Radical Chains

Situating the Situationists - Radical Chains

A critique of The Most Radical Gesture; The Situationist International in the Post Modern Age by Sadie Plant.

Walter Benjamin - Radical Chains

I'm told you raised your hand against yourself / Anticipating the butcher / After eight years in exile, observing the rise of the enemy / Then at last, brought up against an impassable barrier / You passed, they say, a passable one.
From Radical Chains no.2

Anton Pannekoek and the theory of the transition - Radical Chains

Pannekoek's experience of the German revolution led him to observe that the workers' own struggle needed continuously to break down regimes and forms resulting from previous struggles. This gave him a powerful analysis of opportunism and enabled him to perceive the dangers of mere representation of the working class.

After Zimmerwald - Radical Chains


The modern left, bolshevism included, are all children of Zimmerwald. It was at the Zimmerwald conference in 1915 that the revolutionary left thrashed out the issues of its relation to the centrist and reformist wings of the movement and its orientation towards national self-determination... Lenin may have been well in advance of anyone in his call for revolutionary defeatism, but... Lenin's defence of the right of nations to self-determination was no more than a reiteration of orthodoxy and... in their assessment of the real consequences of support for nationalism the European left proved to be more perspicacious than Lenin.

The prevention of communism - Radical Chains

The authors identify capitalism's decay as assuming forms of the prevention of communism. These - notably stalinism and social-democracy - are entirely dependent on capital as well as being its guarantors on a world scale. Yet resting neither upon the law of value nor on that of planning, they are inherently unstable and contain no dynamic towards transition. From Radical Chains no.1.

Statement of Intent - Radical Chains

radical chains

Statement of intent from the communist journal, Radical Chains, published in London between 1989 and 1998.

Franz Jakubowski: consciousness and the critique of political economy - Radical Chains

This article examines the attempt by Franz Jakubowski, a trotskyist leader of the 1930s, to confront those conceptions of consciousness that were dominant within the Second and Third Internationals... Unable to comprehend the impact of the prevention of communism on working class consciousness, Jakubowski is able only to reassert an abstract dichotomy of "false" and "correct" consciousness. This critique of Jakubowski has ramifications that go beyond the bolshevik tradition itself. From Radical Chains no.3

The hidden political economy of the left - Radical Chains

It is from Lenin's Imperialism and State and Revolution that the modern left derives much of its understanding. While stressing the strengths of these works, the authors indicate how acceptance of the various weaknesses obstructs the left in its attempt to comprehend the various forms of administrative practice that have been established in the name of the working class. Unable to understand the real basis of working class opposition to such forms, the left slides into various kinds of contempt for the working class. From Radical Chains no.3.

The myth of working class passivity - Radical Chains

There is an unbridgeable gap between the project outlined in Lenin's What is to be Done? and the principle of proletarian self-emancipation. We must return to Marx. More importantly we must return to the developing political economy of the working class. Crucially, we must examine the conditions which are the outcome of working class struggle but against which the working class is forced to struggle again ... From Radical Chains no.2.

Joseph Dietzgen - Radical Chains

The historic split between anarchism and socialism has had a debilitating effect on the workers movement, and Joseph Dietzgen was one of those individuals who sought to lessen the opposition of these tendencies. What he promoted was not an abstract reconciliation which failed to recognise real differences, although he held that these were in any case exaggerated, but a real reconciliation based on the transcending of opposition through the transformation and supersession of existing standpoints. From Radical Chains no.3