Critical Thought
Mapping the Terrain
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
For my uncle and fellow Marxist Ralph Kleinman
MarkFoster.online
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 or an open Marxist is not 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, currently inhabited by humankind, is 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.

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 went into hiding soon after his authorship was revealed. This brief 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 agenda by invoking the concept, deconstruction, which was originally developed by 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 thesis 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 has been laid bare for all to observe. It is cultivated by the predatory impulses of a laissez–faire (MP3 audio file) market. Essentially, a free market implies coupling dialectical causal mechanisms with predatory human agency.

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.

As the global community unmistakably enters the arduous transitional period to a far–off tomorrow, the deathwatch begins. Ends 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 moral cowardice. That being the case, any neutral position is virtually the opposite of objectivity. Many observers, not to mention a host of mainstream news organizations, have inexplicably confounded the two intellectual postures. 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 (Marxists.org) 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 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 without 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 might 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 must 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 need 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.

Return to the table of contents.

  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 (Marxists.org) 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. 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.]
      “… I shall argue, they [Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels] associated themselves with the kind of democratic communism advocated during the Revolution by Gracchus Babeuf and other members of the 1796 Conspiracy of the Equals. The Equals’ first priority had been to reinstate the Constitution of 1793, which had established universal (male) suffrage, national and local elections, majority rule, a uniform civil and criminal legal code, unlimited freedom of the press, speech and assembly, and other key democratic rights; and there is no reason to think that Marx and Engels, in their turn, ever abandoned these goals.” [Daniela Cammack, “Marx, Engels and the Democratic Communist Tradition.” Privately published paper. December 21st, 2011. Retrieved on September 21st, 2016.]
      “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. 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 Left–Wing Tendencies: 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.
    Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism; Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism; Marxism–Leninism–Lukácsism; left communism, libertarian Marxism, and radical democratic Marxism; Marxism–De Leonism; 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.]
      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. 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.]
      5. 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.
      6. 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.
      7. The Struggle (ʾUrdū, طَبَقَاتِی جِدُوجْہَد, Ṭabaqātī Ǧidūǧhad, literally, “class struggle”): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization in Pakistan.
      8. Communist Party of Pakistan (ʾUrdūized English, کُمْیُونِسْٹ پَارْٹِی آف پَاکِسْتَانَ‎, Kumyūnisṭ Pārṭī ʾâf Pākistāna): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist group.
      9. Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (Amharic, የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝባዊ አብዮታዊ ፓርቲ, Yaʾutéyop̣éyā Ḥézébāwi ʾAbéyetāwu Pārétu): It originally supported a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist revolution in Ethiopia.
      10. 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.
      11. 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.
      12. Communist Party of India (Marxist) (Hindī, भारत की कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी (मार्क्सवादी), Bhārata kī Kamyunisṭa Pārṭī (Mārksavādī)): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization.
      13. Communist Party of Greece (Greek/Hellēniká, Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist organization in Greece.
      14. Jordanian Communist Party (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ الأُرْدُنِّيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ꞌUrdunniyy): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist group.
      15. 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.]
      16. 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.]
      17. 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.]
      18. 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.]
      19. 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.
      20. Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (Laotian, ພັກປະຊາຊົນປະຕິວັດລາວ, Phak-Pasāson-Patiwat-Lāw): It is a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Laos (MP3 audio file).
      21. The Communist Party of Vietnam (Vietnamese, Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam): This Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party in Vietnam follows Ho Chi Minh Thought (Vietnamese, Tư tưởng Hồ Chí Minh).
      22. 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.]
      23. 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.]
      24. 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 Haxha. Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism. Undated.]
    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). 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 major perspectives is his theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists began the Fourth International. An offshoot, or branch, of Trotskyism, known as third–camp socialism, also developed. (The other two camps are capitalism and Stalinism.)
      “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 (Marxists.org) 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.]
      “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 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.]
      “… 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.]
      “[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.]
      “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.]
      “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.]
      “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.]
      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 (Marxists.org) 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.]
      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 (Marxists.org) 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 (Marxists.org) 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.]
      4. third–camp Trotskyism or Shachtmanism (Max Shachtman): Schachtman’s neo–Trotskyist position challenged the two camps of Stalinism and Capitalism.
        “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 Hitler-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.]
        “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 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.]
          “[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 www.Anarkismo.net 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.]
      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. 2001. Page 2.]
      6. 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.]
      7. 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 tle background of the 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.]
      8. International Trotskyist Opposition: This Trotskyist tendency has its headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
        “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.”
      9. International Workers League – Fourth International: They are working to revive, through mergers with other organizations, of the Fourth International.
        “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.]
      10. 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.]
        “… 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. 1979. Retrieved on October 6th, 2015.]
        “[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.]
        “… 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 openminded 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.]
        “[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+.]
      11. 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.]
        “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.]
      12. 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.]
        “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. Pages 235.]
        “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.]
      13. Fourth International (post–reunification): This Trotskyist international publishes International Viewpoint. Socialist Action (U.S.), in the U.S., is in solidarity with this international. Socialist Resistance—ecosocialist, feminist, anti-racist, revolutionary, and internationalist—is the British branch.
        “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!…
        “… 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.]
        “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.]
      14. Socialist Action (UK): The London–based British Trotskyist group is independent from Socialist Action (U.S.), which was considered above.
        “This 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+.]
      15. 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.]
      16. 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.]
      17. 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.]
      18. 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.]
      19. 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.]
      20. 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 Marx and Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin and 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.]
      21. 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.]
      22. 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.]
      23. revolutionary integrationism (Richard S. “Dick” Fraser, James Baldwin, and others): According to this perspective—accepted by Trotskyists 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.]
      24. 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.]
      25. 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.]
      26. 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.
      27. Worker-Communist Party of Iraq (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحِزْب الشُيُوعِيّ العُمَّالِيّ العِرَاقِيّ, ʾal-Ḥizb ʾal-Šuyūʿiyy ʾal-ʿUmmāliyy ʾal-ʿIrāqiyy): It is a Trotskyist group.
      28. 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.” [“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.]
      29. 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) 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.” [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.]
      30. 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.
      31. Committee for a Workers’ International: It presents a socialist alternative to world capitalism. Two of its sections are the Coventry Socialist Party and Socialist Alternative.
        “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.]
      32. 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.
        “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 (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2012. Web. No pagination.]
      33. 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.]
      34. 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.]
      35. 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.]
      36. 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.]
      37. 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.]
      38. Humanist Workers for Revolutionary Socialism: This Trotskyist group is also know as “Humanists for Revolutionary Socialism.” They also have a Facebook page. The current status of this organization is unknown. Although their Facebook page remains, their website is only available 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 or 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.]
      39. 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.]
    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.]
      “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.]
      “[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, issue S1, 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.]
      “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.]
      “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.]
        “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.]
      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 مُرُووَه, Ḥusayn Murūwah) 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, 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.” 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 and tendencies included in this section: Marxism–Luxemburgism; Marxism–Pankhurstism; Marxism–Bordigism; Zapatismo; communization; autonomism; autonomous geographies; workers’ communism; class against capital; determinate critique of democracy; potential or cultural freedom; autonomous city; autonomous micro–politics; precarious communism; autonomist Zionism; project of autonomy; autonomous sphere; Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism; relational autonomy; self–managed society; horizontal and vertical autonomism; commodification of experience; Empire; multitude; perspective of autonomy; LIES; radical autonomy; critical perspective on brands; 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); Marxism–Gorterism; Group of International Communists; neo–councilism; anti–Bolshevik communism; New Associationist Movement; cybercommunism; left–wing alternative; participatory Marxism; viewpoint of participatory Democracy; new revolutionary theory of society; communist Internet; the new communism; neo–communism; base materialism; anti–state, anti–market socialism; workers’ coöperatives; workers’ self–directed coöperative enterprises; coöperative commonwealth; 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; theory of liberation; Marxism–Sorelianism (Georges Sorel’s revolutionary syndicalism); marketless socialism; 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; democratization of power; 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; 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; freely associated producers; workers’ control of production; orgonomy; Free Communism; libertarian revolutionary unionism; class–struggle unionism; solidarity unionism; anarcho–Marxism; spirit of Anarcho–Marxism; anarchist Marxism; synthesis between anarchism and marxism; socialist equality of opportunity; collective action to create a socialist society; libertarian socialist institutional model; the New Left; and ultra–leftism.
      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 is often regarded as a shift 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).
      “World revolution has been given a powerful impetus by the horrors, atrocities and villainies of the world imperialist war, and by the hopelessness of the position created by it. This revolution is spreading more widely and deeply with such supreme rapidity, with such splendid richness of varying forms, with such an instructive, practical refutation of all doctrinairism, that there is every hope of a speedy and thorough recovery of the international Communist movement from the infantile disorder of ‘Left’ Communism.” [Vladimir I. Lenin. ‘Left-Wing’ Communism: An Infantile Disorder. April 27th, 1920. Authorized translation (anonymous). Detroit, Michigan: The Marxian Educational Society. 1921. Page 103.]
      “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.]
      “We desired a libertarian, democratic revolution, without the hypocrisy and flabbiness of the bourgeois democracies— egalitarian and tolerant towards ideas and people, which would employ terror if it was necessary but would abolish the death penalty. From a theoretical point of view, we stated these problems very badly; certainly the Bolshevik put them better than we. From the human standpoint, we were infinitely nearer the truth than he was. We saw in the power of the Soviets the realization of our deepest hopes, as he did also. Our mutual understanding was based on deep misunderstanding, as well as on sheer necessity.” [Victor Serge. Memoirs of a Revolutionary. Peter Sedgwick with George Paizis, translators. New York: New York Review Books imprint of The New York Review of Books. 2012. Page 74.]
      “In Memoirs of a Revolutionary Victor Serge describes the first decade of Soviet rule as displaying ‘the obscure early stages of a psychosis’, the symptoms of which became increasingly pronounced as time wore on and the defeats and corpses piled ever higher. The experience of living through the twenty-year period from the October Revolution of 1917 to the Stalinist purges (which reached their apex in 1937) he declares ‘must be a psychological phenomenon unique in history.’” [Hannah Proctor, “Lost minds: Sedgwick, Laing and the politics of mental illness.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 197, May/June 2016. Pages 36-48.]
      “One motivation of the [Aufheben] articles was to confront a central theory of one of the political currents that has influenced us namely: left communism. For many of those who identify themselves as ‘left communist’ the assertion of capitalism’s decadence is fundamental because it provides a materialistic justification for the ‘class lines’ or ‘revolutionary political positions’ which distinguish them from other political tendencies. Support – if sometimes a ‘conditional’ or ‘critical’ support – for trade unions, parliamentarianism and ‘progressive’ national liberation struggles, is a characteristic of most ‘leftist’ politics. Left communists define themselves in large part through precisely their rejection of these forms, in favour of struggle which expresses proletarian autonomy from capitalism. But at the same time left communists wish to claim a lineage with the politics of Marx and the ‘revolutionary Marxists’ within the First and Second Internationals who, it has to be recognised, did not take left communist political positions. By identifying the grounds for the ‘class lines’ in a historical shift around the first world war when capitalism enters its decadent phase, left communists are able to uphold their positions while at the same time claiming a continuity with those who had practised a different politics in the previous ‘ascendent’ period of capitalism. In other words decadence theory allows its adherents to distinguish their politics from ‘leftism’ while not distinguishing themselves from Marx despite his apparent ‘leftism.’ Never having been satisfied by this abstract and schematic way of dealing with such complex historical and practical-political issues, we wished to confront the theory.” [Editor, “The Theory of Decline, or the Decline of Theory? – Preface to the Swedish Translation 2004.” riff-raff. Number 6, April 2004. Pages 1-3.]
      “‘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.]
      “The lett-wing [communist] position was first developed through an attack on the Second International.… According to left-wing theorists, the unfortunate political and intellectual results of this faulty methodology were: (1) economism in theory – over-valuing of thc economy narrowly and technologically defined, and undervaluing of the material reality and relative autonomy of the so-called superstructure; (2) economism and fatalism in politics – over-reliance on economic interests in automatically bringing about class consciousness and socialism; blindness to the oppressive power of bourgeois ideology, within as well as outside of left organizations; under estimation of the importance of ideological struggle and of the potentially liberating power of minorities (defined politically by their protest against superstructural contradictions); and (3) scientism and Kantian moralism – interpretation of philosophy or even socialism as moral concerns separate from the value-free project of positive science.” [John Horton and Fari Filsoufi, “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder in Theory and Method.” Insurgent Sociologist. Volume 7, number 1, January 1977. Pages 4-17.]
      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.]
        “… [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, Communist Party of Germany], 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.]
        “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.” [Andrea Nye. Philosophia: The Thought of Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and Hannah Arendt. New York and London: Routledge. 1994. Page 47.]
        “[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.” libcom.org. December, 2010. Retrieved on July 11th, 2016.]
        “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.]
        “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.]
        “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 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, 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, Communist Party of Germany] 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.]
        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): The Brazilian–born scholar 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. The Collective to Fight Neurelitism™ (CFN™): 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.
        “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 debauch eries 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.]
      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 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.]
          “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.]
          “… 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.]
      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, “Misery and the Value-Form: Communisation and Value-Form Theory.” Endnotes. Number 2, April 2010. Pagination unknown.]
      6. autonomism: Autonomists place a priority on spontaneous direct action (“spontaneism”) over organized activity. ROAR Magazine is an online publication which presents autonomist perspectives. Aufheben is a journal which includes considerations of autonomism. Approaches to autonomism vary from Marxist to anarchist. Like many other libertarian socialists, autonomists have tended to strongly favor direct over representative democracy. The Italian terms for autonomism are autonomia (MP3 audio file), “autonomy,” and operaismo (MP3 audio file), “workerism.” The German term is Autonomen (MP3 audio file), “autonomous.”
        “This paper argues for the pertinence of autonomist Marxism to an era of computerised capital and postmodern culture. Broadly speaking, ‘autonomist Marxism’ designates that tradition of Marxism which places at its centre the self-activity of the working class – a tradition with deep historical roots and wide international diffusion. However, perhaps its most developed contemporary expression, and the one I shall focus on here, is that arising out of the struggles of Italian workers, students and feminists during the 1960s and 70s and formulated in the work of such revolutionary intellectuals as Raniero Panzieri, Mario Tronti, Sergio Bologna, Mariorosa Dalla Costa, Francois [sic; Franco] Berardi, and Antonio Negri. When in 1979 the ferment of the Italian New Left was violently repressed under the pretext of counterinsurgency against the Red Brigades the development of this innovative body of theory was abruptly interrupted, and subsequently the heretical tenor of its positions – anathema to neoliberals, Soviet-style nomenklatura and social democrats alike – has ensured it a subterranean existence, even on the left. Yet despite the destruction of the movement in which it was originally based, this strand of autonomist Marxism has continued to develop, undergoing new mutations and making fresh connections.” [Nick Dyer-Witheford, “Autonomist Marxism and the Information Society.” Capital & Class. Issue 52, spring 1994. Pages 85-125.]
        “Autonomist Marxism is that school of Marxism centered on the class struggle …, as opposed to more conventional political economist readings of [Karl] Marx focused on capital accumulation, or philosophical ones such as those of the Frankfurt School …. Class, per definition, is the relation of a social group to the means of production, and class antagonism comes to the fore when a class constitutes itself as engaging in struggle, as resisting.… This primacy in politico-economic analysis of the class struggle from the perspective of labor and the constitution of the working class as agent of resistance form the cornerstones of 1960s and 1970s Italian operaismo or workerism, out of which present day (post) Autonomia (and post-Operaismo as well) branched.” [Mithun Bantwal Rao, Joost Jongerden, Pieter Lemmens, and Guido Ruivenkamp, “Technological Mediation and Power: Postphenomenology, Critical Theory, and Autonomist Marxism.” Philosophy & Technology. Volume 28, issue 3, September 2015. Pages 449-474.]
        “Often misidentified by anarchists as a Marxist deviation, and by Marxists as a form of anarchism, autonomism is something in between: a form of Marxism with a strong bent toward localism, horizontal decision-making, and anti-authoritarianism.…
        “Autonomism is a growing force in the global left. Less a theory than a practice with an organizational bent toward localism, self-management and horizontal methods of decision making, autonomism is an important influence in the ‘movements of the squares’: from Puerto del Sol in Madrid to Tahrir Square in Cairo to Gezi Parki in Istanbul to Occupy encampments in New York, Lagos, Oakland, and Hong Kong. Like ‘Occupy’ itself, autonomism has become a meme, without textual or organizational centers, absent any foundational origin, yet spreading globally. There are, and have always been, multiple lefts: autonomism has been steadily expanding its share of left uprisings throughout the world.”
        [Linda Martín Alcoff and José Alcoff, “Autonomism in Theory and Practice.” Science & Society. Volume 79, number 2, April 2015. Pages 221-242.]
        “The defense of social struggle at the expense of political action leads many of the autonomists to promote the expansion of an ‘anti-power’ outside the boundaries of bourgeois institutions. They proclaim this alternative will be constructed by means of direct democracy, with horizontal methods and by avoiding all types of hierarchies. But they do not present evidence of the implementation of these proposals, nor do they take into account the obstacles that confront these mechanisms.
        “These difficulties have been, for example, recognized by many autonomist militants who have participated in the neighborhood assemblies in Argentina. That experience proved that the absence of rules of procedure and the lack of criteria for adopting majority decisions were as damaging as doing without an elected and accountable leadership.”
        [Claudio Katz, “Problems of Autonomism.” International Socialist Review. Issue 44, November–December 2005. Online edition. No pagination.]
        “… the dynamic of the rehab squatter movement was based first and foremost on the ‘radical’ forces that made use of the political power vacuum to occupy a substantial number of houses in the shortest possible time, thereby ensuring a level of conflict potential that largely prevented immediate evictions. Such strategies were focused on confrontation, and benefited at the same time from public acceptance and support, which resulted from the long ‘work of fermentation’ by citizens’ action groups and tenants’ representative offices and their strategy, which was largely aimed at negotiation and mediation. Soon, however, the conflict between a political course of confrontation, on the one hand, and the strategic pursuit of alternative urban political goals on the other, came to the fore. By the time the issue of legalization of houses arose, conflicts between ‘negotiators’ and ‘non-negotiators’ could no longer be covered up: the faction that could be attributed to the alternative movement wanted to hold on to the houses and was increasingly prepared to put this interest before an earlier consensus – no negotiation until ‘political’ prisoners were released, and an ‘overall solution’ for all squatted houses. The contingent of ‘non-negotiators’ began to differentiate themselves from the alternative movement by referring to themselves as ‘autonomists’ …, and accused negotiators of giving up the political struggle and of resorting to the mere preservation of their own spaces.” [Andrej Holm and Armin Kuhn, “Squatting and Urban Renewal: The Interaction of the Squatters’ Movement and the Strategies or Urban Structuring in Berlin.” Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles. Squatting Europe Kollective, editor. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2013. Page 161-184.]
        “The Western middle class can still determine to a certain extent where we want to work, thanks to new technologies such as the computer and the mobile phone, both of which played a central role in this development. As such, they are both perfect media for the new revolutionary life of neoliberal capitalism. They constitute a technological and work-related revolution in themselves; thanks to them, you can transcend the bureaucracy and hierarchy of the Fordist work process in favour of autonomy and freedom.” [Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen. Crisis to Insurrection: Notes on the ongoing collapse. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2015. Page 59.]
        “While the theoretical vocabulary and language of autonomist politics has proliferated like so many Brooklyn hipsters, fittingly enough, it has done so in a superficial manner. Paradoxically, the radical intent underlying autonomism has seemingly vanished. Rather than understanding capitalist development as having been determined by the movement of working class resistance, autonomist concepts have been used in ways that make capitalist development seem like a hermetically closed, self-directing process.… By understanding primitive accumulation not as a one-time event that underlies the formation of capitalism, but rather a process of violence and separation that persists and is expanded through the incorporation of the energies of social resistance, I hope to provide some new considerations for moving beyond capitalism.” [Stevphen Shukaitis. Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 32.]
        “While all of the speakers could be considered Italian autonomists and they were ostensibly there to discuss Immaterial Labor, a concept that emerged from the Italian autonomist (aka Post-Workerist) tradition, surprisingly few concepts specific to that tradition were deployed. Rather, the theoretical language drew almost exclusively on the familiar heroes of French [19]’68 thought: Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, [Gilles] Deleuze and [Félix] Guattari ….” [David Graeber. Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 85.]
        “The question of collectivism, i.e. the question of how to organise communication and enable the coexistence of various autonomous individuals in a community, can be dealt with in two different ways. Modern states continue to be preoccupied with the question of how to collectivise and socialise the individual, whereas avant-garde movements tried to answer the question of how to individualise the collective. Avant-garde movements tried to develop autonomous social organisms in which the characteristics, needs, and values of individualism, which cannot be comprised in the systems of a formal state, could be freely developed and defined. The collectivism of avant-garde movements had an experimental value. With the collapse of the avant-garde movements, social constructive views in art fell into disgrace, which led to the social escapism of orthodox modernism and consequently triggered a crisis in basic values in the period of postmodernism.” [Eda Čufer and IRWIN, “NSK State in Time.” State in Time. IRWIN, editor. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2010. Pages 13-15.]
        “An important component of the student self-organization was the directly democratic manner of decision-making. Beside the goal itself (‘free education available to all’), this was one of the main aspects of the whole action. Direct democracy is a system in which all (the most important) decisions are made in an absolutely democratic manner, with the majority of the votes of those present. As opposed to the system of representational democracy, in which a smaller number of representatives are elected in elections held every few years and given a mandate to make autonomous decisions, without immediate democratic supervision, in the direct democratic system all decisions are made directly by the majority. Thus direct democracy encourages people to be active and interested and to participate in decision-making. All decisions made during the occupation, as well as after it, are made in such a democratic manner. The direct democratic system is organized through plenums – general assemblies of all interested individuals at which everyone has equal right to express their opinion and at which everyone can vote.” [Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The Occupation Cookbook. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 23.]
        “Today the principle of domination is the autonomization of the market, capital flows, and the (macro)economy with respect to the institutions charged – until now – with regulating them. Thus, neoliberalism constitutes a displacement of the proper political terrain of domination and a substitution of this principle.” [Colectivo Situaciones. 19 & 20: Notes for a New Social Protagonism. Nate Holdren and Sebastián Touza, translators. Jay Blair, Malav Kanuga, and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2011. Page 91.]
        “Today, autonomism and anarchism have become almost interchangeable, but their historical origins are rather different. Autonomists in Italy emerged as a left splinter from the Communist Party, initially coming together as micro-parties before adopting more horizontal approaches. This happened via the mediation of operaismo or ‘workerism,’ an approach focused on workplace struggles. The language of autonomism and post-autonomism to this day has remained inflected with a rhetoric of communism and class struggle which strongly indicates its origins in Marxism. It was rooted in close analyses and empirically-based accounts of the changing situation of workplace and social struggles, and was formulated by a group of activist-intellectuals who were direct participants in the events they described.” [Andrew Robinson, “Autonomism: The future of activism?” Ceasefire Magazine. October 8th, 2010. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “… a quite different politics from the technocratic social democracy of the more recent, established conception: a post-Trotskyist, anti-authoritarian communist politics of groups, from the Left Opposition in France in the mid-1960s to the post-autonomia [post-autonomism] of the 1990s.” [Peter Osborne, “Problematizing Disciplinarity, Transdisciplinary Problematics.” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 32, number 5–6, September 2015. Pages 3-35.]
        “The incessant engagement with, and reworking of [Karl] Marx a little of which I have shown in relation to the real subsumption thesis – was driven less by a sense of an autonomous tradition, a ‘revolutionary history,’ than by a need to put his work to use, to rework it in particular circumstances in an engagement with determining social relations.” [Nicholas Thoburn, “Autonomous Production?: On Negri’s ‘New Synthesis.’” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 18, number 5, October 2001. Pages 75-96.]
        “Today autonomism can be seen as a global network of alliances between occupied social centers and media activists in Europe, Zapatistas and Piqueteros in Latin America, Black Blockers in North America, cyber hacktivists in Japan, and autonomous workers, unemployed youth, students, dispossessed peasants, and urban squatter movements in South Korea, South Africa, and India who have preferred to coordinate their anticapitalist global days of actions through the structure of People’s Global Action (PGA) rather than the World Social Forum (WSF), united in their disparity and diversity by the overriding principle and practice of autonomy from all forms of capitalist institution, authority, or power, but also along the lines of the autonomy of one section of the multitude from the rest in order to prevent their absorption by traditional socialist ‘workers’ centrality,’ for example, women, immigrants, and youth.” [Patrick Cuninghame, “Autonomism as a Global Social Movement.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 13, number 4, December 2010. Pages 451-464.]
        “Unlike the theoretical suppression of class struggle in structuralist approaches, autonomist approaches place at their centre the self-activity of the working class. Class struggle is seen as primary. The emphasis is on labour’s revolutionary power. Autonomist approaches take as their starting point the Marxian notion that all social relations are essentially practical. In that emphasis lies an important difference from structure-centred approaches. The difficulty inherent in ‘autonomist’ approaches is not that ‘labour’ is seen as being primary but that this notion is not developed to its radical solution.” [Werner Bonefeld, “Human Practice and Perversion: Between Autonomy and Structure.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 15, 1994. Pages 43-52.]
        “The rejection of its hegemony did not mean, however, the immediate severance of all ties to the historic left. Indeed, the first phase of struggles in 1967 saw student actions whose leaders – hotly asserting the movement’s autonomy from the left parties – were often still nominal members of the latter or their youth federations. Various justifications were then offered for this peculiar relationship.” [Steve Wright. Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism. London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press. 2002. Page 91.]
        “Moderate moralists and ethicists judge literature by normative standards; moderate autonomists make two independent judgements, one normative and one informative; radical autonomists judge literature in terms of abstracted form (or perhaps ‘beauty’) and neither the normative nor the informative value feature. For the moderate autonomist, a moral defect is thus never an aesthetic defect because ‘moral defect’ belongs to the moralnormative judgement and ‘aesthetic defect’ to the literary-informative judgement. Unlike the radical autonomist, the moderate autonomist can make moral judgements of literature without being inconsistent.” [Rafe McGregor, “Moderate Autonomism Revisited.” Ethical Perspectives. Volume 20, number 3, 2013. Pages 403-426.]
        “Although we have often drawn on autonomist insights and fully acknowledge the richness of the debates within autonomism, the concerns that we have around how autonomism actually functions in South African struggles turn on four key points …: (1) the Manicheanism of the idea of the multitude vs the empire; (2) the idea that complete ontological redemption is found within the multitude; (3) the inability to think dialectically; (4) the horror at organization and leadership.” [Ashwin Desai and Richard Pithouse, “Sanction all revolts: a reply to Rebecca Pointer.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. Volume 39, number 4, August 2004. Pages 295-314.]
        “… while anarchists of all stripes point to autonomy and self-determination as central ethical values, anarchists tend to conceptualize them in terms of personal (and not universal) freedom. By contrast, contemporary social anarchists often cite autonomist Marxism (a.k.a. ‘Autonomia’) as a significant influence have adopted its concept of autonomy, which differs fundamentally from the egoist version characteristic of lifestyle anarchism. According to the autonomists, autonomy is not only ‘freedom, but an anthropological growth that causes an accumulation of desires, of necessities, principally, a collective phenomenon, it is deeply cooperative. Autonomy is of the common.’” [Heather Gautney, “Political Organization on the Global Left.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Volume 51, 2007. Pages 150-182.]
        “This paper develops a critique of the ‘class struggle’ theory of value that emerged out of the autonomist Marxist tradition, arguing that although this theory has the merit of putting forward a production-centred, value-form approach, it eventually fails to grasp the determinations of value-producing labour. In particular, the notion of value as a mode of existence of the class struggle inverts the real relation between them and, more importantly, deprives the latter of both its historical specificity and the social and material basis of its transformative powers. This paper examines the political implications of these theoretical issues in value theory.…
        “… the class-struggle approach constitutes the incursion, within the rather technical debates on value theory, of a general approach to Marxism—autonomism—which has enjoyed growing popularity in recent years both among Marxist scholars and within radical social movements.”
        [Axel Kicillof and Guido Starosta, “Value form and class struggle: A critique of the autonomist theory of value.” Capital & Class. Volume 31, number 2, July 2007. Pages 13-40.]
        “This essay outlines a critique of the autonomist theory of post-Fordism as a stage of capitalism defined by immaterial forms of production that purportedly constitute ‘value beyond quantification,‘ which is to say, value exceeding the measure of spatialized time. The essay argues that this concept of immaterial labor – proposed as a corrective to [Karl] Marx’s ‘quantitative theory of value’ – elides the crucial distinction in Marx’s analysis between two entirely different kinds of spatialized time: the time required for the production of material goods and the time that determines their (exchange) value. This elision, the essay argues, results in a fundamental mischaracterization of contemporary capitalism.” [Duy Lap Nguyen, “Against Autonomy: Capitalism Beyond Quantification in the Autonomist Reading of Marx.” Postmodern Culture. Volume 25, number 3, May 2015. Pagination unknown.]
        “From the worker’s viewpoint, interchangeability, mobility, and massification turn into positive factors. They undermine all divisions by productive role and sector. They provide the material basis for the political re-composition of the entire working class. By destroying the individual worker’s pride in his or her skills, they liberate workers as a class from an identification with their role as producers. With the political demand of ‘more money and less work,’ the increasing alienation of labor becomes a progressive disengagement of the political struggles of the working class from its economic existence as mere labor power. From the workers’ viewpoint, wages cannot be a reward for productivity and work, but are instead the fruits of their struggles. They cannot be a function of capital’s need for development, they must be an expression of the autonomous needs of the class. In the heat of the struggle, the true separation between labor power and working class reaches its most threatening revolutionary peak.” [Guido Baldi, “Theses on Mass Worker and Social Capital.” Radical America. Volume 6, number 3, May–June 1972. Pages 3-21.]
        “Beginning in the 1950s, Italian autonomist Marxists had similar desires to that of [Karl] Marx’s, but found themselves in distinctively different historical circumstances. While the mode and relations of production had changed significantly …, the need to speak with and consult workers so as to gain insight into the technical and political circumstances of the workplace remained a central concern for autonomists. Adapting their methods of gathering information regarding the level of exploitation in the factories of Italy and the consciousness of the workers toiling therein was therefore necessary. Taking a much more direct approach than Marx, autonomists infiltrated the industrial factories – sometimes even got jobs therein—and conducted their research alongside the workers and from within the factory itself.” [Brian A. Brown and Anabel Quan-Haase, “‘A Workers’ Inquiry 2.0’: An Ethnographic Method for the Study of Produsage in Social Media Contexts.” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 10, number 2, 2012. Pages 488-508.]
        “For most Marxists, and Marxist economists in particular, the distinction between productive and unproductive labour is of key importance, essential to a proper understanding of variables such as the rates of surplus value and profit, and hence of capitalism’s development and tendency towards crisis. Indeed, those who deny this distinction are frequently portrayed as of dubious adherence to Marxism’s central tenets and, in particular, to the labour theory of value.…
        “Yet, a number of Marxists working outside of the economics discipline, and many of those outside of Marxist orthodoxy — in particular those within the tradition of autonomia (‘autonomist’ Marxism) — have allowed the distinction to fall by the wayside. For them such a distinction is (implicitly) illusory ….”
        [David Harvie, “All Labour Produces Value For Capital And We All Struggle Against Value.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 10, spring/summer 2005. Pages 132-171.]
        “Autonomists argue that emerging capitalism first faced the professional worker. This worker is highly skilled and operates complex and sophisticated machinery; one thinks of print workers who set type by hand before the introduction of computer technology. Such workers are in a strong position to push up wages and conditions, and given their power may see no necessity for capitalist management.” [Derek Wall. Economics After Capitalism: A Guide to the Ruins and a Road to the Future. New York: Pluto Press. 2015. Kindle edition.]
        “Although the anarchist critique of authority may provide an understanding of the problems of Communism as they existed in the countries controlled by the Soviet Union, libertarian Marxism and other currents of Left thought undoubtedly contain important insights as well. To name one, the Marxist ability to analyze the economic forces at work in the existing world system (exemplified in the work of Immanuel Wallerstein and Monthly Review) has no parallel in anarchist thought. Judging from the movement’s posters and activists’ ideas, Rosa Luxemburg (a turn of the century Marxist with an incisive and radical critique of [Vladimir] Lenin, as well as a deep appreciation for the autonomy of popular movements) is as highly regarded as any political figure.…
        “Just as there is no central organization, no single ideology is vital to the Autonomen, but this does not mean that the movement is atheoretical or a antitheoretical. Activists there read—or at least have read—Left classics from [Mikhail] Bakunin and [Karl] Marx to [Chairman] Mao and [Herbert] Marcuse. Although they seem to agree on very little, the Autonomen have a profound critique of authoritarian socialism and refuse to permit Stalin posters and paraphernalia at their annual May Day demonstrations.”
        [Georgy Katsiaficas. The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2006. Page 214.]
        “An advanced socialist economy would have to tackle a planning and regulation problem of formidable complexity: institutionalize the power of consumers; allow for democratic consultation at the local, regional, national and international level; consider ecological costs as well as alternative uses; harmonize the activity of millions of autonomous economic agents, and so forth.” [Robin Blackburn, “Fin de Siècle: Socialism after the Crash.” New Left Review. Series I, number 185, January–February 1991. Pages 5-68.]
        “Whereas the Workers Opposition proposed that the trade unions must have real autonomous power in the economy, [Leon] Trotsky argued that they now simply existed to help administer the factories in the interests of the state and party.” [Tim Wohlforth, “Transition to the Transition.” New Left Review. Series I, number 130, November–December 1981. Pages 67-81.]
        “Autonomist marxism sees the struggle of the working class as the driver of capitalist development. In the ’[19]70s capital started to attack the concentrations of working class power that some have called the mass worker. It attacked on three fronts. It started to break up the rigidities imposed on production by working class militancy using technology to de-skill the workers and reconfigure the factory layout. It started to relocate some productive capacity to smaller sites, sub-contracting the work to other companies. And it used the state to impose crisis upon the working class. It was largely successful in its project and as the ’[19]80s developed, defeat followed defeat for the working class. A political composition forged in battle was dismantled and discarded. It seems to this old car industry worker that it wasn’t only capital that discarded us but that quite a number of communist intellectuals turned their backs on us, too. The consequence is that now we have a generation of anti-capitalists who don’t know how to engage with the working class. Despite being surrounded by the class they seem more interested in what goes on in the Mexican jungle, or prefer to go to Genoa and Seattle and give the state machine an opportunity to practice crowd control.” [Brian Ashton. The Factory Without Walls. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2006. Page 2.]
      7. autonomous geographies (Jenny Pickerill and Paul Chatterton): They apply autonomous Marxism to the development of anti–capitalist “resistance and creation.”
        “This paper is about what we call ‘autonomous geographies’ – those spaces where people desire to constitute noncapitalist, egalitarian and solidaristic forms of political, social, and economic organization through a combination of resistance and creation. Inspired by groups such as the Mexican Zapatistas, the concept of autonomy is being increasingly employed by anti-capitalist activists such as the Wombles, Disobidientis and Dissent! to structure and articulate their practices and aims. At the same time, a reinvigoration and reinterpretation of autonomist Marxism has provided a pathway towards a more socially just society …
        “We have coined the term ‘autonomous geographies’ as part of a substantive and linguistic intervention, responding to multiple crises. We make no excuses for this; calling forth autonomy does not simply lead to concrete solutions to change the world. Nor is the term a panacea; to offer it as such would sustain the problems of blueprints which plague the contemporary world. However, autonomous geographies are part of a vocabulary of urgency, hope and inspiration, a call to action that we can dismantle wage labour, the oil economy, or representative democracy, and that thousands of capable and workable micro-examples exist. A focus on autonomy is simultaneously a documentation of where we are, and a projection of where we could be. As a narrative of realism and idealism, this paper – and our research – is an attempt to document radical and workable ‘futures in the present’ … and to find escape routes out of this capitalist existence ….”
        [Jenny Pickerill and Paul Chatterton, “Notes towards autonomous geographies: creation, resistance and self-management as survival tactics.” Progress in Human Geography. Volume 30, number 6, December 2006. Pages 730-746.]
      8. workers’ communism (Franco “Bifo” Berardi as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an approach within the Italian autonomist Marxist tradition.
        “Workers’ communism became the main form of good life and of conscious organization: for the class that capital forced (and still forces) to live a great part of its existence in inhuman conditions. Communism was also only form of knowledge for the class that capital forced (and still forces) to live in conditions of mental passivity. Communism the form of universal consciousness produced by the working community. In the communist organization workers could leave their conditions of abstract labor to rediscover concrete communication through a common project, a shared mythology. This kind of has nothing to do with the historical communism imposed throughout the twentieth-century by feudal, military and ideological bureaucracies. The only relation between the State Communism imposed by the Leninist parties in the Soviet Union elsewhere, and the autonomous communism of the workers, is the violence systematically exerted by the first over the second, in to subdue, discipline and destroy it.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia, translators. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2009. Pages 84-85.]
        “… [The] dialectical polarization and stiffening of social conflict into a form of identitarian, institutional and military antagonism provoked a catastrophic turn in the history of social emancipation and in the perspective of social autonomy. The dialectical ideology did not interpret workers’ interests, did not understand the complexity of the relationship between social struggle and technological progress, and this forced social struggle into a conceptual trap that was broken in 1989, when the potency of social autonomy all over the world was already exhausted and dissolving, under the effects of technological restructuring.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. After the Future. Arianna Bove, Melinda Cooper, Erik Empson, Enrico, Giuseppina Mecchia, and Tiziana Terranova, translators. Gary Genosko and Nicholas Thobur, editors. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2011. Page 36.]
        “Autonomy is based on the ability to share daily life and to recognize that what is good for me is good for you, and that what is bad for you is bad for me. Solidarity is difficult to build now that labor has been turned into a sprawl of recombinant time-cells, and now that the process of subjectivation has consequently become fragmentary, disempathetic, and frail.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2012. Page 54.]
        “The spontaneous goal of the workers movement is to expand the space of autonomy from capitalist exploitation. The idea that the movement is taken in a dialectical contradiction is an effect of the Hegelian interpretation of the social process: this idea becomes historical reality when the Russian palingenetic cult of pureness melts with the Hegelian tradition.
        “The fusion of Marxism and Leninism is the origin of the workers defeat, in my opinion. [Vladimir] Lenin brings into the worker’s political discourse an element of subjectivism and of purity that did not belong to the experience of autonomous social movements. The workers movement was aimed to emancipate spaces of life and of the territory from the capitalist domination, but the Leninist breakthrough transformed the movement into a project of absolute separation from the existing world, of radical demolition and of palingenetic purification.”
        [Franco Berardi. And Phenomenology of the End: Cognition and sensibility in the transition from conjunctive to connective mode of social communication. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto ARTS Books. 2014. Pages 75-76.]
        “… [There] was also an assessment of the meaning of autonomous action: the rebellion is not a means towards political power. Revolution is not about the collapse of the state. The best way to define the new rebellion is the Deleuzian concept of line of flight: exodus from the kingdom of exploitation and the creation of a new social sphere, which has nothing to do with power, labor or the market.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi. Precarious Rhapsody: Semiocapitalism and the pathologies of the post-alpha generation. Arianna Bove, Erik Empson, Michael Goddard, Giuseppina Mecchia, Antonella Schintu, and Steve Wright, translators. Erik Empson and Stevphen Shukaitis, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2009. Page 25.]
        “The problem of solidarity has always been crucial in every process of struggle, and social change. Autonomy is based on the ability to share daily life and to recognize that what is good for me is good for you and what is bad for you is bad for me. Solidarity is difficult to build as labor has been turned into a sprawl of recombinant time-cells, and consequently the process of subjectivation has become fragmentary, un-empathic and frail. Solidarity has nothing to do with an altruistic self denial. In materialistic terms, solidarity is not about you; it is about me. Like love, it is not about altruism, it is about the pleasure of sharing the breath and the space of the other. Love is the ability to enjoy myself thanks to your presence, thanks to your eyes. This is solidarity. As solidarity is based on the territorial proximity of social bodies, you cannot build solidarity between fragments of time.” [Franco Berardi, “Collapse and Uprising in Europe: The Right to Insolvency and the Disentanglement of the General Intellect’s Potency.” Theory & Event. Volume 14, number 4, 2011. Pagination unknown.]
        “Semio-capital is capital-flux that coagulates in semiotic artefacts without materializing itself. The concepts forged by two centuries of economic thought seem to have disintegrated; they seem inoperative and incapable of comprehending a great deal of the phenomena that have emerged in the sphere of social production since the time when production became cognitive. Cognitive activity has always been at the basis of human production, including production of a more mechanical variety. There is no human labor process that does not imply the exercise of intelligence. But now cognitive capacity is becoming the essential productive resource. In the sphere of industrial labor, the mind was put to work as a repetitive automatism, as the physiological support of muscular movement. Today the mind is at work as innovation, as language and as a communicative relation. The subsumption of the mind under the process of capitalist valorization leads to a genuine mutation.” [Franco Berardi (Bifo), “Schizo-Economy.” Michael Goddard, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 11, 2007. Pages 75-85.]
        “The category of alienation, which describes the forms of industrial labor had brought about the estrangement of the worker from his or her work and therefore the possibility of autonomy. The detached gaze of the worker on the productive process was in fact a positive, creative factor, which is now lost in the organic-inorganic continuum of the integrated cycle of production.” [Franco Berardi (Bifo), “Technology and Knowledge in a Universe of Indetermination.” Giuseppina Mecchia, translator. SubStance. Volume 36, number 1, issue 112, 2007. Pages 56-74.]
        “Contrary to the Protestant idea of progress as founded on work discipline, the autonomous anti-work spirit claims that progress—be it technological, cultural, or social—is based on the refusal of discipline. Progress consists of the application of intelligence to the reduction of effort and dependency, and the expansion of a sphere of idleness and individual freedom. The technological, social, and cultural progress of the country was stimulated by this refusal of labor, and between the 1960s and 1970s Italian civil society experienced its only authentically democratic period: an extraordinary flourishing of culture and production, just when the refusal of labor was most intense and heightened by the level of absenteeism within factories. Obviously, the refusal of capitalist exploitation and the opposition to increases in productivity and to workers’ subordination were not unique to Italy.” [Franco Berardi, “Reassessing Italian Modernization: Social Autonomy in the Age of Exhaustion.” Kevin Attell, translator. Diacritics. Volume 39, number 3, fall 2009. Pages 29-34.]
        “The suppression of the potentialities created in Italy by the worker and student movements was carried on by two main forces: the Christian Democrats, who were dependent on the Western system of power, and the Communist Party, which (although with some reservations) was tied to the Soviet Union. These political forces, while they opposed each other in terms of international allegiances and ideological convictions, fully converged in the common intent to block and repress all manifestations of social autonomy exceeding the limits of social and economic compatibility with international capitalism.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “Gangster Liberalism: The Italian Case.” Giuseppina Mecchia, translator. Cultural Critique. Number 87, spring 2014. Pages 183-192.]
        “The storm that the feminist movement provoked in male-female relations and the subsequent explosion of homosexual collectives thus found a territory in which to consolidate, in which to transform the customs of living, sleeping, eating, smoking. In the same period, the movement for free radio spread widely. In every city, neighborhood and village the young proletarians, together with students and communications workers, used the occasion of a legislative vacuum (the result of which was that the State monopoly on Information lapsed and was not replaced by any other sort of regulation) to give life to a network of small ‘wildcat’ stations. The radio stations were operated with luck and very little money, but they could cover a territorial space adequate for the organizational forms and communication needs of the emerging proletarian strata. This was a truly revolutionary fact: with free radio. It was possible to communicate rapidly the decisions and appointments of revolutionary organizations or base organizations. Through this channel circulated an uninterrupted flood of music and words, a flood of transformations on the symbolic, perceptive and imaginative planes. This flood entered every house, and anyone could intervene in the flow, telephoning, interrupting, adding, correcting. The design, the dream of the artistic avant-garde—to bridge the separation between artistic communication and revolutionary transformation or subversive practice—became in this experience a reality. The brief, happy experience of Radio Alice—which from February 1976 to March 1977 transmitted from Bologna [Italy]—remains the symbol of this period, of that unforgettable year of experimentation and accumulation of intellectual, organizational, political, and creative energies.” [Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “Anatomy of Autonomy.” Autonomia: Post-Political Politics. Volume III, number 3, 1980. Pages 148-171.]
        “As the Italian ‘autonomous’ Marxist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi has suggested, ‘Capital no longer recruits people, it buys packets of time […] de-personalised time is now the real agent of the process of valorisation, and de-personalised time has no rights.’ In this sense, we find that we are living in a state of precarity, where despite the fact we find ourselves permanently investing in ourselves, we increasingly work on fixed-term contracts or without a contract altogether.” [Andre Pusey and Bertie Russell, “Do the entrepreneuriat dream of electric sheep?: Why contemporary activists talk about power.” Occupy Everything: Reflections on Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere. Alessio Lunghi and Seth Wheeler, editors. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Autonomedia. 2012. Pages 75-80.]
        “The very real gloom of [Franco] Berardi’s clinical left melancholy – his pop post-operaismo tabloid dystopianism – is lightened by sparks of affection, humour, compassion and (in a familiar Italian manner) the odd bit of Latin etymology for conceptual legitimation.” [Peter Osborne, “Futures present: Lite, dark and missing.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 191, May/June 2015. Pages 39-46.]
      9. class against capital (Mario Tronti as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an approach to Italian autonomism or “workerism.”
        “… after a long, terrible, historical travail which Is, perhaps, not yet, completed, do the workers arrive at the paint of being actively, subjectively, ‘a class against capital.’ A prerequisite of this process of transition is political organisation, the party, with Its demand for total power. In the intervening period there is the refusal – collective, mass, expressed in passive forms – of the workers to expose themselves as ‘a class against capital’ without that organisation of their own, without that total demand for power.… Capitalist power seeks to use the workers’ antagonistic will-to-struggle as a motor of its own development. The workers’ party must take this same real mediation by the workers of capital’s interests and organise it in an antagonistic form, as the tactical terrain of struggle and as a strategic potential for destruction. Here there is only one reference point – only one orientation – for the opposed world views of the two classes – namely the class of workers. Whether one’s aim is to stabilise the development of the system or to destroy it forever, it is the working class that is decisive.” [Mario Tronti, “The Strategy of Refusal.” Semiotext(e). Volume III, number 3, 1980. Pages 28-32.]
        “… what is ‘workerism’? It is an experience that tried to unite the thinking and practice of politics, in a determinate domain, that of the modern factory. It looked for a strong subject, the working class, capable of contesting and putting into crisis the mechanism of capitalist production.…
        “The historical context for workerism was precisely that of the sixties of the twentieth century. In Italy, that period witnessed the take-off of an advanced capitalism, the passage from an agricultural-industrial society to an industrial-agricultural one, with the migratory displacement of labour-power from the peasant South to the industrial North.”
        [Mario Tronti, “Workerism and Politics.” Historical Materialism. Volume 18, number 3, 2010. Pages 186-189.]
        “In 1964 Mario Tronti began putting forward an analysis of working class autonomy that would come to be identified—and not always accurately—with an entire period and milieux of radical politics in Italy. The argument went something like this: while capitalists must necessarily equip themselves with the state so as to enter the field of class struggle, working class struggles can occur independently of any given form and level of representation.” [Angela Mitropoulos, “Autonomy, Recognition, Movement.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 11, spring 2006. Pages 5-14.]
      10. determinate critique of democracy (Mario Tronti): He develops an autonomist critique of political democracy.
        “The determinate critique of democracy that I am advancing here has a father, workerism, and a mother, the autonomy of the political. And it is a female offspring because the thinking and practice of difference have anticipated this critique with the questioning of the universalism of the demos [Greek/Hellēniká, δήμος, dḗmos, ‘municipality’]—which is the other face of the neutral character of the individual—and with that ‘don’t think you’ve got any rights’ which is no longer addressed to the single individual but to the people. There is in democracy an identitarian vocation hostile to the articulation of any difference whatever as well as to any order of difference. Both the demos and the kratos [Greek/Hellēniká, κράτος, krátos, ‘power’] are unique and univocal, rather than dual, entities; they are not and cannot be split. Democracy, as is widely known, presupposes an identity between sovereign and people: sovereign people, popular sovereignty, so goes the doctrine. During a long phase of modernity, in the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century, this identity of sovereign and people has been answered by a kind of spirit of division stemming from a society split into classes. Obviously, this was a raw indication of the ideological falsity at the heart of such an identity. Or rather, it put the very conceptual structure underlying the identity into crisis. So it was that during this phase the very separation of powers—within an apparatus that attempted the great passage from liberalism to democracy, and then the conjugation of liberalism and democracy—revealed itself precisely as a mask, the mask of the unity of power in the hands of one class.” Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy. Volume 5, number 1, January 2009. Pages 68-75.]
      11. potential or cultural freedom (Christian Bay): Bay, while supporting a leftist version of autonomism, argues that responsibilities must take precedence.
        “… autonomy or ‘potential freedom’ … or ‘cultural freedom’ …; … is the access to critical knowledge of predominant and alternative political belief systems. While social and psychological freedom values must be optimized for every person in the ideal society, autonomy in my view is a different kind of freedom value, to be expanded only up to a point. Every person needs to maintain roots, to keep a sense of social attachment and identity. This requires that critical questioning of belief systems does not lead to the rejection of all the customary beliefs at the same time. A ‘completely’ autonomous person, in my sense of this term, would be like Aristotle’s man without a city: either above or below humanity.
        “In any society, only very privileged individuals can realistically aspire to levels of freedom unattainable for most of their fellow human beings. It is to the great credit of [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau … and [Karl] Marx … that they insisted that a legitimate state must grant and protect fully as much liberty for the least privileged individual as it allows the prince or president.…
        “If we decide to take (universal) human rights seriously …, then we should emphasize the responsibilities more than the rights of autonomous liberty. Paraphrasing Aristotle …, I will end with the following assertion: A person who is highly privileged with autonomous liberty, if not a compassionate person with social or international concerns, is either above or, more likely, below the moral stature of which normal human beings should be capable. But in our daily lives we should be charitable toward people who are not on the Left. Our first assumption must be that they are less than fully autonomous, not less than fully moral.”
        [Christian Bay, “Autonomism: A Defence of Structural Privilege?” Interchange. Volume 19, number 1, spring 1988. Pages 54-59.]
      12. autonomous city (Alexander Vasudevan as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Utilizing the work of Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, Vasudevan examines “radical autonomous movements in the Global North.”
        “I … examine a range of ‘occupations’ from urban squatting to workplace and university occupations to protest camps, focusing on the production of what I would like to call the ‘autonomous city.’ In so doing I zoom in on the relationship between alternative infrastructures, the constitution of urban commons and a revivified right to the city.…
        “Perhaps the most important point of reference for labour activism and radical autonomous movements in the Global North over the past few decades remains, however, Italian autonomism and the broader autonomous Marxist tradition which it came to inspire ….
        “As ‘emerging spaces of protest, radical pedagogy and collective creativity,’ university occupations should be seen as part of a broader practice of commoning …. This is the thrust of the argument in a recent essay by [Zach] Schwartz-Weinstein …, who shows how student movements in recent years have seized on, adopted and reworked a rich radical tradition rooted in autonomist and post-workerist thinking, one which focuses on the ‘common’ or the ‘commons’ as the very spaces, materials and practices that possess or have acquired a certain autonomy from capital and/or the state ….”
        [Alexander Vasudevan, “The autonomous city: Towards a critical geography of occupation.” Progress in Human Geography. Volume 39, number 3, 2015. Pages 316-337.]
        “Both commons and commune have been important theoretical frames for the occupation movement in the last half-decade. They are not synonymous terms, and emerge from linked but competing political and theoretical tendencies in the Euro-American ultraleft. ‘Commons’ emerges from an autonomist Marxist and postworkerist tradition affiliated with the Italian struggles of the 1960s and 1970s; Antonio Negri and his colleague Michael Hardt are perhaps the most famous theorists to Anglophone readers, along with the Midnight Notes collective and its affiliates: Peter Linebaugh, Marcus Rediker, George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, and others. ‘Commons’ refers to spaces and things that are controlled neither by capital nor the state, but rather shared, available to and for all. This concept enters the political language of the Occupy movement as something to be defended, or, in more advanced versions such as those articulated by Gigi Roggero and the Edu-factory Collective, to be produced—water as commons, city as commons, and indeed education as commons, or as something that has never been a commons but perhaps should and could be made one through struggle.”
        [Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, “Not Your Academy: Occupation and the Futures of Student Struggles.” Is This What Democracy Looks Like? 2012. Creative Commons. Retrieved on March 7th, 2017.]
      13. autonomous micro–politics (Michael Rustin): He proposes an autonomist approach to plurality in a British “democratic culture.”
        “… [An] autonomous micro-politics could develop, as part of the general cultural shift to smaller-scale institutions that is discussed below. A party of the left, in some combined shade of Green and Red, would then have the opportunity to campaign openly for support, and to seek to reshape the political agenda. This would be an improvement on the various tactics of entryism to which the Left has felt obliged to resort by the preponderant power of the [British] Labour Party under a plurality system.…
        “The concepts of decentralization and ‘autonomism’ are also consistent with a heightened priority to the idea of a democratic culture, as the basis for programmes in popular education, for diversified media, and for self-expression through the arts, physical recreation, and environmental improvement and access. An advantage of such ‘goods’ is that they are inherently social in nature: even cultural competition depends on a moral community’s recognition and participation.”
        [Michael Rustin, “Restructuring the State.” New Left Review. Series I, number 158, July–August 1986. Pages 43-58.]
      14. precarious communism (Richard Gilman-Opalsky): He proposes a precarious approach to autonomist Marxism.
        “Precarious communists are distinguished from ‘communists’ in the following ways: 1. They point out and bring to the front that capitalism, an ideology and system of life driven by the accumulation of capital, and the cultural-valuational norms and material reality of existing capitalist society – in short, that capital itself – is at the root of the most pressing problems of all forms of precarity. Unlike ‘communists,’ precarious communists are also precarious about communism itself. Precarious communists prefer and defend the internal logic of communism, the notion of the overall health of the commons, and they prefer and defend the cultural-valuational norms of communism, which centrally include an ethical obligation to others (i.e., Sittlichkeit [ethics or customs]). They prefer and defend other possible material realities than those of capitalism, realities that they can variously imagine and represent. But precarious communists distrust all political parties, nationally framed struggles, and conventional or institutional remedies, even if they do favor some over others. 2. In the various stages of development which the multiple movements of the precariat must pass through, they always and everywhere assess the relation of the problem to capital, and work precariously toward an experimental and self-conscious communism.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 66.]
        “The meaning and complexity of marriage cannot be given any structural explanation through class analysis. [Karl] Marx went too far in his generalizations about ‘bourgeois marriage,’ and couldn’t foresee the assimilation of liberal feminist demands into bourgeois, heterosexual marriages. Like capitalism, marriage has proven more dynamic and flexible than the structural analysis had indicated. In other words, marriage can survive innumerable permutations, and even get much-needed reinvigorations from recombination, as can be seen with the movement for same-gender marriage. Many people blockaded from marriage want to get in, which is inadvertently good news for the tradition of marriage because it helps to guarantee the indefinite lifespan of the institution, i.e., more people wanting and seeking to be married. Feminist and queer incursions into the domain of monogamous marriage are not the same as the abolitionist cause of ending marriage altogether. But, precarious communists are resolutely uninterested in standardizing an approach to the various problems of marriage. The problems of marriage cannot be solved programmatically or categorically, and for that very reason, they are problems that call for an autonomist politics that understands the necessity of making – and keeping – common cause with people of multifarious lifeways. As there is no precarious communist party, there is no party line on marriage.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Pages 84-85.]
        “Assuming the political supremacy of the proletariat, [Karl] Marx allowed for the temporary use of despotic means to reverse the backwards conditions of bourgeois production, to safeguard revolutionary changes, and to help create the conditions under which despotic means are no longer necessary. But precarious communists do not need to worry about the uses of despotism. We are incapable of despotism because we have no grand plan to carry out, we are unskilled in bureaucracy, and would seek the negation of any supreme power as a matter of dialectics, distrust, or subversive inclination. Precarious communists know too much history to look for answers in state power. As has been discussed, we have healthy anarchist sensibilities. Our capabilities are for autonomy, not for autocracy. Precarious communists are autonomists.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 92.]
        “Precarious communists don’t want to run the government. We have been running from or against governments everywhere in various ways for a very long time. And we cannot follow the lead of those fake libertarians who oppose the government, yet do not oppose capital, for they haven’t noticed the colonization of government by capital, which is largely what has made government so dangerous.” [Richard Gilman-Opalsky. Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned. Creative Commons. Brooklyn, New York: Minor Compositions imprint of Andromedia. 2014. Page 123.]
      15. autonomist Zionism (Dimitry Shumsky [Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, דִּימִיטְרִיּ שׁוּמְסְקִיּ, Diymiyṭəriyy Šūməsəqiyy]): He examines forms of autonomist Zionism. In certain cases, Palestine was envisioned as a confederation of autonomous Jewish and Arab entities.
        “… even the Zionist mainstream shared a basic outlook regarding Palestine’s future political complexion, which I call autonomist Zionism and which rested on an autonomist interpretation of national self-determination. Statehood in Palestine was envisaged within a confederational political framework embracing both a Jewish and an Arab autonomous entity. A common governing body would deal with civil and territorial matters, but would refrain from intervening in purely national-cultural matters that would be the exclusive perview of the respective autonomous authorities.…
        “… I would propose … distinctions … between various degrees of autonomist Zionism as they arose out of general interpretations of the principle of national self-determination and were then related to the national status of Jews in Palestine in particular. Thus Hans Kohn and Hugo Bergmann, the radical autonomist Zionists, favored a bi-national state while preferring to speak of the immigration of large numbers of Jews rather than the creation of a Jewish majority in Palestine. [David] Ben-Gurion, Berl Katznelson, and [ZeꞋev] Jabotinsky (as well as Ahad HaꞋam), who may be defined as moderate autonomist Zionists, aspired, by contrast, to a Jewish state with a firm Jewish majority.”
        [Dimitry Shumsky, “Brith Shalom’s uniqueness reconsidered: Hans Kohn and autonomist Zionism.” Jewish History. Volume 25, number 3/4, 2011. Pages 339-353.]
      16. project of autonomy (Cornelius Castoriadis [Greek/Hellēniká, Κορνήλιος Καστοριάδης, Kornḗlios Kastoriádēs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): His autonomist approach critiques various obstacles which prevent the realization of personal autonomy. Castoriadis, in the second half of his career, jettisoned aspects of Marxist theory.
        “Politics is a project of autonomy. Politics is the reflective and lucid collective activity that aims at the overall institution of society. It pertains to everything in society that is participable and shareable. De jure, this self-instituting activity does not take into account and does not recognize any limit (physical and biological laws are not of concern to us here). Nothing can escape its interrogation, nothing, in and of itself, stands outside its province.
        “But can we stop at that? …
        “The answer is in the negative, both from the ontological point of view—before any de jure consideration—and from the political point of view—after all such considerations.
        “The ontological point of view leads to the most weighty reflections, ones which, however, are almost totally irrelevant from the political point of view. In all cases, the explicit self-institution of society will always encounter the bounds I have already mentioned. However lucid, reflective, willed it may be, the instituting activity of society and individuals springs from the instituting imaginary, which is neither locatable nor formalizable.”
        [Cornelius Castoriadis. Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy. David Ames Curtis, editor. New York and Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 1991. Pages 169-170.]
        “One can ask, parenthetically, what an autonomous society—namely, a society capable of calling its own institutions, explicitly and lucidly, back into question—will be like in this regard. In a sense, it, too, obviously will not be able to exit from this circle. It will affirm that social and collective autonomy ‘is valid and worthwhile.’ Certainly, it will be able, downstream, to justify its existence through its works—among which will be the anthropological type of autonomous individual it will create. But the positive evaluation of these works will still depend upon criteria—more generally, social imaginary significations—it will have itself instituted. I say all this in order to recall that, when all is said and done, no sort of society can find its justification outside itself. One cannot exit the circle, and it is not here that we would have something that can constitute the grounding for a critique of capitalism.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. Figures of the Unthinkable: Including Passion and Knowledge. Anonymous translator. No publisher or date of publication provided. Page 85.]
        “… the idea that the autonomous action of the masses can constitute the central element of the socialist revolution, whether admitted or not, will always remain of secondary importance to a coherent Marxist, for it is without any genuine interest and even without any theoretical or philosophical status. The Marxist knows where history must go. If the autonomous action of the masses does go in this direction, it teaches the Marxist nothing; if it goes somewhere else, it is a bad autonomy, or rather it is not an autonomy at all, since if the masses are not directed towards the correct aims, this is because they still remain under the influence of capitalism. When the truth is given, all the rest is error, but error means nothing in a determinist universe: error is only the product or enemy class action and of the system of exploitation.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. The Imaginary Institution of Society. Kathleen Blarney, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1997. Page 31.]
        “Tradition and authority gradually ceased to be sacred and innovation stopped being a disparaging word (as it typically was during the ‘true’ Middle Ages). Even though it appeared only in embryonic form—and in perpetual accommodation with the powers that be (Church and monarchy)—the project of political and intellectual autonomy actually did reemerge after a 15-century eclipse. An uneasy compromise between this social–historical movement and the (more or less reformed) traditional order was reached in the ‘classical’ 17ᵗʰ century.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The Retreat from Autonomy: Post-modernism as Generalised Conformism.” Democracy & Nature. Volume 7, number 1, March 2001. Pages 17-26.]
        “Contrary to a confused prejudice still dominant today—which is at the basis of the contemporary version of classical ‘liberalism’—the capitalist imaginary stands in direct contradiction to the of emancipation and autonomy. Back in 1906 Max Weber derided that capitalism might have anything at all to do with democracy, can still share a laugh with him when thinking of South Africa, Taiwan, Japan from 1870 to 1945 and even today. Capitalism subordinates everything to the ‘development of the forces of production’; producers, and then as consumers, are to be made completely subordinate to it.” [Cornelius Castoriadis and David Ames Curtis, “The Pulverization of Marxism-Leninism.” Salmagundi. Number 88/89, fall 1990–winter 1991. Pages 371-384.]
        “The era that is just now particularly grievous instances of this of Stalinism of course, but also, in an empirically different but philosophically equivalent fashion, with [Martin] Heidegger and Nazism. I will conclude on a … point: the question raised by the relationship between, on the one hand, the criticism and the vision of the philosopher-citizen and, on the other, the fact that, from the standpoint of the project of autonomy and democracy, the great majority of men and women living in society are the source of creation, the principal bearers of the instituting imaginary, and that they should become active subjects of an explicit politics.” [Cornelius Castoriadis and David Ames Curtis, “Intellectuals and History.” Salmagundi. Number 80, fall 1988. Pages 161-169.]
        “Behind this sumbebekos [Greek/Hellēniká, συμβεβηκός, symbebēkós], this ‘happening’ [an evolution in Soviet society] … stands another factor: the emergence of the military sub-society as an increasingly autonomous agent, and the dominant position it acquired regarding the ultimate orientation of the regime.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The Destinies of Totalitarianism.” Salmagundi. Number 60, spring–summer 1983. Pages 107-122.]
        “Philosophy is a central element of the Greek-Western project of individual and social autonomy; the end of philosophy would mean no more and no less than the end of freedom. Freedom is threatened not only by totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, but also, in a more hidden but no less deep fashion, by the waning of conflict and critique, the spreading of amnesia and irrelevance, the growing inability to put into question the present and the existing institutions, be they strictly ‘political’ or weltanschaulich [ideological].” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “The ‘end of philosophy’?” Salmagundi. Number 82/83, spring–summer 1989. Pages 3-23.]
        “In a democracy, the people are sovereign, that is to say, they make laws and the Law. Or, put in another way, society makes its institutions and institutes itself. It is autonomous, it is self-instituted obviously and explicitly, it works on itself its own rules, values and meanings. Autonomy or freedom entails and presupposes the autonomy, the freedom of the individuals, and is at the same time impossible without the latter. This very autonomy comprises the core target of our political project. But autonomy, which is, at least in appearance, guaranteed by law, by the constitutions, by declarations of human and civil rights, is based, all things considered, both de jure and de facto, on the collective law, the Law in the formal, as well as in the informal sense.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “‘Paideia’ and Democracy.” Counterpoints. Volume 422, 2012. Pages 71-80.]
        “… one would be autonomous if one were absolutely outside any external influence and fully spontaneous. Now, this is just nonsense. This is a philosophical phantasy. Philosophy has put up this phantasy, and it judges reality against this phantasy. It doesn’t exist. Autonomy, as I understand it in the field of the individual, is not a watertight frontier against everything else, a well out of which spring absolutely spontaneously, absolutely original contents. Autonomy is an on-going process, whereby you always have contents which are given, borrowed – you are in the world, you are in society, you have inherited a language, you live in a certain history.” [Cornelius Castoriadis, “Cornelius Castoriadis: An Interview.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 56, autumn 1990. Pages 35-43.]
        “Cornelius Castoriadis, the French philosopher and psychoanalyst of Greek origin, was the last great representative of the tradition of Western Marxism which tried to save the practical-political intuitions of [Karl] Marx’s work through a resolute abandonment of its dogmatic kernel. In Castoriadis’s theory this effort reached new levels of originality and intensity, comparable only with the major achievements of a Maurice Merleau-Ponty or a Herbert Marcuse.
        “It was not primarily theoretical considerations which awoke Castoriadis’s doubts concerning the traditional assumptions of Marxism, but the experience of political practice. He was born in Athens in 1922, and joined the Trotskyist Fourth International during the Second World War, having directly experienced the dictatorial policy of the Stalinist Greek Communist Party. However, he almost immediately came into conflict with his own organization, with whose stance towards the Soviet Union and analysis of advanced capitalism he was unable to concur, while still a philosophy student in France.”
        [Axel Honneth, “Cornelius Castoriadis, 1922–1997: Last of the Western Marxists.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 90, July/August 1998. Pages 2-8.]
        “Imaginary significations are constitutive then of all societies. An autonomous society by contrast is one that is ‘origin of the significations it creates – of its institution – and it knows itself as such’ (my emphasis). Similarly, an autonomous subject is one who ‘posit[s] one’s own law for oneself’ …. Consequently for Castoriadis religion par excellence is the imaginary institution that precludes society’s knowledge of itself as self-creation. This is because religion posits an extra-social source for its organization of society that occludes its own work.” [Chistopher Houston, “Islamism, Castoriadis and Autonomy.” Thesis Eleven. Number 76, February 2004. Pages 49-69.]
        “… the constraints which the Marxist framework placed on a satisfactory theorization of autonomy were to be felt by [Cornelius] Castoriadis and, from 1965 onwards, he explicitly abandoned it. Rejecting both the determinant role of the economic and the privileged position of the working class, Castoriadis sought to provide a theory of history as intrinsically open and non-determinable coupled with a theory of the subject that could support the potential for individual autonomy while recognizing that each individual is inescapably a social construct. Both aims have been central directions which social theory has followed in the last 30 years or so and Castoriadis was one of the first to formulate and pursue them.” [Kanakis Leledakis, “An Appreciation of Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997): Theorist of Autonomy and Openness.” European Journal of Social Theory. Volume 2, number 1, 1999. Pages 95-98.]
        “Despite [Cornelius] Castoriadis’s repeated insistence on the obsolescence of the Marxian philosophical problematic, manifesting itself, for example, in his declaration of the exclusivity of Marxian and revolutionary theory, it is nevertheless true that he himself remains committed to a certain element of the Marxian ontology, and that his various theoretical formulations can only be evaluated in the context of this enduring commitment. In Axel Honneth’s words, ‘Castoriadis’s work is firstly and above all Marxist self-criticism,’ the revolutionary core of Marxism that Castoriadis seeks to preserve being found in the concept of creative praxis aiming at social transformation, although of course a creative praxis freed from its teleological subordination to an economic logic of development.” [Christopher Holman, “Autonomy and Psychic Socialization: From Non-Alienated Labour to Non Surplus Repressive Sublimation.” Critical Horizons. Volume 12, issue 2, 2011. Pages 136-162.]
      17. autonomous sphere (Bruno Latour as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Latour, the originator of actor network theory (discussed in a later chapter), proposes his own version of autonomism.
        “‘Nature,’ as we now know, does not refer to a domain of reality but to a particular function of politics reduced to a rump parliament, to a certain way of constructing the relation between necessity and freedom, multiplicity and unity, to a hidden procedure for apportioning speech and authority, for dividing up facts and values. With political economics, naturalism inundates the inside of the collective. Thanks to the notion of self-regulating markets, it will be possible to do without the question of government altogether, since the relations that are internal to the collective are going to be similar to those which connect predators and their prey within ecosystems. The power relations put an end to discussion in any form, but the power in question is not the Sovereign’s; it is the power, vouched for by Science, of inevitable necessity. No balance, no equilibrium is preferable to the forces of recall of ‘nature in us.’ The ideal, moreover, would be to have no government at all. Inside the collective itself the bulk of relations between humans and nonhumans will become an autonomous sphere as distinct from that of politics and values as the stars, the vast seabeds, or the penguins of Adélie Land. The three natures combined will stifle the collective for good. The laws of the nature that is cold and gray, the moral requirements of the nature that is warm and green, the harsh necessities of the nature that is ‘red in tooth and claw’ put an end to all discourse in advance: politicians may have the last word, but they have nothing more to say.” [Bruno Latour. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. Catherine Porter, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2004. Page 133.]
        “If we bring about the Copernican counter-revolution we are then obliged to take the work of the intermediaries much more seriously, since it is no longer their task to transmit the power of Nature and that of Society, and since they nevertheless all produce the same reality effects. If we now enumerate the entities endowed with autonomous status, we find far more than two or three. There are dozens. Does nature abhor a vacuum or not? Is there a real vacuum in the pump, or could some subtle ether have slipped in? How are the Royal Society’s witnesses going to account for the leaks in the air pump? How is the King of England going to consent to let people go back to talking about the properties of matter and reestablishing private cliques just when the question of absolute power is finally about to be resolved? Is the authenticity of miracles supported by the mechanization of matter or not? Is [Robert] Boyle going to become a respected experimenter if he devotes himself to pursuing these vulgar experimental tasks and abandons the deductive explanation, the only one worthy of a scholar? All these questions are no longer caught between Nature and Society, since they all redefine what Nature may be and what Society is. Nature and Society are no longer explanatory terms but rather something that requires a conjoined explanation. Around the work of the air pump we witness the formation of a new Boyle, a new Nature, a new theology of miracles, a new scholarly sociability, a new Society that will henceforth include the vacuum, scholars, and the laboratory. History does something. Each entity is an event.” [Bruno Latour. We Have Never Been Modern. Catherine Porter, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1993. Pages 80-81.]
        “Among the slight tensions which run through the Council [of State], the first is the ongoing examination that each member has to go through at the hand of all of his peers during the review sessions and the deliberation, and by means of which he proves the quality of his work to his colleagues. On this particular warm day in June the examination begins badly for the reporter who suffers a slight loss of authority by allowing himself, quite unusually, to be interrupted in the middle of the reading of his note by the reviser, who addresses the sub-section in the following terms: ‘There is an omission here, because there is an argument that has not been cited.’ Let us take note of this omission, and take as our fi rst value object the weight, or the authority of a member, her capacity to speak without being interrupted, and to gain her colleagues’ support for her opinion. This particular ‘value object,’ the members’ authority with respect to their colleagues, changes from session to session, and throughout their entire career at the Council dealing with cases and files. It changes because of the continuous processing of case-loads, through the altering and crushing of opinions rubbing against each other, piled on top of one another, polished as pebbles by people who see each other constantly, who sit side by side for whole mornings or afternoons, and who end up knowing each other with the mixture of respect, equality, indifference and autonomy that is characteristic of monks collaborating in an intellectual task in a monastery, with no clear hierarchical divisions.” [Bruno Latour. The Making of Law: An Ethnography of the Conseil d’Etat. Marina Brilman and Alain Pottage, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2010. Pages 129-130.]
        “What did the factish [Latour’s portmanteau of ‘fact’ and ‘fetish’] do before it was broken by the anti-fetishist’s blow? To say that it mediated action between construction and autonomy is an understatement, and relies too heavily on the ambiguity of the term mediation. Action is not what people do, but is instead the ‘fait-faire [do-it-yourself],’ the making-do, accomplished along with others in an event, with the specific opportunities provided by the circumstances. These others are not ideas, or things, but nonhuman entities, or … propositions, which have their own ontological specifications and populate, along with complex gradients, a world that is neither the mental world of psychologists nor the physical world of epistemologists, althought it is as strange as the first and as real as the second.” [Bruno Latour. Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1999. Page 288.]
      18. Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism (Johan Söderberg as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Adam Netzén as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Using actor network theory and the work of Georg Lukács, Söderberg and Netzén distinguish between the work of Bruno Latour, on the one hand, and autonomist Marxism and Open Marxism, on the other.
        “… we might elect to call Bruno Latour a ‘Bourgeois Autonomist.’ By the same token, the Autonomists and Open Marxists might be dubbed ‘Constructivist Marxists.’ In their own distinct ways, they are building on the critique of reified modes of thinking that was initiated by Georg Lukács. The writings of Lukács is nowadays held to be as dead as the proletarian revolution to which he swore allegiance. But his polemic against the scientific interpretation of the world as a collection of facts and laws frozen in time and existing independently of man-made history is more popular than ever. We propose that the application of this critique to the social sciences is the common denominator of Bourgeois Autonomism and Constructivist Marxism, once forked by [Karl] Mannheim and ever since kept apart by their political differences. The actuality of this kind of reasoning is suggested by the surging popularity of both ANT [actor network theory] and Autonomist/Open Marxism among their respective constituencies. Another cursor is that similar-sounding arguments are surfacing in neighbouring disciplines.” [Johan Söderberg and Adam Netzén, “When all that is theory melts into (hot) air: Contrasts and parallels between actor network theory, autonomist Marxism, and open Marxism.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 10, number 2, 2010. Pages 95-118.]
      19. relational autonomy (Peter Nelsen, Jennifer K. Walter, Lainie Friedman Ross, Suze Berkhout, Carolyn Ells, Matthew R. Hunt, Jane Chambers-Evans, John Christman, Polycarp Ikuenobe, Catriona Mackenzie, Andrea C. Westlund, and others): Variously informed by feminist theory, relational theory, and critical social theory, approaches to autonomous emancipation from oppression or domination are developed.
        “This paper argues for a conception of autonomy that takes social oppression seriously without sapping autonomy of its valuable focus on individual self-direction. Building on recent work in relational accounts of autonomy, the paper argues that current conceptions of autonomy from liberal, feminist and critical theorists do not adequately account for the social features of belief formation. The paper then develops an alternative conception of relational autonomy that focuses on how autonomy contains both individualistic and social epistemic features. Rather than consider autonomy to reside in an impenetrable inner citadel, a place immune from external influences, the paper argues that we must acknowledge the hermeneutic relationship between individual and social processes of belief adjudication. Taking such an argument seriously results in the need to alter our conception of autonomy and the schooling needed to foster its growth.…
        “… While the general literature associated with relational autonomy blurs the lines between the inner world of choice and rationality and that of the external, they do not provide a truly revised, relational definition of autonomy. Such theories are useful because they expose how autonomy’s growth and maintenance is relational, but they do not address a central issue: What does autonomy within the conditions of social oppression entail? …
        “The first step toward a more relationally-focused notion of autonomy that I have offered here is to build into the definition the criterion that autonomous individuals engage in critical examination of their belief formation and decision making processes, especially ones that may be influenced oppressive social conditions. The aim is to analyze how agents come to understand themselves and their ‘innermost’ desires with respect to their potential origins within such oppressive social conditions.…
        “… relational autonomy requires, then, that autonomous individuals have much more skill at epistemological analysis than current conceptions presume, and it may require that such analysis be a part of a much more social process of inquiry. As paradoxical as it may seem, individual autonomy may be enhanced when individuals inquire with others.”
        [Peter Nelsen, “Oppression, Autonomy and the Impossibility of the Inner Citadel.” Studies in Philosophy and Education. Volume 29, number 4, July 2010. Pages 333-349.]
        “Although relational autonomy highlights the ways in which systems and societal oppression can undermine one’s ability to develop the capacities for autonomy, we believe it is important to investigate not only the ways in which providers in the healthcare system can reinforce these systems of oppression but what their responsibilities are to provide autonomy-supporting care for patients who are victims of oppression.…
        “In this paper, we incorporate common components from several current theories of autonomy to employ a conception of relational autonomy that includes possessing the capacities of self-determination, self-cohesion, and self-respect, acknowledging that these components are all necessary but may not be sufficient for a full theory of relational autonomy.”
        [Jennifer K. Walter and Lainie Friedman Ross, “Relational Autonomy as the Key to Effective Behavioral Change.” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology. Volume 20, number 2, June 2013. Pages 169-177.]
        “Most feminist accounts of relational autonomy reject individualist notions of the ‘self,’ which idealize self-sufficiency and rugged independence as fundamental aspects of character and moral life ….
        “Relational views of autonomy recognize and account for the ways in which the beliefs, values, and desires that inform autonomous action are constituted within social relations that include relations of interdependence …. A relational approach attends not only to ‘choice,’ but also to the ways that practices themselves shape the very capacity for autonomy ….”
        [Suze Berkhout, “Relational Autonomy on the Cutting Edge.” The American Journal of Bioethics. Volume 12, number 7, July 2012. Pages 59-61.]
        “In this article, we argue that patient-centered care can be improved by explicitly integrating a feminist formulation of autonomy, called relational autonomy, as an essential component.…
        “The term relational autonomy refers to conceptions of autonomy grounded on the social nature of people’s lives …. On these views, people are integrally connected with a social environment marked by economics, politics, ethnicity, gender, culture, and so on. Their identity is formed and shaped by their social environment, as well as their experience of embodiment, interactions with others, and possibilities for a good life. Along with interconnection, the fact of interdependence pervades this relational understanding of the self, as people are only dependent and independent relative to the circumstances in which they find themselves …. This is the starting place whence conceptions of relational autonomy are formed.
        “In a relational approach, autonomy emerges within and because of relationships …. An individual’s identity and relationships with others are shaped by an embodied experience that influences how both the individual and others perceive and interpret different intersecting bodily characteristics (which include age, skin pigmentation, sex characteristics, different abilities and inabilities, etc.). Important skills and capacities are learned and practiced through interactions with others (e.g., patience, perseverance, trust, self-confidence, problem solving, effective communication). Social factors (e.g., culture, religion, the love and well-being of a spouse, a particular work ethic, value of charity) similarly are integral to one’s sense of identity, one’s interests, and what skills are learned. How relationships with others and the whole structure of society support, limit, or enable autonomy is taken into account explicitly (to the extent one is able) when the autonomy of specific individuals or groups (or autonomy tendencies within groups) is examined.”
        [Carolyn Ells, Matthew R. Hunt, and Jane Chambers-Evans, “Relational autonomy as an essential component of patient-centered care.” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. Volume 4, number 2, fall 2011. Pages 79-101.]
        “Feminists have been especially vocal in the claim that the idea of autonomy central to liberal politics must be reconfigured or abandoned so as to be more sensitive to relations of care, interdependence, and mutual support that define our lives and which have traditionally marked the realm of the feminine.…
        “In recent work on the notion, theorists from various corners have developed conceptions that include specifications of proper social and interpersonal relations in spelling out what self-government means. Relations defined by one’s culture, religion or social role of the sort just mentioned – those central to the person’s sense of self – would have to be supported in order for self-governing agency to be possible. Of particular relevance here are those theorists who require that competent, authentic choice requires being recognized by significant others as having normative authority, self-trust, or answerability.
        “These conditions are meant to capture the ways that persons can be oppressed by others’ not taking them seriously, by denigrating or dismissing their point of view.”
        [John Christman, “Relational Autonomy and the Social Dynamics of Paternalism.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Volume 17, number 3, June 2014. Pages 369-382.]
        “‘Relational autonomy’ is the label that has been given to an alternative conception of what it means to be a free, self-governing agent who is also socially constituted and who possibly defines her basic value commitments in terms of interpersonal relations and mutual dependencies. Relational views of the autonomous person, then, valuably underscore the social embeddedness of selves while not forsaking the basic value commitments of (for the most part, liberal) justice. These conceptions underscore the social components of our self-concepts as well as emphasize the role that background social dynamics and power structures play in the enjoyment and development of autonomy. However, when conceptions of relational autonomy are spelled out in detail, certain difficulties arise which should give us some pause in the utilization of such notions in the formulation of principles of justice, especially those motivated by feminist and other liberatory concerns.” [John Christman, “Relational Autonomy, Liberal Individualism, and the Social Constitution of Selves.” Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition. Volume 117, number 1/2, January 2004. Pages 143-164.]
        “The idea of ‘relational autonomy’ is understood in philosophical literature as an alternative conception of what it means for one to be a free and self-governing person, in that such a person is socially constituted and embedded in a social environment, culture, or tradition that indicates value commitments, social obligations, interpersonal relationships, and mutual dependencies. The African view of relational autonomy is defined and bolstered by communal realities, relationships, values, interests, obligations, and modes of meaning. These social relationships and obligations not only shape individuals’ rational options, choices, and decisions but also give meaning to the notion of a free choice.” [Polycarp Ikuenobe, “Relational autonomy, personhood, and African traditions.” Philosophy East and West. Volume 65, number 4, 2015. Pages 1005-1029.]
        “The term ‘relational autonomy’ is … an umbrella term that covers a number of different views. There are differences of view, for example, about whether autonomy is a social capacity mainly in the sense that social relationships contribute to its development or whether it is social in a more constitutive conceptual sense. There are also differences concerning whether the conditions necessary for autonomy should be understood procedurally or substantively.” [Catriona Mackenzie, “Relational Autonomy, Normative Authority and Perfectionism.” Journal of Social Philosophy. Volume 29, number 4, winter 2008. Pages 512-533.]
        “… it is not always clear whether relational theorists are offering a fundamentally new approach to autonomy. After all, many mainstream accounts of autonomy have turned out to be quite hospitable to the feminist emphasis on relationality. Most currently influential accounts are procedural in the sense that they treat some form of reflective endorsement of motivating desires or values as the key to autonomous choice and action. While adherents of such accounts may not have paid sufficient attention to social factors in the past, most can accommodate the reality that the capacities needed for reflective endorsement must be developed during a relatively long period of dependence on parents and other caregivers. Moreover, procedural accounts of autonomy are, by design, neutral with respect to the content of an autonomous agent’s desires, preferences, and values, imposing formal rather than substantive constraints on autonomous choice and action. Substantive independence is neither necessary nor sufficient for autonomy on such accounts, nor does substantive dependence (or interdependence) pose any special problem. Finally, procedural accounts do not generally require that the autonomous agent’s desires or values be developed or endorsed in the absence of social forces.” [Andrea C. Westlund, “Rethinking Relational Autonomy.” Hypatia. Volume 24, number 4, fall 2009. Pages 26-49.]
        “Unlike in North America and Europe, in other societies, individual autonomy does not play as central a role. In differing cultural contexts, relational autonomy is morally more acceptable than individual autonomy. Furthermore, in these cultures, when we talk about relational autonomy, the stress is more often on relation than on autonomy. In the Far East, in Africa, and even in some minority groups within Western societies, other values are considered more important.” [Fabrizio Turoldo, “Relational Autonomy and Multiculturalism.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Volume 19, number 4, October 2010. Pages 542-549.]
        “In what follows, I hope to suggest the broad contours of an account of moral traces that highlights its relational features. Looking at moral traces through a relational lens accentuates, and perhaps even intensifies, the obligations that they incur. Put differently, relational conceptions of autonomy require a more careful account of moral traces—one that focuses on what we owe one another. By a relational conception of autonomy, I mean a view of agency that sees the choices we make as shaped by our relations with and commitment to others. Highlighting moral traces as central to the moral life is a way to recognize the importance of human accountability, which ensures that we are always fully aware of how our actions affect others. Ultimately, the significance of the effect of moral traces does not lie simply in protecting an agent’s integrity or sense of herself as morally whole but rather in how it promotes the building and maintaining of relations.” [Aline H. Kalbian, “Moral Traces and Relational Autonomy.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Volume 96, number 3, 2013. Pages 280-296.]
        “This essay argues for a re-examination of the notions of autonomy and undue pressure in the contexts of patienthood and relational identity. In particular, it examines the characteristics of families and their role in adult patients’ decision-making. It adopts a broad definition of family that includes people who are emotionally or psychologically close to one another. Such definition can include biological and adopted families as well as other domestic and intimate relationships. Building on the feminist conception of the relational self and examining the context of contemporary institutional medicine, this paper argues that family involvement and consideration of family interests can be integral in promoting patients’ overall agency.” [Anita Ho, “Relational autonomy or undue pressure? Family’s role in medical decision-making.” Scandinavian Journal of Caring Services. Volume 22, number 1, March 2008. Pages 128-135.]
        “… [Some] feminist philosophers … theorize a ‘relational autonomy’ and propose that a negotiated community of relationships in a social polity is able to recognize the universal moments transcending pluralism. An ecological, planetary, imperative is one such moment.…
        “… Importantly, I suggest, a cautious and careful feminist re-theorization of autonomy as relational autonomy directs attention to social interdependency, while also opening spaces for appropriately self-reflective and self-directed action. This formulation offers an important reconceptualisation of the homo economicus rationale derived of Kantian and utilitarian philosophies embedded in modernist organization theory and governing conceptions of the range and direction of individual action within organizations. Moreover, it also offers a further development beyond postmodern feminist critiques of organizational practices that have largely exclusively emphasized oppressive constrictions of gendered subjects and discursive subjectification of persons.”
        [Catherine Casey, “Contested rationalities, contested organizations: Feminist and postmodernist visions.” Journal of Organizational Change Management. Volume 17, number 3, 2004. Pages 302-314.]
        “My rather bold claim is that once the temporal scope of autonomy is opened up, we need not only to reconsider how to incorporate social conditions of autonomy. We may also have to reconsider the very distinction between causallyand constitutively relational accounts, which is itself a synchronic (and not a diachronic) distinction. Of course, within the limits of this paper, I will not be able to fully substantiate this claim or to develop a conception of ‘diachronic autonomy’ that does justice to what I call the ‘social and temporal dynamics’ of autonomy. But I hope to give at least some reasons why it might be a worthwhile task to reconsider relational autonomy from the perspective of our temporal extendedness, and to set the stage for further discussions.” [Holger Baumann, “Reconsidering Relational Autonomy. Personal Autonomy for Socially Embedded and Temporally Extended Selves.” Analyse & Kritik. Volume 30, number 2, November 2008. Pages 445-468.]
        “… a practical ideal of inclusion – not unlike certain feminist proposals for relational autonomy – could still be employed to interpret autonomy as a regulative, revisable principle of reason. This is revisable in precisely the sense of taking on board our vulnerabilities as men and women. The principle of inclusion would, then, be inseparable from our concern with how we should conduct ourselves as rational readers and writers of our lives, attentive to each other.” [Pamela Sue Anderson, “Autonomy, vulnerability and gender.” Feminist Theory. Volume 4, number 2, August 2003. Pages 149-164.]
      20. self–managed society (Cornelius Castoriadis): Recalling the work of Daniel de Leon, Castoriadis proposes a libertarian approach to economic organization.
        “We would like to contribute this pamphlet to the serious and sustained discussion now taking place among libertarian revolutionaries about all aspects of a self-managed society. This discussion is already ranging widely and fruitfully over such fields as education, conditioning by the family, internalized repression, urbanism, town planning, ecology, new forms of art and communication, new relations between people, and between people and the essential content of their lives. In this surge of questioning one dimension is, however, missing. The dimension is that of economic organization. The silence here is quite deafening. Sure, there are occasional distant echoes of what [Daniel] de Leon said before the First World War about ‘socialist industrial unions’ – or about what various syndicalists have proclaimed, with diminishing credibility, about the need for ‘one big union.’ For modern revolutionaries, however, this is totally inadequate. Perhaps what we propose isn’t good enough either, but at least it tries to grapple with the problems of our epoch.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. Workers’ Councils and the Economics of Self-Managed Society. Edmonton, Alberta: Thought Crime Ink. 2014. Ebook edition.]
      21. horizontal and vertical autonomism (Antoni Abat Ninet as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes between these two “directions” of power in autonomous organization.
        “To avoid misunderstandings or ambiguous meanings, we will say that the term ‘horizontal autonomism’ refers to the mechanisms of interaction and communication between the Autonomous Communities not only in a theoretical-normative sense, but also in a governmental and/ or practical manner. In this sense, the State of the Spanish Autonomous Communities contains not only vertical relationships between the central government and the regional governments (‘vertical autonomism’), but also relationships and interactions between the Autonomous Communities themselves. These relationships are also important in dealings between the different spheres of power within the Spanish Autonomous State. In this same context, the patterns of communication, interaction, and influence between the Autonomous Communities reflect the existence of what we have defined as ‘horizontal autonomism’, affects the form of territorial organization of the Spanish State, and will likely establish the beginning of a new evolutionary stage of this form of territorial organization.” [Antoni Abat Ninet, “Territorial Checking and Balance: The Change of the Spanish State Territorial Organization by Subconstitutional Rules.” Beijing Law Review. Volume 3, January 2012. Pages 7-13.]
        “To avoid misunderstandings or ambiguous meanings we will say that with the term ‘Horizontal Autonomism’ we are referring to the mechanisms and ways of interaction and communication between the Autonomous Communities, in a theoretical-normative branch, but also in a governmental and / or practical one. In this sense, in the State of the Spanish Autonomous Communities there are not only vertical relationships between the central government and the regional governments (‘vertical autonomism’), but also there are relationships and interactions between the Autonomous Communities. These relationships are also important dealings between the different spheres of power within the Spanish Autonomous State. In this same context, the patterns of communication, interaction and influence between the Autonomous Communities reflects the existence of what we have defined as ‘horizontal autonomism,’ that affects the form of territorial organization of the Spanish state and probably will establish the beginning of a new evolutionary stage of this form of territorial organization.” [Antoni Abat Ninet, “‘Horizontal Autonomism’ as a source of law. The change of the Spanish State territorial organization by subconstitutional rules.” Privately published. February 13th, 2009. Pages 1-20. Retrieved on February 5th, 2017.]
      22. politico–philosophical framework for communicative action and rationality (Marcelo Lopes de Souza as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach to urban planning and management.
        “Autonomy is here regarded precisely as the central principle and parameter for the analysis and evaluation of processes and strategies of social change, including urban development.…
        “The aim of this paper is to contribute to this operationalisation, specifically considering the role of urban planning and management in the realisation of urban development. After this task is addressed in the second section, the third section compares the presented autonomist approach with two current approaches to urban planning and management in the Anglophone world.…
        “The central task for an autonomist approach to urban planning and management in the next years is twofold. It is necessary to contribute to the critical refinement of positive strategies and experiences, such as Porto Alegre’s [in Brazil] participatory budgeting, which means that we must be able not only to discuss and suggest ‘technical’ improvements, but also to avoid problems such as the overestimation of the power of plans and laws, the underestimation of socio-political factors and, last but not least, the overestimation of the degree of compatibility between capitalism and representative democracy on the one hand, and social justice and citizen control on the other hand. However, we must also be able to learn from such experiences, in the ‘North’ as well as in the ‘South’, and especially from the people on the ground, in a dialogical manner. In a very deep sense, autonomist strategies of social change must be committed, above all, to communicative action and rationality, subordinating instrumental rationality and ‘strategic action’ (in a Habermasian sense). On the other hand, the most consequent politico-philosophical framework for communicative action and rationality is the project of autonomy in its Castoriadian sense.”
        [Marcelo Lopes de Souza, “Urban Development on the Basis of Autonomy: a Politico-philosophical and Ethical Framework for Urban Planning and Management.” Ethics, Place and Environment. Volume 3, number 2, 2000. Pages 187-201.]
      23. autonomist working–class value practices (Beverley Skeggs): Skeggs, a sociologist, considers how, from an autonomist standpoint, personhood can be imagined differently.
        “… the concept of value used in this paper is contingent and situational, based on practices, on how value can be lived and materialised, carried, inscribed and recognised on bodies, on persons and in practices. Different circuits and exchange mechanisms exist, some enable capital/s accumulation; others exist alongside and others are autonomist, based on reciprocity, care, shared understandings of injustice, insecurity, precarity. All these values circulate through the person as they face capitalism in very different directions. To reiterate, I am not talking about generalised, idealised workingclass cultures, I am instead referring to very different orientations to others produced through the material conditions of living different relations to capital: future-facing, self-oriented, positioned with many possibilities for accruing value in comparison to the present-located, other-oriented, excluded from the fields of value accrual (unless as a sources of labour). Different material conditions offer different possibilities for value accrual.” [Beverley Skeggs, “Imagining personhood differently: person value and autonomist working-class value practices.” The Sociological Review. Volume 59, issue 3, August 2011. Pages 486-513.]
      24. ideology of territorial order and institutional design (Jaime Lluch as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Based upon an empirical study, Lluch develops a theory of autonomism.
        “I seek to sketch the general contours of a theory of autonomism as an ideology of territorial order and institutional design.…
        “The empirical investigation we have conducted into the attitudes and discourse of the militants of four autonomist parties has yielded a rich bounty of data, which we can use to establish the general contours of autonomism as an ideology of territorial order and institutional design.
        “… Autonomism is one of the varieties of minority-nation nationalism. Most autonomist movements are part of the national movements of sub-state national societies. Automomists have a strong sense of identification with their sub-state national society as their nation, although some do have dual identities. Autonomism is the political orientation of the autonomist nationalist component of these national movements, and its two rivals are independentist nationalism and pro-federation nationalism. Thus, the difference between regionalism and autonomism is that the latter is typically espoused by nationalist parties, while the former not necessarily so.”
        [Jaime Lluch, “Towards a Theory of Autonomism.” Working paper number 197. Collegio Carlo Alberto. Moncalieri, Italy. January, 2011. Pages 1-39.]
      25. common assembly (Elise Danielle Thorburn): She proposes an organizational system, as assembly, based upon autonomism.
        “In order to demonstrate the value of the assembly as an organisational formation coherent in the contemporary, I will begin by laying the theoretical terrain on which I want to situate this struggle. The political and theoretical tradition of operaismo or Autonomist Marxism contribute to an understanding of revolution as, by necessity, driven by the producers and reproducers of the social and economic realm; workers, broadly construed. With this theoretical toolbox in hand, the specific historical and contemporary instantiations of the assembly as a constituted political organisation of the common can be made clearer. The possibility that the assembly form holds for potential models of post-party politics comes to life. The assembly form has been used very recently in a variety of struggles, some of which I have direct experience of, and it is from this perspective of experiential knowledge that I wish to write.” [Elise Danielle Thorburn, “A Common Assembly: Multitude, Assemblies, and a New Politics of the Common.” Interface: a journal for and about social movements. Volume 4, number 2, November 2012. Pages 254-279.]
      26. commodification of experience (Anna-Maria Murtola): Examining a type of “biopolitical exploitation,” Murtola combines the insights of autonomist Marxism and the early thought of the Frankfurt School.
        “Although the commodification of experience has been a long-standing concern for critical scholars, today the breadth and depth of this practice and the conscious manipulation involved is unparalleled. In this paper I analyse contemporary commodification of experience drawing on insights from the early Frankfurt school and autonomist thought. In doing so, I show how contemporary commodification of experience, understood in particular in terms of expropriation of the affective common, comprises a form of biopolitical exploitation that is part of broader biopolitical struggles in which capital seeks to draw the entirety of human life into its circuit of valorization. Although the critique of the Frankfurt school remains important, the variety of forms of experience for sale today warrants a broader politico-economic analysis in light of historical changes in the logic of accumulation and the operation of the commodity-form, which autonomist thought can help illuminate.…
        “This paper is concerned with a social reality in which attempts are made to turn most any form of human experience into a commodity or a means of capital accumulation. Here commodification refers to processes whereby elements hitherto not explicitly part of the capitalist apparatus are brought into the sphere of the circulation of capital, including our innermost being and shared sociality. It analyses this reality drawing on ideas from two theoretical traditions – Frankfurt school critical theory and autonomist thought – both of which provide conceptual tools for grasping the situation.”
        [Anna-Maria Murtola, “Experience, Commodification, Biopolitics.” Critical Sociology. Volume 40, number 6, 2014. Pages 835-854.]
      27. Empire (Antonio Negri as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Michael Hardt): These two scholars develop a post–autonomist (or poststructural autonomist) approach to the dominance of Empire in modernity.
        “Numerous republican political projects in modernity assumed mobility as a privileged terrain for struggle and organization: from the so-called Socians of the Renaissance (Tuscan and Lombard artisans and apostles of the Reform who, banished from their own country, fomented sedition against the Catholic nations of Europe, from Italy to Poland) up to the seventeenth-century sects that organized trans-Atlantic voyages in response to the massacres in Europe; and from the agitators of the IWW [Industrial Workers of the World] across the United States in the 1910s up to the European autonomists in the 1970s. In these modern examples, mobility became an active politics and established a political position.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Empire. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2000. Page 214.]
        “Even when labor is subjugated by capital it always necessarily maintains its own autonomy, and this is ever more clearly true today with respect to the new immaterial, cooperative, and collaborative forms of labor. This relationship is not isolated to the economic terrain but, as we will argue later, spills over into the biopolitical terrain of society as a whole, including military conflicts. In any case, we should recognize here that even in asymmetrical conflicts victory in terms of complete domination is not possible. All that can be achieved is a provisional and limited maintenance of control and order that must constantly be policed and preserved. Counterinsurgency is a full-time job.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire. New York: The Penguin Press imprint of Penguin Group. 2004. Page 54.]
        “The most significant event of the first decade of the new millennium nium for geopolitics may be the definitive failure of unilateralism. At the end of the last millennium a genuinely new global situation had emerged, which set in motion new processes of governance and began gan to establish new structures of global order. A new Empire was being formed that was qualitatively different from the previously existing imperialisms, which had been based primarily on the power of nation-states. Instead of engaging directly the formation of Empire, pire, however, the dominant forces on the global scene, the U.S. government ernment in particular, denied and repressed the novelty, conjuring up specters from the past, forcing dead figures of political rule to stumble across the stage and replay outdated dreams of grandeur. Ambitions of imperialist conquest, nationalist glory, unilateral decision sion making, and global leadership were all revived, with horrifyingly ingly real violence. Within the United States, where these fantasies were most powerful, what had seemed in the past to be alternatives—isolationism, imperialism, and internationalism—were resuscitated citated and woven together, turning out merely to be different faces of the same project, all stitched together with the thread of U.S. exceptionalism. ceptionalism. It took only a few years, though, for these ghostly figures ures to collapse in a lifeless heap. The financial and economic crisis of the early twenty-first century delivered the final blow to U.S. imperialist perialist glory. By the end of the decade there was general recognition of the military, political, and economic failures of unilateralism. There is no choice now but to confront head-on the formation of Empire.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Commonwealth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2009. Pages 203-204.]
        “With this shift [in capitalist work relations] the primary engagement between capitalist and worker also changes. No longer is the typical scene of exploitation the capitalist overseeing the factor, directing and disciplining the worker in order to generate a profit. Today the capitalist is farther removed from the scene, and workers generate wealth more autonomously. The capitalist accumulates wealth primarily through rent, not profit—this rent most often takes a financial form and is guaranteed through financial instruments. This is where debt enters the picture, as a weapon to maintain and control the relationship of production and exploitation. Exploitation today is based primarily not on (equal or unequal) exchange but on debt, that is, on the fact that the 99 percent of the population is subject—owes work, owes money, owes obedience—to the 1 percent.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Declaration. New York: Argo Navis Author Services imprint of The Perseus Books Group. 2012. Ebook edition.]
        “… [The] notion of autonomy of proletarian emancipation, born out of the particularity of the subject, had to be discovered as a refusal of any preconceived generality, any burden of idealism and humanism that could be ascribed to the proletariat as such. [Vladimir] Lenin’s affirmation of this notion gave great intensity to his Marxism, but this concept of the proletariat as a particular class was completely forgotten after Lenin, by social democrats and Marxist theorists alike, with their watered-down versions at the service of the pacific road to socialism. Sometimes this was done astutely, for instance, when, accompanying theoretical declarations in honor of the classics and tradition, they placed their emphasis on the general emancipating function of the actions of the proletariat. And from this, they moved toward the issue of alliances, the reaffirmation of the generality of workers’ comportment. But this is all false, practically and theoretically. The particularity of workers’ interests, the autonomous particularity of the interests of the working class, is absolutely irreducible and can only increase its autonomous particularity and turn into dictatorship.” [Antonio Negri. Factor of Strategy: Thirty-Three Lessons on Lenin. Arianna Bove, translator. New York: Columbia University Press. 2014. Pages 281-282.]
        “The autonomy of the political is relative; it is a limited concept, and it is always subordinate to specific ends that are not formal, of realization or of expression of power, but are rather those of political, economic, military domination, etc. Now, I understand war in terms of emancipation from an autonomy of the political subordinated to capitalist economic interests. And I understand the possibility of war as resistance, as the fundamental right of resistance of the individual and the multitude, as a fact of democracy. In this sense, [George W.] Bush is a great champion of the autonomy of the political: he has reproduced it as a trivial reading of the relations of force that evade every consideration of the antagonisms and tendencies of the proletarian innovation of life. In this sense, Machiavelli was never a proponent of the autonomy of the political.” [Antonio Negri. Goodbye Mr. Socialism. Peter Thomas, translator. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2008. Pages 55-56.]
        “The organisation of the revolts [the Arab spring] resembles what we have seen for more than a decade from Seattle to Buenos Aires and Genoa and Cochabamba, Bolivia: a horizontal network that has no single, central leader. Traditional opposition bodies can participate in this network but cannot direct it. Outside observers have tried to designate a leader for the Egyptian revolts since their inception: maybe it’s Mohamed ElBaradei, maybe Google’s head of marketing, Wael Ghonim. They fear that the Muslim Brotherhood or some other body will take control of events. What they don’t understand is that the multitude is able to organise itself without a centre – that the imposition of a leader or being co-opted by a traditional organisation would undermine its power. The prevalence in the revolts of social network tools, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, are symptoms, not causes, of this structure. These are the modes of expression of an intelligent population capable of organising autonomously.” [Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Comment: Arabs are democracy’s new pioneers: The leaderless Middle East uprisings can inspire freedom movements as Latin America did before.” The Guardian. London newspaper. February 25th, 2011.]
        “The power of all individual or limited subjects to think and act autonomously corresponds proportionally to the relation between their powers and the power of nature as a whole.… The fact that the power of the world outside of us so far surpasses our own power means that we are affected by others much more than we affect the world or even autonomously affect ourselves, and thus, our capacity for sovereign decision-making is minimal too.” [Michael Hardt, “The Power to be Affected.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. Volume 28, number 3, September 2015. Pages 215-222.]
        “Everyone may possess in some sense the capacities for autonomy, but current social conditions prevent the majority from activating them and require instead their obedience. Exodus thus means a collective project to overturn the existing structures of hierarchy and obedience and render active the thinking and action of all. Linking these two senses of the exit from minority, in other words, conjoins the striving for autonomy with that for democracy. The enlightenment role of intellectuals, as well as political leaders, thus becomes something much more than critique: to destroy their own minority status, or to generalize to others the powers çf autonomous thought and action they exercise.” [Michael Hardt, “The Militancy of Theory.” The South Atlantic Quarterly. Volume 110, number 1, winter 2011. Pages 19-35.]
        “What makes Michael Hardt’s and Toni Negri’s Empire … and Multitude … such refreshing reading is that we are dealing with books that refer to and function as the moment of theoretical reflection of-if this word were not to be polluted by its recent use in the Iraq intervention context, one would be almost tempted to say: are embedded in-an actual global movement of anticapitalist resistance: one can sense, behind the written lines, the smells and sounds of Seattle, Genoa, and Zapatistas. So their limitation is simultaneously the limitation of the actual movement.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Multitude, Surplus, and Envy.” Rethinking Marxism. Volume 19, number 1, January 2007. Pages 46-58.]
        “The book Empire famously presents the contemporary world system as one in which power is decentred – an assertion that has, of late, been subjected to increased questioning. Whatever the truth of the matter, the time has come to examine critically the various threads stemming from operaismo in a similarly decentred way. Above all, this will mean judging each on its own merits as a contribution to comprehending contemporary global power relations as a whole – not simply those entailing ‘some guiding lights’ – and so in terms of how each such thread can best contribute to the collective project of ‘damag[ing] and bringing down the adversary.’” [Steve Wright, “Mapping Pathways within Italian Autonomist Marxism: A Preliminary Survey.” Historical Materialism. Volume 16, issue 4, 2008. Pages 111-140.]
        “This essay is a critique of immaterial and affective labor, cognitive capitalism and other terms that have been theorized by postautonomous thinkers such as Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Maurizzio Lazzarato, and others. According to these thinkers, under the new wave of financial capitalism, labor has become immaterial and capitalism has become more dependent on cognitive processes in order to enclose external labor and material and symbolic commons.…
        “… in the first part of the essay I will critically examine this and other similar claims of Italian postautonomist thinkers—a loose label that I use to analyze a range of interrelated concepts that include ‘immaterial labor,’ ‘the affective turn,’ ‘cognitive capitalism,’ ‘the commons,’ etc.”
        [Luis Martín-Cabrera, “The Potentiality of the Commons: A Materialist Critique of Cognitive Capitalism from the Cyberbracer@s to the Ley Sinde.” Hispanic Review. Volume 80, number 4, fall 2012. Pages 583-605.]
        “The periodising drive in [Antonio] Negri’s work has been the subject of much critical attention, being variously faulted for its partiality, abstraction, teleology and one-dimensionality. Some have even regarded it as a form of prophetism – a verdict to which we shall return. Negri’s work is indeed identifiable with a parade of hegemonic figures of antagonistic labour-power: professional worker, mass worker, social worker, immaterial labourer, cognitive worker, multitude (with the last three or even four in many ways melding together into the ‘postmodern’ figure of antagonism).” [Alberto Toscano, “The Sensuous Religion of the Multitude: Art and Abstraction in Negri.” Third Text. Volume 23, issue 4, July, 2009. Pages 369-382.]
        “We will not fall into the banal error of believing that certain theories are unilaterally influencing the movement. The theories spread insofar as they serve specific interests and respond to specific needs. Empire by [Antonio] Negri and [Michael] Hardt is an exemplary book in this sense. Together with the elaborations of their “diplomatic” French cousins, its pages offer the most intelligent version of the left wing of capital.” [Crisso and Odoteo. Barbarians: the disordered insurgence. Wolfi Landstreicher, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2003. Page 5.]
        “The Empire is present everywhere, but doesn’t govern anywhere. Its military invincibility shines in the sun dazzling its obsequious admirers. But its foundations are rotten. The social order within its borders is constantly called into question. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall was presented as the symbolic act that would ratify the end of the “cold war” between the two opposed super-powers, the dawn of a new era of peace and stability. The unification of the planet under a single model of life, the private capitalist model, was supposed to guarantee the definitive banishing of all conflict. In a certain sense, one could say that the very opposite has happened. In modern history, there have never been so many violent conflicts bathing the world in blood as after 1989. If up to then, the various armies were in a state of permanent readiness, now they are in continuous mobilization. The military forces no longer spend their time training, but rather fighting on the field. War has gone from cold to hot, in some places boiling, and it is generalizing itself. Only now the slaughter dictated by the state is no longer called war, but rather police actions. Having extended itself everywhere, the Empire no longer has external enemies from which to defend itself, only internal enemies to control and repress. As the servants of the Empire love to remind us, there is no longer an outside; there is only an inside. But this inside is literally imploding.” [Crisso and Odoteo. Barbarians: the disordered insurgence. Wolfi Landstreicher, translator. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2003. Pages 10-11.]
        “This article provides a critical examination of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s and John Holloway’s theory of revolutionary subjectivity, and does so by applying their theories to the Occupy movement of 2011. Its central argument is that one should avoid collapsing ‘autonomist’ and ‘open’ Marxism, for whilst both approaches share [Mario] Tronti’s insistence on the constituent role of class struggle, and also share an emphasis on a prefigurative politics that engages a nonhierarchical and highly participatory politics, there nevertheless remain some significant differences between their approaches. Ultimately, when applied to the Occupy movement, whilst their theory isn’t entirely unproblematic, I will argue that Hardt and Negri’s ‘autonomist’ approach offers the stronger interpretation, due mainly to their revised historical materialism.…
        “For Hardt and Negri the technical changes in class composition offer possibilities for the multitude’s future political re-composition, and once again here the theory of self-valorisation returns to the fore, particularly for rethinking the nature of social (or common) wealth. Whilst Hardt and Negri accept that immaterial labour remains as exploited as its industrial predecessor, they claim that the former has the potential for a radical autonomy; one that can dispense with the need for centralised oversight and, more importantly, continually ‘exceeds the bounds set in its employment by capital’ ….”
        [Oliver Harrison, “Occupy: ‘Struggles for the common’ or an ‘anti-politics of dignity’? Reflections on Hardt and Negri and John Holloway.” Capital & Class. Volume 40, number 3, October 2016. Pages 495-510.]
      28. multitude (Paolo Virno as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an autonomist approach to “contemporary forms of life.”
        “I maintain that the concept of ‘multitude,’ as opposed to the more familiar concept of ‘people,’ is a crucial tool for every careful analysis of the contemporary public sphere. One must keep in mind that the choice between ‘people’ and ‘multitude’ was at the heart of the practical controversies (the establishing of centralized modern States, religious wars, etc.) and of the theoretical-philosophical controversies of the seventeenth century. These two competing concepts, forged in the fires of intense clashes, played a primary role in the definition of the political-social categories of the modern era. It was the notion of ‘people’ which prevailed. ‘Multitude’ is the losing term, the concept which got the worst of it. In describing the forms of associative life and of the public spirit of the newly constituted great States, one no longer spoke of multitude, but of people. But we need to ask whether, today, at the end of a long cycle, the old dispute has not been opened up once again; whether, today, now that the political theory of the modern era is going through a radical crisis, this once defeated notion is not displaying extraordinary vitality, thus taking its dramatic revenge.” [Paolo Virno. A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Isabella Bertoletti, James Cascaito, and Andrea Casson, translators. Los Angeles, California: Semiotext(e). 2004. Page 21.]
        “Today what has always been true has become evident: the individual (with his or her autonomy) is a point of eventful arrival, not an incontrovert ible point of departure. He or she is the point of arrival of a complex process of individuation, the individuation of universal productive forces, anonymous structures, preindividual modes of being. The autonomy of the individual is, if you want, the result of the political struggle, the stakes of the class conflict in post-Fordism.” [Paolo Virno, “Interview with Paolo Virno.” Branden W. Joseph, interviewer. Alessia Ricciardi, translator. Grey Room. Number 21, fall 2005. Pages 26-37.]
        “… is there any way to bridge these different social classes [in Greece] in one analytical tool and as one political agent? Yes, is the answer of the proponents of the notion of the Multitude. Having its roots in Italian Autonomist Marxism and in thinkers such as Paolo Virno and Antonio Negri, the Multitude could be described as a social subject unifying those living and working under capital, which has the potential to become the bearer of social change in the globalized era of the 21ˢᵗ century …. As [Michael] Hardt and Negri elaborate, the Multitude can be posed as: ‘all those who work under the rule of capital and thus potentially as the class of those who refuse the rule of capital. … The Multitude gives the concept of the proletariat its fullest definition as all those who labour and produce under the rule of capital’ …. Thus, the Multitude, as a class concept, is a broadened notion of the proletariat that specifically relates to the era of immaterial labour (others naming this period as post-industrial, post-Fordist or the information age).” [Nikos Sotirakopoulos and George Sotiropoulos, “‘Direct democracy now!’: The Greek indignados and the present cycle of struggles.” Current Sociology. Volume 61, number 4, 2013. Pages 443-456.]
        “… autonomous activity is not a thin and suffocating residue but takes root beyond wage earners’ submission (or at least to one side of it). It represents the future: what follows and opposes the factory. Moreover, instead of being marked by idiocy and powerlessness, the relation to nature takes the form of an intelligent experience, precisely because it comes after the experience of the factory.…
        “… one can experience prophetically the effects of the inexistence, or even worse of the ineffectiveness, of the reserve wage-army as an instrument for the compression of the worker’s wage. The same situation will repeat itself on a large scale with the welfare state. Income no longer exclusively depends on the donation of wage-labor; in fact, this donation is accepted or denied in strict relation to an eventual income otherwise obtained (it does not matter whether through the receipt of state assistance or the performance of autonomous activities). [Karl] Marx turns to the ‘frontier’ to justify the high salaries, the scandal, and the cross of American capitalism at its debut.”
        [Paolo Virno, “About Exodus.” Alessia Ricciardi, translator. Grey Room. Number 21, fall 2005. Pages 17-20.]
      29. perspective of autonomy (David Eden): He combines the approaches taken by various autonomist Marxists into what he refers to as “the perspective of autonomy.”
        “My central task is to see how three related tendencies of what I call here the perspective of autonomy can aid in the development of emancipatory anti-capitalist politics. This effort rests on the claim that overcoming capitalism is both desirable and possible. As such its core premise is out of joint with the prevailing commonsense of the day. Today the accepted position in relation to the viability of capitalism is one of two variations. Firstly that capitalism, especially in its liberal democratic mode, is taken as the only and best of all possible worlds. Until the recent ‘Global Financial Crisis’ the very term capitalism had started to disappear from our vocabulary – as if simply stating its name would create the idea that there are other possible systems or forms of social organisation. Even with the return of capitalism to public discourse, this discourse has been most often one of how to save capitalism as all other possibilities are considered worse. The second variation may express a critique of how things are, but excludes the possibility that there is anything we can really do about it. Both the possibility of other societies and the very existences of subjects and struggles that can create them are dismissed. Apparently such hopes disappeared somewhere between the Gulag and the Shopping Mall. We the ‘spectacle’ (or as objects of study) they do not carry the banners of the Internationale but rather of the atavistic claims of communalisms, identity and religion. Or else they appear only as victims to be saved by humanitarian intervention so they can be transformed into orderly liberal citizens.” [David Eden. Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2012. Pages 10-11.]
        “Here I present different voices that radically rework the idea of class and attempt to revive its emancipatory potential – and do so in ways that make it refreshing and strange. Each voice – Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno, the Midnight Notes Collective and John Holloway – is, in the broadest sense, part a tendency of ‘the perspective of autonomy’ or ‘Autonomist Marxism.’” [David Eden. Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 2012. Page 17.]
        “This thesis is a critical engagement with the work of John Holloway, the Midnight Notes Collective and Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno. All these authors are part of ‘the perspective of autonomy,’ a heterodox tendency of communist thought that aims to understand capitalism from the point of view of labour’s rebellious self-activity. These authors can be broken into three more specific tendencies: against (John Holloway), outside (the Midnight Notes Collective), and beyond (Antonio Negri and Paulo Virno). Here I present the analysis and politics of each, as well as critical reflections on their limitations and failings. Each tendency provides refreshing understandings of capitalism and struggle, which helps us revive a communist understanding of our condition. Yet in all three tendencies we see the recurring error of trying to stretch their insights too far: as an explanation for ‘everything’ and in the hope of providing an objective basis for proletarian solidarity. This limits their ability to suggest paths forward for the creation of militant forms of activity. It is the hope that this study will help the development of better understandings of capitalism, class and struggle and contribute to the development of emancipatory politics.” [David Eden. Against, Outside & Beyond: The Perspective of Autonomy in the 21ˢᵗ Century. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). The Australian National University. April, 2008. Page III.]
        “… [One] issue I want to raise concerns [David] Eden’s chapters on the (potential) practical applications of autonomist theory, and serves to bring this review full circle. Whilst these chapters contain a number of useful insights, they contain little on the precise forms of organisation that these autonomisms advocate in their movements beyond/ outside/against capitalism. This is, of course, a flaw with the source material rather than Eden himself: whilst all of the book’s subjects are (rightly, in my view) critical of neo-Leninism’s insistence on vertical organisation, they generally stop short of analysing or proposing specific organisational forms: theory and practice remain split, rather than merging incompossibly in praxis. Eden may be right in suggesting that anarchism has a tendency to be ‘unrounded and absorbed in its own ideology’; and I think a focus on horizontalism-at-all-costs is unhelpful, but the anarchist tradition’s focus on the micropolitics of organisation has much to offer communists in their quest to abolish the present state of things, rather than simply grasping the ‘real, existing material conditions’ of our world.” [David M. Bell, “Autonomy: Capitalism, Class and Politics.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 37, number 3, October 2013. Pages 519-521.]
        “David Eden’s Autonomy: Capitalism, class and politics is the first book-length general study of autonomist Marxism, or what he calls ‘the perspective of autonomy.’ A large and detailed analysis, [David] Eden’s book covers the work of three sub-traditions within autonomist thought, which he organizes geographically (across Italy, the US and the UK). He begins by discussing the ideas of Paolo Virno and Antonio Negri, before moving onto the authors grouped within the Midnight Notes Collective (MNC) and finishing with an appraisal of the work of John Holloway. Each section is divided into three chapters: two outlining the theories of the respective authors and a third offering several points of critique.” [Thomas Swann, “The spectre of anarchism.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 3, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 675-681.]
      30. LIES (FLOC): It is a self–described communist and “autonomous feminist project.” See also the LIES Journal.
        “We, the authors of this piece, are four individuals who have been involved in the LIES collective — an autonomous feminist project composed of only non-cis-men — for the past 1-2 years. Some of us have had longer experience with autonomous organizing through other political projects, along lines of gender (‘women only,’ or ‘queers and trans people only’) and/or race (‘people of color only,’ or ‘women of color only’). For others of us LIES was our first experience in a group with stated grounds for autonomy. Some of us rarely organized or socialized with cis men before this project began, while others still remain in organizing projects and social relationships with cis men. Our experiences are varied geographically, temporally, experientially. Furthermore, this essay is particular to its authors, who together form only a part of the LIES collective.
        “LIES itself emerged out of the shifting friendships formed, more often than not, in the midst of our engagement with social movements and political milieus: engagements that ultimately exposed us, both individually and collectively, to physical violence and social exclusion. On top of that, we kept wanting more from our political engagements, wanting to focus on the totality of all the relations that constitute us. The point is, we didn’t begin to engage with the idea of working together without cis men as a mere theoretical interest. For some of us, we did it out of necessity; for others, it presented itself as a way to circumvent an impasse. Autonomy was contextual, practical; it emerged gradually, through time spent together, meetings, phone calls, shared experiences of disappointment, of intimacy, of betrayal, of violence — the material conditions that make us who we are.”
        [FLOC, “To make many lines, to form many bonds: Thoughts on Autonomous Organizing.” LIES: A Journal of Materialist Feminism. Volume 2, August 2015. Creative Commons. Pages 57-70.]
      31. radical autonomy (Gene Ray): In Ray’s interpretation of autonomism, the process of revolution resolves social antagonisms and replaces class relations.
        “Radical autonomy is without doubt a revolutionary category. Probably, it is the best one we have. Its ideal of self-realisation in free socialised creation is substantially the same content that the young [Karl] Marx elaborated luminously as ‘true communism’: that real education of our socialised senses and human potentials that releases development in all directions and produces people who are not painters but ‘sometimes engage in painting among other activities.’ Such a vision would be conditioned on a revolutionary process, but one that so far has not appeared in an adequate form anywhere in history. For, according to this theory, the revolutionary process that resolves social antagonism and supersedes class relations would be the same one that dissolves the division of labour and makes the state wither away. The political practice that would prove this true has yet to be found. But if it were, the problems of art as a specialised activity would resolve themselves. In the meantime the struggle continues.” [Gene Ray, “Antinomies of Autonomism: On Art, Instrumentality and Radical Struggle.” Third Text. Volume 23, issue 5, September 2009. Pages 537-546.]
      32. critical perspective on brands (Adam Arvidsson as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Arvidsson develops an autonomous Marxist perspective on brand management.
        “Brands are … a good illustration of how, as Gabriel Tarde … suggested long ago, more or less autonomous public communication has become a direct source of economic value. This principle – the reliance on autonomously produced externalities as a source of surplus value and profits – makes the brand a paradigmatic embodiment of the logic of informational capitalism.…
        “… With a particular brand I can act, feel and be in a particular way. With a Macintosh computer I can become a particular kind of person, and form particular kinds of relations to others. A brand is thus nothing less than the propertied ‘frame of action,’ to use Erving Goffman’s … term. This context becomes valuable in economic terms, it acquires brand equity, when it is able to reliably produce certain forms of attention, through the subsumption or (which is the same thing) management of essentially autonomous communicative processes.”
        [Adam Arvidsson. Brands: Meaning and value in media culture. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Pages 7-8.]
        “This article proposes a critical perspectives on brands based on recent developments within Marxist thought. It argues that brands build on the immaterial labour of consumers: their ability to create an ethical surplus (a social bond, a shared experience, a common identity) through productive communication. This labour is generally free in the sense that it is both un-paid and more or less autonomous. Contemporary brand management consists in a series of techniques by means of which such free labor is managed so that it comes to produce desirable and valuable outcomes. By thus making productive communication unfold on the plateau of brands, the enhanced ability of the contemporary multitude to produce a common social world is exploited as a source of surplus value.…
        “Both as innovation and as reproduction, the productivity of consumers adds to the propertied form of life that is the brand. In both cases brand management feeds off the ‘reservoir’ of autonomous immaterial labour that evolves outside of the domain of the firm. By thus subsuming the productivity of the social, brand management works to ensure that the productivity of consumers becomes productive labour.”
        [Adam Arvidsson, “Brands: A critical perspective.” Journal of Consumer Culture. Volume 5, number 2, July 2005. Pages 235-258.]
        “We need to recognize that people have changed, that competitive individualism, self-branding and an entrepreneurial mentality are, by now, normal features of life.” [Adam Arvidsson, “Thinking beyond neo-liberalism: A response to Detlev Zwick.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 3, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 407-412.]
        “For a couple of decades now, sociologists and consumer researchers have pointed to the active and reflexive processes by which needs and desires are articulated, as consumers reappropriate the programmed – in [Hannah] Arendt’s sense of that term – elements of consumer society and re-elaborate and recreate them according to their own more or less autonomous ideas and visions.
        “In fact in the last decades we have seen the emergence and consolidation of a range of practices where the boundary between consumption and production is blurred and where both practices fuse into new forms of public action. These range from the value that consumers create around brands and products in their more or less creative and more or less orchestrated forms of interaction, via pursuits like Open Source and Free Software that involve thousands of participants in productive practices that are often motivated by allegiance to particular values or a particular ethos, rather than by direct monetary rewards ….”
        [Adam Arvidsson, “The potential of consumer publics.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 367-391.]
        “… as Tom Peters keeps pointing out, cynicism keeps lurking under the surface, and to avoid it one must constantly motivate oneself — preferably by chanting self help mantras — into keep believing in the sanctity of one’s own success. The cynicism is a clear and present danger that needs to be constantly exorcised. And how could it be otherwise if personal branding is a matter of devising and impersonating one’s own authentic self, in order to cultivate an authenticity that in the end serves the purpose of packaging one’s ever more generic skills and competences in ways that are, in themselves, generic and commonplace? The branded self needs to be distinct in its blandness, unique in its generic combination of values like ‘success, trustworthiness, engagement, empathy, commitment, curiosity, interest creativity’ etc. You need to stand out and be different while remaining compatible with everybody else. But there is interesting evidence that suggests that personal brands are evolving into something quite different. Personal brands are increasingly becoming public devices.” [Adam Arvidsson, “Public brands and the entrepreneurial ethics.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 14, number 1, 2014. Creative Commons. Pages 119-124.]
        “… brands not only illustrate the importance of information as a carrier of value; they also provide a tangible example of how such valuable information is produced through autonomous processes of productive interaction that might lend themselves to partial appropriation, but that can seldom be entirely commanded or controlled. This way, brands give a good illustration of what many now consider the key principle of informational (or ‘cognitive’) capital: that value tends to depend less on the direct exploitation of commanded labor, and more on the appropriation of productive externalities in the form of socialized General Intellect ….” [Adam Arvidsson. The Logic of the Brand. Trento, Italy: Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Trento. 2007. Page 10.]
        “When sociologist Adam Arvidsson writes about marketing and consumption we should pay attention. His 2005 essay ‘Brands: A critical perspective’ and his 2006 book Brands: Meaning and value in media culture have become seminal pieces in the field I call the critical cultural studies of marketing, which includes scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as critical management studies, sociology, history, marketing, media and cultural studies …. By drawing on post-Marxist and autonomist theory – hitherto considered rather obscure intellectual traditions – Arvidsson has been able to provide a highly original account of how brands function in the age of post-Fordist capitalism, making him one of the most important critical theorists of brands.” [Detlev Zwick, “Utopias of ethical economy: A response to Adam Arvidsson.” Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization. Volume 13, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 393-405.]
      33. autonomist model of political communication (Nicholas Thoburn): Thoburn considers “the primacy of struggle” in what he refers to as “minor politics.”
        “… is there an autonomist model of political communication? … My provisional answer is that an autonomist model of political communication needs to have a close association with the kinds of immersive, intensive, and collective expression of which Futur Antérieur was an example, what I have … characterized as a ‘minor politics’ …. Books, even solitary writers, are not alien to this politics, but the seductions and constraints of the manifesto, the textbook, and the book commodity must be attended to and carefully handled, even if the occasional work of synthesis certainly has its uses. For if the autonomist current has any real point of consistency, it is surely that the primacy of struggle in any one conjunction is discerned, assessed, and modulated through a critical immanence with that struggle, not through concepts abstracted from it and generalized as idea-commodities.” [Nicholas Thoburn, “Is there an Autonomist Model of Political Communication?” Journal of Communication Inquiry. Volume 35, number 4, 2011. Pages 335-341.]
      34. autonomous re–interpretation of Marxism (John Holloway): Holloway, an autonomist and an open Marxist, develops a Marxist autonomism. He considers state power in everyday life, examines the Marxian dialectic, and argues that Marxism has lost its sense of moral outrage and its focus on struggle.
        “The autonomist re-interpretation of Marxism has its roots in the upsurge of factory struggle in Italy in the 1960s, which led to a re-reading of Capital, putting particular emphasis on a part which generally been neglected by ‘Marxist economists,’ namely the long analysis in Volume I of the development of the labour process in the factories. In this discussion, [Karl] Marx shows that capital is constantly forced to struggle with the ‘refractory hand of labour’ and that it is this struggle which determines changes in factory organisation and technical innovation. Thus, for Marx, automation is ‘animated by the longing to reduce to a minimum the resistance offered by that repellent yet elastic natural barrier, man.’. Consequently, ‘it would be possible to write quite a history of the inventions, made since 1830, for the sole purpose of supplying capital with weapons against the revolts of the working class.’” [John Holloway. Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2010. Ebook edition.]
        “There is indeed an endlessness in negation, but it is not the endlessness of a circle. It is rather the endlessness of the struggle for communism: even when the conditions for a power-free society are created, it will always be necessary to struggle against the recrudescence of power-over. There can be no positive dialectic, no final synthesis in which all contradictions are resolved. If capitalism is to be understood as a process rather than as a state of being, even when human potential is so clogged up, how much more must this be true of a society in which human power-to is liberated.
        “But there is more to be said than that. We are not caught in an endlessly recursive circle simply because our existence is not recursive or circular. Our scream-against is a scream-against-oppression, and in that sense it is shaped by oppression; but there is more than that, for the scream-against-oppression is a scream against the negation of ourselves, of our humanity, of our power-to create. Non-identity is the core of our scream, but to say ‘we are not’ is not just a dark void. To negate Is-ness is to assert becoming, movement, creation, the emancipation of power-to. We are not, we do not be, we become.”
        [John Holloway. Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2010. Ebook edition.]
        “The state (or any fetishised form) involves a particular way of organising social relations, of subordinating relations between people to relations between things—a way that impedes the recognition and assumption of social human subjectivity. It would be lovely to turn our backs completely on the state and money, but generally we cannot do that …. Most of us have to engage with the state and other capitalist forms in some way; but the question is, how do we do it? We recognise their specifically capitalist character; we criticise their form. We struggle in-and-against-and-beyond those forms; we try to see our own struggle as asymmetrical to the forms of capitalism; we try to establish other forms of organisation, forms that subordinate relations between things to relations between people.” [John Holloway, “Change the World Without Taking Power.” Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, spring 2005. Pages 39-42.]
        “When we talk or write, it is all too easy to forget that the beginning was not the word, but the scream. Faced with the destruction of human lives by capitalism, a scream of sadness, a scream of horror, above all a scream of anger, of refusal: NO. The starting point of theoretical reflection is opposition. negativity, struggle.
        “The role of theory is to elaborate that scream, to express its trength and to contribute to its power, to show how the sream resonates through society and to contribute to that resonance.
        “That is the origin of Marxism, not just of [Karl] Marx’s Marxism, but presumably of our own interest in Marxism. The appeal of Marxism lies in its claim to be a theory of struggle, of opposition, of negation. But that is not what Marxism has become.…
        “… Marxism has lost its scream. Class struggle remains a category, but the simple statement at the start of the Communist manifesto, that ‘the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle’ is in fact abandoned.”
        [John Holloway, “In the Beginning was the Scream.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 11, winter 1991. Pages 69-77.]
        “All that remains is Marxism. Marxism as a scream of anger, Marxism as a theory of struggle, the Marxism of a long subterranean, oppositional tradition. At last it is clear that there is no other way that Marxism can be understood. But that too is in danger. Not the scream of anger, not the struggle, but their Marxist articulation.
        “The scream pierces through the triumphalism of the politicians and the media. The fall of ‘communism’ does nothing to still the scream of a world in agony, the scream of a world in struggle. But there is a real danger that, with the collapse of ‘Marxism,’ the struggle against the existing order will take increasingly divisive forms (religious, nationalistic, even fascist). These are forms of struggle that scream with the anger of the world, but turn that anger not against the oppressors, but against others of the oppressed: ‘rebellion rushing doun the wrong road, stom blowing doun the wrong tree.’ By turning anger against the oppressed such struggles not only have results that are horrific in themselves: they end up confirming the power of capital, the power of the comfortable, of those for whom anger is simply irrational.”
        [John Holloway, “The Freeing of Marx.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 14, 1993. Pages 17-21.]
        “The development of new forms of working class struggle is the counterpart of the development of the state itself. The growth of the ‘welfare state’ and ‘state intervention’ and the rise in state employment have meant an increasing permeation of daily life by the state. Over a quarter of the working population in Britain are now employed by the state and are in everyday contact with the state as their employer. For many of these (especially those employed in the public service rather than the nationalised industries), the fact that they are employed by the state (rather than by an individual capital) is of fundamental importance for the nature of their daily activity. But clearly it is not only state employees who are affected: workers not employed by the state come into much more frequent direct contact with the state apparatus than was previously the case. This is most obviously true of the various activities affecting the reproduction of labour power: education, health, social welfare, housing — all these bring the worker into constant direct contact with the various parts of the state apparatus. This is also true of the immediate sphere of production. Although the immediate antagonist for workers employed by individual capitals is still the individual capitalist, the relation between capitalist and worker is increasingly influenced by the state: through pay policy, the granting of subsidies and loans conditional on ‘good behaviour,’ planning agreements, safety regulations etc. For more and more socialists, the state has become a problem of everyday practice.” [John Holloway, “The State and Everyday Struggle.” The State Debate. Simon Clarke, editor. Houndmills, Basingstoke, England: Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd. 1991. Pages 225-259.]
        “The activity that we reject is usually seen as being part of a system, part of a more or less coherent pattern of imposed activity, a system of domination. Many, not all, autonomous movements refer to the rejected pattern of activity as capitalism: they see themselves as being anticapitalist. The distinctive feature of the autonomist approach, however, is that it involves not just hostility to capital in general, but to the specific life activity imposed by capitalism here and now and an attempt to oppose capital by acting in a different way. Against capitalist activity we set a different activity that seeks to follow a different logic.” [John Holloway, “Cracks and the Crisis of Abstract Labour.” Antipode. Volume 42, number 4, 2010. Pages 909-923.]
        “As a continuation of his previous work, Holloway invites us to reflect on the weakness of what is conceived of as inalterably powerful, i.e. capital. He suggests that, in this world, it is only humans (rather than the fetishised forms of their work) who retain the capacity to create and change the world: ‘It is labour alone which constitutes social reality. There is no external force; our own power is confronted by nothing but our own power, albeit in alienated form’ ‘. Capitalist contradictions are in no way external, but are in fact inhabited subjectivity.” [Ana C. Dinerstein, “On John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, spring 2005. Pages 13-17.]
        “In his latest book, Change the World without Taking Power (Hereafter, Change the World), John Holloway … provides a much needed attempt to fill that gap [in discussions of revolutionary subjectivity]. According to Holloway, the critical investigation of the fetishised social forms of capitalist society is not an abstract, academic discussion, but must be seen as a necessary moment in our radically transformative practice aiming at the negation of alienated social life.” [Guido Starosta, “Commodity Fetishism and Revolutionary Subjectivity: A Symposium on John Holloway’s Change the World without Taking Power. Editorial Introduction.” Historical Materialism. Volume 13, number 4, 2005. Pages 161-168.]
        “John Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power stands alongside [Antonio] Hardt and [Michael] Negri’s Empire as one of the two key texts of contemporary autonomist Marxism. This does not mean that the two books represent identical positions. Holloway makes much more of an effort to make his ideas accessible than Hardt and Negri do (although not wholly successfully). There are also important substantive differences: Holloway offers a cogent critique of Empire, to which Hardt and Negri, regrettably, have not responded in their new book Multitude.
        “Finally, the philosophical frameworks of the two books are quite different. Hardt and Negri rely on a Deleuzian vitalism that celebrates the fullness of Being. Holloway, by contrast, privileges negativity …. Hardt and Negri are anti-humanist Marxists for whom [Baruch] Spinoza is the great anti-Hegel. But for Holloway, Marxism is a tributary of ‘negative thought’: it is the tradition of [Georg] Lukács and the early Frankfurt school that provides the most important theoretical thread connecting this tradition to the present.”
        [Alex Callinicos, “Sympathy for the devil?: John Holloway’s Mephistophelian Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 29, number 1, 2005. Pages 17-19.]
      35. open Marxism (John Holloway, Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn, André C. Drainville, Peter Burnham, Simon Susen, John Michael Roberts, Martin Spence, and others): This perspective views human social relationships as less predictable or fixed and more fluid or contradictory. It has been influenced by various currents within libertarian Marxism—such as, autonomism, communization, and council communism—as well as by anarchism.
        “Capital accumulation, for example, is understood not as struggle but as the context within which struggle takes place; capitalist crisis is understood not a intensification of struggle but as providing opportunities for struggle. The categories are understood as closed categories rather than as conceptualisations of antagonistic relations, as relations of struggle, and therefore open. All this has been said before, and is indeed central to the argument of ‘open Marxism.’ What is new for me, perhaps, is the realisation that the central category in all this is labour. A closed, unitary concept of labour generates a closed understanding of all the categories, while an understanding of labour as an open antagonism gives rise to an understanding of all categories as open antagonisms.” [John Holloway. Crack Capitalism. New York: Pluto Press. 2010. Page 160.]
        “We talk about ‘open Marxism’ in order to emphasize the importance we attach to the ‘opening of categories’ and to understanding them as being self-antagonistic. If we think of ‘labour,’ for instance, the crucial point is to conceive of it as a self-antagonistic category, rather than as a unitary concept. ‘Labour,’ as I see it, is a category which obscures the antagonism between ‘concrete labour’ and ‘abstract labour.’ As such, it conceals the power of concrete labour and human creativity; it exists in the form of abstract labour, or―as Richard Gunn puts it―it exists ‘in the mode of being denied.’ On this account, ‘concrete labour’ exists in the form of being denied. This means inevitably that it exists in, against, and beyond its own denial.” [John Holloway in John Holloway and Simon Susen, “Change the World by Cracking Capitalism?: A Critical Encounter between John Holloway and Simon Susen.” Sociological Analysis. Volume 7, number 1, spring 2013. Pages 23-42.]
        “‘Openness,’ here, refers not just to a programme of empirical research – which can elide all too conveniently with positivism – but to the openness of Marxist categories themselves. This openness appears in, for instance, a dialectic of subject and object, of form and content, of theory and practice, of the constitution and reconstitution of categories in and through the development, always crisis-ridden, of a social world. Crisis refers to contradiction, and to contradiction’s movement: this movement underpins, and undermines, the fixity of structuralist and teleological-determinist Marxism alike. Rather than coming forward simply as a theory of domination – ‘domination’ reporting something inert, as it were a heavy fixed and given weight – open Marxism offers to conceptualise the contradictions internal to domination itself. Crisis, understood as a category of contradiction, entails not just danger but opportunity. Within theory, crisis enunciates itself as critique.” [Werner Bonefeld, Richard Gunn, and Kosmas Psychopedis (editors’ introduction). Open Marxism. Volume I. Dialectics and History. London: Pluto Press. 1992. Page xi.]
        “In the study of the world economy, open Marxism proposes to go beyond problem-solving realism …, to rejuvenate and challenge the traditional agenda of IPE [international political economy] …, to move beyond ‘marxist fundamentalism,’ and to articulate a sweeping ‘general critique of positivist, mechanical, and economistic perspectives within Marxism and other traditions’ ….” [André C. Drainville, “International Political Economy in the Age of Open Marxism.” Review of International Political Economy. Volume, 1, number 1, spring 1994. Pages 105-132.]
        “The call for the development of ‘open Marxism’ … is a response to the crisis of the various forms of deterministic ‘closed Marxism’ which have dominated radical discourse since the arrival of the state ideology Marxism-Leninism. The attempt to break away from the reductionist dogmatism of Marxist structural-functionalism while avoiding the complementary evil of humanistic subjectivism has a long tradition in Marxist thought.” [Peter Burnham, “Open Marxism and Vulgar International Political Economy.” Review of International Political Economy. Volume, 1, number 2, summer 1994. Pages 221-231.]
        “The author of Crack Capitalism [John Holloway] is to be applauded for taking issue with the erroneous presuppositions underlying so-called orthodox Marxism and making a case for an alternative approach, commonly known as ‘open Marxism’ or ‘autonomous Marxism.’ The fundamental differences between ‘orthodox Marxism’ and ‘open Marxism’ manifest themselves in five paradigmatic oppositions: closure versus openness, necessity versus contingency, positivity versus negativity, heteronomy versus autonomy, and universality versus particularity.” [Simon Susen, “‘Open Marxism’ against and beyond the ‘Great Enclosure’?: Reflections on how (not) to crack capitalism.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, 2012. Pages 281-331.]
        “… ‘open Marxism’ … rejects what is seen as a Marxist predilection to either reify the technical process of capital accumulation or to reify the moment of labour’s struggle against the alienating world of capitalist power. Seeking instead to ‘reveal the social form of labour in capitalist society’ …, open Marxists develop categories that comprehend why labour is compelled to assume alienated forms of existence under capitalism.” [John Michael Roberts, “From reflection to refraction: opening up open Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 26, number 4, autumn 2002. Pages 87-116.]
        “For the current in Open Marxist thought that is associated with John Holloway, form and fetishism are fundamental.…
        “Both Open Marxism’s focus on form analysis and the analytical tool of class composition are enormously valuable. In considering capitalist forms as modes of existence of social relations, form analysis helps us grasp those social relations in all their messy, actually existing variety. And by understanding instances of class struggle in terms of the systemic tension between variable and constant capital, with living labour as an active creative force, class composition helps us grasp the moving reality of struggle.”
        [Martin Spence, “Form, fetish, and film: Revisiting Open Marxism.” Capital & Class. Volume 34, number 1, 2010. Pages 99-106.]
        “Open Marxism … applies the concept of abstract and concrete mentioned above to the decomposing reality of the enchanted and perverted world of capitalism. It necessarily contains, and is founded on, the principle of doubt: instead of the certainty of the orthodox manner of making use of concepts, it reclaims the incompletness of the process ot thinking, it readopts the unpredictability of the ‘legitimacy of chance’ ([Karl] Marx) and it reconsiders the historically adequate policy of critique and destruction.” [Werner Bonefeld, “Open Marxism.” Common Sense: A journal of a wholly new type. Issue 1, May 1987. Pages 34-38.]
        “The concept of ‘open Marxism’ does not refer to the come-one, come-all eclecticism of ‘neo-Marxism’ which, more often than not, reproduces in new language the determinism of the worst of ‘orthodox Marxism,’ but to the rigorous recognition of the openness of the categories themselves, which are open simply because they are conceptualisations of open processes. The notion of openness can be illustrated by contrasting the categories of profit and surplus value. Profit is a closed (or fetishised) category because it refers to a thing, without reference to the way that the thing is produced: as a closed category, it is also a-historical, devoid of movement. The category of surplus-value, on the other hand, is an open (or de-fetishising) category because it points to the antagonistic process by which that ‘thing’ is created, and therefore to the open-ended, uncertain and dynamic nature of that process. A similar contrast can be made between the bourgeois and the Marxist concepts of ‘class.’ The bourgeois concept of class is a static concept which refers to a group of people who have something in common; for Marx, a class is one pole of the antagonism rooted in production, an antagonism which is inherently dynamic and uncertain.” [John Holloway, “Open Marxism, History and Class Struggle Some Comments on Heide Gerstenberger’s Book, ‘Die subjektlose Gewalt: Theorie der Entstehung bürgerlicher Staatsgewalt.’” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 13, winter 1993. Pages 76-86.]
        “I expected a number of objections to my theoretical approach. From the Marxist side I expected: extreme culturalism, historicism, politicist analysis, false conception of class. I find three of them in John Holloway’s contribution. The first is missing. It is omitted because the author undertook the quite incomprehensible effort of divesting a very extensive concrete analysis of every element of historical concreteness in order to seek thereunder the naked frame of a history of the forms of exploitation. Whatever clashes with this perspective is not even perceived as a theoretical provocation, but simply left out of view.” [Heide Gerstenberger, “History and ‘Open Marxism’: A Reply to John Holloway.” John Holloway, translator. Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 14, 1993. Pages 58-62.]
        “[John] Holloway argues that the ‘unifying thread’ of all these cracks [in Crack Capitalism] is the desire to overcome the alienated labor of capitalism and replace it with activity that is voluntary, fulfilling, and socially useful. After reviewing Holloway’s foundational theoretical argument, which offers an enriched understanding of alienated labor, we focus particular attention on the concrete implications of his analysis for transformational organizing. Several issues are crucial: the role of revolutionary organizers and organizations, the role of counter-institutions, and the question of whether, and how, the struggle for reform can be productively conducted within capitalist states and other dominant institutions.” [Kevin Young and Michael Schwartz, “Can prefigurative politics prevail? The implications for movement strategy in John Holloway’s Crack Capitalism.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 12, number 2, 2012. Pages 220-239.]
      36. open Marxist theory of imperialism (Alex Sutton): He applies an open–Marxist perspective to imperialism.
        “The enduring nature of imperialism means that a theory of imperialism will be perennially useful in demystifying its origins and qualities. This paper seeks to show that an open Marxist (OM hereafter) approach is valuable in identifying the necessary qualities of imperialism and its origins in the capitalist social form. Theories of imperialism rest on a theory or conception of the state, which is where OM’s contribution to social theory is most robust. The purpose of this paper is to move towards an OM account of imperialism, and to identify the basic form of a theory of imperialism that is consonant with OM. The paper argues that extant theories of imperialism are dissonant with OM based upon their conceptions of the state, and social relations more broadly.” [Alex Sutton, “Towards an open Marxist theory of imperialism.” Capital & Class. Volume 37, number 2, 2013. Pages 217-237.]
      37. logic of autonomism and prefigurative political action (Juuso V. M. Miettunen as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops an open Marxist approach to autonomism.
        “In theorizing the logic of autonomism and prefigurative political action this chapter will put forward the argument that the idea of social change driving the movements can be understood through Holloway’s notion of building ‘power-to.’ …
        “This discussion will draw from Marxian theory which ‘is valued precisely for its breadth and depth of analysis, as well as its practical orientation toward social struggles. As “an argument about movements, and an argument within movements,” Marxism simultaneously offers a theorisation of power structures, popular agency, and social transformation in conjunction with related strategic questions’ …. Yet, autonomism poses considerable challenges to many of the dominant assumptions and practices in Marxist theory and movements.”
        [Juuso V. M. Miettunen. Prefigurative Politics: Perils and Promise. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Kent. Canterbury, England. August, 2015. Page 13.]
        “The theoretical tradition of Open Marxism (OM) emerged out of the Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE)…. Open Marxism is perhaps best understood as a response to two theoretical traditions; ‘Structural Marxism’ and ‘autonomist Marxism.’ The ‘openness’ of OM can be seen as a response to the perceived closed nature of in particular the structural Marxism of Louis Althusser which they accused of inadequate attention to social action and the consequent inability to explain the processes by which social life is constituted and the ‘human values affirmed/revoked through those conditions‘ ….” [Juuso V. M. Miettunen. Prefigurative Politics: Perils and Promise. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Kent. Canterbury, England. August, 2015. Page 32.]
      38. council communism or councilism: Proponents of this position advocate for an economy controlled by workers’ councils. See the website, Left-Wing, Anti-Bolshevik and Council Communism.
        “Whereas the Communist Parties, directed by the Moscow Comintern, refer to Marxism as their guiding doctrine, they meet with more and more opposition from the most advanced workers in Western Europe and America, most radically from the ranks of Council communism. These contradictions, extending over all important problems of life and of the social struggle, can be cleared up only by penetrating into the deepest, i.e., the philosophical principles of what is called Marxism in these different trends of thought.” [Anton Pannekoek. Lenin As Philosopher: A Critical Examination of the Philosophical Basis of Leninism. Revised edition. Lance Byron Richey, editor. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press. 2003. Pages 63-64.]
        “They [workers] must, every man of them, act themselves, decide themselves, hence think out and know for themselves. Only in this way will a real class organization be built up from below, having the form of something like workers’ councils. It is of no avail that they have been convinced that their leaders know what is afoot and have gained the point in theoretical discussion—an easy thing when each is acquainted with the writings of his own party only. Out of the contest of arguments they have to form a clear opinion themselves. There is no truth lying ready at hand that has only to be imbibed; in every new case truth must be contrived by exertion of one’s own brain.” [Anton Pannekoek. Lenin As Philosopher: A Critical Examination of the Philosophical Basis of Leninism. Revised edition. Lance Byron Richey, editor. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press. 2003. Page 157.]
        “In the course of 1921, the council-communist movement thus began to demarcate itself clearly from official Communism. The movement’s starting points can be summarised simply. Firstly, capitalism is in decline and should be abolished immediately. Secondly, the only alternative to capitalism is a democracy of workers’ councils, based on an economy controlled by the working class. Thirdly, the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic allies are trying to save capitalism from its fate by means of ‘democratic’ manipulation of the working class. Fourthly, in order to hasten the establishment of a democracy of councils, this manipulation must be consistently resisted. This means, on the one hand, boycotting all parliamentary elections and, on the other hand, systematically fighting against the old trade unions (which are organs for joint management of capitalism). Finally, Soviet-type societies are not an alternative to capitalism but, rather, a new form of capitalism.” [Marcel van der Linden, “On Council Communism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, issue 4, 2004. Pages 27-50.]
        “At its [council communism’s] high-point in 1919 and 1920, this movement [in Germany] represented a powerful anti-bureaucratic Marxist alternative to the rapidly consolidating Leninist communist movement. The most articulate theorization of revolutionary council communism was provided by the Dutch Marxist theorist Anton Pannekoek, who had a long career of activism in both Dutch and German social democracy.… Although left radicalism in Bremen [Germany] represented one of the two poles around which the early German communist movement gravitated and exemplified what was, perhaps, at the heart of the west European revolutionary Marxist tradition, few historians have paid much attention to this movement or attempted to trace its evolution into council communism. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to describe and analyse the development of the left radical movement in Bremen from its origins shortly after the turn of the century to its rapid demise as a form of council communism in the period after 1920.” [John Gerber, “From Left Radicalism to Council Communism: Anton Pannekoek and German Revolutionary Marxism.” Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 23, number 2, April 1988. Pages 169-189.]
        “In the course of 1921, the council-communist movement … began to demarcate itself clearly from official Communism. The movement’s starting points can be summarised simply. Firstly, capitalism is in decline and should be abolished immediately. Secondly, the only alternative to capitalism is a democracy of workers’ councils, based on an economy controlled by the working class. Thirdly, the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic allies are trying to save capitalism from its fate by means of ‘democratic’ manipulation of the working class. Fourthly, in order to hasten the establishment of a democracy of councils, this manipulation must be consistently resisted. This means, on the one hand, boycotting all parliamentary elections and, on the other hand, systematically fighting against the old trade unions (which are organs for joint management of capitalism). Finally, Soviet-type societies are not an alternative to capitalism but, rather, a new form of capitalism.” [Marcel van der Linden, “On Council Communism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, number 4, 2004. Pages 27-50.]
        “The self-expropriation and proletarianization of the bourgeoisie by the second World War, the surmounting of nationalism by the abolition of small states, the state-capitalistic world-politic based on state federations, the spreading of the class concept until it fosters a majority interest in socialism, the shift of gravity from the typically laissez-faire form of bourgeois competition to the unavoidable collectivization of the future, the transformation of the class-struggle from an abstract-ideological category into a practical-positive-economic category, the automatic rise of factory councils after the unfolding of labor democracy as a reaction to bureaucratic terror, the exact rational regulations and directions of human activities and conduct through the abolition of the power of the impersonal, unconscious and blind market economy – all these factors car make us aware of the enormous upsurge of energies made free when the primitive, mechanical, raw and brutal beginnings of social collectivism, such as fascism presents, are at last overcome.” [Editor, “Prelude to Hitler—The International Politics of Germany: 1918-1933.” Living Marxism. Volume V, number 2, fall 1940. Pagination unknown.]
        “Given the impossibility to collect the workers of all the factories into one meeting, they can only express their will by means of delegates. For such bodies of delegates in later times the name of workers’ councils has come into use. Every collaborating group or personnel designates the members who in the council assemblies have to express its opinion and its wishes. These took an active part themselves in the deliberations of this group, they came to the front as able defenders of the views that carried the majority. Now they are sent as the spokesmen of the group to confront the views with those of other groups in order to come to a collective decision. Though their personal abilities play a role in persuading the colleagues and in clearing problems, their weight does not lay in their individual strength, but in the strength of the community that delegated them. What carries weight are not simple opinions but still more the will and the readiness of the group to act accordingly. Different persons will act as delegates according to the different questions raised and the forthcoming problems.” [Anton Pannekoek. Workers’ Councils. Anton Pannekoek, translator of his own Dutch-language text into the English language. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2003. Page 24.]
        “Searching in the past for radical elements which are of vital importance for present and future anti-capitalist struggles, this paper presents and discusses the critique of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union developed by the two largely neglected political and theoretical traditions of anarchism and Council Communism. It argues that despite their theoretical and political inconsistencies, ambiguities and mistakes, both trends have provided valuable insights that could contribute to our better understanding of the Russian Revolution and the formation of the Soviet Union. A critical assessment of the anarchist and councilist evaluation of the Russian Revolution represents a fundamental part of the process of critically assessing the radical anti-capitalist tradition and, therefore, it constitutes part of the present struggles for human emancipation. In this sense, the essay, firstly, examines the anarchists’ account of the Russian Revolution and their analysis of the new Soviet regime. Next, it considers the appraisal of the Soviet social formation carried out by the Council Communist tradition. It goes on to outline the contribution and the common perspectives that anarchists and Council Communists have shared.” [Christos Memos, “Anarchism and Council Communism on the Russian Revolution.” Anarchist Studies. Volume 20, number 2, autumn–winter 2012. Pages 22-47.]
        “The severe post-war political crisis in Germany during the years 1918-21 was the context for the emergence of a widespread network of workers’ councils which made a spectacular if rather ineffective challenge to the existing state apparatus. While the majority of these councils were dominated by the social democrats and did not express any aspirations beyond the establishment of a democratic republic within the framework of capitalism, there developed at the same time, within this broad council movement, a specific current of council communism with clear revolutionary and anti-capitalist goals. At its high-point in 1919 and 1920, this movement represented a powerful anti-bureaucratic Marxist alternative to the rapidly consolidating Leninist communist movement.” [John Gerber, “From Left Radicalism to Council Communism: Anton Pannekoek and German Revolutionary Marxism.” Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 23, number 2, 1988. Pages 169-189.]
        “… revolutionary syndicalism and council communism attempted to ‘generalize one model of organization, derived from the sphere of production, to all of society.’” [Kenneth H. Tucker, “How New are the New Social Movements?” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 8, number 2, 1991. Pages 75-98.]
        “Sergio Bologna, a noted workerist who once referred to the concept of class composition as the ‘skeleton key which opens all doors’ …, put this model to work in a 1967 conference by effectively rewriting the history of the German councilist movement. After surveying the industrial geography of Germany at the turn of the century, he demonstrates how the particular ways in which laborpower was exploited in industrial production led to the adoption of the council as a form of struggle by those whose labor-power was being exploited.” [Salar Mohandesi, “Class Consciousness or Class Composition?” Science & Society. Volume 77, number 1, January 2013. Pages 72-97.]
        “[Karl] Marx was justified in promoting the adoption of a policy which, he was convinced, could alone lead to the liberation of the proletariat. He was right, too, in insisting that the International must free itself from [Mikhail] Bakunin, seeing that Bakunin was a declared opponent of this policy, and was doing all he could to counteract it. But that Marx, in order to secure this concrete triumph, should have stooped to personal calumny, is a condemnation, not of Bakunin, but of Marx himself. We have here a deplorable demonstration of the disastrous trait in his character which made him regard all the problems of politics, the labour movement, and the revolution, from the outlook of their bearing on his personal credit. A council of international revolutionaries, whose main business in life is to blow to smithereens the world of private property and bourgeois morality, is induced by its leader to pass a vote of reprobation and a sentence of expulsion upon one of the most brilliant, heroic, and fascinating of revolutionists the world has ever known on the ground that this revolutionist has misappropriated bourgeois property. Is it possible to point to anything more painfully absurd in the whole story of the human race?” [Otto Rühle. Karl Marx: His Life and Works. Eden and Cedar Paul, translators. New York: The Viking Press. 1929. Ebook edition.]
        “However much the revolution develops into the international affair, it is above all an affair of each country, of each people for itself. Though the revolutionary experiences of Russia may be valuable to the proletariat of a country, as thankful as it will be for fraternal advice and neighbourly help – the revolution itself is its own affair; it must be independent in the struggles, free in its decisions, and unbiased and unimpeded in its evaluation and exploitation of the revolutionary situation.” [Otto Rühle, “Moscow and Ourselves.” Mike Jones, translator. Die Aktion. Volume 10, number 37/38, September 1920. Pagination unknown.]
        “Hope for the final uprising of the proletariat and its historical deliverance does not spring from the miserable remnants of the old movements in the still-democratic countries, and still less from the shabby fragments of those party traditions that were scattered and spilled in the emigration of the world. Nor does it spring from the stereotyped notions of past revolutions, regardless of whether one believes in the blessings of violence or in ‘peaceful transition.’ Hope comes rather from the new urges and impulses which will animate the masses in the totalitarian states and will force them to make their own history. The self-expropriation and proletarianization of the bourgeoisie by the second World War, the surmounting of nationalism by the abolition of small states, the state-capitalistic world-politic based on state federations, the spreading of the class concept until it fosters a majority interest in socialism, the shift of gravity from the typically laissez-faire form of bourgeois competition to the unavoidable collectivization of the future, the transformation of the class-struggle from an abstract-ideological category into a practical-positive-economic category, the automatic rise of factory councils after the unfolding of labor democracy as a reaction to bureaucratic terror, the exact and rational regulations and directions of human activities and conduct through the abolition of the power of the impersonal, unconscious and blind market economy – all these factors can make us aware of the enormous upsurge of energies made free when the primitive, mechanical, raw and brutal beginnings of a social collectivism, such as fascism presents, are at last overcome.” [Otto Rühle, “Which Side To Take?” Living Marxism. Volume 5, number 2, fall 1940. Pagination unknown.]
        “… [The] council movement [Vladimir] Lenin could use no longer in Russia. In other European countries it showed strong tendencies to oppose the Bolshevik type of uprisings. Despite Moscow’s tremendous propaganda in all countries, the so-called ‘ultra-lefts,’ as Lenin himself pointed out, agitated more successfully for revolution on the basis of the council movement, than did all the propagandists sent by the Bolshevik Party. The Communist Party, following Bolshevism, remained a small, hysterical, and noisy group consisting largely of the proletarianized shreds of the bourgeoisie, whereas the council movement gained in real proletarian strength and attracted the best elements of the working class. To cope with this situation, Bolshevik propaganda had to be increased; the ‘ultra-left’ had to be attacked; its influence had to be destroyed in favour of Bolshevism.” [Otto Rühle, “The struggle against fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism.” Living Marxism. Volume 4, number 8, 1939. Pagination unknown.]
        “It is a new beginning for the communist movement the communist workers party, the revolutionary factory organisations regrouped in the General Workers Union, the revolutionary councils, the congress of revolutionary councils, the government of the revolutionary councils, the communist dictatorship of the councils.” [Otto Rühle. The revolution is not a party affair. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1920.]
        “When numerous labourers work together side by side, whether in one and the same process, or in different but connected processes, they are said to co-operate, or to work in co-operation.” [Otto Rühle (abridgement of Karl Marx’s Capital). Capital: A critique of political economy. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1939.]
      39. Marxism–Gorterism (Herman Gorter as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Gorter, a Dutch–language poet, developed a version of left–wing communism. Among his proposals was that industrial organizations should be unified into a single league.
        “On every occasion we summon them [the workers] for common action: for the strike, the boycott, for revolt, street fights, and especially for the workers’ councils, the industrial councils. We seek them everywhere. Only not in parliament, as we used to do. This, in Western Europe, belongs to a past epoch. But in the workshop, in the union and in the street – that is where we find them. That is where we win them. This is the new practice, succeeding social democratic practice. It is the Communist practice.…
        “You seek to slyly deceive the workers. You put the rope round their neck and let them hang. We help them to avoid the rope. We do this because here we are able to do so. You follow the tactics of the peasant races; we those of the industrial races. This is no scorn, and no mockery. I believe that with you it was the right way. Only you should not – either in this small matter, or in the great question of parliamentarism – force on us what was good in Russia but leads to destruction here.…
        “As you did then, we of the Left Wing wish to do now in the Third International. Through our very programme and tactics we wish to chase away all vacillating and opportunist elements; we only wish to accept the truly Communist, truly revolutionary ones, we wish to carry out truly communist action. And all this exclusively with a view to inspiring the entire class with communist spirit, and of preparing it for the revelation and the dictatorship.…
        “We, comrades of the Left Wing, must stand close together, must start everything from below upward, and must criticise as keenly as possible all those that in the Third International do not go the right way (Personally I believe that in countries where the revolution is far off as yet, and the workers are not yet strong enough to make it, parliamentarism can still be used. The sharpest criticism of the parliamentary delegates is necessary in that case. Other comrades, I believe, are of a different opinion.).…
        “It would be a thousand times worse, that opportunism, with its devastating effect on the soul and the strength of the proletariat, should again slip in, than that the Left Wing should be too radical. The Left Wing, even though at times it goes too far, always remains revolutionary. The Left Wing will alter its tactics as soon as they are not right. The opportunist Right will grow ever more opportunist, will sink ever further into the morass, will corrupt the workers to an ever greater extent. Not in vain have we learned from twenty-five years of struggle.…
        “The Left Wing believes that the West-European revolution will make and follow its own laws.…
        “And, finally, I will gather my statements into a few theses, so that the workers who must strive for themselves to gain a clear insight into those tactics, may have them before their eyes in a concise, surveyable form. They have to be read, of course, in the light of the above exposition.
        1. “The tactics of the West-European revolution must be different from those of the Russian revolution.
        2. “For here the proletariat stands alone.
        3. “Here the proletariat must make the revolution all by itself, against all other classes.
        4. “The importance of the proletarian masses, therefore, is relatively greater, and that of the leaders smaller than in Russia.
        5. “Consequently, here the proletariat must have the very best weapons for the revolution.
        6. “The Trade Unions being insufficient weapons, they must be replaced or changed into industrial organisations, that are united into one league.
        7. “As the proletariat must make the revolution all alone, without help, it has to rise very high morally as well as spiritually. It is better therefore not to use parliamentarism in the revolution.”
        [Herman Gorter, “Part One: Herman Gorter.” Non-Leninist Marxism: Writings on the Workers Councils. Red and Black Publishers, editor. St. Petersburg, Florida: Red and Black Publishers. 2007. Kindle edition.]
        “She sits still, looks ahead
        “past her cheeks so red,
        “her fingers move everywhere
        “over her legs, both bare.
        “Her light hair is still,
        “the eyes cannot be seen,
        “her breasts too are still,
        “all is serene.
        “Beneath her chin red light –
        “warm shadow,
        “and in her lap, bright,
        “darker shadow.”
        [Herman Gorter. Herman Gorter: Poems Of 1890, A Selection. Paul Vincent, translator. London: UCL Press. 2015. Creative Commons. Page 61.]
        “There only remained the ‘Gorterist’ opposition in Amsterdam ….” [Philippe Bourrinet. The Dutch and German Communist Left (1900–1968). Online PDF file. No publication information. Page 114.]
        “The young Herman [Gorter] was the beneficiary of a major reform in Dutch secondary education introduced in 1864, attending a new-style high school, the Higher Civic School (HBS). Ironically, though the syllabus at these institutions was largely science and modern language-based, Gorter’s great love was Classical studies, which he went on to study at Amsterdam University, where in 1889 he received his doctorate for a thesis on Aeschylus’ use of metaphor (after having a more daring project on poetic inspiration rejected). Shortly afterwards he was appointed to his first post as a Classics teacher and the following year married his fiancée Wies Cnoop Koopmans, despite expressing some last-minute doubts. Those doubts were not unfounded. Though the couple remained together until his wife’s death in 1916, it was an ‘open’ marriage, at least on Gorter’s side, and a childless one. The poet’s powerful erotic drive sought an outlet in two intense long-term relationships, with Ada Prins and later with Jenne Clinge Doorenbos, of which he made no secret. Jenne, herself a writer, became his editor and collaborator as well as muse (‘the Spirit of Music’ as the poet dubbed her in Nietzschean style).” [Paul Vincent, “Herman Gorter (1864-1927): Poet, Lover and Revolutionary.” The Low Countries. Volume 19, 2011. Pages 138-147.]
      40. Group of International Communists: This group is based upon the principles of council communism.
        “With this work the Group of International Communists have put forward for debate, for the first time in the post-war history of the working class movement, the practical possibility of ordering social production and distribution on the basis of a use-value economy. They have brought together all the experience accumulated as a result of earlier attempts, by theoretical representatives of the working class of a previous era, to solve this most ultimate and conclusive of all areas of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat, in order that the root causes which in the final outcome render all those earlier efforts scientifically untenable may be laid bare and so prevented from generating further confusion.…
        “The simple language and the clear methods of analysis employed, which are understandable to every class-conscious worker, ensure that every revolutionary who diligently studies the following pages can also fully grasp their content. The clarity and disciplined objectivity of the writing likewise open up the possibility of a broad arena of discussion within the working class movement, one which can draw into its orbit all the varied schools of opinion represented within its ranks. Since we Council Communists also, within our own ranks, must subject the possibilities projected here to the most thoroughgoing discussion, we reserve for a latter date the final expression of our standpoint towards the exposition which follows.”
        [Group of International Communists. The Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. Mike Baker, translator and editor. London: Movement for Workers’ Councils. 1990. Page 27.]
      41. neo–councilism (Jim Davis): He proposes twenty–seven theses for what he calls “a Marxist–based Anarchism.”
        THESES FOR A NEO-COUNCILISM (1983)
        1. “Neo-councilism, which I considered to be a Marxist-based Anarchism, is a direct result of the defeated French Revolution of May-June 1968.…
        2. “Neo-Councilism is based upon the historical sources of libertarian revolutionary theory, combined with the lessons that have been learned from both the successes, and of the failures of past revolutionary situations. From such a base, we can then develop a practical revolutionary theory that can be realized by practice.
        3. “My philosophy is that of dialectical evolutionism. Material conditions arise in connection with thought; thought arises in connection with the material conditions. The realization of thought demands action; the realization of action demands thought.
        4. “Neo-Councilists are not vulgar determinists, either in history or in economics.…
        5. “The kind of society that we want to help in the creation of, is by conception a classless one in which there are neither rulers, nor ruled.…
        6. “Neo-Councilists maintain that the future society must be organized upon the basis of workers’ and consumers’ councils.…
        7. “… The aim of the social revolution is for the producers to gain control over the means of production, thus gaining control over their lives.…
        8. “The only solution to the present crisis is world revolution.…
        9. “The struggle against capitalism and its state is not just the activity of one special group.…
        10. “… The future society must be built, and to build one must have a plan.…
        11. “… The idea of freedom is an innate part of the human condition.…
        12. “… The act of nationalization means that the state will control all that which is being nationalized.…
        13. “There does not exist anywhere upon this planet libertarian socialism.…
        14. “… The triumph of the social revolution means the elimination of the capitalist modes of production and consumption.…
        15. “Neo-Councilists have no interest in the reform of capitalism, for we want to abolish it.…
        16. “In regards to technology, as a whole, it can be either libratory or oppressive.…
        17. “Neo-Councilists support the movement for total nuclear disarmament ….
        18. “Neo-Councilists recognize that the unions, under capitalism, have lost all practical value ….
        19. “Self-management under capitalism is nothing more than a new tactic of capitalism ….
        20. “Under capitalism all elections are nothing more than mystifications.…
        21. “Religion is purely a private affair upon the level of the individual.…
        22. “All so-called ‘national liberation movements’ are nothing more than a mystification of the deadly struggle between the imperialistic superpowers.…
        23. “As capitalism degenerates it creates the forces of its destruction, and therefore has to resort to even more tricks to maintain its power.…
        24. “As to the road of action we reject the use of terrorism.…
        25. “… The work group must be able to survive the transition intact.…
        26. “We, as Neo-Councilists, recognize the importance of the military side of revolution.…
        27. “Revolutionaries do not make the revolution; the breakdown of capitalist society will do that.”
        [Jim Davis. Vision and Praxis: A manifesto of Non-State & Non-Market Socialism. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing. 2011. Ebook edition.]
      42. anti–Bolshevik communism (Paul Mattick as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Paul Mattick, Sr., developed an approach to council communism.
        “… revolutions involved the organised as well as unorganised masses of workers, which created their own and new form of organisation for action and control in the spontaneously- arising workers’ and soldiers’ councils. But in both Russia and Central Europe the actual content of the revolution was not equal to its new revolutionary form. Whereas in Russia it was mainly the objective unreadiness for a socialist transformation, in Central Europe, and here particularly in Germany, it was the subjective unwillingness to institute socialism by revolutionary means, which largely accounts for the self-limitation and finally the abdication of the council movement in favour of bourgeois democracy. The ideology of Social Democracy had left its mark; the great mass of workers mistook the political for a social revolution; the socialisation of production was seen as a governmental concern, not as that of the workers themselves. In Russia, it is true, the Bolshevik Party advanced the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets,’ but only for opportunistic reasons, in order to reach its true goal in the authoritarian rule of the Bolshevik Party.
        “By itself, the workers’ self-initiative and self-organisation offers no guarantee for their emancipation. It has to be realised and maintained through the abolition of the capital-labour relationship in production, through a council system, which destroys the social class divisions and prevents the rise of new ones based on the control of production and distribution by the national state. However difficult this may prove to be, the history of the existing state-capitalist systems leaves no doubt that this is the only way to a socialist society. This had already been recognised by small minorities in the radical movement prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution and was brought into the open within the communist movement as an opposition to Bolshevism and the theory and practice of the Third International. It is this movement and the ideas it brought forth, which this volume recalls, not, however, to describe a particular part and phase of labour history, but as a warning, which may also serve as a guide for future actions.
        [Paul Mattick, Sr. Anti-Bolshevik Communism. London: Merlin Press. 1978. Pages x-xi.]
        “The Russian soviets and the German workers’ and soldiers’ councils represented the proletarian element in both the Russian and the German revolution. In both nations these movements were soon suppressed by military and judicial means. What remained of the Russian soviets after the firm entrenchment of the Bolshevik party dictatorship was merely the Russian version of the later Nazi labor-front. The legalized German council movement turned into an appendage of trade-unionism and soon into a capitalistic form of control. Even the spontaneously formed councils of 1918 were – the majority of them – far from revolutionary. Their form of organization, based on class needs and not on the various special interests resulting from the capitalistic division of labor, was all that was radical about them. But whatever their shortcomings, it must be said that there was nothing else on which to base revolutionary hopes. Although they frequently turned against the Left, still it was expected that the objective needs of this movement would bring it inevitably into conflict with the traditional powers. This form of organization was to be preserved in its original character and built up in preparation for coming struggles.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Anti-Bolshevist Communism in Germany.” Southern Advocate for Workers’ Councils. Number 37, August–September 1947. Pagination unknown.]
        “The application of the social average labor hour as the computing unit presupposes the existence of workers’ councils (soviets). Each enterprise comes forward as an independent unit and is at the same time, as we shall show later, connected with all the other enterprises. As a result of the division of labor, each factory has certain end products. With the aid of the production formula mp [means of production] + r [raw materials] + l [labor] each enterprise can compute the labor time contained in its end products. In the shoe factory taken as an example, the end product (one pair of shoes) – contains an average of three working hours. This average can be found for each product in each enterprise. The end product of an enterprise, insofar as it is not destined for individual consumption, goes to another enterprise either in the form of mp or r, and this one in turn computes its end products in labor hours. The same thing holds for all places of production, without regard to the magnitude or kind of their products.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “What is Communism?” International Council Correspondence. Volume 1, number 1, October 1934. Pages 1-9.]
        “The Yugoslav ‘market socialism,’ … in which a combination of Workers’ Councils and professional management runs industrial and commercial enterprises in accordance with the profitability principle and in competition with other enterprises, and where agriculture is mainly carried on by private peasants, suffers all the contradictions characteristic of capitalistic market relations, such as disproportional development, business failures, unemployment, and the ups and downs of the business cycle.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy. Boston, Massachusetts: Extending Horizons Books imprint of Porter Sargent Publisher. 1969. Ebook edition.]
        “… the plain fact is that even in the purportedly ‘socialist’ revolutions of the past, the task of reorganizing society was left to the state, the party, and hence an elite. The rebelling population acquired their political experience within organizational forms that had been shaped by the class nature and political economy of capitalist society and hence could not measure up to the requirements of a classless society. Revolutionary means were used to reformist ends, namely, remain in the hands of the producers; the establishment of a new state with an autonomous power position must be prevented. The experiments of the council communists showed, if only in vague form, the direction the proletariat’s struggle for emancipation must take, although they still lacked the concrete basis on which to bring this about. But whatever the difficulties facing socialism the existing state-capitalist systems have proven that their way, any event, is not the way to socialism.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Economics, Politics and The Age of Inflation. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2006. Ebook.]
        “… it is no utopia, no empty theory, that these workers’ councils, wherever they group themselves around production, in the shops, as shop organizations, themselves aim to take possession of the means of production, and themselves direct and manage production. It is a demand which is raised in the course of developments by broad masses of workers. The intellectual element will have to suppress this striving with force if it wants to assert its control in the state economy. From the viewpoint of the workers’ councils, the statement of the problem in matters of economic organization is not as to how production must be governed, and in this sense best organized, but as to how the mutual relations of human beings to each other and among each other are to be regulated in connection with production. For, to the councils, production is no longer an objective process in which the labor of man and the product thereof becomes separated from him, a process which one computes and directs like lifeless material, but to them production is the vital function of the workers themselves. If production – the vital function of human beings when everyone is obliged to work – even today is social in practice, then also the participation of human beings in that production, their own vital function, can be socially regulated without putting them on a level with their own working instruments and without subjecting them to the command of a special class or element. Once the problem is put in this way, its solution is no longer so improbable, but rather easy to find. It presents itself, as it were, of its own accord. It is the labor of human beings itself, their own vital function, in the fields of production, which serves as a criterion for the adjustment of their mutual relations. Once the labor of individuals, as well as their union in shop organizations, has been introduced as the determining factor in the social adjustment of the mutual relations, there is no longer room for any sort of leadership or management which does not itself take part in the productive process, which merely exercises governing functions and appropriates to itself the products of others.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Workers’ Councils and Communist Organization of Economy.” International Council Correspondence. Volume 1, number 7, April 1935. Pages 7-18.]
        “Among the many theoreticians who argued against [Rosa] Luxemburg, Otto Bauer and Nikolai Bukharin merit particular attention. Bukharin’s delayed critique reflected not only theoretical interest but also the struggle the Bolsheviks were waging at that time against ‘Luxemburgism’ in order to clean the tradition linked to her out of the communist parties. Bukharin found nothing to object to in [Karl] Marx’s reproduction schemas and rejected Luxemburg’s critique on this subject. Of course, the circuit of capital, represented at a very high level of abstraction, required later completion on a lower, more concrete level of abstraction. In any case, the reproduction schemas admitted of neither [Mikhail Ivanovich] Tugan-Baranovsky’s nor Luxemburg’s interpretations. According to Marx and [Vladimir] Lenin, even in a ‘pure’ capitalist system nothing stands in the way of accumulation and the realization of surplus value. Bukharin saw the basis of Luxemburg’s false theory in her identification of the accumulation of capital with that of money capital. She imagined that the share of the surplus value that must be accumulated as additional capital must first be transformed into money already at hand within the system. Only then would the surplus value be realized, and the expanded reproduction would be the reproduction of capitalist accumulation. Without this metamorphosis of surplus value from the commodity form into the money form, accumulation could not take place. Bukharin, however, pointed out that, like capital itself surplus value appears in various forms: as commodities, as money, as means of production, and as labor power. For each of these the money form is not to be identified with the total surplus value in its various forms. Surplus value must go through its money phase, only not as a whole, at one time, but rather bit by bit, through innumerable commercial transactions, in the course of which a given sum of money can repeatedly accomplish the transformation of commodities into money and money into commodity. The total surplus value does not have to encounter a sum of money equivalent to it, although every commodity, in order to be realized, must be turned into money. The fact that the growing capital is accompanied by an increasing mass of money does not mean that capital and money capital have to accumulate at the same rate. Capital is objectified in many forms, of which that of money is one, but not the exclusive, functional form of realized surplus value.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Economic Crisis and Crisis Theory. Paul Mattick, Jr., translator. London: Merlin Press. 1981. Ebook edition.]
        “Unable to return to the conditions of the past and unable to transform itself into a state capitalist system, the mixed economy alternates between stagnation and destruction, between insufficient capital expansion and increased waste production. It is, then, not a manifestation of capitalism’s ability to ‘reform’ itself by realizing the goldgen mean of just the right amount of government control and just the right amount of private initiative for the ‘optimum’ achievement of ‘economic efficiency’ but a manifestation of the rather ‘permanent’ crisis condition in which capitalism has found itself since the beginning of this century.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Dynamics of the Mixed Economy.” Science & Society. Volume 28, number 3, summer 1964. Pages 286-304.]
        “While there is no connection between Marxism and physical determinism or indeterminism, there is also no real connection between the cold war and the different concepts of physical reality in the East and the West. Indeed, what possible connection could there be between the indeterminacy of nuclear physics and all the social problems that beset the world and give rise to its political movements? These social struggles were disturbing the world before the rise of the new physics and they cannot be abated by either science or philosophy. Political relations between East and West will not improve simply because physicists abstain from ideological interpretations of their work. This work, and its practical application, is the same in the East and the West. Where there is disagreement, it does not matter, i.e., in specula- tions as to what the physical knowledge of the future may reveal. Some Eastern scientists do not bother to embroider their work with philosophical interpretations; others try to fit it into the scheme of dialectical materialism so as not to violate the state-prescribed ideology in which they may also actually believe, just as Western scientists accept almost generally the ruling ideologies of their own society.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Marxism and the New Physics.” Philosophy of Science. Volume 29, number 4, October 1962. Pages 350-364.]
      43. New Associationist Movement (Kojin Karatani [Japanese, からたに こうじん, Karatani Koujin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; カラタニ コウジン, Karatani Koujin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or 柄谷行人, Karatani Kōjin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Karatani is a major figure in the New Associationist Movement. In grand historical fashion, he makes a case for a new stateless economic system. The website, affiliated with the New Associationist Movement, is in Japanese.
        “We can broadly differentiate socialism into two types. The first is socialism by means of the state, and the other is socialism that rejects the state (i.e., associationism). Strictly speaking, only the latter should be called socialism. The former should properly be called state socialism or welfare statism. It is often said that the socialist movement pursued the egalitarianism that the French Revolution was never able to realize. But socialism in the strict sense (associationism) is not a continuation of the French Revolution: this socialism was actually born as a rejection of that revolution.” [Kojin Karatani. The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2014. Page 236.]
        “Previously, I pointed out how universal religion arose in the form of an unconscious, compulsory ‘return of the repressed,’ rather than a conscious, nostalgic restoration of the past. We can draw the same distinction with regard to nationalism and socialism. Nationalism is nostalgic, a proactive attempt to restore past ways of life. By contrast, even as associationism seeks to restore the past form of mode of exchange A, it is not about restoring the past. Associationism is about creating the future anew. This is why associationism seeks to transform the status quo, while nationalism generally ends up affirming it.” [Kojin Karatani. The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Michael K. Bourdaghs, translator. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2014. Page 260.]
        “… it becomes necessary to consider a realm that [Immanuel] Kant did not scrutinize—a place where all differences are unconditionally bracketed: the monetary economy. This is where manifold use values and the practical labor that produces them are reduced to exchange value, or, in [Karl] Marx’s terms, ‘social and abstract labor.’ In the beginning of Capital, Marx wrote: ‘The commodity is, first of all, an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind. The nature of these needs, whether they arise, for example, from the stomach, or the imagination, makes no difference. Nor does it matter here how the thing satisfies man’s need, whether directly as a means of subsistence, i.e., an object of consumption, or indirectly as a means of production.’ In other words, it is in the world of the commodity economy where we find an attitude that is totally indifferent to the difference of things—the use value—and concerned only with one thing: interest.” [Kojin Karatani and Sabu Kohso, “Uses of Aesthetics: After Orientalism.” boundary 2. Volume 25, number 2, summer 1998. Pages 145-160.]
        “Credit did not grow out of barter, but the reverse. Also buying and selling stems from credit. It follows that money stems from credit. Therefore, gift exchange precedes barter on the level of logic. This seems to stand true even historically. As an example, as Malinowski showed, the Kula ring in the Trobriand Islands is a gift-exchange but is accompanied by barter or trade. In this case, the preceding gift exchange paves the way for barter, by bringing about friendly relations among different communities. Since exchange in general is carried out between communities, it requires something to guarantee it. This is provided by a spiritual power attached to the things exchanged. That is what Marx called the fetish.” [Kojin Karatani, “Capital as Spirit.” Crisis & Critique. Volume 3, issue 3, 2016. Pages 167-189.]
        “… beginning in the 1990s, my stance, if not my thinking itself, changed fundamentally. I came to believe that theory should not remain in the critical scrutiny of the status quo but should propose something positive to change the reality. At the same time, I reconfirmed the difficulty of doing so. Social democracy to me would not offer any promising prospect, and it was finally around the turn of the new century that I began to see a ray of hope that led me to organize the New Associationist Movement (NAM) in Japan. Certainly innumerable real movements that seek to abolish the status quo are occurring in all corners of the world, inevitably, under the procession of the globalization of world capitalism. But, in order to avoid the repetition of bygone mistakes, I insist that a transcritical recognition is necessary.” [Kojin Karatani. Transcritique: On Kant and Marx. Sabu Kohso, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2005. Page xii.]
        “I … wrote a manifesto in 1961, calling to reorganize the Socialist Student League as a free association of activists. ‘Students’ does not just mean students in a literal sense. If one thinks universally, that person is a ‘student,’ regardless of his or her social position. This league was free from a centralized party—it was kind of an anarchism. Actually it was forty years later that I came to realize this, when I was engaging with something similar—that is, when I wrote a manifesto for the New Associationist Movement (NAM). But at the time I was not familiar with anarchist theory. The anarchism that I knew and liked was the kind that exists within the spontaneously spreading mass movement—it cannot be created by leadership of any kind. In this regard, I was an anarchist, yet I disliked stereotypical anarchists of the bohemian type and have never called myself an anarchist. Though I have never called myself a Marxist either.…
        “As soon as I finished writing the book [Transcritique: On Kant and Marx], I started a social movement called New Associationist Movement, or NAM. This move in some ways reveals my aims and intentions of writing Transcritique, especially on the level of practice. Fredric Jameson commented on the book as follows: ‘New relations between [Immanuel] Kant and [Karl] Marx are established as well as a new kind of synthesis between Marxism and anarchism.’ This really captures it all.”
        [Kojin Karatani in Brian Hioe and Houston Small, “There is no such thing as Japanese Marxism: An interview Kojin Karatani.” Platypus Review. Issue 71, article 1, November 2014. Web. No pagination]
        “Drawing its name from the lexicon of the early socialist movement, associationism was a utopian programme that sought to transcend capital, nation and state—seen as three mutually-reinforcing moments of a ‘Borromean knot’—through the creation of federated worker and consumer cooperatives, boycotts, and local currency schemes, which were supposed to sow the seeds of a post-capitalist mode of production in the midst of capitalist society. Justification for this orientation had come from [Kojin] Karatani’s reading of Marxian political economy, which viewed the moment of consumption as one of greater leverage for workers than that of production, since capital has no direct power to enforce the purchase of its products.” [Rob Lucas, “Socialism as a Regulative Idea?” Review article. New Left Review. Series II, number 94, July–August 2015. Pages 105-125.]
        “The New Associationist Movement (hereafter NAM) is the work of Karatani Kojin, Japan’s most gifted critic, and a number of associates including the economist Nishibe Makoto, the lawyer Kuchiki Sui, the critic and economist Asada Akira and others, even though there is no formal organization as such, and no leader since its members are all equal representatives.… The purpose of NAM is to ‘achieve a clear perspective on the abolition of capitalism and the state’ and to combine a number of dispersed movements into a new association pledged to realizing the goal with methods that no longer belong to either socialism or anarchism but plainly originate from both.” [Harry Harootunian, “Out of Japan: The New Associationist Movement.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 108, July/August 2001. Pages 2-6.]
      44. cybercommunism (Richard Barbrook): He develops an explicitly anti–Stalinist approach to digital left communism.
        “A spectre is haunting the Net: the spectre of communism. Whatever their professed political beliefs, every user dreams of the digital transcendence of capitalism. Yet, at the same time, even the most dedicated leftist can no longer truly believe in communism. The horrors of totalitarianism have discredited its promises of social emancipation.… The freedoms of the information society will be created by an elite of entrepreneurs, technocrats and ideologues. Needing to popularise their prophecies, right-wing gurus emphasise that every hi-tech professional can compete to join the emerging digital aristocracy. Above all, they predict that everyone will eventually enjoy the technological marvels currently only available to the lucky few. In the late-1990s, the prophets of American neo-liberalism measure our progress towards utopia through increases in the ownership of digital artefacts: home computers, Net connections, mobile phones and laptops. Ironically, this right-wing futurism echoes the preconceptions of Stalinist communism. In the former Soviet Union, the enlightened minority was also leading the ignorant masses towards eventual emancipation. Any suffering caused by the introduction of new technologies was justified by the promise of future liberation. During the 1930s, Josef Stalin similarly measured progress towards utopia through the rising output of modern products: steel, cars, tractors and machine-tools. Although the Soviet Union has long disappeared, the ideologues of American neo-liberalism are still inspired by the Stalinist version of communism.” [Richard Barbrook, “<The::Cyber.Com/munist::Manifesto>.” The Hypermedia Research Centre. University of Westminster. London, England. December, 1999. Web page. Retrieved on February 8th, 2017.]
      45. left–wing alternative (Daniel Cohn-Bendit as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He takes a left–communist approach to the “bureaucratic system of the capitalist state.”
        “There is no such thing as an isolated revolutionary act. Acts that can transform society take place in association with others, and form part of a general movement that follows its own laws of growth. All revolutionary activity is collective, and hence involves a degree of organization. What we challenge is not the need for this but the need for a revolutionary leadership, the need for a party.
        “Central to my thesis is an analysis of the bureaucratic phenomenon, which I have examined from various viewpoints. For example, I have looked at the French workers’ unions and parties and shown that what is wrong with them is not so much their rigidity and treachery as the fact that they have become integrated into the overall bureaucratic system of the capitalist state.
        “The emergence of bureaucratic tendencies on a world scale, the continuous concentration of capital, and the increasing intervention of the State in economic and social matters, have produced a new managerial class whose fate is no longer bound up with that of the private ownership of the means of production.
        “It is in the light of this bureaucratization that the Bolshevik Party has been studied. Although its bureaucratic nature is not, of course, its only characteristic, it is true to say that Communists, and also Trotskyists, Maoists and the rest, no less than the capitalist State, all look upon the proletariat as a mass that needs to be directed from above. As a result, democracy degenerates into the ratification at the bottom of decisions taken at the top, and the class struggle is forgotten while the leaders jockey for power within the political hierarchy.
        “The objections to Bolshevism are not so much moral as sociological; what we attack is not the evil conduct of some of its leaders but an organizational set-up that has become its one and only justification.”
        [Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit. Obsolete Communism: The Left-Wing Alternative. Arnold Pomerans, translator. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1968. Pages 249-250.]
      46. participatory Marxism (discussed by David Priestland and Andrew Raposa): Versions of communism are proposed based upon “popular consent.”
        “Everywhere, … whatever the local specificities, a Romantic, participatory Marxism was the inspiration – one that set itself firmly against Soviet Marxism (especially coming so soon on the heels of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia). Che Guevara was now joined by Ho Chi Minh in a new pantheon of leftist heroes – Ho’s distinction being principally his defiance of the USA; people knew little of his politics. [Joseph] Stalin, however, had definitely been excluded.” [David Priestland. The Red Flag: A History of Communism. New York: Grove Press imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. 2009. Page 366.]
        “At this time, current structural realities of the American electoral system militate against third party movements. Leftist preferences for these movements for a participatory Marxism can be encouraged by the general nature of dialectical thinking where the opposing class forces within capitalism are revealed as nothing more than a set of techniques designed to insure the rule of the powerful elite under the guise of ‘popular consent.’ Therefore, it is a corrupt system of rule Capitalist interpretation of Marxism sees it as totally irrelevant and not applicable to a modern free liberal social order.” [Andrew Raposa, “Why Marx Matters.” New Politics. April 26th, 2015. Web. No pagination. Retrieved on February 18th, 2017.]
      47. viewpoint of participatory Democracy (Donald A. R. George): George finds his approach to self–management to be consonant with both Marxism and anarchism.
        “The paper discusses the ideological basis of self-management. It considers whether self-management, as an economic system, is consistent with ideologies of Marxism, Anarchism, and Democracy. It goes on to consider the political question as to which groups are likely to oppose and which to support the introduction of self-management into a modern society.…
        “… Economic ideas do not exist in a political and ideological vacuum however, and it is therefore of interest to consider how the idea of self-management is related to various broader ideologies and to ask which ideologies, if any, provide a basis from which self-management as an economic system can rationally be supported. This analysis leads naturally to the question of political support for selfmanagement. Which groups are likely to support self-management and which to oppose it? These are the questions addressed in this paper.…
        “Self-management cannot be regarded from the Marxist viewpoint as a capitalist form of economic organization, although some Marxists would argue that market self-management is an unstable type of economic system which must eventually transmute into either capitalism or socialism. Self-management accords well with the ideology of Anarchism, particularly its ‘Left’ or anarcho-communist variant. The viewpoint of participatory Democracy provides the soundest basis from which to advocate self-management, which can be seen as a natural extension of Democracy from the political to the economic sphere.”
        [Donald A. R. George, “Self-management and Ideology.” Review of Political Economy. Volume 9, number 1, January 1997. Pages 51-62.]
      48. new revolutionary theory of society (Brian Aarons): Drawing on various libertarian Marxist and anarchist currents, as well as other perspectives, Aarons proposes his revolutionary theory.
        “A new revolutionary theory of society would need to incorporate the following points:
        “a) It would draw upon other schools and traditions of thought besides the mainstream marxist one. In particular, certain anarcho-marxist, anarcho-communist and libertarian-communist theories have much to contribute. Although marxism as a practical guide to revolutionary activity may be superior to anarchism, it can still learn from the anarchist tradition. The split between anarchism and marxism has had some bad effects on marxism itself, not the least of which were some of the post-October bolshevik mistakes, especially during [Joseph] Stalin’s ascendancy.
        “b) There would be a strong emphasis on an attempt to understand the process of human consciousness and the role of ideals. In particular, the relation between the human brain (the bearer of consciousness) and the external world needs to be understood in a far more accurate way than mainstream marxism has hitherto.
        “Human consciousness should be seen as a part of the material process which is not subordinate to other factors (as some vulgar marxist “reflection” theories would have it) but rather interacts with them as a factor (and an important one at that) in its own right.
        “c) Related to this is a need for an understanding of the sociology of consciousness and ideas. The work of [Antonio] Gramsci, and [Georg] Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness may well provide the beginnings of such an understanding. The main questions here are how and why people come to adopt their ideas, values and attitudes and to understand the dialectical interplay between individual, group and social consciousness. The inertia of old ideas (their prevalence long after the conditions which led to their emergence have ceased to exist) and the conditions for acceptance of new ideas and ideological frameworks are also extremely important problems.”
        [Brian Aarons, “marxist theories of revolution.” Australian Left Review. March, 1972. Pages 18-24.]
      49. communist Internet (Christian Fuchs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He considers the possibility of an Internet which is under the collective control of all users.
        “A humanization of the Internet requires a communist Internet in a communist society, an Internet that is not controlled by the logic of capital and by private profit making, but an Internet that is controlled by all users, benefits all users and is grounded in the logic of the information gift that is inexhaustible by consumption and accessible to all without payments, the logic of common access to technology and knowledge, common production, common ownership, common control, common interests beyond class, common benefits – the logic of the commons = the reality of communism.…
        “… For [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, communism meant not just the common ownership and control of certain means of production and goods, but the common control of all socially necessary goods.…
        “In a communist society, digital labour becomes digital work. The use-value created is informational: digital work creates shared cognition, communication (social relations) and cooperation (communities, collaborative work).…
        “Especially Autonomist Marxist and Anarchist thinkers have argued that the concept of work should just like the notion of labour be defined as being coercive as well as essentially capitalist and dominative in nature. A free society would then be a non-work and non-labour society.”
        [Christian Fuchs, “What is Digital Labour? What is Digital Work? What’s their Difference? And why do these Questions Matter for Understanding Social Media?” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 11, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 237-293.]
      50. the new communism (Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Alexander J. Means, and others): They attempt to resurrect communism from its Marxist–Leninist past into a new stateless system. To Žižek, a twenty-first communism involves the resuscitation of the commons, not a return to the revolutionary struggles of yesteryear. This new communism, sometimes called 21stcentury communism, might be understood as a collection of largely academic approaches to renewing communism. Means, while referencing Badiou’s communist hypothesis, emphasizes radical democracy. The first quotation, while clearly written from an oppositional perspective, sets out the basic contours of the new communist framework.
        “A specter is haunting the academy—the specter of ‘new communism.’ A worldview recently the source of immense suffering and misery, and responsible for more deaths than fascism and Nazism, is mounting a comeback; a new form of left-wing totalitarianism that enjoys intellectual celebrity but aspires to political power.
        “The Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek and the French philosopher and ex-Maoist Alain Badiou have become the leading proponents of this new school.… Among new communism’s most important English-language texts, all published in the last few years, are The Idea of Communism, edited by Costas Douzinas and Žižek, Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis, and [Bruno] Bosteels’s The Actuality of Communism.”
        [Alan Johnson, “The New Communism: Resurrecting the Utopian Delusion.” World Affairs. Volume 175, number 1, May/June 2012. Pages 62-70.]
        “What really remains of the great ideological machinery of freedom, human rights, the West and its values? It all comes down to a simple negative statement that is as bald as it is flat and as naked as the day it was born: socialisms, which were the communist Idea’s only concrete forms, failed completely in the twentieth century. Even they have had to revert to capitalism and non-egalitarian dogma. That failure of the Idea leaves us with no choice, given the complex of the capitalist organization of production and the state parliamentary system. Like it or not, we have to consent to it for lack of choice.… As our ideologues admit, it is not as though relying on the greed of a few crooks and unbridled private property to run the state and the economy was the absolute Good. But it is the only possible way forward.” [Alain Badiou. The Communist Hypothesis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Pages 4-5.]
        “What is the communist hypothesis? In its generic sense, given in its canonic [Communist] Manifesto, ‘communist’ means, first, that the logic of class— the fundamental subordination of labour to a dominant class, the arrangement that has persisted since Antiquity—is not inevitable; it can be overcome. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour. The private appropriation of massive fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state, separate from civil society, will no longer appear a necessity: a long process of reorganization based on a free association of producers will see it withering away.” [Alain Badiou, “The Communist Hypothesis.” New Left Review. Series II, number 49, January–February 2008. Pages 29-42.]
        “[Alain Badiou:] I believe four teachings that are equivalent to criteria can be deduced from his [Karl Marx’s] thinking. First of all, Marx developed an idea that was very important, indeed fundamental, in my opinion: according to him, communists aren’t ‘outsiders,’ they’re not a distinct or isolated historical and political component. On the contrary, they’re directly involved in a pre-existing general movement that they’ll later be responsible for directing.…
        “The basic concept is less that of leadership than of direction. Indeed, this is the second criterion: the bearers of the communist Idea are characterized by an ability to communicate what the next step is.…
        “The third criterion of communist organization is that it must follow an internationalist logic. Marx stressed this point heavily, and that’s why he created the First International. But once again, internationalism must not harden into a separate entity. Communists are internationalists, but they must be so right within the local processes of emancipation.… And finally, the fourth and last criterion, communists must defend a global strategic vision, subsumed by the Idea as I have presented it, and whose matrix is anti-capitalism.…
        “[Marcel Gauchet:] Like in the good old days! But tell me: do you really think today’s working classes are converting to this new communist program? …
        “[Alain Badiou:] Don’t be ironic.… When you see how loads of people – many of whom are involved in local struggles and organizations – come to hear us and interact productively with us, you should take that as a beginning, as yet very modest, no doubt, but real, of verification of what matters to me: the Idea and its development in reality.”
        [Alain Badiou and Marcel Gauchet. What Is To Be Done?: A Dialogue on Communism, Capitalism, and the Future of Democracy. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2016. Pages 52-54.]
        “… to provide a vigorous subjective existence to the communist hypothesis is the task those of us gathered here today are attempting to accomplish in our own way. And it I insist, a thrilling task. By combining intellectual constructs, which are always global and universal, with experiments of fragments of truths, which are local and singular, yet universally transmittable, we can give new life to the communist hypothesis, or rather to the Idea of communism, in individual consciousnesses. We can usher in the third era of this Idea’s existence. We can, so we must.” [Alain Badiou. The Communist Hypothesis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Page 260.]
        “The general horizon of the era is communist. And this communism will have to be constructed on the basis of society’s self-organizing capacities, of processes for the generation and distribution of communitarian, self-managing wealth. But at this moment it is clear that this is not an immediate horizon, which centers on the conquest of equality, the redistribution of wealth, the broadening of rights. Equality is fundamental because it breaks a chain of five centuries of structural inequality; that is the aim at the time, as far as social forces allow us to go-not because we prescribe it to be thus but because that is what we see. Rather, we enter the movement with our expecting and desiring eyes set upon the communist horizon. But we were serious and objective, in the social sense of the term, by signaling the limits of the movement.” [Bruno Bostells, The Actuality of Communism. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Page 227.]
        “One should be careful … [to avoid] a Kantian … [conception of] communism as a ‘regulative Idea,’ thereby resuscitating the spectre of an ‘ethical socialism’ with equality as its a priori norm-axiom. One should rather maintain the precise reference to a set of social antagonisms which generate the need for communism — [Karl] Marx’s good old notion of communism not as an ideal, but as a movement which reacts to actual social antagonisms, is still fully relevant. If we conceive communism as an ‘eternal Idea,’ this implies that the situation which generates it is no less eternal, that the antagonism to which communism reacts will always exist — and from here, it is only one small step to a ‘deconstructive’ reading of communism as a dream of presence, of abolishing all alienating re-presentation, a dream which thrives on its own impossibility.” [Slavoj Žižek, “How to Begin From the Beginning.” The Idea of Communism. Costas Douzinas and Slavoj Žižek, editors. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Pages 209-226.]
        “[Karl] Marx always emphasized that the exchange between worker and capitalist is ‘just’ in the sense that workers (as a rule) get paid the full value of their labor-power as a commodity – there is no direct ‘exploitation’ here; that is, it is not that workers ‘are not paid the full value of the commodity they are selling to the capitalists.’ So while, in a market economy, I remain de facto dependent, this dependency is nonetheless ‘civilized,’ enacted in the form of a ‘free’ market exchange between me and other persons instead of the form of direct servitude or even physical coercion.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Answers without Questions.” The Idea of Communism. Volume 2. Slavoj Žižek, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 177-205.]
        “What truly matters is precisely the degree to which the democratic explosion succeeds in becoming institutionalized, translated into social order.…
        “The problem is thus: how to regulate/institutionalize the very violent egalitarian democratic impulse, how to prevent it being drowned in democracy in the second sense of the term (regulated procedure)? If there is no way to do it, then ‘authentic’ democracy remains a momentary utopian outburst which, on the proverbial morning after, has to be normalized. The harsh consequence to be accepted here is that this excess of egalitarian democracy over the democratic procedure can only ‘institutionalize’ itself in the guise of its opposite, as revolutionary-democratic terror.”
        [Slavoj Žižek. In Defense of Lost Causes. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Pages 265-266.]
        “… it is not enough simply to remain faithful to the communist Idea; one has to locate within historical reality antagonisms which give this Idea a practical urgency. The only true question today is: do we endorse the predominant naturalization of capitalism, or does today’s global capitalism contain antagonisms which are sufficiently strong to prevent its indefinite reproduction? There are four such antagonisms: the looming threat of an ecological catastrophe; the inappropriateness of the notion of private property in relation to so-called ‘intellectual property’; the socioethical implications of new techno-scientific developments (especially in biogenetics); and, last but not least, the creation of new forms of apartheid, new Walls and slums.” [Slavoj Žižek. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Pages 90-91.]
        “The ‘hard real’ of the ‘logic of the capital’ is what is missing in the historicist universe of Cultural Studies, not only at the level of content (the analysis and critique of political economy), but also at the more formal level of the difference between historicism and historicity proper. Moishe Postone is among those rare theorists who pursue the ‘critique of political economy,’ with his attempt to rethink the actuality of [Karl] Marx in the conditions following the disintegration of the Communist regimes in 1990.” [Slavoj Žižek. Living in the End Times. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Page 185.]
        “… ‘commons’ [include] the shared substance of our social being whose privatization is a violent act that should also be resisted with violent means, if necessary. These commons include those of culture, the immediately socialized forms of ‘cognitive’ capital (primarily language), and our means of communication and education.… ‘Commons’ also include the shared infrastructure of public transport, electricity, post, etc., and the commons of external nature threatened by pollution and exploitation (from oil to forests and natural habitat), as well as the commons of internal nature (the biogenetic inheritance of humanity). What all these struggles share is an awareness of the destructive potential—up to the self-annihilation of humanity itself—if the capitalist logic of enclosing these commons is allowed a free rein. It is this reference to ‘commons’—this substance of productivity that is neither private nor public—that justifies the resuscitation of the notion of Communism.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Nature and its Discontents.” SubStance. Issue 117, volume 37, number 3, 2008. Pages 37-72.]
        “… communism, for me, is not an answer. Communism is not the name of a solution but the name of a problem: the problem of the commons in all its dimensions – the commons of nature as the substance of our life, the problem of our biogenetic commons, the problem of our cultural commons (‘intellectual property’), and, last but not least, the problem of the commons as that universal space of humanity from which no one should be excluded. Whatever the solution might be, it will have to solve this problem. So what you are trying to capture with the common good is the name of a problem. This is communism for me. What will be the answer? I don’t know. Maybe we don’t have an answer. Maybe it will be a catastrophe. Maybe … I don’t know.” [Slavoj Žižek. Demanding the Impossible. Yong-june Park, editor. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2013. Pages 21-22.]
        “It is … [a] reference to ‘commons’ which justifies the resuscitation of the notion of Communism: it enables us to see the progressing ‘enclosure’ of the commons as a process of proletarization of those who are thereby excluded from their own substance, a proletarization also points towards exploitation.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Descartes and the Post-Traumatic Subject.” Filozofski vestnik. Volume XXIX, number 2, 2008. Pages 9-29.]
        “Communism … may … be understood as Serge Halimi understands it (with reference to its Marxian roots) as a thoroughgoing critique in advance of capitalist globalization.” [Paul Thomas, “Communism.” Encyclopedia of Governance. Mark Bevir, editor. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2007. Page 124]
        “According to [Slavoj] Žižek, since communism is an ‘eternal idea,’ it works as a Hegelian ‘concrete universality’: ‘it is eternal not in the sense of a series of abstract-universal features that may be applied everywhere, but in the sense that it has to be reinvented in each new historical situation.’ … I can sum up Žižek’s idea of communism by presenting the following four aspects of it.
        “The most important aspect (at the level of setting up the stage) is the question of fidelity to the idea of communism. It is not sufficient to evoke the idea of communism as an ideal …. [S]econdary antagonisms … are presented as the problems of the commons: the commons of culture, the commons of external nature, and the commons of internal nature. Note that from the perspective of the principle of contradiction, the commons is a negative category, while in the secondary antagonisms, the commons becomes a localized and positive category.… This brings us to the third aspect …. When [Karl] Marx defined communism as ‘the real movement which abolishes the present state of things,’ he had in mind that ‘bourgeois cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.’ … This leads us to the fourth aspect …. [W]e should bravely move from the problem of the commons to a new conception of the state, and finally we must get rid of the unilateral connotation of mastery as an alienating force, in order to conceive of a notion of mastery that reveals, rather than sutures, what is common.
        [Agon Hamza, “A Plea for Žižekian Politics.” Repeating Žižek. Agon Hamza, editor. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2015. Pages 242-256.]
        “… [The] daring reconfiguration of the Jacobin imaginary against the grain of insipid postmodern liberalism, however, loses ground when it collapses into grandstanding calls for a new communism, following primarily Alain Badiou’s directions. Here … [Slavoj] Žižek’s position is more nuanced, but at the same time confusing the deserved demolition of postmodern liberalism with a nostalgic invocation of the language of ‘lost causes’ – lost universals. The desire is right on mark; but the name of desire means a historical somersault.… But, of course, communism is not an eternal idea. (The very thought would make [Karl] Marx’s skeleton rattle.) It is a social-historical formation and, as such, a finite one, except for the added twist that it is a core element of modernity, a social-historical formation that has so far defied its finitude.” [Stathis Gourgouris, “Recoil from the Real? – Žižek out of Athens.” Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Volume 16, number 3, September 2011. Pages 281–290.]
        “Instead of a politics thought primarily in terms of resistance, playful and momentary aesthetic disruptions, the immediate specificity of local projects, and struggles for hegemony within a capitalist parliamentary setting, the communist horizon impresses upon us the necessity to abolish capitalism and to create global practices and institutions of egalitarian cooperation. The shift in perspective the communist horizon produces turns us away from the democratic milieu that has been the from of the loss of communism as a name for left aspiration and toward the reconfiguration of the components of political struggle—in other words, away from general inclusion, momentary calls for broad awareness, and lifestyle changes, and toward militant opposition, tight organizational forms (party, council, working group, cell), and the sovereignty of the people over the economy through which we produce and reproduce ourselves.” [Jodi Dean. The Communist Horizon. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2012. Pages 11-12.]
        “Whereas Proudhonism proclaimed the abolition of capital, albeit equating it with big capital and the evil of wage labour, as their goal, the new communists appear at best confused and at worst disingenuous when they take the name of a movement which aimed at the revolutionary transformation of capitalism but aimed explicitly at its preservation. At best the new communists seek to prevent the abolition of their own conditions of labour through neoliberal privatization, though here too they are inconsistent, saying on the one hand that ‘any attempt to privatize [intellect] becomes problematic’ thanks to its social character and, on the other, launching their philippics against the possibility. In fact, they need not have bothered. In reality the intellectual property rights regime which the West and particularly the United States have attempted to impose on the world ‘has not and could not change the nature of knowledge and the ways in which this can be transferred [or not] among economic agents’ ….” [Radhika Desai, “The new communists of the commons: Twenty-first-century Proudhonists.” International Critical Thought. Volume 1, issue 2, 2011. Pages 204-223.]
        “… [Slavoj] Žižek proposes a radicalization of the proletarian subject. He refers to the wider concept of ‘the commons’ that potentially includes all types of people coming from various perspectives of the lower classes who realize they share a common distinction: an imminent zero-point in which fundamental change will be inevitable. ‘The commons’ then supplant the simple dichotomy proposed by [Karl] Marx – that of the proletariat and the owners – and represents a ‘singular universality of the proletariat’ ….” [Douglas Reeser, “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.” Review article. International Journal of Žižek Studies. Volume 4, number 1, 2010. Pages 1-5.]
        “Slavoj Žižek’s In Defence of Lost Causes (IDLC) is probably the most provocative and flamboyant gesture in political philosophy since [Jean-Paul] Sartre sold the Maoist La Cause du Peuple [The Cause of the People] on the Parisian streets in June 1968. From the guillotine on the front cover, through the rehabilitation of [Martin] Heidegger’s engagement with the Nazis and [Michel] Foucault’s endorsement of the Iranian Revolution, to the announcement that the work seeks a dialectical recovery of the progressive moment in Stalin’s revolutionary terror and Mao’s cultural revolution, the book is calculated to shock. Committed to a politics of universal truth that avows the idea of egalitarian communism, Žižek’s position is vehemently opposed to the ruling liberal consensus. In place of the militant defense of human rights, passionate support for an extension of democracy and the multicultural politics of the struggle for recognition, Žižek advocates what he calls ‘emancipatory terror’ …, strict egalitarian justice and the dictatorship of the proletariat.” [Geoff Boucher and Matthew Sharpe, “Introduction: ‘Žižek’s Communism’ and In Defence of Lost Causes.” International Journal of Žižek Studies. Volume 4, number 2, 2016. Pages 1-7.]
        “I would argue that communism conceived only as anticapitalism detached from democratic values and aspirations cannot provide a solid ethical or theoretical foundation for reconstructing a transformative conception of common education today. The communist hypothesis does mark an important new willingness to open a broader discussion of emancipatory possibilities beyond capitalism without apology. However, for communism to become an inspirational historical force again, it would need to offer more than just an anticapitalist politics, but also different visions of life in common that are full of richness and meaning across all facets of human existence. Such alternative visions of common life can only emerge through educational processes of informed criticism, dialogue, collaboration, and dissent. Thus, in my view, the new communists would do well to think through how the traditions of radical-progressive education, as embodied by John Dewey, W. E. B Dubois, George Counts, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and others, and its emphasis on human autonomy and democratic development could contribute in meaningful ways to imagining a democratic communism for the twenty-first century. Such a project also has the potential for enriching educational theory as well.” [Alexander J. Means, “Educational commons and the new radical democratic imaginary.” Critical Studies in Education. Volume 55, issue 2, 2014. Pages 122-137.]
        “[Jodi] Dean [in The Communist Horizon] proceeds to argue that ‘communicative capitalism’ is an ‘ideological formation’ centered on ‘networked communication technologies’ that subject us to ‘the competitive intensity of neoliberal capitalism’; commercialize and monitor our ‘social networks’; contribute to ‘the displacement and dispersion of critical energy’; and yet also help bring into existence a ‘common’ that cannot be enclosed by capitalism. This discussion is the most interesting and most pessimistic part of the book, for although Dean calls for the reclaiming of ‘the commons,’ her analysis suggests that a communist reclamation of such a dispersed social world is a rather remote possibility.” [Jeffrey C. Isaac, “The Mirage of Neo-Communism.” Dissent. Volume 60, number 3, summer 2013. Pages 101-107.]
      51. neo–communism (Filip Spagnoli as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He proposes a new version of communism based upon “a radically egalitarian distribution.”
        “In communism, there will be no more economic or political oppression because the equal ownership of the means of production has abolished all classes and hence also the need for a state apparatus for the protection of class relations. However, there will be no more oppression of classes. Individual criminal actions will continue to be suppressed, even in communism, but this can happen without a state.” [Filip Spagnoli. The Neo-Communist Manifesto. New York: Algora Publishing. 2010. Page 88.]
        “Material redistribution through taxation, unemployment benefits, healthcare systems and so forth is not enough because it does not affect material inequality in a substantial way. It only provides a minimum of basic goods, not a radically egalitarian distribution. The remaining material inequality, and more specifically the inequality of the ownership of the means of production, still engenders unequal economic, political and judicial power. Democracy is self-defeating. It can never deliver what it promises because it does not go far enough. It can only give people formal instead of substantial equality. Elections, rotation in office, economic rights, and equality before the law are superficial phenomena without effect on the deeper economic processes of exploitation and class rule. Democracy must therefore be replaced by something better.
        “Communism claims that there can only be real political equality and real equality of power when the most important goods — the means of production — are the equal property of all citizens. In all other cases, the rich will have more opportunities to benefit from political participation and judicial protection. Equal rights will lead to an unequal outcome, and this is of course the purpose of the system.”
        [Filip Spagnoli. The Neo-Communist Manifesto. New York: Algora Publishing. 2010. Page 107.]
        “Is our good life something individual and outside of politics and the public space, or is it something more communal? Does it mean that our private space has to be protected against others or does it also need others, their points of view, their criticism, and their cooperation in shaping our lives? I think the latter is the case because without the public space in which others can appear and without the political space in which we can cooperate with others, our volition is of inferior quality. We may be able to do what we want, but what we want is not what would be best for us.” [Filip Spagnoli, “In Defense of the Compatibility of Freedom and Equality.” Texas Wesleyan Law Review. Volume 13, 2007. Pages 769+.]
        “Individual rights, individual responsibility, and the individual right to denounce violations before an international judicial or quasi-judicial institution gradually took root after World War II. Today, the treatment of citizens by their state is no longer the exclusive competence of the state in question. The days are gone when states could treat their citizens as they liked. Individuals now have a right to speak in the international community and they are no longer confined to national law. They have international law to help them and international stages to voice their protest. International organizations in turn have a right to poke their nose into national affairs.” [Filip Spagnoli, “The Globalization of Human Rights Law: Why Do Human Rights Need International Law?” Texas Wesleyan Law Review. Volume 14, spring 2008. Pages 317+.]
      52. base materialism (Georges Bataille as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops a radical version of libertarian Marxism using a distinctive form of materialism.
        “If we were to identify under the heading of materialism a crude liberation of human life from the imprisonment and masked pathology of ethics, an appeal to all that is offensive, indestructible, and even despicable, to all that overthrows, perverts, and ridicules spirit, we could at the same time identify surrealism as a childhood disease of this base materialism: it is through this latter identification that the current prerequisites for a consistent development may be specified forcefully and in such a manner as to preclude any return to pretentious idealistic aberrations.
        “Sufficient agreement exists concerning present social conditions, bourgeois moral values, and the intellectual edifice that supports them. For quite some time, all thinking that has not undermined this dilapidated edifice has immediately taken on its demeanor of senile trickery and comical smugness. But it is useless to insist here on the bankruptcy of bourgeois culture, on the necessity of destroymg one day even its memory, and beginning now to establish a new basis for mental agitation. To whatever extent the unhappy bourgeois has maintained a human vulgarity, a certain taste for virility, disaffection with his own class quickly turns into stubborn hatred. And we must insist from the outset that a still relatively new form of intellectual activity, not yet castrated and domesticated, is linked by the force of things to the uprising of the lower classes against present-day work.…
        “The inevitable character of this exhausting subterfuge is easy moreover to display in broad terms. It is sufficient to recall in the first place that there had not been, before [Karl] Marx, any revolutionary movement free of idealism (in the most vulgar sense of the word). At even a relatively recent date, the works of Hugo manifested with great literary brilliance this infantile ethical tendency of revolutionary unrest.”
        [Georges Bataille. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Allan Stoekl with Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jr., translators. Allan Stoekl, editor. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1985. Pages 32-34.]
        “The adjoining room was the most oppresive. Its walls bore no trace of the old regime. The flooring was dirty and the plaster bare, but the advent of the revolution was recorded in numerous charcoal inscriptions. These had been drawn by the sailors or workers who, during the time they ate and lived in the room, had felt obliged to set down in crude language and cruder images the event that had overturned the universal scheme of things, and that their exhausted eyes had witnessed. I had never seen anything more irritating, or anything more human. I stood there, gazing at that crude, clumsy writing, and the tears came to my eyes. Revolutionary fervor slowly filled my head, sometimes expressed in the word ‘lightning-bolt,’ sometimes in the word ‘terror.’ [Vladimir] Lenin’s name frequently recurred in these inscriptions which, although traced in black, were more like traces of blood. The name was curiously altered; it had a feminine form – Lenova!” [Georges Bataille. Blue of Noon. Harry Mathews, translator. London: Paladin Grafton Books imprint of the Collins Publishing Group. 1988. Page 117.]
        “The Democratic Communist Circle went out of existence in 1934. At that time [Georges] Bataille, after several months of illness, underwent a serious psychological crisis. He separated from his wife.
        “Bataille personally took the initiative in 1935 to found a small political group which, under the name of Counterattack, united some former members of the Communist Circle and, following a definite reconciliation with Andre Breton, the whole of the surrealist group.”
        [Georges Bataille, “Autobiographical Note.” October. Volume 36, spring 1986. Pages 106-110.]
        “The French intellectual Georges Bataille (1897-1962) developed base materialism in his work during the late 1920s and early 1930s as an attempt to break with all existing materialism. This essay is an explication of base materialism and its radical implications for contemporary theory. Bataille argues for the concept of an active base matter that disrupts the opposition of high and low and destabilises all foundations. Then he attempts to use this to develop a radical libertarian Marxism, opposed to both Stalinism and fascism. Although it provided a critique of the emphasis in Marxism on production, the active flux of base matter could not be contained in a political discourse.…
        “By doing away with … hierarchy in materialism, Bataille turned his attention to ‘base’ matter, everything that had hitherto been excluded by both idealism and materialism: ‘luxury, mourning, war, cults, the construction of sumptuary monuments, games, spectacles, arts, perverse sexual activity (i.e., deflected from genital finality)’ ….”
        [Benjamin Noys, “Georges Bataille’s Base Materialism.” Cultural Values. Volume 2, number 4, October 1968. Pages 499-517.]
      53. anti–state, anti–market socialism (Jimmy Davis): He develops an anti–authoritarian, a revolutionary approach to council communism.
        “In place of state terrorism, councils of all types would spring up to bring direct democracy, and socialism into every aspect of human life. All councils would operate according to the principles of socialist democracy. All delegates to the councils would be subject to immediate recall, for any reason and at any time by those who delegated them. Work in the councils is not considered a labor in and of itself; all delegates must also engage in other productive and creative labor.” [Jimmy Davis. The Road to Anti-State, Anti-market Socialism. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2014. Kindle edition.]
        “That socialism means radical atheist. This is false as one can be religious and still be a socialist (as more and more people are realizing everyday). The tradition of radical atheist amongst revolutionaries is an unfortunate holdover from the capitalist ideological will struggle against feudalism. Since the feudal system based itself upon the divine order and was supported by the church. The ascending capitalist class and undermine the power of religion to undermine the power of the feudal aristocracy. The capitalist intellectuals were atheistic. So they all agreed that some religion was necessary to control the masses. As it is all too often, modern revolutionaries in the search for models instead of making your own issue go along choose the capitalist model for revolution.” [Jimmy Davis. The Road to Anti-State, Anti-market Socialism. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2014. Kindle edition.]
      54. workers’ coöperatives (Peter Hudis): He explores these coöperatives as Marx’s vision for the transitional form between capitalism and a largely mysterious socialism.
        “[Karl] Marx’s conception of a postcapitalist society is therefore both expansive and visionary, in that it excludes any social formation that takes on an autonomous power at the expense of its creators. This is why even when he endorsed workers’ cooperatives as a possible transitional form to socialism, he warned that they too can become a ‘sham and a snare’ if they are not under the workers’ actual, and not just formal, control. This is why even when he noted that the concentration and centralisation of capital points towards the socialised relations of the future, he argued that they could serve as the basis for a future society only if they there were accompanied by ‘other large-scale organic revolutions in the mode of production.’ Marx never endorses a given social form as the solution, unless it avoids the tendency of human subjective activity to become constrained by forces of its own making.” [Peter Hudis. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Leiden, the Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts: Brill. 2012. Page 209.]
        “This work has tried to show that a much deeper, richer, and more emancipatory conception of a postcapitalist society is found in [Karl] Marx’s work than has hitherto been appreciated. This is not to say that Marx provides anything in the way of a detailed answer as to what is a viable alternative to capitalism. His work does, however, contain crucial conceptual markers and suggestions that can help a new generation chart its way towards the future.” [Peter Hudis. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Leiden, the Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts: Brill. 2012. Page 215.]
        “In my new book, Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism, I argue that [Karl] Marx had far more to say about a post-capitalist society than has been appreciated by his critics and followers.…
        “The only way to transform relations of production is for working conditions to be controlled by the laborers themselves, instead of by some autonomous force (such as the market or a hierarchical state plan) that operates irrespective of their will.… Simply replacing the domination of the market by the state is no solution at all.…
        “… Material production will be determined by the producer’s conscious decisions instead of by the autonomous force of value production.…
        “… Marx was not referring to the existence of small, isolated communities that operate in a world dominated by value production. He never adhered to the notion that socialism was possible in one country, let alone one locale. He was pointing instead to a communal network of associations in which value production has been superseded on a systemic level.…
        “… Marx’s concept of socialism or communism is based on the abolition of wage labor, capital and value production.… Distribution according to labor is entirely consistent with value production, whereas distribution according to actual labor time reflects or expresses a fundamental break from value production altogether.…
        “… He [Marx] objected to capitalism because it is a perverse society in which human relations take on the form of relations between things.”
        [Peter Hudis, “Yes, There Is An Alternative – And It Can Be Found in Marx.” Praktyka. Volume 3, number 9, 2013.]
        “In contrast to the dominance of abstract labour, concrete labour, the free human activity done for its own sake and in order to produce useful and enjoyable goods and experiences, is a goal in itself. But since any interaction with nature to shape it, even labour freely engaged in ([Karl] Marx used the example of composing music) is a realm of necessity, or hard work in other words, too much of even this good thing would leave humans under the dominance of forces outside their control. Therefore, a radical reduction of labour time and expansion of free time for all activities engaged in for the purpose of happiness itself are the preconditions for a non-capitalist life. As [Peter] Hudis argues throughout, Marx made clear what those who claimed to construct regimes in his name ignored: that the transformation of distribution in itself cannot end the capitalist relation, but only the transformation of production, of work. Thus self-managed cooperatives, although not sufficient in themselves if the rest of the society remains under the sway of abstract labour, money, corporation, market and state, are nevertheless for Marx a basic unit for a post-capitalist society.” [Steven Colatrella, “Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 2, June 2014. Pages 473-475.]
        “Within the collective society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products; just as little does the labour employed on the products appear here as the value of these products, as a material quality possessed by them, since now, in contrast to capitalist society, individual labour no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of the total labour. The phrase ‘proceeds of labour,’ objectionable even today on account of its ambiguity, thus loses all meaning.
        “What we are dealing with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society, which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth-marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society—after the deductions have been made—exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labour. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labour time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such and such an amount of labour (after deducting his labour for the common funds), and with this certificate he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labour costs. The same amount of labour which he has given to society in one form he receives back in another.
        “Here obviously the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is the exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labour, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals except individual means of consumption. But, as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity-equivalents: a given amount of labour in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labour in another form.…
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and thereby also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of common wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!”
        [Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme.” Marx & Engels: Collected Works—Volume 24, Marx and Engels, 1874-83. London: Lawrence & Wishart. 2010. Pages 76-99.]
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and with it also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but itself life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” [Karl Marx. Critique of the Gotha Programme. Peking (Beijing), China: Foreign Languages Press. 1972. Page 17. Alternate translation of the preceding paragraph.]
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly – only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” [Karl Marx. Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1970 (German original, 1875). Page 5. Another translation of the same paragraph above.]
        “… [Karl] Marx assumes that part of the text [referring to the Gotha Program of the German Social Democratic Party] was nothing but empty slogans and can be ignored. The emphasis in the Gotha programme is that every laborer should get an ‘undiminished’ part of his labor. (Since capitalist exploitation is based on the workers’ wages being less than the value produced by the workers, this Lassallean approach seems to be a logical way to eliminate exploitation.)” [Hans G. Ehrbar. Annotations to Karl Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. Privately published. August 26th, 2010. Page 25.]
      55. workers’ self–directed coöperative enterprises (Richard D. Wolff): Wolff, a Marxist economist, presents an egalitarian and communist alternative to capitalism. This approach for “a better society” is explored on the Democracy at Work website (co–founded by Wolff).
        “A different economic system from the ground up means reorganizing enterprises to put democratic majorities (of employees and of residents of communities that interact with the enterprise) in charge of all the basic decisions: what, how, and where to produce and what to do with the profits. With the people in charge of enterprises—instead of tiny groups of capitalists —the economic resources they send to the government (e.g., taxes) will require it finally to serve the people in return. Just as capitalist enterprises always made sure to shape government to work primarily for them, so a social transition to workers’ self-directed cooperative enterprises would make sure that government, for the first time, genuinely works for the majority.” [Richard D. Wolff. Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2016. Pages 38-39.]
        “To reverse organized labor’s decline and rebuild the left requires either reviving the old New Deal coalition or forming a new comparably powerful alliance. That means confronting and outwitting the long demonization of unions and the left. It requires a strategy that engages and wins struggles with employers. More important, it requires a strategy to reposition labor unions and their allies as champions of broad social gains for the 99 percent. To escape the label of ‘special interest’ unions must work for far more than their own members.
        “The needed strategy is available. It proposes a new alliance among willing labor unions, community organizations, and social movements. The alliance’s basic goal is a social transition in which worker cooperatives become an increasing proportion of business enterprises. The increasingly used term worker self-directed enterprises (WSDEs) stresses democratic decision making. In WSDEs, all workers democratically decide what, how, and where to produce and how to use the net revenues their work generates. In WSDEs, whether or not workers are owners or self-manage, they function, collectively and democratically, as their own board of directors, their own bosses.”
        [Richard D. Wolff. Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2016. Page 275.]
        “WSDEs [workers self-directed enterprises] organize economic decisions to serve the interests of the majority of people in each enterprise, the workers. They eliminate the decision-making roles and positions of that minority that rules inside capitalist enterprises (major shareholders or owners and their chosen representatives, typically boards of directors). More broadly, the people themselves – in the persons of enterprise workers and residents of communities interdependent with the enterprise – become the key economic decision makers. Inside the enterprise, the workers become their own board of directors. As such, they receive and distribute the surpluses (profits) their labor generates. That defines the end of exploitation: the end of any enterprise organization in which the producers of surpluses/profits are different people from those who obtain and distribute such surpluses/profits.” [Richard D. Wolff, “Alternatives to Capitalism.” Critical Sociology. Volume 39, number 4, July 2013. Pages 487-490.]
        “In presenting the ‘communist alternative’ we speak of communism not as a social system, not in terms of society as a whole. We refer instead to the communist class structure of production as an alternative to the capitalist. We stress a class change in production in the hope and belief that it will help to produce a better society.
        “In an enterprise with a communist class structure of production, the productive laborers-those who produce the surplus-are also the people who get and then distribute that surplus. As they produce collectively, so they collectively appropriate and distribute. Communism, in this limited sense, makes the surplus theirs and thereby ends their exploitation. The concept of ‘worker’ changes accordingly. The productive worker’s tasks in any enterprise organized as a communist collective include more than helping to produce the surplus as in a capitalist enterprise. In the communist enterprise, productive workers must also participate in the collective appropriation and distribution of that surplus. From Monday through Thursday, for example, they produce the surplus; on Friday, they meet to appropriate and distribute it. Productive workers become their own board of directors.…
        “In communist enterprises, the productive workers take over the processes of appropriating and distributing the surplus from capitalists. What does this mean for unproductive workers? As in capitalism, productive and unproductive workers relate to the surplus differently. However, in a communist organization of production, productive and unproductive workers confront one another directly without the intermediation by capitalists. The two kinds of workers-surplus producers and the enablers of surplus production-must define, negotiate, and resolve their differences and relationships or else risk the dissolution of the communist organization of production (and perhaps thereby initiate a transition back to capitalism or yet another organization of production).…
        “Political struggles will likely also attend the evolving interdependence among communist enterprises. Given the specializations of production among them, they will need each other’s products as raw materials, machinery, and so on. As workers’ skills and interests develop and as their personal circumstances change, they will need to move from one to another enterprise. Shifting consumer tastes and incomes as well as changing technologies will raise aggregate demand for some products and reduce it for others, requiring accommodations in all communist enterprises. Their interdependence will generate opportunities, costs, and pains for communist enterprises. Thus they will need to develop and adjust their relationships continuously. Political struggles are likely over how best to arrange such continuous adjustments and share their costs.”
        [Richard D. Wolff, “Why Communism?” Rethinking Marxism. Volume 19, number 3, July 2007. Pages 322-336.]
        “… there were always dissenting socialists and Marxists who critically evaluated state capitalisms from a socialist perspective. Other socialists and Marxists developed this space in multiple ways. Some criticized USSR-type socialisms on the grounds of their inadequate or absent democratic institutions; they contrasted top-down with bottom-up constructions of socialist systems. Many questioned the durability or even the possibility of genuine socialism if unaccompanied by genuine democracy. My argument shares the critique of top-down organizations of socialism.” [Richard D. Wolff. Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2012. Page 160.]
        “… capitalism, socialism, and communism as they were understood and actually existed over the last century shared a common organization of the surplus in their industries. That organization was capitalist. It was not—or at least not yet—an organization in which the producers and appropriators/distributors of the surplus were the same people. The great debate between capitalism and socialism, the debate that so many (Francis Fukuyama, Robert L. Heilbroner, and others) had declared finally resolved in capitalism’s favor by the 1990s, turns out to have been a debate between private and state capitalism.
        “Within actually existing socialist states there have been greater and lesser movements back toward private capitalism over the last half-century. Many social reforms achieved as part of the movements toward socialism after 1917 proved temporary and subject to erosion or reversal. Especially after the 1980s, socialized property in the means of production reverted to private property. Planning apparatuses gave way to market mechanisms of distribution. Relatively more economic and social equality returned to greater inequality. To the millions who struggled for socialism and communism over the last 150 years, who believed them to be embodiments of a more egalitarian and democratic social order, the last several decades of movement back toward private capitalism have been deeply distressing and demoralizing.”
        [Richard D. Wolff. Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2012. Page 163.]
        “… [Some] Marxist economists also argue that for a differently defined socialist alternative to replace such state-capitalism there would have to be fundamental change in the organization of surplus inside enterprises. Following [Karl] Marx’s suggestions, enterprises would have to be internally reorganized such that surplus-producing workers become also their own collective boards of directors. Instead of small, elite boards of directors elected by major shareholders, this reorganization of the surplus would yield workers’ self-directed enterprises, giving all workers both a specific and a general job description. For example, each worker might do a particular task from Monday to Thursday, but on Friday all workers meet to decide democratically what, how, and where to produce and what to do with the surplus/profits they produce. These Marxist economists describe their proposal as economic democracy; only when such a democracy is instituted inside enterprises has a society created the microlevel constituent of a genuine socialism ….” [Richard D. Wolff and Stephen A. Resnick. Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2012. Pages 333-334.]
        “The frustration of the left, given … [an] exhaustion of traditional socialisms’ appeal, arose from having no other broadly agreed-upon vision of an attractive alternative to capitalism. The left could not provide what mass audiences craved as they deepened their criticisms of capitalism's longer-term decline and short-term crisis.
        “Enter the notion of workers’ cooperatives or, better, the awkward but more specific term: workers self-directed enterprises (WSDEs). This centuries-old idea has been revived, redesigned and applied to go well beyond traditional socialism. The result is a new vision of an alternative to capitalism that could help to mobilize a new left.
        “WSDEs replace hierarchical, top-down capitalist enterprises run by major shareholders and the boards of directors they select with a democratic enterprise directed by all its workers. The latter, collectively and democratically, make all the key decisions of what, how and where to produce. Most importantly, they decide how to use the enterprise’s net revenue.”
        [Richard D. Wolff, “Economic Prosperity and Economic Democracy: The Worker Co-Op Solution.” Truthout. Web. January 12th, 2014. Retrieved on March 12th, 2017.]
      56. coöperative commonwealth (Stanley Aronowitz): He proposes a populist approach to decision making in a socialist context.
        “… democracy has been defined as the participation of the ‘people’ in decision-making. In the context of the nation-state, the citizenry intervenes on a continuous basis in the decisions affecting their everyday lives as well as the life of the community, whether the national or a local jurisdiction. This concept, often termed ‘radical’ democracy has been variously identified with the ‘cooperative commonwealth’ the old Anglo-Saxon term for socialism—a self-managed society of producers of social as well as economic goods, in which the ‘state’ either disappears or is relegated to administrative, i.e. coordinating functions, but in any case does not impose its will from above. This bottom up regime does not necessarily mark the ‘end’ of politics, but it sharply restricts the sovereignty of bureaucratic, centralized institutions. Representatives are chosen by popular assemblies of workers, members of the armed forces, and community residents and merchants. These assemblies may elect delegates to make decisions subject to the popular will. Radical democracy confirms the right to recall representatives at any time.” [Stanley Aronowitz, “The Retreat to Postmodern Politics.” Situations. Volume 1, number 1, April 2005. Pages 15-46.]
      57. workers’ self management and communism from below (Steve Ryan): Ryan refers to a “reinvigorated libertarian left” as a ‘communism from below’ and examines the “movement against cuts” in the UK.
        “… workers are beginning to sense what is coming after a languid summer, This at some stage will turn to anger, not just with the government but with union leaders, especially if some unions do take militant action.…
        “As the struggle develops this autumn opportunities and initiatives will arise. As they do communists should be developing the argument for a permanent change to a society based on workers’ self management and communism from below, they should also be operating these principles in practice wherever they are engaged whether in the unions, anti-cuts groups etc demonstrating the practice as well as the theory.
        “This is a hugely important time, and reinvigorated libertarian left has a key opportunity to help a successful and mass fight back. Equally, if it is mishandled the movement is facing a massive defeat which may discredit it for decades.”
        [Steve Ryan, “A Movement Against Cuts.” The Commune: For Workers’ Self-Management and Communism from Below. Issue 17, September 2010. Pages 1 and 3.]
      58. laborist production (David Ellerman): He explores this mode of worker production in the context of discussing normative property theory.
        “This paper Is a non-technical preliminary report on a normative theory of property. It provides an alternative approach to normative economic theory that does not require or utilize any social welfare function. Normative property theory consists of a principle which specifies how rightful ownership Is Initiated (theory of appropriation) and a principle which speclfies how rightful ownership may be transferred (theory of permission). Thus the theory provides normative constraints which govern the rightful appropriation and transfer of property.…
        “… if a legal property system Is to satisfy the norms provided by normative property theory, it must recognize and guarantee in law: (1) that the workforce In an enterprise has the collective legal responsibility for its productive activities, i.e., that the workers have the right to self-manage their work, and (2) that the workforce in an enterprise has the right to the ownership of its whole product. We will call this form of production, laborist production