Spectre of Communism

Art, culture and the Russian Revolution

Communism is often presented by its enemies as being at best uninterested in art and culture, and at worst openly hostile to anything but the crudest propaganda. This is completely at odds with the approach of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and genuine communists today. The Russian Revolution ushered in an explosion of artistic creativity, which for the first time was unshackled from the constraints of class society. This is the legacy that communists must defend. Watch the video episode on YouTube:

To discuss the important place of art and culture in the Russian Revolution, this week’s episode welcomes Nelson Wan, a leading member of the International Marxist Tendency in Britain. Nelson explains the communist approach to art and culture, and describes some of the immense achievements in this field made by figures such as Sergei Eisenstein, Konstantin Stanislavski and El Lissitzky.

This episode is the most recent part of a series of podcasts celebrating the life and ideas of Lenin, 100 years after his death in 1924. For a complete defence of the incredible achievements of history’s greatest revolutionary, we recommend In Defence of Lenin by Alan Woods and Rob Sewell, now available from Wellred Books.

Manifesto of the RCI:

Register to attend the RCI conference:





Spectre of Communism

Would communists ban religion?

Communists are often slandered by our enemies as wanting to violently suppress and ‘ban’ religion. While Marxism is a materialist philosophy, and therefore uncompromisingly atheist, the policy of Marxists towards religion bears absolutely no resemblance to this crude caricature.

As Marx explained, the oppressed and exploited masses turn to religion not for abstract reasons, but as a protest against the real suffering they endure in the land of the living. In a world that offers no hope, the promise of paradise is a balm to the otherwise unconsoled. 

For this reason, religion is a powerful tool in the hands of the ruling class, who use the religious establishment as an ideological and spiritual lever over the workers and poor.

Communists do not conceal their views, but neither do we seek to drive a wedge between ourselves and the masses by denouncing or belittling their religious faith. Instead, we strive to build a society that can give people the paradise on earth, that they are currently only offered after death.

This week’s episode of Spectre of Communism podcast welcomes Jack Halinski-Fitzpatrick to explain how communists should approach religion.

Spectre of Communism

Manifesto of the Revolutionary Communist International

Yesterday, the International Marxist Tendency proudly published the Manifesto of the Revolutionary Communist International: a call to arms for all communists who want to put an end to the rotten capitalist system once and for all. If you agree with our analysis, register now for the founding conference of the RCI in June, and help us build an organisation in the traditions of Leninism and Bolshevism. This episode of Spectre of Communism podcast welcomes Alan Woods, who was instrumental in drafting the document, to introduce the Manifesto.

The RCI aims to unite communist workers and youth in all countries under a clean banner in the tradition of Lenin and Trotsky. As capitalism continues to die on its feet, more and more people are realising that the only solution is to do away with it in its entirety, so that the working class can finally liberate itself from the endless horrors of the world today.

The Manifesto of the RCI is a weapon in the arsenal of communists everywhere. Currently, the text is available in 15 languages, with more soon to be announced. We encourage listeners and readers to circulate the text as widely as possible, so that all who want to fight to end capitalism may join us in this task.

Read the Manifesto of the RCI here, and register now for the founding conference of the RCI in June. When sharing on social media, please use the hashtags #Communism and #SchoolOfCommunism

Spectre of Communism

Honour Aaron Bushnell: fight for revolution!

On 25 February, 25-year-old US airforce serviceman, Aaron Bushnell, took his own life by self-immolation outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, in protest at US imperialism’s support for the crimes being carried out by the IDF. His last words, livestreamed to the world, were: “Free Palestine!” Just days later, IDF soldiers murdered over 100 civilians at an aid convoy in Gaza, embodying the horror and injustice that inspired Bushnell’s act.

Bushnell’s ‘extreme protest’ sent shockwaves around the world, eliciting much sympathy from workers and youth feeling angry and powerless about the plight of the Palestinians, and indignant at the complicity of their imperialist governments in the slaughter.

This week’s episode of the Spectre of Communism podcast welcomes Fred Weston, a leading member of the International Marxist Tendency, for an update on Israel’s war on the Palestinians. Fred discusses the threatened all-out attack on Rafah, the prospect of a wider war or revolutionary explosion in the Middle East, as well as the powerful and tragic sacrifice of Bushnell, explaining its profound effect. An explosive mood is building everywhere and communists must understand and respond to these developments.

For more by Fred on the situation in Palestine, we recommend his recent article on Israel’s strangulation of the Palestinian economy and the situation in Rafah

Further reading on Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation and the mood of anger and frustration it expresses can be found here.

Finally, you can read about the legal persecution of our Austrian comrades for their revolutionary stance on the situation in Palestine and the region here.