Why do we need a general strike?
Two things are essential to the production of all goods; materials, such as machinery and land, and labour, or the effort of humans. In our society there are a number of ways to make a living.
A podcast on workers' control from Pacifica Radio's "Against the Grain" with Immanuel Ness, labour historian and author of 'Ours to Master and to Own: Workers' Control from the Commune to the Present'.
Wed 31.8.11| Workers' Control
Tom Wetzel details the Italian Factory Occupations of 1920, which matured beyond conventional trade unionism and at its height involved about 600,000 workers. This article was originally presented as a talk at the Conference on Workers' Self-Organization in St. Louis in 1988.
During the month of September, 1920, a widespread occupation of Italian factories by their workforces took place, which originated in the auto factories, steel mills and machine tool plants of the metal sector but spread out into many other industries -- cotton mills and hosiery firms, lignite mines, tire factories, breweries and distilleries, and steamships and warehouses in the port towns.
Every attempt to go beyond capitalism has ended in failure. But are capitalism's present problems putting anti-capitalist revolution back on the agenda?
To answer this question, this article looks at past revolutions, with emphasis on aspects rarely considered by the left. These include humanity's origins, gender and military history and the revolutionary transcendence of work and democracy.
'We will take over!' Women march to Versailles during the French Revolution.
IS REVOLUTION BACK ON THE AGENDA? - Mark Kosman
An evaluation of the realities faced by co-operatives operating in the market through an analysis of ‘worker control’ and ‘social ownership’ in the former Yugoslavian co-operatives, ‘degeneration of worker control’ in the Mondragon Co-operative Complex in Spain and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s state sponsored co-operative development project in South Africa.
The original French version of the Mouvement Communiste pamphlet on Hungary 56.
HONGRIE 1956: insurrection, conseils ouvriers, question militaire, «Le prolétariat à l’assaut du ciel»
Mouvement Communiste’s analysis of the Hungary ’56 workers’ uprising. Stresses the importance of the collective actions taken by workers at the point of production and critically examines the demands and programmes that they put forward.
(full title: Hungary 1956: insurrection, workers’ councils, the military question, “the proletariat storming heaven”)
The achievements of anarchist ‘self-management’ during the Spanish Civil War show that production can be organised without the bourgeoisie or Leninist parties. But any genuinely anti-capitalist revolution in the 21st century will not be about democratic self-management of capitalist industry. Rather, it will be about the transformation of society world-wide so people can collectively fulfill their needs without any external discipline. Consequently, we need to understand workers’ resistance to work during the Spanish revolution rather than to just praise the achievements of anarchist militants (especially when those ‘achievements’ even included the setting up of labour camps!).
Michael Seidman’s Workers against Work: Labor in Paris and Barcelona during the Popular Fronts is a 'must-read' for anyone who wants to learn from the disastrous outcomes of the revolutions of the 20th century. Here are some extracts: