Ian Birchall

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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...

Lenin: Yes! Leninism: No?

A discussion article by Ian Birchall, historian and author of Tony Cliff: a Marxist for his time It is currently a commonplace on the left and...

Latest articles

A white airplane on a sunny runway, surrounded by grass.

Socialism with a bit of greenwash can’t save the planet either

In his polemic, Mike Haynes argues that if socialists of the Global North are to address the climate crisis, they must also adjust their expectations of what a world with prosperity for all will look like.
Workers at a call centre in Poland.

Introduction: What a way to make a living

Meet our new article series, What a Way to Make a Living, which will explore the lived realities of work and exploitation under modern capitalism

Strike for the climate! 20.09.2019

The TUC has voted unanimously to support the global climate strike on 20 September. Here are some examples of what people are already planning.

Hong Kong – Protests continue after concessions

In his latest update, Colin Sparks reflects on the continuing protest movement in Hong Kong following the withdrawal of the extradition bill that initially sparked the resistance.

VIDEO: What democracy looks like

In this video report from 31 August, 2019, Tony Aldis with OpenEye Film provides a first-hand account of the anti-prorogation street movement.

Mugabe is dead: remember Chiadzwa

Robert Mugabe's rule was a disaster for Zimbabwe's poor. The massacre at Chiadzwa deserves to stand as his testament, writes Leo Zeilig.

Hong Kong: first concessions to mass pressure

Carrie Lam has made a first small concession to the Hong Kong protest movement. Colin Sparks reports that, so far, this attempt to split 'radicals' and 'moderates' has not succeeded.
An empty carriage of the Hong Kong metro, filled with a thick fog of pepper spray.

Arrests fail to slow the movement

In his latest update, Colin Sparks reports on the escalating resistance in Hong Kong in the face of unrelenting police brutality.

Double or nothing

Boris Johnson's manoeuvre to shut down parliament is a step towards establishing a right-wing populist hegemony in Britain
Prorogue the Tories!

Fight the anti-democratic Tories and their bosses’ Brexit

In the closing weeks before the latest Brexit deadline, Boris Johnson and his Tory Party have suspended parliament in an attempt to enable them to force through a rotten Tory Brexit for which they have no mandate. The rs21 Steering Group argue to build the movement to bring down the government.

Highlights

Prorogue the Tories!

Fight the anti-democratic Tories and their bosses’ Brexit

In the closing weeks before the latest Brexit deadline, Boris Johnson and his Tory Party have suspended parliament in an attempt to enable them to force through a rotten Tory Brexit for which they have no mandate. The rs21 Steering Group argue to build the movement to bring down the government.

Popular uprising and the fight for independence in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's mass movement and general strike have brought a corrupt US-backed neoliberal administration to its knees

revolutionary reflections | Theatre of the Oppressed as a political method

Sophie Coudray introduces the work of the Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal and the potential of its method for revolutionary praxis.

revolutionary reflections | Value, force, many states and other problems: part 3

In the third and final part of his essay on violence and capitalist social relations, Colin Barker insists that capitalist states cannot be theorised without recognising their multiplicity.

Between Sartre and Cliff: Ian Birchall, a heterodox Marxist’s trajectory

Selim Nadi conducts a wide-ranging interview with long-standing revolutionary socialist Ian Birchall.