Jun 222014
 

 Paris, 15 October 1945

1635ArmandRobin

Armand Robin (1912 – 1961) French poet, translator, and journalist.

Talentless offspring of the bourgeoisie,

If I refer to you thus, it is because it is the fairest way of describing you:

1) The Stalinist party is out to murder all revolutionary thinking and all thinking, period; it knows that it cannot look to writers drawn from among the people for such villainy, but it finds its finest lackeys among the failures of the bourgeoisie; for their part, the offspring of bourgeois, for want of talent, have need of a party to argue with a straight face that they have some, one that lets them in on the easiest way to “get ahead”; since such offspring of the bourgeoisie have no scruples when it comes to the people, they see no harm in playing along with the stultification of the masses and the destruction of all popular feelings. Today we can posit it pretty much as a general rule that a writer is owned by Stalinism in the degree to which he is bourgeois and an upstart.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 212014
 
B._Traven

B. Traven – 1926

“I salute you and all the male and female workers, peasants and republican soldiers fighting with such heroism against the fascist beast in Spain. I salute the great men and women Spain has produced in these times of struggle whose lives are, away from the limelight, writing a new History for humankind

Your letter, comrade Herrera, is the first from your country to reach me.

Your invitation, and my thanks for it to all the SIA comrades, represents the greatest honour ever bestowed upon me. Alas, I am not in a position to be able to accept that honour for reasons that you will assuredly not have known of when you made your offer to me.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 202014
 

MuertedeEsperanza1LA MUERTE DE LA ESPERANZA. Primera parte: NUESTRO DIA MAS LARGO (Así comenzó la guerra de España) por Eduardo de Guzmán. (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.42  READ INSIDE!

UK : £2.42 ; USA : $4.00 ; Germany : €3.02 ; France :  €3.02 ; Spain:  €3.02 ; Italy :  €3.02 ; Japan : ¥ 406 ; Canada : CDN$ 4.27 ; Brazil : R$ 8.78 ; Mexico: $51.85 ; Australia : $4.24

«LA MUERTE DE LA ESPERANZA» recoge las memorias personales del autor en los primeros y los últimos días de la guerra de España. Dividida en dos partes, la primera —«Nuestro día más largo>>— es un relato vivido y dramático de la cambiante situación de Madrid durante las jornadas febriles y azarosas del 17 al 20 de julio de 1936; una narración de los comienzos de la trágica contienda en los centros oficiales, las redacciones de los periódicos, las sedes de los sindicatos obreros y especialmente en la calle donde millares de luchadores anónimos se aprestaban a combatir a morir de ser preciso, en defensa de sus respectivos ideales.

Guzman

Eduardo de Guzmán (1909 – 1991) Nacido en Villada (Palencia) en 1909 pero residente en Madrid hace medio siglo, inicía muy joven sus actividades profesionales trabajando en diversos periódicos. En 1930 es nombrado redactor jefe del diario madrileño La Tierra, cargo que desempeña durante cinco años. En 1935 pasa a La Libertad como editorialista y redactor político hasta comienzos de la guerra en que se integró en las redacciones de CNT y Frente Libertario.  En febrero de 1937 se le designa director del periódico matutino Castilla Libre, órgano de la C.N.T en la capital de España, que mantuvo hasta el fin de la contienda (ultimo numero de 28 de marzo). Apresado en Alicante (1-4-39), conoció los campos de concentración y la cárcel (Yeserías), fue condenado a muerte en enero de 1940, indultado en mayo de 1941 y liberado en 1944. Formó en el Comité Nacional de Amil en 1944 (secretario general). Tiró un año de cárcel en Oviedo en 1951, acusado de espionaje …

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 182014
 

ED-MILIBAND CHAPTER IV: FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

 “A prendre le terme dans la rigueur de I’acception il n’a jamais existé de veritable democratie, et il n’en existera jamais. II est contre I’ordre naturel que le grand nombre gouverne, et que le petit soit gouverné. ” — J. J. Rousseau, Contrat Social.

Leadership is a necessary phenomenon in every form of social life. Consequently it is not the task of science to inquire whether this phenomenon is good or evil, or predominantly one or the other. But there is great scientific value in the demonstration that every system of leadership is incompatible with the most essential postulates of democracy. We are now aware that the law of the historic necessity of oligarchy is primarily based upon a series of facts of experience. Like all other scientific laws, sociological laws are derived from empirical observation. In order, however, to deprive our axiom of its purely descriptive character, and to confer upon it that status of analytical explanation which can alone transform a formula into a law, it does not suffice to contemplate from a unitary outlook those phenomena which may be empirically established; we must also study the determining causes of these phenomena. Such has been our task.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 172014
 

BlairBrownCHAPTER III: PARTY-LIFE IN WARTIME

Never is the power of the state greater, and never are the forces of political parties of opposition less effective, than at the outbreak of war. This deplorable war, comes like a storm in the night, when everyone, wearied with the labours of the day, was plunged in well-deserved slumber, rages all over the world with unprecedented violence, and with such a lack of respect for human life and of regard for the eternal creations of art as to endanger the very cornerstones of a civilization dating from more than a thousand years. One of the cornerstones of historical materialism is that the working classes all over the world are united as if by links of iron through the perfect community of economico-social interests which they possess in face of the bourgeoisie, this community of interests effecting a horizontal stratification of classes which runs athwart and supersedes the vertical stratification of nations and of races. The greatest difference, in fact, in the views taken of economico- social classes and of linguistico-ethical nationalities, as between the respective adherents of nationalistic theories and of the theories of historical materialism, consists in this, that the former propound the hypothesis that the concept “nation” is morally and positively predominant over the concept “class,” whilst the latter consider the concept and reality “nation” altogether subordinate to the concept “class.” The Marxists, in fact, believed that the consciousness of class had become impressed upon the entire mentality of the proletariat imbued with socialist theories.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 162014
 
Lobster

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”

CHAPTER II: DEMOCRACY AND THE IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY

Reduced to its most concise expression, the fundamental sociological law of political parties (the term “political” being here used in its most comprehensive significance) may be formulated in the following terms: “It is organisation which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organisation, says oligarchy.”

Whilst the majority of the socialist schools believe that in a future more or less remote it will be possible to attain to a genuinely democratic order, and whilst the greater number of those who adhere to aristocratic political views consider that democracy, however dangerous to society, is at least realizable, we find in the scientific world a conservative tendency voiced by those who deny resolutely and once for all that there is any such possibility. As was shown in an earlier chapter, 1 this tendency is particularly strong in Italy, where it is led by a man of weight, Gaetano Mosca, who declares that no highly developed social order is possible without a “political class,” that is to say, a politically dominant class, the class of a minority. Those who do not believe in the god of democracy are never weary of affirming that this god is the creation of a childlike mythopoeic faculty, and they contend that all phrases representing the idea of the rule of the masses, such terms as state, civic rights, popular representation, nation, are descriptive merely of a legal principle, and do not correspond to any actually existing facts. They contend that the eternal struggles between aristocracy and democracy of which we read in history have never been anything more than struggles between an old minority, defending its actual predominance, and a new and ambitious minority, intent upon the conquest of power, desiring either to fuse with the former or to dethrone and replace it. On this theory, these class struggles consist merely of struggles between successively dominant minorities. The social classes which under our eyes engage in gigantic battles upon the scene of history, battles whose ultimate causes are to be found in economic antagonism, may thus be compared to two groups of dancers executing a chassé croisé in a quadrille.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 152014
 

MilibandCHAPTER I: THE CONSERVATIVE BASIS OF ORGANISATION

At this point in our inquiry two decisive questions present themselves. One of these is whether the oligarchical disease of the democratic parties is incurable. This will be considered in the next chapter. The other question may be formulated in the following terms. Is it impossible for a democratic party to practise a democratic policy, for a revolutionary party to pursue a revolutionary policy? Must we say that not socialism alone, but even a socialistic policy, is Utopian? The present chapter will attempt a brief answer to this inquiry.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 142014
 
Domela

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1846 –1919)

CHAPTER 4: ANARCHISM AS PROPHYLACTIC

Anarchists were the first to insist upon the hierarchical and oligarchical consequences of party organisation. Their view of the defects of organisation is much clearer than that of socialists and even than that of syndicalists. They resist authority as the source of servility and slavery, if not the source of all the ills of the world. For them constraint is “synonymous with prison and police.” 1 They know how readily the individualism of the leaders checks and paralyses the socialism of the led. In order to elude this danger, anarchists, notwithstanding the practical inconveniences entailed, have refrained from constituting a party, at least in the strict sense of the term. Their adherents are not organized under any stable form. They are not united by any discipline. They know nothing of obligations or duties, such as elections, pecuniary contributions, participation in regular meetings, and so on.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 132014
 
Dockstrike

Report on the Dockers’ Strike of 1889

CHAPTER 3: SYNDICALISM AS PROPHYLACTIC

According to the syndicalist doctrine, it is essential to transfer the revolutionary centre of gravity of the proletariat from the political party to the trade union. The union is conceived as a politically neutral organism, one which does not adhere to any party, but which is socialist in inspiration and aim.

It is the great merit of the syndicalists that they have understood how disastrous would be isolated syndicalist activity, devoid of any general theory, living simply from day to day; and to have advocated with much energy the indissoluble union of the working class, organized in its trade unions, with the socialist idea as spiritus rector and as ultimate aim. The syndicalists desire (and here, for once, they agree with the Marxist politicians) to diffuse among the organized workers the conviction that the trade union cannot attain its aim except by the elimination of capitalism, that is to say, by the abolition of the existing economic order. But the syndicalists also desire (and here they are in open conflict with all the other currents of contemporary socialism) that the trade union should not merely be an asylum for socialist ideas, but that it should also directly promote socialist activity, pursuing not simply a trade- unionist policy in the amplest sense of the term, but in addition and above all a socialist policy. Syndicalism is to put an end to the dualism of the labour movement by substituting for the party, whose sole functions are politico-electoral, and for the trade union, whose sole functions are economic, a completer organism that shall represent a synthesis of the political and of the economic function.1

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Jun 132014
 
Bakunin2

Michael Bakunin (1814 –1876)

CHAPTER II: THE POSTULATE OF RENUNCIATION

The dissolution of the democratic consciousness of the leaders may doubtless be retarded, if not completely arrested, by the influence of intellectual or purely ideological factors. “So long as the guidance and representation of the party remains in the hands of persons who have grown grey in the great tradition of socialism,”1 so long, that is to say, as the party is still dominated by vigorous socialistic idealism, it is possible that in certain conditions the leaders will retain their ancient democratic sentiments, and that they will continue to regard themselves as the servitors of the masses from whom their power is derived. We have already discussed the drastic measures that have been proposed to prevent the embourgeoisement of the leaders of proletarian origin. But it is not enough to prevent the proletarian elements among the leaders from adopting a bourgeois mode of life; it is also essential, on this line of thought, to insist upon the proletarianization of the leaders of bourgeois origin. In order to render it impossible for the socialist intellectuals to return to their former environment it has been proposed to insist that they should assimilate the tenor of their lives to that of the proletarian masses, and should thus descend to the level of their followers. It is supposed that their bourgeois instincts would undergo atrophy if their habits were to be in external respects harmonized as closely as possible with those of the proletariat.

Continue reading »

Share and enjoy:
  • Print
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks