The launch of this site, at a time of bloody imperialist war and occupation in the Middle East and world economic crisis, could hardly be timelier. Furthermore, the new site, celebrating and developing the ideas and legacies of great Marxists, falls in the year marking the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, one of the greatest thinkers in history.
A Marxist resource of the CWI
We aim to develop the site into a major Marxist resource and library. It will provide readers with classic works of the giants of the workers’ movement, including Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, VI Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and James Connolly, combined with the rich contribution of the CWI towards the development of Marxist ideas over many decades.
Under the marxist.net title, readers will find many articles and pamphlets from the historic workers’ movement and also from the various papers, journals, websites, leaflets and other publications of the CWI sections, of which there are over 35 across the world.
The ‘Scottish debate’
One of the first major parts of the marxist.net site is the publication of the documents from an important debate that was held inside the CWI from 1998-2001 - what became known as the ‘Scottish debate’. This makes available for the first time to a wider public in electronic form the written debates surround the role of the revolutionary party and its ideas, programme and tactics today.
This long debate arose over the question of what tactics CWI members should follow in Scotland in the late 1990s. It reflected the pressures on all revolutionary socialists in the 1990s to adapt to reformist ideas and opportunist methods.
After a full and democratic debate the vast majority of the ranks of the CWI internationally agreed with the arguments put forward by the international leadership of the CWI and a section of the Scottish CWI membership – to defend the idea of the revolutionary party, programme and tactics. A group in Scotland disagreed and left the CWI, becoming the International Socialist Movement (Incidentally this group has chosen only to make available on their website the documents they produced during the Scottish debate).
Those CWI members in Scotland who agreed with the majority internationally established themselves as the International Socialists. They are now an important Marxist platform inside the Scottish Socialist Party and also a campaigning organisation in the unions, in the communities and amongst youth.
The Scottish debate produced several important written documents that reaffirmed Marxist organisation and methods in the modern period. We believe these documents online will provide readers with an excellent guide to the relevance of Marxism today.