Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The November 30 Battle Map

All Out for N30!
PS. For those of the 3 million plus workers set to strike next week who have never been on strike before, this little guide by Paul McGarr may be of interest...


Lenin T-shirt

"For those who desire not simply an aimless skipping from instance to instance, an integral central movement will take us forward towards a great goal" - Lenin, as quoted on the Philosophy Football T-shirt

Soon after Lenin's death in early 1924, his widow Nadezhda Krupskaya wrote an open letter to the Russian people, published in the party daily Pravda:

I have a great request of you. Do not permit your grief for Ilyich [Lenin] to take the form of external reverence for his person. Do not raise memorials to him, palaces named after him, splenderous festivals in commemoration of him. To all this he attached so little importance in his life, all this was so burdensome to him.

It is not then exactly clear what Lenin himself would have made of the fact that the people at Philosophy Football have designed a T-shirt in his honour. Still, it is to be commended that they have finally got around to paying their respects to the person Georg Lukacs once rightly described as merely 'the greatest thinker to have been produced by the revolutionary working-class movement since Marx', and that they have done so with a quote which suggests at least something of Lenin's commitment to independent working class politics and ideas about the strategy and tactics necessary for socialist revolution...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

MENA Network Solidarity Conference 2011

Building solidarity with the workers’ movement in the Middle East:
A conference for trade union members and activists

Sunday 20 Nov 2011
11am–3pm Room G2, main campus, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Strikes and protests by organised workers played a key role in the overthrow of the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators earlier this year. Since then we’ve seen the newly-formed independent unions in Egypt organising strikes on a massive scale to realise the revolution’s promise of social justice.

Even Kuwait, with little tradition of workers’ organisation, has been rocked by public sector strikes. From Morocco to Iraq, few countries in the region have been immune from the resurgent workers’ movement.

Yet there have also been setbacks: trade unionists in Bahrain have faced persecution following the crackdown on protest there, while in Egypt workers have been dragged before military courts and strikes are still illegal.

This conference will bring together activists from across the trade union movement to debate how we can build solidarity with those in the Middle East who are fighting for social justice, workers’ rights and genuine democracy.

Conference sessions include:

Workers and the Arab revolutions
Building the independent unions in Egypt
Bahraini trade unionists’ fight for justice
The Tunisian workers’ movement after the revolution
Speakers include:

Mohamed Shafiq, President of the Manshiyet al-Bakri Hospital Union in Cairo and a leading healthworker activist from Egypt
Unjum Mirza, Political Officer, RMT London Transport Region
Dina Makram-Ebeid, Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debt
Anne Alexander, MENA Solidarity Network
Bahraini Activists
Plus speakers from NUT teachers union, PCS civil service workers union, and UCU lecturers unions.

Tickets £5 waged/£3 (cons)

To register please complete the conference booking form and send to: menasolidarity@gmail.com

Click here for a link to our latest campaign.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Two events on the road to November 30

Apologies again for neglecting this blog - just to say that readers of Histomat might be interested in two conferences in London in the run up to the November 30 strike - firstly Historical Materialism from 10-13 November - which features speakers from across the world including David Harvey - and secondly the Unite the Resistance National Convention on 19 November which has among its speakers Nikos Fotopoulos (General Secretary of Greek electricians union).