In the wake of the Civil War, a triumphant Northern railroad industry aimed to bind together the entire nation with a crosshatching of railroads linking farm, factory, and city. Railroad tycoons soon ran the halls of Congress and state legislatures seeking funding for their projects. By 1873, the stock market, oversaturated with bloated railroad stock, collapsed to throw millions of men out of work. Those who remained endured wage cuts of up to 50 percent and seasonal work, and so went on strike against this assault on their livelihoods. The protest summit was reached in 1877 with the Great Railroad Strike. To enforce robber baron will, massive military force was deployed after Thomas A. Scott, CEO of the largest corporation in the world, the Pennsylvania Railroad, rigged the 1876 presidential election so a Republican president would be the one to remove federal troops occupying the South and use them to break strikes in the rest of the country and deal with Native American unrest over being forced from their lands. This article is adapted from a chapter of the author’s forthcoming epic 78-chapter history of the U.S.
The 1917 Russian Revolution posed an incredible challenge to the Bolsheviks to reconstitute the Russian imperial state as multinational socialist republics while Western and Japanese vulture capitalists sought to crush the Soviets. While still a revolutionary force the USSR provided crucial support to China’s revolutionaries. In the new millennium, China and Russia present a united front for a multilateral world to replace the U.S. and U.K. attempt to enforce a unilateral standard based on a racist belief in their global superiority. The major reason that China and Russia can do so arises from the legacy of the Russian Revolution. For the Russians to succeed today they must engage in a principled anti-imperialist struggle to defend the world from Anglo-Saxon domination. The China–Russia alliance would then have some meaning beyond geo-strategic gains. Their alliance would be burnished through the creation of workers’ states, and would mean that the twenty-first century would have a more successful reprise than the twentieth.
Domenico Losurdo who passed away in June has written a work that presents a history of the great philosopher, historians, and practitioners of Marxist-Leninism, asserting that prominent proponents and critics of Marxism-Leninism have failed to understand the significance of historical materialism in their analyses. Class Struggle: A Political and Philosophical History represents an important summation to a lifetime of research and political work to develop a political strategy to advance the interests of the working class and oppressed peoples. Losurdo provides a history that mines the theory and practice of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Gramsci, Mao and Castro, among others, to see how they measure up to the point made in 1919 by the first successful communist revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin: “The class struggle is continuing—it has merely changed its forms.”