History and Traditions

  • How race is conjured

    The authors of the book Racecraft explain how the fiction of race obscures the real source of racism and inequality today.

  • Tall tales about Waterloo

    The British media is celebrating the defeat of France's Napoleon in a battle 200 years ago, but the real story is different.

  • Reflecting on the Juneteenth anniversary

    Three Socialist Worker contributors comment on the Black freedom struggle 150 years after the date that historically marks the end of slavery.

  • What is the Leninist approach?

    The Russian revolutionary Lenin made some of his greatest contributions on the question of how to get from "here" to "there."

  • Thenceforward and forever free

    Despite its avoidance of questions about justice, the Emancipation Proclamation was a challenge to the American political order.

  • An introduction to Lenin and Leninism

    Controversies may still rage about him, but revolutionary activists throughout the world continue to learn from what Lenin said and wrote and did.

  • We always had solidarity

    The Black Panther Party's former minister of culture describes how the Black Power struggle inspired others to organize.

  • What makes a revolution?

    Revolution is neither an act of will nor inevitable--it is the result of the interplay of material conditions and the actions of social groups and classes.

  • Reconstruction after the war

    The formal emancipation of slaves after the Civil War constituted a significant but incomplete advance for the working class.

  • The Civil War becomes a revolutionary war

    For the North to defeat the Southern Confederacy, the Union Army had to be transformed into an army of liberation.

  • To save the Union or to free the slaves?

    A war against slaveholders had to be transformed into a war against slavery for the North to win the Civil War.

  • Breaking the spell of race

    The paperback publication of Karen Fields and Barbara Fields' book Racecraft provides an essential resource for a new generation of activists.

  • The road to the Civil War

    The North and South were on a collision course, but the shape and timing of the conflict depended on political questions.

  • Can the working class still change the world?

    Neoliberalism has restructured the working class, but it hasn't eliminated the potential of workers to pose a revolutionary alternative to capitalism.

  • The resistance to history's enormous crime

    The history of slavery is also a history of resistance and of the revolutionary overthrow of an entrenched system.

  • Slavery and the roots of racism

    The American Civil War ended 150 years ago, and with it, the system of slavery that built the U.S.--and world capitalism.

  • Strange convergence

    Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg would both have been 100 years old this year, and their lives were intertwined in so many ways.

  • The youth challenge to war

    An international meeting of youth delegates 100 years ago adopted a ringing manifesto against the First World War.

  • Capitalism, racism and the 1 Percent

    Racism has deep roots intertwined with capitalism itself--but its grip can be broken, particularly at times of heightened class struggle.

  • Socialist women unite against war

    One hundred years ago, women revolutionaries adopted the first international socialist appeal against the First World War.

  • A new world in the making

    There is a reason why Malcolm X's words and actions continue to resonate with radicals half a century after his death.

  • The oppressed majority

    Many associate the term oppression with discrimination against specific groups, but there is also an oppression suffered by the whole working class.

  • A worldwide rebellion of the oppressed

    In his last year, Malcolm X became a revolutionary internationalist who was developing ties to the socialist left.

  • Kind of a different state?

    The discussion about what the SYRIZA led-government in Greece can accomplish raises important questions about the state.

  • Emerging as a revolutionary

    When Malcolm X was forced out of the Nation of Islam, he moved sharply to the left, embracing revolutionary politics.