News & Politics Podcasts

Socialism the Podcast offers a Marxist approach to the big issues we face in a world of capitalist crisis. Fighting for jobs, homes and public services for all. From strikes and mass movements through to community campaigns, history and theory. We shine a light on the struggles of workers and young people, and discuss the strategy for a socialist fightback.

Socialism the Podcast offers a Marxist approach to the big issues we face in a world of capitalist crisis. Fighting for jobs, homes and public services for all. From strikes and mass movements through to community campaigns, history and theory. We shine a light on the struggles of workers and young people, and discuss the strategy for a socialist fightback.


United States


Socialism the Podcast offers a Marxist approach to the big issues we face in a world of capitalist crisis. Fighting for jobs, homes and public services for all. From strikes and mass movements through to community campaigns, history and theory. We shine a light on the struggles of workers and young people, and discuss the strategy for a socialist fightback.




101. Britain, 2021: a new era of capitalist crisis

What is the outlook for class struggle in Britain in 2021? The pandemic was a world-shattering turning point. All the weaknesses of capitalism were laid bare in 2020. But in few countries more so than Britain. The nightmare which began in 2020 has not been limited to public health, but has infected the already-ailing world economy – with British capitalism the worst hit of all the major capitalist powers. Working-class and young people have already suffered hugely as the bosses try to pass...


100. 2020 highlights: A socialist youth charter

What do young people need today - and how can they fight for it? Last summer, massive, young, working-class protests exploded around the world after the murder of George Floyd, and other appalling incidents of racism and police violence. But it's not just these issues that angered young people. In the US, Britain and around the world, the youth are suffering appalling conditions, and a future of crisis and uncertainty. But young people have also fought. In electoral movements - through...


99. 2020 highlights: US imperialism in decline

The crisis-ridden US has two options: socialism or barbarism. In the run-up to last year’s election, the United States was faced with a litany of crises. This episode was recorded during the run-up - but Biden’s election changes little. Like many capitalist economies, the US had to partly suspend production in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The state was forced to inject trillions of dollars into the economy to keep the capitalist system going. The capitalists were facing these crises...


98. 2020 highlights: Trotsky's revolutionary ideas

80 years on from Trotsky’s assassination: can they kill his ideas? Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, was murdered on 21 August 1940. What was Stalin so afraid of? And why do capitalist commentators still try to bury Trotsky’s ideas today? Earlier this year, the Committee for a Workers’ International published a new book, and Socialism produced a special podcast series, for the 80th anniversary of the revolutionary leader’s assassination. The book is called ‘Leon Trotsky...


97. Chartism

How did Britain's working class fight to overthrow early capitalism? In the early 19th century, the industrial revolution was rapidly creating a big new social class in Britain: the working class. Workers produced huge amounts of new wealth for the ruling capitalists, but had appalling conditions and no say in politics. Sound familiar? Trade unions appeared for the first time, formed by workers to fight in the workplace. But they quickly realised that this alone was not enough. The bosses...


96. Engels’ Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

What are the roots of women’s oppression? Thousands of years ago, early human societies lived without economic classes or gender oppression. Life was basic, precarious and sometimes brutal. But all contributed what they could to producing the necessities of life, and men and women had an equal say and social status. How did humans move from this to ways of organising society which are more advanced – but where a small, pampered minority exploits the hard work and suffering of the majority?...


95. Engels' Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (re-run)

How did Engels explain the scientific approach to socialism? Today, there are socialists who argue that rational arguments, or moral appeals, or new technologies, or localised socialistic community projects, can defeat capitalism. These ideas are not new. Unfortunately, they have all been disproven in theory and practice. These well-meaning approaches express the yearning of billions for fundamental social change. But they are utopian: they do not take a scientific approach to examining how...


94. Engels on The Housing Question

What did Engels have to say about the housing crisis? Cramped homes. Extortionate costs. Rip-off landlords. Rising homelessness. Projects to upgrade areas just used to force workers and poor people out. Meanwhile, posh new houses lie empty. It could be any major town or city in the 21st century. But it was all described by Friedrich Engels back in the 19th century. Why does capitalism endlessly recreate this social crisis? Why didn’t increasing home ownership solve the problem? What can we...


93. Engels' Condition of the Working Class in England

What can the horrors of industrialisation teach socialists today? 175 years ago, Britain was the most advanced capitalist country on the planet. Leaps forward in industry created huge productive power and riches for the capitalists. Radicals looked to Britain as a way forward for society following revolutionary movements against the old feudal rulers in Europe. But despite massive economic progress, which lays the basis for socialism, capitalism came with terrible new social miseries. What...


92. The revolutionary life of Friedrich Engels

Who was Friedrich Engels and what were his ideas? Marxism, originally called ‘scientific socialism’, takes its name from Karl Marx. But Marx didn’t work alone in developing his ideas. His co-philosopher – and close friend – shares the credit for that historic work. How did these two giants of socialism come together? What led Engels to develop revolutionary ideas? What were his most important contributions to socialist thought? And what can we learn from his hands-on approach – not just to...


91. Universities in crisis

How can students fight back against rip-off Covid imprisonment? Universities have enticed students onto courses with promises of a learning experience that never materialised – then trapped them there under lockdown to suck out fees and rent. Overcrowding on campus and in housing is causing major material and mental health crises. Jobs and teaching quality have nosedived – after already suffering from years of marketisation. Meanwhile, the official student organisations have deserted the...


90. Uprising in Nigeria

What next for the uprising in Nigeria? Millions of youth have been out on the streets in response to the brutal repression and banditry of the Nigerian state’s so-called ‘Special Anti-Robbery Squad’ (Sars). They have the sympathy of millions of workers in this huge, resource-rich west African country. The scale of the protests shows this is about much more than just police violence. Appalling wages and living conditions, soaring fuel and food prices, and breath-taking levels of corruption,...


89. Trotsky, art and culture

How did Trotsky view revolution and the arts? Because art holds a mirror up to life, many revolutionaries have taken an interest its role. Leon Trotsky in particular wrote on art, literature, and its role in society and politics. Art can be insightful because of its politics, or despite them. So how does Marxism, a political theory, have any relation to art? The Russian revolution led to an explosion in artistic vision. Then Stalinism stamped it all out. Why? Why did Trotsky struggle to try...


88. Crumbling capitalism, revolution and counter-revolution

88. Crumbling capitalism, revolution and counter-revolution As the capitalist world tears at itself, who stands to gain? Global capitalism is in its deepest crisis since the 1930s, exacerbated by ‘the great accelerator’: Covid-19 pandemic and depression. There is turmoil on every continent; class battles and uprisings; rising authoritarianism; polarisation within and between nations. Meanwhile, the trade union and ‘new left’ leaders have more and more accommodated themselves to capitalism’s...


87. What is a 'transitional programme'?

How can socialists link day-to-day struggles to the need for revolution? Global capitalism is in a historic crisis, and offers no future to the majority of humanity. Socialism is the only alternative to bloated billionaires, mass unemployment and ruinous trade wars. On the one hand, the profit system is in such a mess that even defending existing pro-worker reforms can lead to colossal pitched battles. On the other hand, why would workers bother fighting for new reforms if it seems the...


86. World crisis and the second wave

What is the state of world capitalism as it heads into a second wave of Covid-19? Over a decade ago, the global capitalist system was shaken by a historic financial crisis. It still had not recovered when the coronavirus pandemic caused the worst economic contraction in history. Pandemic, depression, environmental catastrophe, political turmoil - capitalism is not well. And now a second wave of Covid is gathering pace. What does this mean for capitalism around the world? Will we see mass...


85. Britain's general strike of 1926

What are the lessons for today from the 1926 general strike? One of the myths about the British working class is that it’s too ponderous and conservative to have a serious fight with capitalism. Actually, centuries of bitter class struggle have shown the real potential again and again. But arguably the high point came in 1926, during a period of national and international crisis for capitalism not so different from today. Despite the hesitancy and treachery of the official union leaders,...


84. Trotsky on the trade unions

What was Trotsky’s advice for revolutionaries on unions? The trade unions are the basic organisations of the working class. Trotsky, like all who follow the ideas of genuine Marxism, believed the working class was the only social force which can lead socialist revolution. But the union leaders can be timid, or even hold back struggle by their members. And anyway, the working class today looks very different to working class in 1917. So how did Trotsky see the unions in relation to the...


83. Trotsky and the Fourth International

How did Trotsky help organise international socialist struggle? Capitalism is a worldwide problem. Since the days of Karl Marx, socialists have worked towards a worldwide solution. But there have been multiple attempts to organise international associations of revolutionaries. Each rose and then fell for different reasons. What can we learn from their successes and failures? What was Trotsky’s part in building ‘internationals’? And what are the prospects for building a mass, revolutionary,...


82. Trotsky, fascism and the 'united front'

What is fascism and how can we fight it? In the 1930s, mass fascist movements smashed the workers’ organisations. Today, far-right and right-populist forces are again growing in prominence. So what can we learn from history? What exactly is fascism? Is a fascist dictatorship possible today? What distinguishes it from other authoritarian regimes? Do these political differences mean tactical differences in how workers should fight them? What’s the difference between a ‘popular front’ and a...