POLITICAL PARTIES. A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracies by Robert Michels

 Politics  Comments Off on POLITICAL PARTIES. A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracies by Robert Michels
Dec 312015

PoliticalPartiessmallFirst published in German in 1911, Robert Michels’ ‘Political Parties’ is a classic of political and social science; it analyses the evolution of oligarchical power structures within political parties and trade unions, particularly those, ostensibly, most committed to egalitarian and democratic ideals — socialist parties, organisations and trade unions — including anarcho-syndicalist labour unions. Clearly and succinctly the libertarian syndicalist (at the time) Michels explains the emergence of elites and the process and dynamic by which radical parties lose sight of their radical objectives within representative parliamentary and electoral systems. His starting point is the hypothesis that in organizations committed to the realization of democratic values there inevitably arise strong oligarchic tendencies, which present a serious if not insuperable obstacle to the realization of those values. “It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over the electors, of the mandatories over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization says oligarchy”. Thus Michels summed up his famous “iron law of oligarchy.”

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Mar 272010

UCS1 is perhaps the most lively of Cinema Action’s campaign films. Its short length carries considerable conviction. Most notably, the determination of the shipyard workers is conveyed by the cut to black and the fade-in on union leader Jimmy Reid announcing to a sea of faces, framed by cranes, that the yards are under the workers’ occupation. Reid’s colleague Jimmy Airlie’s more reflective appeal brings the film to a nonetheless forceful conclusion.
A joint shop stewards’ committee successfully ran the occupation of Upper Clyde shipyards for fourteen months until February 1972. It was an unprecedented response to the government’s plan to liquidate the yards. Since the only other media contact by the shop stewards was press conferences, Cinema Action’s footage inside the yards is unique. Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde (d. Cinema Action, 1977) tells the whole story of the dispute and the occupation. Cinema Action returned again to the Upper Clyde in 1983 for Rocking the Boat which caught up movingly with veterans of the 1971-2 action

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Venezuela: 43 arrests on union march in Maracay

 Events, News  Comments Off on Venezuela: 43 arrests on union march in Maracay
Mar 132010


Click here – http://libcom.org/news/venezuela-43-arrests-union-march-maracay-12032010

43 people have been arrested in a demonstration for labour and human rights and the return of collective contracts in the city of Maracay, Aragua state, Venezuela. Among the detained are three members of the human rights organisation, Provea, and  an editor of the anarchist newspaper El Libertario. Protests, please, to the Venezuelan Consul in London: