Councilism / Workers Councils

The Thin Red Line: Non-Market Socialism in the Twentieth Century - John Crump (1987)

To find a coherent set of ideas which are subversive of capitalism, and which do offer an alternative to production for the world market, one must turn to the 'thin red line' represented by … anarcho-communism; impossibilism; council communism; Bordigism; situationism… …there is a basic set of socialist principles which these currents share. Initially, four such principles can be identified. The currents of non-market socialism are all committed to establishing a new society where: (1) Production will be for use, and not for sale on the market. (2) Distribution will be according to need, and not by means of buying and selling. (3) Labour will be voluntary, and not imposed on workers by means of a coercive wages system. (4) A human community will exist, and social divisions based on class, nationality, sex or race will have disappeared. Let us clarify these four principles for those readers who may not immediately grasp all their ramifications.

More Lenin or less Lenin? - Socialist Standard (2004)

The Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia put the clock back in the sense that before the First World War the radical wing of the international Social Democratic movement was making progress towards positions similar to those of the Socialist Party in Britain but, after 1917, most of those involved were side-tracked into supporting the Bolsheviks. For many this was only a temporary dalliance, but the damage had been done.

Bordiga versus Pannekeok - Antagonism (2001)

Party, Class and Communism

2001, over a decade has passed since the fall of the Berlin wall, and the announcement then of the “End of History” seems now to be not just ideological, but beneath contempt. Open warfare returns to Europe, not as an isolated episode, but endemic like an ancient disease grown resistant to modern antibiotics. The global economy veers headlong into recession. Many of the political institutions of international capitalism (G8, IMF, World Bank) are more discredited, and protested against, than ever before. At the

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.

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