class struggle

Global working class - Wildcat Germany

Indonesian workers' demonstration during national strike for higher wages, 2013.

Article on the development of class struggle in the last few years by Wildcat Germany. Translated from Wildcat no. 98, summer 2015

A hundred year war - Ngo Van Xuyet

In this two-part talk given in 2001 in Paris, Ngo Van Xuyet introduces his two books about Vietnam (Viêt-nam 1920-1945: révolution et contre-révolution sous la domination coloniale [1997] and Au pays de la Cloche fêlée: Tribulations d’un Cochinchinois à l’époque coloniale [2000]), starting with a critical chronology of the 1920s, and concluding with a first-person account of the period between 1930 and 1945, when Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh seized power after the Japanese surrender and immediately proceeded to exterminate the Vietnamese Trotskyists, while workers and peasants formed councils that were suppressed by the Stalinist government’s military forces.

10 things the left should see the back of right now - Isla Williams

Intersectional HQ

With the Tories in power the left is in full-on reconstruction mode. But while we do this it’s important to remember the lessons of the last five years. With this in mind, here are ten suggestions the things the left should see the back of right now.

So, the government got in…

The election results are in. The Tories can form a majority government to rule for the next five years. Now what?

Vanishing points in working class culture – Miguel Amorós

A brief discussion of the origins, decline, and fall of modern working class culture as a culture of resistance to capitalism, a process that led to our current condition of “perpetual present” “without time or memory”, concluding with some reflections on the possible reemergence of “communities of struggle” that will rediscover history, as the system can only “overcome its contradictions … by plunging into even greater ones”, thus unleashing new conflicts in a society that has become increasingly more unpredictable due to the proliferation of unhinged, “desperate identities” in search of a remedy for their “feeling of uprootedness”.

Wobbly driplines: strikes, stowaways & the SS Manuka

Built in 1903 and wrecked off New Zealand’s southern coast in 1929, the Manuka was a floating fragment of class society—and of class warfare. This article uses the Manuka to tell the wider story of syndicalism, transnationalism, anti-militarism, and the IWW in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Activism - Amadeo Bordiga

In this short article first published in 1952, Amadeo Bordiga addresses the question of “activism” as “an illness of the workers movement” that exaggerates the “possibilities of the subjective factors of the class struggle” and neglects theoretical preparation, which he claims is of paramount importance because of the need for consciousness to be “expressed in the class party, which is in the last analysis the determinant factor of the transformation of the bourgeois crisis into the revolutionary catastrophe of all of society”, claiming furthermore that, “in the party, consciousness precedes action, unlike what takes place among the masses and at the level of the individual.”

War and revolution - Amadeo Bordiga

In this 1950 article from the “Thread of Time” series Amadeo Bordiga examines the question of war and revolution in Marxist theory—characteristically emphasizing the epochal shift entailed by the Franco-Prussian War—and the role played by the ideological legacy of the French Revolution in the defeat of the Paris Commune and in the mobilization for and justification of participation in World Wars One and Two, which “were not revolutionary wars, but massacres of the slaves of Capital”.

Shanghai on strike: the politics of Chinese labor

cover of shanghai on strike

Classic book by Elizabeth Perry on working-class formation during the industrialization of Shanghai from 1839 to 1949, including insight into the strike wave and insurrections of 1926-1927.

Were we wrong? - Murray Bookchin

An essay in which Murray Bookchin argues against the dominant Marxist and anarchist view of capitalist development and revolutionary change. Published in Telos, Vol. 65, Fall, 1985, pp. 59-74.