Eleanor Marx, daughter of the greatest political scientist in history, faced the formidable task of living up to her family name in the turbulent period during the birth of the organised labour movement in Britain. What she managed to achieve in this period, under the influence of her father’s ideas, makes Rachel Holmes’ new biography Eleanor Marx – A Life, an appropriately impressive project.

The happy idea of using a proletarian holiday celebration as a means to attain the eight-hour day was first born in Australia. The workers there decided in 1856 to organize a day of complete stoppage together with meetings and entertainment as a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour day. The day of this celebration was to be April 21. At first, the Australian workers intended this only for the year 1856. But this first celebration had such a strong effect on the proletarian masses of Australia, enlivening them and leading to new agitation, that it was decided to repeat the celebration every year.

“Human history is like palaeontology. Owing to a certain judicial blindness even the best intelligences absolutely fail to see the things which lie in front of their noses. Later, when the moment has arrived, we are surprised to find traces everywhere of what we failed to see.” - Karl Marx, Letter to Engels, 25th of March, 1868

Reform or revolution? This has been the main ideological debate in the labour movement for the past century. Today, the crisis of capitalism poses the question sharply. Unlike in the past, however, the material basis for reformism has been eroded. The cupboard is bare. Austerity, heightened class struggle, and revolutionary upheaval are on the order of the day.

Eighty years ago today [February 12], Austrian workers rose in a heroic armed struggle against the rise of fascism. A recently found historical document sheds light on the barbarism of the so-called “Christian-Social” fascists in 1934.

As the New Year dawns, memories are reawakening of another New Year, exactly a century ago, the dawn of 1914 when millions of people were drifting towards the abyss as if in a dream.

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the brutal assassination of Leon Trotsky by a Stalinist agent. We commemorate this event by publishing the transcription of his address to the N.Y. Hippodrome Meeting. The speech "I Stake My Life!" was delivered by telephone from Mexico City for the opening event of the Dewey Commission on the Moscow Trials.

My high (and still rising) blood pressure is deceiving those near me about my actual condition. I am active and able to work but the outcome is evidently near. These lines will be made public after my death.

Today, 9th July, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Grant, the founder of the International Marxist Tendency. Rob Sewell, editor of the British Marxist paper Socialist Appeal, outlines the important role played by Ted in building the forces of Marxism during his lifetime and discusses the legacy of Ted for Marxists today.

In the third and final part of his article about the ideas of Karl Marx, Alan Woods deals with the question of Marxist philosophy and also illustrates how the method of Marxism is more relevant than ever in analysing the present crisis of Capitalism and show a way out of the impasse.

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