Basic principles of revolutionary organisation

A brief outline of basic points of agreement which we think are the minimum necessary to be the basis of potentially productive pro-revolutionary organisation.

Submitted by Steven. on July 2, 2010

Communist: We are against all forms of capitalism whether private, state or self-managed. In its place we want a classless, stateless and moneyless society based on solidarity, co-operation and the principle ‘from each according to ability, to each according to need’ - a libertarian communist society.

Class struggle: Capitalism is characterised by the creation of a class of people, dispossessed from the means of production and subsistence, who are required to work for a wage to get by. This condition pushes us to resist - to do less work, for more money. However, our employers want us to work more for less money to increase their profits. The struggle resulting from this contradiction sets our human needs and desires against those of capital. This struggle also lays the foundations for a new kind of society, based on the fulfilment of our needs. Opposing all discrimination and prejudice like sexism and racism by attempting to unite the working class is just as much a part of class struggle as striking for higher wages.
Direct action and solidarity are the basis of working class strength. We support the actions of our class in our own interests. We are opposed to all those who claim to be our representatives, like the trade unions or political parties which seek to manage capitalism supposedly on our behalf.

Internationalist: Our class is global and so should be our solidarity. We oppose all nationalist movements, whether openly conservative or supposedly progressive and ‘anti-imperialist’ in nature as both are based on the unity of workers with their rulers. We never take sides in wars between states or would-be states, instead always supporting mutiny, fraternisation and the working class fighting in its own interest.

Everyday life: Whether waged or unwaged, it is our everyday activity as workers that reproduces capitalist society. And it is through disrupting this activity that we can challenge and eventually replace it. As such, our activity as radical workers should always be based primarily on issues rooted in our everyday lives and experiences.

Organisations should feel free to use or adapt these to your own purposes.



12 years 10 months ago

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Submitted by Comrade on July 29, 2011

We are against all forms of capitalism whether private, state or self-managed.

why against self-menaged?


12 years 5 months ago

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Submitted by Dennis3434 on December 29, 2011

Because some left communists, view "workers self management" as workers self managing capitalism. Its an old debate.


11 years 8 months ago

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Submitted by Journeyman on October 18, 2012

I've been self-employed for 20 years now. You can't get more self-managed than that! Yet because I work within the context of a capitalistic market economy, the conflict between labour and capital does not disappear, it is just rolled into one. Despite a reasonably good working understanding of Marxist theory, it took me a surprisingly long time, until I finally cottoned on to the schizophrenic nature of my situation. Once I did, I could start to think of a few appropriate steps to ameliorate the strange compulsion to practice relentless self-exploitation. Still, capitalism sux, whichever way you look at it.


11 years 8 months ago

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Submitted by Steven. on October 18, 2012


Because some left communists, view "workers self management" as workers self managing capitalism. Its an old debate.

Dennis, we specifically spell out that we are against self managed capitalism.

To the original asking a question, journeyman pretty much has the answer. In self managed capitalism you don't get rid of the tyranny of the market: workers just have to embody both bosses and workers in themselves. So in a self managed, capitalist coffee plantation, for example if you have a very good year and so everyone makes loads of coffee, the price of coffee will collapse. Then the co-operatives will have to cut their own wages and lay themselves off.

Whereas with communist production, making a profit won't matter. If yields are very high, then you can either make a surplus and store it for the future, or just stop working a few weeks/months early.


11 years 8 months ago

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Submitted by Spikymike on October 18, 2012

There is a class struggle all right but it isn't just about the level of wages however critical that element might be.
Is this heavily truncated analytical section in the right place for something about 'principles of revolutionary organisation' Perhaps just better to expand the 'Everyday Life' section?

It is inadequate in trying to explain the relationship between 'revolutionary organisation' and the 'everyday class struggle' but then that is a can of worms on this site I suppose.


11 years 8 months ago

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Submitted by syndicalist on October 18, 2012

I'm no expert here, so I'll limit my comments.

On the question of self-manangement, about a year or so ago someone explained why "communists" are against it. I was sorta taken aback by that. FWIW, to many middle aged anarcho-syndicalists, "self-management" is to a older generation what they called "worker control" and to a younger generation what some seem to refer to as "libertarian communism".

I get that within this broad term "self-management" you prolly have at least three or so definitions:
a) "Self-managaement" as defined by the "Lip" experience ( ) or Argentine experience. b) participatory economics
(within that a least two camps of thought) and c) self-manament as defined as defined and declared for in, say, the Principles of the IWA.

Anyway, my dos centavos on this.