From International Socialism 2:83, Summer 1999.
Copyright © International Socialism.
Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
REVOLUTION, like war, was supposedly banished from the world scene a decade ago. In fact, social inequality and class conflict have become more marked in the last decade. But the major revolutionary challenges to the existing order in the last ten years – the revolutionary transformations in East Europe and South Africa and the still continuing Indonesian Revolution have so far resulted in the achievement of parliamentary regimes underpinned by capitalist economic structures. In The socialist revolution and the democratic revolution John Rees looks back at the original democratic transformations, the classical bourgeois revolutions in England, America and France, and compares them with the upheavals of the last ten years. The comparison reveals that today more discriminating approaches are necessary in the field of strategy and organisation if workers’ power is to be the outcome of contemporary revolutions.
THE WAR in the Balkans marks the most serious conflict in post-war European history. During the Cold War, military conflict was largely pushed to the margins of the system by the balance of power between the US and its Russian counterpart. But since the collapse of the Stalinist regimes a decade ago, NATO has expanded eastwards, creating a zone of instability from the Baltic states in the north, through East European and Balkan countries, to the Caspian and Black Sea states newly independent of Russia. Mike Haynes’ Theses on the Balkan War looks at the imperial interests at the heart of the new Balkan War and at the role of imperialism in past Balkan conflicts. He examines the forces within the Balkans which could begin to drive the curse of the major powers from the region and outlines the responsibilities of the left in the imperial centres.
ANGUS CALDER’s timely review of The New Oxford History of the British Empire reminds us that the Balkan War, and excuses given for it, have a long and inglorious history behind them. And Jim Wolfreys’ review of Donny Gluckstein’s account of the rise of the Nazis reminds us that there are no easy comparisons with modern authoritarian heads of state. The ever popular socialist film maker Ken Loach is the subject of our final book review, in which John Newsinger looks at some new appraisals of Loach’s life and work.
Last updated on 4.5.2012