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Honoré de Balzac is renowned as a prolific literary genius and was one of Marx and Engels’ favourite authors. He was a pioneer of the Realist style that would be taken up by such famous authors as Émile Zola and Charles Dickens. In this article, Ben Curry explores Balzac’s Realist method, the predominant themes of his vast body of work, known collectively as The Human Comedy, and the fascinating paradox that lies at its heart.

What began with teachers’ protests over pay rises has expanded into a week-long police riot and a grassroots rebellion of teachers, health, energy and other state workers in the province of Misiones, in the far northeast of the country, 1,000 km from the capital Buenos Aires.

In an electric atmosphere, nearly 400 communists gathered in Montreal from across Canada and Québec and officially founded the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)! Our goal: to be the generation to overthrow capitalism in our lifetime, and lay the foundations for building a society free of exploitation, violence and oppression. 

By calling a general election, Rishi Sunak has signed the Tories' political death warrant. We will be delighted to see the back of them! But Starmer's government will be a faithful representative of the capitalists. We must build a revolutionary alternative.

Communists are often depicted by the ruling class as violent individuals who will settle at nothing until society is made to drown in its own blood. It came as no surprise to us, therefore, when Denmark’s largest digital media outlet, BTinterviewing a leading comrade of our Danish section on their historic decision to found a Revolutionary Communist Party – spent the interview trying to get the comrade to admit that they stand for violence.

A local Marxist in the southern Ukrainian city of Pervomaisk, Bogdan Syrotiuk, was arrested by the SBU on 25 April. He is being held in a high security prison in Mykolaiv under poor conditions under charges of treason and aiding the Russian invasion. Some of our comrades have known Bogdan for a number of years, and it is clear that these are made up charges by Ukrainian state security against a known left activist in the area.

Yesterday the world’s media was rocked by the surprise news that the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, is seeking arrest warrants for war crimes, against Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Yoav Gallant, the Defence Minister.

New Caledonia has been rocked for several days by riots that have so far claimed six lives. This uprising is the result of repeated provocations by the French imperialist government. In 2022 – after Macron forced through a referendum on independence in spite of his promises to the contrary – we published the article below, in which we wrote: “The French government welcomes the result, but the problem is by no means settled – and is bound to resurface, sooner or later.” Since then, the government has pushed ahead with a process of electoral reform that constitutes a significant provocation for the Kanaks.

Fiona Lali recently shot to prominence, and stunned former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman, when she publicly branded Suella a “war monger” and a “liar” for her support for the genocide in Gaza. Fiona’s words chimed with millions of workers and youth who have seen this clip, and who are sick and tired of this rotten imperialist system, of the hypocrites who run it, and of the commentators, media and ‘opposition’ that do nothing to challenge it.

As the horrors of Israel’s war on Gaza continue to escalate, a wave of student protests has erupted in solidarity with the Palestinians: drawing comparisons with the anti-Vietnam War movement. Starting in the USA, the encampments quickly spread internationally, meeting with press slander and brutal police repression. In this special episode, we speak with four student communists from Canada, the UK, Austria and the USA, who have been active in encampments at various universities, to hear about their experiences of this inspiring struggle.

Yesterday, outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlová, Slovakian Prime Minister Róbert Fico was shot three times in the abdomen and arm. While the assassination attempt left him in a “life-threatening condition”, following emergency surgery, he is expected to survive. The attack was met with a flood of crocodile tears from the opposition parties and European bourgeois political elite, who for months have whipped up hysteria that Fico is a ‘Russian agent’. Cutting through all the hypocritical moralising, what does this dramatic event signify?

This year's May School, an annual theoretical school organized by the Polish section of IMT, Czerwony Front, was held under the slogan ‘In Defence of Lenin’, and proved to be a great success! It gathered more than 40 people, and was full of lively discussions, both during the sessions and in the breaks between them.