Wild Socialism examines the rise, development, and decline of revolutionary councils of industrial workers in Berlin at the end of the First World War.
This popular movement spread throughout Germany, and was without precedent in either the theory or practice of the Social Democratic party and the trade unions allied to it.
Workers Solidarity Movement's account of the wave of soviets in the province of Munster.
Irish Workers taking over their jobs, flying the Red Flag and declaring for socialism? It never happened here. That's what the establishment historians want you to think, that is why they have written whole episodes of our history out of the schoolbooks. In reality thousands of workers were involved in just such action at the beginning of the 1920's.
Cornelius Castoriadis/Paul Cardan's proposals for the workings of a society based on the principle of self-management by workers' councils, originally published in English by Solidarity in 1972. We have significant disagreements with it as it retains the key features of capitalism, but we reproduce it for reference.
A chapter on the economic of libertarian communism that argues that distribution is one of the key aspects defining communist economics, and exploring the different approaches to communist distribution across the broad libertarian communist current.
(From a chapter published in the AK Press book the Accumulation of Freedom)
Libertarian Communism, the Aspiration of Classes in Struggle
An essay on the Soviets published in 1932 by the co-founder of the Spanish POUM, sympathetic to Lenin and critical of the “profound errors committed, after the death of Lenin, by the leadership of the Communist Party”, that characterizes the Soviets as “a system of government that is infinitely more democratic than the freest bourgeois republic”.
The Soviets: Their Origin, Development and Functions – Andreu Nin
The origin and nature of the Soviets
This definitive documentary history collects manifestos, speeches, articles, and letters from the German Revolution—Rosa Luxemburg, the Revolutionary Stewards, and Gustav Landauer amongst others—introduced and annotated by the editor. Many documents, such as the anarchist Erich Mühsam's comprehensive account of the Bavarian Council Republic, are presented here in English for the first time. The volume also includes materials from the Red Ruhr Army that repelled the reactionary Kapp Putsch in 1920 and the communist bandits that roamed Eastern Germany until 1921.
The German Revolution erupted out of the ashes of World War I, triggered by mutinying sailors refusing to be sacrificed in the final carnage of the war.
Tom Wetzel on the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the Italian factory council movement of 1919-1920, and the anarcho-syndicalist advocacy of revolutionary unionism.
In a polemic against the syndicalists, Antonio Gramsci argued that the syndicalists were wrong in maintaining that unions were capable of being organs of workers' revolution. He said this confused a marketing organization of labor within capitalism -- the trade unions -- with an organization for running production in a socialized economy -- the workers councils.
A biography of the German anarchist and poet Erich Mühsam, written by his friend Augustin Souchy shortly after Mühsam was murdered by the Nazis in 1934, including a brief but fascinating account of Mühsam’s role in the Bavarian Council Revolution in 1919 and featuring quotations from Mühsam evincing his sympathy for anarchosyndicalism and his advocacy of the Council system.
The German Social Background
Less highly developed than it was in other countries, anarchism in Germany has produced only a handful of combatants and thinkers. Social democratic state-worship overwhelmed all libertarian thought; its representatives were not fighters; they preferred to describe the struggles that others were fighting.
1920 text on workers' councils in Italy by Antonio Gramsci.
An urgent problem today faces every socialist with a lively sense of the historical responsibility that rests on the working class and on the Party which represents the critical and active consciousness of the mission of this class.