One hundred years on from the Russian Revolution we look back at the events that turned the world upside down and how they resonate today.
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International Women's Day, Petrograd, 1917.
In the year of the pussy, and also coincidentally the centennial of the Russian Revolution, perhaps it was inevitable that someone would characterize the revolution as primarily about pussies. In the New York Times, Professor Yuri Slezkine recently wrote — in one of the few articles that esteemed publication has featured about the Russian Revolution — that: “Most of the revolutionary leaders were young men who identified the revolution with womanhood.” But really, according to Professor Slezkine, it’s all about male revolutionaries’ lust for and hot sex with female revolutionaries. Male is the norm. Men are the actors; women the acted upon.
To accept this characterization is to ignore the ways in which the revolution was about not some imaginary ideal of womanhood, but about many real women demanding their rights and in the process changing history.
Women in more than 50 countries will go on strike from paid and unpaid labour today while millions more will be taking part in direct action on what is set to be one of the most political International Women’s Days in history.
In this article, published in 1920 in Pravda, Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai describes the origins of the day when "the organised demonstrate against their lack of rights."
>> see also: all our International Women's Day reading, 40% off until March 9th
Women’s Day or Working Women’s Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.
This piece by Kim Moody was first published in the September/October 2012 issue of Against the Current.
Strikers surround a mail truck, Oakland General Strike, 1946.
Inspired by the boldness of the movement, activists of Occupy Oakland issued a “call for a general strike” in that city for November 2 — a sign of the movement’s radicalism and its sense of where social power lies.
One criticism of the Occupy activists was that they had not consulted the unions. Had they done so, however, it is very unlikely that very many union leaders would have agreed to jointly “call” such an action. But what’s more important, as I will argue, is that general strikes or mass strikes are seldom simply “called” from above, if at all, or until they are well underway — and those that are “called” tend to be called off just as easily.
January 15 marks the 98th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's murder by the Freikorps, acting on orders by the German government led by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
June 1919 funeral procession for Rosa Luxemburg.
In memory of Luxemburg and her tremendous contribution to international socialism, we present below an excerpt from The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg.
These two letters are the first in the collection to have been written after the August, 4 1914 vote by the SPD's parliamentary group to approve war credits. The first is addressed to Paul Levi, Luxemburg's lawyer during the war and a leader of the KPD beginning in 1918. The second is to Karl Moor, a Swiss Social Democrat and wealthy fundraiser for the Bolsheviks, who by by the time of Luxemburg's murder had become a German military spy.