It was with tremendous sadness that we discovered comrade Pam Woods had died following a courageous battle with leukaemia and MDS. In keeping with her immediate family’s wishes for privacy at such a difficult time, we did not publish an obituary.
Religion cannot be overcome by recourse to pure, rational arguments; we must instead attack its social foundation. We can only cast aside religious illusions when we directly control our fate.
Anarchism is naturally attractive to all those correctly alienated by bureaucracy in the revolutionary movement. Anarchists are certainly correct to reject Stalinism and careerism. However, it is not sufficient simply to reject these phenomena. We need to understand why bureaucracy and oppression exist and what role they play, in order to understand how to avoid them.
This important series by Alan Woods, provides a Marxist explanation of the processes that led to the collapse of the Roman Republic. Here the method of historical materialism is used to shed light on an important turning-point in world history. For Marxists the study of history is not just a form of harmless entertainment. It is essential that we do study history for the lessons we can learn from it. To paraphrase the words of the American philosopher George Santayana: “He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.”
This is the introduction to a German edition of his important series, Class Struggles in the Roman Republic. After explaining the historical materialist method, Alan Woods explores the class forces in ancient civilisations, the role of the individual in history, the falsehood of 'objective' history, and the contradictions underpinning slave society that were ultimately the reason for Rome's descent and decline. He then relates the lessons of the ancient world to modern capitalist society, which like the last days of Rome is also teetering on the brink of collapse.
In the first century BC, a slave named Spartacus threatened the might of Rome in a massive slave uprising. The spectacle of these most downtrodden people rising up with arms in hand and inflicting defeat after defeat on the armies of the world’s greatest power is one of the most amazing and moving events in history.
This article by Alan Woods deals with barbarism and the development of human society. In post-modern writing, history appears as an essentially meaningless and inexplicable series of random events or accidents. It is governed by no laws that we can comprehend. A variation on this theme is the idea, now very popular in some academic circles that there is no such thing as higher and lower forms of social development and culture. This denial of progress in history is characteristic of the psychology of the bourgeoisie in the phase of capitalist decline.
Our Cookies Policy explains what cookies are, how we use them, how third-parties we may partner with may use them, your choices regarding them and further relevant information.
Cookies are simple ’text files’. Typically, they contain two pieces of information: a site name and unique user ID. They cannot harm your computer and do not contain any information that enables us to identify you personally. They are sent to your web browser by a website allowing the third-party to recognize you and make your next visit easier and the website more useful.
There are ‘persistent’ and ‘session’ cookies. Persistent cookies remain on your personal computer or mobile device when you go offline, while session cookies are deleted as soon as you close your web browser.
Information obtained by cookies can be used to make the website work, to identify which parts of the site can work better or to analyze how often people visit the site and what they look at.
When you use and access the service, we may place a number of cookie files in your web browser.
In addition to our own cookies, we may also use various third-parties cookies to report usage statistics, deliver advertisements and so on.
Social media cookies
We use social media platforms. Our presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube communities strengthens our online presence and visibility.
In the case of activation of the IP anonymization, Google will truncate/anonymize the last octet of the IP address for Member States of the European Union, as well as for other parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases, the full IP address is sent to and shortened by Google servers in the USA.
On behalf of the website provider, Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage to the website provider. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.
However, we point out that if you do this, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.
By default, the browsing experience of website visitors is tracked by Google Analytics in order to produce anonymised statistics.
Furthermore, you can prevent Google’s collection and use of data (cookies and IP address) by downloading and installing the browser plug-in available under: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.
Please note that on this website, Google Analytics code is supplemented by “gat._anonymizeIp();” to ensure an anonymized collection of IP addresses (so-called IP-masking).
Do not track is a function that allows visitors to opt out from being tracked by websites for any purpose, including the use of analytics services, advertising networks and social platforms. Do not track options are available in a number of browsers including:
If you enable do not track in your web browser, Google Analytics will respect your choice. You will not be tracked. This is in addition to you opting-out of the aggregation and analysis of data for our website statistics.
If you have disabled all cookies from your browser, we will still collect some general data about your browsing (e.g. a record of a visitor to our website) but this will be less accurate and your visit will not be tracked.
What are your choices regarding cookies?
Please note, however, that if you delete cookies or refuse to accept them, you might not be able to use all of the features we offer, you may not be able to store your preferences, and some of our pages might not display properly.
Where can you find more information about cookies?
You can learn more about cookies and the following third-party websites: