The history of class societies is awash with revolutionary uprisings, but no class system has seen more revolutionary ferment than capitalism. Throughout its 250-year history, not a decade has gone by without revolutionary struggle breaking out somewhere, and periodically there are waves of revolution that sweep across several countries. The most recent was the Arab Spring in 2011, in which revolutions erupted one after another across the Middle East and North Africa.
One hundred years ago, in October 1922, Benito Mussolini’s paramilitary blackshirts marched on the Italian capital to demand the dissolution of the government of Prime Minister Luigi Facta. The March on Rome is the foundational myth of fascist power. Through this daring act, so the story goes, the strongman Mussolini installed himself as head of the Italian government.
In the November Victorian state election, the Victorian Socialists have set their sights on propelling one, if not two, of their candidates into the upper house. If successful, they’d be the first non-Labor socialists elected to an Australian parliament in more than 70 years.
The majority of the world’s population live in so-called developing states, in a condition of shameful economic degradation and inequality.
Minoo Jalali was among those who resisted Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran. In the early months of 1979, she joined a mass women’s protest against the compulsory wearing of the hijab in public. “That revolution was inevitable”, Jalali recounted 40 years later in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Nobody could have really stopped the force of it. We hoped that we could steer it [but] we were wrong. And the clergy hijacked it ... and deceived many people.”
The international working-class movement has long been divided between two strategies to win socialism: the reformist and the revolutionary.