libcom.org reading guide

Illustration by Clifford Harper.
Illustration by Clifford Harper.

Libcom.org's reading guides, organised by subject, including other media like film and photographs.

Submitted by Ed on September 29, 2012

Anarchism: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on anarchism, anarchist theorists and their development through history.

Submitted by Ed on September 29, 2012

Recommended introductions

Other recommended texts

Anarchist groups and organisations

  • Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (Argentine Regional Workers' Federation - FORA) - Argentine anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1901 which played a leading role in the working-class movement at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labour - CNT) - Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union, which was a leading force in the Spanish Civil War and Revolution when it had almost two million members.
  • The Makhnovists - Officially the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of the Ukraine, the Makhnovists, named after anarchist Nestor Makhno, were an anarchist peasant army which fought both White reaction and Red terror during the Russian Revolution from 1917-1921.
  • International Workers Association (IWA) - International confederation of anarcho-syndicalist unions, founded in 1922, which at its height had multiple sections with memberships in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.
  • Federación Anarquista Ibérica (Iberian Anarchist Federation - FAI) - Class struggle anarchist organisation active in Spain and Portugal and set up to maintain the CNT’s revolutionary anarchist principles.
  • Dielo Trouda (Workers’ Cause) - Group of anarchist-communist exiles from the Russian revolution formed in Paris who founded the basis of the Platformist strain of anarchism, including Nestor Makhno, Ida Mett, Peter Arshinov and Grigori Maximov.
  • Mujeres Libres (Free Women) - Spanish anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation set up within the CNT in the 1930s to fight the “triple enslavement of women, to ignorance, to capital, and to men”.
  • Friends of Durruti - Spanish anarchist group named after the legendary anarcho-syndicalist, Buenaventura Durruti, and set up in opposition to the CNT’s collaboration with the Republican government during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (Uruguayan Anarchist Federation - FAU) - Anarchist-communist group and one of the strongest anarchist movements in Latin America. Went through a period of clandestine armed struggle during the country’s 1973-85 dictatorship and was the first organisation to promote especifismo.

Anarchist thinkers

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

French mutualist philosopher and first person to call themselves an ‘anarchist’.

Mikhail Bakunin

Russian revolutionary, considered the original theorist of collectivist anarchism.

Louise Michel

Legendary French anarchist who held a leading role in the Paris Commune and played an essential role in building the anarchist movement across Europe at the end of the 19th century.

Peter Kropotkin

Russian revolutionary (as well as scientist, zoologist, geographer and evolutionary theorist!) who was the first to advocate a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers - anarchist-communism.

  • The Conquest of Bread - Classic work explaining the defects of feudal and capitalist economic systems and how they can be replaced by a decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation.
  • Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution - Kropotkin's response to Social Darwinism in which he explains the phenomenon of co-operation in evolution.
  • Fields, Factories and Workshops - Hugely influential work outlining how a society based on mutual aid and voluntary association could work.
  • Memoirs of a Revolutionist - Autobiography recounting his aristocratic beginnings to his transformation into the revolutionary he would be for the rest of his life.
  • The State--Its Historic Role - Classic work on the state and its function in society.

Lucy Parsons

American anarchist-communist labour organiser and founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World of mixed African-American and Hispanic heritage. Known for her powerful public speaking, she was also the widow of Haymarket Martyr, Albert Parsons.

Errico Malatesta

Highly influential Italian anarchist-communist who wrote and spoke widely across Italy and spent many years either in jail or in exile.

Emma Goldman

Lithuanian-born Jewish anarchist who emigrated to the USA, where she became highly involved in radical unions, anti-war and feminist activism. Became known as "the most dangerous woman in America".

Alexander Berkman

Lithuanian-born anarchist-communist Alexander "Sasha" Berkman, who became a leading figure in the American anarchist movement and was sent to prison for attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, the steel boss responsible for the deaths of workers in the 1892 Homestead strike.

Rudolf Rocker

Prominent anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.

Ricardo Flores Magon

Mexican anarchist, friend of legendary revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and leading participant in the 1910 Mexican revolution.

Nestor Makhno

Ukrainian anarchist-communist who led a revolutionary army during the 1917 Russian revolution which fought against both the old Tsarist regime and the new Bolshevik one.

Daniel Guerin

French anarchist and revolutionary supporter of gay liberation.

Albert Meltzer

British anarcho-syndicalist print worker who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and was a major figure in the British anarchist movement.

Murray Bookchin

American libertarian socialist and founder of social ecology who severely criticised individualist and spiritual elements within radical politics.

  • Bookchin remembered - Obituary written by Iain Mackay.
  • Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism - Essay against the increasingly individualist, misanthropic, mystical and anti-organisational trends in US anarchism.
  • Listen, Marxist! - An anarchist criticism of Marxism, aimed predominantly at the Maoist Progressive Labor Party in America.
  • Post-Scarcity Anarchism - Collection of essays envisioning an anarchist society without scarce resources, if we rely on technology.
  • Anarchism, Marxism and The Future of The Left - Collection of texts including accounts of his years as a teenage Communist during the Great Depression, his experiences and reflections on the 1960s and his vision of a libertarian communist society, libertarian politics and the future of anarchism.
  • The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 - History of the day-to-day activism of Spanish anarchists in the decades leading up to the famous civil war and revolution of 1936.

Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

African-American class struggle anarchist, former Black Panther and participant in the civil rights and black power movements.

Other media

  • No Gods, No Masters, part one, two and three - Excellent three-part documentary on the history of anarchism as an international movement, from its origins through to its involvement in numerous revolutions around the world until the Second World War.
  • Free Voice of Labour: the Jewish Anarchists - Documentary covering the Jewish anarchist movement in North America, with interviews from participants.
  • Noam Chomsky on anarchism - interview by Barry Pateman - Video of an interview by Barry Pateman with Noam Chomsky about anarchism.
  • Living utopia - Unique feature-length documentary which chronicles the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution. In Spanish with English subtitles.

klas batalo

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nice glad you are putting these up! I wish these existed when I first became an anarchist. A lot more to chose from than just the @FAQ

Ed

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cheers!

A quick question though, is anything missing? I get the feeling that maybe Malatesta is a bit thin on the ground but I don't know his stuff well-enough to say what should be put in..

klas batalo

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For Malatesta I'd just add his Anarchism and Syndicalism, At the Cafe, and Between Peasants

especifista

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Malatesta: His Life and Ideas
http://zinelibrary.info/errico-malatesta-his-life-and-ideas

JoeMaguire

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The approach you have taken is interesting and accessible, I would raise three things; could and should Collin ward be added?, the AF's Basic Bakunin should be listed, and Fabbri's poverty of statism is probably the best introduction I have ever read and it should be listed somewhere.

Ed

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, Colin Ward should probably go in.. only problem is that the only thing by him I've read is 'Anarchy in Action', ten years ago, and we don't even have that in the library.. not sure about the other libcom lot, but I don't think they've read much by him either..

If you fancied, you could edit in a list of a few important Colin Ward books, with little descriptions and putting links to the ones we've got in the library.

Fabbri and Basic Bakunin; I like Fabbri a lot, will have a look at him to see if maybe he should get his own inclusion.. not sure that Poverty of Statism is that great an introduction.. a good text, yeah, but I'm not sure I'd give it to someone as a first read. Might stick in Basic Bakunin though..

Ed

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just added Makhno, btw.. don't know how that got forgotten!

klas batalo

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Actually "Anarchy in Action" was my real introduction to more serious anarchism, after I read Crimethinc, so highly suggested that at least get in there. It has to be pirated on the internet somewhere by now right?

wojtek

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Colin Ward

What have mutuals and co-ops got to do with class struggle anarchism?

Juan Conatz

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, if you're going to add that, I just put it in the library http://libcom.org/library/anarchy-action-colin-ward

Don't have time to write an intro or find a pic though

Anarcho

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Philosophy of Poverty

The bloody book is entitled System of Econonic Contradictions! the Philosophy of Poverty is th sub-title... Extracts of this, and other works, by Proudhon can be found on the Property is Theft! webpage

Stephan

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What have mutuals and co-ops got to do with class struggle anarchism?
They are part of anarchism history and can inspire action: you must expect people to be abel to read critical.

happychaos

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is very useful!

I wonder if you could expand this reading guide into an introduction that includes multimedia etc? There are some movies that convey anarchist ideas quicker than some of those quick large books. You could also include some anarchist sci-fi etc and other fiction. It all depends on the purpose. If this is a reading list for those who are already keen on reading long text, then it works really well.

The first section aside, and not to dismiss the important of the works listed, I always feel mainly having anarchists from those generations makes anarchism look like its not for this century. Guerin's, while being more contemporary, largely basis his work in the same historical period. I wonder if there should be a separate general section for important articles from more modern anarchists, but who may not have enough articles to justify a sub-header on their own.

I think it's always good to have intros that meet two needs: the new and not yet captivated and the deeply committed, those with short attention span and the hyper-focused, the skimmers and the wallowers. Perhaps make a recommendation from each author and then further reading?

And a final suggestion, which I've made elsewhere for this site itself, what about a summary of different relevant topics? More people come to anarchism because of a particular issue than because of anarchism itself. How about some areas with the best introduction on those issues and some articles on particular instances of the issue, i.e. war and palestine. Some other topics could include workplace organising, climate change, poverty etc.

Keep up the good work!

SO

David234

7 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are a lot of good suggestions on this list too.

The 100 Best Anarchist, Communist, & Socialist Books
http://www.listmuse.com/best-anarchist-communist-socialist-books.php

zunord

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would like to suggest adding Max Stirner also to this list.

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

zunord

I would like to suggest adding Max Stirner also to this list.

WUM :D

Network

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'd really recommend the following Colin Ward books. Great accessible introductions which I often recommend to people just starting to learn about anarchism, but for whom more explicitly confrontational class struggle anarchism might initially put them off. Good tasters of what anarchist ideas look like when applied to everyday life.

Anarchy in action - Colin Ward
http://libcom.org/library/anarchy-action-colin-ward

Anarchism: A very short introduction - Colin Ward
https://libcom.org/library/colin-ward-anarchism-very-short-introduction

Ed

3 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just as a heads up: I updated this last night to include more thinkers but also some other recommended texts and significant anarchist organisations.

As before, let us know if there are any glaring omissions (bearing in mind that there is also an anarcho-syndicalism reading guide).

Edit: some of the obvious things that are missing are things like texts by/about Proudhon and Louise Michel. Any help getting those on the site would be much appreciated!

AndyCarloff

3 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These essays always my senses tingle and my brain activate! Been trying to collect them all in a readable, organized format, and have been putting everything here: https://www.revoltlib.com/

It's nice not only to have the written materials themselves, but images, tags, comments, descriptions, etc., and I hope that I've provided some value with that. Cheers!

Anarcho-syndicalism: reading guide

Members of anarcho-syndicalist USI-AIT, Milan, 2012.
Members of anarcho-syndicalist USI-AIT, Milan, 2012.

Libcom.org's reading guide on anarcho-syndicalism, a tradition of anarchist-inspired workers' unions.

Submitted by libcom on January 10, 2013

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • IWA - International Workers Association, international confederation of anarcho-syndicalist trade unions, founded in 1922.
  • CNT - Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1910, which took part in the 1936 Spanish civil war and revolution.
  • FORA - Federación Obrera Regional Argentina, Argentinian anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1901 which played a leading role in the working class movement at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Friends of Durruti - Anarchist group founded during the civil war opposing the CNT's participation in the Republican government.
  • Mujeres Libres - Anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation active within the Spanish CNT before and during the Spanish revolution.
  • Emile Pouget - French anarchist and influential early advocate of syndicalism who was vice-secretary of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) from 1901-1908.
  • Rudolf Rocker - Prominent German anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.
  • Gregori Maximov - Russian anarcho-syndicalist and participant in the 1917 Russian revolution who wrote extensively both on anarchist involvement in the events as well as the Bolshevik counter-revolution.
  • Buenaventura Durruti - Legendary anarcho-syndicalist rail worker, CNT member and military leader, killed during the Spanish civil war.
  • Albert Meltzer - British anarcho-syndicalist who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and founded Black Flag magazine.

Other recommended texts

Other media

  • Spanish Civil War and Revolution photo gallery, 1936-39. Photo gallery of anarchists and other workers who attempted a social revolution after the military uprising of the right-wing General Francisco Franco in July 1936.
  • Living utopia (documentary). A unique feature-length documentary (90 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles) which chronicles the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the Spanish revolution (1936-1939).

klas batalo

6 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://libcom.org/history/cnt-spanish-revolution-jos%C3%A9-peirats

Moudie Blues

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Farsi (Persian) translation of Anarcho-syndicalism by Rudolf Rocker (introduction by Noam Chomsky) first printed in Iran, 2010, on libcom library

http://libcom.org/library/%D8%A2%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1%DA%A9%D9%88%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%AF%DB%8C%DA%A9%D8%A7%D9%84%DB%8C%D8%B3%D9%85-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B4%D8%AA%DB%80-%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%81-%D8%B1%D8%A7%DA%A9%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%B4%DA%AF%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A2%D9%85-%DA%86%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B3%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%85%DB%80-%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87%DB%8C

Joakim

8 months 2 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Swedish syndicalism:

https://libcom.org/library/swedish-syndicalism-outline-its-ideology-practice

Anthropology: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide to anthropology, specifically texts of relevance to those with a radical outlook on society.

Submitted by hedgehog on April 28, 2013

Egalitarianism

  • Mutual Aid and the Foraging Mode of Thought: Re-reading Kropotkin on the Khoisan - Alan Barnard - Article from Social Evolution & History 3/1: 3–21; inspired by Kropotkin, one of the world’s leading hunter-gatherer specialists explains anarchism and the Khoisan peoples.
  • Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: the False Coin of Our Own Dreams - David Graeber - Necessary reading if you want to understand how everything connects up, reexamining a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange.
  • Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology - David Graeber - An attempt at outlining areas of research that might be explored in creating a body of anarchist social theory. If you’re an anarchist, you’ll find inspiration on every page.
  • Debt: The First 5000 Years - David Graeber - Book analysing the function of debt in human history from ancient civilisations to our modern-day economic crises. Arguably the best book on economics since Marx’s Capital – and easier to read!
  • Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence - Article by Peter Gray from the American Journal of Play, 1, 476-522; argues that hunter-gatherers promoted, through cultural means, the playful side of their
    human nature and this made possible their egalitarian, intensely cooperative ways of living. If you’ve forgotten how to play, you’ve forgotten the meaning of life.
  • Hunter-gatherer Childhoods: Evolutionary, Developmental, and Cultural Perspectives - Barry Hewlett and Michael Lamb (eds.) - Collection of contributions on the experiences of children in hunter-gatherer societies.
  • Boiling Energy. Community healing among the Kalahari Kung - Richard Katz - Thrilling introduction to Bushman systems of ritual and belief, with a special focus on community healing through trance.
  • The Kung San: Men, Women, and Work in a Foraging Society - Richard Lee - The best ever introduction to ‘primitive communism’, not as a theory but a living reality.
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunter-Gatherers - Richard Lee amd Richard Daly (eds.) - An accessible, authoritative survey of world hunter-gatherer studies. Includes John Gowdy’s useful summary: Hunter-Gatherers and the Mythology of the Market.
  • Ekila: Blood, Bodies and Egalitarian Societies - Jerome Lewis - Article from Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Brilliantly illuminating explanation of how and why beliefs concerning the potency of menstruation help maintain hunter-gatherer egalitarianism.
  • Believing and Seeing. Symbolic meanings in Southern San rock paintings - David Lewis-Williams - Celebrating a girl’s first menstruation, the ‘Eland Bull Dance’ was traditionally the major ceremony staged by the Kalahari Bushmen. Lewis-Williams interprets Southern African rock art in the light of Bushman rituals of trance and initiation.
  • The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx: Studies of Morgan, Phear, Maine, Lubbock - Karl Marx - Toward the end of his life, Karl Marx became increasingly fascinated by the anthropological research of his day, attempting to keep abreast of all the latest developments.
  • [url=http://libcom.org/library/karl-marx-iroquois-franklin-rosemont]Karl Marx and the Iroquois - Franklin Rosemont - Marx discovers ‘primitive communism’ in action and is inspired.
  • The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia - James Scott - For two thousand years people in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia have fled the projects of the states that surround them — slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics and warfare. Scott evaluates why people would deliberately remain stateless.
  • Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance - James Scott - ‘Everyday resistance’ consists of footdragging, non-compliance, pilfering, desertion, feigned ignorance, sabotage, flight etc. For a summarised version of Scott's groundbreaking argument, read Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance.
  • Primitive Communism, Barbarism and the Origins of Class Society - Lionel Sims - Excellent overview of world history in the spirit of Engels.
  • Anthropology: Reclaiming the dragon (what was primitive communism?) - Lionel Sims - Article arguing that class society and patriarchy only arose ten thousand years ago and that for over a hundred thousand years we lived in more gender-egalitarian and anarchist/communist hunter-gatherer societies.
  • The Forest People - Colin Turnbull - Book on the lives and feelings of the BaMbuti pygmies. If you don’t know anything about anthropology, start here. You will be inspired.
  • A Black Civilization - William Lloyd Warner - The best-ever detailed description of an Australian Aboriginal system of kinship, ritual and belief.
  • Egalitarian Societies - James Woodburn - An account of the conditions under which egalitarianism prevails.

Gender

  • Male Daughters, Female Husbands. Gender and sex in an African society - Ifi Amadiume - If you thought gender was 'masculine' versus 'feminism', think again. African gender turns it all upside down!
  • Women Like Meat. The folklore and foraging ideology of the Kalahari Ju/'hoan - Megan Biesele - Hunter-gatherer women don't fancy lazy men. If a man wants sex, he needs to make himself useful.
  • Blood Magic. The anthropology of menstruation - Thomas Buckley and Alma Gottlieb (eds) - Menstruation is still a taboo topic in western culture. In most other cultures, menstruation is considered a 'supernatural' force impossible to ignore.
  • The Making of Great Men - Maurice Godelier - The classic Marxist study of initiation into 'Big Man' status, with all the accompanying patriarchal mythology.
  • The Palm and the Pleiades. Initiation and cosmology in northwest Amazonia - Stephen Hugh-Jones - One of the most vivid and convincing studies of mythology as collective intelligence.
  • The Elementary Structures of Kinship - Claude Lévi Strauss - Despite its flaws, this remains the most ambitious and successful study of the world's variegated systems of kinship and marriage.
  • Our Women are Free: Gender and Ethnicity in the Hindukush - Wynne Maggi - How women can achieve liberation through collective action - an intimate account of the lives of Kalash women.
  • The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia - Bronisław Malinowski - Don’t be discouraged by the lurid title. Malinowksi was a reactionary, but this book is today widely regarded as the finest ethnography ever published. When women have solidarity and power, both sexes benefit from a sexually liberated society.
  • Those who Play with Fire: Gender, fertility and transformation in East and Southern Africa - Henrietta Moore, Todd Sanders and Bwire Kaare (eds) - The best anthropological introduction to the theoretical complexities of gender.
  • To Hunt in the Morning - Janet Siskind - The title is inspired by the early writings of Karl Marx. The book describes how women in a Native American tribe go playfully on sex-strike to persuade their men to hunt and bring back the meat.

Human origins

  • Hierarchy in the Forest. The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior - Christopher Boehm - Book explaining how consciousness and culture emerged out of a social revolution. If you read nothing else on human origins read this.
  • The Cradle of Language - Rudolf Botha and Chris Knight (eds) - Book on the evolutionary emergence of language in Africa.
  • Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals - Frans de Waal - Moral feelings and behaviour in our closest primate relatives.
  • Primate Social Systems - Robin Dunbar - The best book ever written on the social and political arrangements of our closest living relatives, monkeys and apes, with everything explained in materialist terms.
  • The Evolution of Culture: An Interdisciplinary View - Robin Dunbar, Chris Knight and Camilla Power (eds.) - A representative selection of short, readable contributions on the origins of language and culture in human beings.
  • The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life - Emile Durkheim - The most influential account ever written on why our ancestors invented rituals and beliefs about supernatural powers.
  • The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State - Friedrich Engels - Although outdated in places, this remains necessary reading for anyone interested in the roots of women’s oppression.
  • Early Human Kinship - Nicholas Allen, Hilary Callan, Robin Dunbar and Wendy James (eds.) - Collection of original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics to provide a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society. Many of the chapters provide evidence that early human kinship was matrilneal.
  • Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding - Sarah Hrdy - This book by leading evolutionary anthropologist and Darwinian feminist Sarah Hrdy is the best on human evolution this century, describing co-operative childcare as the secret of human origins and emotional modernity. If Engels were still alive, he would love it!
  • Blood Relations: Menstruation and the origins of culture - Chris Knight - Evolutionary biology, archaeology, social anthropology and human origins from a Marxist perspective.
  • The Human Symbolic Revolution: A Darwinian account - Chris Knight, Camilla Power and Ian Watts - How human evolution culminated in a revolution. With peer commentary and critique.
  • As We Know It: Coming to Terms with an Evolved Mind - Marek Kohn - A brilliant science journalist discusses the evolution of language and mind. Highly readable and informative.
  • The Roots of Civilization: The cognitive beginnings of man’s first art, symbol and notation - Alexander Marshack - Ice Age art, with a special emphasis on the moon and lunar calendars.
  • Rethinking the Human Revolution: new behavioural and biological perspectives on the origin and dispersal of modern humans - Paul Mellars, Katie Boyle, Ofer Bar-Yosef and Christopher Stringer (eds) - How human evolution culminated in ‘the human revolution’, now viewed as a process of accelerated change occurring in Africa during the Middle Stone Age.
  • Religion And Anthropology: A Critical Introduction - Brian Morris - An anarchist anthropologist asks how and why people across the world construct and sustain their different faiths.
  • Stone Age Economics - Marshall Sahlins - For hunter-gatherers, the whole point of possessing something is to be able to make a gift of it. The author explains how and why hunter-gatherers prefer to assume affluence and superabundance, not economic scarcity and competition.

hedgehog

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dunbar. 1988. Primate Social Systems. Chapman Hall and Yale University Press

Graeber, D (2001). Toward an anthropological theory of value: the false coin of our own dreams. Palgrave.
Graeber, D (2004). Fragments of an anarchist anthropology. Prickly Paradigm Press
Graeber, D (2009). Direct action: an ethnography. AK Press.
Graeber, D (2011). Debt: The First 5000 Years. Melville House.

Scott, JC. 'Everyday forms of peasant resistance'
Scott, JC. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 2009
Scott, JC. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. Yale University Press, 1985 ISBN 0-300-03336-2
Scott, JC. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 1979

Ed

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey, so this stuff all looks really really good, but do you reckon you could add some short introductions to articles, saying what they're about or why they're interesting/useful? Something along the lines of what we've done with our other reading guides i.e. this one for work or for Italy in the 60s-70s.

That way we could stick it with our libcom reading guide that we're trying to integrate more into the rest of the site..

jeremyk

9 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mbah, S (1997). African Anarchism. See Sharp Press. - Discusses anarchistic elements in traditional African societies, with a focus on Nigeria. See also sammbah.wordpress.com

especifista

9 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for this list!

but where's Lewis Mumford? ? ?

Myth of the Machine
Technics and Civilization
really great stuff on human development, especially relating to power.

dumbo

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In Search of the Primitive by Stanley Diamond. A classic on critiquing the civilization. "Diamond views the anthropologist who refuses to become a searching critic of his own civilization as not merely irresponsible, but a tool of Western Civilization."

Then, why not John Zerzan at all? There are some brilliant recent pieces by John, like:

Origins of the One Percent: the Bronze Age. [i]A look into the Bronze-Age civilizations and how the basic tenets of our modern life, so. class society, that we use to think as very recent were already well established during the Bronze Age.

Chilli Sauce

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guns, Germs, and Steel?

Black Badger

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Diamond is not an anthropologist. His books on geographical determinism have been roundly condemned by every reputable anthropologist who's bothered to read and respond to him.

Chilli Sauce

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, Black Badger, delivered in the friendly, comradely style we've all come to expect from you.

Anyway, fair enough I guess. I'm no anthropologist myself and hence the question mark.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's a good critique of Diamond here:

I argue that although Diamond makes interesting points, his work from Guns, Germs, and Steel to Collapse is a distorting disservice to the real historical record. Diamond’s claim–that the differential success of the world’s nations is due to the accidents of agriculture, except when societies “choose to fail”–not only does not withstand scrutiny, it should not be promoted or taught.

(as well as other good stuff on that site)

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

hedgehog

[Debit is] Arguably the best book on economics since Marx’s Capital

*argues nope*

fnbrilll

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

SO anglo-centric!

Pierre Clastres - Society against the state
Claude Levi-Strauss - The Way of the Masks
Franz Boas - entirety of his work
Marcel Mauss - The Gift (more sociology)
Bronisław Malinowski
Lewis Henry Morgan
Paul Kirchoff - Defined MesoAmerica - also was KAPD in germany and became Bordigist in Mexico

Sister Ray

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What's wrong with Guns, Germs & Steel? Sure Jared Diamond is no radical, and there's bits of it you can dispute, but I actually thought it was quite refreshing to see someone advocating a materialist conception of history rather than a stupid 'great men' theory.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I linked a pretty thoughtful critique above: http://www.livinganthropologically.com/anthropology/guns-germs-and-steel/

Sister Ray

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah I didn't really agree with much of that critique. I haven't read 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed', so I can't comment on that. But I think the criticisms of Guns Germs and Steel are a bit weak. They basically amount to:

1. The analysis is overly deterministic, leaving no room for people's agency or for criticism of the Europeans' colonial actions.

2. Diamond neglects the fact that indigenous peoples joined forces with the Spanish

My response would be:

1. Could you not apply the same criticism to Marx's analysis of capitalism? Marx explains a lot of phenomena in capitalist society in terms of the material factors behind them, but the existance of those factors doesn't mean individual capitalists are automatons mindlessly following the 'laws' of capitalism. I don't think it's a valid criticism anyway, you can understand the material reasons behind something happening without absolving the people involved of all responsibility. Obviously the conquistadors/colonialism were/are brutal and reprehensible but that doesn't preclude us analysing the economic/physical factors behind why they occurred.

2. Well he's tried to cover the entire history of the world in a single volume, so there's bound to be some details missing. A valid criticism but a bit nitpicky and doesn't invalidate the entire book.

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Imho the point that having guns/germs/steel doesn't mean you have to infect and slaughter people is pretty valid. At most, favourable biogeography is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for conquest. Iirc Diamond runs into this problem discussing Ming China, when he resorts to ad hoc discussion of fragmented (European) vs unified (Chinese) polities (which I think is interesting, as I have a more IR background, but it needs to be theorised, not used to rescue an inadequate analysis).

Imho this isn't so much about blaming or absolving individual conquistadors, but an incomplete account of underlying causes, which have biogeographic, as well as international-societal and political-economic determinations. The point about the Spanish alliances with indigenous rebels is pertinent here; even the undoubted military advantage of guns/germs/steel wasn't decisive on its own, but was layered with social/political factors.

Sister Ray

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Imho the point that having guns/germs/steel doesn't mean you have to infect and slaughter people is pretty valid

Yeah but I don't think Diamond was ever claiming that? I thought his point was more about if it did come to slaughtering one another, leaving aside for the moment why that happened, why was one side victorious over the other? Why did one side have a technological superiority over the other? And I think that's a very interesting question to ask in the context of the time periods he discusses, i.e. the beginnings of colonialism and mercantilism and essentially very early capitalism.

I think maybe you only see his writing as problematic if you assume it to be the be-all and end-all of the analysis. Like you say biogeographic factors are not the whole story, obviously those of us from a more libcom persuasion would emphasise the sociopolitical aspects, class etc but rooted in the same kind of materialist analysis that Diamond employs. I hope I'm making sense I don't really have any background in anthropology or history!

Sister Ray

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Been reading a load of the other articles on that site you posted the link to btw, not keen on the Diamond critique but some of the other stuff on there is really good :)

Joseph Kay

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That all makes sense. For me, the 'one note riff' thing rang true. I read Guns, Germs and Steel a long time ago (before I'd read Marx or any anarchism), and was impressed. But then when I read more I started to see all the limits of it (and realise it's not as original as the accolades suggest). That's all fine, as far as it goes. But I'm sympathetic to the criticism that it's not just a popularisation or a missed opportunity, but tends to actively close off/dismiss those other layers of explanation, even when it resorts to ad hoc arguments like the one about geopolitical unity/fragmentation.

jlevy

6 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two books already mentioned by fnbrill...

Pierre Clastres - Society Against the State

Marcel Mauss - The Gift

Both are essential to this list and should be right up there at the top.

As for Diamond, I'd prob leave him out of this list :)

Spikymike

9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Has anyone read and critically reviewed the 1918 book 'The Freedom of Things' -An Ethnology of Control by Peter Harrison. I have read this a while back and whilst finding significant areas I disagree with it touches others I'm too ill informed about to comment further.

darren p

9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was a review here:
https://rai.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-9655.13133

If you don't have institutional access you can find it on Libgen

Tom Henry

8 months 3 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

While I am briefly here, just to blow my own trumpet: here is a snippet from the Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute (IKR!) review linked to by 'darren p' above:

"The freedom of things is the most interesting
anthropological work I’ve read in years, with some
stunning passages that strike me as Sahlinsian. Some
portions require serious work to navigate, but this is a
work worthy of the effort. While I diverged with
Harrison’s analysis on several vital points of
interpretation (including some of his core argument’s
discounting of the central importance of modes of
production, war in the tribal zone, etc.), I found much
to learn and think about in this brilliant treatise."

When I originally saw that it had been reviewed here I almost fell off my chair.

hedgehog

7 months 2 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This book certainly needs adding to this reading guide:

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, David Graeber and David Wengrow (2021)

... as do some critiques from a range of viewpoints, e.g.

‘Wrong About (Almost) Everything’ - Chris Knight

https://www.youtube.com/c/WHATISPOLITICS69/videos

'Resetting History’s Dial? A Critique of David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity' Walter Scheidel

Black power: reading guide

Women at Free Huey Rally, Oakland, 1968.
Women at Free Huey Rally, Oakland, 1968.

Libcom.org's reading guide on the American black power movement of the 1960s-70s and its key groups as well as some readings on the civil rights movement.

Submitted by Ed on October 3, 2012

General recommended reading

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defence

Maoist-influenced black power organisation, whose combination of community projects and militant image made it arguably the most important of all the Black Power groups at the time. It would eventually become subject to some of the heaviest repression in post-World War 2 America.

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers

Black workers' organisation formed in 1969, based largely in the car factories of Detroit, it was formed of different Revolutionary Union Movements (RUMs) such as DRUM (based at the Dodge Main factory), FRUM (based at Ford) and others, they took on both management and United Autoworkers Union in fighting against racism and for better conditions on the shopfloor.

Nation of Islam

Islamic black separatist organisation which was one of the major actors in the early civil rights and black power movement.

Other media

  • The murder of Fred Hampton - Documentary depicting the brutal murder of Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, killed in his bed by FBI agents. This film provides an excellent snapshot of the kind of repression faced by the Panthers.
  • Finally got the news - Documentary about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Includes interviews with members, supporters and opponents, the film documents their attempts to build a radical black workers' organisation to take on both management and the union and fight to improve conditions for all workers, black and white.
  • Eyes on the prize - 14-hour documentary series telling the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary people whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life.
  • Black and Proud: The Soul of the Black Panther Era, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 - Collection of soul songs from the era of the height of black power and with black power content.
  • Radio Free Dixie - Excerpts from Robert F. Williams' radio show, Radio Free Dixie broadcast from exile in Havana in the 1960s. Includes speeches and some music, showing some of the cultural life of the movement.
  • X - Spike Lee's biographical film about Malcolm X, covering his life from his time as a petty criminal, his political awakening in prison and eventual assassination. Starring Denzel Washington.
  • Panther - Film by Mario Van Peebles about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, focusing largely on the government's COINTELPRO programme of repression.

Nate

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'd suggest three more, all about continuities between black power and civil rights, and about use of arms. Negroes With Guns, by Robert F. Williams (there's a documentary of the same name, about Williams). Radio Free Dixie, by Timothy Tyson (biography of Williams). The Deacons for Defense, by Lance Hill.

Ed

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cheers for those Nate.. do you reckon you could write some little intros for them (about the lengths of the ones above)? Just coz we want to give people an idea of what the texts are about and why they might want to read them..

Red Marriott

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Correction needed; the Panthers explicitly weren't "a black nationalist political party" - if you read their biogs, Party founders Seale & Newton rejected the politics of the nationalists they came across on campus and formed the Party as a direct alternative to those black nationalist politics.

Nate

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed, for sure, will do soon.

Reddebrek

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would recommend Revolutionary Suicide the autobiography of Huey P. Newton. Not only does it do a good job of outlining the early repression black groups faced by the police and society in general, but it also outlines how and why the Panthers rejected Black Nationalism in favour of a class based program as well as giving some criticism of other black power groups operating at the time.

Reddebrek

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I also made a video about the history of the Black Panther Party using a Marxist Internet Archive audio file, its a bit brief at just over 30 minutes but as an "ice breaker" I think its pretty good. You can find it here

Nate

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed, summaries of those books plus one more pasted below. Also, three music-related links.
This http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5E58F2A06FD9C84F and this http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=55BF063445A853D4 are vol1 and vol2 of a collection of soul songs from the era of the height of black power and with black power content. They give a sense of the cultural reach of the movement I think, and if you like soul it's just good music. And this page has excerpts from a radio show called Radio Free Dixie that Robert Williams broadcast from Havana in the 1960s. It has a few speeches and some music which again shows some of the cultural life of the movement. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/radiofreedixie.html

Negroes With Guns, by Robert F. Williams. Williams was the president of an NAACP chapter in South Carolina that drilled with rifles and was willing to use arms for self-defense. Due to escalating conflict with local police and other white supremacists, Williams and his family fled the United States in the early 1960s. He wrote this short book in Cuba immediately after leaving the United States. Williams was influential on black power movements and shows how the divide between civil rights and black power is blurry. The book also shows how U.S.-focused black freedom movements had an international character/awareness. There's also a short documentary film called "Negroes With Guns," about Williams.

Radio Free Dixie, by Timothy Tyson. A biography of Robert F. Williams which gets into his conflicts with NAACP and other civil rights leadership including Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Deacons for Defense, by Lance Hill. Hill's book is about the Deacons for Defense and Justice, a clandestine armed self-defense organization that operated in relatively rural areas in the 1960s. The book also discusses the ideology of pacifism in the civil rights movement.

The Cold War and the Color Line, by Thomas Borselmann. The U.S. federal government competed with the U.S.S.R. for the loyalty of new people-of-color led countries emerging out of decolonization after World War Two. Borstelmann's book argues that this new condition made U.S. official and highly visible domestic racism into a foreign policy liability. The federal government and Southern state and local governments soon came into conflict over how much force could be brought to bear, and how publicly, against African Americans. This shaped the space in which black freedom struggles operated, and many African American activists consciously made use of this by deliberately drawing the world's attention to atrocities in the U.S. The book also shows how U.S.-focused black freedom movements had an international character/awareness.

Ed

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cheers for those Nate, all added except for the Borselmann book which I kinda felt doesn't really seem like a 'starting place' book for someone wanting to learn about the Black Power movement..

Will def check out those Soul Music links as well, nice one!

Nate

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah good point about Borstelmann, not a starting point (though a very good read), sorry about the mix up. On the music thing, someone who is better than me at writing about music should do a music and politics blog on here (in a way that's not overly narrow counterculture like "listen to Crass!" and whatnot and not bullshit about the liberatory power of pop). That'd be awesome.

flaneur

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nate

Ah good point about Borstelmann, not a starting point (though a very good read), sorry about the mix up. On the music thing, someone who is better than me at writing about music should do a music and politics blog on here (in a way that's not overly narrow counterculture like "listen to Crass!" and whatnot and not bullshit about the liberatory power of pop). That'd be awesome.

I'd be up for doing a film one of those. Speaking of which, this is meant to be good.

[youtube]lXQxyYllXnM[/youtube]

wojtek

9 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Podcast with Labor historian Cal Winslow and Mike Hamlin of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement on union rank-and-file militancy from the mid-1960s to 1981:
http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65568

Car industry: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on working life and struggles written by and about workers in the global automobile industry.

Submitted by Ed on March 24, 2017

Key texts

Key people, groups and publications

  • League of Revolutionary Black Workers – Organisation of African-American radicals from the late-1960s/early-1970s, largely organised into various ‘Revolutionary Union Movements based in the Detroit car industry.
  • Solidarity Motor Bulletins - Series of bulletins from UK libertarian socialist group, Solidarity, from the 1970s about the global car manufacturing industry, produced largely by and for car workers themselves.
  • Mechanics Educational Society of America - Union which pioneered the organisation of skilled autoworkers, refused to sign the no-strike pledge and fought against CIO incursions into their organized shops.
  • United Auto Workers - American labour union representing car industry workers.
  • Martin Glaberman - American Marxist and Detroit car factory worker associated with the Johnson-Forest Tendency. Wrote extensively on Detroit struggles, including criticisms of the unions and racism in the car industry.
  • Ken Weller - British libertarian socialist, member of Solidarity and car factory worker. He was heavily involved in producing the Solidarity Motor Bulletins and wrote many important texts on car industry workers’ struggles.

Companies

Important struggles

Workers’ stories

Managing the industry

  • The red rose of Nissan - John Holloway - Following the opening of a new Nissan factory in Sunderland in 1986, John Holloway analyses changes in the British car industry over the previous two decades, in particular how workers' organisation at British Leyland was broken up to usher in a new age of "harmony" and increased exploitation.
  • Workers' struggles and the development of Ford in Britain - Ferruccio Gambino – Interesting pamphlet looking at how the struggle between workers and bosses at British Ford factories shaped the company’s management strategies and development.
  • [URL=https://libcom.org/library/solidarity-motor-bulletin-08-chrysler-workers-beware] Chrysler workers beware! - Excellent Solidarity pamphlet from ex-ex-about struggles of Peugeot workers in France in the 60s and 70s and how management tried to contain them with paternalism and later a mercenary force.
  • The union-management GM strike, 1970 - Jeremy Brecher - A brief history of the interesting national strike of the United Auto Workers union at General Motors, organised in conjunction with management to allow workers to blow off steam.
  • UAW scab union - auto industry bulletin from 1974 looking at the UAW union and how it was sabotaging and scabbing on struggles of its members at the time.
  • 1980s-1990s: The Myths of the Toyota System - Nomura Masami - The myths of the Toyota system of management in the car industry, such as increased worker participation and ‘Just In Time’ production.
  • The Second Industrialization of the American South - Will Barnes - Essay detailing the deindustrialization and relocation of global auto capital to the US South.

Other recommended texts

Other media

  • Rivethead - Ben Hamper – Novel written by an American car factory worker during shifts on the shop floor, Rivethead details the down and out memoirs of a line assembly worker for GM Motors over the 1980s.
  • We Want Everything: A Novel - Nanni Balestrini - Nanni Balestrini’s fictionalized account of the Hot Autumn, in which a young worker from Italy’s impoverished south arrives at Fiat’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, where he finds himself in conflict with the bosses and the entire capitalist system.
  • Images from 1934 Autolite strike – Photo gallery of one of the most important and dramatic strikes in US history.
  • 1932: the Ford Hunger March massacre – Photo gallery of an autoworkers’ demonstration in Detroit, where police and Ford security guards killed 4 and injured 60 when they opened fire on a protest organized by the Communist Party USA's Unemployed Council.
  • Blue Collar – American crime drama starring Harvey Keitel and Richard Pryor as two Detroit autoworkers who rob their corrupt union, finding themselves in conflict with both union and management.
  • The Working Class Goes to Heaven (La Classe Operaio Va in Paradiso) – Fantastic Italian film from 1971 depicting a car factory worker’s radicalisation after an injury at work, resisting his condition as a tool in the production process and, as a result, the politics of the trade unions.
  • Made in Dagenham – Film about the 1968 Ford sewing machinists’ strike by women workers in protest at the company’s sexual discrimination and demanding equal pay.

Steven.

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is great!

Don't know if you saw but another reader recommended we do one of these for dockworkers' struggles, which I also think would be really good

rfovetz

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a great list but it's missing Bill Watson's fantastic "Counter-planning on the Factory Floor" in Radical America, May-June 1971 at https://libcom.org/library/radical-america-0503-labors-mayday

China: reading guide

Little red book poster
Little red book poster

Libcom.org's reading guide on China, China's history and the working class movement in the region.

Submitted by Steven. on February 8, 2016

A few sources in Chinese and other languages are listed at the bottom; the others are mainly limited to English. In the interest of space, we are not including articles, except the list of recommended articles on Libcom. Some books appear in more than one list.

1. Recommended blogs & articles on Libcom.org
2. Top books
3. Other websites (English & Chinese)
4. Documentary films
5. Fictional films
6. Books on modern Chinese history
7. Books on workers
8. Books on women
9. Books on rural China
10. Oral histories & memoirs
11. Fictional writing
12. Miscellaneous books

1. Recommended blogs & articles on Libcom

Nào (闹)
Blog about class struggle in China
* The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014)
* Twenty-five years since the Tiananmen protests: Legacies of the student-worker divide
* The new strikes in China
* New foundations for struggle and solidarity: The culmination of development and privatization on a Guangzhou Island
* Black vs. Yellow: Class Antagonism and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
* The student parliament: reflections on the Sunflower movement
* Four Years Later, Still a Graveyard of Chinese Youth

Chuǎng (闯) Journal #1: Dead Generations
* Sorghum & Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China
* Gleaning the Welfare Fields: Rural Struggles in China since 1959
* Revisiting the Wukan Uprising of 2011: An Interview with Zhuang Liehong
* No Way Forward, No Way Back: China in the Era of Riots
* The Future is Hidden within These Realities: Selected Translations from Factory Stories

Chuǎng (闯) Blog
History, capitalism and class struggle in China and its neighbors
* Working for Amazon in China, where the global giant is a dwarf
* Notes on a Factory Uprising in Yangon
* Aunties learning to fight: The 2015 Uniqlo strike in historical context
* Aristocratisation alongside enslavement: Railway restructuring & workers’ resistance in China since the 1980s
* Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers?
* Scenarios of the Coming Crisis: A Response to Aufheben’s “The Crisis: Afterword"
* Bicycle couriers in China’s own “logistics revolution”
* Women’s Day & the Feminist Five a year on
* Overcoming mythologies: An interview on the Chuang project
* The Guangdong Six and the rule of law (of value): Theses on the December 3 crackdown
* Comparing port strikes: Hong Kong vs. Shenzhen, 2013
* Should wives be shared or rationed?
* The capitalist transformation of rural China: Evidence from “Agrarian Change in Contemporary China”

Gongchao (工潮)
* Against the fetish of representation: class struggle in China beyond the leftist Grand Narrative
* 'I work beside my shit. I eat beside my shit': impressions from the dockworkers strike in Hong Kong
* Left dead-end street vs. destructive critique: China's counterinsurgency policies and how to respond
* 'We are no machines': workers' struggle in a Chinese electronics factory in Poland

Prol-Position / Wildcat
* China in crisis: reason to panic?
* Women Workers in China, 1949-2007
* China's migrant workers
* The generation of unhappy workers, 2007

Empire Logistics
"a collaborative initiative to research and articulate the infrastructure and ‘externalized costs'—human, economic, social and environmental—of the international goods movement industry..."
* Port trucker strike Ningbo, China

Spartacus Blog
"Monthly round-ups of news about the class struggle in East Asia."

Yiching Wu
* Cultural revolution at the margins: Chinese socialism in crisis
* Rethinking ‘Capitalist Restoration’ in China

Husunzi
* A Commune in Sichuan? Reflections on Endicott’s Red Earth
* The Battle for East Lake in Wuhan
* Homicide as a weapon of the weak in postsocialist China
* Notes on Class Struggle and Democracy in Hong Kong

Lance Carter
* Auto Industry Strikes in China
* A Chinese Alternative? Interpreting the Chinese New Left Politically

Ultra
* Swoosh
* Confusing History with Spectacle: A Critique of Bloom and Contend

Mouvement Communiste & KPK
* Workers' autonomy strikes in China

Aufheben
* Welcome to the Chinese Century?
* Class conflicts in the transformation of China

Eli Friedman
* China in Revolt

George Katsiaficas
* China's 1989 in a World of Uprisings

Tang Shui’en
* The Alternative Education of a Chinese Punk

Wang Shaoguang
* “New trends of thought” in the Cultural Revolution

Cajo Brendel
* Theses on the Chinese revolution

Peter Zarrow
* He Zhen and anarcha-feminism in China

Arif Dirlik
* Dimensions of Chinese Anarchism: An Interview

2. Most-recommended books about modern China in general
Top 5 - must-read
* Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, Third Edition. (New York: The Free Press, 1999) - on Libcom here.
* Sheehan, Jackie. Chinese Workers: A New History. (London: Routledge, 1998) - on Libcom here.
* Wu, Yiching. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. (Harvard University Press, 2014) - on Libcom here.
* Day, Alexander. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Hershatter, Gail. Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century. (University of California Press, 2007)

Other top books in alphabetical order
* Anagnost, Ann. National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China. (Duke University Press, 1997)
* Barlow, Tani. The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Dirlik, Arif. Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. (University of California Press, 1991) - on Libcom here.
* Friedman, Eli. The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. (Cornell University Press, 2014)
* Gates, Hill. China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism. (Cornell University Press, 1996)
* Hinton, William. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. (University of California Press, 1966)
* Hsing, You-tien. The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
* Hung, Ho-fung. China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

3. Other recommended websites about China
With English content
Chuǎng (闯)
Gongchao (工潮)
China Study Group
China Labour Bulletin
LabourStart - China
China Dialogue
China Digital Times
Shanghaiist
Globalization Monitor
Asia Monitor Resource Center
SACOM
Engage Media

4. Documentary Films
* 24 City (2008)
* Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011)
* China Blue (2005)
* Demolition (2008)
* Disorder (2009)
* Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995)
* Ghost Town (2008)
* Last Train Home (2009)
* Meishi Street (2006)
* Out of Phoenix Bridge (1997)
* The Passion of the Mao (2006)
* Queer China, 'Comrade' China (2008)
* San Yuan Li (2003)
* Street Life (2006)
* West of the Tracks (2003)
* Women at the Wheel (2006)
* ?????? (1999)

5. Fictional films
* A Touch of Sin (2013)
* Beijing Bicycle (2001)
* Blind Shaft (2003)
* In the Heat of the Sun (1994)
* Platform (2000)
* Shower (1999)
* Still Life (2006)
* Unknown Pleasures (2002)
* The World (2004)
* ????? (2008)
* ????? (2014)

6. Recommended books on modern Chinese history in general
* Anagnost, Ann. National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China. (Duke University Press, 1997)
* Andreas, Joel. Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's New Class. (Stanford University Press, 2009)
* Barlow, Tani. The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Day, Alexander. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Dirlik, Arif. The Origins of Chinese Communism, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989)
* Dirlik, Arif. Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. (University of California Press, 1991) - on Libcom here.
* Dirlik, Arif and Ming Chan. Schools into Fields and Factories: Anarchists, the Guomindang, and the National Labor University in Shanghai, 1927-1932 (Duke University Press, 1991)
* Gates, Hill. China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism. (Cornell University Press, 1996)
* Hart-Landsberg, Martin and Paul Burkett. China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010)
* Hung, Ho-fung. China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
* Isaacs, Harold R. The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution (1938, online here)
* Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, Third Edition. (New York: The Free Press, 1999)
* Li Minqi. The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World-Economy. (Pluto Pres, 2008)
* Lin Chun. The Transformation of Chinese Socialism. (Duke University Press, 2006)
* Perry, Elizabeth. Shanghai on Strike Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor (Stanford University Press, 1993)
* Perry, Elizabeth and Li Xun. Proletarian Power: Shanghai In The Cultural Revolution. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1997)
* Wang Chaohua, ed. One China, Many Paths. (Verso, 2003)
* Wang Hui. China's New Order. China's New Order: Society, Politics, and Economy in Transition. (Harvard University Press, 2003)
* Wang Hui. The End of Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity (Verso, 2010)
* Weil, Robert. Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of Market Socialism (Monthly Review Press, 1996)
* Wu, Yiching. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. (Harvard University Press, 2014) - on Libcom here.
* Zarrow, Peter. Anarchism and Chinese Political Culture (Columbia University Press, 1990)
* Zhao Dingxin. The Power of Tiananmen: State-Society Relations and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

7. Recommended books on Chinese Workers
* China, Anita, ed. China's Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (M.E. Sharpe, 2001)
* Chan, Chris King-chi. The Challenge of Labour in China: Strikes and the Changing Labour Regime in Global Factories. (2010)
* Friedman, Eli. The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. (Cornell University Press, 2014)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007)
* Lee, Ching Kwan, ed. Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation. (London: Routledge, 2006)
* Liu Jieyu. Gender and Work in Urban China. Women workers of the unlucky generation. (Taylor & Francis, 2007)
* Lü Xiaobo and Elizabeth Perry, eds. Danwei: The Changing Chinese Workplace in Historical and Comparative Perspectives (M.E. Sharpe, 1997)
* Perry, Elizabeth. Shanghai on Strike Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor (Stanford University Press, 1993)
* Philion, Stephen E. Workers’ Democracy in China’s Transition from State Socialism. (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Sheehan, Jackie. Chinese Workers: A New History. (London: Routledge, 1998) - on Libcom here.
* Solinger, Dorothy. Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)
* Yan, Hairong. New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

8. Recommended books on women in China
* Barlow, Tani E. The Question of Woman in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Brownwell, Su­san and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, eds. Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader (University of California Press, 2002)
* Dai Jinhua. Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua, eds. Jing Wang and Tani E. Barlow (Verso, 2002)
* Gilmartin, Christina Kelley. Engendering the Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920s. (University of California Press, 1995)
* Gilmartin, Christina, Gail Hershatter, Lisa Rofel and Tyrene White. Engendering China: Women, Culture, and the State. (Harvard University Press, 1994)
* Hershatter, Gail. Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century. (University of California Press, 2007)
* Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. (University of California Press, 2011)
* Honig, Emily and Gail Hershatter. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s. (Stanford University Press, 1988)
* Liu Jieyu. Gender and Work in Urban China. Women workers of the unlucky generation. (Taylor & Francis, 2007)1
* Liu, Lydia H., Rebecca E. Karl, and Dorothy Ko. The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory. (Columbia University Press, 2013)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Yan, Hairong. New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China. (Duke University Press, 2008)
* Xinran. The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (Anchor, 2003)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

9. Recommended books on rural China
* Bramall, Chris. The Industrialization of Rural China. (Oxford University Press, 2007)
* Cao, Jinqing. China along the Yellow River: Reflections on Rural Society. Translated by Nicky Harman and Huang Ruhua. (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005)
* Chan, Anita, Richard Madsen and Jonathan Unger. Chen Village: Revolution to Globalization (University of California Press, 2009)
* Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao. Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China's Peasants. (HarperCollins, 2007)
* Day, Alexander F. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics, and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Endicott, Stephen. Red Earth: Revolution in a Sichuan Village. (New Amsterdam Books, 1991)2
* Gao, Mobo C. F. Gao Village: A Portrait of Rural Life in Modern China. (University of Hawai’i Press, 1999)
* Hale, Matthew A. Reconstructing the Rural: Peasant Organization in a Chinese Movement for Alternative Development. (University of Washington, 2013)
* Han, Dongping. The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village. (Monthly Review Press, 2008)
* Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. (University of California Press, 2011)
* Hinton, William. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. (University of California Press, 1966)
* Hinton, William. Shenfan: The Continuing Revolution in a Chinese Village. (Random House, 1983)
* Huang, Philip C. C. The Peasant Family and Social Change in North China. (Stanford University Press, 1985)
* Huang, Philip C. C. The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350-1988. (Stanford University Press, 1990)
* Manning, Kimberly Ens and Felix Wemheuer, eds. Eating Bitterness: New Perspectives on China's Great Leap Forward and Famine (UBC Press, 2012)
* Tsai, Lily. Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China(Cambridge, 2007)
* Unger, Jonathan. The Transformation of Rural China. (M.E. Sharpe, 2002)
* Walker, Kathy Le Mons. Chinese Modernity and the Peasant Path: Semicolonialism in the North Yangzi Delta. (Stanford University Press, 1999)

10. Oral histories & memoirs
* Chun Sue. Beijing Doll. (Riverhead, 2004)
* Cunningham, Philip. Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010)
* Gates, Hill. Looking for Chengdu: A Woman's Adventures in China (Cornell University Press, 1999)
* Hershatter, Gail and Emily Honig. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s. (Stanford University Press, 1988)
* Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. (Harper, 2001)
* Liao Yiwu. The Corpse Walker - Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up. (Knopf Doubleday, 2009)
* Ma Yan and Pierre Haski. The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese School Girl (HarperCollins, 2005)
* Rae Yang. Spider Eaters: A Memoir (University of California Press, 1997)
* Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. (Grove Press, 1968)
* Ye, Sang, Geremie Barme and Miriam Lang, eds. China Candid: The People on the People’s Republic. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
* Xinran. The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (Anchor, 2003)
* Zhong Xueping, Zheng Wang, Bai Di, eds. Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing Up in the Mao Era.(Rutgers University Press, 2001)

11. Recommended Chinese fiction translated into English
* Ba Jin. Family.
* Ding Ling. I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling (edited by Tani E. Barlow and Gary J. Bjorge, Beacon Press, 1989)
* Han Shaogang. 2005. A Dictionary of Maqiao.
* Lu Xun. The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales (translated by Julia Lovell, Penguin Classics, 2010)
* Ma Jian. 2008. Beijing Coma.
* Mo Yan. 1995. The Garlic Ballads.
* Su Tong. Rice: A Novel (Harper, 1994)
* Wang Shuo. Please Don't Call Me Human.
* Wang Xiaobo. Wang in Love and Bondage: Three Novellas (SUNY Press, 2008)
* Yu Hua. 2007. Cries in the Drizzle.
* Zhang, Eileen...

12. Miscellaneous books
* Chan, Anita, ed. Walmart in China (ILR Press, 2011)
* Dikötter, Frank, Lars Laamann and Zhou Xun. Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (University of Chicago Press, 2005)
* Dutton, Michael. Streetlife China. (Cambridge, 1999)
* Gladney, Dru. Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities, and Other Subaltern Subjects (University of Chicago Press, 2004)
* Harrell, Stevan. Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. (University of Washington Press, 1994)
* Hsing, You-tien. The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
* Hsing, You-tien and Ching Kwan Lee, eds. Reclaiming Chinese Society: The New Social Activism. (Routledge, 2009)
* Jones, Andrew. Like a Knife: Ideology and Genre in Contemporary Chinese Popular Music. (University of Hawai'i Press, 1995)
* Lipman, Jonathn. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China (University of Washington Press, 1998)
* Litzinger, Ralph. Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging (Duke University Press, 2000)
* Mathews, Gordon. Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2011)
* Mertha, Andrew. China's Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell University Press, 2010)
* Osburg, John. Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich (Stanford University Press, 2013)
* Qin Shao. Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)
* Shapiro, Judith. China's Environmental Challenges (Polity Press, 2012)
* Yao Ching, ed. As Normal as Possible: Negotiating Sexuality and Gender in Mainland China and Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2010)
* Yeh, Emily T. Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development (Cornell University Press, 2013)
* Zhang Li. Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China's Floating Population (Stanford University Press, 2002)

Expanded from Nao's recommended sources on China

  • 1 See Prol-position's discussion of this book here.
  • 2 See Husunzi's long critical review here.

ZJW

3 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Things missing from the list:

The 1979 Root-and-Branch text 'Chinese Roads to State Capitalism: Stalinism and Bukharinism in China's Industrial Revolution':
https://libcom.org/history/chinese-roads-state-capitalism-stalinism-bukharinism-chinas-industrial-revolution-bill-r

Minus : a magazine/group in in Hong Kong in the late 1970s and early 1980s that was 'influenced by anarchism, left communism and the counter-culture':
https://libcom.org/history/some-editions-minus-magazine-hong-kong-1970s-0

In French, by the council communist Charles Reeve:

Le tigre de papier. Sur le développement du capitalisme en Chine. 1949-1971 (Éditions Spartacus, 1972)

(Book cover and descrption of content)

adri

3 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Could maybe add China on Strike as well

Nymphalis Antiopa

3 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

libcom note: please do not use the comments section as an excuse to spam links to your site; you've been warned about this previously. Future spam links will be removed without warning. - Ed

Dan Radnika

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Certainly add China on Strike, and mention that it is available in Chinese and French, as well as English!

Frank Dikötter’s “People’s Trilogy” books about important events in Chinese history are all good:
The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957
Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962―1976

- Dikötter write’s about China from a classical liberal point of view… China would have been better off if the “Revolution” had never happened. I freely admit that I’m inclined to agree!

Zhang Lijia, “Socialism is Great!” – a worker’s memoir of the New China – describes what it was like to be an industrial worker in the Mao era and after. Ends with the author’s participation in protests in support of the Tiananmen Square movement (she was in Nanjing). The author still lives in China.

For those specifically interested in the history of Shanghai:
Marie-Claire Bergère, Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity
Bergère is very keen on making the case that Shanghai in the early twentieth century had the most progressive and modern bourgeoisie in China. Indeed, she also wrote a book called The Golden Age of the Shanghai Bourgeoisie, 1911-1937. She’s written loads of other books about China too, but they are mostly only available in French.

Shanghai in the 1920s:
S. A. Smith, A Road is Made – Communism in China, 1920-1927
- all about the early days of the Chinese CP
S. A. Smith, Like Cattle and Horses – nationalism and labor in Shanghai, 1895-1927
- Title says it all. Shanghai had a highly developed (but highly divided) proletariat, as well as a modern bourgeoise… Yes, it’s the same Steve Smith who wrote Red Petrograd, about workers’ factory committees in the Russian Revolution.

A big book about the horrors of the Great Leap Forward (just to make you hate Maoists even more):
Yang Jisheng, Tombstone
He got slagged off by the “neo-Maoists” (the Chinese equivalent of the alt-right) for writing the book even though, of course, it had been banned in China! Hopefully, the “Streisand effect” did its job and encouraged the surreptitious import of a few more copies from Hong Kong or wherever.

And speaking of the neo-Maoists:
Jude D. Blanchette, China’s New Red Guards – the return of radicalism and the rebirth of Mao Zedong
- Essentially about how the CCP tolerates the existence of far right (ultra-nationalist Mao-lover) “critics” as a loyal opposition.

Hong Kong:
Jason Y Ng, Umbrellas in Bloom – a detailed account of the “Umbrella Movement” of 2014. Sometimes difficult to get hold of, but you can still order it from the publisher in Hong Kong.

Nymphalis Antiopa

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Only just seen what Libcom admin wrote back in July 2019:

libcom note: please do not use the comments section as an excuse to spam links to your site; you've been warned about this previously. Future spam links will be removed without warning. - Ed

Well, it's not exactly "my" site but no matter.
When did you warn me previously?
You didn't warn me back in July 2019, so your final sentence needn't have mentioned "Future".
Nor did you say why you thought this was spam.
I can't remember what I linked to but this seems to be a very selective discriminatory attitude on your part as I imagine I could only have done for the DD site the kind of things linked to above in the OP - e.g. Mouvement Communiste's links or Aufheben's links, or , now, the texts mentioned by Dan Radnika.

Here, again, I link to various texts and if you want to remove the links to them do so but please offer some explanation of why you allow links to Chuang, prol-position, Charles Reeves, etc. but not to Dialectical Delinquents:
Discussion on the Jasic workers strike, November 2018
Recent struggles in China, October 2016
Riots in China, 2011
Communisation and the Great Leap Backwards (about Mao's Great Leap Forwards
China 2020 - 2019

ZJW

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[deleted]

ZJW

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

(Except that it's 'A Road is Made – Communism in Shanghai' of course, not 'A Road is Made – Communism in China')

R Totale

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Would I be right in thinking that the neo-Maoists mentioned in DR's post are very different to the Maoists involved in, say, the Jasic dispute? Or is there overlap? I suppose it makes sense that there'd be some level of confusion about these things.

Reddebrek

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, in fact the book narrative of new red guards ends as some of them were getting involved in the Jasic dispute before it became well known.

I wouldn't say
" Essentially about how the CCP tolerates the existence of far right (ultra-nationalist Mao-lover) “critics” as a loyal opposition."

Isn't entirely accurate, as the movement depicted in the book is a lot more diverse (social democrats, old style Maoists, newer Maoists, ultra nationalists, anti-globalisation, people who just hate the Americans, social conservatives, social reformers, environmentalists, anti-corruption campaigners, some high ranking members of the party, some expelled members, cheerleaders of Xi, cheerleaders of Bo Xilai etc) and fractious. And while the cpc wants to use them for its own ends and does, it still doesn't trust them and people close to it do still face the usual penalties for stepping out of line.

Its less a defined movement and more a network associated with a dozen sites, including utopia, blogs, bookshops and lectures. And a lot of online harassment and government informants.

Dan Radnika

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, probably not all the neo-Maoists will call you a race traitor (hanjian) if you are Chinese and disagree with them, but quite a few seem to… Jude Blanchette’s book is certainly worth checking out.

As for the Jasic activists, it’s certainly tempting to think that are just shouting “long live Mao Zedong!” because they think it will give them a respectable cover - rather like democracy protesters shouting Allahu Akbar in Iran a few years ago! But, all the available evidence seems to suggest that they really are Maoist believers. Of course, if you try to support strikes as an “outside agitator” in China you are going to get into trouble, no matter what your ideology.

And here's some more books I've just remembered:

Stein Ringen, The Perfect Dictatorship – China in the 21st Century
- I like this book because it gives you an idea of how the Chinese state actually works, rather than just saying that it’s not democratic or not socialist.

Leslie T. Chang, Factory Girls – from village to city in a changing China
- Anecdotal examination of the lives of female Chinese factory workers, by a Chinese American journalist. Mostly based on two migrant workers that Chang met in Dongguan.

Another one from Frank Dikötter:
The Discourse of Race in Modern China
- A history of racist ideology in China since the 18th century. Inspired by an incident in 1987 when the author found himself hiding under a college canteen table with a group of African students while a racist mob threw rocks through the windows. Being an academic, he decided to write a book…

Fan Wendong, My 20 Years with a State Enterprise (translated by Eva To)
- A first-hand account of manual labour in a Chinese SOE, before and after privatisation. The SOE was a distillery making baijiu.

And, finally (for now), Hong Kong again:
Jeffie Lam, Rebel City – Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire
- Useful journalistic accounts of the protest movement in Hong Kong in 2019-20. It’s a collection of articles written by South China Morning Post journalists. Sounds dull… and don’t expect any great political insights, but there’s plenty of facts to keep you interested. Reading this book saves you having to read every issue of the SCMP for eight months or so!

Hieronymous

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

7. Recommended books on Chinese Workers
* China, Anita, ed. China's Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (M.E. Sharpe, 2001)

This is a typo. The editor should be Anita Chan

Hieronymous

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I scoured my own bookshelf and found several recommendations:

Miscellaneous books

*Al, Stefan, ed., Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook (Hong Kong University Press, 2012)
- A really interesting book, with great articles and fun graphics, photos maps, and charts. Also, a good account of the 2010 Honda Strike in Foshan. (When I visited Shenzhen 5 years ago, this book helped me navigate around its massive manufacturing complex, exploring the exterior of the gigantic Langhua Science and Technology Park and the huge Foxconn factory compound -- its largest in the world -- with the anti-suicide fences on roofs and nets at the base of buildings)

* Chan, Anita, ed., Chinese Workers in a Comparative Perspective (IRL, 2015)
- An anthology of analytic articles about historical and structural developments, labor standards, and unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Some are dry and abstract, but others are very insightful

* Cheung, Gary Ka-wai, Hong Kong's Watershed: The 1967 Riots (Hong Kong University Press, 2009)
-An amazing account of the Sha Tau Kok Incident, a struggle at the international border where New Territories and Shenzhen meet. It led to the first armed conflict since Britain colonized Hong Kong in 1842. It contains thorough accounts of the anti-colonial bombing campain and riots to set the record straight about this turning point in the colony's history

* Leung, Parry P., Labor Activists and the New Workers Class in China (Palgrave, 2015)
- Based on his PhD dissertation, written under the guidance of Pun Ngai and Hong Kong University. It's an ethnographical analysis of workers in the jewelry sector, with accounts of revelant strikes

* Ngai, Pun, Migrant Labor in China: Post-Socialist Transformations (Polity Press, 2016)
- The presumption here, that China was once socialist is flawed, but this is a useful book that charts the making and unmaking of the Chinese working class

* Ping, Lu, ed. A Moment of Truth Workers' Participation in China's 1989 Democracy Movement and the Emergence of Independent Unions (Asian Monitor Resource Center, 1990)
- It has an obvious reformist slant in promoting Western-style trade unions, but it revealed that by the time of the crackdown Tiananmen Square was mostly occupied by workers as most students had left. Mass work stoppages had spread across the country and it was this spontaneous working class self-activity that precipitated the brutal repression.

* The 70s, ed. China: The Revolution is Dead - Long Live the Revolution (Black Rose Books, 1977)
- Contains Council Communist Cajo Brendel's seminal text "These on the Chinese Revolution," as well as chapters by Raya Dunayevskaya and the Situationist International

* Wu, Hongda Harry, Laogai: The Chinese Gulag (Westview Press, 1992)
- A first-hand account written by Wu after having spent 19 in Laogai, as well as analysis of the thousands of forced labor camps in China -- where at the time, 16-20 Chinese were imprisoned

* Zhang, Lu, Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
- Another PhD dissertation, this one written under the guidance of Beverley Silver at Johns Hopkins University. Great accounts of the 2010 Honda Strike at the transmission-gear works in Foshan
____________________________________________________________________________

And one last book of personal interest, since the authors did a few book talks where I live:

* Shigang, Fan, Striking to Survive: Workers' Resistance to Factory Relocations in China (Haymarket Books, 2018)
- Not as exciting as their previous China on Strike, but an important historical document about the wave of factory closures throughout the Pearl River Delta and the struggles by workers to not get cheated out of their pensions and other benefits. Unfortunately, the lesson it leaves is bleak as the international working class must grapple with how to fight against factory relocations as producers like Walmart and Uniqlo scour the planet for the cheapest labor. Also like China on Strike, it was written by a factory worker who himself contributes to the underground workers' journal Factory Stories, which documents the lives and struggles of workers and includes accounts of strikes

ZJW

1 year 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Based on a perhaps imperfect and prejudiced memory of having read The Discourse of Race in Modern China some 20 or more years ago, I am of a mind to anti-recommend it.

I recall it as being an egregiously tendentious attempt to present ' "the" Chinese ' -- from ancient times -- as essentially racist. Not only was the presented evidence from ancient history only one side of the story, in the more modern era the author plays fast and loose with various terms all of which he rendered as 'race'.

Apparently my memory is not entirely eccentric, as the book earned the following reviews which are less than 100% in their applause for it.

https://sci-hub.do/10.2307/2804254

https://sci-hub.do/10.1177/0920203x9300700408

https://sci-hub.do/10.2307/2761148

The second of those is by Arif Dirlik, and is followed by a rejoinder by Dikötter.

Also, on Amazon, there is this reader's comment (and replies to which) :
http://gen.lib.rus.ec/scimag/?q=Discourse+of+Race+in+Modern+China

All of the above applies only to the original 1992 book. I know nothing of 2015 edition, which, according to Amazon 'has been revised and expanded to include a new chapter taking the reader up to the twenty-first century'.

Further, what I have written above is not to be taken as a generalised anti-Dikötterism. I read his The Age of Openness: China Before Mao with profit and don't doubt that there is worth in the other books that Cde Radnika lists.

R Totale

1 year 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This might be worth adding - has an interesting critique of the Jasic dispute: http://libcom.org/blog/thoughts-maoism-08112020 Also, would it be worth adding the "Maoism" tag to this article?

ZJW

9 months 1 week ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A certain Ralf Ruckus has recently (2021) published a book called The Communist Road to Capitalism: How Social Unrest and Containment Have Pushed China’s (R)evolution since 1949.

In my limited reading experience the best things to read about maoist-era China have been these:

Ch. Reeve [Jorge Valadas]: Le tigre de papier. Sur le développement du capitalisme en Chine 1949-1971 , 1973 [dated, but nice cover]

Jackie Sheehan*: Chinese Workers: A New History,1998

Yiching Wu: The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis , 2014

Chuǎng: Sorghum and Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China , 2019

In lieu of having read these, I think the Ruckus book would be a ok substitute, giving a lot of the same information, and basically hostile to maoism, regarding it as an exploitation-system. (Whereas the Chuǎng is ambivalent or even schizophrenic in its attitude.) This despite the fact he calls the system 'socialist'. (He therefore also refers to a 'socialist ruling class'!)

* who said in her preface that she was a 'a card-carrying anarcho-syndicalist'. (Solfed?)

Council communism: reading guide

The German Revolution, a huge influence on the development of council communism.
The German Revolution, a huge influence on the development of council communism.

Libcom.org's reading guide on council communism, a tradition of anti-Leninist Marxism which rejects the role of the vanguard party and argues instead for workers' councils as forms of working-class organisation and struggle.

Submitted by Ed on May 17, 2018

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • KAPD - Communist Workers Party of Germany, 1920 councilist split from the Communist Party. Instrumental in defining the German-Dutch model of left communism.
  • AAUD/AAUD-E - Factory organisations set up in the wake of the 1918 German revolution by members of the KAPD in order to challenge the traditional trade unions. The AAUD-E was a later split of the AAUD, which combined revolutionary political and economic functions (until then separated between the KAPD and AAUD, respectively) within a single organisation.
  • GIK - Dutch left communist group set up in 1926 whose ideas were shaped by the outcomes of the 1917 Russian revolution and 1918 German revolution.
  • International Council Correspondence - Council communist publication of the United Workers Party of America in the 1930s/early 1940s, edited by Paul Mattick.
  • Anton Pannekoek - Dutch Marxist (and astronomer!); one of the founding theorists of the council communist tradition.
  • Otto Ruhle - German left communist, participant in the 1918 German revolution and leading figure in the AAUD-E.
  • Herman Gorter - Dutch poet, council communist and fierce critic of Lenin who helped found the KAPD.
  • Paul Mattick - German council communist and participant in the 1918 German Revolution who wrote widely on the German and Russian revolutions and the Marxist critique of political economy.

History

Other recommended texts

Other media

  • Gerd Arntz illustrations - A collection of working class and other assorted illustrations by German council communist artist Gerd Arntz.

Entdinglichung

4 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

loads of original texts, newspapers, etc. of the Dutch-German left: http://www.aaap.be/Pages/Frontpage.html#new

BigFluffyTail

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The lack of Karl Korsch is saddening.

France 1968: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on the events in May 1968 which saw students occupying the universities, intense fighting in the streets and a general wildcat strike of ten million workers across France.

Submitted by Ed on September 30, 2012

Key texts

Recommended reading

Other media

syndicalist

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A tad off, perhaps another posting....any good readings on the 1968 Prague Spring?

ahnshelmus

4 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wonderful

German revolution 1918: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on the German Revolution of 1918, which ended the First World War and saw soldiers' and workers' councils spread throughout the country before being crushed by an alliance of the Social Democratic Party and the right-wing Freikorps.

Submitted by Tyrion on October 3, 2013

Key texts

Other recommended reading

Other media

Tyrion

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just added the Wild Socialism book. For those who don't know, Amazon lets you return ebooks, making it easy to download an ebook, copy it, and then immediately return it for a full refund.

Spassmaschine

8 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On copying legit ebooks, pretty sure ones bought from amazon et al contain metadata identifying the amazon user who purchased them. Anyone know of software to scrape off said metadata?

Tyrion

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Adding this plug-in and then reconverting the ebook into mobi format (from the original mobi file) in calibre seems to do away with whatever DRM protections there are

Spassmaschine

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cheers

Hieronymous

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How about these too?

The German Revolution 1918-1919 by Ralph Haswell Lutz (1922). A first-hand account by an America academic. Lots of excellent details, but rather dry and dispassionate.

German Social Democracy 1905-1917: The Development of the Great Schism by Carl E. Schorske (1955). An interesting historical survey.

The German Revolution of 1918: A Study of German Socialism in War and Revolt by A. J. Ryder (1967). This is a very thorough account.

Entdinglichung

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

unfortunately, many good books on the topic like the classical accounts and studies of Richard Mueller, Paul Froelich, Karl Retzlaw, Peter von Oertzen or Erhard Lucas are only available in German

- Werner T. Angress: Stillborn revolution: the Communist bid for power in Germany, 1921-1923 (1972). not from a particularly radical viewpoint but a solidly written scholarly study about the KPD and its internal structure

- Ernst Toller: A Youth in Germany/I was a German (1933/34) autobiography of the writer Ernst Toller who was with 26 years head of state of the Bavarian Soviet republic, he was in that period a member of the USPD and can generally described as an anti-authoritarian and humanistic socialist, the autobiography deals with the time from his childhood to his release from prison in 1924 and deals (sometimes sarcastically) extensively with the period 1918/19 in Munich

- Ernst Toller Masses Man/Masses of Man (1919), play, written by Toller in prison in a few days about the dangers of the revolution and the relationship between means and ends, the model for the main protagonist was Sarah Sonja Rabinowitz, a schoolteacher and USPD and Bund member who was one of the leaders of the January 1918 strikes in Munich, she committed suicide in prison in March 1918 after her husband, the famous linguist Eugen Lerch had announced in a newspaper article to divorce her for "patriotic reasons"

- Rosa Meyer-Leviné: Levine: the life of a revolutionary and Inside German Communism, Memoirs of Party Life in the Weimar Republic, two inside accounts by Rosa Meyer-Leviné who was first married to Eugen Leviné, the assassinated leader of the KPD during the Munich Soviet Republic and than from 1922 on to Ernst Meyer who lead the KPD 1921/22 and was one of the leading figures of the "conciliator" current up to his early death in 1930

haven't read the two novels by Theodor Plivier which deal with this period: The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain and The Kaiser’s Coolies, both written in the early 1930ies

Entdinglichung

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

available in Italian and French but the German original wasn't reprinted since 1929: http://collectif-smolny.org/article.php3?id_article=1858 ... most of the authors were "Brandlerites"

ocelot

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Any chance you could remind us what a "Brandlerite" is, in your view (rather than Wikipedia's for e.g.)?.

Entdinglichung

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

Any chance you could remind us what a "Brandlerite" is, in your view (rather than Wikipedia's for e.g.)?.

a pejorative term for those who were expelled from the Communist International 1928/29 and formed the International Association of the Communist Opposition, mainly groups in Germany (KPD-O around Brandler, Thalheimer, Froelich and Walcher), Sweden (around Kilbom), USA (the "Lovestonites") and Switzerland (Bringolf) plus smaller groups in a dozen other countries also labelled "Right Opposition", mostly skilled union activists, experienced local councillors and intellectuals who were opposed to some features which they perceived as ultra-leftist: splitting unions and setting up red unions, rejection of united fronts with other leftist parties, anti-Luxemburgism, lack of democracy and over-centralization of the Communist International, they regarded themselves as a kind of external faction up to 1936/37, most of them (re-)turned to social democratic parties during the 1930ies, a few succumbed to the official CPs after 1935 (while most were opposed to the concept of people's fronts), ... from my own experience with members of one of the still existing "Brandlerite" groups in Germany: hard-working and no-nonsense grass roots and union activists, generally trustworthy and friendly people who rarely talking initiatives on their own ("following the lead of the mass of workers"), more a rearguard than a vanguard org (despite their positive views about Lenin)

Tyrion

7 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just added Victor Serge's writings from his time in Germany in the aftermath of the revolution.

Tyrion

7 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just added to the library The German Revolution by French Trot Pierre Broue.

EDIT: I decided to add this to the key texts section. A fair amount of the book is taken up by descriptions of KPD internal wrangling, but it's the most extensive book on the revolution that I've been able to find in English.

klas batalo

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Any good documentaries?

klas batalo

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Like films?

Reddebrek

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well the West German film about Rosa Luxemburg covers the early days of the revolt at the end.

Also the last episodes of the BBC drama Fall of Eagles is set during the events.

hedgehog

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[Aftermath of women's food riot in Berlin, 1918]

Ute Daniel, The War from Within: German Women in the First World War.

Karen Hagemann, Stefanie Schuler-Springorum, Home/Front; the Military, War and Gender in Twentieth Century Germany.

Claudie Weill, ‘Women in the German Revolution: Rosa Luxemburg and the Workers' Councils', in Christine Fauré (ed.), Political and Historical Encyclopaedia of Women.

Sean Dobson, Authority and Upheaval in Leipzig, 1910-1920: The Story of a Relationship .

Robert Heynen, Degeneration and Revolution: Radical Cultural Politics and the Body in Weimar Germany.

Leopold Haimson and Guilio Sapelli (eds.) Strikes, Social Conflict and the First World War. An International Perspective. (especially the chapters by Gerald Feldman and Heinrich Volkmann)

Wolfgang Mommsen, Imperial Germany 1867-1918: Politics, Culture, and Society in an Authoritarian State

Hungary 1956: reading guide

Man spitting on decapitated head of Stalin statue, Hungary 1956.
Man spitting on decapitated head of Stalin statue, Hungary 1956.

Libcom.org's reading guide to the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Communist dictatorship which saw a general strike declared and workers' councils spring up across the country.

Submitted by Ed on October 14, 2012

Key texts

Other recommended reading

Other media

Harrison

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i would recommend this, which if i get time i will add to the libcom library.
http://www.vorhaug.net/politikk/hungarian_tragedy/

It is written by Peter Fryer, the Daily Worker (now Morning Star) correspondant in Hungary who rebelled against the paper editorship (CPGB stalinist party of which he was a member) when they attempted to censor his reports of the uprising. This book split the CPGB

Nymphalis Antiopa

3 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

libcom note: please do not use the comments section as an excuse to spam links to your site; you've been warned about this previously. Future spam links will be removed without warning. - Ed

Reddebrek

11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've recently found a number of newsreels from 1956 that show footage of the demonstrations and clashes. https://youtu.be/P2Wc9kEHfYI

Italy 1960s-70s: reading guide

Italian strike demonstration, 60s/70s
Italian strike demonstration, 60s/70s

Libcom.org's reading guide on the Italian social movements of the 1960s-70s, which saw massive strikes, protests, occupations, directly democratic assemblies and widespread radicalism across society.

Submitted by Ed on September 29, 2012

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • Lotta Continua - Arguably the most important extra-parliamentary organisation of the 1970s in Italy.
  • Potere Operaio - Autonomist Marxist group basing theory on the everyday life of workers and their refusal of work.
  • Antonio Negri - Autonomist Marxist academic and leader of Potere Operaio, wrongfully imprisoned for alleged involvement in the Brigate Rosse urban guerrilla group.
  • Mario Tronti - Highly influential Marxist philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of autonomist thought.
  • Mariarosa Dalla Costa - Marxist feminist famous for arguing that women's unwaged labour is an essential part of capitalist reproduction, rather than merely an oppression imposed on women by men.
  • Silvia Federici - Marxist feminist writer drawing the links between capitalism's need for women's unpaid labour and the subjugation of women under patriarchy.
  • Sergio Bologna - veteran Italian autonomist intellectual and activist.
  • Raniero Panzieri - Co-founder of the early operaist journal Quaderni Rossi, and translator of the second volume of Marx' Capital into Italian.

Workers' struggles

Women's struggles

Community struggles

Strategy of tension

Other media

  • Hot Autumn photo gallery, Italy 1969 - Photos of strikes, demonstrations, occupations and mass assemblies of workers and students from Italy's 'Hot Autumn' of 1969. Also includes photos from the funeral of anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who had been murdered by police earlier that year.
  • Antonio Negri: a revolt that never ends - Documentary about the life and ideas of Italian Marxist Antonio Negri. With interesting footage from Italy in the 1960s-70s explains his development from the 'Operaisti' through his trial for supposed involvement in the Red Brigades up to today.
  • Accidental death of an anarchist - Dario Fo - Dario Fo's best known play, based on the events surrounding Giuseppe Pinelli's death after he was arrested on suspicion of planting a bomb in Piazza Fontana, Milan, in 1969.
  • The Unseen - Nanni Balestrini - Novel looking at the Italian Autonomia movement of the 1960s-70s through the eyes of a single working-class protagonist, from high-school rebellion, squatting, setting up a free radio station to arrest and the brutalities of imprisonment.
  • Two Short Stories - Nanni Balestrini - The first story, Let a thousand hands reach out to pick up the gun, is a montage of newspaper reports of the death of Mara Cagol, one of the founders of the Red Brigades. The second, FIAT, is a first-hand account of work (or its refusal) at the infamous FIAT plant in Turin, Italy.
  • 'La classe operaia va in paradiso' (The working class goes to heaven) - Excellent film from 1971 depicting a factory worker's realisation of his condition as a "tool" in the process of production and his struggle against work, alienation and his own trade union.
  • 'Lavorare con lentezza' (Work slowly) - Film by the Wu-Ming Collective against the backdrop of 1970s Bologna, in which two young men become involved in the city's famous radical pirate radio station, Radio Alice.

Steven.

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just added a section on the strategy of tension

rat

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is really good. Just re-posted the guide on Surrey & Hants AF's blog.

Philosophy: reading guide

A guide for those that are interested in philosophy, but are having trouble knowing where to start.

The list is obviously not definitive and opinions as to how reliable some of the texts mentioned are will surely vary. That said, it is suggested that readers read the books in the order presented if they'd like to follow along and understand subsequent books/philosophers.

Note: this is a work in progress.

Submitted by Ethos on May 4, 2013

Logic

Formal Logic

  • forallx - P.D. Magnus - An introductory text for those with no background in logic. Readers can expect to learn the basics of sentential logic, quantified predicate logic, formal semantics for said logics as well as how to develop proofs.
  • Philosophical Devices - David Papineu - An introduction to set theory, other worlds, probability and meta-logic. Again for those with no prior background.
  • Logic for Philosophy - Theodore Sider - Although it can work as an introductory text to formal logic, its scope (completeness, modal logic, etc) makes it more of an intermediate text.
  • An Introduction to Modal Logic - M.J. Cresswell and G.E. Hughes - The book deals primarily with system T, S4, S5 and modal first-order logic. Some may find its scope limited, however the book is extremely thorough; providing many theorems, axioms, etc for each system before moving on to the next and explaining faults or shortcomings in other systems.

Classical/Ancient Philosophy

Introduction

It should be noted that during the period when most of Classical philosophy was formulated the divisions applied to various areas of modern and contemporary philosophy (e.g. the division of moral philosophy into theories of virtue ethics, deontology or consequentialism) did not exist in a very pronounced manner; treatises can be mostly about politics, but also deal with some metaphysics in certain areas, etc.

Political Philosophy

  • The Republic - Plato - A treatise on how the Polis came about, why philosophers are the better candidates for ruling, the sacrifices they have to make and how his mode of government would satisfy everyone's "telos". Contained in this is also his "theory of forms".
  • Politics - Aristotle - Aristotle discusses the various modes of government which were around him at the time, the various ways in which they succeed and fail. Specific emphasis is given to the Athenian model of democracy.
  • The Constitution of Athens - Aristotle -

Ethics/Moral Philosophy

  • Euthyphro - Plato - A dialogue including Socrates (before his trial) and a man named Euthyphro. Topics covered by the two center around knowledge (in general and of the gods and their intentions) and how this affects decision making.
  • Socratic Dialogues - Plato -
  • Nichomachean Ethics - Aristotle - A classic of virtue ethics. Aristotle discusses what virtue is, how to achieve it, as well as how and when people in disparate (economic and political) conditions can achieve virtue.

Epistemology

  • Euthyphro - Plato - A dialogue including Socrates (before his trial) and a man named Euthyphro. Topics covered by the two center around knowledge (in general and of the gods and their intentions) and how this affects decision making.
  • The Republic - Plato - A treatise on how the Polis came about, why philosophers are the better candidates for ruling, the sacrifices they have to make and how his mode of government would satisfy everyone's "telos". Contained in this is also his "theory of forms".

Metaphysics

  • Phaedo - Plato -
  • Metaphysics - Aristotle -
  • The Republic - Plato - A treatise on how the Polis came about, why philosophers are the better candidates for ruling, the sacrifices they have to make and how his mode of government would satisfy everyone's "telos". Contained in this is also his "theory of forms".

Modern Philosophy

Introduction

The period known as "Modern philosophy" marks any philosophy written from the 16th century up to the late 19th and sometimes early 20th century. This guide will treat the modern period as taking place between the 16th and 19th century. Historically, modern philosophy is preceded by the period known as "medieval philosophy", however, this period is usually of importance to specialists and it's of little value to new students of philosophy. Further, many of the worthwhile arguments of medieval philosophy appear in the texts of modern philosophers.

EPISTEMOLOGY

METAPHYSICS

ETHICS/MORAL PHILOSOPHY

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

  • Leviathan, -Thomas Hobbes - The originator of the "social contract". This book discusses Hobbes ideas regarding what the 'state of nature' of humanity was, why humans enter into an agreement of government and the role of the state.
  • Two Treatises on Government, - John Locke - The bulk of Locke's ideas are contained in the second treatise, the first being a response to another philosopher. In this he builds on/reacts to Hobbes' conception of the state of nature, the role of government and proposes one of the most famous arguments in favor of private-property.
  • On The Social Contract - Jean Jacques Rousseau - Building on the tradition set by Hobbes and Locke, Rousseau outlines what he believes to be right form of government. Arguing in favor of both direct and (various forms of) representative democracy.
  • Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • The Principles of Morals and Legislation - Jeremy Bentham - Bentham applies the ethical theory of Utilitarianism to government and outlines how the principle of utility is to be measured.
  • On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
  • Considerations on Representative Government - John Stuart Mill - Although the book is mostly concerned with justifying representative democracy, in certain parts (particularly chapter 3) Mill airs out his grievances with the representative system and proposes an argument for direct participation.
  • Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Karl Marx
  • The German Ideology, Karl Marx

Contemporary Philosophy

Introduction

Towards the end of the 19th century a split happened in philosophy and two main camps were created: One became known as the "analytic" side of philosophy and was marked by a commitment to formal logic, empiricism and (at least initially) concern with philosophy of languge; the other become known as the "continental" side of philosophy (the name being a bit of a misnomer since many analytic philosophers came "from the continent", that is, Europe and because Europe isn't the only continent!) and was marked by criticisms of philosophy and, among other things, a penchant for system building. Some philosophers dispute the notion of dividing philosophy into an "analytic" and a "continental" side (e.g. Richard Rorty and Brian Leiter), but, because the division is generally accepted, it will be applied here. Thus, unless there's disagreement, the contemporary philosophy section of this guide will have an analytic and, as people contribute, a continental section. In the meantime, for readings in continental philosophy refer to Philosophy- a further reading guide.

Metaphysics

  • Consciousness Explained - Daniel Dennett
  • The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory - David Chalmers
  • The Mystery of Consciousness - John Searle

Ethics/Moral Philosophy

(Meta-ethics)

  • Principia Ethica - G.E. Moore
  • Natural Goodness - Phillipa Foot
  • The Possibility of Altruism - Thomas Nagel
  • Modern Moral Philosophy - G.E.M. Amscombe
  • Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy - Bernard Williams
  • Language, Truth and Logic - A.J. Ayer

(Normative ethics)

  • Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy - Phillipa Foot
  • Utilitarianism: For and Against - J.J.C. Smart and Bernard Williams
  • Moral Saints - Susan Wolf
  • The Idea of a Female Ethic - Jean Grimshaw

Political Philosophy

  • A Theory of Justice - John Rawls - Rawls devices a famous argument defending liberalism and favoring contractarianism as a way of establishing a just society. Readers can expect to be acquainted with his “veil of ignorance” concept, his idea of reflective equilibrium and, all in all, the way in which contemporary political philosophy works. Anyone interested in engaging in any type of contemporary political philosophy must be familiar with the ideas presented here (although, perhaps, not with the entire book).
  • Anarchy, State and Utopia - Robert Nozick - Nozick’s propertarian (“libertarian” in political philosophy circles) response to Rawls. He sets forward his argument defending private-property and advocating a minimal state.
  • Equality of What? - Amartya Sen
  • Why Not Socialism? - Gerald Cohen - Although this text is technically a political philosophy text, it is written in a very accessible manner. Like the title suggests, it is Cohen’s attempt to show that, contrary to the common arguments people give, humans don’t have to be egoists and that when put in certain situations, like Cohen’s camping trip, they immediately assume basic socialist principles regarding how to divide labor, use tools and enjoy the fruits of what they produce.
  • On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice - Gerald Cohen - Although written before, Why Not Socialism?, this essay can be taken to be the supplement to it. Here Cohen assumes the more distinctive manner of establishing principles for justice common to contemporary political philosophy and which were at work behind the scenes through much of, Why Not Socialism? He shows why his version of egalitarianism, known as “Luck egalitarianism”, is most just, why it should be advocated and how it covers the basic points of other forms of egalitarianism advocated by other philosophers.
  • Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality - Gerald Cohen - In this book Cohen targets the arguments of Nozick in his, Anarchy, State and Utopia, and shows, among other things, that (1) Nozick is not as much concerned with liberty as he is with property, (2) his famous maxim that, “just steps lead to just conclusions” is mistaken and (3) his arguments allow for a left interpretation (“world ownership” as opposed to “private ownership”) which undermines his right-wing enterprise. Cohen also attacks what he takes to be the Lockean assumptions of Marxists regarding labor and value.
  • The Philosophical Foundations of Private Property - Alan Carter - Carter examines the most famous arguments used to justify private-property and finds them all unconvincing. Throughout the text he makes clear why a system of usufruct (equal access) regarding that which may fall under the tile of "property" avoids all the philosophical problems private-property does not. Philosophers whose arguments are addressed include Locke, Bentham, Nozick and Kant (among others).
  • Anarchism: Some Theoretical Foundations - Alan Carter
  • A Radical Green Political Theory - Alan Carter
  • Arguing for Equality - John Baker

Postal service: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on working life and struggles written by and about workers in the postal service.

Submitted by Ed on April 6, 2014

Key texts

Industry struggles

Related tags

  • Communication Workers Group - Militant rank and file network of postal workers from the late 1980s, initiated by anarcho-syndicalists in the UK.
  • Royal Mail - Content about workers' struggles, privatisation and events related to the Royal Mail.
  • CWU - Content about the Communication Workers' Union, the main trade union representing postal workers in the UK.
  • CUPW - Content about the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the main trade union representing postal workers in Canada.
  • Post strikes 2009 - Content about the 2009 UK postal strikes against 'modernisation'.

Other media

ajjohnstone

8 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can i add my tuppenceworth, two articles i wrote for Industrial Worker during the 1996 strike wave in Royal Mail.

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2009/12/wobbly-days.html

Other posts on other postal strikes from my blog

http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/search?q=postal+strikes

Russian revolution 1917: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on the 1917 Russian revolution.

Submitted by Ed on September 29, 2012

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • The Bolsheviks - Revolutionary socialist party which came to power in the 1917 Russian revolution. Important figures included Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.
  • Gavril Miasnikov and the Workers' Group - Gavril Miasnikov was a Russian metalworker and veteran Bolshevik activist who was expelled from the party in 1922 for demanding workers' control of industry and a free press. He then set up the Workers Group of the Russian Communist Party aka The Workers' Group. Repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the Russian Communist Party and he was eventually executed in 1945.
  • Workers' Opposition - Faction in the Russian Communist Party who opposed the bureaucratisation of the party, though never fully broke with Bolshevik ideology.
  • Nestor Makhno - Ukrainian anarchist and commander of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine aka 'The Makhnovists', an independent anarchist army which fought both the old Tsarist regime and the new Bolshevik one (see reading list below).
  • Gregori Maximov - Russian anarcho-syndicalist sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks but saved by the solidarity of Russia's metalworkers union. The editor of several anarcho-syndicalist newspapers he was eventually expelled from Russia.

Other recommended texts

Kronstadt

In 1921 there was a mutiny and rebellion of sailors and workers in the Russian port town of Kronstadt against the autoritarianism of the new Bolshevik government. The uprising in the town of Kronstadt, famous for its radicalism in both the 1905 and 1917 revolutions was declared 'counter-revolutionary' and 'a White (Tsarist) plot' by the Bolsheviks.

  • 1921: The Kronstadt rebellion - Short and simply written introductory text into the events at Kronstadt.
  • The Kronstadt uprising of 1921 - Ida Mett - Fantastic history of the Kronstadt uprising, dispelling Bolshevik misinformation about the rebellion and includes many original sources from the uprising itself.
  • Kronstadt Izvestia - Archive of the Kronstadt rebels' publication, written and published at the time of the uprising, outlining their demands and events as they happened.
  • The Kronstadt Revolt - Ante Ciliga - Short account written by the Croatian Marxist at the time of some of Trotsky's writings on the subject, which faces many of the major issues.
  • The Kronstadt Uprising of 1921 - Lynne Thorndycraft - Excellent article including information which demolishes the lie put forward by the Bolsheviks at the time (and repeated by their supporters today) that the workers and sailors of Kronstadt had, between 1917 and 1921, turned from solid revolutionaries to backward self-seeking peasants.
  • Kronstadt '21 - Victor Serge - Excerpt on the Kronstadt rebellion from Memoirs of a Revolutionary by an ex-Bolshevik. Despite remaining remaining in the camp of those claiming Kronstadt as 'a tragic necessity', he is honest enough to describe the facts of the situation in their own damning terms.

The Makhnovists

Between 1918 and 1921 in the Ukraine, the anarchist Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine aka 'The Makhnovists' battled against both the 'White' armies of the old Tsarist regime and the 'Red' armies of the new Bolshevik one.

Other media

  • Reds - Film written, directed, produced and starred in by Warren Beatty, who plays the American communist and writer John Reed as he experiences first-hand the Russian revolution. Also starring Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman.

Spikymike

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not being too pushy here but could I recomend adding to this list of short texts the Wildcat article 'The Hunt for Red October' in the library here and the book by S.A.Smith titled 'Red Petrograd - Revolution in the factories 1917-1918' originally published by Cambridge University Press.

Ed

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alright spikey, will chuck in the Wildcat article, but can you give a little description of what that book is about as we don't just want to add book titles but also include why they're of interest..

Spikymike

9 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Ed,

The book 'Red Petrograd' is a well reserached and detailed study of the impact of the Russian Revolution at Factory level in Petrograd and deals in particular with the factory councils implementation of workers control of production in conditions of economic chaos and in relation to syndicalist and bolshevik ideology. It is not written from a particularly pro-revolutionary perspective but is a useful accompliment to the Maurice Brinton booklet which gets a brief mention.

fromp

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Petrograd is great. Indeed, all the books on the reading list are worth reading. The only problem is that anyone who only read these books might be left with the impression that, in 1917, Russia's workers were desperate to self-manage their workplaces - and that if it wasn't for the authoritarian Bolsheviks, they would have gone on to create a genuinely anarchist-communist society.

Unfortunately things were more complicated than this. In conditions of extreme hunger and poverty, workers were more interested in individual survival than in self-management of their miserable factory jobs. Then when they did express opinions about wider political issues, they often voted for soviet and factory committee representatives who promised very strict discipline, simply in order to keep the economy going so they wouldn't all starve to death (often these representatives were Bolsheviks but some Russian anarchists, such as Makhno, could also be quite authoritarian).

By the summer of 1918 most workers were very disillusioned by the Bolshevik dictatorship - but they could see no practical alternative. These workers had organisations, such as the Assemblies of Factory Representatives, and they had access to guns, but they made no serious attempts to overthrow the very unstable Bolshevik regime. Of course, Bolshevik repression was also a major factor in this hesitancy but it was clearly not the only factor.

The best article on this situation (and a must in any reading list) is
'Russian Labour and Bolshevik Power after October' by William Rosenberg.

Chris Goodey's article, 'Factory Committees in 1918', and his debate with Maurice Brinton, is posted at lib com, is very thought provoking and gets beyond any crude ideas of factory committees are 'good' and Bolsheviks are 'bad'.

Until Michael Sideman publishes his promised work on the Russian Revolution, Christopher Read's
From Tsar to Soviets is probably the best recent account of the revolution seen from the point of view of the workers and peasants.

Barbara Engels' 'Subsistence riots in Russia during World War I' (at Libcom)
and
Jane McDermid's Midwives of the Revolution
both provide crucial information on proletarian women's often ignored role in initiating the Russian Revolution.

And Alexander Rabinowitch's three books on the revolution in Petrograd are unsurpassed, especially The Prelude to Revolution.

There he shows how the workers largely wanted a change of government and hence looked to politicians, such as the Bolsheviks for leadership. Like the Trotskyist parties of today, the Bolsheviks, however, hesitated to lead any direct action and instead focused on flooding demonstrations with their slogans. Meanwhile the anarchists hung out a the back of the demonstrations, attacked prisons and squatted large buildings. In other words things were uncannily similar to the activities of today's workers and lefties!

Hopefully any anti-capitalist revolution in the 21st Century will take place without the hunger, illiteracy and isolation of Russia in 1917 - and will be vastly more radical than the tragic dead-end of the 1917 revolution and its horrific outcome in Stalinism.

Spikymike

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fromp,

Agree with your opening comment and...

Yes the Chris Goodey-Maurice Brinton debate in the library is a good shortish item to reference and something more on the role of women would be good though I haven't read the books mentioned.

Must say that despite an initial interest in Michael Seidman's de-romanticising efforts on some of the the anarchist accounts of the Spanish Civil War that I saw a long time back, I was more than dissapointed with his pretty unbalanced follow up in 'Republic of Egos' and would be a little suspicious of anything he produced on the Russian revolution.

JoeMaguire

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maximoff's - The Guillotine at Work?

trellis 5

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's links to those various texts:

William Rosenberg - 'Russian Labour and Bolshevik Power after October'

Chris Goodey - 'Factory Committees in 1918'

Barbara Engels - 'Subsistence Riots in Russia during World War One'

Gregor Maximoff - The Guillotine at Work

Anyone interested in Michael Seidman's unique, thought-provoking (and controversial) approach to revolutionary history should check this post: 'Michael Seidman versus stuart Christie on Paul Preston's The Spanish Holocaust'

rooieravotr

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"MK" "Beyond Kronstadt" One of the clearest articles on what went wrong and why it was not just 'circumstances'. Strongly recommended.

Dan Radnika

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An absolutely top book about Kronstadt is:
Kronstadt 1917-1921 - The fate of a Soviet democracy, Israel Getzler, Cambridge University Press, 1983

Of course, it's long out of print but you can still order it online from places like Abe Books. It traces the whole history of the Kronstadt Soviet from February 1917 to its suppression after the 1921 uprising.

Reading this book gives you a really strong sense of all the different influences on the workers and sailors of Kronstadt as they tried to work out the way forward and, along the way, nails the ridiculous Bolshevik lie about how the rebels of 1921 were "different people" from those who participated in the revolution of 1917. The continuity (right down to individual people) between those who fought the Tsar and those who fought the Bolsheviks is spelt out very clearly.

georgestapleton

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Can I add Simon Pirani's book The Revolution in Retreat which is on here on libcom. I haven't read it myself, but I've heard its great. Afaik it basically continues what Steve Smith did for Petrograd but looking mainly at Moscow.

Tom de Cleyre

9 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hm. About this:

The unknown revolution, 1917-1921 - Volin - Extensive work on the Russian Revolution, its usurping by the Bolsheviks and on workers' rebellions against the new dictatorship.

The Unknown Revolution's timeline starts in 1825, certainly not 1917 given the space given to 1905. It actually starts with a note to the reader:

"Russian Revolution" can mean three things: either the entire revolutionary movement, from the revolt of the Decembrists (1825) until the present; or only the two consecutive uprisings of 1905 and 1917; or, finally, only the great explosion of 1917. In this work, "Russian Revolution" is used in the first sense, as the entire movement.

The title of your article implies that you choose on the third possibility (which is a very strange partisan choice for libertarian communists, but it belongs to you). However, citing the dates 1917-1921 for The Unknown Revolution is just weird.

Anti War

6 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'From Tsar to Lenin'
- classic documentary on the Russian Revolution narrated by Max Eastman.

This documentary is now on Youtube HERE. It could have had more on the involvement of women, workers and peasants in 1917 - and could have been more critical of the Bolsheviks. But it still contains some of the most amazing footage from the period.

herz2

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One of the great puzzles of the February revolution is why, having initiated the revolution, working-class women were then unable to maintain this level of organisation in the upheavals of 1917. Bobroff-Hajal's well-researched book is, so far, the most in-depth attempt to understand the roots of this mystery. She vividly discusses women's roles in food riots, street fighting and political activism, as well as in courtship and wedding rituals. She concludes that traditional male-dominated culture tied working-class and peasant women to the nuclear family rather than to each other.

Working Women in Russia under the Hunger Tsars: political activism and daily life, by Anne Bobroff-Hajal

See here for pdfs:

Chapters 1 to 7.

Chapters 8 to 12.

Chapters 12 to 14.

Kdog

5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I second fromp's recommendation of Prelude to Revolution: The Petrograd Bolsheviks and the July 1917 Uprising by Alexander Rabinowitch.

While not the major focus of the book, it still contains more information on the Anarchist-Communist organization in Petrograd and some of its key figures (like Bliekhman - who Trotsky attacked in an anti-semitic tone) and the pressure they exerted on the movement there, than I've seen anywhere else.

Situationists: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide to the Situationists, a revolutionary Marxist group who wrote extensively on culture and were highly influential on the events of May 1968 in France.

Submitted by Ed on November 2, 2012

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • Situationist International - Libertarian Marxist group whose ideas heavily influenced the events of May 1968 as well as those of non-Leninist revolutionaries for years to come.
  • Guy Debord - Writer, filmmaker and founding member of the Situationist International.
  • Raoul Vaneigm - One of the most prominent members of the Situationist International.

Other recommended texts

Situationist-influenced texts

Other media

Martin O Neill

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Perhaps the most accessible introductions to situationist ideas where the Spectacular Times pamphlets produced by Larry Law in the 1980s. I wouldn't be surprised if they can still be found in a corner of Freedom or Housmans bookshop or at an anarchist bookfair. Interestingly Larry Law, before he died, joined the anarcho-syndicalist Direct Action Movement claiming that the Situationists had stolen all their ideas from the anarcho-syndicalists in the 1950s, although I have never seen any source material for this claim.

There was also the situationist influenced Vague magazine around the same time. The person who produced the magazine was highly critical of Larry Law for only making situationist ideas available to a political ghetto. Vague gradually became less political and more glossy and was available in Virgin Megastores, which seemed to miss the point about what the Situationists were saying about radicals producing more capitalist commodities and how the the recuperation of radical ideas by capitalism works.

Martin O Neill

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some Spectacular Times do appear to be available online.

klas batalo

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There should be a ppt/pdf online somewhere that is a good intro thing for a presentation.

hschultze

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

here are several situationist / situationist-inspired / etc texts on pdf. Situationists times are online somewhere, but I'm having trouble re-finding them. One of these days I"ll put them up on this site, though.

http://1000littlehammers.wordpress.com/situationist/

klas batalo

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://libcom.org/library/introduction-situationists-jan-d-matthews

Spanish civil war 1936-39: reading guide

Libcom.org's reading guide on the Spanish civil war and social revolution from 1936-1939 which, sparked by a military rising lead by right-wing General Franco, was arguably the most far-reaching revolution in history.

Submitted by Ed on October 7, 2012

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • CNT - Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, an anarcho-syndicalist union founded in 1910 which during the civil war boasted 1.5 million members and was easily its most influential organisation.
  • FAI - Federación Anarquista Ibérica, an anarchist political organisation active both within and out of the CNT.
  • Friends of Durruti - Anarchist group founded during the civil war opposing the CNT's participation in the Republican government.
  • Mujeres Libres - Anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation active within the Spanish CNT before and during the Spanish revolution.
  • POUM - Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista, an anti-Stalinist communist political party which was severely repressed by the Spanish Communist Party. George Orwell served as a member of one of their militias.
  • Buenaventura Durruti - Legendary anarcho-syndicalist rail worker, CNT member and military leader, killed during the Spanish civil war.

Other recommended texts

The revolution

The civil war

Women's struggle

Other media

  • Spanish Civil War and Revolution photo gallery, 1936-39 - Photo gallery of anarchists and other workers attempting social revolution in Spain 1936.
  • Spanish Civil War and Revolution poster gallery, 1936-39 - Archive of posters from the Spanish Civil War and Revolution, 1936-39.
  • Living Utopia - A unique feature-length documentary chronicling the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the Spanish revolution. In Spanish with English subtitles.
  • Land and Freedom - Ken Loach's 1995 film of an unemployed Communist who leaves Britain to fight in the Spanish civil war.
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway - Novel of a young American who goes to Spain to fight for the International Brigades. The book shows Hemingway's obvious bias in favour of the Stalinist Communist Party version of events but is still an excellent read.

Spikymike

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An easily read short critique by Gilles Dauve 'When Insurrections Die' in the libcom library would be a welcome addition to the list here.

Klaus Stoertebeker

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The is a considerable archive of primary sources held by Warwick University which is accessible on line and can be found here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/explorefurther/digital/scw

Can i also suggest he addition of the title "Brigadista (An Irishman's Fight Against Fascism)" Bob Doyle with Harry Owens.

trellis55

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for putting up these readings. Gilles Dauve’s When Insurrections Die also provides an interesting addition to more traditional anarcho-syndicalist approaches to the Spanish Revolution.

It would be a great pity if this reading guide merely saw the Spanish Revolution from the viewpoint of anarcho-syndicalist militants, just as a Leninist reading guide might only see the Russian Revolution from the viewpoint of Bolshevik militants (and then justify this censorship on the grounds that any criticism of the Bolsheviks gives comfort to the Right).

I appreciate that some people worry about Michael Seidman’s politics. But his views appear to be more a ‘post-modern’ cynicism about collective struggle, rather than any real support for the Right as some critics claim. Furthermore there is no other historian who tries so hard to see things from the point of view of ‘ordinary’ workers, peasants and conscripts.

Michael Seidman’s classic book is: Workers against Work; Labor in Paris and Barcelona During the Popular Fronts.

Summaries of Seidman’s approach include:

'Workers against Work in the Spanish Revolution'

Towards a History of Workers' Resistance to Work

Republic of Egos is also very thought-provoking.

Juan Conatz

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have major apprehensions about Siedman's politics, but also the stuff he's written seems somewhat contested.

Martin O Neill

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship by Noam Chomsky, a chapter in American Power And The New Mandarins. It is also available as a separate book published by AK. From what I remember it has information not published elsewhere on how the non-intervention policy of the Western 'Demoracies' worked in practice. For example the American Government allowed Texaco to supply oil to Franco. There were British warships in Barcelona harbour during the 'May Events' in 1937 in case things didn't go their way, i.e. the anarchist grassroots rebellion (and the P.O.U.M. if I remember correctly) wasn't crushed by the Communists. It may also be the source of the story that 'Fanta' was invented in the 'Nationalist' part of Spain during the Civil War/Revolution as the Spanish Coca Cola subsidiary was cut off from it's American parent company at the time.

Lessons Of The Spanish Revolution by Vernon Richards was published by Freedom Press in the 1980s, during their decades long anti-class struggle phase. Stuart Christie has recently pointed the finger of blame again for the defeat of the revolution and the war at the leadership of the anarchists, who collaborated with the Government. The Freedom Press book gives reports of the C.N.T. meetings were all the Government collaborating policies of the anarchist leadership were ratified by the C.N.T. membership. The 'May Events' of '37 and the resistance to the militarisation of the militias show that this could not be entirely true. But even if it is only partly true I probably tend not to take a overly judgemental view. Maybe they knew that the game was up given the totality of the forces stacked against them. Even if Franco, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy hadn't moslty crushed the revolution the Western 'Democracies' and Russia certainly would have, more overtly later on. I would be quite happy for people to take issue with me over whether the anarchists simply made mistakes or whether anarcho-syndicalism is inherently reformist. On second thoughts maybe not, as it has all been said before. Personally I think it possible to learn the lessons and still be an anarcho-syndicalist. Many of the anarchist organisations that have rejected anarcho-syndicalism have ended up submerged in reformism themselves. Certain other communist critiques still cling on to certain aspects of Marxist Leninism.

Bolleten, Burnett. The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War . New York: Praeger, 1961. Expanded as The Spanish Revolution: The Left and the Struggle for Power During the Spanish Civil War . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979. This book goes into great detail about the civil war within the civil war. It was described to me as more objective that the anarchist accounts of the Civil War/Revolution. However I think most of the details are now available in the anarchist accounts translated from Spanish into English and made available in more recent years. The book was written by an American journalist, who, if I remember correctly was present in Spain at the time. Don't be put off by the title or the nationality of the author. Although it probably was published as part of the Cold War Red Scare, (this is the reason, I think, why Orwell's account has been promoted so much) it is as objective as any mainstream journalism can be. I think it goes beyond that as it takes anarchism seriously and the author has an understanding of what anarchism is, unlike the western 'democratic' historians who have written about the Civil War and down played the role of anarchists and concentrated on the conventional power politics.

I probably read about the Spansih Civil War/Revolution or watch films about it about once a decade as I don't think it is a good idea for your political theory or practice to be informed mostly by one event in the past rather than your current experience of power relationships. If you read one half decent book about the Civil War/Revolution in general, plus one about the collectives and one about the Mujeres Libres you have probably read everything you need to know. Libertarias is probably still worth watching despite the racist ending and the intention of the film's director to reconcile the opposing forces in Spanish society, such as anarchism and christianity, into some form of Spanish national unity.

Auld-bod

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two small points:
I have a strong recollection of reading about the American Government allowing Texaco to supply oil to Franco in Sandoval & Azcarate’s, ‘Spain 1936-1939’, published by Lawrence & Wishart, 1966.
I thought the book heavily biased in favour of the Stalinists.

‘Lessons of the Spanish Revolution’ was published by Freedom Press in 1972. I used to have a copy of each book and both were donated to Edinburgh R.L.

gwry

9 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For me Ronalds Fraser's "Blood of Spain", is a must. Here are the voices of all parties concerned, but even so, show the great constructive work involved in the restructuring of Spanish society in the republican areas. It showed me,as a young worker, the great latent power of the working class.

Simulary, Gaston Leval's, "Collectives in the Spanish Revolution", shows the great practical attitude of CNT and FAI militants in solving the problems of introducing libertarian communism in Aragon.

.

EastTexasRed

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've read somewhere on libcom that Emma Goldman was an individualist, but for me the edited collection of her writings (mainly letters) on the Spanish Revolution 'Vision on Fire' is outstanding. Having experienced the huge tragedy of the Russian Revolution at firsthand ('My Disillusionment in Russia') she maintained her belief in revolutionary anarchism and became the CNT's representative in the UK during the Spanish revolution, maintaining a profound respect and admiration for the Spanish workers, praising the efforts of the rank and file and criticising the collaborationism of the 'leadership'. I don't see any individualism in her writings, only a genuine belief in anarcho-syndicalism, the workers and revolution. The book documents her frustration at the failure of the non-communist left (mainly in the UK, but elsewhere also) to support the Spanish workers, her admiration for the collectives, her personal recollections of personalities such as Berneri and her views on militarisation etc.

EastTexasRed

9 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Forgot to add also, that if you want a tragi-comic read, look no further than William Rust's 'Britons in Spain - The History of the British Battalion of the XVth International Brigade'. Rust was correspondent for the Daily Worker. The contortions he gets into to maintain the Stalinist line on Spain are unbelievable - for instance, some time afterSeptember 1938 he wrote (in the introduction): "The Republican Army, now one million strong and yet to reach full strength, has broken the offensive power of Franco's forces and ... is preparing for further advances". He devotes a considerable amount of words to the need for military discipline - including, for instance, a discussion of how saluting officers reassures the men and binds the unit - an implicit justification for militarisation. Yet he also documents the huge efforts of the fighters themselves, their personal belief in the cause, the price they paid (some actions saw massive casualty rates) and the humility and solidarity they showed in their letters home. It's worth a read, again because you get some first-hand experience, even if it is redacted by the Stalinist mindset.

Entdinglichung

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

all 28 copies of the POUM's Spanish Revolution (Oct 1936 - May 1937)

Tyrion

8 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I added Burnett Bolloten's book to the guide. I haven't yet read it myself, but Bookchin praises it quite strongly in his introduction to The Spanish Anarchists and it appears to be very extensive--the "the most exhaustive study on the subject in any language," supposedly.

Entdinglichung

8 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the POUM's first English-language bulletin: http://bataillesocialiste.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/information-bulletin-of-the-p-o-u-m-1936/

x359594

6 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Contemporary eye-witness accounts: Red Spanish Notebook by Mary Low and Juan Brea, City Lights 1977. Mary Low edited the POUM's English language bulletin, and Juan Brea was a Cuban poet and journalist. Counter-Attack in Spain by Ramon J. Sender, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1937. Sender was a CNT sympathizer and internationally famous novelist. His wife Amparo was executed by the fascists. This book is out of print but available from university libraries.

AK Press published an expanded English language version of Frank Mintz's Anarchism and Workers' Self-Management in Revolutionary Spain a couple of years ago.

Other fiction: The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War by Ernest Hemingway, Scribner's, 1969. The Fifth Column is a play (it just had its London premiere last month) and the stories are published in this volume for the first time. Man's Hope by André Malraux, Random House, 1938. Considered the classic novel of the Spanish Civil War. Hermanos! by William Herrick, Simon & Schuster, 1969. Written by a disillusioned veteran of the Lincoln Battalion, this novel is critical of the Stalinists throughout.

Poetry anthologies: The Penguin Book of Spanish Civil War Verse, edited by Valentine Cunningham, Penguin, 1980. An anthology of British poets, (you can disregard Cunningham's editorial remarks.) The Wound and the Dream: Sixty Years of American Poems About the Spanish Civil War, edited by Carey Nelson, University of Illinois Press, 2002.

klas batalo

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://libcom.org/history/collectivizations-constructive-achievements-spanish-revolution-essays-documents-reports

klas batalo

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://libcom.org/history/barricades-barcelona-cnt-victory-july-1936-necessary-defeat-may-1937-agust%C3%ADn-guillamón

propofread

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The outstanding No Gods No Masters series about the Spanish civil war, after 22.40
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5s40ga?collectionXid=x4ybbn

Unions: reading guide

Union banner

libcom.org's reading guide around trade or labour unions and the role they play in modern society.

Submitted by Steven. on February 13, 2013

Key texts

Case studies

Other recommended texts

More information

  • Unions archive - libcom.org's unions tag containing all our content about the nature of unions and trade unionism.

Spikymike

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A more balanced listing of key texts given the continuing arguments on this site around the issue of the trade unions might include some of the following:

One of my favourites:
'Trade Unions Pillars of Capitalism' at http://internationalist-perspective.org/IP/ip-archive/ip_41_trade-unions.html
and:
Unions Against Revolution by G.Munis.
Organised Labour versus 'The Revolt Against Work' by J.Zerzan.
Unions and Political Struggle by Mouvement Communiste.
Unions Against the Working Class by the ICC.

and of course some of the old Subversion and Wildcat short texts.

Some similar themes in these of course but not entirely consistent by any means.

Chilli Sauce

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If I could offer a bit of flagrant self-promotion:

http://libcom.org/library/better-we-know-ourselves-ruling-class-view-trade-unions

woooo

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't forget the communisation critique to

Entdinglichung

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

during the 1970ies, there was a lively discussion in Germany about the "double character of unions": one the one hand being an elementary expression of the self-organization of the working-class and therefore inherently in a state of confrontation with the ruling class, on the other hand also inherently integrated into capitalism by being the body which negotiates the price of the commodity of labour power with the ruling class and therefor automatically subject to integration (which also applies to revolutionary unions in non-revolutionary-times) ... Marx wrote some stuff about the Janus-headed task of unions inside/against the wage system but I don't know exactly where (probably in The Poverty of Philosophy?)

Chilli Sauce

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Marx wrote some stuff about the Janus-headed task of unions inside/against the wage system but I don't know exactly where (probably in The Poverty of Philosophy?)

I'd be interested to read that if anyone can find an excerpt....?

Phil

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If we're doing self-promotion, I've done a few pieces not only on the role unions play, but also on their own narratives about the role they play:

http://libcom.org/blog/between-rock-hard-place-thoughts-militant-workers-reps-18082012

http://libcom.org/blog/pcs-blinks-first-dispute-hm-revenue-customs-30082012

http://libcom.org/blog/rank-file-action-trade-union-representation-building-confidence-13102012

http://libcom.org/blog/trade-unions-crisis-leadership-narrative-21112012

[/shameless plug] :D

jonthom

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've not had time to read through all of the above yet but I do have a question: does anyone have a suggested texts for anarchists working within the mainstream unions? I get the impression many anarchists (at least here) are part of whatever the recognised union is where they work, so would be interesting to know what sort of lessons people have learned and whether there's any potential for wider co-ordination (e.g. if a given union has a sizeable enough number of anarchos would it be worthwhile producing some common material?).

I guess a related question would be about the IWW's encouragement of "dual carding"; The Role of the Dual Carder in the IWW (pdf) might be of interest in this regard?

Joakim

8 months 2 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A basic pro union text:

https://libcom.org/library/swedish-syndicalism-outline-its-ideology-practice

Women and feminism: reading guide

Marina Ginesta, a revolutionary during the Spanish Civil War
Marina Ginesta, a revolutionary during the Spanish Civil War

Libcom.org's reading guide on feminism, women and women's struggles against patriarchy and capital.

Author
Submitted by libcom on January 9, 2013

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • Mujeres Libres - Anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation within the Spanish CNT union in the 1930s, active in the Spanish Revolution.
  • GDDD - I gruppi di difesa della donna, largest of the women's groups in the Italian resistance to fascism, numbering 70,000 at their height, who organised strikes and took part in armed struggle.
  • Mariarosa Dalla Costa - Marxist feminist famous for arguing that women's unwaged labour is an essential part of capitalist reproduction, rather than merely an oppression imposed on women by men.
  • Silvia Federici - Italian Marxist feminist writer drawing the links between capitalism's need for women's unpaid labour and the subjugation of women under patriarchy.
  • Emma Goldman - Anarchist, feminist and birth control advocate, described as "one of the most dangerous women in America".
  • bell hooks - Pioneering Black intersectional feminist.
  • Selma James - American feminist and libertarian socialist, widow of CLR James and founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign.
  • He Zhen - Account of a central revolutionary feminist in early 20th-century China.

Other recommended texts

Women's struggles

Other media

  • Union maids (video) - Three women union activists tell their fascinating stories of organising in 1930s America, recounting their conflicts with bosses, police as well as their struggles against racism and sexism.
  • Mothers strike (video) - A documentary that portrays the living conditions of the striking women in Walbrzych, Poland in 2010, their struggle against local authorities, conflicts with welfare institutions and their attempts at self-organizing.

Joseph Kay

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bump. This went live yesterday and has 220+ facebook likes already. We're working on some more reading guides for various things, as much as possible linking to stuff that's available online/on libcom so you can click-through.

Steven.

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

Bump. This went live yesterday and has 220+ facebook likes already. We're working on some more reading guides for various things, as much as possible linking to stuff that's available online/on libcom so you can click-through.

now 646!

Red Marriott

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As you have the Grunwick's article in there you could also add this; http://libcom.org/library/tailoring-needs-garment-worker-struggles-bangladesh
Dunno if videos are allowed in a reading guide, but; http://libcom.org/history/video-machinists-against-machine-bangladeshi-garment-workers-struggles

Nate

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two book suggestions.

Rosalynd Baxandall and Linda Gordon, Dear Sisters - collection of documents from the much maligned 1960s women's liberation movement in the U.S.

The Feminist Memoir Project, first person accounts of activity in that same movement.

ideas3

9 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's some historical readings for a section on
WOMEN'S ROLE IN UPRISINGS AND REVOLUTIONS:

E.P.Thompson, 'The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century' and 'The Moral Economy Reviewed' in Customs in Common.

Barbara Clark Smith, 'Food Rioters and the American Revolution', William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 51, No1.

Olwen Hufton, Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution.

Harriet Applewhite and Darlene Levy, Women and Politics in the Age of Democratic Revolution.

Harriet Applewhite and Darlene Levy, 'Women and Political Revolution in Paris' in Renate Bridenthal, Becoming Visible, Women in European History (1987 Edition).

Temma Kaplan, 'Women and communal strikes in the crisis of 1917-1922' in Women Becoming Visible, Women in European History (1987 Edition).

Ute Daniel, The War from Within: German Women in the First World War.

Keith Allen, 'Food and the German Home-Front' and Simonetta Ortaggi, 'Italian Women During the Great War' in Gail Braybon, Evidence, History and the Great War.

Temma Kaplan, 'Female Consciousness and Collective Action: The Case of Barcelona, 1910-1918', Signs, Vol.7.

Beverley Engel, 'Subsistence Riots in Russia during World War One', Journal of Modern History, Vol.69.

Choi Chatterjee, Celebrating Women; Gender, Festival, Culture and Bolshevik Ideology.

Lynne Viola, 'Babi Bunty and Peasant Women's Protests during Collectivisation', Russian Review, Vol.45.

M.Bahati Kuumba, Gender and Social Movements (on women's crucial role in the US Civil Rights and the anti-apartheid movement).

As well as women's leading role in the above uprisings and revolutions, it has also been argued that women led the uprisings that created the first human culture, in the form of hunter-gatherer egalitarianism. Such theories are controversial. However the Radical Anthropology Group has collated a large range of evidence from anthropology, primatology, mythic narratives, evolutionary biology and archaeology supporting this theory, e.g:

Chris Knight, 'Solidarity and Sex', 'Sex and the Human Revolution'.
Chris Knight, Camilla Power, Ian Watts, 'The Human Symbolic Revolution', The Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol.5, p75ff.

Work: reading guide

Libcom.org's guide to reading around the subject of work and wage labour in capitalist society, and struggles against them.

Submitted by Steven. on February 3, 2013

Key texts

Unwaged work

Workplace organising

Anti-work

Work stories

Management techniques

wojtek

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

ites

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Factotum would make a good addition also.

Steven.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I want to add a separate "workers control" reading guide, so this is just a note to myself to sort this out at some point

AbolishWork

6 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to be self-indulgent for a moment, you can also find lots of anti-work material at my site: AbolishWork.com.

Working class cinema: a video guide

After Hours directed by Martin Scorsese

Libcom.org's guide to working class films and TV shows, showing class struggles, revolutionary situations and everyday lives.

Submitted by flaneur on October 23, 2013

To download any of these films, install uTorrent or Transmission. Search using The Pirate Bay and click the magnet or arrow to start the torrent.
Arranged alphabetically in order of the nationality of the director (or creator in the case of TV shows with multiple directors).

American

Brad Anderson

  • The Machinist (2004) - Christian Bale stars as a factory worker whose insomnia has left him emaciated, and whose colleagues turn against him when he was involved in a workplace accident causing one worker to lose an arm.

Shari Springer Berman

  • American Splendor - Adaptation of Harvey Pekar's comic series, which he wrote whilst working as a file clerk in a hospital.

Herbert J. Biberman

  • Salt of the Earth (1953) - Film based on the 1951 miners' strike in New Mexico, and starring many of those involved, it shows how miners and their families all take part in the long hard struggle against the mining company. Made in 1953, it was originally banned as part of the 'Red Scare'.

Kathryn Bigelow

  • Strange Days (1995) - An enjoyable if flawed sci-fi action movie, part of which seeks to investigate the nature of voyeurism via memory implants.

Lizzie Borden

  • Born in Flames (1983) - Sci-fi flick about a post-revolutionary social democratic NYC in which gender and race issues have not been solves. In mockumentary style, it follows two women's guerrilla groups, one majority white and one majority POC.

James Bridges

  • The China Syndrome - A nuclear reactor almost goes into meltdown, whilst a team of reporters are on site covering a story.

Steve Buscemi

  • Trees Lounge - A mechanic, sacked for stealing out of the till, drinks his sorrows away over one summer in a Bukowski-esque anti-tale.

John Carpenter

  • Escape from New York and Escape from LA - Bakunin with an eyepatch is forced to save the world.
  • They Live - A special pair of sunglasses reveal billboards and adverts aren't what they seem.

Coen brothers

  • Barton Fink (1991) - Film about a playwright working in Hollywood in 1941 exploring high and low culture, fascism, World War II and working conditions in the creative industries.
  • The Big Lebowski - The Dude is a loafer that would have made Paul Lafargue blush. When a case of mistaken identity ruins his rug, he is dragged into something far bigger.

Laurie Collyer

  • Sherrybaby (2006) - Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a young drug addict who leaves prison to collect her child from family members who have been looking after her.

Ivan Dixon

  • The Spook Who Stood by the Door (1973) - The CIA hires a token black agent, who then uses his skills to help the militant black power movement. With a soundtrack by Herbie Hancock.

Bill Duke

  • Deep Cover - Focusing on the role of the police in the war on drugs, an undercover cop begins to enjoy the rewards.

Ava DuVernay

  • Selma (2014) - Dramatisation of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 for voting rights for African-Americans.

Ryan Fleck

  • Half Nelson - A radical inner city school teacher battles his demons with crack cocaine whilst trying to inspire his class.
  • Sugar - Miguel has dreamt all his life of leaving the Dominican Republican to play baseball professionally but he soon discovers it isn't all it's cracked up to be.

John Ford

  • Grapes of Wrath (1940) - Classic film adaptation of Steinbeck's superb book depicting dispossessed peasant farmers from Oklahoma migrate to California to become wage labourers.

John Flynn

  • Rolling Thunder - A tortured Vietnam veteran returns home to suburban America but nothing will be the same again.

John Frankenheimer

  • Seconds - When an middle aged man trades his identity and his face, he only realises what he's given up when it's too late.

William Friedkin

  • Sorcerer - Remake of Wages for Fear.

Brian Goodman

  • What Doesn't Kill You - A small time criminal struggles to pay the bills and support his family.

Colin Higgins

  • 9 to 5 (1980) - Comedy three female office workers realise their dream of overthrowing their sexist, egotistical and bigoted bosses.

Albert Hughes

  • Dead Presidents - A black Vietnam vet joins a political organisation funding itself with armed robbery, based on the story of Haywood T. Kirkland.

John Huston

Patty Jenkins

  • Monster (2003) - Crime drama based on the real story of a sex worker who was executed for killing six men.

Mike Judge

  • Office Space - When Peter sees an hypnotherapist, he inadvertently begins a refusal of work while his friends at the company are going to be made redundant and want revenge.

Jeremy Kagan

  • Katherine (1975, a.k.a. The Radical) - Low-budget TV movie based on the life of Diana Oughton of the Weather Underground urban guerrilla group, starring Henry Winkler of Fonzie fame.

Barbara Kopple

  • Harlan County USA - Documentary of the 1976 Brookside strike and the subsequent agreement.

Stanley Kubrick

  • Spartacus (1960) - Historical epic about the Spartacus slave rebellion.
  • The Killing - The robbery on a racetrack has been meticulously planned, but a scheming wife could end up getting someone killed, if they can pull it off.

Spike Lee

  • Do the Right Thing - Film set in a New York neighbourhood, where class and racial tensions collide on the hottest day of the summer.
  • Malcolm X - Biopic on the life of black power leader, Malcolm X, from his childhood through to his conversion to Islam in prison and his eventual split with the Nation of Islam.
  • Summer of Sam - Broad look at the white community in the South Bronx of 1977, with punk, disco and the serial killer Son of Sam raging over a summer.

Sidney Lumet

  • Network - When a news reporter is thrown off the air for voicing subversive opinions, the network see in him an opportunity to increase ratings.

Adrian Lyne

  • Jacob's Ladder - A Vietnam veteran suffers delusions from the alleged drug trials administered during the war.

Michael Mann

  • Heat - Work is the obsession for criminals and police alike, in this melancholy noir.
  • Collateral - One night with a taxi driver, whose fare is a hitman directing him to his jobs around the city.

Andrew Niccol

  • In Time - Time has replaced capital, and life runs out for those with nothing left on their clock.

Jeff Nichols

  • Take Shelter - A construction contractor struggles with the recession and his worsening grip on reality.

Mike Nichols

  • Silkwood - Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, who raised concerns about radiation from the nuclear plant she worked at and was found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Kimberly Peirce

  • Boys Don't Cry (1999) - Powerful dramatisation of the real story of Brandon Teena, a young trans man who was brutally murdered by a group of male acquaintances after they discovered he had female genitalia.

Kevin Reynolds

  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - Riproaring action flick about England's legendary folk hero, Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

Martin Ritt

  • Norma Rae - Inspired by a speech, a factory worker begins to organise at her workplace, based on the story of Crystal Lee Sutton.

Mark Romanek

  • Never Let Me Go (2010) - A love triangle develops between three friends coming-of-age in a dystopian England.

George Romero

  • Dawn of the Dead - 4 people hold up in a shopping centre as the zombies have taken over, and try to return to normality
  • Land of the Dead - The zombies begin organising against the last remaining human city in the US.

Stuart Rosenberg

  • Cool Hand Luke (1967) - A petty criminal refuses to conform to a brutal prison system and inspires his fellow inmates.

Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence

  • The Hunger Games (2012-2015) - 4-part film series of action film adaptations of the sci-fi novels of the same name by Suzanne Collins, where a teenage girl takes on a dystopian United States' dictatorial government.

Richard Sarafin

  • Vanishing Point - A car courier races across the country to make an impossible delivery, with an ending that symbolised the death of the hippie movement.

Tom Savini

  • Night of the Living Dead 1990 - Improved remake of the civil rights film with zombies, which places the damsel in distress of the original, Barbra, as a strong leader.

John Sayles

  • Matewan - The story of the Battle in Matewan, 1920, where miners fought private police.

Paul Schrader

  • Light Sleeper - An ageing drug dealer is faced with finding legitimate employment.
  • Blue Collar - 3 workers strapped for cash decide to rob their ineffectual union.
  • American Gigolo - A gigolo for the wealthy becomes embroiled in scandal when he falls for a senator's wife.

Martin Scorsese

  • Taxi Driver - Damaged Vietnam vet cum taxi driver battles with New York, and himself.
  • After Hours - A chance date for an office worker turns into a nightmare trying to get back home in time for tomorrow's shift.
  • Bringing Out the Dead - An overworked and conscientious ambulance driver begins to slip into insanity.

David Simon

  • Generation Kill (2008) - TV miniseries dramatising the journalistic account of a Rolling Stone journalist embedded in a US military unit in Iraq.
  • The Corner (2000) - TV miniseries looking at the lives of poor working class people in Baltimore against the background of the war on drugs.
  • The Wire (2002-8) - Widely considered the best TV show ever made, The Wire examines the major institutions of American society over five series, revealing the flaws of the police, the courts, the prisons, the media, politicians, organise crime and more.

Tarsem Singh

  • The Fall - A stuntman lies in the hospital bed, paralysed from his first film, where he befriends a small girl and loses himself in fantastical storytelling.

Gary Sinise

  • Of Mice and Men (1992) - Film adaptation of Steinbeck's book which follows two farm labourers who dream of owning their own land.

Mario Van Peebles

  • Panther - Film depicting the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the American government campaign against them. Based on real events but unfortunately with a big dose of Hollywood exaggeration, particularly at the end of the film.

Fred Zinneman

  • Behold a Pale Horse (1964) - Film loosely based on the life of anarchist guerrilla Sabate, it depicts an exiled Republican bandit who returns to Spain while police set a trap.

Various

  • Into the West (2005) - TV miniseries which tells the story of the birth of modern America from the perspective of Native Americans, and working class white and black people.

Argentinian

Santiago Grasso

  • Empleo - A man makes his way to work, finding people being used as objects.

Héctor Olivera

  • La Patagonia Rebelde - Based on anarchist Osvaldo Bayer's book, this is the true story of the massacre of FORA organised labourers in the 1920s.

Australian

Gillian Armstrong

  • My Brilliant Career (1979) - At the dawn of the 20th century a young woman in the Australian outback dreams of becoming a writer.

Belinda Cheyko

  • City Loop (2000, originally known as Bored Olives) - A group of bored pizzeria workers seek pleasure over the course of the night.

Andrew Dominik

  • Killing Them Softly - The Boston mob sends a hitman to kill those responsible for a card game robbery during the 2012 presidential election.

John Hillcoat

  • Ghosts of the Civil Dead - Both prison guards and prisoners are manipulated into a riot to secure funding for a new maximum security complex.

David Michod

  • Animal Kingdom (2010) - The gritty story of a teenager in a criminal family, and a detective who thinks he can save him.

George Miller

  • Mad Max and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior - The defining films of what the apocalypse will look like, petrol has become the only commodity in a world of fast cars and dangerous roads.

Michael Rymer

  • Angel Baby - A man released from a mental institution struggles to stay healthy with a baby on the way and his first job in years.

Stephen Wallace

  • Stir - Written by an inmate involved, Stir shows what provoked the 1974 Bathurst Jail riots.

Belgian

Chantal Akerman

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) - Film which follows a single-mother and sex worker as she monotonously goes through the tasks of housework and daily reproduction in real time.

Agnes Varda

  • Cleo From 5 To 7 (1961) - A young woman walks round Paris as she waits for the results of a medical examination – a finely observed study of anxiety and the search for hope.

British

Andrea Arnold

  • Fish Tank (2009) - A volatile 15-year-old girl lives with her mother in East London council estate, and her mother's boyfriend becomes attracted to her. Trigger warning for domestic violence and underage sex.
  • Red Road (2006) - A female CCTV operator in Glasgow spots a man from her past and begins to monitor him. Trigger warning for sexual violence.

Roy Battersby

  • Leeds United! (1974) - This film tells the story of the 1970 wildcat strike by around 30,000 mostly female textile workers in Leeds, who battled the employers and their own union.

Alan Bleasdale

  • Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) - 6 part TV miniseries looking at the lives of intermittently-employed casual Liverpudlian tarmac workers.
  • GBH (1991) - 7 part TV miniseries with a fictionalised account of Derek Hatton of Militant running Liverpool Council in the 1980s.

Charlie Chaplin

  • Modern Times (1936) - Chaplin plays a factory worker overwhelmed by the machinery of his workplace, and depicts the impact of the great depression on working people.
  • The Great Dictator (1940) - A satirical spoof on Hitler produced during World War II, as Chaplin portrays both anti-Semitic dictator and his doppelgänger, a Jewish barber. Contains one of the most memorable speeches in film history.
  • The Immigrant (1917) - A silent romantic comedy in which Chaplin plays a migrant to the US who is accused of theft on his voyage.
  • The Kid (1921) - Chaplin's first full-length film, where his "Tramp" character adopts a child abandoned by his unwed mother and they become partners in crime.

Alan Clarke

  • Scum - Nihilistic drama set in a young offenders institute.
  • Elephant - Experimental short about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Nigel Cole

  • Made in Dagenham (2010) - Dramatisation of the 1968 strike by female workers at Ford's plant in Dagenham, Essex, for pay parity with men.

Paddy Considine

  • Tyrannosaur - A bitter alcoholic finds salvation in a woman who seems to be perfect on the outside, but harbours an unhappy secret.

Bill Douglas

  • My Childhood (1972) - Autobiographical first part of a trilogy set in Scotland in the 1940s. Set in a mining village with material and emotional poverty, this is about as far from Hollywood cinema as you can get.

Terry Gilliam

  • Brazil (1985) - Dystopian epic in which a low level state bureaucrat who escapes the drudgery of his job into flights of fancy, becomes embroiled in a real adventure when he attempts to resolve a financial irregularity.

Mark Herman

  • Brassed Off (1996) - Comedy drama about the difficulties faced by a colliery brass band when its pit is facing closure.

Duncan Jones

  • Moon - The moon has been colonised, and is manned for 3 years. Sam Bell is coming to the end of his contract when he begins to experience hallucinations.

Mike Leigh

  • Naked - A drifter meets similarly lost souls whilst living on the streets of London.

Ken Loach

  • Ae Fond Kiss… (2004) - Sparks fly in Glasgow when an Asian man begins a relationship with a white woman.
  • Cathy Come Home (1966) - Hugely influential, documentary-style feature length TV special highlighting issues of homelessness, unemployment and social services. Housing charity Shelter was set up in its wake.
  • Kes (1969) - A young English working class boy spends his spare time caring for his pet kestrel.
  • Land and Freedom (1995) - Loose adaptation of George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, following the [url =/tags/poum] POUM [/url] fighting in the Spanish Revolution.
  • Sweet Sixteen (2002) - Determined to have a normal life once his mother gets out of prison, a Scottish teenager tries to save money for a home.
  • Riff Raff (1991) - Comedy following the everyday lives of a construction worker, his girlfriend and an unemployed pop star.
  • The Navigators (2001) - Film following five railway workers affected by the 1995 privatisation of British Rail and how this changes their lives.
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) - Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fighting the resistance to the British, but take two different paths.

Steve McQueen

  • 12 Years a Slave (2013) - Powerful dramatisation of the tale of Solomon Northup, a free African-American who was kidnapped into slavery.

Shane Meadows

  • This is England, This is England '86 and This is England '88 - Documenting a group of skinheads as they grow up in a northern town.
  • Dead Man's Shoes - A Gulf War veteran returns his home town to dish out revenge to local gangsters responsible for an unknown crime.

Sam Mendes

  • Jarhead (2005) - A realistic look at the daily life of US troops in the first Iraq war, and the boredom and isolation they face.

Lewis Milestone

  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) - Dramatisation of the famous mutiny against authoritarian Capt Bligh.

Gary Oldman

  • Nil by Mouth - Life for an extended family on a South London council estate.

Tony Richardson

Ridley Scott

  • Alien - Space workers are hunted down by an unnatural force.
  • Blade Runner - Four androids look to extend their lifespan whilst being hunted by a policeman, in a dystopic Los Angeles.

Martin Stellman

  • For Queen and Country (1988) - Denzel Washington stars as a discharged British paratrooper who returns from the Falklands, re-enter civilian life and faces poverty, racism and discrimination.

Matthew Warchus

  • Pride (2014) - Utterly superb dramatisation of the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners: a group of gay men and lesbians based on London who collected money to support miners on strike 1984-5.

Canadian

Gary Burns

  • Waydowntown - Office workers bet their salaries who can last the longest without stepping outside, using Calgary's skywalks to get around.

Chilean

Gonzalo Justiniano

  • Candy or Mint (1990) - Niki and his friends are members of the marginalised underclass living on the outskirts of Santiago. During Chile's transition from dictatorship to democracy (1988-1990), they forge a path from drug- and drink-fuelled nihilism and petty crime into the world of market-driven illegality and Niki begins a seemingly predestined relationship with the middle-class "loca", Manuela.

Pablo Larrain

  • Fuga - The manuscript of a composer is rediscovered by students. They learn how he came to wrote it, and how it was sent him to an asylum.
  • Tony Manero - A man obsessed with the character from Saturday Night Fever is due to enter a television contest to crown the best Manero impersonator, whilst Pinochet's disappearances carry on in the background.

Chinese

Tsai Ming-liang

  • Rebels of a Neon God - A pair of friends make their living robbing arcade machine chips.

Li Yang

  • Blind Shaft - Two men killing miners for compensation find a conscience.

Jia Zhangke

  • Unknown Pleasures - Two unemployed friends chain smoke and wander about.

Danish

Nicolas Winding Refn

  • Pusher trilogy - Interconnected stories of drug dealers falling from grace in Copenhagen.
  • Drive - A single mother falls for a moonlighter who'll do anything to protect her.

Thomas Vinterberg

  • The Celebration (1998, aka Festen) - At a big celebration of a bourgeois family, a secret emerges. Warning for discussion of themes which some find triggering.

Dutch

Paul Verhoeven

  • Starship Troopers (1997) - Argentinian Aryans fight bugs in space.
  • Total Recall (1990) - Sci-fi action classic, in which a construction worker in a dystopian future goes to have memories implanted of a trip to Mars, where there is an ongoing rebellion.

Finnish

Aki Kaurismäki

  • Shadows in Paradise - A binman falls in love with a supermarket checkout girl he sees on his rounds.

French

Jacques Becker

  • Le Trou - Four tight knit prisoners have been preparing their breakout for months when a new cellmate is added. Can they trust him?

Jean-Louis Comolli

  • La Cecilia - Based on Giovanni Rossi's memoirs of the little known Colonia Cecilia, the Brazilian emperor offers land to anarchists to create a commune. But tensions grow as they try to shake off the beliefs of the old world.

Henri-Georges Clouzot

  • Wages of Fear - A group of destitute men in South America agree to drive explosives across the country in a bid to escape.

Catherine Breillat

  • Fat Girl (2001) - Controversial film centring on the relationship between two sisters, 15 and 12 years, and their attitudes to sex - it is a cruel though perhaps honest depiction – the result is dark and disturbing.

Christine Edzard

  • Little Dorrit (1987) - Critically acclaimed two-part screen adaption of Dickens’ teeming novel of corruption, capitalism and greed.

Marin Karmitz

  • Blow for Blow (1972) - Film about a wildcat strike at a textile plant in rural France. Produced in a democratic manner, the film mixes actors with real workers playing themselves and falls somewhere between being a documentary and a work of fiction.

Louis Malle

  • Viva Maria! (1965) - Comedy adventure starring Brigitte Bardot. Two women meet in Central America in 1907 and become revolutionaries.
    Jean Vigo

    • Zero for Conduct (1933) - Featurette by the anarchist director depicting the bureaucratic and repressive school system. The film was swiftly banned in France until 1946.

    German

    Fatih Akin

    • Head On -Two people of Turkish descent in Germany hospitalised for attempted suicide decide to have a sham marriage, to free Sibyl from her conservative Muslim family.

    Slatan Dudow

    • To Whom Does the World Belong - The trials and tribulations of an unemployable Berlin family.

    Werner Herzog

    • Strozeck (1977) - In Berlin, an alcoholic man leaves prison, joins an elderly friend and the prostitute and tries to realise history of leaving Germany and moving to Wisconsin.

    Phil Jutzi

    • Mother Krause's Journey to Happiness - A family struggle in poverty in Weimar Germany, finding salvation too late.

    Fritz Lang

    • Metropolis - An industrialist's son swaps places with a worker and agitates for insurrection, having fallen for a schoolteacher.

    Volker Schlöndorff

    • Coup de grace - The Russian Revolution is on the doorstep of a Prussian army camp in Latvia, as sexual tensions grow.

    Margarethe von Trotta

    • Marianne and Julianne (1981, aka The German Sisters) - Based on the real life sisters associated with the Baader- Meinhof group, von Trotta explores the complexity of the sister’s relationship and of women’s resistance and revolt.

    Henner Winckler

    • Lucy - A teenage mother has to decide whether she wants the responsibility of bringing up a child.

    Hong Kong

    Fruit Chan

    • The Longest Summer - British soldiers made redundant after the handover of Hong Kong decide to rob a bank.

    Johnnie To

    • Life Without Principle - Austerity noir, following different people's lives affected by the economic crisis.

    Wong Kar-wai

    • In the Mood for Love - A couple, whose respective spouses are cheating with one another, deny themselves from doing the same, in a seductive account of conservative 1960s Hong Kong.

    Hungarian

    Miklós Jancsó

    • The Red and the White - Scenic look at the reprisals by both communists and White Guards during the Russian Revolution.

    Icelandic

    Dagur Kári

    • Noi the Albino - A truant teenager falls in love with a girl in a diner and dreams of escaping his seaside home.

    Irish

    Joe Comerford

    • Traveller (1981) - On a smuggling journey into Northern Ireland a young woman traveller tells her husband of her father’s violent sexual attacks. Trigger warning.

    Jim Sheridan

    • The Field (1990) - West Coast tenant farmer Bull McCabe (Richard Harris) asserts a moral right to a field he has created and worked for years, as he refuses to accept the idea that there can be a market in land.

    Italian

    Guido Chiesa

    • Working Slowly - Film set amongst the youth movement in 1970s Bologna, with the refusal of work, sexual freedom and cultural provocations it entailed. Made with the collaboration of the Wu Ming Foundation, it covers the radical pirate radio station Radio Alice and the 1977 rebellion.
    • Johnny the Partisan - Story of an English literature student who escapes into the mountains to join the Italian resistance of fascism.

    Sergio Corbucci

    • The Great Silence - Bleak Western set in a snowy blizzard. A mute gunslinger tries to defend a town from outlaws.

    Giuseppe De Santis

    • Bitter Rice (1949) - A good example of Italian neorealist filmmaking, Bitter Rice begins at the start of the rice-planting season in northern Italy. In an effort to escape the law two small-time thieves hide amongst the crowds of female workers heading to the rice fields of the Po Valley.

    Vittorio De Sica

    • Bicycle Thieves (1948) - Story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.

    Marco Tullio Giordana

    • One Hundred Steps - The true story of Giuseppe Impastato, a communist anti-mafia campaigner in Sicily, set against the backdrop of Italian politics in the 1970s.

    Sergio Leone

    • Duck, You Sucker (1971, aka A Fistful of Dynamite) - Superb spaghetti Western, in English, where an IRA explosives expert gets involved with a group of amoral Mexican bandits amidst the Mexican Revolution.

    Marco Leto

    • Black Holiday (1973, aka La Villeggiatura) - A liberal professor of law is interned on a prison island at the time of Fascism, where he finally gets a political education from the working class prisoners.

    Daniele Luchetti

    • My Brother is an Only Child - Story of two brothers in a working class Italian family, one who becomes a Communist while the other decides to become a fascist.

    Giuliano Montaldo

    Ermanno Olmi

    • Il Posto - A school leaver enters into the world of work whilst falling in love for the first time.

    Elio Petri

    • The Working Class Goes to Heaven - Operaismo inspired film of a Stakhanovite factory worker turning radical. The star, Gian Maria Volonte, was a real member of the Italian Communist Party.
    • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion - Dramatic, psychological crime film in which Gian Maria Volonte plays a top police officer who murders his girlfriend and plants obvious clues to test whether other officers would charge him for his crime.

    Roberto Rossellini

    • Rome, Open City - Classic film about a working class Italian partisan, fighting fascism during the last days of the Nazi's occupation of Rome.
    • Paisan - Film split into six different episodes covering all of Italy towards the end of the Second World War, from the Americans landing in Sicily to the Venetian resistance to fascism in the north.

    Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

    • Padre Padrone (1977) - A classic film based on fact, a boy aged six is taken from school into the mountains where he works alone for years as his father’s shepherd – until he breaks free.

    Lina Wertmuller

    • Seven Beauties (1975) - A controversial film of a man’s ignoble survival in World War II - a mix of farce and satire, of some interest and very unpleasant.

    Iranian

    Jafar Panahi

    • Offside (2006) - A female fan tries illegally to slip into the Iranian football team’s 2005 World Cup qualifying tie against Bahrain.

    Marjane Satrapi

    • Persepolis - Adaptation of the comic, a girl growing up begins to question the Iranian revolution.

    Jamaican

    Perry Henzell

    • The Harder They Come (1972) - A memorable story of poverty, drugs, corruption and an inevitable confrontation with authority - and possibly the best soundtrack ever!

    Japanese

    Hideo Gosha

    • Red Lion / Akage (1969) -"Gonzo (Toshiro Mifune), a member of the Imperial Restoration Force, is being asked by the emperor to deliver official news to his home village of a New World Order. Wanting to pose as a military officer, he dons the Red Lion Mane of Office. Upon his return, his attempt to tell the village about a brand-new tax cut is quashed when the townfolk mistakenly assumes that he is there to rescue them from corrupt government officials. He learns that an evil magistrate has been swindling them for years. Now, he has to help the village, ward off Shogunate fanatics, along with the fact that he can't read his own proclamations."

      Yuujii Makiguchi

      • Virgin Breaker Yuki (1976) - (trigger warnings for rape/torture). This film depicts prostitutes and anarchists in Kyoto just after the Peace Preservation Law was passed in 1925.

      Masaki Kobayashi

      • Harakiri - When his son-in-law is killed begging for charity, Tsugumo visits the lord responsible to commit suicide. But only after he's told his story.
      • Samurai Rebellion - A clan lord orders a marriage between his mistress and the son of one of his swordsmen. When the lord changes his mind, the couple would rather die than be apart and his men are on their way.

      Eiichi Kudō

      • Castle of Owls - The Toyotomi clan has declared peace. To stimulate business, a weapons merchant hires a ninja to assassinate its leader. But he begins to question whether his code is more important than his happiness.

      Akira Kurosawa

      • Ikiru (1952) - A bureaucrat struggles to find meaning in life when he discovers he has a terminal illness.

      Yasujiro Ozu

      • Late Spring (1949) and Early Summer (1951) - A very moving film of a young woman who gives up her independence to take care of her aging father.

      Masahiro Shinoda

      • Samurai Spy - With the new shogun, war has ended. But the clans still vie for power and spies wander amongst them in Shinoda's Cold War allegory.

      Hiroyuki Tanaka

      • Kanikosen - Film adaptation of Takiji Kobayashi's The Cannery Ship. Crab fishermen attempt to take control of the ship out at sea.

      Mexican

      Guillermo del Toro

      • Pan's Labyrinth (2006) - In the fascist Spain of 1944, the stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer in a remote outpost escapes into an intriguing fantasy world.

      Norwegian

      Bent Hamer

      • O'Horten - As a train driver finishes his last day before retirement, he wonders what to do with the rest of his life.
      • Factotum - Faithful adaptation of Bukowski's novel, as well as some of his short stories.

      Palestinian

      Hany Abu-Assad

      • Paradise Now (2005) - The film follows two Palestinian childhood friends who had been recruited to perform suicide bombings in Tel Aviv.

      Polish

      Wojciech Has

      • Petla - An alcoholic tries to quit drinking over 24 hours.

      Alek Wasilewski

      • Lucky Day Forever - Prole 514 hopes to win the lottery, never having to work again. But when he does, is he any happier?
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      Romanian

      Radu Mihaileanu

      • Live and Become (2005) - It's 1980 and the black Falashas in Ethiopia have been recognised as Jews and given the right to go to Israel. This film tells the story of one Christian boy who goes in the place of a Jewish woman's son who died, and faces racism in Israel.

      Russian

      Yakov Protazanov

      • Aelita - Communists travel into space to help Martians with their revolution.

      Senegalese

      Ousmane Sembène

      • Black Girl (1966) - About a a girl from Senegal hired by a wealthy French family to nanny but is then mistreated and effectively enslaved in their home, with tragic consequences.

      South African

      Neill Blomkamp

      • District 9 - Alluding to the District Six evictions in apartheid and the more recent Blikkiesdorp settlement, District 9 sees aliens come to Earth. But when they arrive, they are a minority group just like any other, and are hated by both black and white in South Africa.
      • Elysium (2013) - In 2154, the rich live on Elysium, an enormous luxurious space station, while the poor and working class scrape by on a dystopian Earth. One man, played by Matt Damon, goes on a mission for equality in this action blockbuster.

      Bronwen Hughes

      • Stander - The embellished story of Andre Stander, a cop who turned bank robber, set in and around the Soweto uprising.

      South Korean

      Lee Chang-dong

      • Peppermint Candy - As Yongho stands on a track waiting for a train, he has a series of flashbacks to explain what has driven him to suicide; heartbreak, compulsory military service, the police force and bankruptcy.

      Park Chan-wook

      • I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay (2006) - Romantic comedy in which a female production line worker begins to believe she is a robot and is committed to a psychiatric institution.
      • Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (2002) - A deaf factory worker made redundant and his anarchist girlfriend kidnap his boss' daughter for a ransom.

      Park Kwang-su

      • A Single Spark - The story of Jeon Tae-il, a textile worker who self immolated in protest of poor conditions.

      Shin Dong-il

      • Bandhobi - A Bangladeshi worker trying to retrieve his stolen wages receives help from a schoolgirl.

      Yoo Young-sik

      • Anarchists (2000) - Action film set in 1924 Shanghai as a group of Korean anarchists embark on a campaign of propaganda by deed against the Japanese occupation of Korea.

      Spanish

      Vicente Aranda

      • Libertarias - The Mujeres Libres battle in the Spanish Revolution, with liberated sex workers and a nun in tow. Trigger warning, features a rape scene.
      • Riders of the Dawn (1990) - Marian dreams of owning the spa resort where she works. But her life, as well as everyone else's, is changed with the Asturian uprising of 1934 and later civil war.

      Fernando Arrabal

      • The Tree of Guernica - Irreverent take on the Spanish Civil War set in the Basque region of Guernica, where both communists and Francoists await the fighting.

      Fernando León de Aranoa

      • Mondays in the Sun - A group of shipworkers made redundant try to come to terms with the death of the shipping industry, a lack of jobs and financial troubles.

      Luis Bunuel

      • The Exterminating Angel (1962) - Macabre comedy in which bourgeois guests at a dinner party find themselves incapable of leaving the room, and descend into base savagery.

      Jose Luis Cuerda

      • Butterfly’s Tongue (1999) - It’s Spain 1936, a young boy grows to like his teacher and develop a thirst for learning – however war is coming and with it fear and betrayal.

      Álex de la Iglesia

      • 800 Bullets - Former stuntmen operate a theme park on the sets they filmed their spaghetti westerns on. When a real estate mogul buys up the land and threatens to send in the riot police, they decide to wait for them.

      Victor Erice

      • The Spirit of The Beehive (1973) - It’s rural Spain 1940 – seen mainly through the eyes of a seven year old girl – the adults behaviour is constricted with fear and memories of crushed dreams too painful to be voiced. The girl and her sister watch the 1931 classic movie ‘Frankenstein’ which ignites her imagination, and could lead her into danger.

      Swedish

      Per Åhlin

      • Journey to Melonia (1989) - Animated film about a beautiful paradise island, Melonia, which is under threat from the industry island Plutonia, which is governed by two greedy managers who keep small children as their slaves in the factories.

      Roy Andersson

      • Songs from the Second Floor (2000) - A look at different aspects of modern life and work through a series of disconnected vignettes.

      Pernilla August

      • Beyond (2010) - Drama dealing with the destiny which many of the Finnish guest workers who came to Sweden to work in textile factories, mills and forestry during the 1960's and 70's, centered on a young woman's experiences growing up in a home riddled with abuse and alcoholism.

      Peter Birro

      • Take up the Struggle (2008) - 4 episode miniseries chronicling the coming of age of 4 different youths growing up in the Swedish working class port town of Gothenburg.

      Lena Ewert and Lasse Westman

      • Comrades, our enemies are well-organized (1972) - The story of a wildcat strike in the iron ore fields in the far north of Sweden in December 1969.

      Lukas Moodysson

      • Together - Comedy set in 1970s Stockholm, in which a woman leaves her violent husband and moves, with her children, to the Tillsammans ('Together' in Swedish) commune where her brother lives.

      Göran Hugo Olsson

      • The Black Power Mixtape (2012) - An award winning compilation feature documentary that displays the story of the African-American community 1967-1975, the people, the society and the style that fueled a change. Told with sparkling, beautiful and deep footage, lost in the archives in Sweden for 30 years.

      Niels Arden Oplev

      • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009, aka Men Who Hate Women ) - Film series about a young hacker and a journalist battling corrupt officials, industrialists and anti-Semites.

      Gabriela Pichler

      • Eat Sleep Die (2012) - When the forceful young Muslim Swedish/Balkan "take-no-shit" factory worker Raša loses her job, she faces the system of unemployment. With no high school diploma, no job Raša finds herself on collision course with society and its contradictable values and expectations.

      Jan Troell

      • Everlasting Moments (2008) - Based on the true story of Maria Larsson, a Swedish working class woman in the early 20th century, who wins a camera in a lottery and goes on to become a photographer.

      Thomas Vinterberg

      • Dear Wendy - In a mining town, a group of misfits create a pacifist gun club. They make a rule never to draw their guns, but when the police become involved, they find it difficult to keep to their promise.

      Bo Widerberg

      • Ådalen '31 (1969) - During a strike strike-breakers are being transported to Sandviken, where they are assaulted by the strikers. The military are sent in. On the 14th May 1931 there is a confrontation between demonstrators and the military who open fire and five people are killed and five injured.
      • Joe Hill (1971) - Biopic on the life and death of the legendary Swedish/American agitator Joe Hill.

      Thai

      Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

      • Headshot - A disgraced cop joins a secret organisation targeting politicians and businessmen.

      Turkish

      Yilmaz Guney and Serik Goren

      • Yol (1982) - Following the 1980 military takeover Turkey is depicted as an open prison with soldiers regulating everyday life. From a closed prison five inmates are paroled for a week – the film follows their separate journeys home and shows how medieval customs and religion are equally enslaving.

      Yugoslavian

      Bahrudin Čengić

      • Role of My Family in World Revolution (1971) - After World War II, a group of partisans go to stay with a wealthy family. The family soon begins to forget their old ways.

      Želimir Žilnik

      • Early Works (1969) - Inspired by Marx's Capital, three men and a woman decide to try to wake socialist conscience within the working class and peasantry, without much success.

flaneur

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Still have more to do on this, but has anyone female directed films to suggest?

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here are a few suggestions.

Japan
Mikio Naruse
Repast
A wife though her daily routines, coupled with her husband’s attitudes recognises the boring futility of her existence and is forced to confront her own future.

When A Woman Ascends The Stairs
This is the moving story of a widow being slowly crushed in a patriarchal society.

Floating Clouds
The film is a story of two lovers trying to fit into to a society in which they are placed - an impossible situation – she with the need to survive and he to conform to the social norm.

Greece
Costa Gavras
Z
Using events leading up to the Greek military coup, when it was first released this caused political waves – in one London cinema I saw the audience applaud at the end!

State Of Siege {Etat de Siege}
Using the Tupamaro guerrillas vs. the CIA as the story’s framework it is an interesting and exciting watch, though it is also sadly short of any political analysis.

New Zealand (1990)
Jane Campion
An Angel At My Table
The story of Janet Frame one of New Zealand’s best known authors who from humble beginnings and the insensitive treatment of the authorities finally manages to establish her sanity and gain recognition. It’s a masterpiece of passionate film making.

The Piano (1993)
A story of a strong willed woman who has to fight for what she wants in a hostile environment among uncultivated men.

Poland
Agnieszka Holland
Olivier, Olivier (1992)
Based on a true story, this is a brutal war story of a Jewish boy who survived the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, then the Nazi take over at the time of operation Barbarossa - he eventually joins the Hitler Youth (the images of him desperately trying to stretch his circumcised foreskin in a toilet cubical is excruciating).

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

loads of good films: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_neorealism

Steven.

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hey, thanks for doing this! But yeah some more stuff by a broader range of directors would be good.

I will have a think of a couple of things to add. I can think of a couple of Italian films and spaghetti westerns for example

flaneur

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The problem is there's a lack of women film directors in general. In this country I only know of Andrea Arnold and Lynne Ramsey and someone like Kathryn Bigalow is a one off in terms of making blockbusters.

Steven.

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I know - I was thinking about black directors as well, and films from Eastern Europe and Africa.

I've seen a few potential Eastern European ones, but will have to do try and remember the names…

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Gillian Armstrong
My Brilliant Career (1979)
At the dawn of the 20th century a young woman in the Australian outback dreams of becoming a writer – beautifully composed and slow paced with no three second cuts.

Belgium
Agnes Varda
Cleo From 5 To 7 {Cleo de 5 a 7} (1961?)
A young woman walks round Paris as she waits for the results of a medical examination – a finely observed study of anxiety and the search for hope.

France
Catherine Breillat
A Ma Soeur! {aka Fat Girl} (2001)
Controversial film centring on the relationship between two sisters, 15 and 12 years, and their attitudes to sex - it is a cruel though perhaps honest depiction – the result is dark and disturbing.

Germany
Margarethe von Trotta
Marianne and Julianne {aka The German Sisters} (1981)
Based on the real life sisters associated with the Baader-Meinhof group, von Trotta explores the complexity of the sister’s relationship and of women’s resistance and revolt.

Italy
Lina Wertmuller
Seven Beauties (1975)
A controversial film of a man’s ignoble survival in World War II - a mix of farce and satire, of some interest and very unpleasant (some critics loved it).

Paolo & Vittorio Taviani
Padre Padrone (1977)
A classic film based on fact, a boy aged six is taken from school into the mountains where he works alone for years as his father’s shepherd – until he breaks free.

Japan
Yasujiro Ozu
Late Spring (1949)
A very moving film of a young woman who gives up her independence to take care of her aging father – her story continues in ‘Early Summer’ (1951).

USA
Kathryn Bigelow
Strange Days (1995)
An enjoyable if flawed sci-fi action movie, part of which seeks to investigate the nature of voyeurism via memory implants.

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Britain
Christine Edzard
Little Dorrit (1987) Part 1: Nobody’s Fault; Part 2: Little Dorrit’s Story
Terrific screen adaption of Dickens’ teeming novel of corruption, capitalism and greed – a super cast of over 200 and especially good is Max Wall as the gnarled Flintwinch.

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sur_%28film%29

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

a few more:

- Vai viegli būt jaunam? (1987, "Is It Easy to Be Young?") a brilliant Soviet-Latvian documentary

The movie speaks about young people who perished as a result of growing up in Soviet society - their conflicts with parents and society, the patronizing attitudes of their teachers and the authorities, the fear that there is no meaning to their lives. Among the young people portrayed are high-schoolers looking for their place in life, a young mother worried about the future of her daughter after the Chernobyl catastrophe, a young man follower of the Hare Krishna movement (an 'unusual' religion that was discouraged even more than 'usual' ones by the Soviet government), as well young adults returning from compulsory military service in the Soviet war in Afghanistan and having become ones of 'the lost generation'. The film's opening scene documents a concert by the banned Latvian rock band, Pērkons.

- Rocker (Germany, 1972), set in the semi-criminal biker milieu of Hamburg, the participants are not professional actors but bikers who play more or less themselves

two Italian neo-realist classics:

- Bitter Rice (1949)

Bitter Rice begins at the start of the rice-planting season in northern Italy. In an effort to escape the law two small-time thieves, Francesca (Doris Dowling) and Walter (Vittorio Gassman), hide amongst the crowds of female workers heading to the rice fields of the Po Valley. While attempting to board the train for the fields the pair runs into Silvana (Silvana Mangano), a peasant rice worker. Francesca boards the train with Silvana, who introduces her to the planter's way of life. Francesca does not have a work permit, and struggles with the other "illegals" (known as "scabs") to find a place on the rice fields. After initial resistance from documented workers and bosses, the scabs are allowed a place in the fields. At the fields Silvana and Francesca meet a soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco (Raf Vallone), who unsuccessfully tries to attract Silvana's interest. Soon after, Walter tracks Francesca down at the rice fields and plots to steal rice from the storehouses during the celebration at the end of the planting season. Silvana is attracted by what she sees as the glamour of Walter's wealth, and becomes his new partner in crime. Francesca, meanwhile, is disenchanted with her former criminal lifestyle.

- Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.

someone told me that there are a number of good Bengali films, has anyone watched http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Bigha_Zamin

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lukas Moodysson

Together - Comedy set in 1970s Stockholm, in which a woman leaves her violent husband and moves, with her children, to the Tillsammans ('Together' in Swedish) commune where her brother lives.

with a member of the Stalinist KFML(r) living in the commune who only agrees to sleep with a fellow inhabitant after she agrees to discuss "value and surplus value" with him after having sex

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have not seen ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ it sounds good.

The only Bengali films I remember seeing were Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy (‘Panther Panchali’, ‘Aparajito’ and ‘The World of Apu’).

My memory is that they are deceptively simple films though each carries a deep emotional impact. Basically Apu’s family struggles to survive as he grows and gains an education. Luckily the last film is also the best – though all are realistic and carry the belief in the ultimate survival of the human spirit.

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Iran
Jafar Panahi
Offside (2006)
Shot in situ, the Iranian football team’s 2005 World Cup qualifying tie against Bahrain is the movies focus where the main character tries to slip into the fixture - the problem is she is not legally allowed to attend (being of the female kind). The sequences outside the ground with the corralled Tehrani women who have been discovered is memorable – most of the women are indomitable and the soldiers are largely bored or dejected.

copasetic64

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would add Mike Leigh to British, as well as the 60s kitchen sink dramas such as saturday Night Sunday Morning; Alfie; This Sporting Life; Loneliness of A Long Distance Runner. And Kes under Ken Loach too

Steven.

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also: Matewan, Harlan County War, Salt of the Earth, In Time, Total Recall

teh

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think that you should mention in the intro that many of these films are made by people with conservative or Stalinist leanings and as such their views are mirrored in their interpretations of working class life.
--
I disagree that the Living Dead remake was an improvement. I felt it was gratuitous as a remake and film critics and audiences generally didnt feel it was better either. While the original popularized the tripping and falling while being chased by a monster trope I disagree that it should be disparaged as engaging in damsel in distress tripe. All of the characters in the movie where in distress and Barbara was not the only female character in the film. She just saw her brother get killed by a dead person. Its a much more rational response. The strong leaders were a bunch of idiots who got everyone killed, with the state showing up to indiscriminately finish them off. The silly bickering about/between the upstairs and the downstairs reflects the conservative confusion/reaction against the prol violence of 68. In this respect Romeros '73 The Crazies- about a pair of anarchy firefighters caught in a middle of a virus epidemic that causes among the infected national liberation armed struggle and 'going postal' killings- is much better satire then his latter- like the remake- zombie films.
--
Stuff to include: The Taviani brothers made a bunch of movies about anarchists in the 70's and 80's. Not sure how many of them are appropriate for this list. Everything by Rienar Fassbinder; Nagisa Oshima, Derek Jarman. If you like really slow and boring realism dos Santos's Vidas Secas is the best movie ever.

Fleur

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's a lot of really good movies here, plus loads that I haven't seen and I'll have to check out. There seems to me to be a huge omission though, someone who knew about growing up in extreme poverty - Charlie Chaplin. The Immigrant, The Kid, The Gold Rush, Modern Times. Not exactly the cutting edge of modern cinema and a bit sentimental if you have a cynical head on, but probably some of the most popular films ever with working class characters at the heart of the stories and the rich, the bosses, the police as the villains and the butt of the jokes.

Chilli Sauce

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'They Live' (obviously)
Maybe 'Brazil'
'Of Mice and Men'

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ireland
Joe Comerford
Traveller (1981)
On a smuggling journey into Northern Ireland a young woman traveller tells her husband of her father’s violent sexual attacks.

Jim Sheridan
The Field (1990)
West Coast tenant farmer Bull McCabe (Richard Harris) asserts a moral right to a field he has created and worked for years, as he refuses to accept the idea that there can be a market in land - with good acting and an even handed telling of the story.

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jamaica
Perry Henzell
The Harder They Come (1972)
A memorable story of poverty, drugs, corruption and an inevitable confrontation with authority - and possibly the best soundtrack ever!

USA
Stuart Rosenberg
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
A petty criminal refuses to conform to a brutal prison system and inspires his fellow inmates – with great performances.

Chilli Sauce

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spartacus?

RedEd

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Shane Meadows seems to make films in line with the intention of the thread. I've seen three. Dead Man's Shoes is about 'friends' abusing a disabled person, drug use/dealing and post traumatic stress disorder in squadies. This is England is about the racist take over of a working class subculture (in this case Skins) and how kids get involved in subcultures, for good and bad, in the first place. Somers Town is about a kid who runs away from his abusive father and tries to eke out an existence in London, doing so with the help of his new found friend, a Polish immigrant whose dad does not initially know what's going on.

bastarx

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mad Max is a glorification of police death squads.

Werner Harding

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't know if anyone mentioned this, but for female directed films I'd say Monster and maybe Vagabond (I personally don't like vagabond)

Also, On the Water Front is an antithesis of what this list is going for, but it is interesting to see why.

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Italy
Marco Leto
Black Holiday (aka La Villeggiatura) (1973)
A liberal professor of law is interned on a prison island at the time of Fascism, where he finally gets a political education from the working class prisoners.

thekidsarepissed

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Three films that lend themselves to a materialist feminist viewing and discussion:

-The 1975 French film "Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" which follows a single-mother and sex worker as she monotonously goes through the tasks of housework and daily reproduction in real time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelles

-The 1966 Senegalese film "Black Girl" about a a girl from Senegal hired by a bourgeois French family to nanny, though mostly she just ends up doing housework. Her wages are withheld and she is essentially enslaved within the home, eventually driving her to commit suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Girl_(film)

-The 1983 American film "Born In Flames" about a post-revolutionary social democratic NYC in which gender and race issues have not been solves. The film is mockumentary and follows to women's guerrilla groups, one majority white and one majority POC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_in_Flames

jef costello

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the list and the other contributions, the ones on here that I've seen are really good.

Except I'd remove Escape from LA, I'm a massive Carpenter fan but it really didn't add much.

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

movies by the Burkinabian film director Idrissa Ouedraogo are supposed to be good, especially the earlier ones

flaneur

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello

Thanks for the list and the other contributions, the ones on here that I've seen are really good.

Except I'd remove Escape from LA, I'm a massive Carpenter fan but it really didn't add much.

Kurt Russell does a high five whilst riding a surfboard and ends war forever. Best film.

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spain
Jose Luis Cuerda – Butterfly’s Tongue (1999)
It’s Spain 1936, a young boy grows to like his teacher and develop a thirst for learning – however war is coming and with it fear and betrayal – very memorable.

Standfield

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fleurnoire-et-rouge

There's a lot of really good movies here, plus loads that I haven't seen and I'll have to check out. There seems to me to be a huge omission though, someone who knew about growing up in extreme poverty - Charlie Chaplin. The Immigrant, The Kid, The Gold Rush, Modern Times. Not exactly the cutting edge of modern cinema and a bit sentimental if you have a cynical head on, but probably some of the most popular films ever with working class characters at the heart of the stories and the rich, the bosses, the police as the villains and the butt of the jokes.

My cinematic hero. I still think "The Dictator" is my favourite film, and I believe that it stands alongside "the cutting edge of modern cinema". It's beautifully simple, beautifully shot. And I adore the "fourth wall" current that runs through his films, most explicit in his speeches. So sincere.

An amazing scene with his son, "the anarchist kid", in "The King of New York" (1957):

http://vimeo.com/57874646

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Britain
Bill Douglas – My Childhood (1972)

The first part of a trilogy, the film was shot in black & white and echoes the director’s own early years – it’s Scotland in the 1940s and a boy lives in material and emotional poverty – set in a mining village, this is about as far from Hollywood cinema as you can get.

Shorty

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tony Manero - A man obsessed with the character from Saturday Night Fever is due to enter a television contest to crown the best Manero impersonator, whilst Pinochet's disappearances carry on in the background.

On the subject of Saturday Night Fever, there was this novara episode where they talked about Saturday Night Fever in terms of the refusal of work.

http://novaramedia.com/2012/07/the-refusal-of-work-post-fordist-subjectivity-and-beverly-hills-cop-2/

I didn't really get the Beverly Hills Cop bit, but ...

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spain
Victor Erice – The Spirit of The Beehive (1973)

It’s rural Spain 1940 - seen mainly through the eyes of a seven year old girl – the adults behaviour is constricted with fear and memories of crushed dreams too painful to be voiced – the girl and her sister watch the 1931 classic movie ‘Frankenstein’ which ignites her imagination, and could lead her into danger.

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Toxic Avenger (1984) ... the uprising of the subaltern (and their non-intentional vanguard) beats the corrupt establishment

[youtube]mg1_8IEvK5E[/youtube]

S. Artesian

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

flaneur

Still have more to do on this, but has anyone female directed films to suggest?

Barbara Kopple, Harlan County USA

S. Artesian

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And, IMO, the best anti-Thatcher movie ever, Martin Stellman's For Queen and Country 1988

Entdinglichung

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

to call a film by Fatih Akin "Turkish" (he was born in Hamburg, never lived in Turkey, most of his movies are set in Hamburg) is in a same way justified as calling movies by Mehdi Charef or Rachid Bouchareb's films "Algerian" or My Beautiful Laundrette a "Pakistani" film

good movies from Turkey, see e.g. Yılmaz Güney

and another good movie from a Kurdish film director living in Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleine_Freiheit

Auld-bod

9 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I’ve only seen one of Yilmaz Guney’s films ‘Yol’.
He wrote the screenplay and instructions regarding how it should be directed, as he was in jail at the time. It was directed by his assistant Serik Goren.

Turkey
Yilmaz Guney/Serik Goren – Yol (1982)
Following the 1980 military takeover Turkey is depicted as an open prison with soldiers regulating everyday life. From a closed prison five inmates are paroled for a week – the film follows their separate journeys home and shows how medieval customs and religion are equally enslaving.

Struggles in Sweden

9 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sweden

Bo Widerberg - Joe Hill (1971)
"About the life and death of the legendary Swedish/American agitator Joe Hill."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoZUA-3F24g

Bo Widerberg - Ådalen '31 (1969)
"During a strike strike-breakers are being transported to Sandviken, where they are assaulted by the strikers. The military are sent in. On the 14th May 1931 there is a confrontation between demonstrators and the military who open fire and five people are killed and five injured."

Peter Birro - Upp till kamp (2008, mini series) (Take up the struggle)
4 episodes chronicling the coming of age of 4 different youths growing up in the Swedish working class port town of Gothenburg. A loving and authentic depiction of their involvement in the Vietnam solidarity movement and how important the idea of America was to all these youths in some way or another, how the K-groups (marxist-leninists) cynically tried to harness the wildcat strikes and youth resistance for party building, the tragedy of addiction and trying to rebuild life afterwards, the use of spies by the Social democrat party and the LO unions at hospitals in order to crack down on anyone threatening class peace, as well as the eventual 80's rise of the right wing and the personal conflicts and apathy following this development... a masterpiece!
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJx82CoPYOI

Gabriela Pichler - Eat Sleep Die (2012)
[imho one of the most important depictions of Sweden of today as it tumbles even further down the OECD ratings, the plight of redudant and precariat youths, as well as both the solidarity and feeling that there's no future of small-town Sweden. Must see!]

Ever wondered who packs the fresh plastic-sealed salad you are having for lunch?
Who the people losing their factory jobs in dead end small towns would be? Ready for a visit to the "new" Sweden?
When the forceful young Muslim Swedish/Balkan "take-no-shit" factory worker Raša loses her job, she faces the system of unemployment.
With no high school diploma, no job – but her boots deeply stained with the mud of the small town she grew up in – Raša finds herself on collision course with society and it's contradictable values and expectations.
First time amateur actors play all of the main characters in the film.

Trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ltvYgPfHIU

Göran Hugo Olsson - The Black Power Mixtape (2012)
The Black Power Mixtape is an award winning compilation feature documentary that displays the story of the African-American community 1967-1975, the people, the society and the style that fueled a change. Told with sparkling, beautiful and deep footage, lost in the archives in Sweden for 30 years.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXQxyYllXnM

Lena Ewert och Lasse Westman - Kamrater: motståndaren är välorganisen (Comrades, our enemies are well-organized) (1972)
"In December 1969, a wildcat strike broke out in the iron ore fields in Norrbotten, the far north of Sweden. Despite the fact that it was a record year for Sweden and that the state-owned mining company LKAB made a profit, the working conditions of the miners became worse. The strike spread from Kiruna to Svappavaara and Malmberget and after
a few days, involved some 5,000 miners. Through NLF (National Liberation Front/Vietnam) and other local political groups, many people working in culture expressed solidarity with the miners and engaged themselves in their situation"

Multi-part youtube videos (no subs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5FBQtRuIwo

Lasse Westman - 30 år har gått kamrat
The film-maker returns to a community in northern Sweden still split on the why the strike failed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1V21ObbGXs

Per Åhlin - Resan till melonia (1989)
The beautiful paradise island Melonia is inhabited by the wizard Prospero, his daughter Miranda and all their friends. The island is under threat from the industry island Plutonia, blackened by soot particles from coal particles and governed by two greedy managers who keeps small children as their slaves in the factories. Quite unique, and I remember seeing a TV interview with the director in his home; hanging behind him is a CNT-FAI-FIJL banner which was donated to the SUF in the 30's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zSVQ21X6Vw

Roy Andersson - Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
"A man is standing in a subway car, his face dirty with soot. In his right hand he carries a plastic bag with documents, or rather, the charred leftovers of them. In a corridor a man is clinging desperately to the legs of the boss who just fired him. He is screaming: "I've been here for thirty years!" In a coffee shop someone is waiting for his father, who just burned his furniture company for insurance money. Traffic jams and self-flagellating stock brokers are filling up the streets while an economist, desperate for a solution to the problem of work becoming too expensive, gazes into the crystal ball of a scryer. Everything and everyone is going somewhere but their goal and its meaning have disappeared along the way."

Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9hYb6ggxoM

Pernilla August - Svinalängorna (2010)
A drama dealing with the destiny which many of the Finnish guest workers who came to Sweden to work in textile factories, mills and forestry during the 1960's and 70's, centered on a young woman's experiences growing up in a home riddled with abuse and alcoholism.
Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIvz3m0gpWc

Jan Troell - Everlasting Moments (2008)
"Based on the true story of Maria Larsson, a Swedish working class woman in the early 20th century, who wins a camera in a lottery and goes on to become a photographer. It has been compared to Troell's previous films Here's Your Life and As White as in Snow, which are both set around the same period."

altemark

9 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Gabriela Pichler - Eat Sleep Die (2012) is a must-see!

Mike S.

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT8q6VAyTi8

freemind

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Elephant is the most disgusting film about the troubles ever made.All we see are people with guns killing people with no narrative.We are led to believe the Irish are murderous psychopaths who wake up and kill each.other with no rationale or cause.The viewer can think nothing else and the film is a testament to ignorance and stupidity.
I fail to see how many of these films have any relovence to working class politics/ life.
I like Ken Loach but he is guilty of political cowardice in Land and Freedom for using Anarchist paraphernalia but not mentioning our politics once.However the POUM are given center stage.
The Devils Backbone is a good film on the Spanish Civil War and Loach's films like Kes and Rif Raff are excellent.

freemind

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Riders of the Lost Dawn is as good as Libertarias in my opinion and was made 25 yrs ago but is online.Great series on the Spanish Revolution and an excellent drama too.

freemind

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Riders of the Dawn 1990
Apologies for mistake comrades

flaneur

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

freemind

Elephant is the most disgusting film about the troubles ever made.All we see are people with guns killing people

That obviously is the narrative. All the more so than 1989 when it was made when you think 3500 died so that Sinn Fein could sit in Stormont. The 'rationale' of it don't matter much to those killed in a shopping centre in Manchester or a nightclub in Derry.

Auld-bod

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Freemind:
‘I like Ken Loach but he is guilty of political cowardice in Land and Freedom for using Anarchist paraphernalia but not mentioning our politics once.’

Think you’re being a bit tough on Loach's ‘Land and Freedom’ - I saw it as more about exposing the Stalinist counter-revolution. The film didn’t slander the anarchists and choosing the militia unit to be largely POUM rather than anarchist probably reflects something of Loach’s own politics.

Glad you mentioned ‘Riff Raff’ it is one of my favourite movies. The scene with Ricky Tomlinson in the bath is a classic - and what a great ending.

freemind

9 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Flaneur
The rationale does matter because all victims who died in that war would I suspect want to know the reason and to rationalise is essential to bring closure.To relegate a conflict to a montage of shootings shows a disgustingly ignorant and crass attitude which at best is intellectually lazy and at worst a betrayal of all victims of the Troubles because it ignored the reasons the conflict existed therebye extending it.Also I suspect the conflict was about more than " 3500 died so Sinn Fein could sit in Stormont"