Articles posted by Radical Socialist on various issues.

The Enlightenment

I. What was the Enlightenment?

Over two centuries ago, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote an essay entitled ‘Was ist Aufklarung?’ [What is the Enlightenment?]. For Kant, the Enlightenment represented an age when human consciousness was liberated from ignorance and error, culminating in a full understanding of nature as well as the human self.

As a great turning point in the struggle for human rights, The Enlightenment turned philosophy into a vehicle for social and political reform. It was an international phenomenon with a political and ideological dynamic whose core values derived from the scientific revolution, and the liberalism of the 17th century.

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The Budget of 2009, and capitalist goals

Situating the Budget in the Wider Context of the Indian Capitalist Class and its Goals

At first glance, the one day drama enacted when the Finance Minister rises to present the budget could be dismissed as a media spectacle. But the reality is more complex. It is true that television channels, newspapers, all try and milk the maximum benefit, and therefore the incident has a carnivalesque look. A lot of politicians, so-called experts, all turn up before TV channels to produce comments. CEOs of diverse concerns provide ratings out of ten. The salaried middle class looks at the income tax level, while investors look at particular industries and tax breaks before investing. But this is a shallow way of looking at the role of the budget. We need to relate the budget to the overall dynamics of Indian capitalism, and to the general policy of the government.

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The Bankruptcy of Individual Terrorism (1909)

Leon Trotsky

For a whole month, the attention of everyone who was able to read and reflect at all, both in Russia and throughout the world, has been focused on Azef. His ‘case’ is known to one and all from the legal newspapers and from accounts of the Duma debates over the demand raised by Duma deputies for an interpellation about Azef.

Now Azef has had time to recede into the background. His name appears less and less frequently in the newspapers. However, before once and for all leaving Azef to the garbage heap of history, we think it necessary to sum up the main political lessons – not as regards the machinations of the Azef types per se, but with regard to terrorism as a whole, and to the attitude held toward it by the main political parties in the country.

Individual terror as a method for political revolution is our Russian ‘national’ contribution.

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Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism (November 1911)

Leon Trotsky



Originally published in German in Der Kampf, November 1911.
Originally transcribed for the Philisophy/History Archive, which is now the Philosophy Section of the Marxists’ Internet Archive.


Reproduced from the Marxists' Internet Archive



Our class enemies are in the habit of complaining about our terrorism. What they mean by this is rather unclear. They would like to label all the activities of the proletariat directed against the class enemy’s interests as terrorism. The strike, in their eyes, is the principal method of terrorism. The threat of a strike, the organisation of strike pickets, an economic boycott of a slave-driving boss, a moral boycott of a traitor from our own ranks—all this and much more they call terrorism. If terrorism is understood in this way as any action inspiring fear in, or doing harm to, the enemy, then of course the entire class struggle is nothing but terrorism. And the only question remaining is whether the bourgeois politicians have the right to pour out their flood of moral indignation about proletarian terrorism when their entire state apparatus with its laws, police and army is nothing but an apparatus for capitalist terror!

However, it must be said that when they reproach us with terrorism, they are trying—although not always consciously—to give the word a narrower, less indirect meaning. The damaging of machines by workers, for example, is terrorism in this strict sense of the word. The killing of an employer, a threat to set fire to a factory or a death threat to its owner, an assassination attempt, with revolver in hand, against a government minister—all these are terrorist acts in the full and authentic sense. However, anyone who has an idea of the true nature of international Social Democracy ought to know that it has always opposed this kind of terrorism and does so in the most irreconcilable way.

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The Dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist democracy


Documents of the FI : World Congress Decisions : 12th World Congress - 1985


THE CURRENT debate in the international labour movement over differing conceptions of socialist democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat is the most deep-going since the years following the Russian revolution of October 1917. It is a product of the growth of workers’ struggles in the capitalist countries since 1968 and of the anti-imperialist struggles, of the parallel crisis of capitalism and the rule of the bureaucratic castes over the bureaucratised workers states. It is likewise a product of the awareness, inside the international working class, of Stalinism and of bureaucracy in general. All these factors take the debate out of the realm of more or less academic polemics into the field of practical politics. A clear position on this question is required to advance the socialist revolution in the capitalist countries and the political revolution in the bureaucratised workers states. It is therefore necessary for the Fourth International to state its programmatic positions on this subject.

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History and the Politics of Hindutva (1993)

Soma Marik

Within a short while after the destruction of the Babri Masjid on 6th December 1992, Lal Krishna Advani boldly announced that on 6th December, a “national shame” had been abolished. The extremist fundamentalists are all agreed that by overthrowing a hundreds of years old symbol of “foreign chains”, India’s ‘Hindutva’ has today regained its lost prestige. Behind this utterance is an entire complex of claims – that in India there is an integral ‘Hindu’ race or nation, whose greatness, supremacy and novel tolerance required no proof; but whose tolerance has been abused by Muslim “rulers”, who have kept the Hindus subjugated for ages; that the chief and most offensive symbol of this Muslim domination was the destruction of the temple at Lord Rama’s birthplace and the creation of a mosque in its place. So what happened on 6th December, far from being the work of a party, was allegedly the spontaneous and united action of Hindus to take historic avenge for the accumulated insult of their ages long subjugation. So truly the struggle to liberate the Ram Janmabhoomi, is an indispensable aspect of the total struggle to unify the Hindu nation or to re-establish their national self-respect.

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The Fascist Upsurge (1993)

Kunal Chattopadhyay

The Roots of Reaction :

A full-fledged radical bourgeois democratic revolution has historically been the exception, rather than the norm. The German revolution of 1848 and its aftermath showed a different possibility, whose wider validity is shown also by the history of class struggles in India. The modern class struggle is fought out under economic conditions dominated by the worldwide system of imperialism. At the same time, the battle of classes takes place on a particular terrain – national, ethnic, cultural – where the traditions, forms of thought, organisations and political culture are generated by conflicts reaching back to the dawn of capitalist society and even beyond it.
Though the fascists, whether in Germany in the 1920s and early ‘30s,

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