History Theory

Federica Montseny speaks at the historical meeting of the CNT in Barcelona on 1977, the first one after 36 years of dictatorship in Spain. Manel Armengol

Este año se cumple el 40º aniversario del que fue, sin duda, el año decisivo de la llamada Transición. En el año 1977 tuvieron lugar los asesinatos de Atocha, que elevaron la temperatura revolucionaria de la sociedad a su grado máximo, la legalización de los sindicatos y de los partidos de izquierda, entre ellos el PCE; la celebración de las elecciones semidemocráticas del 15 de junio, así como la firma de los infames Pactos de la Moncloa, que sellarían la traición a las expectativas populares despertadas a la muerte del dictador.

April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Fought as part of the larger British-led Battle of Arras during the First World War, the battle was the first instance in which all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) fought together. The success of the unified Canadian Corps in capturing the ridge from German troops, after failed efforts to do so by British and French forces, has steadily grown in significance in recent decades to attain the status of a founding myth, in which Vimy represented Canada’s birth as a nation. This mythologized narrative obscures the true nature of an imperialist war that led to the death of millions, while furthering

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The winds of revolution are once again blowing over the African continent. From Burkina Faso to South Africa, from Burundi to Nigeria, we have seen a radicalisation of the workers and the youth and the rise of mass movements that have challenged corrupt capitalist regimes in one country after another.

Twenty years ago what was once a mighty Communist Party of nearly two million members, the Italian PCI, was dissolved and was transformed into the Democratic Party of the Left, later to become the Democratic Party. In the process the party split in two, with those opposing this change setting up the Party of Communist Refoundation. This article by Roberto Sarti of the Editorial Board of Falcemartello looks at how this came about and draws some lessons for today’s communists.

May 1968 was the greatest revolutionary general strike in history. This mighty movement took place at the height of the post-war economic upswing in capitalism. Then, as now, the bourgeois and their apologists were congratulating themselves that revolutions and class struggle were things of the past. Then came the French events of 1968, which seemed to drop like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky. They took most of the Left completely by surprise, because, they had all written off the European working class as a revolutionary force.

Exposed to anti-Semitism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then in Poland, Leopold Trepper (1904-1982), like a great many Jewish workers, saw socialism as the solution to the problem of the oppression of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe. In The Great Game, published in 1975, Trepper tells the story of his participation in a particular episode of the Second World War -- the history of the Red Orchestra – at the same time as he relates his journey as a militant to an exceptional destiny and role. This work, which is rich in analyses and illustrations about the actors and events of the historical period that it covers (from the end of the First World War to the death of

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The Spanish Civil War, which broke out in July 1936, was a struggle between the forces of revolution and counter-revolution. After the fascist victories in Italy and Germany, many saw this war as the last stand against fascism. From more than 50 countries, some 45,000 volunteers left home to fight fascism on Spanish soil. One of the most powerful images of the conflict remains Picasso's Guernica. Painted following the massive aerial bombardment of the Basque town by German and Italian nationalist allies in April 1937, it is an angry memorial to the thousands of civilian war dead.

On 17th April 1916 the Irish Citizen Army, together with the Irish Volunteers, rose up in arms against the might of the British Empire to strike a blow for Irish freedom and for the setting up of an Irish Republic. Their blow for freedom was to reverberate round the world, and preceded the first Russian Revolution by almost a year.

This book compactly sets forth the fundamentals of Marx's economic teaching in Marx's own words. After all, no one has yet been able to expound the theory of labour value better than Marx himself. The abridgement of the first volume of Capital - the foundation of Marx's entire system of economics - was made by Mr. Otto Rühle with great care and with profound understanding of his task. First to be eliminated were obsolete examples and illustrations, then quotations from writings which today are only of historic interest, polemics with writers now forgotten, and finally numerous documents - Acts of Parliament, reports of factory inspectors, and the like - which, whatever their importance

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The dictator of Indonesia, Suharto, resigned on 21 May 1998. As Alan Woods and Ted Grant wrote at the time, this bloody tyrant ruled Indonesia with a rod of iron, having come to power over the corpses of over a million people. But he was blown away like a dead leaf in the wind by a mass movement of the students and workers. This momentous event opened up a revolutionary opportunity in Asia, one that was sadly never grasped. Nevertheless, the collapse of Suharto's regime was a tremendous victory for the Indonesian masses.

At first sight it may seem that the republication of The Communist Manifesto requires an explanation. How can one justify a new edition of a book written almost 150 years ago? Yet in reality the Manifesto is the most modern of books.