Duncan Hallas

Letter to Readers

(July 1975)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.80, July 1975, p.2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

THIS issue, covering July and August, had originally been planned to consist largely of reprints of articles in earlier (and now generally unobtainable) issues of International Socialism. There is a wealth of such material which certainly merits reproduction – Chris Harman’s two-part study of the Labour Party left, Tribune of the People; Volkard Mosler’s The German Trade Union Movement 1945-52, and The German Trade Union Movement 1952-65; Michael Kidron’s Marx’s Theory of Value; Nigel Harris and Malcolm Caudwell’s Revolutionary Role of the Peasants and Hans Enzensberger’s Portait of the Cuban Communist Party (not to mention a whole series of important articles by Tony Cliff and Nigel Harris on developments in China) are obvious, but by no means exhaustive, examples.

The editor was saved from the difficult task of making a suitable selection by the intensification of the class struggle and the press of useful current material which made it necessary to drop the whole idea of a reprint issue. New readers, who may wish to study at least some past articles of importance, are recommended to buy International Socialism 61, which is still available and which contains fundamental theoretical articles by Cliff and Kidron on the world outlook developed by IS over the years.

Sooner or later it will be essential to rescue from the oblivion of early (and smaller circulation) issues some of the significant contributions to marxist theory and the study of the living workers’ movement which we have been able to publish since 1960. But that time is not now. Contemporary material must take precedence; and it is becoming more and more difficult to include all that is available. For example, the articles in this issue by Sue Clegg and Jim Higgins were available for IS 79 but had to be held over. Book reviews have also had to be delayed and apologies are due to reviewers (not to mention authors and publishers).

In September, when the Journal returns to normal monthly publication, there will be articles on Then and Now (a comparitive assessment of the Rank and File Movement today and the Minority Movement on the eve of the general strike of 1926), Socialism and the State, an important restatement of the marxist position by Colin Barker, Women and the Class Struggle by Kath Ennis and Southern Africa: The Next Stage by members of the IS South Africa group. Of course all plans are provisional. Events in Portugal, Ireland – and Britain, not to mention the unforeseen, may necessitate changes. Further contributions will be announced later. Meanwhile comments, criticism and suggestions are always welcome.


Last updated on 21.1.2008