Racism, fascism and the left
RACE is once again at the centre of politics in Britain. New Labour's attacks on asylum seekers and the racist backlash against Muslims since 11 September have fuelled the far right, creating an atmosphere in which the Nazi BNP could gain three council seats in the north west mill town of Burnley. Hassan Mahamdallie lays bare the facts about racism in Britain, looking at the conomic and social position of blacks and Asians in Britain today. With the first ever black cabinet minister in place, can New Labour offer a bulwark against racism? If not, what strategy should the left adopt?
LE PEN'S shock first round vote in the French presidential election was instantly met by spontaneous mass anti-fascist demonstrations on the streets of France. Jim Wolfreys looks at the history of Le Pen and the Front National, and argues that it was the collapse of the social democrat Jospin's vote, rather than a shift to the right in French politics, that was the crucial element in the election. He looks at the French left -- now engaged in the most crucial debate for years -- and argues for left unity.
LENIN'S THEORY of the revolutionary party has long been one of the most debated questions on the left. Here we print three articles on Leninism based on speeches given at the Marxism 2001 conference. Slavoj Zizek, author of Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?, Daniel Bensaïd, a leading member of the Revolutionary Communist League in France, and John Rees, author of The Algebra of Revolution, put forward their views on the kind of organisation we need in the movement today.
PALESTINE has sparked a wave of demonstrations across the Middle East, throwing up the question of political leadership. Anne Alexander asks can the ideas of Arab nationalism or Islamism provide an answer, or is there now space for a new leadership to emerge?
BOOK REVIEWS include Tariq Ali's The Clash of Fundamentalisms and Paul Ginsborg's new history of contemporary Italy.