communist recomposition and workers’ representation

by Chris Ford

We are in a time of transition: New Labour is on the way out with the almost certain ascendancy of the Tories to government in June 2010. Many certainties from the period of New Labour are also passing, and the whole working class has a right to be anxious about what to expect from a Tory Party which is sharpening the knives.


This should not be a time for business as usual thinking amongst activists. This should be a time of critical reflection over what has taken place over the last thirteen years. Why have the trade unions failed to reinvigorate during the period of partial recovery in the economy? Why has the response to the crisis of working class political representation staggered from one failure to another? There is a third rarely discussed question which should be important, at least for a minority of the most militant section of our movement: a crisis of communism. Continue reading “communist recomposition and workers’ representation”

the “molly maguires” and the communist party of the usa: political repression in a free country

by Hal Smith

At the rise and decline of the American labor movement, the media and courts saw demons among the working people: “Molly Maguires” and Communists. Who were these radical “conspirators,” and what was their “crime?” Theirs is the transatlantic story of militant workers, and the law as their masters wield it.


The Molly Maguires began as a group of Irish Catholic peasants who resisted British landlords. Since Britain yoked Ireland in the 1600’s, the Irish served as peasants on semi-feudal British estates. In the 1840’s, the Great Hunger devastated Ireland, while Britain exported its food. Landlords evicted starving peasants, whose poverty forced them into the worst mines of America and England. Among the Irish immigrants were nationalist revolutionaries like Fenians and “Mollies.” Continue reading “the “molly maguires” and the communist party of the usa: political repression in a free country”

william paul’s ‘the state: its origins and function’

Here we reproduce sections of William Paul’s The State.

Introduction by Chris Ford – William Paul: a pioneer of communism from below

 William Paul (1884-1958) is a largely forgotten Marxist theoretician and activist from the early part of the 20th century. Paul joined the De Leonist influenced Socialist Labour Party (SLP) in Glasgow and was to become its leading Marxist theorist and tutor and later a founding member of the Communist Party and one of its key figures in the 1920s. Paul was joint editor, with Tom Bell, of the SLP’s paper, The Socialist, and was a formidable lecturer and theoretician mainly active in England. Continue reading “william paul’s ‘the state: its origins and function’”