Jack Conrad

Jack Conrad was the founder editor of 'The Leninist', which was first  published in November 1981. He has contributed numerous articles to the  'Weekly Worker' and written a number of books and pamphlets, the latest being the second edition of 'Fantastic reality', his book on Marxism and the  politics of religion.

Latest articles by Jack Conrad

Supplement: The birth of a new system

As well as celebrating the Russian Revolution, says Jack Conrad, we should never forget the counterrevolution

Fossil fuel era continues

Predictions of an imminent decline of oil are misplaced, argues Jack Conrad. Along with global temperatures, consumption is set to rise

Failed recipes

We must relearn the art of thinking strategically. Jack Conrad joins the debate on Israel-Palestine

False memory syndrome

Far from being disproved by 1917, the standing programme of Bolshevism found vindication, argues Jack Conrad

Mission Mars, or mission Earth?

Donald Trump’s budget for Nasa contains no swingeing cuts. There will, though, be a change of focus - away from Earth and, instead, towards deep space and sending people to Mars. Jack Conrad says we would be well advised not to welcome such a hugely expensive diversion

Jesus: armed and dangerous

Forget the virgin birth, the stable, the wondrous star, the shepherds and the wise men, the massacre of the innocents and the angel of the lord telling Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt. All pure invention. Jesus was an apocalyptic revolutionary, says Jack Conrad

Overthrowing a false prophet

Jack Conrad reviews: Chris Knight, 'Decoding Chomsky', Yale University Press 2016, pp285, £18.99

Our strategy and tactics

Jack Conrad looks at the referendum - and beyond that to the challenge of continental unity

A continent of the mind

Jack Conrad shows that the European Union has been shaped not only by rival state powers, but by class politics too

Without monarchies or standing armies

Jack Conrad explores Leon Trotsky’s strategic thinking

A highly serviceable political weapon

Jack Conrad discusses Lenin and the ‘United States of Europe’ slogan

Better bad unity than bad disunity

Jack Conrad examines the German question in light of the perspectives of the Marx-Engels team

One, two, three revolutions

Jack Conrad argues that democracy in the United States is corrupted and far from complete. The working class must finish what 1775 began

Everything in socio-economic context

By equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, the bourgeois establishment is determined to brand a racist anyone who dares criticise the Israeli state. Ahistorically plucking out a few phrases from On the Jewish question, it levels the exact same charge against Marx too. Jack Conrad puts the record straight

Strategic bankruptcy confirmed

Localists score a practical victory. A directionless leadership blows it with Momentum. Communist Platform makes its final bow. Jack Conrad reports on an eventful February 20 meeting of the LU national council

Popular militia vs standing army

Jack Conrad takes issue with those on the left who oppose, shun or want to keep silent over a basic democratic demand

A contested Jesus

Respect the longevity of Christianity, but, says Jack Conrad, separate myth from reality

Charting our future

Jack Conrad offers his recommendations for the November 21-22 conference

Second amendment Marxism or inveterate pacifism

Jack Conrad and Salman Shaheen debated the right to bear arms

Anatomy of a conference

Jack Conrad offers pre-conference assessments and recommendations

New foundations, new orientation

Communist Platform has drafted the following motions, together with our code of conduct, disputes rules and equality policy. Comrades are urged to secure Left Unity branch support for them and our alternative constitution

A constitution fit for purpose

The Communist Platform has agreed to submit an alternative constitution for Left Unity at the November 21-22 national conference, when a whole day has been put aside to discuss the question. The current constitution, widely regarded as being unfit for purpose, stretches to 6,000 words and the CP is proposing it should be replaced by this much shorter and more concise document

Confusion and disarray

In light of Corbyn’s success the left needs to seriously examine why it gets the Labour Party so wrong, says Jack Conrad

Bureaucratic centralism and its apostates

Jack Conrad argues that SWP claims about the pre-1917 Bolshevik organisation are bogus

Divisions come to the surface

Jack Conrad argues for a strategic approach towards the Labour Party

Truth, not myths, serve our cause

Why do comrades on the left insist on repeating evident falsehoods about Lenin and the Bolsheviks, not least when it comes to 1917? Jack Conrad replies to Jim Creegan

Some hard thinking is needed

After the general election the left needs to do more than carry on protesting, argues Jack Conrad

Humans, nature and dialectics

Sadly Marxism must be defended against some who claim to be Marxists, or at least sympathetic to Marxism. Jack Conrad shows that this is especially the case when it comes to attacks on Frederick Engels and his work on the dialectics of nature

Lenin’s programme found vindication

Jack Conrad argues that, far from being disproved by 1917, the established strategy of the Bolsheviks was continued and enriched

Lessons of the Great Strike

Recognising the nature of the defeat at the end of the Miners' Strike was hard for the left, argues Mark Fischer

After the death of Jesus

According to western Christian mythology, Jesus died on Good Friday and came back to life three days later on what we now call Easter Monday. But, argues Jack Conrad, Jesus and his first followers were not Christians, but Jewish revolutionaries. It was Paul who invented Christianity

One year of the miners’ strike

Mark Fischer presents two articles originally printed in The Leninist at the end of the miners' strike

Aims, deals and recommendations

Jack Conrad reports from the Communist Platform’s steering committee

A misjudged Bonapartist initiative

Jack Conrad urges LU members to protest against leadership violations of our constitution

In mortal danger

At the end of the miners strike in 1984-85 the question became whether it was possible to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

A well-ordered militia

The Greens are under attack because of their ‘insane’ attitude towards the army. Meanwhile, observes Jack Conrad, the left continues its cowardly silence

Facing up to reality

The left found it hard to accept defeat in 1985

A death in Wales

The miners needed to defend themselves. Mark Fischer discusses how difficult that was.

Not fit for purpose

Jack Conrad shows that the LU constitution internalises trade union defeats and contains self-defeating time bombs

Neither meek nor mild

Jesus was a rabbi, a communist and a brave revolutionary, argues Jack Conrad

Ramsay MacKinnock and Judas Willis - Dump them!

The tone of this Jack Conrad front page from the December 1984 issue of The Leninist reflects the urgent situation the miners found themselves in at the end of the year. With the divisions in the union’s ranks hardening and the lack of effective solidarity from the wider workers’ movement, the strike was approaching a crossroads. While there was still everything to fight for, there were some ominous storm clouds gathering

Mission Mars and the final frontier

The successful Orion flight has revived dreams of returning to the moon or even going straight to Mars. Yet, no matter how marvellous the technology, Jack Conrad warns that the left would be ill-advised to cheer on the project

Left Unity: Background, prospects and secret trials

Jack Conrad introduced a session on Left Unity at this year’s Communist University

Organise the militant minority

The attacks on the miners were aimed at breaking organised labour in general; but union bureaucrats failed to rise to the challenge of building mass solidarity. Jack Conrad argued for a rank-and-file movement in this Leninist reprint

Yes campaign: In false colours

There are unmistakable parallels between ‘Scottish socialism’ and ‘proletarian nationalism’. Jack Conrad issues a health warning

Determination of revolution

Jack Conrad contrasts the Scottish left-nationalist demand for separation with the communist demand for self-determination

More than a union of two crowns

Jack Conrad shows that Scottish national consciousness is complex. Historically there is an unmistakable British dimension

The myth of the English yoke

Was Scotland subject to an English takeover in 1707? Does Scotland suffer from English internal colonialism? Jack Conrad questions the myths and assumptions of Scottish nationalism

Nationalist myths are not Marxism

Jack Conrad argues against the left-nationalist claim that Scotland is an oppressed nation. Indeed, prior to the 1707 Act of Union Scotland was not a nation

Scotland: Sinking loyalism and lifeboat nationalism

Jack Conrad looks at the politics of September 18

Left Unity: Arms and our moderate speaker

Jack Conrad takes issue with Salman Shaheen’s cowardly rejection of the demand for a popular militia

The Leninist: First conference makes decision to go monthly

In January 1984 we organised the First Conference of Supporters of The Leninist, where the decision was made to go monthly

The Leninist: Before this there was that

Jack Conrad recalls the genesis of the CPGB’s Leninist faction and its enduring legacy

Plans for the hard left

Jack Conrad outlines the thinking of the CPGB’s Provisional Central Committee

In praise of the Communist Platform

Text of Jack Conrad's contribution to the Platform debate at Left Unity's conference

USSR: Getting the Soviet Union right

On the 96th anniversary of the October Revolution, Jack Conrad engages with the Russian question

Left Unity: Communicating across the archipelago of isolation

Jack Conrad puts the case for clear principles and greater boldness. This is an edited version of his opening contribution to the ‘Fighting for a mass party’session at Communist University

SWP leadership: Laughable history produces laughable results

Jack Conrad argues that the pre-1917 Bolshevik model of organisation should be properly studied and properly understood

Left Unity: The spirit of ’45?

What do we hope will come out of the May 11 Left Unity conference? Following Nick Wrack’s speech at the April 27 London Communist Forum, Jack Conrad replied for the CPGB. This is an edited version of his response

Capitalist decline: Thatcher in history

Jack Conrad explores the conditions which created Margaret Thatcher and takes issue with the ‘great person’ version of history

Programme and Party: Broad bad, mass good

Opportunists require mushy politics and meaningless phrases when they set out to deceive. Jack Conrad argues in favour of a mass working class party and the kind of principles and politics outlined in the Communist manifesto, the Erfurt programme and the programme of the Parti Ouvrier

SWP and programme: Transitional regression ends in a hunch

Is the so-called transitional method the road to revolution? Jack Conrad argues against the economism of the Socialist Workers Party

SWP crisis: Programme and the programmeless

Why do communists place such importance on their programmes and why does the SWP central committee expel oppositionists who advocate developing one? Jack Conrad begins a short series of articles

Nature and Programme: Wealth of nature and counterfeit Marxism

Why does SWP Online insist on carrying anti-Marxist nonsense? Jack Conrad shows why root-and-branch change is long overdue

Supplement: Origins of the crisis in the SWP - part two

Third-period Blairism and the necessity of demystifying Bolshevism, Jack Conrad continues his analysis of Cliff and the SWP's politics

Supplement: Origins of the crisis in the SWP - part one

The Soviet Union question, by Jack Conrad (pdf available here)

Keynes: The great saviour and his leftwinger converts

Capitalism is in terminal decline. So why, asks Jack Conrad, do so many on the left advocate not socialism, but increased government spending, deficit financing and Keynesian solutions?

Contours of green thought

Greenism is hobbled by two fundamental faults. It cannot tame capitalism, nor does it offer a realistic way of superseding capitalism. Jack Conrad explores its limitations

A blunder of historic proportions

Voting for the Muslim Brotherhood was a vote for a party of counterrevolution, not the revolution. Jack Conrad examines MB's origins, ideas and evolution

A weapon for the movement

Comrades in London are beginning their collective study of Marx's Capital. Jack Conrad introduces what is still an unequalled work

Classical Marxism and the general strike - Part II

Jack Conrad continues with post-1848 general strike calls

Classical Marxism and the general strike - Part I

Jack Conrad suggests many elementary lessons that need to be relearnt

Lenin and the United States of Europe

Jack Conrad takes issue with the attempt to recruit Lenin to the CPB nationalist camp

Political suicide or managed decline?

With the sovereign debt contagion spreading, the euro facing existential crisis, the possibility of a US default and gold prices hitting record highs there is a real possibility that capitalism is heading for a further sharp downturn. But, asks Jack Conrad, does Keynesianism offer a way out?

The sigh of the oppressed - part 1

Jack Conrad examines Marx and Engels and their criticism of passive materialism, theological atheism and religion

The sigh of the oppressed - part 2

Jack Conrad continues his examination of Marx and Engels and their criticism of passive materialism, theological atheism and religion

Not our solution to their crisis

The economic crisis is far from over. But does Keynesianism offer a way out? No, argues Jack Conrad. Keynesianism is thoroughly elitist, anti-working class and pro-capitalist

When all the crap began: Supplement Part 1

Women's oppression, class, organised religion, war, and private property are not natural, writes Jack Conrad

When all the crap began: Supplement Part 2

Women's oppression, class, organised religion, war, and private property are not natural, writes Jack Conrad

The phases of communism

Jack Conrad concludes his discussion of the CPGB's Draft programme by looking at socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat

Neoliberal ghosts and the art of brevity

Jack Conrad answers criticisms of the CPGB's Draft programme in the second of a three-part article

Goldilocks and the communist programme

In an opening article, Jack Conrad picks out and assesses various criticisms of and alternatives to the CPGB's Draft programme

Royalist nationalism, opposition prophets, and the impact of exile and return

Jack Conrad concludes his survey of Ancient Israel (supplement III)

Peasant socialism and the persistence of polytheism

Jack Conrad continues his survey of Ancient Israel in Supplement II

Religion, class struggles, and revolution in ancient Judea

Jack Conrad examines Ancient Israel (supplement)

Marxism, nature, and proposition one

Why is the SWP commitment to ecological thinking doubted? Jack Conrad looks at the 'What the Socialist Workers Party stands for' column which appears every week in Socialist Worker

Origins of religion and the human revolution - pt2

Jack Conrad gives his assessment of some of the main theories and asks what apes can teach us

Origins of religion and the human revolution - pt1

Jack Conrad gives his assessment of some of the main theories and asks what apes can teach us

Dead Russians

Jack Conrad defends Lenin and Trotsky, and issues a health warning about Arthur Scargill, George Galloway, Robert Griffiths and others who want to forget, belittle or maintain silence over the crimes of Stalin

What is fascism?

Is it a matter of principle that communists should attempt to deny organisations of the extreme right a platform? Jack Conrad provides historical background in support of his motion to be put to the February 9 CPGB aggregate

Uses and abuses of Jesus

Even in the 21st century Jesus is still a much prized figure. In this the second chapter of his new book Jack Conrad shows how Jesus has been used and abused by almost every political persuasion

Past, present and future

The struggle to equip the working class with a Communist Party has been long, arduous but absolutely necessary. The theme of a talk given by John Bridge at Communist University 2007

Powerful because it coherently explains

Jack Conrad defends dialectical materialism against positivist critics

A rough guide

The Campaign for a Marxist Party holds its reconvened conference this weekend. Jack Conrad looks at the main motions, amendments and political issues

Jack Conrad replies

Tell it like it is

The CPGB has been much criticised over its willingness to use the enemy's media and its insistence on defending free speech. Jack Conrad explains why communists should stand against censorship and strive to expose opportunism

Sober up or spiral down further into irrationality

The CMP's national committee clearly lacks legitimacy. Despite that, because of that, it decided to pre-empt our national conference and appoint a Bonapartist chair. A panic measure. John Bridge reports

Beyond the prison walls

How should communists respond to any upsurge in industrial action? Last month's POA dispute offers some useful lessons. Jack Conrad examines the arguments

Frederick Engels and nature's dialectic

Sadly Marxism must be defended against some who claim to be Marxists, or at least sympathetic to Marxism. Jack Conrad shows that this is especially the case when it comes to attacks on Frederick Engels and his work on the dialectic of nature

Proposition number one and one-dimensional Marxism

The SWP leadership has jumped on the 'stop climate change' bandwagon. But, argues Jack Conrad, if they want to be taken seriously the first thing for them to do is to reformulate their proposition one

Labour left in crisis

Jack Conrad and Jim Moody comment on John McDonnell's failure to get onto the ballot paper for the Labour leadership election

Ten versus ten

Jack Conrad offers an alternative to the Socialist Party's method and its programme in the run-up to this Saturday's conference of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party

Space, the final frontier?

Going to the moon and space travel and are back in the news, writes Jack Conrad. But the left would be daft to fall for the sci-fi hype

The test of 1917

Did events force Lenin to jettison his 'democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry' formulation after the fall of tsarism? Or was this formulation concretised in the republic of workers', peasants' and soldiers' soviets? Jack Conrad continues his study of the communist programme

Fantastic reality - Marxism and the politics of religion

Religion is back with a vengeance. George Bush and the US christian right, holy Tony Blair and Britain's islamophobia, Russia's reinstalled orthodox church and India's saffron communalism, the toxic evangelicalism sweeping Africa and Latin America, Saudi Arabia's puritanical wahhabism and al Qa'eda's terrorism of spectacle, the Iranian theocracy and everywhere, it seems, the escape into the trench warfare of religious identity. But what is religion? In this extract from the introduction to his new book, Jack Conrad shows that the answer is not as straightforward as it might first appear

Kautsky, Lenin and Trotsky

What were the differences, strengths and similarities? Jack Conrad investigates

Permanent revolution and state power

As Jack Conrad shows, the Marx-Engels theory of permanent revolution does not preclude the workers' party participating in government

Programming the Russian revolution

Like German social democracy, Bolshevism had a minimum-maximum party programme. It was their DNA. But, asks Jack Conrad, was their programme irretrievably flawed, as argued by Tony Cliff and the SWP?

Our republic

For too long the left has dismissed minimum-maximum programmes. Jack Conrad argues that as well as shortcomings, gaps and faults there is much that can positively be learnt from them

Programmatic masks and transitional fleas

Is Leon Trotsky's Transitional programme the last word when it comes to the Marxist programme? Or does it represent regression in Marxist terms? Jack Conrad argues against Trotskyite economism

Programme and its structure

Why do communists give their programme such importance and go to such pains to develop, guard and enrich it? Jack Conrad begins a short series by examining the background to the CPGB's Draft programme

Climate change and the necessity of communism

No to market solutions. Jack Conrad explains why capitalism is the problem

The limits of green politics

Green politics have caught on in a big way. Jack Conrad explores their contours, limitations and contradictions

Iraq exit strategy

Iraq shows the limits of US power and underlines the fact that it is in relative decline, says Jack Conrad

Benedict XVI and the struggle for Europe

There is more to the pope's Regensburg speech than a crude attack on islam. Jack Conrad investigates

In revealing company

Jack Conrad draws parallels between 'proletarian nationalism' and the SSP and Solidarity in Scotland today

The determination of revolution

Jack Conrad discusses strategy and contrasts Scottish national socialism with the communist demand for national self-determination

British duality and the class struggle

National consciousness is complex. As Jack Conrad shows, British national consciousness is particularly complex, being at the same time English, Scottish and Welsh. It also involves class and class struggle

Not oppressed but a joint oppressor

Was Scotland subject to a takeover by England in 1707? Does Scotland suffer from English cultural imperialism? Jack Conrad questions some more left nationalist myths and assumptions

Nationalist myths are not Marxism

Jack Conrad argues against the Scottish Socialist Party's claim that Scotland is an oppressed nation, an English colony. Prior to the 1707 Act of Union Scotland was not a nation

Defending national socialism is not Marxism

Jack Conrad begins an extensive reply to Bob Goupillot with an examination of the principle of 'one state, one party' and its history

No future in the past

Jack Conrad questions the romantic image of prehistory presented by green thinkers

Unity and the SSP

Is working class unity helped by a separate Scottish Socialist Party and the strategy for an 'independent socialist Scotland'? The following exchange took place recently on the Socialist Alliance internet discussion list between Bob Goupillot - a member of the Republican Communist Network (Scotland), one of the SSP's smaller platforms - and Jack Conrad. Things kicked off when comrade Goupillot defended the SSP after a posting by Jim Gilbert

What should have been done

Jack Conrad concludes his series of articles on the general strike

Changes and responses

Climate change is nothing new. Nor can we stop it. What we need, insists Jack Conrad, is a society that can cope with sudden change

Virtues and vices

Jack Conrad pays tribute to the role of the CPGB in 1926. But as well as heroism there were limitations

A study in bureaucratic inertia

Jack Conrad shows that, while the Tory government assiduously and ruthlessly prepared for the 1926 general strike, the TUC was content to pass left-sounding resolutions

Days of black and red

In the second article on the general strike and its turbulent background Jack Conrad looks at the delayed birth of the CPGB and the course of events from black Friday to red Friday

80 years since the general strike - From world war to councils of action

Jack Conrad begins a series of articles examining the 1926 general strike

Darker shades of green

Jack Conrad questions the romantic images presented by green primitives and cautions against the seductive lures of ecofascism

Greenism and neo-Malthusian pseudo-science

In the first of three articles Jack Conrad argues that the global ecological crisis cannot be explained by crude overpopulation theories. Each social formation has its own laws, including laws of population

Self-determination and the British-Irish

Jack Conrad argues in defence of thesis 19

Prometheanism and nature

Technological Prometheanism and capitalism's profit-driven degradation of nature: Jack Conrad puts the case for revolutionary Prometheanism and sustainability

One-dimensional Marxism and proposition one

Why does the CPGB accuse the Socialist Workers Party of economism? Jack Conrad explains with a look at the 'where we stand column' in Socialist Worker and the comrades' attitude to nature, ecology and global warming

A world to save! A world to win!

Jack Conrad looks at climate change and the programme that communists should advance

The modern Janus

Respect purports to have something for everyone. In terms of programme, argues Jack Conrad, that means the attempt face two ways at the same time

Strikingly modern

On the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto: Jack Conrad of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Economism and the necessity of programme

Jack Conrad argues that the left is crippled by its flattery of economic struggles - and the constant downplaying of the primacy of the political

Equality and the Euro gravy train

Peter Mandelson's nomination as Britain's EU commissioner sheds light on the undemocratic nature of the EU. Jack Conrad examines how communists should challenge this institution - to build a truly democratic Europe from below

Respecting programme

Jack Conrad contrasts the approach of the Bolsheviks to the tawdry attempts at self-justification by the opportunists in Respect

No respect for equality

Jack Conrad on the refusal of Respect to have its MP's on a workers wage thanks to the SWP

Respect and opportunism

Despite the failure of the SA the party question has not gone away: it is simply posed anew in the more difficult subjective conditions of Respect, writes Jack Conrad

Mission Earth

George W Bush is reportedly going to use his 'state of the nation' address on January 28 to announce plans to establish a permanently manned base on the moon some time over the next eight to 15 years, but what about the Earth? Jack Conrad takes apart the lunar madness

Big people and the small state

Tory leader Michael Howard declares: "I believe the people should be big. That the state should be small." This is a sentiment that authentic Marxists would wholeheartedly concur with, writes Jack Conrad

Bible myths and modern Israel

Jack Conrad looks at archaeological wars and bible myths

America versus Europe

George Bush’s four-day state visit to the United Kingdom has provoked a storm of brilliant protests and tells us something about the state of imperialism, says Jack Conrad

United States of Europe - theirs and ours

Jack Conrad explains the communist vision

Party notes: Royal scandals and platonic republicanism

Paul Burrell's book 'A royal duty' has unleashed yet another crisis for the beleaguered British Royal family. Jack Conrad comments

Party notes

Jack Conrad takes a closer look at the new Peace and justice campaign

Party notes: Democratic centralism unites and directs

Jack Conrad continues the debate on revolutionary organisation following discussion at the CPGB's Communist University

Slogan wars

Jack Conrad discusses the problems of the left when it comes to opposition to an attack on Iraq

Armchair generals, or Saddam's leftwing allies

Many on the left entertain an agenda - overt or covert - of defending the Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein. Jack Conrad takes them to task

Stalin's system of terror

The 50th anniversary of Joseph Stalin's death on March 5 1953 has been used as an occasion to revisit the massive terror he personally ordered and presided over from the late 1920s onwards. Jack Conrad investigates the legacy of 'the man of steel'

The left and the Muslim Association

Jack Conrad discusses Marxist strategy and tactics

Preparing for power

In the seventh and concluding article in his series Jack Conrad peers into the future

Dictatorship of the proletariat: Bolshevism versus Kautskyism

In the sixth part of his series of articles Jack Conrad discusses the debate between Lenin, Trotsky and Kautsky

Proletarian dictatorship as theory and practice

In the fifth part of his series of articles Jack Conrad discusses the contradictory impact of the October Revolution

Russian means and the dictatorship of the minority

In the fourth of his series of articles Jack Conrad examines the background to Lenin's use of the word 'dictatorship' and the role played by the Mensheviks

Dictatorship of the proletariat and the Second International

In the third of his articles discussing peaceful and violent revolution Jack Conrad examines the use of the term 'dictator-ship of the proletariat' after Marx an Engels

Formulation nine and the dictatorship of the proletariat - part two

Jack Conrad continues his reply to those who have attacked the recently updated 'What we fight for' column as a move to the right

Formulation nine and the possibility of peaceful revolution

Jack Conrad begins a series on peaceful revolution

Operation Red Flag

Electorally we are mounting one of the biggest leftwing challenges to the Labour-Tory political establishment ever. Operation Red Flag.

Towards an SA pro-party bloc

Undoubtedly the Socialist Alliance has moved ahead in leaps and bounds in the couple of years since the Socialist Workers Party made its welcome turn towards elections. True, things began rather badly. The SWP decided to lift its siege mentality and embrace the Socialist Alliance ... but then momentarily and disastrously recoiled from the consequences. Fear conquered audacity.

Sect primitivism and a Socialist Alliance party

Inevitably the main underlying theme of the Socialist Alliance's March 10 conference concerned the period after the general election. Each and every debate at Birmingham was haunted by its attendant ghost of things to come.

We cannot replace New Labour by becoming old Labour

Over recent months Weekly Worker reporters and correspondents have repeatedly shown how the Socialist Alliance majority - in particular the Socialist Workers Party - have fallen in behind the separatist agenda of Scottish and Welsh left nationalists. Whereas our main enemy is tightly, effectively and malevolently organised across the whole of the United Kingdom state, we have irresponsibly divided and thereby weakened our fragile and meagre forces. A self-inflicted disunity that will do more than rob us of an all-Britain joint political broadcast. The wound runs far deeper...

Prioritise democracy

Examining the 'priority pledge' submissions to the Socialist Alliance's March 10 Birmingham conference is sadly instructive. Before us we have on parade economism lined up in neat regimented rows. An army of misguided innocence (see 'Our principles' Weekly Worker February 22).

Rescuing Lenin and Trotsky from 'Trotskyism'

For the first time since 1920 there is the distinct chance of uniting all serious revolutionaries in Britain in a single organisation and thereby starting the historically necessary process of building a viable mass working class party. The CPGB is absolutely clear, however, that as an aim we are against any and all centrist halfway houses, attempts to revive old Labourism, an artificial Labour Representation Committee, etc.

Vauxhall fightback

We should not only be protesting against General Motors on January 20. Anger must be focused squarely on the government and UK state. The Luton Vauxhall crisis highlights New Labour's obscene worship of the market and the inhuman values of capital. According to Tony Blair, issues such as the closure of Vauxhall are purely "commercial". His government is therefore committed not to intervene. Blair's government is afraid of jeopardising Britain's reputation - won through Thatcher's assault on trade union rights and power - that this country is dedicated to the accumulation of profit.

Coventry by numbers

Two unions, three rooms and three trends

Deeper unity not break-ups

New Labour no longer rides high in opinion polls. Yet tragically there exists no viable, all-United Kingdom, leftwing alternative. It is the Tories who have benefited from discontent and staged something of a mid-term recovery...

L'Union européenne et les communistes

Anti-capitalism

A decade after the self-collapse of bureaucratic socialism in the USSR and eastern Europe the world's big bankers and the pampered representatives of global capital meet over September 26-28. It is the IMF-World Bank's 55th annual conference and is being held in Prague with much fanfare - not least in order to mark the acceptance of the Czech Republic by the 'international community'.

Petrol protests: Jacobin rage

New Labour confronts its gravest crisis. There can be no doubting the seriousness of the situation triggered by the current wave of protests. Not only have petrol pumps run dry, but the government has assumed emergency powers to ensure deliveries of fuel...

Debunking the myth - part four

Neil Davidson The origins of Scottish nationhood Pluto Press, London 2000, pp264, pbk, £14.99

Debunking the myth - part three

Neil Davidson The origins of Scottish nationhood Pluto Press, London 2000, pp264, pbk, £14.99

Debunking the myth - part two

Neil Davidson The origins of Scottish nationhood Pluto Press, London 2000, pp264, pbk, £14.99

Debunking the myth - part one

Neil Davidson The origins of Scottish nationhood Pluto Press, London 2000, pp264, pbk, £14.99

Against independence, for a federal republic

Marxists start their immediate programme not with nations, but the enemy state, says Jack Conrad

James and the genesis of Christianity