Some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance

12 Red Action – left-wing political pariah Some observations regarding ideological apostasy and the discourse of proletarian resistance Mark Hayes Ideological apostasy and proletarian resistance It would be very easy to dismiss Red Action (RA) as a political irrelevance, especially since ‘revolutionary’ activism on the far left of the ideological spectrum in Britain has been characterised by an abundance of apparently similar, short-lived sectarian micro-groups. Red Action might easily be portrayed as a minuscule manifestation of the same genus – just another

in Against the grain
Editors: Michael Holmes and Knut Roder

The financial crisis that erupted on both sides of the Atlantic in 2007–8 initially seemed to offer new political and economic opportunities to the left. As financial institutions collapsed, traditional left-wing issues were apparently back on the agenda. There was the prospect of a return to a more regulated economy, there was widespread state intervention to try to salvage failing banks, and it led to increased scrutiny of the wages and bonuses at the upper end of the scale. However, instead of being a trigger for a resurgence of the left, and despite a surge of support for new parties like SYRIZA and Podemos, in many European countries left-wing parties have suffered electoral defeat. At the same time, the crisis has led to austerity programmes being implemented across Europe, causing further erosion of the welfare state and pushing many into poverty. This timely book examines this crucial period for the left in Europe from a number of perspectives and addresses key questions including: How did political parties from the left respond to the crisis both programmatically and politically? What does the crisis mean for the relationship between the left and European integration? What does the crisis mean for socialism as an economic, political and social project? This collection focuses on a comparison between ten EU member states, and considers a range of different party families of the left, from social democracy through green left to radical left.

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The British left and the rise of fascism, 1919–39

In the years between the two world wars, fascism triumphed in Italy, Germany, Spain and elsewhere, coming to power after intense struggles with the labour movements of those countries. This book analyses the way in which the British left responded to this new challenge. How did socialists and communists in Britain explain what fascism was? What did they do to oppose it, and how successful were they? In examining the theories and actions of the Labour Party, the TUC, the Communist Party and other, smaller, left-wing groups, the book explains their different approaches, while at the same time highlighting the common thread that ran through all their interpretations of fascism. The author argues that the British left has largely been overlooked in the few specific studies of anti-fascism which exist, with the focus being disproportionately applied to its European counterparts. He also takes issue with recent developments in the study of fascism, and argues that the views of the left, often derided by modern historians, are still relevant today.

Jewish Filmmakers, Social Commentary and the Postwar Cycle of Boxing Films

This essay considers how the boxing story enabled some filmmakers to politicise and individualise a popular film cycle. These mostly left-wing Jewish filmmakers understood that the boxing story offered a particularly viable vehicle for broad social commentary, a vehicle that could also be personalised by evoking a nostalgic vision of a ghetto community.

Film Studies
Europe, nationalism and left politics

the same is not true of left-wing voters nor of the parties (the ones here defined as radical) to the left of social democracy. 1 How then have these latter voters and parties responded to growing – if often diffuse and volatile – popular criticism of the ‘European project’? And how might they respond in the future? This chapter seeks to answer these questions by, first, locating left-wing criticism of European integration within a historical context – there is a particular tradition of left

in The European left and the financial crisis
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New histories of Labour and the left in the 1980s

left-wing mass newspaper, the News on Sunday, failed miserably, while Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, the Sun, would go on to claim that it won the 1992 election for John Major. At a global level, the socialist world was collapsing, a transformation marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall 2 Labour and the left in the 1980s in 1989 and the Gorbachev reforms in the country that soon ceased to be the Soviet Union. The Communist Party of Great Britain actually wound itself up in 1991. Tony Benn argued that the challenge for the left was to win the argument for socialism. By

in Labour and the left in the 1980s
The British far left from 1956
Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Waiting for the revolution is a volume of essays examining the diverse currents of British left-wing politics from 1956 to the present day. The book is designed to complement the previous volume, Against the grain: The far left in Britain from 1956, bringing together young and established academics and writers to discuss the realignments and fissures that maintain leftist politics into the twenty-first century. The two books endeavor to historicise the British left, detailing but also seeking to understand the diverse currents that comprise ‘the far left’. Their objective is less to intervene in on-going issues relevant to the left and politics more generally, and more to uncover and explore the traditions and issues that have preoccupied leftist groups, activists and struggles. To this end, the book will appeal to scholars and anyone interested in British politics. It serves as an introduction to the far-left, providing concise overviews of organisations, social movements and campaigns. So, where the first volume examined the questions of anti-racism, gender politics and gay rights, volume two explores anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid struggles alongside introductions to Militant and the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Opportunity or catastrophe?

Introduction This book examines how the European left reacted to the economic crisis triggered by the banking collapses of 2008. For some, the crisis was an opportunity for a triumphant comeback for left-wing ideas and policies and for the left to regain the political initiative. The German Social Democrats talked about the crisis being ‘a new starting point for more democracy and a new common ground’ (SPD, 2009 : 5), and there were assertions that ‘the crisis in Europe can be a chance for social democracy to rediscover

in The European left and the financial crisis
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The veterans’ riot

had long condemned the prefect’s leniency toward the nationalist leagues. Unsurprisingly, the left-wing press welcomed Daladier’s decision. The conservative dailies denounced Chiappe’s transfer to a backwater job in Morocco as a concession to the socialists whose support, they alleged, Daladier was trying • 52 • The veterans’ riot to win.2 On 5 February, right-wing Parisian municipal councillors produced a poster inviting Parisians to protest. The council included several leaders of the extreme right and veterans’ associations including Georges Lebecq, newly

in From victory to Vichy
MI5 and the Prussian Secret Police

cost, amounting in total to £106’.2 It is opportune to 04_Charmian_Ch-2.indd 16 9/6/2013 9:03:49 AM MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 09/06/2013, SPi Liddell in Wonderland 17 remember at this point that Guy Liddell was a distant relation of Alice Liddell, the girl for whom Lewis Carroll had written Alice in Wonderland. Liddell’s meeting with his Prussian counterparts in Berlin must have been a looking-glass moment, confronting him with a reverse image of his own organisation. Liddell’s report, entitled ‘The Liquidation of Communism and Left-wing Socialism in Germany

in A matter of intelligence