We mourn the loss of our friend and comrade Arend van de Poel. Arend (1948) passed away on January 4, 2023. He first became politically active in 1966 when he joined protests against the US war in Vietnam. He joined the independent Socialist Youth and some years later was a founding member of the Internationale Kommunisten Bond, the Dutch section of the Fourth International. A comrade remembers Arend in those days; ‘Arend was active in the Amsterdam branch and in the daily leadership. The speed at which he cycled around Amsterdam was legendary.
Marx and Engels have often been accused of advocating double standards, and having a double morality.1 Supposedly, they opposed applying the same ethical principles that usually regulate relations between individuals to the class struggle. Hence the accusation that they and their disciples (Lenin and Trotsky, among others) put forward the principle that in the class struggle ‘the end justifies the means’.
As the USSR disintegrated in 1990 and 1991, the Socialist Workers Party and the Fourth International took different views of the impending privatizations. Marxists Against Stalinism brings together powerful contributions from Ernest Mandel and Chris Harman in the long-running debate on the class nature of the USSR. Chris Harman argued that Soviet Union and the other “socialist” countries were bureaucratic state-capitalisms.
In his book, Huber analyses the struggle against the deepening of the climate crisis as a form of class struggle. In Climate Change as Class War, Huber shows how the ecological crisis must be understood as a consequence of an economic system based on exploitation. The climate struggle, Huber argues, is not a cultural battle against those who produce the most emissions - whether rich individuals or rich countries - but a class struggle against those responsible for the production of fossil fuels. This carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted.
This article article originally appeared in the January 1964 issue of Nuestra Industria, the journal of the Cuban Ministry of Industry, headed by Che Guevara. Ernest Mandel and Charles Bettelheim had been requested by the Cuban government to give their ideas on socialist construction in what became known as "the Great Debate''. This translation was originally published in: Bertram Silverman (ed.) Man and Socialism in Cuba. The Great Debate (1971).
Economic Categories and Historical Reality
Naturally one cannot reduce the political struggles that characterized the three successive phases of the bourgeois, national-democratic revolutions in the Southern Netherlands (those of the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries) to purely or essentially religious and constitutional conflicts.i One must lay bare the socio-economic motivations and components of these struggles. This may sound banal. For some contemporary historians, however, it is far from self-evident.