A History of the Third International
Published by Haymarket Books
2008, 196pp, ISBN 9781931859523, paperback
“In 1919 the Comintern stood unequivocally for workers’ revolution and workers’ power based on a system of workers’ councils…. All this was explicitly abandoned with the 1935 Congress and was never revived…
“The wheel had come full circle. The Comintern had come to reject all that it had set out to fight for. This was not a matter of merely tactical changes to adjust to changing circumstances – although, of course, this argument was constantly used to justify each new betrayal. Internationalism, workers’ power, anti-imperialism; these are not tactics but principles, necessary conditions for the successful struggle for socialism…”
--From the conclusion
This history of the Communist (Third) International, from its beginnings in 1919 as the center of world revolution through its degeneration at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy, draws lessons valid today to the work of building bridges to unite and rebuild a Left capable of fighting for radical social change.
About the author
Duncan Hallas was born in Manchester, and joined the Trotskyist Workers International League during World War Two. Over the course of his career, he was consistently active in his teachers’ union and elsewhere. During the great upheaval of 1968 he rejoined the International Socialists. From that time on he was a leading member of the organization, a great popularizer of Marxism and an inspired speaker, until ill health forced him out of active politics in 1995. Hallas’s many essays and books include Trotsky’s Marxism, published by Haymarket Books in 2005.
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