Featured

Splits and Fusions- an archive of Trotskyist publications in Britain

This is the post excerpt.

Welcome to Splits&Fusions.

Here we will showcase documents from the various tendencies of what can broadly be described as the Trotskyist movement in Britain (with a nod to Irish, US and other publications in the English language).

In most cases items will be presented without much in the way of editorial, beyond a brief (and hopefully factual) description of the group. Continue reading “Splits and Fusions- an archive of Trotskyist publications in Britain”

Socialist Organiser- at last a complete run

Thanks to the assistance and co-operation of AWL supporters- in particular Martin T and Bruce R- we can now bring you a complete run (624 issues!) of the paper Socialist Organiser which ran from 1978 (as paper of the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory) through to early 1995…

cover

We have organised the papers into folders by year. Note that a number of double (or triple) issues of SO were produced as pamphlets. We have incorporated these into the sequence of tabloid issues.

SOCIALIST ORGANISER NEWSPAPER

We will be filing and reorganising our collections of AWL / SO / WL pamphlets, specials, issues of Womens Fightback, Class Fighter, Youth Fightback and related items in due course.

Socialist Organiser now joins our complete runs of the earlier papers WORKERS FIGHT and WORKERS ACTION

 

Tea-leaves, Dust & Ashes

In 1981 Bookmarks published a collection of the veteran Trotskyist Hugo Dewar‘s socialist poems in  a volume titled Arsy-Versy World.

For your festive pleasure, we offer you a much earlier collection of Dewar’s poems, published first in 1947 by C. Lahr. as Tea-leaves, Dust and Ashes.

The twelve poems are of varied quality- some work better than others and Dewar is at his best when he rages at the misery and brutality of war, and the injustice of capitalism as he surveys the wreckage of cities…

Presumably these were written at the end of the war whilst he was still in the army.

Despite its occasional bleakness, the collection ends with a clarion call of defiance:

Rouse! For the sands are running!

Speak! Let the gage be hurled-

For the heart of a heartless people,

And the soul of a soulless world!

Seasons Greetings and a better 2020

S&F.

The Communist Bulletin

In the early to mid 1980s there were two publications going under the name of Communist Bulletin. The first, reasonably well known, was Left-Communist, produced by former members of the International Communist Current and based in Scotland.

A lesser known publication was produced by a pair of Trotskyist comrades working in Nottingham. A chance encounter with one of them, John Richardson, means we can now bring you copies of their Bulletin.

John Richardson and Mike Rooke take up the story…

IT USED TO GO LIKE THAT…

It may be helpful to the reader to place this selection of documents into context. 

With the exception of the first leaflet, they were written and circulated largely around Nottingham after we had resigned from Workers Power (WP) in November 1982. 

We left WP as we had become increasingly critical of their attempts to carry out ‘mass work’, an agitational approach which we thought entirely at odds with the tasks of communists given the nature of the period and one which seriously undervalued the importance of a propaganda orientation, both towards the centrists and the class struggle generally.  It also seemed to us that WP had never fully shaken off the economism from their IS days (for the record, we should add that we were both members of IS, but only one of us was a member of the Left Faction, the forerunner to WP). 

Having left WP we decided to embark on a process of theoretical clarification, to attempt to exert what influence we could to rebuild an authentic communist tradition.  Central to this was an understanding of centrism (and here our reference was Trotsky’s writings from the 1930s) and an unremitting struggle against Labourism – a term which we considered more apt that ‘reformist’ to describe the Labour Party.

We continued to produce the Bulletins and, indeed, won a small group of militants in the Nottingham area to its ideas.  Toward the end of the 1980s our practical, joint activity reached an end, although we were both members of an energetic and serious Marxist discussion group in the city which emerged after the crises in the WRP and largely spent its time confronting questions around the Party, Stalinism and philosophy.

John Richardson

Mike Rooke

December 2019

We have all five issues of the Communist Bulletin plus two leaflets and a stand-alone article on the founding of the Fourth international.

Enjoy!

COMMUNIST BULLETIN Archive

It is this kind of material, which might otherwise be lost to the ravages of time, that is the raison d’etre of Splits&Fusions.

If you know of any other local or small-group publications we have so far not featured, please let us know.

Permanent Revolution Group 2006-2013

It came as a bit of a surprise, to those of use who have a keen interest in these things, when in July 2006 Workers Power and its international body expelled a significant part of its leading cadre and membership.

This occured after a two year faction fight, which took place entirely internally without leakage to the outside world, and which resulted in some 24 members of WP (Britain) and a handful of international co-thinkers being expelled.

The newly constituted Permanent Revolution Group  went on to publish 24 issues of a substantial theoretical magazine of the same name and a few pamphlets.

The Group lasted for seven years before dissolving in 2013.

The dissolution statement, which can still be found on the ghost of the PR Website, ends by saying “… we will direct our efforts and resources to building those initiatives, regionally, locally and nationally, that we believe offer a way forward that is more effective than the maintenance of ourselves as a distinct group – for example, the Anti-Capitalist Initiative, Marxist Networks and radical trade union and campaigning organisations…”

We have most, but not all, of the magazines and assorted leaflets and would very much like to complete the set! Issues 5, 11, 12, 15, 16 17, still outstanding.

PERMANENT REVOLUTION GROUP Archive

 

In 2020 we intend to look at more relatively recent, but now defunct, groups such as the Anti-Capitalist initiative, the International Socialist Network, International Socialist Group (Scotland) etc as well as the early periods of existing groups such as Counterfire and RS21. Any pointers to published (printed) materials would be very welcome.

Solidaritat- a German exile paper for POWs…

SolidarityNathanial Flakin’s excellent book on Martin Monath will further raise awareness in the English speaking world of the Trotskyist resistance in occupied France and the attempt at fraternisation with German soldiers through the paper Arbeiter & Soldat.

Less well known, and obviously working under considerably different circumstances, are the efforts of exiled German Trotskyists in Britain to speak to German prisoners of war.

However, a year after the war in Europe had ended, in May 1946, the first issue of a paper called Solidaritat- Vierte Internationale was published with the assistance of the British Revolutionary Communist Party, using its postal address.

Solidaritat ran for a full 48 issues until August 1948 and we have tracked down the penultimate issue for mid-July 1948.

If any of our readers have access to other issues of this paper, please let us know. And if anyone is up for translating this one…

 

 

The (other) Irish Workers Group

IWG.jpgThe Irish Workers Group was founded by a faction formed in 1975 and expelled from the Socialist Workers Movement (Irish co-thinkers of the British IS/SWP) in 1976.

The first issue of their journal Class Struggle gives a brief account of their opposition, around the centrality of the National Question and the need to build a working class womens movement.

Issue 4 of Class Struggle announces the IWGs intention to join the (short lived) Socialist Labour Party as a revolutionary tendency- The Workers Alliance For Action.

The Group was linked with the British Workers Power Group and was the Irish affiliate of the Movement / League For A Revolutionary Communist International.

We have issues 1 – 20 of the first series of Class Struggle in magazine format published from June 1977 to Summer 1987 and two later issues: no21 which is a full length discussion of the politics of the SWM and no22 published in April 1994.

A second series of Class Struggle appeared as a tabloid from 1987 to 1992.

In addition we have a number of IWG pamphlets, specials and bulletins.

IRISH WORKERS GROUP ARCHIVE

Thanks again to Bernie M. for loaning these items.

 

 

Revolution- Socialist Youth Movement

revol

Revolution was the paper of the group of the same name, associated in Britain with the RapWorkers Power Group. The first issue was in 1994 and it ran for at least 115 issues, of which we have around 60, plus specials, pamphlets and at least one issue of Student Revolution.

Initially Revolution was published monthly but later became more sporadic, quarterly at best.

One of the longest running of all the Trotskyist youth publications, we are sure that Splits&Fusions readers who passed though its ranks may have issues to fill the gaps in our collection

Many thanks to Bernie McAdam for loaning the bulk of these issues.

REVOLUTION ARCHIVE