History

This week in history: October 14- 20

14 October 2019

25 years ago: Hamas terrorist attack kills 22 On October 19, 1994, 22 civilians were killed and 50 more were injured in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv by the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas. The attack came on the eve of the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace and was coupled with two other terrorist acts the same week.

Introduction to the 1955 SWP resolution “The Third Chinese Revolution and its Aftermath”

By Peter Symonds, 9 October 2019

The SWP resolution summed up the lengthy discussion within the Trotskyist movement of the significance of 1949 Chinese Revolution and its deformation under the Stalinist leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

From the archives

SWP resolution: The Third Chinese Revolution and its Aftermath

9 October 2019

On the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution, the World Socialist Web Site is republishing the resolution adopted in 1955 by the Socialist Workers Party, then the Trotskyist party in the United States, on the issues raised by the revolution and its aftermath.

This week in history: October 7-13

7 October 2019

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Chinese 70th anniversary parade testifies to a crisis-stricken regime

By James Cogan, 2 October 2019

Beside repression, the regime’s only answer to the rising unrest over widening social inequality is to promote reactionary Chinese nationalism, hoping that appeals to “national unity” will contain irreconcilable class antagonisms.

Seventy years since the Chinese Revolution

Draw the political lessons from the bankruptcy of Maoism

By Peter Symonds, 1 October 2019

The political heirs of Mao Zedong cannot explain how and why the aspirations of working people for a socialist future, for which so many sacrificed 70 years ago, have resulted in the dead end of capitalism today.

From the archive of the World Socialist Web Site

Eighty-two years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike

By Jerry White, 1 October 2019

With 48,000 GM workers engaged in the longest nationwide auto strike in nearly a half century, it is valuable to study the heroic struggle by GM workers during the 1936-37 sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan.

The Peterloo Massacre and Shelley

Part 2: Shelley’s politics and his Peterloo poems

By Paul Bond, 1 October 2019

Shelley’s commitment to revolutionary change was “more than the vague striving after freedom in the abstract,” as Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling wrote in 1888.

This week in history: September 30- October 6

30 September 2019

25 years ago: UAW sells out Flint Buick City strikeOn October 1, just three days after 11,500 General Motors workers walked off the job at Buick City in Flint, the United Auto Workers (UAW) betrayed the strike and reached an agreement with the company that neither addressed nor resolved either of the main demands of workers over declining full-time jobs and speed-up.

From the archive of the World Socialist Web Site

Why are trade unions hostile to socialism?

By David North, 28 September 2019

Today we are posting the text of a lecture by David North, chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States and of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, made to the International Summer School on Marxism and the Fundamental Problems of the 20th Century in January 1998.

One hundred years since the Great Steel Strike

By Tom Mackaman, 25 September 2019

The Great Steel Strike of 1919 and its defeat hold crucial strategic lessons for workers as they enter into struggle.

This week in history: September 23–29

23 September 2019

25 years ago: MS Estonia wreck kills 852 in the Baltic Sea On September 28, 1994, the cruise ferry MS Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea as it carried passengers from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. It was the worst cruise liner disaster since the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The vessel was operated by Estline, a joint Swedish-Estonian firm.

The World Capitalist Crisis and the Tasks of the Fourth International: An analysis of the ICFI Perspectives resolution of 1988

By Andre Damon, 20 September 2019

This lecture was delivered to the Socialist Equality Party (US) Summer School on July 23, 2019 by Andre Damon, regular writer for the World Socialist Web Site and leading member of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.

A major exhibition at New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage

The story of Auschwitz

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2019

The fundamental lesson of a study of the Holocaust is that the alternatives before humanity remain those of socialism or barbarism.

230 NYC Auschwitz exhibition

16 September 2019

This week in history: September 16-22

16 September 2019

25 years ago: Clinton orders US invasion of HaitiOn September 19, 1994, the Clinton administration launched “Operation Uphold Democracy” in Haiti, sending troops to occupy the Caribbean island under the guise of fighting against dictatorship in an effort to restore ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency. The intervention marked the fifth time in less than a decade that US troops were ordered to invade another country in its bid to reassert global hegemony.

China: Thirty years since the Tiananmen Square massacre

By Peter Symonds, 10 September 2019

This lecture was delivered by Peter Symonds at the Socialist Equality Party (US) Summer School on July 25, 2019. Symonds is a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and national WSWS editor of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia).

“1619” and the myth of white unity under slavery

Book review: Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South by Keri Leigh Merritt

By Eric London, 9 September 2019

Merritt’s research refutes the New York Times’ Project 1619 claim that poor whites benefited from slavery.

IYSSE lecture series in Australia

Seventy years after the Chinese Revolution: How the struggle for socialism was betrayed

9 September 2019

While the revolution vastly transformed international relations and class relations within China, the Communist Party, based on the Stalinist program of “Socialism in One Country,” deformed the newly-created state from the outset.

This week in history: September 9-15

9 September 2019

25 years ago: Castro bows to imperialism on immigrationOn September 9, 1994, the Castro and Clinton governments signed an agreement to halt further uncontrolled immigration to the United States from Cuba. The deal marked a further step in the capitulation to imperialism by the bourgeois-nationalist Castro regime.

210 Review of Masterless Men

7 September 2019

Eighty years since the outbreak of World War II

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2019

The official ceremony marking the most barbaric event in world history is a celebration of the kind of militarism and right-wing nationalism that accompanied its outbreak.

The Causes and Consequences of World War II

By David North, 31 August 2019

David North, the chairman of the WSWS international editorial board, delivered the following lecture at San Diego State University on October 5, 2009, marking the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.

Preview the new publication from Mehring Books

Author’s introduction to Bolsheviks Against Stalinism 1928-1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition

By Vadim Z. Rogovin, 30 August 2019

Today we present the Introduction, written by the late Marxist historian and sociologist, Vadim Z. Rogovin, to the new English translation of the second volume of his seven-volume work, Was There an Alternative to Stalinism?

On the 79th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2019

Seventy-nine years after his assassination at the hands of a Stalinist agent, Trotsky remains a towering historical figure with immense contemporary political relevance.

This week in history: August 19-25

19 August 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

200 years since the Peterloo Massacre

By Paul Bond, 16 August 2019

A savage attack by sword-wielding cavalry on a crowd of protesters in Manchester, England in August 1819 resulted in at least 18 people being killed and some 700 injured.

This week in history: August 12-18

12 August 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: August 5-11

5 August 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Modern art in Germany and the Nazis Part 2: The Die Brücke painters

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 July 2019

The exhibition at the Brücke Museum represents a welcome change in favour of art appreciation based on a critical examination of contemporary history.

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

This week in history: July 22-28

22 July 2019

25 years ago: Strikes break out in South AfricaOn July 26, 1994, a strike wave of over 100,000 workers broke out in South Africa. Mining, steel, telecommunications and postal unions declared official disputes with employers, giving effective strike notice. The Council of Mining Unions, representing white workers, followed the lead of the National Union of Mineworkers, representing black workers, in declaring a dispute with the main diamond and gold mining companies. About 300,000 autoworkers in the region scheduled to take a strike ballot by the end of the month.

Fifty years since the first Moon landing

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2019

The first Moon landing remains an epoch-making scientific, technical and organizational achievement.

This week in history: July 15-21

15 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Charité at War: A chilling portrayal of Nazism and its crimes

By Joanne Laurier, 11 July 2019

Charité at War  is a German television drama, set in the years 1943 to 1945 at Berlin’s Charité hospital, one of the most prominent in Europe. The series depicts life under Nazi rule.

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Part 2: Stalinism, communism and anti-Semitism

By Clara Weiss, 9 July 2019

Hanebrink’s false equation of Stalinism with communism leads to a significant and misleading omission in his discussion of the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe after World War II and internationally today.

Part 1: Counter-revolution and anti-Semitism

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

By Clara Weiss, 8 July 2019

Hanebrink’s book focuses on examining the relationship between the fear of the “specter of communism” haunting Europe—to which Marx and Engels famously alluded in their Communist Manifesto of 1847—and of anti-Semitism.

This week in history: July 8-14

8 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

American Independence Day 2019: From the “asylum for mankind” to the land of concentration camps

By Tom Mackaman, 4 July 2019

The principles of 1776 of open immigration and birthright citizenship are under attack.

This week in history: July 1-7

1 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Ten years since the US-backed coup in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2019

While Democrats posture as defenders of immigrants, Obama, the “deporter-in-chief” presided over a coup that devastated Honduras, driving its people from the country.

San Francisco School Board votes to destroy left-wing murals they claim are “racist” and “white supremacist”

By Toby Reese, 28 June 2019

On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Unified School Board voted unanimously to destroy or cover over the historic 1936 “Life of George Washington Murals” at a district high school. The vote is a reactionary decision that marks a new stage in the censorship drive that began last December.

”We can’t erase history to suit people’s feelings”

San Francisco residents voice opposition to censorship of George Washington High School murals

By Evan Blake and Alex Gonzalez, 28 June 2019

Numerous residents spoke out against the destruction of art and the need to contextualize the murals for a younger audience.

Destroyed 1923 pamphlet on Red Army, commissioned by Trotsky, reprinted in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 27 June 2019

The reprint makes available, after almost 100 years, an important historical document, the fate of which reflects the violent repression by Stalinism of genuine Marxist thought and politics, represented within the Soviet Union by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

Destroyed 1923 pamphlet on Red Army, commissioned by Trotsky, reprinted in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 26 June 2019

The reprint makes available, after almost 100 years, an important historical document whose fate reflects the violent repression by Stalinism of genuine Marxist thought and politics, represented within the Soviet Union by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

“The Short Films of Raymundo Gleyzer”: Works by left-wing filmmaker murdered by Argentine military junta

By Kevin Martinez, 26 June 2019

Abducted and murdered by the Argentine junta in 1976, the documentarian made numerous films about the working class that have sadly been forgotten. Their strengths and weaknesses deserve to be considered.

This week in history: June 24-30

24 June 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Whitewashing Canadian capitalism’s crimes:

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s inquiry issues final report

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 21 June 2019

The MMIW report shifts the blame for the oppression of the native people from Canadian capitalism and its state to a racist “colonialist” mindset and “white society.”

This week in history: June 10-16

10 June 2019

25 years ago: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murderedOn June 13, 1994, the wife of former professional football player and movie actor OJ Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, was found brutally murdered outside her Brentwood, Los Angeles, home, along with her friend Ron Goldman. The pair had been stabbed to death the night before.

The Tiananmen Square massacre, 30 years on

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2019

What was lacking in the 1989 protests was not determination, audacity and courage, nor numbers, but revolutionary leadership—the essential problem facing the international working class in the 20th century.

The 75th anniversary of D-Day and the rising threat of imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 7 June 2019

Behind the speeches delivered Thursday—as with D-Day itself—lay the calculations of politicians seeking to further the imperialist interests of their respective countries.

From the archives

Ten years since the Tiananmen Square massacre

Political lessons for the working class

By James Cogan, 7 June 2019

The article confirms the essential analysis of the ICFI in 1989 that the terror unleashed by the Stalinist bureaucracy was above all directed against the working class that had risen in revolt against its policies of capitalist restoration.

From the archives:

Trotskyism and the Chinese Revolution

By Editorial of the Fourth International magazine, 6 June 2019

The following editorial in the January-June 1989 edition of the Fourth International magazine on the Tiananmen Square massacre is an indictment of Stalinism and its opportunist apologists from the standpoint of orthodox Trotskyism.

From the archives:

Stop Stalinist Terror Against Chinese Workers

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 5 June 2019

The ICFI statement entitled “Stop Stalinist Terror Against Chinese Workers” was issued on June 22, 1989, as the scope of the police dragnet and repression against workers and students expanded following the Tiananmen Square massacre.

WSWS republishes ICFI statements on Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989

4 June 2019

Thirty years after the brutal military crackdown on unarmed workers and students in Beijing, these documents contain the essential political lessons for the revolutionary struggles ahead.

This week in history: June 3-9

3 June 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 27-June 2

27 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 20-26

20 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 13–19

13 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China—Part Two

By Peter Symonds, 6 May 2019

The Chinese Communist Party today distorts the significance of the events of May 4, 1919. It has long ago repudiated the democratic principles of the New Culture movement and the socialist internationalism upon which the party was founded.

This week in history: May 6-12

6 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China—Part One

By Peter Symonds, 4 May 2019

The May 4 movement which erupted in 1919 was part of a broader intellectual ferment, profoundly influenced by the Russian Revolution, that led to the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921.

New York Times column falsifies legacy of Eugene Debs

By Tom Mackaman, 30 April 2019

Isserman portrays the early American socialist as a moralistic reformer.

This week in history: April 29-May 5

29 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

The burning of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 17 April 2019

The inferno was caused by a horrific breakdown of fire safety in restoration work, for which the French government and ruling elite bear the responsibility.

An assembly of political bankrupts: Historical Materialism and Jacobin host “Socialism in Our Time” conference

By Joseph Kishore, 16 April 2019

A more accurate title for the event would have been, “Democratic Party Politics in Our Time,” or, perhaps, “Socialism not now, not ever.”

This week in history: April 15-21

15 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: April 8-14

8 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: April 1-7

1 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Two hundred attend meeting on the struggle against fascism at Leipzig Book Fair

By our reporters, 26 March 2019

David North and Christoph Vandreier addressed a Saturday public meeting on “The lessons of the 1930s and the struggle against the far right today,” organised by Mehring Verlag at the Leipzig Book Fair.

This week in history: March 25-31

25 March 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the formation of the Communist International

By Peter Schwarz, 20 March 2019

One hundred years ago this month, from March 2 to March 6, the founding congress of the Third, Communist International took place in Moscow.

Mehring Books launches English-language edition of Why Are They Back? in London

By our reporter, 19 March 2019

Why Are They Back? by Christoph Vandreier documents the promotion of the extreme right in Germany and the ICFI’s struggle against it.

This week in history: March 18-24

18 March 2019

Daniel Yock, aboriginal, workers inquiry, Socialist Labor League, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Britain, Hungary, World War II, Budapest, Hitler, Horthy, USSR, Bela Kun, Austro-Hungarian empire, Hungarian Soviet Republic

This week in history: March 11-17

11 March 2019

G7, jobs summit, Detroit

From Lordstown to Vietnam and Back

By David North, 7 March 2019

In the wake of the iconic plant’s final day of production Tuesday the WSWS is posting an interview with a GM Lordstown worker published February 12, 1973 in the Bulletin, the weekly organ of the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party.

This week in history: March 4-10

4 March 2019

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Whitewater, scientists, MIT, antiwar, Vietnam, UCS

This week in history: February 25-March 3

25 February 2019

Hebron massacre, Baruch Goldstein, West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Palestine

How the ruling elite sought to suppress revolution

Renewal: Life after the First World War in Photographs

By Paul Mitchell, 22 February 2019

As one progresses around the exhibition it becomes clear that the main concern of British imperialism in the post-war period was to overturn the real “renewal” represented by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the “better world” beginning in Russia (none of which, incidentally, is shown in the exhibition).

The Last Survivors: A testament to the Holocaust

A documentary film by Arthur Cary, first shown on BBC Two

By Margot Miller, 15 February 2019

Cary has captured the testimony of some of the last generation who were children in the camps, most of whom saw the genocide of their parents, siblings, relatives and friends.

The Iranian Revolution—Forty Years On

By Keith Jones, 13 February 2019

It is the Stalinist Tudeh Party and the politics of Stalinism that were principally responsible for the tragic derailing of the Iranian Revolution.

100 years since the Seattle General Strike—Part 2

By Kayla Costa, 12 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles

From the arsenal of Trotskyism

The Political Report by David North to the International Committee of the Fourth International—February 11, 1984

12 February 2019

Thirty-five years ago this week, David North, then the national secretary of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party), presented at a meeting of the International Committee of the Fourth International a critique of the British Workers Revolutionary Party’s abandonment of key theoretical conceptions and programmatic principles of Trotskyism.

100 years since the Seattle General Strike—Part 2

By Kayla Costa, 12 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

209 February 11 report to IC

11 February 2019

One hundred years since the Seattle General Strike

By Kayla Costa, 11 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

This week in history: February 11-17

11 February 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Eighty-two years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike

By Jerry White, 11 February 2019

With General Motors threatening to shut five factories in the US and Canada, it is valuable for autoworkers to study the heroic 1936-37 sit down strike against GM’s operations in Flint, Michigan.

One hundred years since the death of Franz Mehring

By Peter Schwarz, 6 February 2019

Mehring was one of the leading Marxist theoreticians of his time. Unlike other leading Social Democrats, who shifted to the right, he joined the Spartacus League during World War I.

Fire in my mouth: New York Philharmonic premieres oratorio on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

By Fred Mazelis, 6 February 2019

The hour-long work probes an infamous example—in New York City in 1911—of capitalist exploitation and the sacrifice of workers’ lives on the altar of private profit.

This week in history: February 4-10

4 February 2019

<em>This Week in History</em> provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: January 28-February 3

28 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

100 years since the founding of the Bauhaus

Including an interview with Bauhaus student Wilf Franks

By Barbara Slaughter and Stefan Steinberg, 25 January 2019

This year marks the 100 anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which played a key role in the development of progressive art and culture in the twentieth century.

Who Will Write Our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Warsaw Ghetto archive on the screen

By Clara Weiss, 24 January 2019

Roberta Grossman’s film is an important contribution to a wider discussion about the significance of historical truth in the struggle against fascism.

This week in history: January 21-27

21 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

German SPD politician justifies murder of Rosa Luxemburg

By Peter Schwarz, 18 January 2019

Although the SPD continues to officially deny its complicity in the murder of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the federal parliament, has now declared: We would do it again.

Video: Christoph Vandreier on “One hundred years since the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht”

By Christoph Vandreier, 16 January 2019

In this video, Christoph Vandreier, the deputy chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) in Germany, speaks on the 100th anniversary of the murder of the two great revolutionaries.

New study finds up to 15,000 Jews killed each day at peak of Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 16 January 2019

At least 1.47 million Jews, more than a quarter of all victims of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, were murdered within 92 days from mid-August to early November 1942.

One hundred years since the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

By Peter Schwarz, 15 January 2019

The ruling class had to kill Luxemburg and Liebknecht to prevent the revolution, which spread like wildfire throughout Germany during November 1918, from overthrowing capitalism as it had done in Russia.