Chris Harman
Chris Harman
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Britiske Chris Harman (8. november 1942 – 7. november 2009) var forholdsvis ukendt, især uden for venstrefløjs-offentligheden. Men hans indsats som socialistisk skribent og praktiker i mere end 4 årtier, giver anledning til denne personliste og en opsamling af hans arbejder. Han tilsluttede sig om ung den britiske af Tony Cliff grundlagte Socialist Review Group (1968: International Socialists, 1978: Socialist Workers Party), og var i ca. 25 år redaktør af deres ugeavis Socialist Worker.

Der er især på 4 områder, han gjorde sig gældende på den internationale venstrefløj, og som fortjener at blive husket:

Som økonomisk analytiker (Explaining the Crisis (1984), dansk udgave: Kapitalens krise (1992-95), Zombie Capitalism (2009) og popularisator, bl.a. bogen Economics of the Madhouse (1995), norsk udgave 1998: Galehusets økonomi (; online på Internet Archive WayBackMachine), og How Marxism Works (1979), dansk udgave 1988: Sådan fungerer marxismen (Marxisme Online).

Som historiker, fra den første kendte pjece af hans fra 1967:  Russia: How the Revolution was Lost, dansk udgave 1973: Den russiske revolutions nederlag, over den bedste bog og oversigt om 1968 (The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After). Og især mammutværket fra 1999 om menneskehedens historie er imponerende og let tilgængelig (A Peoples History of the World).

Som debattør og teoretiker var han central med nogle debatter med bl.a. Ernest Mandel om spørgsmålet om de østeuropæiske såkaldte socialistiske landes karakter og perspektiv (Ernest Mandel: Debat /Debate), inden for bevægelsen efter Seattle, se den oversatte pjece IMF, globalisering og modstand (2000), og den debatterende artikel til anti-nyliberalisme-aktivisterne Anti-capitalism: theory and practice (2000)

Som marxistisk teoretiker og skribent, igen belærende – i ordets bedste betydning, se fx den oversatte Sådan fungerer marxismen (1988) og hans Revolution i det 21. århundrede (2008). En afsluttende perspektivering efter et politisk langt liv.

Jørgen Lund & Bjarne A. Frandsen

December 2009; revideret november 2019.

Se også personlisterne om Tony Cliff (1917-2000) og om Duncan Hallas (1925-2002)


Marxists Internet Archive

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Chris Harman with Selected Works, References + Exernal links.

Chris Harman: Debate with David Harvey at Marxism 2009

Sites / Artikelsamlinger

Marxisme Online

Socialistisk Arbejderavis

Chris Harman’s Back Pages (Blog)

International Socialism

Marxists Internet Archive

Red – Die Roten

Socialist Review

  • Chris Harman 1942-2009 (Issue 341, November 2009). With links to articles, obituaries, reviews and footage of Harman’s final meeting, in Cairo on 5 November, 2009.



Chris Harman i Cairo. Foto: Hossam el-Hamalawy
Chris Harman i Cairo. Foto: Hossam el-Hamalawy


Nekrologer / Artikler om Chris Harman

The Guardian

  • Michael Rosen: Chris Harman obituary (9 November 2009)
    “His style of speaking was rapid but analytic, good on irony and contradiction; his lifestyle frugal in the extreme. He was untempted by academe or celebrity. It was always a regret and an irritation to me why newspaper and TV debates about wars or the state of global capitalism did not call on him.”

The Independent

  • John Molyneux: Chris Harman: Editor of ‘Socialist Worker’ whose intellectual stature gave him an influence beyond party ranks (19 November 2009)
    “Everyone on the left who was serious about the Marxist analysis of the contemporary world had to take Harman seriously. At the time of his death he was, in my opinion, the foremost Marxist theorist in the world. To justify that claim here is a brief summary of his most important intellectual contributions.”
Chris Harman
Chris Harman

International Socialism

A tribute to Chris Harman, 1942-2009 (Issue 125, Winter 2010)
“In this collection we devote several articles to his life and work. Ian Birchall offers a political and intellectual biography, Andy Durgan a personal memoir and Joseph Choonara an assesment of his distinctive approach to understanding capitalism.”
Ian Birchall: Chris Harman: a life in the struggle (p.55-70)
Joseph Choonara: Another side of Chris Harman (p.85-93)
Andy Durgan: A whiff of tear gas (p.127-129)

International Viewpoint

Permanent Revolution

  • Keith Harvey: Chris Harman: a brief obituary (11 November 2009)
    “As a central party intellectual he was above all crucial for setting and maintaining the boundaries of the SWP’s ideological and programmatic universe … Harman has left behind a large number of works, a handful of which will replay being read and re-read, a few of which can genuinely help educate a new generation of revolutionists.”

Le Poireau Rouge 2.0

Revolutionary History

  • John Molyneux and Andy Durgan: Chris Harman (1942-2009) (Vol.10, No.2, 2010)
    “The sheer volume of Harman’s oeuvre is extraordinary. The contents section alone of his entry on Marxists Internet Archive runs to 17 pages – that’s over 3800 words listing more than 450 texts … Nor is there any lack of quality. There were six major books.”

Socialist Review

  • Chris Harman: Selected Writings. Book review by John Molyneux (Issue 349, July-August 2010)
    “This book gives a good idea of the amazing range of Harman’s output: from contemporary economics to ancient society, from women’s liberation to climate change, from philosophy to student struggle and the 1981 riots. He was a theorist who recognised no academic or artificial boundaries to his work.”
  • Panos Garganas: Tributes to Chris Harman (Issue 342, December 2009)
    “Chris Harman died as he lived, in the struggle. He was a formidable intellectual but his integrity and unassuming approach meant that perhaps only now the impact of his life and work is fully appreciated.”
  • Choi Il-bung: Chris Harman: A man of political clarity (Issue 342, December 2009)
    “I first met Chris in London just before Marxism 1990. My first impression was that he seemed argumentative and particularly so towards me, a former orthodox Trotskyist with a mishmash of vague ideas.”
  • Graham Turner: Chris Harman: A masterful book (Issue 342, December 2009)
    Zombie Capitalism is a masterful book, a culmination of Chris Harman’s work spanning four decades as one of the world’s leading Marxist economists. The timing of his passing is both tragic and deeply ironic.”
  • Mary Phillips: Chris Harman: He never thought of himself as too important (Issue 342, December 2009)
    “All Chris’s publications are important, but two in particular stand out for me. One is a pamphlet called Is a Machine After Your Job? It deals with the way employers use new technology to get more work out of fewer people without giving them more leisure time.”
  • Larry Elliott: Chris Harman: A thinker and a polemicist (Issue 342, December 2009)
    “I enjoyed those sparring sessions with Chris. He was always polite, yet steely and rigorous in his analysis. In my case, I always stepped off the platform feeling that I had learned something new.”
  • Chris Harman 1942-2009 (Issue 341, November 2009)

Socialist Worker

  • Hundreds gather to remember Chris Harman (Issue 2197, 18 April 2010)
    “Comrades, family and friends of the late Chris Harman gathered to celebrate his life at a memorial meeting in London this evening.”
  • Alex Callinicos: Chris Harman 1942-2009 (Issue 2177, 14 November 2009)
    “Chris was the outstanding Marxist to emerge in Britain from the great political radicalisation of the late 1960s and early 1970s. He made fundamental intellectual contributions in an astonishing range of subjects.”
  • Tributes to Chris Harman (8 November 2009) + More tributes to Chris Harman (10 November 2009)


  • Sean Matgamna: The long march of Chris Harman (3/163, 19 November 2009)
    “That he spent his entire adult life promoting what he thought was revolutionary socialist politics is, to my mind, worthy of respect. But ‘the rest of it’, in the case of this leader of the SWP, was enormous. And in politics ‘the rest of it’ does not necessarily die with its author.”

  • Kieran Allen: Chris Harman has died (November 7, 2009)
    “Chris Harman’s main contribution to the Marxist movement was, however in his writings … For Chris Harman, the audience for his writings were literate working class activists and students who wanted to breathe the fresh air of well presented arguments.”

Weekly Worker

  • James Turley: The working class intellectual and the apparat (Issue 793, November 12 2009)
    “Harman’s most significant contribution to the life of the SWP and the British left beyond came in his writings. These include, as we have seen, extensive historical studies, notably of the 1918-23 revolutionary period in Germany, and detailed analyses of the Stalinist countries.”

A World to Win

Se også:

Trotsky and the New Stalinism. By Chris Harman (International Socialism, Issue 160, Autumn 2018, p.145-151). Introduction by AC [Alex Callinicos] (p.143-145). “In 1967 New Left Review (NLR) published an article called ‘Trotsky’s Marxism’ by Nicolas Krassó … revealed a degree of ambivalence about both Trotsky and Stalinism on the part of the NLR editorial team … Harman’s article was never published … defending Trotsky against Krassó’s largely misconceived polemic.” See also John Rudge introduction: Trotsky and the New Stalinism (International Socialism, 18 October 2018).

Chris Harman, 1968 and the historic Open Letter to the Polish Communist Party. By John Rose (International Socialism, Issue 158, Spring 2018, p.167-190). “Chris Harman, a graduate student at the London School of Economics, wrote an introduction to the Open Letter and helped its promotion among students.”



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