lssulogo.jpgAs school students, our future is increasingly placed at risk by economic crisis. Education cannot be where our government goes to for cutting corners; it must be a priority especially during these times.

It was with this in mind that on Wednesday 25th February, a modest yet energetic group from London School Students’ Union joined the national demonstration against tuition fees in marching through London to protest against the government’s plans to lift the cap on tuition fees (currently £3200 a year, and £3200 too much already), and to demand free education! The demonstration was supported by over 20 student unions, a variety of left and activist groups and the NUS Women’s, LGBT and Black students’ campaigns. The protest started at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) with a rally. Speakers included Baljeet Ghale, ex-president of the NUT, speaking against academy schools. The protest, of about 1000 people, linked the issue of tuition fees to the current economic crisis and chants angrily condemned the bailouts and called for workers and students to unite.

Considering that this was the first student protest since 1999 without NUS support, it seems like a promising start to what could be a powerful campaign against fees, building on the successes of the recent wave of university occupations throughout the country.

At our meeting the same evening, Manuel Reichesteder spoke on the rise of student protest movements throughout Europe over the past few months. Many countries have a great tradition of youth militancy with France, Spain, Lithuania, Norway and others having established school students’ unions, but recently we have seen these movements become far more widespread and organised. Many of these protests are in response to the ‘Bolognia Process’ being reeled out across Europe, whereby privatisation and cuts are being pushed through by many governments under the banner of standardising education across Europe.

In Germany last November 100, 000 school and university students walked out across Germany to demonstrate against the marketisation and worsening of their education system – often joined by parents and teachers. Out of the strikes earlier last year, in May and June, a nationwide students’ action alliance was formed and student committees in many cities, with the support of trade unions, some political parties and NGOs. 

In Italy there have been widespread university occupations to counter the cuts in education, in many cases supported by lecturers and local unions. School students too held mass demonstrations, with some even occupying their schools and holding outdoor meetings to plan further actions. The student movement in Italy calls itself ‘The Wave’ and is supported by many layers of society.

In France, students blockaded schools in response to Sarkozy’s reform plans full of cuts and school closures – and the government was forced to withdraw their plans due to the huge public attention that the protests achieved. School students in France also joined on the general strike in January, and have been protesting against the government’s shameful plans to cut funding from France’s prestigious teacher training course.

And in Spain, where young people are facing similar problems, the school students’ union Sindicato de Esdtudientes organised mass walkouts last October. 96% of school students and 70% of university students took park in these protests.

Students across Europe are demanding lowering class sizes, free education for all, no to private sponsoring and no to privatisation.  We stand with them in these important struggles.

Following Manuel’s leadoff we discussed how these movements have developed and organised, as well as the potential we have already seen in Britain with the university occupations for similar movements to grow. We talked about the mass school walkouts in 2003 against the war in Iraq, as well as about how LSSU should engage in political issues so as to strike a chord with school students across the country.

LSSU expects to see a dramatic rise in politicised youth in Britain, and are forming a union capable of expressing this movement and its fundamental aims for the right to education, democracy in schools and no market influence or privatisation in education.

 

  • Educate Yourself +

    Socialist Appeal are proud to publish this basic guide to help focus your studies of Marxist theory and practice. Visit the various tabs to find links to introductory articles, classic texts, and audio talks for different topics. Read More
  • The Fundamentals of Marxism +

    Marxist theory is the basis upon which our analysis, perspectives, program, and participation in the movement are based. It is our "guide to action." This why Socialist Appeal and IMT place so much emphasis on political education. To this end, we have created an extensive Education Plan to assist comrades in their political development. This is an important resource.

    However, it's length and scope may seem daunting to new comrades. With this in mind, Socialist Appeal has compiled a shorter list of classic works and other important writings we think will serve to lay a strong foundation in the ideas and…

    Read More
  • Dialectical Materialism and Science +

    Dialectical Materialism is the philosophy or methodology of Marxism. Every political movement, party, or even statement of any kind bases itself, consciously or unconsciously, on some sort of philosophy or world outlook. Marxism is concerned with effecting a radical change in society, and therefore requires an exceptionally clear, thoroughgoing, and systemic set of philosophical principles.

    The ideas of Dialectical Materialism, based on the best traditions of philosophical thought, are not a fixed dogma but a system of tools and general principles for analysing the world materialistically and scientifically.

    If we are to understand society in order to change it, this cannot be…

    Read More
  • Historical Materialism +

    Historical Materialism is the result of Dialectical Materialism applied to human society and history. It encompasses the general theory of how and why society develops in the way it does. A deeper, more concrete understanding of these principles in combination with a study of real, living history of class struggles enables us to come to a general understanding of where capitalist society is headed and what political strategy is required to successfully influence the course of events.

    The basic principles of Historical Materialism are that human society has inherent laws guiding it - its developments are by no means arbitrary or…

    Read More
  • Marxist Economics +

    Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society. Why does capitalism perpetually go into crisis? Why does mass unemployment exist? Are commodity production, the domination of the market, and rich and poor natural, immutable states of being for humanity? Or are they merely the products of this specific mode of production - capitalism? If so, is there any way capitalism can exist without these problems, or by minimising them?

    Marxist economics is a “holistic” way of analysing capitalist economy. It starts out by placing it in its real historical context (rather than dreaming up abstract idealisations…

    Read More
  • The State +

    Like money, the state is something we are all very familiar with and take for granted, but its real essence tends to elude us. The ideologists of capitalism have tried, in various ways, to justify the capitalist state as supremely rational; a neutral arbiter for society, and the embodiment of justice. For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral, nor just. It is certainly anything but rational. We must strip the vale of mysticism away and reveal the state’s real basis. To do that, we have to treat the state historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual…

    Read More
  • Russia, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalinism +

    The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in world history for Marxists. For the first time, the working class successfully took and held power. The slaves fought back and won. For these reasons, the name of Lenin and Trotsky, and the entire 1917 episode, has been deliberately dragged through the mud by the bourgeoisie ever since.

    Naturally they are aided in this task by the degeneration of the revolution and by the existence of Stalin’s monstrous dictatorship. However, Stalinism represents the opposite of Bolshevism’s real traditions, which readers can read about in this section, as well as the Marxist explanation for…

    Read More
  • Anarchism +

    Radicalised youth, seeking to understand how to change modern society, naturally tend to look to both Marxism and Anarchism in equal measure. The question as to which philosophy, or which combination of the two, has the best answers, has long been at the forefront of the minds of revolutionaries.

    Anarchism is naturally attractive to all those correctly alienated by bureaucracy in the revolutionary movement. Anarchists are certainly correct to reject Stalinism and careerism. However, it is not sufficient simply to reject these phenomena. We need to understand why bureaucracy and oppression exist and what role they play, in order to understand…

    Read More
  • Feminism +

    The discrimination and oppression of women is integral to class society, such that Engels even referred to it as the “first class oppression”. Along with the class system itself, the oppression of women often takes on the appearance of being natural, immutable and eternal, since it has been with us for so long.

    But Marxism is a historical science, concerned with understanding the fundamental changes that society goes through. It cannot be satisfied with comfortable prejudices. A study of the origins of human society, as Engels famously conducted in his book The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State,…

    Read More
  • Fascism +

    Fascism is something of a bogeyman in modern British society, and has an almost mythical character in bourgeois public opinion. But despite constant talk of it, very little is said about why it happened and how it may or may not happen again.

    Fascism is really the death agony of capitalism and the “distilled essence of imperialism”. The fascists in Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries were only able to come to power on the back of defeats of the working class. Ultimately, the madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism that had arrived by the early…

    Read More
  • The National Question +

    The question of nationalities - that is, the oppression of nations and national minorities, which has characterised capitalism from its birth till the present time - has always occupied a central position in Marxist theory. Once again, the historical materialist approach of Marxism dissolves the apparent “natural” role of the nation as a necessary expression of human society. Nations have by no means always existed, nor will they always exist in the future.

    The nation as we know it today is a product of the development of capitalism and its need to unify peoples into units of a certain size (depending…

    Read More
  • Imperialism and War +

    War is a constant feature of life under capitalism, especially in the epoch of imperialism. There has not been a single day of peace since the end of WWII, despite the appearance of WWII (and all previous wars) of being the “war to end all wars”. Capitalism is inherently unstable, competitive and violent. Moreover, there can be no final peace between the classes, since this system is based on the exploitation of the working class by the rich. 

    However, there are wars of different kinds under capitalism. The question of war is the hardest equation of all to judge, so careful…

    Read More
  • Revolutionary Strategy +

    Socialist Appeal is the British section of the International Marxist Tendency, which is active in around 40 countries. Our aim is to spread the ideas of Marxism, in an organised fashion, in the labour and youth movement. Only the British working class has the ability to change British society, because of the central role they play in production and their shared interest in establishing socialism.

    However, we must carefully study the history and traditions of the British working class in order for Marxist ideas to connect with them. There are all too many groups who simply declare themselves the vanguard of…

    Read More
  • Revolutionary History +

    The ideas of Marxism and the need for a revolutionary party are not the result simply of a single individual, but arise from the study of history - the history of class struggle. In this respect, the revolutionary party is often referred to as being the memory of the working class, and our task is to learn the lessons from history in order to prepare for the revolutionary events taking place today and in the future.

    In this section we present a series of articles and audios covering the key revolutionary struggles in history - from the early class struggles in…

    Read More
  • 1

NEWSLETTER

wellredbooksGet the Marxist classics from the Wellred online bookshop
Including: 
The Classics of Marxism
What is Marxism?

VIDEO BLOG

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MARXIST THEORY

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Duration: 00:36:44
Date: 12 Dec 2016
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Duration: 00:42:54
Date: 30 Nov 2016
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Duration: 00:50:16
Date: 25 Nov 2016
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Duration: 00:47:10
Date: 1 Nov 2016
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Duration: 00:45:46
Date: 2 Aug 2016
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Duration: 00:44:28
Date: 3 Jun 2016
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Duration: 00:01:20
Date: 11 Dec 2015
World War One: The Great Slaughter World War One: The Great Slaughter
Duration: 00:24:07
Date: 11 Nov 2015
Crime, Corruption, and Capitalism Crime, Corruption, and Capitalism
Duration: 00:01:07
Date: 11 Nov 2015
  • Educate Yourself +

    Socialist Appeal are proud to publish this basic guide to help focus your studies of Marxist theory and practice. Visit the various tabs to find links to introductory articles, classic texts, and audio talks for different topics. Read More
  • The Fundamentals of Marxism +

    Marxist theory is the basis upon which our analysis, perspectives, program, and participation in the movement are based. It is our "guide to action." This why Socialist Appeal and IMT place so much emphasis on political education. To this end, we have created an extensive Education Plan to assist comrades in their political development. This is an important resource.

    However, it's length and scope may seem daunting to new comrades. With this in mind, Socialist Appeal has compiled a shorter list of classic works and other important writings we think will serve to lay a strong foundation in the ideas and…

    Read More
  • Dialectical Materialism and Science +

    Dialectical Materialism is the philosophy or methodology of Marxism. Every political movement, party, or even statement of any kind bases itself, consciously or unconsciously, on some sort of philosophy or world outlook. Marxism is concerned with effecting a radical change in society, and therefore requires an exceptionally clear, thoroughgoing, and systemic set of philosophical principles.

    The ideas of Dialectical Materialism, based on the best traditions of philosophical thought, are not a fixed dogma but a system of tools and general principles for analysing the world materialistically and scientifically.

    If we are to understand society in order to change it, this cannot be…

    Read More
  • Historical Materialism +

    Historical Materialism is the result of Dialectical Materialism applied to human society and history. It encompasses the general theory of how and why society develops in the way it does. A deeper, more concrete understanding of these principles in combination with a study of real, living history of class struggles enables us to come to a general understanding of where capitalist society is headed and what political strategy is required to successfully influence the course of events.

    The basic principles of Historical Materialism are that human society has inherent laws guiding it - its developments are by no means arbitrary or…

    Read More
  • Marxist Economics +

    Marxist economics is the study of the laws of motion of capitalist society. Why does capitalism perpetually go into crisis? Why does mass unemployment exist? Are commodity production, the domination of the market, and rich and poor natural, immutable states of being for humanity? Or are they merely the products of this specific mode of production - capitalism? If so, is there any way capitalism can exist without these problems, or by minimising them?

    Marxist economics is a “holistic” way of analysing capitalist economy. It starts out by placing it in its real historical context (rather than dreaming up abstract idealisations…

    Read More
  • The State +

    Like money, the state is something we are all very familiar with and take for granted, but its real essence tends to elude us. The ideologists of capitalism have tried, in various ways, to justify the capitalist state as supremely rational; a neutral arbiter for society, and the embodiment of justice. For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral, nor just. It is certainly anything but rational. We must strip the vale of mysticism away and reveal the state’s real basis. To do that, we have to treat the state historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual…

    Read More
  • Russia, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalinism +

    The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in world history for Marxists. For the first time, the working class successfully took and held power. The slaves fought back and won. For these reasons, the name of Lenin and Trotsky, and the entire 1917 episode, has been deliberately dragged through the mud by the bourgeoisie ever since.

    Naturally they are aided in this task by the degeneration of the revolution and by the existence of Stalin’s monstrous dictatorship. However, Stalinism represents the opposite of Bolshevism’s real traditions, which readers can read about in this section, as well as the Marxist explanation for…

    Read More
  • Anarchism +

    Radicalised youth, seeking to understand how to change modern society, naturally tend to look to both Marxism and Anarchism in equal measure. The question as to which philosophy, or which combination of the two, has the best answers, has long been at the forefront of the minds of revolutionaries.

    Anarchism is naturally attractive to all those correctly alienated by bureaucracy in the revolutionary movement. Anarchists are certainly correct to reject Stalinism and careerism. However, it is not sufficient simply to reject these phenomena. We need to understand why bureaucracy and oppression exist and what role they play, in order to understand…

    Read More
  • Feminism +

    The discrimination and oppression of women is integral to class society, such that Engels even referred to it as the “first class oppression”. Along with the class system itself, the oppression of women often takes on the appearance of being natural, immutable and eternal, since it has been with us for so long.

    But Marxism is a historical science, concerned with understanding the fundamental changes that society goes through. It cannot be satisfied with comfortable prejudices. A study of the origins of human society, as Engels famously conducted in his book The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State,…

    Read More
  • Fascism +

    Fascism is something of a bogeyman in modern British society, and has an almost mythical character in bourgeois public opinion. But despite constant talk of it, very little is said about why it happened and how it may or may not happen again.

    Fascism is really the death agony of capitalism and the “distilled essence of imperialism”. The fascists in Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries were only able to come to power on the back of defeats of the working class. Ultimately, the madness of fascism expresses the historic crisis and dead-end of capitalism that had arrived by the early…

    Read More
  • The National Question +

    The question of nationalities - that is, the oppression of nations and national minorities, which has characterised capitalism from its birth till the present time - has always occupied a central position in Marxist theory. Once again, the historical materialist approach of Marxism dissolves the apparent “natural” role of the nation as a necessary expression of human society. Nations have by no means always existed, nor will they always exist in the future.

    The nation as we know it today is a product of the development of capitalism and its need to unify peoples into units of a certain size (depending…

    Read More
  • Imperialism and War +

    War is a constant feature of life under capitalism, especially in the epoch of imperialism. There has not been a single day of peace since the end of WWII, despite the appearance of WWII (and all previous wars) of being the “war to end all wars”. Capitalism is inherently unstable, competitive and violent. Moreover, there can be no final peace between the classes, since this system is based on the exploitation of the working class by the rich. 

    However, there are wars of different kinds under capitalism. The question of war is the hardest equation of all to judge, so careful…

    Read More
  • Revolutionary Strategy +

    Socialist Appeal is the British section of the International Marxist Tendency, which is active in around 40 countries. Our aim is to spread the ideas of Marxism, in an organised fashion, in the labour and youth movement. Only the British working class has the ability to change British society, because of the central role they play in production and their shared interest in establishing socialism.

    However, we must carefully study the history and traditions of the British working class in order for Marxist ideas to connect with them. There are all too many groups who simply declare themselves the vanguard of…

    Read More
  • Revolutionary History +

    The ideas of Marxism and the need for a revolutionary party are not the result simply of a single individual, but arise from the study of history - the history of class struggle. In this respect, the revolutionary party is often referred to as being the memory of the working class, and our task is to learn the lessons from history in order to prepare for the revolutionary events taking place today and in the future.

    In this section we present a series of articles and audios covering the key revolutionary struggles in history - from the early class struggles in…

    Read More
  • 1

NEWSLETTER

wellredbooksGet the Marxist classics from the Wellred online bookshop
Including: 
The Classics of Marxism
What is Marxism?