Ian Birchall

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Demonstrators holding a banner which reads ' Le Pen et Macron: le 3eme tour social c'est maintenant! - 'the social 3rd round starts now!'

Prospects for the left after the French election

The results of the first round of the French presidential election make for grim reading. Ian Birchall looks at some of the lessons of the election, and the future prospects for the left.
A portrait of Paris Communard Leo Frankel

Review | Léo Frankel, life of a Communard

Ian Birchall reviews a new French biography of Paris Commune member Léo Frankel.
Rubens: View of Het Steen in the early morning. Keywords: art Marxism Marx what is art

Cultural Marxism? A review of The Dialectics of Art

Ian Birchall reviews The Dialectics of Art, a new work by John Molyneux.

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?"...

Latest articles

Crowd with Palestinian flags

Palestine solidarity and the future of the DSA – on the Bowman crisis

Arguments over Palestine solidarity have swept through the DSA in recent months – two American socialists explain the background.
Photo from UCU strike four fights rally in Manchester, banner in front reads 'End casualisation', behind that is a Manchester Metrolopitan UCU branch banner. Photo by Ian Allinson.

Lowering expectations: misrepresentations of McAlevey

Many trade union activists have been inspired and guided by McAlevey's books on strategy. But sections of the union bureaucracy are now co-opting her terminology to justify inaction and anti-democratic methods.

Review | Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire

Caroline Elkins' compelling new book makes the barbarity of the British empire in the twentieth century absolutely clear.

Striking union organizers raided by Russian security forces

Russian security forces raided the apartments of independent trade unionists in Moscow on Monday night in a direct attack on the organising of gig economy workers, writes an anonymous rs21 member.
Picket line rally of CHEP strikers - banners for Greater Manchester Area Trade Union Council, Bolton and District Trades Union Council, and a CHEP banner reading 'CHEP UK your offer is un'pallet'able - deliver fair pay now!'

Growing strike solidarity networks in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester has been home to an unusual number of major strikes in the last couple of years. Local activists and rs21 members Ian Allinson and Derek Fraser discuss what we can learn from these and the development of solidarity networks around them.
A photo of the occupation of the British Museum by BP or not BP

Activists occupy the British Museum

This weekend, climate and anti-colonial activists occupied the British Museum in opposition to its oil sponsorships.

Highlights

Ukrainian soldiers train with javelin missile systems in Donbas. These are arms supplied to Ukraine by NATO.

On the invasion of Ukraine

A statement from the rs21 Steering Group on the inter-imperialist war currently being waged in Ukraine.
Image shows around 10-15 people at the front of a crowd raising their fists and holding up a purple cloth banner reading 'Cut Energy Bills'

Cost of living crisis – strike, mobilise, occupy!

After the first wave of protests, we must continue the fightback against the companies and institutions that have caused the crisis.

The actuality of the revolution: exploitation and oppressions

In this extract from Revolutionary Rehearsals in the Neoliberal Age, Neil Davidson suggests ways to draw struggles against oppression and exploitation together.
Image shows a red-filtered photo of a laundrette, empty except for one woman in the background.

The double shift: talking childcare and gender in the pandemic

As many nations re-enter lockdown, Kate Bradley interviews two rs21 members on their experiences with childcare, work and gender during Covid lockdowns.
Image shows the cover of ABOLITION.FEMINSM.NOW by Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, Erica R. Meiners, and Beth E. Richie, plus background images of protestors.

Reimagining the relationship between care and power

Zad El Bacha reviews Abolition. Feminism. Now. in the context of radical politics in Britain.
Photo shows burning hobs on a gas stove, as gas prices are set to rise dramatically in 2022.

The cost-of-living crisis

With high inflation and a sharp rise in energy prices on the way, Ian Allinson argues that the cost-of-living crisis will shape British politics over the coming months.