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World War Two

Fascism, Democracy and the War

Workers who suffered under the monstrous Mussolini and Hitler dictatorships were clearly worse off than their fellow wage slaves in the so-called democratic countries. It is a popular fiction that Britain and its allies went to war against the fascist nations in 1939 to defeat an evil ideology and save the world for democracy. This is a lie, just as false as those invented to persuade workers to be slaughtered in the trenches in 1914. The fact is that Britain and its allies were motivated by a political and economic desire to protect their long-held interests in the world market against the expansionist aims of the fascist nations which had arrived late on the scene of world imperialism. The claim that a major war was initiated to liberate workers from fascist tyranny sounds very noble, but has little to do with the sordid motives of the capitalist class.

Fascism and the British capitalists

Obituary: John Robertson

We are saddened to have to report the death between Christmas and the New Year of John Robertson, a member of the Party for over fifty years.

John Robertson was born in 1914 in South Shields where his father had a butcher shop. After the General Strike and subsequent defeat of the miners the whole family had to move to London. His desire to do something about capitalism led him first to join the Labour Party which he soon left after the miserable failure of the 1929-31 Labour government. Later, after listening to Socialist Party speakers in Brockwell Park and at Hyde Park, he joined our Lewisham branch in 1938.

What Next for Yugoslavia?

When I was at school over forty years ago we were told in our history classes how a young South Slav nationalist, Gavrilo Princep, by assassinating Arch-Duke Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, had triggered off (1 seem to remember "caused" was the word used) the entire first world war. Whilst not denying a role for such melodramatic gestures, Marxian critics of the capitalist system and its persistent drive to war were never convinced that the enormous conflict that ensued had such a Ruritanian root-cause. It was, instead, the culmination of a lengthy period of economic rivalry between, on the one hand, the established powers such as France and Britain with their imperial systems of guaranteed markets and cheap sources of labour and raw materials and, on the other, the thwarted ambitions of capitalist late-comers Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Woodrow Wilson redraws the map

Book Review: 'The Postman of Nagasaki'

Horror story

'The Postman of Nagasaki', by Peter Townsend (Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1985)

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