Skip to main content

The Problem with "International" Parties

Although Marx and Engels argued that the proletariat was an international class that did not have a specific country, Lenin and those who follow the Leninist development of marxism have generally understood that this fact of internationalism is also mediated by the fact that the proletariat cannot escape its entrenchment in particular nations.  That is, while the proletariat as a whole should share the common and interest of uniting across national divisions and overthrowing world capitalism, this same proletariat is spread out amongst various social contexts, and thus has to deal with the concrete realities of how class struggle unfolds within these different contexts.  Unfortunately, the history of revolution is rife with attempts to cling to an idealist understanding of the international proletariat that ignores the fact that the proletariat struggling in one nation might need to structure its class struggle in a way that manifests the universal similarities of revolution in different concrete particularities.

In the past few years I have become more and more annoyed by the tendency of certain organizations to base themselves on some abstract notion of internationalism and declare "international" parties that, due to the reality of differences between concrete contexts, end up being nothing more than a false internationalism generated by the concrete concerns of the nation that produced these international organizations in the first place.  Take, for example, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP): based in Britain, it attempts to produce an International Socialist party that does little more than follow the directives of its UK headquarters even though these headquarters are incapable of understanding the class struggle elsewhere.  Why?  Because it's a bloody British party that lacks an organic connection with revolutionary movements outside of its primary country; it imposes directives possibly gleaned from its social context on other places in the name of internationalism and proletarian unity; it confuses the particular with the universal, the national with the international.

To be fair, my understanding of the SWP is primarily based on its anachronistic existence as an imported socialism that has little to do with actually existing class struggle in my social context.  For all I know, it's a vital force in its country of origin and is simply (and erroneously) attempting to transpose this vitalness to contexts where it did not emerge organically.  My point, then, is not about the SWP but about this tendency to treat global class struggle as homogenous, to confuse the universal fact of class struggle with its concrete and particular articulations, and to imagine that you can start a party in one country and then decide, for some idiotic reason, that it's global and that everyone should take directions from London, or New York, or wherever.  This didn't really work when the Soviet Union tried it, and its reason for such an attempt was far more legitimate (because it was the first socialist revolution in the world) than the reasons given by these contemporary groups that have never led, or even come close to leading, an actual revolution.  Nor did the Soviet Union confuse an international organization of parties with its own party.

But now, with the spread of internet leftism, there are innumerable grouplets that call themselves "international parties" whose international status is around forty people on the internet and whose party status is… doing what exactly?  A reading group?  Forty or fifty people talking online, none of whom are embedded in the class struggles of their concrete circumstances, do not constitute a party.  And they're an insult to internationalism because they ignore the precisely what a robust internationalism deems necessary: the recognition of proletarian struggles in different national contexts.  If you're all getting together online to define yourself as an international party outside of space and time, then you're ignoring the embedded fact of international struggle.  Oh well!  Screw history and what it means to build a fighting party in a specific context!  We're going to build ourselves an online party that imagines it can be called a party when it has no understanding of how the universal fact of class struggle manifests within different social contexts and how the movements in these social contexts could give a fuck about our internet party!

The masses need revolution, revolutionaries need a party, and parties need an international organization.  And just as the masses by themselves are not the same as a party, parties by themselves are not the same as an international… But still you have these organizations confusing the categories and setting themselves up as some bullshit international party even when they're only forty people living predominantly in Europe or upper North America who know shit about the class struggles in their own contexts.  Even if they have under fifty people professing membership, they imagine that they are the masses, the party, and the international all in a single organization!  If only revolutionary struggle could be so convenient.

Generally, with honourable exception, this kind of pseudo-internationalism possesses a eurocentric chauvinism.  Started at the centres of capitalism, these organizations are most often dedicated to that corollary principle of the so-called "permanent revolution" that: a) the proletariat, being international, can only have a revolution altogether (hence the need for an international party); b) since the "most developed" proletariat are obviously at the centres of capitalism, the movements at the centres representing this developed proletariat are the most advanced; c) revolutionary movements at the peripheries, since they are not properly "proletarian", must hold the revolution in permanence until the contradictions of the capitalist mode of production are developed in their own specific context and thus follow the directives of the proletarian movements at the centre.  What we have here, under the auspices of international parties, is a reflection of the imperialist ideology that the peripheries need to "catch up" with the centres even though the latter is only economically "advanced" because of its parasitical dependency on the former.  Nor does there seem to be very much recognition that this imperialist relationship has always affected the workers movement, even though Lenin had a lot to say about this when he spoke of labour aristocracies.

Thus, these international parties violate internationalism in that they impose an analysis of a concrete national context upon an international context where they have no organic basis––where they are only an importation––and thus are unable to produce a viable social investigation of class in these spaces.  Moreover, they often tend to echo the imperialist relationship of centre-periphery.  And now, with the onslaught of internet activism [of which, admittedly, this blog is often guilty], you have the ludicrous emergence of parties who dare to call themselves revolutionary parties even though they're nothing more than forty or fifty people who meet on internet forums and believe that chatting, blogging, posting, commenting, etc. as a tiny internet group is somehow identical to class revolution.

The revolution would be better served if people went back to finding ways of building parties organically wedded to the class struggles of their concrete contexts, beginning within the borders of nations and then moving outwards to connect with international lines, rather than just aligning themselves with a party from another country that also imagines itself to be an international tendency when, in reality, it is a national tendency that attempts to impose itself internationally.  For the only parties that have led successful revolutions have been those parties that have emerged from the class struggles of their particular contexts; this fact, more than anything else, should lead us to abandon this bizarre notion of international parties and return to the aforementioned formula: the masses need revolutions, revolutionaries need parties, and parties need an international.


  1. Weird, I was just thinking about this issue - probably because last night I was reading up about the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada to see if it belonged to an international.

    My question relates to the attitude of the Bolshevik government towards Germany in the immediate years following the October Revolution. The entire viewpoint of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks was based on the conception that their revolution was doomed if it did not spread to the advanced capitalist countries. At one point, Lenin even said he would be willing to sacrifice the revolution in Russia if it meant the German revolution would succeed! The Bolsheviks at that point (pre-"socialism in one country") believed that it was impossible to build socialism in Russia without aid from a more developed economy like that of Germany's.

    Under the terms of your critique, would this not mean that the Bolsheviks themselves had a "Eurocentric" point of view?

    1. No, because Lenin never thought it should spread under the auspices of one single and chauvinist party; this was the reason for an international but, under the auspices of an international, comrade parties emerging organically from their own contexts. Hence my reason for the formula: masses need revolution, revolutionaries need a party, parties need an international.

      Clearly all revolutions are doomed if they do not spread to the surrounding countries; this is why people like Che Guevera, whatever we might think of other aspects of his theory, argued that it was necessary for communists at the centres of capitalism to make revolution at the bellies of the beast. Lenin believed that the revolution would be doomed if did not spread, but he also believed (and he repeated this over and over again in his theory of the labour aristocracy and his analysis of imperialism), that in the era of imperialism revolutions were always more likely to occur at the "weakest link" of world capitalism, i.e. the peripheries. What this means is that there is dual reality necessary to understand world revolution: a) the most revolutionary moments are always more likely to happen at the global peripheries because that is where the contradictions of capitalism are most evident, where the people have less to lose (here, it is important to note how Amin has done a lot of political economic work around this Leninist understanding, and has even argued that capitalism first emerged in western europe because the feudal contradictions were more evident than elsewhere and that western europe, in its own way, was a periphery of surrounding tributary formations); b) these revolutions will not be able to persist unless revolution spreads to other countries, especially the centres of capitalism that control world imperialism. A denial of point (a) and a misunderstanding of point (b) is ahistorical and, yes, generally eurocentric. Again, this would betray what Lenin argued for most of his life even while he was demanding that the revolution needed to spread to other countries. It would also ignore the fact that, as Lenin correctly assumed, the greatest revolutionary movements of the twentieth century (and now twenty-first century) have taken place at the "weakest link" of world capitalism.

    2. [cont.]

      The failure to understand this two-fold point is not only made by those who over-inflate the second point, and thus imagine that since the participation of the global centres is necessary it is fundamentally important and should *direct* world revolution (even though revolutions are far less likely to begin in these social contexts); it is also made by people who ignore the second point altogether and imagine that revolutions can and should only happen at the peripheries and that revolutionaries at the centres should do nothing but support these revolutions ideologically and just wait for them to "surround the global centres" or some other such third worldist nonsense.

    3. This all seems to fit well into Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution (as explained in the book of that title as well as his earlier "Results and Prospects"), but you seem to be pretty skeptical of that theory. Care to explain your reasons for disagreement?

    4. No, actually it doesn't. I've elaborated on this before throughout this blog, so I'm going to short-hand it here. The theory of permanent revolution: a) mistakes global capitalism as a single mode of production [of combined and uneven development] rather than a world system consisting of various modes of production; b) it claims that revolution can only be led by those sectors of the masses who are a "proper" [industrial, and advanced] proletariat; c) the solution for people in the peripheries, since they do not live in a region that is properly developed for revolution is to "hold the revolution in permanence" and wait for their counterparts at the advanced centre to lead the revolution. This is why tiny Trotskyist minorities have consistently undermined revolutionary movements in the global peripheries: in China Chen Duxhiu [following Trotsky's orders] argued that a peasant-led revolution was wrong and that the duty of communists was to remain within the Kuomintang, where developed workers existed, and wait until the proper conditions were realized; in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh unfortunately had to liquidate a small minority of Trotskyists because they were telling peasants to follow this theory of permanent revolution rather than to rise up.

      So the theory of permanent revolution doesn't really fit well with what I've outlined because it is precisely that misconception of the second point, and the denial of the first point, that I complained about. At the same time, however, the theory of PR is an attempt to solve the problem that socialism requires a certain level of productive forces in order to exist and correctly realizes that, since the peripheries are underdeveloped economically [a state, we need to be clear, is *developed* by imperialism], they lack the forces of production necessary to build socialism. But the solution fails to recognize that, while these contexts lack the productive forces they do not lack the productive relations and that the workers movements at the centre, hampered as they are by opportunism and the preponderance of the labour aristocracy (again, Lenin's insight), are lagging behind when it comes to productive relations. Thus, it ends up being little more than a crude theory of productive forces; it is eurocentric in that it demands that the movements at the periphery tail the movements at the centre. Indeed, the very reason that Trotskyist "international" parties are controlled by central committees at the *centres* of capitalism is precisely because of the theory of the PR, and groups like the Spartacist League, uber-sectarian as they are, are at least honest about what this theory means and their fidelity to it.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. In that piece on the mimesis of Trotsky and Stalin I wrote this:

      "Trotskyist theory of world revolution, then, generally tends to be a eurocentric game. The entire theory of Permanent Revolution, which relies on the erroneous analysis of world capitalism being "combined and uneven development" (one mode of production cast upon the entire globe), ultimately produces an understanding of revolution that is both chauvinist and paralyzing: the task of underdeveloped nations (and there is no clear understanding of the global capitalist relationship that develops underdevelopment), was for the germ of the working classes there to pursue the bourgeois democratic revolution in their own country and keep alive a revolutionary spirit (i.e. holding the revolution in permanence), while keeping alive a revolutionary spirit, thus creating a larger and more advanced working class––ultimately all of the nations that did this would have to hold the revolution in permanence for a long time until everyone in the world was in a similar place, like the "advanced" working class in the already capitalist developed nations, so as to have a socialist revolution altogether. Maoist theories, along with theories emerging from revolutionary African movements (i.e. Fanon, Cabral, etc.), rejected this position as a half-truth; this is why the theories of New Democratic Revolution and Cultural Revolution, for example, emerged in China. (It might also be why Tony Cliff, despite being a Trotskyist, tried to "update" the theory of Permanent Revolution and ended up with a version that, despite being messy, closely approximated Mao's theory of New Democratic Revolution.)"

    7. "in China Chen Duxhiu [following Trotsky's orders] argued that a peasant-led revolution was wrong and that the duty of communists was to remain within the Kuomintang"--source? I don't think its true Trotsky said to "remain within" the KMT in the 30's (presumably the time you're referring to).

      "in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh unfortunately had to liquidate a small minority of Trotskyists because they were telling peasants to follow this theory of permanent revolution rather than to rise up". I also don't think this is true.

      Just consider it was the Stalinist parties that during the Popular Front were against resistance to imperialism (of the "democratic" countries) whereas the Trotskyists continued their resistance. It was Trotskyists in 1945 who were for peasants rising up to seize the land and for all to rise up to resist the British and other imperialists--whereas the Communist regime wanted to stop the land seizures and welcomed the British.

      "They [the Trotskyists] also called for armed resistance against the landing of Allied troops in the Saigon region, and demanded arming of the workers and peasants “and took practical steps to carry this out.”"
      "British troops under the command of General Gracey landed in Saigon on September 10, 1945. They were greeted with banners and slogans of welcome by the Viet Minh regime. However, the International Communist League [Trotskyist] and the People’s Committees under their control denounced the “treason” of the Stalinist regime in not only allowing them to land but welcoming them as well." [Do you say the Viet Minh didn't welcome the British?]

      "The policy of the Stalinist-led Vietnam Independence League, or Vietminh, at the end of the war, was also worked out in line with Potsdam: it sought to establish a bourgeois national state, with French imperialism re-occupying at least the southern part of the country." [Do you have sources to dispute this?]

      "Another Vietminh official, Nguyen Van Tao, was more explicit: ‘All those who have instigated the peasants to seize the landowners’ property will be severely and pitilessly punished" and goes on to argue the Trotskyists opposition to this policy (i.e. being for the peasants rising up to take land) was a key reason they were killed since they could not be politically defeated by argument.

    8. As I noted in a reply to someone else who used the same source you just provided (but in another string), that source is academic garbage. Not only is 70% of its citations from the Spartacist League, who are renowned for their cobbled together half-truths (really, please don't take the revisionist "history" in the back pages of the Workers Vanguard as fact), but it also relies on an intellectual who worked for the US intelligence department. The only reputable source it refers to is a French academic who pretty much says the same thing I do and yet doesn't cite that part of his argument. Please check your sources and stop relying on these quasi-academic sources for justification. IMT sources are garbage and, as noted, rely on Spartacist historical revisionism.

      And yes it is true that Trotsky called for this specific line on China.. Every historian of China who covers Chen Duxhiu points this out, but rather than refer to them why not refer to a Trotskyist historian? Indeed, Isaac Deutscher, in his "prophet trilogy" states that this was Trotsky's position.

      Stop spamming me with IMT garbage and study actual history. As I argued above, I don't agree with the Stalinist line in Vietnam, so I don't disagree that Stalin "sought to establish a bourgeois national state", but I do disagree that the Trotskyists sought to establish anything significant. Moreover, I think Ho Chi Minh's line was different from Stalin while, at the same time, he still saw Stalin as the leader of the world revolution and Trotsky, perhaps unfortunately, as a problem. So the point I have made here is not that Stalin's position was correct (actually, I don't think it was and have never said it was, and have even gone so far as to say his line was as erroneous as Trotsky's in other places, so please stop attributing ideas to me that I've never believed), but Ho Chi Minh was correct and that the Trotskyists, even more so than any "stalinist" influence, were undermining this. And I take issue with your "sources" considering that the only viable source, Hemery, actually says the same thing about the Viet Minh versus the Trotskyists at the end of his analysis that I have said (read that source rather than the IMT distortion, please). Add to this the fact your idiotic source uses the Spartacist League as authoritative, and then I. Milton Sacks, a goddamn US imperialist intelligence agent whose information was constructed under the auspices of destabilizing east asia… You really need to check your sources rather than thinking you're quoting something that is worth a damn.

    9. And rather than just leave my sources at Deutscher, I'll emphasize where my understanding of the situation of China comes from source wise. First of all, I will name authors such as Han Suyin and William Hinton who relayed this fact in numerous books on China based on their investment and involvement with the revolution. To this I will add Maurice Meisner who is *the* academic source for the Chinese Revolution. Then there is Gregor Benton, who has written about the history of Chinese Trotskyism specifically and says precisely what I have said about Chen Duxhiu's line and how it was the line of Trotsky. Finally, there is Chen Duxhiu himself.

      I will also point out that Stalin's line in China was much the same as Trotsky's, and Li Lisan (representing the Comintern) was arguing something similar to Chen Duxhiu. And by this token, I don't necessarily respect Stalin's line vis-a-vis other countries engaged in struggle. So stop trying to read my analysis through some sort of distorted Trotskyite myopia. Also, your comment here really has nothing to do with this post specifically, and doesn't even address the points made in the post, and so is utterly off-topic. Next time read my comment guidelines and, before you waste my time, think about the "sources" you're using and maybe exercise a little critical thought––you know, maybe check the sources of your sources?––before repeating sectarian half-truths as reputable knowledge. Hell, you might as well use Robert Conquest as a source considering that he also relies on people like I. Milton Sacks.

    10. You refer to your comment policy--well, it's your site to do with as you please but I found your blog interesting but when you talk about permanent revolution, you talk about something I don't recognize (except insofar as it degenerated in the hands of some) so I thought responding to these historical references could be a concrete way to start that discussion of what I think Trotsky was trying to get at wit the theory and the political implications of it.

      You wrote: "in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh unfortunately had to liquidate a small minority of Trotskyists because they were telling peasants to follow this theory of permanent revolution rather than to rise up".

      I gave various reasons to doubt this "rise up versus not rise up" thing and you dismiss the sources. I don't agree with how you deal with that, but fine--let's throw out all those sources.

      "We are convinced that the Allies, which at the Teheran and San Francisco Conferences upheld the principle of equality among the nations, cannot fail to recognize the right of the Vietnamese people to independence."--Ho Chi Minh, 1945

      When did the Trotskyists tell workers or peasants not to rise up in Vietnam in 1945? When did the CP tell them to rise up in 1945? Did they not welcome the British? Where they not against large scale land confiscation as part of their (Nov 1945 CC resolution: "the Communists are...always disposed to put the interest of the country above that of classes")?
      Did Tran Van Giau of the CP not say:
      "Those who incite the people to arm themselves will be considered saboteurs"?

      So when you say that the Trotskyists told the peasants not to rise up but instead follow "permanent revolution"...I have no idea what you're on about. Factually, they didn't say don't rise up that I've ever seen. Theoretically, in a country like Vietnam, the theory of permanent revolution means that it's necessary and vital for working class revolution for the peasants *to* rise up.

      I'll drop the Chen part as too tangential though I don't know how you can say Trotsky and Stalin had similar lines in 1927.

    11. I can say they had similar lines because Chen and Li had the same line vis-a-vis the KMT: and I gave you actual academically viable sources. Yes, I can throw out your sources because they are not academically viable in any way shape or form, the sources they rely upon (except for one which I would urge you to read rather than the way it has been distorted) being intensely flawed.

      Now I will admit that I was simplifying things, but then you're simplifying Ho Chi Minh's position and there is this fact to consider: *who* led the Vietnamese revolution, what political line resonated with the masses. If the Trotskyists were as important as you suggest they would have been thoroughly embedded in the masses; they weren't and it's obvious that they weren't because the revolution was led by the party under the direction of the Ho Chi Minh, not by La Lutte. The political line the Trotskyists had regarding the peasantry was that the peasants had to take the direction of the developed workers (and seriously, this *is* Trotsky's permanent revolution where peasants are often categorized as "petty bourgeois" and incapable of leading a revolution and rather they should take leadership from the more developed industrial proletariat) was not, I apologize, as simple as saying "hey stop rising up you peasants" but it was a line that said the peasant movements had to wait for the more developed workers to lead things and in a very specific insurrectionist kind of way which was tantamount to saying don't rise up.

      Yes it is more complex than the few throw away lines I have here, but it was a tangental point, not what I was writing about specifically––and if you read people like Hemery, rather than the sources you gave that cite bits of him and then rely on Spartacist and US intelligence as their factual backing, you'll see that this is pretty much the argument he gives. Moreover, this statement was in the *comments* section of the blog and so, like most of what I write in the comments section, far more hasty and tangental than the original post.

    12. Fair enough on it being a blog comment and so hasty. As you've explained what you wanted to get across, I still disagree but I can actually see having a conversation about it.

      On Hemery, I don't read French yet and didn't find much English translation googling around--do you read French or are their English translations you could point me to? Otherwise it'll have to wait.

      On permanent revolution and the relationship of the proletariat and the peasantry, we'd have to get more concrete to see where our disagreement there lies. Because I wouldn't put it as you put it yet I don't think you'd agree with more nuanced formulations either so if I may just ask somethings to try to clarify how you see the issue more concretely:
      1. Do you think it was wrong for the 1918 constitution to privilege proletarian (urban) representation over rural (more likely peasant on average) by a 5:1 or 10:1 ratio? (
      2. My understanding is that the key components of the conception Lenin had with and going into the October revolution were:
      a. The Bolshevik Party itself must be based on the working class and on anyone not from that class adopting its point of view on the property question.
      b. But as the key ally in Russia of the working class was the peasantry, he was for the Soviet state adopting the peasants' wishes on the land question (the decree on the land was basically the SR program rather than what had been the RSPD program).
      c. A key part of his argument for the October revolution was that the Bolsheviks had won the "support of the class which is the vanguard of the revolution" *and* there was a "countrywide revolutionary upsurge"
      d. So what was needed was "an insurrection of the workers of Petrograd and Moscow" to declare peace and land to the peasants (
      I would just note that the Constituent Assembly elections showed that the peasants did not yet supports the Bolsheviks per se but voted for the party they thought would guarantee them the land.
      The relationship of the workers and their class party to the peasantry there is how I see a key instance of the theory of permanent revolution. I do not see it as a template but an instance--Trotsky, unknown to most of his follows, insisted that his views on the peasantry were not metaphysical but based on certain conditions (such as in Russia the lack of railroads and telegraph and telephone lines) and so could change. But I think Lenin's conception and what happened showed the urban workers taking the lead not in some abstract or imposed way but because their conditions clarified to them the necessary tasks in a more general way before such things were clear to the peasants as a whole, but this did not mean that it was in the interests of the workers for the peasants to wait to insurrect but instead their already ongoing insurrection for the land (but not yet cohered to take power from the whole state to then direct it in a different direction) required and allowed the workers to insurrect themselves to continue the revolution and take it to a higher level. So saying the peasants had to "take direction" or "wait" is too ambiguous I think--but the October revolution was the urban workers lead by a working class party taking power--enabled by the peasant insurrection but not as a joint *consciously* united action of the workers and peasants as far as I can see.

    13. Sorry for not responding immediately: I published your comment when I didn't have time to reply and then forgot to follow up. But I suppose later is better than never. Anyhow…

      1) I'm not certain what you're trying to argue here and it feels like a red herring.

      2) This manifold point warrants consideration because it demonstrates one of the erroneous lines of the Bolshevik Revolution that affected its ability to maintain revolutionary power: this analysis of the peasantry would hamper the development of socialism in Russia and which is why the Chinese Revolution, which was the next world historical revolution, went further in this regard but was met with another significant problem (i.e. the problem of the return of the bourgeoisie through the party, through the ideological instance). Indeed, even Stalin followed this understanding of the peasant question––that the working class had won the support of the countryside but, still being the primary vanguard, had to make sense of how to lead the development of socialism in a semi-feudal countryside. (This was why, tangentally, Mao said that Stalin's analysis of the peasantry treated peasants as things rather than people.) Yes the peasant movement did enable the insurrection, but there was also the larger fact, that was theoretically unrecognized, that there was a process of peoples war from 1905-1917, under a somewhat coherent and somewhat incoherent direction of the Bolsheviks. So in many ways things were clear to the peasants in this process, but this was not turned into a general political will and a disconnection between the countryside and city persisted.

      Trotsky, to be fair, did note this problem in *Terrorism and Communism* and it is significant that his warnings about the kulaks were ignored when he was expelled from the party but, later in Stalin's life, recognized as a serious problem (here it is significant to note that Stalin avidly read that book in his latter years). By then it was entrenched… But even still, Trotsky's analysis of this problem did not proceed from any social investigation of the countryside and the class disparity therein (nor did Lenin's, nor did Stalin's) and thus no way to conceptualize how to bring a mass-line to the revolutionary sectors of the countryside. Mao's "Analysis of Class Contradictions in China" as well as his "Report on the Peasant Movement in Hunan" represent, in a different context, attempts to actually do this social investigation. Thus, the countryside wasn't thoroughly radicalized and so middle and upper peasants ("kulaks", what Trotsky called "the vulture class") were homogenized with the possibly more revolutionary lower peasantry who could have been fully brought into the party as a class but were simply seen as passive recipients of land reforms rather than, as an entire class, part of the advanced guard. Since Russia was a semi-feudal capitalist formation at the time, failure to solve the agrarian question was key, as Samir Amin has pointed out in his political economy of peripheral revolutions. This is also one of the problems described by Charles Bettelheim in his masterful and multi-volume left critique of the Soviet Union, that does a political economy analysis from the years 1917-1941, *Class Conflict in the USSR*.

  2. I'm from Britain, and I can tell you that the SWP are pretty much a joke. They're a tiny Troksyist organisation that relies on publicity seeking 'flashmob' style protests to lift them to a higher public awareness level than other tiny Trotskyist organisations.

    And as far as I know, it barely operates outside London, never mind the rest of the UK

    1. And yet they do seem to produce a lot of academics, or at least pull them in...


Post a Comment