of the book was presented in front of a packed auditorium and an overspill room, at the Leon Trotsky House Museum. In an extraordinary meeting, the last, unfinished masterpiece by the legendary revolutionary and martyr of the working-class (available in English at WellRed Books) was received with great anticipation by the old militants, and with great enthusiasm by the assembled youth.

On 30 October we reported that the Spanish daily El Paíshad published a review of the new edition of Trotsky's biography of Stalin (available at WellRed Books). The review appeared prominently in the popular Sunday supplement of El País, which is read by millions of people worldwide. Today we are pleased to present an English-language translation.

On 21 August 1940, Leon Trotsky, the great revolutionary leader of the October Revolution, died in Mexico, murdered by a Stalinist agent. We publish his autobiography with forewords by In Defence of Marxism editor, Alan Woods, and Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov.

 La biografía inacabada de Trotsky sobre Stalin, la edición más exhaustiva jamás publicada, completada con material inédito del archivo original:
- Restaurada meticulosamente durante un período de más de 10 años 
- Cotejada con los archivos de Harvard y las ediciones anteriores en inglés, francés, ruso y español
- 115.000 palabras más que la versión original, un 30% más
- Eliminados los añadidos y distorsiones políticas del primer editor, Charles Malamud
- Introducción de Alan Woods, editor del libro y traductor del material inédito en ruso
- Más de 1.000 páginas, 2 volúmenes

...

On the occasion of the centenary anniversary of the October Revolution, we are proud to announce a campaign for the publication of the Italian version of last work of the revolutionary Leon Trotsky, his biography of Stalin. So far, this work has only been available in incomplete editions, distorted politically by the editing of the editor of the first edition in the ‘40s, Charles Malamuth.

A growing number of scientists are becoming discontented with the old outlook. The rapid rise of the theory of Chaos and Complexity is one of the most significant developments in science at the turn of the new millennium. Many of the ideas expressed by this new trend are strikingly similar to the theories of dialectical materialism worked out by Marx and Engels over 150 years ago. A significant part of the present work is devoted to an exploration of the relationship between Marxist philosophy and the new theories. Will this encounter provide the basis for a new and exciting breakthrough in the methodology of science?

This book is aimed especially at class-conscious workers who are seeking to escape from the ills of the capitalist system, that has embroiled the world in a quagmire of wars, poverty and suffering. This history of trade unions is particularly relevant at the present time. The book contains vital lessons and is essential reading for today's worker militants.