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(en) Britain, Review of "For Workers' Power" of Maurice Brinton

Date Thu, 18 Aug 2005 11:45:20 +0300


Maurice Brinton was the pseudnum under which Christopher Pallis (1923-2005)
wrote and translated for the British libertarian socialist group Solidarity
from 1960 until the early 1990s. He was its leading and most influential
member, unsurprisingly given the quality and insightfulness of his work.
and his ideas still influence many today across the world.
Brinton's translations of libertarian socialist Cornelius Castoriadis
work (under the pseudonym "Paul Cardan") contributed immensely to enriching
libertarian politics in the English speaking world. Indeed, many of his
translations were used as the basis of the essential three volume collection
of Castoriadis' work entitled "Political and Social Writings."

However, Brinton's own work was just as important (and in many ways, wider
in scope) than Castoriadis's as can be seen from this collection. The book
has a diverse range of documents: as well as articles on numerous
subjects, there are reviews, introductions to other people's works and
his own pamphlets. The latter include the classics "The Bolsheviks
and Workers' Control" and "The Irrational in Politics", the former a
ground-breaking account of the Russian Revolution and the latter a
popular introduction into the ideas of revolutionary psychiatrist
Wilheim Reich which explores the role of sexual repression and
authoritarian conditioning in creating obedience to hierarchy and so
the continuance of class society.

Especially noteworthy are his vivid eye-witness reports from
upsurges of popular self-activity: the Belgian General Strike of
1960-61, France in May 1968, and Portugal in 1975 and 1976.
These really are windows into what is possible once people start to
shake off their chains and feel they have power over their own fates.
Also of note is the short and clear summary of libertarian socialist
ideas called "As We See It" and the subsequent commentary on that
work required to combat some of the stranger interpretations it
received ("As We Don't See it"). To quote a classic paragraph from
the former document shows why:

"Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the
confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the
solidarity, the egalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the
masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and
harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses,
their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy,
their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the
degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even
by those allegedly acting on their behalf." (As We See it)

Freedom was at the core of Brinton's vision of (libertarian)
socialism, as he stressed time and time again in the articles that
make up this collection. He knew that genuinely libertarian politics
had to be anti-capitalist, as both it and Stalinism "both seek to
subordinate the great majority to the needs of their ruling groups.
The rulers attempt to stamp of obedience and conformity on every
aspect of social life. Initiative, intellectual independence,
creativeness are crushed and despised. Unless man can develop to
the full these -- his most precious qualities -- he lives but half a live.
Men want to be more than well-fed servants. The desire to be free is
not a pious liberal phrase, but the most noble of man's desires. The
pre-condition of this freedom is, of course, freedom in the field of
production -- workers' management. There can be no real freedom
and no real future for humanity in an exploiting society. The path to
freedom lies through the socialist revolution." No serious anarchist
could disagree.

A key part of his work was to study past revolutions, particularly the
Russian, in order learn from the past and not repeat it. This meant
critiquing Leninism. Brinton's work is important in that, while
coming from a Leninist background, he quickly saw the limitations
not only of that form of Marxism but Marxism as such (in this he
was like his major influence, Castoriadis). While (rightly) not
dismissing Marx out of hand, he was now free, again like
Castoriadis, to explore ideas and current events without dragging the
deadweight of having to justify his insights by quoting from the
books of long dead Germans (or their approved followers). Having
come through the Leninist myth, he was well placed to destroy it
which he did in his most important and influential work, "The
Bolsheviks and Workers' Control, 1917-1921: The State and
Counter-Revolution."

This is a seminal work and, like the work of Goldman, Berkman,
Voline and Arshinov, Brinton's masterpiece on the Bolshevik
counter-revolution has been confirmed by subsequent investigation
and research. In great detail, Brinton documents the anti-worker
economic policies of the Bolshevik regime and shows beyond any
doubt their links with their pre-revolution ideas on what socialism,
workers' control and self-management were. It is a very
well-researched piece of history, chronicling the economic aspects of
the Russian revolution and recounting the battles that occurred in
the workplace between different visions of socialism and what they
meant in practice. It utterly explodes the myth of Bolshevism,
showing that claims to be building "workers' power" to be false. Far
from creating a society based on socialism and freedom, the
Bolshevik vision of socialism helped destroy their possibility. He
traces the elimination of the Russian factory committees of 1917-18
and the role Bolshevik ideology and policy played in it. He shows
that the standard claim that Bolshevik authoritarianism started as a
result of the civil war is not supported by the facts.

He summarised his findings:

"there is a clear-cut and incontrovertible link between what
happened under Lenin and Trotsky and the later practices of
Stalinism. We know that many on the revolutionary left will find this
statement hard to swallow. We are convinced however that any
honest reading of the facts cannot but lead to this conclusion. The
more one unearths about this period the more difficult it becomes to
define - or even to see - the 'gulf' allegedly separating what
happened in Lenin's time from what happened later. Real knowledge
of the facts also makes it impossible to accept . . . that the whole
course of events was 'historically inevitable' and 'objectively
determined'. Bolshevik ideology and practice were themselves
important and sometimes decisive factors in the equation, at every
critical stage of this critical period. Now that more facts are available
self-mystification on these issues should no longer be possible.
Should any who have read these pages remain 'confused' it will be
because they want to remain in that state -- or because (as the future
beneficiaries of a society similar to the Russian one) it is their
interest to remain so."

Brinton, quite rightly, argues that workers cannot be free as long as
they are subjugated in production. Workers cannot have power in
society without having complete power over production. As he put it,
"the basic question, who manages production after the overthrow of
the bourgeoisie? should therefore now become the centre of any
serious discussion about socialism. Today the old equation
(liquidation of the bourgeoisie equals workers' state) popularised by
countless Leninists, Stalinists and Trotskyists is just not good
enough." Consequently, socialism has to be based on
self-management otherwise it would be state capitalism, nothing
more.

It cannot be stressed enough how important and ground-breaking
this work is. Brinton made clear the distinction of "workers' control"
and "workers' self-management." The former is based on the
workers having some say in the decisions others make on their
behalf, the latter directly making the decisions that affect them in
production. Obviously, only the latter is libertarian and while some
anarchists have used the term "workers' control" they have always
meant "self-management." Brinton shows that the Bolsheviks at no
time supported workers' self-management and only took up the
slogan "workers' control" to gain influence in the workplace. Rather
than base the new socialist economy on the organs workers had
created themselves, as anarchists argued, Bolshevism saw these (at
best) playing a minor role within an economy structured around
institutions created by and inherited from capitalism. As Brinton
stressed, "only the ignorant or those willing to be deceived can still
kid themselves into believing that proletarian power at the point of
production was ever a fundamental tenet or objective of
Bolshevism."

All this is not some academic point. As Brinton noted in "The
Malaise on the Left", while "various strands of Bolshevism have
sought posthumously to rehabilitate the concept of 'workers'
control'" the facts show that between 1917 and 1921 "all attempts by
the working class to assert real power over production -- or to
transcend the narrow role allocated by to it by the Party -- were
smashed by the Bolsheviks, after first having been denounced as
anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist deviations. Today workers' control
is presented as a sort of sugar coating to the pill of nationalisation of
every Trotskyist or Leninist micro-bureaucrat on the make. Those
who strangled the viable infant are now hawking the corpse around "
The same is happening today, with Leninists now proclaiming with a
straight face that they stand for "self-management"! As such,
reprinting Brinton's classic work will provide genuine revolutionaries
with the necessary facts and ideas to combat what Brinton called the
"tradleft" ("traditional left") who, then as now, infest social struggles
and movements in order to use them to expand their party and, in
the process, kill them off -- while, ironically, alienating from
socialism most of those they do manage to recruit.

Needless to say, what the Bolsheviks meant by "workers' control"
and what the workers did was radically at odds. Initially, the
Bolsheviks saw this as workers "controlling" their bosses within the
context of general state control of the capitalist economy (for Lenin,
"state capitalism" was an inevitable and essential stage towards
socialism). Needless to say, this was significantly different from what
the factory committee movement thought of as "workers' control"
(or, for that matter, the casual observer today). Once in power, the
Bolsheviks imposed their vision of the term. As historian S.A. Smith
correctly summarises in his in depth study of the revolution in
Petrograd's workplaces, while the "factory committees launched the
slogan of workers' control of production quite independently of the
Bolshevik party. It was not until May that the party began to take it
up" Lenin used "the term in a very different sense from that of the
factory committees." His "proposals . . . [were] thoroughly statist
and centralist in character, whereas the practice of the factory
committees was essentially local and autonomous." (Red Petrograd,
p. 154)

It soon became a case of socialism being based on state appointed
managers (who would be given, in Lenin's words, "dictatorial"
powers) and all talk of workers' control was dropped in favour of
state control and one-man management. The Bolsheviks, as Lenin
had promised, built from the top-down their system of "unified
administration" based on the Tsarist system of central bodies which
governed and regulated certain industries during the war. So within
six months of the October revolution, Lenin had replaced private
capitalism with state capitalism. It is this process, and its ideological
roots, which Brinton chronicles so ably.

Brinton's pamphlet was (and is) essentially ignored by the Leninist
left, for obvious reasons. His reply to one attempt to refute his
account is included in "For Workers' Power." In the unlikely event
of other Leninists trying to address Brinton's arguments rather than
ignore them, the standard Leninist excuse will probably be trotted
out, namely accusing him of ignoring the breakdown of Russian
industry in the period in question. This is done presumably in the
hope there would be a relationship between economic chaos and
Bolshevik authoritarianism. However, the strength of Brinton's
account is that he links the pre- and post- revolutionary ideas and
policies in order to show their similarities. Consequently, the
infamous "objective circumstances" excuse trotted out by Leninists
fails to refute Brinton's work. As the Bolsheviks themselves stressed,
the policies implemented were not emergency ones imposed by
difficult circumstances. Moreover, Lenin (at least in early 1918, the
last time it was discussed) made a point of arguing (against the
left-communists) that his apparently new "state-capitalist" policies
had already been expressed by him during 1917!

And the net result of Bolshevism's vision of a centralised economy
structured around the institutions created under capitalism? Pretty
much a disaster, as Silvana Malle's The Economic Organisation of
War Communism, 1918-1921 shows. Ironically, while the
Bolsheviks (and their latter day followers) blamed workers' control
(in part) for the terrible state of the economy (so necessitating
Bolshevik policies of one-man management, et al) the opposite is
the case. The Bolshevik system quickly demonstrated how to really
mismanage an economy as they imposed a bureaucratic and
unresponsive system which wasted the local knowledge in the
grassroots in favour of orders from above which were issued in
ignorance of local conditions. Unused stock coexisted with acute
scarcity and the centre unable to determine the correct proportions
required at the base. Unfinished products were transferred to other
regions while local factories were shut down, wasted both time and
resources (and given the state of the transport network, this was a
doubly inefficient). The inefficiency of central financing seriously
jeopardised local activity and the centre had displayed a great deal of
conservatism and routine thinking. In spite of the complaints from
below, the Communist leadership continued on its policy of
centralisation (in fact, the ideology of centralisation was reinforced).

There are flaws with the book of course. While Brinton mentioned
some political developments in his chronology, he failed to interlink
the economic and political policies of Bolshevism as well as he could
have. This, of course, would have increased the length of the book
considerably but Bolshevik authoritarian policies were not limited to
just undermining economic democracy. To be fair, source material
was not as available then as it is now (Israel Getzler's "Martov" and
Leonard Schapiro's "The Origin of the Communist Autocracy"
contained some relevant information on this matter). Today,
Brinton's account can be supplemented by subsequent work which
discusses the Bolshevik onslaught on soviet democracy in the spring
of 1918, for example (Vladimir Brovkin's "The Mensheviks After
October" provides a good summary). Similarly, at the time there was
little source material on working class resistance to, and organisation
against, Bolshevism. Today, that is not the case. There are many
works available which account, in varying degrees of detail, workers
resistance to the "workers'" state and "revolutionary" government
(Jonathan Aves' "Workers Against Lenin" being the best one).
These show beyond doubt that the standard Leninist account of an
"atomised" or "declassed" working class is false. Simply put, such a
working class does not conduct general strikes nor need martial law
to tame.

In summary, subsequent research has strengthened Brinton's
analysis rather than refuted it. The same cannot be said of the
various Leninist hagiographies written at around the same time (or
since).

Then there is his obvious sympathy with such dissident Bolsheviks
as the 1918 Left Communists (LC) and the 1920-1 Workers
Opposition (WO). By concentrating on their economic ideas,
Brinton fails to see how their political vision (particularly on the role
of the party) undermined their socialist credentials. For the LC, like
any Bolshevik, the party played the key role. As one Left Communist
put it, the only true bastion of the interests of the proletariat was the
party which "is in every case and everywhere superior to the soviets .
. . The soviets represent labouring democracy in general; and its
interest, and in particular the interests of the petty bourgeois
peasantry, do not always coincide with the interests of the
proletariat." (quoted by Richard Sakwa, Soviet Communists in
Power, p. 182). Thus, according to the only in depth study of the LC,
their "call for a revived soviet democracy was becoming vitiated by
the dominant role assigned, in the final analysis, to the party"
(Ronald I. Kowalski, The Bolshevik Party in Conflict, p. 136) Thus
their politics were just as authoritarian as the mainstream
Bolshevism they attacked on economic issues.

The same can be said of the WO. While Brinton states that they and
the Kronstadt rebels had much in common, the facts are different --
they did not share the same vision. True, the WO did see an
increased role for trade unions within the Soviet regime but not at
the expense of party power. Like their opponents within the CP, they
stood for party dictatorship and the guiding role of the party in the
unions and only differed in that they wanted increased democracy
and freedom within the party and an increased role for the trade
unions in production. (Leonard Schapiro, The Origin of the
Communist Autocracy, p. 294) In contrast, the Kronstadt rebels
stood for genuine workers' democracy in both economic and political
spheres and had most in common with the SR-Maximalists, a
political grouping popular in Kronstadt during 1917 whose politics
were between the Left-SRs and the anarchists. As such, while
Brinton was puzzled by members of the WO helping to storm
Kronstadt, the contradiction is more apparent than real.

It would also have been useful for Brinton to link Bolshevik ideology
and policy to the Marxist tradition. Looking at Lenin's
pronouncements of early 1918, it is not difficult to see where he got
them from -- the same stupidities can be found in Engels' infamous
diatribe against anarchism "On Authority." Sadly, Brinton tended to
distance himself from anarchism and the insights it offers to genuine
revolutionaries. If he had been better acquainted with, say,
Kropotkin he would have been aware that he had predicted many of
the problems facing the Russian Revolution (such as isolation,
economic disruption, mass unemployment) and had suggested
solutions to them (rooted in the mass participation and popular
self-organisation Brinton's own politics are). While eschewing the
anarchist label may have allowed him to avoid the petty and silly
arguments that so frequent what passes for an anarchist movement
in the UK, it also ensured that a rich source of realistic revolutionary
ideas was effectively ignored. This ignorance still exists today as can
be seen when Marxists claim that anarchists think that libertarian
communism can be created overnight. In reality, Kropotkin ridiculed
that notion and stressed the difficulties any revolt would face.

So while his politics were extremely close to communist-anarchism
(editor David Goodway calls them "fully anarchist" in his excellent
introduction), Brinton's perspectives on anarchism were too shaded
by his Leninist background (and, unfortunately, the state of the UK
anarchist movement in the 1960s and 70s did little to disabuse him
of such opinions). This can be seen from his review of Paul Avrich's
book "The Russian Anarchists." While he is right to bemoan the
anti-organisational and anti-theoretical tendencies of Russian
anarchism (something all too commonly shared in the English
speaking anarchist movement), he does get basic things wrong, like
Kropotkin's ideas on the role of "Mutual Aid" in society (his
comment on Kropotkin "idealis[ing] the autonomous social units of
a bygone age" is equally ill-informed).

Brinton's dismissal of Kropotkin is based on Avrich's summary of
his ideas rather than a reading of the source material. While Brinton
quotes Avrich maintaining that, for Kropotkin, "co-operation rather
than conflict is at the root of the historical process" the fact is
Kropotkin said no such thing. In reality, Kropotkin stressed that
mutual aid was a factor in evolution along with mutual struggle. At
no time did he deny the role of struggle, in fact the opposite. In
"Mutual Aid" itself he stressed that the book's examples
concentrated on mutual aid simply because mutual struggle
(between individuals of the same species) had been emphasised so
much in biology that he felt no need to illustrate it. He did note that
based on the findings he summarised the relative importance of each
factor may have to be reviewed but at no stage did he deny either
factor (unlike the bourgeois apologists he was refuting).

Equally, regardless of what Brinton thought "Mutual Aid" was not
amongst Kropotkin's "earlier" writings. His actual earliest writings
(as compiled in "Words of a Rebel", "Conquest of Bread" and, more
recently, "Act for Yourselves") are clearly based on class struggle
and only someone who had never read Kropotkin could claim, as
Brinton did, that his "aim is to convince and reason with (rather than
to overthrow) those who oppress the masses" and that he stood for
"a co-operation that clearly transcended the barriers of class." The
reality is different. To quote one of Kropotkin's "earlier" works:
"What solidarity can exist between the capitalist and the worker he
exploits? Between the head of an army and the soldier? Between the
governing and the governed?" (Words of a Rebel, p. 30) Clearly
Kropotkin was well aware that co-operation could not be applied
between classes.

Even "Mutual Aid" (which was essentially a work of popular science
rather than a book of revolutionary anarchist propaganda) was not
blind to the importance of social struggle, highlighting as it did trade
unions and strikes was examples of "the workers' need of mutual
support" (one which developed in the face of extensive state
repression). Nor was it blind to the fact that individuals struggle "to
attain personal or caste superiority" but simply noted that these
"conflicts . . . have been analysed, described, and glorified from time
immemorial" and so history, "such as it has hitherto been written, is
almost entirely a description of the ways and means by which
theocracy, military power, autocracy, and . . .the richer classes' rule
have been promoted, established, and maintained." Social progress
lay in the practices and organisations of the oppressed for "in so far
as" as new "economical and social institutions" were "a creation of
the masses" they "have all originated from the same source" of
mutual aid. (Mutual Aid, p. 213, p. 231, p. 180) These are hardly the
comments of someone who ignored class conflict and the role it
played in society!

Brinton does provide a quote from "Mutual Aid" to bolster his
argument, but that is taken out of context. Rather than stress the
need for inter-class solidarity, as Brinton claimed, Kropotkin was in
fact explaining why members of the ruling and middle classes turn
their back on capitalist morality and become philanthropists,
reformers or (like Kropotkin and Brinton himself) revolutionaries.
Thus, Kropotkin argued, feelings of human solidarity can surface in
even the most unlikely of places, including those who have benefited
from the current competitive system. However, the focus of his
those parts of "Mutual Aid" which dealt with humanity was on
popular organisation of solidarity and how it expressed itself at
different times. As part of this, Kropotkin showed how these
institutions changed in the face of changes in the society (i.e. due to
the rise of classes and hierarchies and popular resistance to them).

While this may seen an incredibly trivial point, this
misunderstanding (or ignorance) of Kropotkin's arguments in
"Mutual Aid" does seem to crop up whenever Leninists try to
address anarchist ideas (a classic example would be the SWP's Pat
Stack and his embarrassingly inaccurate diatribe "Anarchy in the
UK?" which appeared a few years back in "Socialist Review"). As
such, clarifying the facts of the matter may help anarchists to
counter such nonsense when it is repeated in the future (as it will be,
regardless of how many times it is refuted). It is a shame that
Brinton, like the Leninists he had so recently left, did not bother to
acquaint himself with anarchist ideas before deciding to attack them.

Brinton, like Solidarity as a whole, was marked by his complete
rejection of Leninism and the concept of the vanguard party. Instead,
like his intellectual mentor Cornelias Castoriadis and the council
communists, he advocated of workers councils as both the means to
fight capitalism and the basic building blocks of a socialist society. In
this, his ideas echo the best traditions of anarchism rather than
Marxism (it was Bakunin and the libertarian wing of the First
International who first raised this idea in the 1860s). It took Marxists
until 1917 before a "councilist" interpretation of Marx's ideas on the
state became mainstream within it thanks, ironically, to Lenin's
"State and Revolution" (needless to say, that book's libertarian
rhetoric was quickly jettisoned once the Bolsheviks were in power).
Before then, the dominant idea was that a workers' party would be
elected to power democratically and the state machine destroyed by
decree (this interpretation, it should be said, has far more support in
Marx and Engels than Lenin's highly selective account would
suggest).

Some have attacked this "councilist" vision of revolutionary
transition as being "self-exploitation" or "self-managed capitalism."
Others have argued that self-management is not a key aspect of
socialism because it is not inherently socialist. Brinton himself
effectively answered the latter claim by noting that while one "could
conceive of self-management without socialism" it was impossible to
"imagine any socialism worth living under without self-managed
individuals, collectives and institutions. . . Who, if not those directly
involved, would have the greatest say in the fundamental decisions?
And how would such a non-self-managed 'socialist' society differ
from all the monstrous societies we see around us today, societies in
which minorities take all the fundamental decisions, and -- through
their access tom information and power -- perpetuate their own
privileges?"

As for the "self-exploitation" argument, this hardly makes sense
from a socialist perspective. Yes, basing your ideas on transition on a
market system with self-managed economic units may result in
unpleasant consequences (for example, competition resulting in
longer and harder working hours or driving the accumulation of
means of production) but it is hardly exploitative in the socialist
sense. This is because workers are controlling both their labour and
its product. As such, it is not capitalism which, as both Proudhon
and Marx stressed, requires the replacement of self-employment
with wage labour. Given that no revolution has succeeded in
immediately abolishing money and that any future revolution will not
be as perfect as some would like, Brinton's and Castoriadis's position
was sensible as a starting point.

Brinton correctly stressed that working class people, due to their
position in society, resisted hierarchy and, as a consequence of their
experiences, could draw revolutionary conclusion (helped, of course,
by those who had already made that journey). As a necessary
consequence of this perspective, he rightly viewed a revolutionary
organisation as an instrument that working class people could use to
transform society rather than seeking to lead them. In other words,
the basic anarchist idea of revolutionaries influencing the class
struggle as equals rather than as repositories of the correct
revolutionary ideology which others should follow (whether they
want to or not). As Bolshevism showed, the latter mentality leads to
the inevitable substitution of party power for workers power.

Similarly, he was correct to stress that any revolutionary organisation
should try to prefigure as much as possible the future society we
want in its structure and decision-making, in other words by
practising "self-management." Again, the similarities with
anarchism are clear. Finally, Brinton was right to argue that a
genuinely libertarian organisation had to encourage people to rely on
their own efforts rather than trust in leaders. As he put it, "We
consider irrational (and/or dishonest) that those who talk most of the
masses (and of the capacity of the working class to create a new
society) should have the least confidence in people's ability to
dispense with leaders." ("As We Don't See It")

His dismissal of Leninist organisation in the essay "Revolutionary
Organisation" is short but devastating. He notes that while Leninists
argue that "to fight the highly centralised forces of modern
capitalism requires an equally centralised type of party" this "ignores
the fact that capitalist centralisation is based on coercion and force
and the exclusion of the overwhelming majority of the population
from participating in any of its decisions." Equally, while Leninists
claim that such organisations are robust under state repression in
reality they are "particularly vulnerable to police persecution" for
when "all power is concentrated in the hands of the leaders, their
arrest immediately paralyses the whole organisation . . .With their
usual inconsistency, the Trotskyists even explain the demise of their
Wrestern European sections during World War II by telling people
how their leaders were murdered by the Gestapo!"

There are aspects of this book which show its age. For example, the
assumption, so common before the 1980s, that Russian-style state
capitalism was a more rational and advanced form of capitalism.
Looking back, this was obviously not the case. Bureaucratic waste
and inefficiency marked the Leninist/Stalinist system from the start
(any serious account of Lenin's "War Communist" regime cannot
but conclude that the Bolshevik dogma of centralisation made
matters much worse). Of course, this was obscured by the rapid
industrialisation of Russia under Stalin and anti-Soviet propaganda
by Western states to justify their own spying and weapons budgets
(an honest account of the failings of Stalinism would hardly provoke
the fear required). Then there is the notion, again so common before
1974, that Keynesianism had ensured that major economic crises
within capitalism had been solved. Brinton, to his credit, revised his
views on this and by the early 1980s saw the limitations in
Castoriadis's ideas which were based on this perspective (in 1974 he
denied that capitalism faced a crisis). Brinton did, however, keep the
valid core of Castoriadis's economic analysis and continued to stress
that class struggle was the real source of capitalism's problems and
capitalist policies evolve to combat it (as can be seen, for example,
from the rise and fall of Monetarism, for example).

Ultimately, these are minor issues. The core ideas of Brinton in
terms of the importance of self-management, the need for
revolutionary theory and practice to take into account all aspects of
hierarchical society, his consistency and logic, remain as relevant
today as when they were written. Anarchists have a lot to gain from
reading this collection and AK Press should be applauded for
making it available for a new generation of libertarian activists to
read and, hopefully, apply.
Bibliography
Aves, Jonathan, Workers Against Lenin: Labour Protest and the
Bolshevik Dictatorship, Tauris Academic Studies, London, 1996.

Brovkin, Vladimir N., The Mensheviks After October: Socialist
Opposition and the Rise of the Bolshevik Dictatorship, Cornell
University Press, Ithaca, 1987.

Castoriadis, Cornelius, Political and Social Writings (in three
volumes), translated and edited by David Ames Curtis, University of
Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1988-93.

Getzler, Israel, Martov: A Political Biography of a Russian Social
Democrat, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1967.

Kowalski, Ronald I., The Bolshevik Party in Conflict: the left
communist opposition of 1918, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1990.

Kropotkin, Peter, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, Freedom
Press, London, 1987.

Kropotkin, Peter, Words of a Rebel, Black Rose Books, Montreal,
1992.

Malle, Silvana, The Economic Organisation of War Communism,
1918-1921, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985.

Sakwa, Richard, Soviet Communists in Power: a study of Moscow
during the Civil War, 1918-21, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1987.

Smith, S.A., Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories 1917-1918,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983.

Schapiro, Leonard, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy:
Political Opposition in the Soviet State: The First Phase, 1917-1922,
Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1965.

For other articles by Anarcho, visit:
http://anarchism.ws/writers/anarcho.html

Initially written for anarkismo.net
------------------------------------
For Workers' Power
Maurice Brinton
David Goodway (Ed.)
AK Press
ISBN: 1904859070

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