Ian Birchall

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Review: Anti-Nazi Germans

As Boris Johnson and others attempt to invoke the ‘spirit of the Blitz’ in response to COVID-19, Ian Birchall celebrates a recent publication that disrupts the national myths of WWII.

Obituary: Colin Barker

Ian Birchall remembers the life of revolutionary socialist Colin Barker.

Socialism in One Factory?

Ian Birchall reviews Opening the Gates: The Lip Affair, 1968-1981

The total Marx and the total theory of literature

A lost gem of Marxist aesthetic theory, out of print for over forty years.

There’s nothing so weird as a revolution

Ian Birchall reviews China Miéville's October, a new history of the Russian Revolution. It seems an odd pairing: the Russian Revolution and China Miéville, whose...

Peter Sedgwick and the British Left

Peter Sedgwick (1934-83) was a lifelong socialist activist and writer. Apart from his work to bring Victor Serge to the English speaking world, and his critical writings...

The story of a Bolshevik worker-intellectual: a review of Barbara Allen’s...

Ian Birchall reviews Barbara C Allen's Alexander Shlyapnikov 1885-1937: Life of an Old Bolshevik, published by Haymarket Books. "Young Alexander conquered India. He alone?"...

The Somme: Remember…and explain

Ian Birchall reviews Neil Faulkner's new pamphlet, Have You Forgotten Yet? The Truth about the Somme I happened to be on Waterloo Station on 1st July. When...

Bel Druce 1940-2015

We republish Ian Birchall's obituary for his very close friend, and rs21 member Bel Druce, who died at the end of August. It was...

Alfred Rosmer: A lifelong revolutionary

In the first of a series exploring the lives of some of history's understated revolutionaries, Ian Birchall introduces French syndicalist and communist Alfred Rosmer The...

Latest articles

Protestors wave flags at a socially distanced May Day protest in Athens

Zero covid is possible

Through serious nationwide action that puts public health above profits, the infection rate can be brought down to zero. So why is demand for a Zero Covid strategy so low?
A squad of riot police march past the National Gallery in London.

What does abolition mean in modern Britain?

The Black Lives Matter movement has sown seeds of hope worldwide for the abolition of police. But policing in the UK goes far beyond the bodies of armed men in uniform.
An empty classroom. Keywords: school schools reopening Covid NEU safety safe

To beat Covid, we have to fight for safe schools

While politicians squabble over degrees of lockdown, Covid is spreading in educational settings. Education workers must force the politicians to make their schools safe.
Evo Morales in 2008. Keywords: Bolivia elections election coup coup d'etat US right wing

Bolivia after Evo

Mike Gonzalez analyses the presidency of Evo Morales, who became President of Bolivia in 2005 at the head of a powerful mass movement, and was ultimately ousted in a right-wing coup last year.

Neoliberal ‘Omnibus Law’ sparks rebellion in Indonesia

Indonesia's neoliberal regime is using the pandemic to attack workers' rights and environmental protections. Workers and students have other ideas.

Break the border

Socialists are fighting against borders around the world. East London rs21 recently held a meeting to discuss strategy for this struggle in the here and now. Watch recordings of the opening speeches here. 

Highlights

Fortress Europe after Moria

After Moria burned to the ground, a new camp was quickly built to replace it. We interviewed Chloe Haralambous and Michalis Poulimas about events on the ground and what they mean for the EU border regime.
Wildfires in California in 2015

Global fever

The Covid-19 pandemic is a foretaste of the approaching climate catastrophe. Andreas Malm's electrifying new book looks at both these crises and asks what we'll need to do to face them down.
Protests in Minsk

Interview: Organised and disorganised labour in the Belarus uprising

Siarhei Biareishyk speaks to rs21 about the uprising in Belarus following the falsified re-election of Aliaksandr Lukashenka on 9 August 2020.
Beirut port destroyed

Interview: Beirut blast exposed a global system

Rima Majed spoke to rs21 about the blast that devastated Beirut in the context of an existing political and economic crisis.

Review: Fortunes of Feminism

Leslie Cunningham reviews Fortunes of Feminism by Nancy Fraser, a critical account of changes in feminist thought in the era of neo-liberalism.
Westferry printworks

Johnson’s bonanza for private capital

The Tories are increasing spending, but the money is going to the rich. Adam Blanden argues that this represents the acceleration of Britain’s transformation into a ‘speculator state’.