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

Programme makers

Without the working class organising itself into a political party there can be no chance of socialism. But, argues Jack Conrad, without a comprehensive, fully worked-out programme, that party has no chance of taking coherent form, guarding against opportunism or navigating the road to socialism

Breaking the grip of Zionism

There is a way out of the hell into which the Palestinian masses have been consigned by Israeli settler‑colonialism. Jack Conrad presents the communist solution

Mark of the beast

Trying to ‘influence those with the greatest power’ to ‘minimise’ the ‘harmful effects of climate change’ with the ‘utmost speed and resolution’ has proven to be a predictable failure, argues Jack Conrad. Instead of soggy protest politics, we need the politics of power

Applying Bolshevism globally

Comintern came into existence because of, on the one hand, the treachery of most of the social democratic parties and, on the other hand, the inspiration provided by the Bolsheviks and the October Revolution. However, as Jack Conrad explains, the main problem encountered in the early years was leftism - not least when it came to electoral strategy and tactics

Two election tactics

The Bolsheviks are rightly famous for their armed street demonstrations and storming of the Winter Palace. But what they are less known for is their use of elections to the duma, the tsar’s toothless parliament. Jack Conrad puts the record straight

Using every avenue

In what is almost certainly a general election year, Jack Conrad looks at the evolution, limits and possibilities of parliament. We don’t have to settle for Sir Keir’s Labour Party and the lesser evil

Notes on the war

At this particular juncture the west’s proxy finds itself on the back foot, says Jack Conrad. Doubtless that explains why Donald Tusk is warning Russia that a wider war in Europe is “a real threat”

Ten thousand years of sorrow

Class exploitation and war go hand in hand. Jack Conrad explores origins, Greek warriors, Christian theology and the widely held idea that Marx and Engels urged the backing of the lesser evil

The wealth of nature

Despite tailing the climate crisis movement, some on the left still think of labour as the source of all wealth. Jack Conrad spells out the ABCs for the SWP and the IST

Notes on the war

After two years of battlefield carnage there is stalemate. Jack Conrad calls for the left to break from social-pacifism and centrism

Sir Patrick Sanders’ citizen army

There is much talk in establishment circles about the British army being too small and the need to gear up for war against Russia. Under these circumstances the left needs clear programmatic answers, says Jack Conrad

Communists and holy war

While the past should not and cannot be mapped onto the present, Jack Conrad argues that the approach taken by Comintern to the Muslim east contains many useful lessons - if, that is, we retain our critical faculties

Notes on the war

With the failure of Zelensky’s offensive there can be no doubt that there is a stalemate now. Perfect conditions for unofficial ceasefires and fraternisation, argues Jack Conrad

ABCs of Muslim Brothers

Jack Conrad looks at MAB, its internal power struggles, its relationship to the British state and its encounters with the popular-frontist left. Last of three articles

ABCs of Muslim Brothers

Three typologies, three stages, three martyrs. In the second of three articles, Jack Conrad investigates a highly variegated history of the organisation in Egypt

ABCs of Muslim Brothers

In the first of three articles, Jack Conrad looks at the origins, evolution and current reality of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, Egypt and internationally

Transition to nowhere

The so-called transitional method relies on economism and spontaneity. Jack Conrad makes the case for the minimum-maximum programme and the struggle to win the battle for democracy

Getting in touch

Jack Conrad takes up the offer made by Will McMahon and Nick Wrack about talks and joint work towards creating the basis for a mass Communist Party

Notes on the war

Despite Zelensky’s much vaunted offensive making ‘noticeable progress’, Jack Conrad argues that, especially with the mud season fast approaching, we should not expect any big changes on the battlefield

The Soviet Union in history

Is there progress? There seems to be, in nature and likewise in society. But, argues Jack Conrad, there is retrogression, mutual exhaustion and extinction too

Other theories, other labels

If, after the launch of the first five-year plan, the Soviet Union cannot be classified as a workers’ state, what was it? Jack Conrad looks at some alternatives that have been offered by different schools of thought

Not a workers’ state

Did the Soviet Union remain a workers’ state from its heroic beginnings to its miserable end? Citing unchanged property relations is clearly unMarxist. What is decisive is production relations, argues Jack Conrad

Techno-fix delusions

Given the abject failure to deliver on the governmental pledges made in 2015 at Cop 21, there has been an increasing turn to bogus technological solutions, warns Jack Conrad

Notes on the war

Putin is in real trouble - the Wagnerite rebellion testifies to political, military and strategic failure, argues Jack Conrad

First plan realities

Clearly the first five-year plan had nothing to do with the realisation of socialist planning. In the second of two articles, Jack Conrad investigates the counterrevolution within the revolution

First plan backgrounds

Planning and socialism are synonymous. However, as Jack Conrad argues in a two-part article, there is planning and planning. The Soviet Union’s first five-year plan owed more to chaos than plan

Notes on the war

With Kyiv’s long-trailed military offensive now seemingly underway, Jack Conrad warns that we should still expect a prolonged, bitter war of attrition and eventually a US attempt to encircle and strangle China

Notes on the war

Yevgeny Prigozhin maintains that every centimetre of Bakhmut has been taken, but Ukraine’s much heralded spring offensive is still to come. Jack Conrad looks at the military and political situation

Take inspiration from Cromwell

Enough of platonic republicanism, enough of fickle republicanism, enough of egg-throwing republicanism, says Jack Conrad . We need a militant fight for republican democracy

Online Communist Forum

Jack Conrad: 'Climate catastrophe and how to prevent it'

Their army and ours

Marxists prefer peace to war, but, as Jack Conrad explains, with us that must go hand-in-hand with making propaganda for the right to bear arms and the establishment of a popular militia

We cause offence

Following the lead of the liberal bourgeoisie, the dominant section of the left takes a ‘free speech, but ...’ approach. Jack Conrad defends the unrestricted right to organise, strike, assemble … and speak

Notes on the war

One year on, the talk is of a wider conflict, even a World War III. Jack Conrad looks at the geo-politics, the military situation and the inadequacies of the existing left

Fusion is no solution

There has been much crowing over the recent breakthrough in nuclear technology. But Jack Conrad has his doubts about fusion being the ultimate terrestrial energy source

Pagan origins and modern tinsel

Official society combines crass money-making with celebrating the birth of the man-god Jesus. Knowing their history, a few Christians dissent, refuse to join in. Jack Conrad is all for the good things in life

Notes on the war

General Winter will favour those who have the best extreme weather kit, equipment and rations. Jack Conrad looks at the military situation and the wider strategic picture

Memory wars

In the last of three articles marking the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Jack Conrad looks at the differences between Lenin and the Old Bolsheviks in the spring of 1917

Memory wars - Part II

In the second of three articles marking the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Jack Conrad explores the rival parties, class blocs and the differences that separated Trotsky from Lenin

Memory wars - part I

In the first of three articles marking the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Jack Conrad explains that Trotsky’s 1924 Lessons of October has been widely accepted as a right and proper account. Certainly, when it comes to the left, however, that orthodoxy needs to be overthrown as a matter of urgency

Notes on the war

Sabotage of pipelines, annexations, crazy talk of nuclear weapons and plans for regime change - but the socialist alternative is sadly lacking. Jack Conrad calls for unity in the serious business of party-building

Notes on the war

With Kyiv’s counter-offensive, the third phase of the war has begun. While it is unlikely to be the much-touted ‘decisive’ turning point, Jack Conrad warns, we should expect the Tories to bring the war back home by playing the Ukraine card

SUPPLEMENT: The general strike and classical Marxism

The meaning of character

When it comes to the Marxist programme, there are still some on what passes for the left today who will not - cannot - grasp basic, straightforward propositions. Whether that is due to a lack of elementary political education, the idiocy of isolation or factional animus is an open question. Jack Conrad replies to Andrew Northall

Our own programme

Without the working class organising itself into a political party there can be no chance of socialism. But, argues Jack Conrad, without a comprehensive, fully worked-out programme, that party has no chance of navigating the road to socialism and beyond

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

Notes on the war

Both the social-imperialists and the pro-Kremlin left fail to put the working class at the centre of their perspectives and look instead to either Nato or the Putin regime as an agent of social progress. Jack Conrad calls for rebellion against those who betray the elementary principles of socialism

Open letter to ‘Red Line TV’

Jack Conrad scorns the ‘alive and kicking’ claim, questions Labour Briefing’s ‘great tradition’ and urges rebellion against LRC’s social-imperialism

Pro-Kremlin socialists

Social-imperialism and social-pacifism are not our only problems, argues Jack Conrad. There is also a left that tails, excuses and flatters the Putin regime

A farrago of illusions

Social-Putinism and social-imperialism are not our only problem, argues Jack Conrad. There is the curse of social‑pacifism and centrism too

End of phase one

As shown by the talks in Istanbul, Vladimir Putin has already lost what could still be a horrible, grizzly, prolonged war. Jack Conrad gives his assessment

Here we stand

Not only must social-imperialists and social-pacifists be denounced: Jack Conrad calls for absolute clarity, when it comes to war and peace

SUPPLEMENT: Many were the dead

There are still those who play down or make light of the slaughter that took place in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Indeed organisations such as the CPB’s Young Communist League, George Galloway’s Workers Party and the CPGB (Marxist-Leninist) boast of a recent growth of recruits. Jack Conrad looks at the Soviet Union as a mode of mortality

The police and standing army too

The SWP is bad, but the CPB is worse. Jack Conrad critiques the cowardly, tailist, opportunist left and stands by what used to be the uncontroversial call to establish a popular militia

Still no hint of seriousness

The working class, humanity, cannot afford to wait till the next century before dealing with capitalist slumps, war threats and the actuality of ecological breakdown. Jack Conrad replies to Tony Greenstein

Something serious is needed

It is clear that Tony Greenstein has abandoned any pretence of adhering to class politics: that is, the class politics of the working class. Jack Conrad defends the Marxist programme against those who advocate yet another broad-front halfway house

Commemoration message

As read out at the December 11 online meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of an exiled Turkish revolutionary leader

The past as future

We must return to original communism, but on a higher level. Jack Conrad concludes his series of articles by questioning both brutish and romantic images of pre-modern society

On the dark side

Jack Conrad explores the commonalities and connections between greenism and the right and far right

Rebels without the means

Jack Conrad takes a hard look at the demands, principles and inherent limits of Extinction Rebellion

Greenism: a rough guide

Jack Conrad explores the organisations, history, business models, aristocrats, royal agendas and class limits

Malthus painted green

Are there too many people? Jack Conrad attacks crude overpopulation theories. They are more than useless: they are extraordinarily dangerous

Delusions of techno-fix

Today’s capitalist politicians are unlikely to agree, let alone implement, the measures needed to stop runaway climate change. Jack Conrad argues that the fundamental problem lies at the level of the system itself. Nonetheless, as shown by the Soviet Union, more than the mere abolition of capitalism is needed. The associated producers must take control

The wealth of nature

There are still those who merely offer a mirror image of bourgeois ideology, with the claim that workers create all the wealth. Jack Conrad argues that nature more than contributes: it is primary

Hadean to Capitalocene

Climate is change. But today climate change represents an immediate danger to human civilisation and can only be mitigated if far-reaching and truly radical measures are taken. Jack Conrad looks back at the deep past and towards an uncertain future

Looking back over the ruins

The final withdrawal of American troops must be put in the context of the April 1978 revolution and the subsequent reaction. The USA and Saudi Arabia armed, financed and promoted a counterrevolution, which included Osama bin Laden and al Qa’eda and ended in the triumph of the Taliban. This is an edited version of an article written by Jack Conrad and first published in June 2003. Its main target is Sean Matgamna, patriarch of the social-imperialist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. Nowadays, the AWL describes the Taliban as “Islamo-fascist”; back then, though, they were “our kind of people”

A troublesome princess

On July 1, the estranged princes, William and Harry Windsor, together with members of the Spencer family, will gather in the grounds of Kensington Palace to unveil a statue in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales, by Ian Rank-Broadley. Commissioned in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of her death on August 31 1997, the unveiling coincides with what would have been her 60th birthday. Here we republish what Jack Conrad wrote for this paper on September 4 1997

Fascism needs definition

Marxism strives for clarity and telling the truth. Jack Conrad replies to Hasan Keser and Daniel Lazare

Misusing the F-word

To effectively combat today’s far right we must begin by rejecting lazy analogies. Jack Conrad calls for clear historical thinking

We light fires

One half of the Labour Campaign for Free Speech does not believe in free speech. They want a ‘free speech, but ...’ campaign. Jack Conrad explains why the left should champion the unrestricted right to organise, strike, assemble and speak

Bigger than January 6

Donald Trump is now on trial before the Senate charged with inciting insurrection. Jack Conrad says the attempted self-coup began long before the January 6 storming of the Capitol

Goodbye Donald Trump

The January 6 failed coup is a symptom of decay. Even with a near $2 trillion rescue package the Biden administration is unlikely to revive the American dream, says Jack Conrad

SCOTLAND SUPPLEMENT III - Separatism, federalism, centralism

Breaking apart existing states is not the road to socialism, but the road to defeat, writes Jack Conrad

SCOTLAND SUPPLEMENT II - A joint oppressor

Left nationalists are in thrall to a bogus history, argues Jack Conrad. Scotland was not subject to an English takeover with the 1707 Act of Union. Nor does Scotland suffer from English cultural imperialism

SCOTLAND SUPPLEMENT I - Mythical, feudal, combined

Jack Conrad questions left-nationalist assumptions that Scotland is an ancient nation, which was reduced to the status of a mere English colony by the 1707 Act of Union

What Keir created, Keir can destroy

With the official left suffering from Stockholm syndrome, Jack Conrad argues that, while the struggle in the Labour Party is important, it is far from central. This is an edited version of an opening given to the November 8 Online Communist Forum

Not just British

Jack Conrad celebrates the internationalism that provides the foundations of our party

An ever timely demand

Jack Conrad critiques the opportunist left and calls for the abolition of the police and all standing armies

The importance of being programmed (part 3)

When it comes to political principles, writes Jack Conrad, broad is bad, mass is good

The importance of being programmed (part 2)

The so-called transitional method relies on economism and spontaneity. Jack Conrad makes the case for Marxist politics

The importance of being programmed

Without a comprehensive, fully worked out programme there is no road map to socialism and beyond. Jack Conrad begins a short series of articles

Not the gutter, but the stars

Jack Conrad comments on Starmer’s victory and the problems with the left.

Covid-19 and how to fight it

Jack Conrad presents a communist response to the combined health and economic crisis

An apocalyptic revolutionary

According to official Christian doctrine, Jesus was a man-god, born in a stable to a virgin mother. His first worshippers were three humble shepherds, followed by three kings from the east bearing fabulous gifts. As an adult Jesus performed serial miracles. Misunderstood by his closest disciples, betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the Jewish people collectively sought his death. Crucified by the innocent Romans, Jesus is entombed, but after three days rises from the dead. Finally, he ascends into heaven to sit on god’s right side. Jack Conrad offers a more probable version of the man and his times.

Brandishing old ghosts

Jack Conrad argues that in order to effectively combat today’s far right we must begin by rejecting false historical analogies.

Our attitude towards a Corbyn government

With the Tory election campaign mired in difficulties, Jack Conrad considers what is still an outside possibility.

Establishment at an impasse

While Boris Johnson may well hanker after an illiberal democracy, Jack Conrad warns that parliamentary deals, calls for a caretaker government and campaigning for a second referendum are worse than useless.

Climate change and system change

Mainstream politicians, jetting royals, ‘progressive’ capitalists and their army of paid persuaders have no serious programme to avert runaway climate change. We on the Marxist left have. This article is based on a talk given to Communist University on August 18 by Jack Conrad.

The two phases of communism

Trying to explain Stalin’s counterrevolution within the revolution through literary exegesis is an obvious absurdity. Jack Conrad replies to Nick Rogers

Fifty years on

A new space race has begun. Rival powers aim to get to the moon and then perhaps go all the way to Mars. Jack Conrad says this is all about national prestige, not adding to humanity’s body of scientific knowledge

No future in the past

Jack Conrad concludes his series of articles by questioning both brutish and romantic images of pre-modern society

Drawn to the flame

Jack Conrad shows why primitivists and other such deep greens are more than predisposed to the lures of ecofascism

Colours, shades, limits

In the second of four articles Jack Conrad explores the good, the bad and the ugly sides of green political thought

Malthus painted green

In the first of four articles Jack Conrad affirms the reality of global warming, along with the pending danger of ecological disaster. But crude overpopulation theories are worse than useless. Each social formation has its own laws, including laws of population

Time to end the tailism

With the United Kingdom in the grip of a profound constitutional crisis, Jack Conrad says the left must reject referendums as a matter of principle. Instead we need our own programme and our own tactics

Marx and Jewish emancipation

By citing a few thoroughly decontextualised phrases, the establishment finds Marx - and therefore contemporary Marxism - guilty of anti-Semitism. Jack Conrad puts the record straight

Their next move

Jack Conrad warns that the Labour right is looking to considerably extend the scope of the witch-hunt. Their big idea is to net socialism and even anti-capitalism

Marxism versus holy script

There are those on the left who still insist, for their own peculiar reasons, on getting the history of Bolshevism and the Russian Revolution radically wrong. Jack Conrad replies to Jim Creegan

Whatever happened to peak oil?

Prices are down to a 10-year low. It is clear that dire predictions of exhausted reserves and the world running out of oil were thoroughly misconceived. Jack Conrad returns to the issue of energy

Left tails of liberal bourgeoisie

He who pays the AEIP piper calls the AEIP tune, says Jack Conrad

Let it rot in the grave

Labour should not revive the old Fabian clause four, says Jack Conrad. Instead a new, genuinely socialist version is needed

Not social democracy

Jack Conrad argues that the SACP is best understood in terms of ‘official communism’ and a tradition that dates back to the 7th Congress of Comintern

Against referendums

Despite the TUC vote in Manchester the left should reject referendums as a matter of principle. Jack Conrad puts the Marxist case for extreme democracy

A man of contradictions

Michael Bettaney (Malkin) February 13 1950-August 16 2018

The place of the Soviet Union in history

The USSR was neither a new type of capitalism nor a 'degenerate' socialism, but a freakish new social system, argues Jack Conrad

A failure of definition

Jack Conrad argues that the left is crippled by its fixation on economic struggles and the downplaying of high politics

Sowing dragon's teeth

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 the economism of Trotskyism

Tactics, principles and willing dupes

What attitude should the left take to the People’s Vote campaign and its call for a second referendum? Jack Conrad insists that referendums are a backward, not a forward step for democracy

Oppose siren calls

Some on the ‘left’ insist on running with People’s Vote and its call for a second EU referendum. Once again Jack Conrad argues that Marxists ought to condemn referendums. We favour representative democracy and working class political independence

Space policy directive 2

Donald Trump has signed a presidential directive designed to boost US space commerce and fend off any challenge from China. Jack Conrad says the left would be well advised not to welcome the latest promises of getting back to the moon and going on to Mars

Wonderful yet underperformed

Jack Conrad looks back at the May-June events that rocked France 50 years ago

Democracy, not referendums

Jack Conrad advocates working class representatives, working class party politics and the working class programme of extreme democracy

Against a second referendum

Some on the ‘left’ insist on tailing John Major and Tony Blair and their call for a second referendum. However, argues Jack Conrad, Marxists are right to distrust referendums as a method of political decision-making. We champion working class political independence and representative democracy

Why revive a stinking corpse?

Jack Conrad questions the worth of the ‘Labour4Clause4’ campaign being promoted by Socialist Appeal. Instead of fostering illusions in Fabian socialism, surely the task of Marxists is to win the Labour Party to Marxist socialism

Hard, soft or no Brexit?

The working class needs a strategy that tails neither big capital nor backward-looking politicians, argues Jack Conrad

Supplement: After king Jesus

It was Paul who founded Christianity, a religion that in many ways upholds doctrines which are the exact opposite of the real teachings of Jesus. Jack Conrad sifts through the evidence

Putting the record straight

Over the course of this centenary year we have featured a range of different authors giving their evaluation of Bolshevism and the role of Lenin. Jack Conrad argues that those who still insist on claiming that there was some kind of programmatic break in April 1917 are, for their own particular reasons, desperate to defend a radically false version of history

Spooks and a Corbyn government

Neither the secret state nor the armed forces have undergone any kind of fundamental change, warns Jack Conrad. They remain a clear and present danger

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

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

The Soviet Union question

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

SUPPLEMENT: Classical Marxism and the general strike

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 2

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

The sigh of the oppressed - part 1

Jack Conrad examines 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 2

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

When all the crap began: Supplement Part 1

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 - pt1

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 - pt2

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

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

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

Iraq exit strategy

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

The limits of green politics

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

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

Debating the euro referendum

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...


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'.

L'Union européenne et les communistes

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

British imports

Jack Conrad reviews 'Leave to remain', written by Leon London and directed Lisa Goldman (Battersea Arts Centre, until December 12, £8 or £5 concessions)

The Labour Party and Livingstone

Party notes

Armstrong’s weak polemics

Jack Conrad discusses the CPGB’s stance on the British-Irish in the light of history

British-Irish debate: Two approaches

Critics of the Communist Party’s 20 theses are inconsistent democrats, writes Jack Conrad

Bolshevism and consistent democracy

Jack Conrad replies to José Villa on the rights of peoples to self-determination and the struggle for socialism

British-Irish: once again

Jack Conrad argues that communists must champion the democratic rights of all peoples


Self-liberation or vicarious nationalism

Jack Conrad replies to Steve Riley and renews his call for a democratic approach to the British-Irish question

Blair’s province of crisis

Ireland and the British-Irish

Party notes

Europe and the politics of the offensive

‘Time bomb’

Labourism or communism?

Auto-Labourism in crisis

Neither war nor peace

Spontaneous economism and the challenge of revolutionary democracy - part two

Marxism and national self-determination

Spontaneous economism and the challenge of revolutionary democracy - part one

Marxism and the democratic republic

Crisis of perspectives

Party notes

Open letter to SWP members

Scottish national socialism and its red prince - part 4

Jack Conrad concludes his reply to Allan Armstrong of the Scottish Socialist Party

Scottish national socialism and its red prince - part 2

Jack Conrad replies to Allan Armstrong of the Scottish Socialist Party

Scottish national socialism and its red prince - part 1

Jack Conrad replies to Allan Armstrong of the Scottish Socialist Party

Defeatism or Defencism

The CPGB’s refusal to ‘defend Iraq’ is no error. Jack Conrad replies to James Paris of the Marxist Workers’ Group

Moralism and morality

Jack Conrad reviews 'You’ll have had your hole', written by Irvine Welsh and directed by Ian Brown (Astoria 2, London, February 2 - March 27, Mondays to Thursdays £14.75, Fridays to Saturdays £16.75, cons £10)

Political problems, political solutions

Royston Bull’s election as SLP vice president demands a principled response

Jesus: from Jewish apocalyptic revolutionary to imperial god

Jack Conrad describes how an ideology of the oppressed became the ideology of the oppressors

Unenlightened myth

A reply to the Communist Tendency in the Scottish Socialist Party

A common perspective

In reply to Dave Craig, the CPGB’s Jack Conrad reasserts the need for opposition to the Scottish Socialist Party and the correctness of pursuing communist rapprochement

Apologetics behind fog of philosophy

Jack Conrad replies to Phil Watson

Behind the mask of Trotskyism

Reply to Ian Donovan of ‘Revolution and Truth’. Part three: self-liberation, democracy and economism

Behind the mask of Trotskyism

A reply to Ian Donovan of 'Revolution and Truth'. Part one: Lenin and the Russian Revolution

Act in haste, repent at leisure

Network of Socialist Alliances launch

Groping towards a theory

Jack Conrad reviews 'The fate of the Russian Revolution Vol 1', edited by Sean Matgamna (London 1998, pp603, £16.99)

Trotskyite economism or revolutionary democracy?

Jack Conrad (CPGB) and Dave Craig (RDG, faction of the SWP) reply to Ian Donovan, editor of Revolution and Truth

Appeal to members

Scottish Socialist Alliance takes nationalist road

Workers’ unity, not national socialism

Peter Taaffe and Scottish Militant Labour are on the verge of divorce. But this is no private affair. Shamefully in the name of defending Marxism both sides want to break up the historically constituted working class in Britain along nationalist lines

Hatching a conspiracy

Every Sunday until June 28 there is an explosive happening of music, poetry, film and performance at the Battersea Arts Centre running under the title ‘Conspiracy’. But, say its organisers, this is only the beginning. They want to create a new counter-culture, a theatre fit for the 21st century. Jack Conrad spoke to one of its founders and main movers Tam Dean Burn

Theatre of dissent

Jack Conrad reviews 'Seeing Red - part two', May 26 - June 14, Battersea Arts Centre, directors Lisa Goldman and Deborah Bruce


Party notes

Irish referendum - Boycott May 22

Reviving the political

‘Seeing red’ is a festival of new political plays sponsored and produced by the multi-award winning Red Room. It brings together 16 of the most interesting and thought-provoking voices in British theatre, among them Peter Barnes, Kay Adshead, Judy Upton and Roddy McDevitt. Marking the 30th anniversary of the revolutionary situation in France and the 1st anniversary of the New Labour government, the season is designed to bring the political back into theatre. Jack Conrad spoke to Lisa Goldman, the Red Room’s artistic director

National communism and brother No1

Death of Pol Pot

Easter reaction

For democracy

Under Blair’s May 7 rigged referendum Londoners will not have the option of voting for an assembly without a mayor, or any say in the powers of the new London assembly

When Robert Griffths was anti-British road

Here we reprint edited extracts from an important document published in The Leninist (March 20 1987), the forerunner of the Weekly Worker.

Boycott Blair referendum

Government proposals for a strong London mayor and a weak Greater London Authority must be rejected

Reaction marches

New Labour running scared as Tories take to the streets

Openness and organisation

The January 31 aggregate reunited the ranks of CPGB members

Programme of liberation

The Communist Manifesto is no historical footnote, writes Jack Conrad. In its essentials it remains a brilliant analysis of the necessary conditions for and means of making social revolution

Jesus: man and Myth

Christian doctrine portrays Jesus as a creepy, other-worldly figure; a man-god utterly indifferent to the savage occupation of the Jewish homeland by imperial Rome. But Jesus did not die in order to fulfil some divine plan. Nor was he betrayed by the Jewish people. Jesus was no ‘Christian’, writes Jack Conrad, but an apocalyptic revolutionary whose message was universal human liberation

Liquidationist confusion

Jack Conrad replies to comrades Nick Clarke and Mary Ward

Our slogans and reality

A reply to comrade Dave Craig

For a federal republic

Workers need an alternative both to Blair’s new constitutional monarchy and all shades of nationalist separatism

Sober assessment, yes. Liquidationism, no

There are differences on more than the September 11 referendum

Party notes

Tory divisions point to split

For optimism

Communists must come to a correct assessment of the September 11 referendum in Scotland so as to take the next step forward. There is no room for pessimism, every reason for optimism

Echoes across the century

Jack Conrad reviews 'The strange death of Liberal England' by George Dangerfield (London 1997, pp364, £14.99)

Party notes

Party notes

Trotsky’s ‘slur’

Party notes

New Labour, New Britain, New Monarchy: New Enemy

The death of Diana Windsor gives Blair a unique chance to slot the monarchy into his plan to remake the United Kingdom constitution and Britishness

Death of a troublesome princess

International or national socialism?

Jack Conrad damns all attempts to build national socialism in the epoch of global capitalism

Truth and invention

Blair’s government has created a crisis of invention on the left but not a crisis of expectations amongst the masses, argues Jack Conrad

Where now for the left?

Labour’s victory certainly changes the political outlook of revolutionaries, but is there a crisis of expectations?

Marxism and feminism - matchmakers not needed

Jack Conrad replies to comrade Ann Morgan

The call for an active boycott

Scottish Militant Labour supports Blair’s parish council

Scottish Militant Labour: from Labour to SNP?

Having broken with Labour does SML now want to find a home as the left wing of Scottish nationalism?

Champions of pessimism

Should revolutionaries fight Labourism in the ballot box?

SML and the opportunist art of the possible

Debate in the Scottish Socialist Alliance on what attitude to take on Blair’s ‘rigged referendum’ has exposed SML’s dangerous opportunist method

Time for a working class alternative

Revolutionary campaign must challenge rotten New Labour bloc

Neither reformism nor nationalism

Where will SML’s reformist socialist-nationalism lead?

Militant Marxism or militant nationalism

Jack Conrad discusses how Scottish Militant Labour wants to weaken, not overthrow the UK state

SUPPLEMENT: Genesis of bureaucratic socialism

Part III – Terror

Living dead

SLP in crisis

Sikorski quits

SUPPLEMENT: Genesis of bureaucratic socialism

Part II - Second revolution

SUPPLEMENT: Genesis of bureaucratic socialism

Part I

For a federal republic of England, Scotland and Wales

For Scottish self-determination

SUPPLEMENT: Advance from vanguardism

On April 30 members of Open Polemic ended their membership of the CPGB. Here we print their reply to criticism of that decision published in Weekly Worker (May 9 1996). Below Mark Fischer replies and we print three documents submitted to the OP conference on December 1 from CPGB comrades

SUPPLEMENT: Essays on the general strike - Part V

France 1968

Open Polemic runs away

We call them back. The rapprochement process should not be jeopardised lightly

Bourgeois paradigm and democratic tasks

Continuing a discussion on the nature of revolution

SUPPLEMENT: Essays on the general strike - Part IV

The 1926 General Strike

SUPPLEMENT: Essays on the general strike - Part III

From war to aborted general strike

Menshevism in microcosm

Because they represent a real movement of the working class the Socialist Labour Party and Socialist Alliances have thrown into sharp relief the theoretical and programmatic limitations of many revolutionaries. The Trotskyite group, Workers Power, provides a case study

SUPPLEMENT: Essays on the general strike - Part II

Britain’s crisis: From origins to World War I

Thatcherism vs Scargillism

The miners’ Great Strike of 1984-5 pitted the reorganised Tories against the syndicalistic politics of Scargill. Our class must learn the vital lessons from this titanic clash

Communists and the Socialist Labour Party

Should partisans of the working class shape the SLP or attack it from the sidelines?

SUPPLEMENT: Essays on the general strike - Part I

Classical Marxism and the general strike

SUPPLEMENT: Without Partyism there is no struggle for communism

Comments on RWT’s ‘The struggle for communism, yesterday, today and tomorrow’

Born of despair

Official religion is on the defensive but there is no room for complacency

Lenin’s misused consul

Jack Conrad reviews ‘John Maclean and the CPGB’ by Robert Pitt (London 1995, pp44, £1.50)

End of the Tory road

Whatever the outcome of the Tory election contest, Blair’s New Labour looks set for government. How should the revolutionary left prepare?

Establishment mourns one of its own

From the left to the right the politicians of the capitalist class lavished praise on Harold Wilson

After the clause

New Labour turns to liberalism. The left must turn from Labourism

SUPPLEMENT: Notes on rapprochement

Factions and the politics of Leninism

New clause four is pre-clause four

Labour, ironically under the rubric of ‘modernisation’, is about to transform itself back into a trade union backed liberal party

Party - for and against

The autumn 1994 issue of Communist Action carried an article by Jack Conrad (also published in the Weekly Worker of September 15 1994) and an instantaneous reply by its editorial board. We reprint this below, alongside Jack Conrad's further response. The fight for a ‘serious polemic’ continues

SUPPLEMENT: Party, non-ideology and faction

The tasks of the 21st century demand all partisans of the working class be united in one democratic centralist party

Apocalyptic revolutionary

Jesus did not sacrifice himself for our sins. He was a daring resistance leader who expected to win