Celebrating a decade of books published by Counterfire
This month we are celebrating 10 years of Counterfire books. The aim of the Counterfire books series has been to transmit the most important socialist ideas and commentary in an accessible and affordable way.
We started in August 2010 with our first titles, Strategy and Tactics by John Rees and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: The Ideas of Georg Lukacs by Chris Nineham. Since then, we’ve covered Marx, Keynesianism, the Corbyn project, the climate crisis, the Russian Revolution, to name but a few, and we have further exciting titles in the pipeline.
Strategy and Tactics: How the Left Can Organise to Transform Society
Drawing on the experience of recent mass movements and past revolutions, this booklet suggests ways in which the left can maximise the effectiveness of all those who want to transform society. It looks at what has worked in the past and what has gone wrong. It concludes with a call to all those who want to change the world to come together in a form of organisation that can shape the outcome of the battles that lie ahead.
Capitalism and Class Consciousness: The Ideas of Georg Lukacs
Georg Lukacs was the great theorist of revolution in the 21st century. In the process of explaining the principles of the Russian revolution he provided answers to some vital questions: How do capitalist ideas maintain a hold on our consciousness? In what circumstances do people become radicalised? And how can socialists build genuinely mass revolutionary movements? Lukacs' revolutionary ideas of the 1920s were suppressed by Stalin and have been marginalised by academics and even many on the left. They have lived a kind of underground existence re-emerging whenever fundamental change is being discussed. The book introduces his ideas and argues they are vital to our world of crisis and war.
The ABC of Socialism
Millions of people want a better society - but how would it work and how can we get it? This book explains what socialism would be like and where socialists stand on trade unions, racism and fascism, women's and gay liberation, the state, internationalism and much more. It reveals a genuine socialism, fiercely opposed not only to the Tories' market madness but also to the neoliberal policies of the modern Labour party. A socialism from below, built by and for working people.
Marx for Today
Lindsey German, Chris Nineham, James Meadway, Katherine Connelly
In these times of crisis and turmoil, Karl Marx's revolutionary ideas seem more relevant than ever. Inequality is rising, the top 1% own half of all wealth and climate change threatens the lives of millions. But millions are rising up for change. Whether you've read none of Marx's works, or all of them, this is an essential summary of the foundations of Marx’s thought. It’s guaranteed to help you clarify your ideas about the world and how to change it.
Marxism and Women’s Liberation
Katherine Connelly, Elaine Graham-Leigh, Feyzi Ismail, Lindsey German
The Second Wave of the fight for women’s liberation, which erupted in the late 1960s, put women’s equality on the political agenda. Nearly 50 years later much has been achieved, but inequality survives and the lives of too many women and men are blighted by an economic regime that fails to provide basic necessities, let alone the hope of liberation. This essential introduction to women’s liberation discusses the origins of sexism, the intersection of race and women’s oppression and the history of women’s struggles. It probes the movement’s strengths and weaknesses and tries to learn lessons from the past that can help in today’s struggle for real freedom.
Class: Wealth and Power in Neoliberal Britain
In this incisive analysis, Lindsey German sets out how record levels of inequality are now the reality for many working-class people in Britain today. Examining resistance to neoliberalism and the relationship of oppression to class, she argues that if we are to change this, both new forms of organising and the united front are central. An indispensable guide for all those involved in the movements, Class shows how socialist organisation is essential for the struggle today.
The Limits of Keynesianism
The economic crisis of 2008, like the Great Depression of the 1930s, has sparked a resurgence of interest in Keynes’ ideas of economic stimulus as an alternative to austerity. But can a Keynesian approach to managing capitalism deliver real gains for working people? Dominic Alexander analyses how far Keynes’ theories can take us and how we must fight for a radical transformation of society.
The Women’s Revolution: Russia 1905-1917
The dominant view of the Russian Revolution of 1917 is of an all-male affair. Despite the demonstrations of female workers for ‘bread and herrings’ which sparked the February Revolution, in the historical accounts of this momentous period, women are too often relegated to the footnotes. Judy Cox argues that, in fact, women were central to the success of the revolution and to the development of the Bolshevik Party. With biographical sketches of famous female revolutionaries like Alexandra Kollontai and less well-known figures like Elena Stasova and Larissa Reisner, The Women’s Revolution tells the inspiring story of how Russian women threw off centuries of oppression to strike, organise and fight for their liberation.
The Corbyn Project: Dreams and Dangers
The Corbyn project inspired the socialist dream in many but was threatened on all sides by powerful enemies. John Rees has tracked the twists and turns of the story ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party. From the ‘chicken coup’ to Brexit, he analyses the prospects for socialist change and the dangers of defeat.
As It Happened: Briefings from Two Years of Turmoil 2017-2019
This collection opens with the 2017 general election campaign and Labour’s unexpectedly positive result. It ends with Johnson’s victory in the December 2019 general election and the failure of the Corbyn project. Brought together, these briefings comprise a real-time history of two of the most turbulent years in recent British politics. They also fulfil an urgent need for the left: to understand what went wrong so that we can move forward.
Lindsey German’s political briefings are emailed to thousands of subscribers every Monday morning. As a counterpoint to mainstream media comment, they’ve been hailed as balanced, well-written, insightful and as a sane alternative to the right-wing bias we face elsewhere.
Marx and the Climate Crisis
From the youth climate strikes to the Green New Deal, climate change has moved up the political agenda. Marx’s analysis of capitalism provides the basis for understanding how the system’s destructiveness is driving the climate crisis. Elaine Graham-Leigh shows how Marx’s ideas explain the climate breakdown and how we can create a society that protects both people and planet. This is a manifesto for system change as well as an account of why humanity faces its greatest crisis.
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