Latest articles

Falling out over a Cliff

16 Feb 2012

Was Lenin a lying manoeuvrer? Were the Bolsheviks a cult led by an all-knowing leader and staffed by narrow-minded minions? Lars T Lih joins in the debate over Tony Cliff's biography and debunks some myths held by both left and right

Mangling the party of Lenin

02 Feb 2012

Opportunist twists and turns and the perversion of democratic centralism have characterised the Socialist Workers Party and the groups it has influenced, including the US International Socialist Organization. But where did these practices originate? Former ISO member Pham Binh examines the method employed by SWP founder Tony Cliff

Lenin, Kautsky and the 'new era of revolutions'

22 Dec 2011

Lenin's vision of world revolution at the turn of the 20th century was inspired by Karl Kautsky, writes Canada-based scholar Lars T Lih

A victorious debate

08 Sep 2011

The 1920 Halle congress of the Independent Social Democrats of Germany (USPD) was a turning point for our movement. It was also a moment of triumph for Grigory Zinoviev. This is an excerpt from Ben Lewis's introduction to a new book, 'Zinoviev and Martov: head to head in Halle'

Zinoviev and the Halle Congress

25 Nov 2010

Zinoviev's largely forgotten speech and Martov's counterblast for the first time in English, plus introductory essays by Ben Lewis and Lars T Lih

The ironic triumph of 'old Bolshevism'

25 Nov 2010

Using new archival research, Canadian scholar Lars T Lih spoke to a London Communist Forum meeting about the 'April debates' and their impact on Bolshevik strategy through to October 1917

In defence of left communism

04 Nov 2010

James Tansey takes issue with Jack Conrad

Scotching the myths

21 Oct 2010

Historian Lars T Lih dissects one of Lenin's most famous but most misunderstood pamphlets, 'What is to be done?'

'April theses': myth and reality

07 Oct 2010

Many on the left see Lenin as undergoing a conversion to Trotskyism in 1917. Lars T Lih takes on this myth and reveals a Lenin, who while converging with Trotsky in certain respects, still has a different strategy. There is also the possible influence Kautsky exerted on Lenin

Light and air of political freedom

16 Sep 2010

North American scholar Lars T Lih explores the varying attitude of Marxists towards universal suffrage, freedom of the press and freedom of association

Supplement: Kautsky, Lenin and the 'April theses'

14 Jan 2010

Could Karl Kautsky - the 'pope' turned 'renegade' of orthodox Marxism - have influenced Vladimir Ilych's 'April theses'? Here we print a Karl Kautsky article from April 1917, translated into English for the first time by Ben Lewis. It is introduced by Lars T Lih, a historian based in Canada, who has been at the forefront of re-examining the complex relationship between these two widely misunderstood figures of the 20th century workers' movement

Supplement: Prospects of the Russian Revolution

14 Jan 2010

By Karl Kautsky

The four wagers of Lenin in 1917

17 Sep 2009

The Bolshevik decision to make revolution was based on four key predictions, or ‘wagers’, says Lars T Lih: international revolution, soviet democracy, peasant followership and progress towards socialism. This is an edited version of the third speech he gave to the CPGB’s Communist University

Lenin, Kautsky, and 1914

10 Sep 2009

In the second of his talks to the CPGB’s Communist University, Lars T Lih takes a closer look at Lenin’s reaction to the betrayal of German social democracy at the outbreak of World War I

VI Lenin and the influence of Kautsky

03 Sep 2009

In the first of three talks given at the CPGB’s Communist University, historian Lars T Lih discussed the relationship between two great Marxists. This is an edited version of his speech dealing with the period 1894-1914