First published in International Socialism 2 : 10, Autumn 1980.
Transcribed by Christian Høgsbjerg, with thanks to the Lipman-Miliband Trust.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
It is now fairly generally accepted that the British Communist Party, notwithstanding its revolutionary origins, is a reformist organisation. Less well known is the pattern of industrial organisation that accompanied this change, particularly from the late ’20s to the 1939–45 war; and it is this that Steve Jefferys discusses in The Communist Party and the Rank and File in this issue.
It is also fairly generally accepted that the present crisis is expressed in a stagnation of the world economy. But Nigel Harris in another article in this issue, Crisis and the core of the world system, shows how this stagnation goes along with some quite dramatic changes in the way the various parts of the system fit together.
Our major article however, and probably the one which will have the most general appeal, is Ian Birchall’s examination of the history of the New Left Review. This article raises several important questions, for instance that of the role of theory in revolutionary politics, and we hope it will generate further discussion.
Some of these differences between NLR and IS have emerged already in a concrete form in contributions from NLR editorial board members Rowthorn and Blackburn to our recent debates on the Alternative Economic Strategy and Cuba. In this issue we publish a rejoinder from the SWP on Cuba and socialist revolution in the third world.<</p>
Last updated on 17.8.2013