A few months ago, Telegraph.co.uk, the online version of the well-known British daily newspaper, ran an article entitled “Male Sex Drive ‘To Blame for World’s Conflicts’.” A team of evolutionary scientists, led by a Prof. Mark Van Vugt, claimed to have found the ever-elusive root cause of all war: males!

May Day is the only event that transcends all divisions of religion, race, nationality or any other prejudice of the past amongst human beings. It is commemorated in all continents.

In this Workers' International League pamphlet, Tom Trottier examines the history and background to the LGBT movement. He explains the link to Capitalism and class society. He also looks at its history in the United States, the advances made during the Russian Revolution (and the effect of the Stalinist counter-revolution) as well as the modern history of the movent.

The crisis of capitalism is accompanied by a crisis of bourgeois thought: philosophy, economics, morality – all are in a state of ferment. In place of the earlier optimism that stated confidently that capitalism had solved all its problems, there is an all-pervading mood of gloom. Not so long ago, Gordon Brown confidently proclaimed “the end of boom and bust”. After the crash of 2008 he was forced to eat his words.

Alan Woods in his new introduction the UK edition of the “Four Marxist Classics” (The Communist Manifesto, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, The State and Revolution, and The Transitional Program in a single volume) looks at the stage the class struggle is passing through internationally, from Greece to Spain, from Egypt to Wisconsin. He stresses that, “In order to succeed it is necessary to take the movement to a higher level. This can only be done by linking it firmly to the movement of the workers in the factories and the trade unions.” The book will soon be available in the UK.

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.

Ninety years ago at the Livorno congress of the Italian Socialist Party a decisive mass split took place, which led to the foundation of the Italian Communist Party. The split came in the wake of the defeat of the Occupation of the Factories a few months earlier and marked a clear dividing line between those who understood the need for revolution and those who had adopted a reformist outlook, adapting to the needs of capitalism itself.

This year the workers across the planet will commemorate May Day in one of the most turbulent and traumatic periods in history. The world is ravaged by wars, terrorism, bloodshed, economic catastrophe and unprecedented poverty, misery, disease and destitution. The vast majority of the human race has been plunged into the abyss of deprivation, hunger and agonising suffering.

See Socialist Appeal issue 56 or visit our website for part one of this article, which covers the party’s early days, the Foreign Language Federations, and the split with the Socialist Party.

In January of 1917, a meeting was held in New York City to begin organizing the left-wing of the Socialist Party of America. They wanted to publish a regular Marxist paper, which would be a tool to win over the rank and file of the SP to a Marxist program. There were approximately 20 people at this meeting, one of whom was Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was new to New York and the USA. Soon after the meeting, he would leave the U.S. and go back to Russia and play the role of co-leader of the first successful workers’ revolution, while the SP left-wing would go forward and eventually become the Communist Party.

As part of our ongoing series on the early Left in the United States, we turn next to the Socialist Labor Party and its central figure, Daniel De Leon. Given the continued influence of De Leon and his ideas on some people on the Left, our aim is to draw a balanced appraisal. With the benefit of hindsight, we examine the rise and fall of the SLP as a relevant force in the socialist and workers' movement in order to draw the lessons for today.

On Saturday, March 27, Kenny McGuigan died after six years of fighting Motor Neurone Disease. Kenny was a class fighter, a Marxist and a leading Scottish member of the International Marxist Tendency. We send our deepest condolences to Kate, Paula, Laura, Cara, and all the family, and will not forget our comrade as we continue the struggle he dedicated so much time and energy to.

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