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Was Russia Ever Socialist . . ?

We examine the Socialist Party’s reaction to the Bolshevik coup d’état and recall the analysis of Soviet Russia the Party pioneered.

The apparent triumph of the Bolsheviks in the backward Russia of 1917 sent the Marxist movement into turmoil. Moreover, previously impotent political organisations across Europe and North America showed themselves to be more impressed by the sudden and unexpected success of revolutionaries in the midst of bloody world war, than concerned for the event’s potential impact on core elements of Marxist theory as they had always previously been understood. Contrary to legend, the Socialist Party was initially affected by this feeling like other radical parties, praising the Bolshevik’s successful attempts to remove Russia from the bloodbath that was the First World War.

Exhibition Review: 'Modernism 1914-1939 - Designing a New World'

Modern Times

'Modernism 1914-1939: Designing a New World', Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until 23rd July, £9 adults.

This is an engaging, varied and well structured exhibition put together by the V & A, focusing on 'modernist' approaches to architecture, art and the application of science between the wars. The exhibits, ranging from paintings and posters, through to recreated designs and excerpts from film shows like Fritz Lang's Metropolis (right) and Chaplin's Modern Times, are suitably and accurately described throughout, generally being set in an appropriate theoretical context.

Book Reviews: 'Utopia for Realists', & 'A Place of Refuge - An Experiment in Communal Living'

Demanding the Impossible

'Utopia for Realists'. By Rutger Bregman. (Bloomsbury, 2017. £16.99)

Bregman is a Dutch philosopher and he has produced a book that many are claiming is up there with Piketty in terms of recent works that have achieved real kudos and wide resonance among critics of the market economy.

Book Reviews: 'Adherents of Permanent Revolution - A History of the Fourth (Trotskyist) International', & 'Capitalism's World Disorder'


'Adherents of Permanent Revolution: A History of the Fourth (Trotskyist) International'. By Barry Lee Woolley (University Press of America, 1999)

With the decline in the fortunes of the left-wing of capitalism's political apparatus, books about the organisations of the radical left - once commonplace - are now much rarer. Here Barry Lee Woolley charts the rise and fall of the Fourth International in a largely narrative account of the coalescence of the Trotskyist movement at the International's foundation in 1938 through its various sclerotic episodes in the post-war period until the mid-1970s.

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