state socialism

Fighting back in Ukraine - Oleg Dubrovskii with Simon Pirani

pamphlet cover

This short pamphlet was put together by Simon Pirani in 1996/7 from a series of interviews with Ukrainian worker activist Oleg Dubrovskii. It’s of general interest in relation to the way that life for the workers changed when the old Soviet Union disintegrated, but also provides some useful background information to what’s happening in the Ukraine today.

It’s always useful to remind ourselves that the class struggle is lurking in the shadows, even in situations where national divisions appear to be far more significant than class ones.

The guillotine at work - Gregori Maximov

Originally published in 1940 in two parts, this is the (partly eyewitness) account of the Leninist terror inflicted upon Russia during the revolution after 1917. Maximov, a life-long anarchist, fought in the Russian Revolution, organized with the metal-workers, and was imprisoned by Lenin's secret police in 1920 when he refused to join the Red Army: he was happy to fight the Whites, but not put down workers' and peasants' uprisings.

The guillotine at work, part 2: data and documents

Prisoners arrive at the Solovetsky Camp (1927)

This is part 2 of the The Guillotine at Work, containing documentation of the Bolshevik "Red Terror" in the wake of the Russian revolution, edited by Russian anarchist Gregori Maximov.

Leadership and the myth of apathy

Why aren't we rising up? Whether the 'we' in question is young people, the British people, or the poor, this is a question asked an awful lot by both mainstream and leftist commentators. Austerity, job cuts, pay freezes, workfare, poverty, food banks, police brutality, political corruption - it's all the rage, so why aren't we all enraged?

There are two standard answers on the left: apathy and the lack of leadership. Either people are too engrossed in their own little world of X Factor, I'm a Celebrity and 'I'm alright Jack,' or they just don't have the right hero to lead them into battle. The left wing rabble rousers of the past are dead and gone and we need people to replace them and rally the workers.

Italy: Renzi government reforms jobs and cuts rights

Giuliano Poletti.

At first glance, Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Policy in the Renzi government, could look like an old-fashioned left-wing politician: born into a farming family in the “red” Emilia-Romagna region, raised in the Communist Party, president of Legacoop, the main national organisation of cooperatives. He could be someone to provide a contrast to the Prime Minister’s attitude towards jobs (modelled on the inspiring figures of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair). But appearances can be deceptive.

In Italy the cooperative system is one of the main forces – together with Confindustria representing employers – pushing for even more deregulation of jobs.

Government in the future - Noam Chomsky

Text of Noam Chomsky's 1970 lecture on the possibilities for a libertarian socialist society and against both liberal capitalist and state socialist alternatives.

I think it is useful to set up as a framework for discussion four somewhat idealized positions with regard to the role of the state in an advanced industrial society. I want to call these positions: (1) classical liberal, (2) libertarian socialist, (3) state socialist, (4) state capitalist, and I want to consider each in turn.

A history of socialist thought - G.D.H. Cole

All of G.D.H. Cole's five part (in seven volumes) series chronicling the history of socialist thought from 1789-1939.

A history of socialist thought: volume I - the forerunners 1789-1850

This book, complete in itself, if the first of a series in with G.D.H. Cole is setting out to present a general history of the development of Socialist ideas against the background of world events since the French Revolution.

Ancona’s centre-left city council evicts housing occupation

On 5 February 2014 Ancona’s centre-left city council evicted refugees and homeless people from the Casa de Nialtri housing occupation. The Casa was a former infant school (disused for three years) which had been occupied on 22 December by people from a large network of grassroots groups and associations, together with a number of Italian and migrant homeless people.

The Casa – the first housing occupation in Ancona for more than two decades – provided a home to around 60 people.

A history of socialist thought: volume V - socialism and fascism 1931-1939

G.D.H. Cole

The final volume of A History of Socialist Thought, published posthumously, deals with the experience of the 1930s, including the Spanish anarchist movement during the Spanish Civil War.