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Posted August 26, 2002
How workers can take power
How do you take state power and hold onto it? This book was written at a time when revolutions had recently taken power in Nicaragua, Grenada and Iran and this question was posed in a very direct way. In the first two cases, they were led by parties who were oriented to mobilizing the power of workers and farmers to move forward to socialism. And all of this happened in the shadow of the 1959 revolution in Cuba. The articles in this issue are by revolutionaries in Cuba, Nicaragua and the US, all taking stock of what had happened. The lead article by Mary Alice Waters does an especially good job of taking the long view and seeing how previous generations of revolutionaries, starting with Marx and Engels during the Paris Commune of 1871 and through the Bolsheviks in Russia, looked at this question and built the only type of government which could move forward at the head of such a revolution¿a workers and farmers government. The article places Cuba and Nicaragua in this longterm perspective and shows what revolutionaries have learned both from their mistakes and their successes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2002
Popular revolutionary governments
We live at a time when capitalism more and more shows its retrograde features. Surely there must be a better system to enable human beings to live together on this planet. But this brings up the question of political power. How can the world be remade without changing the form of political power? This book, part of the New International series, explains the history of how working people have fought for political power and what the results of these struggles mean for us today. The prospect of fighting to change the world is nothing new. Why not review the historical record of how these fights have been waged in the past, and what the results have been? In this way we can base today¿s fight on the lessons of the past. Mary-Alice Waters reviews the history of the battles for workers¿ and farmers¿ governments, from the revolutions of 1848, the Paris Commune and the Russian revolution, up through the Cuban, Grenadan and Nicaraguan revolutions. In spite of many setbacks, these revolutionary struggles show that workers and farmers can fight and win. The perspective here is Marxist, the embattled workers are the ones we identify with, and their ultimate success is the goal. The whys and wherefores of these battles cannot be understood without a scientific knowledge of the workings of the capitalist system, a system which, by its very nature, produces its own gravediggers. This volume also contains articles from Cuban Communist leader Manual Piniero and Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Tomas Borge, dealing with the fight for power with special focus on Latin America.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 27, 2002
For Majority Rule
The lead article in New International #3 summarizes the key lessons of revolutionary working class action covering over 150 years. From the 1848 failed capitalist revolution in Germany, the Paris Commune of 1871, to and beyond the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia, the Cuban socialist revolution in 1959, along with the 1979 Grenadan and Nicaraguan revolutions which brought to power workers' and farmers' governments. The key lessons? : The necessity of the victorious oppressed classes to impose their will over the defeated oppressor classes. And in today's world, the form of the new government that arises from a victorious anti-capitalist revolution of the majority is a workers' and farmers' government which will either advance toward socialism or retreat and be overthrown back into capitalist disorder, misery and oppression of the majority. The author, Mary Alice Waters, does a magnificent job basing herself on the lessons of Marx, Engels, and Lenin and applying those principles to the class struggle since their times.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.