Workers' Councils

Foreword to 'The Bolsheviks and workers' control: the state and counter-revolution' by Maurice Brinton

This pamphlet has two aims. It seeks to contribute new factual material to the current discussion on 'workers' control'. And it attempts a new kind of analysis of the fate of the Russian Revolution. read more »

Memories

My name is Jan Appel, and I was born in a village in Mecklenburg in 1890. I attended elementary school and learned the shipbuilding trade. Even before my birth my father had been a Socialist. I myself became a member of the Sozial-demokratische Partei Deutschlands [SPD] on reaching 18 years of age. I saw military service from 1911 to 1913, and thereafter as a soldier in the War. In October 1917 I was demobilised and sent to work in Hamburg as a shipyard worker. In 1918 we called a strike of armaments workers. The strike held out for a whole week at the Vulkan-Werft. read more »

Council Organisation

The Workers' Councils are the form of self-government which in the times to come will replace the forms of government of the old world. Of course not for all future; none such form is for eternity. When life and work in community are natural habit, when mankind entirely controls its own life, necessity gives way to freedom and the strict rules of justice established before dissolve into spontaneous behavior. Workers' councils are the form of organization during the transition period in which the working class is fighting for dominance, is destroying capitalism and is organizing social production. read more »

Unions and councils

The proletarian organization which assembles, as the total expression of the worker and peasant mass, in the central offices of the Confederazione del Lavoro, is passing through a constitutional crisis similar in nature to the crisis in which the democratic parliamentary state vainly debates. The solution of one will be the solution of the other, since, resolving the problem of the will of power in the case of their class organization, the workers will arrive at the creation of the organic scaffolding of their state and they will counterpose it victoriously to the parliamentary state. read more »

The ambiguities of workers’ control

‘What do you mean by workers’ control? is a question to press on anyone now raising the slogan. Those who seek to answer this question will discover to their amazement that none of these pundits proposes a clear and unambiguous definition. Some of the usual answers are listed below. We have grouped the ans­wers under three-main headings. read more »

Socialism and the transformation of work

Socialism will only be brought about by the autonomous action of the majority of the population. Socialist society is nothing other than the self-organization of this autonomy. Socialism both presupposes this autonomy, and helps to develop it. read more »

The struggle for self-management

Dear comrades,

It is remarkable how few socialists seem to recognize the connection between the structure of their own organization and the type of ‘socialist’ society it might help bring about. read more »

Workers’ Control

Before we examine the configuration of the draft bill presented by Hon. Giolitti to the Chamber of Deputies, or the possibilities which it opens up, it is essential to establish the viewpoint from which the communists approach discussion of the problem. read more »

1918-1921: The Italian factory occupations and Biennio Rosso

After the First World War, Europe’s working class went on a massive radicalisation process. Union membership exploded with strikes, demonstrations and uprisings increasing with it. Italy was no exception. Its workers were angry with the fall-out from the war and were getting increasingly militant. A perfect example of this can be found in the factory occupations of 1920.

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