Critical Thought
Mapping the Terrain
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
For my uncle and fellow Marxist Ralph Kleinman
Horizontal Rule
Table of Contents

Critical Thought: Mapping the Terrain—the most comprehensive online and altogether open–access reference of its kind—was previously entitled Marxisms and Neo–Marxisms: Mapping the Terrain. This book was, at first, just a pamphlet. It contained a brief synopsis of far–left perspectives. Indeed, the publication began as a rather naïve attempt to set down a rudimentary, and heavily annotated, classification system for a broad sweep of Marxian approaches. Karl Marx (1818–1883) and his trusted comrade and collaborator Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) jointly initiated the Marxist theoretical tradition. It would, taken as a whole, be accurately represented by a labyrinth of interconnections and trajectories, not by a two–dimensional Flatland. An autonomist is not necessarily an open Marxist, a councilist, a communizationist, or a revolutionary syndicalist.

An exposition of radical philosophical and theoretical schemas will remain the primary emphasis of the outline. However, the text’s purview was gradually widened to include a conglomeration of other outlooks, as with: poststructuralism, sociological conflict theories, anarchism and post–anarchism, heterodox or alternative economics, hermeneutics, existentialism, phenomenology, political theology, literary criticism, and an assortment of third–way inclinations. A new title or descriptor—one which specifically highlights the large array of intellectual developments now covered—seemed apropos. Despite such a considerable expansion in these ideal types, the author appreciates that the construction of any similarly conceived disciplinary taxonomy is extraordinarily problematic or, perhaps, even futile. Additionally, the awkwardness of the compendium’s linear format affords insufficient justice to each of these diverse intellectual legacies.

As has frequently become apparent—over the ongoing process of investigation—the assignment of distinctive subject matter to one heading or another was, in a number of instances, performed somewhat arbitrarily or reluctantly. That is to say, many of the items selected for inclusion could have been legitimately arranged under alternate rubrics. A decision was made, nonetheless, to persevere with the endeavor. Please take into account the limitations of the model, the literature review, and the occasional personal extrapolation while exploring the content. The intent, throughout, was to be as painstakingly exhaustive and as substantively credible as reasonably possible. Every effort was made not to equivocate or, much worse, to misrepresent or to disrespect the work of various scholars, scholar–practitioners, and left–wing activists. Moreover, no one position, theory, model, current, or tendency has been deliberately biased above all the others.

Due to religious prohibitions against partisan entanglements, I have not been affiliated with any political societies or parties since my involvement, as a young teen in the late 1960s, with the Students’ Democratic Coalition. That nationwide club for U.S. secondary schools was a social movement organization of the New Left. Our longest–lasting agitation was struggling in solidarity with the United Farm Workers of America—under the leadership of Cesar Chavez (Spanish, César Chávez as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), 1927–1993—and oppressed Mexican migrant workers. In so doing, we distributed petitions to boycott California grapes and picketed a neighborhood supermarket which sold the product. Anti–ballistic missiles, another weighty issue of the day, were also on our hit list. During the fall of 1968, some of us attended—just around the block from my parents’ house—a campaign rally for the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket of Hubert Horatio Humphrey and Edmund Muskie. Humphrey—then Lyndon Baines Johnson’s vice president—spoke at the event.

I have belonged to the largest labor union in the United States—the National Education Association (NEA)—since assuming my present academic position in 1993. My former Marxian views approximated the “socialism from below” of third–camp Trotskyism—associated with Max Shachtman, Hal Draper, Joseph Carter, and others—as well as Tony Cliff’s International Socialist Tendency. Still, I never formally joined the political parties associated with either of these Trotskyist tendencies, nor did I have the opportunity to meet with their members. Cliff, by the way, was among a small contingent of neo–Trotskyists and other communists who fashioned theories of Soviet state capitalism. (The one–time Trotskyists, C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya, were two others.) To be perfectly candid, however, the ruthless managerial style employed by Leon Trotsky should be repulsive to any Marxist. I was basically a Trotskyist, a neo–Trotskyist, or, more realistically, a post–Trotskyist in spite of Trotsky. His unpopularity in certain communist circles is well deserved.

Regarding the focus of my teaching and research as a sociologist, I identify with the pioneering accomplishments of the Polish–German political activist and author Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919). Of all the early Marxist theorists who survived Marx and Engels, Luxemburg comes the closest, in my view, to strongly exemplifying the spirit of compassion which, I believe, lies latent in Marxism and communism. Presumably, she would have supported the Cuban revolution against U.S. imperialism and opposed Fidel Castro’s right–wing Leninism and Stalinism. Luxemburg’s non–libertarian communist–left current may, aptly, be referred to as Marxist–Luxemburgist democratic left–communist internationalism. I have respectfully grounded her far–left–wing enactment of socialism in the brilliant metatheory of critical realism. It was formulated, beginning in 1975, by the distinguished London–born philosopher, writer, and speaker Ram “Roy” Bhaskar (1944–2014). One of my greatest regrets is that, through my own procrastination, I never availed myself of the opportunity to meet him face to face.

My Dialectical metaRealism™ (DmR™) incorporates Marxism–Luxemburgism, Bhaskarian critical realism, and, simultaneously, various elements of additional cutting–edge conceptual frameworks. Among these subsidiary viewpoints are: world–systems analysis, community organizing, the social model of disability, and intersectional and feminist standpoint perspectives. The latter category refers to extensively utilized advancements of, originally, African American feminist critical theory. It was pioneered by the legal scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (University of California at Los Angeles School of Law and Columbia Law School), the sociologist and past president of the American Sociological Association Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland), and others. Functionally, the priorities of DmR are left–refoundation and left–regroupment. DmR has, moreover, been applied, pragmatically, to a radical project in social–and–economic development (SED), as well.

At the outset, a preliminary reflection on the fundamental properties of existence might be constructive. Being is not hierarchical or vertical but, rather, laminated—layer within layer within layer. The substance or fabric of reality, in itself, can be visualized as a pure, virtuous, and nondual cosmic envelope. Its mere shell or shadow is the empirical, sensory realm. Between them lies the nightly wonderment of dreams. Accordingly, successfully negotiating the inner ground state of copresence vis–à–vis one’s personal activities requires that any relativist or—worse—nihilist approaches to ethics be firmly, decisively, and unreservedly rejected. For now, regrettably, a plane of dystopian dualism remains a consistently dominant mediator of situations on the multinational field. Alas, the lifeworld of humankind is, in the current age, virtually dead and barren. The mere absence of liberation stands out among the foremost instruments or coördinators of social behavior. By and large, even basic interpersonal decency has, wistfully, been abandoned.

Concerning more matter–of–fact issues, the rotten fruits of the mechanisms of disunity or, better, demireality are personal estrangement, social alientation, and antipathy. Namely, envisioning a miraculous deliverance out of any of the dangerous forces of domination through capitalism—whether of the “Third–Way” or the more classical variety—is a mere idle fancy. Emancipation from the abomination of state monopoly capitalism must, unquestionably, include the associated inequities of political repression and cultural hegemony. In much the same way, an elimination of the coercive configurations of deception would, inevitably, maximize the vast potentialities of mankind. The varied forms of absolutism and totalitarianism will be summarily eliminated. What’s more, the poor and defenseless shall be zealously protected from the scourge of injustice.

To further illustrate, an identity politics, or a politics of recognition, which culminates, tautologically, in the promotion of more identity politics is to no effect. If, however, identity politics enhances one’s a sensibility towards intersectionality—the oppressions folded inside the contraditions of the capitalist system—such an identity politics could be productive and life–changing. Black identity politics can, because of its structural positioning, sometimes galvanize a larger struggle for liberation. By contrast, European American identity politics, as a flat–out assertion of white privilege, will never be an emancipatory project. Framing issues of personal status, dualistically—as being for or against identity politics or for or against intersectionality—misses the subtlety. Intersectionality, which is an objectively and perceptively real description of modern capitalism, can also be a productive organizing strategy. Burying one’s head in the sand, and wishing otherwise, is pointless. Since controversies are often knotty, simplistic black–and–white explanations rarely suffice.

Social justice warriors (SJWs) are, in addition, sometimes critiqued, or more commonly mocked, by commentators on both the left and the right. All the same, social justice warfare is a tactic, not a strategy. As a tactic, fighting to expedite social justice is fine and commendable, but it needs to be keyed into an appropriate long–term revolutionary strategy. Likewise, decrying the countermovement of political incorrectness for safeguarding white privilege—and, hence, corporate capitalism—must be positively distinguished from oppositions to political correctness for quite different and unrelated reasons. Examples are: puritanically insulating one’s own personal sensitivities, self–segregrating in a safe space to avoid being “triggered,” or prioritizing politeness over honesty and frankness. Context matters. Words are pointers, not things.

Turning the page, particular segments of the culturally alienated proletariat and the underclass were broadly stigmatized as “the deplorables” during the deeply unsettling U.S. presidential campaign season of 2016. Certain individuals, as a result, immediately owned that disparaging label as an poorly conceived badge of pride. In the election which succeeded a brutal run for the White House—one robustly characterized by racism, white identity politics, misogyny, ableism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and social marginalization—the contradictions, the demirealty, or the intersectionality of capitalism intensified. As the economic failures of a post–American America have continued to multiply, the mistakes of the past, evidently forgotten, haunt the present with an astonishing frequency. Yet again, many oppressed male workers—comprising a demographic sometimes portrayed, collectively, as the angry white man—are seen turning against an oppressed, a subaltern other.

Critiquing neoliberalism is an avocation worthy of dedication. Certainly, there is a great deal to assail about neoliberalism. Little concerning that system is deserving of acclaim. The bedrock of classical or liberal economics met its Waterloo through the stock market crash of 1929. Keynesianism and, in the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal provided, at best, a transitory postponement from ruin. The fundamental contradictions within the underlying foundations of the morally bankrupt capitalist ediface tarried unresolved. Hence, through Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) and Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) among others, liberalism, as neoliberalism, returned with a vengeance circa 1980. Like postmodernism, neoliberalism represents a denial of history. Each, in its own way, expresses a collective, and a paradoxically self–conscious, amnesia. The first, postmodernism, rejects the Enlightenment and the progress it has fostered. The second, neoliberalism, attempts a financial resurrection of the dead, market–driven economy of the era which preceded the Great Depression.

Neoliberalism, which arose around 1980, gave rise to liberal institutional structures in the USA, the UK and many other (although not all) countries, and also on the global level where the main economic institutions began to follow the neoliberal model. The economic crisis that began in 2007–08 emerged initially in the United States, and it emerged from the neoliberal institutions in that country and in the global economy.
[David M. Kotz, “The Final Conflict: What Can Cause a System-Threatening Crisis of Capitalism?” Science & Society. Volume 75, number 3, July 2010. Pages 362-379.]

Be that as it may, the final contradiction of capitalism may, after years of expectation, be a reality. Serial malevolence has been institutionalized. In the U.S. body politic, the ironic, illusory embodiment of a supposed panacea for neoliberalism became a charismatic, flamboyant New York capitalist. He is, even if only facetiously, the last Trump. This man was elected to singlehandedly resolve the problems which, themselves, proceeded from the warriors of deceit in the corporatocracy. Emerging from beneath the skyline as a perfect storm, the enigmatic victor triumphed, by a hair’s breadth, through the American electoral college. Remarkably, during a televised campaign rally, he explicitly requested that the neo–Stalinist government in Russia release hacked data on his nearest challenger. She was, in the end, the overwhelming winner of the popular vote.

Russia, if you are listening, I hope that you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think that you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.
[Donald J. Trump in Abigal Tracy, “Yes, Donald Trump Just Asked Russia to Hack Hillary Clinton.” Vanity Fair. July 27th, 2016. Online.]
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
[1 Corinthians 15:52. King James (Authorized) Version.]

Websites, like WikiLeaks, can, under ideal circumstances, serve as vehicles of democratic transparency. In this case, however, transparency has, reportedly, been hijacked by autocracy. Thus, a contradiction is embedded within the contradiction. The anti–Russian Republican Party, of a bygone generation, is presently led by a cheerleader:

We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.…
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect [Donald] Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.…
We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence … release[d] US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks.
[Intelligence Community Assessment. Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections. Declassifed version. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Director of National Intelligence. January 6th, 2017. Pages i-ii.]
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) [in not expelling U.S. diplomats, as a tit–for–tat, until he can evaluate the policies of the incoming Donald J. Trump administration] – I always knew he was very smart!
[Donald J. Trump, “Tweet.” Twitter. December 30th, 2016.]

Allegations, only partially substantiated by U.S. intelligence, have also surfaced from BuzzFeed that the Kremlin may have collected damaging information on Donald Trump. He was officially briefed on a two–page summary of the original thirty–five–page document. Many of the reported events should continue to be treated with a healthy skepticism. Nevertheless, if true, Mr. Trump could be compromised, and potentially blackmailed, as the asset of a foreign power. Supposedly, the dossier was prepared, as political opposition research, for a succession of 2016 Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, including John Ellis “Jeb” Bush. The author, Christopher Steele, is a former British intelligence (MI6) official. He ultimately felt persuaded to hand the file over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Steele is the co–founder of Orbis Business Intelligence, a well–respected private security firm. Notably, Steele briefly went into hiding soon after his authorship was revealed. This succinct quotation from the profile discusses unconfirmed sallacious activities by Mr. Trump:

The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on [Donald] TRUMP … had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. However, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP has not taken up any of these.
… there were … aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. Once which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s personal obsessions and sexual perversions in order to obtain suitable “kompromat” [Russian Cyrillic, компромат, kompromat] (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s [perverted] conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a “golden showers” (urination) show in front of him. The hotel was known to be under FSB [Russian secret service] control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

The presidency itself may continue to exhibit contention and instability. The occupant’s agenda, such as it is, could be quickly sidelined. He has repeatedly expressed a bizarre fascination with atomic weapons of mass destruction. Now this man controls the biscuit and football. In the U.S., the nuclear codes are reserved to the president. His closest advisors, even if they encourage caution and restraint, have no authority over him. Only the commander–in–chief can make the final determination. That is the real danger—and he will, time and time again, be tested. North Korea, Mainland China, Iran, Russia, and religious extremists come to mind. The world has approached the brink of nuclear annihilation more than once. The Cuban missile crisis, notably, might have resulted in a nuclear holocaust. Fortunately, at the time, the cooler heads of U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (Russian Cyrillic, Никита Хрущёв, Nikita Hruŝëv as pronounced in this MP3 audio file) prevailed. Khrushchev blinked, and a highly threatening issue was resolved.

President Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon revealed one aspect of his personal agenda by invoking the concept, deconstruction, which was originally developed by the infamous Nazi sympathizer Martin Heidegger:

… [One] line of work is what is “deconstruction” of the administrative state.
[Steve Bannon quoted in Z. Byron Wolf, “Steve Bannon outlines his plan to ‘deconstruct’ Washington.” CNN. February 23rd, 2017. Online.]

Politics are, certainly, complex, but ideology, particuarly in times of chaos, is important. The Republican Party—the Grand Old Party (GOP) founded by President Abraham Lincoln—is, in the twenty–first century, driven by such an ideology. The Democratic Party is not. Perhaps, therefore, no one should be terribly surprised that the GOP currently controls all three branches of the U.S. government: executive, legislative, and judicial. At least for a moment, the ultimate consequences of a lack of partisan accountability shall be played out in a global theater. All the world shall bear witness to the nefarious misdeeds of the ruling classes. So be it. Descending, conspicuously, in a spiral configuration is the dialectic of modernity. This exemplar of the primary animating impetus of history seems to have plainly disclosed, as the Lacanian philosopher Slavoj Žižek might say, its perverse antithesis:

The president-elect [Donald J. Trump] appears to be assembling not a government but an anti-government. He said Sunday that ‘nobody really knows’ whether climate change is real, though 97 percent of climate scientists say it is, and he intends to appoint a fervid skeptic as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He seeks to install a labor secretary who does not believe there should be a minimum-wage increase, an education secretary who shows little or no commitment to public education, and a housing secretary whose only relevant experience is having lived in houses. Is this a recipe for American greatness? Or for incompetence and failure? …
The only real question is whether Russia’s aim went beyond creating confusion to actually helping elect a specific candidate: Trump.
[Eugene Robinson, “Trump is assembling an anti-government. Did Russia help get him here?” The Washington Post. December 12th, 2016. Online.]

Regarding capitalism, the invisible hand of an alleged “free market” was a principal thesis formulated by the Scottish economist Adam Smith (1723–1790). He assimilated that premise into his mystical body of occult lore or arcana. Indeed, his conclusions with respect to liberty are, in this writer’s view, the epitome of magical thinking. Smith’s putative natural law becomes the disempowering subtext of his argument. His work, considered overall, is a poorly disguised commentary on the demireality of the financial system. The pernicious evil of that counterfeit freedom is, like the emperor’s new clothes, now laid bare for all to observe. A spirit of barbarity, iniquity, and heartlessness has been cultivated by the plunderous impulses of a laissez–faire (MP3 audio file) market. Essentially, a free market implies the coupling of dialectical causal mechanisms with predatory human agency. If markets are permitted, they must be obedient servants, not the engines of wage slavery.

The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thou sands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species. When providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition. These last too enjoy their share of all that it produces. In what constitutes the real happiness of human life, they are in no respect inferior to those who would seem so much above them. In ease of body and peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level, and the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for.”
[Adam Smith. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Second edition. London: Strand. 1761. Pages 273-274.]

Aikido (Japanese, 合気道, aikidō as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), a Japanese martial art, was developed in the twentieth century. The name itself can be roughly translated as the path, road, or way of harmonious spirit. Morihei Ueshiba (Japanese, 植芝 盛平, Ueshiba Moritaira as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), who lived from 1883 to 1969, was the school’s founder. The aesthetics of aikido are based upon a metaphysical orientation which might, here, be designated as an ontology of reciprocity. The rôle of a skilled practitioner of this powerful art is to tactically and cautiously redirect her or his combatant’s own efforts and chi (Chinese, 氣 as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, qì, “breath, air, spirit, or gas”). Expeditiously, the aikidoist (Japanese, 合気道家, aikidōka as pronounced in this MP3 audio file) then brings about the person’s defeat. Aikido’s ultimate aim, however, is to cleanly and decisively beat one’s opponent while, at the same time, avoid causing harm or injury to the individual.

By way of analogy, in a hypothetical political philosophy of aikido, prime ministers, presidents, and monarchs find themselves increasingly paralyzed to deal adequately with the pressing demands of their constituents. These rulers confront, on the planetary stage, a dire onslaught of rapidly changing affairs. Meanwhile, the absenting structures of the dialectic may be deflecting the plans and actions of those same domestic leaders—whether well–intentioned or malicious—down a truly hazardous avenue: The generalized destruction of the capitalist order—a global U.S. empire established on the ruins of World War II—is seemingly around the corner. In that order’s wake, a substantial majority of the rank–and–file denizens and their chieftains, inhabiting this orb of dust, might, too, be obliterated.

As the global system becomes evermore complicated, tenuous, and unstable, an allied principle—loosely called the law of unintended consequences—is quite likely more relevant than ever. It was addressed, forthrightly, by the highly regarded American sociologist Robert K. Merton (1910–2003):

In some of its numerous forms, the problem of the unanticipated consequences of purposive action has been treated by virtually every substantial contributor to the long history of social thought. The diversity of context and variety of terms by which this problem has been known, however, have tended to obscure the definite continuity in its consideration. In fact, this diversity of context—ranging from theology to technology—has been so pronounced that not only has the substantial identity of the problem been overlooked, but no systematic, scientific analysis of it has as yet been effected. The failure to subject this problem to such thorough-going investigation has perhaps been due in part to its having been linked historically with transcendental and ethical considerations. Obviously, the ready solution provided by ascribing uncontemplated consequences of action to the inscrutable will of God or Providence or Fate precludes, in the mind of the believer, any need for scientific analysis.
[Robert K. Merton, “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action.” American Sociological Review. Volume 1, number 6, December 1936. Pages 894-904.]

The subsequent self–authored verse, “The Rubicon,” is a poetic, a meditative, and an impressionistic paraphrase of a poignant aphorism recorded in two of the New Testament’s synoptic Gospels (see Matthew 8:21–22 and Luke 9:59–60):

The heart crieth out:
O weary wayfarer!
The Rubicon hath been crossed.
Providence, the Beloved, gazeth askance on the dust.
The protection, once proffered, is removed summarily.
In the meantime, the appointed hour doth arrive.
Oddly, no one, save a scattering, even taketh notice.
The foolish souls of the Earth are many multitudes.
They anticipate, haply sketch out, political battles.
Yea! These shalt, woefully, ne’er materialize.
Verily, abandon, ye, this world’s moribund creatures.
Grant them a return to their self–serving desires.
Whereupon their deaths wilt forthwith come to pass.
Lo! Those ill–fated beings scurry to bury one another.
Mourn now, thou voyager, for the imminent future.
Ere long, the comedy of errors resulteth in tragedy.
Posthaste, the Unifying Essence of Nature ariseth.
She is attired, befittingly, in all Her righteous glory.
Her cherubic head turneth to the left and to the right.
By and by, She mightily manifesteth Her vengeance.
The wrath of the dialectic proceedeth from Her brow.

The global community has unmistakably entered the arduous transitional period to a far–off tomorrow. So, the deathwatch commences. Ends now shade into beginnings. Even mere mortals can ponder, phenomenologically, on the causal interventions of the majestic dialectic. During this process, each and every sphere of life must be sincerely pursued and conscientiously examined. Objectivity is reliance upon the evidence one progressively uncovers and discovers. Strictly speaking, to be objective is to boldly speak truth to power. Neutrality, however, is the token of moral cowardice. That being the case, any disengaged position is virtually the opposite of open–mindedness. Many observers, not to mention a host of mainstream news organizations, have inexplicably confounded the two intellectual postures. Such journalists are effectively moderators. In these perplexing times, human knowledge is often out–weighed by ignorance. Yet, when all is said and done, one can do little more than to audaciously conjecture. Here is an intimate, and a somewhat cursory, synopsis:

  • First—As every eye can see, the diffusion of neofascism and other counterrevolutionary tendencies has, moment by agonzing moment, been accelerating. The hapless victims of these sorely corrosive ideologies have been diverse societies on both sides of the North Atlantic pond and elsewhere. From that vantage point, would not a logical implication of this socially atomizing process be the prologue to an ominous era of dewesternization or, in plain English, the curtain call of Western civilization? Hoping against hope for the revitalization of a profoundly impotent and cold–blooded establishment can only be justified by the pernicious fantasies of the bourgeoisie. Rather, the painful dissolutions of the familiar are, with each passing day, surpassed by a train of more troublesome dissolutions.
  • Second—Tumult and confusion resound, in unison, as watchwords for these opening decades of the twenty–first century. The welcome demise of the world’s capitalist nation–states would seem to be just over the horizon. The end of Euro–American sovereignty, marked by utter desolation, is, at this hour, closely at hand. Even so, while proceeding through a perilous interlude, grave karmic (Sanskrit, कर्म, karma, “action”) repercussions are, ostensibly, unavoidable. The abuse of authority will unfailingly bring a proportionate reaction from the dialectic. In the aftermath of a great unraveling, Earth–shaking events could incur unimaginable adversities. These severe trials and baneful tribulations, one might surmise, shall afflict the populace without regard to customary civil boundaries, tribe, caste, race, and ethnicity.
  • Third—Fiscal unrest, disruptions to merchandising, breakdowns of service–oriented enterprises and the commons, and turmoil within and between governments will, admittedly, be ubiquitous and unambiguous. Likewise, apocalyptic convulsions encompassing the substructure of global capitalism and, concurrently, the abrupt collapse of imperialist regimes are, for all intents and purposes, inevitable. Industrially advanced and economically prosperous areas would, as one might expect, suffer the most grievous devastation. Regardless, if an opposition to Palestine is the shared consensus of Israel and the U.S., their fate could already be sealed. Europe, North America, West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the like may, to the greater extent, evaporate in a maelstrom of wind and fire. Taken together, everything—from top to bottom—is about to fall apart.
  • Fourth—Catastrophic disintegrations of the infrastructures for transportation and telecommunication should be presumed and anticipated. The Internet, television, radio, telephone, and automotive as well as air travel may soon be nonexistent. The few demographic centers which, by hook or by crook, manage to outlast all the looming and inescapable calamities will be left to pick up the rubble. Many of these forlorn communities—assuming they can endure the initial days and weeks—might well find themselves entirely isolated from one another. They would be essentially fending for themselves. As such, the world’s extensively scattered population could remain fragmented and disconnected across a meandering passageway of multiple decades or, more plausibly, an lengthy epoch of several centuries.
  • Fifth—As a case in point, an American empire, well past its prime, has been running on the fumes of its long discredited exceptionalist ideology. In terms of social welfare, the twenty–first century threatens to delete the twentieth. Even as the poor are forgotten, America’s public and private sectors find themselves riddled with oligarchy, plutocracy, or crony capitalism. That nation, now effectively expired, cast aside the few hitherto undiscarded fragments of its moral compass or collective conscience. While hastening to fill the normative vacuum, many citizens fervently embraced an old–line reactionary populism. Bigoted politics and rhetoric have, in certain quarters, become socially acceptable or normative, once again. Correspondingly, any respite or reprieve from total, conceivably nuclear, annihilation—hitherto accorded to this racist republic after its 1960s–era civil rights legislation—appears, unfortunately, to have eclipsed its deadline. The U.S. has, justifiably, become a pariah state.
  • Sixth—Tremendous revolutionary aptitude lies latent, in the present, among the workers of the world. Grievously, for the time being, many would–be proletarian activists—searching for answers to their economic vexations—have been, ill–advisedly, placing their faith in right–wing demagogues and ultraconservatives. Dialectical contradictions need, somehow, to be opportunistically harnessed, captured, and canalized on a more constructive course. Sadly, no organization or party has, thus far, succeeded in this area. In order to achieve greater clarity and direction, a scientific socialist method must be discovered, sooner rather than later, for implementing Marx’s noteworthly eleventh thesis: “Philosophers have sought to understand the world. The point, however, is to change it.”
  • Seventh—Further down the road, sober, unvarnished, and levelheaded conversations, requiring extreme foresight and discernment, will be the birthright of our posterity. Their mindful and nuanced discussions must focus on significant issues and practical engagements. As an example, a broad–based inquiry into the best available prospects for eudaimonia (Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, εὐδαιμονία, eu̓daimonía as pronounced in this MP3 audio file) might be beneficial as well as profitable. That Greek–language expression—which was later adopted by Aristotle (Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, Ἀριστοτέλης, A̓ristotélēs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file)—has conventionally been translated as human flourishing. Still, a more literal and precise, albeit less colorful, rendering is good fortune. The central axis, or the matrix, of any eudaimonic destination—however mysterious and forbidding its dawning–place might appear—is unity in diversity.
  • Eighth—After careful and thoughtful deliberation, the attentive reader might be assured or, conversely, dissuaded touching the merit, or the plausibility, of the foregoing propositions. One’s judgments regarding these premises notwithstanding, human agency is, surely, essential for social renewal. It then follows that the actual, the unmitigated liberation of countless downcast and dejected multitudes would require the due diligence, sacrificial efforts, and selfless dedication of committed radicals. Scores of class–conscious, democratically supported, and ethically accountable revolutionaries shall undoubtedly arise to serve their languishing comrades. At that point, hopefully, a remnant—angry, disenchanted, and fighting for survival—will enthusiastically migrate from the authoritarian right to the emancipatory Left. Like the mythical phoenix (Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, φοῖνιξ, phoînix as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), a new world will rise out of the ashes.

If a reasonably dispassionate observer were to perform a clear–eyed scan—an assessment—of the contemporary international arena, its precariousness and instability could be palpable. As this onlooker would justifiably conclude, many of the fundamental properties of any concrete utopia must, predominantly, await an eventual socialist liberation. At any rate, even a modest elevation in proletarian (MP3 audio file) and lumpenproletarian (MP3 audio file) class consciousness will—one might contemplate—encourage and facilitate the crucial revolutionary struggle. A radically decentralized cosmopolitanism shall, sooner or later, be consolidated on the backs of our far–flung descendants. By the same token, the dialectical constellation of these distant events is as yet undisclosed. Precise information concerning the timings of the worldwide transformations to the masses is similarly beyond our reach. Yet, the basic contours of the remote future, undeterred by temporal limitations, can be tentatively imagined.

Speculatively, the impending terrestrial cataclysms may foreshadow a longstanding, vigorous undertaking to inaugurate a borderless, transitional workers’ state. For generations unborn, the oppressive, bourgeois, undemocratic market system would be, once and for all, universally denounced and eradicated. Poverty as well as wealth shall be superseded by a narrow spectrum in the middle. Eventually, the state—in the limited sense of a overarching constraint on self–realization and human freedom—will have outlived its usefulness. At that point, the unscrupulous domination of a heavy–handed officialdom withers away and dies. The “government of persons,” wrote Engels in Anti–Dühring (MP3 audio file), gives way to an “administration of things”:

The state was the official representative of society as a whole; the gathering of it together into a visible embodiment. But it was this only in so far as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for the time being, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave-owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, the feudal lords; in our own time, the bourgeoisie. When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a state, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the state really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society – the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society – this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a state. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not ‘abolished.’ It dies out. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase ‘a free people’s state,’ both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the state out of hand.”
[Friedrich Engels. Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science. Emile Burns, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1878 (German). 1907 (English).]
Socialism or communism was created in the wake of the event that was Marxism. [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels proposed that by ending the role of the capitalist class, society would eventually become classless and thus the state driven by capitalist concern would wither away and die off. The goal was a society exclusively based on egalitarian co-operation. For them the first stage of this was to be found within socialism, followed eventually by communism as the final stage, prompted by a revolt led by the proletariat. [David ‘Émile’] Durkheim would differ by positing in numerous works that socialism is rooted within the desire to bring the state closer to the realm of individual activity in countering the anomie of a capitalist society.
[Francis Elizabeth Stewart. “Punk Rock Is My Religion”: An Exploration of Straight Edge punk as a Surrogate of Religion. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). University of Stirling. Stirling, Scotland. 2011. Page 17.]
As the victorious people approach that new and higher stage of society, all the repressive features of the state will wither away and die out for lack of function. There will be no class to repress. All will be free and equal. The state itself will wither away. The government of men will be replaced by the administration of things. The transition period between capitalism and socialism will merge—without another revolution and without social convulsions of any kind, but simply by an inexorable process of development—into the socialist society.
[James P. Cannon, “Fighting for Socialism in the ‘American Century.’” The Militant. March, 1953. Pagination unknown.]

On the other hand, dear Rosa Luxemburg—the rightful successor to Engels—was less definitive, but perhaps more circumspect, concerning the postulated features of a future communism. She also wisely critiqued the lawlike or formulaic revolutionary vision articulated by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky:

The tacit assumption underlying the [Vladimir] Lenin–[Leon] Trotsky theory of dictatorship is this: that the socialist transformation is something for which a ready-made formula lies completed in the pocket of the revolutionary party, which needs only to be carried out energetically in practice. This is, unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – not the case. Far from being a sum of ready-made prescriptions which have only to be applied, the practical realization of socialism as an economic, social and juridical system is something which lies completely hidden in the mists of the future. What we possess in our program is nothing but a few main signposts which indicate the general direction in which to look for the necessary measures, and the indications are mainly negative in character at that. Thus we know more or less what we must eliminate at the outset in order to free the road for a socialist economy. But when it comes to the nature of the thousand concrete, practical measures, large and small, necessary to introduce socialist principles into economy, law and all social relationships, there is no key in any socialist party program or textbook. That is not a shortcoming but rather the very thing that makes scientific socialism superior to the utopian varieties.
[Rosa Luxemburg. The Russian Revolution and Leninism or Marxism? Bertram Wolfe, translator. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Paperback imprint of The University of Michigan Press. 1961. Pages 69-70.]

All things considered, the end objective of the aforementioned violent upheavals—however defined—is some manner of glocalized democratic communism (MP3 audio file). Glocalization (MP3 audio file) is a recently devised portmanteau of globalization and localization. That term can be delinated and elaborated as an equitable, a well–regulated state or federation of workers’, producers’, and consumers’ coöperatives. The neologism, glocalization, was initially an English–language interpretation of dochakuka (Japanese, 土着化, dochakuka as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, “indigenous”). However, in the context of this book’s introduction, glocalization has been adapted to the non–Leninist and, more importantly, non–Stalinist stance of a Luxemburgist socialism from below. Localized globalism will be combined with globalized localism. Needless to say, any political democracy absent a concomitant economic democracy is little more than a faux democracy.

In other words, the material transactions and monetary exchanges—formal as well as informal—of each collectivized, commercial entity can be expertly synchronized as a tight–knit local network of independent labor–managed firms. Grassroots economies—including their sources of revenue and avenues of expenditure—could be administered through the enlightened democratic consultations of popularly elected boards of trustees. Businesses of every sort would, thus, be vigilantly monitored and regulated by assemblies of compassionate public servants. Those representative, custodial bodies shall, of course, be directly responsible and accountable only to their village, neighborhood, or other locality. External vested interests, of all stripes, must have neither vote nor influence. Furthermore, a negative income tax, operating as a catalyzing mechanism of redistribution, will, by necessity, be singularly, consistently, and painstakingly enforced. High and low incomes alike—pursuant to the guidance of the same financial councils—should be thoroughly and rigorously abolished.

With respect to conducting an overall reform of law enforcement, the more compelling approach is not, as claimed by many pundits, community policing. Rather, a new venture in community–run policing should be introduced without delay. The police would, consequently, always work for the community, not with the community. Individual officers and their supervisors must be subject to immediate and unconditional termination—by the residents themselves—in cases of brutality or any other wrongdoing. State violence and terrorism can never be condoned. That is to say, the underlying framework of criminal justice needs to be completely revolutionized—taken apart and then re–assembled—not feared or venerated. The monstrosity of institutionalized racism cannot be explained away as a few bad apples. A reactionary hate movement, like blue lives matter, provides a devastating confirmation of the necessity for a top–to–bottom reconstruction of police departments. Demonstrably, this kind of defensive maneuver is not, to be clear, universally supported by peace officers.

Similarly, regarding the issue of gun control, the conventional far–left view differs from the common progressive standpoint. Frankly, the imperial state and the police, as the agents of that state, have deadly munitions at their disposal. What’s more, in parts of the United States, red and purple states in particular, many average citizens possess huge stockpiles of handguns and rifles. Communists or socialists might, therefore, require personal protection. Moreover, since communists are, by definition, activists or revolutionaries, they should not be discouraged from purchasing firearms, as well. In the prospective state and, at a later date, confederation of workers’ coöperatives, which is to say international communism, individual safety will, hopefully, no longer be a significant matter of concern. At that point, the official and private use of weapons may, based upon consensus, be voluntarily discontinued throughout the entire society. The argument here is, by the way, made purely on principle, not as an interpretation of the antiquated U.S. Constitution or any other legal document.

Every constitution …, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.—It may be said that the succeeding generation exercising in fact the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law has been expressly limited to 19 years only.
[Thomas Jefferson, “Thomas Jefferson to James Madison.” Letter. September 6th, 1789.]

All social institutions will, additionally, stalwartly discharge their functions under the autonomous supervision of each municipality. Moreover, the rulers of each jurisdiction must be constantly accountable to the ruled. The specific remedies will doubtlessly reflect future circumstances. Similarly, the prescriptions may vary from time to time and from place to place. Regardless of any unforeseen events, the residents of each jurisdiction would be expected to exercise the independent authority to review and determine all public policies. The same citizens shall then have the solemn responsibility to devise appropriate means for carrying out those high–minded protocols. In a communist or socialist society, no exceptions can ever be tolerated to the highest principles of a wide–ranging political participation. An unwavering commitment to the ethic of equitable governance is not merely a pleasant–sounding phrase. The consistent practice of democracy is a steadfast bulwark against despotism.

In summation, the pathway to hope is paved with crisis upon multiple crises. The answers to the many challenging dilemmas which confront the present age do not lie buried on an archaeological site. An excavation of the artifacts from an erstwhile, an outmoded, era may dig up ancient ruins, never redemptive solutions. Rather, the complex intersections of oppression can singlehandedly become disentangled at the crossroads of human liberation. Through the duality of theory and praxis, devoted revolutionaries must develop and apply restorative countermeasures. These should address the formidable social problems and the menacing circumstances of the common people. Certainly, a lotusland of true peace, unity, and emancipation can, at last, be attained—whether by isolated individuals, small groups, complex formal organizations, or entire societies and cultures. In that sense, a qualified optimism is more than justifiable. Even now, the sands are moving through the hourglass. Only time will tell.

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  1. Classical and Orthodox Marxisms: The term “classical Marxism” refers to the broad scope of ideas, covering the world of nature and the human sciences, developed by Karl Marx (Kärl Märks as pronounced in this MP3 audio file) and Friedrich Engels (Frēd′rǐx Ěn′gěls as pronounced in this MP3 audio file) during Marx’s lifetime. The website, Marx Myths and Legends, is an excellent resource for refuting many of the common forms of anti-Marxism. The Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism, the Online University of the Left, Generation Online, Informal Communist Discussion, and Marxist-Leninist Translations and Reprints also contain helpful repositories of information.
    As an aside, Engels speculated regarding the future obsolescence of the (capitalist) state. He, quite notably, did not anticipate the replacement of all forms of vertical authority with horizontal decision-making. That is to say, Engels was not an anarchist. Marxist communism—with the exception of certain of its left libertarian tendencies, currents, or variants—and anarchist communism have, in other words, been historical adversaries.
    “Orthodox Marxism,” on the other hand, began with Engels’ later works and continued through the early 1920s. It included the writings of other Marxist thinkers from this time period, such as Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Daniel De Leon, and Vladimir Lenin. Orthodox Marxism fine-tuned Marxism and, with some writers, turned it into a social science.
    The two basic perspectives, which can be found in both classical and orthodox Marxism, are dialectical materialism and historical materialism. On the other hand, some authors have used dialectical materialism and historical materialism interchangeably.
    1. dialectical materialism (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels): The unity of contradiction (the dialectic) determines the types of relationships which are found in nature or matter. Through the dialectic, according to Marx and Engels, nature, including human nature, becomes progressively more complex. Although the concept of “dialectical materialism” can be found in Marx’s own writing, the specific term was initially used by Joseph Dietzgen (German, Josef Dietzgen as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), an early Marxist, and, later, by Georgi Plekhanov (Russian Cyrillic, Георгий Плеханов, Georgij Plehanov as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), the father of Russian Marxism, and by Vladimir Lenin (Russian Cyrillic, Влади́мир Ле́нин, Vladímir Lénin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file). In the former Soviet Union, dialectical materialism was abbreviated as diamat (Russian Cyrillic, диамат as pronounced in this MP3 audio file).
      “My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel, the life process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of ‘the Idea,’ he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos [Latin, dēmiūrgōs, demiurge; the maintainer of the physical universe] of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of ‘the Idea.’ With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought….
      “… In its [the dialectic’s] rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.
      “The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which modern industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis. That crisis is once again approaching, although as yet but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectics even into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prusso-German empire.”
      [Karl Marx. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume 1. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, translators. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1915. (German original, 1867). Pages 25-26.]
      “Since the so-called emancipation of the serfs, the Russian commune was placed by the state in abnormal economic conditions, and since that time the state has not ceased to heap on it all the social forces concentrated in its hands. Weakened by fiscal exactions, it became inert matter easily exploited by commerce, landed property, and usury. This external oppression let loose inside the commune itself the conflict of interests that was already present and rapidly developed the seeds of its decomposition. But that is not all. At the expense of the peasantry, the state has cultivated, in a hot-house, branches of the western capitalist system which, without in any way developing the productive bases of its agriculture, are precisely calculated to facilitate and precipitate the theft of its fruits by unproductive intermediaries. It has thus co-operated in the production of a new capitalist vermin sucking the blood of the ‘rural commune’ that was already so impoverished.
      “In a word, the state has given its assistance in precociously developing the technical and economic means most calculated to facilitate and precipitate the exploitation of the cultivator, that is, of the largest productive force in Russia, and to enrich the ‘new pillars of society.’”
      [Karl Marx, “From the Drafts.” Karl Marx: Selected Writings. Second edition. David McLellan, editor. Oxford, England, and New York: Oxford University Press. 2000. Pages 624-628.]
      “… [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel accepted] ‘consciousness,’ ‘thought,’ quite naturalistically, as something given, something opposed from the outset to being, to nature. If that were so, it must seem extremely strange that consciousness and nature, thinking and being, the laws of thought and the laws of nature, should correspond so closely. But if the further question is raised what thought and consciousness really are and where they come from, it becomes apparent that they are products of the human brain and that man himself is a product of nature, which has developed in and along with its environment; hence it is self-evident that the products of the human brain, being in the last analysis also products of nature, do not contradict the rest of nature’s interconnections but are in correspondence with them.” [Friedrich Engels. Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science. Emile Burns, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1878 (German). 1907 (English). Page 13.]
      “According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the last resort, the production and reproduction of immediate life. But this itself is of a twofold character. On the one hand, the production of the means of subsistence, of food, clothing and shelter and the tools requisite therefore; on the other, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social institutions under which men of a definite historical epoch and of a definite country live are conditioned by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labour, on the one hand, and of the family, on the other. The less the development of labour, and the more limited its volume of production and, therefore, the wealth of society, the more preponderatingly does the social order appear to be dominated by ties of sex. However, within this structure of society based on ties of sex, the productivity of labour develops more and more; with it, private property and exchange, differences in wealth, the possibility of utilising the labour power of others, and thereby the basis of class antagonisms: new social elements, which strive in the course of generations to adapt the old structure of society to the new conditions, until, finally, the incompatibility of the two leads to a complete revolution. The old society, built on groups based on ties of sex, bursts asunder in the collision. of the newly-developed social classes; in its place a new society appears, constituted in a state, the lower units of which are no longer groups based on ties of sex but territorial groups, a society in which the family system is entirely dominated by the property system, and in which the class antagonisms and class struggles, which make up the content of all hitherto written history, now freely develop.” [Friedrich Engels, “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State,” in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Selected Works. Volume Three. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1976. Pages 191-334.]
      “If—it takes a hatter one day to make a hat, and a shoemaker the same time to make a pair of shoes—supposing the material used by each to be of the same value—and they exchange these articles with each other, they are not only mutually but equally benefited: the advantage derived by either party cannot be a disadvantage to the other, as each has given the same amount of labor, and the materials made use of by each were of equal value. But if the hatter should obtain two pair of shoes for one hat—time and value of material being as before—the exchange would clearly be an unjust one. The hatter would defraud the shoemaker of one day’s labor; and were the former to act thus in all his exchanges he would receive for the labor of half a year, the product of some other person’s whole year; therefore the gain of the first would necessarily be a loss to the last. We have heretofore acted upon no other than this most unjust system of exchanges—the workmen have given the capitalist the labor of a whole year in exchange for the value of only half a year—and from this, and not from the assumed inequality of bodily and mental powers, in individuals, has arisen the in equality of wealth and power which at present exists around us. It is an inevitable condition of inequality of exchanges—of buying at one price and selling at another —that capitalists shall continue to be capitalists and working men be working men, the one a class of tyrants and the other a class of slaves.” [Karl Marx. The Poverty of Philosophy. H. Quelch, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1910. Page 77.]
      “The worker receives means of subsistence in exchange for his labour, but the capitalist receives in exchange for his means of subsistence labour, the productive activity of the worker, the creative power whereby the worker not only replaces what he consumes but gives to the accumulated labour a greater value than it previously possessed. The workers receives a part of the available means of subsistence from the capitalist. For what purpose do these means of subsistence serve him? For immediate consumption.” [Karl Marx, “Wage Labour and Capital [1847].” Classical Sociological Theory. Second edition. Craig Calhoun, Joseph Gerteis, James Moody, Steven Pfaff, and Indermohan Virk, editors. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. 2007. Pages 122-129.]
      “Men make their history themselves, but not as yet with a collective will according to a collective plan or even in a definite, delimited given society. Their aspirations clash, and for that very reason all such societies are governed by necessity, the complement and form of appearance of which is accident. The necessity which here asserts itself athwart all accident is again ultimately economic necessity. This is where the so-called great men come in for treatment. That such and such a man and precisely that man arises at a particular time in a particular country is, of course, pure chance. But cut him out and there will be a demand for a substitute, and this substitute will be found, good or bad, but in the long run he will be found.” [Friedrich Engels, “To H. Starkenburg: London, January 25, 1894.” The Marx-Engels Reader. Second edition. Robert C. Tucker, editor. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company. 1978. Pages 767-768.]
      “Although [Karl] Marx never followed up his plan of expounding his dialectical methodology – and although he did not use the words ‘dialectical materialism’ to describe his doctrine – the elements of his thought are undeniably those conveyed by this term. One can understand why he should have stressed the dialectical form of his account of economics with a certain ‘coquetry’ as he himself puts it (in the preface to the second edition of Capital), having previously come down so hard on all ‘metaphysics of political economy.’” [Henri Lefebvre. Dialectical Materialism. John Sturrock, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2009. Page 74.]
      “Marxism, through its philosophy of ‘dialectical materialism,’ conjures away the contradiction between the high moral dynamism of our age and our stern critical passion which demands that we see human affairs objectively, i.e. as a mechanistic process in the Laplacean manner. These antinomies, which make the liberal mind stagger and fumble, are the joy and strength of Marxism: for the more inordinate our moral aspirations and the more completely amoral our objectivist outlook, the more powerful is a combination in which these contradictory principles mutually reinforce each other.” [Michael Polanyi. Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2005. Page 243.]
      “Since I am here dealing only with the question of epistemology, it will be allowable, I think, to assume that there is a matter of intuition, distinct from thought, and not reducible to it, (though incapable of existing apart from it,) since this is the position taken up within [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel’s Logic. Whether the dialectic process has any relation to it or not, its existence is, in the Logic, admitted, at least provisionally. If Hegel did make any attempt to reduce the whole universe to manifestation of pure thought, without any other element, he certainly did not do so till the transition to the world of Nature at the end of the Logic. Even there I believe no such attempt is to be found.” [John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart. Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic. Kitchener, Ontario: Batoche Books. 1999. Pages 226-227.]
      “… as [Karl] Marx was to put it later, ‘the only immutable thing is the abstraction of movement.’ Gradual change is going on all the time, some of it repetitive. But from time to time slow, cumulative secular changes lead to more fundamental changes in the nature of the entity, watersheds as it were. These changes were not just changes of quantity or degree, but qualitative changes of kind. The fundamental transitions of birth and death were biological instances of such qualitative macro-changes. So were the life and death, analogically, of societies.” [Peter Worsley. Marx and Marxism. Revised edition. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2002. Pages 15-16.]
      “One of the principal sources of the difficulties of interpretation raised by [Karl] Marx’s work resides in the fact that it is at the same time the work of both a scholar and a militant. The militant wished to mobilize his potential troops against the adversary, in such a manner as to reduce the ‘historical birth pangs.’ The scientist was aware of the complexity of the social processes and of the fact that this complexity itself rendered the consequences of social action difficult to foresee. The militant wished that the proletariat would mobilize itself against the capitalists, perhaps because he was not entirely convinced that the internal contradictions of capitalism would be sufficient to render its destruction inevitable. He wanted the proletariat to eliminate the middle class in the same way as the middle class had eliminated the feudal class. But the scholar had clearly seen the importance of the downfall of private income from the land in the process of the degeneration of feudalism, and realized that it was due to an accumulation of exogenous factors.” [Raymond Boudon and François Bourricaud. A Critical Dictionary of Sociology. Peter Hamilton, translator. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2003. Page 229.]
      “In terms of the basic class relationship of capital/labour, we have seen that it is fundamentally a relationship of work which has the commodity form. Capital appears as a means of social control through work under circumstances in which capitalists control the means of production and thus force the working class to work for them. This is not accomplished easily because the working class, too, has initiative and there is a continual power struggle — the class struggle over work. The character of that struggle has varied — whether, how much, what price — but it is always about work, about the commodity form.” [Harry Cleaver. Reading Capital Politically. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2000. Page 159.]
      “… dialectical materialism deduces … that ‘reality’ and ‘dialectical contradiction’ are the same thing—that is, interchangeable terms and concepts. In its view, everything is contradiction: mechanical motion, the cell, action and reaction in physics, as well as the relation between capital and wage-labour: there is no thing or reality devoid of inner contradiction.” [Lucio Colletti, “Marxism and the Dialectic.” New Left Review. Series I, number 93, September–October 1975. Pages 3-29.]
      “The materialist dialectician declares that mind cannot be separated from matter; our mind (‘spirit’) is a property of specifically organised matter, viz., the brain of man, who is a member of a specific historically developed society. This qualitatively specific phenomenon actually exists in objective reality. We ourselves are the best proof of this, for we are thinking beings, performing intellectual labour. We do actually think, it does not merely seem to us that we do. Even imagination is, in a manner of speaking, thought. The external world is reflected in the mind of man. Thought is not the object itself reflected in the mind; it is but the reflection of the object. The theory that the external world is ‘reflected’ in the mind is fundamental to the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism. The movement of atoms takes place both in a cobblestone and in a man’s head and both the cobblestone and the head reflect the action of the external world; but it is perfectly obvious that the movement and the reflection are qualitatively different in each case. In the next chapter we shall deal in greater detail with the question of our knowledge.” [Vladimir Adoratsky. Dialectical Materialism: The Theoretical Foundation of Marxism-Leninism. New York: International Publishers. 1934. Ebook edition.]
    2. historical materialism (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels): Dialectical materialism is applied to history and social science. The relations between dominators (or oppressors) and the dominated (or the oppressed) are characterized by contradictions (the dialectic). Throughout most of human history, dominant or oppressive groups have used their ownership and control of the economy to dominate or oppress others. Examples include: ancient slavery, medieval feudalism, and modern capitalism. This oppression began following the end of a global dominance of primitive communism (hunting-fishing-gathering or foraging societies).
      In Engels’ book, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880), he referred to this social theory as “historical materialism” and, alternately, as “scientific socialism.” Engels distinguished between scientific (Marxian) socialism and the utopian socialism of Robert Owen and others. Later, in his letter to Conrad Schmidt (1890), he also designated the perspective as “[t]he materialist conception of history.” These terms are, approximately, three alternate designations for the same theory.
      “To accomplish … [the] act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and this the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific Socialism.” [Friedrich Engels. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Edward Aveling, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1908. Page 139.]
      “I hope even British respectability will not be overshocked if I use, in English as well as in so many other languages, the term ‘historical materialism,’ to designate that view of the course of history which seeks the ultimate cause and the great moving power of all important historic events in the economic development of society, in the changes in the modes of production and exchange, in the consequent division of society into distinct classes, and in the struggles of these classes against one another.” [Friedrich Engels. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Engels’ introduction to the English-language edition. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1880 (German). 1892 (English).]
      “… one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.
      “But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.”
      [Karl Marx. Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1970 (German original, 1875). Page 5.]
      “The materialistic doctrine that men are the products of conditions and education, different men therefore the products of other conditions and changed education, forgets that circumstances may be altered by men and that the educator has himself to be educated. It necessarily happens therefore that society is divided into two parts, of which one is elevated above society (Robert Owen for example).
      “The occurrence simultaneously of a change in conditions and human activity can only be comprehended and rationally understood as a revolutionary fact.”
      [Karl Marx, “Marx on Feuerbach (Jotted down in Brussels in the spring of 1845).” (Theses on Feuerbach.) In Friedrich Engels. Feuerbach: The Roots of the Socialist Philosophy. Austin Lewis, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1908. Pages 129-133.]
      “The dialectical method … came to be added to historical materialism and the analysis of the economic content, once this analysis had been sufficiently developed to allow and demand a rigorous scientific expression. The dialectical method, worked out first of all in an idealist form, as being the activity of the mind becoming conscious of the content and of the historical Becoming, and now worked out again, starting from economic determinations, loses its abstract, idealist form, but it does not pass away. On the contrary, it becomes more coherent by being united with a more elaborate materialism. [Henri Lefebvre. Dialectical Materialism. John Sturrock, translator. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2009. Page 72.]
      “Having generalized the experiences of the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle and the data of science, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels demonstrated the dialectical-materialist character of development of nature and of human society. They completed the edifice of materialism by applying it to social history, and in this way created historical materialism. This was of great revolutionary significance both for the science of society and for the entire social practice. An integral theory of the laws of the development of nature, society and thought—the philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism—was created.” [Alexander Spirkin. Fundamentals of Philosophy. Sergei Syrovatkin, translator. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1990. Page 62.]
      “Marxism refers to those schools of social, economic, political and philosophical enquiry that derive their approach from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The interpretations and developments of Marx’s work are extremely diverse. They share an approach to the analysis of society that gives primacy to economic activity, although key debates within Marxism centre on the degree to which the economic base determines the nature and structure of the rest of society. Societies are understood as being structured according to the exploitation of subordinate classes by a dominant class. Historical change is therefore typically analysed in terms of developments within the economic base, that are manifest as class conflict and revolution.” [Andrew Edgar, “Marxism.” Cultural Theory: The Key Concepts. Second edition. Andrew Edgar and Peter Sedgwick, editors. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2008. Pages 196-199.]
  2. Return to the table of contents.

  3. Spectrum of Tendencies and Currents: The current chapter includes several tendencies, currents, or perspectives related to communist, socialist, and anarchist theory and praxis (practice). For clarification, this writer’s personal and tentative definition of the word communism is “the demolition of the capitalist state, followed by a proletarian state of workers’ coöperatives, and culminating in a non–state federation of workers’ coöperatives.” Time will tell. See the Connexions website.
    Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism; Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism; Marxism–Leninism–Lukácsism; left communism, libertarian Marxism, syndicalist Marxism, and radical democratic Marxism; Marxism–Leninism–Titoism; Eduard Bernstein’s evolutionary socialism (including both democratic socialism and social democracy); left Refoundation and regroupment; critical communism; and anarchism and libertarianism will be considered in sequence.
    In contrast with left communism, Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism moved the communist movement to the right. Sections devoted to Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism–Maoism and Marxism–Juche can be found in the chapter on Global Southernism and Third World. For a guide to various left tendencies, visit the website, Leftist Parties of the World.
    “The far left in America consists principally of people who believe in some form of Marxism-Leninism, i.e., some form of Communism. A small minority of extreme leftists adhere to ‘pure’ Marxism or collectivist anarchism. Most far leftists scorn reform (except as a short-term tactic), and instead aim for the complete overthrow of the capitalist system including the U.S. government. In [Vladimir] Lenin’s view, the battle for an eight-hour work day was nothing more than a ‘tactical manoeuver to improve the power position of the party’ and those who saw it as something more were guilty of vulgar reformism.…
    “Inasmuch as political extremism is more a matter of style rather than content, it’s not the case that the only left extremist groups are Marxist-Leninists. Any group identified with nominally ‘leftist’ political positions may be ‘extremist’ to some extent. Extreme radical feminists are environmentals, for example, may be as ‘extreme’ in their behaviors as the most dedicated Marxist-Leninist. One of the modern innovations of Marxist-Leninist theory has been the increasing transformation of ethnic and gender oppression to overshadow the tradition role of working-class oppression in its worldview.”
    [John George and Laird Wilcox. American Extremists: Militias, Supremacists, Klansmen, Communists, & Others. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. 1996. Pages 95-96.]
    “Every page of [Karl] Marx, and even more of [Friedrich] Engels, brought a new revelation, and an intellectual delight which I had only experienced once before, at my first contact with [Sigmund] Freud.” [Arthur Koestler, “Arthur Koestler.” The God that Failed. Richard Crossman, editor. New York: Harper Colophon Books imprint of Harper & Row, Publishers. 1963. Pages 15-75.]
    1. Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism: Historically, Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism, or the Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist tendency, has been the dominant political expression of Marxism. It was, arguably, a failed attempt to apply Marxism, as modified (or, rather, distorted) by Vladimir Lenin and others, to nation states. According to Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism, a revolutionary vanguard or vanguard party, consisting of class-conscious members of the working class (i.e., those who have rejected capitalism), establish a single-party state. This list is far from being comprehensive. This tendency, with its legacy of “right” authoritarianism, is, arguably, the closest movement to an “alt–left.”
      In terms of the varieties of Marxist–Leninism, in the 21st century, Cuba is the only remaining nation state where Marxist-Leninism, of a sort, continues to be dominant. However, it seems to be declining in importance under the presidency of Raúl Castro (MP3 audio file). Both Vietnam and Laos are, for their parts, gradually transitioning from Marxism–Leninism to market-based economies. Mainland China has pursued a similar course. Marxism–Maoism, a branch of Marxism–Leninism, is discussed in the chapter on Global Southernism and Third World.
      “In deed – a complete renunciation of dialectical materialism, i.e., of Marxism; in word – endless subterfuges, attempts to evade the essence of the question, to cover their retreat, to put some materialist or other in place of materialism in general, and a determined refusal to make a direct analysis of the innumerable materialist declarations of Marx and Engels. This is truly ‘mutiny on one’s knees,’ as it was justly characterised by one Marxist.” [Vladimir I. Lenin. Materialism and Empirio-Criticism Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy. 1908.]
      “… Bolshevism arose in 1903 on a very firm foundation of Marxist theory. The correctness of this revolutionary theory, and of it alone, has been proved, not only by world experience throughout the nineteenth century, but especially by the experience of the seekings and vacillations, the errors and disappointments of revolutionary thought in Russia. For about half a century—approximately from the forties to the nineties of the last century—progressive thought in Russia, oppressed by a most brutal and reactionary tsarism, sought eagerly for a correct revolutionary theory, and followed with the utmost diligence and thoroughness each and every ‘last word’ in this sphere in Europe and America. Russia achieved Marxism—the only correct revolutionary theory—through the agony she experienced in the course of half a century of unparalleled torment and sacrifice, of unparalleled revolutionary heroism, incredible energy, devoted searching, study, practical trial, disappointment, verification, and comparison with European experience. Thanks to the political emigration caused by tsarism, revolutionary Russia, in the second half of the nineteenth century, acquired a wealth of international links and excellent information on the forms and theories of the world revolutionary movement, such as no other country possessed.” [Vladimir I. Lenin. V. I. Lenin—Collected Works: Volume 31, April-December 1920. Julius Katzer, translator and editor. Moscow, USSR: Progress Publishers. 1966. Pages 25-26.]
      “The bourgeois scholars and publicists usually present their defence of imperialism in a somewhat veiled form, obscure the fact that it is in complete domination, and conceal its deep roots; they strive to concentrate attention on special aspects and characteristics of secondary importance, and do their utmost to distract attention from the main issue by advancing absolutely ridiculous schemes for ‘reform,’ such as police supervision of the trusts or banks, etc. Less frequently, cynical and frank imperialists speak out and are bold enough to admit the absurdity of the idea of ‘reforming’ the fundamental features of imperialism.” [Vladimir I. Lenin. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Revised translation. London: Lawrence & Wishart, Ltd. 1934. Page 99.]
      “The study of crime and deviance can … provide us with some fascinating insights into the relationship that evolved between state and society under communism. Studying popular attitudes towards law and crime allows for the exploration of the widening gulf that developed between the ‘official line’ – the ideologically driven beliefs, values and behaviour promoted by these regimes – and the realities of life under communism in Eastern Europe. Studying crime and deviance allows us to explore some of the ways in which people reacted to, reshaped, resisted and even rejected communism ‘from below’ and is a testament to the ways in which many individuals and groups responded to attempts to extend state regulation over their lives by the evasion and manipulation of state law. My own research has indicated that whilst many people turned to petty crime primarily out of necessity; as a ‘coping mechanism’ to overcome the increasing failings of the planned economy, for others it also represented civil disobedience and subversion, a form of protest against and resistance towards the regimes in power. This fact was recognised by the state authorities, who from the late 1960s, largely condoned this proliferation of ‘petty illegalities’ both to conceal the worst economic failings of socialism and act as a ‘pressure valve’ to reduce social tension and provide an outlet for people’s frustrations with the regimes.” [Kelly Hignett, “Crime in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe.” Law, Crime and History. Volume 1, issue 1, 2011. Pages 131-133.]
      “The Communist International has made frequent pronouncements in its official resolutions on the attitude which the proletariat should adopt towards the bourgeois army. But with the theses on the struggle against imperialist war and on the tasks of the communists which were adopted by the Sixth World Congress …, the international revolutionary proletariat now possesses a detailed programme, in accordance with the doctrine of [Karl] Marx, [Friedrich] Engels and [Vladimir] Lenin, on the problems of war and on the proletariat's stance with respect to the various types of war and types of army in the various phases of the proletarian revolution. These theses provide a clear orientation for the tactics of the Party, and of the entire revolutionary proletariat, in relation to the various types of army – according to their character (armies based on compulsory military service; militias or mercenary armies; imperialist armies; bourgeois volunteer organizations; nationaldemocratic armies), and according to the class aims which they serve. The enormous importance of these theses resides in the fact that problems of war and military questions are not dealt with abstractly or academically, but in close relation with the entire policy and tactics of the revolutionary party in preparing and organizing the proletarian revolution.” [A. Neuberg. Armed Insurrection. London: New Left Books. 1970. Page 151.]
      “Even at the time when I had an extremely hostile attitude towards the Communist Party in the Soviet country, I always said that the day when I should have to choose between restoration and [Vladimir] Lenin, I would be with Lenin. It is evident that many obstacles to common action which still existed a few years ago and seemed to have acquired a normal and permanent character, have disappeared, or tend to disappear. It is evident that what has happened in France is an element the importance of which cannot be overestimated.” [Editor. Verbatim Report on the Begotiations Between the Second & Third Internationals on the Question of Supporting the Heroic Struggle of the Spanish Workers. London: Modern Books Limited. 1934. Page 15.]
      1. Soviet Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism (Vladimir Lenin and many others): The establishment, through national revolutions, of single-party governments around the world. Command economies, where governments have centralized control over the economy, were implemented. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is the contemporary successor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
        “The internal social and economic conditions, the oppressive political system, the national tensions and the class conflicts within the Russian Empire which led to the revolution of 1917 have been described elsewhere in this series. However, it is worth recalling some of the salient features of the tsarist social and political order into which Joseph Stalin was born and in which he served his revolutionary apprenticeship.
        “At the end of the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire was the largest continuous land-empire in the world, covering approximately one-sixth of the earth’s land surface. In 1897 it contained a population of over 125 million people, of which only two-fifths were Russian. The other 60 per cent was made up of a multinational, multilingual and multireligious conglomeration of Slavs, Jews, Balts, Finns, Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Turkic-speaking Muslim peoples of Central Asia, and a whole patchwork of aboriginal ethnic groups and tribes in Siberia and the Far East. Many of them suffered from various forms of racial discrimination and religious persecution and actively struggled to liberate themselves from Russian imperialism. Stalin, himself a non-Russian, made the nationalities problem of the Russian Empire one of his special areas of expertise, and it was in fact as People’s Commissar for Nationalities that he made his political debut in the very first Soviet government.”
        [Alan Wood. Stalin and Stalinism. Second edition. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2005. Pages 5-6.]
        “In addition to a significant reduction in working hours, workers gained large wage increases as a consequence of the February Revolution. They returned to the factories in March determined that the overthrow of tsarism should signal a dramatic change in their working lives. A deputy from the Narva district told the Petrograd Soviet on 5 March: ‘Surely political freedoms are meant to help workers live like human beings. They should guarantee the minimum conditions of human existence — the eight-hour day and the minimum wage. Freedoms are useless if the old conditions persist.’ He was undoubtedly expressing a general opinion, for everywhere workers began to raise demands for large wage-rises, payment for the days spent toppling the Romanov dynasty, and a minimum wage. Although the demands raised by different factories tended to be the same, the struggle to achieve them was conducted on an extremely localised basis. In the absence of trade unions, it was the factory committees which led the wages battles, but in some factories there was very little organisation — merely a free-for-all, in which workers unused to traditions of organised wage negotiation sought to improve their wages by the only method they knew — direct action. The result was considerable variation between factories in the level of achievement of the struggles.” [S. A. Smith. Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 1985. Page 68.]
      2. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الجَبْهَة الشَعْبِيَّة لِتَحْرِير فِلَسْطِين, ʾal-Ǧabhaẗ ʾal-Šaʿbiyyaẗ li-Taḥrīr Filasṭīn) or the PFLP: It is a secular, non-Islamic Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization in Palestine.
      3. Egyptian Communist Party (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ المِصْرِيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-Miṣriyy): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
      4. new socialism (W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell): They proposed a new state–managed version of Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist socialism or communism. Cockshott was a member of the British and Irish Communist Organisation, the British and Irish Communist Organisation, and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist).
        “First of all, we argue that social democracy sells short the historic aspirations of socialism; it represents an insufficiently radical solution to the ills of modern capitalist societies. In contrast to the social democrats, we believe that there is much of value in the classical Marxian project of radical social transformation. On the other hand, we reject the idealist view which seeks to preserve the purity of socialist ideals at the cost of disconnecting them from historical reality. We recognise, that is, that the Soviet-type societies were in a significant sense socialist. Of course, they did not represent the materialisation of the ideals of [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, or even of [Vladimir] Lenin, but then what concrete historical society was ever the incarnation of an Idea? When we use the term ‘socialism’ as a social-scientific concept, to differentiate a specific form of social organisation by virtue of its specific mode of production, we must recognise that socialism is not a Utopia. It is quite unscientific to claim that because the Soviet system was not democratic, therefore it cannot have been socialist, or more generally to build whatever features of society one considers most desirable into the very definition of socialism.” [W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. Towards a New Socialism. Nottingham, England: Spokesman. 1993. Ebook edition. Pages 1-2 of ebook edition.]
        “Socialist states traditionally have gone to great lengths to acquire capitalist currency. Their motivation is the wish for funds to pay for imports of both producer and consumer goods. The state plan generally included a budget for imports of capital equipment and for articles destined for final consumption. One of the problems that planners faced is that they were unable to predict what the prices of imports will be by the time that they are purchased. There is an element of uncertainty in all planning, but at least for a domestic plan it is in principle possible to pre-compute the requirements and outputs of different industries because these industries are subject to centralised control. Foreign suppliers are outside the planning system and the prices that they will demand in 3 years time are unknowable. In some cases it may be possible to negotiate longterm fixed-price supply contracts, but these will be the exception. If trade with capitalist countries becomes too large, the uncertainties this introduces into the planning process can start to undermine economic stability. This is especially the case if the plan comes to depend upon imported industrial equipment which later becomes unavailable due to shortages of foreign exchange.” [W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. Towards a New Socialism. Nottingham, England: Spokesman. 1993. Ebook edition. Page 129 of ebook edition.]
        “We assume that the members of the commune will be commensals, that is to say that they will eat together at least part of the time. This implies the existence of communal kitchens and a refectory, the ownership or at least disposition over large-scale cooking equipment, and an allocation of labour to the task of food preparation. We can envisage two basic principles on which the organisation of cooking could be carried out. Both are compatible with communist principles in the broad sense. In one case the commune would employ some of its members as full-time paid cooks, while in the other case there would be a roster system with duties rotating.” [W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. Towards a New Socialism. Nottingham, England: Spokesman. 1993. Page 149 of ebook edition.]
      5. Cuban Communist Party: This party was founded by the late Fidel Castro (MP3 audio file), 1926-2016.
        “We have … drawn up plans to resist any naval blockade, no matter how long it lasts, and we have prepared ourselves to face any kind of aggression the imperialists may contrive.
        “Our people will be prepared to fiercely resist not just naval and airborne landing operations and defend the cities and positions to the last inch and the last man, but also to go on fighting even when the country has been invaded and occupied. Every cadre of the [Communist] Party, the state, the armed forces; every officer, every combatant, every citizen and even every teenager will know what to do under any circumstances.
        “In Lebanon, the Zionist aggressors are shaken by their losses caused almost daily by the growing Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.
        “I don’t have nuclear bombs, but I can produce a nuclear explosion…I want to do something that they will remember for the rest of their lives and then, when we are gone, history will remind them [Americans] that we were the only ones who made them pay dearly for their imperialistic arrogance around the world.”
        [Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro on the United States: Selected Statements, 1958-2003. Hans de Salas-del Valle, editor. Coral Gables, Florida: Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. February, 2003. No pagination.]
        “Rather than envy—as I think the U.S. government does—and therefore despise Cuba for its dedication to the health of its citizens and its elevation of black people, women, and the poor, I believe it has important lessons to teach our gadget-rich but spiritually bankrupt country: That the earth on which we live is the body of God. All people and living things are the body and soul of God. And that we do not serve God by making the earth and its people suffer, but by making the earth and its people whole. This is why I have always believed Fidel Castro is really a priest.” [Alice Walker, “The Story of Why I Am Here: Or, A Woman Connects Oppressions.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 68, issue 8, January 2017. Pages 58-61.]
      6. The National Liberation Front – Bahrain (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الجَبْهَة التَحْرِير الوَطَنِيّ ـ البَحْرَيْنِ, ʾal-Ǧabhaẗ ʾal-Taḥrīr ʾal-Waṭaniyy – ʾal-Baḥrayni): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist group.
      7. Jordanian Democratic People’s Party (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشَعْب الدِيمُقرَاطِيّ الأُرْدُنِّيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šaʿb ʾal-Dīmūqrāṭiyy ʾal-ꞌUrdunniyy): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
      8. The Struggle (ʾUrdū, طَبَقَاتِی جِدُوجْہَد, Ṭabaqātī Ǧidūǧhad, literally, “class struggle”): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization in Pakistan.
      9. Communist Party of Pakistan (ʾUrdūized English, کُمْیُونِسْٹ پَارْٹِی آف پَاکِسْتَانَ‎, Kumyūnisṭ Pārṭī ʾâf Pākistāna): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist group.
      10. Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (Amharic, የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝባዊ አብዮታዊ ፓርቲ, Yaʾutéyop̣éyā Ḥézébāwi ʾAbéyetāwu Pārétu): It originally supported a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist revolution in Ethiopia.
      11. Māq″y (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, מָק״י): It is a Hebrew acronym for the Communist Party of Israel (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, הָמִפְלָגָה הָקוֹמוּנִיסְטִית הָיִשְׂרְאֵלִית, hā-Mip̄əlāḡāh hā-Qōmūniysəṭiyṯ hā-Yiśərəʾēliyṯ; or Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ الإِسْرَائِيلِيّ‎, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ꞌIsrāꞌīliyy), a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
      12. Israeli Communist Forum (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, הָפוֹרוּם הָקוֹמוּנִיסְטִי הָיִשְׂרְאֵלִי, hā-P̄ōrūm hā-Qōmūniysəṭiy hā-Yiśərəʾēliy; or Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, المُنْتَدَى الشُيُوعِيّ الإِسْرَائِيلِيّ, ʾal-Muntadaỳ ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ꞌIsrāꞌīliyy): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist activity.
      13. Communist Party of India (Marxist) (Hindī, भारत की कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी (मार्क्सवादी), Bhārata kī Kamyunisṭa Pārṭī (Mārksavādī)): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
      14. Communist Party of Greece (Greek/Hellēniká, Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization in Greece.
      15. Jordanian Communist Party (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ الأُرْدُنِّيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ꞌUrdunniyy): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist group.
      16. Workers World Party: This U.S. Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist (previously, Marxist–Leninist–Trotskyist) party was founded by Sam Marcy (born, Sam Ballan).
        “Modern transnational monopolies differ fundamentally in their economic content from those days, but they still show the same greed and avarice, the utterly unprecedented cruelty and barbarous treatment which characterized the slave trade. This is what lay behind the flourishing of world commerce, and laid the development for what Marx later called the primitive accumulation of capital. The word primitive was not a characterization of the many millions of people captured as slaves. The term primitive was applied to the fiendish method by which the early capitalists accumulated the primary, original capital that was so indispensable for the development of their system of oppression and exploitation. not only Spain, Portugal, england, France and Holland, but also Denmark, Sweden and Prussia participated, garnering fabulous profits as a result of the slave trade.” [Sam Marcy, “Black labor from chattel slavery to wage slavery.” Marxism: Reparations and the Black Freedom Struggle. Monica Moorehead, editor. New York: World View Forum. 2007. Pages 155-178.]
        “Despite its [the Bill of Rights’] progressive side, it is important to recognize that the Bill of Rights did not mean rights for all people. Most people in the South were kidnapped African slaves who could be bought, sold, branded, beaten or killed without any protection. Indigenous peoples were targeted for expropriation, removal or extermination. Women were considered the property of their husbands and were granted no rights or protections. Thus the amendments guaranteed rights to a small minority of white men who owned property and were the only ones allowed to vote or assured of having rights.” [Sara Flounders. War Without Victory: The Pentagon’s Achilles Heel. New York: World View Forum. 2012. Page 145.]
      17. Communist Party U.S.A.: It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in the U.S.
        “Founded in 1919, the Communist Party USA has championed the struggles for democracy, labor rights, women’s equality, racial justice and peace for ninety years. The Communist Party has an unparalleled history in the progressive movement of the United States, from the struggle against Jim Crow segregation, the organizing of the industrial unions, from the canneries of California, to the sweatshops.” [“The Party.” Communist Party U.S.A. Undated. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      18. Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada: It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Canada.
        A new direction for the economy that upholds public right, not monopoly right. Sovereign decision making over the economy has to be restored and manufacturing made a priority using natural resources to meet the people’s needs, not for sell-out. An end to the sell-off and privatization of public assets.” [“Vote Marxist-Leninist!Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada. Undated. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      19. Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist): A Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in the United Kingdom.
        “We are constantly told that Trotsky was the true ‘inheritor’ of Lenin and one of the authors of the Russian revolution, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Trotsky was an enemy of Lenin and Leninism until the eve of the revolution, and only joined the Bolsheviks in 1917 when it was obvious they were going to win.” [“Trotskyism is a tool of the capitalists … Leninism is a weapon for the workers!Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). October 27th, 2014. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      20. Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Canada. They support the BC Worker and the TML Weekly Information Project.
      21. Communist Movement of the Punjab (Guramukhī Pajāba script, ਪਜਾਬ ਦੀ ਕਮਿਊਨਿਸਟ ਲਹਿਰ, Pajāba dī Kamiꞌūnisaṭa Lahira; or Šāh Mukhī Panǧāba script, پَنْجَابَ دِی کَمِیُونِسَٹَ لَہِرَ, Panǧāba dī Kamiyūnisaṭa Lahira): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist activity in the Punjab.
      22. Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (Laotian, ພັກປະຊາຊົນປະຕິວັດລາວ, Phak-Pasāson-Patiwat-Lāw): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Laos (MP3 audio file).
      23. The Communist Party of Vietnam (Vietnamese, Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): This Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Vietnam follows Ho Chi Minh Thought (Vietnamese, Tư tưởng Hồ Chí Minh as pronounced in this MP3 audio file).
      24. Socialist Network: This activity publishes The Project: A Socialist Journal.
        1. “We stand for a mass socialist party, the aim of which will be to bring about the end of capitalism and its replacement by socialism.
        2. “Under capitalism, production is carried out solely to make a profit for the few, regardless of the needs of society or damage to the environment. Capitalism does not and cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority. Its state and institutions will have to be replaced by ones that act in the interests of the majority.
        3. “Socialism means complete political, social and economic democracy. It requires a fundamental breach with capitalism. It means a society in which the wealth and the means of production are no longer in private hands but are owned in common. Everyone will have the right to participate in deciding how the wealth of society is used and how production is planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the natural world on which we depend. We reject the idea that the undemocratic regimes that existed in the former Soviet Union and other countries were socialist.
        4. “The mass socialist party will oppose all oppression and discrimination, whether on the basis of gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion or sexual orientation and aim to create a society in which such oppression and discrimination no longer exist.
        5. “Socialism has to be international. The interests of the working class are the same everywhere. The mass socialist party will oppose all imperialist wars and military interventions. It will reject the idea that there is a national solution to the problems of capitalism. It will stand for the maximum solidarity and cooperation between the working class in Britain and elsewhere. It will work with others across Europe to replace the European Union with a voluntary European federation of socialist societies.”
        [Editor, “Socialist Network Statement of Aims and Principles.” Socialist Network. 2017. Web. Retrieved on January 17th, 2017.]
      25. Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST): A youth-oriented Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
        “… what is the answer? The answer is the abolition of the capitalist system and the expropriation of the capitalist class. In the place of the capitalist system a system based on actual human need, in solidarity with the oppressed and workers the world over, needs to be built. The system of socialism removes the profit motive; the means of production are held and developed by the entire society for the need of all in society, not for profit.” [Tyneisha Bowens, Ben Carroll, LeiLani Dowell, Elena Everett, Julie Fry, Larry Hales, David Hoskins, Caleb Maupin, and Dante Strobino. What Is Marxism All About? New York: World View Forum. 2013. Page 9.]
        “A worker is anyone who sells their labor power in order to survive. The overwhelming majority of humanity is made up of workers. There are workers in the United States, France, Australia, Bangladesh, Jamaica, China, Tunisia and every other country on earth. Every building in the New York City skyline is the product of the collective work of thousands of workers. Every product in every store was produced by workers, packaged by workers, stocked and transported by workers, and sold by workers.
        “The labor of workers makes the world move. The labor of workers is the source of all wealth and power.
        “You are not a capitalist. In addition to the overwhelming majority of humanity that are workers, there is a very small group of people called capitalists. They are sometimes called ‘the ruling class,’ the ‘bourgeoisie,’ or ‘the 1%.’ These are people who do not make their living by stocking shelves, sweeping floors, teaching students, painting pictures, or do any other useful work.
        “The small minority of people in the capitalist class make their living by owning, not by working. They own the majority of the world. They own the natural resources and land. They own the factories. They own huge stores. They own the oil wells. They own the banks.”
        [Editor. The Truth about Communism. Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST). Undated pamphlet.]
        “The Marxist conception of the state has been the center of debate among activists for more than a century. By ‘the state,’ we mean the police, the military, the prison system, the courts, and other supporting institutions. These are the primary tools of class domination, through which the billionaire .01% ruling class control the rest of society. The state has consistently been the primary tool of oppression of the Black nation, Indigenous peoples, the Chicana/o nation, as well as other nationalities within the US. It is also the primary tool for reinforcing gender oppression, oppression of LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer] people, and other forms of social oppression.” [Andy Katz and Scott Williams, “How will we defeat the police state?” Red Flag: The Voice of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together. Volume 1, issue 2. Pages 4-7.]
      26. Hoxhaism (MP3 audio file): This Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist philosophy was established in Albania under the leadership of Enver Hoxha (MP3 audio file). He lived 1908–1985 A.D.
        “The revolution and socialism as a theory and practical activity cannot be imposed on the masses from outside by isolated individuals or groups of people. The revolution and socialism represent the only key which the proletariat and the masses need to solve the irreconcilable contradictions of capitalist society, to put an end to their exploitation and oppression and establish genuine freedom and equality. As long as there is oppression and exploitation, as long as capitalism exists, the thinking and struggle of the masses will always be directed towards the revolution and socialism.” [Enver Hoxha. Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism. Undated.]
        “In this great anti-fascist liberation war, in which all the progressive peoples, united in face of the danger threatening mankind, have thrown in all their energies in a common effort against the Nazi fascist barbarians, our heroic people, with the greatest self-sacrifice, have made their contribution to the liberation of the homeland and the wiping out of the fascist plague. The Albanian people courageously undertook the most terrible, and at the same time the most glorious war ever known in our history, and have shown in deeds, which will remain as lasting monuments for the future generations of our country, that the blood of their heroic ancestors still flows in the veins of the Albanians, and that their spirit is endowed with the lofty virtues characteristic of our people. In face of the great torrent threatening to engulf our country, the people, regardless of the sufferings, hunger, burnings, and killings, embarked on the only road of salvation through which they were to smash the dreadful shackles of slavery, the road of merciless war against the occupiers and the traitors of the country. Through their war against savage and powerful enemies equipped with the most modern weapons, the Albanian people fought their way step by step to glory to raise high the name of Albania and the Albanians, earning for our country the respect of the whole world, and through the blood of their glorious sons, the right to take their place alongside all those peoples who undertook the great task of the salvation of mankind.” [Enver Hoxha, “Declaration of the Democratic Government of Albania at the 2ⁿᵈ Meeting of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council of Albania,” Enver Hoxha. Enver Hoxha Speaks. Tirana, Albania: Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania. 2012. Pages 1-3.]
        “Right till the last days of his life Comrade Enver Hoxha fought and worked at the head of the Party and the people. Even in his last years, Enver Hoxha dedicated his all to the great cause, the ideal of communism, just as he did throughout his whole life as a militant and leader. Age, sickness, the exceptionally heavy burden of his activity took their toll. He did his best and managed to overcome every obstacle in order to work always with rare vitality and fiery passion for the good of the Homeland. Despite his worries and health problems at this period, Enver Hoxha was always at the head of the Party, in the activity of the whole life of the country, took part in a series of important events and guided the leading organs of the Party.” [Editor. Enver Hoxha: 1908-1985. Foto Cami, Sofokli Lazri, Leka Shkurti, Agim Popa, Raqi Madhi, Vangjel Moisiu, Spiro Dede, and Ajet Simixhiu, editors. Tirana, Albania: Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania. 1986. Page 278.]
    2. Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism as pronounced in this MP3 audio file (Russian Cyrillic, Марксизм-Ленинизм-Троцкизм, Marksizm-Leninizm-Trockizm): Leon Trotsky (Russian Cyrillic, Лео́н Тро́цкий, León Tróckij as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), 1879-1940, was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Russian Cyrillic, Лев Давидович Бронштейн, Lev Davidovič Bronštejn as pronounced in this MP3 audio file). After visiting the United States, he was assassinated by the former Soviet Union’s secret police (the KGB) while in Mexico. Trotsky critiqued Soviet Marxism–Leninism as having devolved into a “degenerated workers’ state.” Trotsky himself accepted Bolshevism and regarded his approach as Marxism–Leninism—although some other Marxist–Leninists would disagree. One of Trotsky’s signature perspectives is his theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists began the Fourth International. For Trotskyist–related information, see the websites: In Struggle – Dispatches from the Trotskyist Left and Lubitz’ TrotskyanaNet.
      “We met with success in the October Revolution, but the October Revolution has met with little success in our press. Up to the present time we lack a single work which gives a comprehensive picture of the October upheaval and puts the proper stress upon its most important political and organizational aspects. Worse yet, even the available firsthand material—including the most important documents — directly pertaining to the various particulars of the preparation for the revolution, or the revolution itself remains unpublished as yet. Numerous documents and considerable material have been issued bearing on the pre-October history of the revolution and the pre-October history of the party; we have also issued much material and many documents relating to the post October period. But October itself has received far ]ess attention. Having achieved the revolution, we seem to have concluded that we should never have to repeat it. It is as if we thought that no immediate and direct benefit for the unpostponable tasks of future constructive work could be derived from the study of October; the actual conditions of the direct preparation for it; the actual accomplishment of it; and the work of consolidating it during the first few weeks.” [Leon Trotsky. The Lessons of October. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1924. Page 1.]
      “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.
      “The economic prerequisite for the proletarian revolution has already in general achieved the highest point of fruition that can be reached under capitalism. Mankind’s productive forces stagnate. Already new inventions and improvements fail to raise the level of material wealth. Conjunctural crises under the conditions of the social crisis of the whole capitalist system inflict ever heavier deprivations and sufferings upon the masses. Growing unemployment, in its turn, deepens the financial crisis of the state and undermines the unstable monetary systems. Democratic regimes, as well as fascist, stagger on from one bankruptcy to another.
      “The bourgeoisie itself sees no way out. In countries where it has already been forced to stake its last upon the card of fascism, it now toboggans with closed eyes toward an economic and military catastrophe. In the historically privileged countries, i.e., in those where the bourgeoisie can still for a certain period permit itself the luxury of democracy at the expense of national accumulations (Great Britain, France, United States, etc.), all of capital’s traditional parties are in a state of perplexity bordering on a paralysis of will. The ‘New Deal,’ despite its first period of pretentious resoluteness, represents but a special form of political perplexity, possible only in a country where the bourgeoisie succeeded in accumulating incalculable wealth. The present crisis, far from having run its full course, has already succeeded in showing that ‘New Deal’ politics, like Popular Front politics in France, opens no new exit from the economic blind alley.”
      [Leon Trotsky. The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International: The Transitional Program adopted by the Founding Conference of the Fourth International with the Statutes of the Fourth International. New York: Pioneer Publishers. 1946. Pages 5-6.]
      “Dialectic is neither fiction nor mysticism, but a science of the forms of our thinking insofar as it is not limited to the daily problems of life but attempts to arrive at an understanding of more complicated and drawn-out processes. The dialectic and formal logic bear a relationship similar to that between higher and lower mathematics.” [Leon Trotsky. The ABC of Materialist Dialectics. December 15th, 1939.]
      “The inner regime of the Bolshevik party was characterized by the method of democratic centralism. The combination of these two concepts, democracy and centralism, is not in the least contradictory. The party took watchful care not only that its boundaries should always be strictly defined, but also that all those who entered these boundaries should enjoy the actual right to define the direction of the party policy. Freedom of criticism and intellectual struggle was an irrevocable content of the party democracy. The present doctrine that Bolshevism does not tolerate factions is a myth of the epoch of decline. In reality the history of Bolshevism is a history of the struggle of factions. And, indeed, how could a genuinely revolutionary organization, setting itself the task of overthrowing the world and uniting under its banner the most audacious iconoclasts, fighters and insurgents, live and develop without intellectual conflicts, without groupings and temporary factional formations? The farsightedness of the Bolshevik leadership often made it possible to soften conflicts and shorten the duration of factional struggle, but no more than that. The Central Committee relied upon this seething democratic support. From this it derived the audacity to make decisions and give orders. The obvious correctness of the leadership at all critical stages gave it that high authority which is the priceless moral capital of centralism.” [Leon Trotsky. The Revolution Betrayed: What Is the Soviet Union And Where Is It Going? Max Eastman, translator. New York: Pathfinder Press. 1972. Pages 94-95.]
      “The army committees are hated by the masses of the soldiery but in many cases the masses are unable to under take anything against them as yet. In a whole number of army divisions, however, Military Revolutionary Committees have already been elected and they have placed under arrest the officers, the old committees and the entire commanding staff. This has already been done in about one- fourth of the Army. To fraternize with the old army commit tees is to rouse the workers against us.…
      “We must tell the workers simply and intelligibly that we do not aim to build a coalition with the Mensheviks and the others but that the crux of the matter lies in a program of action. We already have a coalition. Our coalition is with the peasants-the soldiers who are now fighting for the Bolshevik power. The All-Russian Congress of Soviets transmitted power to a certain party. You seem to forget this.”
      [Leon Trotsky. The Stalin School of Falsification. New York: Pioneer Publishers. 1937. Ebook edition.]
      “Capitalist structures survived from country to country through an uneven pattern but it survived. The process of the reconstruction of capitalist structures in Eastern Europe just like the process of structural assimilation which was to follow must be viewed as a complex one in which political, social, structural and economic factors are intertwined. To separate out a single factor, such as nationalization, or for that matter, political rule, and attempt to understand the changes in the society as a whole simply by noting changes in this single factor is completely misleading and superficial.” [Tim Wohlfarth, “The Theory of Structural Assimilation.” “Communists” Against Revolution: Two Essays on Post-War Stalinism. John Lister, editor. London: Folrose Ltd. 1978. Pages 18-19.]
      “Most so-called Trotskyist groups are reformist – they are Trotskyists in name only. These reformist so-called ‘Trotskyist’ groups basically push illusions in the Democrats or some other reformist party. They seek an alliance with some ‘progressive’ wing of the bourgeoisie. There is no such thing as a quote unquote progressive wing of the bourgeoisie. Leon Trotsky was the co-leader of the Bolshevik Revolution with Lenin. Real Trotskyists want to repeat the October Revolution of 1917 all over the world. That is what Trotskyism is. Trotskyists do not push illusions in reformist leaders or reformist movements or reformist parties. Trotskyists might work with reformist organizations to stop fascist groups like the KKK [Ku Klux Klan] or the neo-Nazis from marching, Trotskyists might march alongside other reformist groups on a picket line, Trotskyists might defend reformists from government repression. But while doing all these things Trotskyists always maintain their political independence. Trotskyists never push illusions in a reformist leader or reformist movement or reformist party. Real Trotskyists understand that the bourgeoisie state must be smashed, and replaced with a workers state. A Trotskyist understands that there are two classes – the bourgeoisie and the working class – and you’re on one side or you’re on the other.” [Wolf Larsen. Capitalism Sucks! Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. 2011. Kindle edition.]
      “[Leon] Trotsky recognised that state property could underpin a state-capitalist régime or some new bureaucratic exploiting class. And ‘the higher the Soviet state rises above the people … the more obviously does it testify against the socialist character of this state property.’” [Martin Thomas, “Three Traditions? Marxism and the USSR.” Historical Materialism. Volume 14, number 3, 2006. Pages 207-243.]
      “My attitude to [Leon] Trotsky is such that I am generally considered as a ‘Trotskyist’ in Italy, although I have never actually been one. If you go into the University here in Rome, you will see signs painted by students—Maoists and neo-Stalinists—which demand: ‘Hang Colletti.’ Anti-Trotskyism is an epidemic among Italian youth: and so I am commonly considered a Trotskyist. What is the fundamental truth expressed by Trotsky—the central idea for whose acceptance I am quite willing to be called a Trotskyist? You could condense it very laconically by saying that in any genuinely Marxist perspective, the United States of America should be the maturest society in the world for a socialist transformation, and that Trotsky is the theorist who most courageously and unremittingly reminds us of that. In other words, Trotsky always insisted that the determinant force in any real socialist revolution would be the industrial working class, and that no peasantry could perform this function for it, let alone a mere communist party leadership. The clearest and most unequivocal development of this fundamental thesis is to be found in the work of Trotsky. Without it, Marxism becomes purely honorific—once deprived of this element, anyone can call themselves a Marxist.” [Lucio Colletti, “A Political and Philosophical Interview.” New Left Review. Series I, number 86, July–August 1974. Pages 3-28.]
      “[Leon] Trotsky and his followers criticized the USSR’s [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’] concentration of power in its bureaucracy (state and party), yet they hesitated to label it state capitalist because of the successful collectivization of industrial capital and establishment of state planning …. Debate turned on which of two tendencies was stronger: a tendency toward capitalism arising from concentrated power in the hands of state bureaucrats versus a tendency toward communism arising from collective power over capital and distribution. For Trotsky and some of his followers the Soviet resolution of the two tendencies produced at best a society ‘halfway between capitalism and socialism’ … – often designated by ambivalent labels such as ‘statism’ or ‘state socialism.’ For the few critics of the USSR who made use of the term ‘state capitalism,’ they clearly meant it to designate an undemocratic distribution of power and not any particular social organization of the surplus, a particular ‘class structure’ in our terms ….” [Richard D. Wolff, “State Capitalism versus Communism: What Happened in the USSR and the PRC?” Critical Sociology. Volume 34, number 4, July 2008. Pages 539-556.]
      “With [Vladimir] Lenin’s death, [Leon] Trotsky’s political flair, his buoyant demon of sarcasm and ruse, seemed to desert him. One cannot help wondering whether his failure to enlist Lenin’s personal prestige in the nascent struggle against [Joseph] Stalin, whether his failure to invoke the full force of Lenin’s testament, with its warnings of Stalin’s abuses of bureaucratic power, do not point to a deeply entrenched feeling of guilt. As if Trotsky had never forgiven himself for his initial attacks on Lenin, as if, perhaps at some subconscious level, he did not feel justified in using his collaboration with Lenin to combat those old Bolsheviks who treated him as an opportunist and latecomer. Fatally—though Stalin may have had a hand in the imbroglio—Trotsky was absent from Moscow at the time of Lenin’s funeral. It was precisely on this occasion that Stalin struck the new ominous note of the cult of personality, of the Byzantine homage to the leader.” [George Steiner, “Trotsky and the Tragic Imagination (1966),” in George Steiner. Language and Silence: Essays on Language, Literature, and the Inhuman. New York: Open Road Integrated Media. 2013. Pages 293-306.]
      “Forty years after his murder Leon Trotsky remains both influential and enigmatic. His continuing influence can be ascribed to his status as revolutionary oppositionist: if one rejects Stalinism the ready option is Trotskyism. A legitimate halfway-house to radicalism, Trotskyism becomes for many a permanent refuge instead. The enigmatic character of Trotsky’s work is another matter altogether.” [Peter Beilharz, “The Other Trotsky.” Thesis Eleven. Volume 3, number 1, 1981. Pages 106-113.]
      “To classify critical-Marxist writing about the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] into three ‘positions’ or ‘traditions’ – ‘degenerated workers’ state’, ‘bureaucratic collectivism’, and ‘state capitalism’ – is usual, tidy and, so I will argue, misleading. For example, Mike Haynes welcomes the recent book by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff as reinforcement to the ‘capitalist/state-capitalist view of the USSR … becoming a major paradigm on the left.’ But, in substance, Haynes’s ‘state-capitalist’ views, or mine, are closer both politically and in intellectual filiation to those of many revolutionary anti-Stalinists who would reject the term ‘state capitalism’ than to [Stephen A.] Resnick-[Richard D.] Wolff’s. Again, the recent debate between Mike Haynes and Paresh Chattopadhyay shows that, although Haynes and Chattopadhyay share the term state capitalism, their substantive evaluations are very different. To rejoice at the increasing numbers who cheer the state-capitalist colours obscures more than it clarifies.” [Martin Thomas, “Three Traditions? Marxism and the USSR.” Historical Materialism. Volume 14, number 3, 2006. Pages 207-243.]
      “Although a giant of modern Chinese politics and letters and trigger of one of the twentieth century’s great revolutions, for several decades after his conversion to Trotskyism Chen Duxiu’s name was blackened, his achievements were concealed, and his ideas were damned by his former Party comrades, especially after they took power in 1949. Chen Duxiu in China was subjected to the same revilement as was Leon Trotsky at the hands of Stalin in the Soviet Union. Today in China, Chen’s unpersoning has been largely reversed and most of the discredit heaped upon him has been removed. Young Chinese now are in a position to evaluate him more or less according to his merits; his writings have been published in new editions; friendly descriptions of his life and cause have begun to appear in the learned and popular presses. Yet in the West, Chen’s name is barely known outside small circles, and the positions that he developed between 1937 and 1942 are known even less. I shall therefore preface my introduction to the writings of the late Chen with a brief look at his early political career and the context in which it happened.” [Chen Duxiu. Chen Duxiu’s Last Articles and Letters, 1937-1942. Honolulu, Hawaiʿi: University of Hawaiʿi Press. 1988. Page 12.]
      “The Left Opposition, commonly identified both in the west and in the Soviet Union with Lev Trotskii [Leon Trotsky], was … [the] alternative [to Stalinism]. Western historians, like Soviet writers during the first years of glasnost [Russian Cyrillic, гла́сность, glásnostʹ, ‘openness’], have often looked on Trotskii and Trotskyism not as an alternative to Stalinism but as the forerunner of it. In this view [Joseph] Stalin won in a purely personal struggle for the leadership role. This interpretation overlooks the distinctive sources and premises of the Left Opposition, as compared with both the Leninist and Stalinist leadership of the Communist party, and neglects the development of this movement during the first decade after the revolution.” [Robert V. Daniels, “The Left Opposition as an Alternative to Stalinism.” Slavic Review. Volume 50, number 2, summer 1991. Pages 277-285.]
      “The recurring tendency of the Trotskyist movement to adapt to Stalinism or Keynesianism over the last 50 years only confirms its generic affinity with the state monopoly tradtion. Trotskyists wishing to engage in the reconstruction of Marxism will have to look outside their tradition. They will have to look again at the importance attached by the council communists to the workers council form, and appreciate that it represents in practical revolutionary activity precisely what [Karl] Marx announced in the Theses on Feuerbach, and echoed a few years later in The Class Struggles in France 1848-50:
      “A class in which the revolutionary interests of society are concentrated, so soon as it has risen up, finds directly in its own situation the content and the material of its revolutionary activity: foes to be laid low, measures (dictated by the needs of the struggle) to be taken; the consequences of its own deeds to drive it on. It makes no theoretical inquiries into its own task.”
      [Mike Rooke, “From the Revolution Against Philosophy to the Revolution Against Capital.” Common Sense: Journal of the Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Number 24, 1999. Pages 91-99.]
      “Science fiction is essentially the literature of progress, and the political philosophy of sf [science fiction] is essentially liberal. Much, though as we shall see not all, of the most popular and enduring sf is firmly within the Western liberal current: the historically very recent idea that the increase of human power over the rest of nature through the growth of knowledge and industry is possible and desirable, and that freedom – political liberty, personal autonomy, free thought and the free exchange of goods – is desirable in itself and as a means to that end. ‘To increase the power of man over nature and abolish the power of man over man’ was a formulation of the social good on which the Bolshevik Leon Trotsky and the liberal John Dewey could agree, in the midst of a passionate disagreement over morals. The link between civic freedom and scientific progress is conceptually as well as empirically close. Douglas Adams encapsulated the scientific attitude as ‘Any idea is there to be attacked.’ A like iconoclasm in political and social matters is its extension and precondition. This view is not only recent, but rare. Its global hegemony seemed assured after the Fall of the [Berlin] Wall; less so, after the Fall of the [Twin] Towers.” [Ken MacLeod, “Politics and science fiction.” The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn, editors. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 2003. Pages 230-240.]
      “[Emmanuel] Goldstein’s role as Party enemy in Nineteen Eighty-Four echoes in an obvious way the vilification of Leon Trotsky by the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union. However, given that [Michel] Foucault’s various studies of the demonization of despised Others applies primarily to the bourgeois societies of the West, an appeal to Foucault suggests that [George] Orwell’s depiction of the Party in this sense – like the emphasis on surveillance – may satirize the capitalist West more than the Stalinist Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the religious intonation of the Two Minutes Hate suggests the way in which the Party uses strategies derived from religion to further its power, much in the way that Karl Marx famously proclaimed religion to function as an ‘opiate of the masses’ under capitalism.” [M. Keith Booker and Anne-Marie Thomas. The Science Fiction Handbook. Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell imprint of John Wiley & Sons. 2009. Page 196.]
      “The Trotskyist program is altogether different from a ‘left Stalinist’ program, and we are willing to seriously discuss the essential points of our programmatic principles: theory of organization, theory of Permanent Revolution, analysis of bureaucracy within working class movements and the workers’ states, and strategy of the transitional period. We are even willing to discuss our action program. What do we mean by this? It refers to the program which we are working on, little by little, in relation to our principles and to our experience as an organization. For example, ‘workers control’ is part of the transitional stratagy, but the concrete slogans in workers’ control must be determined by relating it to the given conditions, our given forces, the level of consciousness amos the masses, etc.” [Serge Niemitz, “Local Control vs. Socialism: Exchanges with the Fourth International.” The Campaigner. Volume 4, number 3–4, fall 1971. Pages 14-17.]
      “Since the victory of the Cuban revolution, Castroism has had an influence upon certain radical elements, not only in Latin America, but also elsewhere throughout the world. The influence of Castroism has even made its way into the Fourth International. The adoption of the strategy of guerilla warfare by sections in Latin America and even by the International leadership is a direct reflection of the Castroist influence upon the International. This situation raises the logical question of the relationship and differences between Castroism and Trotskyism. While our movement has given much praise to the Cuban leadership, it has never made any serious criticism of this leadership. [Fidel] Castro, on the other hand, has maliciously attacked and slandered Trotskyism (at the 1966 Tricontinental Conference).” [Peng Shu-tse, “Return to the Road of Trotskyism.” Marxists Studies. Number 4, January 1974. Pages 1-9.]
      1. theory of permanent revolution: This Trotskyist approach to internationalism, while intriguing, is, at least in Foster’s view, too law-like or deterministic. No one knows whether revolutionary struggles will be global, local, or perhaps in some combination of the two. The approach taken by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to “permanent revolution” was, in Foster’s view, less doctrinaire.
        “When Islamic fundamentalism first emerged, sections of the left defined it as analogous to fascism. The Arab Trotskyist Salah Jaber [Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, صَلَاح جَابِر, Ṣalāḥ Ǧābir] wrote in 1981 that ‘Islamic fundamentalism is one of the most dangerous enemies of the revolutionary proletariat.’ He pointed out that ‘the fundamentalist movement shares many of the characteristics of fascism outlined by [Leon] Trotsky: its social base, the nature of its political ideology, its fierce anti-communism and its totalitarianism.’
        “The theory of permanent revolution now demands the greatest attention from every Marxist, for the course of the class and ideological struggle has fully and finally raised this question from the realm of reminiscences over old differences of opinion among Russian Marxists, and converted it into a question of character, the inner connexions and methods of the international revolution in general.” [Leon Trotsky. The Permanent Revolution. 1931.]
        “Personally I fully agree that a discussion on the questions of the permanent revolution, the situation in the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics], etc., is necessary. It was precisely as a basis for such discussion that I first formulated my theses on permanent revolution, and wrote a pamphlet on the subject, and it was as such that I formulated my theses on the USSR some time ago, which I have proposed as a draft platform on that question. A discussion on these points is greatly needed, and Comrade Treint’s participation in it is greatly to be desired.” [Leon Trotsky, “On Comrade Treint’s declaration.” The Writings of Leon Trotsky [1930-31]. George Breitman and Sarah Lovell, editors. New York: Pathfinder Press. 1973. Pages 274-279.]
        “While the democratic petty bourgeois want to bring the revolution to an end as quickly as possible, achieving at most the aims already mentioned, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent until all the more or less propertied classes have been driven from their ruling positions, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far – not only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world – that competition between the proletarians of these countries ceases and at least the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers. Our concern cannot simply be to modify private property, but to abolish it, not to hush up class antagonisms but to abolish classes, not to improve the existing society but to found a new one. There is no doubt that during the further course of the revolution in Germany, the petty-bourgeois democrats will for the moment acquire a predominant influence.…
        “Although the German workers cannot come to power and achieve the realization of their class interests without passing through a protracted revolutionary development, this time they can at least be certain that the first act of the approaching revolutionary drama will coincide with the direct victory of their own class in France and will thereby be accelerated. But they themselves must contribute most to their final victory, by informing themselves of their own class interests, by taking up their independent political position as soon as possible, by not allowing themselves to be misled by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic petty bourgeoisie into doubting for one minute the necessity of an independently organized party of the proletariat. Their battle-cry must be: The Permanent Revolution.”
        [Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League: London, March 1850. Alek Blain, editor. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2006. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “The term permanent, as used by [Leon] Trotsky, meant that the revolution became permanent only in the continuous development of the world revolution. The world Trotskyist movement has used the term to mean that the revolution became permanent when the working class took power in any given country. The nature of the revolution in any country was therefore deduced from a fixed theory, not grasped through an understanding of the development of the living movement of the world revolution.” [Chris Bailey, “Theory of Permanent Revolution and Post-War Stalinism: A Critique of Tim Wohlforth’s ‘Theory of Structural Assimilation.’” Permanent Revolution and Post-War Stalinism: Two Counterposted Views on the “Russian Question” – a proletarian revolutionary pamphlet. Published by the League for the Revolutionary Party (USA). Undated. Page 34.]
        “According to [Leon] Trotsky, one of the political ramifications of the theory of permanent revolution is that the countries which are effected will develop a proletariat which is much stronger than the native bourgeoisie. Given the relative power of the proletariat in such a situation, the bourgeoisie will be unable or afraid of attempting to institute democratic reforms which are usually associated with a bourgeois revolution. Trotsky felt that such a situation would result in the proletariat, especially those trapped in the lower levels of the pre-capitalist sectors, immediately pushing for socialist reforms. It also meant that the proletariat could seize power following the abolition of most remnants of feudalism, without a country going through a prolonged period of capitalist development and bourgeoise rule. As will be shown, all of these dynamics of Trotsky’s theory are relevant to the Cuban revolution.” [John A. Kovach, “Reinventing Socialism in Cuba: The Relevance of Trotskyist Revolutionary Theory.” Caribbean Quarterly. Volume 42, numer 1, March 1996. Pages 30-40.]
      2. laws of combined and uneven development (Leon Trotsky, Jane Hardy, John M. Hobson, Nick Taylor, Kamran Matin [Persian/Fārsī, کَامْرَان مَتِین, Kāmrān Matīn], and others): This perspective—informed by the work of Leon Trotsky—focuses on development.
        “The laws of history have nothing in common with a pedantic schematism. Unevenness, the most general law of the historic process, reveals itself most sharply and complexly in the destiny of the backward countries. Under the whip of external necessity their backward culture is compelled to make leaps. From the universal law of unevenness thus derives another law which, for the lack of a better name, we may call the law of combined development – by which we mean a drawing together of the different stages of the journey, a combining of the separate steps, an amalgam of archaic with more contemporary forms. Without this law, to be taken of course, in its whole material content, it is impossible to understand the history of Russia, and indeed of any country of the second, third or tenth cultural class.” [Leon Trotsky. The History of the Russian Revolution. Volume 1. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1930. Page 3.]
        “The law of combined development of backward countries – in the sense of a peculiar mixture of backward elements with the most modern factors – here rises before us in its most finished form, and offers a key to the fundamental riddle of the Russian revolution. If the agrarian problem, as a heritage from the barbarism of the old Russian history, had been solved by the bourgeoisie, if it could have been solved by them, the Russian proletariat could not possibly have come to power in 1917. In order to realise the Soviet state, there was required a drawing together and mutual penetration of two factors belonging to completely different historic species: a peasant war – that is, a movement characteristic of the dawn of bourgeois development – and a proletarian insurrection, the movement signalising its decline. That is the essence of 1917.” [Leon Trotsky. The History of the Russian Revolution. Volume 1. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 1930. Page 37.]
        “This article elaborates a theory of combined and uneven development that takes the dimensions of spatiality, labour and institutions seriously. Drawing on this conceptual framework, an account is given of the way the 2007–2008 crisis was inflected in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The integration of these countries with the global economy has taken place in different ways through trade, investment and finance. This has not only been a source of unevenness within and between them, but has also determined the form and severity with which they have experienced the crisis. The combined and uneven development perspective is therefore able to provide a rich and more dynamic account of economic development and the transmission of the crisis. Further, rather than labour being treated as one among many institutions, it is privileged in its potential role of instigating deep social change.…
        “… the world economy and nation-states are not dichotomous entities, whereby the coercive laws of value in the former unfold and are inflected in the latter. Rather they are mutually constitutive in a process whereby nation-states are constrained and shaped by the parameters of accumulation processes in the global economy, but at the same time the strategies of states and capital reshape the accumulation processes in the global economy and forge a new set of parameters and dynamics. Therefore, combined and uneven development is retained as the preferred terms and way of distinguishing this extended understanding from approaches that privilege unevenness over combination.”
        [Jane Hardy, “Transformation and crisis in Central and Eastern Europe: A combined and uneven development perspective.” Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 1, February 2014. Pages 143-155.]
        “… I intervene in the extant internecine debate that is being conducted within neo-Trotskyist circles concerning the issue as to whether the concept of uneven and combined development (U&CD) should be historically generalised … or whether it should be withheld and reserved only for the modern capitalist international system that was in place by the late 19ᵗʰ century (the majority position).… My key claim is that the failure to historically generalise U&CD, at least to some extent, necessarily leads the analysis into a Eurocentric cul-de-sac. To this end, I discuss the socialising impact of U&CD in the context of the Eastern origins of the rise of the West in the 800–1800 period. To this end, I argue that there never was a ‘pre-combination Western Europe’ in general or a ‘pre-combination Britain’ in particular. Rather, the rise of the West provides a significant example of U&CD, given that Europe was a late-developing civilisation that undertook the journey into modernity by combining the innovations that were pioneered by the key early developers – especially in Islam/North Africa, India and, above all, China.” [John M. Hobson, “What’s at Stake in the Neo-Trotskyist Debate? Towards a Non-Eurocentric Historical Sociology of Uneven and Combined Development.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies. Volume 40, number 1, September 2011. Pages 147-166.]
        “This article seeks to elaborate a framework for the study of diversity in forms of labour using Trotsky’s theory of uneven and combined development (UCD). It argues that labour markets are constituted by systemic processes of capital accumulation and uneven development in the global economy, but that these processes have highly differentiated outcomes in terms of the forms of labour that have historically emerged within and across national boundaries.…
        “…The unevenness of capitalist development leads to differential outcomes in the combination of different forms of labour that exist within any given space. A better understanding of these forms, and of the way in which they are constituted and come together through transnational or inter-societal processes, gives us an empirically clearer picture of capitalist diversity and a means of theorising its dynamics from labour’s perspective ….”
        [Nick Taylor, “Theorising capitalist diversity: The uneven and combined development of labour forms.” Capital & Class. Volume 31, number 1, February 2014. Pages 129-141.]
        “… the basic concepts of an ‘international historical sociology’ are already available in Leon Trotsky’s remarkable, but hitherto insufficiently appreciated, theory of ‘uneven and combined development’ …. It is this theory which I attempt to critically apply to the structure of the premodern Iranian state in this article. In choosing medieval Iran I pursue three main objectives. First, extant approaches to the premodern Iranian state are to a considerable extent informed by Classical Social Theories (primarily various strands of Marxism). In showing their inability to account for the specificity of the premodern Iranian state and its dynamic formation, I therefore elaborate on and reinforce the claim regarding the international lacuna in Classical Social Theories.… Second, Trotsky formulated his theory of uneven and combined development in order to explicate and conceptualize the specificities of development and revolutionary change in Russia (and other ‘backward’ countries in general) in the capitalist epoch.… Third, at an analytical level, historical sociological approaches to the formation and transformation of premodern states have primarily focused on Europe …. Those studies which have dealt with the extra-European world have either pursued macro-analysis of ‘international systems’, without offering in-depth analysis of any particular state …, or they have focused on the changing configuration of anarchical and hierarchical relations within and between western and non-western international systems or geo-cultural areas …. My focus on Iran therefore seeks to contribute to the closure of this analytical gap too.” [Kamran Matin, “Uneven and Combined Development in World History: The International Relations of State-formation in Premodern Iran.” European Journal of International Relations. Volume 13, number 3, September 2007. Pages 419-447.]
      3. crisis of post–Trotsky Trotskyism (Nick Davies): He considers the difficulties in bringing about Trotskyist regroupment.
        “The crisis of post-Trotsky Trotskyism meant that attempts to develop Marxist theory and understanding of the world were generally left to others. For example: history, culture and the ‘British’ question – New Left Review; the USSR – those around Critique, and various Bukharinites; both ‘green’ politics, and women’s liberation – a host of non-Trotskyist activists and academics. You don’t have to agree with the method of analysis or the conclusions of these people to admit that what they have produced is usually more stimulating and more profound than anything in the majority of the Trotskyist publications. Of course there are exceptions, and I am not suggesting that post-Trotsky Trotskyists are less brainy, just less curious, possibly. Small wonder, however, if for them all the theory has already been written and all that’s needed is for history to give them the nod to realise their destiny in resolving the crisis of leadership.” [Nick Davies, “Trotskyist Regroupment: The Ununiteable in Pursuit of the Undesirable.” What Next? Number 8, 1998. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Nick [Davies] confuses two separate, if closely related, tasks [in his, ‘Trotskyist Regroupment: The Ununiteable in Pursuit of the Undesirable’]. Yes we must turn to the labour movement. Yes we must seek to recruit from there. No we cannot ‘regroup’ with militant workers or the left of the SLP [British Socialist Labour Party]. We must win them to Trotskyism. The ideas behind revolutionary regroupment are to develop and consolidate an international Trotskyist leadership which is the only real way to develop the theory necessary for the day-to-day job of agitation and propaganda in the ranks of the working class.
        “It follows that revolutionary regroupment is directed at other forces internationally who identify with Trotskyism. Only by a serious struggle can we hope to build such an international leadership. Our partners in this endeavour must share a common understanding of at least some basic fundamentals of Trotskyism.”
        [Gerry Downing, “Why We Must Defend the Essentials in Order to Condemn the Errors: A Reply to Nick Davies What Next? No.10 1998.” What Next? Number 10, 1998. Online publication. No pagination.]
      4. third–camp Trotskyism or Shachtmanism (Max Shachtman): Schachtman’s neo–Trotskyist position challenged the two camps of Stalinism and Capitalism.
        “The New Order will result (is resulting) from the presently ongoing convergence of the two dominant systems: a capitalism which is becoming more and more authoritarian and bureaucratic, along the road toward Russian totalitarianism; and a Russian Communist system which has softened up and become somewhat milder; the two merging somewhere in-between into an undifferentiated ‘Industrialism.’ The imperative is the force of industrialization; it is the road of progress.” [Hal Draper. The Mind of Clark Kerr. Berkeley, California: Independent Socialist Club. 1964. Page 9.]
        “[Max] Shachtman was the leader of a heterodox Trotskyist grouping that, although small, had helped lead important struggles in an earlier era, such as the fight against the no-strike pledge, enforced by both the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) officialdom and the Communist Party during World War II.
        “Shachtman had come to the position that the advance of the American workers movement was dependent on the formation of a labor party, and looked to union leaders like Reuther as the incipient nucleus of such a party. During the late 1940s, Shachtman and his associates attempted, unsuccessfully, to convince Reuther and other left-wing labor leaders to break from the Democrats and start such an organization.”
        [Paul Heideman, “It’s Their Party: A generation ago, socialists and civil rights activists tried to transform the Democratic Party. Why did they fail?” Jacobin: Reason in Revolt. Issue 20, winter 2016. Pages 23-39.]
        1. Workers’ Liberty: This network of groups, also known as the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, is the largest international movement in the third–camp tradition.
          “The Third Camp is the camp of the workers in factory and field, in mine and on railroad. It is the camp of the slaves of all colors who yearn and fight for their independence from imperialism. It is the camp of labor, fighting against the profit-lusting employers. It is the camp of labor fighting against the governments of the employers. It is the camp of the peasants and sharecroppers and farmers fighting against the grasping trusts, the railroad magnates, the bank sharpers. It is the camp of the Irish people. the Indian people, the Indo-Chinese and Moroccan peoples, the Filipinos and the Puerto Ricans, the Chinese people, the Polish and Czech and Slovakian and Scandinavian people, the people of the Soviet Union, – the people who are at war today or will be at war tomorrow against the imperialist tyranny of the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the bureaucratic dictatorship of the Kremlin.” [Max Shachtman, “Against Both War Camps – For The Camp Of World Labor!: Third Camp Unites Workers, Colonial People Against War.” Labor Action. May, 1940. Pages 1-2.]
          “The role of the Soviet Union can be followed and understood only if one is clear about the predominant character of the war. It is not a war of imperialist attack upon the Soviet Union; it is not a ‘mixed war.’ It is a war between two big imperialist camps for the redivision of the world, with the Soviet Union as an integral part of one of the imperialist camps.
          “The strategy of the imperialist camp to which Stalin is subordinated, is fairly clear. It is to keep all sides of Germany protected by herself and her allies, to confine the front to the comparative safety of the Westwall-Maginot lines; to destroy the British Empire for the benefit of the Rome-Berlin-Moscow axis, primarily for the Berlin section of it. Stalin’s role in the war, from the very beginning, has been that of auxiliary executant of this strategy.”
          [Max Shachtman, “The Soviet Union and the World War.” New International. Volume 6, number 3, April 1940. Pages 68-72.]
          “I cannot leave unmentioned your [Leon Trotsky’s] references to the ‘revolutionary’ role of Stalinism in its recent invasions. ’In the first case (Spain), the bureaucracy through hangman’s methods strangled a socialist revolution. In the second case (Poland) it gave an impulse to the socialist revolution through bureaucratic methods.’ Here again, I find myself compelled to disagree with you. The bureaucratic bourgeois revolution – that I know of. I know of Napoleon’s ‘revolution from above’ in Poland over a hundred years ago. I know of Alexander’s [Emperor Alexander II of Russia’] emancipation of the serfs ‘from above’ – out of fear of peasant uprisings. I know of [Otto von] Bismarck’s ‘revolution from above.’ I know that [Adolf] Hitler and [Benito] Mussolini play with the idea of an Arab ‘national revolution’ in Palestine out of purely imperialist and military reasons – directed against their rival, England.” [Max Shachtman, “Bureaucratic-proletarian revolution is not desirable and not possible.” The two Trotskyisms confront Stalinism. Debates, essays and confrontations—Texts. Sean Matgamna, editor. London: Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. 2015. Kindle edition.]
          “A party without a firm majority in its leadership, following a consistent political course, especially in a situation where there are clearly two basically different lines counterposed to each other in the organization, is a ship without sail or rudder, torn and tossed about by every wind that strikes it. The same holds true of the highest authority of a party—its national convention. It is the shortest irresponsibility to hold a convention of the revolutionary organization at a time when it must decide upon basic questions of far-reaching significance and when two irreconcilable views on these questions exist in the convention, without seeking to establish a firm majority for one basic view as against the other. Unless this is done, you court the risk of having the questions involved settled by chance, by accidental combinations.” [Max Shachtman. Marxist Politics or Unprincipled Combinationism?: Internal Problems of the Workers Party. New York: Prometheus Research Library. 2000. Page 37.]
          “[Joseph] Stalin’s invasion of Poland triggered a dispute in the American Trotskyist movement between a majority led by James P Cannon and a minority led by Max Shachtman. It would end with a split down the middle of the party on 16 April 1940. The Heterodox Trotskyists launched themselves as the Workers Party ten days later, on 26 April 1940. They produced a single-sheet issue of Labor Action in time for May Day 1940, and by then they had already produced the April number of the New International magazine as their publication (as editors, Burnham and Shachtman had been the registered owners). The first weekly Labor Action appeared on 20 May 1940.” [Harry Braverman et al. The two Trotskyisms confront Stalinism. Debates, essays and confrontations—Introduction. Sean Matgamna, editor. London: Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. 2015. Kindle edition.]
          “With not many exceptions, the minority, the future ‘heterodox Trotskyists,’ including Max Shachtman, agreed with [Leon] Trotsky that Russia was a ‘degenerated workers’ state.’ Shachtman had ‘doubts,’ but Trotsky too had doubts, and expressed them.
          “When [Adolf] Hitler invaded the USSR in June 1941, the Shachtman group did not come out for the ‘defence of the USSR.’ [Joseph] Stalin, they said, had only swapped imperialist partners, from Hitler to [Winston] Churchill and, soon, [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt. In this imperialist war the workers should not take sides. The Shachtmanites, as ‘revolutionary defeatists,’ loudly opposed the USA in the war.”
          [Sean Matgamna, “The two Trotskyisms during World War Two: History of the Trotskyist movement.” Workers’ Liberty. Volume 3, number 48, December/January 2014. Pages 1-3.]
          “In situations of national conflict, Marxists emphasise opposition to all nationalism and solidarity among the working class on all ‘sides.’ We are always for the ‘Third Camp’ of the working class and the oppressed against all bourgeois forces. Ideologically we oppose all nationalism.
          “It does not follow that we are always neutral in such conflicts. Where this is a real issue of national oppression, an essential part of working-class internationalism is support for the oppressed nation. Marxists should combine opposition to all nationalisms with support for the oppressed nation defending its democratic right to self-determination. We should do so both in order to combat oppression, and because seeking to deal with the ‘national question’ is an essential part of clearing the way for united and effective workers’ struggle.”
          [Sacha Ismail, “Democracy and the National Question.” Marxist Revival. Issue 3, spring 2015. Pages 2-3.]
          “At this point, it’s important to note that a lot of people are disgusted by the idea of a Leninist, revolutionary party. This has got to do with people’s experience of how most of the so-called Leninist organisations in existence today operate. There will be some people in the room tonight who have been chewed up and spat out by the internal regimes of some of these groups. It doesn’t help that most of these organisations describe themselves as Trotskyist — when they have inherited ways of thinking, organising and debating which come directly from Stalinism. I don’t intend to defend these organisations. I think people are right to mistrust them. In Workers’ Liberty, we are for a new politics. We want to establish a culture on the left that’s free of these traits.” [Ed Maltby, “How to organise to change the world.” Workers’ Liberty and the politics of anarchism: A Workers’ Liberty pamphlet. London: Workers’ Liberty. January, 2011. Pages 14-18.]
          “We are now in the middle of a capitalist crisis whose equal has not been seen for decades. And yet the left is ineffective. It is divided into a number of competing and usually hostile organisations ….” [Sean Matgamna. The formation of the SWP. London: Workers’ Liberty. Ebook edition.]
          “[Donald] Trump’s ‘executive order’ of 27 January [2017] has stirred up protests across the world. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ halted the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, and indefinitely banned Syrian refugees fleeing [Bashar al-]Assad’s butchery and the sectarian Islamist militias. All travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are not permitted to enter the US for 90 days, or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. Customs and Border Protection agents have defied the orders of federal judges halting deportations.…
          “The reactionary mass movement gives fascism the facility, which ordinary decree from above lacks, to crush the labour movement, civil society, and civil liberties, and to impose demagogic, nationalist, racist, protectionist, militaristic policies which even the majority of the bourgeoisie dislikes.”
          [Editor, “Stop Trump! On the streets against the ‘Muslim ban’” Solidarity: For social ownership of the banks and industry. Number 428, February 2017. Page 5.]
          “The real world will never measure up to our theories, precisely because our theories are, by definition, abstractions from reality and can never fully capture the richness of life itself. If we consider the ‘bourgeois-democratic’ revolution based on our theories, for example, there was never a real ‘bourgeois-democratic’ revolution either.
          “True, [Max] Shachtman is able to effectively explain why this is not an obstacle to recognising the bourgeois-democratic revolution: because the bourgeoisie can hold economic power without holding political power. All it requires from the new state is to clear away the feudal barriers to bourgeois economic development. But the working class cannot hold economic power without also holding political power. Thus the question of who holds political power is central to the socialist revolution.”
          [Steve Bloom, “Trotskyism and Stalinism in World War Two.” Solidarity: For social ownership of the banks and industry. Number 400, April 2016. Page 8.]
          “Overall, Why Socialist Feminism? is full of nuggets of wisdom, interesting ideas, perceptions and critiques. It is far from a complete guide to socialist-feminism and could do with development and fleshing out. Workers’ Liberty’s 1989 publication ‘The Case for Socialist Feminism’ has some sharp critiques of identity politics and Stalinism that could be updated and included in future editions. It would be good, too, to add to the examples of working class women’s struggles that have been included, and to further develop analyses of sexuality, patriarchy and gender identity — the issue of trans* rights is a notable gap in the book.” [Kate Harris, “Why socialist feminism?” Solidarity: For social ownership of the banks and industry. Number 399, April 2016. Page 7.]
          “All the incidents of “left anti-semitism” are almost certainly not rooted in personal animosity to Jews. Rather they have a common political root in the commonly-held programme of much of the left for the Israel-Palestine conflict. Until the left’s political programme is picked apart and corrected, incidents like these will continue to occur. Labour Party expulsions would have little effect on left anti-semitism; they would explain nothing and educate no-one.” [Michael Elms, “How to tackle ‘left anti-semitism.’” Solidarity: For social ownership of the banks and industry. Number 398, March 2016. Page 4.]
          “[Leon] Trotsky recognised that the system of property and power arising in the USSR was not the same as that arising in Nazi Germany, but this appeared to him as less significant compared with what they shared in common. In this regard, Trotsky was right.” [Robert Fine, “Trotsky did not hesitate to name ‘totalitarianism’” Solidarity: For social ownership of the banks and industry. Number 397, March 2016. Page 8.]
          “Progress depends on socialists in the Bosniac, Croat and Serb communities establishing links and uniting workers round social demands (public works at trade-union rates of pay and under trade-union control, for example) and a consistenty democratic programme (free federation; full individual rights for all residents, regardless of nationality and religion, everywhere.) Their hope must be that disgust at the bloody fiasco of the last five years will soon lead to the [Slobodan] Milosevic tyranny falling in Serbia and new working-class politics being able to emerge there, Their fear must be that the huge military machine occupying their country win stamp hard on any working class or democratic organization.” [Chris Reynolds, “Hopes and fears in Bosnia.” Workers’ Liberty. Number 27, January 1996. Page 8.]
        2. New Politics: This journal identifies, broadly, with the third–camp approach.
          “… Third Camp socialism [was born] in the split with Trotsky over the question of Russia’s wars in Finland and Poland in 1939-40, and its development in the epoch of expanding Stalinism after World War II. I set out why the concept was indispensable to a politics of self-emancipation and revolutionary democratic internationalism in the period of the Cold War. The concept was not simply a rejection of the two imperialist war camps [capitalism and Stalinism] – although that was the beginning of all wisdom. The partisans of the Third Camp, in the most unpropitious of circumstances, also developed a positive alternative to both war-camps, and to war itself, through the concepts of a ‘democratic foreign policy’ and ‘political warfare.’” [Alan Johnson, “Neither Washington Nor Moscow’: The Third Camp as History And a Living Legacy.” New Politics. Summer, 1999. Pages 135-165.]
          “… there were … differences between classical fascism and fundamentalism. In some respects ‘the fundamentalist movement is, in fact, more backward than was fascism.’ It drives the historical clock backward to a reactionary utopia with more faith and zeal than the classical fascists. But the fundamentalists, as part of this ‘more reactionary’ drive backwards, can also challenge big private capital. This contrasts to the role of classical fascism as the brutish guarantor of big capital in the face of a mass workers movement.”
          [Alan Johnson, “Iraq and the Third Camp.” New Politics. Volume 9, issue 3, summer 2003. Pages 33-57.]
          “The third camp alternative is ultimately expressed by the potential ofthe Iraqi working class assuming the leadership of the antiimperialist movement. We do not and cannot claim that this third camp is presently a conscious alternative on the part of those who wiU make it possible. But we must position ourselves toward that process of struggle which can develop a leadership able to mobilize the masses and attract intemational support in its resistance to the American occupation without sacrificing the Iraqi nation to the resurgent forces of jihadist fascism.” [Barry Finger, “Iraq and the Third Camp.” New Politics. Volume 10, number 3, summer 2005. Pages 23-25.]
          “The socialist left needs to project that kind of labor movement vision, and engage in the hard work of helping make it happen. A picture of what kind of movement is possible—and how those movements relate to left refoundation—can be seen in the Chicago Teachers Union strike two years ago, spearheaded by an energetic rank-and-file union leadership in which socialist activists play a meaningful role.” [Greg Chern, Susan Schmitt, and David Finkel (all members of Solidarity), “Solidarity Statement: Rebuilding the Left. New Politics. Volume XV, number 2, winter 2015.]
          “The socialist left needs to project … [a] labor movement vision, and engage in the hard work of helping make it happen. A picture of what kind of movement is possible—and how those movements relate to left refoundation—can be seen in the Chicago Teachers Union strike two years ago, spearheaded by an energetic rank-and-file union leadership in which socialist activists play a meaningful role.
          “Movements we work with can often end up in competition with each other for resources, media attention, or capacity, especially in times like the current crisis where working class people are asked to ‘make more with less.’ And any victories riding on the efforts of one organization or social movement working in isolation cannot last in the long run. This indicates the necessity of a left refoundation perspective that seeks to break down barriers—both material and ideological—between movements and socialist organizations. The continued future success of any one movement requires it.”
          [Greg Chern, Susan Schmitt, and David Finkel, “Solidarity Statement: Rebuilding the Left.” New Politics. Volume 15, issue 2, winter 2015. Pages 17-20.]
          “[Rosa] Luxemburg’s economic theory of capitalist expansion into non-capitalist milieus is a good starting point to strategize about anti-colonial struggles of all sorts but she never developed this question beyond the abstract quest for proletarian internationalism. In this regard, two issues must be distinguished: the difference between ‘centers’ and ‘peripheries’ in the North-South division of global capitalism and the distinction between struggles within capitalist sectors of global capitalism and struggles against capitalist expansion into non-capitalist milieus.” [Ingo Schmidt, “Rosa Luxemburg: Economics for a New Socialist Project.” New Politics. Summer, 2014. Pages 103-114.]
          “… the creation of democratic worker cooperatives (DWCs) in a capitalist context proved exceedingly difficult. Capitalists attacked union coops, sometimes violently, but most often denied investment capital and limited access to markets. Repeated coop failures, conservative labor leaders’ acceptance of capitalist control over production and the Marxist-Leninist emphasis on state control as the means to power led labor to drop worker cooperative development as an organizing strategy.” [John W. Lawrence, “Democratic Worker Cooperatives: An Organizational Strategy Reconsidered for the 21ˢᵗ Century.” New Politics. Volume 9, number 1, summer 2002. Pages 116-122.]
          “Most social democratic critics of the Russian Revolution pointed to the dearth of bourgeois democratic traditions, the paucity of economic development, and the lack of communist commitment to liberal values and institutions. They offered Marxist analyses of the ways in which Marxism was being put to use: that is historical materialism. As for the ‘independent class role of the Stalinist bureaucracy,’ or ‘bureaucratic collectivism,’ who other than a few Trotskyists ever considered them to be the defining characteristics of totalitarianism?” [Stephen Eric Bronner, “Moving On: New Replies to New Critics.” New Politics. Volume 9, number 1, summer 2002. Pages 224-235.]
        3. socialism from below (Hal Draper, Amrit Wilson, Orlando Chirino as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, David McNally, Wayne Price, Dan Swain, Lucien van der Walt, Michael Schmidt, and others): Draper, a third–camp Trotskyist, allegedly coined the English–language term. However, his perspective—which is now accepted by various Marxist (including some Marxist–Trotskyist, Marxist–Luxemburgist, and Marxist–Leninist) and anarchist schools of thought or tendencies—is distinguished from the more classically Soviet, Maoist, and Cuban Marxist–Leninist “socialism from above.” Center for Economic Research and Social Change (including the International Socialist Review), New Politics, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, ZCommunications, and others support this position. Arguably, Karl Marx himself pioneered socialism from below.
          “… the following pages propose to investigate the meaning of socialism historically, in a new way. There have always been different ‘kinds of socialism,’ and they have customarily been divided into reformist or revolutionary, peaceful or violent, democratic or authoritarian. etc. These divisions exist, but the underlying division is something else. Throughout the history of socialist movements and ideas, the fundamental divide is between Socialism-From-Above and Socialism-From-Below.
          “What unites the many different forms of Socialism-from-Above is the conception that socialism (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) must be handed down to the grateful masses in one form or another, by a ruling elite which is not subject to their control in fact. The heart of Socialism-from-Below is its view that socialism can be realized only through the self-emancipation of activized masses in motion, reaching out for freedom with their own hands, mobilized ‘from below’ in a struggle to take charge of their own destiny, as actors (not merely subjects) on the stage of history. ‘The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves’: this is the first sentence in the Rules written for the First International by [Karl] Marx, and this is the First Principle of his life-work.”
          [Hal Draper. The Two Souls Of Socialism. Revised edition. Berkeley, California: Independent Socialist Committee—A Center for Socialist Education. 1966. Pages 3-4.]
          “Socialist and democratic developed from below through a gradual and often slow process of education and discussion. In this way, land was redistributed to women and people of previously oppressed groups who never before had a right to this means of survival. Oppressive feudal marriage laws were changed to give women more power.” [Amrit Wilson, “Socialism from below.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 4, number 154, June 1991. Page 10.]
          “… [An] important issue is the role of social classes in this revolution. You don’t have to refer to [Karl] Marx, [Friedrich] Engels, [Vladimir] Lenin, or [Leon] Trotsky to know that the only way to overturn capitalism, a system in which a minority imposes its will on the majority, is that the working class and the people, we who are the majority and the producers, take the lead in expropriating the enterprises and place them under our control. In that sense, what we mean by socialism is very simply stated.” [Orlando Chirino, “Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below: Interview with Orlando Chirino.” New Politics. Volume 11, number 4, winter 2008. Pages 17-22.]
          “The dominant trend in socialist thought during this period, then, was a new variant of socialism from above. The struggle of working class people to create new institutions of popular democratic control was seen as having little or nothing to do with the creation of a socialist society. Instead, elected socialist officials would simply take over the existing bureaucratic structures of society and run them more humanely. Rather than a qualitatively different society, socialism was depicted as a gently improved form of the existing social order. Yet, despite the wide influence of this doctrine, some Marxists remained committed to the idea of socialism from below. The most important of these was the Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg.…
          “… [The] upsurge in militant working class activity powerfully influenced the thinking of some radical writers and organisers. A few of them began to think of the working class as the group that could change society. Indeed, some theorists began to talk in terms of the working class liberating itself through its collective action. Notable in this regard was the French revolutionary Flora Tristan, who linked together ideas of working class self-emancipation and women’s liberation with the proposal for a world-wide organisation of workers. But it was in the writings and the organising of a German socialist, Karl Marx, that the working class took centre stage in socialist thought. Inspired by the emergence of this class, [Karl] Marx developed a wholly new socialist outlook based upon the principle of socialism from below.”
          [David McNally. Socialism from Below. Chicago, Illinois: International Socialist Organization. 1986. Ebook edition.]
          “Today such state-Communism has been relatively discredited with the fall of the Soviet Union and the turn of the Chinese state to open capitalism. As a consequence, the concept of socialism-from-below has become widely attractive to many radicals. However, the concept of socialism-from-below, at least as raised by [Hal] Draper and by [David] McNally (at least until his most recent book), has been used ambiguously. Contrary to the views of the anarchists, these writers claim that Marxism is most consistent with revolutionary socialism-from-below, and that anarchism is an example of authoritarian socialism. I will argue instead that the divide between authoritarian and libertarian-democratic tendencies runs through (inside) Marxism as well as through anarchism. However, I believe that, while there is value in Marxism, overall, anarchism is most consistent with the development of a liberating socialism-from-below.” [Wayne Price, “Socialism from Above or Below.” The Utopian. Volume 3, 2002. Pages 75-85.]
          “I have been an anarchist-pacifist (influenced by Paul Goodman and Douglas Macdonald), a Trotskyist (a variety of Marxist), and am now an socialist-anarchist of the class struggle, pro-organization (‘Platformist’), trend. I identify with the revolutionary tradition of anarchist-communism. Through all these incarnations, I have remained a libertarian socialist and a believer in socialism-from-below.” [Wayne Price. The Abolition of the State: Anarchist & Marxist Perspectives. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. 2007. Page 8.]
          “I remain an anarchist, a decentralist socialist, and a believer is socialism-from-below. As a class struggle, Platformist, revolutionary anarchist, I can have all the benefits I sought as a Trotskyist, while maintaining the libertarian vision of anarchism. I no longer advocate a ‘workers’ state’ (whatever that means), but I do advocate a federation of workers’ and popular councils (in the tradition of the Friends of Durruti Group of the Spanish revolution). I no longer advocate a vanguard (Leninist) party, which aims to rule over the workers, but I do advocate a revolutionary organization of anachist workers: Platformism or especificismo. (These topics are discussed in essays in this book as well as in my book, The Abolition of the State: Anarchist and Marxist Perspectives.) While I no longer call myself a Marxist, I accept many ideas from the Marxist tradition (as can be seen from my essays) This is especially true from the libertarian Marxists (such as C.L.R. James, the council communists, etc.). I now regard myself as a Marxist-informed anarchist. I have joined the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (or NEFAC) and write for the site, which is the web site for our international tendency.” [Wayne Price. What I Believe and How I Came to Believe It. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2008. Page 6.]
          “If socialism is just about taking control of the existing state, it is understandable that many are suspicious of it. But socialism from below implies a different approach. It argues that the institutions of the state are structured in a way that denies popular control. Alongside the formally ‘democratic’ pieces of the state – where those exist – are a series of hierarchically organised bodies, the police, army, judiciary, civil service etc., that limit the space for democracy. These are a block on the possibility of extending democratic control in society. These institutions must be removed and replaced.…
          “If socialism from below is to mean anything today, it is as a guiding thread that runs through our political practice, one that constantly reminds us to ask whether and how what we do empowers people to become agents of their own emancipation. To achieve this truly would be ‘doing politics differently’ – differently from the capitalist parties, broken social democracy, and, sadly, so many revolutionary groups that have gone before. The devil, as ever, is in the detail; but no one said it was going to be easy.”
          [Dan Swain, “Socialism from Below.” New Politics. July 17th, 2015. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “… [One] arena where socialism from below matters is the question of democracy. There has historically been, and to a certain extent there still is, a way of talking about socialism as being concerned first and foremost with material comfort and a more equal distribution of wealth and resources. To the extent that democracy fits into this it is often as an optional extra, a ‘good thing,’ but not strictly part of the picture. Socialism from below rejects this, and re-asserts democracy as an integral part of socialism. Socialism from below follows from a commitment to democracy in socialism in the following way: If your goal is just material comfort, or a better distribution of resources, you don’t need mass participation. You don’t need to involve, engage and mobilize a movement. Or rather, you do, but only temporarily, only in order to back up demands and policies, put pressure on those in power. If, on the other hand, your goal is a society in which the overwhelming majority are capable of participating in the running of society, you have to be concerned with empowering them to do so, and this empowerment requires a level of democracy.” [Dan Swain, “Socialism still comes from below.” Socialist Worker. July 16th, 2015. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “The common idea – ‘socialism from below’ – is … widely shared.
          “The Socialist Workers Party, in spite of its own obviously Stalinist internal regime, also subscribes to that idea, and its Greek co-thinkers use the tag as the title of their bimonthly journal.…
          “I have said that the SWP [Socialist Workers Party] subscribes to ‘socialism from below’ in spite of its own obviously Stalinist internal regime, but in fact it is arguable that such a regime follows from the conception of ‘socialism from below’ as interpreted by the SWP, by its co-thinkers and its ex-members.”
          [Mike Macnair, “Socialism from below: a delusion.” Weekly Worker. Issue 1071, August 2015. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “We [the New Left] also challenged the prevailing view that the so-called affluent society would of itself erode the appeal of socialist propaganda—that socialism could arise only out of immiseration and degradation. Our emphasis on people taking action for themselves, ‘building socialism from below’ and ‘in the here and now,’ not waiting for some abstract Revolution to transform everything in the twinkling of an eye, proved, in the light of the re-emergence of these themes after 1968, strikingly prefigurative.” [Stuart Hall, “Life and Times of the First New Left.” New Left Review. Series II, number 61, January–February 2010. Pages 177-196.]
          “… I will analyze the ways in which the themes in my conception of socialism-from-below appear (or are ignored) in analyses of the Occupy movement. By examining its key discussions, I intend to situate Occupy within the Infrastructure of Dissent and [Rosa] Luxemburg’s theories on social transformation through mass mobilization. By situating Occupy within these theories, I will offer a refreshed look at the opportunities and obstacles facing leftist struggle in our time, in order to gain a better grasp upon how mass movements might bring us closer to realizing a society of socialism-from-below.” [Holly Campbell. Building Socialism From Below: Luxemburg, Sears, And The Case Of Occupy Wall Street. Major research paper for Master’s in Social Justice and Community Engagement. Wilfrid Laurier University. Brantford, Ontario. 2014. Page 34.]
          The Challenge: Defining a Socialism from Below
          “The crippling contradiction at the heart of Bolshevism lies between its central defining images of modernity and its socialist politics and culture. The former entail a theory of productive forces and of the economic superiority of capitalist methods; the latter calls for increasingly conscious, collective, and egalitarian self-assertion from below. The contradiction is an antagonistic one: to choose either horn of the dilemma is to undercut the basis of the other. Bolshevism certainly broke the automatic link between level of productive forces and socialist revolution.”
          [Philip Corrigan, Harvie Ramsay, and Derek Sayer, “Bolshevism and the USSR.” New Left Review. Series I, number 125, January–February 1981. Pages 45-60.]
          “For anarchists, individual freedom is the highest good, and individuality is valuable in itself, but such freedom can only be achieved within and through a new type of society. Contending that a class system prevents the full development of individuality, anarchists advocate class struggle from below to create a better world. In this ideal new order, individual freedom will be harmonised with communal obligations through cooperation, democratic decision-making, and social and economic equality. Anarchism rejects the state as a centralised structure of domination and an instrument of class rule, not simply because it constrains the individual or because anarchists dislike regulations. On the contrary, anarchists believe rights arise from the fulfilment of obligations to society and that there is a place for a certain amount of legitimate coercive power, if derived from collective and democratic decision-making.” [Lucien van der Walt and Michael Schmidt, “Socialism from Below: Defining Anarchism,” in Lucien van der Walt and Michael Schmidt. Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2009. Pages 33-82.]
          “Perhaps surprisingly, he [Hal Draper] excludes anarchism from the camp of socialism from below. Its affirmation of absolute individual liberty logically leads to the right of individuals to impose their own tyranny on others, even on the majority. ‘It is the other side of the coin of bureaucratic despotism, with all its values turned inside-out, not the cure or the alternative.’ His argument is based on the founders of theoretical anarchism, and he undoubtedly has a case as he dissects their writings. [Pierre-Joseph] Proudhon, in particular, was a convinced sexist and racist, an opponent of trade unions, and a cheerleader for dictators when he wasn’t eying up their position for himself.” [Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh, “Hal Draper, The Two Souls of Socialism.” Red Banner. Volume 48, June 2012. Pages 1-4.]
          “Before the October Revolution, [Vladmir] Lenin saw ‘workers’ control’ purely in terms of ‘universal, all-embracing workers’ control over the capitalists.’ He did not see it in terms of workers’ management of production itself (i.e. the abolition of wage labour) via federations of factory committees. Anarchists and the workers’ factory committees did. On three occasions in the first months of Soviet power, the factory committees sought to bring their model into being. At each point the party leadership overruled them. The Bolshevik alternative was to vest both managerial and control powers in organs of the state which were subordinate to the central authorities, and formed by them. Workers’ management from below was not an option. Lenin himself quickly supported ‘one-man management’ invested with ‘dictatorial powers’ after ‘control over the capitalists’ failed in early 1918. By 1920, [Leon] Trotsky was advocating the ‘militarisation of labour’ and implemented his ideas on the railway workers.” [Anonymous. The Anarchist Alternative to Leninism: Socialism from Below? Berkeley, California: Anarchist Zine Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2001. (From a leaflet distributed at “Marxism 2001” in London, one of the annual conferences coordinated by the British Marxist–Leninist–Trotskyist organization, the Socialist Workers Party.) No pagination.]
        4. socialist republicanism and egalitarianism (Michael Harrington): Harrington (1928–1989) was a third–camp Trotskyist and, therefore, an anti–Stalinist. He was, in addition, a democratic socialist and one of the founding members of Democratic Socialists of America. He advocated “the democratization of the workplace” and “the democratization of information and education.” See The Michael Harrington Center for Democratic Values and Social Change at Queens College (Flushing, New York).
          “In the early twentieth century, the great American socialist Eugene Victor Debs interpreted his own movement in precisely those terms, As Nick Salvatore summarized the attitude of Debs and his followers, ‘They took the republican tradition seriously and stressed the individual dignity and power inherent in the concept of citizenship. While frequently vague over exactly how to transform their society, these men and women had no doubt but that, if the people united, the vitality of that tradition would point the way.’
          “I am not trying to make a case for one or another scholarly interpretation of the republican heritage. But I insist that the political, social, and economic development of modern society points socialism toward an ethical, multiclass, and decentralized conception of its goal based on the democratization of the workplace and the creation of new forms of community, both within the nation and throughout the world. That vision has a remarkable continuity with the basic republican values that derive from both the French and the American revolutions. It will not, of course. simply happen and it runs counter to some of the most profound currents of the age, against the elitist tendencies of the knowledge economy and the privatized conformism of mass society. It therefore requires new structures — the democratization of information and education, the vesting of real power in decentralized institutions that give the citizen a pragmatic reason for participation.
          “Is such a socialist republicanism possible? Can we really create a space for personal and community freedom in a modern society? No one can be sure. All we can say with confidence is that if such freedom is to come into existence, it will be the result of new global structures of solidarity and justice. Which is to say, of socialism.”
          [Michael Harrington. Socialism: Past and Future. New York: Arcade Publishing imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. 2011. Ebook edition.]
          “Even though I have some serious disagreements with him on issues of socialist strategy, I am permanently and deeply indebted to Max Shachtman, who first introduced me to the vision of democratic Marxism and whose theory of bureaucratic collectivism is so important to my analysis.” [Michael Harrington. Socialism. New York: Saturday Review Press. 1972. Front matter. Dedication page.]
          “The bureaucracy, as Max Shachtman has remarked, admired [Joseph] Stalin in that he raised it above the masses, but hated him in that he raised himself above it. It could afford to criticize him on the second count; it had to revere him on the first.” [Michael Harrington. Socialism. New York: Saturday Review Press. 1972. Page 178.]
          “… among the great Marxists it was [Leon] Trotsky whose optimism was the most audacious: ‘Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a [Johann Wolfgang von] Goethe, a [Karl] Marx. And above this ridge, new peaks will arise.’
          “This soaring vision is, in part at least, an expression of that dangerous messianic socialism I described earlier. Yet if one understands it as the statement of a limit toward which mankind strives but perhaps will never reach, it serves to free the mind from the narrowness of the present. The human body has been changing under capitalism: in the United States Selective Service exams show that height is increasing in the twentieth century; and, of course, athletic records, and presumably biological prowess, have been dramatically extended. A higher living standard, with good diet and medical care, certainly can make people more beautiful, as the rich discovered a long time ago. In the realm of the intelligence there are no comparative statistics, but the qualitative growth in the number of scientists, and educated people generally, must mean that some of man’s genetic potential has been saved from the savage fate scarcity and starvation used to visit upon it.”
          [Michael Harrington. Socialism. New York: Saturday Review Press. 1972. Page 370.]
          “Is capitalism still viable? Let me begin answering this question by telling you that, as a democratic socialist, I regard capitalism as one of the greatest accomplishments of the human spirit, as obviously the most productive wealth-generating economy that has ever been, as the system that introduced to the world the principles of democracy, and as something to be profoundly respected. The past of capitalism I revere, I support, as against feudalism or any other form of society on the face of the earth at the time it emerged – it was a gigantic stride forward. I am not talking about capitalism then – I am talking about capitalism now.” [Michael Harrington, “Is Capitalism Still Viable?” Journal of Business Ethics. Volume 1, number 4, November 1982. Pages 281-284.]
          “In 1914, C. W. Barron’s analysis of World War I—that it was a struggle over Asia Minor and the Middle East—agreed in significant respects with Rosa Luxembourg’s Marxist account of the event. However, one shouldn’t be surprised by such a convergence. America, Leon Trotsky once said with great prescience, is the ‘pacifist imperialist’ convinced that if only the ancient quarrels of the European capitalists can be stilled, then American corporations can conquer the world nonviolently. Thus it should not come as a shock that a good portion of the American business class—and The Wall Street Journal—had serious doubts about Vietnam.” [Michael Harrington, “Data versus Dogma.The New Republic. Volume 189, number 009, August 1983. Pages 29-32.]
          “I baldly assert that old-fashioned reaction is not, in the long run, a feasible way of dealing with our problems. There will either be a new-fashioned reaction—sophisticated, modern, planned—or there will be a socialist alternative.…
          “… Socialism will have to define itself in the course of a contradictory transitional period in which elements of both traditional capitalism and corporate collectivism will coexist with, and threaten, socialist innovations.…
          “… socialists do not simply propose a new economy. We realize that there must be a transformation of culture, of individual and collective values, if the new structures are to matter. As Antonio Gramsci rightly insisted, socialism is the work of an epoch and it has to do with an entire society, not just with property forms or tax laws.…
          “So in imagining socialism as it would emerge just the other side of the welfare state, the imagination must be realistic. How does one begin to create a new society in a world in which there will be capitalist striving for gain, socialist egalitarianism, and ‘communist’ free goods in the libertarian sense of the word as used by Marx in his Critique of the Gotha Program.…
          “It would be of utmost importance that everyone in the planning debates know the real costs of all the proposals. It was thus not an accident that, on the few occasions when he explicitly referred to the socialist future, [Karl] Marx spoke of the need for careful bookkeeping.”
          [Michael Harrington, “What Socialists Would Do in America—If They Could.” Dissent. Volume 25, fall 1978. Pages 440-452.]
          “… [Michael] Harrington joined the Socialist ‘movement’ ….
          “Harrington got his political education in the 1950s phase of the Shachtmanite school, which debated abstruse points of Marxist doctrine in sessions often lasting through the night. There were always rallies and ‘actions’ to attend, but mostly, Shachtmanite socialism was about getting the arguments right. All of Harrington’s comrades were Marxologists; he later described them as ‘determined, but unhysterical anticommunists engaged in seemingly Talmudic exegeses of the holy writ according to Karl Marx.’ From [Max] Shachtman, he inherited his signature theories of democratic Marxism and bureaucratic collectivism, as well as his socialist outrage at the communist perversion of socialism.”
          [Gary Dorrien, “Michael Harrington and the ‘Left Wing of the Possible.’” CrossCurrents. Volume 60, number 2, June 2010. Pages 257-282.]
          “In the mid-1980s, it may have been 1986, [Michael] Harrington and I debated at Hunter College here in Manhattan. I had long since defected into the ranks of those called neoconservatives, but Michael was keeping the faith, as it used to be said, and still is said, on the left. I do not recall what he or I said in the debate, but I remember well our long and friendly discussion afterward in which he earnestly explained to me that his moving with his family up to Larchmont in Westchester County [New York] did not mean that he had sold out (selling out is the mortal sin in the church of radicalism). ‘You don't have to be poor to keep faith with the poor,’ he insisted. He did not have to persuade me of that, and I doubted if it was me he was trying to persuade.…
          “… Harrington was under the powerful influence of Max Shachtman, and the Shachtmanites were the relentless enforcers of socialist orthodoxy as defined by the master. To their credit, Schachtman, Harrington, and others of that company were vigorously anti-Communist [sic; anti-Stalinist], condemning the Soviet Union as ‘bureaucratic collectivism.’”
          [Richard Neuhaus, “The Devotion of Michael Harrington.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life. Issue 105, August/September 2000. Pages 75-77.]
          “Although [Leon] Trotsky condemned the atrocities of Stalinism, he supported the Soviet Union’s nationalization of property as an important step toward the creation of a truly socialist state. But as [Joseph] Stalin’s excesses multiplied, [Max] Shachtman came to believe that the Soviet government had merely replaced the bourgeoisie as the chief oppressor of the working class. The final break came in 1939, when the Soviet Union invaded Finland. Trotsky defended the move; Shachtman condemned it as Soviet imperialism. Already appalled by the [Adolf] Hitler-[Joseph] Stalin pact, Shachtman went on to develop a ‘third camp’ school of socialism, critical of both East and West. With the onset of the cold war, Shachtman’s views attracted a new generation of anti-Stalinist leftists, Michael Harrington among them.” [Michael Massing, “Trotsky’s Orphans: From Bolshevism to Reaganism.” The New Republic. Volume 196, number 025, June 1987. Pages 18-22.]
          “Germany’s Social Democrats adopted [Karl] Kautsky’s ‘either-or’ formula: either capitalism or, when history has run its course, socialism. [Michael] Harrington called them ‘passive revolutionaries,’ timidly awaiting capitalism’s inevitable collapse while conservatives filled the political void. In power after the First World War, Social Democrats formulated Keynesian transitional programs that used parliamentary reforms to humanize capitalism and became legitimate players in Germany’s capitalist system. When German capitalists nearly expired during the depression, however, they had no remedies and no real idea what socialism meant or how, other than waiting, to create it. Social Democracy had unwittingly civilized capitalism in the name of a doctrine it did not even understand.” [Robert A. Gorman, “Michael Harrington’s proposals for democratic socialism in the United States.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Volume 87, number 3/4, fall/winter 2004. Pages 455-479.]
      5. International Communist League (Fourth International): This Trotskyist tendency was previously known as the Spartacist Tendency. However, it has no direct historical relationship with Rosa Luxemburg’s Spartacus League.
        “We trace our continuity back to the revolutionary teachings and experiences of [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels and the First and Second Internationals, through [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky’s Bolsheviks and the Third (Communist) International, as well as Trotsky and the Left Opposition’s fight against Stalinist betrayal culminating in the formation of the Fourth International. The political tendency embodied in the ICL [International Communist League] today originated as the Revolutionary Tendency within the U.S. Socialist Workers Party in 1961-63. The RT [Revolutionary Tendency] sought to continue and complete the struggle against Pabloite revisionism in the Fourth International, which was taken up, albeit too little and too late, under the leadership of founding American Trotskyist James P. Cannon in 1953. Pabloism represented the liquidation of the Trotskyist vanguard party into bourgeoisnationalist, Stalinist and social-democratic formations ….” [Editor, “Fighting for Programmatic Integrity in a Reactionary Period.” Sparatacist. Number 62, spring 2011. Pages 2-10.]
        “In an ideological climate conditioned by the imperialist rulers’ celebration of the ‘death of communism’ and derision of Marxism as a ‘failed experiment,’ it is not surprising that there is something of a revival of miscellaneous anarchist tendencies among radicalizing youth. These run the gamut from petty-bourgeois anti-communists to those who appeal to the imperialist powers to bring ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ to the oppressed masses around the globe, to those who genuinely want to fight for the overthrow of imperialist rule. In the latter case, many are animated by a healthy revulsion for those self-proclaimed ‘socialists’ whose whole activity is defined by a reformist cringing before the capitalist state, its parties and agencies.” [Editor. Marxism vs. Anarchism: The Roots of Anarchism. New York: Spartacist Publishing Co. June, 2001. Page 2.]
        “Obviously, we want to support and advocate, and where feasible engage in, labor-centered mobilizations to defeat the fascists in the streets and international action at the trade-union level. But our response cannot be primarily at the level of trade-union militancy. We have to answer the ‘socialism of fools’ with the ‘socialism of wise men.’ This means pushing our full program—a Socialist United States of Europe, a world socialist order, international economic planning based on the highest level of science and technology. There are today in Europe alone millions of well-educated youth who are unemployed. In a depression, huge amounts of productive resources will stand idle. Add to this the increasing threat of a new imperialist world war. Our answer—and the only answer—to all this is new October Revolutions on a global scale. And that is why we fight to reforge [Leon] Trotsky’s Fourth International as the world party of socialist revolution.” [Editor. Imperialism, the “Global Economy” and Labor Reformism. New York: Spartacist Publishing Co. September, 1999. Page 12.]
        “Spartacist League: Originally formed as the ‘Revolutionary Tendency’ of the Socialist Workers Party, the Spartacist League was formed in 1964 when they were expelled from the SWP for not supporting the Cuban revolution, as well as opposing the SWP’s part in the ‘revisionist’ United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). Led by James Robertson, the SL [Spartacist League] was named after Rosa Luxemburg’s Spartakusbund (the precursor to the German Communist Party). Though the Spartacists consider themselves to be orthodox Trotskyists, their Trotskyism is infused with a great deal of Left Communist ideology. The SL’s international wing, the International Spartacist Tendency (now known as the International Communist League), was formed in 1974 and has managed to establish a number of small parties in numerous countries. The ‘Sparts’ are known by much of the Left for their cult-like dedication to their group and their sectarian attitude toward other groups. In 1973, the SL tried to take over the Socialist Party USA at its national convention, but were expelled. Since the 1970’s, the SL has also been criticized for its strong support of ‘revolutionary’ actions by the Soviet Union, including the Red Army invasion of Afghanistan and the repression of the Polish Solidarnosc trade union. During the fall of East Germany in 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the SL attempted to organize the workers of those nations to oppose both [Mikhail] Gorbachev and the western capitalists, but without much success. One of the Spartacist organizers in Russia, Martha Phillips, was murdered during this period, possibly by the Stalinist groups she was working with. The Spartacist League suffered two large splits: the first being the formation of the International Bolshevik Tendency in 1985 and in 1996 a group formed by the expelled SL newspaper editor, Jan Norden (known as the Internationalist Group). The Spartacists have been known to get into brawls with far-right groups such as the KKK [Ku Klux Klan] and the World Church of the Creator, but have also become violent at meetings of the ISO [International Socialist Organization] and DSA [Democratic Socialists of America]. Two SL front organizations are the Partisan Defense Committee (dedicated to ‘defending class-war prisoners’) and the Prometheus Research Library (a collection of historical Trotskyist documents). Overall, the Spartacist League is one of the most sectarian and ultra-left groups in the American Left.” [“Red Groups.” Unsourced PDF page. 2011. No pagination.]
      6. New Socialist Group: As of now (May, 2017), the website of the New Socialist Group—which has its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario—is under construction. Most of the pages on the site are inaccessible.
        1. Winnipeg New Socialist Group: a collective that supports socialism from below: They also have a Facebook page.
          “We believe capitalism is doing incredible harm to people all over the world. It has caused a global human and ecological crisis. Creating a genuinely democratic, free, ecologically-sustainable society without poverty and war requires the abolition of capitalism. We believe such an alternative — socialism — is possible. Only the mass struggles of workers can abolish capitalism and begin creating socialism. No government, radical elite or party can deliver liberation from above — it must be won by workers and oppressed people themselves, from below.
          “What is socialism? Socialism is the reconstruction of society towards the needs of everyone, not a select few. It means the construction of an economy that follows the maxim ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need,’ and the creation of a society that practices the values of solidarity, compassion, and equality. This would require revoking the power of corporations (or capital) in our society and a total reorganization of work and of how goods and services are produced. Work would be democratically run in a world without bosses.
          “Socialism is different from social democracy. Social democracy … involves taxing capital to redistribute wealth to the working class as a whole. It does not change the fact that capital ultimately has the power within a capitalist society. Socialism, on the other hand, does not involve taxing capitalists to soften exploitation. It involves eliminating their power.”
          [Editor, “Why Socialism?” Winnipeg New Socialist Group: a collective that supports socialism from below. Undated. Retrieved on May 22nd, 2017.]
        2. dialectical optics (David McNally): McNally, a Trotskyist theorist in the New Socialist Group, examines the dialectic, capitalism and other subjects.
          “So normalised has capitalism become in the social sciences, so naturalised its historically unique forms of life, that critical theory requires an armoury of de-familiarising techniques, a set of critical-dialectical procedures, that throw into relief its fantastic and mysterious processes.… The structures of denial that dominate conscious life in modernity are so habitual, the intellectual and cultural web that normalises the repression of unconscious desires so intricate, that only images with explosive power can break the web of mystification. This is why psychoanalysis (at least in its most genuinely radical version) is compelled to dramatise, to use a metaphorical language and imagery that shocks the modern mind.…
          “… as I argue …, that critical theory must be capable of developing a dialectical optics, ways of seeing the unseen. For the essential features of capitalism, as [Karl] Marx regularly reminded us, are not immediately visible. To be sure, many of their effects can be touched and measured. But the circuits through which capital moves are abstracted ones; we are left to observe things and persons – boxes of commodities, factories full of machines, workers straining inside the sweatshop, lines of people seeking work or bread – while the elusive power that grows and multiplies through their deployment remains unseen, un-comprehended. This is why critical theory sets out to see the unseen, to chart the cartography of the invisible.”
          [David McNally. Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism. Leiden, the Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts: Leiden. 2011. Pages 5-7.]
          “Undialectical ‘Marxism’ freezes historical materialism into a set of static axioms about the world ‘out there,’ axioms that are resistant to the living pulse of real struggles. Rather than a dialectics immersed in concrete historical activity, schematic thought prefers transhistorical ‘laws’ that can be applied to any and all situations. Axiomatic ‘Marxism’ has often been the refuge of currents hostile to the open-endedness of materialist dialectics. When new problems of theory and practice – such as mass strikes and workers’ councils – are thrown up by historical events, the schematist refuses them, invoking formulae that recite past positions. Precisely where dialectical theory and practice perceive new challenges requiring the actual development of thought and practice, mechanistic materialism clings to ritualised (and reified) positions, foreclosing dialectical development. In the name of orthodoxy, a refusal to learn is worn as a badge of honour.” [David McNally, “Language, Praxis and Dialectics: Reply to Collins.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, number 3, June 2004. Pages 149-167.]
          “One of the great advantages of [Karl] Marx’s analysis is precisely that it conceives of capitalism as a social system. Rather than ascribing social and economic ills to specific policies or institutional failings, Marx’s approach enables us to see them as inherent tendencies of the ‘laws of motion’ of capitalism, the basic rules by which a society based upon the relation between capital and wage-labor reproduces itself. That’s why the national and regional studies brought together in this issue ought to be seen as concrete and specific mappings of the ways in which the general tendencies of capitalism manifest themselves in particular parts of the system, not as discrete studies dealing with radically different objects of investigation (e.g., the Japanese economy, Latin American economy, the sub-Saharan African economy). The problems of the national and regional economies detailed above are parts of a whole: the global capitalist economy.” [David McNally, “The Present As History: Thoughts on Capitalism at the Millennium.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 51, issue 3, July/August 1999. Pages 134-145.]
          “… [Karl] Marx’s critique of political economy operates within the movement of social history from the outset. In so doing, it specifijies its own historical coordinates and conditions of possibility. The theoretical categories of Marx’s value theory are thus historical precipitates from the start. As a result, history does not need to be added to these categories; it is embedded in them. Unlike theories that begin with the asocial and ahistorical premises of neoclassical economics, Marxian value theory does not encounter history as an alien continent that must subsequently be conquered; it does not commence with a core theory that is inherently resistant to historicisation and the priority of social relations of production and reproduction. An ahistorical and de-socialised economics offfers no options other than imperialist conquest, in which history and society lose their inherent meaning, or multi-factor eclecticism – the false choice that haunts all theory constructed in terms of the methodologically individualist premises of mainstream economics.” [David McNally, “From Fetishism to ‘Shocked Disbelief ’: Economics, Dialectics and Value Theory.” Historical Materialism. Volume 20, number 3, September 2012. Pages 9-23.]
          “[Karl] Marx proceeds to reveal that value derives from ‘human labour in the abstract’ – not the concrete labour that enters into a commodity’s production, but the socially-necessary quantum of labour required for its production in a system of generalised exchange. This quantum of labour is thus something separate from the actual living labour that entered into its production: it is a general social datum that exists over and against the concrete labour expended on its material production. Put differently, the duality of commodities as use-values and exchange-values is reproduced in the duality of the labour that creates them as both material things and values. Of course, the latter (value based on abstract labour) ontologically requires the former (concrete labour). But, just as use-values are merely ‘bearers’ of the values that matter in the inverted world of capital, so concrete labour merely bears the abstract labour that governs the values and movements (purchases and sales) of commodities. In this inverted world, ‘concrete labour becomes the form of manifestation of its opposite, abstract human labour’ ….” [David McNally, “The dialectics of unity and difference in the constitution of wage-labour: On internal relations and working-class formation.” Capital & Class. Volume 39, number 1, fall 2015. Pages 131-146.]
          “A defining feature of human life is social labor, the way in which we organize the interconnected productive activities of individuals in order to reproduce ourselves materially. Just as human labor presupposes consciousness, so it requires communication among individuals, a capacity to share and exchange ideas in order to coordinate social labor. And language is the medium of such communication, the very stuff of human consciousness. Language is the form of specifically human consciousness, the consciousness of uniquely social beings. It follows that ‘language is as old as consciousness, language is practical, real consciousness that exists for other men as well.’ Sketchy though this account may be, it is indispensable for any outlook that wants to take language seriously without detaching it from the totality of practical human activity. Yet [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels provide no more than a framework for understanding language. Fortunately, later writers in the Marxist tradition have developed and extended this account in ways that leave us with a much enriched materialist theory of language.” [David McNally, “Language, history, and class struggle.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 47, issue 3, July/August 1995. Pages 13-30.]
          “Adding new capacity at a time of general overcapacity may seem irrational-and for the system as a whole it is. But for the individual capitalist firm caught in the logic of market competition it is the only rational course. The objective, after all, is to insure that someone else fails in the scramble for market share. The survivors are likely to be those with the right combination of lean production, new technology, labor discipline, relatively low wages, and ready market access. So new capacity is added to achieve these, to construct the most efficient capitalist enterprises, despite the problem of overaccumulation as a whole.” [David McNally, “Globalization on trial: Crisis and class struggle in East Asia.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 50, issue 4, September 1998. Pages 1-15.]
      7. Workers Action: This Trotskyist group is in San Francisco.
        “… [Leon] Trotsky is outlining two essentially opposed conceptions of the relation of the revolutionary party to the working class. According to the first conception, which he criticizes, the party exists as a distinct and separate entity from the working class, which it regards as lacking the proper socialist consciousness. Such a party considers its role as introducing socialist ideas into the working class through propaganda, i.e., through their literature, educational forums, and so on. Winning members to its organization is conceived as its reason for existing. Often when struggles break out around specific issues, such parties end up simply issuing commands (e.g., for a general strike, or for the establishment of a workers’ party, or they recite incantations (such as 30 hours of work for 40 hours of pay), regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in, because these parties fail to engage with workers on a daily basis and are even contemptuous of the workers’ level of consciousness, including how workers have defined their struggle. Or, more subtly, they proclaim that nothing can be accomplished at this moment in history and content themselves with urging workers to attend their forums or conferences. For these parties, they are what is important, not workers in their mundane, miserable conditions fighting for what they, the pseudo-Marxists, consider merely modest demands.” [Ann Roberston and Bill Leumer. The True Nature of a Revolutionary Marxist Party and Its Common Distortions. San Francisco, California: Workers Action. 2009. Pages 3-4.]
        “… for [Karl] Marx, freedom does not amount to following one’s impulses or engaging in spontaneity. Impulses are a part of one’s natural constitution — they are not the product of choice. When we act impulsively, we act ‘naturally’ and without conscious reflection. However, when we rationally and consciously direct our behavior, we ourselves, through thoughtful deliberation, determine our course of action. Marx accordingly allied himself with that sector of the Enlightenment that was represented, for example, by Kant and Rousseau, where both endorsed the autonomy of the subject ….” [Ann Robertson. Marxism Versus Anarchism: The Philosophical Roots of the Marx-Bakunin Conflict. San Francisco, California: Workers Action. 2009. Page 9.]
        “Although the call for the Fifth International deserves enthusiastic support, those who respond must be vigilant, since the road ahead can contain many pitfalls. One must not allow this international unwittingly to degenerate into another social democratic formation, where instead of fighting for socialism, members are content to reform capitalism. In fact, some of the formulations in the Commitment of Caracas leave open the possibility of being interpreted as endorsing such a deviation. For example, the statement declares: ‘One of the epicenters of the capitalist crisis is in the economic domain; this highlights the limitations of unbridled free markets ruled by private monopolies.’ This might be read by some to imply that what is needed are government regulated free markets that are ruled by multiple private businesses that compete against one another.” [Bill Leumer and Ann Robertson, “Introduction The Significance of Chávez’s Call for a Fifth Socialist International.” Hugo Chávez and the Fifth Socialist International. Workers Action, editor. San Francisco, California: Workers Action. 2010. Pages 1-4.]
      8. Revolutionary Workers League (International Trotskyist Committee): This U.S. Trotskyist organization focuses on, among other issues, a critique of fascism. However, the site itself is an archive. The current status of the Revolutionary Workers League is unknown.
        “While Rostock does not signal the emergence of a fascist mass movement, it does mark an important and terrible turning point in raising the level of confidence of the fascist thugs. Rostock also marks an important step forward in the capacity of the fascist leaders to carry out a strategy aimed at building a mass fascist movement in Germany over the course of the next decade. Such a fascist advance in Germany has already emboldened not only the German neo-Nazis but fascist forces in every country in the world.
        “Some antifascists in Germany continue to belittle the danger of the development of a mass fascist movement here, because today’s fascist groups are small, most fascist and other racist activity appears to have been the work of unorganized individuals, and the fascist sects are themselves divided on basic questions. Such an attitude involves a refusal to learn from history. Today’s little Hitlers have the real Hitler to learn from, and they are applying to today’s conditions the methods that brought Hitler’s fascists from the fringe of political life to the height of political power.
        “For some two years the fascist gangs have been on the rampage, beating, burning, and murdering – a constant threat to immigrant workers, asylum-seekers and refugees, Turkish people, Jews, lesbians and gay men, and anyone perceived as an activist for any progressive cause or a supporter of the left. The fascists have revived the anti-Semitism of the Nazis. Fascist and other far-right parties have been able to register significant electoral gains.”
      9. International Bolshevik Tendency: This Trotskyist tendency branched off from the International Communist League (Fourth International).
        “We have studied with interest the materials con cerning your recent separation from the ICL [International Communist League, headed by Spartacist League/U.S. (SL)]. We find in them a familiar pattern: a cynical purge of cadre whose main in fraction appears to have been a reluctance to swallow everything laid down by those in positions of authority. Many comrades have been purged from the International Communist League/international Spartacist tendency [ICL/iSt] for similar reasons in the past.” [Tom Riley, “IBT letter to IG/LQB.” Trotskyist Bulletin. Number 6, September 1999. Pages 7-23.]
        “You claim that our rejection of the demand for a ‘workers’ republic of Quebec’ shows ‘a very poor understanding of the socio-economic situation in Quebec.’ But, the high degree of integration of the North American political economy and the overwhelming economic, political and military predominance of the United States means that proletarian power will only be consolidated on a continent-wide basis. Proletarian revolution in any part of North America which fails to achieve state power in the U.S. is ultimately doomed.” [Gary Taylor, “Leninism vs Nationalism.” Trotskyist Bulletin. Number 7, September 2013. Pages 30-32.]
        “… as to the background of the [Stalinist] mutiny. Far from occurring at a time when the Soviet power was out of danger (as the ideological adversaries of Bolshevism imply), it occurred in the year 1921, a crucial year in the life of the workers’ state. By December 1920 the fronts in the Civil War were liquidated. There were no ‘fronts’ but the danger still remained. The land with the barbaric heritage of Asiatic Czarism hail been literally bled white by the havoc of the imperialist war, the years of Civil War and of imperialist blockade. The crisis in foodstuffs was aggravated by a fuel crisis. Vast sections of the population faced the immediate prospect of dying from hunger or freezing to death. With industry in ruins, transportation disrupted, millions of men demobilized from tlre army, the masses on the point of exhaustion, fertile soil was indeed available for the intrigues of the counter-revolution.” [John G. Wright, “The Truth About Kronstadt.” Kronstadt and Counterrevolution. Duisburg, Germany: International Bolshevik Tendency. 2002. Pages 23-33.]
      10. International Trotskyist Opposition: This Trotskyist tendency has, or had, its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. They also have, or had, British supporters. These websites now exist only as archives.
        “The condition of this apparent capitalist triumph is the worldwide retreat of the working class since the late 1970s. The workers have not been able to defend their social position, mainly because of the failures and betrayals of their leaderships. As a result, the capitalists have been able to maintain their profits, despite the generally stagnant economy. They have jacked up the rate of exploitation and intensified inequality, poverty, and misery worldwide. The stock markets in most of the advanced capitalist countries have soared in the 1990s, based on speculation that the working class is finished as an independent historical force.
        “The high point for the capitalists – and the low point for the workers – was the collapse of the Soviet Union and restoration of capitalism in the land of the October Revolution. The Soviet Union was the most important historic experiment in non-capitalist economic development and the condition for all the other experiments. When the Soviet Union went under, the bourgeois apologists portrayed this as proof that capitalism is the best possible – indeed, in modern times, the only possible – economic system.
        “With the workers’ movement in retreat and the Soviet Union gone, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalism succumbed too. Bourgeois-nationalist governments from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico through Algeria, Egypt and Turkey through India, Indonesia and South Korea have been forced to open their economies fully to imperialism. The few surviving national liberation movements and governments have abandoned even the pretense of anti-imperialism, from South Africa, Angola and Mozambique to Palestine and Ireland.
        “The absence of common enemies has not yet led to open conflict among the imperialist powers. The US is even more dominant militarily, having ‘won’ the Cold War. But it has not tried to bully the other imperialists since the 1991 Gulf War. Reduced military expenses and the continuing upturn in the world economy have meant that the US could maintain its economic lead without noneconomic pressure. Absorbed with their own economic problems, the other imperialists have not challenged the US or each other.”
      11. International Workers League – Fourth International: They are working to revive, through mergers with other organizations, of the Fourth International. Workers’ Voice, in Brazil, is a sympathizing section.
        “We do not regard ourselves as the only revolutionaries on earth. Neither do we believe that the solution to the crisis of revolutionary leadership is to be found only in the growth of our tendency. Rather, we have always fought to create revolutionary agreements, both at the national and international levels. That is why our history is the history of attempted mergers and also of splits that the most important events of the class struggle have caused.” [Editor, “A brief outline of the history of the IWL-FI.” International Workers League – Fourth International. Online. Undated. Retrieved on January 16th, 2017.]
      12. International Socialist Tendency: Neo–Trotskyist Tony Cliff (born, Yigael Gluckstein [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, יִגְאָל גְּלוּקְשְׁטָיְּן, Yiḡəʾāl Gəlūqəšəṭāyyən]), the originator of this tendency, explained the (former) Soviet Union through his “theory of state capitalism” (the state as the capitalist or owner of production). Many people, this writer included, agree with Cliff on that point. He also developed a Trotskyist critique of the theory of bureaucratic collectivism. Affiliate and sympathizer parties of the International Socialist Tendency include the Socialist Workers Party (UK affiliate), International Socialists (Canadian affilliate), and Socialist Workers League (Abuja, Nigeria). The British branch of this organization publishes the Socialist Worker newspaper and International Socialism: A quarterly review of socialist theory. Foster’s own views largely conformed to this tendency before adopting Marxism–Luxemburgism. At one time, the late Christopher Hitchens was associated with the International Socialist Tendency.
        “The International Socialist Tendency (IST) is a current of revolutionary socialist organisations, based in different countries, which share a political outlook and seek to help each other by exchanging experience and practical support.
        “These organisations stand in the tradition of socialist from below, the idea that workers can only emancipate themselves through their own struggles. This tradition was initiated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and subsequently developed by revolutionaries such as [Vladimir] Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci. In the same spirit, groups linked to the IST have sought to further strengthen this tradition both through involvement in struggle and attempts to develop Marxist theory.”
        [Editor, “About.” International Socialist Tendency. 2016. Retrieved on December 7th, 2016.]
        “The Southern Africa Social Forum, held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in October, was a big step forward for the anti-capitalist movement in the region – and a triumph for the International Socialist Tendency.
        “Around 4,000 people took part in what was the largest event ever of its type in the region, bringing together people from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. There were trade unionists, people with HIV, housing campaigners, campaigners for women’s rights, informal traders, disabled people, students, unemployed and many more.”
        [Charlie Kimber, “A Report from the Southern African Social Forum.” International Socialist Tendency: Discussion Bulletin. Number 7, January 2006. Page 25.]
        “On the question of whether the workers in Russia are proletarians, the proponents of the theory of Bureaucratic Collectivism answer, and must answer, that they are not. They compare the Russian with the classical worker who was ‘free’ of the means of production and also free of any legal impediments to selling his labour power. It is true that there often were legal impediments to the movement of Russian workers from one enterprise to another. But is this a sufficient reason to say that the Russian worker was not a proletarian? If so, there is no doubt that the German worker under [Adolf] Hitler was also not a proletarian. Or, at the other extreme, workers in power are also not proletarians inasmuch as they are not ‘free’ as a collective from the means of production. No doubt an American worker is very different from an indentured girl in a Japanese factory who is under contract for a number of years and must live in the company’s barracks for that time. But basically they are members of one and the same class. They were born together with the most dynamic form of production history has every known, they are united by the process of social production, they are in actuality the antithesis of capital, and in potentiality socialism itself (because of the dynamics of a modern economy, no legal impediments in fact put an end altogether to the movement of workers from one enterprise to another under Stalin’s regime).” [Tony Cliff. The Theory of Bureaucratic Collectivism: A Critique. 1948.]
        “The few comrades who started the International Socialist tendency were not prepared to use Marxism as a substitute for reality, but on the contrary wished it to be a weapon helping to master reality. In the years 1946-48 we had to wrestle with very difficult questions. We had to be clear that we were continuing a tradition – that we were followers of [Karl] Marx, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky – but that we had to face new situations. It was both a continuation and a new beginning. Intellectual toughness does not mean dogmatism; grasping a changing reality does not mean vagueness. Our criticism of orthodox Trotskyism was conceived as a return to classical Marxism.…
        “… [An] analysis of Russia as bureaucratic state capitalist followed Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution in taking the capitalist world system as its basic frame of reference. If it is a step forward from Trotsky’s analysis of the Stalinist regime as given in The Revolution Betrayed and elsewhere, it is that it tried to take account of the pressure of world capitalism in the mode of production and the relations of production prevailing in the USSR. Trotsky’s explanation did not reveal the dynamic of the system; it restricted itself to forms of property instead of dealing with the relations of production. It did not supply a political economy of the system. The theory of bureaucratic state capitalism tries to do both.”
        [Tony Cliff. Trotskyism after Trotsky: The origins of the International Socialists. London: Bookmarks. 1999. Ebook edition.]
        “In order to establish guidelines for the work of revolutionary socialists in the trade unions, we must answer these questions. Our first principle must be that of [Karl] Marx, that the emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class itself. Socialists must therefore always take as their central focus the activity of rank-and-file trade unionists. But to apply this principle in times of retreat for the workers’ movement, when a general lack of confidence in the working class leads to a low level of activity, calls for an understanding of complex strategies. In this the experience of the early years of the British Communist Party and the General Strike can be invaluable.” [Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein. Marxism and Trade Union Struggle: The General Strike of 1926. London: Bookmarks. April, 1986. Page 4.]
        “… this fact – the isolation of a small working class in a sea of antagonistic, backward, petty capitalist peasants – proved to be in the rise of Stalin!
        “However, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky had no alternative. It is true that the Bolshevik Party programme provided for nationalisation of all landed estates. And for many years Lenin had argued heatedly against the Social Revolutionaries who were in favour of distributing the landlords’ land among the peasants. However, in 1917, when the land problem demanded an immediate solution, he straight away adopted the slogans of the much-condemned Social Revolutionaries, or rather of the spontaneous peasant movement. If the Bolsheviks had not done this, they, and the urban working class they led, would have been isolated from the countryside, and the revolution would have been stillborn, or at most short-lived (as was the Hungarian Revolution of 1919).”
        [Tony Cliff, “Rosa Luxemburg (1959/1969),” in Tony Cliff. International Struggle and the Marxist Tradition, Selected Works. Volume 1. London: Bookmarks. 2001. Pages 59-116.]
        “The mistakes of the first few years of the Comintern were the mistakes of revolutionaries searching for new tactics in an unfamiliar field. But around 1923 a qualitative change took place. The degeneration of the Communist International and the search for alliances with left union officials was the result of the isolation of the Russian revolution. This gave rise to a state bureaucracy in Russia which put its own self-interest above that of the international working class. This process did not fully take hold until after the Fourth Comintern Congress. Until then the Congresses had been a genuine forum for the debate and development of Marxism. After Lenin’s illness in 1923 the Stalinist bureaucracy put a stop to development. This meant that the opportunity to correct and improve on the Comintern’s trade union strategy, as had been done in so many other spheres, was lost.” [Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein, “Marxism and the Trade Union Struggle.” Publication and date of publication unknown. Pages 31-43.]
        “[Tony] Cliff was born in 1917 in what was then commonly regarded as a southern region of Syria—Palestine. The son of a Jewish family who supported Zionism, his birth name was Ygael Gluckstein. In 1947, he moved to Britain, where he remained until his death in 2000. During the 1930s and 1940s, Cliff wrote a series of articles under the pseudonym L. Rock and later (1945) as Tony Cliff, calling for an anti-imperialist, independent Arab and Jewish labor movement. These early writings of Cliff are notably different from his later writings from 1967 onward: on the one hand, this discontinuity is glossed over by an amnesia or a distortion of Cliff’s own historical analyses and conclusions to fit into a neat picture of the contemporary; on the other hand, this deterioration is made possible by some early kernels that later grew into a more recognizable inane politics.” [Camila Bassi, “The Inane Politics of Tony Cliff.” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Volume 3, 2011. Pages 729-738.]
        “We live in a world system capable of producing enough to house, feed, and clothe all its inhabitants, but it does not. Worse yet, a precondition of the system’s continued existence is the misery of most for the enrichment of the few. The task of socialists is to build the struggles, the movements, and the organization needed to once and for all get rid of a system of exploitation and oppression—capitalism.” [Ahmed Shawki, “Between Things Ended and Things Begun: Perspectives for Socialists.” Internationalist Socialist Review. June–July 2001. Pages 1-18.]
        “Imperialism is the stage of capitalism in which a few economically advanced states dominate the rest of the world. Imperialism coalesces as a system during the latter half of the nineteenth century, but its cruel dynamic also drives the process known as ‘globalization’ today. This means that we continue to live in a world in which a handful of strong nations use their economic and military power to subjugate and exploit weaker nations. It also means that our world is still one in which the strong nations regularly face off against each other—threatening, preparing, or unleashing wars whose basic aim is to secure a competitive advantage for one nation over its rivals in imperialist plunder.” [Tom Lewis, “Marxism & Nationalism.” Internationalist Socialist Review. August–September 2000. Pages 1-8.]
        “We knew the NLF [National Liberation Front] would set up a state capitalist regime that would deny all democratic rights and powers to workers and peasants in order to better exploit them. The Vietnamese nation had the right to determine its fate, no matter the outcome, or the undemocratic nature of its leadership. To overthrow that leadership is the task of the Vietnamese working class, not a task outsourced to U.S. imperialism, whose democratic signature is the millions of civilians it has bombed to death.” [Joel Geier, “Marxism and War” Internationalist Socialist Review. Summer 1999. Pages 1-8.]
        “Ygael Gluckstein, the theoretical guru of the International Socialists, whose ‘party name’ was Tony Cliff, used to tell an anecdote that I came to regard as an analogy for this sort of wordplay [a ‘verse-play about the rise of Prince Charles’]. Rosa Luxemburg, our heroine in the struggle against German imperialism (and the woman who had told [Vladimir] Lenin that the right to free expression was meaningless unless it was the right of ‘the person who thinks differently’) had once satirized the overcautious work of the German reformists and trade unionists as ‘the labor of Sisyphus [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, Σίσυφος, Sísyphos].’ Whenever she approached the podium of the Social Democratic conventions before 1914, and before they proved her right by siding with the filthy kaiser on the crucial vote for war, she would be jeered at as she moved her lamed body toward the platform, and catcalled as ‘Sisyphus’ by the union hacks. ‘So maybe Sisyphus was wasting his time,’ Gluckstein would say, hesitating for emphasis: ‘But maybe from this he still got some good muscles!’” [Christopher Hitchens. Hitch-22: A Memoir. New York: Twelve imprint of Grand Central Publishing. 2010. Page 135-136.]
        “My motives [for being attracted to socialism], in short, would have been a dislike for the class system and for the attitudes that it instilled not in its victims but in the people who thought they benefited from it – a suspicion of those who felt entitled to inherited privilege, of whom I was not one, and; an intense dislike for the British conservative party. That was the impulse.… I took part in what was actually the last eruption of Marxist internationalism. We really thought that year, there was going to be a revolution. Well, indeed there was revolution everywhere from Vietnam to Czechoslovakia.
        “I joined a small but growing post-Trotskyite Luxemburgist sect. Well, not a sect actually. It was a faction called the International Socialists. I gave a good deal of my life to that before realizing that in fact the [19]ʾ68 upheaval was the last flare-up, the last refulgence of this and not the beginning of a new wave.”
        [Christopher Hitchens, “Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism.” New River Media. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) documentary. Transcript. 2005. Pages 1-10.]
        “[Tony] Cliff was not just a theoretician – he despised academic Marxism. For him theory was futile unless it constantly related to practice. He was also a remarkable propagandist. While writing Cliff’s biography I have interviewed dozens of comrades about their first impressions of Cliff. They recall their initial reaction to his appearance – scruffy, with hair all over the place – but also amazement at his gifts as a speaker. Though he broke all the rules, his meetings were a theatrical performance in which he managed to inspire, analyse and entertain all at the same time. He could sum up complex political arguments with a joke or an image. Thus he dismissed the argument that we should join the [UK] Labour Party in order to change it, by saying, ‘You don’t move a wheelbarrow by jumping inside it.’” [Ian Birchall, “Tony Cliff remembered.” Socialist Review. Issue 346, April 2010. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Tony Cliff was born Ygael Gluckstein, the son of a Zionist building contractor, in Palestine, in May 1917, in between the great Russian revolutions. He was speedily converted out of Zionism by observing the treatment of Arab children. Aged 13, he wrote in a school essay: ‘It is so sad that there are no Arab kids in the school.’ The teacher scrawled across the page the single word: ‘Communist.’” [Paul Foot, “Obituary: Tony Cliff: Revolutionary political theorist and organiser who fired the Socialist Workers Party with his charisma, charm and vision.” The Guardian. London newspaper. April 1th, 2000. Page 20.]
        “There are a number of simultaneous crises which the capitalist world is faced with at this point in time. These include: economic; financial; political; ideological; environmental; food; energy; refugees; human rights & social crises. These crises are intertwined in so many ways. The primary one, quite obviously, is the economic crisis. It does define the other crises for a number of reasons. The chief reason is because the base of society is its economic structure. We might be‘political animals,’ but first and foremost as human beings, we have to produce food to eat, have clothes to wear, shelter for our heads and generally ‘pay the bills.’ It is through economic activities that all these are done.…
        “… Leon Trotsky in The History of the Russian Revolution … stressed the breaking of the psychological barrier as one of the first tasks of any revolution.”
        [Baba Aye (pen name of Baba Ayelabola). Era of Crises and Revolts: Perspectives for workers and youths. Abuja, Nigeria: Socialist Workers League. 2012. No pagination.]
        “… the paper is structured into two main sections. In the first (growth, development, crises and social transformation), the social-historical context of the present moment of revolt is captured, with particular emphasis on the tumultuous era of the Great Depression. An understanding of crises and revolts in general, which puts the similarities and differences of these in perspective, is considered essential for understanding the current situation. Considering the fact that this paper’s primary concern is the relations between social and economic pressures and the nature, growth and development of mass movements, such an historical excursion takes on added significance. The second main section explores the forms, contents & narratives of the popular resistances, explored in the light of the established general perspective. Finally, in conclusion, the paper explores problems and prospects for the ongoing mass movements with regards to the emancipatory quest for social transformation.” [Baba Ayelabola, “Global Crises and Popular Resistence: a critical analysis of the present historic conjuncture.” Presented at III Conferênia Internacional do IESA: Moçambique: Acumulação e Transformação Em Contexto De Crise Internacional. September 4th5th, 2012. Maputo, Mozambique. Pages 1-24. Retrieved on February 12th, 2017.]
        “SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY: Largest of the far-left organisations in Britain, with some 6,000 members, the SWP has its origins in a split in the tiny 1950s Trotskyist movement over the nature of the Soviet Union and its east European satellite states. While most Trots thought that they were ‘degenerate workers, states’ and thus to be defended in the last instance, Tony Cliff and his Socialist Review Group argued that they were ‘state capitalist’ and thus part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Until the early 1970s, the Cliffites, who became the International Socialists as soon as there were more than ten of them, were an interesting, tolerant bunch, much keener on Rosa Luxemburg than [Vladimir] Lenin, and with a strong libertarian streak. After 1972, however, Cliff asserted his authority over the organisation more and more, turning it into the SWP in 1977. Former members include half of Fleet Street, the editor of the Mail on Sunday and Marc Wadsworth.” [Matt Coward, Steve Platt, Peter May, Paul Anderson, and Sandra Burton, “A-Z of the left; how to lose friends and alienate people: a not-too-serious guide to British socialism.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 7, issue 295, March 1994. Pages 27+.]
        “The history of the Socialist Worker’s Party and its forerunner, the International Socialists, has been dominated by a single individual, Tony Cliff. Cliff has been a central figure in the British Trotskyist movement since 1947 when he espoused the theory that the Soviet Union under Stalin had reverted to a form of capitalism in which the surplus value was accumulated by the State. This State Capitalist Theory was the distinguishing ideological motif for a small group of Trotskyists that entered the Labour Party during the 1950s and 1960s.” [Steve Rayner, “The politics of schism: routinisation and social control in the International Socialists/Socialist Workers’ Party.” The Sociological Review. Volume 32, supplement 1, May 1984. Pages 46-67.]
        1. egalitarian social transformation (Alex Callinicos): Callinicos, a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party, proposes an egalitarian and democratic version of socialism. Listen to a cordial debate which includes Callinicos (MP3 audio file).
          “I wish to consider three closely connected issues: the long-term tendencies of the capitalist economic system, the relationship between reform and revolution, and the nature of the obstacles facing egalitarian social transformation. The first issue arises with respect to the problem of transition costs: the thought here is that, even if socialism were to represent an material improvement over capitalism, the costs of achieving it would be so great as to make it rational to stick with the status quo.…
          “… any serious movement for egalitarian social transformation is likely to develop a programme of demands that test the economic limits to reform. Experience of neoliberal policies has indeed thrown up new proposals for reform – for example, the Tobin tax on foreign exchange transactions as a means of regulating financial markets and generating the resources for global redistribution.…
          “I believe that, pressed beyond certain limits, egalitarian reforms will threaten the reproduction of capitalist relations of production, and that, probably well before they reach these limits, reform movements are therefore likely to evoke severe capitalist resistance. It is for this reason that I conclude that, when considered at the level of political strategy, normative anticapitalism collapses into practical anticapitalism: radical egalitarianism can only be stably realised through the replacement of the capitalist mode of production by a democratically planned socialist economy.”
          [Alex Callinicos, “Egalitarianism and Anticapitalism: A Reply to Harry Brighouse and Erik Olin Wright.” Historical Materialism. Volume 11, number 2, 2003. Pages 199-214.]
          “First … [is John] Roemer’s conclusion: ‘Some objective measure of a person’s condition should, it seems, surely count in the measure of advantage salient for distributive justice, for a subjective measure does not appear to permit a solution to the tamed housewife problem’ – that is, to the adaptation of preferences to confined circumstances. Despite [John] Rawls’s strenuous resistance to perfectionism, the theory of egalitarian justice is incomplete without an objective account of human well-being. Secondly, this means that egalitarian liberalism must confront the same kind of objection that is often made to Marx’s critique of capitalism, namely that it counterposes people’s real needs and interests to the actual preferences they have. The latter, according to the Marxist theory of ideology, tend to reflect the effect of capitalist social relations, which leads to individual desires being distorted or adjusted downwards.
          “Egalitarian liberals may resist being drawn on to this hotly contested terrain. It is hard to see how they can avoid it, however, for their more radical redistributive proposals are likely to be met by appeals to common sense. Thus the [UK] Labour Party’s Commission on Social Justice, in its extraordinarily conservative discussion of equality, invokes popular intuitions to dismiss Rawls’s opposition to basing justice on the notion of desert.”
          [Alex Callinicos, “Equality of What?” Contemporary Political Theory: A Reader. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2004. Pages 36-44.]
          “… we follow the capitalist and the worker into ‘the hidden abode of production’ …. The equality between them is only formal; really they are unequal. For the worker is free in the double sense that as a free individual he can dispose of his labourpower as his own commodity, and that, on the other hand, he has no other commodity for sale, i.e. he is rid of them, he is free of all the objects needed for the realization [Verwirklichung] of his lab our. The worker enjoys political and legal freedom: he does not suffer from the kind of personal disabilities imposed on slaves or serfs. At the same time, however, his only economically relevant property is his labour-power. Denied access to the means of production, he is compelled by social conditions to sell the whole of his active life, his capacity for labour. The capitalist uses his control of the means of production to strike a highly favourable bargain: once employed, the worker produces commodities for the capitalist under the latter’s control in exchange for a wage that represents only part of the value he creates. The worker’s apparent freedom and equality with the capitalist conceal an underlying subordination and inequality whose outcome is the former’s exploitation.…
          “[Karl] Marx … had a more directly political objection to basing socialist demands on appeal to some principle of distributive justice, namely that it limits these demands to the partial reform rather than revolutionary transformation of capitalism. Thus he argued that proposals for redistribution tended to focus on the redistribution of income, reflecting a failure to recognize that ‘[a]ny distribution whatever of the means of consumption is only a consequence of the distribution of the conditions of production themselves.’ Workers’ exclusion from the means of production was responsible for their exploitation. Only a revolution through which they gained control of these resources offered a real remedy: the redistribution of income through, for example, wage increases and progressive taxation offered only the partial, and necessarily fragile, amelioration of a fundamentally exploitive condition.”
          [Alex Callinicos. Equality. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 2000. Pages 27-29.]
          “… secularism in the contemporary French context has acquired an ethnic and exclusivist connotation, slipping into what amounts, relative to a more genuine and egalitarian universalism, to a racially coded particularism. So, a secularism worthy of the name would need to be rethought and re-engineered in a process of common struggle and debate that brings together the existing Left with the many Muslims, and indeed others of non-European background, who want to fight the same enemies.” [Alex Callinicos, “Marxists, Muslims and Religion: Anglo-French Attitudes.” Historical Materialism. Volume 16, number 2, June 2008. Pages 143-166.]
          “The classical marxist theory of revolution rests upon the proposition that it is the socialisation of the labour-process brought about by capitalist relations of production that makes proletarian revolution and socialist democracy possible.” [Alex Callinicos. Is There a Future for Marxism? London: The Macmillan Press Ltd. 1982. Page 217.]
          “[Vladimir] Lenin, [Leon] Trotsky, [Rosa] Luxemburg and [Antonio] Gramsci argued that socialist revolution was impossible without the armed seizure of power by the working class. They did so because bourgeois class rule was underpinned by the state’s monopoly of legitimate violence. The expropriation of the capitalist class would be impossible without the dissolution of what [Friedrich] Engels called the ‘special bodies of armed men’ — the army and police — on which this monopoly depended and the arming of the working masses. This is no mere theorem. Historical experience since their time has confirmed the classical marxists’ claims; to cite merely the most recent events — Chile 1970–3, Portugal 1974–5, Iran 1978–9, – no revolution which leaves the repressive state apparatus intact can hope to succeed.” [Alex Callinicos. Is There a Future for Marxism? London: The Macmillan Press Ltd. 1982. Page 219.]
          “Socialist democracy in some respects would mirror the democracy of ancient Athens. Slave labour permitted the citizens of Athens to devote the bulk of their time to public affairs—to discussion in the marketplace, to decision making in the sovereign assembly of all citizens, and to involvement in administration (most public offices were undertaken by ordinary citizens by rotation). With communism, on the other hand, thanks to the enormous development of the productive forces in the past two and a half millennia, citizens would enjoy their free time thanks to the work, not of wretched slaves, but of inanimate machines produced by human ingenuity.…
          “The replacement of the ‘government of persons’ by the ‘administration of things,’ a notion developed originally by Saint-Simon, does not involve the utopian belief that communism would involve no coercion. It suggests, rather, that with the abolition of classes the main source of social conflict would be removed, so there would be no need for a ‘special repressive force.’ Obviously, there would be many issues on which the associated producers might disagree—over sources of energy, styles of architecture, methods of child rearing. But without the grinding material pressures produced by class exploitation, these conflicts could be solved democratically, through debate and majority decision. Where individuals rejected the outcome of these procedures, any necessary compulsion would be the action of the associated producers themselves, not that of a special military apparatus.
          “Far from advocating a strengthening of the state, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels looked forward to its abolition. The notion, for example, of ‘state socialism’ was for them a contradiction in terms.… The attribution to him [Marx] of a totalitarian desire to dissolve the individual into the state is a result of liberal misrepresentation, and of [Joseph] Stalin’s terrible corruption of Marxism.”
          [Alex Callinicos. The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx. London: Bookmarks Publications Ltd. 1996. Pages 173-174.]
          “[Rosa] Luxemburg … affirms – in a particularly extreme and sometimes sophistically argued way – the proposition subsequently further developed by Lenin and Bukharin that imperialism is inescapable once capitalism attains maturity. Thus she claims that the refusal of Anton Pannekoek, later a leading Left Communist and therefore hardly a shrinking reformist violet, to accept her own theory commits him to believing that ‘socialism as the final stage, with imperialism as its predecessor, ceases to be an historical necessity. The one becomes the laudable decision of the working class, the other is simply a vice of the bourgeoisie.’” [Alex Callinicos. Imperialism and Global Political Economy. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2009. Page 39.]
          “Socialist planning is generally thought to be an idea whose time has come and gone. All the same, we need it very badly. As a first approximation, by socialist planning I mean an economic system where the allocation and use of resources are determined collectively on the basis of democratic decision-making procedures central to which is the majority principle. This hypothetical economic system contrasts which pre-capitalistic class societies where allocation was also collectively regulated …. Socialist planning also contrasts with capitalism, where the allocation of resources is the unintended outcome of the competitive struggle among capitals that jointly but not collectively control the economic process. A planned socialist economy is democratic but that does not mean it would always rely on the majority principle. There are many cases in which other decision procedures are appropriate: part of the point of the concept of individual rights is to identify those areas where individuals should be able to exclude all others from participating on decisions that primarily concern them. For example, … one of the achievements of capitalism has been to establish that individuals have the exclusive right to decide what sort of work they should undertake (even though it fails to make this right a reality). It seems to me that a socialist economic system in general would respect and indeed extend this right.” [Alex Callinicos. An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing Inc. 2003. Pages 122-123.]
          “Contrary to what is sometimes claimed, however, [Rosa] Luxemburg does not conclude that socialism is inevitable as a result of what she believed to be the inherent tendency of capitalism to economic collapse, anticipated in the era of imperialism by catastrophe (a judgement that she, quite reasonably, felt was confirmed by the advent of the First World War). The disintegration of capitalism could give rise to barbarism rather than socialism. Despite her economic theory, Luxemburg’s Marxism is not fatalistic, since she believes that the crises to which capitalism is necessarily driven pose alternatives dependent on human action rather than inevitable outcomes ….” [Alex Callinicos. Imperialism and Global Political Economy. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2009. Page 41.]
          “… [In the UK,] neo-liberalism has reduced egalitarian commitments to mere rhetoric. Nor are things any better across the Atlantic, where Robert Reich has shared the fate of [David] Marquand and [John] Hutton, and where the [Bill] Clinton–[Al] Gore Third Way relies heavily on right-wing Republican Alan Greenspan’s management of money markets to keep the Wall Street bubble expanding.” [Alex Callinicos, “Impossible Anti-Capitalism?” New Left Review. Series II, number 2, March–April 2000. Pages 117-124.]
          “… the assemblies are organised within the prevailing ideology of autonomous social movements and therefore reflect the weaknesses already discussed. As in other cases, the method of consensus decision making tends to ensure the dominance of ‘insiders’ with resources and connections. The agenda and order of speakers are fixed in advance by meetings that, though theoretically open to all, are run by veterans and those with the greatest resources and stamina. There is very rarely any real discussion at the assemblies themselves – and never any voting. This rules out the possibility of any serious popular discussion or development of strategy. They do serve a real function and represent a sincere effort by those who organise them to give some coherence to the movement. But they don’t provide the kind of democratic decision making the movement needs.” [Alex Callinicos, “At an impasse?: Anti-capitalism and the social forums today.” International Socialism. Volume 2, number 115, summer 2007. Pagination unknown.]
          “… the politically diverse nature of the contemporary radical left is more than a matter of the specific history of individual formations. The particular form taken by the crisis of social democracy today has created the conditions for a convergence among elements from the reformist and revolutionary lefts in opposition to social liberalism. The fact that this political convergence is only partial, and in particular doesn’t abolish the choice between reform and revolution, demands organisational structures that, if not explicitly those of a coalition, give the different currents space to breathe and to coexist.” [Alex Callinicos, “Where is the radical left going?” International Socialism. Volume 2, number 120, autumn 2008. Pagination unknown.]
          “[Alex] Callinicos argues strongly against sceptics of socialism. Against those who believe that historical experience, especially the failure of the Soviet Union, definitively demonstrates the necessity of markets and the impossibility of efficient, sustainable socialist planning he argues first, that the Soviet Union was really a form of state capitalism, not socialism, and second, that a genuinely democratic form of socialist planning has never been tried. ‘It does not seem beyond the powers of human ingenuity,’ he writes, ‘to devise a much more decentralized system of planning in which information and decisions flow horizontally among different groups of producers and consumers rather than vertically between centre and productive units.’ Such decentralised planning, Callinicos believes, would not require a reliance on market mechanisms: ‘the necessary superiority of the market over other forms of economic co-ordination does not seem warranted by the evidence.’ Against sceptics that socialism is incompatible with human nature (because of the pervasiveness of selfish motivations, individualism, and so on), Callinicos states that ‘it is worth reminding ourselves of the standard socialist objection to appeals to human nature in order to trump calls for egalitarian change, namely that such appeals tend to confuse the local and the contingent with the universal and the natural.’ While it is certainly the case that, within the highly competitive and inegalitarian social relations of capitalism, selfish individualism seems to deeply stamp human ‘nature,’ ‘[i]n a suitably altered social structure, where different beliefs about individuals’ relations to each other prevail, motivations other than the expectation of material reward may suffice.’ For Callinicos, therefore, a radical egalitarian socialism, co-ordinated by democratic planning without markets, is thus not ruled out by historical evidence of past failures and is not incompatible with human nature understood as a highly context-dependent pattern of motivations and capabilities.” [Erik Olin Wright and Harry Brighouse, “Complex Egalitarianism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 10, 1, 2002. Pages 193-202.]
          “… [Alex] Callinicos is … interested in the problem of distributive justice [in his book, Equality]. Given that he is a Marxist, there are some who would criticize him for this, as [Karl] Marx himself has no interest in developing an ethical critique of capitalism along these lines. Callinicos is aware of this problem. Indeed, surprisingly, given his interest in distributive justice, he is sympathetic to this criticism. He concedes that ‘Marx and his successors were at best ambivalent about equality conceived as an ethical ideal.’ He also claims that Marx is one of ‘the sophisticated left-wing critics of equality.’ So far as his enthusiasm for distributive justice is concerned, then, Callinicos acknowledges that there is nothing specifically Marxist about the argument of his book. It is, he says, ‘emphatically not an attempt to develop a Marxist theory of egalitarian justice.’ On the other hand, though, Callinicos also acknowledges that Marx had ‘confused views on ethics.’ Moreover, despite his disclaimer, his book does say something about Marx’s views on equality and ethics―from which a reasonably coherent doctrine of distributive justice might be developed.” [Tony Burns, “Recognition versus distribution: three works on equality.” Contemporary Politics. Volume 7, number 4, December 2001. Pages 319-329.]
          “Importantly, and as Alex Callinicos argues in An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto, the debate around globalisation is the contestation of the phenomenon along two dimensions – an explanatory debate around what it is and the extent to which it is occurring, and a normative debate as to whether it is ‘a good thing’ …. As he points out, the views on one axis do not imply a certain view on the other. This is an important insight as it allows somewhat disparate actors, in terms of an understanding of what globalisation is and whether it is as significant, to join forces in a campaign against its perceived excesses and implications.” [Alf Nilsen, Andrejs Berdnikovs, and Elizabeth Humphrys, “Crises, social movements and revolutionary transformations.” Interface: a journal for and about social movements. Volume 2, issue 1, May 2010. Pages 1-21.]
          “There are many arguments in [Alex] Callinicos’s Equality with which we are in strong agreement: income and wealth inequality have grown sharply in many developed capitalist countries; poverty remains an enduring problem in some of the richest capitalist countries; the continuing levels of poverty as well as the rising inequality are morally abhorrent and inconsistent with the principles of egalitarian social justice; these grave moral deficits in capitalism could easily, under suitably altered institutions, be drastically reduced; the Left needs to take the moral issues of egalitarianism seriously and develop a serious normative theory of justice; and, ultimately, to take these moral issues seriously requires being at least normatively anticapitalist. We also agree with Callinicos that there is a widespread belief in the impossibility of radical change. This belief is a response to the failure, and manifest defects, of Soviet-style ‘socialism,’ and also to the manifest gains the Right has made over the past three decades. But we disagree with Callinicos that the central obstacle to a revitalised Left committed to a radical egalitarian future are these beliefs or that these beliefs can be transformed by exhortation.” [Erik Olin Wright and Harry Brighouse, “Equality.” Review article. Historical Materialism. Volume 10, number 1, March 2002. Pages 193-222.]
        2. realm of freedom (Kieran Allen): Allen, a theorist associated with the International Socialist Tendency, explores the Marxist concept of freedom.
          “Liberation from ‘economic man’ can only be finally achieved through communism. The manner in which the word ‘communism’ has been sullied through its association with Stalinist tyranny means that it often grates on the modern ear and so it is best to think of it through another term used by [Karl] Marx: the ‘realm of freedom.’ The transition between a post-revolutionary society and this realm of freedom is gradual. There is no ‘end of history’ and a socialist society will go through different phases which open up new possibilities. There is an open acknowledgement that this transitional society is imperfect and does not resemble a utopia.” [Kieran Allen. Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism. London: Pluto Press. 2011. Page 195-196.]
          “The realm of freedom means overcoming the artificial divide between the individual and society which capitalist society fomented. Instead of just being free in our personal lives, we should strive for freedom in both our personal and public lives. The ideal, therefore, is the social individual, whose individuality flourishes because he or she participates in a free society. This individuality grows because a free society would enhance the human imagination by providing far more stimulation and creativity than the current order. This also means a far greater diversity between individual people than currently exists.
          “Freedom also meant the withering away of the state and the nation. A state was necessary in a transitional period, but as the networks of the former capitalist class are finally broken up and they rejoin society as individuals, there is no need for a state.”
          [Kieran Allen. Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism. London: Pluto Press. 2011. Page 199.]
          “… as [Tony] Cliff has pointed out, the private farm might gain a new lease of life under the socialist regime. Farmers would not face high mortgage rates from banks; they would enjoy access to the publicly owned trading networks that replaced supermarket chains; they would be guaranteed a demand for their products rather than being subject to the fluctuations of a global market; and they would gain free access to all scientific advances in agriculture. Small shopkeepers would gain similar advantages from a socialist society that had broken the power of large retail chains and reduced taxes through genuine cheap government.” [Kieran Allen. Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism. London: Pluto Press. 2011. Page 180.]
          “[Kieran] Allen is a sociology lecturer at University College Dublin. His writings include works on [Max] Weber, [Karl] Marx, and Irish and European politics. Allen is also closely associated with the Socialist Workers Party, a post-Trotskyist political organization active mostly among students and academics. In this book, he attempts to provide a lively introduction to Marx’s key theories, with a brief outline of Marx’s life and work. Although Allen intends to offer readers a refreshing new way into the thought of Marx—for example, taking on issues such as ‘gender and race’ and featuring up-to-date statistics and cultural references—he nevertheless does not go much beyond well-traversed paths. Issues of political analysis and revolutionary strategy that continue to drive debates within post-Trotskyist socialist circles lie not far beneath the book’s surface. This suggests that Allen’s selection of issues and their treatment may not be especially appropriate for readers looking for a more open-minded introduction to Marx that is especially relevant to contemporary issues. But for beginners seeking the basics of Marxism, the book is an unobjectionable, if selective, start. Summing Up: Recommended.” [P. Amato, “Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism.” Review article. Choice. Volume 47, number 7, March 2012. Page 1357.]
        3. theory of the permanent arms economy (Michael Kidron): Kidron, affiliated with the International Socialist Tendency, developed this theory.
          “… full employment must be exported, and what better compulsion to ‘buy’ it than an external military threat?
          “This is not to say that an arms budget was ever adopted anywhere as a means of securing an international environment conducive to stability. One can admit that governments usually step up their arms bills under protest; that the major steps have not necessarily coincided with economic downturns; that, in short, the situation has often been seen as unfortunate, restrictive, imposed from outside or whatever; one can admit that the initial plunge into a permanent arms economy was random – without affecting the issue. The important point is that the very existence of national military machines of the current size, however happened upon, both increases the chance of economic stability and compels other nation states to adapt a definite type of response and behaviour, which requires no policing by some overall authority. The sum of these responses constitutes a system whose elements are both interdependent and independent of each other, held together by mutual compulsion – in short, a traditional capitalist system.
          “Once a part of reality, an arms economy becomes permanent almost of necessity. It is not merely that a system of mutual compulsion through military threat is more imperative than any other but that it becomes difficult to unscramble military and economic competition. As appears to be happening now, with Russia and the United States becoming resigned to adopting frighteningly expensive anti-ballistic missile systems (ABMs), the arms race might have speeded up not for any real increase in military effectiveness, but in order to increase the cost of preparedness for the competitor.”
          [Michael Kidron, “A Permanent Arms Economy.” International Socialism. Series 1, number 28, spring 1967. Pages 8-12.]
        4. political fresh air (David Widgery): Widgery (1947–1992), a member of the Socialist Workers Party, presents socialist critiques of British Tory politics and other subject matter.
          “There is, in fact, something of a quiet renaissance going on in serious left-wing publishing, especially in those sectors that have been prematurely anti-Stalinist for decades and for whom the ‘death of communism’ is a long-awaited breath of political fresh air.” [David Widgery, “Huddled mss, yearning to breathe free.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 5, number 190, February 1992. Page 35.]
          “There is no sanctimonious moralism and none of the preaching tone which puts so many kids off reading anything at all written for them about sex.
          “It explains about drugs in a straightforward and factual way, again avoiding the sensational and obviously exaggerated alarmism that causes so many drug warnings to children to go unheeded.
          “But its real crime in the eyes of the authorities is not its obscenity but its outline of children’s and pupils’ rights and its suggestions for class-room democracy. The politics are a lot less than revolutionary but educational liberalism, put plainly and taken to its logical conclusions, is quite enough to terrify many of those who run our authoritarian school system.
          “In this case obscenity means little more than encouraging people to disobey teachers.…
          “The archaic charge of ‘conspiring to corrupt public morals’ in fact means encouraging school kids to express their ideas with a free hand. Critical thought and sexual frankness become obscene in a world which cannot stand up to either.
          “The debate on pornography can take place within a conventional political framework. The ideology of the Tory rank and file demands of its leaders a self-righteousness on sexual matters which seems to imply that sex does not even exist except as an occasional and unpleasant transaction between a married couple in pyjamas to produce Tory babies.…
          “The Victorian upper class hypocrite who eulogises the sanctity of the family while he makes sexual use of working class girls after they have done a day’s manual work was seen by Marx as embodying the reality of bourgeois family life: prostitution.”
          [Gerry Dawson (pen name of David Widgery), “The politics of pornography.” Socialist Worker. July 24th, 1971. Pagination unknown.]
          “My own life tells me that the level of compassion with which a society treats its sick and crippled, its old and its feeble-minded, is the real measure of that society’s level of civilisation. It tells me that we need a society centred around good health rather than a health service snuffling after disease like a baffled bloodhound It tells me not that the NHS [the UK’s National Health Service] has failed, but that it has not been given a real chance.” [David Widgery, “Can the health service pull through?” New Statesman & Society. Volume 1, number 5, July 1988. Pages 16-17.]
          “Prevention—save the mark! is, for all the wrong reasons, an all party watchword. We are all in social medicine now and the most specialised of cardiac surgeons needs to have views on screening and cardiovascular risk factors. General practitioners have recovered self esteem and confidence in the scientific basis of anticipatory care in a period in which hospital morale has often been low. This in turn is reflected in that most candid of opinion polls, the career preferences of medical students. By analogy with architectural and literary theory we are now in the epoch of postmodern medicine.” [David Widgery, “Postmodern Medicine.” BMJ: British Medical Journal. Volume 298, number 6677, April 1989. Page 897.]
          “When he [David Widgery] joined the International Socialists it was perhaps the smallest of the organizations left of the Labour Party, smaller by far than the Communist Party and smaller too than the other Trotskyist groups. He joined it, as most of us did at the time, for two reasons. First, he never for a moment identified with what was then called socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Nor was he prepared to put up with the very popular notion at the time that Russia was somehow half way or even quarter way to socialism, that it was somehow ‘better’ than the Western capitalist societies.…
          “David hated orthodoxy. As the SWP [Socialist Workers Party] turned for survival to its own orthodoxy in the long years of the ‘downturn,’ David became restless. He ventured way outside the party walls, returning often to lecture us at Skegness [England] on the campaign against abortion in the 1930s or the gay liberation movement in the 1970s. ‘You’ve got to listen to these gays,’ he told us in 1977.”
          [Paul Foot, “David Widgery.” New Left Review. Obituary. Series I, number 196, November–December 1992. Pages 120-124.]
          “David Widgery was a political writer. He devoted his life to communicating the ideas of Marxism, that society could be organised from below, and that workers could run the world. In his writing, he explained, he challenged and he persuaded. His articles described the relationship between things, the connection between unemployment and racism, the link between crisis and capitalism, raising in [Vladimir] Lenin’s phrase ‘many ideas,’ so that the world could be understood as a single whole. Some of the breadth of his work can be seen in the range of papers and magazines that he wrote for.” [David Renton. Dissident Marxism: Past Voices for Present Times. London and New York: Zed Books. 2013. Page 205.]
          “David Widgery (1947-1992) was a unique figure on the British left. Better than any one else, his life expressed the radical diversity of the 1968 revolts. While many socialists could claim to have played a more decisive part in any one area of struggle – trade union, gender or sexual politics, radical journalism or antiracism – none shared his breadth of activism. Widgery had a remarkable ability to ‘be there,’ contributing to the early debates of the student, gay and feminist movements, writing for the first new counter-cultural, socialist and rank-and-file publications. The peaks of his activity correspond to the peaks of the movement. Just eighteen years old, Widgery was a leading part of the group that established Britain’s best-known counter-cultural magazine Oz.” [David Renton, “The Life and Politics of David Widgery.” Left History. Volume 8, number 1, 2002. Pages 7-30.]
      13. The International Socialist Organization: This group was previously a member of the International Socialist Tendency. They publish Socialist Worker (a monthly newspaper), the International Socialist Review (a journal), and a book publishing company through Haymarket Books. The umbrella organization is the Center for Economic Research and Social Change.
        “It is in the course of struggle that the ideas used to divide workers begin to break down, and workers see in practice who the real enemy is. But because capitalism both divides and unites workers, it is necessary to build an organization—a revolutionary socialist party—that brings together the most class-conscious workers and fights to link every small battle against exploitation and oppression in the system with the struggle to overthrow the system as a whole. Writes Tony Cliff: For any oppressed group to fight back there is need for hope. And that is to be found, not in the isolation of oppression—the housewife trapped in the home, the gay in the closet, the Jews in the ghetto—but in the collective strength of the working class. For Marxists the notion that the working class, by liberating itself, will liberate the whole of humanity, is central. Which is why the revolutionary socialist party must support struggles against all forms of oppression, not only of the working class but of any downtrodden section of society.” [Paul D’Amato, “Marxism and Oppression.” ISO: New Members Study Packet. Chicago, Illinois: International Socialist Organization. Undated. Pages 39-46.]
        “The evidence that the state serves capitalism and, in particular, wealthy capitalists is revealed in many ways: how the judicial system punishes ‘white collar’ crime far less severely than crimes normally committed by poorer people; how wealthier individuals and corporations bear a lower tax burden than poor and working-class people; how social welfare is always dwarfed by corporate welfare and military spending. Just think of the trillions of dollars in bailout money that the bankers have received in the crisis that began in 2008 compared to the foreclosures, evictions, and the cuts in jobs, wages, and social services inflicted on ordinary people.” [ISO Education Department, “Revolution.” Where We Stand: The politics of the International Socialist Organization. Chicago, Illinois: International Socialist Organization. Undated. Pages 13-19.]
        “A world free of exploitation—socialism—is not only possible but worth fighting for. The ISO [International Socialist Organization] stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V. I. [Vladimir Ilyich] Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves–the vast majority of the population–are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society. Socialism can’t be brought about from above, but has to be won by workers themselves.” [Editor, “What We Stand for.” The International Socialist Organization. Undated. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
        “In the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis, capitalism regrouped as states pumped enormous amounts of money into the system to stabilize it. The result has been a relatively weak recovery—one that has failed to clear away the problems that had produced the crisis in the first place. As a result, eight years later crisis threatens to return.
        “The weak global economic recovery limped into the second half of 2016, even after the major world economies rushed through stimulus spending in the aftermath of China’s slowing economic growth. Britain’s vote to exit the European Union (EU) in June sent another wave of financial panic throughout the system. Commodity-exporting countries remained in a slump because of falling demand from China. The contradiction between nation-states and an integrated world economy, explored by revolutionary Marxists a century ago, is as topical as today’s headlines.”
        [Joel Geier and Lee Sustar, “World economy: The return of crisis.” International Socialist Review. Issue 102, fall 2016. Online publication. No pagination.]
        1. socialist participatory–democracy (Paul Le Blanc): Le Blanc presents an open–minded and inclusive approach to Trotskyism.
          “I am an internationalist whose most profound experiences have included joining with radical activists from different countries at Amsterdam’s International Institute for Research and Education, going to Nicaragua just as an inspiring revolution was about to succumb to its own contradictions and to the pressures of U.S. imperialism, participating in an international conference in Paris to critically evaluate the 1917 Russian Revolution 80 years after the fact, discussing the relevance of Rosa Luxemburg at a conference of militant activists in Johannesburg, and again at an international conference on Luxemburg at China’s Wuhan University, and participating in the World Social Forum in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre and the Indian city of Mumbai with tens of thousands of activists from all continents.” [Paul Le Blanc. Marx, Lenin, and the Revolutionary Experience. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Pages 10-11.]
          “Single-issue groups have value, but simply addressing one problem is not enough, and there are too many issues for one person to be involved in, so it is logical that groups concerned with an array of issues should evolve. It may make sense for some groups, particularly those wishing to develop a division of labor necessary for addressing multiple issues, to use some organizational concepts from the Bolshevik experience to make themselves more durable, more effective, more capable of evolving as serious activist organizations in which there is a serious collective decision-making process that is matched by a seriousness in carrying out decisions. This would include the development of a far-reaching program that connects the issues and shows how they are rooted in the problems of capitalism, at the same time suggesting real alternatives; in addition to identifying the grim problems of today and envisioning a vibrant socialist participatory-democracy, such a program must indicate a flexible strategic orientation on how to get from the one to the other.” [Paul Le Blanc. Marx, Lenin, and the Revolutionary Experience. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Pages 253-254.]
          “I have decided to join the International Socialist Organization (ISO) because I believe socialists can and must, at this moment, intensify the struggle to bring about positive social change. I have been active in this struggle for most of my life – as a member of the ‘new left’ in the 1960s and early ’[19]70s (first in Students for a Democratic Society and briefly in the New American Movement), then in the Trotskyist movement (the Socialist Workers Party for ten years, briefly in Socialist Action, the Fourth Internationalist Tendency for another eight years). I have always considered ‘[Leon] Trotskyism’ as the same as revolutionary socialism, associated with some of the most useful ideas and most inspiring traditions that ever existed ….
          “I want to see a world in which humanity’s economic resources are socially owned, democratically controlled, and utilised to allow for the free development of all people, and this in a manner that does not threaten to destroy the thin film of life which covers our planet. That is the definition of socialism. This is something I have believed in since I was 16 years old, a belief shared with members of my family going back at least three generations before I came into this life. It stands in contrast to bureaucratic tyrannies and paternalistic compromises that have sometimes been called ‘socialist.’ Socialism means rule by the people over our political and economic life, with liberty and justice for all.…
          “The ISO is committed to this majority class taking political power in order to establish a socialist democracy.…
          “… The revolutionary democratic ideology one finds in the US Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address, and even in some of the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance, is at the core of my own beliefs. I draw inspiration especially from the most radical of the American revolutionaries, such as Tom Paine. I identify with those who sought to make our early republic live up to its revolutionary democratic ideals – Francis Wright, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, and many more.…
          “I have been quite explicit in discussions with ISO comrades about views that are at variance with details of their own specific tradition. I continue to identify with the Fourth International, established by Leon Trotsky and his co-thinkers in the 1930s, and more recently associated with such figures as Ernest Mandel and Livio Maitan and with the on-line journal International Viewpoint. While the ISO had its origins in a British current led by Tony Cliff which left the Fourth International in the early 1950s, I find that the ISO presently maintains a positive relationship with the Fourth International (along with various other international revolutionary currents), and my own ties to it are no obstacle to ISO membership.
          “I have also been clear with ISO comrades that I continue to adhere to Trotsky’s analysis of the USSR as representing a bureaucratically degenerated workers’ state, not something called ‘state capitalism.’ I don’t agree with the ‘state capitalist’ conceptualisation developed by Tony Cliff and his closest co-thinkers. But there are, in fact, already different points of view in the ISO on such questions – and at the same time an agreement throughout the organisation on what I believe is a key point: the institutionalisation of workers’ democracy (including freedom of expression, the right to organise, and other requirements for genuine majority rule) remains essential for any healthy workers’ state, and there is no possibility of genuine socialism without that. [Vladimir] Lenin was fond of quoting the poet Goethe – ‘theory, my friend, is gray, but ever green is the tree of life.’ As we struggle together for a socialist democracy in the complex swirl of life (in the tradition of Lenin and Trotsky and [Rosa] Luxemburg), we can allow ourselves differences in theoretical conceptualisations regarding what used to be the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics].”
          [Paul Le Blanc, “Why I’m joining the US International Socialist Organization: Intensifying the struggle for social change.” Links: international journal of socialist renewal. October, 2009. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “Labor radicals have played a key role in the history of the U.S. working-class movement, as in similar movements throughout the world. What are the dynamics that enhance or undermine the effectiveness of these historical actors? The interplay of radical ideologies, broader social and cultural realities, political organizations, social movements, and social change can be illuminated by an analytical concept that we can call radical labor subculture. This concept may be particularly helpful as we seek to make sense of the dramatic divergence of left-wing activists from the actual working-class movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and also the failures and floundering that afflicted a variety of left-wing currents in the 1970s and 1980s—in stark contrast to more inspiring realities stretching at least from the 1860s through the 1930s. It is also an analytical tool that might be helpful for those who wish to consider future possibilities of class-struggle and radicalization.” [Paul Le Blanc, “Radical Labor Subculture: Key to Past and Future Insurgencies.” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Volume 13, number 3, September 2010. Pages 367-385.]
          “The foremost victims of the Stalin purges were Communists who vocally, quietly, or even potentially were opponents of the policies associated with the “revolution from above.” These were the primary target of the famous purges and public trials of the late 1930s. Among the most natural of these victims were many who had at one point or another had some connection with the Left Opposition associated with Leon Trotsky, as well as those around Gregory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev, the Right Opposition associated with Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, and Mikhail Tomsky, not to mention the various other oppositional currents that had cropped up from time to time. This accounted for the most famous of the executed victims – Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Rykov, and many others. At show trials in 1936, 1937, and 1938, they were forced to make false confessions testifying to their counter-revolutionary guilt and requesting that they be shot. Such results were generally the result of physical and psychological torture and threats against the victims’ families. In fact, such family members generally ended up disappearing into the prisons and camps as well.” [Paul Le Blanc, “Reflections on the Meaning of Stalinism.” Crisis & Critique. Volume 3, issue 1, March 2016. Pages 80-106.]
          “Her [Rosa Luxemburg’s] notion of a workers’ state (what has sometimes been called ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’) had nothing to do with a one-party dictatorship ruling in the name of the people. Rather it meant what [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels said in the Communist Manifesto when they spoke of the working class winning the battle of democracy, what [Vladimir] Lenin meant in The State and Revolution, when he spoke of a thorough-going political rule by the working class. This was in contrast to the authoritarian political forms that began to develop all-too-soon in the wake of the 1917 Russian Revolution.” [Paul Le Blanc, “The Challenge of Revolutionary Democracy in the Life and Thought of Rosa Luxemburg.” International Viewpoint – online socialist magazine. September 23rd, 2006. Retrieved on July 1st, 2016.]
          “The natural trend of capitalist development has been creating a working class majority in more and more sectors of the world, and the nature of the working class makes a socialist future both possible and necessary: possible because a majority class, essential to the functioning of capitalism, has the potential power to lay hold of the technology and resources of the economy to bring about a socialist future, and necessary because the economic democracy of socialism is required to ensure the dignity, the freedom, and the survival of the working class majority.
          “For both [Karl] Marx and [Vladimir] Lenin, then, we also see that socialism and democracy are inseparable. The very definition of socialism, for both of these revolutionaries, involves social ownership and democratic control over the technology and resources on which human life depends.”
          [Paul Le Blanc, “Lenin’s Marxism.” Platypus Review. Number 35, May 2011. No pagination.]
          “We do not have a revolutionary party in the United States, although we badly need one, and some of us want to do what we can to bring that into being.
          “There are groups aspiring to become a revolutionary party—and that often generates problematical dynamics which create serious obstacles to being able to help bring a revolutionary party into being. In contrast to this, there are other groups seeking to contribute to the creation of a revolutionary party, but understanding that they, by themselves, cannot become such a party.
          “Groups in this category realize that: one, a revolutionary party can actually come into being only when a class-consciousness layer of the working class is prepared to move in that direction; two, there must be ongoing preliminary processes that will contribute to the crystallization of such a working-class layer; and three, the group must join with revolutionaries in other groups, with radicalizing activists who are not and will not be in the existing groups, and with people who at the moment are neither radicals nor activists, and that together—in the future—we will all be helping to forge the revolutionary party we need.”
          [Paul Le Blanc, “How is Leninism relevant today?” Socialist Worker. April 24th, 2017. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. emphasized that in dealing with issues of economic justice, pursuing ‘substantive’ rather than ‘surface’ changes by dealing with ‘class issues … that relate to the privileged as over against the underprivileged,’ the movement must move in the direction of realizing that ‘there is something wrong with the economic system of our nation … something is wrong with capitalism,’ and that ‘there must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.’” [Paul Le Blanc, “Freedom Budget: The Promise of the Civil Rights Movement for Economic Justice.” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Volume 16, number 1, March 2013. Pages 43-58.]
          “In 1958 there had been a merger into the Socialist Party of the Independent Socialist League, a political group led by Max Shachtman, a one-time aide to the exiled Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky. The merger had revitalized the Socialist Party and, especially, its youth group. These were, in the words of historian Maurice Isserman, ‘people with political skills, a sense of mission, and a willingness to devote long hours to the movement.’ As Michael Harrington later recalled, the new recruits included ‘some of the most important militants of the second generation of the SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] leadership—Stokely Carmichael, Courtland Cox, and Ed Brown [older brother of H. Rap Brown],’ among others. Their discussions took up such questions as ‘why our various struggles would have to converge someday into the battle for socialism itself.’” [Paul Le Blanc, “Revolutionary Road, Partial Victory: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 65, issue 4, September 2013. Pages 29-44.]
        2. real Marxist tradition (John Molyneaux and David Renton): They argue for the authenticity of the Trotskyist tradition associated with Tony Cliff.
          “It [the authentic Marxist tradition] is … our tradition. The traditions which the Socialist Workers Party in Britain and its international affiliates have sought to continue and develop over more than thirty years. Historical circumstances have not yet confronted us with the flames of war, revolution and counter-revolution. These are the conditions which put movements and theories to the test, revealing their inadequacies but also allowing them to achieve their full stature. Consequently, our achievements, theoretical and practical, appear small beer compared with those of our predecessors. Nonetheless, our major theoretical contributions and distinctive political positions – the state capitalist analysis of Stalinist states, the theory of deflected permanent revolution in the Third World, the analysis of the arms economy boom and the new economic crisis, the critique of the trade union bureaucracy – have two things in common: they have been developed as responses to real problems faced by the workers’ movement in the struggle to change the world, and they have taken as their starting point and emphasise as their conclusion the fundamental principle of Marxism – the self-emancipation of the working class. In Left Wing Communism [Vladimir] Lenin wrote that ‘correct revolutionary theory … assumes final shape only in close connection with the practical activity of a truly mass and truly revolutionary movement’, and the achievement of that unity is, of course, the major task that faces us in the future.” [John Molyneaux. What is the Real Marxist Tradition? Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2003. Pages 66-67.]
          “At the end of this book, it is appropriate to return to the themes with which the argument began. Early on, I referred to John Molyneux’s characterisation of the ‘real Marxist tradition.’ This he identified as sharing three strands: a goal of revolutionary change, a scientific method, and an approach which connected theory and practice. This definition remains the best starting guide to the politics of revolutionary Marxism. Above all, it is a dynamic model, in which the final test has been to ask which writers and activists related their ideas to their practice, in a living way. This book has attempted to elaborate that final clause. A distinction has been made between ‘orthodox’ thinkers, who used their Marxism to defend existing projects, and dissidents, who reapplied Marxist categories, holding on to what was central, but who were not afraid to think for themselves. The purpose of this distinction has been to emphasise the point that in the period between the mid-1920s and 1989 this was a rare position. Especially because Marxism was used to justify the tyranny in Russia, so the revolutionary tradition was hidden beneath a muck of lies.” [David Renton. Dissident Marxism: Past Voices for Present Times. London and New York: Zed Books. 2013. Page 235.]
      14. Andersonian New Left (Perry Anderson): Anderson (born in 1938), an independent Trotskyist, has never been a formal member of any Trotskyist party. He was the editor of New Left Review for twenty years (1962–1982).
        “What is [E. P.] Thompson’s lasting contribution? It is, undoubtedly The Making of the English Working Class.
        “It is not really a comprehensive and consecutive history of the period it seeks to cover (up to 1830 more or less) but rather a series of brilliant essays. Yet, to paraphrase Thompson, worth any ten volumes of bourgeois academic or Andersonian New Left writing.”
        [Duncan Hallas, “The making of a working class historian.” Socialist Review. Number 168, October 1993. Pages 20-22.]
        “Perry Anderson exemplifies a type that has almost vanished: the unaffiliated intellectual. The leading British Trotskyite, he has never belonged to a political party.…
        “… his influence on British intellectual life has been enormous. The conduit of this influence was the New Left Review, the socialist bi-monthly which he edited from 1962 to 1982. Anderson’s goal was the introduction into Britain of a new kind of socialist culture, alternative to both the official Marxism ofthe Communist Party and the stolid reformism of the Labour Party. His followers saw themselves as a revolutionary vanguard. Inspired by [Antonio] Gramsci, they aimed to establish a socialist hegemony in the realm of ideas from which, they hoped, a revolutionary movement would follow.…
        “The movement away from practical politics towards questions of culture and ideology is characteristic of western Marxism as a whole. The failure of [Karl] Marx’s political and economic predictions left his disciples with only one remaining role – that of Kulturkritiker [cultural critic].”
        [Edward Skidelsky, “The NS profile: Perry Anderson—He is one of Britain’s great Marxist intellectuals, yet now he seems a strangely conservative figure.” New Statesman. Volume 12, number 547, March 1999. Pages 18-19.]
        “… he [Perry Anderson] defended [Leon] Trotsky’s interpretation of Marxism as ‘the most coherent and developed theorization of the phenomenon within the Marxist tradition,’ he criticized his wholly negative characterization of international Stalinism, arguing that ‘the decisive costs of Stalinism have been internal, the gains external.’ These gains included the abolition of capitalism ‘over half of the continent, by bureaucratic fiat from above.’ An implication of this argument was that the socialist transformation of society had no necessary anchorage in proletarian agency.” [Paul Blackledge, “Realism and renewals: Perry Anderson and the prospects for the left.” Contemporary Politics. Volume 7, number 4, December 2001. Pages 263-279.]
        “At the heart of [Perry] Anderson’s manifesto is the claim that the principal aspect of the past decade ‘can be defined as the virtually uncontested consolidation, and universal diffusion, of neoliberalism.’ There is, obviously, something in this claim. However, Anderson also briefly notes, amongst other counter-currents, the labour upsurge in France in 1995, but dismisses the significance of these events with the claim that ‘capital has comprehensively beaten back all threats to its rule.’ Anderson compares the context of the launch of the first New Left Review with that of the present day. He writes that, back then, a third of the planet had broken with capitalism, the discrediting of Stalinism in 1956 had unleashed a vital process of the rediscovery of authentic Marxism, while, culturally, there had been a qualitative break with the conformism of the 1950s.” [Paul Blackledge, “Perry Anderson and the End of History.” Historical Materialism. Volume 7, number 1, June 2000. Pages 202-219.]
        1. Trotsky’s interpretation of Stalinism: Anderson describes the multiple facets of Trotsky’s Stalinist critique.
          “[Leon] Trotsky’s interpretation of Stalinism, hitherto still fragmentary and tentative in many respects, became systematic and conclusive from 1933 onwards. The reason, of course, was the triumph of Nazism in Germany, which convinced Trotsky that the Comintern—for whose rectification of line he had fought down to the last moment—was now unrecuperable, and with it the Stalinized CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] itself. The decision to found a new International was thus the immediate impulse for his frontal engagement with the problem of the nature of Stalinism, which for the first time now became the direct object of extended theoretical interpretation in itself, rather than an issue treated in the course of texts discussing many other questions, as previously.” [Perry Anderson, “Trotsky’s Interpretation of Stalinism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 139, May–June 1983. Pages 49-58.]
        2. considerations of Western Marxism: Anderson surveys and evaluates this broad trajectory of the Marxist tradition.
          “… the essay published here is concerned with the general coordinates of ‘Western Marxism’ as a common intellectual tradition; it does not contain a specific scrutiny or a comparative evaluation of any of the particular theoretical systems within it. This was to be the province of the studies to which it was a preamble. These were to constitute a series of critical expositions of each of the major schools or theorists of this tradition—from [György or Georg] Lukács to [Antonio] Gramsci, [Jean-Paul] Sartre to [Louis] Althusser, [Herbert] Marcuse to [Galvano] Della Volpe. The present text, focused on the formal structures of the Marxism that developed in the West after the October Revolution, abstains from substantive judgements of the relative merits or qualities of its main representatives. In fact, of course, these have not been equivalent or identical. A historical balance-sheet of the unity of Western Marxism does not preclude the need for discriminating estimates of the diversity of achievements within it. Debate over these, impossible here, is essential and fruitful for the Left.” [Perry Anderson. Considerations of Western Marxism. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 1989. Page vii.]
        3. house of Zion: The article by Anderson discusses the tangled web, spun through the occupation by the house of Zion (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, הָבַּיִת שֶׁל הָצִיּוֹן, hā-Bạyiṯ šẹl hā-Ṣiyōn; Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, البَيْت الصَهْيُون, ʾal-Bayt ʾal-Ṣahyūn; or Persian/Fārsī, خَانِهِ صَهْیُون, H̱ānih-i Ṣahyūn) and poor Palestinian leadership, between the Palestinians and Israelis.
          “Politically, the revisionist wing of Zionism that first broke [Israeli] Labour’s grip on power in the late seventies has consolidated its hegemony. While frontal opposition between the two camps, frequently allied in government, has been rare, a long-term shift in the balance of forces that each can deploy is clear. In the four decades since Begin took office, Likud (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, לִכּוּד, Likūḏ, literally ‘unification’ or ‘consolidation’] has ruled for over eighteen years, coalitions of the two headed by Likud or transfuges from it for twelve, and Labour for six. In this period [Benjamin ‘Bibi’] Netanyahu [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, בִּנְיָמִין ’בִּיבִּי‘ נְתַנְיָהוּ, Binəyāmiyn ‘Biybiy’ Nəṯạnəyāhū], the Likud incumbent, is the only politician to have won three successive elections, and if he completes his current term, will be within a year of [David] Ben-Gurion [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, דָּוִד בֶּן־גּוּרִיוֹן Dāwiḏ Bẹn-Gūriyōn] for length of time as Prime Minister of Israel. His ascendancy is, however, more an effect of the crumbling of Labour than of his own standing.…
          “Where does … this now leave the Palestinian struggle for liberation? It is difficult to think of any national movement that has suffered from such ruinous leadership. Once British imperialism had broken the great Palestinian rising of 1936–37, whose repression required more troops than any other colonial revolt between the wars, the Yishuv [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, יִשּׁוּב, Yiššūḇ, ‘settlement’] reaped the inheritance of an easy upper hand in the Mandate, which an assortment of ill-led and under-equipped Arab armies was in no position to offset.”
          [Perry Anderson, “The House of Zion.” New Left Review. Series II, number 96, November–December 2015. Pages 5-37.]
        4. two revolutions: Anderson considers the revolutions which led to the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
          “If the twentieth century was dominated, more than by any other single event, by the trajectory of the Russian Revolution, the twenty-first will be shaped by the outcome of the Chinese Revolution. The Soviet state, born of the First World War, victor in the Second, defeated in the cold replica of a Third, dissolved after seven decades with scarcely a shot, as swiftly as it had once arisen. What has remained is a Russia lesser in size than the Enlightenment once knew, with under half the population of the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics], restored to a capitalism now more dependent on the export of raw materials than in the last days of Tsarism.” [Perry Anderson, “Two Revolutions: Rough Notes.” New Left Review. Series II, number 61, January–February 2010. Pages 59-96.]
        5. internationalism: To Anderson, “the meaning of internationalism logically depends on some prior conception of nationalism.”
          “Few political notions are at once so normative and so equivocal as internationalism. Today, the official discourse of the West resounds with appeals to a term that was long a trademark of the Left. Whatever sense is given it, the meaning of internationalism logically depends on some prior conception of nationalism, since it only has currency as a back-construction referring to its opposite. Yet while nationalism is of all modern political phenomena the most value-contested—judgements of its record standardly varying across a 180-degree span, from admiration to anathema—no such schizophrenia of connotation affects internationalism: its implication is virtually always positive. But the price of approval is indeterminacy.” [Perry Anderson, “Internationalism: A Breviary.” New Left Review. Series II, number 14, March–April 2002. Pages 5-25.]
        6. two culturalisms: Anderson considers the materialist culturalism “of lived experience” and the idealist culturalism “of linguistic utterance.”
          “There are … two culturalisms: a materialist one, which places emphasis on the primacy of lived experience, and an idealist one, which is committed to the priority of linguistic utterance. While I have been critical of the limitations of the first, my misgivings are far deeper about the solutions offered by the second. It is to be hoped that, despite the pioneering role of the gifted Argentine theorist Ernesto Laclau (whose influence rightly is noted by Viotti da Costa) in the ‘linguistic turn’ at large, this will not twist as far in Latin American as it threatens to do in European studies.” [Perry Anderson, “The Common and the Particular.” International Labor and Working-Class History. Number 36, fall 1989. Pages 31-36.]
        7. antinomies and heirs of Antonio Gramsci: Anderson examines aspects of Gramsci’s perspective and legacy.
          “We can now revert to [Antonio] Gramsci’s texts themselves. Throughout the Prison Notebooks, the term ‘hegemony’ recurs in a multitude of different contexts. Yet there is no doubt that Gramsci started from certain constant connotations of the concept, which he derived from the Comintern tradition.… Reflecting the experience of NEP [New Economic Policy], he laid a somewhat greater emphasis on the need for ‘concessions’ and ‘sacrifices’ by the proletariat to its allies for it to win hegemony over them, thereby extending the notion of ‘corporatism’ from a mere confinement to guild horizons or economic struggles, to any kind of ouvrierist isolation from the other exploited masses.” [Perry Anderson, “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci.” New Left Review. Series I, number 100, November–December 1976. Pages 5-78.]
          “No Italian thinker enjoys a greater fame today than [Antonio] Gramsci. Alike, academic citations and internet references place him above [Niccolò] Machiavelli. The bibliography of articles and books about him now runs to some 20,000 items. Amid this avalanche, is any compass possible? … The scale of this appropriation, in an epoch so unlike that in which Gramsci lived and thought, has owed much to two features of his legacy that set it apart from that of any other revolutionary of his time.
          “The first was its multi-dimensionality.…
          “The second magnetic attraction of this writing lay in its fragmentation. In prison, Gramsci’s notes were laconic, exploratory jottings for works he was never able to compose in freedom.”
          [Perry Anderson, “The Heirs of Gramsci.” New Left Review. Series II, number 100, July–August 2016. Pages 71-97.]
        8. imperium and consilium: These articles by Anderson constitute a two-part study in New Left Review. The imperium refers to the objectives and outcomes of U.S. global power. The consilium is the thinking of the elites who shape American foreign policy.
          “The US imperium that came into being after 1945 had a long prehistory. In North America, uniquely, the originating coordinates of empire were coeval with the nation. These lay in the combination of a settler economy free of any of the feudal residues or impediments of the Old World, and a continental territory protected by two oceans: producing the purest form of nascent capitalism, in the largest nation-state, anywhere on earth. That remained the enduring material matrix of the country’s ascent in the century after independence. To the objective privileges of an economy and geography without parallel were added two potent subjective legacies, of culture and politics: the idea—derived from initial Puritan settlement—of a nation enjoying divine favour, imbued with a sacred calling; and the belief—derived from the War of Independence—that a republic endowed with a constitution of liberty for all times had arisen in the New World.” [Perry Anderson, “Imperium.” New Left Review. Series II, number 83, September–October 2013. Pages 4-111.]
          “In the American intellectual landscape, the literature of grand strategy forms a domain of its own, distinct from diplomatic history or political science, though it may occasionally draw on these. Its sources lie in the country’s security elite, which extends across the bureaucracy and the academy to foundations, think-tanks and the media. In this milieu, with its emplacements in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Kennedy School in Harvard, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Princeton, the Nitze School at Johns Hopkins, the Naval War College, Georgetown University, the Brookings and Carnegie Foundations, the Departments of State and of Defense, not to speak of the National Security Council and the cia, positions are readily interchangeable, individuals moving seamlessly back and forth between university chairs or think-tanks and government offices, in general regardless of the party in control of the Administration.” [Perry Anderson, “Consilium.” New Left Review. Series II, number 83, September–October 2013. Pages 112-167.]
        9. Indian ideology: Anderson examines the nationalist discourse of Hindutva (Hindī, हिंदुत्व, Hiṃdutva, “Hinduness”).
          “The Indian Ideology, a nationalist discourse in a time when there is no longer a national liberation struggle against an external power, and oppression where it exists has become internal, obscures or avoids such issues. It is not, of course, the only nationalist ideology of contemporary India. To its right, Hindutva ofers a much more aggressive vision of the nation. Nor is it woven simply of myths and delusions. The values to which it appeals, as I make clear, are not mere actions, and the ideology would be of little effect if they were. But they form so selective a representation of reality that, as a system, they become a discourse that fatally generates a culture of euphemism and embellishment, precluding any clear-eyed stocktaking of past or present. Empirically, few thinkers or writers of any standing offer undiluted cases of it. As a mental framework, it can coexist with a wide range of outlooks that in detail are more critical than or contradictory of it. To reject it is thus not to dismiss the work, often original and substantial, of all those who give expression to the ideology; to do so would make a clean sweep of much, within its limitations or exceeding them, that is intellectually impressive.” [Perry Anderson. The Indian Ideology. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Pages 8-9.]
          “In sum, [Perry] Anderson’s analysis is fatally crippled by his wholesale adoption of Eurocentric prejudices, his assumption that Westernized notions of modernity and representative democracy can be installed ex nihilo by fiat, his refusal to situate the actions of his key players—[Mahatma] Gandhi and [Jawaharlal] Nehru—within the structural conditions in which they operated, his resuscitation of a ‘great man’ theory of history, and his gloss over any analysis of class. Flawed though it is, by posing issues so sharply in Indian Ideology, Anderson underscores the limits of converting the historical conditions attendant on the institutionalizing of democracy in Euro–North America into theoretical preconditions for it and thereby performs the valuable task of opening up a debate on the provincializing Western theory.” [Ravi Palat, “The Indian Ideology.” Critical Asian Studies. Volume 42, number 2, June 2013. Pages 323-330.]
          “The title given to the book consciously recalls [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels’s German Ideology (which [Perry] Anderson attributes to Marx alone), where they critically treated the philosophical ideas of Ludwig Feuerbach and others. Anderson is, however, not concerned with philosophy; he treats the current ideas of Indian nationalism before and after 1947 in the light of historical facts, which turns his effort into an essay in interpreting India’s twentieth-century history. Given what his major concerns are, he should have titled his work ‘The Indian Illusions’ rather than ‘The Indian Ideology.’” [Irfan Habib, “The Indian Ideology.” Social Scientist. Volume 42, number 3/4, March–April 2014. Pages 111-116.]
        10. dynamic disequilibrium: Anderson concludes a discussion of the history of Western Europe.
          “Neither the internal nor external direction of the [European] Community is yet quite settled. Without clarity of means or ends, the [European] Union seems to many adrift. Yet its apparent lack of any further coherent finality, deplored on all sides, might on one kind of reckoning be counted a saving grace, permitting the unintended consequences that have tracked integration from the start to yield further, possibly better, surprises. In principle, dynamic disequilibrium allows for that. In due course, a prolonged economic recession might reignite the engines of political conflict and ideological division th at gave the continent its impetus in the past. So far, in today’s Europe, there is little sign of either. But it remains unlikely that time and contradiction have come to a halt.” [Perry Anderson. The New Old World. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Page 547.]
        11. generalized crisis: Anderson concludes a discussion of the Middle Ages.
          “The mediaeval world … ended in generalized crisis. Both the homelands of feudalism in the West, and the territories of the East to which it had extended or where it failed to develop, were the scene of deep processes of socio-economic dissolution and mutation by the early 15ᵗʰ century. At the threshold of the early modern epoch, as the ramparts of Constantinople fell to Turkish cannon, the consequences of these changes for the political order of Europe still lay largely hidden. The denouement of the State system that was to come into being from them, remains to be explored.” [Perry Anderson. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 1996. Page 293.]
        12. role of ideas in the construction of alternatives: Anderson considers the possibilities for social change in an oligarchy.
          “My subject tonight is centrally the role of ideas in the construction of alternatives. Well, if [Karl] Marx was right, saying that the dominant ideas in the world are always the ideas of the dominant classes, it is very clear that these classes—in themselves—haven’t changed at all over the last hundred years. In other words, the owners of the world continue to be the owners of the materials means of production, at a national and international level.
          “Nevertheless, it is equally obvious that the forms of their ideological dominance have indeed changed, and significantly so. I wish to begin my paper, then, with some observations regarding this point.…
          “… The UN [United Nations] was built up in the days of F. D. [U.S. President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt and [U.S. President Harry] Truman as a machine for the dominance of the big powers over of the other countries of the world, with a façade of equality and democracy in the [United Nations] General Assembly, and an iron-fisted concentration of power in the hands of the five permanent members of the Security Council, arbitrarily chosen among the victors of a war that has no relevance today. This deeply oligarchic structure lends itself to any kind of diplomatic command and manipulation.”
          [Perry Anderson, “The Role of Ideas in the Construction of Alternatives.” The New Worldwide Social Hegemony: Alternatives for Change and Social Movements. Atilio Borón, editor. Buenos Aires, Argentina: El Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO). 2004. Pages 35-50.]
        13. critique of Wilsonism: Anderson presents a socialist critique of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (1916–1995). He served as that capacity during 1964–1970 and, again, 1974–1976.
          “… how should the Labour programme be judged as a whole? What does Wilsonism represent politically? An answer is now possible. Wilsonism is a precise translation of the dual impact of the semi-successes of the Left in the fifties and the crisis of British capitalism in the sixties on traditional Labourism. No more and no less. Neither pure platform of modernization nor all-out attack on social poverty, its ambiguities and evasions all stem from these origins. In every field at home Labour’s present programme is radical, within limits which are always short of a serious confrontation of the power structure of British society. This is the secret of Wilson’s success as a party leader and a national politician. It is also the reason why socialists must take their distances from the Labour programme and criticize if from a fully independent perspective. Anything less is an abandonment of autonomy and principle.” [Perry Anderson, “Critique of Wilsonism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 27, September–October 1964. Pages 3-27.]
        14. set of four determinants: Anderson examines the parameters of U.S. politics.
          “For a steadier view of US politics, line is more reliable than colour. It is the parameters of the system of which its episodes are features that require consideration. These compose a set of four determinants. The first, and far the most fundamental, of these, is the historical regime of accumulation in question, governing the returns on capital and rate of growth of the economy. The second are structural shifts in the sociology of the electorate distributed between the two political parties. The third are cultural mutations in the value-system at large within the society. Fourth and last—the residual—are the aims of the active minorities in the voter-base of each party. The political upshot at any given point of time can be described, short-hand, as a resultant of this unequal quartet of forces in motion.” [Perry Anderson, “Homeland.” New Left Review. Series II, number 81, May–June 2013. Pages 5-32.]
        15. cumulative constellation: Anderson examines the British crisis of the 1960s.
          “Two commanding facts confront socialists in Britain today, dominating this moment of our history. British society is in the throes of a profound, pervasive but cryptic crisis, undramatic in appearance, but ubiquitous in its reverberations. As its immediate result, a Labour government seems imminent.…
          “Capitalist hegemony in England has been the most powerful, the most durable and the most continuous anywhere in the world. The reasons for this lie in the cumulative constellation of the fundamental moments of modern English history.”
          [Perry Anderson, “Origins of the present crisis.” New Left Review. Series I, number 23, January–February 1964. Pages 26-53.]
        16. radical internationalization of the forces of production (Perry Anderson): He examines the capitalist system at the end of the twentieth century.
          “Britain … not only witnesses the probable early beginnings in America of something like a vaster repetition of the same historical process it has undergone, in the absence of the same gyroscopes it has lacked, but also perhaps the signs of its ultimate generalization throughout the advanced capitalist world. For the radical internationalization of the forces of production—not to speak of circulation—that defines the spearhead forms of capital in the final years of the 20ᵗʰ century promises to render all national correctors, whatever their efficacy to date, increasingly tenuous in the future.” [Perry Anderson, “The Figures of Descent.” New Left Review. Series I, number 161, January–February 1987. Pages 20-77.]
        17. culture in contraflow: Anderson presents a sweeping historical survey and examination of culture change.
          “Few subjects can be so elusive as a national culture. The term lends itself to any number of meanings, each presenting its own difficulties of definition or application.…
          “… Conventional stage theories of history, most of them Eurocentric in bias, typically impose artificial demarcations on the societal forms of the past—as if they were homogeneous units whose transformation could only occur through inner contradiction and scission. But in reality, empirical societies are nearly always a mixture of forms, and change in them is more usually the result of an expansion of one of them at the expense of others, so that historical development proceeds not by stages but by overlaps.” [Perry Anderson, “A Culture in Contraflow—I.” New Left Review. Series I, number 180, March–April 1990. Pages 41-80.]
          “By the early [nineteen-]eighties the radical Right had come to power [in the UK], and the [Prime Minister Margaret] Thatcher government was pursuing a course avowedly inspired by monetarist doctrines. At the depth of the recession, the budget of 1981 imposed the tightest fiscal squeeze since the war. Reaction among British economists showed that a decade after the end of the boom, the dominant outlook in the discipline had not substantially altered. A public letter strongly attacking the regime’s policy was signed by some 360 economists, including virtually the whole faculty at Cambridge [University], forcing the Treasury to a rare official reply.” [Perry Anderson, “A Culture in Contraflow—II.” New Left Review. Series I, number 182, July–August 1990. Pages 85-138.]
        18. actual empirical reality: Anderson challenges pseudo-empiricism.
          “We have tried to link history bindingly to the present, and to reconstruct the continuity between the two. This has meant, inevitably, an attempt to ‘totalize’ where academic historiography has compartmentalized. Conversely, it has meant a structural analysis of the present—not a journalistic evocation of it.… For the real justification of the theory is that it has yielded concepts that can be cashed empirically—that is, which explain a wide range of facts which have hitherto hardly been noticed on the Left. The old melange contained few facts at all—only personifications like Apathy, Smoke and Squalor, Natopolis, or New Community. We have tried to move beyond this pseudo-empiricism, by looking at actual empirical reality—and reinterpreting it through concepts. There is no other way to advance social science, or socialist thought.” [Perry Anderson, “Socialism and Pseudo-Empiricism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 35, January–February 1966. Pages 2-42.]
      15. surrealism as pronounced in this MP3 audio file (André Breton as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and many others): It is a Trotskyist–inspired artform.
        “The case against the realistic attitude demands to be examined, following the case against the materialistic attitude. The latter, more poetic in fact than the former, admittedly implies on the part of man a kind of monstrous pride which, admittedly, is monstrous, but not a new and more complete decay. It should above all be viewed as a welcome reaction against certain ridiculous tendencies of spiritualism. Finally, it is not incompatible with a certain nobility of thought.” [André Breton. First Manifesto of Surrealism. 1924.]
        “We … dwelt at some length on this matter [communist opposition] in order to demonstrate that, if Surrealism considers itself ineluctably linked, because of certain affinities I have indicated, to the movement of Marxist thought and to that movement alone, it refuses and will no doubt long refuse to choose between the two very broad currents which, at the present time, pit against one another men who, although they may differ as to tactics, have nonetheless proved themselves to be out and out revolutionaries.” [André Breton, “Second Manifesto of Surrealism (1930).” Manifestos of Surrealism. Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane, translators. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Paperbacks imprint of University of Michigan Press. 1969. Pages 149-150.]
        “We are the revolt of the spirit; we believe that bloody revolution is the inevitable vengeance of a spirit humiliated by your doings. We are not utopians; we can conceive this revolution only as a social form. If anywhere there are men who have seen a coalition form against them (traitors to everything that is not freedom, rebels of every sort, prisoners of common law), let them never forget that the idea of revolution is the best and most effective safeguard of the individual.” [The Surrealist Group. “Revolution Now and Forever! (1925)” Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader. Will Bradley and Charles Esche, editors. London: Tate Publishing. 2007. Page 93.]
        “Revolutionary aspiration is at the very source of Surrealism—it is not by accident that one of the movement’s first collective texts, written in 1925, is called ‘Revolution Now and Forever.’ In that same year the desire to break with Western civilization led [André] Breton to investigate the ideas of the October Revolution, especially Trotsky’s essay on Lenin. Though he joined the French Communist Party in 1927, he refused to give up, as he explains in Daybreak, his ’critical faculties.’
        “In the Second Manifesto of Surrealism of 1930, Andre Breton summed up all the conclusions of that action, affirming ‘totally, unreservedly, our adhesion to the principle of historical materialism.’”
        [Michael Löwy. Morning Star: surrealism, marxism, anarchism, situationism, utopia. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. 2009. Kindle edition.]
        “Surrealism adapted [Sigmund] Freud’s therapeutic technique of free association to develop its two signature artistic procedures: automatic writing (a stream of consciousness flow of words, thoughts, and ideas written down without regard for syntax or sense) and collage (random combinations of images and materials). German cultural critic, Walter Benjamin, writing in 1929, described the often quite provocative results of these techniques as inspiring a ‘profane illumination.’ Virtually every medium of art experimented with Surrealist techniques during the movement’s heyday, leading to the production of several memorable works, with the exception of music which never found a way of accommodating itself to its emphasis on chance and randomness.
        “In literature, Surrealism yielded Louis Aragon’s Paris Peasant … and André Breton’s Nadja …; in cinema it was … [Luis] Buñuel who led the way, but even Alfred Hitchcock experimented with Surrealism (he hired [Salvador] Dalí to design a dream sequence for his 1945 Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck feature, Spellbound); in photography it was Man Ray, Lee Miller (Man Ray’s model and muse), Eugène Atget, and Max Ernst who set the standard; in the visual arts it was undoubtedly Dalí who captured the limelight, but no less important were René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy; in the plastic arts, it was Marcel Duchamp who created the best-known works; while in theatre it was undoubtedly Antonin Artaud who was the most notorious, though he later denounced Surrealism (itself a very Surrealist thing to do, judging by the frequency of the denunciations and expulsions the group experienced).
        “Surrealism was a direct influence on three major figures in critical theory: Georges Bataille, Henri Lefebvre, and Jacques Lacan; and a distant, but not insignificant influence on Jean Baudrillard and Guy Debord.”
        [Ian Buchanan. A Dictionary of Critical Theory. Oxford, England, and New York: Oxford University Press. 2010. Pages 259-260.]
        “… [Walter] Benjamin appropriates the vocabulary from surrealism’s utopian representations of individual and social transfiguration, and we will soon explore their details. For the moment, however, I am rather interested in a second issues informing Benjamin’s interest in awakening. Benjamin’s suggestion of critique as awakening is a consequence of his representation of the products of the superstructure as dream: awakening is the dream’s binary opposition within traditional epistemological discourse.” [Margaret Cohen. Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. 1993. Page 52.]
        “Surrealism was a literary and artistic movement originating in Paris in the early 1920s. It rejected social, moral, and logical conventions and sought to revolutionize art, literature, and life in the name of freedom, desire, and revolt. It emerged from the social upheaval of post–First World War Europe (the term was invented by [Guillaume] Apollinaire in 1917) and more especially from Dadaism, founded in Zurich in 1915, which rejected traditional Western values and promoted the irrational and the absurd through a series of ‘antiartistic’ events based on provocation and profanation.…
        “Surrealist theoretical declarations can appear paradoxical, contradictory, and diverse. The surrealists rejected the notion of a school with a fixed body of doctrine. Surrealism was considered as an open quest continuously redefining itself in terms of a project ….”
        [Elza Adamowicz, “Surrealism.” Encyclopedia of Modern French Thought. Christopher John Murray, editor. London and New York: Fitzroy Dearborn imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2005. Pages 612-615.]
        “Publishing this Surrealist address, neither the editorial team nor the revolutionaries imagined that a much more important confrontation was approaching. The roots of this new conflict were to be found beyond the walls of the strike. The causes of these further events lay, perhaps, beyond Poland’s borders. At the time Solidarity was founded, Poland was still Communist, still part of a great empire, where words like ‘strike’ didn’t even exist in a practical sense.” Lives of the Orange Men: A Biographical History of the Polish Orange Alternative Movement. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2014. Page 75.]
        “The Egyptian world of art, turned towards the cult of the state, received the slap of surrealism. The Art and Liberty Association organized five annual exhibitions, with the participation of painters and artists from other Arab countries as well as an impressive number of women whose creations were highlighted, including paintings and photographs. It was indeed a committed art: even exhibitions ought to change the world.
        “In the context of Egypt, the exhibitions were seen as especially audacious because Sunni Islam condemns the reproduction of images. The works of art clearly showed images of the bodies of creatures. The exhibitions were very controversial but they were not prohibited. During the war the British tolerated Art and Liberty because its antifascist propaganda in Arabic opposed that of the national liberation movements, the Islamist Nationalist Party and the sections of the Muslim Brotherhood, all suspected of spying for the Germans.”
        [Ronald Creagh. Libertarian Tempests: Georges Hénein, Ramsès Younane, and the surrealist movement in Egypt (1937-1963). Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2015. Pages 8-9.]
        “… after the break with the Stalinists, [André] Breton turned more unequivocally towards [Leon] Trotsky. With Trotsky he collaborated on the manifesto ‘For an Independent Revolutionary Art’ (1938). (At Trotsky’s request, Diego Rivera co-signed with Breton in his stead.) Before long, however, Breton was admitting his astonishment that Trotsky could invoke the old Jesuit precept that ‘the end justifies the means,’ and he called immediately for ‘a thoroughgoing critique of certain aspects of the thought of [Vladimir] Lenin and even of [Karl] Marx.’ He himself never followed up on this.” [Raoul Vaneigem. A Cavalier History of Surrealism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1977. Page 38.]
        “It goes without saying that we do not identify ourselves with the currently fashionable catchword, ‘Neither fascism nor communism!’ – a shibboleth which suits the temperament of the philistine, conservative and frightened, clinging to the tattered remnants of the ‘democratic’ past. True art, which is not content to play variations on ready-made models but rather insists on expressing the inner needs of man and of mankind in its time – true art is unable not to be revolutionary, not to aspire to a complete and radical reconstruction of society. This it must do, were it only to deliver intellectual creation from the chains which bind it, and to allow all mankind to raise itself to those heights which only isolated geniuses have achieved in the past. We recognize that only the social revolution can sweep clean the path for a new culture. If, however, we reject all solidarity with the bureaucracy now in control of the Soviet Union, it is precisely because, in our eyes, it represents not communism but its most treacherous and dangerous enemy.” [André Breton, Diego Rivera, and Leon Trotsky. Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art. 1938. Web. No pagination.]
      16. the prophet (Isaac Deutscher as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Deutscher was a one–time member of the now defunct (Trotskyist) Revolutionary Workers League (UK), a Trotskyist until the end of his life, and, in his later years, a humanist, as well. He wrote a trilogy on Trotsky, a biography of Stalin, and other works.
        “[Leon] Trotsky saw it as his task to curb intolerance and to expose the futility of the slogans about proletarian culture and art. This was not easy. The idea of proletarian culture appealed to some Bolshevik intellectuals, and to young workers in whom the revolution had awakened a craving for education but in whom it had also released iconoclastic instincts. In the background there was the peasants’ anarchic hostility towards all that had been associated with the gentry’s way of life, including its ‘cultural values.’ (When the muzhik [Russian Cyrillic, мужи́к, mužík, ‘peasant’] set fire to his landlord’s mansion he often let go up in flames the library and the paintings—he saw in them only part of the landlord’s possessions.) Theorizing Bolsheviks rationalized this iconoclastic mood into a pseudo-Marxist rejection of the old ‘class culture’ which was to be swept away.” [Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky, 1921-1929. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Page 140.]
        “The Menshcviks had recovered from the radicalism of 1905; they were impatient to shake off [Leon] Trotsky’s influence; and they considered this new epitome of ‘Trotskyism’ as an exercise in day-dreaming. The Bolsheviks were not in a mood to give serious attention to any prospects of revolution drawn by the spokesman of Menshevism. A lone wolf within his own party, Trotsky was condemned to relative futility just when he might have bren most effective. Nor was the accident of his age without effect. He had gained enormous popularity among the rank and file and among nonparty workers; but in the eyes of active propagandists and organizers, to whom his doctrine was meant to appeal, he was still too young to be accepted as a prophet.” [Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky, 1879-1921. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Page 163.]
        “He [Leon Trotsky] possessed in abdundance and even superabundance the courage and energy needed to cope with such a role and to grapple with such a predicament. All the severe reverses he had suffered, far from dulling his fighting instincts, had excited them to the utmost. The passions of his intellect and heart, always uncommonly large and intense, now swelled into a tragic energy as mighty and high as that which animates the prophets and the law-givers of Michelangelo’s [Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni’s] vision. It was this moral energy that preserved him at this stage from any sense of personal tragedy. There was as yet not even a hint of self-pity in him. When in the first year of exile he concluded his autobiography with the words: ‘I know no personal tragedy,’ he spoke the truth. He saw his own destiny as an incident in the great flux and reflux of revolution and reaction; and it did not greatly matter to him whether he fought in the full panoply of power or whether he did so as an outcast. The difference did not affect his faith in his cause and in himself. When a critic remarked well-meaningly that despite his fall the ex-Commissar of War had preserved the full clarity and power of his thought, Trotsky could only mock the Philistine ‘who saw any connexion between a man’s power of reasoning and his holding of office.’ He felt the fullness of life only when he could stretch all his faculties and use them in the service of his idea. This he was going to do come what might. What sustained his confidence was that his triumphs in the revolution and the civil war still stood out mote vividly in his mind than the defeats that followed them. He knew that these were imperishable triumphs. So mighty had been the climax of his life that it over-shadowed the anti-climax and no power on earth could drag him down from it. All the same, tragedy, relentless and pitiless, was closing in on him.” [Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky, 1929-1940. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Pages 10-11.]
        “He [Leon Trotsky] … rose to his full height not merely as the chief manager and organizer of the army but as its inspirer, as the prophet of an idea. He boldly tapped the hidden moral resources of the revolution. The quality of his appeal may be gauged, for instance, from an address he gave at a congress of the Comsomol [Russian Cyrillic, Комсомо́л, Komsomól], the Communist Youth, which met just when Moscow and Petrograd had come within reach of the White Guards. He spoke to juveniles about the duties they had to perform ‘within the shrinking area left to the Red Army.’ They should assist in the mobilization; they should help to maintain liaison between units in combat; they should steal through the enemy’s lines to reconnoitre his dispositions; and so on. But before they went on their perilous assignments, they ought to know the place they occupied in the affairs of the world. Lucidly, simply, without a trace of condescension, he surveyed the international scene. They should also see their own role against the background of world history, in the long perspective of mankind’s slow, painfully slow, yet inspiring progress ‘from the dark animal realm’ to undreamt-of summits of civilization, towards which socialism was leading them.” [Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet: The Life of Leon Trotsky. One–volume version. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2015. Kindle edition.]
        “In October a general strike spread from Moscow and Petersburg throughout tlie country. All railways came to a standstill. The strikers in Petersburg elected a Council of Workers’ Deputies, the Petersburg Soviet, which soon became tlie most spectacular centre of the revolution. For a short time the Petersburg Soviet was a virtual rival to the official administration—its orders and instructions commanded universal obedience. The Soviet called on the country to stop paying taxes to the Tsar. Its members, together with their young chairman Leon Trotsky, were arrested. New strikes broke out, which culminated in the December rising in Moscow, the real climax of the First Revolution. The rising was defeated, and, thereafter, the revolution began to subside. Although it was still capable of rallying, after each rally it grew weaker, until, finally, its impetus was spent. Throughout 1906 and even part of 1907 the ferment was still so strong that few political leaders noticed the actual ebbing of the movement. Nearly all Socialists looked forward to a new climax of the revolution.” [Isaac Deutscher. Stalin: A Political Biography. Second edition. London: Oxford University Press. 1967. Page 63.]
        “Isaac Deutscher stands out among the early intellectual mentors of the New Left as the only one who expounded classical Marxism. On a mid-1960s ‘must read’ authors list that included C. Wright Mills, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, Deutscher alone stressed class conflict, the progressive movement of history and proletarian revolution. For those of us who were anti-Stalinist Marxists, reading Deutscher’s [Leon] Trotsky trilogy was a rite of passage. It was simultaneously a sympathetic, critical and reflective biography of Trotsky and a full-blown history of the Russian Revolution. In his Trotsky trilogy and other books and articles on [Joseph] Stalin, the contemporary Soviet Union and China, the cold war, Marxism, ex-Communists and Jewish history, Deutscher offered a living Marxism that was both unashamed of its revolutionary commitment and able to grasp historic ironies and tragedies.” [Ronald Aronson, “The Impermanent Revolution.” The Nation. Web. February 24th, 2005.]
      17. libertarian Trotskyism (Josef Weber as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Weber was the principal of the now defunct Trotskyist organization, The Movement for a Democracy of Content. He was also known by various pseudonyms, pen names, or nicknames, including: Johre (MP3 audio file), Jupp (MP3 audio file), Wilhelm Lunen (MP3 audio file), and Lux Adorno (MP3 audio file). The term, “libertarian Trotskyism” is taken from the M.A. thesis of Aaron David Hyams (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, אַהֲרֹן דָּוִד הְיָּמְס, ʾẠhărōn Dāwiḏ Həyyāməs).
        “First, [Josef] Weber’s political criticism contained a ‘libertarian impulse.’ That is, although Weber self-identified as a Trotskyist and remained committed to communal models of social organization, wherein ‘each gave according to his or her means and received according to his or her needs,’ he turned also to models of decentralized social life in order to mitigate the practical problems posed by Bolshevism and the revolutionary vanguard. Weber became distrustful of all political parties, including any sort of communist party. Second, Weber argued that a new post-revolutionary society would be a ‘rational‘ society that sustainably managed and extracted resources and eradicated ‘human parasitism.’ …
        “Over time, the clear link that had existed between [Murray Bookchin’s] Post-Scarcity Anarchism and Josef Weber’s libertarian Trotskyism became clouded in Bookchin’s mind. This was largely a function of the systematic reappraisals Bookchin made of his own thought, as well as his tendency to often relabel his political and theoretical positions.”
        [Aaron David Hyams. Fifty Years on the Fringe: Murray Bookchin and the American Revolutionary Tradition, 1921-1971. M.A. thesis. The University of Montana. Missoula, Montana. May, 2011. Pages 56-57.]
        “The peasant, eternally in debt to the professional moneylender or the lawyer and in continual fear of being dispossessed, envies the industrial worker. The factory worker, virtually imprisoned and broken in will by submission to his machines, demoralizing himself still further by dissipation during the few moments of freedom he is allowed, envies the worker at a trade. But the apprentice to a trade belongs to his master, is servant as well as workman, and he is troubled by bourgeois aspirations. Among the bourgeoisie, on the other hand, the manufacturer, borrowing from the capitalist and always in danger of being wrecked on the shoal of overproduction, drives his employees as if the devil were driving him. He gets to hate them as the only uncertain element that impairs the perfect functioning of the mechanism; the workers take it out in hating the foreman. The merchant, under pressure of his customers, who are eager to get something for nothing, brings pressure on the manufacturer to supply him with shoddy goods; he leads perhaps the most miserable existence of all, compelled to be servile to his customers, hated by and hating his competitors, making nothing, organizing nothing. The civil servant, underpaid and struggling to keep up his respectability, always being shifted from place to place, has not merely to be polite like the tradesman, but to make sure that his political and religious views do not displease the administration. And, finally, the bourgeoisie of the leisure class have tied up their interests with the capitalists, the least public-spirited members of the nation; and they live in continual terror of communism. They have now wholly lost touch with the people. They have shut themselves up in their class; and inside their doors, locked so tightly, there is nothing but emptiness and chill.” [Wilhelm Lunen (pen name of Josef Weber), “The Problem of Social Consciousness in Our Time.” Part 1. Contemporary Issues: A Magazine for a Democracy of Content. Volume 8, number 31, October–November 1957. Pages 478-528.]
        “We had voluntarily [!] accepted a measure of secrecy and had given up much of our liberty of action for the sake of the war, even though — for that very purpose, as many of us thought — more secrecy than the optimum was imposed, and this at times had hampered our international communications more than the information-gathering service of the enemy. We had hoped that this unfamiliar self-discipline would be a temporary thing, and we had expected that after this war — as, after all, before — we should return to the free spirit of communication, intranational and international, which is the very life of science. Now we found that, whether we wished it or not, we were to be the custodians of secrets on which the whole national life might depend. At no time in the foreseeable future could we again do our research as free men. Those who had gained rank and power over us during the war were most loath to relinquish any part of the prestige they obtained. Since many of us possessed secrets which could be captured by the enemy and could be used to our national disadvantage, we were obviously doomed to live in an atmosphere of suspicion forever after, and the police scrutiny on our political opinions [self-introduced and, objectively speaking, well-deserved!] which began in the war showed no signs of future remission.” [Wilhelm Lunen (pen name of Josef Weber), “The Problem of Social Consciousness in Our Time.” Part 2. Contemporary Issues: A Magazine for a Democracy of Content. Volume 8, number 32, 1957. Pages 480+.]
        “The democratic movement states that from the outset particularistic interests are no longer to be pursued and demonstrates it not by idle phrases and solemn vows but by the elimination of any possibility of exercising material domination over individuals or the general public. Power and domination derive from the possession of money, the ownership of means of production, the institutions and their bureaucracies. There must no longer be any of this in the party: It must not invest any money in property, mortgages, and undertakings; it must own no offices, houses, presses, in short, no apparatus whatever and no appointed bureaucracy. Its guarantee against becoming a thing in itself thus resides like a form of circular reasoning in its own presupposition: Incapable of incorporating material interests within its framework and of dominating materially, it is also incapable of representing class interests or political sectional interests. Whilst within it material advantages and social security for a bureaucracy are unattainable, the special party interest only exists in the sense of practically overcoming it for there is an immediate transition to the general task of social liberation without domination by a new class. Only on the basis of achieved freedom is the true special interest of the individual reestablished which in capitalist society has no possibility of developing itself and becomes reduced to the caricaturish types of profit-hungry, profit-producing and profit-parasitic beasts.” [Wilhelm Lunen (pen name of Josef Weber), “The Great Utopia: Outlines for a plan of organization and activity of a democratic movement.” Contemporary Issues: A Magazine for a Democracy of Content. Volume 2, number 5, winter 1950. Pages 18+.]
        “Josef Weber, who was born in Gelsenkirchen in Germany’s Ruhr region in 1901. This son of a skilled worker (his father was a tiler, his mother a housewife) did not complete secondary school but later attended university lectures on philosophy and became fascinated with [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel’s ideas. He earned a living as a bandmaster, composer and pianist. Following the abortive November revolution in Germany in 1918 and the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, Weber became a member of the new Communist Party. Later, probably at the start of the 1930s, he joined the Trotskyist movement, where he played an important role. In 1933 he fled with his wife Maria Spiegel and their two children via Amsterdam to Paris; here, Weber continued his political activities as a leading member of the German Trotskyists (who united in 1934 in the Internationale Kommunisten Deutschlands [International Communists of Germany] or IKD). In 1938 he was part of the tiny group that founded the Fourth International. At the time [Leon] Trotsky viewed Weber as ‘a very good Marxist.’ Until 1941 the IKD (of which Weber had by then become a chief leader) adhered to the line of the International Trotskyist movement.…
        “After [Josef] Weber’s death dissent mounted. Though formally anti-authoritarian, the movement had regarded Josef Weber as a powerful intellectual leader. His passing left a void, as several adherents had anticipated many years before. By 1949 the London group had noted with shock when Weber suffered a heart attack ‘to how little we amount without Jupp [Weber] and how supreme his role is in the organisation. […] Indeed, Jupp is our absolute spiritual leader.’”
        [Marcel van der Linden, “The Prehistory of Post-Scarcity Anarchism: Josef Weber and the Movement for a Democracy of Content (1947-1964).” Lee Mitzman, translator. Anarchist Studies. Volume 9, 2001. Pages 127-145.]
      18. Fourth International (post–reunification): This Trotskyist international publishes International Viewpoint.
        “Blue- and white-collar and technicians had to be replaced by managers, the liberal professions and the upper layers of wageearners. In short, it was necessary to ‘have a change of people.’ The composition of the leading bodies has also been modified: teachers, trade union bureaucrats, lawyers, (the ‘café-owners,’ [Leon] Trotsky added in his time), have given way to ‘énarques’ [graduates of l’École nationale d’administration] technocrats and financiers. To a point where socialist parties are experiencing a kind of devitalization, a break with whole sections of their history. Adherents are replaced by professional politicians: elected representatives and their assistants. The policies of the European Union (EU) have aggravated this qualitative change. In different forms, the socialist parties are being transformed into bourgeois parties. Does that mean that they have become bourgeois parties like the others? Not quite, the practice of parties alternating in government demands that the socialist parties mark out their differences with other bourgeois parties. They remain linked, by their historical origin, to the workers’ movement, but it is only a question of traces that are fading away in the memories of activists. This nevertheless creates contradictions and oppositions in these parties. They can maintain a certain relationship with the ‘people of the left,’ although it is increasingly distended. This qualitative change, if it was carried through to its conclusion, would transform these parties into ‘American-style democratic parties.’” [Editor, “France—The changes in the political landscape in France.” International Viewpoint. Number 485, June 2015. Pages 12-15.]
        “Socialist Action is a national group of activists committed to the emancipation of workers and the oppressed. We strive to revitalize the anti-war, labor, anti-racist, feminist, student and other social movements. In the process we hope to bring activists together from different backgrounds into a revolutionary workers’ party that can successfully challenge the wealthy elite. Our ultimate goal is a truly democratic society organized to satisfy human needs, rather than corporate greed. We’ve set up this page to introduce you to our organization, and to invite you to join us in the struggle to make the world a better place!…
        1. Socialist Action (U.S.): In the U.S., this group is in solidarity with the international.
          “… This famous theory [permanent revolution] by Leon Trotsky holds that revolution in modern times, even in under-developed countries, has to be led by the working class and has to be a fully fledged socialist revolution – revolution cannot go through stages and cannot be made in alliance with any wing of the capitalist class. To be ultimately successful it also needs to be an international revolution. We believe that a successful socialist revolution will result in a workers’ government that is based on elected workers’ councils.”
          [Editor, “About.” Socialist Action. 2015. Retrieved on September 12th, 2015.]
        2. Solidarity: This multi–tendency U.S. organization, while historically rooted in third–camp Trotskyism, later broadened its base to include communists representing different tendencies or schools of thought. Solidarity is now associated with the Fourth International (post–reunification). The organization publishes the magazine, Against the Current. Solidarity is a major player in the movement for left refoundation and left regroupment.
          “Solidarity believes that the creation of new forms of revolutionary socialist organisation would mark an important step forward for socialist politics in the US. The shape taken by a revolutionary refoundation could have a variety of possible contours, depending on the actual unfolding of any process of regroupment and renewal. (Or, nothing much could happen; sadly, that’s also a possibility.)
          “The collapse of the bureaucratic post-capitalist regimes in the East and the emergence of the new anti-capitalist global justice movement makes such a new revolutionary socialist organisation both possible and desirable. However imperative it might be, history does show that socialist refoundation will not come about spontaneously, but will require the conscious engagement of old and new anti-capitalist currents. To be viable, such a newly created organisation should incorporate not only those existing organisations that are non-vanguardist in character, but newer and younger layers of radical and revolutionary activists.
          “Refoundation has the potential of creating a new organisation that would bring together currents which historically and in present practice are considerably more distant from each other. Structures and modes of comradely collaboration will be necessary in order to allow for authentic coexistence and cross-fertilisation of tendencies. The search for dialogue and partnerships is not necessarily guided by ‘who’s closest to us.’ That would eliminate much of the emergent leadership in the anti-globalisation movement, and a wide swatch of the left wing of people of colour movements. The stepping off point is not only the desire to build a stronger and more effective socialist presence, but also the genuine belief that we can all learn from one another.”
          [“Left regroupment/refoundation.” Solidarity. July, 2002. Retrieved on September 14th, 2015.]
          “We invite the broad left to think collectively about: 1) the political state of the world, 2) the major political movements which structure our landscape of possibilities, and 3) the tasks and possibilities of some kind of left refoundation/regroupment which might have the audacity to really propose a social transformation. This analysis is necessarily incomplete and impressionistic. It is not a ‘line’ in the classic Leninist sense, but more of an arc (a line of flight, rather than a line of march): an act of thinking together which we hope will clarify our project for ourselves as well as contribute to a dialogue with others – other groups as well as the ones and twos out there hungering for new ideas and forms of organization.” [Regroupment & Refoundation of a U.S. Left: A Solidarity Draft Working Paper. July, 2008. Page 8. Retrieved on November 8th, 2015.]
          “… after the limited momentum for left regroupment seemed to have played out, other organizations – notably our comrades in FRSO/OSCL [the English-language name, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and its Spanish-language translation, Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad] – raised the term ‘left refoundation’ to highlight the role of a small but growing U.S. ‘social movement left’ in cohering a vibrant, combative, revolutionary force.
          “The two words – regroupment and refoundation – mean different things, but the process we are looking at is actually a combination. The exact proportion of one in relationship to the other is impossible for us to predict. We should pursue both, and let natural processes determine how the balance works out. Today, the social movement left that actually exists suffers greatly because there is no organized revolutionary movement worthy of the name. The organized revolutionary movement suffers equally because there is no mass social movement left worthy of the name. Each, in its future development, is dependent on the other. We favor, therefore, a ‘regroupment/refoundation’ perspective which pays attention to both sides of the equation.”
          [“Regroupment, Refounding and the Arc of Resistance.” Solidarity. Undated. Retrieved on September 11th, 2015.]
          Another world is possible, socialism: a system that is democratic, international, and ecologically sustainable. Corporate media and mainstream intellectuals present capitalism as a system without an alternative, and use the collapse of 20ᵗʰ-century efforts at socialism to discredit all anti-capitalist visions. We stand with the millions of people worldwide who challenge this logic through the slogan, ‘Another World is Possible.’ As socialists, we have a specific vision for that world: one in which society’s productive capacity is worker- and community-controlled and used for the public good in an environmentally responsible way. Under socialism, planning and decisions are made democratically, rather than determined by a political elite. We strive to build a world in which all people can live equally without the hierarchies of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, age, and ability that oppress the great bulk of the world’s people today. A society liberated from oppression, poverty, and economic inequality, and from the alienation inherent in capitalist social relations, would be free to pursue far greater creative possibilities.” [“Basis of Political Agreement.” Solidarity. 2013. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
          “We [Solidarity] reject the ideas that capitalism can be reformed from within by the Democratic Party or trade union bureaucrats; or that the socialism is possible without the fullest development of democratic forms of working class and popular power. However, we believe that revolutionaries can legitimately differ on a wide variety of questions, from the theoretical analysis of the former bureaucratic societies in the East to the tactics socialists should pursue in the labor movement. Solidarity is building this sort of revolutionary organization because we do not pretend to be either the vanguard party or its nucleus. Therefore, we advocate revolutionary regroupment—the coming together of different revolutionary currents who agree on a common practice—as the best way to lay the foundation for a real revolutionary party in the United States.” [Charlie Post and Kit Wainer, “Socialist Organization Today.” Solidarity. 2006. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
          Our strategic goal is revolution—led by the working class and oppressed—that shatters the foundations of patriarchy, white supremacy, settler-colonialism, and capitalist rule. We believe that the potential for realizing socialism lies in the contradictions of the current system. Under capitalism, the exploited and oppressed are in constant struggle with the political and economic elites. We seek to participate in all manifestations of this struggle, aiming to help develop them into movements against the capitalist class and we fight for reforms that may serve as bridges to deeper class consciousness. We also support efforts to begin building alternative, democratic institutions and social relations in the present. Only through a revolutionary, mass political movement of working and oppressed people can the political and economic domination of society by the capitalist class be ended. This future will not be realized by simply ‘taking power.’ Rather, the revolutionary process should seek to uproot the settler-colonial foundations and dismantle the institutions of the capitalist state—e.g., the police, borders, courts, and military that protect the current social order. In their place, we must construct new institutions of the working class and develop relations which support the right to self-determination for indigenous peoples and oppressed nationalities.” [“Solidarity Founding Statement.” Solidarity. 1986. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
          “The left, particularly the socialist left, remains divided and weak, while the Democratic Party continues its hollow role as society’s ‘left’ option—despite consistent evidence to the contrary. While the members of socialist organizations have played important roles in the most important mass struggle of recent years (the Ferguson [Missouri] protests that swept the nation) the organized socialist presence has been negligible on the national stage. The socialist left must find a way to project a popular socialist counter-narrative to capitalism in the here and now.” [David Finkel (a member of Solidarity’s National Committee), “Statement of Purpose.” eMERGE. Undated. Retrieved on September 13th, 2015.]
          “They’re [the members of Solidarity are] multitendencied and allow factions within the organization. I believe a couple minuscule Trot [Trotskyist] sects dissolved into tendencies. I believe there is a Luxemburgist tendency. Supposably, there were/are a number of former anarchists who joined in mass after Love & Rage dissolved, but that might just be myth. They’re involved in a Left Refoundation/Regroupment conference with New York Study Group (the NY branch of Solidarity now?), Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Left Turn, and softer Maoist Freedom Road Socialist Organization (as opposed to the harder Maoist, Freedom Road Socialist Organization that puts out the Fight Back! newspaper and was raided by the FBI recently).” [Juan Conatz, “About the US leftist group Solidarity.” December 5th, 2013. Retrieved on September 11th, 2015.]
        3. Socialist Resistance: This British branch of the international defines itself as ecosocialist, feminist, anti-racist, revolutionary, and internationalist.
          “We need to start to discuss what kind of new organisation we want to build if the regroupment process is successful, as appears to be the case. The following are some comments on the general principles involved in this rather than trying to propose a detailed constitution at this stage, though we will have to have a constitution before we can create a new organisation.
          “The new organisation should be strongly committed to building Respect as its central project. Or more precisely it should be strongly committed to building a broad party of the left to tackle the crisis of working class representation – at this stage this means building Respect, but it could mean at a latter stage arguing that Respect should became a part of something bigger and broader which could do the job more effectively.”
          [Alan Thornett, “What Kind of New Organisation do we Need?Socialist Resistance. June 13th, 2009. Retrieved on September 12th, 2015.]
        4. Fourth International in Manchester Group: This group is associated with Socialist Resistance.
          “We are activists in Manchester in solidarity with the Fourth International, committed to building broad-based anti-capitalist campaigns and arguing for anti-racist, feminist and ecosocialist politics. We want to bring people into action together against this miserable economic system. FIIMG [Fourth International in Manchester Group] is a forum for linking with those who are doing something in Manchester now to change the world. Our political tradition has learnt from new social movements over the years, and we have been contributing to them too. The Fourth International was founded to maintain revolutionary ideas and organisation against capitalism and bureaucracy, and today has groups in all parts of the world. The online magazine of the Fourth International in English is International Viewpoint, and its section in the British state is Socialist Resistance.“ [Editor, “About.” Fourth International in Manchester Group. Undated. Retrieved on May 15th, 2017.]
        5. revolutionary Marxism (Ian Parker): Parker, who is associated with the Fourth International in Manchester Group, describes the living, democratic spirit of historical materialism.
          “By revolutionary Marxism I mean a political movement which combines a theoretical analysis of capitalist society—and the various ideological forms and disciplinary practices that serve it—with the practical task of overthrowing it; this engaged, explicitly partisan knowledge of forms of oppression under capitalism (racism, heterosexism and able-bodiedness, to name but three forms that have become necessary correlates of economic exploitation) is developed as a logic of inquiry that aims to articulate the refusal of capitalism that already appears among those who suffer in this society. The historical arc of this political movement runs from the failed insurrection of the Paris Commune in 1871 to the successful Russian revolution of 1917, and thence to the attempt to defend and keep alive the creative and democratic spirit of rebellion through the crushing bureaucratic counter-revolution under Stalin and to revive that spirit in the student and worker struggles of the 1960s in the capitalist world …. The historical materialist ‘methodology’ of revolutionary Marxism, then, is but a means by which the self-consciousness of a political movement which will change the world is warranted. Marxism is not a frozen corpus of knowledge, but has developed as capitalism and challenges to capitalism have mutated through the expansion of the service sector …, globalisation … and new ideological forms through which it is interpreted by other ‘critical’ theorists ….” [Ian Parker, “Critical Psychology and Revolutionary Marxism.” Theory & Psychology. Volume 19, number 1, 2009. Pages 71-92.]
        6. marketless socialism (Ernest Mandel as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Mandel, a member of Fourth International (post–reunification), argues for “a way out between the Scylla of blind market forces and the Charybdis of huge centralized bureaucracies.” His “marketless socialism” also involves “self-management.”
          “[Ernest] Mandel tries to demonstrate that ‘market socialism’ can only lead to the restoration of capitalism. On the other hand, he argues that a democratically centralised marketless socialism is both practicable and necessary. Ultimately the debate centres upon the role of the market in social development rather than upon the need for a market as such. Mandel follows the majority socialist tradition in arguing that the market must eventually wither away.” [Roland Lew, “A Feasible Socialism.” The Socialist Register. Volume 22, 1985/1986. Pages 414-435.]
          “… [There is] the ‘market-less socialism’ of Ernest Mandel ….” [David Gorman, “Critical Unrealism.” Radical Chains. Number 4, November 1993. Original pagination unknown.]
          “Socialists should view neo-capitalism as an essentially organic development of monopoly capitalism. This means that they can neither see their task as the hastening of neo-capitalist reforms, nor in defending more backward capitalists, who try to obstruct neo-capitalist reforms because they cannot keep up with the pace of investment and competition. The approach must be the same as the one socialists took traditionally towards capitalist concentration and monopolies, neither ‘promoting’ concentration in the name of efficiency, nor ‘defending’ technically backward firms in the name of economic freedom, but of considering concentration as inevitable within the framework of capitalism, while using the progress of concentration as a most powerful argument in favour of introducing socialism.” [Ernest Mandel, “The Economics of Neo-Capitalism.” The Socialist Register. Volume 1, 1964. Pages 56-67.]
          “It is the partisans of the alleged ‘eternal’ advantages of market economy, including of ‘market socialism’, who show an obstinate dogmatism, a growing blindness to empirical data, in the unfolding of the debate about the ‘feasibility’ of socialism, opposing less and less relevant trends (either of the past or of more backward economies) to what really has been going on in the advanced economies during the last forty to fifty years.…
          “… If they [producers/consumers] want to forego the second television set in exchange for more leisure or less strenuous and less monotonous work, they have the perfect right to do so. Nobody should dictate these preferences to them, neither markets nor experts, nor scientists/philosophers, nor charismatic leaders, nor parties, all of whom history has proven to be anything but omniscient. But they should have the right to make these decisions freely, by the light of their own consciousness and sensibility. That is what human freedom is all about. That is what socialist planning is all about.”
          [Ernest Mandel, “The Myth of Market Socialism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 169, May–June 1988. Pages 108-120.]
          “… precisely the trend towards wider and wider de facto cooperation between ordinary people, which has developed side by side with the objective socialization of labour, shows that there is a way out between the Scylla of blind market forces and the Charybdis of huge centralized bureaucracies: democratically centralized—that is, articulated—self-management, based on deliberate and free cooperation.…
          “But would this ‘third solution’ not lead to an idealization of routine and custom—that is, to economic stagnation? Certainly not in the field of production, where the producers’ interests in reducing their workload and ameliorating human ecology would generate a built-in incentive to cost-cutting.”
          [Ernest Mandel, “In Defence of Socialist Planning.” New Left Review. Series I, number 159, September–October 1986. Pages 5-37.]
          “We say to the radical pacifists: humanity will not be freed from the nightmare of the nuclear threat unless it takes into its own hands the right and the power to decide what is produced and what cannot be produced. This implies the elimination of private property, of competition between individuals and between states, and of the market economy. If you are not ready to pay this price, it is because you prefer to run the risk of seeing the human race disappear, rather than change the social system that is leading to collective suicide.” [Ernest Mandel, “The Threat of War and the Struggle for Socialism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 141, September–October 1983. Pages 23-50.]
          “As long as socialism or revolution are only ideals preached by militants because of their own convictions and consciousness, their social impact is inevitably limited. But when the ideas of revolutionary socialism are able to unite faith, confidence and consciousness with the immediate material interest of a social class in revolt—the working class, then their potential becomes literally explosive.” [Ernest Mandel, “Where is America Going?” New Left Review. Series I, number 54, March–April 1969. Pages 3-15.]
          “… although starting by damning the bureaucracy as new exploiters, bloodsuckers, deadly enemies of the working class and of human freedom, etc., etc. – and, undoubtedly, 99 percent of the real motivation for any self-proclaimed Marxist’s calling the bureaucracy a new ruling class stems from such understandable moral indignation rather than cool scientific analysis – one would paradoxically end up by historically justifying that very same bureaucracy, if not becoming a straightforward apologist for all its crimes.” [Ernest Mandel, “Why The Soviet Bureaucracy is not a New Ruling Class.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 31, number 3, 1979–1980. Pages 63-86.]
          “The difference between revolutionary Marxists and supporters of ‘Third Worldism’ does not lie in the fact the first deny this inter-relationship and the second uphold it. It lies in two basically distinct approaches to the nature of that inter-relationship. Revolutionary Marxists do not believe in a fatal time-sequence, whereas ‘Third Worldists’ do believe that imperialism has first to be overthrown in all, or the most important underdeveloped countries, before socialist revolution is on the agenda again in the West.… Revolutionary Marxists do not believe that the loss of an important or even a decisive part of foreign colonial domains will automatically create a revolutionary situation inside the imperialist countries; they believe that these losses will only have revolutionary effects if they first trigger off internal material changes inside imperialist society itself.” [Ernest Mandel, “The Laws of Uneven Development.” New Left Review. Series I, number 59, January–February 1970. Pages 19-38.]
          “Spontaneity is the embryonic form of organisation, [Vladimir] Lenin used to say. The experience of May 1968 permits one to verify the present relevance of this observation in two ways. Working-class spontaneity is never a pure spontaneity; the fermentation among the workers brought about by vanguard groups—sometimes by just one experienced revolutionary militant—is an operative factor: their tenacity and patience are rewarded precisely at such moments, when social fever attains its paroxysm. Working-class spontaneity leads to the organisation of a larger vanguard, since in the space of a few weeks thousands of workers have understood the possibility of a socialist revolution in France.” [Ernest Mandel, “The Lessons of May 1968New Left Review. Series I, number 52, November–December 1968. Pages 9-31.]
        7. parametric determinism (Ernest Mandel): Mandel’s non–inevitable view of historical materialism recognizes the importance of human agency for establishing a socialist society.
          “Dialectical determinism as opposed to mechanical, or formal-logical determinism, is also parametric determinism; it permits the adherent of historical materialism to understand the real place of human action in the way the historical process unfolds and the way the outcome of social crises is decided. Men and women indeed make their own history. The outcome of their actions is not mechanically predetermined. Most, if not all, historical crises have several possible outcomes, not innumerable fortuitous or arbitrary ones; that is why we use the expression ‘parametric determinism’ indicating several possibilities within a given set of parameters.
          “Socialism is never seen as ‘inevitable’ by [Karl] Marx. A deep historical crisis of a given society can end either in the victory of the revolutionary class or in a common decline of all social classes (e.g., a relapse into barbarism). That is what happened in antiquity. That is what could happen again today. If not, the conscious struggle for socialism would be largely useless, a waste of time, or only a hazardous effort to ‘speed up’ a process which would unfold anyway.
          “Marxism rejects such a fatalistic view of history, a view to which … the Kautskyan Second International are much nearer. Marxism also has a true perception of the ambivalence of social/political inaction and action. It is likewise not blind regarding the moral implications of inaction, which always imply toleration of the given and seemingly ‘irreversible’ course of events. It pleads the case of resistance, attempts to reverse the seemingly unavoidable, as long as the material/social parameters of that possible resistance are perceived. Neither Hitler nor Stalin was an inevitable product of historical developments. Nor were their victories inevitable. They came as the end result of chains of actions and reactions, in which the absence of action by certain social forces played key roles.”
          [Ernest Mandel, “How To Make No Sense of Marx.” Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Supplementary Volume 15, January 1989. Pages 105-132.]
          “We do not deny that every individual can be considered as a relevant object of study, that his life-process can be dialectically examined and explained. But obviously, what we are practising in such theoretical activity is individual psychology, not sociology. This procedure is all right as long as we are dealing with individuals who play only a marginal role in the historical process. The great contribution of Marx towards understanding history was precisely the point that one cannot explain the historical process as a simple interaction of individual psychologies, as a myriad of intertwining ‘case histories.’ What this understanding demands is a conceptual social mediation: that of the social class. World history is not a history of conflicting individuals (although these individuals are very real and sometimes very important); world history is a history of class struggle. The combination of individual aspirations, needs, strivings and ideas which are relevant for the understanding of history is their combination in social classes. The conflicts which shape history in civilized life are the conflicts between social classes or inside social classes.” [Ernest Mandel, “Trotsky’s Marxism: a rejoinder.” New Left Review. Series I, number 56, July–August 1969. Pages 69-96.]
          “… in reality, [Leon] Trotsky’s struggle had a more immediate purpose. The Soviet working class was passive—but its passivity was not mechanically predetermined for a long period. Any upsurge of the international revolution, any shift in the inner-Soviet relationship of social forces, could have brought about an awakening. The immediate instrument for these shifts could only be the Comintern and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Trotsky fought in order to have the party act as a brake upon the process of bureaucratic degeneration, as [Vladimir] Lenin had called upon him to do.” [Ernest Mandel, “Trotsky’s Marxism: an Anti-Critique.” New Left Review. Series I, number 47, January–February 1968. Pages 32-51.]
        8. theses of resistance (Daniel Bensaïd as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Bensaïd (1946–2010), who was associated with the Fourth International (post–reunification), produced an impressive body of literature on a variety of Marxist themes. In addition to Bensaïs’s theses, he presents an “elaboration of alternatives”—a reference taken from the article by Josep Maria Antentas (MP3 audio file).
          “We have then begun the dangerous transition from one epoch to another and we are in midstream. We must simultaneously transmit and defend our theoretical tradition, even if it is threatened by conformism, while at the same time boldly analysing these new times. At the risk of appearing shocking, I would like to face this test with a spirit I would describe as ‘open dogmatism.’ ‘Dogmatism,’ because, if that word gets a bad press (according to the media’s common sense, it is always better to be open than closed, light than heavy, flexible than rigid), in all matters of theory, resistance to voguish ideas has its virtues. The challenge of versatile impressions and the effects of fashion demands that serious refutations are made before a paradigm is changed). ‘Open,’ because we should not religiously conserve a doctrinaire discourse, but rather enrich and transform a world view by testing it against new realities.
          “I would propose then five theses of resistance; their form deliberately emphasizes the necessary work of refusal.
          1. “Imperialism has not been dissolved in commodity globalization.
          2. “Communism has not been dissolved in the fall of Stalinism.
          3. “The class struggle cannot be reduced to the politics of community identities.
          4. “Conflictual differences are not dissolved in ambivalent diversity.
          5. “Politics cannot be dissolved into ethics or aesthetics.
          “I think these theses are demonstrable propositions.…
          “Between the social and political struggles there are neither Chinese walls nor watertight compartments. Politics arises and is invented inside the social, in the resistance to oppression, the statement of new rights that transform victims into active subjects. Nevertheless, the existence of a state as separate institution, simultaneously false incarnation of the general interest and guarantor of a public space irreducible to private appetite, structures a specific political field, a particular relationship of forces, a language of conflict, where social antagonisms are pronounced in a game of displacements and condensations, oppositions and alliances. Consequently, the class struggle is expressed there in a manner that is mediated under the form of the political struggle between parties.”
          [Daniel Bensaïd, “Theses of resistance.” International Viewpoint – Online Socialist Magazine. Number 362, December 2004. Web. No pagination.]
          “Communism is not a pure idea or a doctrinaire model for society. It is not the name of a state regime or a new mode of production. Rather, it is the name of the movement which continuously goes beyond and does away with the established order. But it is also the goal which, arising from this movement, guides it and enables us to see what brings us closer to this goal and what takes us further away. It is a shield against unprincipled politics, pointless action and day-to-day improvisation. As such, it is not a form of scientific knowledge of ends and means, but rather a regulating strategic hypothesis. Inextricably and simultaneously, it designates the unwavering dream of another world of justice, equality and solidarity; the continuous movement that seeks to overthrow the existing order in the epoch of capitalism; and the hypothesis that orients this movement toward a radical change in the relations of property and power – a far cry from accommodation to a lesser evil that is in fact the shortest path to the worst of all worlds.” [Daniel Bensaïd, “The powers of communism.” Nathan Rao, translator. International Viewpoint – Online Socialist Magazine. Number 420, January 2010. Web. No pagination.]
          “… generally, the bankruptcy of the state policies implemented in [Karl] Marx’s name since the late 1920s supposedly demonstrates the impossibility of combining two distinct research programmes: the critique of political economy and the theory of history; an analysis of social conflict and an understanding of historical evolution. Their hastily proclaimed identity served scientifically to justify the necessity of a socialist alternative, ‘historical Marxism’ drawing its mythical power and eliciting credulity from a link that could not be demonstrated. The fusion of history, science and ethics, however, is characteristic of positivist catechisms and the freemasonry of raison d’état, rather than the subversive thought of Marx himself. In truth, what is dying is the historical cult of modernity, of which the established Marxisms were ultimately only variants.
          “Uncertain, history neither promises nor guarantees anything. Undecided, the struggle is not destined to redress injustice. Science without ethics does not prescribe the good in the name of the true.”
          [Daniel Bensaïd. Marx for Our Times: Adventures and Misadventures of a Critique. Gregory Elliot, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2002. Pages 5-6.]
          “No one chooses their historical moment. You have to be content with the challenges and opportunities that the era offers, and ‘have the modesty to say that the time we live in is not the unique or fundamental or irruptive point in history where everything is completed and begun again.’ When great hopes have lead in their wings, little ones spring up like mushrooms on the ground, in everyday resistance and minuscule conspiracies.
          “How can one tackle a history in which individual and collective are constantly intertwined? I? We? The first person singular misses the plurality of angles, of intersecting points of view and multiple perspectives. It falls into the trap of complacency and self-pity, prey to an illusion of the sovereign subject, in control of his or her life and reason.
          “As for the ‘we,’ caught in the net of a generation, it imposes affinities that are not agreed, which the heart no longer shares. It is increasingly hard for me to recognise myself in that ‘generation’ of old hams who refuse to get off the stage.”
          [Daniel Bensaïd. An Impatient Life: A Memoir. David Fernbach, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Ebook edition.]
          “Number has nothing to do with truth. It never has the force of proof. Majority rule can, by convention, bring debate to an end, but the avenue of appeal always remains open: against today’s majority from today’s minority, from the present to the future, from legality to legitimacy, from law to morality.
          “The radical alternative to the majoritarian principle, the drawing of lots, is no more than a “least-bad” option. It is not surprising that the idea should be bruited about once again, if only in mythical form, as a symptom of the crisis of our current democratic institutions.…
          “The refusal of profane politics, with its impurities, uncertainties, and wobbly conventions, leads ineluctably back to theology and its jumble of graces, miracles, revelations, repentances, and pardons. Illusory flights from the sordidness of politics actually perpetuate impotence. Instead of pretending to wriggle out of the contradiction between unconditional principles and the conditionality of practical living, politics means taking a stand there and working to surmount it without ever suppressing it. Get rid of mediation by political parties and you will have the single party—even the single State—of the “partyless.” There is simply no way out.”
          [Daniel Bensaïd, “Permanent Scandal.” William McCuaig, translator. Democracy in What State?. Amy Allen, general editor. New York: Columbia University Press. 2011. Pages 16-43.]
          “… in [Daniel] Bensaïd’s view resistance has a twofold dimension of conservation of what is threatened and rebellion against an oppressive order.
          “The reactive nature of resistance may imply its subordination to what is being resisted, but in reality it implies an act of intrinsic freedom.…
          “The politics of the oppressed tends to begin as an aspiration for dignity. This entails the act of resistance. Resistance and indignation go hand in hand. Resistance begins with an act of rebellion, of refusing to accept a situation, of not giving in.…
          “It is necessary to shift, in fact, from reactive resistance to affirmation, to the elaboration of alternatives, to answers and proposals. This affirmation already is in itself in the very act of resistance; however, an alternative plan must be politically constructed, with a strategy to bring it to fruition.”
          [Josep Maria Antentas, “Daniel Bensaïd’s Joan of Arc.” Science & Society. Volume 79, number 1, January 2015. Pages 63-89.]
          “It is the mark of a major thinker that his or her work admits of different readings that reflect, among other things, the divergent contexts in which this work is received or pursued. Of few is this truer than of [Karl] Marx. Daniel Bensaïd’s newly translated study illustrates this very well. It was originally published in Paris in 1995, when the intellectual and political prestige of Marxism had probably reached its low point in twentieth-century France.…
          “There is much that even the sympathetic reader could question in an ambitious and wide-ranging work that is often quicker to offer suggestive insights than to develop them systematically. All the same, A Marx for Our Times [sic; Marx for Our Times] is a sign of the vitality of heterodox Marxist thought at a time when the legitimacy of capitalism is once again coming under challenge.”
          [Alex Callinicos, “Marx for Our Times: Adventures and Misadventures of a Critique.” Perspectives on Politics. Volume 1, number 3, September 2003. Pages 580-581.]
      19. Socialist Action (UK): The London–based British Trotskyist group is independent from Socialist Action (U.S.), which was considered above.
        “… [The] racist tide will only be driven back by you and me standing up and confronting it. From Germany to Greece to Ferguson, people who want a society free from racism are saying no more. People are taking to the streets in large numbers to oppose the racist Pegida movement in Germany and the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece, and to protest institutional racism and police violence against Black communities. People are outraged at the Islamophobic and anti-Semitic backlash after the Copenhagen and Paris attacks, and the mass media silence on the Chapel Hill shootings where three Muslim students were brutally shot dead, so many have mobilised under the slogan ‘Muslim Lives Matter.’ Immigrant communities are fed up with being wrongly blamed for an economic crisis they did not create. On UN anti-racism day people across the world will be taking a stand. Will you be there?
        “Last year over 10,000 people from across Britain people took to the streets in London – students and trade unionists, people of all faiths and none, migrants, musicians, teachers, pensioners and parents. And together we showed unity in the face of racism. A huge demonstration this year, just a month before the General Election will send a powerful message to all politicians ….”
        [Editor, “Stand Up to Racism and Fascism.” Socialist Action (UK). London. Undated brochure. Retrieved on March 4th, 2017.]
        “SOCIALIST ACTION: Moderate, much-loved, deep entrist Trotskist group, about 50-strong, once part of the International Marxist Group. SA provides key logistical support for Campaign Group News, the newspaper of [UK] Labour’s hard-left MPs [members of the British Parliament], and for the Anti-Racist Alliance.” [Matt Coward, Steve Platt, Peter May, Paul Anderson, and Sandra Burton, “A-Z of the left; how to lose friends and alienate people: a not-too-serious guide to British socialism.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 7, issue 295, March 1994. Pages 27+.]
      20. pathfinder tendency (C. L. R. James and others): This Castroist (i.e., supporting the late Fidel Castro) Trotskyist tendency is associated with the Socialist Workers Party (U.S.) and Pathfinder Press. They publish The Militant and New International.
        “Should the masses of Negroes raise this slogan [self-determination], the SWP [Socialist Workers Party (U.S.)], in accordance with the Leninist doctrine on the question of self-determination and the imperative circumstances of the particular situation, will welcome this awakening and pledge itself to support the demand to the fullest extent of its power. The boundaries of such a state will be a matter of comradely arrangement between different sections of a revolution victorious over American capitalism and intent only on creating the best possible milieu for the building of the socialist commonwealth. The Fourth International aims at the abolition of the old and not at the creation of new national boundaries, but the historical circumstances and the stages of development of different sections of society will at given moments be decisive in the road to be followed at a particular historic moment. The demand for a Negro state in America, its revolutionary achievement with the enthusiastic encouragement and assistance of the whites, will generate such creative energy in every section of the Negro workers and farmers in America as to constitute a great step forward to the ultimate integration of the American Negroes into the United Socialist States of North America. The SWP is also confident that after a few years of independent existence the victories of the new regime in both states will lead inevitably to a unity, with the Negroes as anxious and willing partners, their justifiable suspicions and doubts weakened by the concrete manifestation of the desire for collaboration by the whites and the contrast between the capitalist and the socialist state. Such a development in America will have immediate and powerful repercussions not only among the millions of African Negroes but also among oppressed nationalities, particularly of color, everywhere, and will be a powerful step toward the dissolution of those national and racial antagonisms with which capitalism, particularly in this period of its desperate crisis, is poisoning and corrupting human society.” [C. L. R. James, “The Right of Self-Determination and the Negro in the United States of North Americas: Written by CLR James, this is from the Socialist Workers Party New York Convention Resolutions, 11 July 1939.” Retrieved on December 27th, 2016.]
        “… the development of capitalism itself has not only given the independent Negro movement this fundamental and sharp relation with the proletariat. It has created Negro proletarians and placed them as proletarians in what were once the most oppressed and exploited masses. But in auto, steel, and coal, for example, these proletarians have now become the vanguard of the workers' struggle and have brought a substantial number of Negroes to a position of primacy in the struggle against capitalism. The backwardness and humiliation of the Negroes that shoved them into these industries is the very thing which today is bringing them forward, and they are in the very vanguard of the proletarian movement from the very nature of the proletarian struggle itself. Now, how does this complicated interrelationship, the Leninist interrelationship express itself? Henry Ford could write a very good thesis on that if he were so inclined.” [C. L. R. James, “Revolutionary answer to the Negro Problem in the USA – CLR James: A speech by CLR James at a Socialist Workers Party (US) conference in 1948.” Retrieved on December 27th, 2016.]
        “Trade unions appeared in this country as the basic organizations through which the workers struggle to defend their interests from day to day. The Socialist Workers Party supports the trade union movement, so as to help the workers resist oppression and strive for improved conditions of life. In doing so we advocate democratic practices through which the unions can be controlled by the rank and file. The party does not seek dictatorial control over those mass organizations, as the government wrongly charges. We strive for leading influence in the trade unions by demonstrating ability to fight for the workers’ interests.” [James P. Cannon, “Capitalism breeds war, unemployment and fascism.” The Militant. Volume 80, number 5, July 2016. Page 8.]
        “By the late 1980s the ASWP [American Socialist Workers Party] and its supporters internationally reconstituted themselves in each country as the Communist League. In 1990 the ASWP formally left the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. The ASWP’s international formation is sometimes referred to as the Pathfinder Tendency, as each member of the Communist League operates a bookstore which sells ASWP’s Pathfinder publications. Since 1948 the ASWP has entered every presidential election, receiving its highest number of votes in 1976 (91,314). The party membership has declined to several hundred in recent years, and in 2003 it sold its New York headquarters.” [David Walker and Daniel Gray. Historical Dictionary of Marxism. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2007. Page 13.]
        “The Militant is an international Socialist newsweekly connected to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Pathhnder Tendency. It is published in the United States and distributed in other countries such as Canada the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Sweden, Iceland, and New Zealand.” [cram101. Introduction to Comparative Politics. Brief edition. Moorpark, California: Content Technologies, Inc. 2013. Page 354.]
        “[C. L. R.] James and [Leon] Trotsky convinced the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) to take advantage of opportunities to intervene in the political struggle of Black American workers. James designed a program of internal education whereby the party members could familiarize themselves with the history and culture of Black Americans. The Second World War and the split within the SWP in 1940 prevented the implementation of this project. However, in a nationwide speaking tour, James did not cease to advocate for the support of independent organization among Black Americans.” [Demetrius L. Eudell, “A New Kind of Freedom: Some Notes on the Transformative Thought of C. L. R. James.” Research in African Literatures. Volume 29, number 4, winter 1998. Pages 156-173.]
      21. Revolutionary Communist International Tendency: Members of this Austrian–based Trotskyist organization refer to themselves as Bolshevik–Communists.
        “The task of the dictatorship of the proletariat is to advance the revolution. In fact, the revolution can survive and win only if it has a permanent character. Otherwise it risks a fate like the bureaucratisation and finally the collapse in the USSR. The Bolshevik-Communists, therefore, advocate the strategy of permanent revolution. This means that the revolution must constantly strive for international expansion with the aim of establishing a world socialist society. Our slogan therefore is not the construction of socialism in one country, but the spread of the revolution from one to different countries towards federations of socialist states and ultimately the formation of the United Socialist States of the World. Simultaneously the permanent revolution also tries to advance the economic, social and cultural transformation. Such a socialist society in which decisions are democratically taken in councils from the bottom up, through delegates recallable at any time, will plan the entire social and economic resources to meet the needs of people and not of profit of a few.” [Michael Pröbsting and Shujat Liaqat. The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto. Vienna, Austria: Revolutionary Communist International Tendency. February, 2012. Page 67.]
        “It is because of the inherently contradictory dynamic of increased concentration of capital accumulation and the decreased rate of profit from capitalist production that, in lieu of non-existing major productive channels for investment, the bourgeoisie has for decades been forced to defend and augment its accumulated capital and future profits by two main means: (1) the increased financialization of the world economy (creating one investment bubble – ‘wealth on paper’ – after another) and (2) relentlessly attacking the working class with one austerity package after another. Naturally the two are inextricably linked, as we witness whenever the latest financial bubble bursts. This was in particular obvious when in 2008 the potential collapse of the great Western banks was only averted by the unprecedented criminal transfer of workers’ taxes by the bourgeois governments to the financial wizards of Wall Street. When the treasuries of the capitalist states are looted to save the criminal bankers, the working class faces huge cuts in government spending on health, education, housing, and social welfare.” [1st Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency. The Tasks of the Liberation Struggle against Decaying Capitalism: Manifesto for the Socialist Revolution of the Workers and Oppressed. Vienna, Austria: Revolutionary Communist International Tendency. October, 2016. Page 7.]
      22. The International Marxist Tendency: It is a Trotskyist group started by Ted Grant. Socialist Appeal is the American branch.
        “It is not enough to contemplate the problems of the world. It is necessary to change it. First, however, it is necessary to understand the reason why things are as they are. Only the body of ideas worked out by [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, and subsequently developed by Lenin and Trotsky can provide us with the adequate means of achieving this understanding. We believe that the most conscious members of the scientific community, through their own work and experience, will come to realize the need for a consistently materialist world outlook. That is offered by dialectical materialism. The recent advances of the theories of chaos and complexity show that an increasing number of scientists are moving in the direction of dialectical thinking. This is an enormously significant development. There is no doubt that new discoveries will deepen and strengthen this trend. We are firmly convinced that dialectical materialism is the philosophy of the future.” [Ted Grant and Alan Woods. Reason in Revolt, Vol. I: Dialectical Philosophy and Modern Science. New York: Algora Publishing. 2002. Page 25.]
        “Our aims are modest. We stand for a new society – a socialist society – where all our resources, the factories, land and technology, are used for the needs of the majority and not the profits for a handful of billionaire parasites.” [“What We are Fighting for.” Socialist Appeal – The International Marxist Tendency. January 8th, 2008. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      23. Solidarity – Scotland’s Socialist Movement: It is a Trotskyist organization in Scotland.
      24. International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand: It is a Trotskyist group in New Zealand.
      25. Freedom Socialist Party: This Trotskyist party focuses on, among other subjects, socialist feminism or “the Trotskyist feminist program.”
        “Socialist feminism is the recognition that the oppression of women, the ‘original sin’ of the system of private property and private profit, is a revolutionary question, the oldest and most profound of all subjugations. Just as women’s inequality was a necessary precondition for capitalism’s rise, it remains a condition of capitalism’s survival. Women’s basic democratic rights, like the rights of people of color in the U.S., cannot be won short of the destruction of capitalism: this is a feature of the permanent revolution. And it is the reason why women are the target of every series of cutbacks by the employers, every reactionary crusade by the right wing, and every assault on rights by the state.
        “Especially in its exhaustion and decline, capitalism depends for its profits on the super-exploitation of women workers, workers of color, indigenous peoples, immigrants, and workers in the post-colonial and less developed countries. This super-exploitation is propped up by sexist and racist ideology, which divides and disorients the working class, unions, and social movements, and which becomes virulent and deadly in times of economic and social crisis. The class is further divided by heterosexism, a patriarchal offshoot of the subjugation of women.”
        [Andrea Bauer, “Socialist Feminism and the Revolutionary Party: A radiant program for new generations.” Freedom Socialist. Supplement 1, February–March 2011. Pages 5-12.]
        “As the impulse toward revolution gathers steam, [Leon] Trotsky’s ideas are finding a new audience, creating a precious opening to explain the value of the Trotskyist feminist program of the Freedom Socialist Party. It is a powerful moment in the Party’s 40-year history: a chance to spread the rich trove of Trotskyist ideas, to break out of the isolation forced on the Party within world Trotskyism by the male chauvinism and blinkered politics of much of the movement, and to forge ties with other socialists in our hemisphere. It is an opportunity to learn from these revolutionaries and to share the knowledge we have acquired about building an interracial party where women’s leadership is respected and appreciated, in an atmosphere of comradeship between men and women.” [Guerry Hoddersen. One Hemisphere Indivisible. Seattle, Washington: Red Letter Press. 2006. Page 23.]
      26. Revolutionary Socialist Organization (RSO): This organization supports the transformation of large corporations into coöperatives.
        “The Revolutionary Socialist Organization (RSO) is fighting against capitalism and for a new socialist economic and social order.…
        “We are for the socialization of large corporations and their transformation into co-operatives under democratic workers’ management and control. Capitalism can not be eliminated by a few votes or parliamentary reform. All attempts to overcome capitalism through reforms have failed (and have often led to bloody defeats). Only a fundamental upheaval, a revolution based on the active participation of large segments of the population can destroy the state of the ruling class, eliminate the bases of inequality, oppression and exploitation and create a free society.
        “We are Marxists and follow in the tradition of the “left opposition” against Stalinism by Leon Trotsky. Our alternative is socialism. Our socialism is a free, democratic society built on elected councils. We refer positively to the Russian October Revolution of 1917. This revolution has indeed failed in the Stalinist degeneration in the twenties, but the idea of an alternative to capitalism retains its validity. Our socialism has thus nothing to do with the “social” democratic parties, or with the Stalinist dictatorships in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Cuba and China. Capitalism is internationally organized and networked. Therefore, our revolutionary alternative has to be international and internationalist.”
        [Editor, “Who we are.” Revolutionary Socialist Organization (RSO). January 23rd, 2012. Retrieved on December 23rd, 2016.]
      27. International Communist Union: This Trotskyist tendency is headquartered in France.
        “The Internationalist Communist Union is a current which bases itself on the heritage left successively, by [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky, through the ideas they fought for. The ICU [Internationalist Communist Union] considers that the capitalist organisation of human society belongs to its past, not to its future. Its considers that the capitalist society – which is based on private property, the market, competition and profit – will have to be replaced, on a worldwide scale, with a society based on the collective ownership of natural resources and means of production and on a democratically planned economy, capable of providing to each and everyone an equal access to all material and cultural resources and assets.
        “The ICU bases itself on the heritage of the 1917 Russian revolution, which it considers as the first and, so far, the only case of a revolution in which the proletariat took over state power for a significant length of time, in an attempt to implement a collectivist transformation of society, before being deprived of political power by the dictatorship of a usurping bureaucracy.”
        [Editor, “About the ICU.” International Communist Union. Undated. Retrieved on December 12th, 2016.]
      28. Trotskyist Platform: This Trotskyist tendency has its headquarters in Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia.
        “Trotskyist Platform stands against the capitalist system. We struggle towards a socialist society where exploitation of labour, racism, oppression of women and colonial subjugation of ‘Third World’ countries will become things of the past.
        “The force for social liberation is the working class allied with the other oppressed sectors of society. But for this force to be applied, workers have to unite to act collectively. The working class must be organised to fight for their common international interests … rather than being sucked into the divisive nationalist agenda of supporting only Australian workers and Australian industry.
        “To open the road to socialism, the toiling masses must depose the exploiting class and grab political power for themselves. They will have to establish a workers state to facilitate and defend the transition from the old society to the new. Then as victories over capitalist rule spread internationally and more and more people embrace a socialist economic system based on collective ownership of industry and infrastructure, the need for any state withers away.
        “A workers state cannot be created by simply modifying the existing capitalist state. The capitalist state – which has at its core the police, military, prisons, courts and secret police – has been built up precisely to maintain the rule of the exploiting classes. Therefore, it cannot be an instrument for progressive social change regardless of which party is in government. This state will have to be swept away by the toilers.…
        “TP stands in the tradition of the early years of the Communist International (CI) that was formed in the wake of the October 1917 socialist revolution in Russia. The CI would soon unite together revolutionaries from China to Russia, from France to the U.S. We look forward to the future regrouping of sincere worker militants and leftist youth into a party based on the principles that the Communist International was founded on. We look forward to a future world where there will not only be no subjugation but where every person will be able to, depending on their own interests, reach their full creative, cultural, scientific and artistic potential.”
        [Editor, “About.” Trotskyist Platform. 2016. Retrieved on April 22nd, 2017.]
      29. Trotskyist Fraction Fourth International: This tendency is attempting to rebuild Trotskyism.
        “Communism is not a state that can be imposed coercively by a bureaucracy. In fact, contrary to what all the different variants of Stalinism attempted to pass off as the truth, it is not designed to work with any form of state or with the existence of any social classes. The construction of communism can only be the outcome of conscious work. The development of the broadest working class democracy based on forms of self-organisation like the Soviets is the only means to advance towards communism and the absence of any form of state. The great revolutions that have triumphed in the 20ᵗʰ century, beginning with the Russian revolution of 1917, have taken place in underdeveloped, colonial or semi-colonial countries. However, these revolutions could only have meant the first step of the world revolution. Communism cannot emerge within the boundaries of underdeveloped countries since communism does not mean a more equal distribution of scarce resources. The shortage of goods only reignites the struggle for survival, and with it all the evils of the old society. The bureaucracy that established itself over the working class in those deformed and degenerated workers’ states ultimately faced the contradiction of having to struggle for its survival in the face of their underdevelopment and isolation. The 20ᵗʰ century has demonstrated how impossible the Stalinist utopia of ‘socialism in one country’ really is. If even under the control of a parasitic bureaucracy, the social basis of the Soviet State – nationalised property and a planned economy instead of the anarchic capitalist mode of production – enabled the Soviet Union to go from being an immature capitalist state with semi-feudal traits to the world’s second most powerful nation, imagine how much greater the possibilities of building communism would be if all the technical apparatuses and the enormous wealth of countries like the United States, Germany, or Japan were to fall into the hands of the working class.” [Editor, “Manifesto for a Movement for a Revolutionary Socialist International—The Fourth International.” Trotskyist Fraction Fourth International. August, 2013. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Retrieved on December 12th, 2016.]
      30. Workers International to Rebuild the 4ᵗʰ International: This Trotskyist tendency is headquartered in the United Kingdom.
        “Racism, Tribalism or Ethnicity – which all boil down to the same thing whatever you call them – are parasitic both in practice and outlook. Of course such an outlook leaves no room to recognise class.
        “Ethnic parasitism proceeds in the context of a world system of capitalist parasitism and it therefore tends to break up nations in the most savage manner rather than welding them together, as we can see in the case of Yugoslavia, Burundi and Rwanda, Nigeria (Biafra) and Namibia. Recent world events prove that ethnicity cannot keep multi-national nations together.
        “However, if one approaches the tribal State from the fact that Namibian society consist of classes, the picture changes drastically. You find that 98% of our society consist of the poor peasantry, the working class and the lower middle classes. These classes are the victims of the tribal regime. On top of the fact that they are already exploited to the bone by what was the colonial ruling classes and the multinationals, they now face total depletion of their lifesavings at the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), Social Security Commission (SSC), etc.”
        [Hewat Beukes, “Can ethnicity, racism and discrimination keep Namibia together?” Workers International Journal: Political and theoretical journal of Workers International (to Rebuild the 4ᵗʰ International). Number 17, September 2016. Page 8.]
      31. revolutionary integrationism (Richard S. “Dick” Fraser, James Baldwin, and others): According to this perspective—accepted by Trotskyists from various tendencies and others—the emancipation of African Americans can only occur in the context of a broader socialist revolution, not through civil rights struggles, reforms, or Black nationalism.
        “I believe that I have already demonstrated how completely integrated the Jim Crow system is with American capitalist production and its political superstructure. Nevertheless even after agreeing with many or even most or all of these facts there are still some who cling tenaciously to the false idea that in some way or another there is room for considerable progress towards the solution of the problem of racial discrimination within the framework of the capitalist parties.…
        “A hundred years ago Karl Marx, in urging the American workers to support the struggle of the slaves for emancipation and to support the northern cause in the Civil War, proclaimed the following truth: ‘Labor cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in the black it is branded.’ This is just as true today in the modem context of racial discrimination as it was during the struggle against slavery.…
        “… capitalism, even in the southern United States, has created the conditions necessary for its own destruction. It has disrupted the old agrarian pattern, undermined the privileged white middle class, thus weakening the whole fabric of social repression. It has created great industries, proletarianizing white, urbanizing black. This process has centralized the Negro community in positions of great strategic advantage in large city communities, whereas before they were dispersed over the countryside. Capitalism has likewise created the conditions for the overthrow of race prejudice by working class solidarity.
        “It falls upon the shoulders of the proletarian revolution, in which the American workers will join together with the Negro people in the abolition of capitalism, to uproot the Jim Crow system. It is our task to build the party to lead that revolution: the Socialist Workers Party.”
        [Dick Fraser, “The Negro Struggle and the Proletarian Revolution: Two lectures by Dick Fraser—November 1953.” SWP Discussion Bulletin. Number A-19, August 1954. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Black workers were demanding a piece of the war industry employment, defending themselves militantly against police and racist attacks in the northern cities and around southern army bases, and resisting persecution and discrimination in the Army and Navy. Almost alone among the socialist parties, the SWP [Socialist Workers Party] militantly defended them. Consequently the SWP newspaper, the Militant, became a popular paper in the ghetto, and soon black workers and some professionals began to stream into the party. We never had it so good.
        “The party faced two basic contradictions as it attempted to cope with this development. The first was in Theory and Program. The party leadership had been indoctrinated in the 1939 resolution, which was arrogantly nationalistic, calling for self-determination and separation, and characterizing the struggle for equality as reformist, and implicitly anti-revolutionary. But the blacks coming into the party were militant integrationists and had enough of separation, and rightly considered the demand for self-determination to be a justification for segregation.”
        [Richard S. Fraser, “A Letter to American Trotskyists: Too Little, Too Late: (Memorandum on the Problems of Building a Revolutionary Party).” In Memoriam: Richard S. Fraser—An Appreciation and Selection of His Work. Anonymous editor. New York: Prometheus Research Library imprint of Spartacist Publishing Co. August, 1990. Pages 83-92.]
        “Whether I like it or not the issue of integration is a false one, because we have been integrated here since as long as we’ve been here …. The history which has produced us in this country is something that, in any case we are going to have deal with one of these days …. This country has lied about the Negro situation for 100 years. Now … the lies are no longer viable…. No one in this country knows any longer.… what he means by freedom … [or] equality. We live in the most abysmal ignorance…. You cannot live for 30 years with something in the closet which you know is there, but which you pretend is not there without something terrible happening.… Silence has descended upon this country.” [James Baldwin in Spencer A. Leonard, “Black nationalism and the legacy of Malcolm X: An interview with Michael Dawson.” The Platypus Review. Issue 41, November 2011. Pages 1-7.]
        “Until the substantial entry of blacks into industry in World War I, anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic bigotry was the capitalists’ chief weapon in dividing and holding back the working class and impeding the development of a strong, politically conscious workers movement. Since that time, anti-black racism has been the most prominent factor in the lack of even a reformist mass political party of the working class organized separately from the capitalist parties, such as exists in all other advanced capitalist countries (and many not-so-advanced countries with a substantial working class). In the U.S., workers remain chained to the ‘liberal’ capitalist Democratic Party. Anti-black racism is at the root of the backwardness of the working class and, in general, of the reactionary features of U.S. society. It is on this basis that the centrality of the black question to the American workers revolution must be understood.” [Editor, “Revolutionary Integrationism: The Road to Black Freedom—Black History and the Class Struggle, Part One.” Workers Vanguard. Number 864, February 17th, 2006. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “As we have emphasized, a key aspect of revolutionary integrationism is that black workers, with their generally higher level of political consciousness, can and must lead the mass of white workers, mainly through the organizations of the labor movement.…
        “… The reformist left obscures the Marxist understanding of bourgeois ‘democracy’ as simply a facade that covers the reality of the capitalist state as an instrument of organized force and violence—consisting at its core of the police, army, courts and prisons—for maintaining capitalist property and profits. It is the task of proletarian revolution to smash the bourgeois state and establish a workers state, laying the basis for the abolition of classes in an international communist world.”
        [Editor, “Revolutionary Integrationism: The Road to Black Freedom—Black History and the Class Struggle, Part Two.” Workers Vanguard. Number 865. March 3rd, 2006. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Of key importance in the U.S. is the perspective of revolutionary integrationism—for black liberation through socialist revolution—put forward by Richard Fraser and further developed by the Spartacist tendency. This methodology is also crucial in Brazil. The Spartacist tendency uniquely fought for proletarian opposition against all forms of class-collaborationist popular fronts. This brought it into sharp conflict with the centrists who ‘peddle their wares in the shadow of the Popular Front’ (as [Leon] Trotsky put it in the [19]’30s), from Sri Lanka to Chile, France and Portugal in the [19]’70s, as well as in the Vietnam ‘anti-war’ movement in the U.S., and in El Salvador and Mexico in the [19]’80s and [19]’90s.” [Editor, “Declaration of the League for the Fourth International: Reforge the Fourth International!” The Internationalist. Number 5, April–May 1998. Online publication. No pagination.]
      32. Communist Cadre (Sam Marcy): The current status of this Trotskyist grouping is unknown.
        “Communist Cadre is a Trotskyist organization. We believe that we are the only Trotskyist organization in the US, a fact which does not give us as much cause for pride as cause for concern over the retarded development of the vanguard. We seek to build a real Trotskyist working class party of mass proportions in the US. We seek to build a new communist International on a real Trotskyist basis. Since the Socialist Workers Party long ago passed over to reformism, and the Workers’ League dwindled into obscurity and sectarian isolation, the SL [Spartacist League] is the ‘hegemonic’ contender to the name of Trotskyism in the US today among the various brands of revisionist Trotskyism. The SL is the major organizational and political obstacle within the left to the task of building the Trotskyist vanguard. And we seek to eliminate this obstacle through polemic and political struggle. Hence this pamphlet.” [Communist Cadre, “Introduction” James Robertson. What the Spartacist League Really Stands For: a self-exposure by James Robertson (the speech the SL wouldn’t print)—with an Introduction by Communist Cadre. Communist Cadre, editor. New York: Workers and Oppressed Unite. Circa 1977. Pages 1-2.]
        “The immediate significance of the Korean ‘war’ lies not merely in the fact that it unleashed a momentous upheaval of the colonial masses on a new front of the ever-widening and deepening Asiatic Revolution, but marked a qualitative change in the character of the -whole international situation. It has definitely and irretrievably ushered in the first though brief phase of the Third World War. Even if the Korean War should be followed by a more or less protracted interlude of ‘truce,’ it would only prove that a further preparatory period was necessary for the next and absolutely inevitable phase of the developing general conflict. But the die has already been ‘cast.’ It was prepared, not merely by the Korean war, but by the entire preceding course of historical development, and flows logically and inexorably from the unbearable antagonisms between the growth of the productive forces and their rebellion against the forms of capitalist property as well as the fetters of the outmoded national state.…
        “… The law of uneven development and its supplementary expression, the law of combined development, have brought it about that Europe, the cradle of that socioeconomic formation known as capitalism, proved too narrow and cramped either to serve as the basis for capitalism’s fullest expansion in its youth or even as a cemetery where the proletariat can at long last perform the final rites for its stubborn and tenacious old foe. In this respect, capitalism shows a striking similarity to at least one other preceding universal social formation. We refer of course to the classical civilizations of antiquity. They too attained their fullest flowing, not in their cradles, the fertile valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates or the Nile, but on the broader expanse of the Mediterranean.”
        [Sam Marcy, “Memorandum on the Unfolding War and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the New Phase of the World (Permanent) Revolution.” Editor. Global Class War. Communist Cadre, editor. New York: Workers and Oppressed Unite. 1979. Pages 33-44.]
      33. independent Trotskyism (Lenni Brenner): Brenner (born in 1937), originally Lenni Glaser, used this term to describe his unaffiliated status as a Trotskyist.
        “Her [Lucy S. Dawidowicz’s] main targets are Samuel Merlin and Peter Bergson whom, she says, we leftists have ‘welcomed.’ While I respect them as individuals, ideologically they have nothing in common with my independent Trotskyism. She links us to try to discredit us all via ‘guilt by association.’” [Lenni Brenner, “American Jews and the Holocaust.” Letter to the editor. Commentary. September 1st, 1983.]
        “Bolsheviks and Mensheviks fully agreed in their diagnosis of Bundism. Georgi Plekhanov, Vladimir Lenin and the other Russians were fully supported by the most outstanding of the socialist Jews, most notably Julius Martov, a former founder of the Bund, and Lev Davidovich Trotsky, both leaders of the younger Mensheviks. They had not the slightest tolerance of Zionism which they saw as obviously petty bourgeois in its appeal. They rarely directly encountered it. Only Trotsky attended a World Zionist Congress, once, in Basel in 1903, when he happened to be in the city. Zionism had little appeal to Jewish workers beyond the narrowest of ‘Jewish’ trades, i.e. kosher butchers and the like. But the Bund was a bone in their throats, along with all the other socialist groupings which attempted to combine Marxism and nationalism. It compelled them, most notably Lenin, to scientifically define Marxism, nation, and nationalism.” [Lenni Brenner. The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir. London: Zed Books. 1984. Kindle edition.]
        “Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King and many other Blacks opposed the Vietnam War. This radicalism developed further as Malcolm X spoke at Trotskyist forums and Ethel Minor recruited Stokely Carmichael, the Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to the Palestinian cause.…
        “In 1938, Trinidad-born C.L.R. James, author of The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, came to the U.S. and joined the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP). In 1939, under his influence, the SWP declared that, if America’s Blacks wanted their own state in the south, they would support the demand. The SWP was very small, but James’s book made him well known to Black intellectuals, worldwide.…
        “… In 1946-48, Daniel Guérin, a French Trotskyist, visited the southern U.S.”
        [Lenni Brenner and Matthew Quest. Black Liberation and Palestine Solidarity. Atlanta, Georgia: On Our Own Authority! Publishing. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      34. Cuban Trotskyism (Celia Hart as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Hart (1963–2008), in her short life, was both a Cuban Trotskyist and a supporter of Fidel Castro. See her Internet archive.
        “‘It would be naïve to think that [Joseph] Stalin, unknown by the masses, suddenly rose up from the background armed with a strategic plan all prepared. No … Before he had set out on his road, bureaucracy had predicted him …,’ [Leon] Trotsky said (‘The revolution betrayed’). In my opinion he has always given the best diagnosis of the disease. That is Stalin: he was the repository of that natural stress that a socialist revolution assumes. Even more so if it is a socialist revolution, isolated, persecuted by a fierce imperialism. The invisible siege of Stalinism is much more dangerous then.” [Celia Hart. A Butterfly Against Stalin: 25ᵗʰ Anniversary of the Death of Celia Sanchez Mandule. Joseph Mutti, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2005.]
        “For fifteen years now the definitive collapse of Cuban society has been announced at regular intervals. Fidel Castro himself has stressed the development of inequality in Cuba. Can we preserve and develop these conquests or are they condemned to disappear?
        “I identify totally with the Cuban revolution but I don’t represent it. What I say is my personal opinion. The social conquests of the socialist revolution in Cuba are obvious: great social equality, a system of education which is accessible to everyone and on a level comparable to the United States or Europe – in other words to much richer countries – a health system superior to any other country in Latin America and which, contrary to what is happening in Europe, is not being privatised or dismantled.”
        [Celia Hart. Fidel and Trotsky. International Viewpoint, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2006.]
        “Once again are we hearing long-lost terms like ‘socialist revolution’ or ‘caricature of revolution,’ etc. When my first writings were published, many people asked me in surprise what socialism I was talking about, or what I meant by all that about the permanent revolution, [Leon] Trotsky, and so on.…
        “Paradoxical though it may seem, when I started reading Trotsky’s writings I found them somehow familiar and well-known, along the same lines of Che Guevara’s works.
        “Unfortunately, Che Guevara has been through the same adversity that so many other revolutionaries who were hogged by the Stalinist parties and whose ideas and thoughts were distorted, which fueled prejudice in other revolutionary and socialist schools, including Trotsky’s. Almost all of those Stalinist parties have converted to reformism, except for the wonderful comrades of the Communist parties with whom we have so close contacts and bonds. In fact, I come from the Cuban Communist Party myself, and I take the opportunity to tell you that we are at a juncture where we can quite easily work with all parties of Marxist leanings.”
        [Celia Hart. How can you not be a Trotskyist in the Cuban Revolution! David Rey, interviewer. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2007.]
        “The people of the US have been robbed of the possibility of deciding their own interests. They have been made sick. In my opinion, the first wound to heal should be the wounded soul of the people of the USA. I think we have been selfish. Our children die of hunger, fall beneath bombs, but US babies are abducted at birth—and not by extraterrestrials. Or, perhaps, yes. These terrible leaders should be expunged from the Earth as they neither respect nor feel bound by the most basic elements of life. Their children grow up without understanding the responsibility of being a citizen of the country that runs the world. People in the US die without any concern other than they were unable to change their car from the previous year’s model.” [Celia Hart. November 2: Diagnosis Confirmed. Simon Wollers, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2004.]
        “[Leon] Trotsky takes the prize in the ‘Guinness Book of Records’ as the most defamed revolutionary in history. As far as that personage is concerned, many, even communists, inadvertently go along with the enemy.
        “Trotsky has been accused of absolutely everything: being a fascist, an imperialist, an assassin, a sectarian, and putting the brakes on the revolution. The charitable ones maintain that Trotsky’s ideas are unnecessary, because they are obsolete.…
        “… More than anyone else, Trotsky analyzed the means by which a revolution and a Communist Party in power can be liquidated.”
        [Celia Hart. Socialism—The Only “Better World.” W. T. Whitney, Jr. translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2004.]
        “… we need [Vladimir] Lenin, but he will not come to us if we don’t listen to what [Leon] Trotsky had to say. Both defended the same principle; only Trotsky survived Lenin and knew how to interpret his own life and at the cost of his life. He understood the powers that wanted to destroy socialism. He challenged any thinker who sincerely wanted to interpret history to refer to Trotsky’s experiences even to attack them. Those who do not, those who ignore them, are not true Leninists.
        “They say that without Lenin there is no useful Karl Marx. I would say, on the other hand, that were it not for Trotsky there would be no Lenin. All Marxist thinkers, above all true revolutionary Marxists must understand that Karl Marx did not have a crystal ball to read the future. He only gave revolutionary ideas a direction, a philosophy and, for the first time in history, we would conscientiously pave the way towards our own well being … globalized.…
        “Sixty-five years ago Leon Trotsky was assassinated in the most grotesque manner. 65 years later we are still splattered by that blood. That assassination should have been enough to wipe out the right of the Kremlin to monopolize and stamp socialist thought; but it continues to do so and now it has become a salt statue.”
        [Celia Hart. Welcome … Trotsky. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2005.]
        “The Cuban Revolution was the only bridge that remained standing when Socialism collapsed. We smashed Fukuyama to pieces and kept on making history. We defended worldwide revolution when the most radical followers of every Marxist movement had given it up for dead. I really doubt it whether all that had been possible without Fidel [Castro], and let them accuse me of practicing a personality cult! It won’t keep me awake at night.
        “Fidel is one of those men of exclusive lineage who doesn’t need to be quits with God to glimpse the paradise that we 20ᵗʰ century-revolutionaries we’ll have to be ready to lose.”
        [Celia Hart. Fidel from my balcony. CubaNews, translator. Walter Lippmann, editor. Capital Federal, Argentina: 2007. Ebook edition.]
        “Celia Hart’s article in 2007, entitled ‘Fidel from my balcony,’ written at a time when speculation was rife about Fidel’s [Fidel Castro’s] health, defines the international importance of Fidel which has moved beyond derogatory symbolism through his constant anti-imperialist struggle. ‘Although Che Guevara is the world’s symbol of youth rebelliousness, his friend and comrade Fidel stands for the topmost expression of the Third World’s anti-imperialist and socialist struggle.’ Che’s image has been intentionally exploited and tarnished within the capitalist realm in a manner which not only seeks to create adulation, but also to fragment the unity of the Cuban Revolution and isolate Cuba’s achievements following the CIA’s murder of Che to disassociate Fidel’s relevance from the revolutionary process. Hart’s writing dispels the illusions conjured by comparisons, in particular the repetitive deprecation depicting Fidel as having lived in Che’s shadow. Imperialism has sustained itself through violence and illusions, building upon innovations within historical process to justify forged narratives claiming authenticity. Fidel’s intellectual capacity as leader has never been in conflict with the historical framework of Cuba’s revolutionary consciousness; it builds upon Martí’s legacy and moves beyond due to the tenacity towards the anti-imperialist struggle – a fact also attested by Che himself.” [Ramona Wadi, “Combating the Misrepresentation of Fidel Castro in Imperialist Narratives of the Cuban Revolution.” American Herald Tribune. Newspaper. November 26th, 2016.]
        “[In Cuba, Joseph] Stalin and Stalinism are attacked for their brutality and for stifling critical thought, while [Leon] Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, [Antonio] Gramsci and other Western Marxists are no longer dismissed as heretics.
        “In many respects, the current rethinking of Marxism and ‘real socialism’ takes up from where Che Guevera left off in his early critique of Soviet economy and politics. In fact, this same publisher came out with the first publication of Che’s critical notes of the Soviet economic model, in which he predicted its demise if the government did not change its bureaucratic, undemocratic and ineffective production and political methods.
        “Celia Hart, the physicist daughter of two of Cuba’s top leaders: Haydeé Santamaria—one of the first two women guerrillas in the July 26 movement, who committed suicide in 1980—and Armando Hart—political bureau member and former minister of education and culture—is a prolific writer, who views Trotsky as having played a positive role in the revolutionary process.
        “Hart sees threads from Trotsky through much of the thinking of Che and Fidel. She asserts that Cuba is living up to Trotsky’s concept of permanent revolution.”
        [Ron Ridenour. Cuba: Beyond the Crossroads. London: Socialist Resistance. 2007. Page 70.]
        “In essence, Cuba is in the position of being forced to ‘reinvent’ socialism; as does so, what theories will it use as a guide for development? If traditional theories of development are of little value, then what about revolutionary theories which have been partially applied primarily in the Soviet Union? What possible relevance could the theories advanced by Leon Trotsky during the 1905 revolutionary surge in Russia have for the Cuban people of the 1990s? The purpose of this work is to briefly examine the Cuban experience and its relationship to revolutionary theory, particularly Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution. First there will presented a brief overview of Trotsky’s revolutionary theory, followed by an historical look at the Cuban revolution and the relevance of specific details of Trotskyist theory; last, there will be consideration of contemporary Cuban reality, the dangers currently facing this island nation, and possibilities for change in the future.” [John A. Kovach, “Reinventing Socialism in Cuba: The Relevance of Trotskyist Revolutionary Theory.” Caribbean Quarterly. Volume 42, number 1, March 1996. Pages 30-40.]
      35. Trotskyist intellectuals (Alan Wald): Ward, in an article about James T. Farrell, refers to a variety of fiction and non–fiction writers who were influenced, at least to some extent, by Leon Trotsky.
        “[James T.] Farrell was one of a number of American writers and intellectuals who were influenced in various ways by Leon Trotsky during the 1930s and 1940s. These figures constituted a heterogeneous yet distinct group which can be called ‘the Trotskyist intellectuals.’ Included were a number of talented literary critics, journalists, poets, philosophers, historians, and novelists.
        “Many from this group rose to prominence in their field, giving the Trotskyist experience (however limited and transient it may have been in some individual cases) a discernible impact on American culture. Among the novelists and poets who held membership in Trotskyist parties and youth groups are Saul Bellow, Isaac Rosenfeld, Harvey Swados, Bernard Wolfe, John Wheelwright, Harry Roskolenko, and Sherry Mangan. Journalists, critics, and other writers who also joined are Irving Howe, Dwight Macdonald, James Burnham, Leslie Fiedler, Herbert Solow, George Novack, Felix Morrow, Harold Isaacs, and John McDonald.
        “Far more numerous were those more lightly touched by Trotsky’s person or ideas: Max Eastman, Sidney Hook, Edmund Wilson, Lionel Trilling, Diana Trilling, Norman Mailer, Mary McCarthy, Philip Rahv, William Phillips, F. W. Dupee, V. F. Calverton, John Dos Passos, Charles Rumford Walker, Lionel Abel, Louis Hacker, Harold Rosenberg, Elliot Cohen, Arthur Mizener, Meyer Schapiro, and Benjamin Stolberg among others. Most of these had little interest in organized political groups of a Trotskyist stamp, and their allegiance to Trotsky’s views was highly qualified.”
        [Alan Wald, “Farrell and Trotskyism.” Twentieth Century Literature. Volume 22, number 1, February 1976. Pages 90-104.]
        “I met Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1937. He seemed different from what might have been expected. He gave the impression of extraordinary simplicity. Alice Ruhl – wife of Otto Ruhl, one time left wing Socialist member of the German Reichstag and biographer of Karl Marx – said of Trotsky that he had changed from his younger days: he had, she said, become more simple, more like Lenin. Many who knew him earlier said that he was cold. He did not seem so in Mexico. He was easy to talk to and one felt less distance between him and oneself than is sometimes the case when one meets a man prominent in political life. But this comparison is perhaps not a good one. Trotsky was then a defeated leader, and a man in exile. He was seeking to rebuild a political movement and was engaged in the most dramatic fight of his life. Accused of betraying the revolution he helped to lead and the society he did so much in helping to found, he was defending his revolutionary honor. He lived behind guarded walls, and followers and secretaries of his carried guns inside his home. He was preparing to answer the charges [Joseph] Stalin launched against him in the Moscow trials.” [James T. Farrell, “A Memoir on Leon Trotsky.” University of Kansas City Review. Volume 23, summer 1957. Pages 293-298.]
        “For Leon Trotsky, I felt both admiration and affection. I was not a follower of his in the strict and literal meaning of this term. But I was influenced by him. The Old Man educated some of the members of my generation: 1 was one of those whom he educated. Were it not for his writings, I would be a different person than I am, and I would think differently than I do. The loss of Leon Trotsky at this particular moment is tragic. In this black and bitter period of reaction. Trotsky was needed, and needed not merely as a symbol, but even more so as a leader. Now, those points on which one disagreed with him fade in importance. One sees now his greatness, the inspiration which was gained from his very life, from his indomitable fight, and from his brilliant writings. Leon Trotsky was a great revolutionist, a great writer, a great man, a great spirit. Edmund Wilson, the literary critic, once remarked that since his exile from Soviet Russia, Leon Trotsky had served as ‘the Marxist conscience of the world.’ The pickaxe blow of Stalin’s hired assassin struck down ‘the Marxist conscience of the world.’ With grief, I say farewell to the Old Man. He is dead in the flesh. The spirit that animated his work will not die.” [James T. Farrell, “Tribute to Comrade Trotsky.” Labor Action. Volume 4, number 21, September 1940. Page 2.]
        “My Dear Leon Trotsky: …
        “… Ireland a defeated nation has developed a fine modern literature, just as Germany, defeated and still un-unified at an earlier period, developed German philosophy. But the moral terrorism in the name of the Church and the Nation, and the parochial character of the life and of intellect in Ireland might choke the literature now. So backward is Ireland that even the American motion pictures have a progressive influence in the sense that they make the youth restless, that they produce freer and less strained relationships between the sexes, and that they give a sense of a social life of more advanced countries that is not permitted because of the state of economy in Ireland. Ireland impresses me as being somewhat parallel to Mexico, except that in Mexico there are progressive strains in the country, and in Ireland these are weak and morally terrorized. In part, this is undoubtedly because of Ireland’s lack of mineral resources and wealth, the backwardness and sleep of its labor movement, and the role of the Church. In Ireland, the Church was not the feudal landholder. Behind the scenes, the Church always fought against the Irish people, and spoke for law and order. But at one time, the Church itself was oppressed. The Church and the people became entangled in the consciousness of the Irish, and the religion question befogged the social and economic one. In Mexico, Spain, France, and Russia, the Church was more openly a part of a feudal or pseudo-feudal system. The peasants became anti-clerical because they wanted land. This did not happen in Ireland. In consequence, anti-clericalism did not take the same form. Anti-clericalism amounts to jokes at the priesthood, dislike of the archbishops, and so forth. In earlier days, it was stronger, particularly among the Fenians. But it never took the real form it took in France, Spain, etc. And so the Church has great power in Ireland today. In the most real, vivid, and immediate sense it gives opium to the people.”
        [James T. Farrell. Letter to Leon Trotsky on Ireland. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. December, 1938.]
      36. “Trotskyist neocon” assertion (William F. King): King presents a critique of the alleged relationship between Trotskyism and neoconservatism. The other writers quoted under this heading have different perspectives on the issue of Trotskyism vis–à–vis neoconservatism.
        “There are four different versions of the ‘Trotskyist neocon’ assertion, all of which have been used extensively in paleoconservative polemics. The flrst is that the genesis or ‘roots’ of neoconservatism lie in the American Trotskyist movement, and, speciflcally, that the flrst generation of neoconservatives were former Trotskyists. In this version special attention is given to Irving Kristol, who is pilloried as the original flfth columnist of Trotskyist influence inside conservatism. The second version holds that members of the second, current generation of neoconservatives were once followers of the heretical Trotskyist Max Shachtman. Through them, it is claimed, neoconservatism has retained some ofthe major principles, albeit in modifled form, of ‘Shachtmanism.’ The third is the claim that neoconservatism has retained the ‘methods’ and ‘characteristics’ of Trotskyism, especially as exhibited by the original neocons, and is therefore a form of ‘inverted’ Trotskyism. The last and perhaps most well-known version is that neoconservatives adhere to Leon Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution, and have put the theory into practice through their roles in the [George W.] Bush administration.…
        “… it is clear that there is no substantive link between neoconservatism and American Trotskyism. In order to argue for the existence (and indeed centrality!) of such a link, it is necessary to considerably misrepresent the histories and theories of both movements. A systematic examination of the paleoconservatives’ ‘Trotskyist neocon’ assertion shows that it cannot stand up to scrutiny in light of the easily accessible historical evidence.
        “… It may well be that with the paleoconservatives we are seeing the historical low point of debate inside intellectual conservatism. At the very least, it would be fair to say that the ‘Trotskyist neocon’ assertion—historically inaccurate and intellectually sloppy, yet widely popular—is one of the major oddities of recent American intellectual life.”
        [William F. King, “Neoconservatives and ‘Trotskyism.’” American Communist History. Volume 3, number 2, December 2004. Pages 247-266.]
        “If neoconservative Jacksonianism [referring to U.S. President Andrew Jackson] can be found in the wider strategic culture of the Eastern European borderlands, then the origins of neoconservative Wilsonianism [referring to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson] can be glimpsed in these radicalised immigrants from the Pale of Settlement, who forged a new intellectual class strikingly similar to the radicalised intelligentsia developing at the margins of the Russian empire. Although neoconservative Jacksonianism is fundamentally pessimistic in outlook, as seen in the writings of [Jeane] Kirkpatrick and the earlier generation of neoconservatives, Wilsonian neoconservatism is ambitious and universal in spirit, imbued with a prosletysing zeal that has prompted some critics (such as [Walter Russell] Mead) to liken it to Trotskyism. Given that many of the original neoconservatives actually were former Trotskyites, a general correlation might suggest itself.” [David G. Haglund and Joshua D. Kertzer, “From Geo to Neo: A Speculative Inquiry into the Unusual “Geo-Ethnic” Roots of Neoconservatism in US Foreign Policy.” Geopolitics. Volume 13, number 3, autumn 2008. Pages 519-544.]
        “Neoconservatism, as John Gray has shown, was something of a Siamese twin of Trotskyite philosophy and other radical doctrines of change. All suffered from unrealistic expectations.…
        “[James] Burnham’s movement to the right follows a distinct formula that would characterise the neo-conservative pedigree. Starting on the far left, and more particularly, as a Trotskyite, he effectively defected to the conservative movement for the duration of the Cold War.”
        [Binoy Kampmark, “The first neo-conservative: James Burnham and the origins of a movement.;” Review of International Studies. Volume 37, number 4, October 2011. Pages 1885-1901.]
        “The origins of neo-conservatism on the Left explain some of its persisting qualities. Many of the older generation of neo-conservatives began on the anti-Stalinist far Left – Irving Kristol, the political godfather of the movement, wrote an autobiographical essay called ‘Memoirs of a Trotskyist’ – and the intellectual style of that sectarian milieu has marked the neo-conservative movement throughout its history.…
        “It was this conception of politics rather than any specific doctrines that neoconservatives carried over from their time on the Left. Few of the leading neoconservative intellectuals were Trotskyists for any length of time, and the chief political lesson that many of them took from [Leon] Trotsky was the deeply repressive character of the Soviet regime. Here neo-conservatives did no more than reflect the post-war development of the Left. Marxists like Sidney Hook and Trotskyists such as Max Shachtman developed into anti-communist social democrats not unlike the excommunists who were among the most intrepid cold warriors in 1950s Europe. Like many others, these thinkers of the Left rejected Marxism during the Cold War. It is too simple to view neo-conservatives as reformulating Trotskyite theories in right-wing terms, but the habits of thought of the far Left have had a formative influence. It is not the content of Leninist theory that has been reproduced but its style of thinking. Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution suggests existing institutions must be demolished in order to create a world without oppression. A type of catastrophic optimism, which animates much of Trotsky’s thinking, underpins the neo-conservative policy of exporting democracy. Both endorse the use of violence as a condition of progress and insist the revolution must be global.
        “In abandoning Trotskyism, neo-conservatives moved closer to the American mainstream, but at the same time they lost Trotsky’s broad perspective on world events.”
        [John Gray. Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2008. Pages 153-154.]
        “I was graduated from City College in the spring of 1940, and the honor I most prized was the fact that I was a member in good standing of the Young People’s Socialist League (Fourth International). This organization was commonly, and correctly, designated as Trotskyist (not ‘Trotskyite,’ which was a term used only by the official Communists, or ‘Stalinists’ as we called them, of the day). I have not set foot on the City College campus since my commencement. The present president of the college, Robert Marshak, has amiably urged me to come and see the place again—it’s very different but still recognizable, he says. have promised to go, but somehow I think I may never find the time.” [Irving Kristol, “Memoirs of a Trotskyist.” The New York Times. January 23rd, 1977. Page 195.]
      37. Internationalist Group: League for the Fourth International: This Trotskyist tendency initially objected to an alleged rightward turn by another organization.
        “Today we announce the formation of the League for the Fourth International, through the fusion of the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil, the Internationalist Group in the United States and Mexico, and the Permanent Revolution Faction in France. As the PRF [Permanent Revolution Faction] stated in its public declaration of 3 February 1998: ‘Communism Lives, In the Struggles of the Workers and Oppressed and in the Trotskyist Program–Reforge the Fourth International!’ The task of the League for the Fourth International is to cohere the nucleus for reforging the world party of socialist revolution on the communist program of [Karl] Marx, [Frierich] Engels, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky.
        “Historical experience over the last century has driven home the lesson that the question of revolutionary leadership is key to victory and defeat for the workers and oppressed. In August 1914, the main parties of the Second International, corroded by parliamentarism and the labor aristocracy, lined up behind ‘their own’ bourgeoisies in World War I. The Social Democrats’ support for capitalism meant strangling the German Revolution of 1918-19, ordering the murder of Communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, and joining the imperialists’ anti-Bolshevik crusade. As the social democracy acted as bloodhounds for capitalism, workers throughout Europe were drawn around the banners of the Third International. In one country after another, workers sought to carry out revolution, but were unable to win victory in the absence of tested communist parties. In its first four congresses (1919-1922), the Communist International under Lenin and Trotsky codified the lessons of the Russian Revolution and international workers struggles in the imperialist epoch, leaving an indispensable legacy for revolutionaries which we stand on today. But the growing bureaucratization of the Soviet state had devastating effects on the International.”
        [Editor, “Declaration of the League for the Fourth International: Reforge the Fourth International!” The Internationalist. Number 5, April–May 1998. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “The purge of longtime leading cadres by the International Communist League on June 8 and its breaking of fraternal relations with the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil little over a week later, as the ICL [International Communist League] fled from a struggle over the state (cops out of the union) which it had encouraged, signal a rightist departure for the organization which for more than three decades has represented the political continuity of revolutionary Trotskyism internationally. These two events are directly related: the bureaucratic expulsions were in part to get rid of an obstacle to the breaking of relations with the LQB [Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil] and the flagrant desertion under fire in a key class battle that this represented. Taken together, they are an indication that the new leadership of the [ICL’s] International Secretariat is moving toward centrism, in glaring contradiction to the Marxist program the ICL still formally upholds.” [Editor, “Reforge the Fourth International!: Internationalist Group Founded.” The Internationalist. August, 1996. No pagination.]
        “This [the Iraq War under President George W. Bush] is an imperialist war for world domination. The issue facing opponents of imperialism is how to fight against it. As has occurred repeatedly since the 1960s, there is now a growing antiwar movement. The strategy of this movement is to look for an alliance with bourgeois liberals (if they can find any) to restrain the Bush gang. In the 1930s, such a coalition became known as the ‘popular front,’ and the fundamentals remain the same: tying the working class and the left to a section of the capitalist ruling class. Peace marches such as the January 18 demonstration in Washington, D.C. are a form of bourgeois pressure politics. Yet the Democratic Party is not about to challenge the Republican White House, for they are partners in managing the affairs of U.S. imperialism. After alL it was Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who arrogantly declared the United States ‘the indispensable nation.’” [Editor, “Defeat U.S. Imperialism! Defend Iraq!: For Class War Against the Imperialist War!” The Internationalist. Number 15, January–February 2003. Pages 3-5 and 22-23.]
        “The First National Conference of the Internationalist Group, section of the League for the Fourth International in the United States, takes place in a period of sharpening contradictions for U.S. imperialism and the incessant decay of world capitalism. The Democratic administration of Barack Obama has faced one setback after another internationally, from the Middle East and North Africa to East Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, since the 2007-08 stock market crash the U.S. and even more so the European imperialists are mired in a continuing capitalist economic crisis, with persistent long-term mass unemployment. Accompanying this there have been a series of upheavals and explosive social struggles, all of which have ended in defeat. The fundamental reason is the absence of a proletarian vanguard party with the program, determination and capacity to overthrow capitalism. The central task facing communists, defenders of the program of [Karl] Marx, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky, is to resolve this excruciating crisis of revolutionary leadership.” [Editor, “The Trotskyist Struggle for International Socialist Revolution (April 2015): Document of the First National Conference of the Internationalist Group, U.S. Section of the League for the Fourth International.” The Internationalist. Number 40, summer 2015. Pages 16-34.]
      38. Socialist Equality Party (US): It is a Trotskyist party in the U.S. (with branches in other countries). Jerry White and Niles Niemuth—who were, respectively, the party’s 2016 presidential and vice-presidential candidates—faced a U.S. Constitutional challenge. At 28-years old, Niemuth would actually have been too young to become president (should the need arise). The minimum age is 35. Voters looking for a socialist or communist ticket might, therefore, have raised legitimate questions about the seriousness of the campaign. See also the World Socialist Web Site.
        “The world capitalist system is ensnared in its greatest crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The financial turmoil that began in September 2008 with the sudden failure of Wall Street icons has metastasized into a global economic breakdown. For decades the apologists of capitalism have proclaimed that American-style ‘free enterprise’ is the most perfect form of economic organization. They ignored the many signs of the approaching crisis, while the corporate-controlled media celebrated the reckless financial speculation and irresponsible self-enrichment that define the business activities and personal lifestyles of the ruling class.…
        “The specter of past tragedies looms ever larger. On the eve of the Second World War, Leon Trotsky, the greatest strategist of revolutionary socialism in the twentieth century, described the world crisis as the ‘death agony of capitalism.’ He warned that ‘a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of mankind.’ His words were vindicated by the horrors that followed. Capitalism survived only by plunging the world into the cataclysm of war. By the time it ended, in 1945, approximately 70 million people had perished.
        “A new warning must be raised with all necessary urgency. The present crisis will not simply go away. There is no peaceful, let alone easy, way out of the economic and social impasse into which capitalism has led mankind. The program of the Socialist Equality Party—which works in political solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International—is not a collection of palliatives and half-measures. The aim of this party and its co-thinkers in the Fourth International is not the reform of American and international capitalism.”
        [First National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (US), “The Breakdown of Capitalism & the Fight for Socialism in the United States: Program of the Socialist Equality Party.” Socialist Equality Party (US). August 11th15th, 2010. Retrieved on July 21st, 2016.]
      39. Socialist Struggle Movement (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, הָתְּנוּעָה הָמַאֲבָק הָסוֹצְיָאלִיסְטִי, hā-Tənūʿāh hā-Mạʾăḇāq hā-Sōṣəyʾliysəṭiy; or Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحَرَكَة النِضَال الاِشْتِرَاكِيّ, ʾal-Ḥarakaẗ ʾal-Niḍāl ʾal-ʾIštirākiyy): It is a Trotskyist organization for both Palestinians and Israelis.
      40. Worker-Communist Party of Iraq (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ العُمَّالِيّ العِرَاقِيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ʿUmmāliyy ʾal-ʿIrāqiyy): It is a Trotskyist group.
      41. Left Worker-Communist Party of Iraq (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ العُمَّالِيّ اليَسَارِيّ العِرَاقِيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ʿUmmāliyy ʾal-Yasāriyy ʾal-ʿIrāqiyy): It is also a Trotskyist organization.
        “In countries afflicted with Political Islam, women’s situations are in their severest degrees of deterioration. In addition to being discriminated against on the basis of her gender, the woman is subjugated to the ‘divine’ reactionary laws of Islam which establish and reinforce women’s inferiority in non-debatable documents. Women in those societies find it impossible to show any sign of protest or objection to the Islamic violations of their humanity. The submission of millions of women to the tyranny and torture of mullahs, sheikhs and clerics, as well as of gangs of Political Islam and tribal leaders, has turned millions of women’s lives into unbearable torturous conditions.” [Editor, “The Struggle of Women’s Liberation Movement is linked to the Working Class’s Struggle for Socialism.” Left Worker-Communist Party of Iraq. March 8th, 2007. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      42. Communist Organization for the Fourth International: This Trotskyist organization was founded by the late Seymour “Sy” Landy (1931–2007). The Arabic-language name of the organization is the ʾal-Munaẓẓamaẗ ʾal-Šuyūʿiyyaẗ min ꞌaǧl ʾal-ꞌUmamiyyaẗ ʾal-Rābiʿaẗ (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, المُنَظَّمَة الشُيُوعِيَّة مِنْ أَجْل الأُمَمِيَّة الرَابِعَة). The League for the Revolutionary Party is the U.S. branch. Kommunistische Organisation für die Vierte Internationale (KOVI-BRD)—literally, Communist Organization for the Fourth International—is the German branch.
        “The LRP [League for the Revolutionary Party] upholds the method of permanent revolution. Imperialism whips up bloody racism, national chauvinism and war; it pits workers against each other across the globe. Internationalism and interracialism are critical aspects of revolutionary strategy.” [Editor, League for the Revolutionary Party: Communist Organization for the Fourth International. August 9th, 2015. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
        “The answer presented in this book is that only Marxism can account for the remarkable turnabout in the Stalinist system. Only Marxism can probe to the roots of what makes these societies function as they do: the struggle between the exploited producing classes and the ruling class. Only Marxism could foresee Stalinism’s inevitable decay. Only Marxism can explain why the reformist Stalinists’ rescue plans will not suffice, why they cannot repair the contradictions at the heart of their system. And Marxism can show as well that the collapse of Stalinism presages a parallel crisis of world capitalism. If the West has won, its triumph will be brief.
        “This book uses the tools of Marxism to analyze the Stalinist system: the social and economic structure that arose out of the degeneration and defeat of the revolutionary Soviet workers’ state. It demonstrates that Stalinist society is fundamentally capitalist, an integral but subordinate part of international imperialism.
        “Naturally the rulers of the pseudo-socialist states and their apologists reject any such analysis. But so do most ‘Marxist’ critics of Stalinism. The Stalinist counterrevolution perverted not only the Soviet revolution but Marxism itself. The dialectical method — to study the change and development of society and uncover the essence beneath every surface appearance — has been abandoned. So has the analytic base of Marxism, the critique of political economy that exposes the internal contradictions and the impermanence of capitalism. Thus ‘Marxism’ has been transformed into its opposite, a counterrevolutionary ideology.
        “To understand Stalinism it is necessary to understand capitalism. For this task it is necessary to resurrect Marxism in its authentic form as the revolutionary science of the working class, the only agency capable of overthrowing capitalism and thereby creating a world fit for human beings. This book is an important weapon in the effort to revivify the Marxism of [Karl] Marx, of [Vladimir] Lenin, of [Rosa] Luxemburg, of [Leon] Trotsky, of the thousands of proletarians who have given their lives in the struggle for authentic communism.
        “For Marxists the test of theory is practice. The Marxist standpoint and method defended in this book already predicted, over a decade ago, the present devolution of Stalinism in the direction of more traditional capitalist forms. At the height of the Cold War we were able to predict that the dividing line for a future World War III would be drawn between Japan, Germany and the United States rather than between the U.S. and the USSR. When other ‘theories’ treated the Soviet Union as a powerful system, as the wave of the future (for good or for evil), we saw it as weak and collapsing.”
        [Sy Landy, “The Life and Death of Stalinism: Foreward,” in Walter Daum. The Life and Death of Stalinism: A Resurrection of Marxist Theory. New York: Socialist Voice Publishing. 1990. Ebook edition.]
        “The League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP) has been formed to carry out the struggle for revolutionary leadership of the working class that was undertaken in the past by the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL). The RSL’s left wing, the Revolutionary Party Tendency, was expelled on February 15ᵗʰ of this year, and its members joined with previously-expelled comrades including Central Committee members Sy Landy and Walter Dahl to organize the LRP. The LRP stands for the program of [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky, the revolutionary communism of our epoch, that is rapidly being abandoned by the RSL.…
        “In 1976 world capitalism is skirting the edge of a profound crisis. The bourgeoisie is seeking to claw its way out of the impending disaster by chipping away all the hard-won gains of the proletariat. In the face of this assault the workers are tragically misled and therefore disunited. The bulk of our class feels itself to be powerless, lacking any credible alternative to the trade union bureaucrats and liberal politicians who betray them at every turn. Many of these workers resign themselves to hanging on, hoping that the present shallow economic upswing will bring relief. Others, a distinct but crucial minority consisting of the most politically advanced workers, are still searching for an alternative. They are fighting, attempting to forge a new leadership built upon a program that will put an end to the prevailing desperation.”
        [Sy Landy, “The Struggle for the Revolutionary Party.” Socialist Voice. Number 1, fall 1976. Online publication. No pagination.]
      43. Workers’ Party (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب العُمَّال, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-ʿUmmāl, or French, Le Parti des Travailleurs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): It is a Trotskyist party in Algeria.
      44. Committee for a Workers’ International: It presents a Trotskyist and socialist alternative to world capitalism. Its sections include: Socialist Alternative, the Coventry Socialist Party, and the Socialist Party (England and Wales). The latter organization publishes Socialism Today and The Socialist.
        “If by killing [Leon] Trotsky they [Joseph Stalin and his bureaucrats] thought they could destroy his ideas they were profoundly mistaken. Succeeding generations – the most politically aware layers – when they have moved into struggle against capitalism and Stalinism looked for explanations and inspiration in the works of Trotsky. Even in the post-1989 period of ideological counter-revolution his ideas still proved attractive. Now, confronted by the worst economic crisis of capitalism since the 1930s and the resulting inevitable mass revolt of the working class and poor, the ideologues of capitalism fear the influence of the ideas of Trotsky.” [Peter Taaffe, “Anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination. August 21st, 2015. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
        “Socialist Alternative will support the strongest independent left campaign in the Presidential election in 2016. We want to build maximum pressure from below in the [Bernie] Sanders campaign to encourage him to not endorse Hillary Clinton and to run beyond the primaries and into the general election to challenge the corporate elites, or at least to support the strongest independent, left challenger. This will very likely be Jill Stein, and we want to get her on every ballot possible in the election.…
        “Socialist Alternative has acknowledged many times our political differences with Sanders. We disagree with his support for the Israeli state. We also urge the Sanders campaign to take a stronger stand in opposition to racist attacks and police brutality. While these criticisms are important, they will not stop us from putting forward our plans and ideas for how to win the positive things Sanders stands for.”
        [Bryan Koulouris, “Sanders’ Campaign Gains Momentum: How Do We Build a Decisive Challenge to Corporate Political Domination?” Socialist Alternative. Issue 15, July–August 2015. Page 4.]
        “There is a growing crisis in the United States, created by unsustainable levels of student debt and the corporate model of higher education. Tuition at private and public universities nationwide is skyrocketing, and huge numbers of students are graduating terrified, with empty hands, wondering where to go with their new degrees. There is currently over $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt nationwide, with 40 million borrowers and their families struggling in unison – wondering how, and whether, they’ll ever catch up to this debt.
        “The corporate model of higher education is evident not only in its abuse of learning persons, but in its inability to provide for its faculty and staff. Universities are pooling money at the very top, providing their highest paid administrators with unreasonable salaries while denying campus workers and adjunct faculty access to even their most basic rights. Many campus workers earn less than $15 an hour. A significant population of part-time faculty members is on some form of government assistance, and this comes at no small cost to taxpayers. The American people are subsidizing the predatory policies of corporate universities by spending half a billion dollars every year on government assistance for part-time faculty.”
        [Keely Mullen, “Campaign for Free Education Grows.” Socialist Alternative. Issue 18, November 2015. Page 12.]
      45. Posadist Fourth International: This Trotskyist tendency is also known, simply, as Posadism. It was started by Homero Rómulo Cristalli Frasnelli (MP3 audio file). However, he was known by the pseudonym of J. Posadas (MP3 audio file). He was, in addition, interested in the subjects of extraterrestrial life and flying saucers. Trotsky’s opposition to Joseph Stalin’s socialism in one country extended to Posadas’ opposition to socialism on one planet.
        “In definitions given by [Karl] Marx, [Friedrich] Engels, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky, there is either capitalist State or Workers State, and no other form of State. But in this historic stage, the world revolutionary process advances, and will continue to advance, by creating local and global conditions of power dualities. States and governments keep their capitalist nature and motives, but in some countries, the State must adopt functions, structures, relations and property forms that escape the capitalist system. The fundamentals of those States – or most of the fundamentals – stay as in the capitalist system, but their new norms are not strictly capitalist. Indeed these are harmful to the capitalist system, and there is an internal process of power dualities.” [J. Posadas. The Revolutionary State, Its Transitory Role and the Construction of Socialism. London: Scientific, Cultural and Political Editions. 2014. Page 7.]
        “Everything that is not of commercial use, or does not serve to facilitate the existence and perpetuation of capitalist power, does not interest them. But since society must live and the proletariat and socialism must advance, these things stimulate people in the capitalist system to concern themselves with the existence of beings on other planets. So too in the workers’ states. The existence of flying saucers and living beings on other planets is a phenomena that the dialectical conception of history can admit. The most immediate consequence we can draw is that, if these beings do exist, they must have a societal organisation superior to our own. Their appearances are not the effect of bellicose or aggressive sentiments.…
        We must appeal to the beings on other planets, when they come here, to intervene and collaborate with Earth’s inhabitants in suppressing poverty. We must make this call to them. It is possible to make ourselves understood to them. We must not, of course, expect that they will understand immediately. But we must make appeals to them, if we believe that they can, indeed, exist. If we have any possibility of making contact with them, we must not fall into individual scientific curiosity, out of some desire to see where they come from and to visit other planets.
        “We must unite with them, they who seem more powerful than human beings, such that they will come and help us resolve Earth’s problems. Then we can concern ourselves with going to see what other planets are like, how life and matter are organised, and everything regarding nature. But most important is first to resolve the problems of humanity on Earth. We do not have a fantasist or idealist position with regard to flying saucers. As we accept that they exist, we want to use all means at hand, including those from outside of this planet. When we seriously reach a scientific discovery, we must try to use it to the benefit of humanity.…
        “Means of interpretation superior to Marxism will arise – not because Marxism is incorrect – but because humanity will reach some better understanding. The dialectic will be part of some superior tool. All these people who accept the existence of flying saucers do so without the impulse or the will to develop scientific understanding, but simply because they are obliged to recognise a real event for what it is. But they do not have the systematic spirit or the objectivity to make use of the understanding that they have, in the social terrain. For example, if life does exist on other planets, this means that there exist superior forms of social organisation, which do not oblige them to live as we do here, with wars. All those who accept the existence of flying saucers, have only reported them. Like someone projecting a light onto a wall and saying ‘this is a light.’ They draw no conclusions.…
        “… We believe that extra-terrestrial beings may exist, as well as flying saucers. This also holds, basing ourselves on the knowledge we have thanks to dialectics, with regard to the organisation of matter. There is no reason, for example, that reproduction must always take place by means of couples. There may also be self-reproduction, as is the case for the amoeba.”
        [J. Posadas. Flying saucers, the process of matter and energy, science, the revolutionary and working-class struggle and the socialist future of mankind (26 June 1968). David Broder, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive ( ebook edition. 2012. Web. No pagination.]
        “[J.] Posadas was an Argentinean Trotskyist and, at one point, a relatively well known football player. During the 1940s and 1950s he came to the leadership of Fourth International affiliates in Latin America, known later for their role in the Cuban revolution. Beginning in the late 1960s Posadas also become quite renowned, or rather infamous, for his views on UFOs. Posadas’ logic flows in quite a simple way: as [Karl] Marx tells us, more technologically advanced societies are more socially advanced. Because of this, the existence of space aliens demonstrates the existence of intergalactic socialism, as the level of technology and social cooperation necessary to advance interstellar travel could only be produced by a communist society. The goal of the party, therefore, should be to establish contact with the communist space aliens, who would take part in furthering revolution on this planet. While [Leon] Trotsky argued against the possibility of communism in one country, Posadas took the technological fetish to its logical conclusion, that there could not be communism on one planet ….” [Stevphen Shukaitis, “Space is the (non)place: Martians, Marxists, and the outer space of the radical imagination.” The Sociological Review. Volume 57, supplement 1, May 2009. Pages 98-113.]
      46. Socialist Fight: Liason Committee for the Fourth International: This British Trotskyist organization identifies with Leon Trotsky’s Transitional Program of 1938. Their blog is called International Trotskyism.
        “We are launching Socialist Fight because we were convinced that the current financial, economic and political crisis of capitalism is the deepest we have faced in our lifetimes. All the contradictions of previous crises were only overcome by preparing this crisis, by ever expanding debt and thereby masking the effects of the falling rate of profit. The laws of capitalism have produced this crisis, not the greed of bankers or the mistakes of short-sighted governments or even the opportunism of Alan Greenspan.” [Editor, “Editorial: Beware of treacherous misleaders.” Socialist Fight. Issue 1, winter/spring 2009. Page 2.]
        “We support [Leon] Trotsky’s Transitional Programme of 1938 in its context. We always practice the method embodied in that document because it is the Marxist method of mass work as advocated by [Vladimir] Lenin in Left Wing Communism; an Infantile Disorder in 1920.
        “As revolutionary international socialists we support Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution and its applicability to the present era of globalisation.”
        [Editor, “Socialist Fight: Where We Stand.” Socialist Fight. Issue 2, summer 2009. Page 7.]
      47. Socialist Workers League: This American Trotskyist organization is in solidarity with Socialist Fight.
        “The subject on which I am going to write is mainly concentrated on the rise of the ‘right,’ especially in the context of present-day America and India. I will try to discuss only a few things according to my small ability.
        “This massive rise of the ‘right’ throughout the world shows that the world is now governed solely by capitalism rather than anything else. The World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – together, have made the grand design to govern and rule the world by depending on debt economy.
        “This Trio favours the dictatorial rule of private capital more than anything else. That is why they are trying to abolish democracy, socialism and all sorts of equality in social, political and economic life of the countries around the globe. They are implementing policies which the governments (those who have taken loans) must accept and execute; if they fail to act according to the choices of the trio, they would have to face the ultimate destruction of their own existence as an authoritarian power.”
        [Com. Akhar Bandyopadhyay, “The rise of the ‘right’ in the USA and India and the necessity for marxism.” Socialist Workers League. January 1st, 2017. Web. Retrieved on January 16th, 2017.]
      48. International Committee of the Fourth International: This group is also Trotskyist. Its British section is the Workers Revolutionary Party.
        “If by killing Trotsky they [Joseph Stalin and his bureaucrats] thought they could destroy his ideas they were profoundly mistaken. Succeeding generations – the most politically aware layers – when they have moved into struggle against capitalism and Stalinism looked for explanations and inspiration in the works of Trotsky. Even in the post-1989 period of ideological counter-revolution his ideas still proved attractive. Now, confronted by the worst economic crisis of capitalism since the 1930s and the resulting inevitable mass revolt of the working class and poor, the ideologues of capitalism fear the influence of the ideas of Trotsky.” [Peter Taaffe, “Anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination. August 21st, 2015. Retrieved on September 20th, 2015.]
      49. League for the Fifth International: The British section is Workers Power.
        “The League for the Fifth International is a revolutionary organisation. Our goal is to build a world party of socialist revolution, fighting across the world for an end to capitalism and for socialism. We base our programme – From Protest to Power – and our day to day policies on the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, on the revolutionary documents of the first four congresses of the Third International and the Transitional Programme of the Fourth International published in 1938.” [Editor, “Who are the Fifth Internationalists?League for the Fifth International. September 23rd, 2009. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
      50. Platypus Affiliated Societies: This school synthesizes elements of a rehabilitated Trotskyism with the thought of Rosa Luxemburg and critical social theory—particularly the work of Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Georg Lukács.
        “Platypus presumes that the legacy of [Leon] Trotsky’s Marxism can best be evaluated by exchanging the much-cherished memory of Trotsky as the anti-Stalinist martyr for the more painful image of Trotsky as the last man standing among the ruins of revolutionary Marxism. I cherish nothing about martyrdom, but view Trotsky’s assassination in light of Stalinism’s legacy: the degeneration of the fundamental revolutionary program of proletarian internationalism into the politics of ‘socialism in one country,’ a profound shift that turned revolutionary possibility into its opposite and signaled the defeat of the world-historical accomplishment of 1917 while obliterating all protagonists of that original revolutionary victory.” [Bryan Palmer, Jason Wright, Mike Macnair, and Richard Rubin, “The legacy of Trotskyism.” Platypus Review. Issue 38, August 2011. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “… [A particular] label Platypus gets branded with is the most interesting one, and the one closest to the truth: that we are Trotskyists.
        “In fact, Platypus is in no way a Trotskyist organization, but we think that Leon Trotsky’s thought and the heroic—and losing—struggle that he fought after his exile from the Soviet Union are necessary for an understanding of the thwarted potential for emancipation represented by the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
        “Trotsky and his project in exile represented ‘the last man standing’ of a kind of historical consciousness that we in Platypus have come to refer to as Second International radicalism.”
        [The Platypus Historians Group, “The dead Left: Trotskyism.” Platypus Review. Issue 6, September 2008. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Whenever approaching any phenomenon, [Theodor] Adorno’s procedure is one of immanent dialectical critique. The phenomenon is treated as not accidental or arbitrary but as a necessary form of appearance that points beyond itself, indicating conditions of possibility for change. It is a phenomenon of the necessity for change. The conditions of possibility for change indicated by the phenomenon in question are explored immanently, from within. The possibility for change is indicated by a phenomenon’s self-contradictions, which unfold from within itself, from its own movement, and develop from within its historical moment.…
        “Everything is taken not merely as it ‘is,’ as it happens to exist, but rather as it ‘ought’ to be, as it could and should be, yielding as-yet unrealized potentials and possibilities. So it is with ‘authoritarianism,’ in Adorno’s view. For Adorno, the key is how psychological authoritarianism is self-contradictory and points beyond itself. Adorno is interested in the ‘actuality’ of authoritarianism: as Wilhelm Reich put it, the ‘progressive character of fascism;’ as Walter Benjamin put it, the ‘positive concept of barbarism.’”
        [Chris Cutrone, “Critical authoritarianism.” Platypus Review. Issue 91, November 2016. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “We are motivated, after failed and betrayed attempts at emancipation, and in light of their inadequate self-understanding, to re-appropriate this history in service of possibilities for emancipatory struggle in the present – and the future.
        “Towards such ends, we might begin (perhaps provocatively) with the list of names that indicate the thoughts and problems issuing from events that, reading history against the grain (with [Walter] Benjamin), still speak to us in the present: [Karl] Marx, [Vladimir] Lenin, [Rosa] Luxemburg, [Leon] Trotsky, [Theodor] Adorno. – Not much more than what is represented by these figures, but absolutely nothing less.”
        [Editor, “What is a platypus?: On Surviving the Extinction of the Left.” Platypus Affiliated Society. 2016. Web page. Retrieved on November 17th, 2016.]
        “Platypus is a project for the self-criticism, self-education, and, ultimately, the practical reconstitution of a Marxian Left. At present the Marxist Left appears as a historical ruin. The received wisdom of today dictates that past, failed attempts at emancipation stand not as moments full of potential yet to be redeemed, but rather as ‘what was’ — utopianism that was bound to end in tragedy. As critical inheritors of a vanquished tradition, Platypus contends that — after the failure of the 1960s New Left, and the dismantlement of the welfare state and the destruction of the Soviet Union in the 1980s–90s — the present disorientation of the Left means we can hardly claim to know the tasks and goals of social emancipation better than the ‘utopians’ of the past did.
        “Our task is critique and education towards the reconstitution of a Marxian Left. Platypus contends that the ruin of the Marxist Left as it stands today is of a tradition whose defeat was largely self-inflicted, hence at present the Marxist Left is historical, and in such a grave state of decomposition that it has become exceedingly difficult to draft coherently programmatic social-political demands. In the face of the catastrophic past and present, the first task for the reconstitution of a Marxian Left as an emancipatory force is to recognize the reasons for the historical failure of Marxism and to clarify the necessity of a Marxian Left for the present and future. — If the Left is to change the world, it must first transform itself!
        [Editor, “What is Platypus?: The Platypus Affiliated Society.” The Platypus Affiliated Society. April 2007. Online pamphlet. No pagination. Retrieved on November 17th, 2016.]
        “The conception of ‘political practice’ as we find it in the letters and essays of [Max] Horkheimer, [Herbert] Marcuse, and [Theodor] Adorno during the thirties was (more implicitly than explicitly) the same as that of the revolutionary Marxists [Vladimir] Lenin, [Leon] Trotsky, and [Rosa] Luxemburg. Yet, they were anxious to omit any public mention of Trotsky. After the Second World War, Adorno and Horkheimer saw no possibility of any revolutionary practice, for they saw no revolutionary subject (class). With the notable exception of Marcuse, they didn’t think that the German (and international) protest movement of the students had any chance to change capitalist society.” [Helmut Dahmer, “Trotsky and the Frankfurt School.” Platypus Review. Issue 80, October 2015. Online publication. No pagination.]
      51. Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism: This Trotskyist group—also known as “Humanists for Revolutionary Socialism”—has a Facebook page. The organization’s current status is, however, unknown. Although their Facebook page remains intact, their website is available only as an archive.
        “Socialism is not a political system, it is an economic one. However, in the sense that I use the term, socialism is compatible only with a democratic political system – that is, one in which choices about policy, and about the leaders who will administer its implementation, are made by the people themselves. No totalitarian or autocratic system, like [Joseph] Stalin’s USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] or [Chairman] Mao’s China, can be considered socialist. (By the same token, I might add, no capitalist system can by considered genuinely democratic!)
        “Socialism, as I envision it, is an economic system under which all natural resources, as well as all means of producing goods and commodities (above the scale of individual artisanship), and of organizing the delivery of services, would be owned and managed by a democratically-run government for the benefit of the society as a whole. The government, in turn, would take full responsibility for meeting everyone’s fundamental needs – food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, transportation, a healthy ecosystem, access to cultural and recreational resources – at the highest level possible.”
        [Editor, “What I Mean by ‘Socialism’” Written by a founder of Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism. Salon. November 22nd, 2008. Retrieved from Internet Archive: Wayback Machine on September 3rd, 2015.]
      52. Communist Workers Group (USA): This Trotskyist group splintered off from Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism in 2012.
        “The Communist Workers Group (USA) was founded in the Summer of 2012. Following a bitter struggle with the sectarian abstentionists of the Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism (HWRS) and after an unsuccessful attempt by our international comrades to reunite the organization, the CWG [Communist Workers Group] (USA) was founded.
        “We are a Trotskyist tendency in Liaison Committee with the Communist Workers Group of New Zealand Aetoria (CWG-NZ) and the Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM). We seek regroupment of revolutionary Marxists based on the programmatic conquests of the First Workingmen’s International, the Socialist Second International (until its collapse into reformism and social chauvinism under the nationalistic pressures in the face of imperialist war in 1914,) the first four congresses of the Third International and the critique of and strategies to expose and defeat imperialism, Stalinism, Social Democracy, the popular front, and fascism developed by the Left Opposition and the Fourth International.
        “We trace the degeneration, betrayal and death of the Fourth International to the collapse of the International Center during WWII and the descent into national Trotskyism by the leading sections.”
        [Editor, “About the Communist Workers Group (USA). March, 2015. Retrieved on December 27th, 2016.]
      53. critiques of Trotskyism: Several negative, or substantially negative, appraisals of Trotskyism, and of Leon Trotsky himself, are presented or elucidated under this listing.
        “The struggle for dominance of the Bolshevik Party must to some extent be separated from the political issues which provoked it. For much of the time the conflict in the party focused on the exercise of power as such—within the context, of course, of the ideological disputes of the contending groups. It will be seen, in fact, that an overideological reading of the inner-party situation was one of [Leon] Trotsky’s most serious theoretical and political mistakes. It will thus be convenient to divide consideration of the twenties into two levels: that of the political-tactical struggle itself, and that of the ideological and strategic debate over the destiny of the Revolution.” [Nicolas Krassó, “Trotsky’s Marxism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 44, July–August 1967. Pages 64-85.]
        “… [One] weakness was apparent in [Leon] Trotsky’s proposal to enlarge the sphere of party democracy as a means of achieving a more “proletarian” socialist line in economic policy. As Trotsky himself indicated, in 1923 only one-sixth of the party membership was made up of factory workers. The remainder was composed of factory managers, civil servants, army officers, commissars, party officials, etc. The most that party democracy could hope to achieve in the immediate future was a somewhat greater degree of working class influence over policy. Trotsky saw the long term resolution of this dilemma in the gradual proletarianization of the party. In the form this demand actually was implemented in 1924, however, it appears to have reinforced the position of the leadership majority through the addition to the party of a mass of politically inexperienced and passive workers.” [Thomas Marshall Twiss. Trotsky and the Problem of Soviet Bureaucracy. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 2009. Page 193.]
        “Leon Trotsky will have it that criticism of his part in the Kronstadt [Russian Cyrillic, Кроншта́дт, Kronštádt; in the area of St. Petersburg, Russia] tragedy is only to aid and abet his mortal enemy, [Joseph/Josef] Stalin. It does not occur to him that one might detest the savage in the Kremlin and his cruel regime and yet not exonerate Leon Trotsky from the crime against the sailors of Kronstadt.
        “In point of truth I see no marked difference between the two protagonists of the benevolent system of the dictatorship except that Leon Trotsky is no longer in power to enforce its blessings, and Josef Stalin is. No, I hold no brief for the present ruler of Russia. I must, however, point out that Stalin did not come down as a gift from heaven to the hapless Russian people. He is merely continuing the Bolshevik traditions, even if in a more relentless manner.
        “The process of alienating the Russian masses from the Revolution had begun almost immediately after [Vladimir] Lenin and his party had ascended to power. Crass discrimination in rations and housing, suppression of every political right, continued persecution and arrests, early became the order of the day. True, the purges undertaken at that time did not include party members, although Communists also helped to fill the prisons and concentration camps. A case in point is the first Labour Opposition whose rank and file were quickly eliminated and their leaders, [Alexander] Shlapnikov sent to the Caucasus for ‘a rest,’ and Alexandra Kollontay placed under house arrest. But all the other political opponents, among them Mensheviki [Russian Cyrillic, Меньшевики, Menʹševiki, Mensheviks], Social Revolutionists, Anarchists, many of the Liberal intelligentsia and workers as well as peasants, were given short shrift in the cellars of the Cheka [Russian Cyrillic, ЧК, ČK; an early Soviet secret security agency], or exiled to slow death in distant parts of Russia and Siberia. In other words, Stalin has not originated the theory or methods that have crushed the Russian Revolution and have forged new chains for the Russian people.
        “I admit, the dictatorship under Stalin’s rule has become monstrous. That does not, however, lessen the guilt of Leon Trotsky as one of the actors in the revolutionary drama of which Kronstadt was one of the bloodiest scenes.”
        [Emma Goldman. Trotsky Protests too Much. Glasgow, Scotland: Anarchist Communist Federation. 1938. Page 3.]
        “By 1921, the Communists had outlawed all other political parties and organizations. This included those who had supported the ‘red’ side in the civil war and were willing to abide by soviet legality, such as the Left SRs [Socialist Revolutionaries], the Left Mensheviks, and the anarchists. They abolished the right to form opposition caucuses within the one legal party. There had been a series of Communist Party oppositions, which had once believed in [Vladimir] Lenin’s apparent program of a ‘semi-state;’ they were all repressed. Workers’ strikes were forcibly put down. A rebellion at the Kronstadt naval base, which called for the revival of democratic soviets, was suppressed and its defeated sailors were slaughtered in batches.…
        “By 1921 at the latest, [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky had established a one-party police state. They did not regard this as a temporary condition but made a principle out of it. Even in opposition to Stalin, Trotsky continued to support one-party rule, until the Russian Trotskyists were completely destroyed. This is all well-known.
        “Usually Trotskyists blame ‘objective conditions.’ The country was technologically backward; the big majority of the working population were impoverished peasants; the country went through a world war followed by a civil war; the revolution did not succeed in spreading to Germany; etc. All of which is true. But this does not justify banning all other socialist parties and groups, setting up an uncontrolled secret police, and replacing worker management of industry with top-down planning. Nor does it justify repeating the lie that ‘it was the most democratic state that ever existed.’”
        [Wayne Price. An Anarchist Response to a Trotskyist Attack: Review of “An Introduction to Marxism and Anarchism” by Alan Woods (2011). Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2014. Page 7.]
        “As a teenager I became an anarchist, of the anarchist-pacifist trend. However, I became persuaded that a revolution was needed and that anarchist-pacifism could not make a revolution. I became a Trotskyist of the same trend that [Paul] D’Amato is in now [International Socialists]; I participated in founding the International Socialists, the predecessor organization of the ISO [International Socialist Organization]. Eventually my friends and I decided that the IS was too mushy and reformist, and we split to form the Revolutionary Socialist League. We sought a revolutionary, and eventually, libertarian, interpretation of Trotskyism. Finally we rejected Trotskyism altogether and became revolutionary, pro-organization, anarchists. We dissolved into the Love and Rage Anarchist Federation. Today I am a member of the US Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists.
        “With this background, I think I can understand the reasons why someone would come to reject anarchism for Trotskyism, but I have come to disagree with this conclusion.…
        “Since the ISO believes that the ‘workers’ state’ does not have to be prefigurative (it can be like a sharp metal plow), and since a ‘workers’ state’ can exist without any control by the workers (as under Lenin and the early reign of Stalin), then it would seem dangerous to ever let the ISO get near state power. Although their practice in such areas as the Nader campaign makes them more likely to be like wishy-washy, defeated, social democrats than state-power-seizing state-capitalists!”
        [Wayne Price. Response to a Trotskyist (ISO) Criticism of Anarchism. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2009. Pages 3 and 6.]
        “A significant number of revolutionaries have gone from Trotskyism to some type of libertarian socialism.Why were they been attracted to Trotskyism in the first place? Why did they come to reject it? Did they get anything of value from Trotskyism? These are my questions.
        “There is a noticeable overlap between the broad tradition of class-struggle anarchism and the minority tradition within Marxism which is antiauthoritarian, antistatist, and humanistic …. This last trend is often referred to as ‘libertarian Marxism’ or ‘autonomist Marxism’ …. Together with some similar schools, such as guild socialism … or pareconism [participatory economics] …, these have all been included in ‘libertarian socialism’ or ‘libertarian communism.’…
        “Radicals rejected Trotskyism for good reasons and bad. Those who became anarchists and autonomist Marxists did so, at least in part, because of an awareness of its darker, authoritarian, side.
        “[Leon] Trotsky was [Vladimir] Lenin’s partner in building the one-party police state that was the early Communist regime. Together with Lenin, by 1921 at the latest, he was involved in outlawing other socialist parties, outlawing opposition caucuses within the one legal party, and outlawing independent labor unions. They suppressed, and killed, Russian anarchists, suppressed and massacred the rebelling sailors of Kronstadt [in Russia or the former Soviet Union], betrayed and wiped out [Nestor] Makhno’s anarchist-led partisan army in Ukraine.”
        [Wayne Price, “From Trotskyism to Anarchism.” The Utopian. Volume 9, 2010. Pages 63-75.]
        “Those who would impose democracy must recognize that ‘their own model may not fit the local political culture or cultures.’ After all, Leon Trotsky believed that once people around the globe saw the sublimity of Bolshevism, they would overthrow their current governments and transform them into communist ones. This same ‘democratic Trotskyism’ exists today. But by assuming that democracy is a panacea—the ‘be all and end all’—pro-interventionists ignore a host of countervailing factors that may make democracy unworkable. Such factors include religion, language, culture, nationalism, and other types of identity. Democratic Trotskyism ignores that the people of a given country may have different traditions or ideas that may be more suitable to their culture, religion, or other attributes than western-style representative democracy.” [Scott Thompson, “Can Might Make Right? The Use of Force to Impose Democracy and the Arthurian Dilemma in the Modern Era.” Law and Contemporary Problems. Volume 71, spring 2008. Pages 163-184.]
        “During the civil war in Russia anti-communists published depicting [Leon] Trotsky lounging naked above the battlements Kremlin. Beneath him were mounds of skulls, Russians fallen victim to his agents, mostly orientals. The caricature Trotsky was not only intended to be anti-Semitic (his adornment, apart from pince-nez [eyeglasses supported by a nose clip], was a pendant suggesting both David and of the revolution); it was specifically intended to the myth of the Jew as agent of the devil, the practitioner of blood rituals. Trotsky bore unmistakable marks of the Enemy formed, prehensile four-toed feet, and pointed ears. It been hard to adapt the image of the rather dry, rigid [Vladimir] Lenin a caricature, but Trotsky’s capacity for self-dramatization made him an arresting, even fascinating, figure for his enemies.…
        “During the civil war in Russia anti-communists published a poster depicting Trotsky lounging naked above the battlements of the Kremlin. Beneath him were mounds of skulls, Russians who had fallen victim to his agents, mostly orientals. The caricature of Trotsky was not only intended to be anti-Semitic (his only adornment, apart from pince-nez, was a pendant suggesting both a star of David and of the revolution); it was specifically intended to appeal to the myth of the Jew as agent of the devil, the practitioner of blood rituals. Trotsky bore unmistakable marks of the Enemy – deformed prehensile four-toed feet, and pointed ears. It would have been hard to adapt the image of the rather dry, rigid Lenin to such a caricature, but Trotsky’s capacity for self-dramatization easily made him an arresting, even fascinating, figure for his enemies.”
        [Robert H. McNeal, “Demonology: The Orthodox Communist Image of Trotskyism.” International Journal. Volume 32, number 1, winter 1976/1977. Pages 20-40.]
        “Facts prove that presented Trotksyism is a sworn enemy cf the revolutionary movement of the working class and of the peoples and a dangerous weapon in the hands of the bourgeoisie and imperialism to sow in this movement, to divide and undermine it. Therefore, in the present-day conditions, the struggle for the exposure and destruction of the Trotskyite trend is an urgent need for the successful development of the working class revolutionary movement and a current task of all Marxist-Leninists.” [Agim Popa, “Present-Day Revolutionary Movement and Trotskyism.” Albania Today. Volume 5, number 6, 1972. Pages 42-47.]
        “The ‘Trotskyists,’ including — to a certain lesser, degree — [Leon] Trotsky himself, reflected their professed impotence in hagiolatry. This tradition (the so-called ‘cult of the personality’) spilled over into the world movement from the wretched [Vladimir] Lenin-idolatry of even the left opposition itself. In this schema, Trotsky places Lenin above himself, and the ‘Trotskyist’ abjures any notion of equaling or surpassing Trotsky on matters of theory and method. The ‘Trotskyist’ organizations had a sense that somehow the future movement would ‘throw up new Lenins and Trotskys,’ it was dogmatically asserted that, naturally, such Second Coming Trotskys would manifest themselves within the leadership of the SWP [Socialist Workers Party (UK)], etc., but it was more forcefully assumed in practice that no actual person in the movement was going to be permitted to develop such eerie qualities. If any member consciously set himself to mastering theory and method, to master these as peers of Lenin and Trotsky, i.e., independently of the ‘inspired exegeses,’ he would be treated just as the Church would treat a parishioner who set out to become a second Christ.” [Lyn Marcus and K. Ghandhi, “The Passion and Second Coming of L. D. Trotsky.” The Campaigner. Summer, 1974. Pagination unknown.]
        “I had no money for admission, and despite my insistence that as a ‘foreign comrade’ I should be allowed to take part in the festivities, I was not even let through the door. This confirmed my suspicion that the communists belonged to the establishment and gave me cause to turn instead to the ‘public’ meetings of the Trotskyites – which were not precisely public, considering everyone had to sign in under a pseudonym. This practice, as was explained to me, was based on the Trotskyist theory that on the day the (always latent) revolution could no longer be prevented by the false claims of pseudo-orthodox communists, the working class would have to be directed by true leaders who fully grasped the theory necessary for the realization of its historic mission. In the meantime, it was necessary to maintain anonymity (since the official communist party would not hesitate to physically eliminate its competitors) and forge a cadre of pure, tough, and true militants.” [Dick Howard, “An International New Left?” Democratiya. Volume 13, summer 2008. Pages 31-44.]
    3. Marxism–Leninism–Lukácsism (György Lukács, in the original Hungarian, as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or German, Georg Lukács as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Lukács, one of the originators of critical social theory, develops an anti–Stalinist left–Leninism.
      “… whereas [Vladimir] Lenin really brought about a renewal of the Marxian method my efforts resulted in a—Hegelian—distortion, in which I put the totality in the centre of the system, overriding the priority of economics.” [Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Rodney Livingstone, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Page xx.]
      “… there was in [Vladimir] Lenin no trace of what might remotely have appeared as self-satisfaction. Success never made him vain, failure never made him down-hearted. He insisted that there was no situation to which man could not have a practical reaction. He was one of those great men who – precisely in their life’s practice – achieved much, including the most essential. Nevertheless – or perhaps therefore – almost no one else wrote of possible or actual failures so soberly, with so little pathos: ‘The intelligent man is not one who makes no mistakes. There are no such men and cannot be. The intelligent man is one who makes no fundamental mistakes and who knows how to correct his errors swiftly and painlessly.’ This highly prosaic comment on the art of action is a more adequate expression of his essential attitude than any high-flown confession of faith. His life was one of permanent action, of continuous struggle in a world in which he was profoundly convinced that there was no situation without a solution, for himself or his opponents. The leitmotiv of his life was, accordingly: always be armed ready for action – for correct action.” [Georg Lukács. Lenin: A Study on the Unity of His Thought. Nicholas Jacobs, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Page 92.]
      “[Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky, as truly orthodox, dialectical Marxists, paid little attention to the so-called ‘facts.’ They were blind to the ‘fact’ that the Germans had won and had secured for themselves the military opportunity to march into Petrograd [now St. Petersburg, Russia] at any time, to occupy the Ukraine, and so on. Lenin and Trotsky understood the true reality, the necessary materialization of the world revolution; it was to this reality, not to the ‘facts,’ that they adjusted their actions. And it was they who were vindicated by reality, not the apostles of Realpolitik [literally, realistic politics, i.e., political pragmatism], who, swaying to and fro like reeds in the wind, judging their actions only by the ‘facts,’ changed their tactics after every victory or every defeat and stood helpless when it came to making real decisions.” [Georg Lukács. Tactics and Ethics, 1919-1929: The Questions of Parliamentarianism and Other Essays. Michael McColgan, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2014. Page 26.]
      “Nothing at all for any theory – like those of Expressionism or Surrealism – which denies that literature has any reference to objective ieality. It means a great deal, however, for a Marxist theory of literature. If literature is a particular form by means of which objective reality is reflected, then it becomes of crucial importance for it to grasp that reality as it truly is, and not merely to confine itself to reproducing whatever manifests itself immediately and on the surface. If a writer strives to represent reality as it truly is, i.e. if he is an authentic realist, then the question of totality plays a decisive role, no matter how the writer actually conceives the problem intellectually. [Vladimir] Lenin repeatedly insisted on the practical importance of the category of totality: ‘In order to know an object thoroughly, it is essential to discover and comprehend all of its aspects, its relationships and its “mediations.”’” [Georg Lukács, “Realism in the Balance.” Rodney Livingstone, translator. Aesthetics and Politics. Ronald Taylor, translation editor. London: Verso Editions. 1980. Pages 28-59.]
      “Lukácsism was the actual philosophy of Leninism, giving a systematic justification for [Vladimir] Lenin’s political programme, At the same time. however, Lukács’s philosophy was evidently at variance with the philosophy of Lenin – the latter repeated [Karl] Marx’s ambiguities. Hence Lukácsism opened the praxistic interpretation of Marxism, while Leninism, i.e. the philosophy of Lenin, belonged to the orthodox trend in Marxism.” [Leszek Nowak, “On Marxist social Philosophy.” Contemporary philosophy: A new survey—Volume 3—Philosophy of action. Guttorm Fløistad, editor. Boston, Massachusetts: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 1982. Pages 243-276.]
      “… there is no doubt that the last phase of Marxist theoretical discourse (in the Russia of de-Stalinisation, but also in the West, both inside and outside communist parties) led the analysis of capitalist development further than what the Frankfurt School, or the ongoing legacy of Lukácsism, were capable of producing.” [Antonio Negri. Marx and Foucault: Essays Volume 1. Ed Emery, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2017. Page 50.]
      “For a time ‘Lukácsism’ became a trend in vogue. It became popular among those sympathizers of the movement who saw in Marxism, as [Georg] Lukács did, a new religion, and who needed one. It also became popular among those who chose to affirm that small modicum of intellectual freedom which still remained among communists in Western Europe, and who saw in Lukács’ book [History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics] a symbolic gesture of defiant non-conformism, even though Lukács’ intentions were certainly not focused in this direction, apart from the fact that the book offered – among other things – the first all-comprehending theory of totalitarianism.” [Victor Zitta. Georg Lukács’ Marxism: Alienation, Dialectics, Revolution—A Study in Utopia and Ideology. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1964. Page 141.]
      “Hungarian literary critic and political theorist Georg Lukács is generally recognized, along with thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci and Rosa Luxemburg, as one of the most influential intellectual figures of twentieth century Marxism. And while Lukács’ reading of Marx is possibly the most sophisticated and intellectually rigorous to be found in the century and a half long trajectory of historical materialism, his legacy suffers from the ‘misfortune’ that, unlike Gramsci and Luxemburg, he survived what is known as the heroic period of Third International Marxism: the late teens and early twenties. Not sharing the embattled demise and much deserved martyrdom of these figures of these figures, it has become easy for many subsequent Leftists to malign a thinker who unfortunately followed his convictions to the historical train wreck that they came to—namely, the left after [Joseph] Stalin—a train wreck that in the present threatens to obscure our vision of his contribution. Those of us that are today interested in the political possibilities of a serious re-engagement with Marxian critical theory have much to lose if the image of ‘Lukács the cranky Stalinist party-intellectual’ of the fifties and sixties succeeds in eclipsing the memory of ‘Lukács the radical dialectician’ of the early twenties—we have much to lose if the carnage and decay that followed the brilliance of his insights scares us into seeing them merely as complex rationalizations for the use of political terror.” [Marco Torres, “Politics as a form of knowledge: A brief introduction to Georg Lukács.” Platypus Review. Issue 1, November 2007. Pages 2-3.]
      “Georg Lukács was the son of a wealthy Jewish banking family in Budapest [Hungary]. He took an active part in Hungarian literary circles until moving to Germany. He settled in Heidelberg in 1913 and became a member of Max Weber’s intellectual circle there. At this time politics and sociology had only peripheral interest for him. He shared with Thomas Mann a romantic inwardness and sense of alienation from bourgeois life. He detested the West without having any political formula for opposing it. By 1917 he had cured his inner despair and found a formula in Marxist world-revolution. While Mann became a democratic republican, Lukács became a Sorelian Marxist and later a fully-fledged Leninist. Despite their political differences, Lukács was always to respect and praise the writer whose creative spirit had come closest to his early criticism.” [John Orr, “Georg Lukács.” The Sociological Review. Volume 25, supplement 1, May 1977. Pages 109-130.]
      “My analysis will attempt to bring to the fore a new aspect of [Georg] Lukács’s relation to the Frankfurt School’s theory of dialectics by showing the extent to which his theory can be viewed as belonging to the bourgeois identity-thinking tradition. Thus, my analysis differs from the majority of the interpretations of Lukács presented to date, which attribute Lukács’s support of Stalinism to an error in his political tactics, or to the ‘sleight of hand’ he employs in assigning a central role to the Communist Party. I will argue not only that the reasons for Lukács’s Stalinism lie deep within his theory of dialectics, but, more specifically, I will provide a foundation for the conclusion (a conclusion that, in terms of the existing literature on Lukács, is ‘heretical’) that despite his harsh criticism of the philosophy of German idealism, Lukács does not succeed in disengaging himself from the framework of liberal methodology.” [Vasilis Grollios, “Dialectics and democracy in Georg Lukács’s Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 3, 2014. Pages 563-581.]
      “Georg Lukács (1885-1971), philosopher and aesthetician, was one of the original philosophers of the twentieth century. A lifelong Marxist, he always believed that Marxism was not a doctrine but a method. In his seminal essay, ‘What is Orthodox Marxism?’ he insisted on this point as [Friedrich] Engels had done in his celebrated letter to Werner Sombart (March 11, 1895): ‘This is a very interesting point, about which [Karl] Marx himself does not say much. But his way of viewing things is not a doctrine but a method. It does not provide ready-made dogmas, but criteria for further research and the method for this research.’” [Ramkrishna Bhattacharya, “Georg Lukács, Philosopher and Aesthetician.” Presented at The German Intellectual Tradition: From Kant to Habermas Phase II. Max Mueller Bhavan Library. Kolkata, India. April 4th, 2015. Pages 1-11. Retrieved on March 13th, 2015.]
      “In the opening paragraph of Tailism and the Dialectic (written in either 1925 or 1926) Georg Lukács explicitly defended his History and Class Consciousness (1923) as a methodological demonstration ‘that the organisation and tactics of Bolshevism are the only possible consequence of Marxism.’ This characterisation of his major work as Bolshevik should not have come as a surprise. From his prefatory praise of ‘[Vladimir] Lenin’s greatness, profundity and fertility as a theoretician’ through the critique of [Rosa] Luxemburg’s ‘spontaneity’ and the ponderous proof of why the proletariat should, but cannot, free itself, to the justification of an unmistakably Bolshevik form of revolutionary organisation, the Lukács of History and Class Consciousness was, as Slavoj Žižek states in his Postface to the English edition of Tailism, the ‘ultimate philosopher of Leninism.’” [Joseph Fracchia, “The Philosophical Leninism and Eastern ‘Western Marxism’ of Georg Lukács.” Historical Materialism. Volume 21, number 1, 2013. Pages 69-93.]
      “… [Georg] Lukács is read as the philosopher of a Marxism produced by subtracting the Leninism from precisely that Marxism-Leninism that made its production possible in the first place. But is this not all to the good? And is not the current consensus based on the feeling that whatever the status of Marxism itself – dead or alive – it is Leninism which is historically dead for good: as witness the multitude of anarchist revivals flowing in to fill that void in current radical politics and activism?” [Fredric Jameson, “Nothing but a commodity.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 110, November/December 2001. Pages 36-40.]
      “What is Leninism, argues [Georg] Lukács, if not the permanent insistence on the ‘active and conscious role of the subjective moment’? How could one imagine, ‘without this function of the subjective moment,’ [Vladimir] Lenin’s conception of insurrection as an art? Insurrection is precisely the Augenblick [moment], the instant of the revolutionary process where ‘the subjective moment has a decisive predominance (ein entscheidendes Übergewicht).’ In that instant, the fate of the revolution, and therefore of humanity ‘depends on the subjective moment.’ This does not mean that revolutionaries should ‘wait’ for the arrival of this Augenblick: there is no moment in the historical process where the possibility of an active role of the subjective moments is completely lacking ….” [Michael Löwy, “Dialectics and Revolution: Trotsky, Lenin, Lukács.” Dialectics for the New Century. Bertell Ollman and Tony Smith, editors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. 2008. Pages 151-162.]
      “[Vladimir] Lenin and [Georg] Lukács became emblems of authoritarian socialism while [Rosa] Luxemburg and [Karl] Korsch became associated with more libertarian, if not liberal, concerns.” [Chris Cutrone, “Dialectics of Defeat: Towards a Theory of Historical Regression (Platypus) 1917.” Presented at Left Forum 2009. Pace University. New York, New York. April 18th, 2009. Pages 1-7. Retrieved on March 13th, 2017.]
      “[Georg] Lukács’ short book on [Vladimir] Lenin was a practical condensation of his theoretical work. Written on Lenin’s death in 1924, it has sometimes been criticised for idealising Lenin. But the book is really an attempt to formulate the principles behind the methods of the Russian revolutionaries and defend them against gathering enemies. In the process, it demolishes two common caricatures of Lenin and Leninism. First, the idea that Lenin was a ruthless pragmatist, opportunistically twisting and turning to seize and then retain power. Second, the (opposite) stereotype that Lenin imposed rigid dogmas on a reluctant population.” [Chris Nineham. Capitalism and Class Consciousness: The Idea of Georg Lukács. London: Counterfire. 2010. Page 45.]
      “[Georg] Lukács … says, ‘[Vladimir] Lenin’s organizational forms are essential….In no way are they, as Rosa Luxemburg thought, useless “paper” guarantees….The organizational formsof the proletariat, in first rank the party, are real forms of mediation, in which and through which develops and is developed the consciousness that corresponds to the social being of the proletariat.’
      “Lukács even goes so far as to quote approvingly Lenin’s 1903 statement that ‘class political consciousness can be brought to the workers ONLY from without, that is, only from outside the sphere of relations between workers and employers.’ Lukács adds: ‘The consciousness of the masses AT ANY ONE TIME does not develop independently of the party.’ …
      “A much more serious analysis is provided by Slavoj Žižek’s Postface. Zizek is drawn to Lukács’ embrace of Lenin’s theory of organization because for him it represents a break from the notion that revolution depends on ‘objective conditions.’ To Žižek, revolution depends on The Event, the willful act of intervening at a crucial juncture to seize the initiative. Lukács’ emphasis on ‘the party,’ he argues, restores the subjective, willful component of Marxism against objectivistic tendencies.”
      [Peter Hudis. The Dialectic and ‘The Party’: Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness reconsidered. Chicago, Illinois: U.S. Marxist-Humanists. 2001. Pages 2-5.]
      “In taking issue with [Georg] Lukács’s moral presuppositions, I don’t mean to suggest that Marxism is not or should not be a discourse with an explicit moral component. The claim, for example, that capitalism is socially and historically contradictory, and that these contradictions produce human misery on a far vaster scale and in a more systematic way than any mode of production could ever justify, is not only a social, historical, theoretical, and political claim, but a moral one as well. But one also has to distinguish between different kinds of morality, and the sexual morality of [Karl] Marx’s and Lukács’s arguments diverge significantly.” [Kevin Floyd, “Lukács and Sexual Humanism.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 18, number 3, 2006. Pages 397-403.]
      “Ironically, it was none other than [Georg] Lukács himself, who, in a major theoretical shift, took the strongest stand against the wholesale abandonment of the dialectics of nature, arguing that this struck at the very heart of not just Engels’s but also [Karl] Marx’s ontology. Even in History and Class Consciousness Lukács, following Hegel, had recognized the existence of a limited, ‘merely objective dialectics of nature’ consisting of a ‘dialectics of movement witnessed by the detached observer.’ In his famous 1967 preface to the new edition of this work, in which he distanced himself from some of his earlier positions, he declared that his original argument was faulty in its exaggerated critique of the dialectics of nature, since, as he put it, the ‘basic Marxist category, labour as the mediator of the metabolic interaction between society and nature, is missing…. It is self-evident that this means the disappearance of the ontological objectivity of labor,’ which cannot itself be separated from its natural conditions.” [John Bellamy Foster, “Marx and the Rift in the Universal Metabolism of Nature.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 65, number 7, December 2013. Pages 1-19.]
      1. Kingdom of Necessity and Kingdom of Freedom: Borrowing from the terminology of Friedrich Engels, Lukács distinguishes between the Kingdom of Necessity (economy) and, as its foundation, the Kingdom of Freedom (communism).
        “As always, [Vladimir] Lenin concentrated upon the concrete task standing before him. This means that he did not enter upon the more complex problems of Marx’s Kingdom of Freedom, but focused exclusively upon the ‘withering away of the state.’” [Georg Lukács. The Process of Democratization. Susanne Bernhardt and Norman Levine, translators. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1991. Page 101.]
        “Lenin looked upon the emergence of the so-called ‘Communist Saturday’ as an expression of the desire to surpass the domination of the past by means of the spontaneous self-activity of social men. This species self-activity was capable of acting as the ground of socialist democracy, the preparation of the Kingdom of Freedom even though the journey was long and filled with contradictions and temporary setbacks. A socialist economy is the indispensable foundation for such species self-determination, its necessary point of origin and its corresponding content.” Page 103.]
        “… the Kingdom of Freedom signifies the unfolding of human powers which is valid as an end in itself. That signifies a mode of praxis that surpasses the economic and passes beyond the basic and therefore unsurpassable Kingdom of Necessity.” [Georg Lukács. The Process of Democratization. Susanne Bernhardt and Norman Levine, translators. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1991. Page 124.]
        “Marx recognizes the economic (the Kingdom of Necessity) as the indispensable basis for communism (the Kingdom of Freedom). He rejects every form of utopianism, and at the same time designates the Kingdom of Freedom as ‘the other world’ of the Kingdom of Necessity.” [Georg Lukács. The Process of Democratization. Susanne Bernhardt and Norman Levine, translators. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1991. Page 140.]
        “Bourgeois society dualistically divided the individual between homme [man], and citoyen [citizen] and the socialist emphasis on the everyday is not intended as the canonization of the material homme, one part of that dualism. Socialist democracy has as its task the transcendence of this dualism in the Kingdom of Freedom.…
        “For all practical purposes, the Stalinization of Russia blocked all possibilities for socialism to develop as the Kingdom of Freedom.”
        [Georg Lukács. The Process of Democratization. Susanne Bernhardt and Norman Levine, translators. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1991. Page 144.]
        “Considered from an objective standpoint, we are dealing with the fact that the economic and social order instituted by [Joseph] Stalin was capable of overcoming the immanent and inclusive economic underdevelopment of Russia, and coupled with the unexpectedly rapid growth of the forces of production did lay the basis for the Kingdom of Freedom. This statement does not relate to the question of socialist democracy, nor to the fact that socialism was unable to de stroy the bountifulness of the capitalist economic formation. The Kingdom of Freedom was an adequate basis for the uniquely human self-creation of man. Paradoxically, the Stalinist system not only created the basis for human self genesis, but also created objective and insurmountable barriers to the realization of this process of human becoming.” [Georg Lukács. The Process of Democratization. Susanne Bernhardt and Norman Levine, translators. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1991. Page 154.]
        “To demonstrate methodologically that the organization and tactics of Bolshevism are the only possible consequence of Marxism: to prove that, of necessity, the problems of Bolshevism follow logically—that is to say logically in a dialectical sense—from the method of materialist dialectics as implemented by its founders. If the discussion of my book had left not one stone standing, but had meant that some progress had been achieved in this respect, I would have silently enjoyed that progress, and not defended one single claim in my book.
        “But my critics move instead in the opposite direction. They use their polemics to smuggle Menshevik elements into Marxism and Leninism.”
        [Georg Lukács. A Defence of History and Class Consciousness: Tailism and the Dialectic. Esther Leslie, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2000. Page 47.]
        “The laws of his [man’s] own social action, hitherto standing face to face with man as laws of Nature foreign to, and dominating, him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man’s own social organization, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history, pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, more and more consciously, make his own history — only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.” [Friedrich Engels. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Edward Aveling, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1908. Pages 134-135.]
        “The revolutionary ethics that shines through here [in the work of Georg Lukács] involves the necessity of being true, in the very process of struggle (whose goal is rule by the people over political, social and economic structures) to the democratic humanism that is essential to both ends and means. This is the case, Lukács tells us, in [Vladimir] Lenin no less than in [Karl] Marx: ‘Lenin had a deep insight into the relationship between the subjective and objective forces, and he was an advocate of human self-determination. He wished to place a knowledge of the power and creativity of the subjective and objective in the service of the coming Kingdom of Freedom.’” [Paul Le Blanc, “Spider and Fly: The Leninist Philosophy of Georg Lukács.” Historical Materialism. Volume 21, number 2, 2013. Pages 47-75.]
      2. socialist realism: Lukács develops a version of realism informed by Leninism and socialism. The objective of Lukács’ version of literary realism was, ultimately, to establish socialism. More recently, Husayn Muruwwah (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, حُسَيْن مُرُوءَة, Ḥusayn Murūˁaẗ) elaborated socialist realism as a Marxist Arab approach to literary criticism.
        “The perspective of socialism enables the writer to see society and history for what they are. This opens a fundamentally new, and highly fruitful, chapter in literary creation. Let us take two points. Socialist realism is a possibility rather than an actuality; and the effective realization of the possibility is a complex all air. A study of Marxism (not to speak of other activity in the Socialist movement, even Party membership) is not of itself sufficient. A writer may acquire useful experience in this way, and become aware of certain intellectual and moral problems. But it is no easier to translate ‘true consciousness’ of reality into adequate aesthetic form than it is bourgeois ‘false consciousness.’
        “Again, while it is true that a correct theoretical approach and a correct aesthetic (i.e. the creation of a typology) may often coincide, the methods and the results are not really identical. Their coincidence derives from the fact that both reflect the same reality. A correct aesthetic understanding of social and historical reality is the precondition of realism. A merely theoretical understanding—whether correct or incorrect—can only influence literature if completely absorbed and translated into suitable aesthetic categories. Whether the theory is correct or not is immaterial, since for a writer no theory, no conceptual understanding, can be more than a general guide. The relationship is indirect, dialectical; an erroneous, or partly erroneous, theory may nevertheless be a fruitful guiding principle. [Vladimir] Lenin once remarked in a letter to [Maxim] Gorky, ‘I am of the opinion that there is something in every philosophy which an artist can put to good use….’ And added, with Gorky’s own work in mind, ‘… even if that philosophy be Idealistic.’”
        [Georg Lukács. The Meaning of Contemporary Realism. John and Necke Mander, translators. London: Merlin Press Limited. 1963. Pages 96-97.] Pages 96-97.]
        “Ḥusayn Muruwwah (1910-1987) was one of the most versatile Arab intellectuals of the twentieth century.…
        “… Deported from Iraq and settling in Beirut, in the 1950s and 1960s he was at the vanguard of the postcolonial intelligentsia and its search for a new Arab culture. He became an influential literary critic, the first to write a coherent manifesto of Socialist Realism ….
        “In his capacity as a budding Communist intellectual, during the 1950s Muruwwah emerged as an aggressive literary critique who, theoretically as well as methodologically, ventured into Socialist Realism.”
        [Yoav Di-Capua, “Homeward Bound: Husayn Muruwwah’s Integrative Quest for Authenticity.” Journal of Arabic Literature. Volume 44, 2013. Pages 21-52.]
        “[Husayn] Muruwah does not … argue that there is a world-wide, pan-historical genealogy of materialist thought. Thales [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, Θαλῆς, Thalē̂s] was not a precursor to [Karl] Marx. To the extent that class conflict is a given, every national tradition will have materialist and idealist strands of its own. There are also hidden democratic elements in each tradition. However, and this is where Muruwah’s materialist universalism turns to cultural and national particularism, each tradition progresses at its own pace given its particular constellation of relations of production and, consequently, scientific knowledge.
        “Muruwah rejects theories of cultural diffusion. Rationalism did not come to the East from the West, Even if the Arabs borrowed from the Greeks, the gulf separating the Athenian slave system and the feudal-mercantile structure of Abbasid [Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, العَبَّاسِيّ, ʾal-ʿAbbāsiyy] society meant similar ideas were put to completely different uses and were employed or discarded to the extent that they suited different social needs. Abbasid society had an indigenous rationalist tradition of its own, reaching as far back as Sassanian and Byzantine times.
        “The idea that there are materialist (and democratic) continuities in all cultural and political traditions is at once the most provocative and the most confusing element in Muruwah’s scheme. He continually returns to the balance between the universal and the particular, which is itself linked to his vision of the ties that bind past and present. Relations of production always determine political and social arrangements and their attendant materialist and idealist cultural manifestations. The past is part of the present because history tends toward progress, from slavery to capitalism, for example, and from primitive to dialectical materialism. Historical materialism uncovers both these universal truths. However, Muruwah is quick to assert, stages of historical develop ment do not proceed in identical fashion. The Arabo-Islamic trajectory is unique, and its cultural tradition can only be understood within the context of the specific socio economic constellation that produced it. Second, the modern Arab national liberation movement must derive its inspiration from this tradition.”
        [Steve Tamari, “Reclaiming the Islamic Heritage: Marxism and Islam in the Thought of Husayn Muruwah.” The Arab Studies Journal. Volume 3, number 1, spring 1995. Pages 121-129.]
        “In his capacity as a budding Communist intellectual, during the 1950s [Ḥusayn] Muruwwah emerged as an aggressive literary critique who, theoretically as well as methodologically, ventured into Socialist Realism.… [H]e was considered a co-founder of this Arab literary trend. His ambition, and that of the Arab Socialist Realist movement as a whole, was to transform literary criticism and through it change the course of national culture, thought and, more broadly, their relation to politics and society.… Muruwwah’s theoretical contribution was crucial for the success of this effort, written as it was against the message he had absorbed in Najaf’s book market.” [Yoav Di-Capua, “Homeward Bound: Husayn Muruwwah’s Integrative Quest for Authenticity.” Journal of Arabic Literature. Volume 44, 2013. Pages 21-52.]
        “That socialist realist texts were bound to an ideological dominant is exceedingly familiar. At the same time, however, instead of citing differences to attack or reject its representative texts, we can use them to elucidate how socialist realism was a literary system that operated with distinct evaluative criteria. The terms that we commonly employ to identify, define and judge literature (and I include here both fiction and non-fiction) may be inappropriate when we transfer the object at hand into a socialist realist context.” [Greg Carleton, “Genre in Socialist Realism.” Slavic Review. Volume 53, number 4, winter 1994. Pages 992-1009.]
        “In the work of the Marxist critic Georg Lukács, realist texts are valued for the facility that they offered to move from an identification with the specific experiences of their characters to a more general understanding of the social and economic conditions which produce those experiences. Furthermore, for Lukács, realism is a political category as well as an aesthetic one, as the realist text – whatever the ideological commitments of its author – is by definition a progressive one. Modernist literature – which to Lukács seems designed to block any such generalisation – was viewed as an outgrowth of an aberrant naturalist tendency to fetishise the specific.” [Matthew Taunton, “Realism, Modernism and the General: Beckett, Lukács, Adorno.” The London Consortium: Static. Issue 08 – General. December 2008. Pages 1-13.]
        “The interdependency of realism and modernism, as is the case with any antinomy that contains a dialectic, is stronger than [Georg] Lukács ever acknowledged. Yet Lukácsean theory, in its radical historicity, contains the tools for its own critique. Lukács’s subjective standpoint is embedded in a ‘realist’ understanding of literature. He therefore theorizes, and intervenes in, a mode of understanding in which he himself is embedded. Lukács cannot theorize contemporary realism: to do so he would have to enter a modernist mode of understanding from which he is estranged, since the potential of contemporary realism must be contained in modernism in the form of a reified realism.” [Sara Nadal-Melsió, “Georg Lukács: Magus Realismus?” Diacritics. Volume 34, number 2, summer, 2004. Pages 62-84.]
        “Insofar as realism for [Georg] Lukács concerns the accurate representation of the objective world in literature from an objective point of view, it is dependent in a way totally foreign to the earlier work on a base/superstructure distinction which grants ontological priority to the base, for that is the source of the socio-economic objectivity in question. The earlier focus on the incommensurability of subject and subjectively perceived world, which accounts for the typology Lukács constructs in The theory of the novel, gives way to a scheme in which the relation of subject and subjectively perceived reality is triangulated by reference to an objective world.” [Vadim Shneyder, “On the Hegelian roots of Lukács’s theory of realism.” Studies in East European Thought. Volume 65, issue 3-4, December 2013. Pages 259-269.]
        “In opposition to modernism, [Georg] Lukács defends the realist tradition of literature, particularly that embodied by the nineteenth century novel. Realism, he argues, is a mode of literary engagement that is able to capture the true nature of the individual in relation to the development of the socio-historical totality. In short, realism succeeds as an aesthetic and a political strategy because it can penetrate the underlying essences that lie beneath the appearances of a particular historical situation. In this paper, I will argue that Lukács’s position is inadequate because he fails to recognize the way in which the modes of literary representation themselves are subject to aesthetic and historical transformation. As a consequence, Lukács’s defense of realism is only able to operate on the basis of a static and often transparently dogmatic absolutization of the literary subject.” [Charles Prusik, “Rethinking Realism: A Critique of Georg Lukács.” American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-journal. Volume 5, number 1, fall 2012/winter 2013. Pages 1-9.]
        “For [Georg] Lukács the essay becomes a search for and the intermittent visualization of an order and a center of universal convergence. As such, it is an objectifying and stabilizing force converting the flux of be coming into concrete being, ongoing praxis into a single form held firm (‘a solid possession’), if only momentarily.…
        “… Alienation from the (utopian) reality of the work is the destiny of the realistic or dialectical writer as well as his romantic counterpart. There is an unremitting paradox in this formulation, of course; only that which arouses desire can be known at all, but in order for desire to be maintained the object cannot be known well.”
        [Debra A. Castillo, “Georg Lukács: Forms of Longing.” Criticism. Volume 28, number 1, winter 1986. Pages 89-104.]
        “… for [Georg] Lukács realism does not always have to be ‘realistic,’ especially if political or social conditions make a direct portrayal of realism unfeasible.” [Christopher Stone, “Georg Lukács and the Improbable Realism of Ṣunꞌ Allah Ibrāhīm’s The Committee.” Journal of Arabic Literature. Volume 41, number 1/2, 2010. Pages 136-147.]
      3. theory of the novel: Lukács applies critical social theory to the study of the novel.
        “German Romanticism, although it did not always completely clarify its concept of the novel, drew a close connection between it and the concept of the Romantic; and rightly so, for the novel form is, like no other, an expression of this transcendental homelessness. For the Greeks the fact that their history and the philosophy of history coincided meant that every art form was born only when the sundial of the mind showed that its hour had come, and had to disappear when the fundamental images were no longer visible on the horizon. This philosophical periodicity was lost in later times. Artistic genres now cut across one another, with a complexity that cannot be disentangled, and become traces of authentic or false searching for an aim that is no longer clearly and unequivocally given; their sum total is only a historical totality of the empirical, wherein we may seek (and possibly find) the empirical (sociological) conditions for the ways in which each form came into being, but where the historico-philosophical meaning of periodicity is never again concentrated in the forms themselves (which have become symbolic) and where this meaning can be deciphered and decoded from the totalities of various periods, but not discovered in those totalities themselves. But whereas the smallest disturbance of the transcendental correlations must cause the immanence of meaning in life to vanish beyond recovery, an essence that is divorced from life and alien to life can crown itself with its own existence in such a way that this consecration, even after a more violent upheaval, may pale but will never disappear altogether. That is why tragedy, although changed, has nevertheless survived in our time with its essential nature intact, whereas the epic had to disappear and yield its place to an entirely new form: the novel.” [Georg Lukács. The Theory of The Novel: A historico-philosophical essay on the forms of great epic literature. Anna Bostock, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Page 41.]
      4. objective theory of class consciousness: Lukács emphasizes alienation, class conflict, rationality, and emancipatory agency. Capitalism is the source of alienation. People become disconnected, or alienated, from aspects of their own humanness as a result of living in an oppressive capitalist society. The remedy, in Lukács’ Marxist form of humanism, is the development of class consciousness.
        “… where consciousness already exists as an objective possibility, they indicate degrees of distance between the psychological class consciousness and the adequate understanding of the total situation. These gradations, however, can no longer be referred back to socio-economic causes. The objective theory of class consciousness is the theory of its objective possibility. The stratification of the problems and economic interests within the proletariat is, unfortunately, almost wholly unexplored, but research would undoubtedly lead to discoveries of the very first importance.” [Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Rodney Livingstone, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Page 79.]
        “… the class consciousness of the proletariat, the truth of the process ‘as subject’ is itself far from stable and constant; it does not advance according to mechanical ‘laws.’ It is the consciousness of the dialectical process itself: it is likewise a dialectical concept. For the active and practical side of class consciousness, its true essence, can only become visible in its authentic form when the historical process imperiously requires it to come into force, i.e. when an acute crisis in the economy drives it to action. At other times it remains theoretical and latent, corresponding to the latent and permanent crisis of capitalism: it confronts the individual questions and conflicts of the day with its demands, but as ‘mere’ consciousness, as an ‘ideal sum,’ in Rosa Luxemburg’s phrase.” [Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Rodney Livingstone, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Pages 40-41.]
        “… [Karl] Marx’s ‘humanism’ diverges most sharply from all the movements that seem so similar to it at first glance. Others have often recognised and described how capitalism violates and destroys everything human. I need refer only to [Thomas] Carlyle’s Past and Present whose descriptive sections received the approval and in part the enthusiastic admiration of the young [Friedrich] Engels. In such accounts it is shown, on the one hand, that it is not possible to be human in bourgeois society, and, on the other hand, that man as he exists is opposed without mediation – or what amounts to the same thing, through the mediations of metaphysics and myth – to this non-existence of the human (whether this is thought of as something in the past, the future or merely an imperative).” [Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Rodney Livingstone, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Page 190.]
        “It is true that for a long while the undeveloped state of natural knowledge, the limited control of nature, played a major role in making the practice criterion appear in limited or distorted forms of a false consciousness. The concrete forms of this, however, and in particular its influence, extension, power, etc., have always bee n determined by social relations, naturally in interaction with the narrow ontological horizon. Today, when the material level of development of the sciences would objectively facilitate a correct ontology, this false ontological consciousness in the realm of science, and its intellectual influence, are far more clearly rooted in the prevailing social needs.” [Georg Lukács. The Ontology of Social Being: Labour. David Fernbach, translator. London: The Merlin Press Ltd. 1980. Page 63.]
        “We have seen that the proletariat’s historical task is both to emancipate itself from all ideological association with other classes and to establish its own class-consciousness on the basis of its unique class position and the consequent independence of its class interests. Only thus will it be capable of leading all the oppressed and exploited elements of bourgeois society in the common struggle against their economic and political oppressors. The objective basis of the leading role of the proletariat is its position within the capitalist process of production. However it would be a mechanistic application of Marxism, and therefore a totally unhistorical illusion, to conclude that a correct proletarian class-consciousness – adequate to the proletariat’s leading role – can gradually develop on its own, without both frictions and setbacks, as though the proletariat could gradually evolve ideologically into the revolutionary vocation appropriate to its class.” [Georg Lukács. Lenin: A Study on the Unity of his Thought. Nicholas Jacobs, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Page 24.]
        “The attempt to summarize Marx’s ontology, in a theoretical sense, leads one into a somewhat paradoxical situation. On the one hand, it must be clear to any unbiassed reader of Marx that all of his concrete statements, understood correctly and without the fashionable prejudices, are in the last instance intended as direct statements about an existent, i.e. they are specifically ontological. On the other hand, however, we find in Marx no independent treatment of ontological problems. Marx never undertook a systematic or systematizing definition as to their specific place in thought, their distinctness from epistemology, logic, etc.” [Georg Lukács. The Ontology of Social Being: Marx’s Basic Ontological Principles. David Fernbach, translator. London: The Merlin Press Ltd. 1978. Page 1.]
        “Notwithstanding the importance of objective social conditions, a Marxist ontology must advocate the realization of the transformative capacities of individuals – the development of knowledge, the necessity of understanding, thinking and action as resting on a correct choice between alternatives, and the mastery of self. A necessary foundation for the full realization of human potential is to understand the process by which people can emerge from the ordinary experience of existing social conditions and become capable of, and prepared to engage in, the transformation of social reality.” [Robert Lanning, “Ethics and Self-Mastery: Revolution and the Fully Developed Person in the Work of Georg Lukács.” Science & Society. Volume 65, number 3, fall 2001. Pages 327-349.]
        “Underlying … [the] total separation of consciousness and reality is the notion that reality itself cannot be known objectively. From this perspective, the contents of consciousness are either an immediate expression of experience or a subjective construct based upon experience. [Georg] Lukács finds no problem in associating these two attitudes concerning the nature of knowledge with neo-positivism and neo-Kantianism respectively. In both cases empirical (immediate) reality is the only instance which can be used as a standard to evaluate the conformity between conceptions and the world ‘out there’ of which they are conceptions.” [Mário Duayer and João Leonardo Medeiros, “Lukács’ Critical Ontology and Critical Realism.” Journal of Critical Realism. Volume 4, issue 2, August 2005. Pages 395-425.]
      5. theory of reification: Lukács, as explained by Andrew Feenberg, develops an approach to reification as “a theory of social practice and a work of social ontology.”
        “The more deeply reification penetrates into the soul of the man who sells his achievement as a commodity the more deceptive appearances are (as in the case of journalism). Corresponding to the objective concealment of the commodity form, there is the subjective element. This is the fact that while the process by which the worker is reified and becomes a commodity dehumanises him and cripples and atrophies his ‘soul’—as long as he does not consciously rebel against it—it remains true that precisely his humanity and his soul are not changed into commodities. He is able therefore to objectify himself completely against his existence while the man reified in the bureaucracy, for instance, is turned into a commodity, mechanised and reified in the only faculties that Inight enable him to rebel against reification. Even his thoughts and feelings become reified. As [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel says: ‘It is much harder to bring movement into fixed ideas than into sensuous existence.’” [Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Rodney Livingstone, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1971. Page 172.]
        “[Georg] Lukács’s theory of reification, explained in his 1923 work, History and Class Consciousness, is often interpreted as a theory of ideology, but it is also a theory of social practice and a work of social ontology.…
        “Reification, according to Lukács, means mistaking social relations for things. An institution, a university for example, is in reality a complex of social relations, but it appears as a solid and substantial thing like a natural object. Breaking with the illusory thinghood of social institutions and recovering their contingency is ‘dereification.’ This idea is usually explained as a theory of ideology, but implied in the contrast between social relations and things is a deeper argument concerning the nature of action or practice, as Lukács calls it. Practices establish a world within which reified objects appear. These objects are understood ‘immediately’—that is to say, without critical awareness—from a reified standpoint. This standpoint is derivative of the practices, not of their origins, but the standpoint contributes to the reproduction of the world that the practices sustain.”
        [Andrew Feenberg, “Lukács’s Theory of Reification and Contemporary Social Movements.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 25, issue 4, 2015. Pages 490-507.]
    4. left communism, libertarian Marxism, syndicalist Marxism, and radical democratic Marxism: Left communism specifically, a generally non–Bolshevik branch of the Marxist tradition, is also commonly referred to as “left–wing communism,” the “communist left,” or by the French term «ultra–gauche» (MP3 audio file)―literally, “ultra–left.” For instance, as a highly variegated set of traditions, left communism and libertarian Marxism can be broadly defined to incorporate a conglomeration of libertarian and democratic currents. The “left” in left communism refers to the left of Lenin. It should be pointed out, however, that not all branches of left communism are specifically libertarian. Rosa Luxemburg, while a left communist and a radical democrat, supported a proletarian state and was not, therefore, a libertarian per se. Autonomism and communization theory, on the other hand, are libertarian, but they were developed long after the era of left communism. The category of “radical democratic Marxism” could include some left–wing and libertarian currents, as well as some movements which may not fall under either category, such as international revolutionary democratic communism and radical egalitarianism.
      Here is a listing of the currents, tendencies, and critiques included in this section: Marxism–Luxemburgism; Marxism–Pankhurstism; Marxism–Bordigism; Zapatismo; communization; two names of communism; structural transformation of the public sphere; socialist democracy; world of common ownership and sustainability; ultimate liberation of the human species; democratic workers’ self-governance; principle–agent theory; counter–hegemonic bloc; revolutionary transformation of human living conditions; socialist project of class emancipation; idea of democratic communism; socialist feminism; left libertarian feminism; Objectivism; free market socialism; self–management and immediate participatory democracy in action; fullest realization of democracy; four–celled matrix; idea of democracy realized in its true meaning; many–headed hydra; demodernization; communist socialism; revolutionary Realpolitik; genealogy of horizontalism; thoroughgoing democratic and egalitarian society; revolutionary–libertarian opposition to Bolshevism; participatory economic system; democratic–anti–imperialist project; Democratic Planned Socialism; revolutionary libertarian socialism; libertarian current; open utopia; non–market socialism; true industrial democracy; global awakening; democratic, collective ownership of the major means of production; communities of resistance; tradition of democratic communism; autonomism; critical cultural translation; rise of the machines; flexible future; worker socialism; generative dialogue; libertarian ecosocialism; self– activity of the working class; information society theory; revolt of the global value–subjects; cyber–Marx; new social protagonism; multiplication of labor; border as method; workers’ inquiry; militant workers’ inquiry; workers’ inquiry 2.0; political economy of the restaurant; autonomous public space; new class composition; co–research; free labor; autonomization of expression; autonomous workers’ movement; class autonomy; proletarian democracy; autoreduction; autonomous movement; guaranteeism; autonomous struggle; boredom; autonomist Marxist analysis; autonomous self–activity; mediation of the class struggle; autonomist Marxist critique of determinist Marxism; anomie of the earth; cognitive capitalism; class struggle theory of value; plenums; autonomous social organisms; autonomy from all forms of capitalist institution, authority, or power; political autonomy and independence of the working class; radical public sphere; autonomous nature; autonomist communism; universal or total self–management; autonomist Marxist feminism; autonomous educational system; workers’ rights; revolutionary autonomy of the proletariat and capital’s autonomization; autonomy within heteronomy; poet’s autonomy and autonomy of art; autonomous left; communistically restructured social economy; autonomous free association; autonomous filaments; autonomist critique of corporate social responsibility; autonomy of the proletariat; autonomous mental realim; autonomy in art; autonomy of struggles; autonomous geographies; workers’ communism; autonomist Marxism; autonomous Marxism; class against capital; determinate critique of democracy; potential or cultural freedom; autonomous city; autonomous micro–politics; panopticon society; precarious communism; creative precariat; autonomist Zionism; project of autonomy; female autonomy; biopolitical struggle; autonomous sphere; Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism; relational autonomy; workers’ councils and the economics of self–managed society; horizontal and vertical autonomism; commodification of experience; Empire; multitude; perspective of autonomy; LIES; radical autonomy; critical perspective on brands; autonomous forms of social coöperation; autonomist model of political communication; autonomous re–interpretation of Marxism; open Marxism; open Marxist theory of imperialism; council communism (the establishment of factory-based workers’ councils); automatic rise of factory councils; theory of proletarian action; Marxism–Gorterism; Group of International Communists; neo–councilism; anti–Bolshevik communism; New Associationist Movement; coöperative communism; cyber–communism; left–wing alternative; participatory Marxism; viewpoint of participatory Democracy; self–managed socialism; communist Internet; the new communism; neo–communism; base materialism; anti–state, anti–market socialism; workers’ coöperatives; workers’ self–directed coöperative enterprises; coöperative commonwealth; Coöperative Commonwealth Communities enterprise; workers’ self management and communism from below; laborist production; international revolutionary democratic communism; democratic revolution; radical democratic communism; aesthetic radical democracy; radical–communist democracy; communism as liberation; feasible socialism; Tiqqun; bloom theory; Cybernetic Hypothesis; situationist movement; egalitarian social movements; Organisation des Jeunes Travailleurs Révolutionnaires; Realcommunism; left communist utopian project; Internationalist Communist Tendency; International Communist Current; Internationalist Perspective; Internationalist Voice; Miasnikov group; system of self–managed firms; Marxist theory of labor–managed firms; theory of liberation; Marxism–Sorelianism (Georges Sorel’s revolutionary syndicalism); Marxism–De Leonism; socialized markets; libertarian communist politics; Chicago Idea movement; anti–parliamentary communism; confederal inclusive democracy; radical Marxism; World Socialist Movement; International Communist Left; left–wing convergence; anti–authoritarian current; Forum for the Internationalist Communist Left; A World to Win; real–libertarianism; radical egalitarianism; egalitarian communism; nihilist communism; society of the free and equal; alter–globalization movement; Marxian theory of justice; egalitarian social transformation; post–Hayekian market socialism; deep democracy; free development of the individual; New Economic Democracy; post–capitalist localism; Revolutionary International Socialism; Marxist–libertarianism; world that is relatively democratic and relatively egalitarian; Johnson–Forest; socialist humanism; humanistic socialism; Pluralist Commonwealth; rationalist theory of socialist public ownership; independent mode of production; multilevel democratic iterative coordination; voluntary association of self–empowered producers; socialist governmentality; society of free producers; society of associated producers; free association of social individuals; workers’ control of production; Worker Self–Directed Enterprise; coöperative paradigm; worker coöperativism; coöperative subjects; axiom of communism; cyborg socialism; commonism; Community Economies Collective; orgonomy; Free Communism; libertarian revolutionary unionism; class–struggle unionism; solidarity unionism; anarcho–Marxism; existential communism; anarchist Marxism; synthesis between anarchism and marxism; radical egalitarian socialism; collective action to create a socialist society; libertarian socialist institutional model; the New Left; decadence theory; and critiques of left and libertarian Marxism.
      Please note that Ian D. Thatcher considers Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism to be a part of the communist left. Nevertheless, most writers restrict this rubric to certain specifically non–Bolshevik versions of Marxist communism. Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism is Bolshevik.
      Rosa Luxemburg, aside from the tendency named after her, has influenced some of the other approaches to left communism—particularly autonomist Marxism—as well as some approaches to Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism. Certain segments of the communist left accept a version of spontaneism (revolutionary spontaneity). In the anti–reformist tradition of impossibilism, a number of left communists (mostly autonomists) consider reforming, or improving, existing societies to be, for the most part, a waste of time. (Marxist–Luxemburgists, for the most part, disagree.)
      In addition, many left communists oppose “frontism” (forming alliances with groups outside of a particular left-communist tendency to fight a common enemy), nationalism (including purely national revolutions), and both voting and running in national elections (parliamentarism). Lenin’s emphasis on national revolutions and, even more so, Stalin’s “socialism in one country” are often regarded as shifts to the right. Indeed, left communists have developed various critiques of a Leninist, or centralist, viewpoint. As shown in the quotation directly below this paragraph, Lenin was obviously not a fan of the majority of the communist left (an opposition which did not extend to Luxemburg).
      “Two figures stand out as emblematic of the dominant currents of left Marxism in the twentieth century: Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky. Both were revolutionaries who supported the October 1917 Bolshevik takeover. Both had a complex and changing relationship with Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Both were anti-parliamentary and in favour of a combination of vanguard leadership and workers’ councils. Luxemburg, however, was the more clearly libertarian, sympathetic to spontaneous mass activity and deeply attached to the preservation of civil liberties under socialism. Trotsky was the more vanguardist and the one who, despite his anti-Stalinism, was more willing to subordinate democratic means to revolutionary ends. These two figures have had a profound influence on Marxism and Marxist thought, albeit an influence felt mainly and most strongly in fringe and minority groupings of left politics. Trotsky initiated a trend of radical and anti-Stalinist vanguardism, while Luxemburg’s legacy has been more diffuse (there are few ‘Luxernburgists’ in the way that there are Trotskyists) but is felt and viewed positively by a range of left activists and thinkers, from the radical liberal through to the anarchist. In this chapter the complex relationship between Trotsky and Luxemburg during their lifetime is explored in order to convey a sense of what left Marxism is, and to see what light can be cast on the tensions and differences between its two main rival strands.” [Ian D. Thatcher, “Left Communism: Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky Compared.” Twentieth-Century Marxism: A Global Introduction. Daryl Glaser and David M. Walker, editors. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2007. Pages 30-45.]
      “The second chapter [of Twentieth-Century Marxism: A Global Introduction] engages in a comparison of the thinking of Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg in which [Ian D.] Thatcher argues that the latter held to a more principled socialist position in believing that ‘Better the Russian revolution fail with honour that prolong itself in an undemocratic form.’ Thatcher suggests that Trotsky came to this much later, being more closely attuned linked to Lenin’s beliefs in the role of the vanguard party, in contrast to Luxembourg’s view of the importance of the involvement of the wider working class in the revolutionary process.” [Gerard Cotterell, “Twentieth-Century Marxism: A Global Introduction.” Critique. Volume 39, number 2, May 2011. Pages 218-324.]
      “‘Left Communism’ … ultimately never came to fruition, and Marxism in its Leninist variant triumphed in Russia. Some attempt has been made to account for the eventual demise of ‘Left Communism.’ The idea has certainly been rejected that its downfall was simply and solely caused by political machinations on the part of [Vladimir] Lenin and his associates. While this in cart helps to explain the defeat of the ‘leftists’ within the Bolshevik party itself, it still leaves unanswered the question why the revolutionary Marxists in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania were unsuccessful in carrying out lasting socialist revolutions in their respective countries. This fact in turn suggested that it was necessary to take into consideration more objective socio-economic factors that existed in the Russian Empire, with a view to ascertaining how far ‘Left Communism’ failed because it neglected realistically to take account both of the aspirations, and the power of the nationalities and the peasants, and of the weakness and shortcomings of the proletariat itself.” [Ronald I. Kowalski. The development of “Left Communism” until 1921: Soviet Russia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). University of Glasgow. Glasgow, Scotland. 1978. Page iii.]
      Below are several references.
      1. Marxism–Luxemburgism (MP3 audio file): It is a movement for democratic communism—not libertarian socialism—inspired by the much-loved Rosa Luxemburg (MP3 audio file), in German, or Róża Luksemburg (MP3 audio file) in the original Polish. She developed the dialectic of spontaneity and revolution. Although Luxemburg supported a highly nuanced version of revolutionary spontaneity (though not a pure “spontaneism”), she opposed antireformism or so-called “impossibilism.” She used the “general strike” as a practical illustration of spontaneity. Luxemburg’s approach to party membership was inclusive. Her organization was the Spartacus League or, in the original German, der Spartakusbund (MP3 audio file).
        According to Luxemburg, socialism demands “a complete spiritual transformation.” “Red Rosa,” as she is sometimes affectionately called (including by this writer), was born in Poland, but she escaped persecution by fleeing to Switzerland. Luxemburg—who eventually emigrated to Germany and became a German citizen—was later assassinated. Although she died before left communism—the communist left—was established under that name, her work is frequently categorized under the left–communist heading. Paul Levi (MP3 audio file)—Luxemburg’s collaborator, attorney, friend, and fleeting lover—and Karl Liebknecht (MP3 audio file) were also important figures.
        In this writer’s view, the withering away of “the state” might refer to a repressive or hegemonic state. Whether the eventual cosmopolitan communist society could be described as a state—in some sense—may simply be an issue of semantics. In any event, since Luxemburg did not oppose a proletarian state, the Marxist–Luxemburgist tendency of the communist left is not, in itself, a type of libertarian socialism. On the other hand, given that Luxemburg’s critique of Vladimir Lenin was based on authoritarianism, she was clearly not a Marxist–Leninist. If anything, Marxism–Leninism became even more authoritarian over time—particularly under Lenin’s successor, Joseph Stalin (Russian Cyrillic, Иосиф Сталин, Iosif Stalin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or Georgian, იოსებ სტალინი, Ioseb Stʼalini as pronounced in this MP3 audio file).
        “Capitalism is the first mode of economy with the weapon of propaganda, a mode which tends to engulf the entire globe and to stamp out all other economies, tolerating no rival at its side. Yet at the same time it is also the first mode of economy which is unable to exist by itself, which needs other economic systems as a medium and soil. Although it strives to become universal, and, indeed, on account of this its tendency, it must break down—because it is immanently incapable of becoming a universal form of production. In its living history it is a contradiction in itself, and its movement of accumulation provides a solution to the conflict and aggravates it at the same time. At a certain stage of development there will be no other way out than the application of socialist principles. The aim of socialism is not accumulation but the satisfaction of toiling humanity’s wants by developing the productive forces of the entire globe. And so we find that socialism is by its very nature an harmonious and universal system of economy.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Accumulation of Capital. Agnes Schwarzschild, translator. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2003. Page 447.]
        “Let us … try to understand the problem in its simplest form: the capitalist form of production is governed by the profit motive. Production only makes sense to the capitalist if it fills his pockets with ‘pure income,’ i.e. with profit that remains after all his investments; but the basic law of capitalist production is not only profit in the sense of glittering bullion, but constantly growing profit. This is where it differs from any other economic system based on exploitation. For this purpose the capitalist – again in contrast to other historical types of exploiters – uses the fruits of exploitation not exclusively, and not even primarily, for personal luxury, but more and more to increase exploitation itself. The largest part of the profits gained is put back into capital and used to expand production. The capital thus mounts up or, as [Karl] Marx calls it, ‘accumulates.’” [Rosa Luxemburg, “The Accumulation of Capital – An Anti-critique,” in Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai I. Bukharin. The Accumulation of Capital – An Anti-critique and Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital. Kenneth J. Tarbuck, editor. Rudolph Wichmann, translator. New York and London: Monthly Review Press. 1972. Pages 46-150.]
        “… there was no direct connection between these spontaneous stirrings of exploited masses and the various socialist theories. The revolutionary proletarian masses did not have a definite socialist goal in mind, nor did the socialist theorists seek to base their ideas on a political struggle of the working class.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1. David Fernbach, Joseph Fracchia, and George Shriver, translators. Peter Hudis, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 143.]
        “It is clear that the Russian Social Democracy should not organize itself as a federative conglomerate of many national groups. It must rather become a single party for he entire empire. However, that is not really the question considered here. What we are considering is the degree of centralization necessary inside the unified, single Russian party in view of the peculiar conditions under which it has to function.
        “Looking at the matter from the angle of the formal tasks of the Social Democracy, in its capacity as a party of class struggle, it appears at first that the power and energy of the party are directly dependent on the possibility of centralizing the party. However, these formal tasks apply to all active parties. In the case of the Social Democracy, they are less important than is the influence of historic conditions.”
        “… Social Democratic centralism cannot be based on the mechanical subordination and blind obedience of the party membership to the leading party center. For this reason, the Social Democratic movement cannot allow the erection of an air-tight partition between the class-conscious nucleus of the proletariat already in the party and its immediate popular environment, the nonparty sections of the proletariat.
        “Now the two principles on which [Vladimir] Lenin’s centralism rests are precisely these:
        1. “The blind subordination, in the smallest detail, of all party organs to the party center which alone thinks, guides, and decides for all.
        2. “The rigorous separation of the organized nucleus of revolutionaries from its social-revolutionary surroundings.…
        “The indispensable conditions for the realization of Social Democratic centralism are:
        1. “The existence of a large contingent of workers educated in the class struggle.
        2. “The possibility for the workers to develop their own political activity through direct influence on public life, in a party press, and public congresses, etc.
        “These conditions are not yet fully formed in Russia. The first – a proletarian vanguard, conscious of its class interests and capable of self-direction in political activity – is only now emerging in Russia. All efforts of socialist agitation and organization should aim to hasten the formation of such a vanguard. The second condition can be had only under a regime of political liberty.
        “With these conclusions, Lenin disagrees violently. He is convinced that all the conditions necessary for the formation of a powerful and centralized party already exist in Russia. He declares that, ‘it is no longer the proletarians but certain intellecutuals in our party who need to be educated in the matters of organization and discipline.’ He glorifies the educative influence of the factory, which, he says, accustoms the proletariat to ‘discipline and organization.’
        “Saying all this, Lenin seems to demonstrate again that his conception of socialist organization is quite mechanistic. The discipline Lenin has in mind is being implanted in the working class not only by the factory but also by the military and the existing state bureaucracy – by the entire mechanism of the centralized bourgeois state.
        “We misuse words and we practice self-deception when we apply the same term – discipline – to such dissimilar notions as: 1, the absence of thought and will in a body with a thousand automatically moving hands and legs, and 2, the spontaneous coordination of the conscious, political acts of a body of men. What is there in common between the regulated docility of an oppressed class and the self-discipline and organization of a class struggling for its emancipation?
        “The self-discipline of the Social Democracy is not merely the replacement of the authority of bourgeois rulers with the authority of a socialist central committee. The working class will acquire the sense of the new discipline, the freely assumed self-discipline of the Social Democracy, not as a result of the discipline imposed on it by the capitalist state, but by extirpating, to the last root, its old habits of obedience and servility.
        “Centralism in the socialist sense is not an absolute thing applicable to any phase whatsoever of the labor movement. It is a tendency, which becomes real in proportion to the development and political training acquired by the working masses in the course of their struggle.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg. Revolutionary Socialist Organization. Ottawa, Ontario: Integer Press. 1934. Ebook edition.]
        “… [There is] the capitalist law of value, which on the one hand automatically takes care that wage workers never rise up from the proletarian state and escape labor under the command of capital, while on the other hand making possible an ever greater accumulation of unpaid labor into capital, and thereby ever greater concentration and extension of means of production ….” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1. David Fernbach, Joseph Fracchia, and George Shriver, translators. Peter Hudis, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 293.]
        “Socialist theory up to now declared that the point of departure for a transformation to socialism would be a general and catastrophic crisis. We must distinguish in this outlook two things: the fundamental idea and its exterior form. The fundamental idea consists of the affirmation that capitalism, as a result of its own inner contradictions, moves toward a point when it will be unbalanced, when it will simply become impossible. There were good reasons for conceiving that juncture in the form of a catastrophic general commercial crisis. But that is of secondary importance when the fundamental idea is considered.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution. Revolutionary Classics Course. London: Socialist Workers Party (UK). 2013. Page 7.]
        “Public control is indispensably necessary. Otherwise the exchange of experiences remains only with the closed circle of the officials of the new regime. Corruption becomes inevitable.… Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois class rule. Social instincts in place of egotistical ones, mass initiative in place of inertia, idealism which conquers all suffering, etc., etc. No one knows this better, describes it more penetratingly; repeats it more stubbornly than [Vladimir] Lenin. But he is completely mistaken in the means he employs. Decree, dictatorial force of the factory overseer, draconic penalties, rule by terror—all these things are but palliatives. The only way to a rebirth is the school of public life itself, the most unlimited, the broadest democracy and public opinion. It is rule by terror which demoralizes.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Pages 216.]
        “Comrades, we have here as extensive field to till. We must build from below upward, until the workers and soldiers councils gather so much strength that the overthrow of the [Friedrich] Ebert–[Philipp] Scheidemann or any similar government will be merely the final act in the drama; For us the conquest of power will not be effected at one blow. It will be a progressive act, for we shall progressively occupy all the positions, of the capitalist state, defending tooth and nail each one that we seize. Moreover, in my view and in that of my most intimate associates in the party, the economic struggle, likewise, will be carried on by the workers councils. The settlement of economic affairs; and the continued expansion of the area, of this settlement, must be in the hands of the workers councils. The councils must have all power in the state. To these ends must we direct our activities in the immediate future, and it is obvious that, if we pursue this line, there cannot fail to be an enormous and immediate intensification of the struggle. For step by step, by hand to hand fighting, in every province, in every town, in every village, in every commune, all the powers of the state have to be transferred bit by bit from the bourgeoisie to the workers and soldiers councils.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “On the Spartacus Programme.” The New International. Volume 9, number 1–3, January–March 1943. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Only the Marxist scholar can best comprehend the deepest inner motives of Polish bourgeois society, its shameful past and its shameful present: he is in the best position to see in what directions our country’s history and the class struggle are driving. Only a penetrating study into the causes of the decline of the rebellious Polish nobility and of the disgraceful history of bourgeois-capitalist Poland, a study unclouded by romantic utopianism, made it possible to foresee the revolutionary regeneration of working-class Poland presently occurring before our eyes. Now, as in the past, it is an understanding of national and class development that enables us to grasp that the only real revolutionary deed at this juncture is bringing consciousness into this spontaneous historical process, there by foreshortening its course and speeding it onward toward its goal.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Polish Questions and the Revolution in Russia. Northampton, Massachusetts: Anarcho-communist institute. August, 2014. Kindle edition.]
        “… so this wait-and-see attitude may continue for a while. It could be then that some “accident,” a new manifesto [by the tsar] or something similar, could set off a sudden, spontaneous outbreak. In general the work is going quite well and the mood is very good. One need only explain to the masses why the present strike seems outwardly to have gone by ‘without results.’—The organization is growing strongly everywhere, but at the same time it’s having trouble, because everything is in flux.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “To Luise and Karl Kautsky, January 2, 1906.” The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. Annelies Laschitza, Georg Adler, and Peter Hudis, editors. George Shriver, translator. Brooklyn, London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
        [On identity politics:] “I am just as much concerned with the poor victims on the rubber plantations of Putumayo, the Blacks in Africa with whose corpses the Europeans play catch. You know the words that were written about the great work of the General Staff, about Gen. [Lothar von] Trotha’s campaign in the Kalahari desert: ‘And the death rattles of the dying, the demented cries of those driven mad by thirst faded away in the sublime stillness of eternity.’ Oh that ‘sublime stillness of eternity,’ in which so many cries of anguish have faded away unheard, they resound within me so strongly that I have no special place in my heart for the [Jewish] ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world, wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “To Mathilde Wurm, February 16, 1917.” The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. Annelies Laschitza, Georg Adler, and Peter Hudis, editors. George Shriver, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
        “The true dialectic of revolutions … stands this wisdom of parliamentary moles on its head: not through a majority, but through revolutionary tactics to a majority – that’s the way the road runs.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa Luxemburg or: The Price of Freedom. Natascha Mueller-Hirth, translator. Berlin, Germany: Karl Dietz Verlag. 2008. Page 68.]
        “Right in the midst of the confusion following numerous counterrevolutionary attacks, defamation campaigns, and conspiracies, we are witnessing a fact of uttermost importance for the future of the revolution: the effective elimination of the Executive Council of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils, which is rendered completely powerless and irrelevant.…
        “The workers’ and soldiers’ councils were organs of the revolution, pillars of the new order, executors of the will of the masses in work wear and soldier’s uniforms. An enormous effort lay ahead of them. It was their duty to implement the will of the revolutionary masses and to transform the entire social and political state apparatus in the interest of the proletariat and in the spirit of socialism.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg, “On the Executive Council.” All Power to the Councils!: A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919. Gabriel Kuhn, editor and translator. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Pages 96-98.]
        “In the first place, only the nationalization of the large landed estates, as the technically most advanced and most concentrated means and methods of agrarian production, can serve as the point of departure for the socialist mode of production on the land. Of course, it is not necessary to take away from the small peasant his parcel of land, and we can with confidence leave him to be won over voluntarily by the superior advantages first of union in cooperation and then finally of inclusion in the general socialized economy as a whole. Still, every socialist economic reform on the land must obviously begin with large and medium land-ownership. Here the property right must first of all be turned over to the nation, or to the state, which, with a socialist government, amounts to the same thing; for it is this alone which affords the possibility of organizing agricultural production in accord with the requirements of interrelated, large-scale socialist production.…
        “… It is precisely the revolution which creates by its glowing heat that delicate, vibrant, sensitive political atmosphere in which the waves of popular feeling, the pulse of popular life, work for moment on the representative bodies in most wonderful fashion.…
        “… ‘the cumbersome mechanism of democratic institutions’ possesses a powerful corrective – namely, the living movement of the masses, their unending pressure. And the more democratic the institutions, the livelier and stronger the pulse-beat of the political life of the masses, the more direct and complete is their influence – despite rigid party banners, outgrown tickets (electoral lists), etc. To be sure, every democratic institution has its limits and shortcomings, things which it doubtless shares with all other human institutions. But the remedy which [Leon] Trotsky and [Vladimir] Lenin have found, the elimination of democracy as such, is worse than the disease it is supposed to cure; for it stops up the very living source from which alone can come correction of all the innate shortcomings of social institutions. That source is the active, untrammeled, energetic political life of the broadest masses of the people.…
        “… Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois rule. Social instincts in place of egotistical ones, mass initiative in place of inertia, idealism which conquers all suffering, etc., etc. No one knows this better, describes it more penetratingly; repeats it more stubbornly than Lenin. But he is completely mistaken in the means he employs. Decree, dictatorial force of the factory overseer, draconian penalties, rule by terror – all these things are but palliatives. The only way to a rebirth is the school of public life itself, the most unlimited, the broadest democracy and public opinion. It is rule by terror which demoralizes.
        “When all this is eliminated, what really remains? In place of the representative bodies created by general, popular elections, Lenin and Trotsky have laid down the soviets as the only true representation of political life in the land as a whole, life in the soviets must also become more and more crippled. Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Among them, in reality only a dozen outstanding heads do the leading and an elite of the working class is invited from time to time to meetings where they are to applaud the speeches of the leaders, and to approve proposed resolutions unanimously – at bottom, then, a clique affair – a dictatorship, to be sure, not the dictatorship of the proletariat but only the dictatorship of a handful of politicians, that is a dictatorship in the bourgeois sense, in the sense of the rule of the Jacobins (the postponement of the Soviet Congress from three-month periods to six-month periods!) Yes, we can go even further: such conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life: attempted assassinations, shooting of hostages, etc. (Lenin’s speech on discipline and corruption.)…
        “Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of ‘justice’ but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when ‘freedom’ becomes a special privilege.
        “The Bolsheviks themselves will not want, with hand on heart, to deny that, step by step, they have to feel out the ground, try out, experiment, test now one way now another, and that a good many of their measures do not represent priceless pearls of wisdom. Thus it must and will be with all of us when we get to the same point—even if the same difficult circumstances may not prevail everywhere.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg. The Russian Revolution and Leninism or Marxism. Bertram Wolfe, translator. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Paperback imprint of The University of Michigan Press. 1961. Pages 42-69.]
        “… the Spartacus League demands:
        1. “As immediate measures to protect the Revolution:
          1. “Disarmament of the entire police force and of all officers and nonproletarian soldiers; disarmament of all members of the ruling classes.
          2. “Confiscation of all weapons and munitions stocks as well as armaments factories by workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
          3. “Arming of the entire adult male proletarian population as a workers’ militia. Creation of a Red Guard of proletarians as an active part of the militia for the constant protection of the Revolution against counter-revolutionary attacks and subversions.
          4. “Abolition of the command authority of officers and noncommissioned officers. Replacement of the military cadaver discipline by voluntary discipline of the soldiers. Election of all officers by their units, with right of immediate recall at any time. Abolition of the system of military justice.
          5. “Expulsion of officers and capitulationists from all soldiers’ councils.
          6. “Replacement of all political organs and authorities of the former regime by delegates of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
          7. “Establishment of a revolutionary tribunal to try the chief criminals responsible for starting and prolonging the war, the Hohenzollerns, [Erich] Ludendorff, [Paul von] Hindenburg, [Alfred von] Tirpitz, and their accomplices, together with all the conspirators of counter-revolution.
          8. “Immediate confiscation of all foodstuffs to secure the feeding of the people.
        2. “In the political and social realm:
          1. “Abolition of all principalities; establishment of a united German Socialist Republic.
          2. “Elimination of all parliaments and municipal councils, and takeover of their functions by workers’ and soldiers’ councils, and of the latter’s committees and organs.
          3. “Election of workers’ councils in all Germany by the entire adult working population of both sexes, in the city and the countryside, by enterprises, as well as of soldiers’ councils by the troops (officers and capitulationists excluded). The right of workers and soldiers to recall their representatives at any time.
          4. “Election of delegates of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils in the entire country to the central council of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils, which is to elect the executive council as the highest organ of the legislative and executive power.
          5. “Meetings of the central council provisionally at least every three months – with new elections of delegates each time – in order to maintain constant control over the activity of the executive council, and to create an active identification between the masses of workers’ and soldiers’ councils in the nation and the highest governmental organ. Right of immediate recall by the local workers’ and soldiers’ councils and replacement of their representatives in the central council, should these not act in the interests of their constituents. Right of the executive council to appoint and dismiss the people’s commissioners as well as the central national authorites and officials.
          6. “Abolition of all differences of rank, all orders and titles. Complete legal and social equality of the sexes.
          7. “Radical social legislation. Shortening of the labor day to control unemployment and in consideration of the physical exhaustion of the working class by world war. Maximum working day of six hours.
          8. “Immediate basic transformation of the food, housing, health and educational systems in the spirit and meaning of the proletarian revolution.
        3. “Immediate economic demands:
          1. “Confiscation of all dynastic wealth and income for the collectivity.
          2. “Repudiation of the state and other public debt together with all war loans, with the exception of sums of certain level to be determined by the central council of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
          3. “Expropriation of the lands and fields of all large and medium agricultural enterprises; formation of socialist agricultural collectives under unified central direction in the entire nation. Small peasant holdings remain in the possession of their occupants until the latters’ voluntary association with the socialist collectives.
          4. “Expropriation by the council Republic of all banks, mines, smelters, together with all large enterprises of industry and commerce.
          5. “Confiscation of all wealth above a level to be determined by the central council.
          6. “Takeover of the entire public transportation system by the councils’ Republic.
          7. “Election of enterprise councils in all enterprises, which, in coordination with the workers’ councils, have the task of ordering the internal affairs of the enterprises, regulating working conditions, controlling production and finally taking over direction of the enterprise.
          8. “Establishment of a central strike commission which, in constant collaboration with the enterprise councils, will furnish the strike movement now beginning throughout the nation with a unified leadership, socialist direction and the strongest support by the political power of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg, “What Does the Spartacus League Want? (December 1918).” Selected Political Writings: Rosa Luxemburg. Martin Nicolaus, translator. Dick Howard, editor. New York and London: Monthly Review Press. 1971. Pages 366-376.]
        “Not until the early [eighteen-]eighties did the spontaneous factory revolts in the Moscow district with their smashing up of machines provide the impetus for the first rudiments of factory legislation in the Czarist Empire.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Accumulation of Capital. Agnes Schwarzschild, translator. W. Stark, editor. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 1951. Kindle edition.]
        “The Russian proletariat, … who are destined to play the leading part in the bourgeois revolution, enter the fight free from all illusions of bourgeois democracy, with a strongly developed consciousness of their own specific class interests, and at a time when the antagonism between capital and labour has reached its height. This contradictory situation finds expression in the fact that in this formally bourgeois revolution, the antagonism of bourgeois society to absolutism is governed by the antagonism of the proletariat to bourgeois society, that the struggle of the proletariat to bourgeois society is directed simultaneously and with equal energy against both absolutism and capitalist exploitation, and that the programme of the revolutionary struggle concentrates with equal emphasis on political freedom, the winning of the eight-hour day, and a human standard of material existence for the proletariat. This two-fold character of the Russian Revolution is expressed in that close union of the economic with the political struggle and in their mutual interaction which we have seen is a feature of the Russian events and which finds its appropriate expression in the mass strike.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions. Patrick Lavin, translator. Detroit, Michigan: Marxist Educational Society of Detroit. 1925. Ebook edition.]
        “… a day will come when another volcano lifts its voice of thunder: a volcano that is seething and boiling, whether you need it or not, and will sweep the whole sanctimonious, blood-splattered culture from the face of the earth. And only on its ruins will the nations come together in true humanity, which will know but one deadly foe—blind, dead nature.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “Martinique.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 56, issue 08, January 2005. Pages 49-52.]
        “At first view the title of this work may be found surprising. Can the Social Democracy be against reforms? Can we contrapose the social revolution, the transformation of the existing order, our final goal, to social reforms? Certainly not. The daily struggle for reforms, for the amelioration of the condition of the workers within the framework of the existing social order, and for democratic institutions, offers to the Social Democracy the only means of engaging in the proletarian class war and working in the direction of the final goal—the conquest of political power and the suppression of wage-labor. Between social reforms and revolution there exists for the Social-Democracy an indissoluble tie. The struggle for reforms is its means; the social revolution, its aim.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Page 3.]
        “The most important and fruitful changes in its tactical policy during the last ten years have not been the inventions of several leaders and even less so of any central organizational organs. They have always been the spontaneous product of the movement in ferment. This was true during the first stage of the proletarian movement in Russia, which began with the spontaneous general strike of St. Petersburg in 1896, an event that marks the inception of an epoch of economic struggle by the Russian working people. It was no less true during the following period, introduced by the spontaneous street demonstrations of St. Petersburg students in March 1901. The general strike of Rostov-on-Don, in 1903, marking the next great tactical turn in the Russian proletarian movement, was also a spontaneous act. ‘All by itself,’ the strike expanded into political demonstrations, street agitation, great outdoor meetings, which the most optimistic revolutionist would not have dreamed of several years before.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Page 85.]
        “… as to private matters. Of course, you are right, that for some time now we have been leading a separate spiritual life, but this in no way began only in Berlin. We were already spiritually estranged for years in Zurich. The last two years in Z(urich) — it is firmly entrenched in my mind that I felt terribly lonely. But then I wasn’t the one who cut herself off and separated herself from you, it was the other way round. You ask whether I have never asked myself: how do you live, how are you going? I can only smile with bitterness. Oh yes, I asked myself these questions thousands of times, and not only of me, but also of you, loudly and consistently. But always got the reply that I did not understand, that you do not rely upon me, that I can give you nothing, etc. Until I stopped asking and showed in no way that I saw anything or was interested in anything. You write and ask how I could believe that you were interested in somebody else, as no one else could satisfy you or understand you. I used to say that to myself too.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “Rosa Luxemburg: Letters to Jogiehes.” Henry Zimmerman, translator. Australian Left Review. Volume 1, issue 30, May 1971. Pages 31-38.]
        “The party acts as a bulwark protecting the class movement against digressions in the direction of more bourgeois parliamentarism. To triumph, these tendencies must destroy the bulwark. They must dissolve the active, class-conscious sector of the proletariat in the amorphous mass of an ‘electorate.’
        “That is how the ‘autonomist’ and decentralizing tendencies arise in our Social Democratic parties. We notice that these tendencies suit definite political ends. They cannot be explained, as [Vladimir] Lenin attempts, by referring to the intellectual s psychology, to his supposedly innate instability of character. They can only be explained by considering the needs of the bourgeois parliamentary politician, that is, by opportunist politics.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg, “Leninism or Marxism?,” in Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa Luxemburg Reader. Leuven, Belgium: Anarchy is Order: Principles, Propositions & Discussions for Land and Freedom. 2017. Pages 10-36.]
        “… [There] is certainly something new in the party founded by Rosa Luxemburg; it is a complete break with the past that the Communists are supposed to act like cheap hustlers and provoke the death of their brothers. I would rather not cite the evidence that this last remark is no exaggeration. This, I repeat, was the new theoretical basis on which the game began.” [Paul Levi, “Our Path: Against Putschism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 111-145.]
        “I would never compare myself with Rosa Luxemburg, but what is the difference here? I am told that Rosa Luxemburg had also been against that action [the March Action of 1921], and yet she wrote articles and appeals. You also know … that I too was against the movement at that time, but I also wrote leaflets and articles. And why was this? From the quite different standpoint that it was great masses that were going astray, and not a small conventicle of leaders who were driving the non-straying masses to disaster, and at that time there was a genuine, large-scale, powerful and spontaneous mass-movement, with more workers assembled in the Berlin Tiergarten than the number involved this time in the whole of Germany.” [Paul Levi, “What Is the Crime: The March Action or Criticising It? Speech at the Session of the Central Committee of the German Communist Party on 4 May 1921.” Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 146-174.]
        “The Communist Manifesto, the most prophetic work in world literature, does not deal specifically with militarism or adequately with its accessory significance. It does, it is true, speak of the uprising ‘brought about sporadically. by the Proletarian struggle,’ and thus effectively indicates the role played by capitalist militarism vis-à-vis the struggle of the proletariat for freedom. It discusses at greater length the question of international or rather inter-state conflicts, and the capitalist policy of expansion (including colonial policy). The latter is regarded as a necessary consequence of capitalist development. It is predicted that national isolation and national contradictions would tend more and more to disappear even under the domination of the bourgeoisie, and that the domination of the proletariat would reduce them still further. One might almost say that the programme of measures to be taken under the dictatorship of the proletariat contains nothing specifically about militarism. The conquest of political power which is supposed to have already been brought about embraces the ‘conquest,’ that is to say, the overthrow of militarism.” [Karl Liebknecht. Militarism and Anti-Militarism: with special regard to the international Young Socialist Movement. Grahame Lock, translator. Cambridge, England: Rivers Press Limited. 1973. Page 77.]
        “The masses in the warring countries have begun to free themselves from the official webs of lies. The German people as well have gained insight about the causes and objectives of the world war, about who is directly responsible for its outbreak. The mad delusions about the ‘holy aims’ of the war have given way more and more, the enthusiasm for the war has dwindled, the will for a rapid peace has grown powerfully all over – even in the Army!
        “This was a difficult problem for the German and Austrian imperialists, who were seeking in vain for salvation. Now it seems they have found it. Italy’s intervention in the war should offer them a welcome opportunity to stir up new frenzies of national hatred, to smother the will for peace, and to blur the traces of their own guilt. They are betting on the forgetfulness of the German people, betting on their forbearance which has been tested all too often.”
        [Karl Liebknecht, “The Main Enemy Is At Home!: Karl Liebknecht (Leaflet, May 1915).” The Free Communist: For Social Revolution and Free Communism. Issue 6, August 2014. Pages 2-3.]
        “… one could … think of Rosa Luxemburg, that famous political debator of whom even [Vladimir] Lenin spoke so approvingly despite the fact that before her death she became his adversary.” [Batya Weinbaum, “Redefining the Question of Revolution.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 9, number 3, Otober 1977. Pages 54-78.]
        “LUXEMBURG,   ROSA   1870-1919,   Cosmopolitan, charismatic, and articulate Marxist activist for whom nationalism was a gigantic impediment to peace and progress. She was born in the Russian part of Poland and became a German citizen in 1895 by marrying a German worker. A brilliant, independent-minded revolutionary, she participated in the failed 1905 revolution in Russia. Returning to Germany, she joined Karl Liebknecht to found the Spartacus League. Because of her vocal opposition to the German war effort, she was imprisoned for the duration of World War I. But she reentered German politics as soon as the empire fell in November 1918. Although she was damned in the right-wing press as an agent of Moscow, her ‘Spartacus Program’ differed essentially from [Vladimir] Lenin’s Bolshevik theory in that it advocated a more democratic Communism. She proclaimed that ‘freedom only for the supporters of the government and for members of a single party’ is no freedom at all. Her assertion that ‘freedom is the freedom of those who think differently’ was displayed by dissidents in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) on January 17, 1988, much to the embarrassment of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which had always glorified Luxemburg in its propaganda.” [Multiple authors, “Luxemburg, Rosa 1870–1919.” Encyclopedia of Nationalism: Leaders, Movements, and Concepts—Volume 2. Alexander J. Motyl, editor. San Diego, Californa: Academic Press, A Harcourt Science and Technology Company. 2001. Page 307.]
        “As the reform movement within the national leadership of the UMWA [United Mine Workers of America] crumbles, the miners realise they may be banned from conducting future strikes without approval at the national level. But [Barbara] Kopple’s point is that the struggle itself – the Luxemburgian dialectic of spontaneity and organisation we see operating throughout Harlan County U.S.A. – is crucial even when it is defeated.” [Eingestellt von Malte, “The earth a common treasury for all.” Soliloquies of the English Cloister. Blog. January 21st, 2012. Retrieved on September 9th, 2015. Page 3.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) continues to polarize the political landscape to this day: to some she is a Bolshevik terrorist, to others she is a left-wing icon. Rosa Luxemburg strove to create a society in which political freedom and equality would not be limited, but rather complemented by the principle of social freedom and equality – a demand which has still not been fulfilled today.
        “Rosa Luxemburg knew what it meant to be disadvantaged and to belong to an often-persecuted minority. This was partly due to an accident of birth and fate. She was Jewish, and although she was not at all religious, this did not protect her from anti-Semitism. But this was also due to her strong will to lead a self-determined life as opposed to abiding by the narrow-minded conventions and moral concepts prevailing at the time.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg: Freedom only for the supporters. Berlin, Germany: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (German, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung). Undated. Page 5.]
        “The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is one of the six political foundations in the Federal Republic of Germany associated with political parties. The Foundation’s main task is to provide political education. It is closely connected to the Left Party.
        “Since 1990, the work of the Foundation has been in keeping with its eponym, Rosa Luxemburg, and represents the main current of democratic socialism with an unwavering international focus. The Foundation considers itself committed to a radical perspective of enlightenment and social criticism. It stands within the tradition of the workers’ and women’s movements, as well as anti-fascism and anti-racism.
        “The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is a registered non-profit organization, whose most important body is the General Assembly. Its work is supported by the dedication and commitment of a large number of volunteers throughout Germany.
        “With its work, the Foundation promotes a critical analysis of society and fosters networks of emancipatory, political, social and cultural initiatives. It is active internationally in development cooperation and advocates an equal dialogue between the North and the South. At the same time, with the help of the Archive of Democratic Socialism, it documents important events and the results of left-wing politics. Within the framework of its Scholarship Department, the Foundation also provides grants to young academics.”
        [Stefan Thimmel. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Berlin, Germany: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 2013. Page 13.]
        “Relations between the Bolsheviks, the Communist International (Comintern) and the national communist parties from 1919 onwards have always been the subject of controversy. In Germany, for example, there has long been a dispute over the existence of a kind of early ‘Luxemburgism’ or ‘democratic communism,’ the collapse of which was followed after 1924 by the forced ‘Stalinization’ postulated by Hermann Weber. Alternatively, should one speak of an early ‘Bolshevization,’ which had started in 1920–21 to take away the freedom of manoeuvre possessed initially by independent forces within each national party? This was how many contemporaries perceived the situation, and Richard Löwenthal gave solid evidential backing to this view in 1960.…
        “In Germany, the legacy of an early ‘Luxemburgist’ or, indeed, ‘democratic’ communism was liquidated along with Paul Levi.”
        [Andreas Wirsching, “The Impact of ‘Bolshevization’ and ‘Stalinization’ on French and German Communism: A Comparative View.” Bolshevism, Stalinism and the Comintern: Perspectives on Stalinization, 1917–53. Norman LaPorte, Kevin Morgan, and Matthew Worley, editors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. 2008. Pages 89-104.]
        “… Bolshevism and Stalinism were seen as foreign bodies in the movement, preventing the autonomous development of any kind of local, regional or national left socialism or communism. For example, Hermann Weber, in his well-known and influential thesis about the stalinisation of the KPD [German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, ‘Germany’s Communist Party’], insistently points to the supposed existence of a ‘democratic’ communism of a Luxemburgist type, which he claims was dominant in the early years of the party. Only after 1924, he says, was this promising and locally autonomous tendency of German communism destroyed by Stalinisation.” [Andreas Wirsching, “Comparing local communisms.” Twentieth Century Communism: A Journal of International History. Issue 5, 2013. Pages 21-40.]
        “The literature on [Rosa] Luxemburg is voluminous, and much of it rather uncritical. For a particularly misplaced example, see Hermann Weber’s effort to distinguish among bureaucratic-dictatorial, revolutionary, and democratic communism. He places Luxemburg only in the latter camp, thereby ignoring her pronounced revolutionary commitments, and fails to provide any critical appraisal of her views ….” [Eric D. Weitz, “Politics Unhinged: The Formation of the Communist Party of Germany and the Collapse of the German Democratic Republic.” Report number 806-31. National Council for Soviet and East European Research. April 12th, 1993. Pages 1-149.]
        “Unlike so many of the leaders of the workers’ movement, especially the Bolsheviks, and particularly [Vladimir] Lenin, Rosa [Luxemburg] did not restrict her life to political activity. She was a complete being, open to all things, to whom nothing human was strange. Her political action was only the expression of her generous nature. From the disagreement between her and the Bolsheviks over the attitude of the militant in regard to revolutionary action came the great political disputes which surge among us, disputes which, no doubt, time would only have deepened had Rosa lived
        “It is by grace of Rosa’s profoundly human character that her correspondence will always retain a current interest whatever the course of history. We are, these days, in a situation very much worse, morally speaking, than that of the militants of the war years. Rosa believed firmly, in spite of the failure of social democracy, that the war would end by putting into motion the proletariat of Germany and lead to a socialist revolution. This hope has not been confirmed. The embryo of the proletarian revolution which was produced in 1918 rapidly suffocated in blood and dragged with it in its ruin the life of Rosa Luxemburg and of [Karl] Liebknecht. Since then, all the hopes which had been able to make militants have been dashed. We can no longer have blind confidence, like Rosa, in the spontaneity of the working class; their organizations have fallen apart.”
        [Simone Weil quoted in Andrea Nye. Philosophia: The Thought of Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and Hannah Arendt. New York and London: Routledge. 1994. Page 2.]
        “[Rosa] Luxemburg’s universalist stance of Enlightened Marxism, however, implies a valuable criticism of ‘Third World’ or populist socialism.…
        “… it is an undeniable fact that Luxemburg stood firmly in the tradition of Marxist internationalism. Her idea of territorial autonomy presupposed the international socialist community.…
        “The important thing for Luxemburg was not to stick to [Karl] Marx’s old views on Polish independence, but rather to apply the dialectical materialist method to changed conditions.…
        “In short, Luxemburg sought the path of national liberation not in the right of national self-determination but in the conquest of socialism itself.… She was convinced that social emancipation would drive out all kinds of human oppression, including both national and sexual.”
        [Jie-Hyun Lim, “Rosa Luxemburg on the Dialectics of Proletarian Internationalism and Social Patriotism.” Science & Society. Volume 59, number 4 winter 1995/1996. Pages 498-530.]
        “… no, [Rosa] Luxemburg was not what we’d call a ‘libertarian socialist.’ She was certainly a part of the broader left-communist/left-Marxist movements of her day (which often included libertarian socialists) but she herself was not a libertarian socialist.
        “Particularly, she advocated the use of a state-apparatus organized via democratic workers councils. In most ways, she was really a less authoritarian Marxist-Leninist. While Leninists were advocating for a Vanguard Party made up of Marxist intellectuals to organize the working class, Rosa claimed that workers themselves had to be their own Vanguard Party. In fact, I think her political affiliations are best summed up in her pamphlet ‘The Russian Revolution’ where she shows her overall support for the Russian Revolution while simultaneously criticizing its authoritarian aspects.
        “That being said, nearly every socialist ideology wants to claim Rosa for themselves.”
        [comix_corp (user name), “Was Rosa Luxemburg a libertarian socialist?” reddit inc. August 23rd, 2013. Retrieved on June 16th, 2016.]
        “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s conviction [was] that no group of revolutionaries, however forward thinking, simply “makes” a revolution from scratch. We make our own history, but not just as we please. That was [Karl] Marx’s view, and Luxemburg’s as well.” [Scott Tucker, “Rosa Luxemburg and the Libertarian Left.” Truthdig: A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Jan 14th, 2011. Retrieved on June 19th, 2016.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg’s very entrance, May 1898, into the German arena, center of the Second International, shook up the largest and most prestigious of world Marxist organizations—the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD). From the start, she became the subject of contention—contention that has not abated to this day.” [Raya Dunayevskaya. Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution. Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, Inc. 1982. Page 1.]
        “I examine how [Hannah] Arendt, in the company of Frantz Fanon and Rosa Luxemburg, illuminates nationalism as an especially explosive form of ‘identity politics.’ …
        “… Not mutual recognition on the part of autonomous peoples, each fortified inside its own territorial nation-state, but a community’s composition of itself as an ethnoculturally multiple political identity is for Luxemburg the only democratic path that modern polities can take.…
        “As appealing as Luxemburg’s formula of a unity of political identity and ethnic difference may be, it is easy to suspect it of hinging on the substitution of a dream of ethnic harmony for the reality of ethnic conflict. It is also easy to suspect it of hinging on a presumption that ethnic differences in the long run will not be very great. Certainly the spread of bourgeois political liberties and the eventual triumph of social democracy which Luxemburg views as the road to inter-ethnic peace and understanding, she also portrays as part and parcel of the general shift in the world from traditional cultural particularities to the universal characteristics of modern social life. Then, too, from the perspective of minority peoples, any attempt to extend the ties of solidarity to cover the entire human race is likely to appear as a threatening move by a large and morally arrogant but still particular people dressed up in universal-culture disguise.”
        [Joan Cocks, “On Commonality, Nationalism, and Violence: Hannah Arendt, Rosa Luxemburg, and Frantz Fanon.” Women in German Yearbook. Volume 12, 1996. Pages 39-51.]
        “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s much-ridiculed faith in the vigor of the proletariat is the presupposition of a theory that does not relegate the individual’s right to autonomy to a distant future, but rather brings it as a requirement into the present: in the social struggle for the redistribution of goods and in the conflict over political rights, identity-constituting self-awareness can and must be achieved through one’s own actions as an individual and as part of the collective.” [Sidonia Blättler, Irene M. Marti, and Senem Saner, “Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom.” Hypatia. Volume 20, number 2, spring 2005. Pages 88-101.]
        “Perhaps what’s attractive about Rosa Luxemburg is the fact that she was a bit confused, that she didn’t produce ‘a coherent set of theories or principles,’ that there isn’t ‘a cogent body of organization and theory’; in fact, she’s a bit like the rest of us. She tried to think, to understand, to act, not only in opposition to capitalism, but also to what she thought she saw as the problems with [Vladimir] Lenin’s ideas and Bolshevik practice; in fact, a bit like the rest of us.…
        “It’s because Luxemburg doesn’t already have all the answers, that she leaves room for the coming generations to think, to criticise, to disagree, that she’s at least as important as Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky for us in trying to understand the events of the early part of the 20ᵗʰ century.
        “I’m not a Leninist, Bolshevik or Trotskyist (anymore!), at least in part because of ‘Red Rosa.’ I’m as confused as she was, and I don’t already have the answers. I prefer people (and organisations) that way.
        “I want to discuss, not to be told. The ‘answer’ is in the future. It doesn’t yet exist, and maybe it never will. It certainly isn’t the property of any party.…
        “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s The Mass Strike [can be] useful, not as a prescription, but as a description of spontaneity.”
        [Sewer Socialist, “What would it take?” Revleft: Home of the Revolutionary Left. Forum. November 10th, 2016. Retrieved on December 21st, 2016.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg was the forerunner, yes the actual founder of Democratic Communism.… The altercations between dictatorial-bureaucratic Communism and Democratic Communism are an essential attribute of the history of Communism.” [Hermann Weber in Theresa M. Ganter. Searching for a New German Identity: Heiner Müller and the Geschichtsdrama. Oxford, England: Peter Lang. 2008. Page 262.]
        “… she [Luxemburg] was pretty definite about the mass strike, the national question, the economic crisis and the decline of capitalism to name a few. But she was certainly ready to put things into question: Marx on the problem of reproduction, the Bolshevik policy of Red Terror, and so on. And there were areas where she was inconsistent or contradictory, but it’s hard to look back and find any revolutionaries who don’t fall into that category. This includes us of course, even though we don’t know it yet.…
        “Our [Luxemburgist] positions could be sumarized as below:
        1. “We don’t oppose social reforms to revolution. They are both linked in a dialectical way, the former being an mean (in the class struggle) of the latter. We oppose mere reformism and abstract revolutionaries slogans disconected from reality;
        2. “We oppose any top-down structure, both social and organizational. The workers’ organizations must be controlled by the base and opened (we thus disagree with [Vladimir] Lenin);
        3. “We stand for direct democracy for the organization and the social system we want after revolution;
        4. “We see mass strike (as it had been experienced in History) as a tool of struggle. One can define it as a self-managed strke movement uniting economical and political demands and that potentially enable workers to take power directly without leaders.…;
        5. “We stand for internationalism and oppose nationalism (even ‘red’) as bourgeois.”
        [Various authors, “Luxemburgism.” December, 2010. Retrieved on July 11th, 2016.]
        “Luxemburgism is against the formation/use of a vanguard party to lead the revolution and instead it relegates the role of the party to one of agitation and propaganda. They believe that the party is composed of the most class conscious members of the proletariat, but it is not the job of the party to direct the revolution or to dictate to the masses. It would be more proper to think of the party that represents a Luxemburgist tendency as more of a political club rather than a political party, since this club would run no political candidates. Unlike other strains of Left Communism such as Council Communism, a Luxemburgist would not oppose voting in elections on principle since policies could be passed that increase the rights of workers under the current capitalist system. It also does not completely place its hope in proletarian spontaneity (council communism) as the only way of having a successful revolution but a combination of spontaneity and the party form. It stands in opposition to all revisionist tendencies as well as with more well known currents such as Leninism. Luxemburgists, and Left Communists in general, take seriously The First International’s and [Karl] Marx’s view of the proletarian revolution and the role of the party.…
        “I think it’s worth pointing out that neither modern Leninists or Luxemburgists are simply taking their namesakes as dogma and can/do differ from them in many ways.”
        [Different authors, “Communism 101: What is Luxemburgism and how does it differ from other tendencies?Reddit. 2013. Retrieved on July 12th, 2016.]
        “What exactly is the difference between Trotskyist revolutionary theory and Luxemburgist revolutionary theory? …
        “The Bolsheviks think that the proletariat is incapable for itself of realizing the revolution. That’s why it would need the party, which it must direct to the proletariat. The Luxemburgists … think that the proletariat is perfectly capable as [a] class of doing the revolution. The parties are organizations of the class, but they are not essential.”
        [Different authors, “Luxemburgism vs. Trotskyism.” International Luxemburgist Forum. June, 2008. Retrieved on July 13th, 2016.]
        “In 1910, a split took place among the ‘orthodox’ Marxists in the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany], between a centre wing led by Karl Kautsky, and a left wing that gradually grouped around Rosa Luxemburg. The reason for the split was the debate over the mass strike, a form of direct action that was growingly rejected by the Kautskyists in favour of parliamentary struggle. Although the issue of imperialism was not the original reason for the polemic, in the framework of this debate Kautsky began to argue that imperialism was not the result of an economic need inherent to capitalism at certain stage of its development, but a contingent policy adopted by the bourgeoisie in a certain historical context marked by colonial rivalries (a policy that was, thus, reversible).…
        “In her book The Accumulation of Capital, Rosa Luxemburg asks herself, regarding [Karl] Marx’s schemes of expanded reproduction: where does the increase in demand required to absorb the goods in which the accumulated part of surplus value is embodied come from? Her central argument is based on a revision of Marx’s accumulation schemes.… The conclusion Luxemburg draws from her analysis is that ‘the immediate and vital conditions for capital and its accumulation is the existence of non-capitalist buyers of the surplus value,’ because that part of the surplus value which is earmarked for capitalisation must be realised outside the capitalist market ….”
        [Daniel Gaido and Manuel Quiroga, “The early reception of Rosa Luxemburg’s theory of imperialism.” Capital & Class. Volue 37, number 3, October 2013. Pages 437-455.]
        “I have … described the evolution of what one might call Marxism-Luxemburgism ….
        “… Polish socialist Rosa Luxemburg, despite her celebrated differences with [Vladimir] Lenin about the desirable structure of a revolutionary political party, came to a conclusion virtually identical to his about the self-organization and self-activity of the labor movement. Experience shows, Luxemburg wrote (very much as Edward Thompson was to write a half century later) that ‘every time the labor movement wins new terrain, [the directing centralized organs] work it to the utmost. They transform it at the same time into a kind of bastion, which holds up advance on a wider scale’ ….
        “For Luxemburg, just as for Lenin, the dilemma was this: On the one hand, the self-activity of workers is the indispensable force propelling a transition to socialism, and it is folly to look to any other social group for that purpose. On the other hand, the trade union form of organization that workers over and over again create will predictably become a business and a bastion against change.
        “Thus the clash of thesis and antithesis. And from the same tumultuous event, the Russian Revolution of 1905, Luxemburg and Lenin derived essentially the same synthesis. Just as Marx had said, the working class would emancipate itself. But at moments of social crisis, workingclass self-activity would take on new organizational forms, outside the trade union movement. The locus classicus for this argument, and for me the most significant Marxist work of the twentieth century, is Rosa Luxemburg’s assessment of the 1905 Revolution, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions. I shan’t attempt to summarize it here. Read it.”
        [Staughton Lynd, “Local unions, ‘primitive democracy,’ and workers’ self-activity.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 4, issue 4, March 2001. Pages 49-58.]
        “… for all of her [Rosa Luxemburg’s] democratic sensibilities—and despite the immense and largely uncritical following she has won—Luxemburg’s conception of democratic politics is immensely problematic, reflecting the insufficiences of both the Marxian socialist tradition and her own particular contribution to it. Most seriously, politics for Luxemburg always aimed auf das Ganze [at the whole], a totalizing position fully in keeping with the Marxian tradition, but raised to new heights by her unswerving celebration of mass activism. As a result, she devoted precious little attention to the institutional grounding of a democratic-socialist polity. Instead, she continually promoted mass activism in demonstrations and strikes both as a tactic for accomplishing the tradition from capitalism to socialism and as the substance of democracy. Unwilling to countenance compromise even with other socialists, she infused her politics with the language of unwavering hostility to the institutions of bourgeois society, of militant and irreconcilable conflict between the forces of revolution and reaction, of hard-fought class struggle and proletarian revolution as the sole and exclusive means of political progress.…
        “But like all ideological traditions, Luxemburg’s offered a multitude of possibilities.… Luxemburg contra Luxemburg, a fitting enactment of the ambiguities intrinsic to her language and ideas.”
        [Eric D. Weitz, “‘Rosa Luxemburg Belongs to Us!’: German Communism and the Luxemburg Legacy.” Central European History. Volume 27, number 1, 1994. Pages 27-64.]
        “… for years the Soviet authorities denounced her [Rosa Luxemburg] for having criticised the Leninist approach to power, ‘Luxemburgism’ becoming a term used to describe those who showed an heretical tendency to think they knew better than the Party. As the intellectual authority of Soviet communism dwindled among Western Marxists, such character assassination later rebounded to her favour. But still, this tended to lead to a celebration of her character rather than a rediscovery of her theory of capitalist breakdown.…
        “To treat [Rosa] Luxemburg the woman with the proper respect ought to mean engaging seriously with Luxemburg the thinker – this is only what she would have demanded, after all. But at last there are signs today that her ideas are ripe for rediscovery. There is something about the times we live in that makes a widely-understood rediscovery of her thought both possible and necessary.”
        [Bill Blackwater, “Rediscovering Rosa Luxemburg.” Renewal. Volume 23, number 3, 2015. Pages 71-85.]
        “I choose here to return once more to Rosa Luxemburg because she is an exemplary figure in the present context. The democratic cast of her ideas is well-known. Her work not only predates the Stalinist descent, it is also free of the anti-democratic distortions or ‘substitutionist’ ambiguities or compromises, as they are variously regarded, of [Vladimir] Lenin and his followers. Together with the democratic resources of her thought, any shortcomings in it may therefore help to illuminate the contours of a Marxism not yet dominated by the Bolshevik experience and its sequel.” [Norman Geras, “Democracy and the Ends of Marxism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 203, January–Feruary 1994. Pages 92-106.]
        “… there is a problem about simply attaching the spontaneist label to Luxemburg, and hence the qualifications and contradictions which arise whenever she is used, negatively and polemically, as the convenient bearer of it. This use of her is problematic because, on reading her work, one is confronted at every turn with concepts and arguments which radically separate her Marxism from that determinist science of iron economic laws which is the usual foundation of fatalism and spontaneism.” [Norman Geras, “Rosa Luxemburg: Barbarism and the Collapse of Capitalism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 82, November–December 1973. Pages 17-37.]
        “By the outbreak of war [World War I], the relationship [between Rosa Luxemburg and Paul Levi] seems to have mellowed into a sympathetic friendship; but Paul would have had, as Rosa’s lover, a privileged access to her mind. In this woman half a generation older, Paul found the word of Marxism made flesh, and, though this unique apprenticeship was apparently unknown even to her closest circle, Levi’s close intellectual relationship to his mentor was certainly recognized, and played no small part in his qualification for the KPD [German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, ‘Germany’s Communist Party’], leadership.” [David Fernbach, “Rosa Luxemburg’s Political Heir: An Appreciation of Paul Levi.” New Left Review. Series I, number 238, November–December 1999.]
        “The reformist bureaucrats dominated the official practice of the parties and unions in most of Europe before the First World War. However, each wave of mass strikes brought the conflicts between these officials and the more radical and militant ranks of their organizations into the open, precipitating the classic debates on socialist strategy in the prewar era. The struggles of the 1890s, and the subsequent consolidation of industrial unions and of socialist parties across Europe in a period of capitalist prosperity, produced the ‘revisionism’ debate of 1899-1900. Eduard Bernstein challenged predictions of capitalist stagnation and decline, giving a theoretical gloss to the union and party officials’ day-to-day practice and bolstering those social democrats who supported the French socialist [Alexandre] Millerand’s entering a capitalist dominated government as minister of commerce and labour. Arrayed against Bernstein and his allies were the most prominent theorists of German social democracy, Karl Kautsky and Rosa Luxemburg. Kautsky, prophetically, argued that ‘Millerandism’ would lead socialists to take responsibility for pro-capitalist policies – policies that involved attacks on workers’ wages, hours, working conditions and political rights. Luxemburg argued that the inherent instability of capitalist accumulation made mass struggles necessary to win and defend all temporary gains for workers under capitalism.” [Charles Post, “What Is Left of Leninism? New European Left Parties in Historical Perspective.” Socialist Register. Volume 49, 2013. Pages 174-197.]
        “… [Rosa] Luxemburg never insisted on expelling the right wing, nor did she (at least before 1914) try to organize her own left faction as a counterweight to the reformists inside the SPD [German Social Democratic Party] until after the outbreak of World War I. While there were important local groupings of the left wing, there was no identifiable, coherent national left-wing faction in the party. Luxemburg fully accepted that the party should encompass all political tendencies in the working-class movement. In a 1906 party debate, for example, she attacked the right wing for wanting to expel anarcho-syndicalists from the party by saying: ‘At least remain faithful to our old principle: nobody is evicted from the party for his views. Since we have never kicked out anyone on the far right, we do not now have the right to evict the far left.’” [Paul D’Amato, “Marx, Lenin, and Luxemburg: Party, organization, and revolution.” Internationalist Socialist Review. Issue 92, spring 2014. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “I discovered Rosa Luxemburg—along with Leon Trotsky—at a young age. In high school, actually, when I should have been doing something more immediately useful, like studying a foreign language or learning how to juggle.
        “I think I came to those Marxists first, before any others, because they seemed untainted by the crimes of Stalinism yet still offering uncompromisingly radical perspectives.
        “What distinguished Luxemburg in my mind was how much of a typical Third International Marxist she was.…
        “It was Luxemburg who reminded her peers that ‘the mistakes that are made by a truly revolutionary workers’ movement are, historically speaking, immeasurably more fruitful and more valuable than the infallibility of the best possible “Central Committee.”’ And it was Luxemburg who stood for the ‘bourgeois’ freedoms— freedom of speech, assembly, and expression—that would have been so valuable to life in the Soviet Union.”
        [Bhaskar Sunkara, “An Unoriginal Plan to Save the Planet.” Rosa Remix. Stefanie Ehmsen and Albert Scharenberg, editors. New York: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. August, 2016. Pages 66-69.]
        “The aim is to publicise and share articles, reviews and resources relating to Luxemburg’s life, ideas and legacy. The hope is to build a base for researchers (or anyone) interested in Rosa Luxemburg- and to help spread information about her as it becomes available.” [Rory Castle, “About the Blog.” Rosa Luxemburg Blog. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        “Luxemburgism never was attempted in the real world, and its ideas were later shadowed by the battle between ‘Stalinism’ and ‘Trotskyism.’ However, most ‘Trotskyist’ organizations at least give credit to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg. These organizations include Solidarity and Socialist Action.” [Editor, “Luxemburgism.” Socialism Wiki. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        “… Rosa Luxemburg was the product of her times—the optimistic pre-war world of peace and progress. Her personality as much as her political ideas made her the champion of active revolution. Imperialism, with all its overtones of violence and inescapable confrontation of classes, was the hand-maiden of her obsession with the self-satisfaction and immobility of German Social Democracy. War was objectively inevitable but subjectively beyond imagination—and no one, except perhaps [Vladimir] Lenin, was more surprised than she when one day it broke out and engulfed pre-war Social Democracy. For her, peace and progress were not the usual bourgeois notions of economic development and a growing liberalism, but a Socialism strong enough to withstand the impact of international war and reassert the fundamental necessity of class conflict against it. Thus before 1914 wars no longer bad their primeval overriding power of pre-eruption; their impact was now limited by the requirements of the class struggle. All this of course proved an illusion, in 1914 as in 1939; and when the illusion was exposed the basis of her world collapsed. Unlike [Karl] Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg was acute and revolutionary enough to realize that the collapse was final. She drew the consequences. But she herself had been too much part of this world. She survived the political collapse of Social Democracy, but the revolutionary requirements of the future, the kind of personality that built the modern Soviet Union, that created twelve years of the thousand-year Third Reich, even the socially inclined conservatives of England, [Francisco] Franco, and America—these were alien monsters to Rosa Luxemburg. Her brilliant and devoted efforts during the German revolution were still no more than an attempt to deal with the problems of a new world by using the best tools and precepts of the old. In the last resort the relevance of her ideas to the world of today must mean a return to the basically optimistic enthusiasms of the Second International.” [J. P. Nettl. Rosa Luxemburg I. London and New York: Oxford University Press. 1966. Pages 39-40.]
        “Capitalism is ruled by two iron dictums—maximize profit and reduce labor costs. And as capitalism advances and consolidates power in a world where resources are becoming scarce and mechanization is becoming more sophisticated, the human and environmental cost of profit mounts.
        “‘The exploitation of the working class as an economic process cannot be abolished or softened through legislation in the framework of bourgeois society,’ [Rosa] Luxemburg wrote. Social reform, she said, ‘does not constitute an invasion into capitalist exploitation, but a regulating, an ordering of this exploitation in the interest of capitalist society itself.’
        “Capitalism is an enemy of democracy. It denies workers the right to control means of production or determine how the profits from their labor will be spent. American workers—both left and right—do not support trade agreements. They do not support the federal bailouts of big banks and financial firms. They do not embrace astronomical salaries for CEOs or wage stagnation. But workers do not count. And the more working men and women struggle to be heard, the harsher and more violent the forms of control employed by the corporate state will become.
        “Luxemburg also understood something that eluded Vladimir Lenin. Nationalism—which Luxemburg called ‘empty petty-bourgeois phraseology and humbug’—is a disease. It disconnects the working class in one country from another—one of the primary objectives of the capitalist class.”
        [Chris Hedges, “Reform or Revolution.” Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines. May 22nd, 2016. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg, the originator of the theory of capitalist economic catastrophe, … neglected entropy and scarcity. She was more interested in explaining the collapse of capitalism as the result of its immanent logic. Particularly, she asserted that regional markets exhaust profit opportunities. The dearth of investment opportunities then forces capitalists to expand globally to generate demand for products and ‘realize’ their surplus. It is a theory of imperialism. But when the market conquers the globe, economic development will reach a sudden crisis, a discontinuity, and the laws of economic expansion will break down.” [Anastasios Papathanasis, “Entropy, Foster’s Treadmill and Luxenburg’s Catastrophe: A Synthesis.” Journal of Political and Military Sociology. Volume 25, number 1, summer 1997. Pages 77-89.]
        “[Rosa] Luxemburg examines the reproduction process in the face of technological change which [Karl] Marx himself analyzed, in the sense of an increasing organic composition of capital. She examines the reproduction process in face of pre-capitalist economies, thought of as colonial economies or economies towards which the capitalist system expanded at a world level. She analyzes still the fundamental role of economies external to capital’s pure movement, such as military and State intervention expenditures, which also become explanatory elements of the real movement of capitalist reproduction and accumulation. Rosa Luxemburg compels us to think capitalism as a world system in order to reach a right conception of its evolution and its theoretical movement.” [Theotônio dos Santos, “World Economic System: On the Genesis of a Concept.” Journal for World-Systems Research. Volume 1, number 2, summer/fall 2000. Pages 456-477.]
        “[Paul] Levi was better placed than any of his colleagues to seek a synthesis between the specific revolutionary tradition of the German workers’ movement and the successful example of Bolshevism. He had been a close disciple of Rosa Luxemburg since shortly before the War, but, after extricating himself from the army in 1916, he made [Vladimir] Lenin’s acquaintance in Switzerland, endorsed Lenin’s return through Germany to Russia on behalf of the German radicals, and subsequently moved to Berlin ….
        “At the high tide of the revolutionary movement in Germany, a synthesis of ‘Luxemburgist’ and ‘Leninist’ traditions seemed possible, despite the past tactical differences between their two protagonists. Levi and his Spartakist friends accepted the need for a Communist party that grouped the revolutionary vanguard of the working class, excluding reformists and centrists, and could practise a disciplined tactic through to the seizure of power.”
        [David Fernbach, “Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime?Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 101-110.]
        “As a modernizing strategy, socialism fails in an international economy dominated by capitalist commodity relations. As war communism, it can be employed as a temporary expedient during civil war, but in the long term the new movements demand that it be articulated with their own democratic goals. This is by no means identical with the European doctrine of social democracy formulated as the alternative to both liberal and state capitalism at the turn of the century. Social democracy became, against the will of its left wing, a second modernizing strategy. In effect, it argued that state planning, the welfare state, and parliamentary democracy plus the limited nationalization of essential industries constituted a viable program for modernization. As we know retrospectively, its successes presupposed the subordination of the colonial world and the abatement of imperialist rivalries. Luxemburgism, which never won the support of a significant section of the workers’ movement after 1912, assumed modernity and proposed what might be called generalized democracy in an unarticulated form.” [Stanley Aronowitz, “Postmodernism and Politics.” Social Text. Number 21, 1989. Pages 46-62.]
        “For a long time Rosa Luxemburg’s name was associated with a rigid economic determinism, combined with an optimistic belief in the automatic breakdown of capitalism, which left virtually no place for the ‘subjective factor’ in history. Such a view is deeply mistaken, although some arguments in its favour can easily be found.
        “Luxemburg’s theory of the workers’ movement cannot be accused of underestimating the role of the ‘subjective factor’; on the contrary, it could rather be held to assign to it decisive importance in the final struggle.… The belief in an omniscient and omnipotent revolutionary vanguard, let alone the cult of individual revolutionary leaders was in her eyes a relic of populist ‘subjectivism,’ a product of Russia’s backwardness and authoritarian mentality. She opposed such ‘subjectivism’ without, however, making concessions to the ‘objectivist’ interpretation of Marxism or minimizing the role of the human will and consciousness in history. Against the Leninist view of ‘his majesty the central committee’ as ‘the all-powerful director of history’ she set her theory of the ‘subjective factor’ conceived as ‘the collective ego of the working class,’ as the will and consciousness of the masses. She frankly admitted that even the errors made by an authentic mass movement ‘are historically infinitely more fruitful and more valuable than the infallibility of the best of all possible “central committees.”’ She made it clear that the role of party leaders must decline in direct proportion to the advances of the masses.”
        [A. Walicki, “Rosa Luxemburg and the Question of Nationalism in Polish Marxism (1893-1914).” The Slavonic and East European Review. Volume 61, number 4, October 1983. Pages 565-582.]
        “Rosa [Luxemburg] argues that socialist democratic centralism, which is the rule of the majority within its own party, can only exist if two criteria are fulfilled.
        “Firstly there exists a layer of highly politicised workers, this she calls the vanguard.
        “Secondly, there is the possibility of creating politicised workers through campaigning. This condition can only be satisfied where political liberty exists. It is only under these conditions that you can have ‘social democratic centralism.’”
        [Aileen O’Carroll, “Rosa Luxemburg on socialism and the importance of the objective conditions.” Talk delivered to Workers Solidarity Movement. Dublin, Ireland, branch. September 1994. Web. Retrieved on February 1st, 2017.]
        “[Rosa] Luxemburg … pointed out that the capitalist system required linkages with pre-capitalist socio-economic organizations for its expansion, and assumed that its survival depended on such expansion; she thus viewed linkages with the pre-capitalist economies as integral for the functioning of the capitalist system. Luxemburg identified three such linkages: members of pre-capitalist social organizations were consumers of capitalist products, providers of raw materials for capitalist industry, and reservoirs of labor. It was especially in the colonies, Luxemburg … held, that ‘capitalist production cannot manage without labour power from other social organizations.’ Her argument could be extended to say that, in terms of labor, the capitalist system requires an on-going process of primitive accumulation (in [Karl] Marx’s sense) for its expansion and survival, and that this primitive accumulation partially rests on the mobilization of the reserve army of labor wherever it is found in the world.” [Tamar Diana Wilson, “Primitive Accumulation and the Labor Subsidies to Capitalism.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 44, number 2, October 2011. Pages 201-212.]
        “Faced with the expanding reach of privatized forms of culture, we have discovered that, in fact, we never had a common; we had only an ungoverned open access resource. From the last few decades of the nineteenth century to the present, both meaning and attention have been the objects of primitive accumulation on a stunning scale. The components of culture and of social communication have become commodities rather than common-pool resources. Once help meets facilitating the circuits of capital flowing through consumer goods manufacturing, private property forms of access to eyes and mindshare have taken on a life of their own. In our era of informationalized capitalism, the mining of our attention and the privatization of meanings have widened in scope. Intangible assets – including brands, patents, and intellectual property rights – made up less than a third of total nonfinancial corporation assets in 1980, but that share rose to nearly half in 2000 …. Rosa Luxemburg’s argument that primitive accumulation is never finished is vividly illustrated once again.” [Zoe Sherman, “Primitive Accumulation in the Cultural Commons.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 48, number 1, June 2015. Pages 176-188.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg was both shaped by, and, to an unusual degree, shaped, the historical conditions of her day. The turn of the twentieth century was a period of rapid transformation and political upheaval, as capitalism expanded across the globe. World socialist revolution was, as Georg Lukács put it, an ‘actuality,’ and Luxemburg participated in two revolutions in her short life. Had she lived, it is a distinct possibility that the fate of the German revolution, and thus of the world, would have been different. This is not to reiterate a version of the ‘great man’ theory of history, but rather to acknowledge that individuals can and do play pivotal roles within particular social contexts. Within the confluence of events in 1918 Luxemburg and her comrade Karl Liebknecht were valuable leaders with the potential to provide decisive guidance to the revolutionary movement. Instead, they were murdered, and therefore taken out of the equation.” [Helen Scott, “Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform or Revolution in the Twenty-first Century.” Socialist Studies / Études socialistes. Volume 6, number 2, fall 2010. Pages 118-140.]
        “Recently, Rosa Luxemburg’s thought has become especially relevant. For instance, the current economic crisis may be explained through the Luxemburgian thesis. According to Luxemburg, stock market or housing bubbles are a consequence of the fact that capitalism is not aimed at satisfying needs. Rather, its only aim is to create value: not to produce consumer products, but to make profit perpetually. The system creates great inequality, hunger and the relative dominance of speculative or financial economics. It is based on unemployment or unstable employment, militarism, the control of public opinion and the loss of citizens’ decision-making capacities and ability to participate in shaping a desirable future.” [Estrella Trincado, “The Current Relevance of Rosa Luxemburg’s Thought.” Socialist Studies / Études socialistes. Volume 6, number 2, fall 2010. Pages 141-159.]
        “Although Rosa Luxemburg was strongly convinced that under capitalism the ordinary worker could never earn more than what is absolutely necessary for the reproduction of that worker (and his/her family) – another ‘iron law’ introduced by Kautsky and Co. by deliberately ignoring Marx’s concept of historic and moral elements that influence the value of the labour force – her book on accumulation puts considerable emphasis on the role of demand in capitalist development. And the reception of her book in the English speaking academic community is linked to this issue. The first English edition of The Accumulation of Capital (1951) was vindicated as one of the pioneering works of what macroeconomists call effective demand theory (established by John Maynard Keynes, Michal Kalecki and Joan Robinson).” [Arndt Hopfmann, “The Accumulation of Capital in Historical Perspective.” The Accumulation of Capital in Southern Africa: Rosa Luxemburg’s Contemporary Relevance. Patrick Bond, Horman Chitonge, and Arndt Hopfmann, editors. Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. 2006. Pages 17-25.]
        “For those with a socialist politics that is uncompromising in both its commitment to democracy and its opposition to capitalism, it is common to raise the name of Rosa Luxemburg. A Polish German secular Jew, a Marxist political economist and political theorist, she was the most prominent leader of the left wing of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and a founder of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) and, later, the Spartacus League and the German Communist Party (KPD). Repeatedly jailed for her political activities in both Poland and Germany, she was ultimately murdered with her comrade Karl Liebknecht by the right-wing SPD leadership’s militarist Freikorps (Volunteer Corps) allies in the aftermath of the failed Spartacus Revolt in Berlin in 1919. Luxemburg thus became both a heroine and a martyr of the socialist workers’ movement. Though the Communist International of Josef Stalin, in the 1930s, denounced her as a “counterrevolutionary Menshevik” and sought to eradicate her influence, anti-Stalinist Marxists of various stripes came to her defense, however critically, and would continue to do so in subsequent decades. And even today, more than 94 years after her death, Rosa Luxemburg refuses to finally die.” [Jason Schulman, “Introduction: Reintroducing Red Rosa.” Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2013. Pages 1-10.]
        “The renewal of interest in [Rosa] Luxemburg especially characterised an important international conference in China on her ideas as a whole. Sponsored by the International Rosa Luxemburg Society, the Institute for World Socialism in Beijing and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin, the conference was held on 21–2 November 2004 at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou (formerly Canton). It included eighty participants from China, Japan, India, Russia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Norway and the US. While this was not the first time that a conference on Luxemburg had been held in China, it represented the most far-ranging and comprehensive discussion of her work in the history of the country.” [Peter Hudis, “Rosa Luxemburg in China: A Report on the ‘Rosa Luxemburg’ Conference 21–2 November 2004 – South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.” Historical Materialism. Volume 13, issue 3, 2005. Pages 317-322.]
        1. International Luxemburgist Network: “The International Luxemburgist Network groups together activists who are in general agreement with the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg. We stand for the democratic self-organization of the working class and mass strike as a major tool in the class struggle. It is through this process that workers can form themselves into a class capable of leading a truly democratic society, self-managed by all, according to social needs and not profit.” [The International Luxemburgist Network. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        2. Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist): “Basing ourselves on the analysis of Rosa Luxemburg (since 1904), we see that the policies applied by all the different ‘leninist’ in power were completely opposed to our Marxist principles. Since 1917 and until today, the different ‘leninist’ governments have abandoned all the objectives of socialism and communism; on the contrary, they have set up a highly hierarchical and authoritarian state, based on one party, with a state centrally planned economy (State capitalism). These parties have betrayed the most basic revolutionary and democratic principles, their leaders becoming the new dominating and exploiting classes.” [Editor, Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist). Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        3. International Rosa Luxemburg Society (German, Internationale Rosa-Luxemburg-Gesellschaft): “One of the most important contributions of Rosa Luxemburg to modern Marxist thought is her refusal to separate the concepts of ‘democracy’ and ‘revolution.’ This approach is developed in a) her criticism of the limits of bourgeois democracy, b) her conception of the revolutionary struggle as democratic self-emancipation of the great masses, c) her vision of socialist democracy with the workers’ councils’ system as a possible form of ‘dictatorship of the proletariat,’ and d) her firm insistence – in discussion with Russian revolutionaries – on the importance of democratic freedoms in the transition towards socialism.” [“Rosa Luxemburg’s Concepts of Democracy and Revolution.” International Rosa Luxemburg Society. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        4. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung/Rosa Luxemburg Foundation: See also the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung/Rosa Luxemburg Foundation—New York Office.
          “The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is one of the largest political education institutions in Germany today and sees itself as part of the intellectual current of democratic socialism. The foundation evolved from a small political group, ‘Social Analysis and Political Education Association,’ founded in 1990 in Berlin into a nationwide political education organisation, a discussion forum for critical thought and political alternatives as well a research facility for progressive social analysis.” [Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Berlin, Germany. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        5. Workers Democracy: Supports a working class which makes decisions democratically.
          “The goal of the Workers Democracy Network is to organize a democratic workers movement that unites all workers, on an equal basis, around our common interests. We oppose business unionism and all cooperation with the corporate elite. We will build neighborhood, city-wide, regional and continental organizations that unite the entire working class: union and non-union workers; students, employed, self-employed and unemployed; immigrants and native-born; men and women of all ethnic backgrounds. We stand in solidarity with workers all over the world and oppose all nationalism, oppression and bigotry, which pit one group of workers against another….
          “By building a democratic, unified workers movement, we will lay the basis for a new world, free of capitalism, where workers will democratically run society and control their own lives.”
          [Editor, “Statement of Agreement.” Workers Democracy. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        6. another Luxemburgism (William A. Pelz): Centered on five principles, Pelz argues for a reevaluation of the work of Rosa Luxemburg.
          “With the defeat of Nazism and the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) in what had been the Soviet zone of occupation, one would have hoped for a more positive reevaluation of Rosa Luxemburg and her theories.…
          “This paper will argue that a new appreciation of Rosa, ‘another Luxemburgism,’ true to Rosa’s [Rosa Luxemburg’s] principles and free of Stalinist revisionism, might develop from certain key aspects of her work. Among the tenants [tenets?] that cry out for inclusion in such a list, I will focus on five: 1) steadfast belief in democracy; 2) complete faith in the common people (the masses); 3) dedication to internationalism in word and deed; 4) commitment to a democratic revolutionary party; and 5) unshakable practice of humanism. There are, of course, many more areas of her thought which hold vital clues for those who would follow her in the twenty-first century. For reasons of time, I will limit my discussion to the above-mentioned five points.”
          [William A. Pelz, “Another Luxemburgism is Possible: Reflections on Rosa and the Radical Socialist Project.” Presented at the International Rosa Luxemburg Conference. April 1st2nd, 2007. Tokyo, Japan. Pages 1-7. Retrieved on December 2nd, 2016. Also published in Spectrezine. Volume 21, number 21, November 2008. Online publication. No pagination.]
        7. revolutionary philosophy of praxis (Michael Löwy as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): This Brazilian–born scholar, now living in France, discusses Rosa Luxemburg’s model of “the self–emancipative praxis of the workers” and “the revolutionary pedagogy of action.”
          “Few Marxists of the 20ᵗʰ century were nearer to the spirit of [Karl] Marx’s philosophy of praxis than Rosa Luxemburg. Sure, she didn᾿t write philosophical texts, but she was able to interpret Marxist theory in an original and creative way. The revolutionary philosophy of praxis is a sort of electric current that runs through her work and life. However, her thinking was far from being static: it was a reflection in movement, which was enriched by historical experience.…
          “One could say that her writings are tensioned by two opposite poles: I) historical determinism, the inevitability of the final collapse of capitalism; II) voluntarism, the decisive role of emancipative action.… Against [Eduard] Bernstein’s revisionism, she insisted that the evolution of capitalism leads necessarily to the collapse (Zusammenbruch) of the system, and that this collapse is the historical road leading to the accomplishment of socialism. We have here, in last analysis, a socialist variant of the ideology of inevitable progress that dominated Western culture since the Enlightenment. What saves her argument from fatalistic economism is the revolutionary pedagogy of action: ‘it is only through long and stubborn struggles that the proletariat will conquer the degree of political maturity that will permit it to achieve the definitive victory of revolution.’…
          “Rosa Luxemburg was not an infallible leader; she made mistakes, as every human being and every political militant, and her ideas do not make up a closed theoretical system, a dogmatic doctrine that could be applied at all places and all times. But without doubt her thinking is a precious toolbox to try to dismantle the capitalist machinery and to search for radical alternatives. Her conception of socialism at the same time revolutionary and democratic — in irreconcilable opposition with capitalism and imperialist expansion — founded on the self-emancipative praxis of the workers, on the self-education by experience and by action of the great popular masses, is still extraordinarily relevant. Socialism in the 21ˢᵗ century cannot make it without the light of this blazing spark.”
          [Michael Löwy, “Zündende Funke: The Spark Lights Up in Action—Rosa Luxemburg’s Philosophy of Praxis.” New Politics. Volume XIV, number 55, summer 2013. Online publication. No pagination.]
          “It seems to me … that after 1914–15 the theoretical problematic of Rosa Luxemburg underwent a profound change under the impact of the war and the collapse of the International. It is only after this watershed that she began to talk of a historical alternative: socialism or barbarism.…
          “In the huge and uneven body of writings on Rosa Luxemburg that has been published since the mid-sixties, genuine analysis of the highest quality may be found alongside the worst confusion and arbitrariness. While some writers mount a full-scale hunt for ‘Luxemburgist deviations,’ others use every means to convert Rosa Luxemburg’s work into an ideological weapon against Bolshevism. In many cases, however, interesting and fruitful attempts have been made to re-establish the authentic revolutionary dimension of her political legacy.”
          [Michael Löwy, “Rosa Luxemburg: a new evaluation.” New Left Review. Series I, numbers 102–103, January–April 1977. Pages 138-142.]
        8. radical autonomism (Ross Abbinnett): He proposes that the work of Rosa Luxemburg can be regarded as a version of autonomist Marxism.
          “The article is an attempt to interrogate the idea of anti-capitalist politics in the light Rosa Luxemberg’s notion of radical autonomism.…
          “What I am particularly interested in is the relationship between the idea of autonomism which Luxemberg developed in response to [Vladimir] Lenin’s account of revolutionary struggle, and the strategies, agendas and ideas which emerged with the anti-capitalist movement in the late 1990s.…
          “… even at her most ‘autonomist,’ Luxemberg always sought to maintain the link between the economic conditions which formed the basis class antagonism, the proliferation of political conflicts, and the constitution of the working class as the agent of universal democracy. However Luxemberg’s account of the mass strike as a strategy which arose from the increasingly repressive organization of capitalism, does mark a significant departure from the Marxist–Leninist topology of class struggle. Her argument is that the economic conditions which bring about the mass defection of wage labour (the depression of average wages, increasing unemployment, the exhaustion of under-capitalized markets) should be understood as part of a process of political formation which is intrinsic to the capitalist mode of production.…
          “So, what light does Luxemberg’s autonomist Marxism shed on the political and theoretical issues raised by the contemporary anti-capitalist movement? … [T]here is a sense in which the spirit of Luxemberg’s politics returns in the theoretical discourse of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement: for her notion of a collective praxis which is responsible to the conditions of its own democratic constitution, is the central idea of the ‘new autonomism’ exemplified in the work of Naomi Klein and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. However, I will argue that the genealogy that links Luxemberg’s notion of the mass strike to the formation of new communicative possibilities which have emerged within the techno-scientific organization of capitalism, marks the return of the question with which we began: the question of if, and how, the praxis of divergent protest groups is to be gathered into a unified anti-capitalist movement.”
          [Ross Abbinnett, “Untimely Agitations: Derrida, Klein and Hardt & Negri on the Idea of Anti-Capitalism.” Journal for Cultural Research. Volume 11, number 1, January 2007. Pages 41-56.]
          “What has become known as ‘voluntarist Marxism’ tends to give more weight to the latter [class-consciousness] in its description of political praxis, as it situates the transformative power of the revolution in the collective forms of subjectivity that emerge from within the proletarian movement itself. Rosa Luxemburg, for example, maintained that the event of the revolution was inconceivable without the collective satisfaction constituted through heterogeneous forms of resistance and cooperation …. [Vladimir] Lenin’s appeal to the strategic organization of the masses by the revolutionary vanguard of the Party, on the other hand, was rather more sceptical about the formative power of local agency. For although he demanded the destruction of the ‘special apparatus’ through which the capitalist state maintains control of the working class, he also maintained that the necessity of the revolution was such that it could not be left to the chance that spontaneous solidarity will triumph over the organized interests of bourgeois society ….” [Ross Abbinnett. Politics of Happiness: Connecting the Philosophical Ideas of Hegel, Nietzsche and Derrida to the Political Ideologies of Happiness. New York and London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2013. Pages 79-80.]
        9. Luxemburgian socialist feminism (Andrea Nye): To Nye, this form of feminism would involve a reworking of the notion of democracy.
          “Essential in any recovery of a Luxemburgian socialist feminism would be the reworking of the vexed concept of democracy. Marxists, like [Vladimir] Lenin, were quick to point out the lack of real democracy in the legislative maneuvering of interest groups and the corporate financing of elections in capitalist countries. Concentrated as they were on winning state power, democracy was hardly a priority for the Bolsheviks either. If the slogan, ‘socialist democracy’ had concrete meaning at all, it was a euphemism for a coercive rallying of public opinion behind the decisions of the supreme Communist party. While European Social Democrats continued to participate in parliaments and legislatures as if winning elections was an end in itself, in Russia the Soviets that were to have been the basis of socialist democracy became an instrument of party control. Democracy in both cases was deferred to a distant, utopian future when workers would be mature and true Communism possible.” [Andrea Nye. Philosophia: The Thought of Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and Hannah Arendt. New York and London: Routledge. 1994. Pages 47-48.]
          “Rosa Luxemburg was not a feminist in the way it’s generally understood now; rather, she was a socialist who viewed women’s emancipation as part and parcel of the liberation of the working class as a whole through socialism, and certainly was so actively pro-woman she is justly admired by many feminists today. Her own life can be viewed as a successful feminist vindication of women’s power and ability — after all, she climbed to the top echelons of the SPD despite being a woman and a left-winger who early on made enemies within the party; and a Jewish one at that!” [George Fish, “Red Rosa: An Intimate Self-Portrait.” New Politics. Volume 13, number 3, summer 2011. Pages 144-151.]
        10. Luxemburghian model (Alberto Melucci as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes this model, which is characterized by spontaneity, from the Leninist model.
          “… it is clear that the models that western political tradition provides to explain the involvement of individuals are weak. For simplicity I shall refer to them as ‘Leninist’ and ‘Luxemburghian.’ The former is paradoxically common to Leninism, crowd psychology, and the theory of mass society; the common assumption being that involvement is the result of the work of a minority that drags an undifferentiated mass of individuals in the direction of their real interests (in the Leninist version) or in the direction of the purposes of the agitators, by means of suggestion and manipulation (in the case of crowd psychology). The Luxemburghian model is superior to the Leninist one and attributes to individuals the spontaneous capacity to mobilize collectively in the presence of discontent, injustice, and deprivation. What both models ignore is the fact that individuals interact, influence each other, and negotiate in order to define themselves as a collective actor and to define the field of their action.” [Alberto Melucci, “Getting Involved: Identity and Mobilization in Social Movements.” International Social Movement Research: A Research Annual. Volume 1, 1988. Pages 229-248.]
          “Sociological theory and research during the seventies have undoubtedly provided a deeper understanding of contemporary social movements. The forms of collective action which have emerged during the past twenty years in fields previously untouched by social conflicts (age, sex differences, health, relation to nature, human survival) are taking by now an increasing importance in sociological analysis and they become controversial and stimulating topics for both theory and research. The eighties seem to offer new material to this reflection, since collective action is shifting more and more from the ‘political’ form, which was common to traditional opposition movements in Western societies, to a cultural ground.” [Alberto Melucci, “The Symbolic Challenge of Contemporary Movements.” Social Research. Volume 52, number 4, winter 1985. Pages 789-816.]
        11. new Spartakists (Iñigo Errejón Galván as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Pablo Iglesias Turrión as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They see parallels to the work of Rosa Luxemburg in the global anti–capitalist movement.
          “Some of the most important issues discussed inside the Global movement against Capitalism and war are the relations between political party and movement, movement Autonomy as opposed to institutional dynamics, and organisational problems. In this paper, we will recuperate some categories and political concepts from Rosa Luxembourg’s [sic; Rosa Luxemburg’s] thought. We will try to use those instruments to analyse some aspects of the mobilisation process of the Global movement since the Seattle demonstrations until the demonstrations against war in 2003 and 2004 taking the example of Madrid.…
          “Rosa [Luxemburg] innovates … when she recovers … [one] of the lessons from the proletarian combats: The strikes, as the revolutions (maybe the popular mobilisation waves in our days?) don’t have to be called for. They are not decided neither in the cupules of mass organisations nor in the central committees of the vanguards. They respond to historical moments that determine their own fighting tactics and organisational models through improvisation, reviewing and renewal while drawing on a rich base of historically formed repertoires of contention.: the enrichment of the popular action’s arsenal. It is not difficult to recognise here its proximity to the Global Movement, whose practice has been characterised by the invention and reinvention through consecutive battles.…
          “Something more interesting than what [Alberto] Melucci called the ‘Luxemburg model’ [sic; the Luxemburghian model] ….
          “We are now arrived to the adventurous thesis that constitutes the nuclei of our paper. We believe to have theoretically deducted how why Rosa Luxemburg is an anticipation of the Marxist trend that advocates for the power of the workers’ councils. Even a step further, this woman, limited, as it is natural by the historical context in which she writes, opens the door to the evolution form the extreme left to the Autonomism.”
          [Iñigo Errejón Galván and Pablo Iglesias Turrión, “The New Spartakists. The thought of Rosa Luxemburg to understand the Global Movement.” Presented at the Social Movements Conference Alternative Futures and Popular Protest. Manchester Metropolitan University. Manchester, England. March 30th– April 1st, 2005. Pages 1-17. Retrieved on April 30th, 2017.]
        12. The Collective to Fight Neurelitism™ or CFN™ (Mark A. Foster): It is “the Emancipated Autism Project”—a Marxist–Luxemburgist movement rooted in Dialectical metaRealism (a critical realist perspective). CFN focuses upon the worldwide community of Autists. The Autistic dialectic is absented or completed by forging unity, through struggle, with other Autists and, more generally, with all humanity. We accept the concept, from Marxism-Luxemburgism, of the dialectic of spontaneity and organization. The following is taken from the main page of the website:
          “The heart of this public sociology collective is Emancipated Autism™ (MP3 audio file), demonstrated in solidarity with other dominated peoples and in revolutionary community organizing against Neurelitism™ (neurological elitism). Neurelitism (MP3 audio file), a term coined here for a type of sanism, justifies disability or oppression. As a social–and–economic–development project for Autists and the similarly dissimilar, based upon Marxism–Luxemburgism, we value human rights, Agenda 21, the 2030 Agenda, and sustainable development. Membership and participation are informal.
          “Materially, we fight Neurelitism by struggling against domination. Spiritually, we fight through our unity with intersections of humanity, while praying for the inner healing, and targeted scientific cures, of Autism’s empathy and other problems. With Dialectical metaRealism, the dialectic absents (contradicts) empathy’s absence. We shift the center of thinking [epistemically], in nonviolent resistance, to the subaltern. When applying The Echoing Practice (a heart meditation) and Echoes of Cosmic Unity™, we enter the cosmic envelope of unity and become, thereby, emancipated Autists. Think you are an Autist? Take some free tests.”
          [Mark A. Foster. The Collective to Fight Neurelitism: The Emancipated Autism Project. 2015. Updated and retrieved on November 19th, 2016.]
          “Like many autistics of my generation, the diagnosis I received was childhood schizophrenia. Indeed, autism was not even a category in the nosological (classification) system of the DSM-I [the first version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual from the American Psychiatric Association]. Since they had not yet devised a way to explain people like myself, they made us all psychotic. That was the common construction of the time. Yet, by today’s standards, I exhibited none of the usual symptoms of schizophrenia, the hallucinations, auditory or visual, and the delusions, nor was I, in any sense I can tell, out of touch with reality. In fact, I was very much in touch with my reality – often, in light of the constant bullying I received, painfully so.” [Mark A. Foster, “Fighting Neurelitism.” Many Voices – One Community. Volume 1, issue 2, article 13, 2009. Page 1.]
      2. Marxism–Pankhurstism (Estelle “Sylvia” Pankhurst): Pankhurst was a British Suffragette—a first–wave feminist—from a family of fellow radicals (including Emmeline Pankhurst). Sylvia Pankhurst fervently embraced left communism. She subsequently devoted herself to the cause of improving the lives of Ethiopians. After her death, she was honored by Haile Selassie I (Géʿzé, ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ, Qadāmāwi H̱āyela Śelāsé or K’edamawī Ḫayile Šilasē).
        “Under communism all shall satisfy their material needs without stint or measure from the common storehouse, according to their desires. Everyone will be able to have what he or she desires in food, in clothing, books, music, education and travel facilities. The abundant production now possible, and which invention will constantly facilitate, will remove any need for rationing or limiting of consumption.
        “Every individual, relying on the great common production, will be secure from material want and anxiety.
        “There will be no class distinctions, since these arise from differences in material possessions, education and social status — all such distinctions will be swept away.
        “There will be neither rich nor poor. Money will no longer exist, and none will desire to hoard commodities not in use, since a fresh supply may be obtained at will. There will be no selling, because there will be no buyers, since everyone will be able to obtain everything at will, without payment.
        “The possession of private property, beyond that which is in actual personal use, will disappear.
        “There will be neither masters nor servants, all being in a position of economic equality — no individual will be able to become the employer of another.
        “All children will be educated up to adult age, and all adults will be able to make free, unstinted use of all educational facilities in their abundant leisure.
        “Stealing, forgery, burglary, and all economic crimes will disappear, with all the objectionable apparatus for preventing, detecting and punishing them.
        “Prostitution will become extinct; it is a commercial transaction, dependent upon the economic need of the prostitute and the customer’s power to pay.”
        [Sylvia Pankhurst, “Part Three: Sylvia Pankhurst.” Non-Leninist Marxism: Writings on the Workers Councils. Red and Black Publishers, editor. St. Petersburg, Florida: Red and Black Publishers. 2007. Kindle edition.]
        “The whole audience was eagerly looking for ‘The lady Suffragists.’ A party of women in a little gallery above the door, attracted considerable attention. ‘Those are the Suffragists, look up there,’ was whispered from all quarters. A man who sat next to the unrecognised Suffragette fixed his gaze upon these ladies, and turning to his companion said: ‘That is Miss Pankhurst; she has aged very much since I saw her last. The ladies have got their eyes on us; they will begin putting their question soon.’ The hall filled up rapidly and at last became so densely crowded that, owing to the press of people, the emergency doors at the back of the hall were burst open and a large crowd collected outside. Mr. Churchill was late, and during the Chairman’s remarks and the speeches that followed little attention was paid to what was being said for everyone was waiting for what was to happen next.” [E. Sylvia Pankhurst. The Suffragette: The History of the Women’s Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910. Boston, Massachusetts: The Women’s Journal. 1911. Page 44.]
        “I have been asked whether I consider that the militant methods of the English suffragettes are necessary for the winning of votes for American women. Obviously not, in nine of the States, for in nine States the vote has already been won, and by peaceful propaganda alone.
        “Women are finding it harder to obtain the vote in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois than they did in any of the states in which the vote has been granted, but I believe in the policy of intervening in election contests, which American suffragettes have already begun to copy, with adaptations, from the English militants, will provide all the pressure that is necessary under American political conditions to obtain the franchise, even in the States where politicians are most obdurate, or, which is worse, most unstable and liable to change.”
        [E. Sylvia Pankhurst, “Shall American Women Become Militant?: Miss E. Sylvia Pankhurst, the Noted English Suffragette, Writes of This and Other Phases of the Movement – Her First Article for America Since Her Release from Prison.” The New York Times. May 4th, 1913. Page SM2.]
        “Child care should include instruction of the child in personal hygiene: brushing teeth and nails, washing the ears and eyes and all parts of the body, if the day school is supplied with means for such instruction that certainly is the case of borders. In the demonstration school such facilities should be available.
        “In a day school the young children should be taught to wash their hands on arrival at school, before eating, before returning home, after doing any work which soils the hands, gardening, or clay modelling, for example.
        “Schools for young people should, if possible, supply milk at the mid-morning break and also at a mid-day meal, particularly in view of the great distances some children have to walk to school in this country.”
        [Sylvia Pankhurst, “Proposal by Sylvia Pankhurst for an Ethiopian Women’s College, 1959: A suggested curriculum for a college of education for young women.” Gender and Education. Volume 20, number 1, January 2008. Pages 67-75.]
        “In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, four days journey by motor from Eritrea, there are 8,000 Eritrean refugees at the present time, and numbers of them also in the intervening towns and districts. These people have held big demonstrations, marched to the Legations of Great Britain, France and the U.S.S.R. [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics], and sent telegrams to the recent Five Power Foreign Ministers’ Conference, appealing for the reunion of Eritrea to Ethiopia, as well as making the same appeal to the Ethiopian Government. They cite the leaflets and proclamations showered upon Eritrea by the R.A.F. [Royal Air Force] during the campaign to defeat the Italians in 1941, wherein it was promised that Eritrea should be reunited to Ethiopia, and the Eritrean soldiers were urged to desert from the ranks of Italy, and either return to their homes or join the Allies, in order that by the defeat of Italy they might be able to realize their desire.” [E. Sylvia Pankhurst, “Editorial.” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-). Volume 22, number 1, January 1946. Pages 159-160.]
        “… she [Sylvia Pankhurst] described the two options presented to her by the CPGB [Communist Party of Great Britain] in respect of her paper – either to cease publication altogether or to hand it over to the Party under the editorship of someone of the Party’s choosing. She rejected both options. She wrote of the meeting with the leadership that, ‘with a spice of brutality, the disciplinarians set forth their terms to one who had for eight years maintained a pioneer paper with constant struggle and in the face of much persecution.’ She justified her rejection of the Party’s proposal on the grounds that ‘an independent Communist paper which would stimulate discussion in the movement on theory and practice’ was an essential prerequisite of healthy Party life. She acknowledged that Party discipline could and should be used to ‘prevent right opportunism and laxity’, but suppressing discussion of left-wing ideas would ‘cramp and stultify’ the Party. It was only permissible, she argued, to prevent such discussion in a revolutionary situation, but she ‘could not approve of a rigidity of discipline which is wholly out of place here and now.’” [Mary Davis. Sylvia Pankhurst: A Life in Radical Politics. London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press. 1999. Page 87.]
        “For many readers, the Pankhursts come as a shock on close inspection, for the explosive mixture of idealism, self-sacrifice and strategic insight that enabled its members to contribute so notably to national life also made them ruthless, high-handed and self-righteous. They formed what we would nowadays recognize as a rather dysfunctional family. Yet for some years now we have been encouraged by pundits, prime ministers and large sections of the press to believe in the superiority of ‘Victorian Values’, in the notion of the big, happy Victorian – Edwardian family, and in the decline of parenting skills during the last three generations. To examine Victorian families in any depth is to be thoroughly disabused of such simplistic notions. The consequences of Victorian family life in the shape of the emotional scars borne by the children of the era are too extensive to miss.” [Martin Pugh. The Pankhursts: The History of One Radical Family. London: Vintage Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
        “… [E. Sylvia] Sylvia’s evolution from suffragism and Socialism to Communism and anti-Fascism, culminating in her fight to save Ethiopia from [Benito] Mussolini’s invasion after 1935, seems to represent a rare strand of consistency with the Victorian Radicalism of Richard Pankhurst.” [Martin Pugh. The Pankhursts: The History of One Radical Family. London: Vintage Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
        “… [Listen to] the words of a God-fearing, whole-hearted Christian woman. They should sink deep in the mind and heart of every American woman. The Courier-Journal [newspaper] commends them earnestly to the women of Kentucky—to the women of the South—who have not yet been reached by the visionary the ories of the sexually unemployed, nor caught by the bloody debaucheries of Pankhurstism.” [Editor, “May Number.” The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society. Frankfort, Kentucky. Volume 12, number 36, September 1914. Pages 66-67.]
        “Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt. president of the International Suffrage Alliance, returned yesterday on the Minnewaska [Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, New York] from a three months stay in Europe, during which she presided over the international convention at Budapest [Hungary]. She was accompanied by Miss Mary Garrett Hay, chairman of the Woman Suffrage party, who spent six weeks with her in England. Neither was especially interested in Mrs. Pankhurst’s projected visit to this country.” [Editor, “How Pankhurtism Retards Suffrage.” The Sun (newspaper). New York. August 19th, 1913. Page 7.]
        “The teacher of young children must of course know how to care for them, how to deal with their physical needs and their personal hygiene. She must be able to help them in self-attention to their own personal hygiene. She must be attentive to their attitude and behaviour. Experience in dealing with children in addition to any book instruction on childcare is absolutely essential.…
        “There are people in England, plenty of them, who will tell you that the Suffragettes were sent to prison for destroying property. The fact is that hundreds of women were arrested for exactly such offences as I have described before it ever occurred to any of us to destroy property. We were determined, at the beginning of our movement, that we would make ourselves heard, that we would force the Government to take up our question and answer it by action in Parliament. Perhaps you will see some parallel to our case in the stand taken in Massachusetts by the early Abolitionists, Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison. They, too, had to fight bitterly, to face insult and arrest, because they insisted on being heard. And they were heard; and so, in time, were we.” [Emmeline Pankhurst. My Own Story. New York: Heart’s International Library Co, Inc. 1914. Pages 71-72.]
        “When visiting the Soviet Union in 1922, [Claude] McKay went as a delegate not of the American Communist Party but of the African Blood Brotherhood, a self-organized network for racial solidarity and self-defense. Because of his externality to the American Communist Party and his association with British ‘Left Wing’ communists, who critiqued Lenin for emphasizing centralized party politicking over mass initiative, McKay was received with hostility in Moscow, and ultimately was thrown out of the Lux Hotel and placed in a dilapidated room furnished with nothing but an army cot. Identifying himself as an ‘unorthodox comrade sympathizer’ and a ‘radical dissident,’ he even feared being denounced as a spy ….
        “… McKay’s internationalism in the 1920s was not identical to that of the Communist International. The term McKay applies to himself—‘radical dissident’—referred, at the time, to radicals who dissented from Soviet orthodoxy itself: anarchists, anarchocommunists, syndicalists, and ‘Left Wing’ communists with ‘anarchist’ tendencies like Sylvia Pankhurst and Rosa Luxemburg.”
        [Joel Nickels, “Claude McKay and Dissident Internationalism.” Cultural Critique. Volume 87, spring 2014. Pages 1-37.]
      3. Marxism–Bordigism (MP3 audio file): This communist-left tendency is associated with the Italian Marxist Amadeo Bordiga (MP3 audio file).
        “In launching our communist programme, which contained the outlines of a response to many vital problems concerning the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, we expected to ace a broad discussion develop on all its aspects. Instead there has been and still is only furious discussion over the incompatibility of electoral participation, which is soberly affirmed in the programme. Indeed, although the electionist maximalists proclaim that for them electoral action is quite secondary, they are in fact so mesmerized by it as to launch an avalanche of articles against the few anti-electionist lines contained in our programme.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “The System of Communist Representation.” Soviet. Volume II, number 38, September (13th) 1919. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “In Italy, France, and elsewhere there are many of these groups which have totally dissipated the first proletarian reactions against the terrible sense of disillusionment arising from the distortions and decompositions of Stalinism; from the opportunist plague which killed off [Vladimir] Lenin’s Third International. One of these groups is linked to Trotskyism, but in fact fails to appreciate that [Leon] Trotsky always condemned Stalin for deviating from Marx. Admittedly, Trotsky also indulged rather too much in personal and moral judgements; a barren method as evidenced by the shameless way in which the 20ᵗʰ Congress has used precisely such methods to prostitute the revolutionary tradition much more than even [Joseph] Stalin himself.…
        “We are … not particularly interested in a working class which is statistically defined, and neither are we particularly interested in attempts to work out where the interests of the working class diverge from other classes (there are always more than two). What interests us is the class which has set up its dictatorship, i.e. which has taken power, destroyed the bourgeois State, and set up its own State: that is how Lenin put it, shaming those in the 2ⁿᵈ International who had ‘forgotten’ Marxism. How is it that Class can form the basis of a dictatorial and totalitarian State power, of a new State machine opposed to the old like a victorious army occupying the positions of the defeated enemy? Through what organ? The philistine’s immediate answer is: a man, and in Russia Lenin was that man (whom they have the nerve to lump together with the wretched Stalin, denied today and maybe murdered yesterday by his worshippers). Our answer is quite different.
        “The organ of the dictatorship and operator of the State-weapon is the political class party; the party which, through its doctrine and its continuous historical action, has been potentially granted the task, proper to the proletarian class, of transforming society. We not only say that the struggle and the historical task of the class cannot be achieved without the two forms: dictatorial State, (i.e. the exclusion, as long as they exist, of the other classes which are henceforth defeated and subdued) and political party, we also say – in our customary dialectical and revolutionary language – that one can only begin to speak of class – of establishing a dynamic link between a repressed class in today’s society and a future revolutionised social form, and taking into consideration the struggle between the class which holds the State and the class which is to overthrow it – only when the class is no longer a cold statistical term at the miserable level of bourgeois thought, but a reality, made manifest in its organ, the Party, without which it has neither life nor the strength to fight.
        “One cannot therefore detach party from class as though class were the main element and the party merely accessory to it. By putting forward the idea of a proletariat without a party, a party which is sterilized and impotent party, or by looking for substitutes for it, the latest corrupters of Marxism have actually annihilated the class by depriving it of any possibility of fighting for socialism, or even, come to that, fighting for a miserable crust of bread.”
        [Amadeo Bordiga, “The Fundamentals of Revolutionary Communism.” Communist Left. Numbers 23–24, spring 2006–winter 2007. Original pagination unknown.]
        “Historical materialism, presenting the course of prehistory in a new and original way, has not only considered, studied and evaluated the process of formation of families, groups, tribes, races and peoples up to the formation of nations and political states, but has precisely explained these phenomena in the context of their connection with and how they are conditioned by the development of the productive forces, and as manifestations and confirmations of the theory of economic determinism.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “The factors of race and nation in Marxist theory.” Originally published under the title, “I fattori di razza e nazione nella teoria marxista”, in issues 16–20 of Il Programma Comunista. September–November 1953. Translated in December 2013-January 2014 from the Spanish translation of the Partido Comunista Internacional. No pagination.]
        “Until the proletariat has seized state power and consolidated its rule once for all, and made it secure against a bourgeois restoration, the Communist Party will have in its organised ranks only a minority of the workers. Before the seizure of power, and in the transition period, the Communist Party can, in favourable circumstances, exercise an undisputed ideological and political influence on all proletarian and semi-proletarian strata of the population, but it cannot unite them all organisationally in its ranks. Only after the proletarian dictatorship has deprived the bourgeoisie of such powerful means of exerting influence as the press, the schools, parliament, the church, the administrative machine, etc., only after the final defeat of the bourgeois order has become clear to everybody, only then will all or practically all the workers begin to enter the ranks of the Communist Party.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Theses on the Role of the Communist Party in the Proletarian Revolution.” From Communiste Program. Number 2, March 1976. Translated from the Protokoll des II Weltkongresses der Kommunistischen Internationale. Hamburg, Germany. 1921. No pagination.]
        “A recent leaflet of the M.R.A.P. (Movement against Racism, Anti-semitism and for Peace) attributed to Nazism the blame for the death of 50 million human beings, of whom 6 million were Jews. This position identical to the fascist warmongers slogan of self-styled communists, is typically bourgeois. In refusing to see that capitalism itself is the cause of the crises and cataclysms that periodically ravage the globe, the bourgeois ideologues and reformists have always pretended instead to explain them by each other’s wickedness. One can see here the fundamental similarity of the ideologies (if one dares say it) of fascism and anti-fascism. Both proclaim that it is thoughts, ideas, the will of human groupings which determine social phenomena. Against these ideologies, which we call bourgeois because both defend capitalism, against all these faded idealists, of today and tomorrow, Marxism has demonstrated that it is, on the contrary, social relations which determine the movement of ideas. This is the keystone of Marxism, and in order to see to what a degree pseudo-Marxists have disowned it, it is sufficient to point out that as far as they are concerned, everything comes about through ideas: colonialism, imperialism, capitalism itself, are nothing more than mental states.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Auschwitz – the Big Alibi.” Communist Left. Number 6, July–December 1993. Translated from La Gauche Communiste. Number 13, 1987. The original was published in Programme Communiste. Number 11, 1960. No pagination.]
        “The analysis of the counterrevolution in Russia and its reduction to formulas will not be a crucial problem for the strategy of the proletarian movement in the new revolutionary upsurge which we expect, since it was not the first counterrevolution that ever took place; Marxism has experienced and studied a whole series of counterrevolutions. On the other hand, opportunism and the betrayal of the revolutionary strategy have followed a different course from that of the involution of the Russian economic forms.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Lessons of the Counterrevolutions.” originally published in Bollettino interno del PCInt. September 10th, 1951. Translated into Spanish in El Programa Comunista. Numbers 36–37, January–April 1981. Translated into English from the Spanish translation in November–December 2013. No pagination.]
        “For those members who follow the teachings of Italian Left Communist Amadeo Bordiga, or sympathize with his views [an online interest group].
        “Bordigism is a tendency a part of the left communist tradition. It is opposed to the united frontism of Trotskyism and opposed to Stalinism. It opposes syndicalism and anarchism on the grounds that these positions are utopian, immediatist, and workerist. Bordigism maintains the importance of a restrictive vanguard party. As Bordiga says in his writing Fundamentals of Revolutionary Communism ‘By putting forward the idea of a proletariat without a party, a party which is sterilized and impotent party, or by looking for substitutes for it, the latest corrupters of Marxism have actually annihilated the class by depriving it of any possibility of fighting for socialism, or even, come to that, fighting for a miserable crust of bread.’ Bordigism takes the stance that democracy is not an end, but a means to an end and that, if we mean democracy to mean ‘the rule of all people’ and, consequently, ‘the rule of all classes’ then Marxists should be anti-democracy because, if society is broken down into two antagonistic classes (the bourgeoisie and the proletariat), and all states are organs of class rule, then we seek the rule of the proletariat over that of the bourgeoisie until a classless society can exist and terms such as ‘proletariat democracy’ are contradictory.”
        [“Bordigist.” RevLeft. Undated. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
        “… [The] label of ‘Bordigism,’ which was often stuck to it, was always rejected by the Left in emigration, because it tended to give credence to a cult of ‘great men,’ which it had nothing to do with, at least until the end of the war… The theoretical and political development of this left, enriched by its experience, was to go beyond and enrich the contribution of the man [Amadeo] Bordiga. Thus the exasperated reaction of the Italian Fraction in 1933 was perfectly understandable ….” [Philippe Bourrinet. The “Bordigist Current”: (1919-1999), Italy, France, Belgium. 2013 revised edition. No location given. No pagination.]
        1. International Communist Tendency: “The Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista) was founded with these objectives during the Second World War (1943) and immediately condemned both sides as imperialist. Its roots are in the Italian Communist Left, which from 1920 condemned the degeneration of the Communist International and Stalinization imposed on all the parties that belonged to it. In the Seventies and Eighties it promoted a series of conferences that led to the creation of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party and finally the Internationalist Communist Tendency (2009).” [“About Us.” International Communist Tendency. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        2. International Communist Party: “An initial distinction, embedded within all of our theses, should be made between democratic mechanisms posed as a ‘matter of principle,’ and their necessary use by the party in a particular historical period. We have already established that Lenin attributed no inherent value to democracy either inside or outside the party; in fact whenever he could, and whenever necessary, he didn’t hesitate to transgress it and stamp it underfoot; but in order to build the party organisation, he was obliged to use it as an ‘circumstantial mechanism’ with all its statutory, formalistic and bureaucratic baggage. As for us, we not only never attributed any value to it ‘as a principle,’ but we have rid ourselves of it for good, along with all the attendant rubbish about its use as an instrument for building the party. In 1920 we proposed that we no longer say we subscribed to the principle of ‘democratic centralism’ since democracy is not a principle we can ever uphold, while centralism is one we surely can.” [“The Communist Party in the Tradition of the Left.” International Communist Party. 1974. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
          “The apparatus of the proletarian State, insofar as it is a means and arm of struggle in a transitional period between two social systems, does not derive its organizational strength from any existing constitutional canons or schemas that aim to represent all classes.…
          “… The defence of the proletarian regime against the ever present dangers of degeneration can be ensured only if the running of the proletarian State is continually coordinated with the international struggle of the working class of each country against its own bourgeoisie, State and military apparatus; there can be no let up in this struggle even in wartime.…
          “… the fact of the proletarian State having the means of production at its disposal makes possible (after the draconian repression of all useless or anti-social economic sectors, begun already in the transitory phase) an accelerated development of those sectors neglected under capitalism, above all housing and agriculture: moreover, it enables a geographical reorganization of the apparatus of production, leading eventually to the suppression of the antagonism between city and countryside, and to the formation of large production units on a continental scale.…
          “Only by means of force will the proletarian State be able to systematically intervene in the social economy, and adopt those measures with which the collective management of production and distribution will take the place of the capitalist system.”
          [Editor, “What distinguishes our party.” International Communist Party. Undated. Retrieved on June 2nd, 2016.]
        3. spectacle of beings and things (Jacques Camatte as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): In Camatte’s left–communist approach to Marxism–Bordigism, He argues that we must abandon the world which is dominated by capital.
          “We must abandon this world dominated by capital which has become a spectacle of beings and things. A spectacle in the sense that [Jean] Pic de la Mirandole meant when he said that man was the spectacle of the world and its mirror as well. In fact man would have no special gift, all talents being distributed to all living creatures, man, who came last, would be left totally unprovided. Luckily God had pity on him and gave him some qualities of all the creatures and thus he became the spectacle of the world. In him all living creatures could somehow recognise themselves and see themselves act. As a result of the process of anthropomorphosis, capital becomes in turn a spectacle. It assimilates to itself and incorporates in itself all the qualities of men, all their activities, without ever being one of them, otherwise it would deny itself by substantialisation, inhibition of its life process.
          “In accepting this representation of capital, men see a spectacle which is their mutilated redundancy because in general they only perceive one part. They have long since lost the meaning of totality.
          “One must reject the presuppositions of capital, which immerse in a distant past, to escape the grip of capital (moment of the dissolution of the primitive communities) and, simultaneously, one can supersede [Karl] Marx’s work which is the finished expression of the arrival at totality, the accomplished structure of value, which, with its mutation of capital, has set itself up as the material community. One must envisage a new dynamic, for the CMP [capitalist mode of production] will not disappear following a frontal struggle of people against their present domination, but by a huge renunciation which implies the rejection of a path used for millenia. The CMP does not decay but has a downfall.”
          [Jacques Camatte. This World We Must Leave. Sydney, Australia: Jura Books. 1976. Pages 20-21.]
          “… there is a direct production of revolutionaries who supersede almost immediately the point we were at when we had to make our break. Thus, there is a potential ‘union’ that would be considered if we were not to carry the break with the political point of view to the depths of our individual consciousnesses. Since the essence of politics is fundamentally representation, each group is forever trying to project an impressive image on the social screen. The groups are always explaining how they represent themselves in order to be recognized by certain people as the vanguard for representing others, the class. This is revealed in the famous ‘what distinguishes us’ of various small groups in search of recognition. All delimitation is limitation and often leads rather rapidly to reducing the delimitation to some representative slogans for racketeerist marketing. All political representation is a screen and therefore an obstacle to a fusion of forces. Since representation can occur on the individual as well as the group level, recourse to the former level would be, for us, a repetition of the past.” [Jacques Camatte and Gianni Collu. On Organization. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1969. Page 1.]
          “The proletariat having been destroyed, this tendency of capital encounters no real opposition in society and so can produce itself all the more efficiently. The proletariat’s real essence has been denied and it exists only as an object of capital. Similarly, the theory of the proletariat, Marxism, has been destroyed, [Karl] Kautsky first revising it and then [Eduard] Bernstein liquidating it. This occurred in a definitive manner, for no assault of the proletariat has succeeded since then in reestablishing Marxism. This is only another way of saying that capital has succeeded in establishing its real domination. To accomplish this, capital had to absorb the movement that negates it, the proletariat, and establish a unity in which the proletariat is merely an object of capital. This unity can be destroyed only by a crisis, such as those described by [Karl] Marx. It follows that all forms of working-class political organization have disappeared. In their place, gangs confront one another in an obscene competition, veritable rackets rivaling each other in what they peddle but identical in their essence.” [Jacques Camatte and Gianni Collu. On Organization. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1969. Page 4.]
          “Like the May ’[19]68 movement but more so, the lycée movement emphasized very clearly that staying within the old forms of struggle inevitably leads to certain defeat. It is now becoming generally accepted that demonstrations, marches, spectacles and shows don’t lead anywhere. Waving banners, putting up posters, handing out leaflets, attacking the police are all activities which perpetuate a certain ritual – a ritual wherein the police are always cast in the role of invincible subjugators. The methods of struggle therefore must be put through a thorough analysis because they present an obstacle to the creation of new modes of action. And for this to be effective, there has to be a refusal of the old terrain of struggle – both in the workplace and in the streets. As long as revolutionary struggle is conducted not on its own ground but on the terrain of capital, there can be no significant breakthrough, no qualitative revolutionary leap. This is where we must concentrate our attention; it is a question which has to be faced now if revolution is not to stagnate and destroy itself, a setback which could take years to recover from. If we are to successfully abandon the old centres of struggle, it will require a simultaneous movement towards the creation of new modes of life. What’s the point of occupying the factories – like car factories for example – where production must be stopped anyway?” [Jacques Camatte. The Selected Works of Jacques Camatte. New York: Prism Key Press. 2012. Pages 159-160.]
          “Revolution does not emerge from one or another part of our being — from body, space or time. Our revolution as a project to reestablish community was necessary from the moment when ancient communities were destroyed. The reduction of communist revolution to an uprising which was to resolve the contradictions posed by the capitalist mode of production was pernicious. Revolution has to resolve all the old contradictions created by the class societies absorbed by capital, all the contradictions between relatively primitive communities and the movement of exchange value currently being absorbed by the movement of capital (in Asia and especially in Africa). Beyond this, the revolutionary movement is the revolution of nature, accession to thought, and mastery of being with the possibility of using the prefrontal centers of the brain which are thought to relate to the imagination. Revolution has a biological and therefore cosmic dimension, considering our universe limited (to the solar system); cosmic also in the meaning of the ancient philosophers and mystics. This means that revolution is not only the object of the passion of our epoch, but also that of millions of human beings, starting with our ancient ancestors who rebelled against the movement of exchange value which they saw as a fatality, passing through [Karl] Marx and [Amadeo] Bordiga who, in their dimension as prophets, witnessed this inextinguishable passion to found a new community, a human community. Wanting to situate the revolution is like wanting to fix its height. Saint-Just said that revolution could not stop until happiness was realized, thus showing the falsity of wanting to judge men in terms of the purely historical-material facts of a given epoch. The human being is never a pure being-there. He can only be by superseding and he cannot be only that which has to be superseded ([Friedrich] Nietzsche). Structurally and biologically man is a supersession because he is an overpowerful being. In other words, human beings are explorers of the possible and are not content with the immediately realizable, especially if it is imposed on them. They lose this passion, this thirst for creation — for what is the search for the possible if not invention? — when they are debased, estranged, cut off from their Gemeinwesen [community] and therefore mutilated, reduced to simple individuals. It is only with the real domination of the capitalist mode of production that the human being is completely evacuated.” [Jacques Camatte. The Wandering of Humanity. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1973. Page 21.]
          “… a transformation presupposes the simultaneous transformation of concrete into abstract labour, that is, products progressively lose their characteristic of being the result of the particular activity of man, to take on that of being a product of human labour. At this level of generalization of commodity production, man himself becomes a commodity – the labour power which can sell itself. And it is this particular commodity which generates surplus-value, through its consumption in the production process. This happens in the following way: the capitalists who own the means of production assure the existence of the worker, a person expropriated of his own means of production, reduced to the state of absolute dependence since he is the master of nothing except his own labour power, which can only be effective, and so real, when he comes into contact with the means of production which are in the possession of the capitalist. The latter consents to give him wages, i.e. a certain quantity of money allowing him to buy on the market, owned by the capitalists, the means of subsistence necessary to maintain his material life, on condition that the worker alienates his labour-power, which the capitalist will use as he wishes, according to the requirements of the production process itself.” [Jacques Camatte. Capital and Community. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2012. Kindle edition.]
          “[Jacques] Camatte’s work during the majority of the 1960s is … firmly placed within the Bordigist current.” [Chamsy el-Ojeili, “‘Communism … is the affirmation of a new community’: Notes on Jacques Camatte.” Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 2, 2014. Pages 345-364.]
      4. Zapatismo (MP3 audio file) or, in English, “Zapatism”: This communist–left tendency, the Zapatistas (MP3 audio file), is associated with the Mexican Marxist Emiliano Zapata (MP3 audio file). It is a left–wing communist system in Mexico.
        “The Zapatistas presented themselves to the world on January 1, 1994, though the roots of the rebellion can be traced back 500 years to the European invasion of the Americas. During those five centuries, indigenous communities lost control of historic lands and were often forced into various forms of slavery and/or virtual slavery. Many rebellions occurred during this period, making the Zapatista uprising part of a long history of struggle and resistance. By the late 20ᵗʰ century, indigenous communities in Chiapas lived on the most marginal and isolated lands in the state. High levels of poverty, and lack of health care and education plagued the communities. The Zapatista uprising was a direct result of these conditions.” [“Alternative Economy.” Zapatismo. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        “The mass media throw lies at the Mexican population. They try to muddy all that is good and all that is beautiful. Dozens of military vehicles are in the jungle and other points of Chiapas now, armoured helicopters, troops; fearful informers signal out persons in the civil population for public denouncement; police have arrested and detained many in different parts of the nation.
        “The ones responsible for the bankruptcy of the nation, those who support the guardias blancas (white guards – the private armies of the landowners and ranchers), those who have money to pay for hired guns, those who support the one-party government of the PRI, calculate they can liquidate 500 years of indigenous and popular resistance.
        “Is it too much to ask for Justice, Democracy and Liberty? Do we commit a crime for fighting for a roof, land, health, education, employment, culture, the right to information, independence and peace?
        “Today lead falls in our hearts. From this sorrow that overflows every hour, we receive your news and we do not feel alone. We know we have with us the best men and women of the American people, who will know how to be with us and will know how to be brave to impede fratricide in our nation. There is urgent need for international observers that testify to the events we denounce. That you promote more united and massive mobilizations to stop this horror of war.
        “May we awaken the people of the world to Life, for Peace with Justice and Dignity.”
        [Aide Rojas and Gabriel Ramirez, “A Letter from the Zapatistas: Transition Government in Rebellion State of Chiapas Council of the Government, San Cristobal de las Casas, 10ᵗʰ February, 1995.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 17, 1995. Pages 1-3.]
        “It took more than three months for the zapatistas to complete their consultation, until all the communities had discussed the matter thoroughly and resolved their doubts. It was widely expected that they would accept the government’s terms, but in fact they announced in June that they were rejecting them, principally because the government’s response to their demands was an attmept to buy them off with concessions to improve conditions just in Chiapas, whereas they had made clear from the beginning that their demands related to conditions in the whole country, and were demands not just for better material conditions but for freedom, democracy and justice. Nevertheless, they said that they would not take up arms immediately.” [John Holloway, “The Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 17, 1995. Pages 4-10.]
        “I want to take the zapatistas seriously. I want [Subcomandante] Marcos to be right when he says that they are stronger than the Mexican government. I want them to be right when they say that they want to change the world without taking power. I want them to be right because I do not see any other way out of the tragedy we are living, in which about 50,000 people die each day of starvation, in which over a thousand million people live in extreme poverty. Revolution is desperately urgent, but often it appears that we are trapped in a desperately urgent impossibility. I want Marcos’s declarations to be not only beautiful and poetic but to have a real theoretical and practical foundation. If we want them to be right, we must try to understand, criticise and strengthen the theoretical and practical foundation of what they are doing.” [John Holloway, “The Concept of Power and the Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 19, 1996. Pages 20-27.]
        “Neoliberalism is not an economic policy but an attempt to reorganise every aspect of human life. Neoliberalism destroys everything, but at the same time there arise new forms of resistance and struggle. They are no longer the struggles of the masses, but a new rainbow of different struggles, the struggles of women, the struggles of the gay movement, struggles to redefine the relation between people and nature, struggles for the rights of people in all the phases of their lives, as children, adolescents, old people, struggles just to survive, struggles that are often not perceived or recognised as struggles, struggles that, taken individually, are partial but that, seen all together, point towards the construction of human dignity.” [Eloina Pelaez and John Holloway, “The Dialogue of San Cristobal.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 20, 1996. Pages 61-63.]
        “The Zapatistas employ a considerable diversity of resources in achieving these variations: the variety of authorities cited – not limited to the traditional Left pantheon but including poets, novelists, football players and indigenous gods or demigods – a special way of talking that brings together a few words from Native-American dialects, sociolectal turns of phrase that are peculiar to Mexico, and dialectal expressions from cultured Spanish with words and phrases in English and French. There is no attempt to hide the juxtaposition of cultures, rather, it is exhibited along with an unusual conception of the world and its changes.” [Alejandro Giullermo Raiter and Irene Ines Munoz, “Zapatista Discourse: What is New.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 21, 1997. Pages 18-30.]
        “… the idea of dignity implies a critique of the state and of state-oriented theory. The state, in the sense of a political sphere distinct from the economic also presupposes the existence of the market. States (all states) are integrated into the world market, into the global network of capitalist social relations, in such a way that their only option, whatever the complexion of their government, whatever the form of democracy that they proclaim, is to actively promote the accumulation of capital, that is to say, humiliation and exploitation. That is why the revolt of dignity cannot have as its aim to take state power or to become channelled through state forms. The zapatista struggle haa been profoundly anti-state since its beginning, not in the superficial sense of proclaiming war against the Mexican state, but in its forms of organisation.” [John Holloway, “Dignity and the Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 22, 1997. Pages 38-42.]
        “Zapatismo has illuminated the continent and the world since 1994 with an armed uprising that seeks not to seize power but to build a new world, and shows the importance of building communal, municipal, and regional autonomy, from below. More recently, Zapatismo has been attempting to expand throughout Mexico, propagating a political culture that is premised on listening as a foundation for doing non-institutional politics from below. With their Good Government Councils, the Zapatistas have taught us that it is possible—at least on a small scale—to build non-bureaucratic forms of power, based on the rotation of representatives, that go beyond conventional state practices.” [Raăl Zibechi. Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces. Ramor Ryan, translator. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2010. Pages 1-2.]
        “… it is not exaggerated to speak of a ‘Zapatista Effect’ reverberating through social movements around the world; an effect homologous to, but potentially much more threatening to, the New World Order of neoliberalism than the Tequila Effect that rippled through emerging financial markets in the wake of the 1994 peso crisis. In the latter case, the danger was panic and the ensuing rapid withdrawal of hot money from speculative investments. In the case of social movements and the activism which is their hallmark, the danger lies in the impetus given to previously disparate groups to mobilize around the rejection of current policies, to rethink institutions and governance, and to develop alternatives to the status quo.” [Harry M. Cleaver, Jr., “The Zapatista Effect: The Internet and the Rise of an Alternative Political Fabric.” Journal of International Affairs. Volume 51, number 2, spring 1998. Pages 621-640.]
        “The most prominent defence of Zapatista nationalism is that it is somehow a different type of nationalism to the more regressive nationalisms many would automatically reject. For example, an article on the Irish ‘Struggle’ website seeks to defend the Zapatistas by stating that they are ‘nationalistic only in the sense of the scope of their demands. They are not nationalistic in the sense of chauvinism,’ as if the problem with nationalistic viewpoints is solely a matter of xenophobia and has nothing to do with the cross-class nature of such appeals. More recently, the booklet distributed at the recent UK Anarchist Bookfair stated: ‘it is important to distinguish the concept of the nation from that of the Nation-State’ and that ‘it is perhaps more accurate to view [Zapatistas] ‘nationalist’ talk as referring more to tradition and cultural identity than to the (re)construction of the bourgeois state.’” [Anonymous. The Sixth Declaration, the Zapatistas, nationalism and the state. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2007. Page 5.]
        “The first of January 1994, 502 years after the beginning of the invasion of illegal immigrants from Europe into the American continent, was the day in which it was declared that US commodities and capital could freely and legally enter with no restriction into Mexico. It was the day of implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The same day, an army of indigenous people entered in San Cristobal and other cities of Chiapas, wearing ski masks, carrying guns, and proclaiming revolutionary laws from the balcony of the city council. The world woke up in the new year and sleepy eyes and hangovered brains knew of an indigenous army called EZLN, Zapatista’s Army of National Liberation, shortly Zapatistas. Their aim was not a socialist state, nor a planned economy, nor to bring consciousness to alleged unconscious people, as it was the case in old socialist tradition. Their aim was living with dignity, and nothing less than the simple task of building a new world. Yet, they could not say how this new world would look like, they did not have a plan for you and me. In fact they wanted you and me to talk to them, and together bring about a new world, meeting our needs and aspirations.” [Massimo De Angelis. The Zapatista’s Voice—Limiting the Limitless: Global Neoliberal Capital, New Internationalism and the Zapatistas’ Voice. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1998. Page 10.]
      5. communization (MP3 audio file): It is a Marxist or anarchist, a revolutionary, an anti-state, an insurrectionist, and a non-dogmatic approach to establishing libertarian communism. See the online publications, Endnotes and riff–raff.
        “The goal of any insurrection is to become irreversible. It becomes irreversible when you’ve defeated both authority and the need for authority, property and the taste for appropriation, hegemony and the desire for hegemony. That is why the insurrectionary process carries within itself the form of its victory, or that of its defeat. Destruction has never been enough to make things irreversible. What matters is how it’s done. There are ways of destroying that unfailingly provoke the return of what has been crushed. Whoever wastes their energy on the corpse of an order can be sure that this will arouse the desire for vengeance. Thus, wherever the economy is blocked and the police are neutralized, it is important to invest as little pathos as possible in overthrowing the authorities. They must be deposed with the most scrupulous indifference and derision.…
        “Communes are obviously vulnerable to surveillance and police investigations, to policing technologies and intelligence gathering. The waves of arrests of anarchists in Italy and of eco-warriors in the US were made possible by wiretapping. Everyone detained by the police now has his or her DNA taken to be entered into an ever more complete profile. A squatter from Barcelona was caught because he left fingerprints on fliers he was distributing. Tracking methods are becoming better and better, mostly through biometric techniques. And if the distribution of electronic identity cards is instituted, our task will just be that much more difficult. The Paris Commune found a partial solution to the keeping of records: they burned down City Hall, destroying all the public records and vital statistics. We still need to find the means to permanently destroy computerized databases.”
        [The Invisible Committee. The Coming Insurrection. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2009. Page 86.]
        “Communization is getting out of factories and connecting them to each other without exchange, destroying them as enterprises. Communization will circulate goods without money, open the gate isolating a factory from its neighborhood, close down another factory where the work process is too alienating to be technically improved, do away with school as a specialized place which cuts off learning from doing for 15 odd years, pull down walls that force people to imprison themselves in 3-room family units – in short, it will tend to break all separations.…
        “Communization at its most simple level is the production of what one needs without entering into exchange or commodity production. Getting a little more knotty, communization as an act or set of actions is either the establishment of social relations that are outside of capitalist organization or the set of activities that destroy capitalism itself by establishing communism here and now.
        “Communization is also connected to a heterodox body of theories generally referred to as communization theory. One of the most important theorists in this area is Gilles Dauvé.… Alain Badiou’s book Ethics can also loosely be said to be in this field of thought. Since I am not particularly well versed in these perspectives I will simply leave these names here so that people can track down pertinent information for themselves.
        “Communization theory (CT) is distinct from conventional marxist theories and organizational forms in a few ways. ONE, CT is non-dogmatic. Conventional marxist approaches adhere to particular organizational forms and need a revolutionary agent (the party, the workers, new social movements, the multitude). CT maintains a degree of humility in saying that revolution is not a science that we cannot say with certainty who or what will be capable of causing a rupture large enough to unseat capital. So CT lacks the prescriptive, dogmatic, totalitarian baggage that is so deeply a part of marxist practice generally.
        “TWO, CT does away with the evolutionary schema of stages of history and the necessity of mediating forms of social organization. Conventional marxism calls for all sorts of totalitarian schemes to consolidate order after a succesful revolution: dictatorship of the proletariat, one party rule, the rapid industrialization of the means of production, and so on. It also disciplines its desired masses into obedient hordes waiting for something called the ‘Ideal Conditions.’ CT does away with the call for transitional states and instead values immediacy. The idea is that, in CT, communizing acts are not dependent upon a party or dogma to mediate ones actions. Furthermore, there is no need to wait for anything or anyone else to act. Do not wait for the so-called ideal conditions, act now. CT is an explicitly anti-statist approach within marxism.
        “THREE, CT looks for the possibilities for communization within the moment of any revolt. There is an optimism, absent in dogmatic or formalized variations of marxism, that any outburst or revolt can organize spontaneously organize and exceed its original cause leading to a rupture that the professionals of revolution could neither predict nor bring into it’s fold. A friend of mine said that communization theory is an intentional forgetting of the 20ᵗʰ century. What distinguishes CT from conventional marxism is that it is a non-strategic theory – it is a theory of tactics. It asks the question, ‘What is the tactic(s) that are capable of or generates the rupture that overthrows capitalism and its social relations?’
        “But all that being said, it worth mentioning that communization and CT are marxian perspectives, not anachist ones.”
        [Different authors, “What in the hell is ‘Communization’?Anarchy101. February, 2013. Retrieved on July 18th, 2016.]
        “Short of treating the historical mutations of the class-relation as themselves the sources of class power, the power to undertake communization (something that would smack of ‘historical mysticism’), communization theory, as a thoroughgoing theory of emancipation from capital’s abstract domination, cannot do without some theory of power. What’s more, unless we treat the capabilities of the state as themselves entirely subsumed by capital, something that seems unpersuasive given the different articulations of state(s) and capital(s) on the present scene, it would appear necessary to consider the relevance, for strategic purposes, and thus for the particular shape taken by communizing activity, of the distinction between economic and extra-economic coercion.” [Alberto Toscano, “Now and Never.” Communization and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles. Benjamin Noys, editor. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2012. Pages 85-101.]
        “The neo-communists – ex-anarchists do not speak for a moment about the destruction of the state. Instead, they speak in a denunciatory, political way aiming for its wide consumption and present themselves as the far left of the left government, which they denounce, but without openly declaring war against it.… We do not seek neither a reform of the system, nor its leftist grooming; all we want is its total destruction. However, we live in strange days and we have to rearm even the most fundamental parts of anarchy ….” [Imprisoned members’ cell. Communization: The Senile Decay of Anarchy. Untorelli Press (location unknown). July, 2015. Page 5.]
        “There is no need to create the capitalist preconditions of communism any more. Capitalism is everywhere, yet much less visible than 100 or 50 years ago when class distinctions ostensibly showed up. The manual worker identified the factory owner at one glance, knew or thought he knew his enemy, and felt he’d be better off the day he and his mates got rid of the boss. Today classes still exist, but manifested through infinite degrees in consumption, and no one expects a better world from public ownership of industry. The ‘enemy’ is an impalpable social relationship, abstract yet real, all-pervading yet no monster beyond our reach: because the proletarians are the ones that produce and reproduce the world, they can disrupt and revolutionize it. The aim is immediate communization, not fully completed before a generation or more, but to be started from the beginning. Capital has invaded life, and determines how we feed our cat, how we visit or bury friends, to such an extent that our objective can only be the social fabric, invisible, all-encompassing, impersonal. (Although capital is quite good at hiring personnel to defend it, social inertia is a greater conservative force than media or police.) A human community is at hand: its basis is present, a lot more so than a century ago. Passivity prevents its emergence. Our most vital need: others, seems so close and so far at the same time. Mercantile ties are both strong and fragile.” [Gilles Dauvé and François Martin. Eclipse and re-emergence of the communist movement. Revised edition. London: Antagonism Press. 1997. Ebook edition.]
        “Communism is not a set of measures to be put into practice after the seizure of power. It is a movement which already exists, not as a mode of production (there can be no communist island within capitalist society), but as a tendency which originates in real needs. Communism does not even know what value is. The point is not that one fine day a large number of people start to destroy value and profit. All past revolutionary movements were able to bring society to a standstill, and waited for something to come out of this universal stoppage. Communization, on the contrary, will circulate goods without money, open the gate isolating a factory from its neighbourhood, close down another factory where the work process is too alienating to be technically improved, do away with school as a specialized place which cuts off learning from doing for 15 odd years, pull down walls that force people to imprison themselves in 3-room family units – in short, it will tend to break all separations.” [Gilles Dauvé. Capitalism and communism. No location. Undated. Ebook edition.]
        “There is really no choice between reproducing the social structures of a system we know to be destroying the world and trying to construct a different sociality, or rather different socialities. There is no middle ground in between, no transitional form that reproduces capitalism but prepares the ground for something else. There is no neutral ground in between, but most of us have little option but to ride both horses at once, to live contradictory lives in which we reproduce capitalist forms while we throw our energy into creating different ways of doing things. Communization is inevitably a confused and impure movement, a movement that advances interstitially, through creating, expanding and multiplying cracks and promoting their confluence. All these cracks are so many communisms, so many communizings. Either we create a new world or we die with this one.” [John Holloway, “Variations on different themes: A response.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, May 2012. Pages 332-348.]
        “For The Invisible Committee revolution is a communisation process which is already in progress as a destructive praxis within the spectacle, a process where things are done in common, used and extracted from the cycle of capital. ‘To communize something means to liberate its use and on the basis of this liberation to develop refined, intensified and more complex conditions.’ It is thus not about first seizing power and then creating communism. The Invisible Committee firmly rejects such a notion of a programme that has to be realised, or a goal that lies far into the future. Communism cannot be deferred. Hic Rhodus, hic salta! as [Karl] Marx writes, ‘Here is Rhodes, here jump!’” [Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, “Art, Revolution and Communisation: On the Transcendence of Art as Meaning without Reality.” Third Text. Volume 26, issue 2, March 2012. Pages 229-242.]
        “I’d say if there is a kind of ‘catastrophism’ in communization, it comes not so much in any belief that catastrophe leads to communism, but in some unconvincing statements about the process of communization as the revolutionary moment. The assertion that the rapid spread of communization will overcome the forces of the state and capital, and the assumption that deviations of the revolution will be due to tensions among the revolutionary forces, underestimate the violence of anti-revolutionary forces and the ease with which they might be overcome. Communization could answer that it is setting out conditions for what would be a truly communizing revolution, and this may not take place. While this may be true, I don’t think these descriptions convincingly account for how we might pass from moments of seizure and sharing into new forms of global production and distribution.” [Benjamin Noys, “The Main Currents of Communization: Interview With Benjamin Noys.” C. Derick Varn, interviewer. The North Star. June 28st, 2013. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Communisation theory is primed to do what only a minority of Marxist feminists have attempted to do over the last 50 years of inquiry: re-articulate the capitalist mode of production as being constituted no less by the man/woman relation than by the class relation. What would ideally emerge from such a project is a ‘single system’ in which the gender relation and the class relation are equally necessary elements within a totality, rather than the subsumption of one to the other, or the erection of a ‘dual system’ of two different and autonomous systems of patriarchy and capitalism. We say communisation is ‘primed’ for this project because one of the major interventions of communisation theory has been to theorize communism as the abolition not only of capitalists, but also of workers; of work itself and thus of value; of the wage labor relation itself and thus of the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘life.’ This distinction is cast in a variety of terms including the conceptual dyads public/private; social/nonsocial; public/domestic, and is almost unequivocally understood by gender theorists as a grounding element in the production of gender.…
        “Communization has now been able to say, there is never a proletarian who is not gendered, so we must also be able to say, there is never a proletarian or a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ who is not raced. We must also be able to articulate the way that the binary categories of ‘men’ and ‘women’ describe a structure of appropriation, but do not describe people (who vary in gender and experience of gendered violence far more than the discussion has indicated thus far). We look forward to communizationists, the ones we know and read, or ones we don’t yet know, taking up these issues. If not, communization will become as archaic and as useless as any other communist tendency — or worse, a small but sly tool of the counterrevolution.”
        [P. Valentine, “The Gender Distinction in Communization Theory.” LIES: A Journal of Materialist Feminism. Volume 1, 2012. Creative Commons. Pages 191-208.]
        “The emergence of both the critical Marxism of value-form theory and the theory of communisation was premised on these struggles and the revolutionary hopes they engendered. Just as these two tendencies were produced in the same moment, they waned simultaneously with the wave of struggles that had produced them. The [19]70s crisis of accumulation, rather than leading to an intensification of struggles and their development in a revolutionary direction, actually gave rise to a radical capitalist restructuring in which the movements and the revolutionary expectations linked to them were comprehensively defeated. This restructuring led to the relative eclipse of these discussions. Just as the discussion of communisation in France emerged in the early [19]70s, only to fade away in the [19]80s and early [19]90s before resurfacing again recently, contemporary interest in ‘systematic dialectic’ is in many ways a return to the value-form debates of the [19]70s, after a period when the discussion had gone relatively quiet.” [Editor, “Communisation and Value-Form Theory.” Endnotes. Issue 2, April 2010. Pagination unknown.]
        “… it might be worth mentioning that the term ‘communisation’ has a history within communist theory and its actual if not now existent iterations – for [Vladimir] Lenin and [Joseph] Stalin it meant the transition to a ‘higher phase of communism’ and thus was implicitly always a way off in the future, once socialism had been achieved, then we could move on to communism. Generically, communisation can mean just the process of the abolition of private property and direct control of production by a classless humanity.” [Marina Vishmidt in Neil Gray and Marina Vishmidt, “The Economy of Abolition/Abolition of the Economy: Neil Gray in exchange with Marina Vishmidt.” Variant. Issue 42, winter 2011. Pages 7-11.]
      6. two names of communism (John Roberts): In the post–Soviet era, Roberts critically distinguishes failed Bolshevik communist politics from communization theory.
        “The recent explosion of writing on the communist idea, ideal and ‘communization’ recovers or expands a moment in the early to mid-1980s when French political theory and philosophy (in particular Félix Guattari and later Jean-Luc Nancy) and post-operaism in Italy were thinking through the content of communist practice against the defamation of the name and legacy of communism under Stalinism and Maoism.…
        “This leads us to link the current writing on the communist idea and communization to the key problem of this longer political sequence: the fundamental radical impasse between working-class politics and the state-party form. The electoral and political demise of workers’ and Communist parties is not the consequence of an enduring crisis of the Left (or even the demise of the industrial working class), but of this political form, which the very real political crisis of the Left (after the collapse of European and Soviet Communism) has simply covered up or deflected.…
        “One of the consequences of this [the collapse of the Soviet Union] is a split … between communism as a name in politics and communism as a name in philosophy; communism as a (failed) political tradition and set of strategies, and communism as an (emergent) emancipatory theory. The current re-engagement with and re-theorization of the communist idea and legacy are hyperconscious of this split as a condition of political renewal. Thus, if the limited communization of the early Soviet Union remains a source of invaluable political knowledge in the making of a revolution, the legacy of ‘actually existing Communism’ as a depoliticized state form cannot be deflected or suppressed in the renaming of communism as an emancipatory politics in the present. The failure of this state form and its reification of the name ‘communism’ have to be brought to bear on the political uses of the name ‘communism’ now.…
        “… Indeed, communization theory would do well to remember the decisive importance of workers’ action in any realistic process of communization!”
        [John Roberts, “The two names of communism.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 177, January/February 2013. Pages 9-18.]
      7. structural transformation of the public sphere (Jürgen Habermas as pronounced in this MP3 audio file with Patrick W. Hamlett, Peter Nugus, Matthew Festenstein, Eva Erman as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Darrin Hicks, Alison Kadlec, Mark E. Warren, and others): Through communicative action, the public sphere, including its moral autonomy, can be transformed.
        “Nowhere did the constitutional establishment of a public sphere in the political realm, itself painfully enough won through violence, betray its character as an order of domination more than in the central article stating that all power (Gewalt) came from the people. Otherwise the constitutional state predicated on civil rights pretended, on the basis of an effective public sphere, to be an organization of public power ensuring the latter’s subordination to the needs of a private sphere itself taken to be neutralized as regards power and emancipated from domination. Thus the constitutional norms implied a model of civil society that by no means corresponded to its reality. The categories drawn from the historical process of capitalism, including its liberal phase, were themselves historical in character. They denoted social tendencies, but tendencies only. Thus, the ‘private people’ on whose autonomy, socially guaranteed by property, the constitutional state counted just as much as on the educational qualifications of the public formed by these people, were in truth a small minority, even if one added the petty to the high bourgeoisie. Incomparably more numerous were the ‘common people,’ especially the rural population. And both the princes, supported by army and bureaucracy, and the great landowners, the landed nobility, continued to exercise power in accord with the political laws of precapitalist society. Nevertheless, the new constitutions, written and unwritten, referred to citizens and human beings as such, and indeed necessarily so, as long as ‘publicity’ constituted their organizational principle.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Pages 84-85.]
        “… in the course of the accumulation of capital, the markets became deformed into oligopolies, so that one could no longer count on an independent formation of prices—the emancipation of civil society from authoritarian state regulation did not lead to the insulation of the transactions between private people from the intrusion of power. Instead, new relationships of power, especially between owners and wage earners, were created within the forms of civil freedom of contract.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Page 124.]
        “With the dissolution of ‘political’ power into ‘public’ power, the liberal idea of a political public sphere found its socialist formulation. As is well known, [Friedrich] Engels, inspired by a phrase of [Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de] Saint-Simon’s, interpreted it in such a way that the administration of things and direction of production processes would take the place of the rule over men. Not authority as such but certainly political authority would disappear; the remaining and in part newly forming public functions changed their political character into an administrative one.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Page 128.]
        “By ‘the public sphere’ we mean first of all a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed. Access is guaranteed to all citizens. A portion of the public sphere comes into being in every conversation in which private individuals assemble to form a public body. They then behave neither like business or professional people transacting private affairs, nor like members of a constitutional order subject to the legal constraints of a state bureaucracy. Citizens behave as a public body when they confer in an unrestricted fashion—that is, with the guarantee of freedom of assembly and association and the freedom to express and publish their opinions—about matters of general interest. In a large public body this kind of communication requires specific means for transmitting information and influencing those who receive it. Today newspapers and magazines, radio and television are the media of the public sphere. We speak of the political public sphere in contrast, for instance, to the literary one, when public discussion deals with objects connected to the activity of the state. Although state authority is so to speak the executor of the political public sphere, it is not a part of it. To be sure, state authority is usually considered ‘public’ authority, but it derives its task of caring for the well-being of all citizens primarily from this aspect of the public sphere. Only when the exercise of political control is effectively subordinated to the democratic demand that information be accessible to the public, does the political public sphere win an institutionalized influence over the government through the instrument of law-making bodies. The expression ‘public opinion’ refers to the tasks of criticism and control which a public body of citizens informally—and, in periodic elections, formally as well—practices vis-à-vis the ruling structure organized in the form of a state. Regulations demanding that certain proceedings be public (Publizitätsvorschriften), for example those providing for open court hearings, are also related to this function of public opinion. The public sphere as a sphere which mediates between society and state, in which the public organizes itself as the bearer or public opinion, accords with the principle of the public sphere—that principle of public information which once had to fought for against the arcane policies of monarchies and which since that time has made possible the democratic control of state activities.” [Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964).” Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox, translators. New German Critique. Number 3, autumn 1974. Pages 49-55.]
        “Only at the postconventional stage is the social world uncoupled from the stream of cultural givens. This shift makes the autonomous justification of morality an unavoidable problem. The very perspectives that make consensus possible are now at issue. Independently of contingent commonalities of social background, political affiliation, cultural heritage, traditional forms of life, and so on, competent actors can now take a moral point of view, a point of view distanced from the controversy, only if they cannot avoid accepting that point of view even when their value orientations diverge.” [Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964).” Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox, translators. New German Critique. Number 3, autumn 1974. Page 131.]
        “… the moral sphere is autonomous. Autonomy means that the form of moral argumentation is distinct from all other forms of argumentation, whether they involve stating and explaining facts, evaluating works of art, clarifying utterances, bringing unconscious motives to light, or whatever.” [Jürgen Habermas. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen, translators. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1990. Page 38.]
        “Neither Kantian ethics nor discourse ethics exposes itself to the charge of abetting, let alone justifying, totalitarian ways of doing things. This charge has recently been taken up by neo-conservatives. The maxim that the end justifies the means is utterly incompatible with both the letter and the spirit of moral universalism, even when it is a question of politically implementing universalistic legal and constitutional principles. A problematic role is played in this connection by certain notions held by philosophers of history, Marxists, and others. Realizing that the political practice of their chosen macrosubject of society is sputtering, if not paralyzed, they delegate revolutionary action to an avant-garde with proxy functions. The error of this view is to conceive of society as a subject writ large and then to pretend that the actions of the avant-garde need not be held any more accountable than those of the higher-level subject of history. In contrast to any philosophy of history, the intersubjectivist approach of discourse ethics breaks with the premises of the philosophy of consciousness. The only higher-level intersubjectivity it acknowledges is that of public spheres.” [Jürgen Habermas. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen, translators. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1990. Pages 165-166.]
        “In … [the] concretist interpretation, socialism is obviously no longer a goal, and, realistically speaking, never has been. Faced as we are with a higher level of social complexity, we must submit the normative implications attached to this nineteenth-century theoretical formulation to a process of radical abstraction. The communicative conditions necessary to the establishment of justified confidence in the institutions of rational self-organization of a society of free and equal citizens become central precisely when one adheres to the critique of naturalized and unlegitimated forms of power. To be sure, solidarity can only really be experienced in the context of the necessarily particular forms of social life we inherit or critically appropriate—and thus actively choose. However, in the framework of a society with a large-scale political integration, let alone within the horizons of an international communications network, mutually supportive coexistence, even conceived on its own terms, is only available in the form of an abstract idea; in other words, in the form of a legitimate, intersubjectively shared expectation.” [Jürgen Habermas, “What Does Socialism Mean Today? The Rectifying Revolution and the Need for New Thinking on the Left.” New Left Review. Series I, number 183. September–October 1990. Pages 3-22.]
        “It is true that the political sphere forms part of a wider cultural sphere, and today both are linked directly to the soiled channels of private television. Public television is now competing in a race to the bottom with the most degraded presentation and programming of commercial television. Public broadcasting has problems of its own as a form: but it rested on the correct idea that not all social functions can calmly be left to market forces. Culture, information and criticism are all dependent upon a specific form of communication all their own. The imperative of ratings ought not to penetrate the very pores of cultural communication.” [Jürgen Habermas, “There Are Alternatives.” New Left Review. Series I, number 231, September–October 1998. Pages 3-12.]
        “While only one of [Jürgen] Habermas’ major texts includes the ‘public sphere’ in its title, the task of interpreting and defending the idealizing expectations embedded in the institutional arrangements of bourgeois modernity has never been far from his central purposes. For Habermas, the critical theorist must battle against ideologies that block our appreciation of the ambiguous potentials of modernization processes. This is no mere contemplative, theoretical, interest. A conception of an engaged critical theory has been reflected in a life that, together with its enormous scholarly endeavours, has found time for the responsibilities of the public intellectual. Habermas has always offered himself as a critic in the public sphere. His determination to seize opportunities for entering into public discussion about the choices available to the present was evident in his student days. Habermas was an active participant in a post-war German student movement that saw the goal of a democratized University as a preliminary to a programme of major reform in the institutionalized priorities of German society. Since those distant days, Habermas has made his views known on many controversial topics, from a lively interchange with leftist student radicals in the late 1960s, to a critique of right wing ‘distortions’ about the recent fascist German past in the ‘historians dispute’ of the 1980s, and most recently engagements with the aspirations of current American foreign policy. A willingness to engage with the particular issues thrown up by contemporary politics is, for Habermas, a central responsibility of the critical theorist. He repudiates the suggestion that any general theory is ‘supposed to be able to solve all of life’s problems’ and stresses that the theorist needs to be able to ‘visit [already] “disassembled” problems that have their place in very different contexts.’ In recent years, Habermas’ important contributions to ongoing discussions about German unification, over the future of European political solidarities, on the problems of asylum seekers, multiculturalism, and on the Gulf and the Iraqi Wars have been quickly translated into English.” [Pauline Johnson. Habermas: Rescuing the public sphere. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Page 13.]
        1. deliberative democracy: Habermas discusses a socialist perspective on the “structural transformation of the public sphere” from state domination. Deliberative democracy is a term coined by Joseph M. Bessette. It refers to an approach to democracy characterized by the rational discussions of regularly elected, and accountable, representatives and the pursuit of popular consensus.
          “The deliberative mode of legislation and a strict dependence of administrative activity on statutory guidelines are threatened just as much by autonomous and self-programming bureaucracies as by the privileged influence exerted by formally private social organizations. In the United States, however, the influence of interest groups that implement their private aims through the government apparatus at the cost of the general interest is considered the real problem, at least since the famous discussion between the Federalists and the Antifederalists. In this classical stance against the tyranny of societal powers that violate the principle of the separation of state and society, rejuvenated republicanism, too, conceives the role of the constitutional court as that of a custodian of deliberative democracy ….” [Jürgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. William Rehg, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1996. Page 275.]
          “… I have proposed that we understand the normative bases of constitutional democracy as the result of a deliberative decision-making process that the founders—motivated by whatever historical contingencies—undertook with the intention of creating a voluntary, self-determining association of free and equal citizens. The founders sought a reasonable answer to this question: what rights must we mutually accord one another if we want to legitimately regu- late our common life by means of positive law?” [Jürgen Habermas, “Constitutional Democracy: A Paradoxical Union of Contradictory Principles?” William Rehg, translator. Political Theory. Volume 29, number 6, December 2001. Pages 766-781.]
          “A legitimating authority can only spring from a democratic process that grounds a reasonable presumption for the rational acceptability of outcomes. And this will be only the case if there is a cognitive dimension built into it—the decisions of the democratic law giver must remain internally linked to preceding deliberations. And here is the entry for a discourse theory that claims to explain how the institutionalization of deliberative politics can generate a postmetaphysical and postreligious kind of legitimacy within a pluralist civil society.” [Jürgen Habermas, “Concluding Comments on Empirical Approaches to Deliberative Politics.” Acta Politica. Volume 40, number 3, September 2005. Pages 384-392.]
          “The people from whom all governmental authority is supposed to derive does not comprise a subject with will and consciousness. It only appears in the plural, and as a people it is capable of neither decision nor action as a whole. In complex societies, even the most earnest endeavors at political self-organization are defeated by resistant elements originating in the stubborn systemic logics of the market and administrative power. At one time, democracy was something to be asserted against the despotism palpably embodied in the king, members of the aristocracy, and higher-ranking clerics. Since then, political authority has been depersonalized. Democratization now works to overcome not genuinely political forms of resistance but rather the systemic imperatives of differentiated economic and administrative systems.” [Jürgen Habermas, “Popular Sovereignty as Procedure.” Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. James Bohman and William Rehg, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1997. Pages 35-65.]
          “I would like to sketch a proceduralist view of democracy and deliberative politics that differs in relevant aspects from both the liberal and the republican paradigm.…
          “According to the communitarian view, there is a necessary connection between the deliberative concept of democracy and the reference to a concrete substantively integrated ethical community.…
          “In contrast to the ethical constriction of political discourse, the concept of deliberative politics acquires empirical reference only when we take account of the multiplicity of communicative forms of rational political will-formation. It is not discourse of an ethical type that could grant on its own the democratic genesis of law. Instead, deliberative politics should be conceived as a syndrome that depends on a network of fairly regulated bargaining processes and of various forms of argumentation, including pragmatic, ethical, and moral discourses, each of which relies on different communicative presuppositions and procedures.…
          “According to the liberal view, the democratic process takes place in the form of compromises between competing interests.…
          “According to the republican view, the citizens’ political opinion- and will-formation forms the medium through which society constitutes itself as a political whole.”
          [Jürgen Habermas, “Three Normative Models of Democracy.” Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Seyla Benhabib, editor. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1996. Pages 21-30.]
          “There are two general reasons why representatives could be expected to do a better job of deliberating about public policy than their constituents. First, they are typically more knowledgeable and experienced in public affairs. Second, they function in an institutional setting that foster collective reasoning about common concerns, while their constituents usually lack the time, inclination, or environment to engage in a similar enterprise.
          “Deliberative democracy also demands, however, that the representatives of the people share the basic values and goals of their constituents, their own deliberations about public policy must be firmly rooted in popular interests and inclinations. The electoral connection is the chief mechanism for ensuring such a linkage between the values and goals of representatives and represented. If that linkage is sufficiently strong, then the policies fashioned by political leaders will effectively be those that the people themselves would have chosen had they possessed the same knowledge and experience as their representatives and devoted the same amount of time considering the information and arguments presented in the national councils.
          “Thus, the deliberative democracy fashioned by the architects of the American constitutional order is distinct both from direct democracy, where the people themselves make the key political decisions, and from the kind of democracy proposed by Edmund Burke, or at least some of his interpreters, in which the wise and virtuous, freely chosen by the community, rule through the exercise of their independent and superior political judgment, disconnected from popular sentiments. The deliberative democracy of the framers, it can be said, is less democratic than direct democracy but more democratic than this version of the Burkean prescription.”
          [Joseph M. Bessette. The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy & American National Government. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 1997. Page 2.]
          “Deliberative democracy theorists care a great deal about how deliberative practices are structured, positing a variety of requirements for fairness, openness, and the elimination (as far as possible) of strategic manipulation. However, there are a large number of other issues to be addressed in how deliberation is structured, and it is here where social constructivists might contribute. Thus, most examples of deliberation do not involve simply putting a representative sample of citizens in a room together and waiting for agreement to emerge from their interactions. Rather, most deliberative practices are mediated by facilitators whose tasks include making sure that the normative standards of effective deliberation are met. Social constructivists can address the important issues of howfacilitators are selected, of howtheir roles and identities within the deliberative experience are constructed, and of how the specific techniques they employ help to not only construct the hoped-for consensus but also construct the roles and identities of the participants themselves.” [Patrick W. Hamlett, “Technology Theory and Deliberative Democracy.” Science, Technology, & Human Values. Volume 28, number 1, winter 2003. Pages 112-140.]
          “Deliberative democracy represents a discursive turn in democratic theory. Its proponents argue that decision-making processes ought to be aimed at achieving consensus through rational discussion …. Deliberative democracy holds that the legitimacy of law-making ought to depend on the quality of the public deliberation of citizens …. Traditional theories of democracy focus on voting. However, deliberative democracy involves avoiding, if possible, majoritarianism in favour of consensus through rational deliberation among those who are equal and committed to others’ abilities, rights and theirs and others’ responsibilities to contribute ideas and to deliberate …. Notwithstanding the risk of potential coercion by the majority perspective, proponents of deliberative democracy believe that public opinion can be influenced by discussion and exchange of ideas that promote reflection on one’s views to enhance the quality of decision-making ….” [Peter Nugus, “Rhetorical strategies of political parties and organized movements: Deliberative democracy and the Australian monarchy–republican debate.” Journal of Sociology. Volume 45, number 3, August 2009. Pages 307-328.]
          “Arguments for deliberative democracy have been overwhelmingly concerned with establishing that democracy conceived as a process of this sort possesses a legitimacy lacking from democratic procedures which are understood merely as mechanisms for the aggregation of private interests or preferences. Proponents of deliberative democracy argue that the process of debate, discussion and persuasion prior to the aggregation of votes is crucial for the legitimacy of the outcome. The literature on deliberative democracy has generally been concerned to flesh out the details of the contrast with accounts of democracy focused on the aggregation of votes, to offer a fuller specification of the reasons to prefer deliberative democracy, and to suggest ways in which this ideal conception may be employed, as a critical criterion or as a model for institutional design ….” [Matthew Festenstein, “Deliberative Democracy and Two Models of Pragmatism.” European Journal of Social Theory. Volume 7, number 3, August 2004. Pages 291-306.]
          “… the deliberative democratic model distinguishes between the ethnos [Greek/Hellēniká, ἔθνος, é̓thnos, ‘nation’] and the demos [Greek/Hellēniká, δήμος, dḗmos, ‘municipality’], between the ethnic, cultural, lingustic, and religious identity of a people, and the political constitution of the people as an organized, self-governing body. A demos can consist of more than one ethnos; the sovereign political community may encompass and usually does encompass more than one ethnic, religious, and linguistic community. What makes such an ethnically diverse body politic one is not some mystical act of sovereign willformation, but the constitutional and institutional principles through which such a people enter into the world-historial arena and demand recognition from others. No nation is the seat of an ultimate, mystical sovereignty. Democracies are not formed through the mystical sovereignty of nations but through the constitutional principles which peoples adopt to govern themselves by and the institutional arrangements which they set into motion. Perhaps the events of recent history in the heart of Europe will have taught us how disastrous it is to conflate the aspirations of different groups to cultural and ethnic self-expression with the issue of political sovereignty.” [Seyla Benhabib, “Democracy and Difference: Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida.” The Journal of Political Philosophy. Volume 2, number 1, 1994. Pages 1-23.]
          “If democratic theory took a deliberative turn in the 1990s, deliberative democracy has taken a ‘civil society turn’ to address these shortcomings on the regional and global levels. In light of the present circumstances of world politics, consisting of an increasing asymmetry between rule-makers and rule-takers and inequalities among states, many deliberative democrats investigate the role of transnational non-state actors — ranging from social movements to interest groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — for achieving more transnational or global democracy. Instead of emphasizing juridical aspects, this deliberative civil society or stakeholder view lays stress upon the core democratic qualities or mechanisms of participation, accountability, authorization and deliberation.” [Eva Erman, “In search of democratic agency in deliberative governance.” European Journal of International Relations. Volume 19, number 4, April 2012. Pages 847-868.]
          “Deliberative democrats address this dilemma, the demand for democratic legitimacy, by modifying the first part of its formulation—by shifting the locus of justification for applications of social and political power from public officials to the stakeholders themselves; this strategy fenders the reasons used to justify those policies consistent with the conceptions of the good held by stakeholders, making it more likely that they will accept the policy as justified. Empirical evidence demonstrates that stakeholders who have adequate pre-decisional voice; participate in open, credible, and collaborative processes; and are able to revise any decisions resulting in inefficiency or injustice will endorse policies ensuing from this process even at the cost of their own interests. But, participation itself does not constitute legitimacy, for broad participation cannot ensure that both the process and outcomes of deliberation are truly inclusive, just, or reasonable. Rather, the invention, formulation, evaluation, and revision of law and social policy must also be the product of a rigorous process of public debate and discussion in which citizens, considered as moral and political equals, move beyond mere self-interest and reflect on the common good.” [Darrin Hicks, “The Promise(s) of Deliberative Democracy.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. Volume 5, number 2, summer 2002. Pages 223-260.]
          “It is now well established that the movement toward ‘deliberative democracy’ in democratic theory is due in part to the frustrations that emerged out of the disputes concerning liberalism. The liberal emphasis on atomistic individualism and the Rawlsian priority of the right over the good was challenged by communitarian thinkers, such as Michael Sandel who said that liberalism ‘cannot secure the liberty it promises’ because ‘it cannot inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that liberty requires.’ In turn, liberals argued that advocates of communitarianism neglect the extent to which privileging the common good over individual rights leaves us vulnerable to coercion, intolerance and crushing conformity.” [Alison Kadlec, “Critical Pragmatism and Deliberative Democracy.” Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. Number 117, December 2008. Pages 54-80.]
          “If we assume, as we must, that authority is a necessity in today’s societies, the burden of argument for deliberative democrats includes at least the following: (1) specify the senses in which authority is necessary in a deliberative democracy, and (2) specify the relationship between democratic decision making (both deliberative and majoritarian) and authoritative decision making. In doing so, it will be important to show that (a) grounds for authority need not be uncontestable to serve authoritative functions and (b) because democratic authority is generated by settling political issues into patterns of warranted trust, it can provide at least as much social and psychological security for citizens and authorities alike as can the uncontestable authority it would replace, if not more.” [Mark E. Warren, “Deliberative Democracy and Authority.” The American Political Science Review. Volume 90, number 1, March 1996. Pages 46-60.]
          “I will argue, more specifically, (1) that the idea of justice underlying deliberative democracy is the demand for the co-original recognition of the private and public autonomy of citizens. (2) This explains how democratic deliberation combines procedural and substantive aspects in a unique and inextricable manner, whereby the procedural and the substantive criterion of validity represent two sides of the same idea of justice. (3) Deliberation is geared towards the construction of a moral we-perspective which embodies the impartial recognition of the autonomy of the concrete other and takes into account the particular perspectives of all people involved. Such a construction requires the active participation of all citizens because only they themselves have access to their own particular perspective on the matter at hand. (4) The counterfactual and symbolic character of the recognition of autonomy as a criterion of justice implies, however, that all actual agreement on legal norms is necessarily fallible and temporary. Thus, democratic deliberation is part of an ongoing constitutional project as an open-ended, historical elaboration of the co-original recognition of the private and public autonomy of citizens.” [Stefan Rummens, “Democratic Deliberation as the Open-Ended Construction of Justice.” Ratio Juris. Volume 20, number 3, September 2007. Pages 335-354.]
          “… the opinions of various theoreticians as to what deliberative democracy is, are far from uniform. Nevertheless, all these thinkers share the conviction that deliberation is a desirable thing in the contemporary world, and thanks to it the public can change their preferences and determine what will benefit their community. They consider discussion to be the basis for legitimizing contemporary governments. The rules of deliberation, established by participants, as well as the equality and freedom of all participants to question arguments, are also important for them. Moreover, deliberative democrats are usually not opposed to the rules of representation, although they believe that governance could be more beneficial to society as a whole if certain decisions were made by means of deliberation.” [Marta Wojciechowska, “Deliberative Democracy as an Answer for Crisis in Democratic Governance.” Radical Politics Today. April, 2010. Creative Commons. Pages 1-14.]
          “… the limits of deliberative democracy are revealed when we examine the ‘deliberative designs’ advocated. On the one hand, by privileging linguistic forms of communication, such procedures will not be able to take into account the large body of social knowledge which cannot be put into words. On the other hand, knowledge communication will not include those individuals who for logistical reasons cannot be accommodated in the relevant social forum (a citizens’ jury, for example). Given the logistical difficulties of accommodating millions of individual ‘stakeholders’, it is never suggested that all of the population will be involved in the relevant decision-making …. From a Hayekian perspective, therefore, markets are much more likely to draw on an array of socially dispersed knowledge.” [Mark Pennington, “Hayekian Political Economy and the Limits of Deliberative Democracy.” Political Studies. Volume 51, number 4, December 2003. Pages 722-739.]
          “There are moments in Between Facts and Norms when [Jürgen] Habermas’s account of liberal democracy oscillates between these two poles— counterposing the ideal presuppositions for deliberative democracy, and the actual democratic deficits of existing advanced capitalist states. In contrast to the ideal—a robust and vibrant public sphere, and a political system sensitive to citizens’ values, interests and needs, that can meet it half-way—a more sober, critical assessment of political realities will sometimes emerge. In the course of the book, however, Habermas also advances a third, more conciliatory, position. Acknowledging the defects in current political practices, procedures and institutions, he nonetheless judges these states to be ‘more or less’—a recurring phrase—democratic, in the stronger, ideal sense of that term. He thereby effectively collapses the distinction that he himself has set up between an ideal, constitutionally regulated polity and its instantiation in existing liberal democracies.” [Deborah Cook, “The Talking Cure in Habermas’s Republic.” New Left Review. Series II, number 12, November–December 2001. Pages 135-151.]
          “… the main focus of the debate was clearly the articulation, critique and, ultimately, defence of deliberative democracy. [Jürgen] Habermas opened the Conference by arguing for a proceduralist model of democracy (as opposed to the liberal and republican). His claim was that this proceduralist model would allow for the expression of difference in that it calls into question the republican ‘move towards an ethical construction of political discourse.’ This discourse-theoretic model insists on the fact that democratic will-formation does not draw its legitimating force from a previous convergence of settled ethical conviction, but from both the communicative presuppositions that allow the better arguments to come into play in various forms of deliberation and the procedures that secure fair bargaining processes. Others (notably Joshua Cohen and Ben Barber) argued for their own versions of deliberative democracy using Habermas’s communicative theory.” [Judith Squires, “Discussing Deliberative Democracy: Democracy and Difference—Yale University, 15-18 April 1993.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 65, autumn 1993. Pages 61-64.]
          “Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ‘discourse ethics’ has been an important source of inspiration for theories of deliberative democracy and is typically contrasted with agonistic conceptions of democracy represented by theorists such as Chantal Mouffe.…
          “Jürgen Habermas is perhaps the leading contemporary defender of the ‘unfinished project’ of modernity and Enlightenment reason. His work is often contrasted with post-structuralist thinkers who are typically cast as intellectual enemies of the Enlightenment.”
          [Gulshan Khan, “Critical republicanism: Jürgen Habermas and Chantal Mouffe.” Contemporary Political Theory. Volume 12, number 4, November 2013. Pages 318-337.]
          “The rapid proliferation of the term deliberation involves the danger of concept stretching. In many cases it is not clear whether some commentators on deliberative democracy merely refer to any kind of communication, or to deliberation in the sense of systematically weighing rational arguments. Some references to deliberation appear to involve nothing more systematic than merely talking. Other deliberationists hold firmly to Habermasian communicative action as the standard of deliberation. This dual tendency to construe deliberation both too broadly and too narrowly can lead to serious confusion.” [André Bächtiger, Simon Niemeyer, Michael Neblo, Marco R. Steenbergen, and Jürg Steiner, “Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: Competing Theories, Their Blind Spots and Complementarities.” The Journal of Political Philosophy. Volume 18, number 1, March 2010. Pages 32-63.]
          “… [Jürgen] Habermas and [Chantal] Mouffe differ on how to bring this about. Habermas’s vision, which he labels ‘deliberative democracy,’ relies on reasoned and inclusive public deliberation that is geared to reaching consensual decisions. His arguments foreground concerns about legitimacy and (universal) justice, concerns that he believes are ignored by poststructuralists at their peril. Mouffe’s (poststructuralist) vision of democracy is critical of Habermas’s defense of rationality and universalism, believing these to be inimical to pluralist societies. Her ‘agonistic pluralism’ accentuates ways for democratic politics to represent difference. Thus, the debate between the two theorists rests on how best to promote democratic participation and decision making without impeding sociocultural difference. To put it another way, the debate hinges on democratically representing difference without thereby sanctioning injustice and intolerance.” [Ilan Kapoor, “Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism? The Relevance of the Habermas-Mouffe Debate for Third World Politics.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. Volume 27, number 4, October–December 2002. Pages 459-487.]
          “[Jürgen] Habermas originally conceived of discourse ethics as a moral theory derived from the pragmatic presuppositions of everyday discursive practice, rather than from the (purported) intuitions of a particular historically and spatially bounded community – a moral theory to which, he supposed, all human beings were demonstrably and ineluctably bound by dint of the communicative constitution of collective life. If his argument works, then the validity and feasibility of deliberative democratic proposals need not depend upon the prevalence of deliberative democratic values.” [Nick O’Donovan, “Does deliberative democracy need deliberative democrats? Revisiting Habermas’ defence of discourse ethics.” Contemporary Political Theory. Volume 12, number 2, May 2013. Pages 123-144.]
          “In its simplest terms, deliberative democracy refers to a conception of democratic government that secures a central place for reasoned discussion in political life. This conception has itself been the topic of much recent discussion, most of it favourable, with even its critics tending to acknowledge the intuitive attractiveness of democratic deliberation. The new use of the label ‘deliberative’ by veteran theorists John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas to describe their – quite dissimilar – normative conceptions of democracy is further evidence of its current popularity …. Deliberative democracy, it seems, is in vogue. But does it deserve its current favourable reception? Why should we prefer a deliberative model to, for example, a non-deliberative participatory model or a purely procedural one? This essay sets out to consider the merits of the main arguments commonly advanced in favour of the deliberative conception of democracy.” [Maeve Cooke, “Five Arguments for Deliberative Democracy.” Political Studies. Volume 58, number 5, December 2000. Pages 947-969.]
        2. theory of communicative action: This theory was a result of Habermas’ “communicative turn.” Communicative action may be understood as action which is coordinated through conversation or consensus. Society, to Habermas, is based upon language. Therefore, using human language in a rational manner, as well as discovering that others are using language irrationally, can contribute to emancipation.
          “When we use the expression ‘rational’ we suppose that there is a close relation between rationality and knowledge. Our knowledge has a propositional structure; beliefs can be represented in the form of statements. I shall presuppose this concept of knowledge without further clarification, for rationality has less to do with the possession of knowledge than with how speaking and acting subjects acquire and use knowledge.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Theory of Communicative Action: Volume 1. Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Boston: Beacon Press. 1984. Page 8.]
          “In communicative action, beyond the function of achieving understanding, language plays the role of coordinating the goal-directed activities of different subjects, as well as the role of a medium in the socialization of these very subjects.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 2. Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Boston: Beacon Press. 1987. Page 5.]
          “While instrumental action corresponds to the constraint of external nature and the level of the forces of production determines the extent of technical control over natural forces, communicative action stands in correspondence to the suppression of man’s own nature. The institutional framework determines the extent of repression by the unreflected, ‘natural’ force of social dependence and political power, which is rooted in prior history and tradition. A society owes emancipation from the external forces of nature to labor processes, that is to the production of technically exploitable knowledge (including ‘the transformation of the natural sciences into machinery’). Emancipation from the compulsion of internal nature succeeds to the degree that institutions based on force are replaced by an organization of social relations that is bound only to communication free from domination. This does not occur directly through productive activity, but rather through the revolutionary activity of struggling classes (including the critical activity of reflective sciences). Taken together, both categories of social practice make possible what [Karl] Marx, interpreting [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel, calls the self-generative act of the species. He sees their connection effected in the system of social labor. That is why ‘production’ seems to him the movement in which instrumental action and the institutional framework, or ‘productive activity’ and ‘relations of production,’ appear merely as different aspects of the same process.” [Jürgen Habermas. Knowledge and Human Interests. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1987. Pages 42-43.]
          “Over and against the communicative domain of nonpublic opinion stands the sphere of circulation of quasi-public opinion. These formal opinions can be traced back to specific institutions; they are officially or semiofficially authorized as announcements, proclamations, declarations, and speeches. Here we are primarily dealing with opinions that circulate in a relatively narrow circle—skipping the mass of the population—between the large political press and, generally, those publicist organs that cultivate rational debate and the advising, influencing, and deciding bodies with political or politically relevant jurisdictions (cabinet, government commissions, administrative bodies, parliamentary committees, party leadership, interest group committees, corporate bureaucracies, and union secretariats).…
          “In addition to this massive contact between the formal and informal communicative domains, there also exists the rare relationship between publicist organs devoted to rational-critical debate and those few individuals who still seek to form their opinions through literature—a kind of opinion capable of becoming public, but actually nonpublic.”
          [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Pages 246-247.]
          “The political system requires an input of mass loyalty that is as diffuse as possible. The output consists in sovereignly executed administrative decisions. Output crises have the form of a rationality crisis in which the administrative system does not succeed in reconciling and fulfilling the imperatives received from the economic system. Input crises have the form of a legitimation crisis; the legitimizing system does not succeed in maintaining the requisite level of mass loyalty while the steering imperatives taken over from the economic system are carried through. Although both crisis tendencies arise in the political system, they differ in their form of appearance. The rationality crisis is a displaced systemic crisis which, like economic crisis, expresses the contradiction between socialized production for non generalizable interests and steering imperatives. This crisis tendency is converted into the withdrawal of legitimation by way of a disorganization of the state apparatus. The legitimation crisis, by contrast, is directly an identity crisis. It does not proceed by way of endangering system integration, but results from the fact that the fulfillment of governmental planning tasks places in question the structure of the depoliticized public realm and, thereby, the formally democratic securing of the private autonomous disposition of the means of production.” [Jürgen Habermas. Legitimation Crisis. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1988. Page 56.]
          “The structures of intersubjectivity are just as constitutive for experiences and instrumental action as they are for attitudes and communicative action.” [Jürgen Habermas. Legitimation Crisis. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1988. Pages 28-29.]
          “… the theory of communicative action can reconstruct [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel’s concept of the ethical context of life (independently of the premises of the philosophy of consciousness). It disenchants the unfathomable causality of fate, which is distinguished from the destining of Being by reason of its inexorable immanence. [Jürgen Habermas. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures. Frederick Lawrence, translator. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1990. Page 316.]
          “Communicative action (CA) theory need not displace the critical insights of social scientists, geographers, and other urban scholars about the processes of social, economic, and political change that shape urban settlements. CA analysts believe we settle differences in research findings and interpretations by studying the consequences these differences produce instead of claiming philosophical trump. In the first part of this article, I summarize and critique the argument that CA theory is unrealistic explaining of how CA analysts care more about relevant consequences than causal certainty. In the second part of the article, taking some conceptual advice from social theorist Jurgen Habermas, I show how CA analysis can combine structural and intentional concepts to revise and integrate the apparent antagonism between comprehensiveness and compromise for planning practice. I conclude that a pragmatic CA provides a useful and critical theory for planning practice that remains open to future challenge and debate.” [Charles J. Hoch, “Pragmatic Communicative Action Theory.” Journal of Planning, Education and Research. Abstract. Volume 26, number 3, March 2007. Pages 272-283.]
          “In the midst of the social and political crisis of European-American civilization of the 1960s, the German social theorist Jürgen Habermas offered his inaugural lecture at Frankfurt on the theme ‘Knowledge and Human Interests.’ Habermas’s lecture over three decades ago marked the beginning of his systematic project to provide a ‘historically oriented attempt to reconstruct the prehistory of modern positivism with the systematic intention of analyzing the connections between knowledge and human interests.’” [Corey D. B. Walker, “‘How Does It Feel to be a Problem?’: (Local) Knowledge, Human Interests, and The Ethics of Opacity.” Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. Volume 1, number 2, fall 2011. Pages 104-119.]
          “The Internet appears to do the trick of giving the concept of the public sphere a new lease of life by reformulating it in a way that answers some of the major defects that critics have pointed out since its original formulation by [Jürgen] Habermas …. [T]he public sphere described by Habermas was far from democratic or even public. It was public only in the sense that a British public school is public, i.e. exclusive to all but white bourgeois males. Predicated on exclusion it could only ever be the basis for a partial version of democracy that would inevitably exclude other genders, sexualities, ethnicities and classes. Moreover the Habermas version of the public sphere and particularly his account of the role of the mass media are resolutely serious; pleasure and desire are denied space in a culture determined by ‘critical reasoning.’” [Martin Lister, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, and Kieran Kelly. New Media: a critical introduction. Second edition. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2009. Page 219.]
          “The present study was based on the principles of critical theory as postulated by [Jürgen] Habermas …, in which self-assessment essentially consists of becoming aware of teaching-learning experiences through reflection on learning and critical thinking. Self-assessment was considered in line with Habermas … and the types of scientific interest. Technical interest, inherent to the empirical and analytical sciences, is aimed at achieving resource efficacy from the perspective of the rational and technological paradigm. Practical interest, corresponding to the historical and hermeneutical sciences, is aimed at understanding themeaning of events to enable the agents involved to interpret reality and orient personal and social practice. This type of interest corresponds to an interpretive or hermeneutical paradigm, and its main goal is understanding, self-understanding, and comprehensive communication between teachers and learners.” [José Siles-González and Carmen Solano-Ruiz, “Self-assessment, reflection on practice and critical thinking in nursing students.” Nurse Educa