Marxist Left Review #24

Marxist Left Review #24

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Issue 24 — Winter 2022

Editorial: Inflation intensifies class war
Omar Hassan surveys recent shifts in the global economy and warns that workers face escalating assaults on our living standards, while the ruling class prepares for war.

Chifley: Extinguishing the light on the hill
Mick Armstrong examines the record of Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley, and demonstrates that, despite his working-class background, Chifley was no friend of the workers, either as a union official or as a politician.

Private profit vs public access: How class struggle shaped Australia’s healthcare system
Phoebe Kelloway surveys the development of the healthcare system in Australia in the post-war years. She recounts how capitalists and doctors fought against universal care, how Labor repeatedly walked away from its progressive commitments, and how nurses have struck to fight back.

Left populism versus revolutionary Marxism: Debating economic strategy in Australia
Rick Kuhn critically reviews the economic strategies promoted by the left in Australia, in particular the left nationalist ideas popular in the 1970s and ’80s. He argues that such reformist strategies offer no threat to capitalism and no way forward for the working class.

Stalinism’s failure to fight fascism
Vashti Fox explains how Stalinism enabled and at times collaborated with fascist movements and states during the 1930s and ’40s, while the Stalinised Communist Parties undermined revolutionary working-class anti-fascism – a history that has important lessons for fighting the far right today.

Draper, Lenin and the dictatorship of the proletariat
Duncan Hart examines the concept of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in its historical context, and argues that Hal Draper was wrong to argue that Lenin’s interpretation was an anti-democratic departure from that of Marx and Engels.

Review: Indigenous people vs “settler” migrants?
Jordan Humphreys reviews a book that critiques privilege theory politics and polemicises against those on the left who counterpose the rights of Indigenous people to those of migrants.

Review: Nuclear secrets and racist lies
Liz Ross reviews a book on Britain’s atomic tests at Emu Field (SA) in the 1950s, which documents the secrecy and recklessness surrounding the tests, their terrible impact on local Indigenous groups and the Australian government’s complicity.

Review: Breaking Things At Work
Alexis Vassiley reviews a book that draws on episodes of working-class resistance to situate technological change and automation in the context of class struggle and capitalist social relations.