The Role of the Soviets in Russia's Bourgeois Revolution: The Point of View of Julius Martov - Adam Buick (1976)

The basic principle defended by Marx throughout his forty years of socialist activity can be summed up in the clause of the General Rules of the First International that "the emancipation of the working class must be conquered by the working classes themselves". This is a rejection of the view that socialism can be introduced for the working class or that the working class can be led to socialism by some enlightened minority.

Those who set themselves up as leaders of the working class fall into two groups. First, there are the parliamentary reformists who tell the workers: "vote for us and we will introduce socialism for you". And then there are the various "vanguards" who see themselves leading the workers in a violent assault on the capitalist state. Both groups, despite being bitter antagonists, share a common standpoint: a denial that the majority of workers are capable of understanding and of organising themselves, without leaders, in order to achieve it.

Capitalism and Communism - Gilles Dauvé (Jean Barrot) (1974/97)

This text is taken from chapter 1 of the larger work “The Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement”, first published by Black & Red in Detroit in 1974. This chapter was reprinted in the mid 1980's as “What is Communism?” by Unpopular Books in London. A shorter, revised edition of the whole work was reissued by Antagonism Press in 1997.

This text follows the 1974 edition incorporating the additions from the 1997 version in square brackets.

Revolutionary Self-Theory : A Beginners' Manual - Anon (1985)

This booklet is for people who are dissatisfied with their lives. If you are happy with your present existence, we have no argument with you. However, if you are tired of waiting for your life to change...

Tired of waiting for authentic community, love and adventure...
Tired of waiting for the end of money and forced work...
Tired of looking for new pastimes to pass the time...
Tired of waiting for a lush, rich existence... Tired of waiting for a situation in which you can realise all your desires...
Tired of waiting for the end of all authorities, alienations, ideologies and moralities...

...then we think you'll find what follows to be quite handy.

Invaders From Marx : On the Uses of Marxian Theory, and the Difficulties of a Contemporary Reading - Michael Heinrich (2005)

The following text is the slightly reworked version of an article which appeared on 21 September 2005 in “Jungle World”, a leftist German weekly newspaper. In a previous issue, Karl Heinz Roth. one of the main German representatives of Operaismo, had argued that some important Marxian categories are not able to grasp contemporary capitalism. The text at hand answers this critique, stressing the difference between Marxian theory and traditional Marxism, emphasizing the “new reading of Marx”, which developed through the last decades.

More about Theory and Practice

Theory and Practice is part of a personal project which aims to develop a clear understanding of the world as it exists today; and through the use of this knowledge, discover what might be needed to change it for the better. It is an attempt to learn from the successes and failures of the past and to formulate better methods for acting on the present.


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