LABOUR'S LANDSLIDE election victory was a product of a previous leftward shift in working class consciousness dating from at least the anti poll tax rebellion. Labour's leaders and many on the left were surprised by the class vote for Labour precisely because this ideological watershed went unnoticed. The effect of Labour's victory has been to deepen the mood of resistance in the working class and to open new possibilities for socialist organisation. In an extended editorial, John Rees examines the economic prospects the new government faces, the faultlines in its policy, and maps out the socialist project in the coming period.
THE EUROPEAN question now haunts Labour in spite of the relief with which many European leaders greeted the departure of the Tories. But what are the forces driving for European unity and what are the obstacles in its path? Why are Britain's political and economic leaders so divided over the issue? Alex Callinicos addresses these questions and explains how socialists should react to moves for European unity.
MEXICO IS often cited as a successful economy that proves the free-marketeers' case. Lance Selfa thinks otherwise. His careful analysis of the crisis in the Mexican economy and the political upheavals that it has provoked shows that the very forces which Mexico's rulers thought they had consigned to the early history of their republic peasant rebellion and working class unrest will reappear to threaten them once again.
SHELLEY'S POETRY is a source of debate for William Keach as he takes issue with some of the ideas elaborated in Paul Foot's famous account, Red Shelley. Judy Cox debates the claim of a new book, The State of Humanity, that capitalism has provided consistently improving conditions of life for the majority of people.
VALENTIN VOLOSHINOV, the brilliant Marxist and psychologist who worked in Russia in the years after the 1917 revolution, comes to life in John Parrington's account, the second in our new In perspective series.