Issue 85 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL Published Winter 1999 Copyright © International Socialism

International Socialism


LABOUR LANDSLIDES in Britain, France and Germany have already given way to a profound crisis for the victorious parties. Most dramatically, the Schröder government in Germany has gone from electoral triumph to electoral disaster within a year, losing heartlands in western Germany and being overtaken by the reformed Stalinist PDS in eastern Germany. Alex Callinicos charts the class struggles underpinning these political reverses. These signs of the unpopularity of Blairism internationally can also be read in its country of origin, as the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly demonstrated. Michael Lavalette and Gerry Mooney's analysis of the ideology of New Labour shows how deeply anti working class, pro-market sentiment has penetrated the Labour leadership.

KEN COATES has been a longtime labour movement activist, a critic of Blairism and an opponent of the recent Balkan War. In this issue we publish his critique of former peace activists who joined the pro-war lobby. John Baxter welcomes Ken Coates's defence of the anti-war movement, but dissents from the conclusion that the United Nations is a suitably neutral force which can resolve imperial conflicts.

THE MILLENNIUM seems a good moment to examine the event that defines the Christian calendar, the birth of Jesus. John Rose examines the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus in the context of social conflict in the Roman Empire. This theme is continued in Chris Harman's look at the shape of the last century and Mike Gonzalez's review of Tim Clark's book on the dominant art form of the last 100 years, Modernism.

KARL MARX's continuing popularity is confirmed by the widespread acclaim for Francis Wheen's new biography, reviewed here by Peter Morgan. Marshall Berman's Adventures in Marxism, reviewed by Anne Alexander, is also a sympathetic study of Marxism. Anna Chen looks at John Newsinger's study of George Orwell, Rob Hoveman reviews Alex Callinicos's new book on social theory, and Chris Harman joins in the debate on art between John Molyneux and Chris Nineham that has appeared in issues 79, 80, 82 and 84 of International Socialism.

Editor: John Rees. Assistant editors: Alex Callinicos, Chris Harman, John Molyneux, Lindsey German, Colin Sparks, Mike Gonzalez, Peter Morgan, Mike Haynes, Judy Cox, Megan Trudell, Mark O'Brien, Rob Hoveman and Michael Lavalette.

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