Marxism has contributed much to the understanding of the national question: its class dynamics, its relationship to internationalism, its political importance and the importance of the slogan of self-determination. Lenin's role in this was particularly significant. But José Iriarte 'Bikila' thinks we should also take other theorists into account, like the Austro-Marxist Otto Bauer and the Irish socialist and patriot James Connolly. Above all, it is important to re-examine a number of issues in the light of contemporary experience.
IIRE Cahiers d' Étude et de Recherche
In 1991 the Italian Communist Party completed its long process of social-democratization. For many years the PCI was proud of its 'communist identity' and even of its 'diversity' in the context of the national political system and the European left. For several decades it was not only the main force of the Italian workers' movement but also the biggest Communist party in the capitalist West. But at its last congress in Rimini it abandoned its historic name and took that of the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). At the end of such an itinerary a balance sheet is necessary.
Taking into account their place in the history of the international labor movement, studying the Russian revolution and the Leninist legacy remains a necessity for those who want to keep on with the socialist struggle. We hope that we brought an element of this study in this new Cahier d’Etude et de Recherche, and we plan to dedicate some coming publications to the same question.
In La guerre civile espagnole en Catalogne et au Pays basque, Miguel Romero questions conventional history and tries to look at it from the point of view of the defeated and oppressed. This starting point makes it possible for him to show that the defeat of the revolutionaries in the republican camp (particularly in Catalonia in spring 1937) paved the way for Franco's victory. The originality of his study is the way in which it integrates the national question into its analysis of the civil war.
The current political relevance of the history of past revolutions is revealed in the ongoing polemics over the meaning of the French revolution of 1789 and the English revolution of 1640-60. The comparative study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century revolutions is also indispensable to analyzing the particularities of the various Western European states to which these revolutions gave birth. It is a necessary reference point, finally, for the study of revolutions in the Third World.
The emergence of revolutionary Christianity and liberation theology in Latin America opened a new chapter and posed exciting new questions. In Marxisme et théologie de la libération, Michael Löwy argues that these developments demand a renewal of the Marxist analysis of religion.