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The origins and implications of the left’s dalliance with Scottish independence.

If you are in need of a doorstop, look no further. At 675 pages, an inch and a quarter thick, and three pounds in weight, the SNP’s independence manifesto, Scotland’s Future, will do that job admirably. Whether it also meets its stated aim of being ‘Your Guide to an Independent Scotland’ is another matter entirely.

For social democrats, the post-war years are usually seen as halcyon days. Across the Western world, including the United Kingdom, societies became healthier, wealthier and more equal. Inequalities were compressed as the dynamism of industrial capitalism was harnessed by the state – both national and local – and by strong trade unions, in the interests of the many not the few.

This essay criticises ‘Leninism’. It addresses seven points on social change and transformation: change as a broad social movement, and issues of gender, management, authority, the state, the party and the union. It draws on perspectives from various anarchist, syndicalist, feminist, and socialist traditions.

We start the issue with the two most recent instalments from the Kilburn Manifesto. Beatrix Campbell writes on the ways in which patriarchy is entangled with neoliberalism, while Ben Little writes on the ways in which generational politics is articulated to its project.

Discusses neo-patriarchy, the new gender settlement through which patriarchy is entangled with neoliberalism. Since the gains first made by 1970s feminism there has been little further advance; instead capitalism has adapted to new forms of gender power.

This article discusses how young people are one of the groups most affected by neoliberalism. This is not because of a wealth transfer from young to old, or a neglect of the interests of the young simply because they don’t vote: it is part of a strategic restructuring of how our economy and society work in favour of capital.

Article

Sheila Rowbotham, Lynne Segal, Hilary Wainwright, Pragna Patel

Spring 2014

Reflecting the point in history when they first became immersed in feminist and socialist politics, the authors of Beyond the Fragments - guest-featuring Pragna Patel - reflect on the heady days of the 1970s, and discuss what we could learn from those times.

In addressing this theme of ‘A century of anti-communisms’, the present issue of Twentieth Century Communism, overspilling into the next, joins a rapidly increasing body of literature on the subject.

The article offers an overview of anti-communisms – ranging across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and across Eurasia and the US.

Article

Gavin Bowd, Madeleine Davis, Paulo Drinot, Dianne Kirby, Carl Levy, Matthew Worley

Spring 2014

A roundtable with Gavin Bowd, Madeleine Davis, Paulo Drinot, Dianne Kirby, Carl Levy and Matthew Worley reflect on the character and significance of anti-communism as a concept on the basis of their own particular research interests.

Silvertown

The story of a little-known strike in Silvertown in the East End in 1889, this book documents the strike's significance to labour and socialist movements and its role in the development of new unionism.

Everyone knows that it’s not what’s being said about the political issues that matters. It’s what can be said. Yes, politics is about ‘credibility’ and even more so about what is defined as ‘credibility’. Ed Miliband doesn’t look like a Prime Minister. He never will, unless the idea of what a Prime Minister is changes.

Public policies for private corporations: the British corporate welfare state

Colin Ward was one of the most significant thinkers and activists of the British anarchist movement in the twentieth century. He was a prolific journalist and had a historic and ongoing influence on political thought, most notably through his works on urban life, housing, squatters, children and criminology. Bringing together a range of historians, anthropologists and political theorists, this volume celebrates and analyses the influence of this uniquely approachable and creative form of anarchism.

My Life's Battles

My Life’s Battles is one of the first true working-class autobiographies, the story of Will Thorne, who helped to make a better world for ordinary people. Thorne’s life story is a journey from tenements and factories to the corridors of power and the barricades of the Russian Revolution.

The idea that we all share common-sense values, and that specific proposals self-evidently ‘make sense’ according to these precepts, is a powerful legitimation strategy. The assumption that everyone is obviously going to agree with what is being proposed is in fact itself a means of securing that agreement.

Key indicators for participation in political parties are at an all-time low. Much of the energy that once went into parties now finds itself in cause-based campaigns. This article asks how and if political parties can renew themselves.

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