Books

The Russian Revolution (of 1905) came unexpectedly to everybody but the Social Democrats. Marxism long ago predicted the inevitability of the Russian Revolution, which was bound to break out as a result of the conflict between capitalist development and the forces of ossified absolutism. Marxism estimated in advance the social character of the coming revolution. In calling it a bourgeois revolution, Marxism thereby pointed out that the immediate objective tasks of the revolution consisted in the creation of “normal conditions for the development of bourgeois society as a whole.

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. In his review, John explains how the expanded and revised edition of this biography (edited by Alan Woods) "provides a more satisfactory picture of Stalin’s character" than any previous version. Although we do not agree with all of the ideas presented in the

...

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.