Socialist Participation in Capitalist Governments

A Debate in the Second International, 1900–1904 Introductory Note by Mike Taber Should socialists accept positions as ministers in capitalist governments? What stance should they take toward bourgeois parties?  These questions, which remain the subject of debate today, have aroused heated controversies in the socialist movement for over 120 years. The Second (or “Socialist”) International, […]

International Red Aid 1922–1937

Uniting to Defend Class War Prisoners By John Riddell: As rightist repression against jailed worker revolutionaries spread across Europe in the 1920s, the Communist International initiated a united-front international defense effort, whose influence soon extended far beyond the limits of the Communist movement. The initiative came from Polish Communists seeking to aid compatriots jailed or […]

Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution

The following article was first published in ‘Jacobin’ and is reposted by permission. Eric develops here themes discussed more fully in his new book, Revolutionary Social Democracy: Working-Class Politics Across the Russian Empire (1882–1917). A list of related posts by on this website is appended to the article. A comment on this article by Mike […]

What Are the ‘Right Lessons’ for Socialists?

A Reply to Eric Blanc By Mike Taber: Eric Blanc is a serious and dedicated socialist historian and activist who doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray and take positions he knows are controversial. Such an attitude is commendable, even if I disagree with his conclusions. His latest article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons […]

Trotsky, Krupskaya, and the Bolshevik Tradition

By Paul Le Blanc:[1] This discussion of Trotsky’s relationship to Lenin’s Bolshevik organization will be based on reflections of Nadezhda Krupskaya, one of the founders and central figures of the Bolshevik tradition, for three decades a close comrade and companion of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who led the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The life and ideas […]

‘International Manifesto Group’ Founded

A Report on the Manifesto’s 5 September Launch The newly formed group International Manifesto Group, convened by Radhika Desai, unites socialists on six continents. The text of the group’s declaration: “From Pluripolarity to Socialism: A Manifesto,” is available at the International Manifesto Group website, along with a listing of its more than 200 signatories and […]

Comintern Engagement in the Global Cooperative Movement

Defending Unity in a Reformist-Led International Part Seven of a nine-part series on auxiliary organizations of the Communist International. By John Riddell: Among the Communist International’s “auxiliary” work areas, the workers’ cooperatives were unique in terms of the Communists’ focus on working through a mainstream, reformist-dominated movement. The Comintern made no attempt to form a […]

The Red Sports International (1921–1937)

Harnessing Recreation to the Revolution Part 8 of a nine-part series on auxiliary organizations of the Communist International By John Riddell: On 23 June 1921, a gathering of about 20 Communists in Moscow founded an international association to unify “revolutionary proletarian sports and gymnastics organizations … into support centers for the proletariat in its class […]

Krestintern: The Comintern’s Troubled Peasant International

Part 9 of a nine-part series on auxiliary organizations of the Communist International. Launched in  1923 in Moscow, the Peasant International, or Krestintern, was at least in organizational terms perhaps the least successful of the auxiliary bodies built by the Communist International (Comintern). Within two years of its foundation, attention to the Peasant International “visibly […]

China Sets Target of ‘Common Prosperity’

Effort for Social Equality Arouses Concern on Wall Street By John Riddell: Addressing the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee on 17 August  2021, Xi Jinping, president of the Chinese People’s Republic, stressed the need for “common prosperity” as a fundamental requirement of socialism.[1] The Central Committee responded by calling on high-income individuals and businesses to […]