Ernest Mandel

Self-Management: Dangers and Possibilities

Some currents argue that the experience of small-scale self-management under capitalism is useful preparation. However, self-management is impossible without real socialist democracy.

The political formation of revolutionaries of my generation and the one immediately preceding it was deeply affected by our experience of the Russian revolution. For the first time in history the working class of a vast country had taken power, abolished the domination of capital, and begun to construct a new society – a society which, before the eyes of the world proletariat, could become a new society, a socialist society. read more »

The Causes of Alienation

Human alienation will disappear through the withering away of commodity production and social division of labour, through the disappearance of private ownership of the means of production.


Alienation results from a certain form of organisation of society. More concretely, only in a society which is based on commodity production and only under the specific economic and social circumstances of a market economy, can the objects which we project out of us when we produce acquire a socially oppressive existence oftheir own and be integrated in an economic and social mechanism which becomes oppressive and exploitative of human beings.

On Workers' Democracy

Opponents of workers democracy argues that democracy cannot be extended to the “enemies of socialism”. However, we must distinguish acts (or crimes) from opinions and ideological tendencies.

Workers democracy has always been a basic tenet of the proletarian movement. It was a tradition in the socialist and communist movement to firmly support this principle in the time of Marx and Engels as well as Lenin and Trotsky. It took the Stalinist dictatorship in the USSR to shake this tradition. The temporary victory of fascism in West and Central Europe also helped to undermine it. However, the origins of this challenge to workers democracy are deeper and older; they lie in the bureaucratization of the large workers organizations. read more »

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