Tom Bramble is a socialist activist, author and retired academic based in Queensland, Australia.He taught Industrial Relations at the University of Queensland for many years and has authored numerous books and articles on the Australian labour movement. He is a member of Socialist Alternative.
Bramble has been politically active since the late 1970s and was a trade unionist throughout his working life. He is a member of the National Executive of the Trotskyist organisation, Socialist Alternative (SA)and is a regular contributor to SA's publications, including Red Flag and the Marxist Left Review.
Bramble taught Industrial Relations at the University of Queensland from 1993 until his retirement in 2015. He holds a PhD from La Trobe University in the same field, a Master of Commerce (Hons) from the University of New South Wales, and won the University medal in Economics from the University of Cambridge when he graduated with his BA (Honours) in 1982.
In 2021, Bramble co-authored (with Mick Armstrong) the book The Fight for Workers' Power: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the 20th Century. This is published by Interventions (Melbourne). Donny Gluckstein, Lecturer in History at Edinburgh College, said of the book: "This work combines a remarkable number of features. It is vast in scope but judiciously focusses on key moments of workers’ struggle between 1917 and 1956. Full of fascinating information and detail, it is never a detached academic history but is a guide to activists today, both in terms of theory and practice. By focussing on workers self-activity in combination with Marxist theory the authors steer clear of the traps of Stalinism and reformism, remaining true to the essence of revolutionary socialism. In the midst of all that they still manage to present debates around important political questions. This book should be of interest to readers worldwide, though the three chapters on Australia will give it special value there."
In 2015, Socialist Alternative published Bramble's book Introducing Marxism: A theory of social change which provides an introduction to the basics of Marxist politics for those new to the area.
In 2010 Cambridge University Press published Bramble's book (with Rick Kuhn) Labor's Conflict: Big Business, Workers and the Politics of Class which traced the history of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from its formation through to the Gillard Government from a Marxist perspective. Australian National University academic Norman Abjorensen described it as "A veritable tour de force. Not since Vere Gordon Childe's How Labour Governs, published nearly 90 years ago, has the ALP been subjected to such a searching analysis".
In 2008 Bramble authored the book also published by Cambridge University Press: Trade Unionism in Australia: A History from Flood to Ebb Tide, a controversial Marxist analysis of the Australian labour movement, attacking the trade union bureaucracy and the ALP.Pilger said of the book: "Bramble has written an important and fluent reminder that nothing is gained without a fight. An essential read."
In 2003 Bramble co-edited the book published by Ashgate Publishing: Rethinking the Labour Movement in the 'New South Africa' with Franco Barchiesi from the University of Bologna, which analysed the South African labour movement's reaction to the African National Congress post-apartheid. Patrick Bond of the University of the Witwatersrand said of the work: "Bramble and Barchiesi have gathered the toughest contemporary critiques and auto-critiques of the South African labour movement... in a manner that no scholar or activist interested in post-apartheid political economy dare ignore." Ben Fine of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies called it "the single most important contribution to an understanding of the trajectory of the South African labour movement."
Bramble also edited the Victoria University Press memoirs of Jock Barnes, the New Zealand trade unionistand has published many articles on the union movements in Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. and global political economy.
The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor, is the major centre-left political party in Australia, one of two major parties in Australian politics, along with the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. The party has been governing federally since being elected at the 2022 election, and with political branches in each state and territory, they are currently in government in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory – Tasmania is the only state or territory where they currently form the opposition. It is the oldest continuous political party in Australia, being established on 8 May 1901 at Parliament House, Melbourne, the meeting place of the first federal Parliament.
A trade union or labor union, often simply referred to as a union, is an organisation of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", such as attaining better wages and benefits, improving working conditions, improving safety standards, establishing complaint procedures, developing rules governing status of employees and protecting and increasing the bargaining power of workers.
Shachtmanism is the form of Marxism associated with Max Shachtman (1904–1972). It has two major components: a bureaucratic collectivist analysis of the Soviet Union and a third camp approach to world politics. Shachtmanites believe that the Stalinist rulers of proclaimed socialist countries are a new ruling class distinct from the workers and reject Trotsky's description of Stalinist Russia as a "degenerated workers' state".
The Communist Party of Australia (CPA), known as the Australian Communist Party (ACP) from 1944 to 1951, was an Australian political party founded in 1920. The party existed until roughly 1991, with its membership and influence having been in a steady decline since its peak in 1945. Like most communist parties in the west, the party was heavily involved in the labour movement and the trade unions. Its membership, popularity and influence grew significantly during most of the interwar period before reaching its climax in 1945, where the party achieved a membership of slightly above 22,000 members. Although the party did not achieve a federal MP, Fred Paterson was elected to the Parliament of Queensland at the 1944 state election. He won re-election in 1947 before the seat was abolished. The party also held office in over a dozen local government areas across New South Wales and Queensland.
The Socialist Party of Canada (SPC) was a political party that existed from 1904 to 1925, led by E. T. Kingsley. It published the socialist newspaper, Western Clarion.
Socialist Alternative (SA) is a Trotskyist organisation in Australia. As a revolutionary socialist group, it describes itself as aiming to organise collective struggles against oppression and inequality, while promoting the need for a revolutionary movement that could one day overthrow capitalism. Its members have been involved in organising numerous protest campaigns around issues such as LGBT rights, climate change, racism and refugee rights. The organisation also intervenes into the trade union and student union movements. It has branches and student clubs in most major Australian cities, and publishes the fortnightly newspaper Red Flag.
The Australian labour movement began in the early 19th century and since the late 19th century has included industrial and political wings. Trade unions in Australia may be organised on the basis of craft unionism, general unionism, or industrial unionism. Almost all unions in Australia are affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), many of which have undergone a significant process of amalgamations, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The leadership and membership of unions hold and have at other times held a wide range of political views, including communist, socialist and right-wing views.
Labor aristocracy or labour aristocracy has at least four meanings: (1) as a term with Marxist theoretical underpinnings; (2) as a specific type of trade unionism; (3) as a shorthand description by revolutionary industrial unions for the bureaucracy of craft-based business unionism; and (4) in the 19th and early 20th centuries was also a phrase used to define better-off members of the working class.
The Victorian Socialist Party (VSP) was a socialist political party in the Australian state of Victoria during the early 20th century.
Solidarity is a Trotskyist organisation in Australia. The group is a member of the International Socialist Tendency and has branches in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. The organisation was formed in 2008 from a merger between groups emerging from the International Socialist tradition: the International Socialist Organisation, Socialist Action Group and Solidarity.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is an unregistered Trotskyist political party in Australia. The SEP was established in 2010 as the successor party to the Socialist Labour League, which was founded in 1972 as the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
Rick Kuhn is an Australian Marxian economist, political analyst and reader at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is best known for his biographical study on Henryk Grossman, for which he won the Deutscher Memorial Prize in 2007. Chris Harman of the British Socialist Workers Party and editor of International Socialism described the biography as "a valuable addition to our theoretical armour." Kuhn is of Jewish origin and is a member of Jews Against Oppression and Occupation. He was the convenor of ACTNOW, the umbrella anti-war organisation in Canberra, formed in response to the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also a long-term member of the Trotskyist organisation Socialist Alternative and was a founding editor of the online journal Marxist Interventions. Kuhn has published articles in Socialist Alternative, International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, New Matilda, Monthly Review, ZNet, The Canberra Times and various academic journals and edited collections.
Sandra Bloodworth is a labour historian and socialist activist, based in Melbourne, Australia. She has been involved in radical politics since the 1970s, where she has played roles in the women's, Aboriginal, anti-uranium mining and trade union movements. She is one of the founding members of the Trotskyist organisation Socialist Alternative, in which she plays a leading role. She is also the former editor of Marxist Left Review as well as having authored several books from a Marxist perspective on the Russian Revolution, the global financial crisis, women's struggles, working class resistance in the Middle East and Australian imperialism.
Robert Samuel Ross was an Australian socialist journalist, trade unionist, and agitator best known as the editor of a series of political magazines associated with the Australian labour movement in the 1890s and early 1900s.
Socialism in Australia dates back at least as far as the late-19th century. Notions of socialism in Australia have taken many different forms including utopian nationalism in the style of Edward Bellamy, the democratic socialist reformist electoral project of the early Australian Labor Party (ALP), and the revolutionary Marxism of parties such as the Communist Party of Australia.
Daniel De Leon, alternatively spelt Daniel de León, was a Curaçaoan-American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of his death. De Leon was a co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World and much of his ideas and philosophy contributed to the creations of Socialist Labor parties across the world, including: Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance.
The history of the Australian Labor Party has its origins in the Labour parties founded in the 1890s in the Australian colonies prior to federation. Labor tradition ascribes the founding of Queensland Labour to a meeting of striking pastoral workers under a ghost gum tree in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1891. The Balmain, New South Wales branch of the party claims to be the oldest in Australia. Labour as a parliamentary party dates from 1891 in New South Wales and South Australia, 1893 in Queensland, and later in the other colonies.
The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) is a Marxist political international. It was founded by Trotskyist political theorist Ted Grant and his supporters following their break with the Committee for a Workers' International in 1992. The organization's website, Marxist.com or In Defence of Marxism, is edited by Alan Woods. The site is multilingual, and publishes international current affairs articles written from a Marxist perspective, as well as many historical and theoretical articles. The IMT is active in over 40 countries worldwide.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Marxism: