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"The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise" - james larkin

Corbyn and the fight A WORLD ON

for radical socailism THE BRINK



hats happening right now in the Labour Party is unprecedented. Hundreds of thousands of people, including
many who have never been involved in
politics before, are getting stuck into the
fight for Jeremy Corbyn and against the
This Corbyn revolution in Labour has
the potential to go much further. People
are sick of the bureaucrats and careerists that have dominated Labour for
decades. We need to kick out these Tory
infiltrators who have done everything
they can to make Labour a pale shadow
of the Tories. Were fighting to take the
Party back for the working class.
All over the world its the same. People are starting to challenge the establishment that has dominated their lives
for so long. From the Sanders movement
in the USA to Podemos in Spain people
are refusing to leave politics in the
hands of the professional politicians
any longer. From South America to South
Africa the working class is getting on
the move.
We defend Corbyn because hes the
cutting edge of the anti-austerity and anti-capitalist movement in Britain. Hes got
people talking about what socialism is
and how we achieve it. And hes become
an expression of the accumulated anger
directed against the British establishment. Whats needed now is a clear
socialist policy to put economic and
social power in the hands of working
class people.
Some say that its possible to have
a nicer capitalism than what the Tories
offer. While we fully support the idea of
more investment and higher taxes on
the rich, we dont buy the idea that we
can have this, at least not in any kind of
long-term stable way, without fundamentally challenging the capitalist system.
Capitalism is crisis. The world of
inequality, austerity and oppression we


have today isnt an example of capitalism gone wrong. Its an example of capitalism working exactly as its supposed
to. Its a system designed to protect the
rich at the expense of the rest of us.
With capitalism falling to pieces right
now our aim shouldnt be to save it but
to finish it off and replace it with something better.
Were for international socialist revolution. Were for the nationalisation without compensation of banks, big business
and land. These monopolies that control
the decisive sectors of the economy
are totally owned and controlled by
a handful of super-rich individuals, despite the fact that its
the hard work of millions of
working class people that
keeps the economy going.

We say remove the capitalist parasites and put the people who work and
use these businesses in control of them.
We need to fight for the working class,
not the 1%, to run the economy. And to
do so democratically for need, not profit.
Were with Corbyn. Were fighting
for him in Labour and well back him all
the way with these policies. Its time to
complete the Corbyn revolution. Dont
stand on the sidelines - join us and the
fight for revolutionary socialism


apitalists all over the world are lurching from one

emergency to the next with increasing panic. The Brexit
vote caused the value of the pound to collapse and Britains credit rating to be rapidly downgraded. It was also a
serious blow to the already struggling euro.
Greek capitalism is on the verge of buckling under the
weight of debt and austerity. The French working class
has been enraged by the governments attacks on working
conditions. In Italy the banking index has plummeted by
35% since January, meanwhile there have been massive
strikes in Belgium. In Spain Podemos has smashed the old
two-party political system.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut forecasts for economic growth in Europe next year by 0.2%.
This is likely to be cut even further. And its not just in
Europe - since April the IMF has cut its forecast for world
economic growth by another 0.1%.
Capitalism is a global system. That was once its
strength but now it means crisis in one place drags
others down in a never-ending spiral. Debt levels and
a weak export market are crushing economic growth
in China to a dangerously slow pace. This means South
American countries cant export raw materials to China
as easily any more, creating a crisis which has an impact
on politics, for example the recent impeachment of the
Brazilian president. Meanwhile the low price of oil
adds fuel to the accelerating counter-revolution
in Venezuela.
Imperialist adventures in the Middle East
and North Africa have wreaked havoc and
strengthened Russias position in the region.
The USA used to charge into whatever
country it liked and get its own way but
Syria, Ukraine and others prove that this
is no longer the case.
The whole world is in the midst of
violent convulsions. Capitalism as a
system has exhausted itself and the
capitalist politicians, academics and
strategists have no solution to the
problems we face today. The case
for international socialism has
never been clearer. In the famous
words of Marx and Engels: Workers of the world unite. You have
nothing to lose but your chains.


zero hours
and the
of the youth
harry fitzwilliam,
london young labour
s is now common for so many, after
spending three years at university and
gaining a debt of almost 40,000, the only
work I have been able to find is in a local
bar on a zero-hours contract.
Marx said that capitalist competition
is three-sided. He used the example of a
battle between two armies, buyers and
sellers, each of whom also fight amongst
themselves. Whichever army fights least
amongst themselves will fare best.
The bar I work in employs many more
people than is required to fill all the available shifts. Every week, a text is sent out
asking when you would like to work. This
means every member of staff is competing against every other member of staff
in order to receive enough shifts, which
means staff members are much less likely
to complain.
If you cause a fuss, the fear is that
you wont receive a shift the next week.
Many staff members complain about not
receiving enough shifts to pay for their
living costs and many others have to work
in multiple bars, sometimes working two
shifts a day.
The issue of zero-hours contracts is
not an issue of good or bad capitalists.
Obviously, some capitalists will be nicer
than others but at root, capitalism is a system of production for profit, which works
through private investment from competing capitalists. The smaller and weaker
capitalists are forced out of business by
the big and powerful.
I work in a small, independent local
pub for a manager I like personally but the
capitalist system means this pub will be
run out of business by the major monopolies such as Wetherspoons, which also use
zero-hours contracts ruthlessly, if they did
not treat their staff in this manner.
The only way, therefore, to completely
get rid of this kind of practice is to get rid
of capitalism. We want to ban zero-hours
contracts and give everyone decent
working conditions, but boycotts and regulations on their own are not enough. We
must build socialism by taking the major
monopolies under public ownership and
run democratically by the workers. This is
what a revolution looks like

work on a zero-hours contract in the NHS.

This means that when I get sick or have to
take time off for other reasons I dont get
paid or looks after by my employer. This
poses serious risks for the health, both
mental and physical, of me and my colleagues.
Loads of the people I work with are
single mothers and people who struggle
to make ends meet. We take these precarious jobs because they pay slightly above
average, and we have no choice but to risk
our health and job security to earn enough
money to make it to the end of the month.
The NHS takes advantage of us while were
in this situation, to avoid the cost of the
benefits related to a secure job.
I work with patients suffering from
mental illness. Insecure jobs mean a high
turnover of staff, which negatively impacts
the patients who need stability in their
treatment. Also, a permanent number of
new staff who are not familiar with the

of teachers
natasha sorrel
sheffield marxists

0% of academic staff in Britain scrape

by on casual contracts, myself included.
Before starting as a Graduate Teaching
Assistant (GTA) at Kings College London I
received four hours of training (which involved watching the Monty Python Spanish
Lesson sketch as an example of poor teaching practice) before I was thrust in front of
an overcrowded room of undergraduates,
feeling like a total fraud.

workplace means that more mistakes tend

to be made, plus the fact that we dont
get paid for training means staff lack the
training required. Under these intolerable
conditions mistakes are inevitable. We
get blamed, but in reality its a problem of
privatisation in the NHS, which is a symptom
of capitalism in a deep crisis.
Theres huge pressure on us not to
waste the resources of the NHS, as if were
responsible for the lack of resources in the
healthcare system. When slimy politicians
use the NHS as a political football (remember the 350m NHS Brexit bus?) while
cutting funding and the number of staff in
wards, its not our fault when patients, staff
and the NHS as a whole is struggling just to
tread water.
Were not just employees of the NHS, we,
like everyone else, are also its patients. We
wont stand by while our health becomes
the victim of a bankrupt capitalist system

y work-life balance as a newly qualified

teacher is non-existent. As austerity cuts are
implemented, staff are shed from schools and
the additional work load lands with teachers. If I
work less than 55 hours a week Im lucky. But if
I dont do this unpaid overtime its the poorest,
most vulnerable children in society who suffer, a
fact faced by anyone who works at the coal face
of public services.
Young workers are acutely aware of their
unpaid over-time, unstable contracts and low pay;
The way my pay is calculated means that
I work about 80% of my hours for free. However, a recent campaign we ran through the
UCU will result in some improvements for
casuals next year: we might only work half
our hours for free. Meanwhile, our Principal
earns 452,000 a year: thats where your
student fees are going. Expropriate the fatcat bosses and reinvest in teaching!

new generation
needs a new
harvey dodds
leeds marxists,

the sickness
of the nhs
emily francesca,
unison london

issues that are directly tied to the drive for profit.

As long as private profit exists, businesses will
squeeze hours from workers for less pay.
We shouldnt put up with this any more! Why
should business owners claim the profits whilst
everyone else struggles? We need to fight to take
control of major businesses to spend their profits
to benefit everyone. We need to fight to overthrow
capitalism! We have to fight to bring about socialism and allow people to enjoy their lives instead
of working away their free time!


Britains young generation are at risk

of being the first cadre of workers in
modern times to see their lifetime earnings fall, according to new research Larry
Elliot gloomily states in a recent article in
The Guardian. This was in response to the
findings of a Resolution Foundation report,
which noted that, given the flagging economy, low productivity, and the fact that pay
growth has fallen behind productivity gains
for two decades, it is probable that millennials will earn less over their life time than
those who belong to Generation X.

This comes against a bleak backdrop.

There is a housing crisis the likes of which
havent been seen since the end of the
Second World War, with Jeremy Corbyn
astutely noting that starter homes at
450,000 for young people earning 7% less
than their parents' generation isnt actually a very good prospect for people owning
their own homes.
This is on top of the crippling debt
which increasing numbers of young people
are burdened with after leaving University.
The Intergenerational Foundation have





ver the last year, my college, like many others,

was faced with serious budget cuts of 40%.
Suddenly our class sizes were expanding, our
teachers were being laid off mid-way through
the year, and stresses on both staff and students
began to rise.
When student numbers were increased by
around 10% each year - in order to get more funding - the IT system collapsed due to overload and
could not be fixed.
Worst of all was the sacking of dedicated
mental health professionals - in the school with
the highest suicide rate in the country - and their
replacement with gap year students on minimum
Previously I had been a left winger, but
moderate. But as a result of these cuts, I was
driven to more radical conclusions. Many more
of my friends at college were pushed in the same
Cambridge is a city with massive inequality, a
high rate of homelessness, and a mental health
crisis which has been worsening rapidly in recent
years. We became more and more disillusioned
with capitalism the more that we began to realise
that it was the root cause of these problems.
We took over the Marxist society which had
previously been mostly inactive, and began to have
more regular meetings. By the end of the year we
affiliated to the MSF.
We were able to tap into the angry mood
amongst the student body. By organising explicitly
Marxist meetings on a wide range of subjects
we gave the chance for students to discuss their
growing anger at the capitalist system in concrete
Crucially, we created a place to discuss not

found that any additional earnings a degree may

help a graduate earn are wiped out by debt and are
simply not enough to cover the interest accruing
on the average loan.
Add to this increasing inequality, a lack of available jobs, a wage collapse on par with that experienced in Greece, and the prospect of no meaningful
economic growth for at least half a century, and it
seems an understatement to say millennials are
caught between the hammer and the anvil.
All of this is part of a bigger picture the decaying capitalist system. The global market is saturated with overproduction of goods. Forcing wages

just our anger and disillusionment, but Marxist

ideas and solutions, connecting the struggle
against the problems of our everyday lives to the
struggle for socialism. We enjoyed at least some
support from much of the student body.
Whilst our comrades were a clear minority,
most students were furious at the government
and the capitalist system it defends. Towards us
and our ideas, they were more open, curious rather than opposed. We received only a little animosity, and that was from die-hard right wingers who
were despised and rejected by the vast majority.
In fact, the majority were in favour of a lot of
the work of the Marxist society, especially our
practical work such as solidarity to support the
teachers strike. When a debate was held in the
school over whether capitalism or communism
was a better system, our comrades won the final
vote with 52 against 48. .
Sixth forms are in turmoil. Todays 16-18 year
olds have known crisis for our entire adult lives.
We are outraged that our futures and our lives are
being sacrificed to the greed of the rich. We must
build Marxist societies in schools and sixth forms
because we can win a new generation of revolutionary class fighters and end this evil system


apitalism is in crisis and we're paying

for it. Since the 2008 financial crash
that saw 'hedge fund capitalism finally
implode under the weight of its own
debt, it is people like us and our families, the working class, that have carried
the burden.
First they attacked our right to study
in higher education with the raising of
tuition fees to 9000. Then they attacked
the benefits system that our friends
and families relied on to survive. Then
they attacked working rights and trade
Now we find that we have little
chance of owning a home and a debt of
over 50,000 for attending university, a
privilege enjoyed for free by those who
voted for fees. Wages have fallen by 10%
on average, unless youre of the banking
class of course.
All capitalism has to offer us is a
future of renting and working till we die

with a quality of life lower than the one

enjoyed by our parents. Marx explained
how capitalism was once able to push
the economy and society to new heights.
But now it can only take us backwards
as our wages and prospects are sacrificed for the system to survive.
Under these conditions the decision
to enter revolutionary politics is not just
about principle or common sense. In
reality the decision was not there to be
made. Rather we were forced into it by
the intolerable state of the world under
The situation requires far more
than tinkering with capitalism to try and
revive it. Instead it requires a revolution that will transform the way society
is organised so that production is no
longer driven by profit at the expense of
the worker. Our task now is to take what
capitalism has given us; mass, organised labour and mechanisation, and to
make that work for all of us and not just
the bosses!



down to improve competitiveness is an attempt to
resolve this. But the result is the exact opposite of
what is intended - lower wages mean less disposable income, which means fewer commodities are
bought, finally meaning overproduction is exacerbated further. The result is that capitalism is in a
downward spiral.
It is important that we campaign for cheaper
housing and more public housing, that we fight for
higher wages, that we push for free education for
all. But we must not forget that without socialist
revolution, it is impossible to achieve these demands once and for all

owadays people assume that students are unaware of what is going

on outside their houses, but that isn't
the case now and hasn't been in the
In Liverpool in 1985 30,000 students
skipped their classes and 10,000 took
to the streets in an attempt to stop the
Youth Training Scheme (YTS) being set
up by the government.
The YTS was a workplace training
scheme which was aimed at 16-17-year
olds on a voluntary basis. However, as
happens with apprenticeships today,
many capitalist employers took advantage of those young people and exploited them by paying less than 30 per
The government was thinking about
scrapping unemployment benefits for

those who didn't participate in this

scheme, making it underpaid forced
labour. This created a series of reactions throughout the country because,
at the time, most students left school at
the age of 16.
A national strike was held by school
students. The streets of Liverpool were
overflowing and, although the protest
happened in a number of cities, Liverpool had the largest participation.
One striker said recently: We held
off the end of dole for 16 year olds by a
couple of years, as it was introduced in
the Fowler Review anyway in 1988, but
that half-day strike affected the rest of
my life!.
These past events gives us ideas
about how to act in the political turmoil
occurring today. We should be marching
and striking again; against inequality,
capitalism and austerity


WHY WE ARE fighting fo

by Rob Sewell


e have the brains to send rockets to

Jupiter, map the human genome and
even invent self-driving cars, so why cant we
solve our everyday problems? The wonders of
modern science are truly amazing so why
cant we provide enough homes or eradicate
poverty and hardship?
Britain is not a backward country starved
of resources. However today in the 21st
century ordinary people are suffering from
unemployment, homelessness, zero-hour contracts, falling living standards and increased
stress at work. Young people, even if they get
a degree, are prevented from getting a decent
job or career. The future looks bleak and
people are understandably very angry.
Meanwhile, the billionaire class and their
tycoon friends (the infamous 1%) own fine
mansions, art collections, super yachts, luxury
cars and travel around in private jets. They
employ servants and nannies on minimum
wages to be at their beck and call.
The 62 richest people on the planet own
as much as the poorest 3.6 billion; the top 1%
owns more than the bottom 99%, and the top
one-tenth of 1% own almost as much as the
bottom 90%.
While the rich wine and dine in luxury, a lot
of ordinary parents forego meals in order to
prevent their children going to school hungry.
While the super-rich bask in riches, rickets
and tuberculosis have once again returned
to our poverty-stricken cities. Welcome to
society in the 21st century!
Our capitalist economy operates with booms
and slumps. With every slump, industries are
closed down or mothballed and workers are
thrown onto the dole. Workers in Port Talbot
and other steel towns are facing such a crisis,
that threaten to turn their communities into
ghost towns.

It is like the country has been struck by a

natural disaster or war. People are in need,
but they cant afford to buy the things they
Big business apologists say there is no
alternative. This is the way the market works
- as if shutting down factories like matchboxes
and chucking people out of work is natural.
In the process, the rich are getting richer and
the poor poorer.
But is this right? Should people suffer
unemployment? Should people live in poverty?
Should people be homeless? Should we allow
people die for lack of medicines? People go
hungry, while agriculture is subsidised to
keep land idle to keep up profits!
We say we must put an end to this! We
must do away with this dog-eat-dog society,
where a tiny elite scoop all the benefits at the
expense of the majority.
Working people have the skills and
know-how. They built the houses, skyscrapers and bridges. They built the ocean liners,
aeroplanes and submarines. They even built
rockets that can reach the end of our solar
system. We have the potential talent to get
things done. And this talent must be used not
to make the rich super-rich but to solve our
basic problems.
But under capitalism, where profit is king,
this is not allowed. The bankers and capitalists who run our society are only interested in
making more and more money. No profit, no
homes built. No profits, no jobs. On their grave
stones will be inscribed R.I.P - Rent, Interest,
Very few of these super-rich people actually
work. They spend most of their time wining
and dining and on the golf course. They
instead employ managers and accountants to
look after their money in off-shore accounts.
But even if they did work, they wouldnt actually produce anything of value. They simply
shuffle their money around. It is the working
class that produces the wealth of society, not

Just like under slavery, the slaves did all

the work and the slave-owners lived off their
labour. In feudal times, the peasant serfs did
all the work and the nobility lived off their produce. Under capitalism, although disguised,
it is the same. The workers do all the work
and the capitalists take all the profits. While
the workers are free, they are forced to sell
themselves for a wage. At work, they produce
more value than they receive in wages. This
is where the profits come from, the unpaid
labour of the workers.
Long ago, the capitalists actually produced
things. But today, they are parasites. If you
look at the Sunday Times Rich List, you see
that most rich people get their money from
inheritance, property, insurance, banking,
financial services, and such like. They buy and
sell currencies or bonds. They even trade in
junk bonds and are involved in take-overs,
acquisitions, and buy-outs.
The stock exchange is like a giant gambling casino. The livelihoods of millions are
hanging on the throw of the dice of these
billionaire gamblers. Driven by greed, they
would sell their granny if they could make a
profit from it.
Take the billionaire Warren Buffet. His
business has a cash pile of $67bn for acquisitions, namely buying and selling companies.
He said it was like an elephant hunt. Mr
Buffet, rifle in hand, managed to bag a textile
company and turn into the largest conglomerate in the United States.
This conglomerate covers insurance and
banking, railways, manufacturing and energy
companies, and has tentacles in other large
companies. Mr Buffet financed the merger
between Kraft and Heinz and the takeover of
Canadas Tim Hortons coffee chain by Burger
King. His latest addition is a network of US
car dealerships. For him, it is like a game of
Take-overs are then made more profitable by sacking workers. This reduces costs
and squeezes those workers who are left.
Thats how they make more money, from the
sweat of the workers.

Of course, Mr Buffett doesnt run all these

companies himself. He employs managers to
do that for him. After all, he is a busy man.
But I work damn hard, he would no
doubt object. They are not always in the Bahamas or on the golf course, not ALL the time
anyway. They read the papers to see how their
shares are doing. This can be exhausting, but
it does not produce real wealth (see Capitalist
Before the war, a man called John Strachey
answered the question of whether the capitalists deserve their wealth. Let us imagine
a country, he said, in which all the roads had
toll gates across them (although the roads
were maintained at the publics expense, as
now). Let us suppose that the toll-gate owners
lived by their gates, and when a vehicle came
down the road, they would run out and open
and shut their gates, and the vehicle owners
would pay a toll. The economists of such a
country would certainly say that these toll-gate
owners earned every penny they got. After all,
they were working very hard, out in all sorts of
weathers, opening and shutting their gates.
The economists would say that these
hard-working toll-gate entrepreneurs were absolutely indispensable. In fact, the roads could
not function without them. And if anybody
said that the traffic would run better if there
werent any toll gates, they would be told not
to ask such disruptive questions!
Whether a person works hard and is paid a
fortune does not mean that his or her work is
of the slightest use. This applies equally to todays hedge-fund managers, currency speculators, bankers and big business sharks, as with
the toll-gate owners of old. They are parasites,
living off the labour of others.
One rich capitalist described our times
as an era of rewarding ourselves with other
peoples money. These blood-suckers live a life
of luxury, where an army of attendants cater
for their every need, as with all ruling classes.


or socialist revolution
This billionaire class the infamous 1% - cannot personally consume their ever-increasing
piles of wealth. They can only gorge so much
caviar and champagne! They can only live
in one mansion or drive one limo at a time.
Therefore, most of their wealth is invested to
get more wealth! They are sick with greed and
have acquired riches beyond anyones wildest
Work hard and one day you too will be
rich!, so we are told. Of course, this is a joke.
A few individuals may manage to crawl up the
ladder by treading over everyone else. But the
reality is: workers can work as hard as possible, but they will always be workers. Hard
work wont improve our lot, but simply makes
the capitalists richer. Today, the share of national cake going to labour is falling, while the
slice going to big business is growing.
In Britain, average top bosss pay has
surged to almost 5million 183 times that of
workers, up from 160 times in 2010. The top
ten highest chief executives earned over 156
million between them.
In addition, crises are built into the capitalist
system. Crises, explained Karl Marx, by
their periodic return put on its trial, each time
more threateningly, the existence of entire
capitalist society The main contradiction
of capitalism is that the working class cannot
buy back all the wealth it produces. This leads
to overproduction, where too much is produced that can be profitably sold. This leads to
factories closing and workers forced onto the
dole. We experienced such a capitalist slump
in 2008-9, which was the worst since the Great
Depression of the 1930s. We are still reeling
from the effects.
Mass unemployment has become a fact
of everyday life. Over 10% unemployment is
considered a problem, but 5% of people out of
work is considered full employment! Millions
of people, especially of young people, see their
talents wasted. Even if you have a university
degree, it makes little difference. Every year,
millions of work-years of potential production
are wasted due to capitalist unemployment.
The system is stuck in a blind alley... and
things are getting worse.
In 2013, a report by the Oxford Martin
School estimated that half the jobs in the US
were at high risk of vanishing within a decade
or two. Yes, half the jobs! Gone!
This loss of jobs is not confined to the USA,
but applies everywhere. The fact that people
lose their jobs because of automation and the
use of robots is crazy. What a condemnation of
capitalism! The tremendous advance of robotics and technology could open up unparalleled
opportunities of a world free from burden
and toil. However, under capitalism it serves

the opposite end. Machines replace labour,

making people redundant, while those who
remain in work are force to work even harder.
Work becomes increasingly a crushing burden
on the shoulders of fewer and fewer workers.
You no longer work to live, but live to work.
Everyone is chained to a treadmill that is
getting faster and faster. Some people actually
work themselves into an early grave. While
work gets harder and harder, the billionaire
class become more idle and richer still.
But as we produce more with fewer workers, who will be left to buy the goods that are
produced? Robots or new machines cant buy
things or consume stuff. We end up again in
a crisis of overproduction - the economics of
todays madhouse capitalism.
You only have to think: we have more
time-saving gadgets than ever before, but we
apparently end up with no time. If used for the
benefit of society as a whole, automation and
robotics could be of colossal benefit. It would
allow us to do away with most manual work
and abolish the burden and stress of over
work. Instead of working longer and longer
hours, this technology would allow us to have
a working day of say three hours in a five-day
working week, with higher pay. Again, a working week of 10 or 5 hours would be possible,
where everyone would share the benefits
Of course, on the basis of capitalism, this
would not be possible. All production is for
the purpose of ultimately satisfying a consumer, states the economist John Maynard
Keynes. But this is not true. Production under
capitalism is geared to the maximisation of
profit, not the satisfaction of need.
The resources are there. But they are in the
hands of the capitalists. The only way around
this would be take the control of the economy
out of their hands and put it into our hands.
To do this a socialist government would need
to nationalise - not the small shops (who we
would help to escape the grip of the landlords
and banks) - but the 150 major monopolies
that completely dominate the economy, along
with the banks and finance houses. Of course,
we would not compensate these fat-cat
owners, as they have been bleeding us for far
too long. They could emigrate to some desert
island, where they would enjoy themselves for
the remainder of their lives.
On that basis, we would then draw up
a democratic plan of production based on
peoples needs, and harness all the resources
to get the job done. Production based on need,
not profit, would increase production by 20%
or 25% every year! The billions of extra wealth
created could be used to benefit everyone! We
could end homelessness and overcrowding by
launching a mass house building programme.
We could slash rents to no more than 2% of
income (instead of 50% today), introduce a living wage for all, provide free gas and electricity, and introduce free public transport, which
would cut pollution and improve our health
(and would dramatically reduce pressure
on the health service). We would build more
schools and hospitals and make all education
free, with grants for those who wish to go to
continue their studies in university. We would

reduce the age of retirement to 50.

Why not? Capitalism has shown it cannot
work, but is in a state of permanent crisis. We
need a rationally planned system, democratically run by ordinary people.
Despite the monstrous bureaucratic
regime of Stalinism, the Russian economy
after 1917, gave a glimpse of the colossal
possibilities of a planned economy. For
instance, in the ten years from 1958 to 1968,
100 million houses were built in Russia, more
than the whole of Western Europe, Japan and
the United States put together. Imagine with
the democratic traditions of British workers
and the high level of culture and technique, we
would not need a bureaucracy, but would have
a democratic socialist Britain. Imagine what
we could achieve?
The use of automation and the free time
it provides could give people the opportunity
to develop themselves to the full. For the first
time, it would free people to become involved
in the running of industry and society. Genuine
workers democracy, freed from bankers
and capitalists, would thrive. In place of this
dictatorship of big business, we will have the
democratic rule of working people.
But ordinary people cant run society, they
say. They dont have the expertise. But that is
not true. Working people do all the real work
around here. They can tell you exactly how
best to run their own workplace or office.
They can run it far better than the managers.
Of course, we would welcome the help of
technicians, computer analysts, scientists,
engineers and those with skills.
The colossal wastage under capitalism
would be done away. For example, governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars on
weapons of mass destruction. There are now
15,700 known warheads on the planet, with
enough power to destroy the world several
times over. What a scandalous waste! It would
be far better to convert factories producing
bombs into ones producing things we need.
Socialist planning is a natural step
forward. Even the capitalists, who preach the
virtues of the market, do not apply the market
in their own factories and workplaces. Here
everything is planned down to the last item,
using the latest technology. All we are saying
is that the whole economy should be run on
such a planned basis, rather than being left to
the vagaries of blind market forces. Of course,
by planning, we do not mean the dictates
of unelected managers, but the democratic
involvement of all.
This will allow us finally to all live our lives
to the full. Art and culture, which was the
preserve of a privileged minority, would now
be available to the mass of people.
Such a revolutionary transformation would
not simply take place in one country. It will be
the basis for a world revolution and the establishment a world federation of socialist states.
Society will then be based on the principle
from each according to their ability, to each
according to their need. In other words, an
international classless society based upon
solidarity and the harmonious satisfaction of
everyones needs and where the miseries of
capitalism will end up in the dustbin of history.
That is a future worth fighting for. Join us!

Last year 2.7 million children
under the age of 5 died from
malnutrition worldwide. Meanwhile in Britain 15 million tonnes
of food and drink is thrown away
each year.
22,000 children worldwide
die every day due to living in
poverty. Meanwhile at the age of
25 Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of
Westminster, recently inherited
a 9bn fortune, on which he
dodged the inheritance tax.
A woman working for Sports
Direct gave birth in the warehouse toilets for fear of what
would happen to her if she took
time off work. Meanwhile the
billionaire boss of Sports Direct,
Mike Ashley, commutes to work
by helicopter.
Over 7,500 people sleep
rough in London every night.
Meanwhile there are an estimated 57,000 empty homes in the
Average wages in Britain
have fallen by 10.4% since 2010.
Meanwhile last year MPs awarded themselves a pay rise of 11%
and next year the Queen will get
a 2.8m pay rise.



@ma rxi ststudent

@ Ma rxistStu d ent



he Marxist Student Federation is an organisation of young people across the country,

joined together to fight for the overthrow of
capitalism and to establish a new, socialist society. We operate through groups in universities,
schools and colleges where we come together
to discuss and debate the ideas of Marxism
and how they relate to current issues such as
global warming, terrorism or the refugee crisis.
We also join up with workers to link the student
movement to the greater struggle for socialism.
For young people today, capitalism offers
no future. Our generation is faced with unprecedented levels of unemployment, the clawing
back of the welfare state and other reforms
won in the past, as well as poor housing, high
rents and student debt. More and more young
people are looking for alternatives to the current broken system. In recent years young people across the world have become politicised
and active; whether thats through coming out
in support of Jeremy Corbyn, fighting for an OXI
vote in the Greek referendum, being involved
in #BlackLivesMatter in the USA or fighting the
brutal government repression of teachers and
students in Mexico.
Our aim is to introduce as many of these
people as possible to the ideas of Marxism,
so that real gains can be won for the student

movement and society as a whole. We run Marxist societies in schools and on campuses where
anyone is welcome to come along to discuss,
debate and learn more about Marxism. We
are also active in student politics, engaging in
debates with other societies, running in student
elections, and having a strong presence at the
NUS conference where we put forward bold
socialist demands.
We know that the student movement must
link up with the wider struggle, and so we
support striking workers on the picket lines,
we march at demonstrations and we run campaigns, such as the Mexico Solidarity Campaign,
the Youth Against Blacklisting campaign and
our new revolutionary housing campaign.
Its clear that the economic and political
situation in the UK is part of an international
picture of high unemployment, rising poverty
and the shaking of the establishment; a picture
of capitalism in crisis. We link up with other
revolutionary youth across the world, from
sending delegates to the Esquerda Marxista
youth camp in Brazil to sending messages of
support and solidarity to the Revolutionary
Young Marxists involved in the student protests
in South Africa. Only through fighting together
can we overthrow the rotten capitalist system.
Join us!


marxists T
to take
by storm

his year in Glasgow University Marxist

Society we'll have one or maybe two stalls
at our freshers fair, where we will be selling
books and papers as well as signing people
up to our mailing list and hopefully the MSF.
In our introductory meeting we've decided to
take a slightly different approach from usual.
Rather than a general What is Marxism?
topic we are thinking instead we will discuss
What is going on with the world? as this
seems to be the question most young people
are asking themselves when they see Trump,
ISIS, Brexit etc. on the news and on social
media. This is a great opportunity to put forward the Marxist explanation and solution to
these things. We are also obviously planning
to have a meeting on Scotland and its ongoing
individual political situation in which we can
put foreword a Marxist perspective on the
SNP, Scottish Labour and the possible second
Scottish Referendum.


outhampton Universitys Marxist student

society has been growing rapidly, becoming one of the largest in the Marxist Student
Federation. To keep the society alive and
growing we have planned events such as
What is Marxism? to introduce new members
of the society to the basic ideas, and Defend

Corbyn, Fight for Socialism to link up with

whats going on in politics right now.
Another really exciting event we have
coming up is a Socialism vs Capitalism debate. Southampton Marxists are also hoping
to arrange more society events with other
societies including the Feminist Society.
We will also be running a weekly Marxist
Reading Group in which we will be reading
and discussing several short Marxist texts,
like The Communist Manifesto by Marx and
Engels, and The State and Revolution by Lenin.
As usual, the society will continue to support the strikes and actions of university staff
and will be showing solidarity with workers
on the picket lines at both local and national


heffield Marxist Society is now entering

its 5th successive year. This wealth of
knowledge and experience is reflected in the
a diverse committee of dedicated members.
With 3 undergraduates, an international
postgraduate, a PHD student and 2 workers,
Sheffield will be well equipped to intervene
and inform in political events in the area.
Sheffields late term times mean that the
first meeting will not be held until the 2 nd of
October. However the group is holding regular
meetings throughout the summer and will be
prepared to make an effective impact at the
Freshers Fair on the 28th September. Links

are also being made with students at Sheffield Hallam University. Overall, 2016/17 looks
to be a strong year for Marxist education and
organisation in Sheffield.


fter a successful first year, the De Montfort

Marxist society is ready for another year
on campus. Last September, at the Freshers
Fair we had nearly 80 people register for our
society, and this next year we plan to get an
even bigger following, however challenging
that may be. We will be working harder to
engage more with new and current DMU
students that hold the same thirst for more
radical, socialist-inspired change on campus
and across the city of Leicester.
Some grand plans we have lined up
include, a Marxist weekend away in Scotland
next Spring, more weekly lead-offs (and
debates) on key theoretical concepts, and we
will be aiming to be more active in campaigns
and demonstrations all across the country. As
a society, we strongly support Corbyn and aim
to empower students on campus to support
his movement too. Overall, our key aim is to
remain optimistic, regardless of what the
Student Union will throw at us again this year
and to stand ready for radical political and
social change, even if it may only be presently
at a small scale



by ed rosier, manchester marxists

he Russian Revolution was the most important

event in history, where for the first time the
workers came to power and swept out all the
landlords and capitalists. That revolution was led
by the Bolshevik Party under Lenin and Trotsky.
However, due to the revolutions isolation in
a backward semi-feudal country, surrounded by
hostile imperialist powers, the revolution suffered
a bureaucratic degeneration. After Lenins death, a
bureaucracy seized power, at whose head was Joseph Stalin. He consolidated power by eliminating
all opposition, especially Trotskys Left Opposition.
Trotsky, who opposed Stalinism to the end,
wrote a biography of Stalin, to explain Stalins rise
from obscurity to become the dictator of the Soviet Union. However, the book was never finished
as Trotsky was murdered by a Stalinist agent in
August 1940.
The first complete edition of Trotskys unfinished biography of Stalin has just been published
by Wellred Books. It was recently launched in Mexico by Alan Woods, the editor, and Esteban Volkov,
Trotskys grandson in the place where Trotsky was
As Trotsky explained, a river of blood separates Stalinism from Bolshevism. An understanding of Stalinism and its counter-revolutionary nature is vital for all socialists and revolutionaries.
The Marxist analysis contained within the book
will be key for anyone attempting to understand
either the USSR or the role of Stalin.
Stalins dictatorship in the USSR can be characterised as a degeneration workers state, where
the economy is nationalised, but the working
class has been denied control by a monstrous regime run by bureaucratic and dictatorial methods.
The Bolsheviks did not believe you could
establish socialism in one country, especially
in backward Russia, but was the beginning of a
world socialist revolution. Unfortunately, the revolutions in other countries were betrayed by their
reformist leaders.

verywhere young people are angry at what

is going on. The capitalist system is in
deep crisis and it offers no future for young
people. In one country after another they are
beginning to challenge the establishment and
its cronies. From Greece, France and Spain to
Kashmir, Brazil, South Africa and the United
States, youth are taking to the streets. Many
are drawing revolutionary conclusions.
This is not surprising. Youth have always

The failure of the German revolution in 1918

left the USSR completely isolated in the world.
With no support from any countries, the Russian
Revolution was in a besieged fortress. At the
time, 70% of Russians were illiterate. Therefore
new regime had to rely upon many officials from
the old Tsarist regime. Many of the worker Bolsheviks were killed in the civil war waged the White
counter-revolutionary armies backed by foreign
This meant that a layer of bureaucrats began
to creep back. Many of these careerists had no
interest in seeing the success of a genuinely
socialist revolution. This was the beginning of
a period in which economic growth continued
rapidly thanks to the planned economy (instead
of a capitalist economy), but where the grip of the
working class was increasingly weakened. With
more defeats internationally, the bureaucracy
strengthened its hold on power.
The masses were tired and weary after years
of war, civil war and exhaustion. The Bolsheviks
looked to world revolution to save them. Stalin,
who was a second rate figure, reflected the interests of the bureaucrats. After Lenins death, Stalin
managed to wheedle himself into power at the
head of a growing bureaucratic reaction. Instead
of world revolution, he put forward socialism
in one country, which suited the bureaucrats.
Through this base of support he consolidated
his rule and purged the heroes of the revolution
who opposed him, including, most famously, Leon
Trotsky who he exiled and murdered.
Stalins mediocrity reflected the interests
of the officialdom. Stalin was created by the
machine. He became their figure head, creating
a totalitarian regime in the USSR and in the
leadership of the so-called Communist Party. The
Communist Parties were purged and became a
mouthpiece for the Moscow bureaucracy. The
result of Stalins dictatorship, documented by
Trotsky in his book, was not the establishment of

been at the forefront of change. They are

searching for an alternative to this rule of
bankers and capitalists. Conditions everywhere are preparing revolutionary events.
We believe that for us to be successful the
scientific world outlook of Marxism is absolutely essential. Marxism provides us with the
knowledge of revolution. Marx, Engels, Lenin
and Trotsky, demonised by the ruling class,
showed the way forward in theory and prac-

socialism but a totalitarian caricature.

Whilst it would be easy to attribute the subsequent degeneration of the Russian Revolution to
the cruel and power obsessed nature of Stalins
character, this is a flawed analysis. As Marx says,
whilst individuals create their own history, they
do not act as free agents, but are moulded
by the objective conditions around them. It was
the isolation of the revolution under terrible
backward conditions that produced Stalinism.
If the revolution had succeeded in the West, the
Russians would have been given assistance and
the bureaucratic deformations eliminated. But the
isolation sealed the fate the Revolution.
In terms of what this means for 21st century
revolution, it is vital that we oppose any bureaucratic imposition. We are fighting for a workers
democracy, where there is complete control by the
working class. There will be no one party state,
there will be free elections, the right of recall, no
official on higher than workers wages and the
rotation of all functions between different people.
Socialist revolution in the West be completely
different to Russia in 1917. The conditions in
Russia of widespread illiteracy and economic
backwardness don't exist. There is a very high
cultural level, where people can participate fully
in the running of society. We do not need a bureaucracy as much of the economic organisation of
society can now be computerised. Additionally the
interconnectedness of the modern world makes a
revolution in one country far more likely to spread
rapidly around the world.
On this basis, with a correct leadership, the
world revolution is now far more likely to succeed
and develop than was the case in the 20th century.
Marxists can have high hopes therefore for the
success of the world revolution which is already
beginning to take shape amongst the working
classes in every country. Head over to now to order your copy of the first
ever complete edition of Trotskys Stalin

tice. They explained only the revolutionary

overthrow of the system and its replacement
with a socialist planned economy would take
humanity out if this nightmare.
We need to build a revolutionary leadership that will not compromise with capitalism. We need to prepare ourselves for the
stormy events that lie ahead. The REVOLUTION
paper is helping to prepare this. Our task is
to educate, organise and agitate. We will fight

against student fees, zero hour contracts,

high rents, and every other attack on young
people, but we will link these issues with the
need to change society. Don't stand on the
sidelines. Join us in this fight.



nationalise the


ome, the saying goes, is where the heart is. Yet

increasingly it is there that we are forced to bear
the most sickening attacks. Manipulative agencies, dodgy landlords and a pathetic government
house-building programme are pricing millions, especially those of us under thirty, out of a decent home
of our own. In response we need a revolutionary
housing campaign. We demand a socialist housing
policy in a socialist Britain.
We have to take on the enemy's forces and tactics. Take house prices, for example; the house price
to earnings ratio is over 9:1 in London. The price of a
typical home in the UK is now 198,564, well beyond
the means of the majority. This leads us to housing
benefits, which are nowhere near adequate to cover
the near-five million people who rely on them.
The abject neglect of council housing over the
last twenty-five years means that the number of local
authority dwellings have halved to just two million
since 1991. Meanwhile, the Tories' laughable notion
of what an affordable housing programme should be
means that over 1.3 million people are on a waiting
list for affordable homes for which rent (2,400)
may exceed the average monthly salary (2,200). This
forces people into the grasping hands of the private
rented sector.
Notoriously dodgy private landlords remain at
large, ripping off anyone who falls into their clutches.
A landlord in England may evict a tenant, on nothing
but a whim, with just six months notice. The Wilsons
are an example, shameless profiteers who were rescued by the Bank of England but happily evict tenants
on housing benefit. The same goes for the UK's largest housing agency and the unfortunate executives at
Grainger PLC, who had to settle for a reduced bonus
of just 2,192,000 in 2015.

First time buyers' prospects are staggeringly

grim. A single person now has to save up for an
average of thirteen years to buy a first home. For
students, the outlook is also appalling. Numerous
universities fail to offer accommodation for under
100 per week, and once freshers'
year is over, agencies swoop like
vultures to pick any remaining cash
from the carcass of our generation. We have to fight these
Our campaign needs
to lay bare the devious
establishment and the
need to overthrow
it. Expropriations of
profiteering landlords;
nationalisations of
construction companies and well organised rent strikes
are on the order of
the day, and it is
Corbyn and the
new generation
around him who
must take up
the fight.. Join
our campaign
for a socialist
future where
has a safe,
place to call


work for a housing association for

homeless people, working with
really vulnerable people who are
homeless through drug or alcohol
addiction or disability. Loads of the
staff where I work have been made
redundant recently and standards
have been lowered dramatically.
Thanks to austerity my housing
association has lost almost all of
its contracts with the local council
to support homeless people. The contracts have instead gone to companies who undercut associations like
mine by paying their staff appallingly
low wages and making them work
under terrible conditions.
As a result the vulnerable people
previously looked after by my association have lost almost all of the
support they were relying on. I try

to help out as much as I can, but the

association itself is cutting staff and
piling more and more work on those
of us who are left. The little extra I
can do to help these people I have to
do in secret because its not allowed
by the association.
Weve contacted trade unions
about the situation and Ive been getting involved in Unite. But Ive been
asked by my boss not to publicly
display any association with Unite at
work because he wants to promote
a more workplace positive environment, whatever that means.
This isnt just happening where I
work. Its happening everywhere and
its a product of austerity policies
and the capitalist system. When the
system cant provide decent housing
for everyone and acceptable working


richard baywood

n 1915 women in Glasgow led

a militant and successful rent
strike. Unscrupulous landlords
saw the First World War as a
chance to increase rents while
working class men were away
at war. They saw the women
as a soft target who wouldn't
be able to fight back against
rent rises. How wrong they
Political activist
Mary Barbour led the
fightback and initiated

the rent strike. She built an army

of women who physically stopped
bailiffs from evicting rent strikers
by pelting them with flour bombs.
By November 1915 the strike was
so big and successful that the
government was forced to fix rents
at pre-war levels.
The way we're being treated by
rip-off landlords today is enough to
cause movements like this to break
out again. There's a lot we can
learn from Mary Barbour and the
Glasgow rent strike, and this time
around we'll be aiming for an even
bigger victory

- A T H R E E D AY F E S T I VA L O F M A R X I S T I D E A S -