Council communism: political-economic transformation and initial revolutionary measures – Philippe Bourrinet
A brief introduction to the history and some important theoretical contributions of council communism, including a discussion of the Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution, Pannekoek’s Workers Councils, and Paul Mattick’s views on the issue of labor-time accounting, and some comments on the continuing relevance of council communism.
In this essay written in 1920, the Bolshevik left communist Gabriel Miasnikov examines the limitations of the Russian trade unions in the context of what he perceived to be the economic and political supremacy of the soviet institutions, but concludes that the trade unions must be preserved for purposes of domestic public relations (due to the habits of the Russian workers) and international propaganda (due to the predominant concepts concerning revolution outside of Russia where soviet-type institutions do not exist or are quickly destroyed and revolution is conceived as a trade union affair) and therefore they must be given something to do to keep them busy.
Gilles Dauvé on information, ideology and self-management.
Cornelius Castoriadis/Paul Cardan's proposals for the workings of a society based on the principle of self-management by workers' councils, originally published in English by Solidarity in 1972. We have significant disagreements with it as it retains the key features of capitalism, but we reproduce it for reference.
An essay on the Soviets published in 1932 by the co-founder of the Spanish POUM, sympathetic to Lenin and critical of the “profound errors committed, after the death of Lenin, by the leadership of the Communist Party”, that characterizes the Soviets as “a system of government that is infinitely more democratic than the freest bourgeois republic”.
This definitive documentary history collects manifestos, speeches, articles, and letters from the German Revolution—Rosa Luxemburg, the Revolutionary Stewards, and Gustav Landauer amongst others—introduced and annotated by the editor. Many documents, such as the anarchist Erich Mühsam's comprehensive account of the Bavarian Council Republic, are presented here in English for the first time. The volume also includes materials from the Red Ruhr Army that repelled the reactionary Kapp Putsch in 1920 and the communist bandits that roamed Eastern Germany until 1921.
A biography of the German anarchist and poet Erich Mühsam, written by his friend Augustin Souchy shortly after Mühsam was murdered by the Nazis in 1934, including a brief but fascinating account of Mühsam’s role in the Bavarian Council Revolution in 1919 and featuring quotations from Mühsam evincing his sympathy for anarchosyndicalism and his advocacy of the Council system.