26th october london reading group: what are trade unions for?

The next of our London discussion meetings on workplace organising is to be held from 7pm on Monday October 26th at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street. We will be looking at the questions:

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– Why should unions remain independent from the state?

– What are the limitations of negotiating better conditions of employment?

– In what ways have unions become integrated into the administration of capitalist relations, and how can this be resisted? Continue reading “26th october london reading group: what are trade unions for?”

reading for 5th october london discussion group now online

The next of our London discussion meetings on workplace organising is to be held from 7pm on Monday October 5th at the Lucas Arms, near King’s Cross. We will be looking at the questions:

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– Are unions an expression of the self-organisation of the working class, or bodies which seek to win improvements on their behalf?

– What is the difference between ‘trade unionism’ and the revolutionary class struggle?

The recommended reading material and a map of the venue appear below. Email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com or phone 07595 245494 for more details. Continue reading “reading for 5th october london discussion group now online”

5th october london reading group: two views of trade unionism

The next of our London discussion meetings on workplace organising is to be held from 7pm on Monday October 5th at the Lucas Arms, near King’s Cross. We will be looking at the questions:

– Are unions an expression of the self-organisation of the working class, or bodies which seek to win improvements on their behalf?

– What is the difference between ‘trade unionism’ and the revolutionary class struggle?

The recommended reading material and a map of the venue appear below. Email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com or phone 07595 245494 for more details. Continue reading “5th october london reading group: two views of trade unionism”

tonight’s london reading group on communist organisation

The last in our current series of London reading groups on ‘communism from below’ will take place on Monday 13th July from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street station. It is on the subject of ‘communist organisation today’. We will be discussing the issues:

– Can communists with different ideas and perspectives co-exist in the same organisation? Is ‘forgetting our differences’ and ‘leaving past baggage at the door’ a precondition of left unity?
– Should we organise for specifically communist positions, or establish a broader ‘left’ presence filling some of the political space abandoned by Labour?
– Should we concentrate on propaganda and ideological struggle, or workplace and community activism… or can we integrate both?
– What useful role can communists play in solidarising with resistance to the recession? Continue reading “tonight’s london reading group on communist organisation”

13th july reading group: communist organisation today

The last in our current series of London reading groups on ‘communism from below’ will take place on Monday 13th July from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street station. It is on the subject of ‘communist organisation today’. We will be discussing the issues:

– Can communists with different ideas and perspectives co-exist in the same organisation? Is ‘forgetting our differences’ and ‘leaving past baggage at the door’ a precondition of left unity?
– Should we organise for specifically communist positions, or establish a broader ‘left’ presence filling some of the political space abandoned by Labour?
– Should we concentrate on propaganda and ideological struggle, or workplace and community activism… or can we integrate both?
– What useful role can communists play in solidarising with resistance to the recession? Continue reading “13th july reading group: communist organisation today”

jan waclaw machajsky: a prophet unhonoured in his own time (and rightly so)

by Ernie Haberkern

The rise of a new bureaucratic rul­ing class in Russia in the thirties and forties of the twentieth cen­tury has artificially inflated the stock of several opponents of the social democratic movement who attacked it on the grounds that it was preparing a dictatorship of ‘intellec­tuals’ or men of ‘science’ over the untutored working class.

The subject of this study – Jan Waclaw Machajsky – is one such figure. Continue reading “jan waclaw machajsky: a prophet unhonoured in his own time (and rightly so)”

texts for 13th april reading group

The next of The Commune’s London reading group series on ‘communism from below’ is to take place on Monday 13th April. The subject of the discussion, taking place from 6:30pm at the Old Red Lion, near Angel tube, is “workers’ self-government vs. state socialism”.

We will be looking at the questions
– To what extent is it possible to use the existing state’s structures to force ‘socialist’ reforms?
– Should we refuse to make any demands on bourgeois governments?
– What arguments could be made for and against the slogan “nationalisation under workers’ control”?
– Does William Paul’s “industrial executive committee” reflect our idea of working-class power?
– How can self-managed workplaces relate to the needs of society as a whole?
– Does the idea of a “workers’ party” imply an elite counterposed to grassroots activism and workplace democracy, and does it really allow a broader programme of social revolution?

The suggested reading material is:

– William Paul – The State: Its Origins and Function, Chapter 11
– Marx – Critique of the Gotha Programme
– Hal Draper – The Two Souls of Socialism

All are welcome to come and take part in the discussion. Email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com for more info.