The Point
Last updated: 11 December 2017.

...red sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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 In The Point this month: 

This month sees the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution (not that you would know from a casual glance though the mainstream media).

After invasion by 14 armies from the West to assist 'White Russia' in a civil war that was won by the Bolsheviks but at a tremendous cost, Stalin would rise. The Soviet system became a totalitarian state that in no ways reflected either the masses desire for a better society in 1917, nor the genuine mass democratic, liberating and co-operative communist society that had been envisaged by Marx and Engels in the 19th century.

However, the revolution itself remains an inspiring and liberatory attempt to end a brutal imperialist war and throw of the shackles of both feudalism and capitalist exploitation.

It was a world shaking historical event which inspired a generation of socialist contemporaries in Scotland, Britain and across the world to fight for a better world.

Over the next month, beginning this evening, The Point online platform will be publishing a range of articles from various perspectives on the Russian Revolution: its historical aspects, its legacies, and on how we build - in the next century - a society that ends capitalist class oppression and inequality through mass democratic means, avoiding the totalitarian errors of the past.

For today, socialists, independence supporters, post-capitalists and progressive lefts everywhere should celebrate and remember the masses pushing themselves onto the stage of history in 1917, the gunshots from the Aurora and the storming of the Winter Palace, and those who fought, sacrificed, and dared to dream of a classless world, where the productive wealth of society was owned and shared and developed by all for the common weal, and where each and every human being was fully free to realise their true potential, and 'live life to the full.'

Everything you wanted to know about how to get rid of capitalism and replace it with something nicer, but were afraid to ask

"The purpose of this article is to set aside, for once, the manifold divisions of the left and instead to outline a broad appeal, a vision, a plan even, for achieving transformative social and economic change in the lifetimes of the human generations here and now and to come..."  writes Steve Arnott.   See More

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What is to be done...about Lenin?

 

Solidarity Co-Convenor Jock Penman and Fife activist John Lowrie argue it's time to reappraise the role of Lenin.   See More

 

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Is it time for revolutionaries to define the future rather than be defined by the past, asks Jade Saab

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The Art of the Russian Revolution - Agitprop

"...all embraced the workers' revolution of October as the liberator of art. And, of course, like with any struggle enormous debates took place about the nature of revolutionary art. What was the relation between art and life? Should artists set out to construct a workers' art or was there the need to create "human" art? What would be the relation between art and machine?" writes Fatima Uygun.  SEE MORE

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Women and the Russian Revolution

 "For Russian women, the 1917 Revolution saw advancements which some women in parts of the early 21st Century world are still striving to achieve..."  says Suzanne Wright   See More

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Red Star Rising: Overthrow, Art, Culture

and Betrayal in the Russian Revolution

"...at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Russia was a repressive, under-developed police state ruled by a despot who reneged on the limited political reforms of his grandfather and whose governance was a mix of arrogance, incompetence and sheer sloth. It was the epitome of imperialism"  - writes Adrian Cruden  READ MORE

                                                                        ______ 

                          Poem: For the children of 1917 and 2017

                                           (Nobody Ever Said..)

    

                                       "Ten million voices know what is wrong

                                        Ten million solutions for putting it right

                                        And a billion eyes see encroaching night

                                        Nobody ever said it would be easy…"   READ MORE

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What's in your jeans, in your genes, and in your socially constructed memes

"So gender, what is it?

Usually I say it's the social correlate of sex but some argue that it doesn't exist at all, it's a totally false ideological construct, manufactured by sociologists. There is only sex they say and some don't even acknowledge that. When they do, they say sex is chromosomes. We might enquire, has anyone ever had an intimate physical relationship with a chromosome? And the answer would certainly be no..." argues Joanne Telfer    See More

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Kissing the Machine: the robot dividend and the death of want

Adrian Cruden looks at AI, UBI, their revolutionary potential...and what happens if capitalist plutocracy is left running new technology and innovation for its own class benefit.  See More.

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FUADAICH NAN GAIDHEAL – THE EXPULSION OF THE GAEL: THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES, THEN AND NOW

"We may regard the Highland Clearances as mere History now. Yet the fundamental issues of land ownership, where just a few individuals, many of them based abroad (and including foreign corporations also) are able to affect the lives of thousands of Scottish people living on the land, have barely been addressed..."  argues Rob Dewar.     See More

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What needs to be done?  Steve Arnott puts forward some bold and hard hitting ideas to ensure a coming YES win

 “It’s time to start talking about Win Day Ref 1, rather than indyref 2; not to defocus the important questions of when, how and what critical issue(s) the indyref should be fought on, but to ensure that the most intense and calibrated focus of our movement, of every YESSER, of all pro-indy parties and none, is on understanding that when we do go to the polls again, this time Yes MUST win…”       SEE MORE

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Grenfell is a monument to Tory Britain

"What will future historians say about a culture in which there is more than enough money to pay for nuclear weapons, to finance the bombing of other countries, to fund tax cuts for the rich, but not enough to provide decent housing for people whose only crime is that they happen to be poor and on low incomes?" asks John Wight    See More

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The Ghost of Michael Foot

 

“Yes, this is an 'I told you so' from 34 years ago. Some readers may not remember that far back, but don't worry, I'll explain. A long time ago, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, there was a time before neoliberalism…” writes Derek Stewart Macpherson.     See More

 

External links:

Bella Caledonia

Bright Green

George Monbiot

Green Left

Greenpeace

The Jimmy Reid Foundation

Laurie Penny

New Left Project

Newsnet Scotland

Richard Dawkins

Scottish Left Review

Socialist Unity

UK Uncut

Viridis Lumen

Wings Over Scotland

Word Power Books