This past year has definitely been one for the history books.
In 2022, we have seen three Tory Prime Ministers, the death of a Monarch, the outbreak of war between Russia and NATO-backed Ukraine, devastating floods in Pakistan, and the cost of living skyrocketing across the globe.
With this chaos as a backdrop, workers and youth across the world are beginning to wage a fierce struggle to defend their political rights and living conditions.
We have seen mass movements in Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, China, Iran, and elsewhere. Some of these movements attained insurrectionary characteristics – as was seen with the storming of the presidential palace in Sri Lanka.
We have also seen a wave of left-wing governments elected across Latin America. Just this week in Peru, the oligarchy has launched a coup against the democratically elected left-wing president Pedro Castillo, sparking a counter-offensive struggle by workers, peasants and youth.
The Marxist Student Federation, with presence in over 50 university campuses in England, Scotland and Wales, stands in solidarity with workers, peasants and youth in Peru who are fighting against the removal of President Castillo by the oligarchy. pic.twitter.com/n7HDLfcLp2
— Marxist Student (@MarxistStudent) December 12, 2022
Back here in Britain, the working class is stepping onto the scene, and flexing its muscles on the industrial front. Strike action is at the highest it has been in over 30 years – and this strike wave is set to turn into a tsunami!
Striking rail staff, postal workers, nurses and lecturers may soon be joined by junior doctors, teachers and civil servants in the new year.
Backed into a corner, the Tories are threatening to interfere with trade union rights. In response, some union leaders have threatened illegal strike action. And all of this in a country that was once one of the world’s most stable capitalist powers!
Lenin once famously remarked that there are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen.
In other words, there are long periods where events move very slowly, and all appears calm. But under the surface, contradictions are ever bubbling away. And at a certain point, the accumulated pressure and discontent boils over into open struggle.
We are living through such a period of sharp and sudden changes – of revolutions and counter-revolutions.
With each passing day, Marxist ideas are being proven to be as relevant as ever.
More and more young people are drawing revolutionary conclusions, and are seeking a solution. Only Marxism can explain the chaos around us and point the way forward.
Lenin once remarked in What Is To Be Done? that “without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement”. And this is at the heart of what we do at the Marxist Student Federation.
Aside from the countless reading groups that Marxist Societies run on Marxist classics all-year-round, we also held our first-ever residential MSF summer school in the Peak District.
Last weekend, comrades from across the Marxist Student Federation gathered for an inspiring summer school on the life and ideas of Lenin. Marxism is on the march. There has never been a better time to join the struggle for socialism.
— Marxist Student (@MarxistStudent) June 28, 2022
80 comrades from across Britain took part in high-level discussions covering the life and ideas of Lenin, including topics like the national question, and the Marxist view of the state.
We also held watch parties for the International Marxist University – a four-day online event of Marxist discussion – across the country.
But the highlight of the year for many comrades was the Revolution Festival in October, which saw 700 Marxists from across Europe gather in London for 36 talks covering different aspects of Marxist theory, the history of the class struggle, and current events.
The highlight of #RevFest2022 for me was having so many international comrades visiting London. And the quality of the sessions was so high. The Tories and the bankers are all out of ideas. But the ideas of the Marxists are clearer and more powerful than they’ve been in decades pic.twitter.com/iV5Ehjb5zk
— Ben Gliniecki (@BenGliniecki) October 25, 2022
Building the forces of Marxism
But we are not a mere discussion club. We put these ideas into practice by fighting to build the forces of Marxism.
The Marxist Student Federation now has a presence at over 50 locations across England, Wales and Scotland.
This year, we have established a new presence in Kendal, Ashington, and Hartlepool. And societies have been officially ratified in Hull and Falmouth.
We opened the year with our intervention in the national UCU strike action in February. In Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, and Birmingham, the Marxist Societies organised rallies, calling on students to support the striking staff on campus.
In Leeds, the comrades in the Leeds Marxists and the Beckett Marxists organised a 1,000-strong march and rally, involving students and trade unionists from Unison and UCU.
Great to see over 1,200 workers and students marching in Leeds to end marketisation in education. The way for the #UCUstrike is coordinated, indefinite strike action. Victory to the UCU! @SSSLeeds @leedsmarxists @BeckettMarxists https://t.co/ddiUKT4t0Z pic.twitter.com/85DRZ0sxw6
— Stan Laight (@tristanlaight) March 2, 2022
In East London, Marxist students at NewVic College organised a solidarity campaign to support striking staff at their school. And our school student comrades elsewhere will be emulating this if and when teachers’ undertake national strike action in the coming months.
In nearby Hackney, comrades attended the spontaneous demonstrations against the horrific, racist, and abusive treatment of ‘Child Q’ by Met Police officers.
One comrade, Nelson, spoke at the demonstration, linking the question of fighting racism and oppression to the need to smash the police and the capitalist system it upholds.
Socialist Appeal activist Nelson spoke at a demonstration outside of Stoke Newington Police Station, called in response the horrific treatment of #ChildQ, a black schoolgirl who was subject to a traumatic strip search by Met Police officers in her school.
(Part two below) pic.twitter.com/FrHWWMf7JI
— Socialist Appeal (@socialist_app) March 19, 2022
Over the whole of 2022, Marxist Societies have been turning outwards to the wider workers’ movement, to support striking workers on picket lines and demonstrations.
We have had union members to speak at Marxist Society meetings across the country. And in turn, Marxist students have spoken at picket lines and rallies, putting forward a Marxist programme to advance working class interests by taking the fight to the bosses and the Tories.
But the pinnacle of our work this year was definitely our participation in the international ‘#CommunismOnCampus’ campaign.
In Britain, we intervened at 56 different campuses, signing up 3750 people to Marxist Societies, and welcoming over 1000 people to our opening ‘Why we are Communists’ meetings.
This has been our biggest ever mobilisation for the freshers period ever, and the response speaks for itself. One student in London remarked that “your group seems to be the most serious about revolution.”
Join the Marxists!
2022 has been a bumper year for the Marxist Student Federation. But this is no freak occurrence. Capitalism is at a complete impasse. The working class is on the move, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The youth are being radicalised on a monumental scale.
The period we are entering will be one of deeper crises, further radicalisation, and political convulsions the world over.
The prospects for the rapid growth of a Marxist tendency across the world have never been greater. The time to get organised and trained in Marxist ideas is now!
While some on the left wallow in pessimism and confusion, we are looking to 2023 with revolutionary optimism, and an unshakable faith in the victory of our class. We know the tasks that lie ahead on the road to revolution. We call on you to join the Marxist Student Federation in this battle!