class struggle

Notes from a meeting on Nation or Class

"The working class has no country!" But what does this really mean, when workers in any given country seem to willingly embrace the idea of the nation, patriotism, nationalism and all the baggage that goes with these concepts. And it's not just a matter of the popularity of far right governments in Poland, Hungary and the USA but also includes the left, some anarchists included, who continue to support national liberation struggles. So this meeting aims to explore the potential for building genuine class politics in the face of the ever present ideas of the nation.

Monopoly capitalism and the rise of syndicalism – Mark Leier

A portion of the first chapter of labour historian Mark Leier’s 1990 book Where the Fraser River Flows: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia, which may serve as an introduction to the IWW’s syndicalist ideas and practices, as well as what conditions brought about the revolutionary union in the first place.

(Note: Besides the final paragraph, ~3,200 of the last words were left out for the sake of being concise. What was left out went further in depth about how "the essence of the new system of production was [...] in increasing the division of labour and in reducing the initiative of the workers over the work process," showing how some tried to achieve this.)

The Labour Process and Class Strategies

A collection of texts by Panzieri, Sohn-Rethel, Palloix, Bologna, and Tronti. Published as "CSE Pamphlet no. 1" in 1976 by the UK-based Conference of Socialist Economists.

The unemployed in the popular uprising of December, 2001: Report from Greater Buenos Aires

This moving account reveals some prominent facts behind the scenes of the December 2001 uprising in Argentina. Cacho's account reveals the political ideas and tactics of the unemployed, who throughout the 90s had managed to obtain public attention and increasing legitimacy in demanding government assistance by disrupting automobile traffic on highways across the entire territory. The piqueteros - the common label of various similar organizations - had coordinated their actions, not just among themselves, but also with the more traditional leftist movements, unions, and political parties.

Workers' Inquiry: Class War Strategies, San Francisco Zinn Bookfair, 19 Nov 2017

Half Moon Bay Burger King wages

San Francisco's unemployment rate is 2.8%, an all-time low. The causes are various, but it's clearly due to the tech boom and astronomically high housing costs creating a massive labor shortage. This inquiry draws on participants' workplace situation -- borrowing from Silver's Forces of Labor -- to find ways to strengthen workers associational and structural power to leverage this condition for working class advantage.

Catalan independence: what’s hiding behind the nationalist myth? - Mouvement Communiste/Kolektivně proti Kapitălu

pro and anti independentists

This leaflet was produced at the end of October and therefore before Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia... But it still makes the important points!

In November we remember: the centennial of the 1912 Little Falls textile strike – Brendan Maslauskas Dunn

Little Falls textile strikers in front of the strike headquarters (Slovak Hall)

An overview of the Little Falls textile strike of 1912. First published as follows in November 2012 in the Industrial Worker (issue 1750, vol. 109, no. 9).

Anti-Bolshevik communism – Paul Mattick

Anti-Bolshevik Communism by Paul Mattick

A collection of works by Paul Mattick. Communism aims at putting working people in charge of their lives. A multiplicity of Councils, rather than a big state bureaucracy is needed to empower working people and to focus control over society. Mattick develops a theory of a council communism through his survey of the history of the left in Germany and Russia. He challenges Bolshevik politics: especially their perspectives on questions of Party and Class, and the role of Trade Unions.

To praise Ginger Goodwin is to revere a radical – Mark Leier

Ginger Goodwin

Feisty miner reminds that comfortable compromisers are easily forgotten.

In this piece (originally published by The Tyee in 2014), Mark Leier, author of Bakunin: The Creative Passion, emphasises the radical edge of Ginger Goodwin – the English migrant coal miner turned labour organiser who is recognised as a martyr by many workers in British Columbia, Canada – by comparing him to one of his contemporaries.

How to kill an Act of Parliament – Jack Ray

dockers taking direct action in 1972

The story of the legislation that led to the jailing of the Pentonville Five, the 1971 Industrial Relations Act. Published as follows during 2012 in the Black Flag, issue 235.