WeeklyWorker

09.06.2022
Niccolò Machiavelli: militias as theory and practice

Their army and ours

Most of the left has embraced the peace slogan in a thoroughly pacifist manner. Marxists, of course, prefer peace to war, but, as Jack Conrad explains, with us that goes hand in hand with making propaganda for the establishment of a popular militia

When it comes to the war in Ukraine, there is a ‘victoryist’ ‘left’. More accurately there are two victoryist ‘lefts’ because, after all, there are two - capitalist - sides to this horrific conflict.

That we are talking about two capitalist sides, the one fighting the other in what is a - violent - continuation of their previous domestic and foreign policies, explains why we place quote marks around the victoryist ‘left’. The victoryist ‘left’, is, in fact, a fake ‘left’, a treacherous ‘left’ that does not deserve to be called ‘left’ (which we take as an honourable title).

There is the ‘left’ which backs victory for Russia and Vladimir Putin’s siloviki regime. Why? Because, supposedly, this outcome would make the world a safer place: from murderous US ‘humanitarian’ military interventions, from US sanctions warfare, from US-engineered colour revolutions and from US-advised and -financed far-right terrorist gangs. A dubious proposition.

Urging on their army, the armed forces of the Russian Federation, there are, to name just a few, the red-brown Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Monthly Review in the US, the Workers Revolutionary Party in Greece, one wing of the Tudeh Party in Iran, one wing of Rahe Kargar in Iran, while in Britain, of course, we have George Galloway’s Workers Party, Socialist Action, Gerry Downing’s Socialist Fight, the New Communist Party and, albeit equivocally, the CPB’s Young Communist League.

On the other side, there are those on the ‘left’ who back victory for Ukraine and its puppet masters in Washington. Why? Because this will - yes, supposedly - make the world a safer place: from Putin’s so-called megalomania, from Russian expansionism, from Russian attempts to undermine ‘democracy in the west’ by promoting illiberal politicians such as Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and Viktor Orbán.

Especially in the US and the UK this ‘left’ is particularly despicable, particularly worthy of contempt. Instead of the main enemy being located at home, it is, safely, located far, far away in Moscow (or/and in Beijing). Hence the main enemy of this ‘left’, is the main enemy of its own ruling class. A ‘left’ which, therefore, constitutes itself, consciously or unconsciously, as a dupe, an asset, a pawn of its own bourgeoisie.

This social-imperialist ‘left’ includes the Democratic Socialist of America-backed, ‘progressive’ caucus in Congress without a single exception. All voted for Joe Biden’s $40 billion ‘aid’ package: ie, military supplies for Volodymyr Zelensky’s oligarch-military-SBU regime in Kyiv. Principled leftwingers in the DSA are not engaged in a cover-up, as is the case with Jacobin. No, as is right, they are demanding an accounting from them, the imposition of discipline over them and, failing that, a split with them.

The rot runs deep. The social-imperialist ‘left’ includes, with only a few national exceptions, the entire so-called Fourth International.1 On the streets of London, Paris, Rome and Washington, once they defiantly chanted ‘Ho-Ho-Ho Chi Minh’ and ‘Victory to the Viet Kong’. Now they tamely, shamefully, echo Joe Biden and the call to ‘Arm, arm, arm Ukraine’ and ‘Putin, Putin, out, out, out’.

So, here in Britain, we have Anti-Capitalist Resistance, the FI’s officially recognised section, lining up behind Chris Ford’s CIA-tainted Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign, along with other affiliates, such as the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, RS21, the Scot-nat Liberation and Emancipation grouplet, the Labour Representation Committee and, at least by implication, its Red Line TV adjunct. Their army is Ukraine’s army, along with the 30 armies of Nato (three of them possessing nuclear weapons).

Evidently, while the victoryists take opposite sides in the Ukraine war, they are united by a common inability to champion working class political independence, a common belief in lesser evilism and a common delusion in the progressive potential of capitalism in one form or another.

Aesop’s saying, ‘Be careful about what one wishes for’, is relevant here. A victorious Russia (unlikely in the given geo-strategic context) would, almost certainly, be looking for further advances in its near abroad, maybe incorporating Little Russia and White Russia into a neo-tsarist Greater Russian empire, which would seek to elbow itself into the imperialist club of exploiting nations. Under those circumstances, expect the US-UK axis to become ever more aggressive, ever more desperate to reassert itself. A Ukrainian victory, on the other hand (in other words, a victory for the US-UK axis), would see the Azov far right gain still further kudos, an ever more expansionist Nato, and - this is the stated aim - the ousting of the Putin-siloviki regime, plus the denuclearisation and the decolonising (ie, the dismemberment) of the Russian Federation into a series of pliant semi-colonies. After that comes the turn to the ‘main business’, which is, of course, knocking China out as the only serious imperial rival to the US global hegemon. Both in Russia and China, that would mean socio-economic retrogression, local warlordism and crashing living standards.

Social-pacifism

The majority of the left in Britain takes a social-pacifist position: eg, Peace and Justice, the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain, Left Unity, CND and Momentum. There are, naturally, differences and gradations: eg, some stand for overt pacifism; others shade over into overt pacifism. Basically, though, all peddle the lie that there can be a lasting peace while capitalism remains.

Stop the War Coalition is the main umbrella. Its steering committee includes representatives of various unions, Unite, PCS and NEU, as well as the CPB (Emily Mann), Morning Star (Ben Chacko), Socialist Workers Party (Judith Orr), Young Labour London (Artin Giles), CND and Left Unity (Kate Hudson) and the Green Party (Mariette Labelk).

StWC statements reek of pacifism. There are complaints about the US-UK axis “deliberately trying to head off moves towards serious negotiations”. In that same spirit StWC makes pious plea for “respecting” UN treaties, national sovereignty and for governments to behave in a less bellicose manner. It sees its particular role to pressurise the British government “to stop fuelling the escalation of conflict in Ukraine” and, instead, favour a “negotiated peace immediately”.2 An approach which effectively lines up the STWC behind António Guterres and the United Nations bureaucracy.

Note, the SWP triumvirate of Alex Callinicos, Charlie Kimber and Amy Leather stress their “support” for the StWC. However, anyone who reads the SWP’s internal bulletin, Party Notes, will know that moves are afoot to exert SWP domination at a local level. Members are busily caucusing and whatsapping “about our anti-war work and involvement in StWC”.3 Not that the former SWPers, John Rees, Lindsey German and Chris Nineham, who kept their clutches on the STWC central apparatus, in spite of their Counterfire split, can do much about it. Meanwhile, in the pages of Socialist Worker, Alex Callinicos grovelingly seeks a civilised dialogue with well known representatives of social-imperialism, such as Gilbert Achcar and Paul Mason. A shameful position that ought, at least, to have provoked a serious struggle in its ranks (unlike the Counterfire, International Socialist Tendency and Revolutionary Socialism 21 splits).

Not surprisingly, any idea, any suggestion of calling for a mass revolutionary party (not yet another bureaucratic-centralist confessional sect), and linking the demand for peace with the struggle for socialism, is rejected out of hand. After all that practical first step, in the direction of organising the working class into a class for itself, would be unacceptable to the Greens and Labourite reformists, who, in actuality, set the programmatic limits for the entire current crop of so-called united fronts. Eg, Stand Up to Racism, People’s Assembly, StWC, etc, etc.

But what ought to be acceptable, in principle, to any radical, any democrat, certainly any revolutionary, is the demand for the abolition of standing armies (and the police) and their replacement by the armed people - a popular militia. If the demand was tirelessly fought for in the left press and media, in trade union meetings, in parliament, if the demand was directed at new recruits and serving members of the armed forces, if the demand featured prominently on anti-war demonstrations and in election leaflets and manifestos, if the demand gained wider and wider acceptance, it would be a powerful political and moral blow against the forces of militarism and war.

Certainly winning the demand for a people’s militia in practice would make a huge contribution to reducing the danger of war. Foreign adventures - especially of the US kind in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan - would be more or less impossible. A militia is made up of civilians and is totally unsuited for fighting long wars in the far abroad. By equal measure, however, foreign invasion would meet the stiffest resistance - resistance in depth, resistance from every angle. True, initially, there might well be defeats. After retreating the militia army would, though, make advances by enemy forces ever more difficult by striking back from well-prepared tunnels and underground bunkers. Sabotage and guerrilla warfare sees the invaders’ supply lines disrupted and eventually broken. Fraternisation and establishing links with the rank and file, class appeals, including to the population back home, help break the hold of the officer caste and bring over enemy units. The militia army, having gathered strength from the armed people, stages its decisive counter-offensive.

We unashamedly fight for a popular militia. Not a copy of the US National Guard, the Israeli Defence Force, the Ukrainian National Guard or the Swiss Army. Officers must be elected and recallable, discipline self-imposed and military instruction going hand in hand with political education.

This is admittedly a reform demand. But, of course, no Marxist discounts the importance of putting forward reform demands, not least in order to expose opportunists. They would be glad if we left demands for reform to them and them alone. Then they would be free to peddle - unchallenged, unimpeded, unembarrassed - the fantasy of a “just peace”, a “non-annexationist peace” an “enduring peace”, where every country’s sovereignty and legitimate security concerns are guaranteed by legally binding treaties. A utopian fantasy that still pulls the wool over the eyes of far too many working class militants, student radicals and anti-war activists.

Thankfully, not least due to our efforts, the opportunists are challenged, are embarrassed, are exposed. Eg, according to Sam Fairbairn, former national secretary of the People’s Assembly, calling for a popular militia is divisive, provocative and certainly beyond the “remit” of the anti-austerity movement, and should therefore be avoided like the plague.4

Strange, given that the People’s Assembly rejects the renewal of Trident, condemns imperialist adventures in the Middle East and opposes unjust and illegal wars. Stranger still, given that comrade Fairbairn, along with John Rees, Lindsey German and Chris Nineham, is a member of Counterfire. Their 2010 breakaway from the SWP proudly proclaimed, true to form, that Counterfire is a “revolutionary socialist organisation”. Sneakily, however, it is committed to “eliminating unnecessary barriers between our socialist politics and the thousands of activists being drawn into opposition to austerity and war”.5 Presumably, Counterfire considers, for its own opportunist reasons, that the dissolution of the standing army and the formation of a popular militia constitutes one of those “unnecessary barriers”.

No less strange, Romayne Phoenix vehemently supported comrade Fairbairn’s insistence on establishing a barrier against the demand for the abolition of standing armies and their replacement by people’s militias. Who is Romayne Phoenix? Well, she’s a “key person” in the People’s Assembly and, no less to the point, a leading member of the Green Party of England and Wales. With the backing of Peter Tatchell and Derek Wall, she stood on a Green Left ticket against Natalie Bennett in the August 2012 contest to be Green Party leader.6 Note: the Greens have a long-standing peace and defence policy (modified in January 1990, modified in September 2014 and modified again in October 2019.). In short, though, the Green Party demands scrapping Trident and a British withdrawal from Nato. Moreover - and this is the killer point here - the Greens are programmatically committed to replacing the existing armed forces with “civilian and military volunteers” in a reorganised Territorial Army.7 In other words, a Green Party version of a militia.

So what was the candidate of the Green Left doing in People’s Assembly opposing the long standing programme of her own party? Shame on her and shame on the Green Left for ever backing her. Not that the so-called revolutionary left even have a paper commitment to anything that smacks of the constitutional demand for replacing the standing army with a popular militia. No, on the contrary, there is fear, avoidance and downright panic.

Leave aside Fairbairn and Counterfire. A few years ago, we interviewed Dave Nellist, a leading member of the Socialist Party in England and Wales. Revealingly, the comrade refused point-blank to say whether or not he supported the demand for a popular militia.8 In truth he does not support the demand, but just does not want to admit it. The entire Militant tradition, upheld not only by SPEW, but its Socialist Appeal and Socialist Alternative splits too, testifies to a thoroughgoing clause-four reformism, as can be seen from the little 1983 pamphlet jointly authored by their three ‘great’ teachers: Ted Grant, Peter Taaffe and Lynn Walsh.9

Robert Griffiths, part-time general secretary of the Morning Star’s CPB, at least has the virtue of openly revealing his craven prostration before the bourgeois state. He aggressively dismisses the demand for abolishing the standing army and a popular militia as “nothing to do with real struggle”. There is, he dumbly pronounces, no revolutionary situation in Britain. Hence such a demand is to be lambasted as a CPGB “provocation”. Showing his true yellow colours, he states that the very idea of a militia presents “a gift to the British state”. If we advocate such an outrage, “MI5 will be around straightaway”.10

Programmatically, in Britain’s road to socialism, as agreed by comrade Griffiths and co, the existing armed forces (the police included) are simply taken as a given. All that is required when it comes to the “taking of state power” is replacing “key personnel”.11 Not abolishing the institutions of oppression, including the armed forces, and their replacement by new, democratic, forms, crucially a popular militia.

Faced with a rebel YCL, Griffiths even issued an edict which clearly has the effect of banning members from even discussing the militia question:

… it is essential that the party and its members do not publish or post anything that could be interpreted as support for the possession of weapons in Britain or for armed struggle at home or - except when explicitly endorsed by our party - abroad. Party members should make themselves aware of the home office list of proscribed terrorist organisations.12

Doubtless, Her Majesty’s loyal subject, Robert Griffiths esq - a home office ‘communist’ if ever there was one - thinks the words of the Internationale are a risky provocation too, that most certainly should not be published or posted either. Here is the second stanza:

No more deluded by reaction,
On tyrants only we’ll make war!
The soldiers too will take strike action,
They’ll break ranks and fight no more!
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride,
They soon shall hear the bullets flying,
We’ll shoot the generals on our own side.13

Andrew Neil

Objectively then, when it comes to the standing army, it is clear that the Green Party, at least on paper, stands well to the left of the cowardly social-pacifists.

A final example, which will also allow me to flesh out our position. Cross-examined by Andrew Neil, in 2014, when he was still at the BBC, Salman Shaheen, one of Left Unity’s four principal speakers, bent over backwards to present his organisation as broad, conventional and safely within the remit of 1945 Labourism. Yet, despite comrade Shaheen’s self-identification as a “moderate”, inevitably, Andrew Neil sought to paint Left Unity as “loony”. Specifically, he cited our Communist Platform’s standing motion to Left Unity national conferences.

It is worth reproducing the motion in full (adapted from the CPGB’s Draft programme). As will be readily appreciated, the popular militia we envisage is not only far more radical than the Greens’ “updated” Territorial Army. It combines abolishing the standing army with a militant class struggle perspective:

Left Unity is against the standing army and for the armed people. This principle will never be realised voluntarily by the capitalist state. It has to be won, in the first place by the working class developing its own militia.

Such a body grows out of the class struggle itself: defending picket lines, mass demonstrations, workplace occupations, fending off fascists, etc.

As the class struggle intensifies, conditions are created for the workers to arm themselves and win over sections of the military forces of the capitalist state. Every opportunity must be used to take even tentative steps towards this goal. As circumstances allow, the working class must equip itself with all weaponry necessary to bring about revolution.

To facilitate this we demand:

1. Rank-and-file personnel in the state’s armed bodies must be protected from bullying, humiliating treatment and being used against the working class.

2. There must be full trade union and democratic rights, including the right to form bodies such as soldiers’ councils.

3. The privileges of the officer caste must be abolished. Officers must be elected. Workers in uniform must become the allies of the masses in struggle.

4. The people have the right to bear arms and defend themselves.

5. The dissolution of the standing army and the formation of a well-regulated militia under democratic control.

Supposedly this reminded Neil of America’s Tea Party. Or so he said. Would Shaheen be voting for this madness? No, no, no, he cringingly replied. “I disagree ... I will be voting against ... The majority of Left Unity members are disaffected Labour voters.”

Neil is, in fact, an Americophile. He has worked in the US and still owns a plush New York apartment. So you would have thought he might have recognised some of the well known phrases. In no small part, after all, our formulation drew upon the second amendment to the US constitution. Ratified to popular acclaim in 1791, it states: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”14

Tradition

It should be stressed, therefore, that, when it comes to opposing standing armies and demanding a militia, Marxists stand part of a long tradition.

The Florentine bourgeois republic of the 15th and 16th centuries deserves particular mention. Having overthrown the Medici dynasty and experienced the failure, incompetence and betrayal of the professional (mercenary) army, the republic adopted a system of district militias. In the humanist mind the militias of ancient Rome served as the model - spread throughout renaissance Europe via the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli (The prince chapters 12, 13 and 14, Discourses on Livy and The art of war). Machiavelli, of course, himself helped create the Florentine militia. Between 1498 and 1512 he served as a senior official in the republic. Incidentally, both Marx and Engels held Machiavelli in the highest esteem.15

English radicals such as James Harrington (Commonwealth of Oceana 1656) and John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon (Cato’s letters 1720-23) took up Machiavelli’s militia ideal. From England it made the journey over the Atlantic to America, where the militias famously sparked the revolutionary war by taking on the red coats at Lexington and Concord.

Even after victory and the Treaty of Paris, the militia were seen by the camp of plebeian and middling democracy as their best defence against another unacceptable regime. There were, after all, those - eg, Lewis Nicola - who wanted George Washington crowned king. To guard against such an outcome, guarantees were demanded against the “establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty” (Eldridge Gerry, 1789).16 Hence the second amendment (which unmistakably referenced the 1689 English Bill of Rights and before that the Magna Carta).

Marx and Engels considered themselves as the inheritors of Machiavelli, English radicalism and the second amendment. Clause four of the Marx-Engels Demands of the Communist Party in Germany (1848) is unequivocal:

Universal arming of the people. In future armies shall at the same time be workers’ armies, so that the armed forces will not only consume, as in the past, but produce even more than it costs to maintain them.17

The Marx-Engels team never wavered. Read Can Europe disarm? (1893). Written by Frederick Engels 10 years after the death of his friend and collaborator, here we find a concrete application of Marxism to the dawning epoch of universal suffrage and universal conscription. Engels concluded that the key to revolution was mutiny in the armed forces. His pamphlet outlined a model bill for military reform in Germany. Engels was determined to show that the proposal to gradually transform standing armies into a “militia based on the universal principle of arming the people” could exploit the mounting fears of a pending European war and widespread resentment at the ruinously costly military budget.18

For propaganda purposes, Engels proposed an international agreement to limit military service to a short period and a state system in which no country would fear aggression, because no country would be capable of aggression. Surely World War I would have been impossible if the European great powers had nothing more than civilian militias available to them.

Not that Engels was some lily-livered pacifist. He supported universal male (!) conscription and, if necessary, was quite prepared to advocate revolutionary war on the model of Napoleon’s grande armée. Needless to say, his Can Europe disarm? was not only intended to prove the undoubted military superiority of a militia over a standing army, at least when it comes to defensive wars (it can fully mobilise very large numbers at speed and is capable of successfully surviving a whole series of initial setbacks). No, Engels wanted a citizen army where rank-and-file troops would, if necessary, turn their guns on any officer tempted to issue orders that ran counter to the vital interests of the people.

Subsequent Marxists took the militia for granted: August Bebel, Leo Jogiches, Karl Kautsky, Clara Zetkin, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Eugene Debs, even Eduard Bernstein.

Take Jean Jaurès and his L’armée nouvelle (1910). True, it is marred by various reformist assumptions, a muddle over defensive and offensive wars, and is tainted by French nationalism: eg, he wanted men of military age in departments bordering Germany to keep their arms at home (in Switzerland a universal obligation). Nonetheless, L’armée nouvelle provides solid arguments in favour of the militia system and even outlines a detailed implementation plan (in the form of a draft parliamentary bill). Interestingly, Charles de Gaulle, an advocate of mechanised warfare and the professional army, expressed admiration for Jaurès - though a civilian and a socialist - because of his ability to grasp military matters.19

A précis. According to Jaurès, society and army have to be brought together. He wants the armed nation. Democracy and morale are of crucial importance. There will be millions of reservists. The number of full-time officers must be drastically reduced and those who remain kept for purposes of instruction. All levels of public education must contain a military element. The working class movement is to be encouraged to organise military-gymnastic and shooting clubs. Trade unions should make provision for the selection of officer material. Promotion to be decided by panels that include elected representatives of the army rank and file. In the event of a government attempting a counterrevolutionary coup against the “enemy within”, or launching a war of foreign conquest, the new army - the militia army - does its duty to the nation and launches a “constitutional” insurrection.20

The mass parties of the Second International likewise took the militia for granted. In the political section of the programme of the French Workers’ Party (Parti Ouvrier), authored jointly by Karl Marx and Jules Guesde, we find the demand for the “abolition of standing armies and the general arming of the people” (clause 4).21 A proposition faithfully translated by the Germans: “Education of all to bear arms. Militia in the place of the standing army” (clause 3).22 The Austrians too are adamant: “The cause of the constant danger of war is the standing army, whose growing burden alienates the people from its cultural tasks. It is therefore necessary to fight for the replacement of the standing army by arming the people” (clause 6).23 Then the Russians: “general arming of the people instead of maintaining a standing army” (clause c9).24 Even the newly formed, though hardly Marxist, Labour Party in Britain too: in its first general election manifesto (1900), there is this call: “Abolition of the standing army, and the establishment of a citizen force”.25

Practice

Besides the word there is the deed.

Amongst the first decrees of the 1871 Paris Commune was the abolition of the standing army and constituting the national guard as the sole armed force in the country. By forging a new state based not on a repressive force that sat outside the general population, the Commune opened a new chapter in working class politics. And Russia took what happened in Paris to as yet unsurpassed heights. Formed in April-March 1917, the Red Guards proved crucial. They, and an increasing number of army units, put themselves under the discipline of the Military Revolutionary Committee - a subdivision of the Bolshevik-led Petrograd soviet formally established on Leon Trotsky’s initiative. On October 25 (November 7) 1917 the MRC issued its momentous declaration that the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky “no longer existed”. State power has passed into the hands of the soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers.

And there are other instructive examples. Beginning in the early 1920s, the two main workers’ parties in Germany built their own militias. The SDP dominated the soft-left Reichsbanner, while the Communist Party formed the much more militant Rotfrontkämpferbund (at its height it boasted 130,000 members). In Austria, despite its 1923 founding statutes, emphasising ceremonial paraphernalia, marches and band music, the Schutzbund served as a kind of “proletarian police force”.26 When it came to strikes, demonstrations and meetings, this workers’ militia maintained discipline and fended off Nazi gangs. Though hampered by a dithering social democratic leadership, the Schutzbund heroically resisted the February12 1934 fascist coup.

Workers formed defence corps during the 1926 General Strike in Britain. American workers did the same in 1934. There were massive stoppages in San Francisco, Toledo and Minneapolis. In Spain anarchists, ‘official communists’, the Poum, etc, likewise formed their own militias in response to Franco’s counterrevolutionary uprising.

Then, more recently, in 1966, there was the Black Panther Party. It organised “armed citizen’s patrols” to monitor and counter the brutal US police force.27 Even the “non-violent” civil rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, included within its ranks those committed to “armed self-defence” against the Ku Klux Klan and other such terrorism.28 Nor should we ever forget the miners and their heroic hit squads of 1984-85. Countless other such examples could be cited.

This is the “loony” tradition viewed with dread, fury or embarrassment by Dave Nellist, Sam Fairbairn, Robert Griffiths and their ilk. In common parlance, what these soggy social-pacifists advocate is the politics of the lowest common denominator. Broadness, acceptability, respectability are their watchwords. Therefore they begin by asking what “potential recruits”, what “disaffected Labour voters”, what “the overwhelming majority”, etc are supposed to think. Having cut their message according to that cloth, then, as mass support is supposedly gained from one election to another, they promise to slowly reveal their ‘true’ principles. The end point is, though, not socialism; rather it is the exact opposite: trimming, selling out, going over to the bourgeoisie, including to its most reactionary elements.

The communist approach is entirely different. “In our intransigent attitude lies our whole strength. It is this attitude that earns us the fear and respect of the enemy and the trust and support of the people” - so runs Rosa Luxemburg’s famous rebuttal of the revisionists in the German SDP.29 


  1. internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7551.↩︎

  2. STWC press release, June 6.↩︎

  3. Party Notes June 6.↩︎

  4. ‘No controversy, please’ Weekly Worker December 10 2015: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1086/no-controversy-please.↩︎

  5. www.counterfire.org/about-us.↩︎

  6. www.redpepper.org.uk/green-party-left-foot-forward.↩︎

  7. policy.greenparty.org.uk/pd.html.↩︎

  8. ‘Over a pint in the pub’ Weekly Worker May 21 2009: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/770/over-a-pint-in-the-pub.↩︎

  9. T Grant, P Taaffe and L Walsh The state, a warning to the labour movement London 1983.↩︎

  10. ‘A well ordered militia’ Weekly Worker February 5 2015: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1044/a-well-ordered-militia.↩︎

  11. Britain’s road to socialism Croydon 2020, pp35-36.↩︎

  12. CPB members’ bulletin, Unity!: www.communistparty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/September-2021-Unity_.pdf.↩︎

  13. www.marxists.org/history/ussr/sounds/lyrics/international.htm.↩︎

  14. www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am2.↩︎

  15. Eg, writing to Engels, Marx describes Machiavelli’s History of Florence as a “masterpiece” (K Marx and F Engels CW Vol 40, London 1983, p187). In his Dialects of nature Engels praises Machiavelli as the “first notable military author of modern times” (K Marx and F Engels CW Vol 25, London 1987, p319).↩︎

  16. S Cornell The other founders: anti-federalism and the dissenting tradition in America, 1788-1828 Chapel Hill 1999, p161.↩︎

  17. K Marx and F Engels CW Vol 7, Moscow 1977, p3.↩︎

  18. K Marx and F Engels CW Vol 27, London 1990, p371.↩︎

  19. C de Gaulle Letters, notes and notebooks, 1919-June 1940 Paris 1980, p 448.↩︎

  20. See J Jaurès Oeuvres tome 13: ‘L’armie nouvelle’, 2012. An abbreviated translation was published in 1916 and can be found on the Marxist Internet Archive: marxists.org/archive/jaures/1907/military-service/index.htm (though I think the 1907 dating given is mistaken).↩︎

  21. marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/05/parti-ouvrier.htm.↩︎

  22. marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/1891/erfurt-program.htm.↩︎

  23. I am grateful to Ben Lewis for his translation of the Hainfield programme.↩︎

  24. marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1902/draft/02feb07.htm.↩︎

  25. I Dale (ed) Labour Party general election manifestos 1900-1997 London 2002, p9.↩︎

  26. M Kitchen The coming of Austrian fascism London 1980, p116.↩︎

  27. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party.↩︎

  28. See CE Cobb This nonviolent stuff’ll get you killed New York 2014.↩︎

  29. www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1898/09/30.htm.↩︎