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

We have to overthrow the system that is eating the planet

Mark Winter was present at the climate change protests in London on 19 April and reports on the sentiments and strategies of Extinction Rebellion (XR) as the group seeks to keep concerns about climate change at the forefront of public discourse.

NEU battles ahead – report from NEU conference

The first NEU conference set an ambitious course for boycotts and strikes over primary school testing, funding and pay, report rs21 delegates.

revolutionary reflections | Popular struggle in Indonesia: the spirit of Bandung

Following the recent Indonesian elections, in which the incumbent Jokowi defeated a descendent of the dictator Suharto, Frans Ari Prasetyo discusses the contradictions of the Jokowi government’s dependence on the World Bank and local capitalists.

Sudan’s revolutionary crisis

The revolution in Sudan gathers pace. Magdi el Gizouli analyses the contradictions at heart of the revolutionary crisis and what institutions and the social forces that will be necessary to resolve them.

The climate rebellion continues

Extinction Rebellion activists have held Waterloo Bridge in Central London for a second day (on Tuesday 16 April), as part of an international wave of protests calling for action on climate change. 

Hope and tragedy in April 1919

The Limerick Soviet (13 - 27 April 1919) was one manifestation of a wave of revolutionary crises that confronted British imperialism in the aftermath of WWI.

Review: Green Growth

Stephen Graham reviews Green growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives

To the climate strikers: thank you for teaching us a lesson

A message of thanks to the youth strikers taking to the streets to demand action on climate change around the world again today.

Join the climate strikes tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday 12 April), there will be another wave of youth strikes for climate across the UK and the world.

Repression of migrants in Greece

Greek police have violently repressed hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the border into North Macedonia.

Highlights

revolutionary reflections | ‘Green capitalism’: a critical review (Part I)

Today, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world have been taking part in climate strikes. Stephen Graham dissects the discourses of sustainability, Green capitalism and the Green economy.

The Communist Women’s Movement

As we mark International Women's Day (8 March), Estelle Cooch talks Darya Dyakonova and Mike Taber about the history of the Communist Women's Movement (1920-22).

revolutionary reflections | Notes on Capital and the State: part 3

In the concluding part of our serialisation of his 1978 essay on the state in capitalist society, Colin Barker considers the theory of the Permanent Arms Economy.

LGBT History in 21 pieces of music

For LGBT History Month, Colin Wilson presents a history of queer music in 21 tracks.

Yellow vests: Macron’s fuel tax was no solution to climate chaos

Why Macron's 'eco-tax' on fuel was never a fair or effective way to tackle climate change