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James - Facing Reality

James - Facing Reality

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FÅLÎMÖ ÑËÅLÎTY

by C. L. R. James,
Grace C. Lee, Pierre Chaulieu
BEWICK/ED
1974
´ �
Copyright c 1 974
Bewi ck Editi ons
1443 Bewi ck
Detroit, Mi ch. 48214
Published 1958 by
Correspondence Publishing LOO(ûO]
CONTENTS
Introduction . ¿
I The Workers Councils
n The Whole World
III The Self -Confessed Bankruptcy
of Official Society
IV End of a Philosophy
. V New Society: New People
V The Marxist Organization: 1903-1958
VII What To Do and How To Do It
Conclusion
Appendix .
5
7
20
42
65 .
71
86
106
161
167
INTRODUCTION
The whole world today lives in the shadow of the
state power. This state power is an ever-present self­
perpetuating body over and above society. It transforms
the human personality into a ma's of economic needs TO
be satisfied by decimal points of economic progress. It
robs everyone of initiative and clogs the free develop­
ment of society. This state power, by whatever name it
Is called, One-Party state or Welfare state, destroys
aU pretense of government by the peopie, of the people.
/,11 that remains is government for the people.
Against this monster, people all over the world, !ld
particularly ordinary working people in factorieB, mines,
fields, and offices, are rebelling every day in ways of
their own invention. Sometimes their struggles are on a
small personal scale. More effectively, they are the ac­
tJOn of groups, formal or informal, but always unof-
""""""""""PPPP"PP"PPPPPææææææj�1 , -Qlr:g:a.l nljzZA�d around their WOk and their place of
work. Always the aim is to regain control over their
ovm conditions of life and their relations with one
another. Their strivings, their struggles, their methods
have few chroniclers. They themselves are constantly
attempting various forms of organization, uncertain of
where the struggle is going to end. Nevertheless, they
are imbued with one fundamental certainty, that they
l1ave to destroy the continuously mounting bureaucratic
mass or be themselves destroyed by it.
For some years after the war it seemed that the to­
talitarian state, by its control of every aspect of human
11fe, had crushed forever all hopes for freedom, for lib­
erty and socialism. Men struggled, but under the belief
that the Welfare State was in reality only a half-way
house to the ultimate totalitarian domination. A sym­
bolical date was even fixed when this would be achieved
all over the world, 1984.
Now, however, the Hungarian Revolution has un­
covered, for the whole world to see, the goal to which
the struggles against bureaucracy are moving. The Hun­
garian people have restored the belief of the Nineteenth
century in progress. They have restored to the revolu­
tionary socialist movement the conviction that the fu­
ture lies with the power of the working class and the
great masses of the people.
It must never be forgotten that the Hungarian Revo­
lution was successful as no other revolution in hiBtory
'as successful. The totalitarian state was not merely
defeated. It was totally destroyed and the counter­
rEvolution crushed. It is the totality OÍ the success which
õ
ð
ITHOILCT1ON
e�labled the workers to do so much before the revolu­
tlOn
.
was robbed of its victory by Russian tanks from
outsIde
:
What then was the great achievement of th
revolutlOn?
e
By �he total uprising of a people, the Hungarian
RevolutIOn has disclosed the political form which not
only �est7'oyS the bureaucratic state power, but substi­
�utes In Its place a socialist democracy, based not on
the
.
�ontrol of leople but on the mastery of thil.gs. This
polltIcal form IS the Workers Councils, embracing the
W�10le
.
of the working population from bottom to top,
oma?Ized at th
.
e source o! all power, the place of wol'k,
makmg all deCIsions in the shop or in the office.
I. THE 'ORKERS COUNCILS
HUNGARY
The secret of the Workers Councils is this. From the
very start of the Hungarian Revolution, these shop floor
organizations of the workers demonstrated such con­
scious mastery of the needs, processes, and inter-rela­
tions of production, that they did not have to exercise
any domination over ]£O]Í£. That mastery is the only
basis of political power against the bureaucratic state.
JI is the very essence of any government which is to be
based upon general consent and not on force . The ad­
ministration of things by the Workers Councils estab­
lIshed a basic coherence in society and from this coher­
ence they derived automatically their right to govern.
,Vorkers' management of production, government from
below, and government by consent have thus been
shown to be one and the same thing.
The actual resort to arms has obscured the social
transformation that took place from the first day of the
revolution. Along with the fighting the workers took
over immediate control of the country. So complete was
their mastery of production that large bodies of men,
dispersed over wide areas, could exercise their control
v;ith the strategy of a general deployil g troops, and
YEt with the flexibility of a single craftsman guiding his
tools. The decision to carry out a general strike was
not decreed by any center. Simultaneously and spon­
taneously in all industrial areas of the country, the de­
CISion not to work was taken, and the strike organized
itself immediately according to the objective needs of
the revolutionary forces. On the initiative of the Work­
ers Councils in each plant, it was possible to come to a
general decision, immediately acceptable to all, as to
who should work and who should not work, where the
goods produced should go and where they should not go.
No central plan was needed
.
The plan ,vas within each
individual factory. General strikes have played a deci­
sive role in bringing down governments in every modern
revolution, but never before has the general been ini­
tiated and controlled so completely by the particular.
It was not merely unity against the common enemy
which made this cohesion possible. The strike, as well as
the whole course of the revolution, demonstrated how
deep were its roots il the mastery over production and
social processes, which is the natural and acquired
power of modern workers.
T
r
l
8 FACING REALTY
IHOLUCTÎOA IOH USE
All great revolutions have obtained arms from sol­
diers who joined the revolution, and by taking",them
from the police and the arsenals of the state. In this
the Hungarian Revolution was no exception
.
The dif­
ference is that in Hungary, despite the fact that the
whole army came over to the revolution, the Workers
Councils proceeded immediately to manufacture their
own arms
.
The decision was immediately taken that
these newly-produced arms should be distributed to the
striking workers in other industries who were to with­
draw them�elves into an army of defense. Production
for use was for them not a theory but an automatic
procedure from the moment they began to govern
themselves.
At a certain stage the Miners' Councils decided t
work in order to keep the mines from flooding. At
another, they inormed the Kadar government precisely
how much they would produce in exchange for precise
political concessions. At the same time they opened
out to all a vision of the future by stating boldly and
confidently that once all their political demands were
realized, they would produce at a rate that would as­
tonish the world. Thus they established that the secret
of higher productivity is self-government in production.
Previous revolutions have concentrated on the seiz­
ure of political power and only afterwards faced the
problems of organizing production according to new
procedures and method'. The great lesson of the years
1923-1956 has been this, that degradation in production
re}ations results in the degradation of political relations
and from there to the degradation of all relations in
society. The Hungarian Revolution has reversed this
process. A a result of the stage reached by modem in­
dustry and its experience uder the bureaucratic lead­
ership of the Party and it Plan, the revolution from
the very beginning seized power in the process of pro­
duction and from there organized the political power.
The Workers Councils did not look to governments
to carry out their demands. In the Hungarian Revolu­
tion the Workers Councils not only released the politi­
cal prisoners, as in all revolutions. They immediately
rehired them at their old plants without loss of pay.
Even while they were demanding that the governent
abolish the sYtem of nors and quotas, they were
themselves establishing how much work should be done
a.nd by whom, in accordance with what was needed.
They demanded increases in wages, but they assumed
the responsibility not only for paying wages but for
THE WORKERS COUNCILS
9
increasing them by 10%. From the moment that they
took the apparatus of industry under their control, th
.
ey
began to tear off the veils which hide the essential
simplicity of the modern economy.
GOVERNENT BY THE PEOPLE
The parties, the administrators and �he pl�nners
have claimed always that without them socIety WIll c�l­
lapse into anarchy and chaos. The Workers CouncIls
recognized the need for an official center and for 8
head of state. Early in the revolution, because they be­
lIeved Nagy to have the confidence of the peopl
.
e, they
proposed that he assue the national �eadershiP. But
the Councils finished once and for all wlth the delega­
tion of powerS to a center while the population r
.
etreats
into passive obedience. Thus the Workers CouncIls and
thE Nagy governent were not a dual power in the
classical sense of that phrase. The Nagy g�vernm�nt
proposed to legalize the revo!u�ionary ?o
.
unClI� by m­
corporating them into the eXIstmg admmlstratlOn. The
Workers Councils made it clear, in reply, that they
were the legal administration, and that the pow��
.
to
legalize, incorporate, indeed dis-establish
.
�n
.
afUClal
center, reBted with them. They drew no dIstmctlOn be­
tween the work of production and the work of govern­
ment. They decided who should OCCUpy governent
posts, who should be dismissed,
.
which ministries should
be retained, which should be dIssolved.
.
Evervone knows that the revolution attacked WIthout
mercy the infamous Stalinist secret police. But pe�ple
have not concerned
.
themselves with the far �

re I�­
portant judicial actIOns of the Workers Coun�Ls. It TS
traditional with revolutions to place on �n
.
al those
members of the old regime whom popular opmlOn ho�ds
most responsible for its crimes. In the las�twenty-fIve
years, however, the trials of political
.
enemIes an�ven­
geance against them have become mseparable
.
m the
public mind from the brutalities of the totahtanan and
imperialistic states. Conscious that
.
they
.
repr�sented
B new social order, and never forgettmg, In
.
theIr own
words, why they were fighting, the Hunganan revol:­
tionaries renounced terror and vengeance. Charact
.
en?­
tically they carried out their judicial fuctIO? wlthl?
the framework of the plant itself. The Counclls constI­
tuted themselves into courts to discus, one by one, the
directors of the plant, the trade union officials, and the
party officials, to decide which 1houl�be expell�d from
the plant and which allowed to remam. They dIssolved
and destroyed the records of the personnel departments
Iû FACING REALITY
which had become, as in pla. nts the world over, centers
of blacklisting and spying.
THE END OF THE POLITICAL PARTY
One of the greatest achievements of the Hungarian
Revolution was to destroy once and for all the legend
that the working class cannot act succeslfully except
under the leadership of a political party. It did all that
it did precisely because it was not under the leadership
of a political party. If a pOlitical party had existed to
lead the revolution, that political party would have led
the revolution to disaster, as it has led every revolution
to disaster dUi"ing the last thirty years. There was lead­
ership on all sides, but there was no party leading it.
No party in the world would have dared to lead the
country into a counter-attack in the face of thousands
of Russian tanks. Nothing but an organization in close
contact with the working class population in the factory,
and which therefore knew and felt the strength of the
population at every stage, could have dared to begin
the battle a second time. still later, after the military
battle had been lost, no organization except Workers
Councils would have dared to start a general strike
and carry it on for five weeks, unquestionably the most
astonishing event in the whole history of revolutionary
struggles.
In these unprecedented examples of leadership the
Workers Councils put an end to the foolish dreams,
disasters, and despair which have attended all those
who, since 1923, have placed the hope for socialism ÌO
the elite party, whether Communist or Social-Democrat.
The political party, as such, whatever type it il, consti­
tutes essentially a separation of the organizing intellec­
tuals and workers with an instinct for leadership, from
the masses as force and motive power. As long as the
real centers of administration were the private capi­
talists in their varioul spheres, the apparatus of gov­
ernment was relatively simple. Political parties as such
CGuid represent the opposig classes and in their con­
flicts with one another and their bid for popular sup­
port, clarify the choices before society, and educate the
population as a whole. But with the growth of large
scale production, the state apparatul controls the na­
tional economy in fact, and whichever paty comes to
power inherits and becomes the agent of an existing
a.pparatus.
Control over production means first and foremost
control over the workers, and the modern state can'
function only if the decisive trade unions are incor-
THE WORKERS COUNCILS
pOl'ated into it, or are prepared at critical moments lC
submit to it. The powerful labor organizations, there­
fore, by their very existence, must SUPPl'elS those crea­
tIVe energies which the reconstitution of society demands
f!Om the mass of the people. The Workers Councils in
Hungary instructed the workers to put aside party affil­
iutions and elect their delegates according to their
judgment of them as workers in the plant. At the same
time no worker was dilcriminated against either in his
work or in his election to the Workers Councils because
of his party affiliations. The traditional political par­
ties take their political differences into tl1e factories,
treaking the unity of the workers according to these
divisions. They make of individual workers representa­
tIVes of a political line, cm-rupting relations between
people by transforming them into relations of political
rivalry. Once the powers of government were with the
shop floor organizations, the objective relations of the
labor process provided all the discipline required. On
the basis of that objective discipline, the widest variety
of views and idiosyncracies could not only be tolerated
but welcomed.
So confident were the Workers Councils that the
,"orkers' mastery over production would be decisive in
the solution of all important questions, that they pro­
posed a great Party of the Revolution. This was to in­
Clude all who had taken part in the revolution, the
clerical and petty-bourgeois Right, former members of
the Small Proprietors Party, Social-Democrats and Com­
munists. Before these and other proposals could be
'orked out and tried, the Russian tanks suppressed the
revolution.
Once the Hungarian people erupted spontaneously,
tbe rest followed with an organic necesSity and a com­
pleteness of self-organization that distinguishes this
revolution from all previous revolutions and marks it
a.s specifically a revolution of the middle of the Twen­
tieth Century. So obviously were the Workers Councils
the natural and logical alternative to the totalitarian
state, that the traditional demand for a Constituent
Alsembly or Convention to create a new form of gov­
ernment, was not even raised. So deep is the conscious­
ness in modern people that organization of production
is the basis of society, that the whole population mo­
bilized itself around the Workers Councils as the natural
govel ent.
It is not excluded that in their search for ways and
means to organize a new state, political partiel might
J7 FACIG REALITY
have been formed. But with the state founded on Work­
ers Councils, no political parties could assume the pow­
ers, suppress the people, or make the mischief that we
have seen from all of them in the last thirty years.
WORKERS AND INTELLIGENTSIA
Capitalism has created and steadily deepened the
glf between workers and the intelligentsia (technicians
and intellectuals). These have been incoporated by
capitalism into the directing apparatus of industry
and the state. There they administer and discipline
the working population. The Hungarian workers,. con­
scious that technicians are part of the labor process,
gave to technicians and intellectuals their place on the
Workers Councils. The majority on the Councils were
fittingly production workers, who comtitute the majo­
l'ity in the plant itself. But in these all-inclusive Work­
ers Councils, the technician could be functionally re­
lated to the activities and attitudes of the plant com­
Iunity, instead of being isolated from the mass of the
people, as he is on both sides of the Iron Curtain today.
In previous revolution, particularly the Russian, it
wa; necessary to state and restate and underline the
pGwer of the working class. The very emphasis testified
to the weakness of the proletariat in the social structure
of the nation. The modern world has understood, after
three decades of bitter experience, that the socialist
revolution is a national revolution. Recognied at home
and abroad 8 the leader of the nation, the Hungarian
workers called for the establishment of "Workers Coun­
ci1; in every branch of the national activity." Thus not
only white colla workers in offices, but all goverent
enlployees, includig the police, should have their own
Councils.
The Hungarian intellectUals heroically defied Stal­
inism. Yet even after the revolution began, all that
they could demand ¼8 the democratization of the Party
and the government, freedom of speech, honesty in plac­
ing the economic situation before the people, Nagy in
power, etc. Within a week they had come to the con­
clusion that the Workers Councils should form the
government of the county with Zoltan Kodaly. the
composer, 8 president because of his great national and
international reputation. It wa the Hungarian workers
and not they who showed the form for the new society.
" FARMERS AN THE WORKERS
The Hungaria peasants showed how far society
has progressed in the last 30 years. They broke up the
collective farms which were in reality factories in the
G
U
O
V
Hungary 1956
TE WORKERS COUNCILS 13
field, owned and ru by the state, the Party. and the
Plan. But at the same time they immediately organized
themselves to establish contact with the workers and
others in the· towrs on the basis of social need. They
organized theil' trucks to take them food, did not wait
ÍO be paid but went back to the countryside to bring in
new loads, risking their lives to do so.
So confident were they that the only power against
the totalitarian state was the workers, that the peasants
did not wait to see if the workers would guarantee them
the land before committing themselves to the active
support of the Workers Councils. What revolutionary
governments have usually striven in vai to win, the
confidence of the peasants, was here achieved i re­
verse-the peasant took all risks in order to show his
confidence in the worker.
These objectively developed relations of cooperation
have now passed into the subjective personality of peo­
ple, their instinctive responses and the way they act.
Released from the fear that art and literature must
serve only politics, sensing all aroUhd them the expan­
sion of human needs, human capacities, and cooperation,
the Hungarian people created twenty-five new news­
papers overnight, the older artists and the younger tal­
ents pouring out news, articles, stories, and poems, in a
flood -tide of artistic energy.
WORKERS AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Hungarian Workers Councils not only made ap­
peals to the Russian troops to cease fire and go home.
They entered into negotiations and made direct arrange­
ments with Russian commanders to retire. At least one
Council not only negotiated the removal of a garrison
of Russian troops but arranged for it to be supplied
with food. This was not just fraternization. It was the
assumption of responsibility by the Workers Councils
fnr foreign affairs. The simplicity with which the nego­
tiations were carried out reflects the education which
the post-war world has received in the futile bickering
a,nd cynical propagandizing of cease-fire conferences in
Korea, Big Four meetings in London and Paris. and
Big Two meetings in Geneva. Russian trops mutinied
and deserted to fight under the command of the Hun­
garian Councils. When the hospital at Debrecen radioed
its needs for iron lugs, the Workers Councils at Miskolc
undertook to get these from West Germany and by radio
organi�ed the landing of the lung-bearing plane at the
Debrecen airport. The Hungarian Revolution transcend­
ed that combination of threats, snarls, lies, hypocrisy,
i4 FACING REALITY
and brutality which today appear under the headlines
of foreign affairs.
The Hungarian people welcomed such medical aid
and supplies as they received from abroad. But, as they
explained to their Czech brothers, it was not assistance
Ul charity which they needed as much as understanding
by the world that they fought not only for themselves
but for Europe. To a world which is constantly being
offered bribes of economic aid and promises of a higher
standa.rd of living, these word ring with a new morality.
The Hungarian people were not begging for handouts
from the Romanian, Serb, or Slovak worker. They
V0TÎUG them to join in the common ltruggle for a new
society.
The neutrality which the Hungarian people demand­
ed WG5 not the neutrality of a Switzerland. The revolu­
tion 1BG D fact begun by a mass demonstration of
solidarity with the Poles. They did not want their coun­
try to be the battleground of the struggle between
JUf!1Cû and Russia for mastery of the world, but they
themselves were prepared to lay down their lives in the
struggle to build a new society, side by side with the
other peoples of Europe on both west and Ealt.
The urgent appeals for arms in the final days of
the military battle, the voices fading from the radio
\\1IÌ cries for help, must be seen against this awareness
by the Hungarian population that they were in the
forefront of a world movement to build a new civiliza­
tion, as profoundly different from American materialism
as from Russian totalitarianism. Such confidence in the
ideals and aiml by which men live can come in the
modern world only from a material foundation. The ma­
terial foundation of the Hungarian workers was their
nntural and acquired capacity to organize production,
and their experience of the centralized Plan and the
whole bureaucratic organization which has reached it
ultimate in the One-Party State but which is character­
istic of modern society the world over.
Helpless before this new civilization, so weak in logis­
ticE; but so powerful in appeal to the peoples of the
world, aware that it is just below the surface in all
Europe and is ready to destroy both American and Rus­
sian imperialism, the. western Powers hesitated for µ
moment and then turned their vast propaganda ma­
chine to one single aim, to transform the content of the
Hungarian Revolution into a problem of refugees. The
poor, the needy, the supplicating, the weak, and helpless.
these the American Welfare State can deal with by
THE WORKERS COUNCILS I5
charity and red tape. Thus, as in the East, Russia ap­
plied herself to the lystematic destruction of the Work­
ers Councils by deportation to labor camps, the Ameri­
can government in the West began the break-up by
organizing refugee camps. The Hungarian people have
not been deceived by this characteristic American
maneuver. The failure of the Hungarian Revolution
they have placed squarely at the door of both the Rus­
sian and the American governments.
THE VICTORY WAS COMPLETE
The complete withdrawal of the Russian troops from
2.11 Hngary was on the surface a national demand. But
in reality, that is, in the concrete circumstances, the
wrlOle population realized that the Ruslian tanks were
the only force inside the country able to crush · the
Workers Coucils. To speak of a civil war between
Right and Left in Hungary once the Russian troops had
left, in the classical style of national revolutions, is to
misunderstand completely the stage to which the mas­
tery of production by the workers has reached in mod­
ern 'ociety and the understanding of this by the whole
population.
In the Hungarian Revolution there was no divorce
between immediate objectives and ultimate aims, be­
tween instinctive action and conscious purpose. Work­
ing, thinking, fighting, bleeding Hungary, never for a
moment forgot that it was incubating a new society,
not only for Hungary but for all mankind. In the midst
of the organization of battle, the Workers Councils or­
ganized political discussions not only of the position
of the particular plant in relation to the total struggle,
but of the aims which the councils should achieve. They
carried on incessant political activity to root out the
political and organizational remnants of the old l'eg'ime
and work out new politics. They knew that the danger
to the Workers Councils �ay, not in the middle classes
oDtside the factory, but from the state, the Communist
Party, and the trade union bureaucrats, all trying to
remove the power from the shop floor. At the very be­
ginning of the revolution, the Gero government, l'ecog­
njzing that the party and the unions had collapsed,
called upon the party cadres i the plants to form
ccuncill and mobilize them against the revolutionary
population in the streets. The workers in the streets
returned to the factories, threw out the party cadres
and re-elected their own Councils on the shop floor.
Then they issued the annoucement, "We have been
elected by the workers and not by the government."
l8 FACING REALITY
was the most fossiiized and bureaucratic of all the or­
ganizations which made up the Staliist system.
THE WORKERS TAKE OVER
But it was not a question merely of getting rid of
Stalinists, Stalinist bureaucrats, labor bureaucrats, and
their persecution of the ranks. The economic life of the
country had to go on, and the Workers Councils pro­
ceeded to assume responsibility for this by completely
dIscarding the State Plan except as a general guide, and
tbemselves carrying out the negotiations from factory
to factory. While Khrushchev turns the Russian econ­
omy uPside down in a desperate search for means to
make it viable, and theoretical men of good-will break
their heads in the search for plan without bureaucracy.
the Polish workers simply took over the plants where
they had worked all their lives. That alwaY will be the
only way to organize a national economy.
It was such councils of Polish workers which org'an­
ized the Poznan revolt. It was these same Workers
Councils which mobilized themselves in the plants over
the October 19 weekend, and stood ready with arms in
hand to support Gomulka and the Central Committee
of the Polish Party in their defiance of Khrushchev.
The Russians retreated. Gomulka is in power. All
visitors report absence of fear among the Polish people,
the lively discussions going on, and the readiess on
the part of all to discuss freely with foreigners. That
all this exists i' due to the power which the Workers
Councils exercise inside the plant. The central problem,
however, remains. How is the economy, reduced to such
chaos by the Party and the Plan, to be put on its feet
again? Gomulka faces the insoluble problem which
will lead inevitably either to the intituting of 8 Gov­
ernment of Workers Councils or once more to û plain
and open domination by Russia.
With all the good-will in the world and despite the
dismissal of bureaucrats, Poland remains a country run
by the Party but this time without any Plan, and tbe
Plan is inseparable from the elite party. That is bow
the contemporary Polisb State was built, and slowly the
whole bureaucratic formation is re-asserting itself. Go­
mulka stands half-way, with a working class in action
in many spheres but above it a bureaucracy which is
recovering its strengtb and is determined to re-assert
itself, whether under Gomulka or any other leader.
This is of extreme importance, for the Polish Commu­
nist Party, under the pressure of the people and the
THE WORKERS COUNCILS
ì9
workers, did try to refoJ'm itself. It failed, as all re­
forms of totalitarian states are bound TO fail.
That is the Poland of Gomulka today. Back to sta­
linism or forward to the revolution of the Polish work­
ers for socialism, that is to say, the Government of
'Vorkers Councils.
There are some (and they even call themselves Malx­
ists) who admit the creative power of the Hungarian
Revolution, but prophesied for it failure and degenera­
tion, even if it had not been crushed by Russian tanks.
The road that Poland is traveling so rapidly should in­
struct them that it is the half-hearted attack OT TÌC
Party and the Plan which produces degeneration. Theil'
total destuction is the only guarantee of a future.
Workers Councils in every department of the national
activity, a Government of Workers Councils, are not
ends in themselves. They are means to an end. They
will result in one procedure in one country, and other
proced\I'es in other countries. They neither automati­
cally reject, nor automatically include democratic elec­
tions on a territorial or industrial basis; Ol' both com­
bined; or each for a period of trial. They would be
one thing in Hungary, something else in the United
States, and something else again in Britain or Japan.
But under all circumstances they would be the political
form in whicb the great masses of the people would be
able to bring their eneJ'gies to fulfill their destiny, in
accordance with their economic structure, their past
history, and their consciousness of themselves.
II. THE ,\HO L E "ITORLD
This is the fundamental political question of the
day: The Government of Workers Councils, w h i c Ì
sprang so fully and completely from the revolutionary
c:isis of Hungary, was it only a historical accident, pe­
culiar to totalitarianism, or is it the road of the futue
fo:!' all society? Actually, in the United States, with
the most advanced techology in the world, there exists
more than in any other country the framework and
forces for a Government of Workers Councils. The out­
side world haS been bluffed and bamboozled by Ameri­
can prop!ganda and American movies. Politically-mind­
ed people outside the United States, scannig the Amer­
ican social horizon, bewail the absence of a mass so­
cialist party and a politically-indoctrinated union move­
ment. American intellectuals and radicals do the same.
They are constantly looking for political parties, po­
litical allegiances, and political slogans of the old type.
They find none because the American workers are look­
ing for none. The struggle in America is between man­
agement, supervision, and the union bureaucrats on the
one side and the shop floor organizations on the other.
If any one national struggle can be pi-pointed as the
one on which the future fate of the world depends, it
J$ this struggle, and the American workers hold all the
cards.
THE UNITED STATES
In 1955 Walter Reuther won, and made all prepara­
tions to celebrate, one of his usual great victorieB­
the Guaranteed Anual Wage. The press was summoned,
the television cameras were i position, when suddenly
8 general strike of the Ford and General Motors work­
ers exploded from coast to coast. It was a strike ag'ainst
Reuther and the union. The slogan of the strike in
plant after plant bore the extremely modest title of
"local grievances." The great celebration of the Guar­
anteed Annual Wage ended with a whimper. The local
managements made such terms with the workers as
they could. The result of the nation-wide engagement
was a draw, the battle beginning again the very next
cay.
20
2 ¼EOIE WOR 2I
Ony one more example need be given here. In the
U. S. Rubber Plant i Detroit during the 16 months
prior to April 1956, there were on the average two wild­
cat stoppages a week. The Rubber Union is powerless
to stop them.
That is the abiding situation in thousands of plants
all over the United States. It is no secret. Since the
war over a hundred stUdies by industrial psychologists
have appeared, seeking in vain to find some means of
controlling and disciplining these workers. Pension
plans, guaranteed annual wage, wage increaBes, sick.
benefits, all these the unions win, promising in return
to discipline the working class, i. e. , to force it to submit
lO the schedules of production B planned by the em­
ployers. The only result has been to discredit the union
leadership and to range it definitely with management
and supervision as one of the enemies of the working
class.
The trade union apparatus acts as the bodyguard of
capital. Conducting all negotiations with management,
pl'ocessing all grievances through its elaborate grievance
procedure, it sits at the bargainig table in a hierarchy
of posts parallel at every level with that of management.
III an American plant the shop steward or the com­
mitteeman represents not the workers, but the union
apparatus. He is bound by the elaborate contract gov­
erning all issues of production which the union lead­
ership signs in return for wage increases, pension plans,
etc. The committeeman is responsible to the union and
to management for the canying out of this contract.
The result is that in the vast majority of iSsues involv­
ing actual methods of work, the workers have learned
to bypass the union and utilize their ow knowledge of
production and of the organic weakness of management
to gain their ends.
Under the conditions of modern industry, produc­
tion holds no mystery for the workers. Cooperation ra­
ther than competition i in the nature of the work
itelf. Because of the rhythm which the worker has
developed in himself and in the group with which he
IS working, he is able to devise and perfect a work and
social schedule of his own. The workers decide the
pace of the line or bring it 'to a stop by ways and means
which it is impossible for supervision to detect. This
schedule gets the work done, but it also creates free
time for rest, relaxation around the plant, looking over
different jobs and new machines, and visiting friends.
Management knows that the workers are doig all this,
?2 FACING REALITY
but where the workers in a plant are powerfully or­
ganized, it stays out of their way as much as possible.
The situation i too delicate. Any issue, however slight,
!B} cause an explosion.
It is freedom to organize their work as they please
combined with all sorts of details, such as smoking Ol�
the job, the condition of the rest room, not working
when it is too hot, which pass undeJ.' the title of "local
grievances." What the phrase really signifies in the
large American plants is the determination of workers
. to run the plants to suit themselves and not the man­
agement.
Naturally, the workers, even when solidly organized,
OD not have it all their own way. Management counter­
attacks at every opportunity. 'he result is that produc­
tion, the most important business of society, is at the
mercy of this gigantic, disruptive, and unceasing con�
fliet. Every year in the automobile plants there is 3
period when the models are changed. At this time the
l'Eal chaos of American production and its root cause
become patent. Plans and new machinery which have
been elaborated for months i the offices are intro­
euced. Supervision seizes the opportunity to try to re­
Ftore its damaged authority. The foreman places work­
ers where he wishes, being concerned chiefly w i t h
breaking up old groups and reorganizing the plant, not
for production but for discipline. The result is disor­
ganization, turmoil, and chaos (and production of cars
that auto workers know better than to buy), until the
workers, for their own comfort and ease of work, get
together and restore some order into the plant.
The much-lauded know-how of American manage­
ment is a myth, and the superiority of American man­
agement is due entirely to the heavy investment i capi­
tal and the order which American workers introduce
into the plant to suit themselves. When the plans for
new machinery are introduced into the plant, they can­
not be applied at all unless the workers take them in
charge and apply them in the way they think best. Pro­
duction i a modern plant is based upon cooperation,
not upon authority, and cooperation is essentially a
problem of human relations. The strategy and tactics
of the workers spring from the fact that all productivity
and progress in the plant depend upon them.
WHAT WIDCATS SIGNIFY
The realities of life iside the American factory
drive relentlessly to one overpowering conclusion. This
conclUsion i that management and supervision have
THE WHOLE WORLD
now become as much an anachronism as a. feudal land­
lord or a slave driver on a cotton plantation. Manage­
ment, supervision, foremen are the chief source of dis­
order and disruption in production. Millions of Ameri­
can workers know that if they were left to themselves
to organize the plants in their own way, they would
work out their own schedules of production, lessen their
hours, raise production to undreamed of heights, enor­
mously increase their own knowledge and capacity, and
have a wonderful time in the plant. They know that
they can arrange work for women in relation to their
special skills and household duties, find suitable tasks­
fOJ: the aged or the handicapped, work hard when it is
required and take it easy at other times. That is pre­
cisely what has always been understood to be socialist
relations of production. American workers, like workers
everywhere, are not dominated by the desire not to
work. But the cooperation and the discipline that hav�
been �nstilled into them by large scale machinery have
been turned into bitterness and frustration by the capi­
talist nature of production.
For the time being, their energies and powers are
for the most part used in resistance, either in the plant
or' by walking out on the slightest excuse-the wildcat
strike. Wildcats are a constant defiance and rejection
of the capitalist system and of the union bureaucracy
which has tied its fortunes to' capitalism. Nothing that
management or the union does can stop them. Wild­
ca,ts are the ever-present reminder of what the AmeJ. "ican
workers think of the economic system under which they
live.
Unable to control the workers, either in its own name
or through the union, management i the United States
has embarked on a huge program of automation. As if
driven by devils, the large corporations have begun to
invest billions in new equipment, frantically scrapping
still useful machinery, headlining each new expansion
with speeches about progress. At the same time thous­
ands are being laid off and those still in the shop are
working three and four days a week, building new mod­
els, while the just completed models are still resting
unsold and rusting in dealer lots. In the auto industry
the production schedules see-saw back and forth like
the front lines of a battle, with management obviously
in the grip of forces beyond it control.
This unending conflict with management, the con­
stant uncertainty of life, the futility of the union, all
are forcig millions of American workers, and the auto
2# FACING REALITY
worker in particular, to positive perspectives which b,Y­
pass political parties and touch the very heart of Amer­
ican society:
1) That the decisions on scheduling of production
as a whole, when there should be model changeovers,
and whether or not there should be, whether or not new
equipment should be introduced and when, these vital
decisions can no longer be left to management. Only
the workers can and must organize this.
2) That the only way to keep everybody at work is
for everything to be produced for use and not for the.
market.
AUTOMATION AND THE TOTAL CRISIS
Already grappling with these perspectives, American
workers could hardly be expected to take seriously the
officia view that today's economic crisis is an ordinary
commercial crisis. Their whole pat experience hs
taught them that, precipitated by the unending con­
fllct in production between maagement and the work­
ers, a new stage of technology is emerging-automa­
tion.
Automation as a stage in technology is still young.
While it has existed in a few specific industries for some
time, it is only in the 1950s that it has begun to domi­
nate American industry and all forms of economic or­
ganization, even penetrating into the craft. So gradual
has been its invasion that only now is the general pub­
lic beginning to suspect the l'evolution in all rpects of
human life that automation compels.
What is coming to an end is the stage of mass pro .
dnction by assembly line workers. The assembly
line is itelf the lat maj.or barrier to automation i i­
dustry. The essence of the assembly line is that it cr­
ates a demand for manual dexterity but at the same
time organizes and controls this dexterity to the high­
est degree by mean of the belt. The esence of automa­
tion is that it replaces manual dexterity altogether by
electronic controls. Electronics is now taking the plae
of the human being in bringing together and control­
ling hydrauliC, pneumatics, and mechanics.
Only a few decades ago assembly line production
put thousands and thousands of workers under a single
roof and thus created the conditions for the new mas
organization of the idustrial union. I sheer self­
defense the assembly line workers created the CIO t
protect the human beig from being completely de­
stroyed by the machine. Without thi intervention by
L
2 WHOLE WORLD ¾
the workers, the assembly line under the control of
capitalism continues its relentless momentum, indepen­
dent of all human cop.ideration B to the wearines of
the person or his physical and other needs. But today
the industrial union is as helpless in the face of auto­
mation as the assembly line method of production
itself.
In general, automation started with idustries deal­
ing in liquids and chemicals, e.g., petroleum, soda pop,
milk, beer, because in such indutries the materials are
homogeneous and can flow, and production is chieflY
R process of heat, chemicals, piping, and bottling. Today
the oil refinery ad the electricity supply industry are
the closest to being completely automated. From there
automation moved to the mills because here again raw
metals needed large containers and the application of
heat and chemicals for their refining. The crucial stage
"as reached in the 1950s when automation bame firm­
1¿ established in the industries fabricating metals. This
in the United States means the auto idustry frst and
foremost, and it was i the auto industry that the term
"automation" came into being to describe the linking
of machine tools by electronic controls. The next stage
of its invasion is in the fabrication of fabrics, e.g., rub­
ber and textiles. Because these materials are flexible,
they require more manual dexterity and therefore a
higher technique before automation can take over.
Automation i' now moving rapidly from one Ameri­
can idustry to another, and within each industry from
partial to more complete automation. Its technical bais
was already being created during World War I, but the
expansion of production during the war ad pent-up
shortages delayed its introduction on a wide scale in the
jmmediate postwar years. Today, however, there is no
baJrier to automation. It is even invading such fields
as tooling where it was once believed that it would be
uneconomical. Already it is possible to send blueprint
by teletype from one city to another, a tracig tape at­
tached to the machie reproducing the tool according
to given specifications on the blueprint.
Up to now every new stage in technology has been
t.he basis for an expansion in the needs of manpower.
After each crisis in Which the old means of production
were scrapped, the labor force expanded. Automation
!ô that stage of technology which under capitalism for
the first time will not create a need for more manpower
regardless of the maS of products produced. Now soci-
26 FACING REALITY
ety faces for the first time what Karl Marx called
"putting the majority of the population on the shelf."
In a particular plant employing 5000, only 500 or 10%
will be needed in five years to produce B much 8 is
now produced by the 5000. The percentage will vary
from industry to industry and the elimination of man­
pnwer will come sooner in some industries than in oth­
ers. But what is going to happen to the 90%? Obviously
no ordinary solution i possible.
When automation hit the auto industry in the 1950s,
it not only hit the idustry on which one out of every -
six jobs in the United states depends directly or indi­
rectly. It also hit hundreds of thousands of w 0 r k e r S
whose daily life inside the shop for the last twenty
years has centered around a ba.ttle with management
for control over the machine. Hence while the econo­
mists and politicians of government, industry, and the
union have been babbling about wages, pen'ions, and
profits, every new machine has been greeted by auto
workers and their families with fundamental questions
about who should control production. Today's criis is
driving them to expand the very meaning of that con·
tl ol.
Up to now the whole life of the majority of the popu­
la tion has been geared to work. To the working man
\vorkiilg and living have been one and the same. Now
he finds that as a result of automation wmk i' being
taken away from him and he feels that he is being
robbed not only of what enables him to live but of his
very existence as a human being. Capitalism itself has
forced the majority of the population into the position
where they have no other role than that of workers.
Now, with automation, capitalism is robbing the majo­
rity of the population of the only role they have been
permitted.
When millions of young people have no idea whether
they will ever have a job and lie in bed half the day
because they don't know what to do with themselves,
that i' a system committing suicide. When the majority
of the population has no place to work and can ony
look forward to more unemployment, that is the total
collapse of a society.
That is the crisis which American workers foresee and
seek to forestall. No worker i' against automation as
such. He recognizes that automation creates the possi­
bility of such a development of the productive forces
that no one anywhere need ever live in want again.
THE WHOLE WORLD 27
That meam more to workers than it means to anyone
else. But at the same time automation is forcing every
worker to re�examine the very mar1er of his life as B
human being simply in order to answer the question
of how he shall exist at all.
The CIO is completely incapable of riSing to this
new situation. It originated in the period when produc­
tion was being expanded by the expansion of manpower.
At its best it only defended the workers from the speed
of the line, leaving all deci'ions as to the scheduling
and control of production to the capitalists. Today wben _
capitalist control of automation is threatening the
collapse of society, the CIO continues to demand a
share with the capitalists in the control OY£I the work­
ers, leaving to the capitalists the right to schedule
and control total production.
It is from the growing realization that society faces
total collapse that has arisen the determination of
American worker' to take the control of total produc tion
l,way from the capitalists and ito their own handl. Up
to now American workers have only organized to defend
themselves from the machine inside the individual fac­
tories. Now, in defense of all society, they are being
driven to organiZe themselves to regulate total produc­
tion.
Up to now the concept of who governs society has
been based OJ the idea that different parties and
groupings battle with one another over who should
control the workers. But control by the workers of pro­
ciuction schedules and of the process of production in­
side society means that govermnent must originate in­
side the plant. Thus automation creates the conditions
for abolishing all previous distinctions between political
control and economic controL No longer is it possible
TO think only in terms of changing leaders or parties.
Production as a whole can only be controlled by the
producers as a whole in their shop floor organizations.
Thus, far more than in any other country, the a.utoma­
tion of industry in the United states is creating the ac­
tual conditions for a Government of Workers Councils.
THE AMERICAN WORKERS' WAY
The workers do not pose the perspective of their
control a.s a conscious program. But it is inherent in
all their actions and in the discussions they hold among
themselves. Only people consumed with hate and fear
of socialism can believe that the Hungarian worker;, did
the things that they did UT the spur of the moment ;
Z8 FACIG REA
they could act as they did only because they had for
years meditated upon and discussed among themselves
how they wanted production to be organized and soci­
ety to be run. The Depression made everybody i the
United states recognize the capitalist economy as U
system functioning according to l aws which were outside
the control of human beings. I that sense, political
economy first came into existence in the United states
with the Depression. But with the diorder of auto­
mation twenty-five year later, this fatalistic view of
the laws of production has been turned on its head. In
its place there has grown up the conviction that it i
the present organizers of production, the state and man­
agement, who cannot contrl production but are con­
trolled by it. They, the workers, on the other hand, have
the ability to control not only individual machines but
the whole process, method, ad tempo, by means of
which machinery i to be developed and put into use.
They have not been taught this by any political elite.
They have learned it from experience. It is from there
that they begin to visualize a new society.
Just as the Hungarian upheaval took all the political
pundits and mourers by surprise, so the future course
of American society will overwhelm them. All the dy­
namic energy of American society, its ruthlessness, its
freedom from traditional restraints, its social audacity
( which was ready to attempt Pohibition by legislation) ,
these national characteristics are now concentrated in
the American working class far more than in any other
section of society. But among the workers, the American
g'eniU's is united, disciplined, and organized by the very
mechanism of modern production itself. All analyses
and perspectives of American society as a whole
'
( and
we shall go into that later) must begin from the Amer­
ican working class. The most astonishing feature of it is
that, undominated by any organized philosophy of life
( the American historians having failed most conspicu­
ously to create any) ; indifferent to theories of socialism
and Communism and the blandishments of political
theorists ; profoundly disillusioned with unionism-it has
created the basis of a philosophy of life of its own. This
t that it can manage production, that to do so is its
inalienable right, that the secret of a happy life is mas­
tery over machinery and production, and that the rest
can be easily managed.
American workers are not certain of their ultiate
aims, nor of the end towards which they are heading.
They are indifferent to Socialist Parties or Communist
THE WHOLE WORLD
Parties in the traditional sense, but under the pressure
of a crisis the idea of Workers Councils or a Govern­
ment of Worker Councils will not be i the slightest
degree alien to them.
I is obvious that the workig class nowhere is so
organized as to win a continuous series of victories. Ac­
cording to the structure of the plant, the strength of
its traditions, the relation of the industry to other in­
dustries, and various other consideratioIl, the workers
are often defeated, and on occasions even routed. They
sometimes win great victories. What can be stated cate­
gorically is that the struggle is continuous and from
the very organization of production, the working class
especially in large and highly organized plants holm
i�s own and on the whole continuously capture� posi­
tIons from management and supervision. Each side
whenever it thinks it has the possibility of pushing th�
enemy back, advances to the attack. One thing how­
ever, is certain. The accounts of wage increas�s and
variou other arrangements which get into the press
as a llution . to any particulaJ' open engagement. paint
no true picture of the actual situation in any plant or
industry. In reality. as soon as the agreement is signed
eac� side goes back into the plant and the struggl�
begms all over again irrespective of agreements, and
related solely to the particular strength of the combat­
ants at any particular time.
There is no need to make prophecies. But in all the
blindness, the violence, confusion, and despairs of mod­
ern American society, it should be obvious that the same
forces which produced the 'orkers Councils in Hungary
1�0� only exist but are infinitely more developed, i-.
flmtely more powerful in the United States of America,
and for the Simple reason that these forces and ideas
arc the product of capitalism itself.
RUSSIA
Economic relations are relations between peopl e :
who tells whom what to do and how to do it. Property
relations are relations between people and things : who
owns what ; land, facto,ies, mines, ships, etc. These
are basic definitions in the science of political economy
as elaborated by Marx and Engels. But for many years
carried away by the promises of the Plan, the majorit;
of Marxists have forgotten this. That is to say, they for­
got who was telling whom what to do and how to do it
in the plant. No one contributed to this more than
Leon Trotsky, whose analysis of Russia was based upon
o0 T¬CIIG II¬TITY
the extremely simple and extremely false thesis that
state ownership of property equals workers' state.
This may sound like mere theorizing. 1 reality, it i s
the concentrated expre'ssion of the facts of life embrac­
ing hundreds of millions of people. What is the rela­
tion between the workers in Russia and the Planners
and supervisors? This, the decisive question, is the last
question that the theorists, the analysts, the leftistl of
all sorts, ever ask. For years they have concerned them­
selves, exhausted themselves, with the Party, the Plan,
the statistics of production, the absence of political de­
mocracy. Now they have plunged into de-Stalinization,
collective leadership ( true Ol false ) , the decentraliza­
tion of industry by Khrushchev, and whether the intel­
lectuals and the youth have real freedom to speak O!
oIlly moderate freedom or none at all. The Hungarian
Hevolution has taught them nothing. Important as all
these questions are, they are subordinate to the one
question which has now been posed by the events in
Hungary and in Poland. Has large SCBÌC industry in
Russia created a working cla'ss which possesses the
mastery over production which resulted in R Govern­
ment of Workers Councils in Hungary? Are workers lT
Russia united, disciplined, and organized by production
itself in such a way that they have essentially the
same attitude to management as the workers in the
United States? Have workers in Rus'sia created shop
floor organizations which control production and disci­
pline management in much the same vvay as 1DC¡¡CBl
vJOl'kers? That is not eVerything but everything begins
from there. And the answer without a shadow of B
cloubt is yes.
Here is the proof from the mouths of the Russian
rulers themselves. The state multiplies bars and barriers
between the Russian people and the outside, but period­
ically the rulers have to speak to one another in public,
and although they are the most expert practitioners in
the world at double-talk, the truth about the situation
in the Russian plants comes out clearly. This is Khrush­
ebev at the Twentieth Congress of the JUSSÌDD Com­
munist Party OT February 4th, 1956, reporting for the
Central Committee :
It must be pointed out that there is 8 great deal 'of
disorder and confusion in the system of wages and
rate-fixing. Ministries and other bodies, and the
trade lmions have not taken up these matters in
the way they should; they have neglected them.
Cases of wage leveling are not uncommon. LT the
France 1968: Renaul t
I tal y 1 969: Fi at
L
THL WIClL WOBIO 3l
other hand, payment for the same type of work
sometimes differs between various bodies, and even
within a single body. Alongside the low paid work­
ers there exists a category of worIerog B small onE
it is true, in whose wages unj ustifiecl exceiises are
tolerated.
Though this ÌS Greek to 0 Russian expert lil\e Isaac
Deutscher, any W0fKPI knows what that means. Th�
pl&nners and management plan the quotas foJ piece­
work, which is the system that the Russians are USing'
in large scale industry. Just as in the United íÍ8LC$,
ÍÌC) divide workers into different C9Íe_ori0S .o as to
creat e rivalry and antagonisms betvveen them. But the
workers make a wreck of this Plan by organizing the
"ork in such a way that all of !ÌCÐ in B partIcular
plant get more or less the ¦.DUE wages. Thus, tllOUgh
the planners plan wag'es on 3 n9tiOIal 8CDJC, wnges
vary not only from i"egion to regioll ÐUì from ]ÌDOL to
]Ì8l\. 'hy? Obviously because the strength OÍ the
workers' shop floOT organization in one plant is differ­
ent from that in another. Sometimes, l\ seems, inside 0
single plant, the workers in one department D¡C SO
powerfully organized. that is to :�ay, have such an \!-
clcl':,tanding among themselves, that they push up the
wages above the gener:.l level of tI,e ]¡0TI.
There is no need for these shop flool' organizations
to be formally organized. As sOo| 9S t11e men in D de¯
pa,rtment know one another Rnd go tJlrough the work
together, they are organized. Tl1e planners 0!O manage.
ment have one Plan, and the workers have their OWD,
and in any such conflict, though the managers post
one soldier with B loaded rifle at every Íi:' I\ pSCes in
the plant, they c8nnot make the worker" OO ,,hat tIley
do not want to do. At the beginning OÍ the industl' iali­
z2.tion of Russia, Stalin could uproot millions of back­
wa rd peasants, plant them in the Í|C lC!C:1 and ll0
cities, and drive them like cattle by the most brutal
methods. Today in the large modern factories that !S
impossible. The struggle is permanent and, as in tIl e
United States, the workers hold the winning cards.
'r. Te have stated categorically that in the U n i t e d
Sta tes, management, foremen, and union bureaucrats,
are compelled to recognize the power of the worker.s
on the shop floor, and wherever the workers are well
organized, management and supervision have learned
to leave them alone. If they attempt to force a well­
organized body of workers to do this Ol that. the plant
can be thrown into disorder and VOIK goes to pieces .
TJCITG JT1IT¯Y
The sii.ua tion is the same in Russian industry and could
not be otherwise. Khrushchev reports to the Party
Congress :
THE TRADE UNIONS KEEP SILENT
The main thing our Trade Unions organizations,
including the U. S. S. R. Central Council of Trade
Unions, l ack is militancy in their work, creative
fervour, incisiveness, adherence to principle, and
initiative in raising fundamental, vitally important
questions-whether they be measures for increas­
ing labor productivity, OI, say, questions relating to
wages, house construction, or catering to the every
day needs of the workers or other employees. Col­
lective agreements are concluded at every enter­
prise, but often enough they are not carried out,
and the Trade Unions keep silent, as though every­
thing were right and proper. In general, the Trade
Unions no longer have disputes with industrial exe­
cutives. there is peace and harmony between them.
But one need not be afraid to spoil relations where
the interests of our cause are concerned; at times
8 good wrangle is beneficial . a .
Nothing could be plainer. The planners. the
management, and the union leaders ( in Russia they
are part of the state) make all sorts of plans and
agreements about every single aspect of production.
The workers make a mess of these. But everybody
agrees to say nothing. Because all of them know
that if they attempt seriously to discipline the workers,
the end will be worse than the beginning. True of every
country, this is particularly true in Russia where the
penalties on the manager for not producing the quota
for his plant have been extremely severe. It could be a
matter of life or death or deportation to Siberia, and
so as to be sure to get anything like reasonable pro­
duction, managers have learned to come to some sort
of understanding with the workers. It has long been
reported from Russia that many managers protected
t.heir best workers when, for example, they broke the
savage laws that Stalin decreed for those who came late.
This. however, is something different. The vast ap­
paratus of management and bmeaucracy not only ac­
cepts the plan of the workers, but keeps its mouth shut.
How exactly do the workers break up the plans of
t.he planners and institute their own plan? Khrushchev
tells us :
Considerable over-fulfillment of such deliberately
THE WHOLE WOR.LD 33
low output quotas creates the illUSion that all is
well, and tends to divert workers, foremen and en­
gieers from effective efforts to raise productivity.
The present practice is to make output quotas cor­
respond in effect to a definite wage level, 0DD not
to the technical and efficiency levels already
achieved.
What a confession of failure ! The planners a):ld man­
agement decree that such and such must be the quota
of production for the basic wage, and only after that
quota is produced can extra wages be paid
. The workers
declare that the quota is too high, and though time
study Jen (and soldiers with guns) stand over them,
they demonstrate that they cannot do the work at the
rate the planners have planned. Management realizes
that it can do nothing about this, and in the end agrees
that the quota should be lowered. Whereupon by de­
grees the workers step up production and soon 40 % to
60% of the workers' wage i being made by prodUCing
what they swore was impossible in the first place. The
sham and pretense, in fact, the gigantic lies that are
hidde under a State Plan, like the State Plan of the
Russian economy, are shown not only by all the fore­
going, but by the key statement in Khrushchev's report:
that whereas the machinery and technical organization
of a factory is geared to a certain level of productivity
and efficiency, which is what the planners have in
their heads and put down on paper, the Russian man­
agers dare not use this as B basis of production. The
workers declare that whatever the planners plan, the
starting point for the schedules of production is what
they are prepared to do for so much money. Khrushchev,
Bulganin, Suslov, all sang this same mournful hymn
throughout the Congress. They will sing it many times
before they are finished. For that is the nature of mod­
ern capitalist large scale production, and it will con­
tinue and intensify until a new system of economic re­
lations is established, new relations between people and
people, management of industry by the workers them­
selves on the job. Modern industry cannot be run in
any other way.
This is not and cannot be a study of the Russian
economy, but this much can be said. While the whole
world occupied itself with the de-Stalinization speech by
Khrushchev at this same Twentieth Congress, practi­
cally nobody paid any attention to the fact that in
speech after speech at the Twentieth Congress, the Rus­
sian rulers admitted that long bfore Khushchev spoke
34 FACING REALITY
of de-Stalinization, the workers in the plants had de­
Stalinized themselves. Today, the press and the politi­
cians are preoccupied with Khrushchev's plans for de­
centralization and whether or not the dismissed Molo­
tov will be shot or not, j ust as in Hungary they were
preoccupied with the intellectuals and students. The
ferment among intellectuals and youth, the continuing
conflict in the leadership, show that the crisis in Russia
is deeper than it has ever been in that crisis-ridden
country. Ad a solution does not depend on the amount
of free speech that is granted to writers, students, and
technicians. The crisis is far deeper than it ever was in·
Stalin's time because inside the plants of Russia there
now exists this formidable working class, the most pow­
erful in the world except for the ,merican and i one
respect far more dangerous to the ruling class than is
the American. In Russia during the last fifty years there
have been three great revolutions. The workers took the
lead in each. Today, with the workers more powerful
than ever before in their history, the coming Russian
Revolution, like the revolution in Hungary, will begi
with the establishment of a Government of Workers
Councils, whatever it may call itself. That is the only
democracy that state capitalist Russia will ever have
and that it will have or perish, blown up by the antag­
onisms that can no longer be hidden.
GREAT BRITAIN
In Britain, as elsewhere, the Hungarian Revolution
undoubtedly tore apart the pervading fear that totali­
tarianism is an all-powerful form of government able
to mould a whole population to its will. But after the
first rush of enthusiasm and hope among vast millions
of people who have rej ected capitalism, there has been
B noticeable retreat among the political wl'iters and
social theorist. Their mid have so long been stuck
in the cement of political parties, Welfare states, and
other forms of governent in which they, the econo­
mists, the organizers, the propagandists, the technicians,
play the leading role, that they are unable to begin
from the fact that the future of society is with the
Government of the 'Workers Councils.
Britain is supposed to b the great model of Parlia­
mentary Democracy and the Welfare State. Yet long
before the Hungarian Revolution, the working class had
created on the shop floor a nation-wide organization
which is beyond all question the most powerful social
force in the country. This is the celebrated Shop Stew-
JI WHOLE WORLD ðã
a'ds Movement. Despite the great reputation which this
�ove?ent
.

njo

s among the workers of the world, its
1ole
.
m B;ntIsh mdustry ad politics is little understood
m;tsIde
.
Britain. Even many British people have only
vague Ideas about Shop Stewards, except of course those
who have to deal with these organizations.
It is
.
the
.
Shop Stewards Movem,ent which has brought
and mamtams order in British industry. This cannot be
better expressed than it was in the introduction to a
docume

t ( state Capitalism and World Revolution. See
AppendIX.) which was published in England before the
Hungarian Revolution took place.
THE ALL-POWERFUL SHOP STEWARDS
Twenty-five years ago in Britain because of lower
levels of tooling, greater craft stratification and the
reserve army of unemployed, it was still possible to
e?orce an effective piecework system. Its destruc­
tIVe consequences for labor and society were multi­
plied a thousandfold in the forced industrialisation
of Russia and was the economic basis of the mon­
strous regime of Stalin. Those days are over both
in Britain and in Russia. As line productiO�, the
donveyor system, and highly divided mass produc­
tIOn ha,ve developed i Britain, piecework has
�lashed more and more with the obj ective require­
ments
.
for efficiency. The Shop Stewards, the shop
commIttees that matured in this period, were not
merely economic defense organisations of the work­
ers. They were the ony possible means of bringing
some order to the chaos caused by the attempts of
management to maintain individual piecework in
the new mass production industries. The workers
in Br�tain have gone a long way towards destroying
the pIecework system. On any particular line or in
an

particular shop, a minimum is fixed,
'
below
WhICI no one may have his wages reduced. By
redu
?
mg the gap between the minimum and the
maXlmum, the power of the rate-fixer is thereby
broken and a leveling of wages takes place. Thus
wages are no longer governed by individual effort
but by the general level of class struggle in the shop
or line concerned. The wo:kers' name for this is
"action on the j ob." Action on the j ob goes far be­
yond trade unionism, for it carries a formidable
unity among the workers and gives them a control
in every phase of production. This control, though
constantly contested by management, i never en­
tirely defeated and steadily expands its scope. To-
36 FACING REALITY
day the center of power moves away from the Labor
Paty and the unions on to the shop floor. It i
from this milieu that have erupted the startlingly
revolutionary demands of the Standard workers in
Coventry in relation to redundancy. These demands
have been watered down by the uion leadership
into compensation and a vague consultation. The
original proposals were based on the conception
that men and not capital must henceforth be the
primary concern of industry. That conviction is deep
in the hearts of many millions 311 OYer the world.
and its objective realisation cannot be long delayed.
In the very week that this publication appeared.
one of the oldest, most respected, and most reactionary
papers in Britain published one of a series of articles
giving the results of a special investigation into the
conditions of British industry. Only direct quotation can
do justice to this confirmation of the reality of modern
industry. (Emphasis has not been added.)
THE SHOP STWARDS DOMINATE THE UNIONS
The truth Æ that the leaders are no longer their
own masters. There has been an enorous shift of
power within the trade union movement from the
center to the factory floor. However vigorously the
leaders themselves deny this, the evidence is too
strong to be contradicted. For example, since the
war the vast majority of strikes have not been offi­
cial but unofficial. They have been called not by
union leaders but against their wishes. The most sig­
nificant thing about the inter-union dock strike of
1955 was not that it rendered the ports of the coun­
try idle but that the leaders of the union repre­
senting the vast majority of dockers were opposed
to it and were unable to persuade the men to return.
And for every strike on a nation-wide scale there
have been hundreds confined to particular indus­
tries and particular factories about which nothing
has been heard. The most glaring example is in the
coal mines, where unofficial stoppages have cost us
more than half the coal we are having to import
every year. The occasions of the stoppages are in­
finitely varied.
We believe that what miners want is to manage the
mines. Time will tell, but meanwhile let us hear the
bourgeois investigator:
It may be that if work on a particular face cannot
THE WHOLE WORLD
be completed as planed, the men on that shift are
asked to carry their tools to another face; or per­
haps, as a result of prolonged and petty differences,
an overseer uses strong language ; in either case
the men come to the surface. Occasionally there is
a claim for extra money due to extraordinary phy­
sical conditions, too much water or too much dust
on a particular job. But nearly always in each case
it is the men on the spot asserting themselves by
direct action, either in defiance of union agreements
or without the consent of the union officials, which
causes the stoppage.
This indiscipline in the mines is so serious and its
causes so puzzling that two committees of inquiry
have recently been set up, one to examine stoppages
and the other absenteeism. On both committees
the representatives of all the unions concerned as
well as of the Coal Board are sitting.
The last sentence shows the new situation-shop
floor organizations are opposed to both management
and union leaders. And you will find this in every im­
portant British industry. Here is our investigator again:
But stoppages are not confined to the coal mines.
1 the engineering industry, lightning strikes of one
kind or another are occurring almost every week.
Sometimes a man has been saeked, or perhaps a
man who has obeyed official union policy and de­
fied an unofficial strike has not been sacked. The
men refuse to work. In these cases it is usually the
shop stewards who are asserting themselves.
The metlod of election of shop stewards varies from
factory to fa.ctory. Sometimes the members of each
separate union elect their own stewards to repre­
sent them in day-to-day negotiations with the man­
agement; sometimes shop stewards represent the
members of all unions in their particular depart­
ment. In either case the problem is the same.
The shop stewards are claiming that if a dispute
arises suddenly they should have the right to take
whatever action they think fit, irrespective of any
agreements the union may have made with the in­
dustry as a whole or with the management of that
particular factory. No union leader concedes this
right, but when the shop stewards are sure of their
following they assume it and impose bans on over­
time, work to rule, or a complete stoppage, as the
situation requires. And every time they do this the�'
·¬= ~ -
J8 FACIG REALTY
have put the official' of one or more unions legally
in the wrong, and so weakened their bargaining
power.
A little later the writer concludes, again in black
print:
In the organization of labor in this country the
struggle for power is not plimariIy between man­
agement and men but between the union leaders
and the I and file.
( Sunday Times, January 13, 1957.)
This is modern capitalism, in the United states, in
Russia, as well as in Britain. The British Tory majority
in the House of Common' stands impotent before the
Shop Stewards Movement and the leadership it exer­
cises over the decisive forcs in the labor movement.
That is why it has not so far dared to enfQTce the in­
dustrial measures which it has proclaimed are neces­
sary to end inflation. The Tory Government is not
afraid of the union leaders. The union leaders would
be willing to come to terms with the Tory Government.
Both groups are immobilized in their positions by the
shop stewards.
It would be a serious and totally unnecelsary blund­
er to prophesy that the Shop Stewards Movement is an
embryo Government of the Workers Councils. In mo­
ments of great social crisis, organizations can undergo
rapid, almost instantaneous transformation or be re­
placed by entirely new organizations. Such speculations,
in this context, would be irrelevant. The fundamental
:act remains that British Parliamentary Democracy,
the most powerful combination of Labor Party, trade
union movement, and cooperative movement that the
world has ever known, Welfare State, socialized medi­
cine, and all, have produced not peace but the most
highly-organized and defiant shop floor organizations
i the world.
We believe that the point has been sufficiently prov­
ed, that the Government of Workers Councils which
appeared so startlingly in Hungary was no historical
accident but a social and political form that is rooted
TD the very structure of modern industry, creates the
crisis in modern industry, and therefore in society as a
whole. It cannot be suppressed, and its ultimate victory
in one form or another is the only solution to the mod­
ern crisis. How and when this will take place in partic­
ular countries is no business of ours ( we shall later have
a few words to say about half a dozen isolated indivi-
THE WHOLE WORLD 39
duals standing at street corners, calling upon the work­
ers to �repare for revolution) . The incalculable variety
of natIOnal states, their differing historical past the
specific features of their political life, the presen;e or
absence of democratic forms, all these make it impera­
tive that we hold firm to the one great reality that ̧
specifically characteristic of the middle of the Twentieth
Century-the unitY, discipline, and organization of the
working class in large scale industry. The necessity to
do this can be most clearly seen in our last example
the situation in France.
1
FRANCE
At first sight industrial-political life in France seems
to be dominated by the Communist Party with its hun­
dred and forty deputies in Parliament. The French rul­
ing clals has been powerless to check the Communist
Party. The Socialist Party and the Radical Party which
dominated Fench political life in the period between
the two wars, have been equally helpless before the
French Communilt Party. All are powerless because aU
are equally stained with the corruption and degradation
of all aspects of life in pre-war France, which culmi­
n8ted in the disastrous defeat by the Germans in June
1940 and the humiliation of the Occupation.
It is the working class of France in its shop flool'
organizations which has already given the deathblow
to this monster whose tentacles have been coiled around
the French people for so lon.
At the end of the war the French wotkers j oined the
Communist Party by the hundreds of thousands, ex­
pecting to find in it the party of the Russian Revolution
and a Socialist United States of Europe. In the unions
the French Communist Party for a time had almost
complete power. French workers were to discover that
the Communist Party would take the power from the
French bourgeoisie oilly if the Russian Army was at its
back. Meanwhile, the Party was ready to exploit and
exhaust the workers in limited strikes and demonstra­
tions, for the sole purpose of embarrassing the govern­
ment and keeping the country in turmoil. If the workers
turned from the Stalinists, they were met by the S�ciaI­
Democrats, trying to line them up on the side of Amer­
ican capitalism, while at the same time intervenino'
with the French industrialists to obtain quieting eonces:
sions for the workers.
Painfully. since 1947, the French working class has
been struggling to rescue the nati
o
n from this bureau-
FACING REALITY
cl'atic stlnglehold of the Communists a.nd the Social­
Democrats. In the fall of 1947 a wave of strikes swept
t.hrough France initiated by the workers themselves.
The Communists, who had joined the French govern­
ment in line with the Russian policy of collaboration
with the West, rushed to take over the leadership of
these strikes. Between 1948 and 1952, in the heat of the
cold war, the Communists called the workers out in one
strike after another to back up such political demands
BS would serve Russian policy. The workers either ab­
stained OI went along apathetically. In August 1953
millions of workers again struck spontaneously, inde-­
pendently of the trade union leadership and in many
cases in direct opposition to it. However, once the
strikes began, they did not resist the Communists tak­
ing over effective control of the struggle.
It was not until the summel of 1955 that the French
workers again rose in widespread spontaneous struggle.
This time, however, at Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, ad
elsewhere, they did not simply strike or occupy facto­
ries. They passed to the attack, supporting their de­
mands by mass street fighting, at times reaching the
level of 15, 000 workers battling with the police. Not
only did they refuse to leave the leadership of the strug­
gle to the trade unions. At critical moments they broke
into the offices where the union officials were nego­
tiating, thew them out, and took over the negotiations
themselves. This great series of strikes revealed that by
If55 the French workers had arrived at the conclusion
that they could gain their obj ectives only in opposition
to the union bureaucracy. They could depend only on
the independent organizations which they had built in
their hour-to-hour, day-to-day struggles in'ide the
plant.
From that time the Communist Party in France has
begun a steady decline. Its control of the union move­
ment has become control of the apparatus, with the
workers indifferent or hostile. The fina. blow came with
the Hungarian Revolut.ion. Against the brazen defense
of the Russian intervention by the French Communist
Party, the French working class revolted by the tens
of thousands. A' of today, the Communist Party in
France is a mere shadow of its former self. From near­
ly a million members it can now count on a hard core
of U few thousand members. It could not get 10, 000
French workers into the streets of Paris to defend the
Party headquarters or even to demonstrate against the
Fascists when, in the agitation a.round Hungary, these
THE WHOLE WORLD
attacked the Party. Nothing but the most abysmal foUr
of the traditional French political parties, and perhaps
not even that, can drive the French working class back
under the domination of the French Communist Party.
The power of the working class in its independent shop
floor organizations and the emptiness of modern par­
liamentarism are fully illustrated by the experience i
France.
1. The French working class has been able to do
what all the political and governmental power in France,
backed by American billions, failed to do - break the
. stranglehold which the French Communi't Party had
on French life.
2. It is precisely in elections and parliamentary man­
euvers that the French Communist Party retains what­
ever power it has in France.
This is a fitting demonstration of the actual rela­
tion of forces between the institutions contending for
supremacy in ou age.
III. THE SELF -CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY
OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 1J
the degree of development, a certain percentage of
technicians and professional middle classes: lawyers,
doctors, salesmen, public relations men such as politi­
cians and j ournalists. There are, even in many advanced
societies, substantial numbers of farmers. In short, there
It is quite untrue to say that contemporary society
is in every society that infinite variety of occupations
( whether on this side or the other side of the Iron c1r-
and individuals in which empiricists love to lose them-
tain) faces the possibility of collapse. As a way of hfe,
selves. Counting each grain of sand, they rack their
as a civilization, as a culture, modern society has col-
brais to prove that there is no method of analyzing
] apsed already. The contemporary world is
.
divide� into
history and s ociety which is definitive enough to be
two l arge blocs whose rulers use all the dISCOVerIes of
termed scientific. They deny that there can be any
.
RCierce to snarl threats and defiance at each other ·
scientific guide to social action� Whereby they elaim t6 ··
;cross the ether, and plot mutual destruction which will
have proved logically and scientifically that all we can
be counted in tens of millions. This is no longer to be
do is to submit.
compared with the life of savages. It is the
.
life of the
Social relations in production do not constitute so-
jungle. The ordinary citizen today can eXIst only by
ciety and no one ha.s ever claimed that they did. Mod-
deliberately excluding from his consciousness vast areas
ern society in particular is an enormously complex 01'-
of contemporary life which it is unbearable to contem-
ganism, comprising relations of production, commercial
plate. Never before i human history has the world
relations, scientific investigation, the highly scientific
known such elementary fear of total physical destruc-
orga,nizations of certain aspects of industry itsel (such
tion, the savagery and brutality of the passions with
as for instance the production and use of atomic ener-
which one half of the world regards the other, the con-
gy) , The means of communication of information and
sciousness of primeval depths just beneath the veneer of
ideas play an enormous role in the routine of today's
science and civilization, the alienation of individual from
society. There is the organization of political life, the
individual i the closely-knit modern community, the
creation of literature and art at various levels. But de-
alienation of the individual from himself, the gulf s
.
ep-
spite all the complexity, there ar� clear, unmistakable.
arating aspiration from reality. Never has �ny �oclety
irrefutable patterns and laws which allow us to under-
been so wracked by these torments on so gIgantIC and
stand the general movement.
all-pervading a scale as the society in which we l
.
ive.
Here is one very obvious pattern of movement in
________ If_w.e_haV'e __ based _our __ concept_Qf..e...!J
t
u�LQL�. o
Cle
,�
t
=
y
~ ..moenLJociety. ------ ..--..
upon the working class in the social relations o� �ro-
ONLY FORTY YEARS
duction, it is because it is the single stab�e, Ullfyug,
Beginning in 1917, the political form of the One-Par-
and integrating element in a society that IS otherWIse
ty State, in direct contradiction to the aspirations of
riddled with insoluble antagonisms, and rudderless.
Europe for centuries, turn by turn has embraced such
That is why we have so far written as if the only
diverse areas as Russia, Italy, Germany and now China.
classes i n society were the organizers and administra-
Today over a billion people live under a form of
tors of great industry and the working class. We include
government which half a century ago was not even
among the workers millions of cleric�l workers
.
bec�use
conceived of except in the minds of a f.ew eccentric
as their work becomes more mechan�ed,
.
they Ill
.
creas-
scribblers. The world has divided into two power blocs ;
ingly feel themselves to be a proletarlamzed sectl0I of
one is committed to the totalitarian form of society, the
the community. They tend to organize themselves l�to
other to Parliamentary Democracy. The defenders of
unions and t follow the methods of struggle whlch
Conservative Freedom, Free Enterprise, and Parliamen-
they see so effectively used by the workers. Among the
tary Democracy held at their disposal the most highly
workers i industry there are different layers. 'r�ere
industrialized areas of the world and controlled hun-
are similar broad differentiations among the w h I t. e
dreds of million of the underdeveloped peoples. I half
collar workers in America or black-coated workers O
a lifetime they have been defeated, driven out, rolled
England. There is in every population, a
ccording t
back. They have been reduced to a condition in which
42
they say openly and without shame that the only bar-
FACING REALITY
riel' to the conquest of the world by totalitarianism is
the hydrogen bomb. But soon the bomb too was in the
hands of the so-called modern Goths and Vandals. And
as we write, the totalitarians have gone beyond them
in sending Sputniks hurtling around the earth.
The pattern of defeat for the Free Enterprisers and
Parliamentary Democrats grows more embracing every
decade.
Yet the successes of totalitarian states are gained
by such a waste of human life and effort, such a rever­
sion to political }?rbarism, that the world recoils frol1
them in horror. But the advocates of Conservative Free­
dom Free Enterprise, and Parliamentary Democracy
gain
'
nothing by this. The public pronouncements of
both sides are once more at the level of primitive sav­
ages in the dawn of history. What is wrong? The men
on the other side of the river are evil.
What to do? Get
weapons larger and more destructive than the weapons
of the evil men.
WAR AN EFFECT, NOT A CAUSE
People have been bulldozed into the belief that the
real crisis of modern society i' war between the ideolo­
gies. To this some have added that the discoveries of
science are the cause of the world crisis. , However much
these ideas may be repeated, they are the utmost folly
and dangerous nonsense.
The war between the ideologies began because the
ideology of Free Enterprise and Parliamentary Demo­
cracy proved itself powerless to satisfy either the people
in the advanced countries DI those millions in the under­
developed countries who were seeking a new life. That
is the reason why the monstrous apparition of totali­
tarianism has appeared. Free Enterprise and Parliamen­
tary Democracy are not on trial. They have failed. The
rise of totalitarianism is the proof of their failure.
The idea that modern science has brought the world
to the disastrous condition in which it finds itself is
similarly without foundation.
In March 1955 Sir Winston Churchill, who specializes
in making words sound like a roll of drums, delivered
himself of the following on the hydrogen bomb:
There is an immense gulf between the atomic and
the hydrogen bomb. The atomic bomb, with all its
terrors, did not carry us outside the 1cope of hu­
man control or manageable events, in thought or
action, in peace or war. When the chairman of the
United States Congressional Committee gave out,
a year ago, the first comprehensive revieW of the'
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 45
hydrogen bomb, the entire foundation of human
affairs was revolutionized, and mankind placed in
a situation both measureless and laden with doom.
There in one package we have all the fallacies, fool­
ishness, and deceitful propaganda of the two power
blocs. Exactly what have any governments controlled
O managed during the last fifty years? The hydrogen
bomb was not i existence when they controlled and
managed to kill ten million soldiers alone in World War
J. The hydrogen bomb was not in existence when they
controlled and managed to kill some thirty-five million
people in World War II. Scientists had not invented the

hydrogen bomb when these governments starved and
demoralized half the population of the world during
the Great Depression. The invention of these modern
deadly weapons had not yet taken place when these
governments controlled and managed to shock every
decent instinct and moral priciple by the way they
cringed before Fascism and compromised with it. To
sa;: that it was the invention of the hydrogen bomb
which has carried us "outside the scope of human con­
trol or manageable events" is to say that the miserable
record of governments before the hydrogen bomb was
controlled and managed by them. I reality they con­
trolled nothing, they managed nothing. To say that
with the invention of the hydrogen bomb "the entire
foundation of human affairs was revolutionized" is mere­
ly to try to hide the truth, that "the entire foundation
of human affairs" has been in process of suicidal de­
struction for half a century. It is the entire course of
human affairs pursuing its vicious path under the lead­
ership of official society that has led to the construc­
tion of the' hydrogen bomb and of Sputnik. The hydro­
gen bomb and Sputnik are masses of machinery lying
in a shed. They have no power in themselves. To the
capitalistic fetishism of commodities they want now to
add the fetishism of science. Hydrogen bombs and Sput­
niks are made by men in a certain type of society who
have certain purposes in mind when they make them.
Men make them, men carry them or launch them.
There is not and has never been any impelling ne­
cessity to invent hydrogen bombs or Sputniks, or what­
ever else they may invent. The whole projection of sci­
ence in that direction ha been dictated solely by the
need to invent engines of destruction. In a different so­
ciety, science could have easily been directed towards
equally dramatic discoveries in human biology, the pro­
duction of food supplies, individual and social psychol-
46 FACING REALITY
ogy, whatever rational people would have placed first on
the list of their needs as civilized human beings. Offi ­
cial society has produced these monstrous weapons be­
cause it i s the type of society which needs them.
The naive platitudes of the Eisenhowers, the worn
shallowness of the Macmillans, the impudent grimaces
of the Khrushchevs, and the ferocity common to all of
them about these destructive inventions, are an offense
to human reason, an insult to human dignity. They nev­
ertheless are quite adequate public voices of the bar-
barism they represent. With what other voices could
they speak?
CONSCIOUSNESS DEGRADED
The Americans made the atom bomb. The Russians
made one. The Americans made the hydrogen bomb.
The Russians followed. Now the Russians are first with
Sputnik. The Americans have followed suit. Both of
them will soon learn how to bring Sputniks or missiles
safely to earth and to a particular spot. Russians will
learn to blow up or to bring down American Sputniks.
Americans will learn to blow up or bring down Russian
Sputnilcs. Mankind may soon rise in the morning and
go to bed at night in the consciousness that Sputniks
loaded with bombs are going round and round us,
launched by politicianS and generals who, despite their
disastrous failures of forty years, still suffer from the
delusion that they can control and manage.
Today even physical control is beyond them. In Eng'
land recently radiation escaped from an atomic pile
and infected the countryside, and milk from cows be­
came radioactive. What will be the consequences of a
mistake made by these j uvenile delinquent mentalities,
dressed up in uniforms, hotrod ding in the sky?
Ever since Sputnik appeared, the American Air Force
is on a 15 minute alert. Planes loaded with bombs are
ready to take off against Russia in 15 minutes. While
ministers lie about it on the ground, the loaded planes
fly in the air. We can be sure that the Russians too are
doing the same. The mental strain on the pilots must
be intolerable. If one of these boys breaks under it and
goes crazy-or one of the directing officers makes a
mistake-or something in the mechanism goes wrong
as can always happen, one or more of these bombs will
fall and explode, and the last great bacchanal will be on.
They canot continue to play with fire i this way
without ultimately producing consequences that may
well be irreparable. They do not know what they are
doing, and even if they do know some of the dangers,
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 47
they do not care. They are prepared to take the chance.
Today our
.
rulers turn all progress into misery. 1 jet
planes, �adl?, and television we have more means of
commumcatlOn than we ever had before. But do we
get to know each other better? No. Half the world is
sealed off from the other half. Each side corrupts the
v�ry ether with its lies about the other. Now with sput­
mk, mal has shown the capacity to organize the most
extraordma,ry mechanical instruments. But this tri­
'uIph

which should make every human being thrill
�Ith JOy and hop�. results in loss of liberty, more taxa­
tIOn, vulgar
.
boastmg, e
.
nvious sneers, bitterness, meeting
of
r
co�mums
.
t heads m Moscow, meeting of heads of
NArO I� ParIs, and universal fear. For the Russians too
are afraId.
The damag� is not merely the diversion of wealth
and labor to Immoral purposes. The damage is not
merely destruction that will result tomorrow when ei­
ther by design or by chance, they loose off at
'
one
another. No
.
one �nows the damage that is being done
to ?ur phys�cal eXIstence by radioactivity resulting from
theIr
.
experIments and tests. The weight of scientific
experIment gr0vs steadily agaimt this suicidal roulette,
�]ayed by
.
RUSSIans and Americans alike. Our men of
state contmue to handle these potential destroyers of
t�e human race as if they were toy balloons. They con­
t:nue to dare each other with bombs and missiles like
lIttle boys blowing soap bubbles.
.
,
We Just not shrink from facing steadily the depra­
VIty WhIch is �ow in charge of human affairs. It was
clear that as tIme went on Hitler and Stalin had lost
al� sense of reality, and pursued their paths, ready to
brmg
.
do
.
wn Germany and Russia in ruin rather than
S�O?

If
.
md�ed they were capable of doing so. Modern
clvIllzatI�n IS a unity. A similar vertigo now dominates
our publlc �en .
.
TIe lust for power and destruction has
b�come a th
.
mg m Itself. Political parties, press and pul­
mi, are
.
all m �eague to exclude from authority all who
do not f�rst strIP off all reason and decency, daub them­
selves WIth the national colors, drink deep of the cup
of bloo�, and take the oath never to weaken until the
enemy IS destroyed,
.
even though that enemy is half the
h�man race .
.
A?eurm Bevan, after voicing for years the
dIsmay of mIllIons, no sooner sniffs the fetid aroma of
power than he shrills with the frenzy of the newly con­
verted.
Incantation rules, not reason.
There was no reason whatever to launch the first
48 FACING REALITY
atom bombs which killed a quarter of a million human
beings in a few seconds-the Japanese were already
suing for peace. There was no reason to build the first
hydrogen bomb without first calling a world conference
of the nations, great and small, and placing before it
all the dangers involved. Rulers of states can no longer
think in any sane, constructive way. Forty years
.
of
continuoUs violence and bloody destruction orgamzed
bv the state 11ave taken their toll. A whole generation
of men of state have been reared and matured in vio­
lence and blood. Their state can be run only by men
who think in those terms. The state insists that to
think in terms of the salvation, instead of the destruc­
tion of the human race is treason. Perhaps the great­
est damage that has yet been done is the eating away
of our consciousness of ourselves as civilized human be­
ings. It is alreadY incalculable and cannot but increase.
Not only does mankind suffer the unknown corequences
of living in perpetual fear. We on this side of the CU­
tain, and ordinary people on the other side as well, all
of us know that this insane competition, this continuous
trafficking in the annihilation of millions of people is
not only suicidal. We know that it is immoral. We know
that it is wrong, that even wild beasts in the jungle do
not behave in this way. Khrushchev shouts from the
Kremlin that if he is provol{ed, he will lay waste, an­
nihilate, half the continent of Europe. General Norstad
in Paris replies that he will lay waste the other half.
A thousand newspapers in fifty languages print these
threats. Official society is not in decline. As civilization,
as culture, as reason, as morals, it is already dead. The
need to prepare for universal destruction, to scream
.
the
threat, to be unhappy unless balancing on the bnnk.
this is no longer politics, defense or attack. These are
the deep inner compulsions of a society that
.
has out­
lived itself, swept along by mechanical forces It
.
cann

t
control, dreading and yet half-hoping that one clImactic
clash may give the opportunity to start afreSh.
The final degradation for the ordinary man and
woman is the sense of impotence, the impotence of vast
millions of human beings who see themselves daily en­
dangered and ultimately threatened with destruction by
the work of their own hands. We try to accustom our­
selves to it. We cannot do it. We may bury the fear and
the shame deep in our consciousnesS. But they are
there, corrupting us. As for our children, it is no wonder
that in coutry after country more and more of them
live for the thrills of the moment, with a savage and
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 19
j ustified contempt for what their elders try to teac
h
them. What price we shall have to pay for allowing our­
selves to be driven so far back bey
o
nd the very pre­
mises of a human existence it is impossible to forecast.
But the road back is not straight and narrow, as a
crowd of petty WOUld-be Christs seek to persuade us.
It is broad and it is open. Nothing but the conscious,
deliberate, and pitiless repudiation and rej ection of all
responsible for this dehumanization of a world can hope
to lighten and relieve the burden of expiation which
- this generation will have to bear;
- -- - -
No, it is not war and it is not science which threaten
us with destruction. It is the bankruptcy of society
which was upon us long before atomic energy, hydrogen
bombs, or Sputniks.
A FALLEN WORLD
A columnist like Joseph Alsop writes that nobody
believes a single word of the pronouncements on summit
talks Il:de by the political leaders of the West. It is
absolutely true. But he then goes on to say that anything
like a real talk at the summit, i. e. , between Russia
and the United States, would create terror among the
governments of the West : they would be afraid that the
two big ones might make a deal at their expense. Wal­
ter Lippmann writes :
There is good reason to think that both sides prefer
the existing division of Germany and of Europe to
any settlement that has thus far been proposed.
That is the truth, though not all of it. Why?
The Western governments are afraid that a reunit­
ed Germany, with the British and American and
Russian troops withdrawn, would hold the balance
of power and use it to make Germany dominant in
Europe. The Soviet government is afraid that if
ever it withdrew from Eastern Germany the whole
satellite empire would blow up and be replaced not
by neutralist governments but by implacably anti­
Russian governments.
What does Lippmann see as a way out?
The chances are that this deadlock will not be re­
solved by the initiative of the great powers, but
rather by political developments in both halves of
Euope. In the Eastern half there is always some
prospect of a revolt of the Hungarian type. In the
Western half there is the likelihood that within a
few years, within the term of this Administration,
there will be new governments in Western Europe,
FACING REALITY
and that in these governments the existing opposi­
tion parties will play a leading part. If and when
that happens, it will be very important �hat we
should not have alienated them and thus fmd our­
selves on the outside looking in.
He makes one mistake here. The present oppositions
will do nothing when they come to power. Ne� govern­
ments will be governments of Workers CouCIls ; there
are not and cannot be any other type of new goy�rn­
ment. But we should note and remember the
.
cymcIsn,
_
the meanness, and the blind stupidity of thIS PUl:dIt
of democracy, so beloved and respected on both SIdes
of the water. Cynicism because Lippmann does not pre­
tend to believe in the "Peace ! We are for Peace. They
are for War " which the Eisenhowers, Dulleses, and
Macmillans continue to ladle out. Cynicism b e c a u s e
Lippmann knows that the leaders of the Free World
are powerless to produce any policy to avert the threat­
ening disaster and is content to leave them where �hey
are. Cynicjsm, however, can sometimes have a llttle
pride. Lippmann has none. He does not advocate a
revolution in Eastern Germany. He does not ad�ocate
the coming to power of opposition governnents m �u­
rope. But he skulks aroud on the outskIrts warnmg
the leaders of the Free World to be sure not to be left
outside looking in. But the crown of this disgusting ex­
hibition is not even stated, so. much does this little rat
believe that the hole in which he lives is the whole
world. Other people may make revolutions. O�h
.
er cour­
tries may have opposition parties and opposltlOn pol1-
cies which may come to power. But such things do not
happen in the United states. states may come and 'tat�s
may go but the good firm of Jackass and �l�phant
.
WIll
go on forever. So the monkey bred in captIVIty belIeves
the world to consist of the cjrcus and his cage.
.
All the talk about peace, the plans for peace, the llm­
jted peace, the neutral zone, mutual iIs?ection, op�n
skies, closed space, all are so much stupIdIty and fU�ll­
jty, or plain lies, and in any cae unworthy
.
of anythmg
but the most unmitigated contempt. For If tomor
.
row
the twelve leading men of state were translated mto
the twelve apostles, and signed twelve agreeme�ts cov­
ering the land, the sea, and the air and what IS ab?ve
and what is below, and wrote ten commandments WhICh
they all took the oath of the body and the b!ood to obey,
jt would mean nothing. For not so substantIal an event
as a proletarian revolution in Eastern Germany but ô
straightforward democratic election to power of Com-
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY ãI
munists in a second province of India would immediate­
ly transform the holy men into frightened attackers
and defenders and the last state would be worse than
the first.
No agreement can keep the people quiet, not even
an
.
agreement to do so. An agreement presupposes some
V&Tlant of the status quo but the status quo is not only
horizontal, it is vertical. It involves not only govern'­
meIts and governments but governments and peoples,
theIr own peoples as well as the peoples of other goV-
_
_
ernllents. Tl1�s Messrs. Bevan and Gaitskell propose
to take the fIrst small step to binding Germany hand
and foot on the altar of peace as Isaac was bound by
Jacob. Doubtless these two Social-Democratic watchdogs
of the purest breed believe that if they can persuade the
two imperialist powers to agree on this ( the conference
being carefully prepared) , the German people will hav�
to accept it. Who more experienced than Social-Demo­
crats in shoving down the throat of masses of people the
?olus that is good for them? That the German people
U the West and in the East may make common
cause with Czechs, Hungarians-, and Poles, without bene­
fit of conference either at the summit or at the base
that in any case this imposition upon them can split
the German nation and create still more foundations
of instability, all that is entirely beyond the vision of
these scissors-and-paste reorganizers of a fallen world.
But all this is opposition Punch and Judy. Lost to
all sense and reason as the politicians of official society
seem �o �e, none has yet reached the ultimate insanity
of bellevmg that the status quo is anything more thall
a shifting quicksand which may engulf some strateg'ic
area at any moment and compel God knows what re­
adjustments. Their choice is between ways to destruc­
tion. The boast of Dulles that he chooses the brink is
so much wind. There is nothing else to choose.
OUT OI THEIR O¼I MOUTHS
Our rulers have to try to deceive us. They do not
deceive themselves. Nothing shows so clearly the dregs
to which our civilization has been reduced as the open­
ly confessed bankruptcy of its rulers.
RUSSIA
Russia spent vast wealth, energy, and blood upon
the building up of Stalin as the legitimate heir of Marx,
Engels, and Lenin. Stalinism was inculcated into a whole
nation as the infallible guide by which it could develop
and regulate its material life and its ideas. Without a
52 I¬CIIG IJ¬ll¯Y
moment's notice, the rulers of Ru'sia flipped this nation­
BÌ catechism into limbo.
1J writing, we here al'e quite naturally more concern­
ed to l'each people who live in Western civilization. And
in any case, by normal civilized standards there should
be no need to pOint out the self-confessed bankruptcy
of the Russian state. For decades now the Russian state
has found it necessary to cut off its total population of
many tens of millions from all forms of information or
expression of opinion except what it decreed. The infor­
mation which it manufactures has been manipulated,
turned and twisted, subtracted from or added to, re-=
versed, stood on its head, put on its feet again, placed
sideways without the slightest regard for consistency
logic, or
'
simple common sense. Never has it shown the
slightest respect for the intelligence of the population,
any concern for the fact that it could remember today
'vhat it was told yesterday.
The Russian state has ended by denouncing nearly
all its founders as traitors, spies in the pay of imperial­
ism, and men seeking to betray their country from the
meanest motives. It carried out a series of public trials
in which it flouted common sense and the elementary
laws of evidence in a manner and on a scale which has
no parallel in history. It conducted purges of its lead­
en: in every branch of political and social life, and
those who carried out these purge' were in their turn
purged, so that in time all that remained was a cloud
of lies enshrouding accusers and accused.
The Russian state sent millions of its citizens into
concentration camps, where the cruelties and brutali­
ties exceeded anything that the civilized world had
known for centuries, with the 'ingle exception of Fas­
cist concentration camps during World War J1. Its labor
code sought to discipline workers in factories as if they
were prisoners at hard labor. Its secret police became a
gigantic economic and military state within the state.
It dismis'ed, murdered, and manipulated its supporters
abroad with a cynical disregard for its professed aims
and purposes.
The Russian state has enslaved tens of millions of
people of the oppressed nationalities, not in the remote
parts of the world, but in the heart of Europe. These
nationalities it has subjected to its will and exploited,
politically, economically, and militarily, i a manner
which no previous imperialism, except Hitlerite Fascism.
has ever dared to do. And this in the middle of the
Twentieth Century.
·Iohn Ocan
Gordon Líddy
The Watergate Si x
'RE SELF-CONFESSED BANKUTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 53
There is no need to continue with this catalogue.
Brazenly denied for decades in the face of evidence
piled 8 high as mountains, most of the crimel of sta­
linism have been admitted as facts by the very men
who helped to perpetrate them. Over these crimes with
theil' millions of victims, they have pasted labels such
aR "cult of the individual, " "violations of socialist le­
gality," and similar high-sounding names, and seem to
believe that they have thereby settled the account. They
are mistaken. The revolt in East Germany in 1953, in
.
.
Poland and Hungary in 1956, and the rapid and com ¸ _
plete collapse of the state power in East Germany and
Hungary in particular ; the crudeness with which the
Russian regime sought to de-Stalinize itself, all this and
the ferment throughout the Communist world show that
H.usEJan totalitarianism has not only feet but a head of
clay, is a totally unworkable system of society, and is
doomed to pel'isl1 before the wrath of the people.
The power of totalitarianism is due to one thing and
one thing only-totalitarianism itself. Stalin could and
now Khrushchev can set the most abrupt and bewild­
enng goals and changes in economic and diplomatic 1'e­
l2tions and thus appear to catch up with and surpass
all rivals. But it is this very immunity from the criti­
cism of rivals and of the people that leaves them help­
l ess before the criticism of events and lures them on to
the most fantastic stupidities. Stalin's are now common
property. We shall not have to wait too long for KhrUlh­
chev' s. His successor will enlighten us.
The most significant fact about the impact of this
monstrous growth on Western Civilization is never DI
very rarely mentioned. History will record and, we hope,
with a shame that will never let humanity forget it,
history will record that the vast maj ority of intellec­
tuals, politicians, liberals, socialists, and humanists ac­
oepted Russian totalitarianism at its own valuation.
They believed that the Russian people and the subjugat­
ed Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Czechoslovakians, etc.,
would accept the cruelties, brutalities, and ihumani­
ties forever. They more than half suspected that by
"1984" all states in the world would have followed the
Russian model. They believed in other words that after
five thousands years of civilization, humanity was des­
tined to end up like performing animals, obedient to
t,he whip of a trainer.
Even the gross and stupid fallifications of the Mos­
cow trials were accepted in many quarters, to the ex­
tent tha.t Mr. Winston Churchill in his history of

FACING REALITY
tbe war was able to write of the masterful manner i
which Vishinsky conducted them.
The trials have now been acknowledged for the
fr:mds that they were. The Plan has been exposed in
Poland and Hungary. It i now obvious to all except
Stalinists and some learned economists that if any
modern state was able to crush the working class and
lower its wages by half, the state would be able to in­
crease its production of heavy industry and build planes
and missiles, until in time the whole society blew up
owing to -the economic and social tensions and disorder. _
It was not merely Russian statistics of production
and military power that drove Western Civilization to
believe the Russian state had at last discovered the
means of turning men into commodities, pure and sim­
ple. The cause of this degradation of thought, this bru­
talization of belief, lay not in Russia at alL The Russian
propaganda was swallowed because of the situation at
home. If so many in western Europe and the United
states accepted the Russian way as the way of the fu­
ture, if they cringed before it, if they were even fas­
cinated by it, it was because they no longer had any
belief in the future of Free Enterprise, or Parliamentary
Democracy, or the milk-and-water Socialism of the
Labor Parties, exhausted before they had arrived at
maturity. Millions, including the most highly-educated
and well-iformed intellectuals, were filled with such
loathing, such uncontrollable disgust for the pretenses
and hypocrisies and rottenness of the democratic re­
gIme, that they plunged head foremost into Stalinism.
They were ready to drown all knowledge, all intelligence
and integrity in that slime and grime, muck and blood,
if that was the only way t demonstrate their rejection
of Parliamentary Democracy.
The shock of de-Stalinization, the splendor of the
Hlgarian Revolution have brought some of them to
their senses. But for them there is no return to official
society. Behind the dreary bleating of the politicians,
official society states quite plainly that it has nothing
to offer to anybody.
GREAT BRITAIN
Great Britain is the country which is supposed to
have emerged from the upheavals of the last decades
with the greatest social and moral stability. We are told
that it combines the Welfae State with traditional
values. I holds up its Parliamentary Democracy a' Þ
model to the whole world. No one genuflects more rap-
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY ãã
turously before the British monarchy than Life and
Time, the publications of Henry Luce, and the
New York Times. All this i mere self-delusion when
it is not deliberate hypocrisy. The British people do not
themselves believe it.
On June 25, 1957, the Times Literary Supplement, a
publication of the same publishing company which pro­
duces the London Times, analyzed the state of mind
of the ordinary citizen in the United States, in Russia,
and in England. We reprint certain sections of the
analysis because today official society is best convicted
- but of the mouths of its own spokesmen.
A time of strained and breaking loyalties all over
the world-in politics, nationalities, religions, mo­
ralities and families-is certainly a time of trou­
bles. Such a time has come upon us all, for the first
time in history. That secular religion which once
seemed the hope of half the world-Communism-­
has equally become a prey to conflicts of loyalty,
nationalism and morality. In Russia, as in America,
India and Britain; in the Jewry of the diaspora and
of Israel alike, as among dwellers in Arabia, the old
faiths cannot hold the young, materialism rules
the roost and societies bid fair to come apart at
the seams. Worse, they begin to seem unpatchable;
yet no one knows, no one can foretell, what kind
of society will emerge as typical of the continental
groupings ( if not "the World state" itself) towards
which our familiar nation-states are being hustled.
We can ignore the last phrases that no one knows
or can foretell what kind of society will emerge. The
society that will emerge is a society of Workers Councils
in every department of the national activity and a Gov­
ernment of Workers Councils. But that apart, did any
Marxist revolutionary ever pen a more devastating pic­
ture of chaos, decay, and social dissolution?
The ordinary citizen has no belief in official society,
whether he lives in Moscow, Wahington, or London.
On the surface he votes, he works, he salutes the flag
( or he does not salute it) , he listens to the politicians,
but in the privacy of his own mind and heart, all this
parade of politics and patriotism means nothing to him.
This these serious spokesmen of official society know,
and they know that the root cause of it is the modern
octopus state, whether totalitarian or welfare.
Our real problem today is rather "the millions in
moder mass society who are without loyalty," who
ãG FACING REALITY
are apathetic OJ anaesthetic. This is a useful point­
er ; for on both sides of the Curtain - and rapidly
developing in Aia and Africa-modern urban, in­
dustrial ( or industrializing) society renders its citi­
zens ever more rootless in their local habitations,
ever more mobile, ever more atomistic. They do not
1PP1 their society. They do not seem parts of it. Yet,
simultaneously, the powers-that-be . . . for brevity's
sake, those of the state-assume more and more
control over details of the citizen's life, over the
. .. _ range of his decisions for his life, and over the en­
vironment within which he must live it out.
It is perhaps platitudinous by now, but none the
less true, that inasmuch as a citizen feels he can­
not exert any influence on circumstances shaping
his life-inasmuch as he feels himself the sport of
uncontrollable and unseen powers-he will "cash Ì
his chips" or, as French argot has it, he will re­
place his spoon on the counter. He will effectively
die towards his society. He will contract out of it,
and out of his responsibilities.
The free intelligence turns in revolt from this para­
site of bureaucratic administration, tyranny, and hypo­
crisy.
The citizenry - and particularly, primarily, the
thinking elite-will suffer a kind of schizophrenia:
on the one hand their social instincts will still be
urgent, but unsatisfiable ; on the other hand, as a
human-natural defense mechanism, they will decry
and debunk any form of social activity, for that
would identify them with the powers-that-be and
imply acquiescence in the various forms of deploy­
ment of those powers. Thus " a sort of traitor" arises ;
not very many real, political, or military traitors,
but rather a vast number of non-citizens-citizens
of nothing, attaching no positive value whatever to
their society and its administrative State, having
no emotive affection for it, living as atoms in it,
fulfilling the barest minimum of obligations to "get
by," and generally betraying an "I couldn't care
less" mood.
That is the society in which we live, more precisely
in whiCh we die, Tomorrow, as the dozens of rival
Sputniks spin around the earth, men, women, and chil­
dren will wake and sleep in a world which wl have
become the very valley of the shadow of death.
Once we close our ears to the slogans and the shout-
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY þ7
lng, then the decay of human personality, the decline
?I human respect for itself, for its past, for any future
�s enougI to bring nostalgia for the monastery. Millions
O despalr turn back to religion, that is to say return
to
.
s�vagery, for when modern men who have abjured
relIgIOn take refuge in it, then they are even worse than
the savage. The savage knew no better. The man of
today is denying centuries of human development.
Let us look once again at the supposedly stable so­
ciety of Britain. There are among the British people
many who have pi'eserved B genuinely religious cast of
mind, and some of them denounce the USe of the hydro­
gen
.
bomb under any circumstances, driven to this by
theIr whole Puritan past ( and helped no doubt by Brit­
a
.
in's vulnerable position) . These people, mOal, serious,
smcere, hope for some sort of general disarmament. To
them, another British newspaper, the Manchester
�uardia�, for a century famous for principled . ournal­
¹�ìÏU, replles as follows :
There is about one chance in ten of that. The far
higher probability is that it would lead within a
few years to the extension of Mr. Khrushchev
'
s
kind of socialism to. all Western Europe and the
British Isles. We should be powerless to resist, ex­
cept by passive means. The immediate consequence
(unless the West European countries contrived to
retain �n American strategic guarantee, backed
by Amencan bombs, while Britain withdrew) would
be the likelihood that the recent Soviet diplomatic
thaw would be reversed. One country after another
beginning with Western Germany, would come undel:
Soviet pressure. Britain at first might be immune
but her turn would come. Mr. Khrushchev after all'
believes that the forces of history are oy{ his side:
The transition from capitalism to socialism is ine­
vitable. "The emergence of socialism, " B he told
the party congress last year, "from within the
bounds of a single country and its transformation
into a world system is the main feature of our era. "
Russia's business, as her leaders see it, is to help
the process along by whatever means may be ex­
pedient. Harsh threats are not expedient at present
for they have proved to build up western resistance:
But the objective of Russian policy is unchanged
I is a Communist world, under Moscow's leader�
ship.
There aloe, nevertheless, many Christians and non-
58 FACING REALITY
Christians who believe that we ought to renounce
the bomb. They hold that its use could not be jus­
tified in any conceivable circumstances. Are they,
then, prepared to face the agony of living under a
Communist system?
Are they? The Manchester Guardian is not unready,
It may be that the system, by the time it reached
here, would be modified. It may also be that, B
Poland's delicate treading of the razor's edge might
ultimately prove, an evglttion towards a milder
system is possible within the Communist State. Buf
the process must be anguishing. Merely to think
of Britain as a "controlled democracy" calls for an
effort of imagination which is hard to make.
They can make the effort easily enough for other
countries.
For people in France or the Low Countries it is
easier, because they have had the experience of
living under an imposed regime. They know what
it means to have among them secret police,. with
powers of arbitrary arrest, deportation, and execu­
tion. And, since it will be said that in Russia the
police powers are being made less arbitrary, ÍÍ
should be remembered that leniency is least where
the seeds of resistance are strongest; that has been
shown in Eastern Germany and Hungary. We should
have to be ready to face in Britain the corrupting
influences already seen in Eastern Europe-the use,
for example, of children to inform against their
parents and, where parents are accused or under
pressure to "confess," the use of their children as
hostages
.
The system the Russian leaders have de­
vised for their own country is one thing ; the sys­
tem as it evolves through imposition on other coun­
tries is another. Resistance in Britain by individ­
uals and organisations ( churches, political parties,
and the press) could prove magnificent. But the
conflict, inevitably, would bring bitter pain.
The real problem, you see, is the children.
Such is the degrada tion, publicly announced, to
which official society has sunk in Britain. Charles II.
three hundred years ago, was ready to sel British power
and influence to the French king. But he did it for value
received, for money, and he had the decency to do it
secretly. This spinelessness, the sinking at the heart
and bowing at the knees, comes not from the enemy
without, but from the enemy within. If the Manchester
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 59
Guardian appears to pe a degree below the Times, it is
because the public for whom and to whom it speaks
prefers reality with less of the traditional trappings.
Never have modern Englishmen sunk so low. Yet these
are the same people WhO a few years ago astonished
the world by their bravery, fortitude, and calmness un­
der U hail of bombs. And that is now exactly their level.
They can stand up under bombs thrown, or throw back
bomb'. Perspective beyond that they have none. They
have abdicated from leadership. They hold their posi-
.
tions by tradition, police, and army. They are going no- ¨ ¨ ¨ ¯
where, ad none know it more than they.
This. the attitude of British liberalism to Stalinism,
is not in any way peculiar to Britain. The whole of
Europe is permeated through and through with this
readiness to capitulate to Stalinism. On the surface it
can be explained thus: must we first submit to military
occupation by the Russian army and rule by the Com­
luni't Parties ? Must we then be liberated by an Amer­
ican invasion? After that, what will be left? But that
is merely rationalization. Men have always been ready
to fight, to die, and to endure for a way of life which
satisfied or promised to satisfy their material, intellec­
tual, and moral needs. Western Civilization no longer
ccmmands that loyalty. And if even Europe survives
the liberation, then what? Only the United States
mouthing its obscene rituals about Free Enterprise · and
Democracy.
THE UNITED STATES
When Americans look at themselves in the context
of wOlld society do they take any different view of
themselves? The European face of the United States
is the daily Paris edition of the New York Herald Tri­
bune Which is read all over Europe and the Near East.
On the editorial page of the issue of November 6, 1957,
VL can see the arresting title, "America's Non-Genera­
tion." Describing the present generation of Americans
under 30, it but repeats the view of the London Times.
There is, then, a certain justice in regarding the
young generation as B non-generation, a collection
of people who, for all their apparent command of
themselves, for all their sophistication, for all their
"maturity," know nothing, stand for nothing, be­
lieve in nothing.
What is this but a picture of social death? Ameri­
can sociologists have registered and documented the
decline of the dynamic individualism which built the
60 1ACIG UEAIIY
United states into "The Organization Man," dressed i
his gray flannel suit.
Yet it would be a mistake to portray the self-con­
fessed bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie in the U n i t e d
states by its pronouncements in publications CITes�
ponding to the Times Literary Supplement on Loyalties
and the Manchester Guardian on the invading Stalinist
society. The same consciousness of failure, the same
self-analysis which is taking place in Europe in politi­
cal and literary terms is taking place in the United
states, in characteristically American fashion, before ­
the whole population. Despite the distortions, it is films
and television that miror the crisis of American bour­
geois society.
Blackboard Jungle put on the screen for the first
time the jungle which is, American education and rela­
tions between teacher and pupil. Rebel Without a Cause
portrayed the violent rebellion of American y o u t h
agaimt their society and their inability to find i the
political and social institutions of the country any posl­
tive movement for regeneration. Executive Suite, The
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and Sweet Smell of
Success show the former ideal of the nation, the suc­
cessful business man, rejecting the code and sinking
into spiritual death or perversion.
Yet the most remarkable characteristic of these ex­
posurel is that the exposers have no values to substitute
for those which they deride. The more talented the
artist, the more revealing is the bankruptcy.
The hero demagogue of A Face in the Crowd is B
television idol, supported, either naively or for dishonest
purposes, by every section of American society portrayed
in the film. The life of the intellectual is treated with
scarcely disguised contempt. The film catches perfectly
the attempt of official society in the United States t
organize in advance every social stimulus and response
so as to drown out any independent initiative of
thought, feeling, or activity. I the end, the film itself
is a example of the same methods and the same results
which it attempts t denounce.
As in the quotations from the Times Literary Sup­
plement and the Manchester Guardian, so in the film:
the working class does not appear. In each case, there­
fore, the result i's the same-an indictment of bourgeois
civilization by a self-confessed bankrupt bourgeoisie.
Europeans do not seem to understand that the Ameri­
can public hal developed an extraordinary awareness
and sensibility in regard to these, its popular arts. I is
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY b |
famnar with the problems posed and recognizes in­
stantly the social types thl' ough which these are pre­
sented. What the American audience does is to reject,
often with gOOd-humored if not contemptuous cynicism,
the synthetic conclusion. Beginning from the problems
and the types of people placed before it, it works out for
itself the answers which producers and directors have
evaded-the inevitability of defeat.
FRANCE
To conclude this picture of defeat and death, we
could perh!ps not do better than to show what official
society looks like to the vast majority of the people
s

from underdeveloped countries, some three-quarters of
the world's population. In September of 1957 represen­
tatives of the French-African colonies held a conference
at Bamako in French West Africa. They were mot of
them men occupying high official posts in the French
colonial system. They desired internal self-government
but they did not propose to break with France - they
advocated, instead, a French-African community. Many
of them were bitter anti-Communists. Yet one speech
shoak to the marrow the Fench politiCians and journa-
lists who were present. The speaker, M. Ouezzin Couli-
baly. Vice-President of the Council of Government of
the High Volta, led the discussion on the education of
African youth. What example did the state of France
offer to the youth of Africa?' None. Instead he asked
the youth of Africa to take warning against the spec-
tacle which France presented. In the course of a few
minutes M. Coulibaly told the African people why they
could look for example neither to France, to Russia, the
United States, nor to the French political patties, whe-
ther bourgeois, Communist, or Socialist. Here is the
speech:
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE U. B. A. ¥5. U. S, S. R.
Finally, in the education of the youth, of our youth
which considers itself African, we have to put our
young people on guard against political satelliteism.
I touched on the subject earlier. The political satel­
liteism of France does not cease to scandalize all
those people who wish France well ad want to be­
lieve that there still remains something of a France
which was once great and powerful, that there is
still some will and energy which will try to mo­
bilize the people of France around some hopes and
aspirations for France B an independent nation.
It remains only a hope. And while we are hoping,
FACING REALITY
we are forced to admit that the centers of gravity
of world politics have shifted toward countries that
are now new centers of power: the Russians, the
Chinese, the Indians and before long, the Germans
once again. As a result of this, politics in France
is sunk in corruption. We have to ask ourselves jf
Frenchmen perceive the ridiculous position in which
they are. The normal order of things is reversed.
The internal policy of France, based upon the needs
of the nation, no longer dictates its foreign policy.
Instead, the internal policy has to adapt itself to
foreign policy ahd this foreign policy is dictated
by the two international power blocs, Russia and
the United states. But we, the pOlitical representa­
tives of Africa, who refuse to let our j udgment sink
into paralysis, we have to a'k ourselves if the
French Parliament is anything more than two dele­
ga tions of Russian and American citizens on French
soil, whose business is to defend interests which
are absolutely alien to the country. No decision
can be taken on any question of French internal
politics unles' the external consequences of the de­
cision are first taken into consideration. Demads
and pl�Ograms are j udged not by what they propose,
but by what the consequences abroad are likely to
be. France is no more than a dummy, behind which
Russia and the United states without any pretense,
fight out a merciless duel. In any discussion, no
one paYS attention to what the spe·aker is saying,
you seek instead to divine to which foreign ideology
he belongs.
M. Dalmas has stigmatized this national degrad­
ation in the following terms.
"Our political life is completely alienated. Any real
sense of what is happening in the country vanished
before the need to interpret events according to
the strategy of the world conflict. We are power­
less to do anything else, since the slightest gesture
at once becomes a part of one or the other of the
two enormous cog-wheels and has no existence of
its own. The obsession with international conflict
transforms us into a passive chessboard on which
the game is played by players who belong else­
where. We find out about the strokes they bring
off only when we feel them on our backs."
THE DEPRAVITY OF THE BOURGEOISIE
SO it is that the pro-American French bourgeois
practices the diplomacy of the cringing small-time
THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 6J
thief. Arrogantly they demand that they must hav8
a place among "the great." Snarling, they defend
a prestige which is only paper, and they are happy
to snigger at "those idiots of Americans. " But at
the same time they humbly extend to the Americans
a begging hand and get into a terrible state when
it is spurned by John Foster Dulles ; the white
the economy of France moulders in a false security
of charity from abroad.
It is clear that we cannot look for inspiring politi�
cal perspectives from a class that is exhausted. For
decades now we hear from the
-
representatives of

the classical Right Wing of French politics only 0
mixture of insolence and feebleness
.
They collabor-
ated with Germany when the power was with the
Germans. They followed Petain when they could
play the double game with danger, they j oined de
Gaulle when the "noble" resistance movement tri-
umphed in the drawing rooms.
. . THE BETRAYAL OF THE OLD PARTIES
As for the extreme Left, the Communists, they oUD ·
scribe to the dogma that the revolution is impos­
sible without the Russian army. No longer are they
defenders of the U. S. S. R. as the bastion of the
world revolution, encircled by the capitalist world.
It is for them the only hope, the only force capable
of imposing the happy tomorrows of which they
sing.
This paralYis of French political life is above all
serious on the Left. For it is the Left which attracts
the youth. It is perhaps the first time in history
that the two great traditional parties of the massed
of the people, the Socialists and the Communists.
have thus "deviated." Their chief concern is no
longer to resolve the economic problems of a given
society in accordance with their principles. The
sole aim of each is to find a place for itself as
troops within a power bloc whose boundaries ex­
tend far beyond them and which has no meaning
except in the perspective of war.
This is what the colonial people see when they look
at Western Civilization. It is to this that the United
States and Rus'ia between them have driven the vast
majority of the world's people.
There is no need to continue with this distressful
catalogue. What we have to ask ourselves is : why? We
have already answered this question in terms of the
0 FACING REALITY
fundamental relations of production .
.
But that is not
enough. We must attempt now to vl
.
e� SocIety
,
as
.
.
a
whole, and seek within all its comple�ntles
.
and l amlfl­
cations some guiding thread which wIll brmg some or­
der into what appears to be a universal chaos, to
J
ake
some sense of what appears to be the �potheosls
.
of
senselessnes'. The bourgeoisie knows what IS happemng.
Of that there is no doubt. But it does r
ot know why.
If it did, it would no longer be bOU

'geOls. Because w

are concerned with the totality of eXls�ence, the ans
:
el
.. - must be JI terms
-
of a total yjeW ,
_tl�t
_
!s __ t(_ saX,_ a })1llo=_
sophy of life.
I V . E N D O F A P H I L O S O P H Y
. There is no mystery in what is happening to our
society. Men live their lives according to a philosophy
of life. They always have. They always will. They may
not be conscious of it. But when Roman Catholics and
Protestants believed that it was their duty to convert,
or, failing that, to exterminate each other, ideas were
part of a total philosophy of life. Today Catholics and
.
atheists can live peaceably side by side in the same
house and are more concerned with whether theii' neigh­
bors are Fascist or Communist, with which political
party they belong to, than which Church they attend.
Obviously the view of what constitutes the fundamentals
of existence has changed. People do not need to be philo­
sophers to have a philosophy of life.
Philosophers seek to ;ocmulate in precise and com­
prehensive terms the ideas of their age, or propagate
i; new ideas, in whole or in part. All this would appear
to be elementary. It has to be stated, however, because
today the great stream of European philosophy has
various evil-smelling stagnant pools or little streams
that babble as aimlessly and far less usefully than
Tennyson's brook. One of the stagnant schools has dis­
covered that the organic constitution of the human
mind is gloom, anxiety. dread, suffering, and all varie­
ties of misery. The other begins from the premise that
all previous philosophies. misconceived language, and
they have set out to make language more precise. For
them a sentence which states "The future of humanity
is in peril," has no meaning. This they demonstrate by
devoting twenty pages to the word "the, " forty pages
to the word "future, " and so on. A popular tradition has
it that at the end of the great age of Catholicism the
theologians debated with passion how many angels
could dance on the pOint of a needle. Today they do not
seem so absurd in the light of the number of professors
who can dance on the needle of a point. In this way,
inquiring youth is corrupted and shepherded into pas­
sivity before the crimes and evils of the day.
These learned obscurantists and wasters of paper
are of value in that they signify the end of a whole
stage in the intellectual history of mankind. Philosophy
as such has come to an end.
From Plato to Hegel, European philosophers were
65
66 FACING REALITY
always struggling to make a total harmonious unity of
societies riddled by class struggles. They were attempt­
ing the impossible, organizing in the mind what could
ony be organized in society. But contrary to these mod­
ern marionettes, they usually cleared away much that
had become old and rotten and at least formulated the
new. But the time for that is past. The development
.
of
scienee and industry has brought men face to face wIth
the need to make reasonable their daily existence, not
to seek in philosophical sys,tems for the harmony that
eludes them in life. Over a hundred years ago in one
. .
of his greatest passages, Marx saw that religious and
philosophical systems had had their day, and men
would soon face the realities of social life as phenomena
created by human beings, to be organized by human be­
ings U concrete life, and not in the
.
escapism o� .ab­
stract thought or the mystic symboll'sm of rehgIOus
ceremonial. This intellectual clarification had been
achieved not by itellectuals but by bourgeois society
itself. So in the Communist Manifesto Marx pOinte.d
out that in good time men would face the world as It
was and therefore have ' no need of a philosophy to
resolve its contradictions. The 'ocialist proletariat would
reorganize society.
Conservation of the old modes of production in u¬
altered form was, on the contrary, the first condi­
tion of existence for all earlier industrial classes.
Constant revolutionizing of production, unintenupt­
ed disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting
uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois
epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen
relations, with their train of ancient and venerable
prejudices and opiion', are swept away, all new­
formed ones become antiquated before they can os­
sify. All that is solid melts into ai, all that is holy
is profaned, and man is at last
.
c
.
ompelled . to face
with sober senses, his real condItIOns of hfe, and
his relations with his kind.
Philosophy must become proletarian-this stingi
7
g
formulation is the source of j eers and snee.rs or pO
;
Ite
smirks by the philosophically educated. It I8 nevertll.e­
less one of the great truths of our time. Immense n

­
belS of the educated, now compelled at last to fa

e WIth
sober senses the real conditions of life
.
and
.
thel �eal
relation' with their kind, fly off in all dllectIOns,
p
hilo­
sophies of anxiety, dizzy gyrati
?
ns o� �he
1
eam
.
g. of
the word "meaning," rediscovel'lng ongmal sm, dI
V
g
into the depths of the human personality armed WIth
END OF A PHILOSOPHY 67
torchlights made by Freud and Jung, accumulating sta­
tistics in the spirit of Mr. Gallup and labeling it soeio­
logy.
Though confused and deafened by the clamor above,
1\ is the working class in every country more than any
other class which faces vel'Y lberly the conditions of
life as they are today and knows that the future of
human experience lies in the reorganization of these
conditions and not in dread, depth psychology, or the
ineradicable sense of sin. For the same reason, language
is today mor� than ever adeqllte JQr the eXP:eQsion of __ .
human needs. This is not becau'e language is more
highly developed, but because human needs have be­
come more simplified
.
With modern means of eommu­
nication, there is not an urgent social problem today
which is beyond the rapid complehension of the vast
majority of mankid. Since the Greek city-state, it is
the first time in history that this is possible. There is
TU mystery in what is happenig to our society. If so
'many find it easier to accept the total destruction of
human society rather than s ee that a new society is all
around them, a society based on cooperative labor, it
is not merely because of greed, de'ire to retain privilege,
original sin. It is because, arising out of these material
privileges and re-enforcing them is a habit of mind,
a way of viewing' the world, a philosophy of life still
so powerful because by means of it man has conquered
nature
.
I has governed the world for over four hundred
years and now it has come to an end.
Beginning in the Sixteenth Century, mankind lib­
erated itself from the static cloled conceptions of the
universe which had characterized the medieval epoch.
The study of science and the revolutionizing of produc­
tion which had grown up within feudal society opened
up the perspective of conquering nature and subj ecting
it to human control. Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Mi­
chelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Columbus, and Shakes­
speare are some of the symbols of the new age. For us
today, the most significant is De'cartes.
To a society advancing in science and industry,
Descartes gave a philosophy that expressed and released
the readiness to adventlle i every realm, including the
realm of ideas. His philosophy was imbued with the con­
viction that every discovery contributed to the libera­
tion of humanity. It inculcated freedom from national
prejudice for all thinking men. This philo'ophy bore
its name on its face-rationalism. "I think, therefore I
am," said Descartes, and the WOTld rejoiced at the per-
ûB
FACING REALrry
spective of the expansion of individual personality and
human powers through the liberation of the intellect.
This resting of self-certainty on man's own thought,
and man's thought alone, was a revolutionary defiance
of the medieval dogma which had derived certainty of
self from God or the Church. Rationalism encouraged
and developed an elite, the organizers of ideas, the or­
ganizers of industry, the discoverers in science. At that
stage of human development they were needed. They
cultivated the individual personality. It followed that
they looked Upon the masses of men as passive unthink­
ing servants of the active organizing elite. Rationalism
saw each human being as an individual, the natural
leaders being the most able, the most energetic, the
most far-seeing individuals. Its political form, as de­
veloped by Locke, if only as an ideal, was democracy;
the transference of free individual competition into
politics. It was invaluable in the conquest of nature,
and under its banner reaction was driven steadily back
and the modern world was created.
Today the tasks envisaged by Descartes, the great
men of the Sixteenth century and their followers in the
Seventeenth and Eighteenth, are accomplished. The
preSSing need of society is no longer to conquer nature.
The great and pressing need is to control, order, and
reduce to human usefulness the mass of wealth and
knowledge which has accumulated over the last four
centuries. In human, in social terms, the problem of
mankind has gone beyond the association of men in a
natural environment to achieve control over nature.
Today mankind is sharply divided into two camps within
the social environment of production, the elite and the
mass. But the trained, educated elite no longer repre­
sents the liberation of mankind. Its primary function
is to suppress the social community which has developed
inside the process of production. The elite must sup­
press the new social community because this commu­
nity is today ready to control, order, and reduce to hu­
man usefulness the mass of accumulated wealth and
knowledge. This antagonistic relation between an ad­
ministrative elite calculating and administering the
needs of others, and people in a social community de­
termining their own needs, this new world, our world,
is a world which Descartes never lmew or guessed at.
As an actual liberating philosophy of life, rationalism
is dead. I is rationalism which no longer commands
the allegiance of men.
Yet on both sides of the Iron Curtain, it is ration-
EN OF A PHILOSOPHY 69
alism which still rules. Stalinist totalitarianism is mere­
ly the material expression of the elite philosophy of ra­
tionalism carried to its ultimate conclusion. Its philo­
sophy of the Party is the philosophy of the organized
elite. Its philosophy o·f the Plan is the philosophy of
the organizing intellect. It is the attempt to take what
was living, creative, dynamic, adventurous in the early
da;s of science and industry and make it into a blue­
prmt to regulate the infinitely complex life of modern
society. Its conception of the masses of the people is
that they are the means by whose labor and sacrifice are
to be achieved ends which only the elite can viSUalize
clearly. Hence the blindness, the moral degradation the
�ehumaniz�tion which overtakes those who today p�'ac­
tlCe the phIlosophy of rationalism. Two philosophies the
philosophy of man's mastery over men and the philo­
sophy of man's mastery over things, have met face to
face.
Fascism, Corporate State, One-Party State Welfare
State, Totalitarianism, all of these are ways
'
in which
rationalism attempts to adapt itself to the modern
C?mmunity. Thereby it not only obstructs the new so­
Clety. It destroys all the achievements of rationalism it­
self. ,he free development of the individual personality,
the nght OJ the meanest itelligence to wander through
the strangest seas of thought, alone if need be, this
freedom has been established as a universal principle
however limited it might be by the actual condition;
of existence at any particular place or time. It is now
an ineradicable part of the human personality. The
new society, the community of cooperative labor can
fun
.
ction adequately only if this free
'
dom can e�pand
to Its fullest degree. Today rationalism destroys it, not
only for the mass, but for the elite itself. So Hitler and
Stalin become the sole individuals in their countries en­
t�tled to any personality at alL Political parties ll par­
llamentary democracies become machines in which the
individual must either conform or be ruthlessly elimi­
nated. �uman associations no longer are guided by
leadershIp, they pay homage to "the leader." That is
why "on both sides of . the Curtain-and rapidly devel­
oping in Asia and Africa-modern urban, industrial ( or
industrializing) society renders its citizens ever more
rootless in their local habitations, ever mOore mobile
ever more atomistic. They do not ÍPP1 their society. ,The;
do not seem parts of it." But a society of Workers Coun­
cils in every department of the national life, and B Gov­
ernment of Workers Councils? Ah! That, if yOU please
1
?0 FACING REALIT
will mean-the destruction of culture. As if for fifty years
official society has not been systematically destroyig
culture in it' most precious castle-the mind of man.
sometimes some scrap of reality appears for a brief
moment among the perpetual stupidity, lies, hypocrisy
and self-delusion which the daily Press mechanically
places before even its most pretentious customer�. Thus
the London Times for April 18th, 1957, suddenly rform\
its readers:
It is, fQJ example, being widely said that the poli­
tical and industrial conlicts in contemporary Brit-­
ain arise from the fact that two fundamentally
opposite moralities, a bourgeois morality and a col­
lective morality, are flourishing side by side and
that their respective adherents find it increasingly
hard to discover a common basi for discussion.
It is a peculiar idea that both these societies are
"flourishing." Let that pass.
There they are, the two societies. But we read on
and it turns out that the bourgeois morality is-Chris­
tianity. "Conservative Freedom Pays ; " a Prime Minister
in the House of Commons, twisting and cheating like
a racing tout in the dock, when asked if American
planes loaded with hydrogen bombs are flying over
Egland; employers straining like greyhounds on the
leash for a government signal to have the showdown
with the workers ; professors sitting Q| late over Jung
to find reasons why royalty is part of the collective un­
conscious (British) this is capitalistic society? No such
thing. It is Christi�nity, and the Archbishop of Canter-
bury is its prophet.
V. NEW SOCIET: NEW PEOPLE
Yet it is in agig, creaking, conservative Britain
that there flourishes as solid, as cohesive and as pow­
er�ul a national concentration of the new society as
eXlsts
.
�nywhere on the face of the globe. It is composed
of mlillons of men, with ideals and loyalties of their_
own. Here is one of the rare descriptions of them, as
profound and brilliant a description of British life as
has �ppeared for years. From it newspaper editors, book
publlshers, and directors of radio stations would recoil
as if stung ( as indeed they would be) . But millions of
:orkers would recognize it at once, and it is the kind of
mformation that the masses of people everywhere need
and never get. It is an account of shop stewards not
only as a social force, but as human beings.
'
It would be impossible concretely and in detail to
�how, in the space of a few pages, how the growth
m power of the shop committees, in turn enabled
the most advanced socialist to begin to see the
growing up of a new way of life and organization
(I think that is what State Capitalism and World
Revolution means by human relations) . But one
concrete exampJe is in the very center of the clash
of classes, at the negotiating committees between
the shop stewards and the managements. It can
be a shattering and highly formative experience
to observe, week i and week out, that there ar�
two different ways of life on either side of that
table, and that the overwhelming preponderance
of all the claSSic human virtues is on the side of
the shop stewards. In an average works committee
meeting, the managing director is in the chair at
the head of the table. On one side of the table will
be the convenor of the shop stewards, and five or
six other stewards elected to represent the Shop
Stewards Committee and through them every work­
er in the plant. On the other side will be say the
works manager, production manager a chief of the
planning department, and deputy of the works man­
ager, the head of the drawillg office, and the sales
manager. An amazing dialectical revolution takes
place.
71
?2 FACING REALITY
J SHOP STEWARD IS FREE
The shop stewards, workers to a man, all of
them, fitters, turners, production line workers, are
no longer employees; they are no longer un?er t:e
orders of the managers or even the ma:: agmg
.
.
dl­
rector; they are the equals of the managmg
.
d�rec­
t But the managerial side of the negotmtlOns,
t��y the managers, are the employees.
.
�he ShO?
stewards are free and equal men, denvmg theIr
authority from the worker th�y represert. The
managers ate mere employers hIred and fIred by_
the managing director. The policy of the manager's
side is set by the free discussion an� free vote by
the Shop Stewards Committee. �t �s usual th�t
there is as there is always, a maJonty and a mI­
nority,
'
in the shop stewards' debates
.
; always a
spokesman of the minority is included I the ?e�o­
tiations to see that the majo�'ity, in neg�tlat�ng
with management, is not unfaIr to the
.
mmonty.
No minority in a Shop Stew�rds c:ommlttee ever
feels oppressed there is free dIScussIon, and demo­
cratic decision: The managemen; �nows there are
divi'ions always on the workers SIde, a�d always
try to use that knowledge. But ne.er, m all the
negotiations with employers at WhICh I have as:
sisted, or which I ever heard of, has t�e workers
side ever shown the employers anythmg but a
completely united front.
.
These are loyalties of the new age. These are mdeed
the classic human virtues.
MANAGEMENT IS TIED AND BOUND
, ,
On the employers' side, there is the unalllmlty
of bankruptcy, because with them they have a boss
who alone ultimately tells them wha�to d�. If the
advice of a works manager and hIS pollc? ov�r
weeks or months is accepted by the mana�mg dI­
rector the boss, and it turns out wrong, he IS sac�­
ed E;ery individual manager is always under thls
t
:
'n But the shop steward negotiators are free
���
'
who are never penaliz�d in this way. Th

re
are no bo'ses, no sackings ì the Shop
.
ste
,
war ds
Committee. The average shop st�ward glo�'les l the
battle in the negotiations, he gIves of hIS ?est a�
ways ' there is no boss breathing down hIS nec .
It is
'
a matter of common knowledge that t�e shop
stewards in negotiations are ruthless" never to
.
�e
"atl' sfied and can always drive wedges mto the ar tl­
,
t If a works ficial monolithism of the managemen .
NEW SOCIETY: ^£V PEOPLE
73
manag'er is a reasonable man, yOU praise him to the director, and make him SUspect. If he is a harsh disciplinarian, yOU accuse him of provoking strikes. All these things are difficult to detail ; but
the total result is that the shop stewards' method of organisation, with everything that it involves, proves itself in every way superior to the way of the management's. The shop steward who thinks who is a revolutionary, values highly the systeu
which has made him what he is.
. . "THEY GLORY J THE STRUGGLE"
These are new men, new types of human beings, rt is in them that are to be found all the traditional virtues of the English nation, not in decay as they are in official society, but in full flower because these men
have per'pective. Note particularly that they glory in
the struggle. They are not demoralized or defeated or
despairing persons. Wages is the least of their problems.
They are animated by broad far-reaching social pur­
poses, They are leaders but they are rooted deep among
those they lead. As is inevitable, they have in them
many of the national prejudices, but this is due to the
grip on education and mass publication of the decaying
official society. They are getting rid of these hangovers
and replacing them by virtues and qualities their an­
cestors never knew. Careful study of the national com­
munities of advanced Western civilization will show
that despite wide variations, all are based on the same
fundamental relations of the classes that exist in Eng­
lal'd today.
In the working classes of the world, in production
relations and personal relations, there are being posed,
and foundations laid, for solution of gigantic problems
which have baffled the world for centuries. We can on­
ly touch briefly on one of them-the place of women in
SOCiety.
WOMN AND EQUALITY
Capitalist society has by slow and grudging degrees
given equality to women. But it is the same abstract
type of equality that an individual welder or mainten­
ance man has with another individual who employ;
10,000 men. Both are able to cast a vote and are there­
fore equal. Just as Parliamentary Democracy ignores,
and in fact increases, the real iequality of different
classes of men in capitalist society, so women found
that equality before the law rid them of certain op­
pressiVe and offensive feudal limitations, only to bring
Ii
T4 FACIG REALI
before them more starkly the handicaps of child-bear­
ing and child.-rearing in a competitive society, re-en­
iorced by the accumulated prejudices of centuries of
class society. It is in the United states, where women
are abstractly most free, that there is taking place a
colossal struggle for the establishment of truly human
relations between men and women. Among the profes­
sional classes, as part of the general reactionary trend,
most women at marriage give up the unequal contest
and compromise with their most dearly-cherished as­
pirations for equality. The result is the mounting di­
vorce statistics and, where divorce does not take place,
an antagonism in sex and personal relations. For year
this aspect of American society was regarded with as­
tonishment and often with distaste, not only by men,
but by women, in other countries. But the modern eco­
nomy draws into cooperative labor or related activities
al sections of the population, including women. Offi­
cial society itself can no longer defend the shaml and
vulgarity and cruelty of bourgeois morality. The result
Ì3 that women everywhere are beginning to recognize
that the hitherto notorious sex war in American life is
in reality one of the advanced positions of the new
society seeking to make official abstractions into hu­
man reality.
But as usual, though the middle classes often pose
i advance the fundamental questions of the day, they
cannot solve them. The United states more than any
other country produces a number of exceptional women,
career women, usually viragoes who by use of thei in­
tellectual and other gifts transform themselves as far
as is humanly possible into feminine counterparts of
men and believe that thereby they have solved the
"woman question." Others have only to go and do like­
wise. This is no more than rationalist individualism in
skirts.
The real battle for new relations between the sexes
is being fought above all in the American working class.
During the war millions of women went into idustry
and many have remained there. They have no money
for the elaborate home organization of the successful
career woman. They retain the desire themselves to
make a home and rear a family. But they have no in­
tention of once more becoming an adunct to the male
wage-earner so that he can adequately fulfill the needs
of capitalist production. In the age-long struggles of
human beings to remould their world nearer to their
heart's desire, rarely have such heroic efforts, such
Ü
Û
=
L
ø ¤
Þ
C
E
L
O

NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE Tõ
courage, such resource, such ingenuity been shown as
in the efforts of American working women to live 3
complete life, a life corresponding to the technical
achievements and social relations of their highly-devel-
oped society. As long as official society lasts, they can- ; .
not win a complete victory, but positions have been
gained and if some have been lost, many have been
held. This, one of the greatest social struggles of our
time, goes um'ecorded! What have Congress, or the New ·
York Times, or Alistair Cooke to do with all this?
The working class in every country lives its own
. 11fe, makes its own experiences, seelng always. to cre-. .¸.. ¸ . .
atE forms and realize values which may originate D!~
rectly from its organic oPPosition to official society,
but are shaped by its experiences in cooperative labor.
Nowhere is this more marked than in the United states
where the raucous rowdyism of Republicans and Demo-
crats obscures and drowns out the mass search for a
way of life ; not a new way but simply a way, the fa-
mous "American Way" being strictly an export commod-
it�·. Quite often, the reaction is for the time being
merely negative, but none the less indicative of the fu-
ture. In the American plant the shop steward, or shop
committeeman, although elected, is a functionary of
the union, whose main business is to see tha.t the com-
pany's contract is carried out. Millions of American
workers will not accept any position of authority in the
plant, neither as committeeman nor foreman, nor lead
girl. In the United states, so jealously democratic and
egalitarian in its social practices, these workers shun
like the plague any position which, as they have seen
so often, will transform them into bureaucratic tools of
the capitalist mechanism. They sometimes go farther
and deliberately elect or propel to these unhealthy po-
sitions, persons whom they recognize as being naturany
inclined to them. For militant Negro workers this poses
a specially difficult problem. As workers they share the
revulsion of their fellows t being drawn out of the
rank and file shop floor organizations. As Negroes they
are dedicated to seeing that Negroes are represented in
every layer of American society, particularly in the
plant. r.o accept or not to accept. Often the decision
is difficult. Such is but one example of the social dra­
mas, individualism and collectivism fused, that are be­
ing posed and worked out by trial and error in that
pulsing mass of working class humanity that seeks no
escape from the real conditions of life in existentialism
?6 FACING REALITY
( France) or psychoanalysis ( the United states) or play·
ing with words and meaningB ( Great Britain) .
THE BARBARISM OF OUR TIMES
There is no mystery about what is taking place in
our society. Our age is the most barbarous, the most
cruel, the most sadistic, the most callous history has
ever known precisely because of the civilization, culture,
and high aspirations of the great masses of the people.
Nothing but the most unlicensed, unrestrained, care­
fully cultivated brutality can keep them down. These
are not slaves of Imperial Rome or peasants in ancient_
Assyria. A modern working man, whether he is in the
plant or mine with his co-workers, lives by the ideas
of universal secondary education, religious toleration,
care of children and of the aged, freedom of speech
and assembly, mastery of technical processes and self­
government in industry, world peace-elevated concep­
tions which would stun into awed silence the most gifted
minds of Western Civilization from Plato and Aristotle
to Kant and Hegel. There is no more dramatic moment
in the history of philosophy than that in which the
young Hegel, after descrIbing the disorder and torment
inflicted on society by capitalist production, came face
to face with the fact that only the proletariat could
resolve it. Leaving the page forever unfinished, he turn­
ed to idealism. Marx completed it for him. At the other
end of the scale it was the ineffable Joseph Stalin who
decreed that the more socialism was established in Rus­
sia, the fiercer would become the class struggle. There­
by in his own cabalistic manner, he declared the need
either for an oppression which would grow along with
the economic development.or the Government of Work­
ers Councils. Official society seeks to excuse itself for
the horrors and abominations perpetrated by Hitler and
Stalin. The mud and blood are on their own hands and
faces. The triumphs of Western Civilization are com­
mon to all its members and common to all of them are
its disasters and its decline. There is not a single na­
tional concentration of power and privilege in official
society which would not mutilate and torture its own
population in the Hitler-Stalin manner if it needed to,
and could. Repeatedly we see in the Press that a hy­
drogen bomb would kill so many million people and
render uninhabitable for some period undefined so
many hundred square miles. This in defense of "our
liberties" and "our high standard of living." It is a
criminal self-deception to presume that any home popu-
NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE 77
lati

n is safe from these defenders of the law order
fanIY, mo

als, religion, culture, and property of
'
officiai
sOClety agamst the new.
THE NEW NATIONS
The world proietariat, with those of RUSSia and the
u�ite� States at the head, constitutes a minority
even m tl
:
e advanced countries. In these countries its
c0
J
c

ntratIOn and cohesion ae sufficient to make it the
gUldmg forc

and motive power of the new society. But
the vast maJorIty of the world's population lives in the
unde�developed countries of ASia, Africa, and Latin
�merIca. The abiding impudence of imperialism con­
tmues to see �hem a' objects of profit and of use ; at
the present tIme as prospective allies of one or the
other power bloc. The truth is that vast millions of
the

e p

ople are new human beings, ready for the new
sOClety m
.
that they have uncompromisingly, often vio­
]en�IY, r

Jecte
.
d the status of national humiliation and
SOCIal mIsery m which they were kept by official society.
.
T?e Russian Revolution shattered the structure of
offICIal Europe. The Chinese Revolution shattered the
structure of official Asia. The revolution in Ghana has
forev
.
er destroyed the structure which official society
�ad Impos
.
ed
.
up
?
n tropical Africa. This should be a tru­
Ism, yet It I8 Impossible to. approach any sphere of
even contemporary history without using bulldozer
and gas
.
masks to clear the barriers and survive the
fumes WIth which it is surrounded by the propaganda
?
orps of official society. Ireland won, it was not given
Its freedo
I
' Gandhi introduced a new dimension into
the technIque of mass struggle for national independ­
ence and perhaps for more. His political genius one
O
.
f the greatest o.f our times, i obscured by the infla­
tIOn
.
of Lord Mountb

�ten. The latest, and perhaps the
most dangerous, addItIOn to. official mythology is that
the ne

.
state o.f Ghana was given its independence by
the BrItIsh G0

ernment as the conclusion to a period
of careful t

amm

and preparation-dangerous because
large areas m AfrIca are still fighting for their freedom.
¯H GOLD COAST REVOLUTION
!he �ruth
!
whi

h is undergoing a systematic oblite­
ratIOn,
.
IS qUIte dIfferent. Nktumah reached the Gold
Coast m November 1947, uncertain whether he would
be allOed to land or not. In one of the most remark­
able
.
epIsodes in revolutionar history he singlehandedly
outlmed a Jrogram, based on the ideas of Marx, Lenin
and GandhI, for expelling British Imperialism from th�
FACING REALITY
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NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE

T9
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80
FACING REALITY
supported the party and army of Mao-Tse-Tung. But
they themselves have not yet come
.
in�ependently upon
the stage as the Russian people dId m 1905 and t?en
in 1917. They will. The whole history
.
of the TwentIeth
century shows that they will. The Idea that a party
and a bureaucracy can shape the destinies of a people
of 600 millions with a great historical past, by mea�
of plans and secret police, breed them, arrange theIr
) nd build factories as Texas ranchers breed cattle
Ives, a
b 'It ids
or Egyptian Pharoahs bred slaves and Ul �yram ,
. - -
that is a characteristic stupidity of t�e Tw�ntleth <en-
- -
­
tury official mind. All its own past
.
hIstory teaches It to
see the hundreds of millions of Ch:ne
.
se people as pure
masses the obj ect of politics, disClplmed by some su­
perior
'
force, themselves, the Kuomintang and �ov t

e
Chinese Communists. They bewail the anachro�ls:l� Il­
lusions of Chiang-Kai-Shek. Their own are
.
mfmltelY
greater, and when Twentieth centu:'y h�an:ty comes
out into the streets of China and laISeS Its vOlCe,
.
many
eardrums hitherto impenetrable, may at last be pIerced.
THE IMPERIALIST IPOTENCE
But despite their numbels, theil le:olutionary spirit,
and thei demonstrated political capacIty,
.
the hopes
.
and
prospects of these newly-independent natIOns are blIght­
ed not by the power, but by the weaknesses of the
.
ad­
va�ced nations. From the earliest days new natIO�s
have depended upon the older, more settled
.
comm'l r­
ties for economic aid and political and PhIlosophlC�l
ideas. Despite all the trumpeting
.
in th
.
e press,
.
the plaIn
fact is that capitalism today, neIther m RUSSIa n?r the
United states, can produce sufficiert surIlu
.
s capItal to
asSist the underdeveloped nations m ?Ulldmg modern
.
Only a socialist economy wIthout the over-
economIes.
f
o o
1
.
ty and
head burdens and incompetence of of I?I� SOCle ,
the immense increase in the productIvIty of 1 a b o r
which it will rapidly develop, can produce the surplus
wealth necessary for the development of worl� economy
as a whole Still worse, the political and ethlCal prac­
tices and ideas of both the Communist wor�d and the
Free World, if taken over by these ne:
.
n�tIOns, would
be equivalent to the inj ection of SyphIlIs mto a young
man who has reached hi' maturity, in order to preIare
him to assume all his responsibilities. :he n�w natIOn
know this and, even where they pay IIp serVlCe to free
institutions and Parliamentary D e
.
n o c r a c y. �re
actuallY living through a period of Wal�mg t
h
O s�e w���
rf 1!P t.wo rival blocs will emerge trlmp an .
NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE 81
believe that their ultimate fate is bound up with the
fate of the world.
This is true, but not in the commonly a c c e p t e d
sense. There is an America which is not Dulles, the
Pentagon, and the Southern NegrO-haters ; a Russia
which is not Khrushchev ( or whoever may be ruling
when this is read) , and the Secret Police. If we have
not written about, for example, Germany, it is because
we here aim to indicate only broad lines of development
with chosen concrete instances. The German proletariat
is one of the greatest social forces in the world, with a
theoretical and practical tradition behind it, in ideas,
politics, and labor second to none in the history of West­
ern civilization. That it was not allowed itself to settle
accounts with Hitlerism is one of the twin crimes of
Russia and the United States. Similarly in Japan, but
for the American military occupation wearing the cere­
monial robes of the emasculated Emperor, the Japanese
proletariat would have made Japan into a modern com­
munity. It is here, and not in the decadent official so­
Clety of Europe and the United States or totalitarian
tyranny in China, that the new nations have ' to edu­
cate themselves. It i' on this new basis that they will
have to develop their perspectives. The imperialist men­
tality of official society sees them always as poor rela­
tions, charitable receptacles for economic aid, for tech­
nical assistance, for ideas. It is false, false as every
other idea by which official 'ociety lives and which it
spreads in the world. The underdeveloped countries
need to be helped, but they have their own powerful
contributions to make to the new society. Already they
have assisted it by the great blows they have given to
official society. Today by their persistent neutralism
they impede, if they cannot prevent, the drive to global
suicide.
But there is more. Many of these countries have an­
cient cultures of their own, with social values, formerly
despised, which now often show surprising affinity
with the latest discoveries of modern science and the
practical creativene's of the advanced proletariat. Fur­
ther, their lack of economic development is not wholly
negative. It enables them to begin, without being bur­
dened by the centuries of accumulated rubbish in ad­
vanced countries, most of which is fit only for demoli­
tion squads but is preserved by privilege and sheer in­
ertia. On this virgin terrai beginnings of world-his­
torical significance can be made in economic, social,
82
FACING REALITY
and ideological life. But most of all, they have the revo­
lutionary spirit of their peoples and the political genius
which always accompanies it. They cannot solve their
problems except in a global context. But to the extent
that they envisage their own future 8 part of a ne:
world-order every step that they take to solve theIr
own needs
'
can at the same time serve as inspiration
and example to the advanced proletarians hacking their
way through the jungle of official society. Such a mu­
tual relation between advanced and underdeveloped
countries is beyond the conceited ossification of official
mentality. Only its removal will allow the dammed­
down currents to flow, and to flow both ways.
REQUIRED: INFORMATION
What is the relation of the middle classes to the
people of the new society? Some of them whose cle�i­
cal employment approximates to that of the proletanat
see themselves as essentially proletarians and follow
the proletarian road. All are to one degree or anot�er
shaped in character and outlook by the cooperatIve
character of modern- life. What they lack is what they
think they more than al others possess. It is informa­
tion of the new world a-building which the middle clas­
ses and the peoples of the underdeveloped countries
lack. It is understandable in the case of the people in
distant Asia and Africa. But in countries like the Unit­
ed States, Britain, and France, the middle classes are
as ignorant of the social structure, aims, and p,rpos�s
of the industrial proletariat, as they are of the mhabl­
tants of the moon. Every day their ancestral prejudices
and links to the bourgeois order receive loosening shoclt
after loosening shock. They have to accommodate then­
selves to the rej ection of their claim to inherent s�pen­
ority by colonial peoples, to the incompetence and dIshon­
esty of their political leaders, and to the a?parently �n­
ending demands of the proleta.riat. Even m tJe UUl�ed
States where their financial position for the tlme belng
is stili e asy, the old gods of the national mytho�ogy are
tumbling down and there is nothing to take theIr place.
Some of the publicists whose special function is to keep
the middle classes away from the proletariat like to
paint horrible pictures of socialism as a prison for the
educated on the Stalinist model. They do no� get very
far with that. Time and again in recent hIstory the
middle classes have shown that they are ready to fol­
low any powerful lead which will take them out
.
of t?e
morass of official society. Dominated by ratlOnalls
NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE 83
ideas, the middle classes, even when sympathetic to la­
bor, judge the proletariat by the fanfaronades and
sycophancy of its official leaders. In generations to come
men will ma
.
rvel
.
at the �lmost pathological inabilit� of
educated �oClety m the mIddle of the Twentieth Century
to recogmze the new society which surrounded it on all
sides. Yet so universal a phenomenon must have some
deep conection with the essential character of the two
societies.
THE ARTIST AND THE NEW SOCIETY
In previous periods of transition, the new society al . -
way announced itself in innumerable ways not least
�n the literature and art of the day. The gre�test names
JQ western art and literature, Dante, Shakespeare, Rous­
seau, Goethe, Herman Melville, Tolstoy, Giotto, Michel­
angelo, and Rembrandt, to name only a few, were all
men of the transition from one age to another, and we
:ay be sure that the people of their day understood
chem. But whereas for a century the finest minds in the
arts have devoted themselves to destroying the intel­
lectual and
.
moral foundations of bourgeois society, they
�3ve
,
bee? mcapable of putting into the concentrated,
lllummatmg, and exhilarating forms of art, either the
genera.l contours or the individual personalities of the
new society. Even in the hectic period of the Nineteen
Thirties, writers and artists either portrayed the waste­
land of official society or explO1;ed new realms of tech­
nique. You will search in vain the writings of even
pro-Communist writers like Koestler and Malraux for
any glimer of understanding that socialism or Com­
munism i the sense in which Marx used the
'
word was
first of all a society of a new mode of labor of
'
new
social relations of production, of Workers Co�cils in
every branch of the national activity. For all of them
the new society was the society of the Party and the
Plan.
Today the cry rises for writers to be "committed "
which is only another way of saying that they must at­
t::ch themselves to one of the great bureaucratic social
and political machines : these cannot bear even to con­
template any activity anywhere which does not sub­
scribe to their plans and formulae. As if a man like
Dostoevsky, politically a reactionary of the most ex­
treme kind, was not committed, as few have been com­
mitted, to the task of showing men what they were and
hGW they lived, so that in the end they understood
themselves better than before.
FACING REALITY
81
If the middle classes are not helped by modern art
to understand the new society, if the Hungarian Revo­
lution had to create without the stimulus and explosive
clarification of art, it is because of the very unpre­
cedented character of the new society. All previous so­
cial transitions were from one class society to another.
The present transition is from class society to a society
without classes. And that is no simple matter. Marx
was not throwing in a phrase when he said that then
tl1e real history of humanity would begin.
The idea of a classless society is a drug that official ­
society takes whenever it is feeling particularly low. In
the United states it uses the concept as a stimulus-
they are supposed to have it. In older parts of the
world it is a tranquillizer - the thing is impossible-
utopia. In the communist countries it is periodically
inj ected into the population to deaden the pain and to
summon up more energy for the Plan. Yet it is precisely
here that there is a bridge which the artistic life of
official society cannot cross and wastes itself in frus­
tration and despair. Capitalist society has carried to a
dead end the traditional division between art, cuture,
learning, on the one hand, and the mass of the people
DI\ the other. This has previously characterized all
societies. yet in previous centuries the Greek drama­
tists, the Spanish dramatists, the Elizabethan drama­
tists, the builders of cathedrals, and the painters and
s(ulptors who decorated them, were still close
enough to the people to include them in all that they
di d. But today the
artists are so removed from the
people that their talents can express themselves only
in
pure
negativity.
But the proletariat also cannot create an art in
its own image
.
A society based on Workers Coulcils in
every branch of the national activity is not a
proletar··
ian society. It is an entirely new dimension in human
living, and its art also will assume new dimensions. The
great gap between the actualities of life and the human
need for order and completeness
which could only be
satisfied in the abstractions of philosophy, art, and re­
ligion will disappear. It will
disappear because for the
first time men, all men, will understand that their fu­
ture will be shaped by themselves, i in their own hands.
Man will become the udisputed center of his
universe.
Great art always has been
and will always be the work
of individual men. But they shape their work in accord­
ance with new frames of reference, which their work in
NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE
turn helps to define The ne f

so far, beyond the c�mpI'ehen
w
.
ram
f
es of reference are,
b
.
SlOn O men tr ' d
'
ourgeOls-rationalist tradit' .
al�e m the
and can train no one i
.
t
lOn
.
The
.
proletanat trains
tions which a

e not ev
!
I
e

t

��
s

oClal traditions, tradi

passed from generation to en . t
.ed except as they are
cal purposes. Even the gr;at
e

a lOr for strictly practi­
Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and
e

l
artIsts o� our century,
who worked for the p ' I
1e early EIsenstein, men

elcomed by it, were C���i��
e and,

ere recognized and
?
lety and the reaffirmation o
���
d
rldlCu
1
e of official so
-
Jazz, and comic strl' p w-h -- th
- values. But the film
, ere e com
. ' .
comed what seemed to be arts
'
mon people wel-
�y corrupted by official society
of t�

ell'
?
wn, were rapid­
It touches.
as I cOIrupts everything
, In official society the popular '
' +
tlCular are already h t
ar ts, teleVIsIOn in par-
|
·

, ex a us ed. Ed M .
c ar ed hIS weariness of its Ì
'
t
. urrow has de-
denounced it with m
l�l a�lOns. No one has
Milton Berle Thus the
ore wlthermg ferocity than
z
a
tions of official socie
¸
ew
i
as well as the old organi­
monarchy, begin to fall a
' O
[
example, television and
sure without, but from th�
a

,
��
t only from the pres­
crowned as well as crowned
evo of royalty itself, U~
So it is that at this sta � of
'
t:e contem�orary abortion; Whi��
r SOClety art is either
stImulate wIthout satisfyin '
, r�sp the nerves and
accepted classics which
g, or It IS a retreat to the
cause they are being u

re only half-understood be­
t
h
ey were originally eX
;
I

siV

s a
T

omb
,
shelter, whereas
ye have to do without and
s

r
ere IS no help for it
.
mc�mplete human beings les
� so
.
m:ch

he poorer,
or mdividual. It is not '
s
I
fIt fOI lIfe, eIther social
production and political r�
e
f
,
e y the , reorganization of
s

amp to the new society a

Ions whICh will
,
gi
v
e their
tles of new people Th d
d complete the mdividuali-
. e emocracy of A .
�a�e the greatest step forward th t h
clent Greece
m h
terature when it in
v
ented th
a
t
as
.
ever been made
reorganization now of s .
e raglC drama. The
�l'Oletariat will release i

Clety on cla

sles
,
s lines by the
Ited environment It .
me?se energIeS m an uninhib-
. IS a mIserable
.
.
confined to the "higher standa d
' C�I�gmg mentality,
p
Ie,
" s
t
r
iving to hold on
t
o

at
Of
,
l
1
vmg for our peo­
people where
they are wh'
It has and to keep
the only way out
is t

.
lCh does not understand that
selves, so tha
t they will
g
���:
eo
P
Ie new visions of them­

n
d
t
o crea
t
e new ties, new bo
ne
:
ways to express them
m
g be
t
ween those who ar
n s, an
.
d
.
new understand-
e now so dIVIded.
.;1 .
VI.
THE MARXIST
ORGANIZA
TION
1903-1958
w:.:::-.¬..: =- --· :-:...:=:- ..- ::- we'
,Ve ..-::- -...-.. ,.-.,- .. ---., .-..:., «r-
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:.:...:.-....:.-.. ::-.,-...--....:.., ..a .-....:..,
-: :.-...: .:...... ::- ..:.-..r.-.:-:-..-.. :r- ..:-.
..:.-..: .-.:-.-..-..: «-..a -...,, .. ..:-...:.-..r
..¬
¬....-. t-:
:--,-... :-t- .-r- :- ,.-- ..,..
:-r
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¬.,..:.a- -: :r-
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----:--
t.,::-.. :-. .-...:..¬
:.-- -.r...:-a :r-¬.-r--.
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-.--a ::-.. .:..,,.-.
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-...::...--
-.:
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:.-.-.. ..-.-:..:.-,.-.:.,..::-¬-.:..-.,-:.::--
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:r-.: r.--. :-
v-: --.,.:-:r-..:...:-
-.:.
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«.:r--::-¬-..¬
,r...:,
86
TH MARXIST ORG
Tb
=
ANIZATION-1903-1958
ey all consIdered th
87
as the nucleus of the
p
:��
y
Or:.nizations and themselves
:��
!��
d
f
p
a
r
ty ��ich
@ d
es
:�:: �:
d
t
·
onl
Y
t
party, the
. . or SOCIalism.
ne 0 lead the
¡
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·

- ��
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.
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-

..¬ «|».: .. .:,.., :- t- a
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.
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LENIISM TODAY
i-:a. a-t..--a. :-.¬.

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,

,
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a
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.: «-.: «.::
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:
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TE THEORY OF M
0 .. 0 ,a.,--a-.-r--. -t.:
-
ARXIST ORGANIZ

w:.: «.. r-.... ::
ATIONS: 1903
..a¬-:
--:,: n-.-.:

. a..¬t.,a-a. .:.:-
..I ::- .r-..-.·
uf ,-r.:...r--,-..:.-. i:
¬-.: -t::.: ,:-.: ¬..:-.
n-»-·«:.::-.r.1903'.
.-¬-.t.-¬:..What Is To Be
�n -:a-::-t-tarr,,:- .:

l�g -r... :---ra:.-..:
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, ¬� .r.- t-.-¬- . ,:-t-.
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· .
·
· Ì ...
88 FACING REALITY
-.: :- .....: ---., -.,.tr- =-.|-. :- t�--¬

.
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-..:
¸���
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THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 91
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THE BLINDNESS AND FAILURE OF "THE VANGUARD"
r:...t.-r.:-r,.¬,-..:.--:-,.:..-.-:-::-:-,-.-
of ·::--..,a..-·=:.-::..--¬...:--::-.---:.:.-.
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¬.,--.:, -: .r: ,.-.-.:-., ,.-.,. ::.: ::-.- ¬..:
9Z FACING REALITY
be a body of sharply differentiated individuals who must
separate themselves from the wor�ing
.
class and so
form a permanent organization WhICh IS more con­
scious, more militant, more coherent �n its actions
.
than
the great mass of the workers. This IS pure and sImple
delirium. The people who consider thems
.
elves as "the
vanguard" are not in general more COnsCIOUS th

n the
"backward" working class, except from one pomt
.
of
view which is extremely narrow and limited and WhICh
in the end, on account of its
.
limitations, becomes
.
a
negative element. These self-styled �eaders -. are consCI­
ous on the purely "political" level, In that they know
(generally very badly) the history of the workers'
movement and the elements of Marxisn
-
reduced �o
their most simple formulae; they are mterested In
iIternational politics ; they know the names of the
ch5 ef ministers of such and such a country, and the
number of deputies of such and such a
J
arty. But they
are in general unconscious of what constItutes t�e
.
most
profound realities of capitalist society, the reahtIeS
.
of
production. Often even when they c

me from the �ork­
ing class and remain in the factones, they under go �
curious optical inversion in that the

can no longer
see what takes place in the factory, bem

totally oc


pied in carrying out a political line wIICh they br

ng
from outside. Their usual aim, irrespectIve of anythmg
else, is to make the workers adopt
.
the line and slo�
,
ans
of the political organization to WhICh they, men of the
vanguard," belong.
Even when they do not uhdergo this p

rversion,
they are sometimes unconsciously led to consIder that
the elements who are the most exploited and "the

ost
backward" among the workers have �ittle to contr

bute
to the struggle and nothing to contnbute to
.
the Id

as
of socialism. This is their greatest error and It� falsIty
is shown by the whole past history of workers strug­
gles and what is going on under their very noses today.
WHO ARE THE BACKWARD ONES?
But the final judgment on the concept

f "the

an­
guard" considered from its point of view IS conta

ned
in the history of workers' revolutions, tl

ose
.
I

evo�utlOns
which should have been the supreme J UstIfICa�IOn of
"the vanguard" and which should have proved Its ne­
cessity and placed the seal on its hist
?
ric 101:: Instead,
this history is a merciless condemnatIOn of the van­
guard." On every occasion "the vang

ard" ha

found
itself far behind in relation to the actIOn and Ideas of
THE MAHXIST ORGANIZATION-I903_1958
93
the masses in the revolution; on every occaSion, instead
of showing the road, they have dragged lamentably in
the rear, trying with great difficulty to adapt themselves
to events ; on every occasion it is the most exploited
elements. the most "backward," the most humble, who
have been the most audacious, the most creative, the
or�es who have carried the movement forward without
f;.ltering as far as it was able to go, and sometimes
further. SUch was the considered judgment of Lenin
in 1917.
1 vanguard is S valguai'd· only in special circum-­
s"a.lces and in relation to certain very narrow purposes
.
It has no advantage in itself. There is not, and cannot
be, any permanent selection of a group of inclividuals
able to direct the working class. In ordinary times the
only chosen body of leaders who can lead the workers is
�he one which helps to keep them under the yoke of cap­
Italist exploitation. What else is the daily function of
Stalinists and other union bureaucrats ? And periods of
g

'eat social crisis are periods of great social crisis pre­
clsely because workers are no longer listening to leaders
but are acting independently in independent organiza­
tions.
Not only is the Marxist organization not B "body of
leaders. " The problem of leadership is a false problem.
Men have always had and will always have leaders.
A member of the Marxist organiZation can be and often
is the leader of many thousands of men. But during
and after the struggle for socialism, there is no other
leadership than the workers organized in 'orkers
Councils.
BOLSHEVISM AND STALINISM
Every nail in this coffin must be driven firmly home.
The old type of Marxist organiZation had certain be­
liefs about itself. It believed that it represented the gen­
eral interests of the proletariat to the degree that these
general interests are oPPosed to the particular interests
of special categories of workers. It believed that it rep- .
resented the international point of View as oPPosed to
national particularism. It believed that it represented
the "maximum> ! program and the ultimate, total ob­
j ectives of the workers' strUggles to the degree that
these are in OPPOSition to the "minimum" demands of
the day-to-day struggles. All these beliefs led to the
conclusion that the organiZation was the true subject
;
that is to say, the motivating force of history. And
if the organiZation wa' the subject of history, the pro-
94 FACING REALITY
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REQUIRED: INFORMATION OF THE NEW SOCIETY
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:.... -::.:- .--.:. -«. ..¬.
:.:-...: ¬-.-. --....- t-..,--.. .--.-:, .. or­
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Quebec 1 972 General Stri ke: "We the ordi nary people"
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THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-19,iB 95
necessary, persecute and destroy all attempts by work­
en even to express an independently proletarian atti­
tude to society. The labor bureaucrats, Stalinilt or dem­
ocratic, do this not only as a direct result of the very
stl ucture of society, but because any such independent
expression immediately calls into question their own
lea,dership, and obviously can have no other purpose.
All objectively reactionary tendencies in bourgeois so­
ciety reach their ultimate expression in Stalinism,
where they assume their most finished and conscious
form. It i, in Stalinism, tllerefQe, that they can be
-
­
most fruitfully studied. The shifts and turns of Stalinist
policy can be traced easily enough to the needs of the
Kl'emlin, on whose power Stalinism depends to get into
power ultimately. But the method used is one of de­
liberately confusing and corrupting the intelligence and
the will of the workers so that in the end they learn to
le&ve everything to the Party and its slogans.
However powerful the independent efforts at self­
realiZation in individual factories or units of production,
they remain isolated from factory to factory, from na­
tion to nation. Any attempt to form organizations or
even to acquire independent material means of expres­
Slon is at once set upon by political representatives of
the various bureaucracies within the working class it­
self, incorporated or suppressed by the power of the
machine, and very often of official society itseU, Work­
ers are at their very best in collective action in the cir­
cumstances of their daily activity or crises arising from
it, The individual talent for gathering, coordinating,
and publishing information on independent activities
of national and international scope is inhibited and
stifled objectively and subj ectively by every organized
social force in official society. Only in a Marxist organ­
ization can such workers find the possibility of devel­
oping thei talents without fear of being prostituted to
bm'eaucratic ends. Only the Marxist organization can
ha ve the means, the forces, and the independence to
keep the workers aware of what is taking place in
their world-wide, u n i v e I s a | , but uncoordinated
( except at critical moments) efforts to create the new
society. Finally, only the Marxist organization recog­
nizes this daily activity as socialism.
REQUIRED: IFORMATION OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY
The Marxist organization has another task, that of
providing information about official society. Official
society falsifies all information intended for the great
96 FACING REALITY
mass of the people, first because it is in its very nature
to do so. Any elite must of necessity consciously falsify
the information it gives to the mass. But the falsity of
tI! information handed out by both the public and
private bodies of official society i's false for a deeper
reason. Official society does not know and has no means
of knowing or even of understanding the actual facts
of its own existence. A French Prime Minister asserts
that the cost of the war in Algeria is 1, 000 million francs
a year. A ex-Prime Minister contradicts him flatly and
dEclares that the cost is 2, 000 million francs a year. The _
-
boasted forum of democracy, question time in the House
of Commons, sees the Opposition inquiring from the
Prime Minister whether planes loaded with hydrogen
bombs are flying over Britain and the Prime Minister
U!lable to give a straight answer on this matter which
literally involves the life or death of millions of people.
1l is only since de-Stalinization that people have come
to know what was always obvious to any student of
Stalin's writings and speeches-his incredible, his stu­
pendous ignorance of the most elementary economic
matters at home, and politics and war abroad. The
Press Conferences of the President of the United States
have become not only an embarras'ment but a burden
to American reporters who have to make not only sense,
but even sentences of his ramblings and stutterings.
If tomorrow it was discovered that the President
had died long ago and someone resembling him had
been substituted to win power for the party, D O s t
Americans would shrug their shoulders, so great is the
cynicism and distrust of all official pronouncements
among the people. It cannot ehange as long as society is
organized as it is.
The first necessity of democracy is accurate infor­
mation. In fact, it is not too much to say that in pres­
ent-day society the main ta'k of any government is to
collect information and so organize it and present it to
the people that they are able to make their decisions
and their choices. Without this, all talk of democracy
is a farce. As it is, the governments of official society do
not know the economic facts of society because the most
important of these facts, the attitudes, capacitie', wil­
lingness, or otherwise, of worker', is deliberately con-
.
cealed from them and they have no way of penetrat­
ing the wall of defense which workers build around
themselves. The Government of Sir Anthony Eden did
not know its own military capabilities. After nearly 75
JIT MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958
97
years of British occupation of Egypt, it did not know
what the response of the people of Egypt would be to
a British invasion. Khrushchev did not know what was
brewing in Hungary and Poland until it was too late.
The American Government has consistently misunder­
stood and misjudged the scientific attainments of Rus­
sia. The catalogue is endless. The Governments cannot
inform the people even if they wanted to, because they
d? not themselves know.
Colossal as is this task of informing the workers,
. the Marxist organization must .
undertake it because ·
nobody else can. Despite the poverty of its resources at
the start, it has the immense advanta.ge of having the
great knowledge and experience of the proletariat at
its disposal, and particularly on fundamental economic
and social matters this is the most authentic source
of information in any country. By diligent attention
and study it can learn to sift out the truth from the
¸ OO by which official society seeks to deafen the people
and twist them to its own ends.
THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE ORGANIZATION
The Marxist organization, however, is no mere re­
porter of facts about the socialist activity of the prole­
tariat, or detector and publicist of the systematic fal­
sifications of official society.
It has and must of necessity have an independent
VIew of its own. First of all, there are no facts in the
abstract. All facts, and the selection of facts, must nec­
essarily be governed by a view of society. The ine'­
timable strength of the Marxist organization today is
that in every situation, in every crisis, national or in­
ternational, it sees not only the decadence and disorder
of official society but also, intertwined, the elements
of the s ocialist solution. This knowledge i' the origin
of its very existence as an organization and it can be
effective and grow only by using it. The struggle to
reach this understanding and insight, the complete ac­
ceptance of socialist power and socialist ideas as ori­
gll1atin and flowering primarily in the working class
itself, the immense energy, determination, and training
which will be needed to maintain this assault against
one of the most powerful strongholds of official society,
this can only be fully achieved by resolutely putting
forward the point of view of the organization whenever
the occasion requires it, in large matters or i small.
L?ter in this document we shall go into elaborate de­
tail, based on experience, of the possibilities, difficul-
98 FACING REALITY
..-. ..--..,-.. -: ..-: . --...- .. ,-.-:.-.r :-.¬.
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. ..:-.-:..,- ..- --.:.-.:.·.-. -: -,...-. «:.-: is
:.- --., r.:--r----: .--..r..: .--.-:,
THE CONTINUITY OF MARXIST THEORY
::- :..-..: -.,.....:.-. :.. ::- .-.,-...-.r.:, :-.
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:.-.. -: ::- :.¬- s.-: . :-.¬.r. .. :..- «.-:- ..
:.-Critique oj the Gotha Program, r.¬.:..,--...¬,:.-.
:· .-..,--.. --r.:.-... ---. ::-.,: ::- .-r.:.-:.
-: ,.--.-:.-. «-.- .--..r..-- ... .- .-r--..-- :--.,
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-.,.:.r..¬.:..-.., :--.:.-r..:. .--..r..: -,..r·
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+---.:...-:-:-r-.,::-.-
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THE MARXIST ORGANIZATlON--J 903-1958
. 99
-..r, .-:.-.:.-. -: ::- «-...., -r... -«-. ..--. capi­
:.r..¬.:.-r:+:-.-...-,-..---::.....:.-.:-.--.....¬
.::-. ::- -.:.-r..:¬-.: -: w-..-.. c-..-.r. .. -«-.,
-....:-:::-..:.-..r .-:.«.:,..-::-o---..¬--.-:
w-..-..c-....r. o.-- ::-.- ..- -.:.-r..:-- ::- -.r,
......:.-. -.. -- :- .:- --,-.-..:-- w-..-. s:..
::- ,.-:-..-r- --,-.-..:-- w¬.-.. s:.:- the lH-
¬-.....-r, --,-.-..:-- w-..-.. s:.:- ..- .- 0, to
c¬,r-, ::- --.-.r .-.--.:.-. -, «:.-: +.-:.., .-.,.:
:- -..,...- :.. ..,,¬�: -..:.-.r ..
·
- -..:.-.. ¬-..
...:.-.r· -: s:.r....¬ +:- ,-..-- -: :.....:.-. IO SD~
...r..¬ .. ::- ,.-.-.: ,-..-d r:.. .. ,..:.-.r..r, ·..e

-: ---.-¬.- .-r.:.-.. trr ::- ,.--r-¬. ::.: the lCÌ~
.:--... ,..,,:-- «.:: .::-.,-«-.:.- ---. achieved,
..-- ---. ,..-- ..--. .:.:- -.,.:.:..¬ t-:--- :.-
:.:.., -: ,-«-.
THE ANACHRONISMS OF MARXISM
+.- :..-..: -.,.....:.-..r-.-.. -.,.-r- -:,-....
. �'id .:

::- ...-:.-.�.¬. .. :..-..¬ i: .. .-.-r.:-r�
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-.-.:.-- ,-«-. ::.: :.-- ---. ,-.-..:-- .. :.- ,--.:
¬...-. -: ::- «-.:-. ,-,.r.:.-. :--., o.r, ::- dead
«-.,:: -: -::.-..r .--.-:, :-:-. .: --«.. i: .. .-· :.-
-a...-.. -: ::- :..-..: -.,...:.:.-. :- ..--.:

«:.:
:..-.--..:.rr, -.rr--.-.,-.:-.:.- ---..:-,. of :.-
:.:..- i: .. ..::.-.-.: :- «.:-. -..-:.rr, «..: ::-
«-..-.. ..- .-:..rr, --.., ..- «:.: ::-, ..- ..¬..,
.:. .:-:- -..« ::- --.-r.·.-.. r..·.-.r..r,::-:..-
..: -.,.....:.-. ¬..: --.-...- «.:: ¬-.-.r-.. .-.
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--.:-.:..-:-.¬.-: ,..:.-..:.:-...-.rr-::-.:.-¬.
of ..,...:.:.-. i ::- .--..r..: .--.-:,. u-.-« -~.-:,
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THE INSUPERABLE PROBLEMS,
r:- ..,,-.--r,....,-..-r-,.-t:-¬ -:,r..... :.-
--¬,r-- r.:- -: ¬.--.. .--.-:, .. .--. .. .:. :..-
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-.-.±-.. ,-«-.. -: ---.-.., ..- -.r-.-.., ::- --r.
iOO
F ACING REALITY
tion between production goods and consumption goods,
will become the accounting functionaries of tomorrow,
reduced to the modest role of giving information. The
great conflict between East and West which threatens
humanity with destruction i' a conflict originating in
official society, maintained by official society, and will
end only with the end of official society. The end of
official society in any part of the world will rapidly
bring its end in the other. For each of these is neces­
sary to the other and they draw reciprocal sustenance
from their mutual crimes and threats. Witness the
united terror of Moscow, Washington, and Berlin at
the thought of a revolution in Eastern Germany. To
show this and to expose the social and human solutions
to the artificial problems of official society is the task
of the Marxist organization. Let those for whom these
socialist solutions are Utopia continue to cower and
wallow in their realism.
THE REALISM OF SOCIALISM
Yet the Marxist organization in performing the nec­
essary task of visualizing the content of socialism su­
bordinates itself neither to a statistical conception of
society, nor speculations to reassure the timorous. It
already has the immense experience of the last forty
years on which to draw, the discoveries and achieve­
ments of modern science . are available, and above all
it knoW that the future lies with the development of
things becoming subordinate to the development of
man. It is sufficient that all the old handicaps and bar­
riers to a truly human existence are gone and only
official society stands in the way. The true analysis
of the future is to show that the most expansive aspi­
r&tions of the past are now possible. Such is the already
existing community of labor and the achievements of
science that the fusion of manual and intellectual labor
lias become a necessity, for society as a whole as well as
for the individual personality. The Marxist organization
can demonstrate that the mass of men can progress
only if their creative instincts and inheritance are fully
applied to the practical tasks of every day. Even the
earlier formula of Marx that the future development
UÍ man rested upon the shortening of the working day
no longer applies. The great problem of the leisure of
socialist man which the abstract theoreticians have
now added to their other burdens is a hangover from
an earlier age. The herculean struggle for the shorter
THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 101
"vorking day, the mathematical division between time
for work and time for self-development is a capitalistic
product pure and simple. When man uses his creative
faculties to the full in his work, that distinction ceases
to be an antagonism and becomes a Simple scheduling
of various forms of social activity. Complete universal
education for all, mastery of all the processes of pro­
duction, freedom to carry on poUtical discussions in
the place and during the time of work, readiness to
work hard when it is required and to relax and be social
¯
whenever possible, these are now the concrete, practi­
cal needs and demands of workers. What
a
re the
s
e
but the embodiment i life of the formula of the mature
Marx when he wrote that modern industry would col­
lapse unless it replaces "the detail-worker of today,
crippled by life-long repetition of one and the same
trivial operation, and thus reduced to the mere frag­
ment of a man, by the fully developed individual, fit
for a variety of labors, ready to face any change of
" production, and to whom the different social fuctions
he performs, are but so many modes of giving free
scope to his own natUral and acquired powers. "
The Marxist organization in the middle of the
Twentieth Century, standing on the shoulders of its
predecessors, has this immeasurable advantage over
them, that it has before its eyes, concretely and in the
flesh, the dehumanized gangsterism of official societv
and the men a,nd manners to replace it.
"
MARXISM AND CULTURE
The organization has the task of bringing to the
proletariat those elements of traditional and contem­
]CI'8I] culture which are needed for that full and total
e:.pansion of human living which is now realistically
possible and needs only the socialist society to come
into being. In every department of hUman life today,
anthropology, medicine, architecture, biology, chemis­
try, and education, in all its manifold aspects, discov­
eries and understanding of far-reaching importance
ÌìBve been already made. 7 few bold pioneers even
sometimes try to put some of these into· practice. In
every case they find and frequently declare (most of­
tEn in guarded language) that it is impOSSible for man­
kind to make use of the knowledge which is already in
its hands as long as the present structure of society
continues. This information is needed by the proleta­
riat above all other classes in society and it can be given
to the proletariat only by the Marxist organization or
]02 FACING REALITY
intellectuals and 1cientists working in close collabora­
tion with it. The valuable elements in all fields of con­
temporary culture can be preserved and made available
only in the light of a new totality, a new vision of the
world, and of humanized relations throughout the length
and breadth of society. To do this, if only ideologically,
demands an assimilation of this culture in the light
of both the experiences and activities of the proletariat.
All those who do not proceed from this basis end up as
whining or utopian snipers at capitalist culture, even
when they do not actually defend it.
THE PROSTITUTION OF EDUCATION
The utter futility of believing that it is possible to
improve official society except upon the basis of new
relations resting upon the proletariat and the great
masses of the people, the mental paralysis which ine­
vitably overtakes all who try to do this, is proved by
the frenzied and unspeakably disgustig activity which
i' now taking place in the West under the lying slogan
of education. The patient work of generations of edu­
cators, all pointing to the conclusion that the isola­
tion of children and youth from the practical aspects
of social life distorts both mind and body, the search
for roads to integrate from the very start intel­
lectual and social life, all this is now placed OD the
shelf. Instead. billions of dollars are now to be spent
in a vast ind�ctrination and inj ection of the youth of
Vlestel'n civilization with the scientific virus. ÏÍ has
no relevance whatever to education, but is in reality a
military operation having no other purpose than to
c[,tch up and overtake the enemy i the production of
weapons of destruction, for which very purpose the
Russians instituted their program. Thus these two
enemies grow more like each other every day. Only the
Marxist organization basing itself on the proletariat
can attempt a synthesis and transcend the essentially
bourgeois antagonism between humanism and techno­
logy.
OUR UNSHAKABLE FOUNDATIONS
If the development of society has posed before us
the crisis of contemporary society as essentially prob­
l ems of human relations, if the Marxist organization
itself will remove from living Marxism what is now
dead, the organization never forgets its own essential
fcundations. We shall conclude, therefore, with a brief
statement of the main lines of Marxism, whose essen­
tial truth is not weakened but confirmed every day.
THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 103
Capital, contrary to previous societies, can live ony
by accumulation. Marx discerned i capital accumu­
lBtjon two laws, twin sides of the same movement, the
law of concentration and centralization of capital and
the law of the socialization of labor. There is no one
( except a well-educated Marxist) who cannot today see
these laws in full operation. From commercial capital,
the capital of trade, capital concentrated into units of
individual industrial capital which created the world
market. These developed into vast combines and cartels
until today the national capital of any country is in­
one form or another state capital. But the process of
concentration still continues. The national state capitals
reach out towards the formation of continental units.
The present conflict is essentially a conflict between
the two most gigantic concentrations of capital in the
,,,orld today, the United states and Russia, for the com­
plete domination of all world capital. To achieve
this they force into their orbit by force, fraud, or ca­
j olement, all national units. Lenin found the exact
phrase for them in 1918 when he f orecast the coming
of "vast state capitalist trusts and syndicates" contend­
ing for world mastery. His old definition of imperial­
ism as surplus capital seeking higher profits in colonial
countries is now dead, and is used only by Stalinists
seeking to exclude imperialist Russia from their denun­
ciations of imperialism. Today it is not mere profits of
investment that are at stake. The territory and the
manpower, the very traditions as well as the material
p,'oduction of the various countries of the world, ad­
vanced as well as backward, are needed. What is taking
place, therefore, is that capital, which always had men
in its grip, has been accumulated to such an extent,
intensively and extensively, that it now operates by
complete mastery of men. The vast state capitalist
trusts and syndicates hurl themselves against each
other to be shattered, only to reorganize themselves
in unstable combinations, vainly seeking that complete
centralization which it is the nature of capital to forever
seek and never achieve. Lenin did not deny the theOl'e­
tical possibility of world capital being totally centralized
but, as he said, a great deal would happen before then.
It is happening.
Even judging the system from its own point of view
it is already exhausted. Having drawn the whole world
into its orbit, it is incapable of supplying the undevel­
oped countries with the capital needed to develop them.
!O F ACING REALITY
Thus, as with so many other great issues long debated
in Marxism, the theoretical problem of whether capi­
talism would collapse from lack of markets or lack of
productive power is solved in life for all to see.
But side by side with the chaotic movement to con­
centration goes the socialization of the labo
r
force.
There is no need to elaborate this. In Marx's words, the
labor force is constantly growing in numbers, is united,
disciplined, and organized by the very mechanism of
capitalist production itself. Sooner or later it would
have to rid mankind of the increasing misery imposed
upon it by capital. In social terms this means displac­
ing the human beings who refuse to abandon their
privileged positions as agents and directors of capital.
Human personality, social and political institution, in­
ternational diplomacy, human grandeur and h u m a n
weakness, all, in their infinite and from one point of
view ungraspable and unpredictable variety, are to be
seen within the context of this view of modern devel­
opment. The alternative is the doctrine of Hebrew
nomads on original sin, with the hope of redemption
by summit talks.
Today there are no longer any mysteries in the con­
ditions of social existence nor in that science of human
affairs whose right name is political economy. In his
famous chapter of Capital, the last but one of the first
volume, Marx stated, so that a child could understand,
that the new society would grow and flourish ( one
would flourish) inside the old. The crisis now is b­
t'een two societies. All the pontifications, calculations,
projects, discoveries, alternative courses of action of
economists about the rise of prices, inflation, balance
of payments, productivity of labor, are just so much
mystification and nonsense, necessary only to preserve
the illusion that the rulers are in control and directing
affairs. While these solemn Druids and medicine men
sing their various litanies about the great problem of in­
flation and deflation in England, it is perfectly obvious
that in a highly-organized country, with a disciplined
community, like Britain, the curse of inflation is not
an economic problem at all but a political one
.
Any
government which had and deserved the complete con­
fidence of the people as a whole would have little diffi­
culty in bringing the inflation to an end. Official so­
ciety cannot produce such a government. It has been
calculated that if the British workers were freed in the
factodes, mines, and offices to organize production in
THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958
105
the way �hat they and only they know, productivity
cculd be mcreased by fifty per cent. Official society
cannot afford �uch freedom. This is the true maturity
of human SOCIety, the golden age and the promised
land, that modern men are at last in a position to man­
age all their material affairs so that they can now
devote themselVes to the development of themselves as
human
.
beings and not to the development of capital.
Ideas WIll now play their proper part in the lives of men,
Today when aU the bull frogs rival each other in their
loathsome croakings about increasing the standard of
living, we can best sum up the Past and the future -in
the following propositions which formed a landmark in
our struggle towards understanding.
'
( a) All development takes place as a result of
self-movement, not organization or direction by ex­
ternal forces.
(
b) Self-movement springs from and is the over­
coming of antagonisms within an organism, not the
struggle against external foes.
( c) It is not the world of nature that confronts
man as an alien power to be overcome. It is the
alien power that he has himself created.
( d) Th� end towards which mankind is inexorably
developmg by the constant overcoming of internal
antagonisms is not the enjoyment, ownership, OI
use of goods, but self-realization, creativity based
upon the incorporation into the individual person­
ality of the whole previous development of human­
ity. Freedom is creative universality, not utility,
This is the philosophy of the Marxist organization
the dialectical method, B methodological guide but n�
more, The organization will not seek to propagate it
Tor to convince men of it but to use it so a the more
quickly and clearly to recognize how it is concretely ex­
pressed in the lives and struggles of the people.
VII. WHAT TV DO AND HOW TO DO I
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WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT I0T
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IüB FACING REALITY
rect "local grievances" and to "improve working condi­
tions." Yet to the terror of management and the per­
petual astonishment of people who are no� familiar w�th
the working class, workers are ready to brmg productlOn
to a stop and endure the greatest privations for weeks
and months over what seems to the ordinary observer
to be trifles. To workers it is precisely the power to
carry all these ideas and wishes of theirs to complete­
ness wl1ich constitutes the new society.
SOCIALIST DISCIPLINE
The new society exercises its own discipline. Wol}­
ers are not homogeneous and often some worker refuses
to go out on strike with his fellows or to play his part
in one of the innumerable daily clashes with manage­
ment. The maj ority of workers are quite aware that,
though these dissidents take a great stand on their in­
dividual rights, none of them has ever been known to
l'efuse the benefits of money and conditions which the
actions of his fellows may win. In the United states the
workers will mercilessly badger this type of worker all
day. They will report his activities to colleagues of other
departments. They will construct and even write lam­
poons which are circulated all over the plant. In Britain
the method of correction is the opposite. The British
workers send the dissident to Coventry-they wil not
speak to him at all. In each case the workers are sub­
stituting their own discipline, the discipline of socialist
relations of production, for the capitalistic discipline of
dismissal.
The same type of discipline is applied to workers
\\ho do not do what their felloW workers consider to be
a fair share of the work. All industrial psychologists
know that under conditions of capitalist production
workers have two standards of production. One they
apply to the demands of management. At any particu­
lar time this consists of a quantity of work governed by
the amount of money they want to make and the energy
they wish to expend, on the one hand, and keeping
management in its place on the other. But there is
another standard, a standard of their own, what under
the particular conditions they want to do, what they
consider necessary to their self-respect and security,
and they do not lightly tolerate any persistent and ir­
responsible departure from this. This determination to
control their own labor by common agreement and to
discipline those who depart from the cooperation tl1at
modern production demands, what is it but socialim?
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
109
True, it is frustrated at every turn by the existing
capital-Iabor relation, but it is nothing that has to be
created in the future by the Party or the Plan. It exists
and fights, not only to exist but to expand its sphere of
action.
OVERTIME
To the observer outside the plant the question of
overtime is far removed from socialism. Yet it is around
overtime that can be seen as clearly as anywhere else,
the socialist and all other attitudes to social labor,
posed in
,
opposition to each other.
,
Management,
whether democratic or totalitarian, considers tlt it is
its prerogative to decide when and where and by whom
overtime is to be worked, irrespective of the wishes or
needs of workers. There is a small minority consisting
of Trotskyists, anarchists, radicals, and ex-radicals, who
have what they consider to be the r,evolutionary atti­
tude towards overtime. They claim that any overtime
work is a departure from the great principle of the 8-
hour day and is therefore a crime. These are the ones
who, we may be sure, under what they call socialism,
would be ready , to impose the most brutal conditions
of overtime. According to them, once the property is
ns,tionalized, overtime is in the interest of society as a
whole (these radicals having been substituted for the
capitalists as the managers and policemen of produc­
tion) . At the other extreme is another minority, usually
consisting of skilled workers and lead men who are
eager for all the overtime they can get.
The great majority of the workers have nothing' in
common with any of these. They carry on what at first
glance is an utterly bewildering series of struggles,
sometimes for, sometimes against overtime. What the
a' erage group of workers wants in regard to overtime
is that they 'hould control the amount of overtime, how
and when it should take place and who should do it.
Thus, at times the struggle is against overtime, at oth­
ers it is for the right to work overtime, in what appears
to be a chaotic capriciousness. But one principle under­
lies all these struggles. It is the fundamental principle
that workers themselves are to control overtime and
therefore keep their grip on the length of the working
day. Control by workers over the amount of extra work
that should be done, when it is to be done, how it js
to be done, who will do it, just simply this constitutes
socialist relations of production, and many millions of
workers all over the world are engaged in a constant
struggle to establish this. Sometimes they succeed, if
JlO
FACING REALITY
only partially, or for a certain
,
length o� time. That
precisely is socialism and there IS no other kind of so-
ci�lism.
¯H± SCHEDULES OF PRODUCTION
In most modern plants workers want to c

ntrol w�o
. hired and when and to control who wIll be dIS­
al
,
e
. and when a�d under what circumstances. But
m!sseQ
,
f h t york the plant
this really involve: knowledge D w a V
· ,
,
t do While the unions and general publlc a

e
pI oposes D •
t ' orker I11
pri mal'iiy concerned with wages, wha evel Y w
t . 1
. 1 t wants-
to KOOV lI advance and to. [U| \ O¸
evel ] | an
t tl ' nao'ement
are the schedules of production. Bu :1.1S ma "
\ß adamant in keeping from them.
Walter Reutller once threw out the slogan "�_e�
|!0 Books " This did not mean to tIle workers la
"
hould make their profits known. These
|_[ compam
es s
, . nt and
rafits have to be registered wIth the
,
govelnme
�.. be inpected at a moment's notlC

. To open the
k
t to the workers : Tell us m advance the
boo s mean
"
to carry
schedules of production WhICh
,
you PlOP��e
chedules
¹ Í When workers say they WIsh to see B s
�.�roduction, they mean they wish to say what the�
think about them. So fierce was the response to tl
both management and workers, from thel
SlOgal

of
.
' th t Reuther rapidly with-
OPPOSIte pomts of VIew, a
drew it.
modern industry ten or twenty thousand
.
men
Ì
In
1 ave to carry out the enormously complIcated
\V¸
¸
JO J
f modern production are excluded from any
���
e
�.�e.sive and precise knowledge of
:
hat th

y
,
p
t d Not in the interests of productIOn, but I
l1!ve D U. ¸
' t' management has to treat
defense of Its own POSI lOn,
,
tl:lem like children. This the workers reJ ect as me��
T
he intoler
,
ab�e exclu

iOl

fro
¸_�
l
�_��
r
�¸
ri
,,�ver
closely, pe1'lOdlCally �. �s ou
nies per hour. Two forces
differences of two
,
or t l ee pe
�e of production based on
l' ere are in confllct : one mo ,
t
t�l�e capital-labor relation, the re:ation of �
r
�l�lll
o
�er__�
,
and privates ; and the othe

, m �_
n
w
consciously
"production by fre

IY assaclated
·th �
'
s�ttled plan."
l t d b them m accor dance WI
l'egu a e y
,
. . at ideas or theoretical con-
These
,
opposmg for ces ar e n
exist. The clash between
structlOns or hypotheses.
,
They
b ne and stretching
.
tantly shakmg every D
tbem IS cons .
t There are two so-
e
y
el
?
n
:
rve i
�l.c
o
.
t
��
o
��·
y
i�
O

l
e
c.�italist society. T?e
cletles
,
m con
l
'
all
'
:t
'
society It is the refusal to recogrze
other IS a soc
.
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO J¯ 111
this which accounts for the mountains of nonsense
which are daily produced on the subj ect of automation.
AUTOMATION
While official society and the labor bureaucracies
are excelling themselves in creating dust, noise, confu­
sion, and fear over automation, the socialist society has
already put forward its own most comprehensive plans
for . dealing with automation.
Workers of Standards in Coventry, England, have
said the fundamental words about automation.
a) If management wishes to introdlce autohiatiol1
into any plant, it must consult the workers in the
plant at the very first inception of the idea. Work­
ers are not opposed to automation. Far from that.
They welcome it. But they insist that it is their
business more than anybody else'l.
b) When automation is introduced, there is no ne­
cessity to dismiss anyone.
It is here that not merely two methods of produc­
tion but two conceptions of society as a whole are in
conflict. Workers are not units of production, They are
men with homes which, sometimes, they have bought or
are in the process of buying. They have families and
children who are going to school, with the friends and
associations that distinguih the lives of human beings
from animals in the forest. They refuse to concede to
management the right to break up their lives according
to the supposed needs of production. The Coventry work­
erR claimed that they could reorganize the work so that
no one needed to be dismissed. They went further and
announced a principle that made several newspaper
editors declare that the end of the world had come.
They stated that there were times when they ha to
work very hard and times when they could take it easy
because there was no need to work so hard.
Amid the chorus of denunciations and yells at the
unreasonableness, the isanity of these workers, no one
took care to note that the necessity to work hard at
times was not denied. It was specifically admitted. But
it was based on the principle that the workers would
tl1emselves decide.
This was the workers' answer t the great problem
of automation. We take the liberty of making only one
addition that was inherent in the whole: it would be
necessary at times to send workers away from one plant
to another. But who should go, and when, and under
Ilß
TACIIG Ü£¬I\¯Y
what conditions, these things nobody could know and
arrange satisfactorily except the workers themselves.
Most of this appeared i n the press in garbled form.
But it was among the Standard workers them'elves, in
their private conversations, that what they proposed
and, still more, what they thought, could be heard at
ÌS simplest and mos,t direct. This is the socialist soci­
ety, as complete an overturn of capitalist production
as the most daring theoretical mind could conceive. But
wild as this program seemed to official society and
labor bureaucracies and parliamentarians, it would win
the immediate support of the vast majority of worker
in every countrY in the world
.
This is socialism, not in
the heads of intellectuals and advanced workers, not
in the future, not to be achieved after sacrifice of a
generation of human beings, but here all aronnd us,
based on generations of experience and burning with
the desire to establish itself.
What happened is characteristic. Faced with what
amounted to the destruction of their society, union
leaders, newspaper editors, bishops, and parliamenta­
rians rushed in and ol"ganiz'ed a compromise. The work­
ers were promised two or three weeks' severance pay B8
compensation. The Coventry workers had to retreat.
But they have added another story to the socialist struc­
ture that they are building, in practice and in theoY.
Two weeks' pa.y. That i' the capitalist answer to auto­
mation. Nearly two hundred years after the soci al ca­
tastrophes and cruelties of the early industrial revolu­
tion, capitalism registers its progress-two weeks' pay,
R week for each century.
Automation has already brought an unbelievable
disorder into the social life of millions of A m e I i c a n
,vorkers. Unemployment pay does not satisfy. Workers
want some order in their lives. Automation shows that
capitalism today, as two hundred years ago, is incapable
<1 order. But today workers not only know that they
can handle these pmblems, but that nobody else can.
These were not the problems posed in the days of Lenin.
The Marxist organization must begin from here.
FilST FUNDAMNTAL TASK
Here we pause for a moment to look again at our
first simple statement: To recognize the socialist society
and t record the facts of its existence. Workers do
not record. The great Shop stewards Movement, the
most powerfu social force in Great Britain today.
keeps practically no records. You will search the mi-
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT II3
lions of volumes in the great libraries of Britain and
you will find no single volume which attempts to make
any s�rious examination of what this movement is
what it does, and how it does it. Yet it is certain that
sueh records exist, in the secret files of industrialists
who have to deal with this movement and understand
it as far as they are able. As far as they are able. For
it is impossible for them, and their bureaucratic col­
leagues, to understand that the day-to-day struggles
of the workers constitute the socialist society and the ba-
sic struggle for socialism. The proposals of the workersin
Standards of how to deal with automation did not come
from study or theory or boards of inquiry or parlia­
mentary committees or Royal or Presidential Commis­
sion'. To those who ma.de the proposals they were the
natural, normal, in fact unavoidable conclusions, flow­
ing naturally from their daily lives. Management and
la,bor bureaucrats cannot understand this because it' ul­
tim?te conclusion, and one that is not in any way re­
mote, is the elimination of these parasites as an inte­
gral necessity in modern life. It is to be noted that the
vast maj ority of workers, contrary to theoret,ical socia­
lists, have little concern with the wages or social privi­
leges of management, supervisors and such. They are
interested in the free interchange of tasks in the plant,
the levelling, or rather equalization of wages through
which their essentially cooperative labor can be per­
formed without undue friction. They are not interested
in the perquisites of management. Their main concern
with management i' that it should confine its function
to doing what they, the workers, want done.
No one should underestimate the will and the energy
that will be needed to say, not once but again and again
with the Coventry workers, that a body of workers in 3
plant constitutes the only social organization capable
of dealing with automation in a l'easonable social and
human way. To record it, to publicize it in every con­
ceivable shape and form, to place, it before workers who
have not heard of it, to encourage it, this is the concrete
task. Workers are ready to listen. Even 'hen they ap­
pear skeptical, perseverance will often show that they
have long thought of this but are acutely aware of the
difficulties in the way and push these forward because
they wish them to be examined and discussed. It is in
these confrontations that Marxism and Marxists ac­
qUl'e life and movement, and get closer to social reality.
I J4
FACING BEALITY
THE MIDDLE CLASSES
A new society invading the old never establishes itself
in production alone or in one class, in this case the
v,;orking class. The pattern of production permeates the
whole society. The middle classes, the worker with the
black coat, the white coUar, or the frilly blouse, shaped
by their own conditions of production, have shown them­
selves all over the world increasingly ready to follow
the example of the workers, tl1U' proving how deeply
ingrained in the new society is the activity that the
workers carry on. The most striking example. of course, -
is in the Hungarian Revolution. At the same time that
the Hungarian workers in the plant were forming their
Workers Councils. the employees formed their own
councils in every branch of the national activity, in all
government offices, in the Department of Foreign Af­
fairs, in banks, in the information services 0f pres' and
radio, everywhere.
Social upheavals bring out what already exists in
society, even though only in embryonic f0'rm, or as as­
piration. But they exist. It is the task of the Marxist
organization to find them.
In Paris at the Genel'al Life Insurance Company,
an Employees Council was formed two years ago ÌH con­
scious opposition to both management and the trade
unions. We print here complete the program and policy
that it has worked out to guide it, and which it pub­
lished and distributed before other insurance compan­
ÌCS. It is the socialist society in action.
The maj ority of the employees of the General In­
surance Co., 87 rue de Richelieu, Paris, are no long­
er willing to entrust the defene of their interests
to the trade unions of any kind.
It was as a result of the strike of November 1955 that
we decided to defend our interests ourselves.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
1. We publish every month a newspaper of the firm.
The Employees Bulletin, whose columns are open
to all of us who have not been able to express what
we thought in the trade union papers. Before being
published, each article is discussed among us so
tha,t it can best represent the opinion of all.
2. We are organized, our Council has a legal status
but WE ARE NOT A TRADE UNION W H E R E
EVERYTHING IS DECIDED FROM THE TOP:
-Every employee of the firm is a member by
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
IIõ
right of the Employees Council whether or not he
pays dues.
¹ -No question can be resolved without the agree­
ment of the interested worker · or workers in an
office or of all employees, according to whether it
concern's a single employee, an office or all tbe em­
ployees.
-All meetings are public and: all employees ex­
press themselves freely.
-We all work together, the Council has no func­
tionaries, the meetings take plac€ Q1tsice Qf wok­
jng h0urs.
3. Every person in a responsible position is design­
ated on the basis of the confidence of the employee'
and is revocable at any time.
-The General Assembly of the Council, compris­
ing all the employees, decides impo,:tant· questions,
-The Executive Committee, consisting of 38 del­
egates from the different offices, each representing
a group of employees dOing the same work, decides
practical questions.
4. I order to obtain recognition by the firm, the
Employee' Council must elect employees' delegates,
But the unions are well protected by the law;
they are the only ones allowed to present the list.
It is only if their lists do not receive % of the bal­
lots that the elections are voided and on the second
round all candidates can present themselves.
Today the unions have launched: the worst allega­
tions against the Council : Poujadists, splitters, fas­
cists, stooges of the company, etc. They have to
break up this spontaneous regroupment of employees
or it will prove that it is possible to do without the
unions because the employees are capable of organ­
izing themselves so that the bureaucratic and poli­
tical apparatus of the unions is useless.
WHY HAVE WE DONE WHAT WE HAVE,
THIS IS WHAT THE EMPLOYEES COUNCIL OF
THE GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
THKS:
The Employees:
Every employee of a firm participates in a collec­
tive task. Each has hs duties and his equal rights.
But nobody is getting equal pay.
Look at you pay envelopes and consider. The man­
a,gement and the union have signed agreements.
IT0

FACING REALITY
-which differentiate the pay according t the
claBsification of employment ( 110 categories in the
classification of July 1954) .
-which constantly increase the differentiation
and the differences in pay ( agreement of July 1954.
April and November 1955) .
,
Inside the firm the union
.
del�gates often
,
Pl'�CtI�,
policy of favoritism WhiCh mCI'eases
,
thIS dlffer
¨ntiation. The result is that in every fIrm the em-
. ployees are divided . ..
The management and the unions are the divisive
elements.
The Seniors:
This division due to the hierachy
.
in pay is even
more marked in relation to the Semors.
Either they do the same work as
.
t?e other employees.
or their work is simply supervISIOn.
How then is this hierarchy in any way justified?
The Unions :
They negotiate with management salary agreeme�ts
which allow us some crumbs
.
from the
.
increasmg
profits. outside of this one pomt, �anageme�t �as
complete authority; it doe's what It pleases TG re-
gard to our work,
Check for yourselves how the official delegates de-
fend supervision in your firm.
Work:
In the large maj ority of cas�s
:
what work ¸e do
depends not on our real capacItIes but on the oood-
will of management.
The work which we have to do tires us l0re and
more as rationalization and mechaniza
.
tion Increase.
Our work is organized by management m such B way
that it does not permit us to apply even 10% of our
real capacities.
. .
.
The F. O. and the C. F. T. C. unions partlciPate m
the commission on productivity.
The C. G. T. union in 1945 called on the �mpIOyees
t make every effort to increase productIOn.
.
We don't want our work to become ever mOTe p
.
am­
ful and stupid. Unlike management and the umons,
we think we are able to und�rstand what our work
consists of and to organize It.
¼IAJ JC IC AMO ICV JC IC I¯ 117
¾AMAGENENJ AMI JIE CIA¼UEU CI CCNNEBCE
They use every means (seniors, unions) to increase
their intake. They live by only one priciple : the
absolute authority of management in the firm.
This authority brings in its wake waste, inju'tice,
inefficiency, fatigue, tension, discouragement.
But if we place in the hands of the unions the task
of counteracting this authority, we find that in
general the unions serve this authority rather than
fight it.
¼IAJ ¾E CAM 1II IC
I your firms your problems are the same as ours.
You can depend only upon yourselves.
You are not what the union' and management say
you are: incompetents who have to be led.
You are the most numerous, on you the functioning
of the firm depends, you are capable of organizing
yourselves, while allowing to each the possibility of
controlling and administering the organization com­
mon to all : You are those for whom solidarity is
not an empty word.
HELP TS
In every firm you can form an Employees Coun­
cil which will uify against management all the
employees now divided and dominated by the unions.
If this is not immediately possible, form a group
to publish a bulletin of your firm to prepare the
way for forming a Gouncil.
Whatever the possibilities are, make contact with
us. We will tell you our experience and give you ma­
terial aid.
Oui Employees Council will survive only if other
Councils are formed in other companies. Our Coun­
cils could not have been created if we had not rec­
ognized our capacities.
Coperate with us. It is for U all that we struggle.
March 13, 1956,
The Employees Councils of
General Life Insurance Co.
Is it not clear that these French men and women,
working in offices, are an integral part of the 1ame new
social formation as the Hungarian wmkers who made
the revolution, the British shop stewards, and those
Russian workers against whom Khrushchev and Shepi­
lov thunder in vain? That statement of what they are
doing and why is socialism, theory and practice. To
J J8 FACING REALITY
write this program they had to draw to a head their
bitter experiences with all types of Socialist, Commu­
nist, and Trotskyist bureaucrats.
But aren't there great areas of life outside of produc­
tion and administration? There are. And as Marx, im­
patient with these babblers, once replied to them, "Who
denies it?" The Marxist organization which understands
that its function is to learn and not to teach, will find
( after great efforts) that outside of production as well
as U it, the new society every day, every hour, estab-
-
- - listes itself with B massiveness, a solidity, and an ininite
-
variety, which challenges the official structure of socie­
ty at every turn.
SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION
Organization is the cry. What about organization?
Modern industry, we are told, demands organization of
a kind different from these shop floor organizations.
The Marxist organization will have only to look to find
the miracles of organization which modern workers
have learned in modern industry and which have be­
come second nature to them. Accounts of these are so
few that we quote again from the document which de­
scribed the shop stewards. It deals with the Central
Committee of the Textile Machine Industry in Lan­
cashire.
This is a meeting Qof shop stewards from all facto­
ries in manufacturing spinning machinery, largely
one large cartel. It meets whenever a factory com­
mittee thinks it necessary, but usually once a month
in a small public house in a back street in the cen­
tre of Manchester. Now this committee is quite ty­
pical of all such committees, which exist in hun­
dreds of different shapes and sizes cmresponding
with the conditions in the factories and industries
for which they cater.
There are only a few informal rules, which can be
and are changed to suit the convenience of stew­
ards attending. There are only very shadowy Qffi­
cers and functions, and its decisions are not bind­
ing on any individual factory which can accept or
rej ect them
.
Votes al'e very rarely taken; when they
are, one factory, no matter what the size, counts
as one vote. Sometimes B many as twenty factories
have been represented, sometimes only say half a
dozen. Any qhop steward may attend, although the
committee of a factory will delegate Qne O! two
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
II0
stewar�s to present any special views it wishes to
have dlscussed.
This Central Committee aways met on a Sunday
Stewards would arrive from all the little Lancashir�
towns
.
from midday onward'. The landlord allotted
th
.
e blg ass�mblY room for . . . deliberations. From
mldday �ntil 2 p. m. all drink beer and exchange
c�nversatlOn a?out anything and everything. Sand­
WIChes and pIes are brought from the pub for
luc
.
h. At 2 p.m. on Sundays the pubs have to stop
s�rvmg beer,
.
although everyone takes the precau­
tlO� of order�g an extra pint at 2 p.m. to help
theIr tmoats m the coming session. So at 2 o'clock
the chaIrman opens the meeting. The agenda is
made up on the sPQot. The Secretary reads any cor­
reBPondence
.
The minutes of the last meeting are
approve? Ther� is a minimum of business. The
�hole tlme untIl 7 o'clock is taken O] with resolu-
.
tlOlS and
.
di�cussio�s. At 7 o' clock the meeting clos­
es, when It IS openmg time. Thereafter there is in­
formal c?Jtinuation of discussion in groups, very
often poll tIcal debate until 10 o'clock when the pub
clo
.
se', when everybody goes home having had an
enJoyable day.
.
The task of the small organization earlier stated as
be�g merely to record the facts of the existing socialist
SOCIety, now begins to appear fOi the gigantic and ut .
terl� unprecedented undertaking that it is
.
But jt is pri­
manly a concrete
.
ta�k
.
It can not only record, it can
coUtel"os� the eXIstmg formations of the new socialist
sOCle�� agalllt the clumsy, tyranica., bureaucratic mon­
�trositles which claim that modern society can only live
If governed by them.
Finally the strangest featUre of so many of these
new organizations is that they have no official exist­
ence :
I is noteworthy that this Central Committee of
Te
.
xtile Machi
.
ne Shop Stewards has no recognized
ex:stence. It IS completely outside any union ma­
chiner� or jurisdiction, and the emplnyers do not
and .Ill not negotiate with it. It i an informal
meetmg of the delegates from factories
'
yet it i
the po�er W�ich faces twenty boards of directors,
and
.
whlch wlll tomorrow, with the greatest of ease
abolIsh them .
.
'
. The same thing is so for nearly
all s�ch
.
commlttees. It i also of note that in the
constItutIon of the Confederation of Shipbuilding
I20 FACING REALITY
and Engineering Unions, in which neaTly all the
unions concerned are confederated, there is no
provision for such Central Committees, and shop
stewards and committees are not mentioned. But it
is a matter of fact that whenever any serious ques­
tions arise locally, i. e. on a District Committee ba­
sis, the District Committees invariably call unoffi ­
cial advisory meetings of all shop stewards and
committees concerned. Real policy is decided at
these meetings; they also carry it out, and once
called i ses:iQn for serious emergencies, they in­
variably meet very frequently, at least once a weeK.
But can one reasonably compare these workers sit­
t�ng in a pub with the machinery of management, be­
fore which the whole world bnws down, in Detroit, in
Paris, in Moscow, as well as in Lancashire? That is ex­
actly what the writer goes on to do:
Now (Communists and Trotskyites) will point
to the factory managements with their hierarchy
of superintendents and foremen and managers, and
the co-ordinating boards, and the hundreds of exe­
cutives trained in all these things, and they will
ask . . . how ( the) public-house meeting is going
to replace an that . . . But the cold hard fact is
that committee was and is the le.ading committee
of an organisation which with the expenditure of
not 1 % of the time, with no full time highly paid
and trained managers, organised the entire labor
force of those factories down to the last apprentice
. . . Here, in 1947, with the bourgeoisie "organising"
their own factories, the separate Shop Stewards
Committees examined every plan of the manage­
ments, and where changes of plan affected the
whole industry, the problems were dealt with by the
Central Committee, which arrived at agreed deci­
sions. Within 24 hours every worker in the industry
knew all about it, every Shop Stewards Committee
wa' considering the application of the agreed line,
every management was requested to meet its com­
mittee right away, where the stewards would m.ake
known how far they would agree, or the extent of
refusal, etc. Of course, there was strife, permanent
struggle between committees and management. But ·
the extent of management "organisation" in greater
or lesser degree also depended on the attitude of
the workers. At the level af the ma.chne, what the
worker thought right; at the l evel of foreman, the
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO T
J2I
shop steward; at the level of management of a
factory, the Shop Stewards Committee ; and at the
level of the whole industry, the Central Committee.
Of the two parallel organi'ing functions, the one
of the workers was and is incomparably more vigo­
rous and in every respect superior.
HOW DOCKERS ORGANIZE
The new society is to be found in the most un­
expected places. The whole world knows that during
the last ten year a few thousand London dockers have
repeatedly fought pitched battles against their em­
ployers, union bureaucrats, the government, and the
official Press, radio, and publicist', and repeatedly de­
feated them. A great university has organized a research
project to find out what spirit it is that moves in t11em.
After years of investigation the researchers report their
findings with the sad conclusion that they a,re not much
wiser about the dockers than when they began. On one
acqasion when the dockers had once more paralyzed the
ports of the nation, the reporter of a great newspaper
sought to find the organizer. He finally located the ob­
ject of his search Sitting in a small back room, without
secretary, without typewriter, without telephone. To
the university researcher and newspaper reporter dock­
ers remain a mystery, and t them they will always
be a mystery, because the dockers have broken out of
the bureaucratic routie of bourgeois disorder and are
blasting new roads of social organization. This is the
secret of their strength and there is no other secret.
Perhaps the most conscious and finished opposition
to the parliamentary procedure and accepted routine
of traditional organizations which exists anywhere to­
day is to be found among the dockers.
A few hundred dockers hold a meeting on the docks
to decide some course of policy. The first thing they
do is to inform the police to keep a.way and not to show
themselves further than a certain street or streets.
The pOlice, they know, are the greatest source of dis­
order. They create a mood of hostility among tbe men
by their mere presence; if a disturbance does break out
the police wish to arrest the culprits, which at once
divides the dockers into conflicting groups. The dockers
keep their own order. "Pipe down there, lad" from two
or three of the older ones is usually sufficient to sup­
press any too unruly heckler. Those who start fights are
quickly disciplined without any arests.
A dockers' meeting can break every rule of parlia-
122 FACING REALITY
mentary procedure. At any stage of a meeting the
chairman or the orator who has the rostrum can be
ignored while the meeting breaks up into two or three
separate meetings. A speaker who has won the atten­
tion of a group is pushed forward and encouraged to
go up to the rostrum and take over from the sp�er
there. The dockers do not like votes, because votmg
results in organized opposite camps. They s�nse the
general sentiment and act on that. The vote IS alwa�s
taken only in one set of circumstances: when there IS
a discussion on whether to return to work or not. Then,
although opinions maY differ, the vote to go back
.
or
not go back is usually unanimous-for the sake of �­
ternal l0lidarity and also for the purpose of wa�nng
the authorities not to cultivate illusions about spl1ttmg
the ranks.
Their method of selecting delegates is equally op­
posed to parliamentary procedure. Whom to send? "What
about Tom here?" "O.K. , Tom." "And Jim?" "O.K. Jim,
aDd Jack here will make three." On the surface it loo�s
haphazard. But the man who has said Tom to be�m
with ha had good reason for beginning with him. JIm
is chosen to supplement Tom. And Jack completes a
trio. There may be hundreds or even thousands of men
present. Few have had anything to say about the se­
lection. Distinctive with them is the fact tha.t; a second
delegation may consist of three entirely different peo-
ple.
. ' .
Their method of dealing WIth CommunIsts IS exem-
plary. They will choose a Communist as a delegate,
.
a�d
when the meeting is over some of them may even SIt m
the pub listening to his exposition of C0nmunist doc­
trine. But if they have reason to suspect, I the course
of negotiations, that he is concerned more w
.
ith
.
the
Commlmist line than the dockers' interests, he lS lIkely
to be dropped. They will hear of a strike in : sin�le
motor plant in Coventry, and after one o
:
f th�lr qUlt
.
e
informal meetings will write three or four hnes | pe�Cll
on a piece of paper torn out of a notebook, extressmg
solidarity. They dispatch it by someone who IS con­
venient. When the news gets known, not only the par­
ticular firm but all other motor firms in Coventry trem­
ble. For at such times the dockers do not trouble them­
selves about niceties of distinction, and inasmuch as to
them one auto f in Coventry is pretty much the
same as another, they are ready to stop handling not
one make but all cas that come i from Coventry.
This is not to say that all dockers meetings and
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
I23
procedures are carried on in exactly this way. But what
matters is this. Like so many other tens upon tens of
millions of workers, they have repeatedly been cheated
and had their wishes thwarted by bureaucrats, Chair­
rah, Secretary, and Committee members sitting at ta­
bles, on platforms, with speakers to motion, seconders,
amendments, propo'als rej ected because not permissible
according to regulations, or according to Ma,y's or Rob­
erts' Rules of Order, the whole apparatus of tried and
tested routine by which the will of the rank and file
is thwarted. The result is that they act in conscious
opposition to these procedures. It is often in this way,
O] conscious rej ection of the old, that the new develops
and ÌS cherished and spread because of the enOl'mous
ICW power it generates.
With the dockers, as with all such highly advanced
outpo'ts of the new society, the new is often very much
entangled with the old, sometimes in superficially reac-
, tionary forms. The solidarity may ha,ve roots in national
and religious origins which cut the particular grouping
off from the general current of the society in which
they live and thus strengthen their sense of hostility
to its shabby practices. Side by side with the boldest
creativeness may go a clinging to reactionary forms
and ideas. It takes all sorts to make a world, and par­
ticularly a new world. But the dockers have achieved a
social effectiveness and a striking power which so far
has expressed itself only in successful battles against
enormou' forces. When these f orces have finally fallen
apart, the energies and powers which have so far been
displayed chiefly in resistance will be free for creation
in industry, in politics, in social life. But already they
mean far more for the new society than the accumulat­
eo wisdom of all the Party Conferences i Britain plus
the editorial staffs of all the newspapers plus the coun­
cils of all the universitie�.
RACE RELATIONS-TWO ROADS
It is obvious that if there ate two societies in con­
flict, then each will be deeply affected by the other.
The Marxist organization will have to learn to distin­
guish stages of the existence of the new society. Here
is a perfect example of the manner in which the socie­
ties are entangled. It deals with the Negro question in
the United States.
In one of the most widely known of American auto­
mobile plants, the administration from the top execu­
tives to the lowliest members of the clerical staff is
I21 :ACING REALITY
white. For these people democracy means the right to
vote ; whom they employ and where they employ them
is their own business. The plant itself, however, em­
ploys a nuber of Negroes. Therefore you will find on
the union executive board of a dozen people three or
four Negroes, including the Vice-President. But you
will find on examination that this i B compromise.
The union leaders, organizers of elections, know that
they must have some Negroes in the leadership, and
certain set jobs, such as the Reco:ding Secretary, are
regularly allotted to a Negro on the union election list.
Where the pressure from below is very great they will
·
sometimes, as in the pr-sent case, place a Negro on
the list as Vice-President. This is a typically bureau­
cratic solution of an urgent problem. It will surprise the
American union bureaucrats, who denounce British co­
lonialism with such unction, to know that the method
they use i -exactly the same as that practiced through
many decades by the British imperialists in thwarting
the aspirations of colonial peoples.
Go, however, to the shop floor. There you will fid
the free democracy that is the natural expression of
cooperative labor. In the shop floor organizations the
thousands of workers in the plant make no distinction
between whites and Negroes. They are concerned solely
with organizing their work and their struggles with
management as effectively as possible. The men who
can do this best are the leaders, be they white or Negro.
That, however, does not exhaUst even this summary
sketch. Many of these white workers, after collaborat­
ing most democratically and intimately with Negro
workers in the plant, as soon as they leave the plant
step right back into the attitude of separation between
themselves and Negroes which has been taught them for
three hundred years by official society and which they
see being practiced by management in its own offices,
not in the South but in the North. Some overcome it.
Many do not. All are deeply affected by the contradic-
tion.
A complication such as this is repeated in an infin-
ite variety of forms in all spheres of society. It invades
the most intimate recesses of human personality. We
shall return to it again in some of its more subtle re­
lationships. It is enough for the time being to under­
stand that the new society exists, that it is engaged on
all fronts in a struggle to establish itself completely
and that the struggle most often is taking place in the
hearts of workers.
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
\25
Our task then is to recognize the new society, align
ourselves with it, and record the facts of its existence.
The next question is exactly how.
INDEPENDENT EDITORIAL COMMIT''EES
If the mind of the Marxist organization is clear about
what it has to do, then all problems are soluble by
tria] and error. But some of us have digested, as far
as we could, the experiences of the last thirty years.
Some of us have not only participated in these experi­
ences but have made experiences of our own, seeking to
discovel' a practice conesponding
·
to the theory that
we developed. We can therefore give with a certain con­
fidence the essential elements of the structure the
forms, and the procedures of such an organiz�tion.
These, of course, will be diversified by the circumstances
of na.tiona.l life, the starting point and personnel of
the small organization. The concrete results in every
concrete case at a particular stage will necessarily de­
termine the steps which are to follow. Despite this in­
evitable and in every respect advantageous variety the
general outline is clear.
The keystone of the arch is independent editoriah
committees, "independent" signifying that these com­
mittees are independent of the organization.
We may take the average Marxist organization to
consist of anything from a dozen to three or four dozen
people who are bound together by their adherence to
the political ideas outlined in this document. The group
will be composed in more or less equal degree of work­
ers \D the plant, clerical workers, and intellectuals.
An independent editorial committee consists of any
group of people, organized for the purpose of preparing
material for publication. They may be drawn together
by 8 member of the organization or by someone who is
not a. member of the organization. What distinguishes
them is that they are not necessarily members of the
organization and are not necessarily candidates for
membership. As Marx, working backward', finally be­
gan his exposition of the intricacies of capitalist soci­
ety from the examination of the single commodity, so
it is the all-sided examination of the independent edi­
torial committee which will show the road for the
Marxist organization.
Experience has shown that a single 'orker, a mem­
ber of a Marxist organization, can gather around him
a dozen workers, men and 'omen, who meet regularly
for the sole purpose of writing, discussing, and editing
126 FACING REALITY
articles for immediate publication; and immediate pub­
lication means not a theoretical j ournal but a weekly
or a fortnightly paper.
The break with the old type of Marxist journal js
complete. The old type of j ournal consisted, and, where
persisting, still consists of articles written by intellec­
tuals and advanced workers, telling the workers what to
think, what to do, how to make "the revolution," and.
the ultimate summit of understanding and wisdom, to
join the small organization. The journal contemplated
here wil do not the opposite but something entirely
different. It exists so that workers and other ordinary
people will tell each other and people like themselves
what they are thinking, what they are doing, and what
they want to do. In the course of so doing, the intel­
lectuals and advanced workers, both inside and outide
the organization, will have their opportunity to learn.
There is no other way.
The immediate consequences of such a program are
immense, and inasmuch as the whole future of the
small organization, internally and externally, is wrapped
up here ( and much else besides) we shall list them sys­
tematically. We shall start on the lowest level and step
by step mount to where logic and experience shall lead
us. I the end we shall find that we have covered in
strictly practical terms not merely the life of the or­
ganization, but also in practical terms, the whole of the
tbeory of socialism that we have outlined earlier.
1. WHAT IS TO GO INTO SUCH A PAPER?
What those in the editorial committees wish to go
in will go into the paper. It will vary from country t
country. We have the direct experience of two coun­
tries to go by and tentative experiences from others
which are enough to tell us all that is needed. In the
United states such editorial committees consisting of
workers have conSistently written about: conditions i
the shop; the union bureaucracy and why Amer­
ican workers have not formed Shop Stewards Commit­
tees on the British model. They raise the question of
chHdren and how to bring them up so B to save them
from slipping into the physical violence and psycholo­
gical di sturbances which menace the children of every
class of society in the United States. (We may note
that the same problem must occupy parents in Rusia. )
Finally the Negro question torments all Americans,
black and white.
In France, dominating all other issues is the ques-
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
J27
tion of the union bmeaucracy and the Communist Par­
ty. Whereas i the United States problems of revolu­
tionary theory and history are always seen in the strict­
est relation to a practical situation or problem, in France
the workers are interested in them for thei own sake.
We have expressly excluded the terms "workers" from
the phrase "independent editorial committee. " The con­
ception of workers in the plants, or of any one class
dominating the whole of society and imposing its will
upon all others, was a product of a certain stage of
. industl'ial and social development. Today this concep- ­
tion iB, in the minds of workers, professional and cler­
ical middle classes, and farmers alike, charged with all
the crimes and horrors of Stalinist totalitarianism. The
Hungarian workers knew too much about oppression
to wish to oppress anybody. The Hungarian nation as
a whole, except for the fanatics of the Party and the
Plan and their underlings, recognized that the working
class was the natural leader of the nation. Experience
has shown that the problems, the difficulties, the aspi­
rations of the professional and clerical middle classes
take a natural place in such a paper and are read and
commented upon with acute interest by the workers in
the pla.nts.
still remaining on the most elementary level, we are
able to say that a dozen people by means of editorial
ccmmittees, each of which can easily contain three 01
four workers or black-coated workers, can be a channel
of communication between the paper and tens of thous­
ands of worker and clerical employees. Half a dozen
'lIch committees can over a period give such an account
of the new society in its conflict with the old as repre­
sents the most authentic picture of the contemporary
state of the nation.
2. WHO WILL READ SUCH A PAPER?
A single worker, member of a small organization,
Vorking with small informal editorial committees con­
Sisting of people who were not members of the organ­
ization, has been able in the course of a few months to
gain 1 50 subscribers to such a paper from one plant
alone. Each issue was read by at least five people. One
particular publication which dealt specifically with the
situation in a particular plant was read by at least
5000 workers
.
A happens so often with small organi­
zations launching out into this new and untried field,
canyig with them as they do the heavy burden of the
past, the venture was not followed UD. We are reliably
]28 FACING ;EALITY
informed that in the excitement which followed the
publication of this particular issue of the periodic
.
al, it
would have been possible to get at least 1000 subscnbers.
3. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CLASS STRUGGLE?
Isn't it the function of any socialist paper to act as
0 weapan in the class struggle, to aid the warkers in
their struggles with the emplayers and the gavernment?
Here are the ghosts of thirty years rising up to gather
a few mare thausand victims to add to the pile af carp­
seF already claimed by that sad periad. Taday, now that
we have purged ourselves o it, we can laak back and
recard the calassal impertinence, the delirium which
infected so many heads in thase days in their deteni­
natian to instruct, arganize, and lead sametimes tens
af millians of warkers by telling them what to believe,
what to do, what to think. The warkers they have in
t.heir minds do not exist and never existed anywhere
except in their awn minds.
In April 1957 a Caurt of Inquiry presented to Par­
liament an accaunt af a cantinuing crisis between man­
agement and warkers at Briggs Motor Bodies Limited,
Dagenham, England. owned by the Ford Mator Com­
pany. This is what the report said.
From February 1, 1954 to May 13. 1955, there had
been 289 unafficial stappages.
For this the Shop Stewards were almast entirely re-
sponsible.
.
Between March 31 and August 31. 1956, a penod
of five month', these Shap Stewards. by the sale af lat­
tery tickets, raised a sum of L16, 000 ( $50, 000) . They
gave out in prizes L9000 ( $27, 000) . The rest, some
L'7, 000 ( $21, 000) , they used far expenses a
.
nd
.
subsis�­
epce far meetings that they called, for prmtmg theIr
strike leaflets and ather material and for assisting
strikes in other plants. They did all this, ignaring the
unian afficials, sometimes in oppositian to them, and
sametimes in defiance af them. There were Cammun­
ists amang them but the report was categorical that the
Communists were not the prime cause af the trauble.
What is 1t that small groups or for that matter
large groups of intellectuals and advanced
.
workers have
to teach worker like these? The questIOn wauld be
bEneath contempt were it nat for the tragic fact that
ÍUI millions of words and ten thousand lines have been
wasted in the attempt to do just this.
The paper of the Marxist arganization can be a
weapan in the daily class struggle but only when the
WHA T TO ,DO AND HOW TO DO T¯ 129
workers af the editorial committees want it to be so.
Experience has shown that there are times when work­
ers, anxious far immediate publicatian and populariza­
tion of a particular slogan or directive, will demand af
a paper that it do this.
'
There are times when they
wish complete, accurate, and strictly businesslike re­
ports af the conditions af their labar OI of a strike situa­
tion which they cannat get in the official Press or their
ullion publication. At such times they will use any pa­
' per, however small, which they know is sympathetic
to them. What is ridiculaus and stultifying is the long
list of demands, the r
u
shing in with slogans and advice
¯

as to what they ought to do. This workers do not want
and pay no attention to. The particular issue of the
periodical which had so striking a success did not con­
tain a single slogan, a single directive of what to do.
There was a condition affecting many thousands af
workers in a plant, "local grievances." Fifteen workers
got together and drafted the statement, it was printed,
and that was enough.
The independent editing committee is not a social
form. It is not a preparation for the future. It is a con­
venient symbol for getting together groups of people.
They are independent. They are to edit. The actual for­
mations can be infinitely varied. In one of the most
important factories of Europe, there is a factory group
which publishes a factory newspaper. The editor, a man
of remarkable j ournalistic talent, is a regular contri­
butor to a theoretical review. If and when, as is pro­
posed, a paper of the kind proposed here is launched,
this grouping will be an independent editig committee
of the paper, without in the slightest degree affecting
its other activities. It should be noted, however, that
this group is the most militant and consistent of those
shop floor organizations which lead mass struggles and
the day-to-day warfare against the union bureaucracy.
In fact, it was originally formed for that purpose and
that continues to be its primary interest.
These relations on the whole constitute a model, but
only one model. There are and will be others. The pitfall
is to believe and to act as i these or other formations
are embryonic 'oviets, Workers Councils, parties of the
future, and such-like fantasies. No groUPS of individuals
can anticipate the social formations of the future. These
gestate, no one knows how long, but compensate by be­
ing full-grown at birth. The mass organizations of
today are distinguished 8 much by aything as by
this: they do not worr about thei fu
t
e4
J8O FACING REALITY
4. BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIALISM? WHAT ABOUT THEORY?
WHAT ABOUT THE REVOLUTION?
And finally,
WHAT ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION?
The old mentality, the old habits, the old pre-occu­
pations, the psychology of leadership, these die hard,
even among those who have fought hard to abjure them.
It is characteristic of the Marxist organizations· that,
while they have examined every political organization
in sight, in its origins, its pa:t, its present, and its fu­
ture, we have never seen any attempt by any single one
of them to examine the bleak record of the Marxist
organization itself. Yet, if ever a social or political for­
mation needed self-examination, this does. Fortunately
despite the: wide variation in details from country t
country, the basic pattern of development is the same.
The Marxist organization in the past aimed at suc­
ce's, as all human organizations do and will always do,
and will fail unless they do. But it is the word "success"
that has to be defined. For thirty years the small or­
ganization knew what it meant by success: success was
growing membership and influence, organized ifluence,
lD the unions, labor parties, ad other mas: organiza­
tions of the working class. Above all, it sought mem­
bership, and by membership it meant people traied
and educated and completely devoted to the particular
doctrines, the particular organizational practices, the
particular leadership of each particular group. It was
always, quite literally, preparing the elite corps Which
was in time to lead the workers ad keep on leading
them until at some distant time the bourgeoisie was
overthrown.
The Marxist group today usually has some members
who hold positions of great importance in the labor and
union world. It is anxious to gain new members, but
new members are a by-product of its success. Its success
at the present period and in the present stage of its
existence centers around two inseparable processes: 1)
the manner in which it multiplies its independent edi­
torial committees; and
2
) the way in which the circu­
lation of it' paper increases.
The possibilities are endless. Experience has shown
the influence it can exercise in the daily class struggle,
initiating directly through its own membership great
actions involving hundreds of thouands of workers i
key industries. But the organization of today will go
the way of it forerun ers if it does not uderstand
that its future does not depend OI the constant rcruit-
Þ
ã
o
t
0
H
U
L
+
0

O
:
C
L
Ô
0
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D
E
V
L
m

L
o
$
WHA T TO DO AWD HOW TO DO IJ !3!
ing and training and disciplining of professional or semi­
pro
,
fessional revolutionaries in the Leninist manner.
Its task is to recognize and record. It can do this
only by plunging into the great mass of the people and
meeting the new society that is there. It must live by
this; there is no other wa.y it can live. But the Marxist
organization is a historical product. The concrete or­
ganizations of today. and it is these we are dealulg with
and not abstractions, are composed of people who have
inherited the traditions and in some cases were actual
members of the small organizations which sought to
lead the workers. The Leninist theory and practice
have sunk deep into the political consciousness of the
world. This is the great stumblig block, the burden
not on the backs but in the minds of those very ones
who have. by hard theoretical examination of the past,
by trial and error, broken out of the prison of trying to
build organizations of professional revolutionaries. It is
not lack of money, nor lack of contacts, nor lack of
ideas, nor lack of knowledge which inhibits and cramps
and immobilizes the Marxist organization today. It is a
habit of mind and a way of life. The vanguard organi­
z8,tion substituted political theory and an internal po­
litical life for the human response' and sensitivities
of its members to ordinary people. It has now become
very difficult for them to gOo back into the stream of.
the community.
The organization which attempts to break out into
the masses to meet the new society that is there will
find that it is singularly ill-equipped for this task, ad
that this is true particularly among those who have
the most theoretical knowledge and experience. They
are the guardian' of the priciples and ideas which
any organization must have if it is to build. But these
idea have most often been worked out and tested
among trained people. Now, with the perspective of
going to the general public, the ideas have to stand the
test of the ordinary working man or member of the
general public. There is never any difficulty about mak­
ing contact with these people. But with them, if the
ideas do not meet with their approval or hold their in­
terest, their rej ection is immediate and definitive. They
do not stay to argue thrOough loyalty or devotion to the
organization. They simply go away and stay away. The
tEst of the ideas, therefore, iE extremely severe, even
ruthless. From this test the trained Marxists shrink back
in fear and take refuge in theoretical articles and his-
T32
FACING REALITY
torical or philosophical disquisition. Even when they
decide to make the attempt, they cannot give all that
they have to it. The world outside is �n unknown quan­
tity, fear of which inhibits and restnct. They are ter­
ror-stricken lest, in going all the way to
.
meet the un

theoretical editorial committees, they
,
�Ill weaken
,
or
soil or lose altogether the political pnnClples by whICh
they have lived and whose values they
.
are ��are ?f.
Imbued from the earliest days of theIr polItIcal
.
llfe
with the concept of theoretical purity and exclUSIve­
ness ( direct result of the theory of the Va�guard Par
.
ty) ,
they cannot find the energy to take theIr theory mto
the outside world and allow it to become flesh and blood.
There are even organizations which have broken theor�­
tically with the past by efforts remarka�le for then
consistency and great brilliance. They realIze wh�t the
next step must be. But they are unable to make It and
sit for years interminably discussing the preparatlOn
for that step.
It is the past, the past of thirty years, the past fro�
which these organizations have come, that past expen.
ence without which they could not have arrived at �he
theoretical understanding of today, it is that past WhICh
they must see in all its horrible concretene's before
they are fuly ared to finish with it forever.
The Marxist organization has developed cert�in char­
acteristics which are peculiar to it and are
.
stlll de�pIY
imbedded in it. When, after yeaos of wo�k, It recogzes
that its hopes have failed, it does not dIssolve. !t turns
further inward, depending on an ever-dec�easmg and
hardening core. It continues to carry out lts tasks on
8 routine level. What it is doin� has become
.
a yay
of life. There are in many countnes such
.
orgamzatl?ns
which are doing what they have been domg for th�rtY
yeas and will continue to do it until the end of tle
without ever expecting to get ay further than they
are. They folloW a pattern.
a) They become preoccupied with prob�ems of or­
ganization, relationships inside the orgamzatlon, the
llman and material resources they control.
b) They develop the most profound hstoric�l rea­
sons for their existence, which they combme wlth the
rost subj ective analyses of their o� p�rsonal needs
and interests. Thus they attempt to Justify their use­
l�S existence to themselves and their circle of contacts.
c) Thev tend to seek association with former bitter
political e�emles of the same political type a they are,
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT I33
whose ideas and methods of thought and action are
SImilar and familiar to them. They pull out of old
dr;wers cherished political distinctions, polish them up
and, claiming that these hold and have always held
the key to the future, trot them out on all conceivable
occasions to keep their political pots boiling. Their
mode of existence has its basis in some petty publica­
tion which they know is going nowhere but which they
keep alive to give the impre'sion that they are still
actively engaged in revolutionary work. On this basis
they are always ready for what they call a discusion.
This is not mere history. There are,
·
in every Europe
-
a
country i particular but not only in Europe, hundreds
and even thousands of such people. A investigator for
the London Times recently reported on a long list and he
merely touched the borders. Some of them have en­
sconced themselves in the mass Labor parties where
they live peacefully, still preachig Marxism. They are
not only ruins. They corrupt and ruin the potentiaJities
of hundreds of young people every year, and the spec­
tacle of this futility keeps many others from Marxism.
The attempt to break out OÍ it wil be made. As
with all such attempts, from the beginning, not of
Marxism but of histor itself, there will be failures,
setback, some of them serious. But whereas those who
are really free of the pat can always find new strength
in such successes as they have had and after careful
thought renew their effots, that past which is so re­
cent can and doe' overcome others, pushing them back
into the same routine which we have seen so often. In
the middle of the Twentieth Century a spectre is haunt­
ing Marxism, keeping it within what is already a grave­
yard, and when it attempts to come out into the open,
ready at the slightest sign of faltering, to show it the
way back.
We have to refer to those who give up the struggle.
The result is often personal deterioration, sometimes
ferocious forms of distorted personality. They have given
their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to
the Marxist organization, have seen their hopes and
efforts tu to dUt, and turn into implacable enemies
of Marxism and Marxist. The worker in the plant
usually finds shelter among his fellows. In Britain,
workers and intellectuals alike may find refuge in the
Labor Party. In the United States, where there is no
mass workers' political organization t go to, deterio­
ration is more 'evere. Those who do not find a place
ì34 FACING REALITY
in the union bureaucracy very often find their way
into the government, not infrequently placing their
knowledge at the disposal of Un-American Comittees
and even the F. B. 1. But whether they stay in or go
out, whatever they do, they are on the whole united
by their attitudes to certain fundamental aspects of
Marxism. Socialism they consider either to be a myth
(the outsiders) or so far in the distance that it is noth­
ing any organization could do anything about ( the
insiders) . The revolution was either a stupid outburst
by a mass of ignorant worker ( the outsid:rs) or in �ny_
case bound to fail and continue to fail untIl some tra�­
ed leadership is organized (the insiders) . The MarxIt
theory of society does not apply any more, e�ther be­
cause it was never a correct picture of SOCIety ( the
outsider) or has not been studied correctly or senous­
Iv enough ( the insiders) . There are infinite variations
�nd combinations of all these, but in all cases they
amount to B total of disarray, disorder, and consci
,
ous
confusion before the concepts of theory, the revolutlOn,
ar�d socialism.
The Marxist organization may have decided to leave
behind it these dead and dying remnants of a JBBl
ag� and make a popular paper the next
.
stage of its
existence. But it may be tempted to bell eve that
.
be­
cause its basis is the independent editoria.l comflttee
of politically untrained people, because it can recog­
nize that the new society, socialism, exists over vat
3,reas of the world and is striding fOiwar� every day,
it may believe that for these reasons questIOns of the­
ory, of socialism can be pushed aide, if 0Ily tempo­
rarily. This, however, is merely another vanety of the
vanguard, the elite on t11e one hand and the u:ncoz­
scious but backward mass on the other. The ellt: O
thiS case lowers itself to the level of the unconsclO�.
even though socialistic mass. To think this is to �np­
pIe the new oganization before it has begun .
.
It 1S ¸ to
dig beneath its feet a pit deeper than any m WhlCh
its forerunners lie buried. It is sawing off the branch
on which it sits. ÛO say that the task of the Ma�1t
organization today is to recognize that the ne� SOCIety
exists and to record the facts of its existence ?s not a
question of popularizing difficu�t �rut?s. What It means
is that there is no longer any drstmctlOn between theory
and practice.
THEORY AND PRACTICE
Today there is no difference be,tween theory and
practice. The vanguad fanatics of every stripe, and
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
I3õ
, they are as many as the stripes of a zebra, will no
doubt view with Olympian scorn the proposal that the
Marxist organization recognize as its specific function
i this period the publication of a paper of the kind
we have outlined. Ten years ago, in one of the land­
marks of the long struggle to the present position, one
group of its sponors wrote as follows:
I is precisely the character of our age and the ma­
turity of humanity that oblitertes the opposition
between theory and practice, between the intellec-
¸ t�l QCclPatiQn of the "educated" and the masses . .
Three years later we developed this as follows :
All previous distinctions, politics and economics,
war and peace, agitation and propaganda, party
and mass, the individual and society, national, civil
and imperialist war, single country and one world,
immediate needs and ultimate solutions-all these
it is impossible to keep separate any longer. Total
planning is inseparable from permanent crisis, the
world struggle for the minds of men from the
world tendency to the complete mechanization of
men.
State capitalism is in itself the total contraiction,
absolute antagonism. In it are concentated all
the contradictions of revolution and counter-revo­
lution. The proletariat, never so revolutionary as
it is today, is over half the world in the strangle­
hold of Stalinism, the fonn of the counter;.revolu­
tion in our day, the absolute opposite of the prole­
trian revolution.
It is the totality of these contradictions that today
compels philosophy, B total conception.
Our project for a certain type of paper is not a
brainwave. It is the result of a total philosophical con­
ception ad of pooling together trial and error in many
countries. The theoretical question is therefore for us
a practical question, and this practical question i­
volves B specific re-examination and revaluation not
merely of our own past but of history itself. Here is
the first practical example.
Many of those who are always so ready to give lec­
tures and write long books about the Russian Revolu­
tion have doubtless found that in general the great
masses of the workers were only abstractly interested.
The Ieason lies not in the ignorance of the workers
but in the ignorance of the teachers, their ignorance of
I36 FACIG REALITY
the history that i past and the history that is present�
The first national conference of Russian trade unions
took place in the months between the March Revolu­
tion and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Oc­
tober. But even before the unions had held the confer­
ence the workers in the big plants all over Russia had
f{"�ed factory committees, a form of shop floor organi­
zation. Thele factory committees supported the Bol­
sheviks devotedly in their struggle for power, but they
had ideas of theil' own. Even before the seizure of
power by the Bolsheviks, the factory committees had
called a national conference and their aim was to take
over completely the management of industry. They were
before their time. They and their claims to manage
industrY were almost immediately suppressed by the
Bolsheviks who preferred that power over production
should be in the hands of unions. Thus, i the first
great proletarian revolution i the world, shop floor
organizations clashed violently with trade unions and
were suppressed only after a bitter struggle. For well
over thirty year this amazing anticipation of the fu­
ture was ignored by Marxists. Only recently has it come
to the notice of a few who reognize its significance for
today.
What exactly happened, what were the consequen-
ces, and above all, why did it happen? What was the
relation of the factory' committees to the unions and
to the Soviets? These are theoretical and historical
questions of the most profound importance. But i� is
precisely questions of this type that occupy the mInds
of tens of millions of workers, not only in Europe but
in the supposedly politically backward working clas of
the United States. American and other workers are not
waiting for the revolution to solve this problem. They
are faced with it now, every day. This i the problem
the shop stewards have partially solved, tomorrow
perhaps to tackle it in a new way. The Hungarian
worker solved it triumphantly and built on it a gov­
e:rnment which commanded thi allegiance of the
whole nation. What is the difference between this theory
and this practice? None at all.
This is the theory that workers want. Experience
has shown that they reject slogans and instructions of
what to do. They know what to do. What they want are
historical experiences which apply to their own prob­
lems and aims, not t abstractions like "the revolu­
tion." They do not liten to people who t� t train
them fOT the revolution. Workers are not tramed t do
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
137
historical research, the nature of their work does not
permit them to do this. That is precisely what socialism
will permit to those who wish it and then such history.
particularly of mass movements, will be written as will
make the theoreticians hide their heads in shame. This
is not a passing brick. There is not a single book i
English dealing with the factory committees in Russia.
In one study, and very brief it is, of Russian Trade
Unions, there are a few paragraph on this nation­
wide resolution of the immature Russian proletariat of
1917 to take into its own hands the management of
industry. From this book you cannot leai'n the Simplest ·
things, as for example whether these factory commit­
tEes of Russia 1917 were elected on a factory-wide scale
with slates Iepresenting the factory as a whole ( Ameri­
can style) or whether they were elected department by
department ( as is the custom in England) , if the slates
vvere presented by political parties, etc. These are the
things workers want to know. These are the things
serious students of theo:ry want to know. Here is an
opportunity for some of these devoted Marxists to make
tbemselves useful for once-the Russians (way back in
1927) published a study called Oktyabrskaya Revolutsi­
yai Fabzavkomy, the October Revolution and the Fac­
tory Committees. There are thousands upon thousands
of workers and theoretically-minded intellectuals in ev­
ery country who today have the experience and the
need to understand an account of what happened and
why. It raises every single fundamental problem of the
Russian Revolution and the contemporary day-to-day
st:!ggle for socialism. This is theory and practice.
Another example, even more striking. Djilas, the
Yugoslav, has intrigued all the political pundits with
his analysis of Communism. His world-shaking discov­
ery is that all previous classes who seized and held
power were in an economic position to maintain it.
The workers, however, he more than implies, lack this
strategic hold on the economy and therefore cannot
rule
. Such is the degradation of thought in our day
that this is seriously discusse d as a contribution to
Marxism. All over the world there are workers who have
never read a line of Marx but would dismiss Djilas
with hearty laughter. They are the Marxists of our day.
It is precisely the economic maturity of the workers,
their ability to run the economy, their mastery of the
needs, processes, and inter-relations of production, it is
precisely this that constitutes the economic basis of the
new society. This existence in actuality of the new soci-
FACING REALITY
138
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r.. ¬
-
.-
..:--·..- a-,.--, ·r-»-a .:·-rr .- :r-
.
:¬-:.-.- c...:
w.. n-.-:r- n-,.· ,-·,:-.-:r-u..:-as:.:-·
·
r.»-
a--- ·,:--a.a »-:z, ».: :-a.,. r-: OS, � --» HItOr
of the Negroes in the Civil War . ·.-,».-±.
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT
139
r,-..---- r.· ·r-»- :r.: »-.z-.· .- -.-., --a-·
Í1) ».:r :r-..o»-.-·:.--:r-. »r.::r-,---a:-··r.-
..-.: -»-,.-»:-¬· .· :r-,·--:r-¬,-·:--r, »-:-·±-
.:aa.-· ·a-r .- :r-·- »a: »r-- :r-, ..- ».·a,r: :-
:r-.: --:.--, .·z .-,-.t-a:,r-. :r-¬ r- :r- a.·,..--
of :r- :..s.·: ¬-»-¬--: :r-.- ..- ¬.-, t-a.,--i.
..:-r:--:a.:· »r- .-,·---: ,-..· r..- »--- a-.-, ,a·:
·.-| ·:aa.-·, :r-a,r ¬-·: -r:-- .- .- .-.a-¬.- ¬..
.-- o.-. .-a -.-..,..-:r-,r..- ·r-«-:r-...-.a.
--·· :- »·..».:r ST -.,.-...:.-- -. ,.-a, -r ,--,:-
«r· :.-, 1en:;e are ·-..-a- .- ».·r.-, :- -·-.-,r.·
:-..-.r..r-.¬.:.·-:-:r-,.-.:»-a,·r:r-,--,:-rr-
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:|-¬ :-,-.-.-,:r.-,, :·»--·¬-¬-¬»-.·:·t-:...-
ed r-: :r- .-.-ia:.--.
CÌ rr- ¬··: -.,.-, --.-..: .-a a.·,..-- :- :r-
Jarxit ¬-.-¬--: .· »r.: r.· »--- a---, ·. :- be
,.--.·-. r.· --: »--- a--- .- :-,..a :- :r- w-.z-.·
c-a--.:· .- na-,.., rr-·- c-a--.:· ,.t:.·r-a . ·-
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did, .-a -r -.--,.-.:-..¬,-.:.---, »r.: :r-, .-:-·a·
ed :· a-. A ·.¬.:.. »·a, -r ---a¬--:· -s.·:. r.. r-
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«..: :r-, ,.o,-·-a :- a· .»·a: ,.-aa-:.--, .»-a: :r-
,-:.--, :|- ..¬, .-a ,·.-:-¬--:, .»-a: r·.-.,-,-:.-,.
:- »..:.-,· ·r:.:s ·: i-:.- ».:r ,..- ·- --¬,:-:- a
,.-:a.- .-a --:--,:r- r-:¬.-a -·-:--:, :r-:.r- .-a
t.-.:r ·r :r- ·--..:.·: ·--.-:, H ·a-r B -·::--:.-- ::
·:ar .-¬..-· :- »- a--- :· :r-.- . ¬-:- ---..--.-,
-·.¬,r- or :r- :·:.r a-r.:--·· r-. :r-.. ¬-·: -»..-a·
:.·z· »r.-r r.s --« o.-.:.z-- :r- :.:-.·: -:¸.....
:.--·: :-·:-.a -r a-.-, :r.· :r-, .-.a s..:.-· -·ir--
:.-- ·r a--a¬--:· »:.::-- », na-,....- .-:-:r--:a.r·
.-+ :r-- ·-: -rr :- r-.a :r- v.---r »-.z-.·
rr-.- .· -- :--a he :· ---:.-a- ».:r :r- lt.
rr-:-».rrt- -:r-.r.·:·.na::r- :-··-- .·,r..- rr-·-
BIO ,¬-:.-.::.·z·r-.:r-:.:s.-:·.,.-...:.--·:-,-.

FACING REALITY
form. These are talks which only they can perform.
This is what the workers need from us. And this i
what we need, to bring Marxist theory up to date and
to fit ourselves for the task of listening to workers,
to sensitize ourselvel to catch the true significance and
the overtones of their statements of their problems, their
aims and aspirations. What is the difference today
between theory and practice, between theory for the
intellectuals and theory for the masses ? There is none.
As we have said earlier, in every depaltment of modern
intellectual and scientific life immense discoveries have _
been made which tear to bits the assumptions by which
our society lives and point the way to a new society.
Many workers know one or the other of these discov­
eries very well. The workers wish to know as much of
this as they can and need to know. As some of U have
written in the document of 1950 previously referred to:
" . . . the whole development of the obj ective situation,
demands the fully liberated historical creativeness of
the masses, their . sense and reason, a new and hgher
organization of labor, new social ties, associated hu­
manity. That is the solution to the problems of pro­
duction and to the problems of philosophy. Philosophy
must become proletarian."
We repeat : in all these scientific discoveries what
Is lacking is an integrating principle, some comprehen­
sive universal which will relate them to each other and
to society and open out all their possibilities. This in­
tegration will not come at one time, nor will it be the
work of any one man or any group of men. But this
much is certain, that it can come only from men who
have grasped the role of the great masses of the people
in the new society and understand that the people are
today ready to initiate the vast changes in society
which the Hungarian workers initiated. The Marxist
orgaizations and the intellectuals in particular must
understand that it is their task to make all this know­
ledge available to the people in such terms al they
cln understand. This is not popularization. It has been
proved that the mot difficult of social, political, artis­
tic, and philosophical conceptions can be presented to
the people with simplicity and without vulgarization.
But to do this demands mastery of the subject and
understanding of the people, of the terms of their own
experiences. It is the second of these which i so hard
to come by. We have indicated the road.
¯ .
WHA T TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 141
¯ PAPER AND THE PEOPLT
One more task . remains. The Marxist organization
I
ha� its own POlitical ideas, and velY clear-cut ideas
they are. The great masses of the people have some
of the�e ideas but in their own form. To very may of
these Ideas, however, they are in varying degrees op­
POS�d. That is precisely why they must have the oppor-
' .tu�ty to say what they think in their own way. This,
WhICh causes such consternation to certain Marxists
and drives others to a frenzy of exhortation is for us
a condition of social existence, a contradictio� that has
constantly to be overcome. The organizations living in
the past know nothing of this. We on our part welcome it
and we propose now to show in what way this perma­
nent condition becomes the source of life and progress.
We shall analyze this contradiction in:
a) Voting or not voting for such parties as the
Democratic Party in the United States, the Com_
munist Party in France, and the Labor Party in
Great Britain.
b) The Negro Question in the United States.
c) The Hungarian Revolution as it affected work-
ers:
( 1) in the United States,
( 2) in Britain,
( 3) i France.
.
These are varied enough. They show contradiction
( often sharp antagonism) between what one would as­
sume to be a Marxist policy and the attitude of great
masses of workers. They allow us to open up the ques­
tion of policy i the paper.
POLICY AND THE PEOPLE
I. VOTING
Voting or not voting for such parties as the
Democratic Party in the United States, the Communist
Party in France, and the Labor Party in Great Britain:
how many heads in Marxist organizations have pre­
maturely gone gray, how many eyes have grown dim
in the frantic efforts to answer these questions satis�
factorily?
THE LABOR PARTY I BRITAIN
�et us begm with the one in which most are agreed,
votmg for the Labor Party i England. Lenin taught
that you vote for the Labor Party in order to put the
labor leaders in power so a t expose their cowardly
and capitalistic character, whereupon the w o r k e r s
l1? FACING REALITY
would turn to another party. This was and is the crux
of the matter. In 1958 it is clear that the workers do
not see the future in terms of another party. They
think in terms of entirely new social and political for­
mations. Of all the fantastic absurdities into which
the Marxist organizations weie led by this preparing
of themselves to be the leaders in the struggle for so­
cialism, the prize must go to Trotsky himself. In 1934
he actually proposed and engineered a scheme (for that
lS what it was) by which a few dozen Trotskyites in
. every country would go into the Social-Democratic Par­
ties, carry on an illtensive agitation there for a bef
period, by this means split off a few thousand advanced
workers, and thus create the party which would lead
the revolution. For Russians in 1903-1917 to practice
l)olitics, in the more exclusive sense of that word, sig­
nified an immense social advance. Trotsky faithfully
transferred the theory bon of these circumstances to
other parts of the world where politics meant a social
:tivity already viewed with suspicion, if not outworn.
That is the only reasonable explanation, and it is U
charitable one, for this apotheosis of the foolishness
inherent in small organizations dressing up as big ones.
Once we get rid of these fantasies, we can begin the
practice of recording the facts, and the facts of the
workers' movement towards the new society defy the
efforts of the Marxist organizations to enclose them
in their little programs. In 1945 in England the shop
stewards decided that the Labor Party should be given
the power with a large maj ority. They carried out a
magnificent campaign of their own, seeing to it that all
whom they were in contact with directly or idirectly.
ilside and outside the plant, should vote. In so doing
they were taking the lead of B general sentiment in
the country. The Labor Party was returned by a large
maj ority.
By 1956 the situation had changed. The workers.
di sillusioned, voted apathetically. Many did not vote
at all. The Marxist organization would have been per­
forming its function if it had obsffved and clearly ex­
pressed this movement of the working class. Shouting
slogans as to whether the workers should or should
not vote, or should or should not get out the vote, on
the part of small organizations, and worse still, debat­
ing the matter, is typical of the old practices. Lenin
advocated that revolutionaries take advantage of par­
liamentary elections because they offered a platfom
to expose the crimes of bourgeois society. Who believes
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 143
today that this i necessary? The parliamentary elec­
tion today in 1958 is not what it was in 1917 or even
1927. I has declined in the political estimation of all
' concerned i the old countries. It has its uses and the
working class is always prepared to use elections trade
unions, labor parties, or Whatever instrument tl�el'e is
to hand. But the actual election is today merely a test­
ing ground and a sort of Gallup Poll for far more serious
engagements, retreats, and mobilizations, to settle the
fundamental problems of society. Under these circum­
stances the preoccupation with voting or not voting,
or whether the Marxist organization is committing a ··
theoretical crime by advocating a vote fnr the Labor
Party, is not only absurd. It shows how the small or­
ganization, beginning from a revolutionary standpoint
but one which is 50 years old, gets itself into the toils
of reaction. For this preoccupation with voting or not
voting is no mo�e tha a capitulation to Parliamentary
Democracy, preClsely the arena to which the bourgeoisie
and the labor bureaucracy seek to confine the working
class. In Britain the Marxist does not only vote for
the Labor Party. He may even be a member of it. But
Ii action, positive or negative, is not a pricipled ques­
tIon.
To this day the Marxist organizations have no C0D~
c8ption of the fact that the British working clas', for
example, sees the vote merely as palt of its total strug­
gle for the new society. Its apathy in regard to voting
in 1956 was merely the negative aspect of its determi­
nation to transfer its efforts to the industrial plane.
Starting from 1954 it has been attacking the govern­
ment and the employers on wages and working condi­
tions. It is common knowledge that its wages (for what
they are) are in advance of the government cost of liv­
ing index (fOT what that is) . They have been strength­
ening their independent organiZations il relation to
�he unio�
.
leadership,
.
and have forced this leadership
Into a mIlItancy foreIgn to it, a militancy which has
led it into a position of actual defiance of the govern­
ment. Thus today when the Tory government has a
substantial majority, it is helpless before the working
class. The situation in the country is more tense than
it has been for thirty years and both sides are anglino­
for position in a showdown which seems imminent. Re�
peatedly millions of workers have made clear, and the
union leaders have had to repeat, that the organized
labor movement has its own policy in regard to inflation,
and it will not coperate with the government. The
I+ FACING REALITY
,:.-..¬-.: ..,. ::.: :.-.., =-. ::- 1956 -r--:.--,
! ... :.- ..,:: :- --¬..- ::.: .:. ,-r.-.-., ..¬-- .:
-...., . ,.-.: .--..r --.r .:-.r- t- r-rr-=-- ..- .-
:... -. ::- t.... -r r..r..¬--:.., u-¬--..-, .: ..
.-.-r.:-r- -----: v-..=:.r- v. o..:.|-rr -r ::-
n.,.:=.-. ---.v.i--.... n--.. -r ::- r-r: :- ::-
,-r.-, -r -..r-.., ::- u-= ·-....r-¬t,t.,.., .:..-.
..,....:---.,-..:.-..i:.....-¬-:-r.-¬::---.r.:,
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--..:.-......:.-. ..- ::- .-..:.-..r...:.-- -r .:--r · .
.-:.- .:--r »-.|-..
A NEW LANGUAGE
+:- --.r.:, .. ::.: . ,.-.: ..¬t-- -r ,--,r- .-
n..:... :.-..,,-..,--::.:::-r.--.r.-:,=.rr.¬-r·
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.., :.- -.- .--.-:, -. ::- ¬-.: --.--..--: ....-
wages.
+:.: ..::-:..:: .t-.: ::- -..... .-n-.:..-t.: .:
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--r.--:.-- ¬--:...:,· .. =i.: r.-.. ,-r.:.-.r r-.---..
...-. r-.--.. ..- , -....r..:. .,-.| ..- =..:-. +:-
:..., .-= ::- --.--,:.-.. =:.-: ---.:.:.:- . .--..r..:
.--.-:, ..- .. ..--,.-..-- .- n..:.¬ :--., .. ::-,
=-.-..--,.-..--..n..,..,-.o-:-t--...-.::-o.,
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:.r|. -.rr-.-.:r..,..,-r.-¬::--.r--.n.:=:.:::-
,.-.t ¬...-. -r ::-,--,r- ::-¬.-r--. ::..| .--.: .rr
:... ::.: ,--,r-:.-- :- ,.-.. .: i: .. ,.tr..:-- --
=.-.- n-..,--...--..-:-.. -- ..----:-, :- r..- -.:
..-,.tr...::-.-..r:.....¬¬...-. -r.-:-.-.-«..:.
..·:.-. .--,-.--.:.,-. +:-.-,.-r.-.:.-.. .-- ..-r-...
+.-.-,--,r---.-:-.-.|--=::-,.-.:.-..:-..|.::-,
-- .-: ..--..:..- ::- ...=-.. ::-, ,-: +- a- ::..
.-,..--. . :......, .-- . ,:.r-.-,:, -r ,-r.:.-.r r.r-
:..: ::-,:.--.-: ,-: u- --- --.r- -r.-.:t, . ,.-.
:.-¬...-r.-¬=-.|-..::.:::--r--:.-..,.::,-r1956
-.. ¬-.-r, ::- --.:-.,..: -r . ¬-t.r...:.-- r -- ::-
..-..:...r --r...-- -r 1957. ir r-. -..-....-.. ..i-·
.-,-.--.-|.-=::.: =-.r-:-:.--:.|-..,.-:.¬
.-rr ::- .-.,-...t.r.:, -r ---.-.., =:-::-- i: =.. «..-
-. ..=..- =:-::-.:- .:-.r-..,,--:.: -- -,,-.- .::
+:-r.:.r.:, -r::-,.-.:.--.:-=.::-r.:.r.:, -r::-.-
,.----.,.:.-.. i.- .: .:-=. ,-..:.--r, ::- r-rr, -r
:..-..: --,.....:.-.. .» ::-.- .=-.:.., 8 :- =:-::-:
:---:-r--::-r.t-.r.-:,--.-:=:-::--:--.¬,r,a
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO T¯
14:
r-- ::- r.t-- r..:, .-:.--r, -. .-: =:-:.-- :- =-..
....--::-
j
.t--r.-:,--.-:
+:- :..| -r::-:..-.:-.,.....:.-- .. :- ,.-- ::-
«-.|--. ..- ::- -::-- -,,.-..-- -r...-. . ¬--..¬
=:---t,. ---. -. . .¬.rr .-.r- :- --,.- =.:: ::-.- ..
. ,--...- ,--.-.:.:.-. -r ::- .:.,- ::-, ..- ,-..,
·:.-.,: i: ..:- ,.-- ::-¬ ::- -,,-.:...:, :- ---.-.
-.:- ::-.- --,-..-.--. ..- ::-.,::. =:.-. ..- .-¬-
:.¬-. ,..:- ---:..-.-:-., +:.. .. --.- .-: ,..¬...r,
.. -.--. :- .-r, ::- .¬.rr -.,.....:.-- ¬:- :..· ..
:- r...r.:.:- ::- ¬...-. of the ,-,,.- ., ,...-.-¸ ,:
:.- ---...-. -r =:.: ::-, =..: :- --

i.r-.¬.:.-. ..
=:.: ::- ,--,r- --,...-, ..- ..r-.¬.:.-- .. ::- r..-
:.---r::-:..-..:..:-:r--:..r..-::-.--..---=-.|-.
..::.. ,--.-- -r.--.-:, o.-- ::.. .. .--. .--.-- .--
...:..-:.-- ...| ..:- ....,..r.-..-- w- :.-- .:-=.
.|.-.a- ::.: .,.:.:.-..r .r-,... .- VE ¬..: -- ::..
-.=-¬..:--::.:=.rrr..-.,r.--..::-,.,---r .
v..-..: --,.....:.-. .. . -..--: .-..r: -: ..-,.-.: -,
ß t-a, -r =-.|-.. i. ::- 1945 -r--:.-- .,.:.:.-. :-
-.¬- -.:..---:-=-.r----:...r, :.--,r.,--.r«-,-
,..:.-::- ,.--r--:.-.....-.-r..-: . ,.,-.i. 1956
.:=-.r- .-: :.-- --.- .- i::.¬-. =-.|--. ..- ,..
:.-.r.-r, ..-.-.. r-.. --.:...r.--. -..-.-.:--. -..
-.-.:-.:- «....-r--:.-.. .:-::-.:.¬-. r-. .--.:...
+-., -.--.-.:- -- -.--.-.:-.:-t---:-.:--+:-,.,-.
WÌÌÌ VB] .:.,-r.-, .---.-.-,r,i-:.¬-.:=.tr....--.:
:.- --.-r...-.::.:r-- .: ::- ,.-.:.-... .- -¬,...-.r
,.-.:.-. w--|-.. :.-- .- -.rr.-.r:, .. -..:...·.., ::-
r.t-- r.-:, ..- .-.-- r-.--.. .-r,.., -. ::-.. .:-,
.:-=.-- -.,.....:.--.. ..- .·.rr --:.., :-. ::- r.t-·
r.-:, u-.-r, .rr ::- .:-, .:-=..-. ..- ¬-¬t-.. -:
:.-r.---r..:,+:-:..-..:-.,.-...:.-..=.rr--=-rr
:- :.|- ::-.- -r--:-..r :-.- r.-¬ ::-,.·:.-.r.. t--.-.
-r»--|--.::-,.-.--.--r-:.:,- .:::.:
3 COMNIST PARTY IN FRANCE
r-- .-¬- -r u ::.. r.----¬ :- ---.-- -¬,.-.-.rr,
-.rrt- --r.-rr--¬::----..---:t.---..-r¬..,,-...
i: =.rr --.-- --.:..- -::-.. :- -..:..-:.-- w:.: ::-,
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-.:, -r ::- --,.-...:..- .: -r--:.-. :.¬- :- .----.:-
.-:.-,r-:::-=--|-.·,.-:.-.=:.-:=.rrr--¬..--..r
i.:�-¬±a-..t ,-.--¬--:: o--: ::- =--.--. --¬..±
146 FACING REALITY
it by their support of the Communist Party at the polls?
In fact, these debate', icluding the advisability or
necessity of raising a slogan for a government of social­
ists and communists, are the low water marIe of sterility.
There is no necessity for the Marxist O'ganization to
take any fixed position on this question at all, and this
has been so for over twenty years. In 1936 the small
organizations tore themselves to pieces over whether
or not to vote or to advocate voting for the Popular
Front. The workers for the most part voted the Popu­
lar Front into pOwel'. But at the same time they in-_
vaded the factories and created what Leon Blum has
described in the most unequivocal ters as a revolu­
tionary situation. This action fell like a thunderbolt
on government, bourgeoisie, Communist Party. Socialist
Party alike. It is quite obviou' that in the pre-election
period the great body of the people were thinking
thoughts quite other than those with which year after
year they had approached other elections. The Marxist
organizations would have been much more usefully em­
ployed in learning than in teaching.
As we have shown, in 1947 the Communist Party
wielded a powerful influence in the working class (par­
ticularly in the union movement) and other sections of
the population; its Press was the most widely read in
France and it won B great success in the elections. In
1957 its influence in the working class had undergone
a catastrophic decline, · the number of its publication
had decreased, the circulation of its daily paper had sunk
from first place to far below that of three or four other
daily papers, but its election successes in 1957 were
greater than those of 1947.
This is no place to go into analyses of twenty years
of French political life, but this much is clear - the
working people of France do not confuse voting i
elections with their 'truggle for a new society. They
have broken out of the circle of ideas in which bour­
geois society struggles to confine them, the belief that
voting for a party is the be-all and end-all of democra­
cy. They have put voting in its place and see it as only
one, and a subordinate one, of their total social move­
ment and exploration. It is this total movement that
matters to the Marxist organization, as much of it as
a small organization can grasp and reproduce.
The process by which great masses of workers ar­
rive at a decision to mae B totally unexpected but
drastic change of direction in their politics remains one
of the great mysteries of social psychology and politics.
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT l1T
But it i not the result of a sudden inspiration. It is 3
pl'?cess, it has a beginning, B middle, and an end.
WIthout Press, radio, or any visible means of communi­
cation, workers communicate it to one another. Of all
ll�odern p?l�ti
.
cal figures, Lenin had an almost psychic
gIft for d1Vmmg these movements. From the slenderest
data he
.
could reconstruct the whole. His intuitive sym­
pathy wlth the masses of the Russian people was forti­
fied and ass'med logical form because he had a philo­
sophy of sOClety, saw the movements of the masses as
�overned by
.
ce:tain laws of social motion. He could say
l 1917, pomtmg to the Soviets before the Octobel'
revolution: You are looking for socialism everywhere
and cannot see it here, all around us. At the other ex­
treme are the reports of the secret police, who do not
\,'ant to teach the masses anything but look and listen
carefully with trained eyes and ears for the signs of
new developments. The Marxist organization can learn
from both. Its fUnction is to report the movement tow­
8IOS the new society. Not only does it make itself ridi­
culous by pontificatmg about whom the workers should
110te for. It does not know, it cannot pOSSibly know
what government best cOlTesponds to the needs of so­
ci alism at the particular moment. In the strikes of 1955
a.s ¼0 have seen, striking workers in the large scale in�
custries formed their own organization' against both
employers and Communist leaders and yet, as far as
YC can gather, voted for the Communist Party in the
elections which followed. They doubtless had very good
reasons for doing so. In the face of this the violent
debates and conflicts in the small organiZations as to
whether it was correct Marxism to advocate the slogan
of "A government of Communists and Socialists" is seen
for the folly that it was. It does not matter.
THE UNITED STATES
In the United states voting for the Democratic
Party presents the dilemma of the Marxist organization
in a more serious form. The Democratic Party is a bour­
g�ois party. The Marxist organization cannot under any
clrcumstances vote for an avowedly bourgeois party,
that is to say, take responsibility for it or imply that
by voting for it some fundamental social problem is
likely to be solved. If we remember that the paper
of the Marxist organization i based upon definite poli­
tical pri�ciples and aims at presenting the new s ociety,
there wlll be no doubt in the minds of its readers on
this. Its independent editorial committees, faithful con-
l
¹ r
FACING REALITY
tributors to and supporters of the paper, are not given
to being disturbed by the fact that the editorial policy
of a paper differs from what they do or what they wish
to write in the paper. It has been noticed in many
countries that hundreds of thousands, even millions
of workers, read a particular paper every day for years
and never subscribe to its politics.
The paper of the Marxist organzation in the United
states has to record where the new society is and where
it is going. It will record that many millions of workers
are unelentingly depriving management of its functions
and frequently
-
di
scuss the advantages and disadvaI
tages of their taking over the plants. But it will record
also why so many of these workers continue to vote
for the Democratic Party. It will find various levels of
approach, from the utmost cynicism to a shrewd and
carefully calculated estimate of the advantages to be
gained along with an overall skepticism about the abil­
ity or the will of either the Republican or the Demo­
cratic Party to change the realities of life in the Unit­
ed states.
There is absolutely no necessity on the part of the
paper of a Marxist organization to ca:ry on any pro­
tracted debate with the correspondents of its paper as
to why it is unprincipled or unsocialistic or wrong for
them to vote for a bourgeois party like the Democratic
Party. Those voters who discipline manag"ement in the
plant and then vote for the Democ,ratic Party; the pa­
per which holds a position of not voting for either of
the bourgeois parties ; these two together constitute
the new society in its various approaches. There is ab­
solutely no reason why an independent editorial com­
mittee should not, along with its other contributions,
st:te in the paper why it believes people should vote
for the Democratic Party. There is every reason why
it should. The small Marxist organizations must above
all maintain a sense of proportion, recognize that they
are not small editions of large political parties. They
must keep clearly in mind what is important to them
and what i not.
In the stage of political awareness i which we live
a group of workers can tell a conscious enemy of offi­
cial society after the first sentence he utters, often be­
fore he says a word. They do not object to association
and even close association with such people. They rec­
ognize their value and go to great lengths (often too
great lengths) to give these people every opportunity to
convey to them what they know. What they object t. in
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 14
every country, and in the United! States in particular,
1s the ingrained habit of Marxists to approach them
with 8 set of principles and policies to which they are
' supposed to subscribe. They not only value the Marx­
ist's knowledge and education. They respect his prin­
ciples, weigh them and judge them and measure their
own against them. They hold the ideas in mind as an
" ideal construction. Today may not be the day, but
perhaps tomorrow will be. Meanwhile they are pre­
pared to live and let live. That is the working class,
and its general attitude is infinitely superior to that of
the old Marxist organization. It is not deceived by ·
elections and keeps them in their place. The Marxist
organization will do well to follow suit. The decisive
step forward to be made here is that the paper becomes
the vehicle not for shouting at the workers what they
ought to do, but a means of communication of how
and why they vote ( or do not vote) .
II. THE NEGROES IN THE UNITED STATES
Undoubtedly there is opposition in politics and opin­
ion between a Marxist organization and a body of con­
tributors, readers, and supporters of the kind we en­
visage. Every country has many national pOlitical issues
peculiar to it, some of them rooted deep in the national
historical development. As the nation grows to matur­
ity, what ought to be done, what is right, becomes quite
clear, especially to a Marxist. How it ought to be done
or more precisely. how it will be done, is what the Marx­
ist cannot possibly know. The evil, the peculiarity. is
and has been so much a part of the nation that even
among the progressive classes an abstract consciousness
of what is right is overshadowed and sometimes lost by
what, after many generations, seems to be part of the
natural order of things. Such a question above all ques­
tions is the Negro question in the United States.
Marxism has a few triumphs and! many unpardona­
ble blunders to its account on the Negro question in
the United States. This does not include the calculated
deceptions of the Communist Party which have nothing
to do with Marxism and everything to do with the
Kremlin line. But altogether apart from this the record
is one which should induce in the Marxist an attitude
of respect for the Ne�o people and their political ideas,
seasoned with a strong dose of humility. Great changes
in recent Aerican society, the greatest of which has
been the organization of the C.I.O., have been the mo­
tive force creating new attitudes to race relations among
whites and Negroes alike. But it is the Negroes who
!õ0 FACING REALITY
ha,ve broken all precedents in the way they have used
the opportunities thus created. In the course of the
last twenty years they have formed the March on
Washington Committee which extorted Executive Order
8802 from the Roosevelt Government. This was the
order which gave Negroes an invaluable weapon in the
struggle to establish their right to a position in the
plants. Negro soldiers, in every area of war, and some­
times on the battlefield itself, fought bloody engage­
ments against white fellow soldiers, officers, generals,
and all, to establish their rights as equal American citi­
zens. The Marxists had proved by analyses of texts- .
and of society that integration of white and Negro sol­
diers in the armed forces was impossible except by the
revolution led by the trained vanguard. The Negroes
did not so much refuse to accept it as ignore it, and
that battle they won, not completely ( all bourgeois
rights are abstractions, never fully realized in practice) ,
but sufficiently to provide a basis for further struggle.
The Negroes in the North and W'est, by their cease­
less agitation and their votes, are now a wedge j ammed
i n between the Northern Democrats and the Southern.
At any moment this wedge can split that party into two
and thereby compel the total reorganization of Amer­
ican politics. They have cracked the alliance between the
right wing of the Republicans and the Southern wing
of the Democratic Party. By patient strategy and im­
mense labor, they have taken the lead in the movement
which resulted in the declaration of the Supreme Cout
that racial segregation is illegal. Now the people of
Montgomery, by organizing a bus boycott which for B
year was maintained at a level of over 99 per cent, have
struck a resouncHng blow at racial discrimination all
over the United States and written a new chapter of
'orld-wide significance in the history of s t r u g g 1 e
against irrational prejudices. The full consequences
DÍ this will be increasingly seen in the years to come,
and not only in the United States-people take tie
to digest such revolutionary action.
The American Negroes did not wait for the Van­
guard Party to organize a corps of trained revolution­
aries, including Negroes, to achieve their emancipation.
They have gone their own way, and in intellectual mat­
ters (for example, the study of Negro History) 8 well
as in practical, they have in the past twenty-five years
created a body of political achiev,ement, both in stri­
ing at discrimination and influencing American civili­
zation as a whole, which makes them one of the au-
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO I¯ IôI
thentic outposts of the new society. Perhaps the most
' striking example of this are the Negro workers in in­
dustrial plants. Sensitized by their whole lives against
racial discrimination, and having to be alert in the
plant to prevent themselves being discriminated against,
they begin by being a militant formation to protect
themselves. They soon end by being in the very fore-
' :front of all actions against management. Many Marxists
enjoy themselves analyzing the Negro bourgeoisi� and
the Negro petty-bourgeoisie and its reactionary char­
acteristics. The procedure is without s-eIEe, being de­
rived from books. The American bourgeoisie will reap
the full reward for its centuries of exclusion of the Ne­
gro people from official soctety. Invitations to the White
House and spectacular appointments here and there
will not alter the results of the centuries of Negro seg­
regation, persecution, and humiliation. When the Ne­
[lO masses move, out of the White House, the State
Department, the Embassy in Liberia, or wherever they
may be, the Negro middle classes will come running
behind them.
Yet the fact remains that the Negro question in the
United States is a complex of enormous difficulties with
tl'lupS and pitfalls on every side. For the purpose of il­
lustrating the lines along which the paper of the Marxist
organization has to face its tasks (that is all we can
do) , we select two important issues, confined to rela­
tions among white and Negro 'orkers, the largest sec­
tions of the population affected
.
1) Many white workers who collaborate in the most
democratic fashion in the plants continue to show
strong prejudice against association with Negroes out­
side the plant.
2) Many Negroes make race relations a test of all
other relations. Thus in politics they vote always for
the party which i their view offers the best opportun­
itv of winning some new position for Negroes ; in the
plant they face white fellow workers with issues, not
strictly industrial, which force the white worker to de­
clare himself on the racial question; and, most impor­
tant for our purposes, i relation to Marxist organiza­
tions, they judge them by a j ealous and often delibe­
rately critical attitude to their position on Negro issues.
In the face of this ( and more) the Marxist organi­
zation' have failed monumentallY. The abstractness,
the fear of offending one race "nd then the other, the
enunciation of high principles, the opportunism, the
152 FACING REALITY
eapitulation to the prejudices of official society and to
the prejudices of particular workers or groups of work­
ers, the blunders, stupidities, and confusion the Marxist
organizations have been guilty of on this question are
by themselves sufficient to condemn them on all other
questions. In the United states who fails on the Negro
question is weak on all. "Black and White, Unite and
Fight" is unimpeachable in principle and undoubtedly
has an excellent sound. But it is often misleading and
sometimes even offensive in the face of the infinitely
varied, tumultuous, passionate, and often murderous
reality of race relations in the United states.
What then is the paper of the Marxist organization
to do? We shall list a series of statements. They can­
not be argued here but, taken together, they give the
orientation by means of which the Marxist organization
can drag itself out of the mess and avoid the disasters
which have beset the path of every such organization
on this inescapable question in the United states.
1) Negro aggressiveness· on the race question has
every right in the paper, more right than any other
pcint of view on the race question. I is here that the
Marxist organization has to show firmness, not in de­
fense of its own abstract principles, but in its determi­
nation that the Negro worker shall say what he wants
to say and how he wants to say it. This alone will make
a paper in the United states unique.
2) The chief arguments against this policy are a)
that it will alienate white workers who are the majority
of the American workers ; b) that it will encourage
Negro nationalism and even chauvinism. Both argu­
ments are at the very best abstract and reactionary.
i) We are dealing here with a paper, a concrete
paper of so many pages, appearing periodically,
recording the new society. Inside such a paper
Negro aggressiveness takes its proper place as
one of the forces helping to create the new so­
ciety. If a white worker or group of white
workers after reading and contributing to the
paper as a whole finds that articles or letters
expressing Negro aggressiveness on racial ques­
tions make the whole paper offensive to him,
that means that it is he who is putting hi' pre­
judices on the race question before the inter­
ests of the class 8 a whole. He must be ra­
soned with, argued with, and if necessary fought
t a finish.
i
I
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT \ö3
ii) How is he to be reasoned with, argued with, and
if necessary fought to a finish?
First by making it clear that his ideas, his rea­
sons, his fears, his prejudices also have every
right in the paper. Every white worker who is in
daily contact with Negroes knows of their ag­
gressiveness on the race question. It is no se­
cret to him. Further, apart from the fundamen­
tal conflict with management, few questions oc­
cupy him so much. Whether he speaks about it
or not, it is a hard knot in his consciousness,
as it is in the consciousness of every American
today, a growing torment which the American
cannot rid himself of. A frank and free discus­
sion in public of the various difficulties as they
arise is the surest way to prepare for that clos­
er unity which comes from common participa­
tion in great actions.
iiD We have said little about the actual editorial
functions of the paper of a small organization.
This is no place to do so. The answer in any
case lies in trial and error. W' e rest on the as­
sumption that merely to attempt to prodUce 8
paper of this kind demands a very high degree
of political consciousness. The paper recognizes
and records. But like every paper it has its posi­
tive functions. This is one case in which it
enters firmly into the discussion, pointing out
that Negro aggressiveness on the ra!ial ques­
tion is one of the most powerful forces making
for the new society as a whole in the United
states, not merely on race relations. We have
listed some of them abo,ve. Here is another. It
is the Negro people and Negro workers in par­
ticular who have brought home to white work­
ers the importance of the colonia 1 question. in
Africa, but also in the Far East.
iv) The paper lhould actively campaign for Ne­
groes in the South to struggle for their right
to vote and actually to vote. Where the rulers
of society for generations have used every de­
vice to debar Negroes from voting, then it is a
Marxist duty to encourage them in every way
to win and to exercise that right. If Negroes
outside of the South vote, now for the Demo­
cratic Party and now for the Rpublican, they
have excellent reasons for doing so, and their
lö4 FACING REALITY
general activity shows that large numbers of
them see votin and the struggle for Supreme
Court decisions merely as one aspect of a t­
tality. They have no illusions. The Marxist or­
ganization retains and expresses its own view.
But it understands that it is far more impor­
tant, within the context of its own political
principles, of which the paper taken as a whole
is an expression, within the context of its own
publications, meetings, and other activities in
its ow name, within the context of its trans­
lations and publications of the great revolt=
tionary classics and other literature, that the
Negroes make public their own attitudes and
reasons for their vote.
Such in general is the function of the paper of a
Marxist organzation in the United States on the Negro
question. It will educate, and it will educate above al
white workers in their understanding of the Negro
question and into a realization of their own respnsi­
bilities in ridding American society of the cancer of
racial discrimination and racial consciousness. The
Marxist organization will have to fight for its own posi­
tion, but its position will not be wearisome repetition
of "Black and White, Unite and Fight." It will b U
resolute determination to bring all aspects of the ques­
tion into the open, within the context of the recognition
that the new society exists and that it carries within
it elf much of the sores and diseases of the old. On
tr.s, B on many similar questions in other countries,
the Marxist organization may have to carry on what
for long periods may seem a losing battle. It will have
to stand firm. The working class fights out its battles
within itself and arrives at greater understanding by
stages. But whatever its difficulties, if the paper and
the organization are expressing the new society 8 B
whole, the violent passions of the Negro question can
never overwhelm it.
III. THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION AND THE PAPER
It will be seen already that the simplicity of the
formula that we have to recognize and to record is pro­
foundly deceptive. So far no group or individual has
recognized and recorded the decrees, political state­
ments, and other publications of the Hungarian Work­
ers Councils, in order and separated from everything else.
Thus the most authentic, the most complete, and the
most concrete body of socialist theory and practice in
WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT Iö5
existence is not available to stUdents of Marxism and
workers alike. To be able to recognize and to record can
result onl

from a political revolution in the theory
and practIce of the Marxist organization.
This is most needed where the Marxist organization
t�in�s it is strongest and on safe ground-the revolu­
tlon Itself. The Hungarian Revolution seems easy enough
�o record. We have shown that this is not so-the most
Import

nt thing about it is as yet unreco:ded. But
recogmtion and recording involves careful consideration
of the aUdience. Independent editorial committees in
France, Britain, and the United states cannot
·
recor
­
the Hungarian Revolution. This is one of the functions
which rest squarely on the intellectuals and advanced
workers of the Marxist organization. But this is the
lesser half.
FRANCE
The
.
Hungarian Revolution i France meant above
everythmg else a new stage in the attitude of the great
body of French workers to the French Communist Par­
ty. For many it meant the final disillusionment with
the Communist Party. To take one key center - the
great Renault factory. Within the General Confedera­
t�on
.
of Labor unit in Renault, a minority which was
�lghtmg
.
t?e Communists for control has been spuled
mto actiVIty and won a certain consideration from the
mass of the workers. The Communists themselves in
the hopeless position of having to defend the mass�cre
of the workers in Hungary, relaxed their grip in order
that their followers may more easily retain contact
with the mass.
But the great mass of the workers, in particular
the younger generation, pay less and less attention to
these two groups of leaders competing for control of the
Uion. To them the Stalinist-anti-Stalinist issue has be­
come a scholastic one. They now have to find their ow
way. They are French workers, with a long revolution­
ary tradition and an instinct for revolutionary politics
and revolutionary theory, so much of which has orig­
inated from thei own past history.
At the same time groups of Fr.ench intellectuals,
some of them many hundreds in number, have joined
together for the study of the history of Workers Coun­
cils, of the colonial question, the role of the state i �´
the revolution, the role of the intellectuals in the
revolution, and so on and so forth.
We do not propose here to say what must be the
IôU
FACIG REALITY
form and content of the paper of a Marxist org
.
a�a­
tion in France. But it i clear that if th� orgarzatlOn
involves itself in the theoretical discuSSlOns �f revo­
lution which have flourished among !�nch
.
mtelle�­
tuals for so many years, it will be undIstlngUlshable m
the eyes of the workers and the people in genera� from
what is going on all around them. It does ??t m tIe
least matter what are the differences of plItIcal POSl­
tion it developS; it will still be part and parcel of
that arena from which the mass of the workers i
.
Renault have already turned aside.
The French workers, since the HUngar�an Revolu­
tion have gone a long way towards graspmg the fact
that there is no longer any difference betwee? revolu­
tionary theory and practice. Only a p
.
aper WhICh �howS
by its very form that it has tured Its back
.
on mte�­
minable theoretical discussions about revolutIOn and Æ
actually practicing its theory, drawing its theory fro�
the activity of the workers in their shop floor orgaDl­
zations, and addressing its theory directly to them, only
such a pa,per will mean anything to the French work­
ers In this the actual relations between the Commu­
nist Party in Hungary and Poland and the workers of
those countries will play a central part.
Much preliminary work and actual efforts have been
carried out. All that remams now is to take the steP.
And nothing but a paper boldly based on
.
and ad?essing
itself to the workers will pull the re�olutI�nary mtellec­
tuals away from thei theoretical dISCUSSIons and pre­
occupations with how to convert the Communist Par�y
( or its left-wing) to Marxism. The French workers Wl
move, and when they do, will leave the commu�st
.
Par­
ty hanging in the air. But whatever the future, It IS the
attitude not of the French intellectual� but �f the French
workers to the Communist Party WhICh WIll determiIe
the future of French politics, and it is therefore thIS
which will determine the form and content of the paper
of a Marxist organization.
BRITAI
. B · t · There
Profoundly different is the situation m I am.
the Hungarian Revolution was taken over by the bou­
geoisie and transformed into a refugee or�y. The con­
fusion in the small and negligible CommunIst Party ¼µ
derided in the Press. The labor leaders excelled
.
them­
selves in high-souding phrases
.
about the h�rOlsm of
the Hungarian workers and the VIrtues �f SOCIal-Demo­
cracy a' opposed to Communism. The mtellectuals re-
V!I^J TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 157
j oiced at the proof tha,t the totalitarian state could not
mould a nation to its will. There, theoretically, they
stopped. So deeply imbedded is the Welfare State men­
tality that the British socialist movement r a p i d I Y
plunged back into its preoccupation with elections, na­
tionalization and denationalization, coexistence with
Russia, etc., etc.
As far as it had been possible to inquire and esti­
mate the British workers reacted quite differently.
There was a widespread acceptance of the fact that the
_ next stage for locialism is 8 Government of Workers
Councils. With them it is not a theOTetlcal question at
-
.
all. They have behind them over twenty years of the
uninterrupted growth and expansion of the Shop Stew­
ards Movement, in one form or another, in every impor­
tant branch of industry
.
The divorce between their
thinkig and the thinking of their leaders on the Hu­
garian Revolution is complete.
It is obvious therefore that the task of the paper
of the Marxist organization in Britain will be immensely
different from that in France. Britain is the original
home of the organized shop floor organization in times
of social peace-some such social formation. always ap­
pears in times of revolution. To the British workers the
Government of Workers Councils is merely the final
step in a long development which · they themelves more
than any other body of workers have lived through. But
these ideas find no expression whatever in any section
of the capitalist or labor Press. Like the Central Com­
mittee of the Textile Machine Industry's shop stewards
they ha.ve no official existence. In Britain today the
revolutionary tradition receives no concrete expression.
particularly because since 1945 the British bourgeOisie
i' in retreat and goes to unbelievable lengths to avert
any direct clash with the working class
.
But the form
taken by the Hugarian Revolution and its close rela­
tion with the shop steward form, and the silence of all
comentators on this, creates a situation where the field
is wide open for the specific function of the Marxist
organization.
3 UITED STATES
The effects of the Hungarian Revolution on the
working class in the United States could not possibly
have been anticipated by any Marxist, showing the dif­
ficulties which lie behind the phrase: recognizing and
recording. The decisive feature of the Hungarian Revo­
lution wa the creation of the Workers Councils and
. !
' I
TbU FACING REALITY
their assumption of all the functions of government.
This seemed to be the least of the concerns of American
workers. The American working people of all classel re­
acted with an almost universal disillusionment with the
American Government and distrust of its foreign policy.
After all the billions of dollars for foreign aid, foreign
alliances, and the millions of words about the power of
Russia and the need to contain Russia, the impotence
or unwillingnes- of the United states to do anything to
help Hun!ary wrecked any confidence the workers may
... . have had in what the government was doig abroad.
American workers of Polish and other Eastern Euro"­
pean origin saw the revolt in national terms, as freedom
from the foreign enemy.
The reaction of the Negro workers was distinctive.
In September 1 955 a Negro youth from Chicago, Emmett
Till, was murdered in the southern state of Mississippi
in a manner that shocked the whole of the United
Statel. But the muderers, known to all in the country,
were found "not guilty" as usual by the white jury.
From that time there has been taking place an emi­
gration of Negroes from the state to the industrial
North and Middle West at the rate of many thousands
a month, one estimate going as high as 30, 000 in cer­
tain months. These tens of thousands of Negroes find
that, despite all the talk of the fabulous prosperity of
the United States, continuous unemployment exists and
has existed for years in towns like Detroit, Pittsburgh,
and Cleveland. When faced with the prospect of thous­
ands of Hungarian refugees being welcomed in the
United States, the Negro workers raised the bitter C].
What about the refugees from the South? Not ony
was the que-tion legitimate. It had behind it memories
centuries old, not the least of which was the welcome
during and after the war of German prisoners of war
into public places from which Negroes continued to be
excluded.
Amid this variety of responses, the question of the
Workers Councils received little attention from the
workers and it proved almost impossible to make them
see it for what it was and to understand why Marxists
attached so much importance to it. American workers
bave no fear whatever of totalitarianism. They are
cheerfully confident that they can take care of any who
try to impose upon them a totalitarian regime and no
one who knows them has any doubt of this.
The above are of necessity apprOXimations, but they
represent a reasonably accurate picture of what faced
WHAT TO DO AN HOW TO DO IT 1ã9
the �a�x�st organizations in their attempt to convey
. the slgmflCance of the Hungarian Revolution to Ameri­
can workers. To complete the confusion it was the
bourgeois Prels which seemed to be preoccupied with
the Workers Councils.
THE PAPER AND THE ORGANIZATION
Our sumation has to be, and has no need to be
oth
.
erwise than brief. The paper of the Marxist organi­
za bon has to recognize ad record. It had to recognize
and record the Hungarian Revolution. But it had also
· · · · to recognize and record, and record very fully, the 1e-­
sponses of the American workers in their editorial
committees. It had to gO further. Its primary business
was to bring out into the open what the American
workers were thinkig, in their own terms. That is what
it has to grapple with, the concrete realities before it
to see that each side, the paper and the people:
thoroughly understands the position of the other. That
itself is progress, progress for the readers of the paper
and progress for the Marxists. It is difficult, but it is
impossible only if the Marxist organization persists in
screaming its own views at its public, and considers
them backward because they do not accept them. It is
perhaps not going too far to say that a) the paper of a
Marxilt organization would give as much space to
the reactions of workers as it would to the Revolution
ittelf; b) the presentation of the Hungarian Revolution
would differ widely from country to country.
After some years of screaming, the voice of the Marx­
ist organization gets hoarse, its members diminish and
those who remain sink into self-examination. Their
fatigue is not physical. It is a political inertia. Contra­
diction, even antagonism, is the source of all life and
movement. It is from the confrontation of fundamental
ideas with the reactions of workers that new ideas
emerge and new energy is created, in the small organi­
zation and in the workers themselves. This is one of the
most fundamental processes of cognition.
What happens to the Marxist organization, intent
only on recruits for the revolution, is that the refu­
sal of workers to accept its ideas, their OPPOSition, their
hesitation, or their questions, paralyzes it. It stands im­
mobilized, not knowing which way to tur. Often it has
made great efforts to reach the workers. But the
deeper it has come into contact with them, the more
baffled it has become. When an event like the Hunga­
rian Revolution takes place, every meeting with work-
IU0 FACING REALIT
-:. =:- ..- ::.-..., ::-.. .=. ::-a,::. .. . ,:-.:
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a.a.::, --.:..-a :- .a-..--a =-..-:. -: =-.�--. ,.a
=-.- .. ::- ,.---.. -: .a-..-..,. v-a --.:¬a-a :-
=..:-.-a .,-..¬-.- -: r-..::-=.,,-a .r
ª
.,. :.a.
r.,-:.-.--:...:-=...a=.:r.:-=::

.:..¬a-

-.a
·.: -a.:-...: --¬¬.::-- -.-.:-. .. -.:..-:,

.-
-
..:a.
:.-.

r: .. ,.-,..-a :- .,-.. ..a :
ª -
atr..l �:. -=.
¬..a t--...-.:.. .=.:- ::.:=:.:.: .·-.,¬, .-,.-
.-.:. ::-.,...-. -:¬.., ::-a...a. -: -::-:.

+. ,at:..:..a-: Ç ,.,-:..
º
- -a::..-

-,¬.-a.,

t...a-. a--,::--:-:.-.ra.a-:....a¬, :--:¬-.r �.

-

r-a,- , -a...:..:.- ...:r . .-..- -:

-.ra-. ::--.t.r.:,
.-a:..¬.-..,--¬t..-a :. ..-.--,:.·
.

r �-,:-

. s-¬-
-: ::-.--..:- .-¬--.:-.:t- .:aa.-a¬..-:.:.
·. ta:
:-a., :.-.- :a:: .,,:.-.:.-. ..a a---r.,¬-.: -.

-�,
t-.-:.---a..=:.:=-:.--.:-=..:-::-

-..:.¬,�.
-.:.-..--.:...-a..::-:-:¬ar..:-:---,
¬
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:-.-- .-a .---:a ::- :.-:. -: ::-.-= .·
-.-:,
CONCLUSION
¡
:-v.:...:-.,...:.:.-.-:,...:-..:.-r::-,.-a.--8
,.,-:=:.-:=.r::---,..:-::--...:-.---:::-.-=.-·
-.-:, ..a :---:a ::- r.-:. -r .:. -...:-.--

w- :.--
-a:r..-a::-,:.-:.-.r¬-::.a =.::=:.-: ::..¬a.:--
.,,:-.-:-a i: .. .-:---.,::..,.ta: .: .. -.-a,:.r-:
a...=, .» --.-ra..-.. -..¬.--::.. ..¬,r- .r:.:¬.:.--
.r :---,..:.., ..a :--.-a..,. .. ::- r.,:: -:v.....¬.
.- .. :. ,r.-- ::- ,.,-: :..:.:.-.rr,. w- ¬a.: ..-=
=:.: =- :-,:-.-.:, =:.: =- .,¬t-r.:-. r:- v:-.. i
-::-: =-:a., ¬-... -r --¬¬±.-.:.-., .. . ,.a,- ..a
:-a-:.:-.- -r ::--::a,,r- r-:.--..r..¬.
i-... --.:-:-a:...::a,,r-r-:::-na..... n-.-ra
:.-..:-a.a::- v--.. r:-v:-..=.. :-t- ::-.:,..
i.-: -r::- :--.ra:....:, ,-.,r- .:-a.a:r--r.:- ,.::,
n--.a.- +..:..¬ .a,,:-..-a .rr ,-r.:.-.r r.r-. ::- n.r
.:--.. v:-.. =.. -..-.:..rr, ,-r.:.-.r, ::-a,: ,-r.:.-.r
.. ::- =.a-.: .-..- -r ::.: =-:a. t: -.¬,..,.-a :-:
r..a:.::-,-....:..::--.,:::-a.a.,r-:::-=-:.-:.
..ar-::t-a-¬--:.:.-:-,atr.-.w:-.::-.---.ana.
...-n---ra:.-. t:-.- .a:. a.=----, ::- ,--,r-:. :.-
..:-...:¬-.:-r::-=:-r-«-:ra, -:-.:-a::-s--.-:. .
t-a, t..-a -. r.-:-:.-., ,-....:...a--ra.-:.-a: -.
.-.:..rr, ,.r.:.-.r.
w:-. ::- na..... n--.ra:.-. a--r..-a ..a s:.r.-
..¬ :-.,.-a .. na.... ..a .. ::- c-¬¬a...: v.::.-.
---:,=:-:-, r:-:..,. i-...·. -r-.- -.rr.t-:.:-:. .:
:-¬,:-a :.:-ta.ra .. ·.:-:..:.-..r ¬---¬-.: -r ::-
i-.....::,,-. n-r..r-ar-: -.- --..-.-.r,. ::-=-:.
-:..r::-«.:ra.-r..,-::--a-±-..,a.:a.:-r.:-,.:
:.-.. v-: a-.,.:-:.. .-:.-a. -u-- .. .::-¬,:.., :.:-
,:-aa-- ::- ,-r.:.-. .a.:.tr- :. -.- ,-:..a .. ..-::-:,
r-:.., :.aB r.: t-::-: a.a-:.:..a.., ::.. :.. ¬..
,a.a-ar-rt.=-:. -r ::- ,:.--.,r-. «:.-: .:-ara,---:.
.=.:.-:.·,.,-: c:.:.-.:..,::-=--.r,,.,-:-r.rr::-
¡
:-:..,..: .:,...:.:.-.., :- -:-:- «-:a. «:.-: .:- -r
:r-a:¬-.:-.ra-:-a.,.n-...a.
¡
:- ,.,-: .. --:, --rr a-.- r:-¬ ::- ·-a:..r..:.-
,-..:.r-.-=,ta:.:.-.,.,-:r-:--:.-:...·:-:
.=-:.-:.· ,.,-:& • Q
z. .: .., ::- ,.,-:.. a.-.a-a .¬-., -.:.-a. =:.:
IöI
Ib2
FACING REALITY
ers, each of whom is very good, but collectively
they do not permit the workers to penetrate to the
pages of the Appeal. Each of them speaks for the
workers ( and speaks very welD but nobody wl
hear the workers. In spite of its literary brilliance,
to a certain degree the paper becomes a victim of
journalistic routine. You do not hear at all how the
workers live, fight, clash with the police or drink
whiskey. It is very dangerous for the paper B a
revolutionary instrument of the party. The task i
not to make a paper through the joint forces Q! a .
skilled editorial board but to encourage the work­
ers to speak for themselves.
A radical and courageous change is necessary as a
condition of success @ • 4
Of course it is not only B question of the paper, but
of the whole course of policy . ¢ ¢
The difference is summed up in two conceptions: 8
paper for the workers or a workers' paper. But the for­
mula itself, though it clarifies, does not solve. One has
to define the term: workers, and to define workers in
the sense of theory as a guide to action require' a defi­
nition of society and its direction. That is why we
began with the Hungarian Revolution. To the end of
his life Trotsky thought about workers in terms of the
stage of society in 1917. He could not grasp that the
development of capitalism ito state capitalism and
the corresponding development in the working class had
created an entirely new category of workers. The1e did
not wish to substitute for a totalitarian party or Welfare
state party a democratic party. Tey sought to substi­
tute themselves as a body for all parties whatsoever.
That is the history of mass movements from 1933 on­
wards. To his dying day Trotsky believed that worker'
had to be led by the politically advanced. As late as
1937 he could write:
I have remarked hundreds of times that the worker
who remains unnoticed i the "normal" conditions
of party life reveals remarkable qualities in a
change of situation when general formuas and flu­
ent pens are not sufficient, where acquaintance
with the life of workers and practical capacities are
necessary. Under such conditioI a gifted worker
reveals a sureness of himself and reveals also his.
general political capabilities.
Predominance in the organization of intellectuals
CONCLUSION
¡03
is inevitable in the first· period of the development
of the organization. I is at the same time a big
handicap to the political education of the more
gifted workers . . . It is absolutely necessary at the
next convention to introduce in the local and cen­
tral committees as many workers as pOSsible. To a
worker, activity in the leading party body is at the
same time a high political school . 4 ø
He was always looking for workers to tl'ain them
for the revolution. He wrote again:
We canot devote enough or equal forces to all the
factories. Our local organization can choose for its
activity in the next period one, two or. three fac­
tories in it' area and concentrate all its forces upon
these factories. If we have in one of them two or
three workers we can create a special help commis­
sion of five non-workers with the purpose of en­
larging our influence i these factories.
He had been brought up in the tradition of seeking
influence for the elite party in the factories and he nev­
er got rid of it. The modern worker does not wish any­
body or any party to have inflUence in the factories.
He can manage his own affairs in the factories. He has
had enough of these seekers of inflUence. One of the
first things that the Hungarian Workers Councils de­
creed was that all political parties as such should be
excluded from the factories. When the great upheaval
came, they did not form Soviets for politics and factory
committees for industry as the Russian workers had
done in faraway 1917. The Workers Council was produc­
tion unit, political unit, military unit, and governing
unit, all in one. Trotsky's idea of the silent worker in a
political committee of an elite organization coming to
life only when something practical had to be done is as
ancient a figure as a knight i armor. And the modern
worker does not find himself in a workers' paper because
the Marxists do not know that he exists and are not
looking for him.
Thus the paper as we envisage it is what a Marxist
paper always should be, a workers' paper and not a pa­
per for the worker. But workers change and papers
must change. They must perform functions that are
not being performed by any other force or group in so­
ciety. That is the guarantee of their success.
Every international organization of the proletariat
( and of the bourgeoisie as well) is the resut not of what
takes place in the minds of political people, but of
J0^ FACING REALITY
changes in the very structure of society. That is why
the revolutionary paper of today does not have to preach
and advocate revolution in the terms of barricades, cap­
ture of government buildings, etc. In 1917 this was the
necessary first step, the struggle for socialism coming
afterwards. Today the process is completely reversed.
All the problems, particularly in production, that Lenin
faced after the seizure of power are now being vigorous­
ly foug'ht out in every developed country before the seiz­
ure of power. Workers today are building the socialist
. .. .
.
society, often uder' the commonplace :ame of "local
.
.
grievances." They are struggling to make the place of
work a human habitation where the first consideration
is not capital but men, men not as units of production
but as human beings. This conception is the beginning
(and very nearly the end) of socialism.
That in many, or at least a few, of these countries
the new society will come fully into existence only af­
ter the violent destruction of the remnants of the old,
remains 8 true today as it has always been. But that
in 1958 does not occupy the place in the Marxist Press
that it did in 1917. After two world wars, the Russian
Revolution, the Great Depression, Fascism, an� the
Chinese Revolution, the violent seizure of power 1S not
the main preoccupation of workers and peoples. They
play the parliamentary political game for what they
can get out of it. But they know that when the moment
comes they can overthrow any power, government or
otherwise which seeks to enslave them.
The r�al problem of the mass of people today is not
the overthrow of the old order (who any more believes
in it?) . It is the fear of what will happen afterwards,
whether the inevitable result will be the One-Party
totalitarian state. It is not merely that the people of
the West see the bureaucratic monster behind the Iron
Curtain. They see all the premises of it at home, and
that is why workers in all countries steadily lay the
foundation of all possible safeguards against it, in their
shop floor organizations, in their reaching out to the
technicians and the clerical and professional middle
classes in their contempt for the traditional parties and
unions
'
whose meetings they don't attend. There is i
action in the world today, on a world-wide scale, a revo­
lutionary mobilization far more formidable than any­
thing Lenin ever knew. The people are moving forward,
and as they move forward are consolidatig their posi­
tions. Because this vast revolution does not take
,
the
traditional form, it goes almost entirely unrecogmzed
CONCLUSION
165
and therefore unrecorded. Fascism saw it and tried to
destroy it but only succeeded in bringing it nearer
Periodi�al1Y the secret terror and impotent des;air
of the rulmg classes breaks out as in de-Stalinization
the Eden expedition to Suez, and the frenzied efforts t�
make the world believe that some attempt is beina
made to rid humanity of the physical and spiritual bu�
den of modern armaments. Always the result is to leave
the situation worse than it was before. When in this
or that country the people feel that the moment has
c
.
ome, �hey will act. The paper of the Marxist organiza­
tIOn wlll do well, here a elsewhere, to be instructed by .
. the people.
What the people need is information of where they
are, what they are dOing, what they have done in the
past. They are the ones to say precisely what they want
and when. I the past the intellectuals served the bour­
geoisie. When they saw the decline of bourgeois society
�bey
.
thought it was their turn to lead the people. These
lllusIOns we must strip off and cast behind U. Even in
the fully-established socialist society, those with intel­
lectu�l gifts and iClinations have an indispensable
fu�ctIOn to perform, to master the material in any given
�oclal sphere and so present it to the people that it
ìß eas: for them to decide what they want to do.. In­
formatIon: that is what the people want, information
about themselves and their own affairs, and not so much
about the crimes and blunders of official society; no
one has to look too far for those any more. As far as
c�n be seen at the present, this is the ultimate func­
tIOn of government in the modern world. But that in
the Marxist phrase, is the music of the future.
'
What, it may legitimately be asked, is the future
o� the Marxist organization? Its future is 10 more pre­
dICtable than the future of society itself. Despite the
�nachronism of the traditional workers' party, it is not
O the least excluded, for example, that the first great
upheaval in the United states may take the form of B
many-millioned mass workers' party aiming at political
power in the traditional sense, while at the same time
Workers Councils appear in every branch of the na­
tional life. A direct revolutionary seizure of power or
cIvil war may break out i France, provoked by the
French bourgeOisie in the same trapped, desperate mood
that provoked the Suez adventure. Such events have
been and always will be utterly unpredictable. But de­
spite the unpredictable and innumerable variety of
forms of development that the Marxist organizations
JM
FACIG REALITY
and their papers may take, those will" be closest to
these events and will best serve them who have trained
themselves to recognize ihat the new society exists and
to record the facts of its existence.
APPENDIX
The ideas and perspectives in Facing Reality are the
-result of 17 years of theoretical study, cooperative ef­
fort, and an intensive political experience inside and
outside of small political organizations. We can only
indicate here some of the landmarks in that develop­
ment. Some of the material, particularly that written - - -
before 1947, appeared only in mimeographed form and
Is not readily available. The most complete file OI ma­
terial can be found in Socialisme ou Barbarie, a French
quarterly published in Paris since 1948.
The editors of Socialisme ou Barbarie, a group of 8
few dozen intellectuals and workers, have governed
all their activities by the conception that the main
enemy of society today is the bureaucracies of modern
capitalism. Since 1948 they have documented and
analyzed each stage of the workers' struggle against
the bureaucracy. No. 13, the issue of January-March
1954, is devoted to an analysis of the East German Re­
volt of June 1953 and a detailed account of the French
strikes which erupted in August 1953 among the POI-
tal workers, the railroad workers, the Renault auto
workers, and the insurance office workers. The editors
show how these two explosions marked the first turning
point in the post-war relations between the workers
and their oppressors.
No. 18, the issue of January-March 1956, .s devoted
to an account and analysis of the world-wide workers'
struggle in 1955, of the French workers in Nantes and
st. Nazaire, the British dockers, and the American
auto workers. As the editors pointed out, these strug­
gles showed that the workers were acting not only in­
dependently but in defiance of the union apparatus.
The article, "The Workers Confront the Bureaucracy, "
in this issue reads like a preview of Poznan.
Believing that the content of socialism is in what
workers are already trying to work out in their daily
struggles, the intellectuals of the Socialisme ou Barbarie
group have encouraged and assisted the workers in the
group to report every detail of their lives in the plant.
Notabl- among the articles by workers published in the
Iö?
168 FACING REALITY
magazine are "Workers Journal (May 1956 at Renault,")
an account of the incipient revolt at Renault over the
call-up of a worker for the Algerian war and the block­
ing of the revolt by the union; "An Experience of
Workers' Organization: The Employees Council at the
General Life Insurance Co.," a detailed account of
work in a modern office and how this led to indepen­
dent organization by the workers; "Renault Workers
Discuss Hungary, " "The Factory and Workers' Man­
agement," an account by a Renault worker of how
workers in a particular department organize their work
independently of both management and the union;
and "Agitation at Renault," an account of the present
indifference among the Renault workers to the Stalin­
ist-anti-Stalinist agitation of both the Communists and
the Social-Democrats.
The magazine has also carried reports of the life
and activities of workers in other countries. 1 1948-49
a complete translation of The American Worker ap­
peared in its pages. One of its writers has reported
fully on the relations between East German workers
and the Communists in the plants after the war.
Socialisme ou Barbarie has published one pamphlet,
a pamphlet on the Hungarian Revolution which was
published immediately after the outbreak of the revo,
lution, addressing questions to Communist militants
about the revolution.
Another series of publications is the work of the
Johnson-Forest Tendency which developed as a body
of ideas inside the American Trotskyist organizations.
The supporters of this Tendency have since broken
completely with Trotskyism and the Leninist theory of
the party and the Tendency no longer exists. The actual
account and analysis of their lives in the TrotskYist
organizations and why they turned their backs on this
kind of political life are contained in two documents,
The Balance Sheet, written in 1947, and The Balance
Sheet Completed, written in 1951.
From the moment that the supporters of the John­
son-Forest Tendency broke with Trotsky's theory of
Russia as a workers' state, they realized that their
break was not only with a political position but with a
method of thought. Hence they set themselves to re­
discover for this epoch what Marx had meant by capi­
talism and socialism and the philosophy of history
which had guided his economic writings. By a close
study of the Hegelian dialectic and of Marx's writigs,
they were able to grasp and hold tight the essence of
APPENDIX I¤9
l
Marx, namely, his realization that side by side with
the fragmentation and mutilation of the workers i
the capitalist labor process, there is emerging inside
the factory a new form of social organization, the co­
operative form of labor.
I 1947 they translated and published the Economic­
Philosophical Essays oj Marx which he had written in
1844. 1 this same year they published Dialectical Ma­
terialism and the Fate oj Humanity, an essay showing
how the creative reason of the masses in revolution has
produced all the great advances of civilization. In 1948
Notes on the Dialectic was written, an analysis of the
development of the labor movement, applying the cate­
gories and method of Hegel's dialectical logic.
Three works exemplify their approach to the Rus­
sian question. "After Ten Years" is a re-examination in
1946 of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed in the light
of Marx's philosophy of the activity of men in the la­
bor process. "'he Nature of the Russian Economy,"
also written in 1946 on the basis of an exhaustive
analysis of all available data on the Russian 5-year
Plans, shows how the contradictions of capitalism are
inherent in the Russian economy as they are in the
American economy or that of any other classic capi­
talist country. The Invading Socialist Society, published
in 1947, is an analysis of the mass movement towards
new forms of social organization all over the world,
and in particuar, the European movemelt towards ð
Socialist United States of Europe. Today the chapter
on "Poland-Where All Roads Meet" is of special value.
The theoretical summation of the work of the
Johnson-Forest Tendency is to be found in State Capi­
talism and World Revolution, originally written in 195.0
and reprinted in 1956 under the auspices of six Euro­
peans representing three different countries. Originally
written as a contribution to the discussion in the Trot­
skyst movement, State Capitalism and World Revolu­
tion has not made the complete break with the Leninist
conception of the vanguard party. Today we recom­
mend particularly the section on philosophy to the
general reader. I this section the philosophy of ra­
tionalism is traced from its revolutionary beginnings
in the 16th century to its present counter-revolutionary
form in the party of the elite, the administrators, the
organizers, and the bureaucrats.
The introduction t the 1956 edition of State Capi­
talism and World Revolution ended as follows:
F
I

l?D FACING REALlTY
When the document was written six years ago, all
this was mere theoretical prognosis. It is printed
now with the more confidence as a guide t the
great events ahead.
It is not the debates on free speech behind the
Iron Curtain which will be decisive in the libera­
tion of these oppressed peoples. It is what took
place at Poznan. Like the Berlin rising i� J:e,
1953, it came directly from the shop orgamzatlOns
of the workers. The ultimate aim in Coventry, Ber- .
lin, Detroit and Poznan is not liberal free speeCA _
nor higher wages, "compensation" nor "consulta­
tion," but the construction of a new society from
the bottom up.
While the new edition was still at the printers, the
Hungarian Revolution broke out and on the cover the
following was added:
Hungary is merely the beginning. All political par­
ties, including Stalinists and Trotskyists, and in­
tellectuals of the right and left, for years preached
and acted on the theory that the moder totali­
tarian state by its combination of terror and in­
doctrination could mould any population to its will.
Now the revolution in Hungary has blasted all
these cowardly and defeatist illusions, and the most
indoctrinated and the most terrorized have accom­
plished the greatest proletarian revolution in his ­
tory.
Marxism alone can explain these events. State ·
Capitalism and World Revolution is published to­
day exactly as it was written in 1950. I alone, by
its analysis of modern production and political re­
lations, foretold with precision and confidence the
violent explosions immanent in all forms of the con­
temporary state, whether totalitarian or democrat­
ic. In its detailed exposure of the fallacies of the
"Vanguard Party" and "The Plan" it is the only
political analysis in English which outlines the
future of scientific socialism.
The body of ideas in Facing Reality has been devel­
oped in the closest relation to what workers
.
are dOiDg
in the plant, listening to them and sponsormg ,ubh­
cation of writings by the workers themselves. Wlthout
this there could be no theory corresponding to reality.
The first of these was The American Worker, a diary
of a General Motors worker's life in the plant, published
APENDIX
I7I
in 1947. Side by side with this diary was published a
philosophical analysis of the daily life of the worker,
showing how in his activity and attitudes to his work
is contained the basis for the reconstruction of society.
In The American Worker the diary and the philoso­
phical analysis are still separate. Not until 1955 are
theory and actual experience of the working class
joined together in a single docuent. This is in the
account of the Shop Stewards Movement in Britain
from which we have quoted extensively in the text
and which is reprinted as an appendix to State Capi-
talism and World Revolution.
.
Along the lines set forth in Facing Reality several
j ournals have been attempted. The lessons learned
from their successes and failures have been incorpo­
rated into this study. The first of these was . Corres­
pGndence, published at Detroit, Michigan, every two
weeks from October 1953 to March 1955 and thereafter
bi-monthly.
The June 1955 issue of the bi-monthly carries an
account of the British dock workers' strikes in 1954
and 1955. The December 1956 issue is devoted to an
account of "Wildcat Strikes at U. S. Rubber" and
the February 1957 issue gives "A Forward Look Into
Chrysler. "
As we go to press the editors of Correspondence are
publishing sample issues in preparation for a four-page
weekly. The April 1958 issue carried a special Transit
Supplement, reporting the efforts of New York
subway workers to organize themselves independently
in opposition to the Transport Workers Union and the
New York Transit Authority.
Correspondence has also published two pamphlets.
The first, entitled Wildcat Strikes and Union Commit­
teemen contains a factual account of the nation-wide
wildcat strikes against· Reuther in 1955 and an account
of the problems of editing the paper which centered
around the editor, an ex-committeeman. The second
Correspondence pamphlet is entitled Every Cook Can
Govern and is a popular study of Athenian Democracy.
In 1955 there was a split from Correspondence and
another publication, News and Letters, was begun along
the general lines of Correspondence.
I 1954 a group of workers at the Renault plant i
Paris began publication of a small mimeographed paper
entitled Tribune Ouvriere. The project began from the
enthusiastic reception among Renault workers of a
leaflet written by one of the workers of the Sociali1me
l72 ±ACI¼O IEAII3Y
ou Barbarie group on the question of abolishing the
hierarchy in pay and skill among workers. Since that
time Tribune Ouvriere has appeared monthly and some
30 Renault workers meet every two weeks to write and
edit articles for it.
In Holland another j ournal, Spartacus, has for years
devoted itself to expressing concretely the conception
that it is the activity of the workers themselves in their
shop floor organizations which is bringing the socialist
society.
There are other jouals in Britain, te Uted
states, and France, such as Dissent, Liberation, and
Universities and Left Review. But while these to one
degree or another oppose official society and do useful
work, it is our view that it is impossible for them to make
real progress so long as they do not align themselves
positively with the forces of the new society which are
embodied in the phrase : Workers Councils in every
department of the national activity and a Government
of Workers Councils.
The life of the modern worker is governed but not
eXhausted by his life in the plant. Indignant Heart is the
story of a Negro worker, from his childhood in the
South to his later experiences with political parties, the
union, and Negro organizations in the North. A Wom­
an's Place, written by two working women, is a pro­
foundly simple statement of the problems faced by
American women today. I these writings a new litera­
ture is being created, breaking completely not only with
the approach of the sociologist but also with the Exis­
tentialist intellectual preoccupied with his own dreary
doubts and anxieties.
We can refer here only to a few other works which
give the necessary background t our thinking or which
in themselves show that serious thinkers today in every
sphere are accuulating the material for a new ap­
proach to both the past and the future.
Lenin's writings of 1920 and 1921, collected in Vol­
ume I of his Selected Works, are an indispensable
guide to anyone, worker, student, or political leader,
who seeks an understanding of the relations between
the state, the unions, and the masses in the moder
,,,orld.
A Little Democracy Is a Dangerous Thing by Charles
Ferguson is a brief but powerful argument for complete
control from below in every sphere of modern life i
the partial democracy that exists today is not going t
be driven towards totalitarianism. The Social Psychol-
ATIEII7 I73
oyy oj Industry by J. A. C. Brow sums up the work
that has been done in the field of industrial relations
in the last twenty-five years, particularly since the end
of the last war, and the unavoidable conclusion from
all these researches that productivity will never be i­
creased until the organizations of workers on the shop
floor feel they have control over their work. Two parts of
a book, A Study of American Society, now in prepara­
tion, have been completed. The first describes the life
of the Detroit auto worker and the conflict that has
existed since the formation of the U.A.W. between the
activity and aims of the workers and those of the - ­
union. The second part examines the crisis in the mod­
ern family in the United states. Extracts from A Study
oj American Society have been published in Correspon­
dence, April 1956, June 1956, and June 1957.
A. Í. P. Woodhouse of the University College in
Toronto has given us in Puritanism and Liberty an ac­
count of the conflict between the rank and file sol­
diers in Cromwell's New Model Army and Cromwell
himself, showing the insistent drive towards democracy
on the part of the ranks in the face of Cromwell's own
hesitations. Professors Haller and Davies have made an
important contribution to the current re-examination of
the English Revolution by their collection and editing
of the Leveller Tracts. The introduction is particularly
valuable today, showing Lilburne and his followers in
a far more favorable light than hitherto in their rela­
tions with Cromwell.
The finest study of the activities of the working class
during the French Revolution is La Lutte de LÎ0SSCS
by Daniel Guerin.
Du Bois' Black Reconstruction, first published in
1935, remains to this day the best study of the American
Civil War, being based on the role played in it by the
Negroes, particularly the slaves.
Mbiyu Koinange
'
s The People of Kenya Speak jar
Themselves, tells the story of how Kenya Africans were
building schools, cooperatives, and their own political
organizations in an effort to become a part of the mod­
ern world when they were thrown back, not by the
Mau Mau but by the offensive of the European settlers
backed by the British government. Two Europeans have
made valuable contributions to the theory of the co­
lonial revolution today, showing that the nationalist
struggle is not only for independence but to liberate
new forms of social organization. Thomas Hodgkin i
Nationalism in Colonial Africa describes the various
I71 FACING REALITY
forms in which the newly urbanied Aricans organie
themselves. F. LeGros Clark i an essay entitled �'Con­
ditions of Economic Progress" (published i The New
West Africa) states unequvocally that technical pro­
gress can take place in the uderdeveloped areas only
through the release of the creative energies and self­
organization of the African people, whatever risk and
tensions this may introduce to newly independent gov­
ernments.
In recent years scholars have been rediscovering by
-
hard -esearch how the great artists of the past. i par¯

ticular Shakespeare, were the great creators that they
were precisely because they e r e a t e d for the mass
popular audience. Among the valuable work on thi
subject is Shakespeare and the Popular Dramatic Tra­
dition by S. L. Bethell.
This Appendix does not pretend t be i any way
complete. It shows an attitude of mind.
¸ i
ON THE AMERI CAN WOR KI NG CLASS
The American Worker by Phi l Romano and Ri a Stone.
Ori gi nal l y publ i shed in 1 946. An arti cl e by a young
auto worker descri bi ng l i fe i n a FM pl ant and a phi l oso­
phi cal arti cl e i ncorporati ng that experi ence i nto the body
of Marxi st theory. 70 pages, $1 . 00.
Uni on Committeemen and Wi l dcat Stri kes by Marti n
Gl aberman.
.
Two arti cl es: the story of the 1 955 wi l dcats i n auto
and a di scussi on of the radi cal uni on committeeman.
23 pages, $. 50.
Punchi ng Out by Marti n Gl aberman.
A popul ar pamphl et on factory l i fe. 32 pages, $. 25.
ON MARXI ST THEORY
A Workers I nqui ry by Karl Marx.
A questi onnai re for workers. 1 2 pages, $.25.
Mao As a Di al ecti ci an by Marti n G l aberman.
A cri ti que of Maoist phi l osophy. 25 pages, $. 50.
WOR KS BY C. L. R. JAMES
Modern Pol itics
Six l ectures given by James to an audi ence in Tri ni­
dad, i n whi ch he expl ai ns the meani ng of soci al i sm,
pl aci ng it i n the context of worl d hi story. I l l ustrati ons.
1 67 pages, $1 . 50.
. . .
State Capital ism and Worl d Revol uti on
Theoreti cal anal ysi s of the present stage of capi tal i sm
i n the form of a pol emi c agai nst Trotskyi st vi ews, docu­
mented with quotati ons from Marx and Leni n. 1 07 pages,
$2. 50.
The I nvadi ng Soci al ist Soci ety wi th F. Forest a nd R.
Stone.
Ori gi nal l y pu bl i shed i n 1 947, thi s i s a Marxi st state­
ment on the worl d and revol uti onary potenti al after Worl d
War I I . I ncl udes anal ysi s and nature of the rol e of
Communist parties. 63 pages, $1 . 00.
Every Cook Can Govern
The ti tl e phrase i s from Leni n and i t argues for
parti ci patory democracy based on the experi ence of
anci ent Greece. 35 pages, $. 20.
Send for l ist or order from:
Bewick/ed
1443 Bewick
Detroit, Mi chi gan 4821 4
U. S.A.
Mi l e One Publ icati ons
21 80 Wyandotte West
Wi ndsor, Ontario
Canada
l
.I

FACING REALITY

by C. L. R. James, Grace C. Lee, Pierre Chaulieu

,'� .

BEWICK/ED
1974

CONTENTS

Introduction Co pyright c

.

.

5 7 20

1 97 4

I The Workers Councils

Bewick Editi ons

1443 Bewick
Detroit, M i c h . 48214

n The

Whole

World

III The Self -Confessed Bankruptcy of Official Society 42 65 . 71 86 106 161 . 167

IV End of a Philosophy . V New Published 1958 by Correspondence Publishing Company Society: New People

VI The Marxist Organization : 1903-1958
VII What To Do and How To Do It Conclusion Appendix

This state power. but under the belief that the Welfare State was in reality only a half-way house to the ultimate totalitarian domination. Men struggled. mines. the goal to which the struggles against bureaucracy are moving. Sometimes their struggles are on !3. the rEvolution crushed. and offices.J jc. by its control of every aspect of human 11fe.alist movement the conviction that the fu­ ture lies with the power of the working class and the great masses of the people. They themselves constantly attempting various forms of organization. their struggles.ll f Cj 8 . for the whole world to see.2a. had crushed forever all hopes for freedom. One-Party state or Welfare state. have few Their strivings. It must never be forgotten that the Hungarian Revo­ lution was successful as no other revolution in hiBtory 'was successful. the Hungarian Revolution has un­ covered. their own invention.� } . formal or informal. /. 1984..l nl. Always the aim is to of life and regain their control over their ovm conditions relations are with one another. More effectively. they are imbued with one fundamental certainty. particularly ordinary working people in factorieB. by whatever name it Is called. 1. Against this monster. people all over the worl d. Nevertheless. their methods chroniclers.l1d a fields. It transforms the human personality into a ma'Ss of economic needs to be satisfied by decimal points of economic progress. They have restored to the revolu­ tionary soci. but always unof. are rebelling every day in ways of small personal scale.11 that remains is government for the people. for lib­ erty and socialism. of the people.-'Qll:r:gg:. It robs everyone of initiative and clogs the free develop­ ment of society. U.INTRODUCTION The whole world today lives in the shadow of the state power. uncertain of where the struggle is going to end. It The totalitarian state was and not merely counter­ defeated. It is the totality of the success which . The Hun­ garian people have restored the belief of the Nineteenth century in progress. A sym­ bolical date was even fixed when this would be achieved all over the world. they are the ac­ ------------------------------ tJOns of groups. however. This state power is an ever-present self­ perpetuating body over and above society. destroys aU pretense of government by the peopie.ijzZJA�d around their WO'I'k and their place of work. that they l1ave to destroy the continuously mounting bureaucratic mass For some years after the war it seemed that the to­ talitarian state. was totally destroyed 5 or be themselves destroyed by it. Now.

So complete was their mastery of production that large bodies of men. but substi­ �utes In Its place a soci alist democracy.\Vorkers' management of production. general lIshed a basic coherence in society and from this coher­ government from YEt with the flexibility of a single craftsman guiding his not decreed Simultaneously and spon­ taneously in all industrial areas of the country.6 e�labled the workers to do so much before the revolu­ tlOn was robbed of its victory by Russian tan . The decision by any to carry out a center. processes. and government by consent shown to be one and the same thing . social processes. . The plan . . The actual resort to arms has obscured the social transformation that took place from the first day of the revolution.vas within each individual factory. the de­ CISion not to work was taken. No central plan was needed. It is the very essence of any government which is to be Councils estab­ right have to govern. Along with the fighting the workers took over immediate control of the country. the mastery over production and the natural power of modern workers. It was not merely unity against the common enemy which made this cohesion possible. INTRODUCTION I. based not on the �ontrol of l? eople but on the mastery of thill. immediately acceptable to all. where the goods produced should go and where they should not go. as to who should work and who should not work. . From the very start of the Hungarian Revolution. That mastery is the only basis of political power against the bureaucratic state . these shop floor organizations of the workers demonstrated such con­ scious mastery of the needs. but never before has the general been ini­ tiated and controlled so completely by the particular. and inter-rela­ tions of production.g tools. which is '1 demonstrated how and acquired deep were its roots ill. dispersed over wide areas. as well as the whole course of the revolution. 'k. that they did not have to exercise any domination over people. This polltIcal form IS the Wo rkers Cou ncils. the Hungarian RevolutIOn has disclose d the political form whi ch not only est7'oyS the bureaucratic state power. strike and was v. oma? Ized at th e source o! all power. On the initiative of the Work­ ers Councils in each plant. General strikes have played a deci­ sive role in bringing down governments in every modern revolution. embrac ing the W 10le of the working population from bottom . The ad­ ministration of things by the Workers ence they derived automatically their . to top. the place of wol. could exercise their control troops.gs. thus been � � based upon general consent and not on force . and the strike organized itself immediately according to the objective needs of the revolutionary forces.ith the strategy of a general deployill. The strike. makmg all deCIsions in the sho p or in the offi ce. ks from outsIde What then was the great achievement : of the revolutlOn? By he total uprising of a people. THE 'WORKERS COUNCILS HUNGAR Y � The secret of the Workers Councils is this. below. it was possible to come to a general decision.

the administ them socIety WIll c �l­ without have claimed always that s. The Counclls cons the framework of the plan to discuss. ns of the Workers Cou n Ls. . At the same time they opened out to all a vision of the future by stating boldly and confidently that once all their political demands were realized. they us of industry under their . n . They immediately rehired them at their old plants without loss of pay. how become msepara:ble. no dIstmctlOn be­ reBted with them. who should be dism . In theIr own social order. and that the pow were the legal administ .afUClal dis-establish legalize. they would produce at a rate that would as­ tonish the world. indeed . process. At a certain stage the Miners' Councils decided work in order to keep the mines from flooding. the Hunganan revo words. They drew center. that degradation in production re}ations results in the degradation of political relations and from there to the degradation of all relations in society. which ministri posts. Even while they were demanding that the government abolish the sY'Stem of norms and quotas. It IS portant judicial actIO n al those ns to place on . r judicial functIO?B wlthl?­ tically they carried out thei tI­ t itself. Consciou . the trials of political . ined. But proposed that he assume and for all wlth the delega­ the Councils finished once ts while the population r etrea tion of power'S to a center . as in all revolutions. m the geance against them have and alities of the totahtan an public mind from the brut repr sented s that they imperialistic states. a new l:u­ ting. and never forg . Thus they established that the secret of higher productivity is self-government in production. Early in the ce of the people. the ll d from be expe which 13houl party officials. they Nagy to have the confiden lIeved . The Workers Councils did not look to governments As a result of the stage reached by modem in­ to carry out their demands. years. In the Hungarian Revolu­ tion the Workers Councils not only released the politi­ cal prisoners. incorporate. tionaries renounced terr . but they assumed the responsibility not only for paying wages but for he pl�nners rators and The parties. The Nagy g � vern classical sense of that by m­ unClI o u ionary proposed to legalize the revo . The orating them into the eXIst corp clear. But pe ple he infamous Stalinist secr mercy re I ­ s with the far have not concerned themselve . The dif­ ference is that in Hungary. lved. ettmg. . The y dIssolved and which allowed to rem the plant ents of the personnel departm and destroyed the records � � ! � ? � � �� t � � �� � � � � � � C: ? � � . The great lesson of the years to new 1 923-1956 has been this. They demanded increases in wages. the Workers Councils proceeded immediately to manufacture their that own arms . to decide am. they were themselves establishing how much work should be done a.rp 8 FACING REALITY THE WORKERS COUNCILS 9 PRODUCTION FOR USE diers who joined All great revolutions have obtained arms from sol­ the revolution. The Workers CouncIls lapse into anarchy and chao for a for an official center and recognized the need use they be­ revolution. which should be dIsso be reta revolution attacked WIthout Evervone knows that the et police.nd by whom. control. from the moment they began to govern At to another. took the apparat the essential whi ch hide began to tear off the veils economy. they informed the Kadar government precisely how much they would produce in exchange for precise political concessions. that they Workers Councils made it to ration. in reply. one by one. traditional with revolutio ho ds me whom popular opmlOn members of the old regi twenty-fIve es. Production for use was for them not a theory but an automatic procedure themselves. the ts tuted themselves into cour the trade union officials. In the las most responsible for its crim ven­ enemIes an ever.them from the police and the arsenals of the state. despite the fact that the whole army came over to the revolution. why they were figh haracten ­ or and vengeance. kers CouncIls and s the Wor into passive obedience . Thu not a dual power in the thE. The decision was immediately taken From the moment that they increasing them by 10%. the revolution from the very beginning seized power in the process of pro­ duction and from there organized the political power. Previous revolutions have concentrated on the seiz­ ure of political problems of power and only afterwards faced the production according organizing procedures and method'S. mg admmlstratlOn. and by taking". simplicity of the modern PEO PLE GOVERNMENT BY THE these newly-produced arms should be distributed to the striking workers in other industries who were to with­ draw them�elves into an army of defense. in accordance with what was needed. the national eadershiP. and directors of the plant.Nagy government were m � nt phrase. n and the work of govern­ tween the work of productio ent who should OCCUpy governm ment. They decided es should issed. beca head of state. The Hungarian Revolution has reversed this dustry and its experience under the bureaucratic lead­ ership of the Party and it'S Plan. In this the Hungarian Revolution was no exception .

by their very existence. But with the growth of large scale production. The powerful labor organizations. and whichever party comes to power inherits and becomes the agent of an existing a. still later. They make of individual workers representa­ tIVes of a political line. Political parties as such CGuid represent the opposing classes and in their con­ flicts with one another and their bids for popular sup­ port. there­ fore.s specifically a revolution of the middle of the Twen­ tieth Century. that the whole population mo­ bilized itself around the Workers Councils as the natural goveTDlllent. but there was no party leading it. political partiel3 might disasters. the state apparatul3 controls the na­ tional economy in fact. that political party would have led the revolution to disaster. It did all that pOl'ated into it. was not even raised. could have dared to begin of a political party. Once the powers of government were with the shop floor organizations. the clerical and petty-bourgeois Right. Control over production means first and foremost control over the workers. Nothing but an organization in close contact with the working class population in the factory. So confident were the Workers Councils that the . As long as the real centers of administration were the private capi­ talists in their varioul3 spheres. Before these and other proposals could 'vI'orked out and tried. no organization except Workers Councils would have dared to start a general strike and carry it on for five weeks. In these unprecedented examples of leadership Workers Councils put an end to the foolish the dreams. to disaster dUi"ing the last thirty years. On the basis of that objective discipline. At the same time no worker was dil3criminated against either in his work or in his election to the Workers Councils because of his party affiliations. from the masses as force and motive power.10 FACING REALITY THE WORKERS COUNCILS . The political party. treaking the unity of the workers according to these divisions. former members of the Small Proprietors Party.ake their political differences into tl1e factories. and educate the population as a whole. So obviously were the Workers Councils the natural and logical alternative to the totalitarian state. have placed the hope for socialism in the elite party. This was to in­ Clude all who had taken part in the revolution."orkers' mastery over production would be decisive in the solution of all important questions. Social-Democrats and Com­ be munists. as in plants the world over. THE END OF THE POLITICAL PARTY the battle a second time. after the military battle had been lost. and despair which have attended all those who. The traditional political par­ ties t. There was lead­ ership on all sides. the Russian tanks suppressed the revolution. If a pOlitical party had existed to lead the revolution. whether Communist or Social-Democrat. cm-rupting relations between people by transforming them into relations of political rivalry. unquestionably the most astonishing event in the whole history of revolutionary struggles. that the traditional demand for a Constituent Al3sembly or Convention to create a new form of gov­ ernment. Once the Hungarian people erupted spontaneously. and which therefore knew and felt the strength of the population at every stage. No party in the world would have dared to lead the country into a counter-attack in the face of thousands of Russian tanks. the widest variety of views and idiosyncracies could not only be tolerated but welcomed.pparatus. that they pro­ posed a great Party of the Revolution. It is not excluded that in their search for ways and means to organize a new state. and the modern state can' function only if the decisive trade unions are incor- . as it has led every revolution it did precisely because it was not under the leadership One of the greatest achievements of the Hungarian Revolution was to destroy once and for all the legend that the working class cannot act succesl3fully except under the leadership of a political party. must SUPPl'el3S those crea­ tIVe energies which the reconstitution of society demands f!"Om the mass of the people. which had become. the apparatus of gov­ ernment was relatively simple. consti­ tutes essentially a separation of the organizing intellec­ tuals and workers with an instinct for leadership. tbe rest followed with an organic necesSity and a com­ pleteness of self-organization that distinguishes this revolution from all previous revolutions and marks it a. So deep is the conscious­ ness in modern people that organization of production is the basis of society. whatever type it il3. The Workers Councils in Hungary instructed the workers to put aside party affil­ iutions and elect their delegates according to their judgment of them as workers in the plant. the objective relations of the labor process provided all the discipline required. or are prepared at critical moments to submit to it. centers of blacklisting and spying. clarify the choices before society. since 1 923. as such.

particularly the Russian. Recognized at home and abroad as the leader of the nation.s in every branch of the national activity. gave to technicians and intellectuals their place on the Workers Councils.o l!) en . of the nation. should have their own Councils. con­ scious that technicians are part of the labor process. suppress the people. WORKERS AND INTELLIGENTSIA Capitalism has created and steadily deepened the gulf between workers and the intelligentsia (technicians and intellectuals). The Hungarian workers. it wa. including the police. But with the state founded on Work­ ers Councils. the technician could be functionally re­ lated to the activities and attitudes of the plant com­ IUunity." Thus not only white collar workers in offices.. or make the mischief that we have seen from all of them in the last thirty years.titute the majo­ l'ity in the plant itself.12 FACING REALITY have been formed. as he is on both sides of the Iron Curtain today. that the socialist revolution is a national revolution. the composer. In previous revolutions. the Hungarian workers called for the establishment of "Workers Coun­ ci1. The Hungarian intellectUals heroically defied Stal­ inism. etc. instead of being isolated from the mass of the people. all that they could demand was the democratization of the Party and the government. These have been incorporated by capitalism into the directing apparatus of industry and the state. They broke up the THE FARMERS AND THE WORKERS collective farms which were in reality factories in the . But in these all-inclusive Work­ ers Councils. Nagy in power. honesty in plac­ c... but all government enlployees. freedom of speech. Within a week they had come to the con­ clusion that the Workers Councils should form the government of the country with Zoltan Kodaly. It was the Hungarian workers and not they who showed the form for the new society.. no political parties could assume the pow­ ers. as president because of his great national and international reputation. The Hungarian peasants showed how far society has progressed in the last 30 years. after ing the economic situation before the people..s necessary to state and restate and underline the pGwer of the working class. who com. Yet even after the revolution began. The modern world has understood. The very emphasis testified to the weakness of the proletariat in the social structure three decades of bitter experience. The m ajority on the Councils were fittingly production workers. There they administer and discipline the working population.

stories. articles. At least one Council not only negotiated the removal of a garrison of Russian troops but arranged for it to be supplied with food. When the hospital at Debrecen radioed its needs for iron lungs. These objectively developed relations of cooperation have now passed into the subjective personality of peo­ ple. was here achieved in re­ verse-the peasant took all risks in order to show his confidence in the worker.nd cynical propagandizing of cease-fire conferences in Korea. Released from the fear that art and literature must serve only politics. This was not just fraternization. But at the same time they immediately organized themselves to establish contact with the workers and others in the· towrrs on the basis of social need. The simplicity with which the nego­ tiations were carried out reflects the education which the post-war world has received in the futile bickering a. did not wait to be paid but went back to the countryside to bring in new loads. and poems. the Hungarian people created twenty-five new news­ papers overnight. What revolutionary governments have usually striven in vain to win. snarls. They organized theil' trucks to take them food. sensing all aroUhd them the expan­ sion of human needs. They entered into negotiations and made direct arrange­ ments with Russian commanders to retire. and Big Two meetings in Geneva. It was the assumption of responsibility by the Workers Councils fnr foreign affairs. WORKERS AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS The Hungarian Workers Councils not only made ap­ peals to the Russian troops to cease fire and go home. Russian troops mutinied and deserted to fight under the command of the Hun­ garian Councils. and the Plan. hypocrisy. that the peasants did not wait to see if the workers would guarantee them the land before committing themselves to the active support of the Workers Councils. the Party. risking their lives to do so. lies. The Hungarian Revolution transcend­ ed that combination of threats. H u n gary 1956 . their instinctive responses and the way they act. the confidence of the peasants. owned and run by the state. the Workers Councils at Miskolc undertook to get these from West Germany and by radio organi�ed the landing of the lung-bearing plane at the Debrecen airport.THE WORKERS COUNCILS 13 field. Big Four meetings in London and Paris. and cooperation. So confident were they that the only power against the totalitarian state was the workers. the older artists and the younger tal­ ents pouring out news. in a flood -tide of artistic energy. human capacities.

be­ tween instinctive action and conscious purpose. these the American Welfare State can deal with by modern world only from a material foundation. in the classical style of national revolutions. the Ameri­ can government in the West began the break-up by organizing refugee camps. "We have been elected by the workers and not by the government. the wrlOle population realized that the RuslSian tanks were society. all trying to remove the power from the shop floor. it was not assistance charity and red tape. not only for Hungary but for all mankind. these words ring with a new morality. the. as profoundly different from American materialism as from Russian totalitarianism. Helpless before this new civilization. as they explained to their Czech brothers. but from the state. side by side with the other peoples of Europe on both west and EalSt. The neutrality which the Hungarian people demand­ ed was not the neutrality of a Switzerland. Such confidence in the the only force inside the country able to crush · the Workers Councils. They knew that the danger to the Workers Councils �ay.yith cries for help. The failure of the Hungarian Revolution they have placed squarely at the door of both the Rus­ sian and the American governments. Then they issued the announcement. But. At the very be­ ginning of the revolution. To speak of a civil war between Right and Left in Hungary once the Russian troops had left. They wanted them to join in the common lStruggle for a new by the world that they fought not only for themselves or charity which they needed as much as understanding The complete withdrawal of the Russian troops from 2. but so powerful in appeal to the peoples of the world. aware that it is just below the surface in all Europe and is ready to destroy both American and Rus­ sian imperialism. but they themselves were prepared to lay down their lives in the struggle to build a new society.11 Hungary was on the surface a national demand. the voices fading from the radio . western Powers hesitated for a moment and then turned their vast propaganda ma­ chine to one single aim. They carried on incessant political activity to root out the political and organizational remnants of the old l'eg'ime and work out new politics. is to misunderstand completely the stage to which the mas­ tery of production by the workers has reached in mod­ ern 'Society and the understanding of this by the whole population. the Communist Party. as in the East. The Hungarian people welcomed such medical aid and supplies as they received from abroad. The workers in the streets returned to the factories. the supplicating. The Hungarian people have not been deceived by this characteristic American maneuver. l'ecog­ njzing that the party and the unions had collapsed. that is." ideals and aimlS by which men live can come in the and their experience of the centralized Plan and the whole bureaucratic organization which has reached its ultimate in the One-Party State but which is character­ istic of modern society the world over. They did not want their coun­ try to be the battleground of the struggle between America and Russia for mastery of the world. fighting. bleeding Hungary. . thinking. so weak in logis­ ticE. threw out the party cadres and re-elected their own Councils on the shop floor. But in reality. To a world which is constantly being offered bribes of economic aid and promises of a higher standa. The Hungarian people were not begging for handouts from the Romanian. in the concrete circumstances. but of the aims which the councils should achieve. never for a moment forgot that it was incubating a new society. called upon the party cadres in the plants to form ccuncillS and mobilize them against the revolutionary population in the streets. must be seen against this awareness by the Hungarian population that they were in the forefront of a world movement to build a new civiliza­ tion. Russia ap­ plied herself to the lSystematic destruction of the Work­ ers Councils by deportation to labor camps. The ma­ terial foundation of the Hungarian workers was their nntural and acquired capacity to organize production. the needy. In the Hungarian Revolution there was no divorce between immediate objectives and ultimate aims.rd of living. The revolu­ tion had in fact begun by a mass demonstration of solidarity with the Poles. to transform the content of the Hungarian Revolution into a problem of refugees. Work­ ing. In the midst of the organization of battle. THE VICTORY WAS COMPLETE but for Europe. The urgent appeals for arms in the final days of the military battle. The poor. Thus. and helpless. not in the middle classes oDtside the factory. the Gero government. or Slovak workers. the Workers Councils or­ ganized political discussions not only of the position of the particular plant in relation to the total struggle.14 FACING REALITY THE WORKERS COUNCILS 15 and brutality which today appear under the headlines of foreign affairs. Serb. the weak. and the trade union bureaucrats.

or each for a period of trial. with a working class in action in many spheres but above it a bureaucracy which is recovering its strengtb and is determined to re-assert itself. They neither automati­ cally reject. 01' both com­ bined. They will result in one procedure in one country. and other proced\lI'es in other countries. the Polish workers simply took over the plants where they had worked all their lives. The economic life of the country had to go on.l'x­ ists) who admit the creative p ower of the Hungarian Revolution. Theil' total destruction is the only guarantee of a future. are not But it was not a question merely of getting rid of Stalinists. and stood ready with arms in hand to support Gomulka and the Central Committee of the Polish Party in their defiance of Khrushchev. and the Workers Councils pro­ ceeded to assume responsibility for this by completely dIscarding the State Plan except as a general guide. Go­ mulka stands half-way. The road that Poland is traveling so rapidly should in­ struct them that it is the half-hearted attack on the Party and the Plan which produces degeneration. . THE WORKERS TAKE OVER workers. even if it had not been crushed by Russian tanks. They are means to an end. That all this exists i'8 due to the power which the Workers Councils exercise inside the plant. Poland remains a country run by the Party but this time without any Plan.rt of all to discuss freely with foreigners. This is of extreme importance. All visitors report absence of fear among the Polish people. under the pressure of the people and the ends in themselves. in accordance with their economic structure. the Government of 'Vorkers Councils. the lively discussions going on. There are some (and they even call themselves Ma. and their consciousness of themselves. their past history. How is the economy. and tbemselves carrying out the negotiations from factory to factory. something else in the United States. That is bow the contemporary Polisb State was built. and theoretical men of good-will break their heads in the search for plan without bureaucracy. but prophesied for it failure and degenera­ tion. and tbe Plan is inseparable from the elite party. That alwaY'S will be the only way to organize a national economy. for the Polish Commu­ nist Party. The central problem. to be put on its feet again? Gomulka faces the insoluble problem which will lead inevitably either to the instituting of R G ov­ ernment of Workers Councils or once more to a plain and open domination by Russia. Back to sta­ linism or forward to the revolution of the Polish work­ ers for socialism. Gomulka is in power. reduced to such chaos by the Party and the Plan. It was such councils of Polish workers which org'an­ ized the Poznan revolt. as all re­ forms of totalitarian states are bound to fail. and the readiness on the pa. whether under Gomulka or any other leader. They would be one thing in Hungary.18 FACING REALITY THE WORKERS COUNCILS 19 was the most fossiiized and bureaucratic of all the or­ ganizations which made up the Stalinist system. however. But under all circumstances they would be the political form in whicb the great masses of the people would be able to bring their eneJ. remains. It failed. did try to refoJ. Workers Councils in every department of the national activity. and something else again in Britain or Japan.'gies to fulfill their destiny. and slowly the whole bureaucratic formation is re-asserting itself. The Russians retreated. nor automatically include democratic elec­ tions on a territorial or industrial basis. labor bureaucrats. With all the good-will in the world and despite the dismissal of bureaucrats. and their persecution of the ranks. that is to say. It was these same Workers Councils which mobilized themselves in the plants over the October 19 weekend. Stalinist bureaucrats. a Government of Workers Councils. While Khrushchev turns the Russian econ­ omy uPside down in a desperate search for means to make it viable. That is the Poland of Gomulka today.'m itself.

THE WHOLE WORLD 21 II. and the American workers hold all the cards. The press was summoned. THE UNITED STATES In 1955 Walter Reuther won. i. In the U. and political slogans of the old type. pl'ocessing all grievances through its elaborate grievance procedure. there exists more than in any other country the framework and forces for a Government of Workers Councils. it is this struggle. was it only a historical accident. guaranteed annual wage. The local managements made such terms with the workers as they could. the television cameras were in position.' all society? Actually. The result of the nation-wide engagement was a draw. THE . Management knows that the workers are doing all this. American intellectuals and r adicals do the same. produc­ tion holds no mystery for the workers. B ecause of the rhythm which the worker has developed in himself and in the group with which he 113 working. one of his usual great victorieB­ the Guaranteed Annual Wage. It is no secret. Pension plans. in the United States. :to . They find none because the American workers are look­ ing for none. and visiting friends. etc. The only result has been to discredit the union leadership and to range it definitely with management and supervision as one of the enemies of the working class. Cooperation ra­ ther than competition is in the nature of the work itself. pension plans. or is it the road of the future fo:!. The committeeman is responsible to the union and to management for the canying out of this contract. to force it to submit to the schedules of production as planned by the em­ ployers . it sits at the bargaining table in a hierarchy of posts parallel at every level with that of management." The great celebration of the Guar­ anteed Annual Wage ended with a whimper. Politically-mind­ ed people outside the United States. Conducting all negotiations with management. the battle beginning again the very next cay. looking over different jobs and new machines. supervision. when suddenly a general strike of the Ford and General Motors work­ ers exploded from coast to coast. The Rubber Union is powerless t o stop them. he is able to devise and perfect a work and s ocial schedule of his own. It was a strike ag'ainst Reuther and the union. That is the abiding situation in thousands of plants all over the United States. The slogan of the strike in plant after plant bore the extremely modest title of "local grievances. but it also creates free time for rest. bewail the absence of a mass so­ cialist party and a politically-indoctrinated union move­ ment. but the union apparatus. III an American plant the shop steward or the com­ mitteeman represents not the workers.\TH O L E "\I\TORLD Only one more example need be given here. Since the war over a hundred stUdies by industrial psychologists have appeared. promising in return to discipline the working class. and the union bureaucrats on the one side and the shop floor organizations on the other. The out­ side world haS been bluffed and bamboozled by Ameri­ can prop!. relaxation around the plant. S. The struggle in America is between man­ agement.e. all these the unions win. and made all prepara­ tions to celebrate.ganda and American movies. The result is that in the vast majority of iSsues involv­ ing actual methods of work.. seeking in vain to find some means of controlling and disciplining these workers. Under the c onditions of modern industry. pe­ culiar to totalitarianism. wage increaBes. This is the fundamental political question of the day: The Government of Workers Councils. the workers h ave learned to bypass the union and utilize their own knowledge of production and of the organic weakness of management to g ain their ends. This schedule gets the work done. w h i c h sprang so fully and completely from the revolutionary c:-isis of Hungary. He is bound by the elaborate contract gov­ erning all issues of production which the union lead­ ership signs in r eturn for wage increases. benefits. Rubber Plant in Detroit during the 16 months prior to April 1956. The workers decide the pace of the line or bring it 'to a stop by ways and means which it is impossible for supervision to detect. The trade union apparatus acts as the b odyguard of capital. there were on the average two wild­ cat stoppages a week. sick. po­ litical allegiances. If any one national struggle can be pin-pointed as the one on which the future fate of the world depends. They are constantly looking for political parties. with the most advanced technology in the world. scanning the Amer­ ican social horizon.

Unable to control the workers. even when solidly organized. either in its own name or through the union. This conclUsion is that management and supervision have . management in the United States has embarked on a huge program of automation. not upon authority. feudal land­ lord or a slave driver on a cotton plantation. they would work out their own schedules of production. the large corporations have begun to invest billions in new equipment. Any issue. is at the but where the workers in a plant are powerfully or­ � now become as much an anachronism as a. work hard when it is required and take it easy at other times. either in the plant or' by walking out on the slightest excuse-the wildcat strike. such as smoking Ol the job. Millions of Ameri­ can workers know that if they were left to themselves to organize the plants in their own way. lessen their hours. however slight.22 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD ganized.he union does can stop them. turmoil.' the title of "local grievances. they can­ not be applied at all unless the workers take them in charge and apply them in the way they think best."ican workers think of the economic system under which they live. their energies and p owers are for the most part used in resistance. it stays out of their way as much as possible. As if driven by devils. In the auto industry the production schedules see-saw back and forth like the front lines of a battle. the futility of the union. The result is disor­ ganization. frantically scrapping still useful machinery. disruptive. enor­ mously increase their own knowledge and capacity. while the just completed models are still resting unsold and rusting in dealer lots. At the same time thous­ ands are being laid off and those still in the shop are working three and four days a week.ts are the ever-present reminder of what the AmeJ. get together and restore some order into the plant. When the plans for new machinery are introduced into the plant. are not dominated by the desire not to work. the con­ stant uncertainty of life." What the phrase really signifies in the large American plants is the determination of workers . the condition of the rest room. The foreman places work­ ers where he wishes. Nothing that management or t. and cooperation is essentially a problem of human relations. Naturally. American workers. building new mod­ els. and the auto mercy of this gigantic. may cause an explosion. and have a wonderful time in the plant. the workers. At this time the l'Eal chaos of American production and its root cause become patent. Plans and new machinery which have been elaborated for months in the offices are intro­ eluced. Pro­ duction in a modern plant is based upon cooperation. The strategy and tactics of the workers spring from the fact that all productivity and progress in the plant depend upon them. But the cooperation and the discipline that hav� been �nstilled into them by large scale machinery have been t. supervision. Wildcats are a constant defiance and rejection of the capitalist system and of the union bureaucracy which has tied its fortunes to' capitalism. for their own comfort and ease of work. For the time being. not working when it is too hot. Manage­ ment. not for production but for discipline. and chaos (and production of cars that auto workers know better than to buy). and unceasing con� fliet. Supervision seizes the opportunity to try to re­ Fitore its damaged authority. Wild­ ca. This unending conflict with management. the most important business of society. Management counter­ attacks at every opportunity. to run the plants to suit themselves and not the man­ agement. and the superiority of American man­ agement is due entirely to the heavy investment in capi­ tal and the order which American workers introduce into the plant to suit themselves. foremen are the chief source of dis­ order and disruption in production. The much-lauded know-how of American manage­ ment is a myth. until the workers. 'The result is that produc­ tion. find suitable tasks­ fOJ: the aged or the handicapped.urned into bitterness and frustration by the capi­ talist nature of production. like workers everywhere. do not have it all their own way. The situation is too delicate. raise production to undreamed of heights. being concerned chiefly w i t h breaking up old groups and reorganizing the plant. headlining each new expansion with speeches about progress. all are forcing millions of American workers. with management obviously in the grip of forces beyond its control. WHAT WILDCATS SIGNIFY The realities of life inside the American factory drive relentlessly to one overpowering conclusion. That is pre­ cisely what has always been understood to be socialist relations of production. It is freedom to organize their work as they please combined with all sorts of details. They know that they can arrange work for women in relation to their special skills and household duties. which pass undeJ. Every year in the automobile plants there is a period when the models are changed.

these vital decisions can no longer be left to management. but the expansion of production during the war and pent-up shortages delayed its introduction on a wide scale in the jmmediate postwar years. After each crisis in Which the old means of production were scrapped. Now soci- . rub­ ber and textiles.he basis for an expansion in the needs of manpower. a tracing tape at­ tached to the machine reproducing the tool according t. because in such industries the materials are homogeneous and can flow. automation started with industries deal­ ing in liquids and chemicals. and bottling. What is coming to an end is the stage of mass pro. the assembly line under the control of capitalism continues its relentless momentum. In sheer self­ defense the assembly line workers created the CIO to protect the human being from being completely de­ stroyed by the machine.or barrier to automation in in­ dustry. 25 the workers.24 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD workers in particular. While it has existed in a few specific industries for some time. piping. however. Their whole past experience has taught them that.g. It is even invading such fields as tooling where it was once believed that it would be uneconomical. dnction by assembly line workers. process of heat. The essence of automa­ tion is that it replaces manual dexterity altogether by electronic controls. and mechanics.g. The assembly line is itself the last maj. and it was in the auto industry that the term "automation" came into being to describe the linking of machine tools by electronic controls. 2) That the only way to keep everybody at work is for everything to be produced for use and not for the. pneumatics. and whether or not there should be. and production is chieflY a. chemicals. whether or not new equipment should be introduced and when. Electronics is now taking the place of the human being in bringing together and control­ ling hydrauliC'S. soda pop. to positive perspectives which b.'rier to automation. petroleum. The next stage of its invasion is in the fabrication of fabrics. But today the industrial union is as helpless in the face of auto­ mation as the assembly line method of production itself.Y­ pass political parties and touch the very heart of Amer­ ican society: 1) That the decisions on scheduling of production as a whole. e. there is no baJ.. Only the workers can and must organize this. Automation js that stage of technology which under capitalism for the first time will not create a need for more manpower regardless of the maSB of products produced. Because these materials are flexible. Today. Only a few decades ago assembly line production put thousands and thousands of workers under a single roof and thus created the conditions for the new mass organization of the industrial union.. The essence of the assembly line is that it cre­ ates a demand for manual dexterity but at the same time organizes and controls this dexterity to the high­ est degree by means of the belt. Automation i'S now moving rapidly from one Ameri­ can industry to another.o given specifications on the blueprint. the labor force expanded. From there automation moved to the mills because here again raw metals needed large containers and the application of heat and chemicals for their refining. they require more manual dexterity and therefore a higher technique before automation can take over. e. and within each industry from partial to more complete automation. So gradual has been its invasion that only now is the general pub­ lic beginning to suspect the l'evolution in all ruspects of human life that automation compels.. American workers could hardly be expected to take seriously the official view that today's economic crisis is an ordinary commercial crisis. a new stage of technology is emerging-automa­ tion. The crucial stage ""as reached in the 1950s when automation became firm­ ly estab lished in the industries fabricating metals. Already it is possible to send blueprints by teletype from one city to another. milk.siderations as to the weariness of the person or his physical and other needs. Its technical basis was already being created during World War IT.. indepen­ dent of all human cop. market. This in the United States means the auto industry first and foremost. In general. Automation as a stage in technology is still young. beer. Without this intervention by L Up to now every new stage in technology has been t. AUTOMATION AND THE TOTAL CRISIS Already grappling with these perspectives. precipitated by the unending con­ fllct in production between management and the work­ ers. it is only in the 1950s that it has begun to domi­ nate American industry and all forms of economic or­ ganization. when there should be model changeovers. Today the oil refinery and the electricity supply industry are the closest to being completely automated. even penetrating into the crafts.

No worker i'S against a utomation as such. and the union have been babbling about wages. p en'Sions. It originated in the p er iod whe n produc­ tion was being expanded by the expansion of manpower. in defense of all society. Thus auto mation creates the conditions for abolishing all previous distinctions between political control and economic controL No longer is it possible to think only in terms of changing leaders or parties. The CIO is completely incapable of riSing to this new situation. it not only hit the industry on w hich o ne o ut of every six jobs in the United states depends directly or indi­ rectly.. Now. Thus.way from the capitalists and into their own handlS. Up to now the concept of who governs society has been based on the idea that different parties and groupings battle with one another over who should control the workers. more to workers than it means to anyone else. But control by the workers of pro­ ciuctio n schedules and of the process of p roduction in­ side society means that govermnent must originate in­ side the plant. At its best it only defended the workers from the speed of the line. they are being driven to organiZe themselves to regulate total p roduc­ tion. Today's crisis is driving them to expand the very meaning of that con · tl ol. Up to now American workers have only organized to defend themselve s from the machine inside the individual fac­ tories. But at the same time automation is forcing every worker to re�examine the very maru1. . Hence while the econo­ mists and po liticians of g o vernment.ttle with management for control o ver the machine.er of his life as a human being simply in order to answer the question of how he shall exist at all. industry. far more than in any other country. It also hit hundreds of thousands of w 0 r k e r 5 whose daily life inside the shop for the last twenty years has centered around a ba.s p ossible.26 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD 27 e ty faces for the first time what Karl Marx called "putting the majority of the population on the shelf. That is the crisis which American workers foresee and seek to forestall.s a conscious p rogram. that is the total collapse of a society. leaving to the capitalists the right to schedule and control total production. leaving all deci'Sions a s to the scheduling and control of production to the capitalists. The workers do not pose the p erspective of their control a. Up to now the whole life of the majority of the popu­ la tion has been geared to work. It is from the growing realization that society faces total collapse that has arisen the determination of American worker'S to take the control of total produc tion l3. that i'S a system committing suicide. the spur of t. When the maj ority of the population has no place to work and can only look forward to more unemployment. He recognizes that automation creates the possi­ bility of such a develop ment of the pro ductive forces that no one anywhere need e ver live in want again. the CIO continue s to demand a share with the capitalists in the contro l over the work­ ers. To the working man vorkiilg and living have been one and the same. the a. capita lism is robbing the majo­ rity o f the population of the only role they have been permitted. THE AMERICAN WORKERS' WAY When automation hit the auto industry in the 1950s. Now.utoma­ tio n of industry in the United states is creating the ac­ tual conditions for a Government of Workers Councils. B ut what is going to happen to the 90% ? Obviously no ordinary solution i'. But it is inherent in all their actions and in the discussions they hold among themselves. every new machine ha s been greeted by auto workers and their families with fundamental que stions about who should control production. and profits. Only people consumed with hate and fear of socialism can believe that the Hungarian worker. Today wben _ capita list control of automation is threatening the collapse of society. with automation. did the things that they did all." In a particular p lant emp loying 5000. only 500 or 10% will be needed in five years to p roduce as much as is now produced by the 5000. The percentage will vary from industry to industry and the elimination of man­ pnwer will come sooner in some industries than in oth­ ers. Capitalism itself has forced the majority of the p op ulation into the position where they have no other role than that of workers.he moment . P roduction as a whole can only be controlled by the producers a s a whole in their shop floor organizations. When millions of young people have no idea whether they will ever have a j o b and lie in bed half the day because they don't k now what to do with themselves. Now \ he finds that as a result of auto mation wmk i'8 being taken away from him and he feels that he is being robbed not o nly of what e nables him to live but of his very existence as a human being. That meam.

and various other consideratioIll3. the violence. paint no true picture of the actual situation in any plant or industry. who cannot control production but are con­ trolled by it. That is to say. The Depression made everybody in the United states recognize the capitalist economy as a system functioning according to l aws which were outside the c ontrol of human beings. political economy first came into existence in the United states with the Depression. advances to the attack. facto. method. They have not been taught this by any p olitical elite . In that sense.ries. Property relations are relations between people and things : who owns what . it should be obvious that the same forces which produced the 'Workers Councils in Hungary only exist but are infinitely more developed. profoundly disillusioned with unionism-it has created the basis of a philos ophy of life of its own. No one contributed to this more than Leon Trotsky. E ach side whenever it thinks it has the possibility of pushing th enemy back. The most astonishing feature of it is that. They sometimes win great victories. to any particulaJ. . But with the disorder of auto­ mation twenty-five yearn later. its social audacity ( which was ready to attempt Prohibition by l egislation) . they for­ got who was telling whom what to do and how to do it in the plant. by means of which machinery is to b e developed and put into use . and on occasions even routed. is certain. that the secret of a happy life is mas­ tery over machinery and production. American workers are not certain of their ultimate aims. whose analysis of Russia was based upon . But among the workers. One thing how­ ever. the relation of the industry to other in­ dustries. Ac­ cording to the structure of the plant.28 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD they could act as they did only because they had for years meditated upon and discussed among themselves how they wanted production to be organized and soci­ ety to be run. What can be stated cate­ gorically is that the struggle is continuous and from the very organization of production. have the ability to control not only individual machines but the whole process. and organized by the very mechanism of modern production itself. land. in-. But for many years carried away by the promises of the Plan. Just as the Hungarian upheaval took all the political pundits and mourners by surprise. disciplined. ships. indifferent to theories of socialism and Communism and the blandishments of political theorists . All the dy­ namic energy of American society. these national characteristics are now concentrated in the American working class far more than in any other section of society. All analyses ' and perspectives of American society as a whole ( an d w e shall go into that later) must begin from the Amer­ ican working class. undominated by any organized philosophy of life ( the American historians having failed most conspicu­ ously to create any ) . It is obvious that the working class nowhere is so organized as to win a continuous series of victories. These are basic definitions in the science of political economy as elaborated by Marx and Engels. and related solely to the particular strength of the combat­ ants at any particular time. flmtely more powerful in the United States of America. the working class especially in large and highly organized plants hol i s own and on the whole continuously capture posi­ tIons from management and supervision. It is from there that they begin to visualize a new society. this fatalistic view of the laws of production has been turne d o n its head. They. and despairs of mod­ ern American society. the workers. This ts that it can manage production. its ruthlessness. the strength of its traditions. and for the Simple reason that these forces and ideas arc the product of capitalism itself. the American g'eniU's is united. as soon as the agreement is signed eac� side goes back into the plant and the struggl begms all over again irrespective of agreements. so the future course of American society will overwhelm them. mines. etc. and that the rest can be easily managed. the workers are often defeated. In its place there has grown up the conviction that it is the present organizers o f production. the state and man­ agement. � � m: � � � 1�0� R USSIA Economic relations are relations between peopl e : who tells whom what to do and how to do it. its freedom from traditional restraints. There is no need to make prophecies. that to do so is its inalienable right. but under the pressure of a crisis the idea of Workers Councils or a Govern­ ment of Workern Councils will not be in the slightest degree alien to them. nor of the end towards which they are heading . confusion. and tempo. In reality. on the other hand. The accounts of wage increas s and various other arrangements which get into the press as a l3Dlution .' open engagement. They have learned it from experience . They are indifferent to Socialist P arties or Communist Parties in the traditional sense. the majorit of Marxists have forgotten this. But in all the blindness.

Cases of wage leveling are not uncommon. and 1956. and organized by production itself same in such a to way that they in have essentially in created the the shop attitude States ? management workers as the workers Rus'sia United Have floor organizations which control production and disci­ pline management in much the same v vay as Ameriean vJOl'kers ? That is not eVerything but everything be gins from there. but period­ ically the rulers have t o speak t o one another in public. ever ask. the absence of political de­ mocracy. the Plan. Central Committee : It must be p ointed out that there is a great deal 'of disorder and confusion in the system rate-fixing. This is Khrush­ ebev at the Twentieth Congress of the RUSSian Com ­ munist P arty all February 4th.30 FACING REALITY the state extremely simple ownership and extremely equals false thesis state. the decentraliza­ 01' tion of industry by Khrushchev. they are now been Has which subordinate large to the events one in in the question which has Hungary Russia mastery in a created posed by the which resulted Poland. the statistics of production. working seale industry cla'ss possesses production in R Govern­ ment of Workers Councils in Hungary ? Are workers in Russia united.f o r the of wages and the not taken up these matters in neglected them. disciplined. exhausted themselves. the decisive question. Important as all these questions and over are . On the Fra n ce 1968 : Renault . and whether the intel­ lectuals and the youth have real freedom t o speak oIlly moderate freedom or none at all. Here is the proof from the mouths of the Russian rulers themselves. the way Ministries shoul d . reporting. And the answer without a shadow of a cl oubt is yes. The Hungarian H evolution has taught them nothin g . Now they have plunged into de-Stalinization. In reality . th a t of property workers' This may sound like mere theorizing. What is the rela­ in Russia and the Planners and supervisors ? This. the analysts. collective leadership ( true 01' fal'se ) . it i s the concentrated expre's sion of the f acts of life embrac­ ing hundreds of millions tion between the workers of people. with the Party. For y ears they have concerned them­ of selves. is the last question that the theorists. and although they are the most expert practitioners in the world at double-talk. and they other have trade lmions have they b odies. the truth about the situation in the Russian plants comes out clearly. the leftistlS all sorts. The state multiplies bars and b arriers between the Russian people and the outside.

so a s to the a wreck o f this Plan by organizing "vork in such the planners 'Why ? a way that all of plan wag'es on a i n a partIcular scale.l le v el o f tI. If they force a well­ organized b ody o f workers to do this 01' that..T e Sta tes . Alongside the low paid work­ ers there exists a category o f w ork e r s a small onE' it is true. crea t e rivalry and antago nisms b e tvveen them .. But the workers make .s learned have stated categoric ally that i n the U n i t e d management. which is the system that the Russians are USing' industry. loaded though the managers tf:' t\ together.nno t m a k e t h e worker" s oldier with a rifle at every z2. in whose wages unj u stifiecl excei. Deuts cher. and drive them like cattle impossibl e .lroug-h to be formally organized.. strength of the plant is d iffer­ are that they push up the plant. plant get m ore or less the ioume wages . '\r. post t h e plant. Thus. United States. T o day in the large modern facto r ies permanent and. Tl1e planners and mana g e .. na t i on a l tllOUgh wng-es vary not only from i"egion t o regioll b u t from plant to workers' s h o p floOT organization in o n e single plant. plant them in the cities. they are organized.\That tIley p ac es i n industl'iali­ and the wa rd peasants. a n d t h e workers have their o w n . the workers hold foremen. . union bureaucrats. the winning cards. inside a department powerfully organized. clcl':. Just into divide workers different cat e g o r i e s them United States. to and recognize and the power compell e d of the on the shop floor. As s o on as t11e men in a de the work m e n t h a v e one Plan. i t seems. tolerated . the plant can be thrown into disorder a n d work goes to pieces . worker. Obviously because the ent from that in another. m a nagement supervision have attempt t o I taly 1 969 : Fiat L to leave them alone. and one in any such conflict.tanding among themselves. the in quotas the plan as foJ' p iece ­ Th� work. that is to :�ay. and wherever the workers are well organized. large they Though this i's Gre e k t o a Russian expert lil\:e Isaac and management scale any worker knows what that m e ans. t h e y c8. ­ have such a n Ul1- so wa ges above the gener::. At the b eginning of the d o .tion of Russia. payment for the same type of work sometimes differs b e tween various bodies. S ometimes.. pl&nners in. Stalin could uproot millions of back­ do not want to do.rtm e nt know one another There is n o need for these shop flool' organ izations and go tJ. are The struggle is f a c tOl'icfi by the most as brutal that is in tIle methods. the workers in one plant.e p a. and even within a single body .THE WHOLE WORLD 31 other hand.ises are .

like the State Plan of the Nothing could be plainer. They will sing it m any times before they are finished. It has long been reported from Russia that many managers protected t. but by the key statement in Khrushchev's report : that whereas the machinery and technical organization of a factory is geared to a certain level of productivity and efficiency. The workers make a mess of these . But o n:e need not be afraid to spoil relations where the interests of our cause are concerned .ions-whether they be measures for increas­ ing labor productivity. R . but keeps its mouth shut. all sang this same mournful hymn throughout the Congress. and not the technical and efficiency levels already to achieved. there is peace and harmony between them . the end will be worse than the beginning. It could be a matter of life or death or deportation to Siberia. but this much can be said. the Russian man­ agers dare not use this as a basis of production. Whereupon by de­ grees the workers step up production and soon 40 % to 60% of the workers' wage is being made by prodUCing what they swore was impossible in the first place. True of every country. . What a confession of failure ! The planners a):ld man­ agement decree that such and such must be the quota of production for the basic wage. S. Because all of them know that if they attempt seriously to discipline the workers. l ack is militancy in their work. they demonstrate that they cannot do the work at the rate the planners have planned. and the Trade Unions keep silent. the starting point for the schedules of production is what they are prepared to do for so much money. The vast ap­ paratus of management and bmeaucracy not only ac­ cepts the plan of the workers. the gigantic lies that are hidd en under a State Plan. Bulganin.heir best workers when.he planners and institute their own plan? Khrushchev tells us : Considerable over-fulfillment of such deliberately Russian economy. which is what the planners have in their heads and put d own on paper. the Trade Unions no longer have disputes with industrial exe­ cutives. The planners. Col­ lective agreements are concluded at every enter­ prise. but often enough they are not carried out. and in the end agrees that the quota should be lowered. in fact. . But everybody agrees to say nothing . management of industry by the workers them­ selves on the j ob. The sham and pretense. In general.FACING REALITY THE WHOLE W OR. Management realizes that it can do nothing about this. 01'. is something different. for example. S . a dherence to principle. and tends to divert workers. new relations between p e ople and people. Khrushchev reports to the P arty Congress : THE TRADE UNIONS KEEP SILENT The main thing our Trade Unions organizations. How exa ctly do the workers break up the plans of t. questions relating to wages. or catering to the every day needs of the workers or other employees. The present practice is to make output quotas cor­ respond in effect to a definite wage level. say.his is particularly true in Russia where the penalties on the manager for not producing the quota for his plant have been extremely severe.ua tion is the same in Russian industry and could not be otherwise. as though every­ thing were right and proper. The workers declare that the quota is too high. creative fervour. This is not and c annot be a study of the Russian economy. foremen and en­ gineers from effective efforts to r ais e productivity. While the whole world occupied itself with the de-Stalinization speech by Khrushchev at this same Twentieth Congress. house construction. For that is the nature of mod ­ ern capitalist large s c ale production. vitally important quest. Modern industry cannot be run in any other way. practi­ cally nobody paid any attention to the fact that in speech after speech at the Twentieth Congress. Khrushchev. and it will con­ tinue and intensify until a new system of economic re­ lations is established. are shown not only by all the fore­ going. Central Council of Trade Unions. low output quotas creates the illUSion that all is well. The workers declare that w h atever the planners plan. the Rus­ sian rulers admitted that long before Khrushchev s p oke . and though time study JUen ( and soldiers with guns ) stand over them. and the union leaders ( in Russia they a re part of the state) make all sorts of plans and agreements about every single aspect of production.hat Stalin decreed for those who came late. and so as to be sure to get anything like r easonable pro­ duction. managers have learned to come to some sort of understanding with the workers. This.LD 33 The sii. and initiative in raising fundamental. incisiveness. however. including the U. the management. Suslov. they broke the savage laws t. and only after that quota is produced can extra wages be paid . t. at times a good wrangle is beneficial .

blown up by the antag­ onisms that can no longer be hidden. the power of the r ate-fixer is thereby broken and a leveling of wages takes place.old in the forced industrialisation of Russia and was the economic basis of the mon­ strous regime of Stalin. The Shop Stewards. greater craft stratification and the reserve army of unemployed. Today. By redu? mg the gap between the minimum and the maXlmum. Welfare states. � ove?Ient . though constantly contested by management.American and in one respect far more dangerous to the ruling class than is the American.Stalinization.) which was published in England before the Hungarian Revolution took place. The workers took the lead in each. Their minds have so long been stuck in the cement of political p arties. And a solution does not depend on the amount of free speech that is granted to writers. They were the only possible means of bringing some order to the chaos caused by the attempts of management to maintain individual piecework in the new mass production industries. the econo­ mists. and other forms of government in which they. the propagandists. the most pow­ erful in the world except for the . except of course those who have to deal with these organizations. the organizers. for it carries a formidable unity among the workers and gives them a control in every phase of production. piecework has �lashed more and more with the obj ective require­ ments for efficiency. as elsewhere. that they are unable to begin from the fact that the future of society is with the Government of the 'W orkers Councils. See AppendIX. the donveyor system. with the workers more powerful than ever before in their history. the coming Russian Revolution. The wo:rkers' name for this is " action o n the j ob.ent which has brought . It is the Shop Stewards Movem . This cannot be better expressed than it was in the introduction to a docume�t ( state Capitalism and World Revolution. Despite the great r eputation which this among the workers of the world. a minimum is fixed. m. will begin with the establishment of a Government of Workers Councils. v ague Ideas about Shop Steward's. the working class had created on the shop floor a nation-wide organization which is beyond all question the most powerful social force in the country." Action on the j ob goes far be­ yond trade unionism. �nj o�s THE ALL-POWERFUL SHOP STEWARDS In Britain. Its destruc­ tIVe consequences for labor and society were multi­ plied a thousandf. The crisis is far deeper than it ever was in · Stalin's time because inside the plants of Russia there now exists this formidable working class. and highly divided mass produc­ tIOn ha. is never en­ tirely defeated and steadily expands its scope. whatever it may call itself . it was still possible to e orce an effective piecework system .tsIde Britain. the press and the p oliti­ cians are preoccupied with Khrushchev's plans for d e ­ centralization and whether o r not the dismissed Molo ­ tov will be shot or not. among intellectuals and youth. below no one may have his w ages reduced. the workers in the plants had de ­ Stalinized themselves. like the revolution in Hungary. and technicians. On any p articular line ' or in an� particular shop. Britain is supposed to be the great model of P arlia ­ mentary Democracy and the Welfare State. were not merely economic defense organisations of the work­ ers. Thus wages are no longer governed by individual effort but by the g eneral level of class struggle in the shop or line concerned. the continuing ferment conflict in the leadership. This is the c elebrated Shop Stew- Twenty-five years ago in Britain because of lower levels of tooling. Those days are over both in Britain and in Russia. play the leading role. GREAT BRITAIN 35 aI'ds Movement. and mamtams order in British industry. the Hungarian Revolution undoubtedly tore apart the p ervading fear that totali­ tarianism is an all-powerful form of government able to mould a whole population to its will. c ommIttees that matured in this period. j ust as in Hungary they were The preoccupied with the intellectuals and students. the technicians. But after the first rush of enthusiasm and hope among vast millions of people who have rej ected capitalism. its 1 ole m B. To- ?i � � WhICI: . there has been a noticeable retreat among the political wl'iters and social theorist's. This control. the shop . students.34 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD of de. As line productiO . . In Russia during the last fifty years there ha ve been three great r evolutions.ntIsh mdustry and politics is little understood . Yet long before the Hungarian Revolution. Today. The workers in Br tain have gone a long way towards destroying the pIecework system. That is the only democracy that state capitalist Russia will ever have and that it will have or p erish.v e developed in Britain. show that the crisis in Russia is deeper than it has ever been in that crisis-ridden country. Even m any British people have only .

the evidence is too strong to be contradicted. In either case the problem is the same. in either case the men come to the surface. And every time they do this the�' one of the oldest. These demands have been watered down by the union leadership The into compensation and a vague consultation. sometimes shop stewards represent the members of all unions in their particular depart­ ment. For example. In the engineering industry. as the situation requires. Here is our investigator again: But stoppages are not confined to the coal mines. Sometimes a man has been saeked. work to rule. an overseer uses strong l anguage . The m ost sig­ nificant thing about the inter-union dock strike of 195 5 was not that it rendered the p orts of the c oun­ try idle but that the leaders of the union repre­ senting the vast maj ority of dockers were opposed to it and were unable to persuade the men to return. or per­ haps. Time will tell. They have been c alled not by union leaders but against their wishes. irrespective of any agreements the union may have made with the in­ dustry as a whole or with the management of that particular factory. The men refuse to work. most respected. where unofficial stoppages have cost us more than half the coal we are having to import every year. the very week that this publication In appeared. Only direct quotation can do justice to this confirmation of the reality of modern industry. The most glaring example is in the coal mines.11 OYer the world. The shop stewards are claiming that if a dispute arises suddenly they should have the right to take whatever action they think fit. lightning strikes of one kind or another are occurring almost every w eek . But nearly always in each case it is the men on the spot asserting themselves by direct action. as a result of prolonged and petty differences. The last sentence shows the new situation-shop floor organizations are opposed to both management and union leaders. And for every strike on a nation-wide scale there have been hundreds confined to particular indus­ tries and particular factories about which nothing has been heard. and most reactionary papers in Britain published one of a series of articles giving the results of a special investigation into the conditions of British industry. but meanwhile let us hear the bourgeois investigator : It may be that if work on a particular face c annot . The occasions of the stoppages are in­ finitely varied. or a complete stoppage. too much water or too much dust on a particular job. It is be completed as planned. This indiscipline in the mines is so serious and its causes so puzzling that two committees o f inquiry have recently been set up.ctory. And you will find this in every im­ portant British industry. and its objective realisation cannot be long delayed. which causes the stoppage. In these cases it is usually the shop stewards who are asserting themselves. the men on that shift are asked to carry their tools to another face . However vigorously the leaders themselves deny this. Party and the unions on to the shop floor. (Emphasis has not been added.36 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD day the center of power moves away from the Labor from this milieu that have erupted the startlingly revolutionary demands of the Standard workers in C oventry in relation to redundancy. o r perhaps a man who has obeyed official union policy and de­ fied an unofficial strike has not been sacked. On both committees the representatives of all the unions concerned as well as of the Coal Board are sitting. one to examine stoppages and the other absenteeism. but when the shop stewards are sure of their following they assume it and impose bans on over­ time. The metltlod of election of shop stewards varies from factory to fa. either in defiance of union agreements or without the consent of the union officials. since the war the vast maj ority of strikes have not been offi­ cial but unofficial. power within center to the that the leaders are no longer their There has been an enormous shift of the trade union movement from the factory floor. That conviction is deep in the hearts of many millions 3. original proposals were based on the conception that men and not capital must henceforth be the primary concern of industry. No union leader concedes this right. We believe that what miners want is to manage the mines. Sometimes the members of each separate union elect their own stewards to repre­ sent them in day-to-day negotiations with the man­ agement . Occasionally there is a claim for extra money due to extraordinary phy­ sical conditions.) THE SHOP STEWARDS D OMINATE THE UNIONS The truth is own masters.

i FRANCE At first sight industrial-political life in France seems to be dominated by the Communist Party with its hun ­ dred and forty deputies in Parliament. discipline. would be irrelevant. January 13. It would be a serious and totally unnecel5sary blund­ er to prophesy that the Shop Stewards Movement is an embryo Government of the Workers Councils. socialized medi­ cine. the French working class has been struggling to rescue the natio n from this bureau- : . If the workers turned from the Stalinists. while at the same time intervenino' with the French industrialists to obtain quieting eonces sions for the workers. The incalculable variety of natIOnal states. Both groups are immobilized in their p ositions by the shop stewards. duals standing at street corners. since 1947. In mo­ ments of great social crisis. The British Tory majority in the House of Common'S stands impotent before the Shop Stewards Movement and the leadership it exer­ cises over the decisive forces in the labor movement. Such speculations.) This is modern capitalism. trade union movement. and so weakened their bargaining power. A little later the writer concludes. and organization o f the working class in large scale industry. 1957. The Tory Government is not afraid of the union leaders. It is the working class of France in its shop flool. the most powerful combination of Labor P arty. In the unions the French Communist Party for a time had almost complete power. the pres en e o r absence o f democratic forms. and all. again in black print : In the organization of labor in this country the struggle for power is not plimariIy between man­ agement and men but between the union leaders and the rank and file. How and when this will take place in p artic­ ular countries is no business of ours ( we shall later have a few words to say about half a dozen isolated indivi- At the end of the war the French wotkers j oined the Communist Party by the hundreds of thousands. and cooperative movement that the world has ever known. and its ultimate victory in one form or another is the only solution to the mod­ ern crisis. The Socialist Party and the Radical Party which dominated French political life in the period between the two wars. The necessity to do this can be most clearly seen in our last example the situation in France. That is why it has not so far dared to enfQTce the in­ dustrial measures which it has proclaimed are neces ­ sary to end inflation. Welfare State. that the Government of Workers Councils which appeared so startlingly in Hungary was no historical accident but a social and political form that is rooted in the very structure of modern industry. all these make i t impera­ tive that we hold firm to the one great r eality that is specifically characteristic of the middle of the Twentieth Century-the unitY. in this c ontext. their differing historical past the specific features of their political life. they were met by the S � ciaI­ Democrats. Painfully. Meanwhile. which culmi­ n8ted in the disastrous defeat by the Germans in June 1940 and the humiliation of the O ccupation. have been equally helpless before the French Communil5t Party. in Russia. The fundamental :fact remains that British Parliamentary Democracy.38 FACING REALITY THE WHOLE WORLD 39 have put the official'S of one or more unions legally in the wrong. ex­ pecting to find in it the party of the Russian Revolution and a Socialist United States of Europe. as well as in Britain. The union leaders would be willing to come to terms with the Tory Government. French workers were to discover that the Communist P arty w ould take the p ower from the French bourgeoisie oilly if the Russian Army was at its back.' organizations which has already given the deathblow to this monster whose tentacles have been coiled around the French people for so long. almost instantaneous transformation or be r e ­ placed b y entirely new organizations. creates the crisis in modern industry. the Party was r eady to exploit and exhaust the workers in limited strikes and demonstra­ tions. ( Sunday Times. It c annot be suppressed. . All are p owerless because aU are equally stained with the corruption and degradation of all aspects of life in pre-war France. organizations can undergo rapid. and therefo:re in society as a whole. trying to line them up on the side of Amer­ ican capitalism. calling upon the work­ ers to �repare for revolution ) . for the sole purpose of embarrassing the govern­ ment and keeping the country in turmoil. We believe that the point has been sufficiently prov ­ ed. in the United states. The French rul­ ing clal5s has been p owerless to check the Communist Party. have produced not peace but the most highly-organized and defiant shop floor organizations in the world.

in the heat of the cold war. these attacked the Party . At critical moments they broke into the offices where the union officials were nego­ tiating. with the workers indifferent or hostile. backed by American billions. only did they refuse to leave the leadership of the strug­ gle to the trade unions. However. the Communist Party in France is a mere shadow of its former self. at Nantes.FACING R EALITY THE WHOLE WORLD cl'atic stl'anglehold of the C ommunists a. This great series of strikes revealed that by Ifl55 the French workers had arrived at the c onclusion that they could gain their obj ectives only in opposition to the union bureaucracy. Between 1948 and 1 9 5 2 . day-to-day struggles in'Side the plant.break the . It could not get 1 0 . They passed to the attack. the French working class revolted by the tens of thousands. and perhaps not even that. Against the brazen defense of the Russian intervention by the French Communist Party. supporting their de­ mands by mass street fighting.} blow came with the Hungarian Revolut. can drive the French working class back under the domination of the French Communist Party. 1. In the fall of 1 947 a w ave of strikes swept t. It is precisely in elections and parliamentary man­ euvers that the French Communist Party retains what­ ever power it has in France . the Communists called the workers out in one strike after another to back up such p olitical demands as would serve Russian policy.000 French workers into the streets of Paris to defend the Party headquarters or even to demonstrate against the Fascists when. failed to do .000 workers b attling with the police. A'S of today. This is a fitting demonstration of the actual rela ­ tion of forces between the institutions contending for supremacy in our age . they did not simply strike or occupy facto­ ries. elsewhere. From near­ ly a million members it can now count on a hard core of a.round Hungary. The workers either ab­ stained 01' went along apathetically. they did not resist the Communists tak­ ing over effective control of the struggl e . They could depend only on the independent organizations which they had built in their hour-to-hour. and took over the negotiations themselves. Saint-Nazaire. Nothing but the most abysmal foUr of the traditional French political parties. who had j oined the French govern­ ment in line with the Russian policy of collaboration with the West. . inde. at times r eaching the Not level of 1 5 . stranglehold which the French Communi'St Party had on French life. however. The French working class has been able to do what all the political and governmental power in France . thl'ew them out. From that time the Communist P arty in France has begun a steady decline. The C ommunists. The fina. and This time. In August 1 9 53 millions of workers again struck spontaneously. It w a s not until the summel' of 1 9 5 5 that the French workers again rose in widespread spontaneous struggle.hrough France initiated by the workers themselves. in the agitation a.nd the Social­ Democrats.ion. rushed to take over the leadership of these strikes. once strikes began. The power of the working class in its independent shop floor organizations and the emptiness of modern par­ liamentarism are fully illustrated by the experience in France. 2. few thousand members. Its control of the union move­ ment has become control of the apparatus.­ pendently of the trade union leadership and in many the cases in direct opposition to it.

.e_haV'e__based _our__concept_ roin the s ocial relations o upon the working class u:-g.THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SO CIETY 43 III.ain) faces the possibility of collapse. Social r elations in production do not constitute society and no one ha. · RCierrce to snarl threats and defiance at each other destruction which will cross the ether. There are.nizations of certain aspects of industry itself (such as for instance the production and use of atomic energy) . and plot mutual be be c ounted in tens of millions . As a way of hfe. it is because it is the single stab e. unmistakable. riddled with insoluble antagonisms. Ulllfy ating element in a society that IS otherWIse and integr less. substantial numbers of farmers. zed sectl0I7 of ingly feel themselves t o be a proletarlam elves l�to the community...! _ _______If_w. THE S ELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY It is quite untrue to say that contemporary society ( whether on this side or the other side of the Iron c1.oCle ty J1 Qf.epalienation of the individual from oclety arating aspiration from reality. life of the compared by j ungle. they rack their brains to prove that there is no method of analyzing history and s ociety which is definitive enough to be termed scientific. This is no longer to with the life of savages. the savagery and brutality of which one half of the w orld regards the other. doctors. The means of communication of information and ideas play an enormous role in the routine of today's society. We include tors of great rs bec�use among the workers millions of cleric l worke . as a civilization. irrefutable patterns and laws which allow us to understand the g eneral movement. in direct contradiction to the aspirations of Europe for centuries. public relations men such a s politi­ cians and j ournalists .the. all-pervading a scale as the society in which tur� . according � .. e are similar broad differentiations among the rs III collar workers in America or black-coated worke to England. But despite all the complexity. are differe nt layers . the highly scientific orga. they Illcreasas their work becomes more mecha . In short. . salesmen. the alienation of individual from science the individual in the closely-knit modern community. � � � � _ _ --!' ___ the degree of development. the other to Parliamentary Democracy. They tend to organize thems and to follow the methods of struggle whlch unions Among the they see so effectively used by the workers. Today over a billion people live under a form of government which half a century ago was not even conceived of except in the minds of a f. himself. There is the organization of p olitical life. Germany and now Chin a . They deny that there can be any scientific guide to social action� Whereby they elaim t6 ·· have proved logically and scientifically that all we can do is to submit. the p olitical form of the One-Party State. Modern society in particular is an enormously complex 01'ganism. one is committed to the totalitarian form of society. there is in every society that infinite variety of o ccupations and individuals in which empiricists love to lose themselves. rolled back.lrt. In half a lifetime they have been defeated. commercial relations.ew eccentric scribblers. Never known such elementary fear of total physical destruc the passions with tion. a certain percentage of technicians and professional middle classe s : lawyers. The ordinary citizen today can eXIst only usness vast areas deliber ately excluding from his conscio of contemporary life which it is unbear able to contem before in human history has the world plate. modern society has colinto ] apsed already.. driven out. The world has divided into two power blocs . and Parliamentary Democracy held at their disposal the most highly industrialized areas of the world and controlled hundreds of millions of the underdeveloped peoples.s ever claimed that they did. even in many a dvanced societies.�= LQL�. the creation of literature and art at various levels.divide blocs whose rulers use all the dISCOVerIes of two l arge . The defenders of Conservative Freedom. there ar� clear. scientific investigation. n�ed.modenLJ3ociety:. Free Enterprise. There is in every population. the gulf s. The contemporary world is . ---- ONLY FORTY YEARS � � 42 Beginning in 1 9 17.. and rudder writte n as if the only That is why we have so far straclasses i n society were the organizers and a dmini industry and the working class. the conof sciousness of primeval depths just beneath the veneer and civilization. Never has �ny d by these torments on so gIgantIC and been so wracke we l.ive. Here is one very obvious pattern of movement in -. comprising relations of production. duction. 'r ere workers in industry there w h 1 t. Counting each grain of sand. as a culture. It is the . They have been reduced to a condition in which they s ay openly and without shame that the only bar- . turn by turn has embraced such diverse areas as Russia.----. Italy.

What to do? Get weapons larger and more destructive than the weapons of the evil men. However much these ideas may be repeated. the pro­ duction of food supplies. individual and social psychol- People have been bulldozed into the belief that the real crisis of modern society i'S w ar between the ideolo­ gies. Men make them. . The hydrogen bomb was not in existence when they controlled and managed to kill some thirty-five million -­ people in World War II. fool­ ishness. NOT A CAUSE hydrogen bomb. science could have easily been directed towards equally dramatic discoveries in human biology. the entire f oundation of human affairs was revolutionized.CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFI CIAL SO CIETY 45 riel' to the conquest of the world by totalitarianism is the hydrogen bomb. or what­ ever else they may invent. Exactly what have any governments controlled or managed during the last fifty years? The hydrogen bomb was not in existence when they controlled and managed to kill ten million soldiers alone in World War 1. men carry them or launch them. In reality they con­ trolled nothing. Free Enterprise and Parliamen­ tary Democracy are not on trial. they are the utmost folly and dangerous nonsense. To the capitalistic fetishism of commodities they want now to add the fetishism of science. that "the entire foundation of human affairs" has been in process of suicidal de­ struction for half a century. that the world recoil's fro l11 them in horror. the totalitarians have gone beyond them in sending Sputniks hurtling around the earth. There in one package we have all the fallacies. The hydro­ gen bomb and Sputnik are masses of machinery lying in a shed. The whole proj e ction of sci­ ence in that direction has been dictated solely by the need to invent engines of destruction. To this some have a dded that the discoveries of science are the cause of the world crisis. WAR AN EFFECT. To say that with the invention of the hydrogen b omb "the entire foundation of human affairs was revolutioniz ed" is mere­ ly to try to hide the truth. And as we write. To sa. Hydrogen b ombs and Sput­ niks are made by men in a certain type of society who have certain purposes in mind when they make them. In a different so­ ciety.FACING REALITY THE SELF. But the advocates of Conservative Free­ dom Free Enterprise.y: that it was the invention of the hydrogen bomb which has carried us "outside the scope of human con­ trol or manageable events" is to say that the miserable record of governments before the hydrogen bomb was c ontrolled and managed by them. in thought or action. a year ago. with all its terrors. When the chairman of the United States C ongressional Committee gave out. There is not and has never been any impelling ne­ cessity to invent hydrogen bombs or Sputniks. The war between the ideologies began because the ideology of Free Enterprise and Parliamentary Demo­ cracy proved itself powerless to s atisfy either the people in the advanced countries 01' those millions in the under­ developed countries who were seeking a new lif e . The p ublic pronouncemen ts of both sides are once more at the level of primitive sav­ ages in the dawn of history. But soon the bomb too was in the hands of the so-called modern Goths and Vandals. The idea that modern science has brought the world to the disastrous condition in which it finds itself is similarly without foundation. It is the entire course of human affairs pursuing its vicious path under the lead­ ership of official society that has led to the c onstruc­ tion of the' hydrogen bomb and of Sputnik. That is the reason why the monstrous apparition of totali­ tarianism has appeared. and Parliamentary Democracy ' gain nothing by this. in peace or war. who specializes in making words sound like a roll of drums. delivered himself of the following on the hydrogen b omb : There is an immense gulf between the atomic and the hydrogen bomb . They have failed. and mankind placed in a situation both measureless and laden with doom. The rise of totalitarianism is the proof of their failure. Yet the successes of totalitarian states are gained by such a waste of human life and effort. they managed nothing . The atomic bomb. They have no power in themselves. What is wrong? The men on the other side of the river are evil . The invention of these modern deadly weapons had not yet taken place when these governments controlled and managed to shock every decent instinct and moral principle by the way they cringed before Fascism and compromised with it. Scientists had not invented the hydrogen bomb when these governments starved and demoralized half the population of the world during the Great Depression. and deceitful propaganda of the two power blocs. the first comprehensive revieW of the' . The pattern of defeat for the Free Enterprisers and Parliamentary Democrats grows more embracing every decade. In March 1 9 5 5 Sir Winston Churchill. did not carry us outside the 13cope of hu­ man control or manageab le events. such a rever­ sion to political })?rbarism.

they do not care. Now the Russians are first with Sputnik. experIment gr0v:'s steadily agaim3t this suicidal roulette. ready to brmg down Germany and Russia in ruin rather than . and the ferocity common to all o f them about these destructive inventions. and pursued their paths. Modern � . Half the world is sealed off from the other half. launched by politicianS and generals who. The Russians followed. h man race . The damag is not merely the diversion of wealth and labor to Immoral purposes . no sooner sniffs the fetid aroma of power than he shrills with the frenzy of the newly con­ verted.ry mechanical instruments. For the Russians too are afraId. meeting . �]ayed by RUSSIans and Americans alike. bitternes s. It was clear that as tIme went on Hitler and Stalin had lost al sense of reality. and the last great b acchanal will be on. meeting of heads of .46 FACING REALITY ogy. Our men of . No one nows the damage that is b e ing done . more taxa­ tIOn. b come a th mg m Itself. despite their disastrous failures of forty years. Today our rulers turn all progress into misery. an insult to human dignity. The Americans made the hydrogen b o mb. are an offense to human reason. VIty WhIch is ow in charge of human affairs. they l o ose off at one another. In j et . still suffer from the delusion that they can control and manage. The weight of scientific . d o not f rst strIP off all reason and decency. They cannot continue to play with fire in this way without ultimately producing consequences that may well be irreparable. In Eng'" land recently radiation escaped from an atomic pile and infected the countryside. vulgar b oastmg.has shown the capacity to organize the most extraordma. drink deep of the cup of bloo . Mankind may soon rise in the morning and go to bed at night in the consciousness that Sputniks loaded with bombs are going round and round us . Now with sput­ mk. The naive platitudes of the Eisenhowers . The damage is not m erely destruction that will r esult tomorrow when ei­ ' ther by design or by chance. If one of these boys breaks under it and goes crazy-or one of the directing officers makes a mistake-or something in the mechanism goes wrong as can always happen. the American Air Force is on a 15 minute alert. Both of them will soon learn how to bring Sputniks o r missiles safely to earth and to a p articular spot. mi. Incantation rules. They do not know what they are doing. hotrodding in the sky? Ever since Sputnik appeared. and even if they do know some of the dangers. daub them­ selves WIth the national colors. � � � � � � I: � � � � There was no reason whatever to launch the first . to ? ur phys cal eXIstence by radioactivity resulting from theIr experIme nts and tests. They nev­ ertheless are quite adequate public voices of the barbarism they represent. the worn shallowness of the Macmillans. dressed up in uniforms. are all m eague to exclude from authority all who . the impudent grimaces of the Khrushchevs. state c ontmue to handle these potential destroyers of t e human race as if they were toy balloons. mal?. envious sneers. whatever rational people would have placed first on the list of their needs as civilized human beings. Planes loaded with bombs are ready to take off against Russia in 15 minutes. The Russians made one . Americans will learn to blow up or bring down Russian Sputnilcs. dIsmay of mIllIons. and universal fear. S O? If md ed they were capable of doing so. . The Americans have followed suit. planes. one or more of these bombs will f all and explode. But do we get to know each other better ? No. press and pul­ . They con­ t:nue to dare each other with bombs and missiles like . � adl? . � � � � � � � � We J?ust not shrink from facing steadily the depra­ . What will be the consequences of a mistake made by these j uvenile delinquent mentalities. after voicing for years the . Today even physical control is beyond them. and television we have more means of commumcatlOn than we ever had before. They are prepared to take the chance. But this tri­ 'uI?ph which should make every human being thrill � Ith J Oy and hop . and take the o ath never to weaken until the enemy IS destroyed. With what other voices could they speak? CONSCIOUSNESS DEGRADED THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 47 The Americans made the atom bomb. clvIllzatI�n IS a unity. and milk from cows b e ­ came radioactive. Russians will learn to blow up or to bring down American Sputniks . of co mumst heads m Moscow. Off i ­ cial society has produced these monstrous weapons b e ­ cause it i s the type o f society which needs them. Political parties. While ministers lie about it on the ground. results in loss of liberty. We can be sure that the Russians too are doing the same. A?-eurm Bevan. NArrO I� ParIs. The m ental strain on the pilots must be intolerable. Each side c orrupts the v ry ether with its lies about the other. lIttle boys blowing s o ap bubbles. even though that enemy is half the . the loaded planes fly in the air . A similar vertigo now dominates en . . not reason. T e lust for power and destruction has our publlc .

instead of the destruc­ tion of the human race is treason. and placing before it all the dangers involved. We cannot do it. We know f _ . or Sputniks. That i s the truth. We try to accustom our­ selves to it. The state insists that to think in terms of the salvation. hydr ogen bomb s. but rath er by political developments in both halv es of Euro pe. Official society is not in decline . with the Briti sh and Ame rican and Russian troops withdrawn.48 FACING REALITY THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPT CY OF OFFIC IAL SO CIETY atom bombs which killed a quarter of a million human beings in a few seconds-the Japanese were already suing for peace. A whole generation o men of state have been reared and matured in vio­ lence and blood. swept along by mechanical forces It cann�t . e . lived itself. as culture. as a crow d of petty WOUld-be Christs seek to persu ade us . .this generation will have to bear . great and small. The final degradation for the ordinary man and woman is the sense of impotence. It is the bankruptcy of socie ty whic h was upon us long befor e atom ic ener gy. half the continent of Europe. though not all o f it. to scream the . threat. defense or attack. A FALLEN WORLD 49 that it is wrong. i . We know that it is immoral. In the Eastern half ther e is always some prosp ect of a revol t of the Hun garian type . As. as reason. and ordinary people on the other side as well. It is absolutely true. Why ? The West ern governments are afrai d that a reun it­ ed Germ any. What price we shall have to p ay for allowing our­ selve s to be driven so far back bey o nd the very pre­ mises of a human existence it is impo ssible to forec ast. constructive way. We on this side of the CUl'­ tain. We m ay bury the fear and the shame deep in our consciousnesS. Not only does mankind suffer the unknown coru. dreading and yet half-hoping that one clImactic clash may give the opportunity to start afreSh . Their state can be run only by men who think in those terms. Khrushchev shouts from the Kremlin that if he is provol{ed. with a savage and A columnist like Josep h Alsop write s that nobo dy belie ves a singl e word of the pronounc ements on summ it talks Ir. But he then goes on to say that anything like a real talk at the summit. It is alreadY incalculable and cannot but increase . it is already dead. all of us know that this insane c ompetition. as morals.ave taken their toll. an­ nihilate. deliberate . this is no longer politics. The need to prepare for universal destruction. But the road back is not straight and narro w. woul d creat e terro r amon g the governments of the West : they woul d be afrai d that the two big ones might make a deal at their expe nse. General Norstad in Paris replies that he will lay waste the other half.No. betw een Russ ia and the United State s. Noth ing but the cons cious . Perhaps the great­ est amage that has yet been done is the eating away of our consciousness of ourselves as civilized human be­ ings. What does Lippmann see as a way out? The chances are that this dead lock will not be re­ solve d by the initiative of the grea t powe rs. control. continuoUs violence and bloody destruction orgamzed bv the state 11. . In the West ern half there is the likelihood that within a few year s. But they are there.. this continuous trafficking in the annihilation of millions of people is not only suicidal.. that even wild beasts in the j ungle do not behave in this way. d j ustifi ed contempt for what their elders try to teac h them.-.l:a de by the political leade rs of the West . it is not war and it is not scien ce whic h threaten us with destruction. . he will lay waste. within the term of this Adm inistration. The Soviet government is afrai d that if ever it withdrew from Eastern Germ any the whole satellite empire would blow up and be repla ced not by neutralist governments but by impl acab ly anti­ Russian governments . . corrupting us. there will be new governments in Western Europe . These are the deep inner compulsions of a society that has out­ . As civilization. Wal­ ter Lippmann writes : Ther e is good reason to think that both sides prefe r the existing division of Germ any and of Euro pe to any s ettlement that has thus far been prop os e d .equences of living in perpetual fear. woul d hold the balance of powe r and use it to make Germ any dominant in Europe. Rulers of states can no longer Forty years of think in any sane. and pitiless repudiation and rej ectio n of all responsible for this dehumanizatio n of a worl d can hope to lighten and relieve the burden of expiation whic h . It is broa d and it is open . the impotence of vast millions of human beings who see themselves daily en­ dangered and ultimately threatened with destruction by the work of their own hands. to be unhappy unless balancing on the bnnk. There was no reason to build the first hydrogen bomb without first calling a world conference of the nations. A thousand newspapers in fifty languages print these threats. for our children. it is no wonder that in country after c ountry more and more of them live for the thrills of the moment.

But the crown of this out side looking mu ch doe s this little rat ed. Russia spent vast wealth. e.row mo st unmitig ate d c ont but the ate d mt o n of state wer e tra nsl the twe lve leading me eem e�t s cov ­ signed twelve agr the twe lve apo stle s. closed spa ce. If and whe n tion parties will play a lead very important �hat we that happens. not even an agreement to do so . _ e and ment. theIr own peoples as well as the peoples of other goV_ _ ernlll ents . selves on the outside look e . the neutral Ity and fU�ll­ all are so mu ch stupId skies. without bene­ fit of c onference either at the summit or at the bas e that in any case this imposition upon them c an split the German nation and create still more foundations of instability.. so. and the on both SIdes and resp ecte d of democracy. the re ts of Wo rke rs men ts will be governmen e of new goy�rn­ cannot be any other typ are not and rem emb er the . The present opp ositions He makes one mistake her ern ­ com e to pow er. Hungarians-. orthy . The boast of Dulles that he chooses the brink is so much wind. V&Tlant of the status quo but the status quo is n ot only horizontal. none has yet reached the ultimate insanity of bellevmg that the status quo is anything more thall a shifting quicksand which may engulf some strateg'ic area at any moment and compel God knows what r e ­ adjustments. commandments WhICh wrote ten and what is below. and blood upon the building up of Stalin as the legitimate heir of Marx. He does not prid e. They do not deceive themselves. For many but a revolution in Eastern Ger as a proletarian to pow er of Com tic election straightforward democra FACING R EALITY munists in a second province of India would immediate ­ ly transform the holy men into frightened attackers and defenders and the last state would b e worse than the first. An agreement presupposes some . and the air and ering the lan d. . body and the b!o od to y all took the oath of the the an event not so substantIal jt would mea n nothin g. OUT OF THEIR OWN MOUTHS Our rulers have to try to deceive us. But all this is opposition Punch and Judy. and in empt. But such things cies which may come to �s states may come and 'stat tes. the German people will hav� to accept it. They ace ! tend to believe in the "Pe nhowers. and for War " which the Eise are a u s e ladle out. But we should not PUl::dIt blind stupidity of thIS the meanness. Engels. Bevan and Gaitskell propose to take the fIrst small step to binding Germany hand and foot on the altar of peace as Isaac was bound by Jacob. how ever . No agreement can keep the people quiet. the llm the talk about pea ce. and Poles. and what IS ab?ve the sea . mutual iI?-s? ecti jted pea ce. Lippmann has non doe s not ad� oca te in Eastern Germany. Nothing shows s o clearly the dregs to which our civilization has been r e duced as the open­ ly confessed bankruptcy of its rulers. adv oca te a e. all that is entirely beyond the vision o f these scissors-and-paste reorganizers of a fallen world . op� n zon e. may go but the good firm cap tIVIty belI eve s So the monkey bred in go on fore ver. Without a R USSIA . Other p eople may opposltlOn pol1e opposition p arties and tries may hav do not pow er. Tl1�s Messrs. Ne� gov will do nothing when they CounCIls . Who more experienced than S ocial-Demo ­ crats in shoving down the throat of masses of people the ?olus that is good for them ? That the German people m the West and in the East may make common cause with Czechs. so beloved nn does not pre ­ Cynicism bec aus e Lippma of the water. Dullese s.-ents m �u­ o ppo the coming to pow er of nmg d on the outskIrts war rop e. He revolution siti on gov ernn.THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 5L ments the existing opp osi­ and that in these govern ing p art. it will be d them and thus fmd our­ should not have alienate ing in. Doubtless these two Social-Democratic watchdogs of the purest breed believe that if they can persuade the two imperialist powers to agree on this ( the conference being carefully prepared) .cym cIsn.of anythmg any cas e unw jty. But he skulks aroun not to be left World to be sure the leaders o. It involves not only govern'­ meI?-ts and governments but governments and p eoples . and obe y. the wor ld to consist of ­ the plans for pea ce.. Cynicjsm. For If tom or. There is nothing else to choose.f the Free disgusting ex­ in. the cjrc us and his cag . Lost to all sense and reason as the politicians of official society seem �o �e. All on. hap pen in the United sta �l�phant WIll of Jac kas s and . Stalinism was inculcated into a whole nation as the infallible guide by which it could develop and regulate its material life and its ideas. or plain lies. energy. We are for Pea ce . and Lenin. Cynicism b e c Ma cmillans c'ontinue to the Fre e Wo rld lead ers of Lippmann knows that the to ave rt the thre at­ ss to produce any p olicy are powerle t to leav e them whe re �hey ten ening disaster and is con llttle can sometimes hav e a are . hibition is not even stat le ch he live s is the who eve tha t the hol e in whi beli O�h er cour:­ mak e revolutions. world. it is vertical. Their choice i s between ways t o destruc­ tion.

and militarily. economically. but in the heart of Europe. any concern for the fact that it could remember today 'v hat it was told yesterday. m oment's notice. The Russian state has enslaved tens of millions o f people of the oppresse d nationalities. It conducted purges of its lead­ en:. turned and twisted. except Hitlerite Fascism. v ed to l'each p eople who live in Western civilization. w e here al'e quite naturally more concern­ of the Russian state. n o t i n t h e remote parts o f the world. It dismis'Sed. The infor­ mation which it manufactures has been manipulated. so that in time all that remained was a cloud of lies enshrouding accusers and accused. The Russian state sent millions of its citizens into concentration camps. and those who carried out these purge'S were in their turn purged. politically. re-=­ versed. with the 'Single exception of Fas­ cist concentration camps during World War II. and men seeking to betray their country from the meanest motives. Its labor code sought to discipline workers in factories as if they were prisoners at hard labor.John Dean Gordon Liddy The Watergate Six . where the cruelties and brutali­ ties exceeded anything that the civilized world had known for centuries.52 FACING REALITY al catechism into limbo . in every branch of political and social life. Its secret p olice became a gigantic economic and military state within the state. has ever dared to do. in a manner which no previous imperialism. put on its feet again. For decades now the Russian state has found it necessary to cut off its total p opulation of many tens of millions from all forms of information or expression of opinion except what it decreed. . by normal civilize d standards there should be no need to pOint out the self-confessed bankruptcy e The Russian state has ended by denouncing nearly all its founders as traitors. or simple common sense. These nationalities it has subjected to its will and exploited. And in any case. the rulers of Ru'Ssia flipped this nation­ I n writing. murdered. spies in the pay of imperial­ ism. subtracted from or added to. Never has it shown th slightest respect for the intelligence of the population. It carried out a series of public trials in which it flouted common sense and the elementary laws of evidence in a manner and on a scale which has no parallel in history. stood on its head. And this in the middle of the Twentieth Century. and manipulated its supporters abroad with a cynical disregard for its professed aims and purposes. placed sideways without the slightest regard for consistency ' logic.

Brazenly denied for decades in the face of evidence piled as high as mountains. history will record that the vast maj ority of intellec­ tuals. History will record and. Czechoslovakians. They more than half suspected that by " 1 9 84" all states in the world would have f ollowed the Russian model.usEJan totalitariani"sm has not only feet but a head of clay. His successor will enlighten us. politicians." and similar high-sounding names. Winston Churchill in his history of . The revolt in East Germany in 1953. plete collapse of the state power in East Germany and Hungary in particular .he whip of a trainer. They believed that the Russian people and the subjugat­ ed Poles. would accept the cruelties. Over these crimes with theil' millions of victims. most of the crimelS of sta­ linism have been admitted as facts by the very men who helped to perpetrate them. " "violations of socialist le­ gality. in Poland and Hungary in 19 5 6 ... Even the gross and stupid fallSifications of the Mos­ cow trials were accepted in many quarters. and humanists ac­ oepted Russian totalitarianism at its own valuation. and seem to believe that they have thereby settled the account . brutalities.. with a shame that will never let humanity forget it. But it is this very immunity from the criti­ cism of rivals and of the people that leaves them help­ l ess before the criticism of events and lures them on to the most fantastic stupidities. they have pasted labels such aR "cult of the individual.'IRE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 53 There is no need to continue with this catalo gue . They believed in other words that after five thousands years of civilization. all this and the ferment throughout the C ommunist world show that H. to the ex­ tent tha. socialists. humanity was des­ tined to end up like performing animals. we hope. is a totally unworkable system of society. the crudeness with which the Russian regime sought to de-Stalinize itself. and is doomed to pel'isl1 before the wrath of the p e ople . We shall not have to wait too long for KhrUlSh­ chev' s . The most significant fact about the impact of this monstrous growth on Western Civilization is never 01' very rarely mentioned. They a r e mistaken. The power of totalitarianism is due to one thing and one thing only-totalitarianism itself. etc. Hungarians. obedient to t. Romanians. liberals. Stalin's are now common property._ . and inhumani­ ties forever.t Mr. Stalin could and now Khrushchev can set the most abrupt and bewild­ enng goals and changes in economic and diplomatic 1'e­ l2tions and thus appear to catch up with and surpass all rivals. and the rapid and com .

Worse. the Times Literary Supplement. if that was the only way to demonstrate their rej ection of Parliamentary Democracy.but of the mouths of its own spokesmen. he listens to the politicians." who A time of strained and breaking loyalties all over the world-in politics. mo­ ralities and families-is certainly a time of trou­ bles.and-water S ocialism of the Labor Parties. exhausted before they had arrived at maturity. in the Jewry of the diaspora and of Israel alike. Millions. muck and blood. In Russia. as among dwellers in Arabia. . The s ociety that will emerge is a society of Workers C ouncils in every department of the national activity and a Gov­ ernment of Workers Councils. as in America. and in England. or Parliamentary Democracy. It is now obvious to all except Stalinists and some learned economists that if any modern state was able to crush the working class and lower its wages by half. nationalities. or London. in Russia. All this is mere self. If so many in western Europe and the United states accepted the Russian way as the way of the fu­ ture. religions. We are told that it combines the Welfare State with traditional values. what kind of society will emerge as typical of the continental groupings ( if not "the World state" itself ) towards which our familiar nation-states are being hustled. India and Britain . the splendor of the HlIDgarian Revolution have brought some of them to their senses. They were ready to drown all knowledge. decay. for the first time in history. nationalism and morality. But that apart. This these serious spokesmen of official society know. no one can foretell. Our real problem today is rather "the millions in modern mass society who are without loyalty. The shock of de. Great Britain is the country which is supposed to have emerged from the upheavals of the last decades with the greatest social and moral stability. The British people do not themselves believe it. if they were even fas­ cinated by it. materialism rules the roost and societies bid f air to come apart at the seams.tbe war was able to write of the masterful manner in which Vishinsky conducted them. That s ecular religion which once seemed the hope of half the world-Communism-­ has equally become a prey to conflicts of loyalty. The Plan has been exposed in Poland and Hungary. whether totalitarian or welfare . and the New York Times. the old faiths cannot hold the young. On the surface he votes. analyzed the state of mind of the ordinary citizen in the United States. 1 9 5 7 .urously before the British monarchy than Life and Time. Washington. The cause of this degradation of thought. the state would b e able to in­ crease its production of heavy industry and build planes and missiles. a publication of the same publishing company which pro­ duces the London Times.Stalinization. but in the privacy of his own mind and heart. or the milk. The trials have now been acknowledged for the fr:mds that they were. and they know that the root cause of it is the modern octopus state. he works. _ t. But for them there is no return t o official society. lay not in Russia at alL The Russian propaganda was swallowed because of the situation at home. such uncontrollable disgust for the pretenses and hypocrisies and rottenness of the democratic re­ gIme. that they plunged head foremost into Stalinism. if they cringed before it. On June 2 5 . Behind the dreary bleatings of the p oliticians. the publications of Henry Luce. including the most highly-educated and well-informed intellectuals. did any Marxist revolutionary ever pen a more devastating pic­ ture of chaos. It holds up its Parliamentary Democracy a'S a model to the whole world. Such a time has come upon us all. whether h e lives in Moscow.delusion when it is not deliberate hypocrisy. he salutes the flag ( or he does not salute it) . all intelligence and integrity in that slime and grime. pure and sim­ ple. this bru­ talization of belief. yet no one knows. 54 FACING REALITY THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 55 It was not merely Russian statistics of production and military p ower that drove Western Civilization to believe the Russian state had at last discovered the means of turning men into commodities. were filled with such loathing. they begin to seem unpatchable . official society states quite plainly that it has nothing to offer to anybody. We reprint certain sections of the analysis because today official society is best convicted . No one genuflects more rapGREAT BRITAIN We can ignore the last phrases that no one knows or can foretell what kind of society will emerge. until in time the whole s ociety blew up owing to -the economic and social tensions and disorder. all this parade of politics and patriotism means nothing to him. it was because they n o longer had any belief in the future of Free Enterprise. and social dissolution? The ordinary citizen has no belief in official society.

. as a human-natural defense mechanism. they will decry and debunk any form of social activity. the There aloe. "The emergence of socialism. and chil­ dren will wake and sleep in a world which will have become the very valley of the shadow of death. while Britain withdrew) would be the likelihood that the r ecent Soviet diplomatic thaw would be reversed. the Manchester uardia�. THE SELF. living as atoms in it. and hypo ­ crisy. not very many real. relIgIOn take refuge in it. men. The man of today is denying centuries of human development. The far higher probability is that it would lead within a few years to the extension of Mr. but unsatisfiable . for on both sides of the Curtain . o n the other hand. The savage knew no better. Once we close our ears to the slogans and the shout- thinking elite-will suffer a kind of schizophrenia : on the one hand their social instincts will still b e urgent. and over the en­ vironment within which he must live it out." as he told the p arty congress last year. . backed by Amencan bombs. They do not feel their society. . for a century famous for principled . tyranny.and rapidly developing in Asia and Africa-modern urban. To them. _ range of his decisions for his life. The citizenry and p articularly. another British newspaper. w omen. One c ountry after another beginning with Western Germany. then they are even worse than the savage. They do not seem parts of it. would come undel: Soviet pressure . political. primarily. Harsh threats are not expedient at present for they have proved to build up western resistance: But the obj ective of Russian policy is unchanged It is a Communist world. . The immediate consequence (unless the West European countries contrived to retain �n American strategic guarantee. . " Russia's business. Britain at first might b e immune but her turn would come.56 FACING REALITY are apathetic 01' anaesthetic. as the dozens of rival Sputniks spin around the earth. theIr whole Puritan past ( and helped no doubt by Brit­ a in's vulnerable position) . those of the state-assume more and more control over details of the citizen's life. and out of his responsibilities. simultaneously. all Western Europe and the British Isles. as French argot has it." and generally betraying an "I couldn't care less" mood. He will effectively die towards his society. fulfilling the barest minimum of obligations to "get by. and some of them denounce the USe of the hydro­ gen bomb under any circumstances. for that would identify them with the powers-that-be and imply acquiescence in the various forms of deploy­ ment of those powers. We should be powerless to resist. Khrushchev after all' believes that the forces of history are oy{ his side : The transition from capitalism to socialism is ine­ vitable. mOl'al. then the decay of human personality. "from within the bounds of a single country and its transformation into a world system is the main feature of our era . Mr . in­ dustrial ( or industrializing) society renders its citi­ zens ever more rootless in their local habitations. It is perhaps platitudinous by now. for brevity's sake. There are among the British people many who have pi'eserved a genuinely r eligious cast of mind. n evertheless. Thus " a sort of traitor" arises . hope for some sort of general disarmament. replles as follows : lng. smcere. Khrushchev ' s kind of socialism to. the decline ?I human respect for itself. for its past. This is a useful point­ er . i s to help the process along by whatever means may be ex­ pedient. ever more atomistic. Let us look once again at the supposedly stable so­ ciety of Britain. . Tomorrow. but rather a vast number of non-citizens-citizens of nothing. 57 I: � � in whiCh we That is the society in which w e live. for any future � s enoug to bring nostalgia for the monastery. but none the less true. He will contract out of it.CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SO CIETY The free intelligence turns in revolt from this para­ site of bureaucratic administration. ex­ cept by passive means. for when modern men who have abjured . having no emotive affection for it. that is to say return to s vagery. These people. the powers-that-be .i ournal­ l�l!n . that inasmuch as a citizen feels he can­ not exert any influence on circumstances shaping his life-inasmuch as he feels himself the sport of uncontrollable and unseen powers-he will "cash in his chips" or. Yet. many Christians and non- There is about one chance in ten of that. attaching no positive value whatever to their society and its administrative State. or military traitors. ever more mobile. driven to this by . serious. under Moscow's leader � ship. Millions m despalr turn back to religion. a s her leaders s e e it. over the . more precisely die. he will re­ place his spoon on the counter.

police. an evgltl.tion towards a milder system is p ossible within the Communist State. On the surface it What is this but a picture of social death? Ameri­ can sociologists have registered and documented the decline of the dynamic individualism which built the . Perspective beyond that they have none." the use of their children as hostages .58 FACING REALITY THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY 59 Are they? The Manchester Guardian is not unready. by the time it reached here. Western C ivilization no longer ccmmands that loyalty. and none know it more than they. the sys­ tem as it evolves through imposition on other coun ­ tries is another. When Americans look at themselves in the context of wOl'ld society do they take any different view of themselves ? The European face of the United States is the daily Paris edition of the New York Herald Tri­ bune Which is read all over Europe and the Near East. And if even Europe survives the liberation. for all their s ophistication. that has been shown in Eastern Germany and Hungary. Guardian appears to pe a degree below the Times. a certain j ustice in regarding the young generation as a non-generation. it should be remembered that leniency is least where the seeds of resistance are strongest . is not in any way peculiar to Britain. and to endure for a way of life which satisfied or promised to satisfy their material. publicly announced. tions by tradition. because they have had the experience of living under an imposed regime. p olitical p arties. or throw back bomb'S. Buf the process must be anguishing. you see. for all their apparent command of themselves. and army. which official society has sunk in Britain. and he had the decency to do it secretly. On the editorial pag e of the issue of November 6. Charles II. Yet these are the same people WhO a few years ago astonished the world by their bravery. They have abdicated from leadership. of children to inform against their parents and. We should have to be ready to face in Britain the corrupting influences already seen in Eastern Europe-the use . Merely to think of Britain as a "controlled democracy" calls for an effort of imagination which is hard to make. can be explained thus : must we first submit to military occupation by the Russian army and rule by the Com­ lUuni'St Parties ? Must we then be liberated by an Amer­ ican invasion? After that. Never have modern Englishmen sunk so low. Men have always been ready to fight. to Such is the degradation. with powers of arbitrary arrest. There is. And that is now exactly their level. since it will be said that in Russia the police p owers are being made less arbitrary. 1957. for all their "maturity. Are they. is the children. They are going nowhere. then what? Only the United States mouthing its obscene rituals about Free Enterprise · and Democracy. This. for money. then. where parents are accused or under pressure to "confess. and calmness un­ der a hail of bombs. THE UNITED STATES Europe is permeated through and through with this readiness to capitulate to Stalinism. but from the enemy within. stand for nothing. They hold their p osi. The whole of _ _ _ . as Poland's delicate treading of the razor's edge might ultimately prove. it is because the public for whom and to whom it speaks prefers reality with less of the traditional trappings. fortitude. to die. They know what it means to have among them secret police. was ready to sell British power and influence to the French king.. and moral needs. then. They can make the effort easily enough for other It may be that the system. what will be left? But that is merely rationalization. It may also b e that. Resistance in Britain by individ­ uals and organisations ( churches. the attitude of British liberalism to Stalinism. They can stand up under bombs thrown. it but repeats the view of the London Times. They hold that its use could not be jus­ tified in any conceivable circumstances. and the press) could prove magnificent. intellec­ tual. comes not from the enemy without. The real problem. be­ lieve in nothing." Describing the present generation of Americans under 3 0 . "America's Non-Genera­ tion. we can see the arresting title. three hundred years ago. a collection of people who. If the Manchester For people in France or the Low C ountries it is easier. And. the sinking at the h e art and bowing at the knees. inevitably. for example. and execu­ tion. But the conflict. This spinelessness." know nothing. But he did it for value received. The system the Russian leaders have de­ vised for their own country is one thing . Christians who believe that we ought to renounce the bomb. would be modified. prepared to face the agony of living under a Communist system? countries. would bring bitter pain. deportation.

In the course of a fe w minutes M. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. As in the quotations from the Times Literary Sup ­ plement and the Manchester Guardian. In the end. s." dressed in his gray flannel suit. Yet one speech shoak to the marrow the French politiCians and journalists who were present. And while we are hoping . there ­ fore. rej ecting the code and sinking into spiritual death or perversion. The political satel­ liteism of France does not cease to s candalize all those people who wish France well and want to be­ lieve that there still remains something of a France which was once great and powerful. What example did the state of France offer to the youth of Africa?' None. vs. feeling. in characteristically American fashion. Finally. A. some three-quarters of the world's p opulation. it is films and television that mirror the crisis of American bour­ geois society. Beginning from th e problems and the types of people placed before it. What the American audience does is to reject. U. the synthetic conclusion. that there is still some will and energy which will try to mo­ bilize the people of France around some hopes and aspirations for France as an independent nation. often with gOOd-humored if not contemptuous cynicism. or Sociali'st. or activity. the more revealing is the bankruptcy. i n the education o f the youth. Here is the speech : -. we could perh!. it works out for itself the answers which producers and directors have evaded-the inevitability of defeat. . Europeans do not s eem to understand that the Ameri­ can public hal5 developed an extraordinary awareness and sensibility in regard to these. M. whe ther bourgeois. a French-African community. Communist . of our youth which c onsiders itself African. The same c onsciousness of failure. to Russia. supported. The hero demagogue of A Face in the Crowd is a television idol. Rebel Without a Cause portrayed the violent rebellion of American y o u t h agaimt their society and their inability to find in the political and social institutions of the country any p osl­ tive movement for regeneration. the suc­ cessful business man. It remains only a hope. either naively or for dishonest purposes. led the discussion on the education of African youth. The life of the intellectual is treated with scarcely disguised contempt. instead. Vice-President of the Council of Government of the High Volta. They were most of them men occupying high official posts in the French colonial system. Yet it would be a mistake to portray the self-con­ fessed bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie in the U n i t e d states by its pronouncements in publications COITes� ponding to the Times Literary Supplement on Loyalties and the Manchester Guardian on the invading Stalinist society.-- ­ n: THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE U. FRANCE To conclude this picture of defeat and death. so in the film : the working class does not appear. the result i's the s ame-an indictment of bourgeois civilization by a self-confessed bankrupt bourgeoisie. The speaker. Instead he asked the youth of Africa to take warning against the spectacle which France presented. Ouezzi C oulibaly . and Sweet Smell of Success show the former ideal of the nation. the United States. S. before ­ the whole population. R. In September of 1957 represen­ tatives of the French-African colonies held a c onference at Bamako in French West Africa. I touched on the subj ect earlier. They desired internal self-government but they did not propose to break with France . C oulibaly told the African people why they could look for example neither to France. American education and rela­ tions between teacher and pupil.they advocated. nor to the French political patties. we have to put our y oung people on guard against political satelliteism. Despite the distortions. Many of them were bitter anti-Communists . Yet the most remarkable characteristic of these ex­ posurel5 is that the exposers have no values to substitute for those which they deride. In each case. Blackboard Jungle put on the screen for the first time the jungle which is. S. Executive Suite.THE SELF-CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL S O CIETY 60 FACING REALITY 6L United states into "The Organization Man. The film catches perfectly the attempt of official society in the United States to organize in advance every social stimulus and response so as to drown out any independent initiative of thought. The more talented the artist. the film itself is an example of the same methods and the same results which it attempts to denounce. It is famniar with the problems posed and recognizes in­ stantly the social types thl'ough which these are pre­ sented. its popular arts. by every section of American s ociety p ortrayed in the film.tps not do better than to show what official society looks like to the vast maj ority of the peoples from underdeveloped countries. the same self-analysis which is taking place in Europe in politi­ cal and literary terms is taking place in the United states.

have thus "deviated. . the only force capable of imposing the happy tomorrows of which they sing. . As a result of this. we have to a'Sk ourselves if the French Parliament is anything more than two dele­ ga tions of Russian and American citizens o n French soil. . but by what the consequences abroad are likely to be.. It is for them the only hope. they defend a prestige which is only paper. But we. the Socialists and the C ommunists . We are power­ less to do anything else. fight out a merciless duel. encircled by the capitalist world . as the bastion of the world revolution. The obsession with international conflict transforms us into a passive chessboard on which the game is played by players who belong else­ where. Demands and pl�Ograms are j udged not by what they propose. ­ As for the extreme Left. THE thief. " But a t the same time they humbly extend t o the Americans a begging hand and get into a terrible state whe n it is spurned by John Foster Dulles . degrad­ "Our political life is completely alienated. We have to ask ourselves jf Frenchmen perceive the ridiculous position in which they are. the Chinese. For decades now we hear from the -representatives of the classical Right Wing of French politics only a mixture of insolence and feebleness . politics in France is sunk in corruption. you seek instead to divine to which foreign ideology he belongs. France is no more than a dummy. In any discussion. no one paY'S attention to what the spe·aker is saying. No longer are they defenders of the U. no longer dictates its foreign policy." Their chief concern is no longer to resolve the economic problems of a given society in accordance with their principles. who refuse to let our j udgment sink into paralysis. We find out about the strokes they bring off only when we feel them on our backs. the Indians and before long. b ehind which Russia and the United states without any pretense. S. and they are happy to snigger at "those idiots of Americans. based upon the needs of the nation. S. Any real sense of what is happening in the country vanished before the need to interpret events according to the strategy of the world conflict. ." THE DEPRAVITY SO it is that the pro-American French bourgeois practices the diplomacy of the cringing small-time OF THE B OURGEOISIE There is no need to continue with this distressful catalogue . The normal order of things is reversed ." Snarling. the Germans once again. . the p Olitical representa­ tives of Africa. they j oined de Gaulle when the "noble" resistance movement triumphed in the drawing rooms. whose business is to defend interests which are absolutely alien to the country. BETRAYAL OF THE OLD PARTIES M . . the white the economy of France moulders in a false security of charity from abroad.FACING REALITY THE SELF. at Western Civilization.. It is to this that the United This is what the colonial people see when they look This p aralY'Sis of French political life is above all serious on the Left. Russia and the United states. They collaborated with Germany when the power was with the Germans. They followed Petain when they could play the double game with danger. For it is the Left which attracts the youth. the Communists . . The internal policy of France. Arrogantly they demand that they must hav8 a place among "the great. since the slightest gesture at once becomes a part of one or the other of the two enormous cog-wheels and has no existence o f its own. What we have to ask ourselves is : why ? We have already answere d this question in terms o f the States and Rus'Sia between them have driven the vast maj ority of the world's people. It is perhaps the first time in history that the two great traditional parties of the massed of the people. Instead. they sub ­ scribe to the dogma that the revolution is impos ­ sible without the Russian army . Dalmas has stigmatized this national ation in the following terms. the internal p olicy has to adapt itself to foreign p olicy ahd this foreign policy is dictated by the two international p ower blocs. R. 6:J It is clear that we cannot look for inspiring politi� cal p erspectives from a class that is exhausted. The sole aim of each is to find a place for itself as troops within a p ower bloc whose boundaries ex­ tend far beyond them and which has no meaning except in the p erspective of war. No decision can be taken on any question of French internal p olitics unles'S the external consequences of the de­ cision are first taken into consideration.CONFESSED BANKRUPTCY OF OFFICIAL S O C IETY we are forced to admit that the centers of gravity of world politics have shifted toward countries that are now new centers of power : the Russians.

They may not be conscious of it. For them a sentence which states "The future of humanity is in peril. E N D O F A P H I L O S O P H Y ties of misery. From Plato to Hegel. however. M FA. The other begins from the premise that all previous philosophies.LITY . The bourg eoisie knows what ot know why. and seek within all its comple�ntl . . new ideas.CING REA.of a total yjeW . Becau se w � If it did. suffering. Today they do not seem so absurd in the light of the numbe r of professors who can dance on the needle of a point. b ecause today the great stream of European philosophy has various evil-smelling stagnant pools or little streams that babble as aimlessly and far less usefully than Tennyson's brook. Philosophers seek to . But it does r: 'geOls . Of that there is no doubt . to J.a enough.. Obviously the view of what constitutes the fundamentals of existence has changed. In this way. But when Roman C atholics and Protestants believed that it was their duty to convert. Today C atholics and .?ake der into what appears to b e a universal what appea rs to be the �potheosls . These learned obscurantists and wasters of paper are of value in that they signify the end of a whole stage in the intellectual history of mankind . European philosophers were 65 . and they have set out to make language more precise. All this would appear to be elementary. . failing that. We must es and l. than which Church they attend.focl. anxiety. or."lllo=_ t()_ saX. misconceived language. It has to be stated." has no meaning. dread. with which political party they belong to. They always will. There is no mystery in what is h appening to our society. They always have." and so on. and all varie ­ IV . of some sense of IS happe mng. Philosophy as such has come to an end. _ sophy of life. This they demonstrate by devoting twenty pages to the word "the. senselessnes'S . the ans :v el are concerned with )1.'mulate in precise and com­ prehensive terms the ideas of their age. inquiring youth is corrup t.ed and shepherded into pas­ sivity before the crimes and evils of the day.But th:at is not fundamental relations of production . attempt now to vl. Men live their lives according to a philosophy of life. P e ople do not need to be philo­ sophers to have a philosophy of life.must be in terms . wIll brmg some or­ cations some guiding threa d which chaos . atheists can live peaceably side by side in the same house and are more concerned with whether theii' neigh­ bors are Fascist or Communist. to exterminate each other. ideas were part of a total philosophy of life. amlfl­ whole . One of the stagnant schools has dis ­ covered that the organic constitution of the human mind is gloom. in whole or in part._ a } tl1_�t _ !s__ . it would no longe r be bOU� the totality of eXls�e nce.e� SocIety as. A popular tradition has it that at the end of the great age of Catholicism the theologians debated with passion how many angels could dance on the pOint of a needle." forty p ages to the word "future. or propagate i. .

all that is holy is profaned. and Shakes­ speare are some of the symbols of the new age. a philosophy of life still so p owerful because by means of it man has conquered . organizing in the mind what could only be organized in society. This is not becau'Se language is more highly developed. Galileo.e­ less one of the great truths of our time. and man is at last . C opernicus. If so 'many find it easier to accept the total destruction of human s ociety rather than s ee that a new society is all around them. The study of science and the revolutionizing of produc­ tion which had grown up within feudal society opened up the p erspective of conquering nature and subj ecting it to human control. c ompelled . to face .. fly off in all dll'ectIOns. the first condi­ tion of existence for all e arlier industrial classes. and not in the . reatest passages. This philo'Sophy bore its name on its face-rationalism. but because human needs have be­ . There is no mystery in what is h appening to our society. and his relations with his kind. of the word "meaning. and the WOTld rejoiced at the per- Beginning in the Sixteenth C entury. But the time for that is past. . with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinion'S. o n the c ontrary.66 FACING REALITY always struggling to make a total harmonious unity of societies riddled by class struggles . Mi­ chelangelo. they usually cleared away much that had become old and rotten and at least formulated the new. For us today. It inculcated freedom from national prejudice for all thinking men. depth psychology. All that is solid melts into air. the most significant is De'Scartes. a way of viewing' the world. So in the Communist Manifesto Marx p Ointe. m ankind lib­ erated itself from the static clol3ed conceptions of the universe which had characterized the medieval epoch. his real condItIOns of hfe. torchlights made by Freud and Jung. For the same reason.ll:lte JQr the eXP:reQsion of_ _ . now compelled at last to fa�e WIth sober senses the real c onditions of life . de'Sire t o retain privilege. it is the first time in history that this is possible. fast-frozen relations. Since the Greek city-state. Descartes.ab­ stract thought or the mystic symboll'sm of rehgIOus ceremonial. it is the w orking class in every country more than any other class which faces vel'Y lSOberly the conditions of life as they are today and knows that the future of human experience lies in the reorganization of these conditions and not in dread. and men would soon face the r ealities of s ocial life as phenomena created by human beings. a society b ased on cooperative labor. But contrary to these mod­ ern marionettes." rediscovel'lng ongmal sm." said Descartes. come more simplified With modern means of eommu­ nication. The 'S ocialist proletariat would END OF A PHILOSOPHY 67 g reorganize society .d out that in good time men would face the world as It was and therefore have ' no need of a philosophy to resolve its contradictions. everla sting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. It is because.Ite smirks by the philosophically educated. there is not an urgent social problem today which is beyond the rapid compl'ehension of the vast majority of mankind.tems for the harmony that eludes them in life. arising out of these material privileges and re-enforcing them is a habit of mind. Constant revolutionizing of production.g.r. dizzy gyrati?ns o� �he 1l1:eam. to be organized by human be­ ings in concrete life. Philosophy must become proletarian-this stingi71 g formulation is the source of j eers and snee. Though confused and deafened by the clamor above. "I think. Leonardo da Vinci. accumulating sta­ tistics in the spirit of Mr. Columbus. dIVJ?g into the depths of the human personality armed WIth To a society advancing in science and industry. or the ineradicable sense of sin.escapism o� . therefore I am. nature It has governed the world for over four hundred years and now it has come to an end. His philosophy was imbued with the con­ viction that every discovery c ontributed to the libera­ tion of humanity. including the realm of ideas. with sober senses. all new­ formed ones become antiquated before they can os­ sify. Gallup and labeling it soeio­ logy. original sin. language is today mor� than ever adeql. philo­ sophies of anxiety. not to seek in philosophical sys. of scienee and industry has brought men face to face wIth the need to make reasonable their daily existence. They were attempt­ ing the impossible. It IS nevertll. and.rs or pO. Over a hundred years ago in one . Descartes gave a philosophy that expressed and released the readiness to adventlll'e in every realm. thell' �eal relation'S with their kind. Conservation of the old modes of production in un ­ altered form was. Marx saw that religious and of his philosophical systems had had their day. it is not merely because of greed. This intellectual clarification had been achieved not by intellectuals but by bourgeois society itself. Immense n�­ bel'S of the educated. . The development . are swept away. human needs. All fixed. unintenupt ­ ed disturbance o f all social conditions.

. the community of cooperative labor can ' function adequately only if this free dom can e pand . natural environment to achieve contr n is sharply divided into two camps withi Today mankind elite and the . in social term iation of men in a mankind has gone beyon d the assoc ol over nature. it is r ationYet on b oth sides of the Iron Curta in. this freedom has been established as a universal principle however limited it might be by the actual condition of existence at any p articular place or time. It is the attempt to take what was living. par­ llamentary democracies become machines in which the individual must either conform or be ruthlessly elimi­ nated. But the trained. dynamic. but for the elite itself. In human. Its philosophy o·f the Plan is the p hilosophy of the organizing intellect. and peop le in world . Hence the blindness. the organizers of ideas. energetic. termining their own need s. Its philo­ sophy of the Party is the philosophy of the organized elite. . It is now an ineradicable part of the human p ersonality. Corporate State." That is why " on both sides of .vs of science and industry and make it into a blue­ prmt to regulate the infinitely complex life of modern society.The do not seem parts of it. the discoverers in scienc They neede d.!. human p owers through the own thoug ht. the moral degradation the ehumaniz tion which overtakes those who today p 'ac­ tlCe the phIlosophy of r ationalism. and reduce to hu­ nity is today ready to control.68 FACING REALrry END OF A PHILO SOPHY 69 ersonality and spective of the expansion of individual p liberation of the intelle ct. comp etition into the transference of free individual est of natur e. as de­ most far-seeing indivi was democracy. creative. century and their followers in the men of the Sixteenth The plished. As an actual liberating philosoph longer commands is dead. Its primary function sents the liberation of whic h has devel oped is to suppress the social community must sup­ proce ss of prod uctio n. ever mOore mobile ever more atomistic. The new society. have met face to face. he free development of the individual personality. It destroys all the achievements of rationalism it­ self. Ratio ing serva the natural saw each human being as an individual. the nght o. not only for the mass. the great To day the tasks envisa ged by Desca rtes. the or­ and developed an e. Its conception o f the masses of the people is that they are the means by whose labor and sacrifice are to be achieved ends which only the elite can viSUalize clearly. It was invalu able in the conqu r r eaction was driven steadily b ack and under its banne and the modern world was create d. the probl em of centuries. Fascism. � � � . Today rationalism destroys it. They do not feel their society. Seventeenth and Eighteenth. Desca rtes never lmew or guess ed is a world which r ationalism y of life. and The great and pressing need is to of wealth and reduc e to human usefulness the mass has accumulate d over the last four knowledge which s. if only as an ideal.f the meanest intelligence to wander through the strangest seas of thought. alism which still rules. this new at. T otalitarianism. . This resting of self-ce rtainty on man's ce thought alone. So Hitler and Stalin become the sole individuals in their countries en­ t tled to any personality at alL Political parties lll. the most duals . the the socia l environment of produ ction no longer repre­ mass . Stalinist totalitarianism is mere ­ ly the material expression of the elite philosophy of ra­ tionalism carried to its ultimate conclusion. The elite inside the because this commu­ pres s the new socia l c ommunity . they pay homage to "the leader. It followed that cultiv ated the individual person e unthink­ they looke d Upon the masse s of men as passiv nalism nts of the active organizing elite. This antagonistic relation administering the ministrative elite calculating and a socia l community de­ needs of others. our world . Its p olitical form. to pr eSSing need of society is no longer control. It is rationalism which no the allegiance of men. At that ganizers of industry. Rationalism elite. industrial ( or industrializing) society renders its citizens ever more rootless in their local habitations." But a society of Workers Coun­ cils in every department of the national life. and a Gov­ ernment o f Workers Councils ? Ah ! That. adventurous in the early da. to Its fullest degree . Thereby it not only obstructs the new so­ Clety . order mass of accumulate d wealth and man usefulness the betwe en an ad­ know ledge . was a revolutionary defian and man's derive d certainty of of the medieval dogma which had encouraged self from God or the Church. order. stage of human development they were ality. � � � h . uman associations no longer are guided by leadershIp. One-Party State Welfare ' State. are accom conquer nature. the leader s being the most able. alone if need be. all of these are w ays in which rationalism attempts to adapt itself to the modern C ?mmunity. velop ed by Locke . Two philosophies the philosophy of man's mastery over men and the p ilo­ sophy of man's mastery over things. if yOU please . the Curtain-and rapidly devel­ oping in Asia and Africa-modern urban. politics. educa ted elite m ankind.

fQJ. as cohesive and as pow­ er ul a national concentration of the new society as eXlsts �nywhere on the face of the globe. in the space of a few pages. But millions of :workers would recognize it at once. hyp ocrisy moment among the perpetua daily Press mechanically and self. week in and week out.' example. production manager a chief of the planning department. professors is part of the collective un­ to find reas ons why royalty capitalistic society? No such conscious (British) this is the Archbish op of Canterthin g. twisting and chea in the House of d if American . culture in it'S most precious ity appears for a brief sometimes some scrap of real l stupidity. the head of the drawillg office. in turn enabled the most advanced socialist to begin to see the growing up of a new way of life and organization (I think that is what State Capitalism and World Revolution means by human relations ) . " a Prime Minister tianity. On the other side will be say the works manager. with ideals and loyalties of their_ own. when aske a racing tout in the dock bs are flying over es load ed with hydrogen bom plan g like greyhounds on the England . Here is one of the rare descriptions of them. the managing director is in the chair at the head of the table. how the growth m power of the shop committees. But we read on There they are. But one concrete exampJe is in the very center of the clash of classes. at the negotiating committees between the shop stewards and the managements. It is an account of shop stewards ' not only as a social force. It is composed . � � It would be impossible concretely and in detail to �how. f or hard to discover a common basi'S that both these societies are It is a peculiar idea "flourishing. as profound and brilliant a description of British life as has �ppeared for years. employers strainin al to have the showdown leash for a government sign sitting UP late over Jung with the workers . From it newspaper editors. its readers : ly said that the poli­ It is. "Conservative Freedom ting like Commons.70 FACING REALITY re. but a s human beings. eties. It can be a shattering and highly formative experience to observe. As if for fifty years will mean-the destruction of cultu systematically destroying official society has not been castle-the mind of man. and five or six other stewards elected to represent the Shop Stewards Committee and through them every work­ er in the plant. of mlillons of men. and directors of radio stations would recoil as if stung ( as indeed they would be) . V. NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE Yet it is in aging. " Let that pass. and the sales manager. An amazing dialectical revolution takes place. and bury is its prophet. and that the overwhelming preponderance of all the claSSic human virtues is on the side of the shop stewards.delusion which the pretentious customer� .­ tical and industrial conflicts two fundamentally ain arise from the fact that is morality and a col­ opposite moralities. that there ar two different ways of life on either side of that table. � t 71 . and it is the kind of mformation that the masses of people everywhere need and never get. suddenly roform\) the London Times for April 1 8th. It is Christi nity. a bourgeo ing side by side and lective mor ality. lies. and deputy of he works man­ ager. In an average works committee meeting. are flourish easingly ective adherents find it incr that their resp discussion. conservative Britain that there flourishes as solid. book publlshers. being wide in contemporary Brit. the two soci geois morality is-Chris­ and it turns out that the bour Pays . On one side of the table will be the convenor of the shop stewards. Thus places before even its most 1957 . creaking.

"THEY manag'er is a reason able man. and in fact increases. spokesman of the minority is included 111 the ?e�o­ tiations to see that the majo�'ity. t �s u sual th�t there is ' as there is always. wit h everything that it involves. Both are able to cast a vote and are there­ fore equal. all are based on the same fundamental relations of the classes that exis t in Eng ­ lal'!d today. The shop steward who thinks who is a revolution ary. If he is a harsh dis ciplinarian. no sackings 111 the Shop stewar ds . . They are leaders but they are rooted dee p among those they lead. values highly the syste which has made him what he is. men. and foundations laid. they are no longer un er t e orders of the managers or even the ma:r::agmg dl­ . but the total result is that the shop stewa rds' method of organisation. 0. proves itself in eve ry way superior to the way of the management's. turners. in pro duction relations and personal rela tions. WOMEN AND EQUALIT Y IN THE STRUGGLE" On the employers' side. and ma ke him S Uspect. and it turns out wrong. .72 FACING REALITY NEW SOC IET Y: THE SHOP STEWARD IS FREE NEW PEO PLE The shop stewards. The average shop st ward glo 'les 111 the battle in the negotiations. Note particularly that the y glory in the struggle. We can on­ ly touch briefly on one of them-the plac e of wom en in SOCiety. As is inevitable. all of them. and can always drive wedges mto the ar.. a maJ onty and a mI­ nority.ec­ . rt is in them that are to be found all the tra ditiona l virtues of the English nation. for solution of gigantic pro blems which have baffled the wor ld for centuries. t But the managerial side of the negotmtlOns. Just as Par liamentary Democracy ignores. . If the advice of a works manager and hIS pollc? ov r weeks or months is accepted by the mana mg dI­ rector ed E ery individual manager is always under thls : t 'n ' But the shop steward negotiators are free who are never penaliz d in this way . he ShO? t y the managers. In the working classes of the world. They are getting rid of these hangovers and replacing them by virtues and qualities the ir an­ cestors never knew. the real inequality of differen t classes of men in capitalist society. yOU acc use him of provoking strikes. These are loyalties of the new age. is not unfaIr to the mmonty.0. Th re are no bo'Sses. . m all the � � : � c:: � :� � � the classic human virtues. in the shop stewards' debates . they are the equals of the managmg d�r. because with them they have a boss who alone ultimately tells them wha to d�. production line workers. They are not demoralized or defeated or despairing persons. yOU pra ise him to the director. If a works � � Capitalist society has by slow and grudging deg rees given equality to women. a d always try to use that knowledge. so women foun d that equality before the law rid them of certain op­ pressiVe and offensive feud al limitations. but this is due to the grip on education and ma ss publication of the decaying official society. denvmg theIr authority from the workern th�y represer:t.ver. are no longer employees. . fitters.:. or which I side ever shown completely united side is set by the free discussion an free vote by the Shop Stewards Committee. has t e workers the employers anythmg but a front. C aref ul study of the nation al com­ munities of advanced Western civilization will show that despite wide variati ons. stewards are free and equal men. always a . They are animated by broad far-reaching soci al pur­ poses.. and demo­ cratic decision The managemen nows there are divi'Sions always on the workers SIde. But ne. These are mdeed negotiations with sisted. he IS sac� ­ � � � � � ? � ���. not in dec ay as they are in official society. All these thi ngs are difficult to detail . .0. they have in them m any of the national prejud ices. workers to a man.tl­ " ' ficial monolithism of the management. there is the . Committee. Wages is the lea st of their pro blem s. new types of hum an beings. in neg � tlat ng with management. The managers ate mere employers hIred and fIred by _ the managing director. ways ' there is no boss breathing down hIS nec . unalllmlty of bankruptcy. 73 u{ G LORY employers at WhICh I have as : ever heard of. � the boss. he gIves of hIS est a . ' It is a matter of common knowledge that t e shop stewards in negotiations are ruthless" never to �e "atlsfied . MANAGEMENT IS TIED AND B OUND These are new men. are the employees. but in full flower becaus e these men have per'Spective. But it is the sam e abs tract type of equality that an individual welder or mai nten­ ance man has with ano ther individual who emp loy. there are being posed . only to brin g 10. The policy of the manager's ? :t: �� � . No minority in a Shop Stew rds ommlttee ever feels oppressed there is free dIScussIon. rector .

they cannot solve them. Offi­ cial society itself can no l onger defend the shamlS and vulgarity and cruelty of bourgeois morality. that women everywhere are beginning to recognize that the hitherto notorious sex war in American life is in reality one of the advanced positions of the new society seeking to make official abstractions into hu­ man reality. where divorce does not take place. career women. This is no more than rationalist individualism in skirts.74 FACING REALITY before them more starkly the handicaps of child-bear ­ ing and child. The United states more than any other c ountry produces a number of exceptional women. though the middle classes often pose in advance the fundamental questions of the day. usually viragoes who by use of their in­ tellectual and other gifts transform themselves as far as is humanly possible into feminine counterparts of men and believe that thereby they have solved the "woman question. Among the profes­ sional classes. most women at marriage give up the unequal contest and compromise with their most dearly-cherished as­ pirations for equality." Others have only to go and do like­ wise.-rearing in a competitive society. such co C . They have no money for the elaborate home organization of the successful career woman. But they have no in­ tention of once more becoming an adjunct to the male wage-earner so that he can adequately fulfill the needs of capitalist production. But the modern eco­ nomy draws into cooperative labor or related activities all sections of the population. During the war millions of women went into industry and many have remained there. It is in the United states. as part of the general reactionary trend. For years this aspect of American society was regarded with as­ tonishment and often with distaste. including women. an antagonism in sex and personal relations. re-en­ iorced by the accumulated prejudices of centuries of class society. The real b attle for new relations between the sexes is being fought above all in the American working class. that there is taking place a colossal struggle for the establishment of truly human relations between men and women. in other countries. But as usual.J:: U . not only by men. The result ic. but by women. rarely have such heroic efforts. They retain the desire themselves to make a home and rear a family. where women are abstractly most free. The result is the mounting di­ vorce statistics and. In the age-long struggles of human beings to remould their world nearer to their heart's desire.

NEW

SOCIETY:

NEW PEOPLE

15

courage, such resource, such ingenuity been shown as in the efforts of American working women to live a complete life, a life corresponding to the technical achievements and social relations of their highly-developed society. As long as official society lasts, they cannot win a complete victory, but positions have been gained and if some have been lost, many have been held. This, one of the greatest social struggle s of our time, goes um'ecorded ! What have Congress, or the New · York Times, or Alistair Cooke to do with all this? . 11fe, makes its own experiences, seell:Jng always. to cre-.. atE' forms and realize values which may originate directly from its organic oPPosition t o official society, but are shaped by its experiences in cooperative labor. Nowhere is this more marked than in the United states The working class in every country lives its

;.

own

.... .

_ _

where the raucous rowdyism of Republicans and Democrats obscures and drowns out the mass search for a way of life ; not a new way but simply a way, the famous "American Way" being strictly an export commodit�·. Quite often, the reaction is for the time

merely negative, but none the less indicative of the fu. .

being

>­ c:

ture. In the American plant the shop steward, or shop committeeman, although elected, is a functionary of the union, whose main business is to see tha.t the comcontract is carried out. Millions of American workers will not accept any position of authority in the

E

pany's

... Q}

plant, neither as committeeman nor foreman, nor lead girl. In the United states, so j e alously democratic and egalitarian in its social practices, these w orkers shun like the plague any position which, as they have seen so often, will transform them into bureaucratic tools of the capitalist mechanism . They sometimes go farther and deliberately elect or propel to these unhealthy po sitions, persons whom they recognize as being naturany inclined to them. For militant Negro workers this poses a specially difficult problem. As workers they share the revulsion of their fellows to being drawn out of the rank and file shop floor organizations. As Negroes they are dedicated to seeing that Negroes are r epresented in every layer of American society, p articularly in the plant. r .ro accept or not to accept. Often the decision is difficult. Such is but one example of the social dra­ mas, individualism and collectivism fused, that are be­ ing posed and worked out by trial and error in that pulsing mass of working class humanity that seeks no escape from the real conditions of life in existentialism

?6

FACING REALITY NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE 77

( France) or psychoanalysis ( the United states) or play · ing with words and meaningB ( Great Britain) . There is no mystery about what is taking place in our society. Our age is the most barbarous, the most cruel, the most sadistic, the most callous history has and high aspirations o f the great masses o f the people. Nothing but the most unlicensed, unrestrained , care­ These ever known precisely because of the civilization, culture ,
THE BARBARISM OF OUR TIMES

lati �n is safe from these defenders of the law' order fa IY, mo�als, religion, culture , and property of officia sOClety agamst the new.

n�.l

i

.. -

.

_ -

fully cultivated brutality can keep them down.

plant or mine with his co-workers, lives by the ideas of universal secondary education, religious toleration, government in industry, world p eace-elevated concep­ care of children and of the aged, freedom of speech and assembly, mastery of technical processes and self­

are not slaves of Imperial Rome or peasants in ancient_ Assyria. A modern working man, whether he is in the

minds of Western Civilization from Plato and Aristotle in the history to Kant and Hegel. There is no more dramatic moment of philosophy than that in which the

tions which would stun into awed silence the most gifted

young Hegel, after descrIbing the disorder and torment

inflicted on society by c apitalist production, came face to face with the fact that only the proletariat could resolve it. Leaving the page forever unfinished, he turn­ ed to idealism. Marx completed it for him. At the other end of the s c ale it was the ineffable Joseph Stalin who decreed that the more socialism was establishe d in Rus­ sia, the fiercer would become the class struggle. There­ by in his own cabalistic manner, he declared the need either for an oppression which would grow along with the economic development.-or the Government of Work­ ers Councils. Official society seeks to excuse itself for the horrors and abominations perpetrated by Hitler and Stalin. The mud and blood are o n their own hands and faces. The triumphs of Western Civilization are com­ mon to all its members and common to all of them are its disasters and its decline. There is not a single na­ tional concentration of power and privilege in official society which would not mutilate and torture its own population in the Hitler-Stalin manner if it needed to, and could. Repeatedly we see in the Press that a hy­ drogen bomb would kill so many million p eople and render uninhabitable for some period undefined so many hundred square miles . This in defense of "our liberties" and "our high standard of living." It is a criminal self-deception to presume that any home popu-

he ruth whi�h is undergoing a systematic oblite­ ! ratIOn, IS qUIte dIfferent. Nktumah reach ed the Gold . Coas t m Nove mber uncertain whet her he would be all O\y ed to land or not. In one of the most remark­ able epIso des in revolutionary history he singlehandedly . outlmed a J?rogram, based on the ideas o f Marx, Lenin and GandhI, for expelling British Impe rialism, from th

THE GOLD COAST REVOLUTION

THE NEW NATIONS The w orld proietariat, with thos e of RUSSia and the u ite States at the head , constitutes a minority ev en m tl:e advanced countries . In these countrie s its c0J?-c�ntratIOn and cohe sion are sufficient to mak e it the gUldmg forc� a:nd motive powe r of the new socie ty. But the vast maJ orIty of the world's population lives in the unde�deve loped countries of ASia, Afri ca, and Latin merI ca. The abiding impudenc e of imperialism con­ tmues to see �hem a'S objects of profit and of use ; a t the prese nt tIme as prospectiv e allies of one o r the other powe r bloc. The truth is that vast millions of the� e p � ople are new human bein gs, read y for the new sOClety m that they have unco mpromisingly, often vio­ . ]en IY, r�J e cte d the status of natio nal humiliation and . SOCIal mIsery m which they were kept by official society . T e Russian Revolution shattered the structure of . offICIal Euro pe. The Chinese Revo lution shattered the structure of official Asia. The revolution in Ghana has forev er destroyed the structure which official society . ad Impos e d up n tropical Afri ca. ? This shou ld be a tru­ . . Ism, yet It IS Impossible to. appr oach any sphe re of even contemporary history with out using bulldozers and gas m asks to clear the b arriers and survive the . fumes WIth which it is surrounde d by the propaganda ? orps of official society. Ireland won, it was not given Its freed oI? ' Gandhi introduce d a new dimension into the technIque of mass struggle for national independ­ ence and perhaps for more. His p olitical genius one O f the greatest o.f our times, is obscured by the nfla­ . tIOn of Lord Mountb ten. The lates t, and p erhaps the � . most dangerous, addItIOn to. offic ial mythology is that the ne� state o.f Ghana was given its independence by . the BrItIsh 0�ernment as the conclusion to a period of careful t� amm and preparati on-dangerous because � large area s m AfrIca are still fight ing for their freedom.

� �

?

i

G:

!

1947,

r two years, his Gold Coast. Under Goldguidance, in little ove nomy and t the eco Coast brough ill a eral the people of the dst Coast to a life of the Gold country whstansloganinwasgen f­ soci al : Sel ose strike over the whole British Government jailed the Gov ernment Now. The crush the movement. But when to lead ers and sought that the revolutionary spirit of the tion showed an elec pressed and could population was determineddecided thaonly be asup 'Ssacre such ma by wholesale massacre, itgers and post lities, certainly sibi would, among other dan monwealth. It therefore 1'e ... driv e Ind ia ailt of the Com the matter , treated, putting the bestaspossibleldfaceaton had already it it cou wh and g iv ing as gracefully lost. n, not to discredit British We rectify this falsificatio than today more efficientlyion to it Imperialism-that, else.does wish to draw attent it does anything social Weces of the day, the spirit of for one of the great now animates the vast millions every­ ich renaissance wh the creative han Thg of mod­ wl1 ere in the glObe, and by their leaders. dlin e cre ation ern political techniques the brushing aside of Nizams. Ind of the Republic of ars, ia, .Nawabs (feudal relicS main­ ekw and Maharajas, Ga the org zation of tl1e tained solely by British power) , up of ani liament, the par setting pro vin cial regions, the the Congress Party and erate,universal consoli dation of the ulation largely illit and all t suffrage in a vasof poplence and disturb ance, this is one vio with a minimum itical achievements of our own or any greatest pol of the convention ani other age. Similarly it is orgich zation of the nding poli­ outsta 1's the PEOple's Party of Ghana wh ried out in tropical Africa ent so far car subordination to Euro­ tical achievem ing of its direct since the beginn . That it is not an accident is proved pean Imperialism it is par alleled by the Rassemblement by the fac t tha t vement of Afri­ Democr atique Africain (Democratic Mothe French colo­ Afr cans) , a party organized by the icans intion People's Par­ Conven n If less dyn amic tha nies. in din scope, being the llions gofpartynch in ty, it exceedS it comprising many mi lea Fre several colonies, ead over many tens of thousands of west Africans spr ed to these purely African creations, square miles. Comparmasquerading as pygmalion, deter­ French Imperialism nchmen out of Africans, and the mined to make Fre fice, with its perpetual checkers Of British Colonial black and white in Executive Councils, of shifting game enforce their if would be comic 'Spectacles gunthey did not . Both in the planes s and foolishness with machine
78

Y FACING REALIT

, . spIrIt of their populations and the manner 111 WhICh ' the older they utilize for new purposes and in n W political forms now outmoded in the :;., e�;�be undevel­ oped countries are part of the new sOCI�ty, not f the old. In a few years there will not be a co ony left � the m world except those areas which Russ' a���he United States are colonizing in their differe�t

NEW

SOCIETY:

NEW PEOPLE

79

.

We cannot here go into a�y. deta� s of the expulsion '1 of imperialism from China�I �! �US omtry to s�y that the Chiang-Kai-Shek regi e l pa .om ItS own ·· rottenness, and the Chinese co� I: t frh l to take over. This is true but only in t: �:St S��g�; Y In the years 19 29-1939 Chiang-Kai-Shek exhausted the resources of his regime i th greatest effort it ever ;. made-the effort to crush th� C �nese Communists. Cut off from contact with Moscow' ao-Tse-Tung and his , fellow revolutionists built a Par�y and an army 111 strict relation to their obJ' ectI've enVIronment and the need of self-preservation. Their resistance to the attempt of . . Chlang-Kai-Shek to exterminate them �s one o f the gr�at epics of revolutionary strUggle. T ey were sus­ buned by peasant 13upport of th most herOl, � bravery and endurance. The Long Marc� of 6�OO mIles from the South to the North of China t�kes Its place among the greatest actions in history and assed th e military history of the Twentieth �e������ in .IS now cam­ Stalinism had little to do with this It. mon knowledge that Stalin opposed the' seIzure of power by the Chinese Communists If Ch'111a has gone the way of Stalinist totalitarianism it · S b us ac d ,with the implac able hostility of u�ite ; st:�: � � IalIsm and � .per , even more poverty-stricken than the usSIa 0 f the Octo­ . bel' Revolution' it has had:o ��o��, but t? follow the pattern of its Russian all B ma WIll not need forty years to be in th ' o��etotalitarian,ization. The dictum of stalin h�l��O���� e ::lOre "socIalism," , the fiercer the class struggle The s ocks WhICh the g Russian empire is experiencin' :lre�gy, the still more violent upheavals which await i ' WI be felt no more powerfully than in China It . t e o say that t?e ?,enuine mass revolution, the r!!en��et; C �ntury upns­ mg of the people has not t��n place m China and history has decre�d that w��.� 1 . oes t�ke place, it will take place against the totalItanan regIme. The people of China made thel' r, f"�rst m�dern attempt _ at self-realization in 19 2 5 2 7 . StalIlllsm rumed it. They

600,000,000 CHINESE

. politics. a Russia which is not Khrushchev ( or whoever may be ruling when this is read) .hE'. . can pro Ulldmg mo dern ed nations m asSist the underdevelop t the ove r. that the new nations have ' to edu­ cate themselves. It i'S on this new basis that they will have to develop their perspectives. but for the American military occupation wearing the cere­ monial robes of the emasculated Emperor. o crac liamentary D e . The imperialist men ­ tality of official society sees them always as poor rela­ tions. and the Southern NegrO-haters . lusions of Chiang-Kai-Sh an ty com es n Twentieth centu 'y h greater. and their demonstrat IOns are blIght­ newly-independent nat prospects of the se ad­ by the weaknesses of the . charitable r eceptacles for economic aid. false as every other idea by which official 'S ociety lives and which it spreads in the world. It is false. which now often show surprising affinity with the latest discoveries of modern science and the practical creativene'Ss of the advanced proletariat. the Japanese proletariat would have made Japan into a modern com­ munity.­ idity that is a characteristic stup p ast hIstory teac hes It to official mind. and the Secret Police. Despite all the tru . .of t e Tw�ntleth en. theil" l"e olutionary But despite their numbel" hop es and ed p olitical cap acIty. ideas . The German proletariat is one of the greatest social forces in the world. 'It roahs bred slaves and b Ul or Egyptian Pha . with social values. em erg e trlU nT t. neI fac t is tha s capItal to duc e sufficie t sur lu. by mea t hist of 600 millions wit h a grea theIr ce. and not in the decadent official so­ Clety of Europe and the United States or t otalitarian tyranny in China. in ideas . The Idea tha century shows that they inies of a peo ple cracy can sha pe the dest and a bureau orical pas t. institutions and Par s e w per iod of Wa l mg t O h a actuallY living throug mph an . mo re settled . t. and build factories as yramids . themselves. the political as a whole Still wo nist wo r d and the of bot h the Commu tices and i eas would the se ne . and whe l"aIS eS Its vOlC e. � � � ? r: ? I? ?� ern civilization. ove r by Fre e Wo rld . can pro duc which it will rapidly economy l the development of wor wealth necessary for and eth lCal pra c­ rse . � d :v � � I? � n: � � ��� � . ther m RUSSIa n r the t capitalism tod ay. but not in the commonly a c c e p t e d sense. the Kuomin peri or forc Il­ bew ail the anachro s l y Chinese Communists. That it was not allowed itself to settle accounts with Hitlerism is one of the twin crimes of Russia and the United States. Many of these countries have an­ cient cultures of their own. Similarly in Japan. formerly despised. their lack of economic development is not wholly negative. most of which is fit only for demoli­ tion squads but is preserved by privilege and sheer in­ ertia. but they have their own powerful contributions to make to the new society. for example. ialist eco nomy wIthou . without being bur­ dened by the centuries of accumulated rubbish in ad­ vanced countries. tury e of Ch ne se peo ple as pur see the hundreds of millions . disClplm masses ' the obj ect of poli o tang and e. Un ited sta tes. supported the party and ependently upon yet com e in . The mfmltelY ek. There is an America which is not Dulles. the plaIn mpeting in . for ideas. if they cannot prevent. arrange of plans and secr et poli bre ed cattle Texas ran che rs 1· Ives. they themselves hav e not dId m 1905 and t en e as the Russian p e ople the stag th le history. but s lies t days new natIO the ear va ced nat ions . social. But there is more.NEW SO CIETY: NEW PEOPLE But arm y of Ma o-T se-Tung. They will.. Fro m m'll:ru­ old er.. Only a soc o o off I I 1 SOC lety . and labor second to none in the history of West­ believe that their ultimate fate is bound up with the fate of the world. ed by some su­ tics. economIes. with a theoretical and practical tradition behind it. It enables them to begin. it is because we here aim to indicate only broad lines of development with chosen concrete instances . ed not by the power. The underdevelope d c ountries need to be helped. of the Twe ntIe in 1917 . � v: t�e �ll :t � : � : OTE NCE THE IMPERIALIST IMP s. Today by their persistent neutralism they impede.. many na and ou. bree d them. On this virgin terrain beginnings of world-his­ torical significance can be made in economic. Already they have assisted it by the great blows they have given to official society. even re y. If we have not written about. The ir own are . may at last be pIer ced.wo rival blocs will :v spirit. for tech­ nical assistance. Fur­ ther. n tIOn s. and and incom pet enc e of head burdens ty of 1 a b o r se in the pro ductIvI the immense increa e the surplus dev elo p. Germany. if taken o a young mt inj ect ion of SyphIlIs be equivalent to the er to pre are d hi'S maturity.t into the stre ets of Chi le. It is here. All its own . The who t a party will. the Pentagon. rums hitherto impenetrab eard 80 FACING REALITY 81 � ? � � � <: : This is true. the drive to global suicide. the . in ord man who has rea che n w natIOns res ponsibilit ies . :rhe him to assume all his e p ay IIp serVlCe to fre where they know this and.com have depended upon the loso phlC l and p olitical and PhI ties for economic aid th e pre ss.

there is nothing to tak tumbling dow n and function is to kee p wh ose special Som e of the publicists proletariat lik e to classes aw ay from the the middle son for the of socialism as a pri paint horrible pictures no get very linist model. writers and artists either portrayed the waste­ land of official s ociety or explO1. rpo s� s structure . � f THE ARTIST ways announced itself in innumerable ways In previous periods of transition. The gre test names lD western art and literature.ed new realms of tech­ nique. But mos s ples and the political g eniu lutionary spirit of their peo e their it. and to flow b oth way dow n currents to flow. morass of official soc the literature and art of the day. to name only a few. middle clas ses are Britain. You will s earch in vain the writings of even pro-Communist writers like Koestler and Malraux for any glimmer of understanding that socialism or Com­ ' munism in the sense in which Marx used the word ' was first of all a society of a new mode of labor of new social relations of production.82 ­ t of all. ending dem g ition for the tlm e beln ancial pos Sta tes wh ere their fin ogy are s of the national mytho is stil e asy. was not committed. and exhilarating forms of art. Even in the hectic period of the Nineteen Thirties. Yet so universal a phenomenon must have some deep connection with the essential character of the two societies. aim s. But problems except as part of a ne:w own future that they env isag e their take to solve theIr rder ' every step that they wor ld-o iration same time serv e as insp own nee ds can at the king their anc ed proletarians hac and example to the adv . and p .life is informa­ n all others pos sess . :n ay � � i � � Today the cry rises for writers to be "committed " which is only another way of saying that they must a ­ t:::. the middle classes. of Workers Co cils in every branch of the national activity. For all of them the new society was the society of the P arty and the Plan. as they are of of the industrial proleta al pre jud ices Eve ry day the ir anc estr tants of the mo on.l contours or the individual p ersonalities of the new society. It think they more tha the middle clas ­ -building which tion of the new wor ld a eve lop ed countries peo ples of the underd ses and the ple in e in the case of the peo lack.. Giotto. and Rembrandt. the ed States.: al as ignorant of the soci the mh abl ­ riat. But whereas for a century the finest minds in the arts have devoted themselves to destroying the intel­ lectual and moral foundations of bourgeois society. the old god e the Ir pla ce. Tolstoy. Suc h a mu ­ jungle of official soci ety way through the and underdeveloped advanced tual rela tion b etween ed ossification of official ies is beyond the conceit countr med ­ oval will allow the dam mentality. politically a reactionary of the most ex­ treme kind. eive loos ening sho clt ois order rec and links to the bourge ­ e to acc om mo dat e the n: ening shock.c h themselves to one of the great bureaucratic social and political m achines : these cannot bear even to con­ template any activity anywhere which does not sub­ scribe to their plans and formulae. In generations to come men will m arvel at the �lmost pathological inabilit� o . and France. It is understandabl ntries like the Unit­ But in cou distant Asi a and Africa. Th ey do educated on the Sta hIstory the and again in rec ent far with that. They cannot solv which always acco mpa nies to the extent in a global context. . they . the new society al . were all seau. lllummatmg. � men of the transition from one age to another. of t?e erful lea d wh ich will low any pow allst D omi nat ed by ratlOn iety. As if a man like Dostoevsky. educated oClety m the mIddle of the Twentieth Century to recogmze the new society which surrounded it on all sides. . and to the esty of their political Eve n m t e UU l ed ands of the proleta. Michel­ � J. even when sympathetic to la­ bor. Only its rem s. 3 v e bee? mcapable of putting into the concentrated. Goethe. All ooperatIve and outlook by the c sha ped in character is what they . What they lack cha racter of modern . . so that in the end they understood t themselves better than before . Dante. j udge the proletariat by the fanfaronades and sycophancy of its official leaders. They hav after loos s�pen ­ t of their claim to inheren selv es to the rej ection dIshon­ s. Rous­ � not least � angelo . as few have been com­ mitted.riat. to the incompetence and ority by colonial peo ple a?par ently � n­ lea der s. Herman Melville. - AND THE NEW SOCIETY �n to the of the middle classes What is the relation cle i­ Som e of them whose ety ? people of the new soci letanat pro imates to tha t of the cal employment approx follow ntially pro letarians and see themselves as esse anot er are to one deg ree or the proletarian roa d. REQUIRED: INFORMATION FACING REALITY NEW SOCIETY: NEW PEOPLE 63 ideas. Shakespeare. Time are rea dy to fol­ wn that they middle classes have sho tak e the m out. they have the revo and ideological life . to the task of showing men what they were and hGW they lived. and we be sure that the people of their day understood chem. either the genera.

mc�mplete human beings less fIt fOI.. hu tl1 e real history of al ­ society is a drug that offici The idea of a classless is feeling particularly low. and comic strlp .values. culture. were still close s('ulptors who de to include them in all that they enough to the people artists are so removed from the did. �a�e the greatest step forward that has . cannot create an art in But the proletariat also ed on W orkers Coullcils in . and its art als actualities of life and the human great gap between the ompleteness which could only be need for or der and c ctions of philosophy. production and political r� fIons whICh will give their �d complete the mdividuali. Ed . It is an o will assume new dimensions . pIe. all m en. . . Even the gr. In the commlation to deaden the pain and to inj ected into the popu y for the Plan. ' . The liv ing . w ere the common people wel' -h ' wn. if the Hungarian Revo­ societ to understand the new thout the stimulus and explosive ate wi lution ha d to cre ause of the very unpre­ is clarification of art. throwing in amanity would begin. It will disappear because for the fu­ will disappe ligion wil nderstand that their time men. shelter.the thing is impossibleworld it is a tranquil unist countries it is periodically utopia. the Spanish dr amthedrals. stImulate wIthout satisfying . Ull crowned as well as crowned ' So it is that at this sta � of r SOClety art is either t:t:e contem�orary abortion. eIther social or mdividual. were C���i�� � rldlCu1 e of official so ?lety and the reaffirmation o d . tradi� tions which a�e not ev! e t ��s�. and re ­ stra satisfied in the abar. . But of reference . s�amp to the new society a tles of new people . on the one ha s previously characterized all This ha all th e oth er. yve have to do without and �r� so m:uch �he poorer.ate � artIsts o� our century. ' :. �l'Oletariat will release i�me?se energIeS m an uninhib. Whi�� r�sp the nerves and .ed except as they are passed from generation to ene . the builders corated them. The reorganization now of s Clety on cla�sless lines by the . proletanat trains . Griffith and �l1e early EIsenstein. television and monarchy. In official society the popular arts. and can train no one i 1t� � oClal traditions. so that they will : t t ties . bas its own image A society nal activity is not a proletar ·· nch of th e natio human ev ery bra entir ely new dimension in ian s ociety. but from th� �evo of royalty itself. The . �ere recognized and �elcomed by it. and the mass of the people learning. which their work in m es ance with new fra FACING REALITY turn helps to define The new. the tists. and new understand�nd o crea e new . teleVIsIOn in par' tlCular are already exhaust ed. Yet it is pre cisely summon up more energbridge which the artistic life of here that there is a t cross an d wastes itself in frus­ official society cannoCapitalist society has carried to a tration and despair. it the bec society. new bon s. ' cIar'ed hIS weariness of its rl�lta�lOns.I�siV s T ere IS no help for it . It is not ' e eIy the . and the painters and of ca tists. " striving to hold on to they are wh' p eople where . Marx s . . men who worked for the p ' I e and . art . so b NEW S OCIETY : NEW PEOPLE 85 �� . dead end the tradition nd. All pr evious so ­ w cedented character offrom ne e class society to another. t only from the pres­ �� sure without. atists . . It IS a mIserable' C�I�gmg mentality. . Jazz. In older parts of they are supposed to lizerve.a tlOr: for strictly practi­ cal purposes. But the film' . Chaplin. In it society takes wheneveruses the concept as a stimulusit the the United states ha it. Ited environment. the Greek drama­ yet in previous centuries Elizabethan drama­ societies. is in their own hands. The democracy of An clent Greece . But today the ents can express themselves only people that their tal in pure negativity. . reorganization of . lIfe. And that is no simple mad that then without classe phrase when he sai was not.' or It IS a retreat to the accepted classics which re only half-understood be­ cause they are being u � �s a omb. confined to the "higher standa d Of l1vmg for our peo­ �at It has and to keep . whereas they were originally eX. al division between art. lCh does not understand that the only way out is t� g��� eoPIe new visions of them­ : ne ways to express them selves. me the Man will beco and will alw ays b e the work Great art alw ays has b eeny shape their w ork in accord­ the of individual men. D.84 no t helped by modern art If the middle classes are y. Murrow has de. beyond the c�mpI'ehenSlOn 0f men tral�e d m the ' . No one has denounced it with m ore wlthermg ferocity than Milton Berle Thus the ewi as well as the old organi­ z ations of official socie ' O[ example. emsl u s. first elve th ture will be shaped byundispute d center of his universe .ever been made m hterature when it invented the traglC drama. W. ' far. mg between th ose who are now so dIVIded. were rapid­ comed what seemed to be arts of t� ell' ? �y corrupted by official society as 1� cOIrupts everything It touches. � . begin to fall a a . ourgeOls-rationalist tradit'lOn . on cial transitions were is from class society to a society on The present transiti tter. frames of reference are.

:. sundmthe UPilures..forarSOCIalism.of Lenin is one of t r��t polItic�1 triumphs of �a nkmd .. . T�IS IS what ruined the e e i iO� O: £�� ��.!ni:: a mn in what the Hunganan Revolution has unmistakably shown' the specific organizational th eory of Leninism .n=���be � e great work for so.at went with t. was des . m w nd of T ts sm ious brace s e endroof W orld War II. a wholeeventsgen .":n experiences should con:� Y us �.mg but workers s. the inter­ litical r esol classicS. the per'S. must now be re� j ected root and branch. �. and the prac. . th by NoW sin s ocialists has arisen. It was a particular theory.THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 . the todaY ience can be m ed 86 TO IZA I N T R R S O GAN H VI. new life andpolaped. Ism wInch is crying to done and which can be done only by us. The determined attempt publication of been prn contact with the workers.was h tUl"ns theory intholife.:st thing we must d0 IS t0 purge ourselves of it' THE What was Lenin's th eory? Here it IS III the clearest · . W�ile continuing to ��.Ve are the the totalitarian state and theWe know at th have seen both varieties of state capitalism. � general governed by tlle gr�at experience of the RUSSIan Revolution and the wrltings and example. f::. . � M:: himselt: t"t h :�ance fo. terness. at of all thespite the infinite variety of the tragic exper­ d Yet the whole fa a struggles. ck d up can Schenishthe accelear and world W arvar ­ groun Civil W scribe d loosely to pa Before the ng or sub any of us eit11er b elokyied 01' other Marxistnepolitics­.hO. the national conferences ernational int t of Ma1'xisconferences-it w ould occUpy an ve any intel­ tional for ten y ears to be able to gi orts . ey have been I.. But beclouding the been ution rs th the revol the fact that · dUl"ing the pasthasi1'ty yeane been o s spective is of these Marxist organizations een done ha d the reco1'eved failure . But such un it is the gree of theor it was bound to be:o d ing remaitneof abst1'act. are now an anachronism and. . . We . The theory. If perSIsted in lead to one form or another of t'he counter-revolution' Th e . mg the establlshment of. the S OCIalIst society. : .re those intellectuals and :: :r� :ro have been able he h�storical process h e. and they had for decades given circumstances. with extreme simplicity . . 87 we'! An first who aJ..y from the state are ing but the reorganization of societ gration. the p ty ��ich tnne t 0 lead the :��!��d. . theoretical jOUl"nals. s ome of us reached a 1'ema derstand­ ­ prison th at etical understanding .have m movemen r oughassesthehicorld. e do not recognize our ' ��r � p: TODAY • THEORY OF M ARXIST ORGANIZATIONS : 1903 . Taught that natiowe n of ood eration one deg1'ee or anothe1' underst e basic frame­ have to of p1'oduction does not alter th ood the men­ al1zation italist society. in neW per­ awake in Hungary.:nizations and themselves as the nucleus of the p y :�:: �:d · onlY party. tl1at not11 rating disinte II. deSIgned to suit a speCIf:::c stage of development of society tnd a specific stage of work'mg class development Tlla �tage of society is �GW past. . us s d of o. However much thes��te��ctuals and workers might differ on doctrinal po . the a gonized scrutiny an .'e the wh ust we at then mvarioUS dgo? up'S d in every country elfaro Wh ro W e . Let us define our terms :I�� absolute precision. we have unde1'st rty for th­ work of capstate Plan .c:: O � � �e V:��i��.radeh unionism life to b workers and having no WISh In and parJi::':�­ tary pOlitics merelY means to an end.i . The worke:rs in p�r���uiar al e those worke�� :.tlCe th. The na eff n c0mmissiocount o f the magnitude of thend'S of devoted ligible ac ve b een pitiful. of Lenin. . the end be. w eekly pa d rescrutiny pamphlet utions. and most unambiguous statement of that great master uf political exposition It comes from his What Is To Be Done? written in 1903'. The w ork that has b to make and eli of unr odigious. we have seen the Pa rkable dee ace of the it is . the theOl Y of the Vanguard Party. and po­ maintai s. and the first sta:: i� e emanCIpation not of ny partIcular class but 0f h�man society in general :rhef work of no Marxist no ��:�. Tens of thousa emselves and results ha or s ocialism have exhauste d th often in bit­ fighters feir struggles in disillusionment. The work . �n order to be fully prepared for hIS task the workl�g class revolutionary m� also become a professlOnal revolutionary . . and w out n th N ow ned by the events in Russia. savage hatre d ended th not infrequently in the mosttheir lives to . . T E MA XI 19 03-19 58 LENINISM Tbey all consIdered th:�� Or:.

called "Free thatrld" s against totalitaJ. If th of was carried to extremes 1' n . he may be Commun rab In the United astates or ist or atain. . the basis of the bureau­ the politic the governments. �l r . for these detachments o.��e . more r Iron Curtain he is. . It is thiAd rooted in theas such has s. strength m a positively shameful manner . tended and reared wIth speCla1 care. .ed��their level o hi .t men absolutely devoted and loyal to the revolutIOn will themselves enjoy the . orf::�z�.��i:eav. 0 0 ° ° ° . He�cereally immediately try. Look at the . from the ranks. is but context. to spread It fr m one factory to the whole of his trade: from 0r:� �0 rt to the whole country. what do we see ? The trained profes type of Leninsional agitator. agitators.working class has no neege of these pro­ It has arriVed at a sta d Where abso­ lute freedom of zat dem not an aspiration. prOpaga dlst.���� O our. But they understand perfectly or well t1lat the "average" does not too frequently promote . Often selfless and devoted. toetplace eVery capable. absolute confidence and devotlOn 0f the broad masses of the workers.IS that onetraining aunderstand that. woof of its daily existence.'. as Lenin writes almos� immed���. theory can mlS No .! hIS knowledge increases. �" It was the police ter ards the perils sur­ state of Tsanst RUss�a ) rounding the revo lutIOn which forced this conception into narrow channels. he is or the Labor no ly engaged in a desperate struggle agains t infrequent_ t a political burea . the revolutionary SOCialist 's day is today cratic machines of the uniolllS.. Here is the Marxisttrained tic in its icated leader­ dia content. they capable agltatDIS. erma . and sin and these elite now becom ce that time obstacles to thattypes have popular enee the greatest ease tive power which rels alwof been the rgy and crea­ ha ays motive force in the creation of a new most powerful soc iety.Russia it was because. When we have detachments of specially tramed th gh working class revolution�ries wh v 1 ong Years of preparatlOn ( an � �: :o��: r���lu.� have.' " ' what ' ft iC l� in a �oiiticallY takes place very la�ge a � free country must m �USSI� be done deliberately and t'ons systematicall� by our. in you on every rung of the ladder Bri the union will find him of Party. half a century after. which has developing transformed the union and labor party adm gradually inistration TH E MA RX IST ORGANIZATION -1 903 .ionof activity. c. His ideal of speciallyrman Social cially tra . he IS enc�urage� �o widen the field of his activity. structure of capitalism itself. an in such conditions as will enable hIm 0 . Now. On1y m this way can men of the stamp of Bebel and Auer promoted from the ranks of the workmg c1ass. verministration warp and become alien to it. his outlook �eco s . for him the working class is incapa anti-Com­ ble of acting successfully without a and ded ship.organithe ion.. id anti-C ommunist. and it was an selected. SO ciety has moved on al parties. no political. Ac­ ntry he lives in. In this respec� we . 1ac1{: the ability to husband that WhlCh should be .:ithinhe mSelf t to���:. Whether he is Communist content of a or munist. etc. . the lec cific per most profound formed the spearhead of thespe rkers' sonality which wo socialism at the beginning of the centurmovement and solid core of the bureaucratic reaction iny is today the every section of the working class movement. organizer. . tionaries . PTOpa­ ganda of the Wo ianism has obsso. y complete the ocracy. ocr whicheve capable. ' Today the letarian Jesuits. .i�� strives rise to :�� �. g class enVlronment and �:e :o���!t s :nvictions with professional skill. ' 88 FACING REALITY 89 The rigidity of the Leninist organiza _1958 tion in Russia was dUe to the of Tsa ideal was the Gepolice nature-Demthe acy rist state.dut to assist every capable worker to b�com� a proiessional agitator. and ncils in e v e l' y nat of of Workers Councils al the essence anda Government as new society.. The social type. rature distributor. pollce m the world wIll be able t contend agamst them . etc. he obser ves . spe ocr ined revolution_ ary socialists. . He acqUIreS expenence ��� �exterity in his profession. promment p n' a1 leaders from other localItIes �. ::a I::��� and apply his a�ilities to tJ:e utmost: h Os made a professional agItator. "of all arms") . The wholee theory corps of elite workers.'­ cur thi partic an d P olitical type ed the fact ess arily a Com ular social is not nec cording to the political climate of the cou munist. without Wh'ICh the proletanat cannot carr·y on a stubborn struggle be with the excellently trained enemy. t have had a hundred tImes more ? ces :'�n . revolutionarie s. he is theOn rtal enemy side of the mo of the shop floor organiza Workers Cou branch of the tion. wIder.y more ctive is that a mo dem honest set of bureaucrats. we . onl perspe union or of substituting ucracyreBut his atic.

as if the working class were the steam of an engine with intellectuals as mechanics and engine driv­ ers. The recog­ nition of this socialist creativeness among workers must not be confined to great historical occasions. which constitute SOCIalIsm. wha.�er to jU�y to anybody itse � In �ve� tiv�ties . sn SOClety '. We have already pointed out that in the factories workers develop methods and forms of cooperation. ' : xIst onlY l to fun­ Mar ' the The Marxist organizatIOn IS of departure t :11S t es as ·t oin . . was re-invented by the workers of Catalonia in 1936-1937 and has now been brilliantly reaffirmed by the Workers Councils of Hun­ gary in 1956. first advanced by the Rus­ sian Factory Committees of 1 9 1 7 .7 1 . The idea that the emancipation of the workers will be the work of the workers themselves is the literal and the total truth .class aint? r e� ��� � ��ing the . n on .z i. which they would not have been able to do in any case. The idea that the independent organizations of the masses must replace the bureaucratic bourgeois appar­ atus of the state was first realized by the Commune. to elaborate it and to defend it. . etc. ! �� l{�:!l. thi's self-Orga ��e proletariat under capitalism velop u 0 Tbe developmentsocialist COr:CI. The reality is that it is the working class alone which is able to produce the organization.�ar:tdern society. d SO CIALIST CON SCI OU SNE SS 1 TIO N �ND . the pt"Ie or . And this is because Revo mg the Russian g to lutIOn at no longer needed to ce d· do ' e been trym refore wh ld not b e done. ��:: celt�he need to tallsm. to elaborate the idea and to defend it against reactionary ideologists. of organi­ zation. which already anticipate socialist relations. ����:�� a nd if it didn't � would be idle leads it towardsall talk ab 0 t lead to there. epe dentl�and to reconstruct the to­ itself md r: O ganize the stages of a dia­ "Ia t<J1ity of social r �latl ns l ect�:atr�ecause the achieve­ lectical prOgressIOn. differentiations exist within the prole­ tariat itself. Here also the task of a revolutionary organization is. But today the idea ]fi inherent in the traditional organizations and in the majority of all present-day groups that there must c THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 91 THE BLINDNESS AND FAILURE OF "THE VANGUARD" . �. e'dent that it takhich hass Pbeen demonstrated by the al 'dea w dament . histOrIcal scale. organl'ze thems · socialism. they hav cou e and what the . and to let itself be guided by them in what it is doing and in what it is saying.01e h'IStory of um. The immense merit of Marx and Lenin was not that they invented this idea. �e1 9 1 7 the Spani'sh Revolution. It was that they were able to recognize the importance of the actual steps tak­ en by the workers. the forms. militancy. No one denieB that. The idea of workers' management of factories.f� e y Ol n. on in its day-to-day existence. of mutual help and solidarity. as in every group of human beings. be don n is the role of the Marxist orgamzatIOn What the today? Y GANIZATION TO DA TH E MARXIST OR has n� nee rxist organization ce ��! �t���d F" t of all the Ma xisten = tifY . ther in-itself" and inevitablart� 0. ThIS Re The C0lIl:IDune m 1�. in regard to clarity of ideas and attitudes. It is not enough to say that the working class alone has the necessary force to realize its eman­ clpation.mu� t do so at the present tlIDe. can b � plam1Yt "'eeRussianthe volution of 1 9 0 5 . WhIChonly S cIla. sm Socialism is nothing other the one and O a � a��l0 �f the proletariat carried to tban �he self� l:g l1lZ e 1 �letariat of today tends to de­ � its ultImate lImIt. �he�e are only the most dra­ the HungarianofRevo s rugg e f the proletariat to or­ the matic stages . om. re­ forms of lI�e. to explain the significance of them. ade is neither "trrary. hing else. 0 ' thE' RUSSIan Revolu lut�on. In the q:u of reactIO organizations evo ion RU decline of the andSSIanance� lutrke�s the nally failed to wo adv of intellectuals predecessors -:' d in thesig eration pre ­ gen do what their . letariat . develops On the cont . of hum�n . and ideas which this emancipation demands . are sO . to recognize these forms. It is absolutely imperative to put an end to the legend of "the vanguard" which has dominated the revolution­ ary movement for so many decades with such catastro­ phic results. It was pushed to further limits by the Soviets of 1 9 0 5 and 1 9 1 7 . Tn. itsOfe��::: e o. lations. Today it is far more important to recognize it in the sphere of day-to-day activity. IOn. first. Our task is to recognize its fundamental importance.�onsctousness. T?-ey COt�t e o �a it as long as class society and they WIll con mu exists.soc by the very circum­ r. wo r er e1aves ��f�order to advan� the cause of In .ORGAN Z� Y FACING REALIT 1 � 1 ments of each period are absorbed and surpassed in the period following.I o stances of . continuity in action. '. cl1atter and not . rlst .90 :e� � �h' t from an instrument ofythe working . moder wb.. ialistt only by mstmct . tha the pro.o .

l1 ces and in relation to certain very narro w purp oses . And if the organiZation wa'S the subject of history. bem� br �ng in carrying out a politic al line w ICh they pied of anythmg from outside. This is their rs strug­ is shown by the whole past history of worke today .). In workers' (generally very badly) the history of the o elements of Marxisn:. It believed that it represented the "maximum> ! program and the ultim ate. what is going on under their very noses gles and � � � the mass es in the r evolution. and cannot be. on every occaS ion. What else is the daily function of Stalinists and other union bureaucrat s ? And perio ds of g�'eat social crisis are periods of great social crisis pre­ clsely becau se workers are no longe r listening to leaders but are acting independently in indep endent organiza­ tions. instead of showing the road. " The problem of leadership is a false problem. men of the of the political organi vanguard. they in that the� can no longer curious optical inversi on totally oc �u­ see what takes place in the factory. on every occasion it is the most exploited elements. The p eople who consid er thems. on account of its limitations. In ordinary times the only chosen body o f leaders who can lead the work ers is he one which helps to keep them unde r the yoke of cap ­ Italist exploitation. The old type of Marxist organiZation had certain be­ liefs about itself . Men have always had and will always have leaders. are consCI negati that they know ous on the purely "political" level. the van­ guard. who have been the most audacious. the motivating force of history. irrespectIve and slo ans else.reduce d movem ent and the they are mteres ted In simple for mulae . the pro- . their most of the iI1ternational politics . ork­ the production. A member of the Marxist organiZation can be and often is the leader of many thousands of men.a in the end. that is to say. there is no other leadership than the workers organized in 'iNorkers Councils. the r eahtIeS . class WhICh IS more con­ form a permanent organization s than scious. of the worker s. ely narrow and limited and WhICh view which is extrem becom es . But they numbe r of deputies of such and such a J?arty unconscious of what constItutes t�e. is to make the w orkers adopt. the or�es who have carried the m ovem ent forwa rd without f . It has no advantage in itself. the most "backward ." the most humble. rversion.. trying with grea t difficulty to adapt themselves to events . resen ted the international point of View as oPPos ed to national particularism. they have dragged lamentably in the rear.92 FACING REALITY THE MAHXIST ORGANIZATION-I9 03_1958 93 who must be a body of sharply differentiated individuals and so separat e themselves from the wor ing . SUch was the consi dered judgment of Lenin in 1917. This IS pure and sImple the great mass as "the delirium. Ther e is not. These self-styled eaders -. � � � � I: � Not only is the Marxist organization not a "body of lea ders . It believ ed that it rep.the Id� as to the struggle and nothing to contnbute greate st error and It f alsIty of sociali sm. All these belief s led to the c onclusion that the organiZation was the true subject . Even when they do not uhdergo this p � mes unconsciousl y led to consIder that they are someti "the �ost the elements who are the most exploited and to contr �bute backward" among the worke rs have ittle to . except from one . But during and after the struggle for socialism." On every occasion "the vang�ard" h a� found itself far behind in relation to the actIOn and Ideas o f Every nail in this coffin must be driven firmly home . It believ ed that it repre sente d the gen­ eral intere sts of the prolet ariat to the degre e that these gener al interests are oPPos ed to the partic ular interests of specia l categories of workers. any permanent selection of a group of inclividuals able to direct the working class . they know the names a country. tl�ose I evo utlOns .ltering a s far as it was able to go. � which should have been the supreme J UstIfICa IOn of "the vanguard" and which should have proved Its ne­ cessity and placed the seal on its hist ?ric this history is a merciless condemnatIOn of � � 1'01:: Instead. .elves US th�n the vanguard" are not in general more COnsCIO pomt of "backw ard" working class. and the ch5 ef ministers of such and such ." b elong. the most creat ive. Often even when they c �m e from under go ing class and remain in the facton es. total ob­ j ective s of the worke rs' strUggles to the degree that these are in OPPOSition to the "minimum" demands of the day-t o-day struggles. ­ ve element. most are in general of profound realities of capitalist s ociety. and sometimes f u rther. more cohere nt n its action . zation to WhICh they. A vang uard i s a val1guai'd · only in speci al circum-­ s"La. more militant. Their usual aim. the line . B O LSHEVISM AND STALINISM � � WHO ARE THE BACKWARD ONES? But the final judgment on the concept � f "the � an­ guard" considered from its p oint of view IS conta�ned in the history of workers' revolutions.

tion. for he be­ longs with them and the}. Today a party on that model in an ad­ v&nced country can be nothing else but an instrument of oppression. tyranny. saying thaC scientific socialism is only the conscious expression of the elementary and instinctive drive of the proletariat to reconstruct society on Communist foundations . but not with the force and thoroughness which were needed to pl'event them frum doing infinite mischief. This conception of the organization is inherent in the ex­ treme views that Lenin expounded in What Is To Be Done? He repudiated them later. REQUIRED : 94 FACING REALITY The first duty of the organization is to place at the disposal of the working class all possible means. and vilify its leaders. Material means. and the action and organization of the proletariat on the other. In its heroic days it was incontesta­ bly the party of the proletariat and there is no greater testimony to this than the fact that before it could enslave the Russian proletariat. these views became the chief theoretical weapon of the counter-revol1!tion. of expressing itself. was the Universal. The Bolshevik Party of Lenin was the greatest political party the modern world has known. In the hands of Stalinism. In this conception the organi­ zn. The relation between theory and revolutionary organization 011 one side. and when INFORMATION OF THE NEW SOCIETY Quebec 1 97 2 G eneral Strike : "We the ordi nary peo ple" . cannot be a relation between the conscious and the instinctive. increasingly removed from the actual conditions of social and particularly proletarian life . repress.letariat was the object. Stalinism had to de­ stTOY the party almost to a man. its own condi­ tions of life. Who has not learned this after the Hungarian Rev­ olution should cease his criticism of Stalinism. mate­ ria) and intellectual. and failure. in 1938. rewrite the history of the Revo­ lution. because bourgeois society is or­ ganically organized so as to inhibit. and its own aims. There is no excuse whatever for Trotsky. But even this party in the last analysis was a type of parliament with representatives of the workers divided into debating factions. disgrace. which had no use for the great theoretical strides for­ ward Lenin had made in his Notebooks during the war and state and Revolution. union bureaucrats.r function of safeguarding of­ ficial society from Workers Councils in every branch of the national activity. and parliamentary labor leaders. discr edit. in philosophical terms. and suppress or reinterpret its historical docu­ ment's.

from na­ even to acquire independent material means of expres­ However p owerful the independent efforts at self­ -­ tion to nation.s in Stalinism. but because any such independent expression immediately calls into question their own lea. that they can be m ost fruitfully studied. but uncoordinated their world-wide. only the Marxist organization recog­ nizes this daily activity as socialism. that of providing information about official society.he various bureaucracies within the working class it­ self.l . Official society falsifies all information intended for the great REQUIRED : INFORMATION OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY . and the independence to keep the workers aware of what is taking place in u n i v e l' s a I . even to express an independently proletarian atti­ tude to s ociety. tllerefQJ:e. coordinating. The labor bureaucrats. Q. incorporated or suppressed by the power of the machine. realiZation in individual factories or units of production. B i 95 necessary. and obviously can have no other purpose . ( except at critical moments ) efforts to create the new society. The individual talent for gathering.. they remain isolated from factory to factory. The shifts and turns of Stalinist policy can be traced easily enough to the needs of the Kl'emlin. But the method used is one of de ­ liberately confusing and corrupting the intelligence and the will of the workers so that in the end they learn to le&ve everything to the Party and its slogans . Finally. Any attempt to form organizations or . and publishing information on independent activities of national and international scop e is inhibited and stifled objectively and subj ectively by every organized social force in official society. Only in a Marxist organ­ ization can such workers find the possibility of devel­ oping their talents without fear of being prostituted to bm'eaucratic ends.dership. Work­ ers are at their very best in collective action in the cir­ cumstances of their daily activity or crises arising from it. Only the Marxist organization can ha ve the means. and very often of official society itseU. where they assume their most finished and conscious form.\ \ Slon is at once set upon by political representatives of t. It i. StalinilSt or dem­ ocratic. the forces. persecute and destroy all attempts by work­ en. do this not only as a direct result of the very stl ucture of society.. All objectively reactionary tendencies in bourgeois so­ ciety reach their ultimate expression in Stalinism.THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903 . on whose power Stalinism depends to get into power ultimately. The Marxist organization has another task.!: c t o z .1 9 .

in large matters or in small. this can only be fully achieved by resolutely putting forward the point of view of the organization whenever the occasion requires it. Without this. because they d? not themselves know. intertwined. of worker'S. it sees not only the decadence and disorder of official society but also. This knowledge i'S the origin of its very existence as an organization and it can be effective and grow only by using it. all talk of democracy is a farce. By diligent attention and study it can learn to sift out the truth from the . The Government of Sir Anthony Eden did not know its own military capabilities. first because it is in its very nature to do so. Colossal as is this task of informing the workers. In fact. The Governments cannot inform the people even if they wanted to. and particularly on fundamental economic and social matters this is the most authentic source of information in any country. the immense energy. however. It is only since de-Stalinization that people have come to know what was always obvious to any student of Stalin's writings and speeches-his incredible. m 0 s t Americans would shrug their shoulders. All f acts. As it is. of the possibilities. is deliberately con. must nec­ essarily be governed by a view of society. 0 0 0 million francs a year. based on experience. It cannot ehange as long as society is organized as it is. it has the immense a dvanta. First of all. determination. the Marxist organization must .96 FACING REALITY THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 97 mass of the people. wil­ lingness. or otherwise. A French Prime Minister asserts that the cost of the war in Algeria is 1 . capacitie'S. THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE ORGANIZATION The Marxist organization. L?. cealed from them and they have no way of penetrat­ ing the wall of defense which workers build around themselves. his stu­ pendous ignorance of the most elementary economic matters at home. so great is the cynicism and distrust of all official pronouncements among the people. The struggle to reach this understanding and insight. Despite the poverty of its resources at the start. The American Government has consistently misunder­ stood and misjudged the scientific attainments of Rus­ sia. An ex-Prime Minister contradicts him flatly and dEclares that the cost is 2 . it is not too much to say that in pres­ ent-day society the main ta'Sk of any government is to collect information and so organize it and present it to the people that they are able to make their decisions and their choices. It has and must of necessity have an independent VIew of its own. undertake it because · nobody else can. in every crisis. there are no facts in the abstract. The catalogue is endless. but even sentences of his ramblings and stutterings . and politics and war abroad. it did not know what the response of the people of Egypt would be to a British invasion. national or in­ ternational. difficul- If tomorrow it was discovered that the President had died long ago and someone resembling him had been substituted to win power for the party. But the falsity of tIl!' information handed out by both the public and private bodies of official society i's false for a deeper reason. the governments of official society do not know the economic facts of society because the most important of these facts. sees the Opposition inquiring from the Prime Minister whether planes loaded with hydrogen bombs are flying over Britain and the Prime Minister U!lable to give a straight answer on this matter which literally involves the life or death of millions of people. . After nearly 75 . The Press Conferences of the President of the United States have become not only an embarras'Sment but a burden to American rep orters who have to make not only sense. The _ boasted forum of democracy. is no mere re­ porter of facts about the socialist activity of the prole­ tariat. Official society does not know and has no means of knowing or even of understanding the actual facts of its own existence.ter in this document we shall go into elaborate de­ tail. the complete ac­ ceptance of socialist power and socialist ideas as ori­ gll1ating and flowering primarily in the working class itself.ge of having the great knowledge and experience o f the proletariat at its disposal. The ine'S­ timable strength of the Marxist organization today is that in every situation. years of British occupation of Egypt. d in by which official society seeks to deafen the people and twist them to its own ends. Khrushchev did not know what was brewing in Hungary and Poland until it was too late. and the selection of facts. Any elite must of necessity consciously falsify the information it gives to the mass. or detector and publicist of the systematic fal­ sifications of official society. 0 0 0 million francs a year . the elements of the s ocialist solution. the attitudes. and training which will be needed to maintain this assault against one of the most powerful strongholds of official society. question time in the House of Commons. The first necessity of democracy is accurate infor­ mation.

' in the advanced countries. It means the opposite. the only tranSition can be to t. and never has been. has no relevance today where. No new SOCiety was ever formed in this way. states. Much that was pure theory in the early days of Marxism has now become common knowledge among the vast masses of people. This does not mean what it would mean in the fami. All the problems that the Bol­ sheviks grappled with. To continue to hold up these 80S guides to the future is reactionary and can come only from those who look for socialism everywhere except in the only place where it can be found. The super-planners of today. purely a study of books and texts. that the organization takes the lead over the less literate. and so em. fsl' more important today. The supposedly insuperable problem of planninl2" the complex life of modern society is seen in its true'" per­ spective when we realize that modern calculating ma­ chines . It isthe dead not the bUSiness of the Marxist organiZation to invent ' what Marx scornfully called reCipes for the cooksh the future. Particuthey are aiming ist organization must denounce with larly the Marx­ mercile tempt those theorists who demand in advance ss con­ guaran­ teed and insured perspectives and particulars about the content and forms of parties. Careful as they were in their fore­ casts of socialism. Every new step forward of the proletariat illuminates not only the fllture but the past. The intensive ' development of capi­ talism. It is as a drownin with the water already in his mouthifdemanded g man a cer­ tificate of navigation before allowing a boat's crew to save him. THE FACING REALITY The Marxist organization has the I'esponsibility for preserving and extending' the theory of Marxism. This is particularlyto true of economic relations. a whole industry. striving to establish a socialist equal­ ity.J 903-1958 . are a n integral part of the new society . properly charged. Thus only the closest contact with tl"ie contemporary experiences of the proletariat and of society as a whole can give a profounder understanding of what was achieved. Only weight of official society holds it down. and to draw the conclUSions. less vocal mass. measurably degenerated Workers State. the workers are.98 tIes and dangers of such a course in practical terms.he degenerated Worker'S th e profoundly degenerated Wmkers State. It is here that a task of heavy responsibility and enormous scope opens before the Marxist organization. what is to be discarded. There is no period of tranSition to socialism after the establishment of Workers Councils in every branch of the national activity and the Government of Workers Councils. limiting consumption to bourgeois relations. CC'llsisting of a fusion of workers and intellectuals. both in practice and theory and. The conception of Marx and Lenin of a period tran­ sitional to socialism is equally without meaning today in the advanced countries. 99 . But the independent views of the Marxist organization. can rapidly give an answer to the �on'Sequences of certain procedures and thus sup­ ply a smgle factory. even under capi­ talism itself. they were limited by the economic development of their day and the mechanistic concep­ tions of the time. even under capitalism. Once those are established. and all other forms of organiZation in the socialist society. even though the relations of production were socialized. theState. �'id Of the anachron�sms in Marxism. It is absolutel� .liar bourgeois or Stalinist ideo­ logy. The period of transition so­ cialism is the present period . or a whole popu� lation with the material on which to make its deciSions. after power had been achieved . It is sufficient to watch carefully ops of the what workers are actually doing. THE ANACHRONISMS OF MARXISM THE MARXIST ORGANIZATlON-. CONTINUITY OF MARXIST THEORY daily activities of the working class. and what at. the immense advances of science in the last generation. and will always have varying levels of comprehension. in the . before the taking of power. have been pOsed under state capitalism. Imposslble to overestImate the enormous energies and creative power that have been generated in the great masses of the world's population today.im­ to employ the verbal acrobatics by which Trotsky sought to disguise his SUPPOl�t (critical. most critical) of Stalinism. perspective and policy. This society has. mOl'e critical. all this leaves some of the most cherished formulae of Marx and Lenin far behind. the maturity of the proletariat. arrogating to themselves enormous powers of deciding and enforCing the relaTHE INSUPERABLE PROBLEMS. The Marxist organization alone is capable of gettino' . Such a formula as Marx wrote in the Critique oj the Gotha Program. The preservation of the theory of Marxism is not. that the organization makes known its independent views alld fights for them as a contribution to tha t democrat­ ic interchange and confrontation of opinion which is the very life-blood of socialist society.

fit for a variety of labors.:pansion of human living which is now r e alistically no longer applies. medicine. practi­ cal needs and demands of workers. Witness the united terror of Moscow. The great problem of the leisure of socialist man which the abstract theoreticians have now added to their other burdens is a hangover from an earlier age. THE REALISM OF SOCIALISM Yet the Marxist organization in performing the nec­ essary task of visualizing the content of socialism su­ bordinates itself neither to a statistical conception of society. ready to face any change of " production. The great conflict between East and West which threatens humanity with destruction i'S a conflict originating in official society. architecture. are available. In every case they find and frequently declare (most of­ tE. reduced to the modest role of giving informati on. When man uses his creative faculties to the full in his work. and to whom the different social functions he performs. these are now the concrete. Such is the already existing community of labor and the achievements of science that the fusion of manual and intellectual labor lias become a necessity. mastery of all the processes of pro­ duction. only The true analysis timorous.100 FACING REALITY THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 10 1 tion between production goods and consumption goods. A few bold pioneers even sometimes try to put some of these into· practice. nor speculations years on which to draw.n in guarded language) that it is impOSSible for man­ kind to make use of the knowledge which is already in its hands as long as the present structure of society continues.nd manners to replace it. The Marxist organization can demonstrate that the mass of men can progress only if their creative instincts and inheritance are fully applied to the practical tasks of every day. will become the accounting functionaries of tomorrow . biology. Let those for whom these socialist solutions are Utopia continue to cower and wallow in their realism. chemis­ try. in all its manifold aspects. by the fully developed individual. anthropology. that it has before its eyes. It but the embodiment in life of the formula of the mature Marx when he wrote that modern industry would col­ lapse unless it replaces "the detail-worker of today. The herculean struggle for the shorter possible and needs only the socialist s ociety to come into being . This information is needed by the proleta­ riat above all other classes in society and it can be given to the proletariat only by the Marxist organization or . standing on the shoulders of its predecessors. and thus reduced to the mere frag­ ment of a man. freedom to carry on poUtical discussions in the place and during the time of work. MARXISM AND CULTURE The organization has the task of bringing to the proletariat those elements of traditional and contem­ of the future is to show that the most expansive aspi­ r&tions of the past are now p ossible. readiness to work hard when it is required and to relax and be social wh enever possible. and education. To "vorking day. to reassure the already has the immense experience of the last forty the discoveries and achieve ­ ments o f modern science . discov­ eries and understanding of far-reaching importance 11a ve been already made." The Marxist organization in the middle of the Twentieth Century. Complete universal education for all.. The end of official society in any part of the world will rapidly bring its end in the other. In every department of hUman life today. What are thes e _ show this and to expose the social and human solutions to the artificial problems of official society is the task of the Marxist organizatio n. Even the earlier formula of Marx that the future development of man rested upon the shortening of the working day pCl'ary culture which are needed for that full and total e:. has this immeasurable advantage over them . and above all it knoW'S that the future lies with the development of things riers to official becoming subordinate to the are development gone and of man. the dehumanized gangsterism of official societv " and the men a. are but so m any modes of giving free scope to his own natUral and acquired powers . for society as a whole as well as for the individual personality. maintained by official society. crippled by life-long repetition of one and the same trivial operation. and will end only with the end of official society. For each of these is neces­ sary to the other and they draw reciprocal sustenance from their mutual crimes and threats. that distinction ceases to be an antagonism and becomes a Simple s cheduling of various forms of social a ctivity. concretely and in the flesh. It is sufficient that all the old handicaps and bar­ a truly human existence society stands in the way. and Berlin at the thought of a r evolution in Eastern Germany. Washington. the mathematical division between time for work and time for self-development is a capitalistic product pure and simple.

all national units. it is incapable of supplying the undevel­ oped countries with the capital needed to develop them. Even j udging the system from its own point of view it is already exhausted. the capital of trade. has been accumulated to such an extent. all pointing to the conclusion that the isola­ tion of children and youth from the practical a spects of social life distorts both mind and body. The present conflict is essentially a conflict between the two most gigantic concentrations of capital in the . fraud. Lenin did not deny the theOl'e­ tical possibility of world capital being totally centralized but. To do this. His old definition of imperial­ ism as surplus capital seeking higher profits in colonial countries is now dead. demands an assimilation of this culture in the light of both the experiences and activities of the proletariat. intensively and extensively. The territory and the manpower. as he said. the very traditions as well as the material p. with a brief statement of the main lines of Marxism. that it now operates by complete mastery of men. The patient work of generations of edu­ cators. There is no one ( except a well-educated Marxist) who cannot today see these laws in full operation. only to reorganize themselves in unstable combinations. The valuable elements in all fields of con­ temporary culture can be preserved and made available only in the light of a new totality. a great deal would happen before then. But the process of concentration still continues. whose essen­ tial truth is n ot weakened but confirmed every day.]02 FACING REALITY THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 103 intellectuals and 13cientists working in close collabora­ tion with it. the search for roads to integrate from the very start intel­ lectual and social life. itself will remove if the Marxist organization Marxism what is now from living reach out towards the formation of c ontinental units . Having drawn the whole world into its orbit.. but is in reality a military operation having no other purpose than to c [l. and is used only by Stalinists seeking to exclude imperialist Russia from their denun­ ciat. the law of concentration and centralization of capital and the law of the socialization of labor. What is taking place. Marx discerned in capital accumu­ lBtjon two laws.tch up and overtake the enemy in the production o f weapons o f destruction. or ca­ j olement. and of humanized relations throughout the length and breadth of society.ions of imperialism. is proved by the frenzied and unspeakably disgusting activity which i'8 now taking place in the West under the lying slogan of education. We shall conclude. can live only accumulation. vainly seeking that complete centralization which it is the nature of capital to forever seek and never achieve. for the com­ plete domination of all world c apital. capital concentrated into units of individual industrial capital which created the world market. OUR UNSHAKABLE FOUNDATIONS If the development of society has posed before us the crisis of contemporary society as essentially prob­ l ems of human relations. dead. twin sides of the same movement. if only ideologically. even when they do not actually defend it. Only the Marxist organization basing itself on the proletariat can attempt a synthesis and transcend the essentially bourgeois antagonism between humanism and techno­ logy..orld today. I t has no relevance whatever to education. All those who do not proceed from this b asis end up as whining or utopian snipers at c apitalist culture. From commercial capital. To achieve this they force into their orbit by force. are needed. ad­ vanced as well as backward. Thus these two enemies grow more like each other every day. is that capital. therefore. contrary to previous societies. all this is now placed on the shelf. The vast state capitalist trusts and syndicates hurl themselves against each other to be shattered. a new vision of the world. the United states and Russia. The national state capitals The utter futility of believing that it is possible to improve official society except upon the basis of new relations resting upon the proletariat and the great masses of the people.'oduction of the various countries of the world. It is happening. f o r which very purpose the Russians instituted their program. the organization never forgets its own essential fcundations. the mental p aralysis which ine ­ vitably overtakes all who try to do this. Lenin found the exact phrase for them in 1 9 1 8 when he f orecast the coming of "vast state capitalist trusts and syndicates" c ontend­ ing for world mastery. These developed into vast c ombines and cartels until today the national capital of any country is in ­ one f orm or another state c apital. THE PROSTITUTION OF EDUCATION by Capital. which always had men in its grip. . therefore. Today it is not mere profits of investment that are at stake. billions of dollars are now to be spent in a vast ind� ctrination and inj ection of the youth o f Vlestel'n civilization with the scientific virus. Instead.

and organized by the very m echanism of capitalist production itself. necessary only to preserve the illusion that the rulers are in control and directing affairs. is united. not organization or direction by ex­ ternal forces . are just so much mystification and nonsense. the theoretical problem of whether capi­ talism would collapse from lack of markets or lack of productive power is solved in life for all to see. the labor force is constantly growing in numbers. but self-realization.] 04 FACING REALITY THE MARXIST ORGANIZATION-1903-1958 Thus. But side by side with the chaotic movement to con­ centration goes the socialization of the labor force. It is the alien power that he has himself created. so that a child could understand. Freedom is creative universality. calculations. balance of payments. or use of goods. � . creativity based upon the incorporation into the individual p erson­ ality of the whole previous development of human­ ity. ownership . All the pontifications. projects. the w ay � 105 the dialectical method. disciplined. not the struggle against external foes.organized country. social and political institutions. This is the true maturity of human SOCIety. Official society cannot afford �uch freedom . like Britain. Human personality. There is no need to elaborate this. that the new society w ould grow and flourish ( one would flourish) inside the old. we can best sum up the Past and the future -in the following propositions which formed a landmark in ' our struggle towards understanding. ( c ) It is not the world of nature that confronts man as an alien power to b e overcome. in their infinite and from one p oint of view ungraspable and unpredictable variety. ( b ) Self-movement springs from and is the over­ coming of antagonisms within an organism. the golden age and the promised land. It has been calculated that if the British workers were freed in the fa ctodes. Today when aU the bull frogs rival each other in their loathsom e croakings about increasing the standard of living. it is perfectly obvious that in a highly. with the hope o f r edemption by summit talks. that modern men are at last in a position to man­ age all their material affairs so that they can now devote themselV es to the development of themselves as human beings and not to the development of capital. The organization will not seek to propagate it TIor to convince men of it but to use it so as the more quickly and clearly to recognize how it is concretely ex­ pressed in the lives and struggles of the people. inflation. not utility. in­ ternational diplomacy. all. discoveries. Sooner or later it would have to rid mankind of the increasing misery imposed upon it by capital. Any government which had and deserved the complete con­ fidence of the people as a whole would have little diffi­ culty in bringing the inflation to an end. Marx stated. with a disciplined community. ( d) Th � end towards which mankind is inexorably developmg by the constant overcoming of internal antagonisms is not the enjoyment. and offices to organize production in hat they and only they know. human grandeur and h u m a n weakness. The alternative is the doctrine of Hebrew nomads on original sin. ( a) All development takes place as a result of self-movement. . Ideas WIll now play their proper part in the lives of men. are to be seen within the context of this view of m o dern devel­ opment. This is the philosophy of the Marxist organization a methodolog ical guide but n more. the curse of inflation is not an economic problem at all but a political one . mines. In his famous chapter of Capital. In Marx's words. as with so many other great issues long debated in Marxism. alternative courses of action of economists about the rise of prices. productivity cculd be mcrease d by fifty per cent. Official so­ ciety cannot produce such a government. productivity of labor. In social terms this means displac­ ing the human beings who refuse to abandon their privileged positions as agents and directors of capital. the last but one of the first volume. Today there are no longer any mysteries in the con­ ditions of social existence nor in that science of human affairs whose right name is political economy. While these solemn Druids and medicine men sing their v arious litanies about the great problem of in­ flation and deflation in England. The crisis now is be­ t'ween two societies.

creates obstacles. It is organized. All this and whatever may appear to be related. That is the socialist so­ ciety. It exists.. As with all depar­ tures from established practice.. the official state. But he is a man with a wife and children. Careful observation will show that such enormous problems as work for the old. obtrudes and in'Serts itself into the minds even of those whose main purpose in life is to reject it. Experience has taught millions of workers that the most colossal task that faces them is to take action on the . _ _ paratus of official society. We begin at this apparently most primitive level. That is the socialist society. to ridicule. and every second of the day never ceases to attack. and suppress just this. The infinite variety of na­ tional peculiarities helped to di'Stinguish the incidental from the fundamental. In a British airport the security officers salute their superiors in accordance with the semi-military disci­ pline that prevails in this type of public service. falling back on theory to un­ cover the so often unexpected significance of what may appear to be casual incidents or episodes. de­ manded the right to be saluted. and in fact must be. The workers in that depart­ ment have organized their work so that for nearly ten years he has had practically nothing to do. we shall now try to do. But we have laid a foundation and it is this that we now try to communicate. No bour­ geois nor trade union journal ever prints any. That is the socialist society." The whQle l. and in the end. and his condition is due to the previous strain of his work in the plant. racial discrimination. and labor unions function automatically to inhibit. Thus these worker'S had struck a blow against common injustice.job for "local grievances. The only course therefore is to present what we have learned in con­ crete terms. . We have behind us not only decades of negative ex­ perience . with constant exchange of trial and error. We can draw on some positive and extended attempts in various countries to work out the new at various levels of thought and action. WHAT TV DO AND HOW TO DO IT In one department of a certain plant in the United States. pointing out the unbelievable insidiousness with which the bureau­ cratic environment. claiming that in this relation he and the representative of manage­ ment met as equals. the handicapped. management capitulated. to infiltrate. Before their united determination the company capitu­ lated. there 1's a worker who is physically incapable of carrying out his duties.It is agreed that the socialist society exists. quite obviously a man of semi-feudal mentality. But it exists. of both sexes. but also the more general problems of society . prevent. refused to salute. In another plant in the United states the company 'tried by a maneuver to prevent a Negro drivel' being given the job of dispatcher to which his seniority en­ titled bim. to destroy any attempt to present systematically the conception of the new Mciety as we have outlined it. 106 VII. can be easilY and competently handled without any bureaucratic ap­ paratus Whatever. to demoralize. . threatening to throw the whole plant into disorder if any steps are taken to di'Smiss the invalid. Experiences in various countries were made in common. by the good sense of workers as long as they have the power to arrange their labor as they wish. the moves forward are. and the disor­ der in production which management creates.rlJreaUQratic ap. The representative of management. approaching it from every angle.ry anecdote . on going to discuss union mat­ ters with management. The Negro workers in the plant called a meeting and gave the company a certain deadline to upgrade this worker to the job which was his by right . labor par­ ties. Workers refer to these struggles as attempts to co1'- WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 107 . what is preventing it from tackling not only the immediate problem of production. nailing down the individual concrete fact by looking at it in terms of the Universal. We too have learned that the same apparently all-embracing apparatus. Then we have to r ecord the facts of its existence. The whole section of workers went out on strike immediately.Vorkers tell such episodes by the dozen. It has to get rid of what is stifling it. not only in deed but in thought. It hasn't to be organized in the future. They have defied all efforts of the foreman and supervision to dis­ charge him. We have had successes and have studied carefully their implications. in matters large as well as small. what is preventing it from expanding to the fun. to corrupt. the young. explorations into unknown terri­ tory. Let us begin with what is apparently a casual. ele­ menta. One of their representatives.

Management. radicals. we may be sure. One they apply to the demands of management. In the United states the workers will mercilessly badger this type of worker all day. These are the ones who. not only to exist but to expand its sphere of action. They claim that any overtime work is a departure from the great princi ple of the 8hour day and is therefore a crime. but it is nothing that has to be created in the future by the Party or the Plan. irrespective of the wishes or needs of workers . There is a small minority consisting of Trotskyists. under what they call socialism. and ex-rad icals. someti mes against overtim e. consid ers tlui t it is its prerogative to decide when and where and by whom overtime is to be worke d. in what appears to be a chaotic capriciousness . when it is to be done.evolu tionary atti­ tude towar ds overti me.108 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND H O W TO D O IT 109 rect "local grievances" and to "improve working condi­ tions. � � True. how it js to be done. It is the fundamental princip le that worker s themselves are to control overtim e and therefore keep their grip on the length of the working day. overtime is in the interest of society as a whole (these radica ls having been substituted for the capitalists as the m anagers and policem en of produc­ tion) . usually consisting of skilled workers and lead men who are eager for all the overtime they can get. in one of the innumerable daily clashes with manage ­ ment. All industrial psychologists know that under conditions of c apitalist production workers have two standards of production." Yet to the terror of management and the per­ petual astonishment of people who are no familiar w th the working class. In Britain the method of correction is the opposite. The British workers send the dissident to Coventry-they will not speak to him at all. OVERTIME The new society exercises its own discipline. Control by workers over the amount of extra work that should be done. workers are ready to brmg productlOn to a stop and endure the greatest privations for weeks and months over what seems to the ordinary observer to be trifles. . whether democratic or totalitarian. The maj ority of workers are quite aware that. and keeping management in its place on the other . what under the p articular conditions they want to do. would b e ready . They will construct and even write lam­ poons which are circulated all over the plant. at oth­ ers it is for the right to work overtime. It exists and fights. and many millions of workers all over the world are engaged in a constant struggle to establish this. if . At any particu­ lar time this consists of a quantity of work governed by th e amount of money they want to make and the energy they wish to expend. how and when it should take place and who should do it. though these dissidents take a great stand on their in­ dividual rights. and they do not lightly tolerate any persistent and ir­ responsible departure from this . it is frustra ted at every turn by the existing ca. According to them. who have what they consider to be the r. someti mes for.pital -Iabor relation. what is it but sociali"sm? SOCIALIST DISCIPLINE To the observer outside the plant the questio n of overtime is far remov ed from sociali sm. for the capitalistic discipline of dismissal. to impose the most brutal conditions of overtime . a standard of their own. Yet it is around overtime that can be seen as clearly as anywh ere else. In each case the workers are sub­ stituting their own discipline. who will do it. none of them has ever been known to l'efuse the benefits of m oney and conditions which the actions of his fellows may win. This determination to control their own labor by common agreement and to discipline those who depart from the c ooperation tl1at modern production demands. the discipline of socialist relations of production. What the a'V erage group of worker s wants in regard to overtim e is that they 'Should control the amount of overtim e. At the other extreme is another minor ity. at times the struggle is against overtim e. what they consider necessary to their self-respect and security. the sociali st and all other attitudes to social labor. Thus. They carry on what at first glance is an utterly bewildering series of struggles. just simply this constitu tes socialist relations of production. posed in opposition to each other. on the one hand. But one principle under­ lies all these struggl es. They will report his activities to colleagues of other departments . Sometimes they succeed . The same type of discipline is applied to workers \\'ho do not do what their felloW workers consider to b e a fair share o f the work. once the property is ns. anarchists.tion alized . Wol'}{ ­ ers are not homogeneous and often some worker refuses to go out on strike with his fellows or to play his part. But there is another standard. . The great maj ority of the worke rs have nothin g' in common with any of these. To workers it is precisely the power to ca rry all these ideas and wishes of theirs to complete­ ness wl1ich constitutes the new society.

Workers of Standards in Coventry. and when. COP: evel y . It is the refusal other IS a soclall:st soci ��� �:� . ces ar. '. m con ' l c ' ' to recogruze ety . noise. they have bought or are in the process of buying. But they insist that it is their business more than anybody else'lS . b) When automation is introduced. r T he intoler ab e exclu iOl fro ver ri l . ' this really involve:s general publlc a � e unions and . the insanity o f these workers. Workers are not units of production. ment and re d wIt h the gov eln rafits hav e to be registe .) If management wishes to introdllce autohiatiol1 �� �¥ � � \. is adamant in e w out the slogan " Walter Reutlle r once thre la to tIle wor ker s mea n t h e Books " " This did not Th ese ke their profits known. the re ation t l�e capital -la bor o w r . But it was based on the principle that the workers would tl1emselves decide.red and when and ce s. t : one mo e of pro l' ere are in confllc t l lll er of rela tion . This was the workers' answer to the great problem of automation. They welcome it." ·th acc or dan ce WI ul ate d by. They have families and childr:en who are going to school. But er what circumstan . length o only partially. In mo der n industry ten com plIc ate d out the enormously 'vV. pec ted l us m advance the ker s : Tel boo k s mean t to the wor you PlO P e to carry " of pro duction Wh ICh. Amid the chorus o f denunciations and yells at the unreasonableness. But who should go. no one took care to note that the necessity to work hard at times was not denied. It was specifically admitted. m!ss eQ and when . To ope n the at a mo me nt's notlC � be in'E. pe1'lOdlCally Tw o forc es r. Far from that. fro m thel both ma nag em ent and SlOgal� of wit h.'. It is here that not merely two methods of produc­ tion but two con. a nd privat es . wha t evel' Y w orke pri mal'iiy concerned with ..1. there is no ne­ cessity to dismiss anyone. Not in the has to trea t 't' POS I lOn . t he compam es should ma . and under a. but m interests of productIOn l1!. me n o r twenty thousand . sometimes. with the friends and associations that distinguish the lives of human beings from animals in the forest. That cert ain . England. and con sciously n ' cla ted IY ass "pr oduction by fre � s ttled pla n. �: � �� � :::� � � � f t �� ��: � � !� T?e . � � �l�. the m m l'eg or theoretical con . confu­ sion. c i cletles .1S ma are the sch edules of pro keeping from them . t When workers say the they wish to say what roduction. m the othe� . a d und the plant knowledge 0 f wha t vyork .to kno ". th OPP OSIt e pomts of VIe SCHEDULES OF PRO DUC TION � � While official society and the labor bureaucracies are excelling themselves in creating dust. sch edules e s chedules they WIsh to see . nao'ement ' duc tion . def ens e of Its own s r eJ ect as m e This the worker tl:lem like children.110 FAC ING REA LITY tim e . So wor ker s. Work­ ers are not opposed to automation. s ou closely. the socialist society has already put forward its own most comprehensive plans for .Th ey exist. a t Reuther rap idly ' w. management . The Coventry work­ erR claimed that they could reorganize the work so that no one needed to b e dismissed. have • _ . AUTOMATION o kers want to c �ntrol w In most modern plants wor ­ con trol who wIll be dIS to al. tbem IS constantly two soThere are y O le t o o t ey el? n:rve i italist soc iety . They are men with homes which.ceptions of society as a whole are in conflict. and fear over automation. or for a sore IS no other kind of the precisely is socialism and ci�l ism. �i � �an into any plant. or duction bas ed on . . 0 1 w in adv anc e and to. every b 0ne and stretch shakmg .10 11 ave to carry excluded fro m any mo der n pro duc tion are f e th�y knowledge of :v hat e sive and pre cise p . pI oposes t 0 do While the 111 r wag es. THE � WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 111 this which accounts for the m ountains of nonsense which are daily produced on the subj ect of automation. We take the liberty of making only one addition that was inherent in the whole : it would be necessary at times to send workers away from one plant to another.P1ant wants._ t1. dealing with automation.. e hi.� r: :�� �:�� �: i!:� � : �� � a. They went further and announced a principle that made several newspaper editors declare that the end of the world had come. . . e nat ide as Th ese opposmg for The clash betw een . . t l ee p e nies per hou differences of two. structlOns or hyp ing . But tl:1. drew it. . They stated that there were times when they had to work very hard and times when they c ould take it easy because there was no need to work s o hard. They refuse to concede to management the right to break up their lives according to the supposed needs of production. said the fundamental words about automation.ve t 0 d0. it must consult the workers in the plant at the very first inception of the idea. oth ese s . they me an resp ons e to tl fier ce was the think about the m. .

can handle these pmblems. and how it does it. Even 'when they ap­ p e ar skeptical. and get closer to social reality. in d their private conversations . to understand that the day-to-day struggles of the workers constitute the socialist s ociety and the ba- t the immediate support of the vast maj ority of workers in in every countrY in the world . in practi r t o auto­ Two weeks ' pa. It is in these confrontations that Marxism and Marxists ac­ qUll'e life and m ovement. as two hundred years that they .REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 113 what conditions. it b efore workers who have not heard of it. The work­ rians rushed in and ol"ganiz'ed nce pay as ers were promised two or three weeks ' severa n. these things nobody could know and arrange satisfactorily except the workers themselves . Workers do not record. Yet it is certain tha sueh records exist. But it was among the Standar d workers them'Selves.t direct. perseverance will often show that they have long thought of this but are acutely aware of the difficulties in the way and push these forward because they wish them to be examined and discussed. The Coven try worke rs had to retrea t. the most powerful social force in Great Britain today. this is the concrete task. Most o f this appeared i n the press in garbled form. in fact unavoidable conclusions. that what they propose they thought. You will s e arch the mil- . It is to b e noted that the vast maj ority of workers. They are interested in the free interchange of tasks in the plant. This i s the socialist ion ety.ical socia­ lists. and p a compr omise. For it is impossible for them. in the secret files of industrialists who have to deal with this movement and understand it as far as they are able. have little concern with the wages or social privi­ leges of management. is incapable capitalism today. Workers . unbelievable Automation has already broug ht an of A m e I' i c a n disorder into the social life of millions satisf y. supervisors and such. Unemployment p ay does not their lives. what What happened is characteristic. normal. tion. Nearly trial revolu ­ tastrophes and cruelties of the early indus o weeks ' pay. To record it. Management and la. or rather equalization of wages through which their essentially cooperative labor can be per­ formed without undue friction. could be heard at and. As far as they are able. No one should underestimate the will and the energy that will be needed to say. to encourage it. not once but again and again with the Coventry workers. Their main concern with management i'S that it should confine its function to doing what they. keeps practically no records.bor bureaucrats cannot understand this because it'S ul­ tim?Jite conclusion. and one that is not in any way re­ mote. the levelling. newspaper editors. as complete an overturn of capitalist product could conceiv e. it would win lions of volumes in the great l ibraries of Britain and y ou will find no single volume which attempts to make any s�rious examination of what this m ovement is what it does. ture that they are building. but here all aronnd u s . But today workers not only know <:>1 order nobo dy else can. what soci­ it s simplest and mos. not advanc ed workers. is the elimination of these parasites as an inte­ gral necessity in m odern life. Workers are r eady to listen. still more. To those who ma. and their bureaucratic col­ leagues.'Y .112 FACING . not the heads of intellectuals and e of a in the future.de the proposals they were the natural. c ontrary to theoret. Thes e were not the probl ems posed in ization must b egin from here. That i'S the c apitalist answe two hundred years after the soci al ca­ mation. flow­ ing naturally from their daily lives. not to be achieve d after sacrific of human b e ings.-vorke rs. want done. to publicize it in every con­ ceivable shape and form. capitalism regist ers its progre ss-tw a week for each century. compe nsatio socialist struc­ But they have added anoth er story to the ce and in theo:l.y . union amoun ted to the destruction of their society arliamenta­ leader s. This is socialism. generation g with based on generations o f experie nce a n d burnin sic struggle for socialism. Automation shows that want some order in ago. the desire to establish itself. the workers. But as the most daring theoretical mind wild as this program seemed to official society and labor bureaucracies and parliamentarians. Faced with . to place. that a body of workers in a plant c onstitutes the only social organization capable of d ealing with automation in a l'easonable social and human way. bishop s. but that the days of Lenin . The proposals of the workersin Standards of how to deal with automation did not come from study or theory or boards of inquiry or parlia­ mentary committees or Royal or Presidential Commis­ sion'S. The Marxist organ FillST FUNDAMENTAL TASK Here we pause for a moment to look again at our first s imple statement : To recognize the socialist society and to record the facts of its existence. They are not interested in the perquisites of management. The great Shop stewards Movement.

We are organized. or as task of the Marxist piration. Before being published. shaped by their own conditions of production. the Employee'S Council must elect employees' delegates. the white coUar. in the Department of Foreign Af­ governm fairs. -No question can be resolved without the agree­ ment of the interested worker · or workers in an office or of all employees. splitters. It is the organization to find them. our Council has a legal status THIS IS WHAT THE EMPLOYEES C OUNCIL OF THE GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY THINKS : The Employees : Every employee of a firm participates in a collec­ tive task. the meetings take plac€ Q1Jtsicie Qf wol'k­ jng h0'urs. Every person in a responsible position is design­ ated on the basis of the confidence of the employee'S and is revocable at any time. -All meetings are public and: all employees ex­ press themselves freely.orking class . have shown them­ selves all over the world increasingly ready to follo w the example of the workers. Today the unions have launched: the worst allega­ tions against the Council : Poujadists.5 A new society invading the old never establishes itself in production alone or in one class. The pattern of production permeates the whole society. WHY HAVE WE DONE WHAT WE HAVE. Look: at your pay envelopes and consider. But the unions are well protected by the law . etc. each representing a group of employees dOing the same w ork. and which it insurance compan­ lished and distributed before other ies . tl1U'S proving how deeply ingrained in the new society is the activity that the workers carry on.t it can best represent the opinion of all. is in the Hungarian Revolution. consisting of 38 del­ egates from the different offices.gement and the union have signed agreements. Paris.. an office or all tbe em­ ployees. WHAT HAVE WE DONE? right of the Employees Council whether or not he pays dues.? 1 . In order to obtain recognition by the firm. Social upheavals bring out what already exists in as­ society. It is the socialist society in action. The most striking example . they are the only ones allowed to present the list. con­ an Employees Council was formed two years ago in both management and the trade scious opposition to policy unions . are no long­ er willing to entrust the defense of their interests to the trade unions of any kind. stooges of the company. the worker with the black c oat. . in ent offices. of course. But they exist. fas­ cists. Each has his duties and his equal rights. -The G eneral Assembly of the Council. At the same time that the Hungarian workers in the plant were forming their Workers C ouncils. decides practical questions . in the inform ation services 0'f pres'S and radio.1 14 THE MIDDLE FACING BEALITY CLASSES WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 11. decides impo. It was as a result of the strike of November 1955 that we decided to defend our interests ourselves. The man­ but WE ARE NOT A TRADE UNION W H E R E EVERYTHING IS DECIDED FROM THE TOP : -Every employee of the firm is a member by a. The Employees Bulletin. according to whether it concern's a single employee. in this case the v. 2 . the Council has no func­ tionaries. We print here complete the program and pub­ that it has worked out to guide it. everywhere . They have to break up this spontaneous regroupment of employees or it will prove that it is possible to do without the unions because the employees are capable of organ­ izing themselves so that the bureaucratic and poli­ tical apparatus of the unions is useless. compris­ ing all the employees. 87 rue de Richelieu. even though only in embryonic f0'rm. 4. the employees formed their own all councils in every branch of the national activity. -The Executive Committee. It is only if their lists do not receive % of the bal­ lots that the elections are voided and on the second round all candidates can present themselves. or the frilly blouse. The middle classes. But nobody is getting equal pay. whose columns are open to all of us who have not been able to express what we thought in the trade union papers. -We all work together.. We publish every m onth a newspaper of the firm. In Paris at the Genel'al Life Insurance Company. each article is discussed among us so tha. I 3. The maj ority of the employees of the General In­ surance Co.}:tant· questions . in banks.

unions partlciP The F. official delegates deCheck for yourselves how the in you r firm. But if we place in the hands of the unions the task of counteracting this authority. unions) to increase their intake. the British shop stewards. The Employees Councils of General Life Insurance Co. O. k to become ever mOT e p. real capacitie s. ate m the C. fend supervision us � In every firm you can form an Employees Coun­ cil which will unify against management all the employees now divided and dominated by the unions. . To Work : I 'i � s what wor k e do In the large maj ority of cas : real capacItIes but on the oood depends not on our will of management. Our Coun­ cils could not have been created if we had not rec­ ognized our capacities. WHAT WE CAN ALL DO �: : elements. unio uctIOn. Unlike man �rstand what our work we think we are able to und It. inefficiency. working in offices.116 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO D O IT MANAGEMENT AND THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 117 according to the -which differentiate the pay 0 categories in the 1 claBsification of employment ( 1 classification of July 1954 ) . T. �gates often Pl'�CtI Inside the firm the union. on and mechaniza.tion Incr ease more as r ationalizati such a way agement m Our wor k is organized by man 1 0 % of our not permit us to apply even that it does .·kers who made the revolution. We will tell you our experience and give you ma­ terial aid. The Seniors : archy . . fIrm the emevery ntiation. March 13. are an integral part of the 13ame new social formation as the Hungarian wm. you are capable of organizing yourselves. outside of this t It pleases In r e complete authority . fatigue. Cooperate with us. tension. Whatever the possibilities are. C. while allowing to each the possibility of controlling and administering the organization com­ mon to all : You are those for whom solidarity is not an empty word. 1956. Is it not clear that these French men and women. In your firms your problems are the same as ours. F. the commission on pro ductivi Oyees n in 1 9 45 called on the �mpI The C. the differentiation -which constantly increase . G. �anag eme�t as profits. form a group to publi'sh a bulletin of your firm to prepare the way for forming a Gouncil. inju'Stice. You are not what the union'S and management say you are : incompetents who have to be led. . or their work is simply any way j ustified ? How then is this hierarchy in You can depend only upon yourselves. This authority brings in its wake waste. . ease prod to make every effort to incr . and ty. theory and practice. del . on y ou the functioning of the firm depends. and do tires us The work which we have to . in pay ( agreement of July 1954 and the differences April and November 1 9 5 5 ) . You are the most numerous. If this is not immediately possible. w e find that in general the unions serve this authority rather than fight it. ful and stupi d. eases thIS dlffer policy of favoritism WhiCh mCI' . It is for us all that we struggle. . Either they do the same w ork . T . more marked in relation to the as t e other employe es. make contact with us. and those Russian workers against whom Khrushchev and Shepi­ lov thunder in vain? That statement of what they are doing and why is s ocialism. one pomt.am­ We don 't want our wor agement and the umons. Oui" Employees C ouncil will survive only if other Councils are formed in other companies. it doe's wha gard t o our work. HELP ? The Unions : ent salary agre eme�ts They negotiate with managem from the increasmg which allow us some crumbs . . supervISIOn. consists of and t o organize -: l1l:0re . in p ay is even This division due to the hier Semors. They live by only one principle : the absolute authority of management in the firm. discouragement.. . ploy ns are the divis ive The management and the unio They use every means (seniors. The result is that in ees are divided .

So at 2 o'clock th e chaIrman opens the meet ing. im­ patient with these babblers. s�rvmg beer. every hour. very often poll tIcal debate until 10 o'clock when the pub clo se'S. enJoyable day. but usually once a month in a small public house in a back street in the cen­ tre of Manchester. and whlch wlll tomorrow. manly a concrete ta k It can not only recor d. all s ch commlttees. largely one large cartel. tlO� of order�g an extra pint at 2 p . will find ( after great efforts) that outside of production as well as in it. abolIsh them . bureaucratic mon­ trositles which claim that mod ern society can only live If governed by them. t o h elp theIr t oats m the c omin g sessi on. � WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 119 � � � ? . no matter what the size. now begins to appear fOil' the gigantic and ut . The agenda is m a d e up on the sPQot.. when they are. tyran nica. estab- stewar s to present any special views it wishes to have dlscussed . Textile It deals with the Central Machine Industry in Lan­ � � 7 This i s a meeting Qof shop stewards from all facto­ ries in manufacturing spinning machinery. At 2 p. This Central Committee alwa ys met on a Sunday Stewards would arrive from all the little Lancashir towns from midday onward'S. and an infinite variety. ex:stence. . and the emplnyers dio not and . The landlord allotted . one factory. and its decisions are not bind­ ing on any individual factory which can accept or rej ect them . with the greatest of ease . The �hole tlme untIl 7 o'clock is taken up with resol utlOl1S and di cussio s. ' . g merely to recor d the facts of the existing socialist SOCIe ty. although everyone takes the precau­ . although the committee of a factory will delegate Qone or two as one vote .t the clumsy. Any qhop steward may attend. It is an informal meetmg of the delegates from factories ' yet it is the po er W ich faces twenty boards o directors. .. th e blg ass mblY room for . And as Marx. Accounts of these are so few that we quote again from the document which de­ scrib e d the Committee cashire . which challenges the official structure of socie­ ty at every turn. .m.l. There are only very shadowy Qoffi­ cers and functions. terl unpr ecedented undertaking that it i s But jt is pri­ . and Trotskyist bureaucrats. all drink beer and exchange c nversatlOn a out anything and everything. SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION m: ? Organization is the cry. Votes al'e very rarely taken. The Secr etary reads any cor­ reBPondence The minutes of the .m. on S undays the pubs have to stop . . From . What about organization? Modern industry. There are only a few informal rules. It meets whenever a factory com­ mittee thinks it necessary. last meeting are approve Ther� is a minimum of busi ness . it can . The Marxist organization will have only to look to find the miracles of organization which modern workers have learned in modern industry and which have be­ come second nature to them.wIll not negotiate with it. Commu­ nist.. counts have been represented.m . The same thing is s o for nearly . mg coU?tel"po s the eXIst form ations of the new socialist sOCle � agall1l.listies itself with a massiveness.1 18 FACING REALITY write this program they had to draw to a head their bitter experiences with all types of Socialist. which can be and are changed to suit the convenience of stew­ ards attending. once replied to them. constItutIon of the C onfederati on of Shipbuilding � � � f � . a solidity. when It open mg time. shop of the stewards. It is also of note that in the . "Who denies it ? " The Marxist organization which understands that its function is to learn and not to teach. mldday �ntil 2 p. we are told. sometimes only say half a dozen. the new society every day. S and­ WIChes and pIes are brought from the pub for lunch. At o'clock the meeting clos­ . It IS completely outside any union ma­ chiner or jurisdiction. Finally the strangest featUre of so many of these new organizations is that they have no official exist­ ence : � � � � � � It is noteworthy that this Central C ommittee of Te xtile Machine Shop Stewards has no recognized . Thereafter there is in­ formal c?J?-tinuation of discu ssion in groups. IS es. deliberations . But aren't there great areas of life outside of produc­ tion and administration? There are. Sometimes as many as twenty factories The task of the small organizatio n earlier stated as be . Now this committee is quite ty­ pical of all such committees. which exist in hun­ dreds of different shapes and sizes cmresponding with the conditions in the factories and industries for which they cater. . when everybody goes hom e having had an . demands organization of a kind different from these shop floor organizations .

ading committee of an organisation which with the expenditure of not 1 % of the time. without secretary. radio . without typewriter. "Pipe down there. lad" from two or three of the older ones is usually sufficient to sup­ press any too unruly heckler. the C entral Committee. how ( the) public-house meeting is going to replace an that . in Moscow.chine. there is no provision for such Central C ommittees. A few hund red docke rs hold a meeti ng on the docks to decide some course of policy. at least once a weeK. in 1947. . at the l evel of foreman. every Shop Stewards Committee wa'S considering the application of the agreed line. A dockers' meetin g can break every rule of parlia. the shop steward. . They create a mood of hostility amon g tb e men by their mere presenc e . on a District C ommittee ba­ sis. there was strife.e. At the level af the ma. Perha ps the most conscious and finish ed opposition to the parliamentary procedure and accep ted routine of traditional organizations which exists a. i. This is the secret of their strength and there is no other secret . . or the extent of refusal. and at the level of the whole industry. which at once divides the dockers into conflicting groups.ake known how far they would agree. and the official Press . The pOlice . . . the separate Shop Stewards Committees examined every plan of the manage­ m ents. with no full time highly paid and trained managers. as well as in Lancashire ? That is ex­ a ctly what the writer goes on to do: Now (Communists and Trotskyites) will point to the factory managements with their hierarchy of superintendents and foremen and managers.- .iQ n for serious emergencies. with the bourgeoisie "organising" their own factories. and they will ask . the problems were dealt with by the C entral Committee.120 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO D O JT 121 and Engineering Unions. But · the extent of management "organisation" in greater or lesser degree also depended on the attitude of the workers. the Shop Stewards Committee . and where changes of plan affected the whole industry. Real policy is decided at these meetings. in Paris. The d ockers keep their own order. But it is a matter of fact that whenever any serious ques­ tions arise locally. and repeatedly de­ feated them. are the greatest sourc e of dis­ order. and to them they will always be a mystery. p ermanent struggle between c ommittees and management. . He finall y locat ed the ob­ j ect of his searc h Sitting in a small b ack room . the District Committees invariably call unoffi ­ cial advisory meetings of all shop stewards and committees concerned. the one of the workers was and is incomparably more vigo­ rous and in every respect superior. every management was requested to meet its com­ mittee right away. in Detroit. Those who start fights are quickly disciplined without any arrests.re not much wiser about the dockers than when they began .nyw here to­ day is to be found among the docke rs. But can one reasonably compare these workers sit­ t�ng in a pub with the machinery of management. what the worker thought r ight .w ay and not to show themselves further than a certain street or streets. Of course. Of the two parallel organi'Sing functions. where the stewards would m. the governmen t. and once c alled in ses::. they know. if a distur bance does break out the police wish to arrest the culprits. On one acqasion when the dockers had once more p aralyzed the ports of the nation. they also c arry it out. and the hundreds of exe­ cutives trained in all these things. at the level of management of a factory. and the co-ordinating b o ards. they in­ v ariably meet very frequently. A great university has organ ized a research proje ct to find out what spirit it is that moves in t11em. and publicist'S. The first thing they do is to inform the police to keep a. etc. becau se the dockers have broken out of the burea ucrat ic routine of bourg eois disord er and are blasting new roads of social organization. without teleph one. The whole world know s that during the last ten year'S a few thousand Lond on dockers have repeatedly fought pitched battles again st their em­ ployers. To the university resea rcher and newspaper repor ter dock­ ers remain a mystery. After years of investigation the resea rcher s report their findings with the sad conclusion that they a. Within 24 hours every worker in the industry knew all about it. organised the entire labor force of those factories down to the last apprentice . in which neaTly all the unions concerned are confederated. and shop stewards and committees are not m entioned. But the cold hard fact is that committee was and is the le. which arrived at agreed deci­ sions. Here. be­ fore which the whole w orld b nws down. union bureaucrats. HOW D OCKERS ORGANIZE The new society is to be found in the most un­ expec ted places . the reporter of a great newsp aper sought to find the organ izer.

. in social life. and par­ ticularly a new world.122 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO D O IT mentary procedure. aDd Jack here will make three. And Jack completes a trio. But already they mean far more for the new society than the accumulat­ eo wisdom of all the Party Conferen ces in Britain plus the editorial staffs of all the newspap ers plus the coun­ cils of all the universitie�. They will hear of a strike in :: sin�le motor plant in Coventry. the administration from the top execu ­ tives to the lowliest members of the clerical staff is . then each will be deeply affected by the other.t. or according to Ma. Side by side with the boldest creativeness may go a clinging to reactio nary forms and ideas. the new is often very much entangled with the old. When these f orces have finally fallen apart. They dispatch it by s omeone who IS con­ venient. tionary forms. the Commlmist line than the dockers' interests. and after one o f th� lr qUlte : . ' . Jim. that he is concerned more w. The Marxist organization will have to learn to distin­ guish stages of the existence of the new s ociety. At any stage of a meeting the chairman or the orator who has the rostrum can be ignored while the meeting breaks up into two or three separate meetings. There may be hundreds or even thousands of men present. on platforms. Then.J a second delegation may consist of three entirely different people. Whom to send? "What about Tom here ? " " O . they have repeat edly been cheated and had their wishes thwarted by bureaucrats. RACE RELATIONS-TWO ROADS It is obvious that if there ate two societies in con­ flict.K. Secretary. The vote IS alwa�s taken only in one set of circumstances : when there IS a discussion on whether to return to work or not. Like so many other tens upon tens of millions of workers. Tom. second ers. when the meeting is over some of them m ay even SIt m the pub listening to his exposition of C0n. This is not to s ay that all dockers meetings and 123 � � procedures are carried on in exactly this way. But if they have reason to suspect. and Committee members s itting at ta­ bles. With the dockers. because votmg results in organized opposite camps. When the news gets known. amendments. A speaker who has won the atten­ tion of a group is pushed forward and encouraged to go up to the rostrum and take over from the sp er there. not only the par­ ticular firm but all other motor firms in Coventry trem­ ble. But the man who has said Tom to b e�m with has had good reason for beginning with him. and inasmuch as to them one auto firm in C oventry is pretty much the same as another. It deals with the Negro question in the United States. It is often in this way. informal meetings will write three or four hnes III pe�Cll on a piece of paper torn out of a notebook. In one of the most widely known of American auto­ mobile plants. as with all such highly advanc ed outpo'Sts of the new society. The result is that they act in conscio us opposit ion to these procedures . he IS lIkely to be dropped. the energies and powers which have so far been displaye d chiefly in resistance will be free for creation in industry. They s�nse the general sentiment and act on that. Their method of dealing WIth CommunIsts IS exemplary.v e roots in nation al and religious origins which cut the particular groupin g off from the general current of the society in which they live and thus strengthen their sense of hostilit y to its shabby practic es. ext:ressmg s olidarity. that the new develop s and i's cherish ed and spread becaus e of the enOl'm ous new p ower it generates. . Here is a perfect example of the manner in which the socie­ ties are entangled. Chair­ rnah. they are ready to stop handling not one make but all cars that come in from C oventry.tmuni'st doc­ trine. Distinctive with them is the fact tha. JIm is chosen to supplement Tom. sometimes in superf icially reac. a�d .K. But the dockers have achieved a social effectiveness and a striking power which so far has expressed itself only in successful battles against enormou'S forces . not go back is usually unanimous-for the sake of �­ ternal l30lidarity and also for the purpose of wa�n:ng the authorities not to cultivate illusions about spl1ttmg the ranks. the vote to go back or . It takes all sorts to make a world. with speake rs to motion . Their method of selecting delegates is equally op­ posed to parliamentary procedur e . the whole apparatus of tried and tested routine by which the will of the r ank and file is thwart ed. by conscio us rej ection of the old. although opinions maY differ. propo'S als rej ected becaus e not permis sible according to regulations. Few have had anything to say about the se­ lection. For at such times the dockers do not trouble them­ selves about niceties of distinction. But what m atters is this." On the surface it loo s haphazard. They will choose a C ommunist as a delegate.y's or Rob­ erts' Rules of Order. in politics. m the course of negotiations . The solidarity may ha. The dockers do not like v otes.ith ." "And Jim? " "O.

Many of these white workers. however. that it is engaged on all fronts in a struggle to establish itself c ompletely and that the struggle most often is taking place in the hearts of workers . These.tiona. the starting point and person nel of the small organization . finally be­ gan his exposition of the intricac ies of capitalist soci­ ety from the examination of the single commodity. Many do not. and certain set j obs. Some overcome it . Some of us have not only partici pated in these experi­ ences but have made experiences of our own. In the shop floor organizations the thousands of w orkers in the plant make no distinction between whites and Negroes . after collaborat­ ing most democratically and intimately with Negro workers in the plant. WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 125 Our task then is to recognize the new society. and editing . working backward'S . INDEPENDENT EDITORIAL COMMIT'l 'EES If the mind of the Marxist organization is clear about what it has to d o . It is enough for the time being t o under­ stand that the new society exists. Where the pressure from below is very great they will · sometimes. "indep endent" signifying that these com ­ mittees are independent of the organization . place a Negro on the list as Vice-President. to know that the method they use is -exactly the same as that practiced through many decades by the British imperialists in thwarting the aspirations of c olonial peoples. and the procedures of such an organi z tion. discussing. who denounce British co­ lonialism with such unction. There you will find the free democracy that is the natural expression of cooperative labor. They may be drawn togethe r by a member of the organiza-tion or by someon e who is not a. will be diversified by the circum s tances of na. as far as we could. The concr ete result s in every concrete case at a particular stage will neces sarily de­ termine the steps which are to follow . The union leaders. Go. as in the pr-esent case. It invades the most intimate recesses of human personality. are regularly allotted t o a Negro on the union election list. They are concerned solely with organizing their work and their struggles with management as effectively as possible. We shall return to it a gain in some of its more subtle re­ lationships. The keystone of the arch is independen t editoriah committees. not in the South but in the North.l life. But you will find on examination that this is a compromise. As Marx. � Experience has shown that a single 'Worker. align ourselves with it. For these people democracy means the right to vote . and intelle ctuals . of course . member of the organization. such as the Reco:rding Secretary. a mem­ ber of a Marxist organization. This is a typically bureau­ cratic s olution of an urgent problem. It will surprise the American union bureaucrats. however. That. including the Vice-President. clerical worker s. so it is the all-sided examination of the independent edi­ torial committee which will show the road for the Marxist organizatio n. An independent e ditorial committee consists of any group of people. Therefore you will find on the union executive b oard of a dozen people three or four Negroes. We may take the average Marxist o rganiz ation to consis t of anything from a dozen to three or four dozen people who are bound together by their adher ence to the political ideas outlined in this document . The group will be composed in more or less equal degree of work­ ers in the plant. The plant itself. seekin g to discovel' a practic e conesp onding to the theory that · we develo ped. em­ ploys a number of Negroes. and record the facts of its existence. whom they employ and where they employ them is their own business. A complication such as this is repeated in an infinite variety of forms in all spheres of society. Despi te this in­ evitable and in every respec t advan tageou s variety the general outline is clear. however. the experiences of the last thirty years . who meet regularly for the sole purpose of writing. All are deeply affected by the contradiction. organized for the purpose of prepar ing m aterial for publication. can gather around him a dozen workers. men and 'Women. t o the shop floor. The men who can do this best are the leaders. be they white or Negro . organizers of elections. as soon as they leave the plant step right back into the attitude of separation between themselves and Negroes which has been taught them for three hundred years by official society and which they see being practiced by m anagement in its own offices. know that they must have some Negroes in the leadership. We can theref ore give with a certain con­ fidence the essential elements of the struct ure the forms. The next question is exactly how. But some of us have digeste d. does not exhaU'st even this summary sketch. then all problems are soluble by tria] and error.124 :FACING REALITY white . What distinguishes them is that they are not necessarily membe rs of the organization and are not necessarily c andidates for membership .

professional and cler­ ical middle classes. and inasmuch as the whole future of the small organization. r ecognized that the working class was the natural leader of the nation. Vlorking with small informal editorial committees con­ Sisting of people who were not members of the organ­ ization. member of a small o rganization. or of any one class dominating the whole of society and imposing its will upon all others. the aspi­ ra tions of the professional and clerical middle classes take a natural place in such a paper and are read and commented upon with acute interest by the workers in the pla. where persisting. 1. in France the workers are interested in them for their own sake. canying with them as they do the heavy burden of the past. except for the fanatics of the Party and the Plan and their underlings. what they are doing." and. WHAT IS TO GO INTO SUCH A PAPER? tion of the union bmeaucracy and the Communist Par­ ty. We have the direct experience of two coun­ tries to go by and tentative experiences from others which are enough to tell us all that is needed. There is no other way . In France. Experience has shown that the problems. still remaining on the most elementary level. will have their opportunity to learn. can be a channel of communication between the paper and tens of thous­ ands of worker'S and clerical employees. to j o in the small organization . We are reliably . The Hungarian workers knew too much about oppression to wish to oppress anybody. In the United states such editorial c ommittees consisting of workers have conSistently written about : conditions in the shop . In the course of so doing. both inside and outside the organization. The old type of j ournal consisted. 01' What those in the editorial c ommittees wish to go in will go into the paper. still consists of articles written by intellec­ tuals and advanced workers. has been able in the course of a few months to gain 1 5 0 subscribers to such a paper from one plant alone. was a product of a certain stage of . We have expressly excluded the terms "workers " from the phrase "independent editorial committe e.) Finally the Negro question torments all Americans.nts . The immediate consequences of such a program are immense. We shall start on the lowest level and step by step mount to where logic and experience shall lead us. It will vary from country to country. each of which can easily contain three four workers or black-coated workers. telling the workers what to think.126 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 127 articles for immediate publication. charged with all the crimes and horrors of Stalinist totalitarianism. and. and what they want to do. the difficulties . and farmers alike." The con­ ception of workers in the plants. how to make "the revolution. internally and externally.­ tion iB. Today this concep. In the end we shall find that we have covered in strictly practical terms not merely the life of the or­ ganization. The Hungarian nation as a whole. (We may note that the same problem must occupy p arents in Russia. Whereas in the United States problems of revolu­ tionary theory and history are always seen in the strict­ est relation to a practical situation or problem. the intel­ lectuals and advanced workers. is wrapped up here ( and much else besides) we shall list them sys­ tematically. It exists so that workers and other ordinary people will tell each other and people like themselves what they are thinking. and immediate pub­ lication means not a theoretical j ournal but a weekly or a fortnightly paper . the venture was not followed UP . The j ournal contemplated here will do not the opposite but something entirely different. WHO WILL READ SUCH A PAPER? A single worker. but also in practical terms. The break with the old type of Marxist journal js complete. black and white. They raise the question of chHdren and how to bring them up so as to save them from slipping into the physical violence and psycholo­ gical disturbances which menace the children of every class of society in the United States . One p articular publication which dealt specifically with the situation in a particular plant was read by at least 5000 w orkers . the whole of the tbeory of socialism that we have outlined earlier. in the minds of workers. dominating all othe r issues is the ques- 2. what to do. industl'ial and social development. we are able to say that a dozen people by means of editorial ccmmittees. As happens so often with small organi­ zations launching out into this new and untried field . the ultimate summit of understanding and wisdom. Each issue was read by at least five people. Half a dozen 'SlIch committees can over a period give such an account of the new society in its conflict with the old as repre­ sents the most authentic picture of the contemporary state of the nation. the union bureaucracy and why Amer­ ican workers have not formed Shop Stewards Commit­ tees on the British model.

however small. The mass organizations of today are distinguished as much by anything as by this : they do not worry about their future . by the sale af lat­ tery tickets. For this the Shop Stewards were almast entirely responsible. we can laak back and recard the calassal impertinence. this .1' of a strike situa­ tion which they cannat get in the official Press or their ullion publication . would have been p ossible to get at least 1000 subscnbers. but only one model. will demand af ' a paper that it do.f it. and lead sametimes tens af millians of warkers by telling them what to believe. 00 0 ) . aid the warkers in their struggles with the emplayers and the gavernment? Here are the ghosts of thirty years rising up to gather a few mare thausand victims to. "local grievances. There are times when they wish complete. The independent editing committee is not a social form. there had been 2 8 9 unafficial stappages. There are and will be others. In fact. but compensate by be­ ing full-grown at birth. The pitfall is to believe and to act as if these or other formations are embryonic 'Soviets.000 ( $2 1 . no one knows how long. the delirium which infected so. The warkers they have in t. The e ditor. Taday. England. striking a success did not con­ tain a single slogan.D O AND HOW TO DO IT 129 informed that in the excitement which followed the publication of this particular issue of the periodical. These gestate. This workers do not want and pay no attention to. do. add to. the p ile af carp­ seF already claimed by that sad periad. Workers Councils. a penod of five month'S. anxious far immediate publicatian and populariza­ tion of a particular slogan or directive. which they know is sympathetic to them. it was originally formed for that purpose and that continue s to be its primary interest. 1 9 5 6 . No groUPS of individuals can anticipate the social formations of the future. it was printed. The paper of the Marxist arganization can b e a weapan in the daily class struggle but only when the � k workers af the editorial committees want it to be so. It should be noted. they used far expenses a. a single directive of what to do. instruct. ignaring the unian afficials. is a regular contri­ butor to a theoretical review.nd subsis ­ . These relations on the whole constitute a model. From February 1. In one of the most important factories of Europe. and that was enough. a man of remarkable j ournalistic talent. The actual for­ mations can be infinitely varied. 1 9 54 to May 13. it . What is 1t that small groups or for that matter large groups of intellectuals and advanced.]28 FACING . accurate. The rest." Fifteen workers got together and drafted the statement.000 ) . many heads in thase days in their detenni­ natian to. This is what the report said. and sametimes in defiance af them.REALITY WHA T TO . BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CLASS STRUGGLE? Isn't it the function of any socialist paper to. Experience has shown that there are times when work­ ers. workers have to teach worker'S like these? The questIOn wauld be bEneath contempt were it nat for the tragic fact that ten millions of words and ten thousand lines have been wasted in the attempt to do just this.heir minds do not exist and never existed anywhere except in their awn minds. They gave out in prizes L9000 ( $27. .genham. There were C ammun­ ists amang them but the report was categoric al that the Communists were not the prime cause af the trauble. They did all this. without in the slightest degree affecting its other activities. a paper of the kind proposed here is launched. They are independent. epce far meetings that they called. raised a sum of L16. 3. If and when. _ . there is a factory group which publishes a factory newspaper. for prmtmg theIr stri e leaflets and ather material and for assisting strikes in other plants. now that we have purged ourselves o. arganize. and strictly businesslike re­ ports af the c onditions af their labar 0. what to. however. parties of the future. They are to edit. There was a condition affecting many thousands af workers in a plant. The particular issue of the periodical which had so. act as a weapan in the class struggle. 000 ) . this grouping will be an independent editing committee of the paper. owned by the Ford Mator Com­ pany. some L'7. 1 9 5 5 . that this group is the most militant and consistent of those shop floor organizations which lead mass s truggles and the day-to-day warfare against the union bureaucracy. these Shap Stewards. Da. the rushing in with slogans and advice as to what they ought to do. and such-like fantasies. In April 1 9 5 7 a Caurt of Inquiry presented to Par­ liament an accaunt af a cantinuing crisis between man­ agement and warkers at Briggs Motor Bodies Limited. sometimes in oppositia n to them. Between March 3 1 and August 3 1 . what to think . as is pro­ posed. It is not a preparation for the future . to. What is ridiculaus and stultifying is the long list of demands. At such times they will use any pa­ ' per.000 ( $5 0 . It is a con­ venient symbol for getting together groups of people. .

this does. its present. The possibilities are endless. and the way in which the circu­ lation of it'S p aper increases. The Marxist organization in the past aimed at suc­ ce'Ss. the old habits. it s ought mem­ bership. the particular leadership of each particular group. while they have examined every p olitical organization in sight. in the unions... E o $ 2) . The Marxist group today usually has some members who hold positions of great importance in the labor and union world. these die hard. But it is the word "success" that has to be defined. but new members are a by-product of its success. . we have never seen any attempt by any single one of them to examine the bleak record of the Marxist organization itself. J: (J . :J CtI t: CtI Co '0. the basic pattern of development is the same. OJ t: Cll � til . initiating directly through its own membership great actions involving hundreds of thousands of workers in key industries. preparing the elite c orps Which w as in time to lead the workers and keep on leading them until at some distant time the bourgeoisie was ov erthrown. Experience has shown the influence it can exercise in the daily class struggle.. It is anxious to gain new members. Its success at the present period and in the present stage of its existence centers around two inseparable processes : 1 ) the manner i n which it multiplies its independent edi­ torial committees .. organized influence. even among those who have fought hard to abjure them.. Fortunately despite the: wide variation in details from country to country. Yet.. quite literally. the psychology of leadership. and will fail unless they do. if ever a s ocial or political for­ mation needed self-examination. CtI o tJ � >. l abor p arties. WHAT ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION? The old mentality.. For thirty years the small or­ ganization knew what it meant by success : success was growing membership and influence. organiza­ tions of the working class. in its origins. But the organization of today will go the way of it'S forerunners if it does not understand that its future does not depend on the constant recruit- CtI .. its pa:st. the particular organizational practices. as all human organizations do and will always do.. the old pre-occu­ pations.. and by membership it meant people trained and educated and completely devoted to the particular doctrines. and other mas:<... Above all. FACING REALITY BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIALISM? WHAT WHAT ABOUT THE REVOLUTION? ABOUT THEORY? And finally.130 4. It is characteristic of the Marxist organizations· that. and its fu­ ture... It was always.

This is the great stumbling block. The Leninist theory and practice have sunk deep into the political consciousness of the world . are composed of people who have inherited the traditions and in some cases were actual members of the small organizations which sought to lead the workers.WHA T TO DO AWD HOW TO DO IT 131 ing and training and disciplining of professional or semi­ pro fessional revolutionaries in the Leninist manner . From this test the trained Marxists shrink back in fear and take refuge in theoretical articles and his- . and it is these we are dealulg with and not abstractions. But the Marxist organization is a historical product. Now. the ideas have to stand the test of the ordinary working man or member of the general public. There is never any difficulty about mak­ ing contact with these people. even ruthless. The concrete or­ ganizations of today. the burden not on the backs but in the minds of those very ones who have. therefore. nor lack of contacts. by hard theoretical examination of the past. But with them. nor lack of knowledge which inhibits and cramps and immobilizes the Marxist organization today. their rej ection is immediate and definitive. if the ideas do not meet with their approval or hold their in­ terest. The tEst of the ideas. They do not stay to argue thrOough loyalty or devotion to the organization. . by trial and error. with the perspective of going to the general public. and that this is true particularly among those who have the most theoretical knowledge and experience. nor lack of ideas.y it can live . the community. there is no other wa. It is not lack of money. It must live by this. They are the guardian'S of the principles and ideas which any organization must h ave if it is to build. iE extremely s evere. The organization which attempts to break out into the masses to meet the new society that is there will find that it is singularly ill-equipped for this task.tion substituted political theory and an internal po­ litical life for the human response'S and sensitivities of its members to ordinary people. It is a habit of mind and a way of life. broken out of the prison of trying to build organizations of professional revolutionaries. Its task is to recognize and record. They simply go away and stay away. The vanguard organi­ z8. It can do this only by plunging into the great mass of the people and meeting the new society that is there. But these ideas have most often been worked out and tested among trained people. It has now become very difficult for them to gOo back into the stream of.

that past exp which these organizations not have arrived at he could ence without which they Ch of today. An investigator for the London Times recently reported on a long list and he merely touched the borders. In the United States. from the beginning. still preaching Marxism. Some of them have en­ sconced themselves in the mass Labor parties where they live peacefully. In the middle of the Twentieth Century a spectre is haunt­ ing Marxism. As with all such attempts.:Lwers cherished political distinctions. They are ter­ . have seen their hopes and efforts turn to dU'St. Imbued from the earliest USIve­ oretical purity and excl with the concept of the Va guard Par. workers and intellectuals alike may find refuge in the Labor Party. Even when they torical or philosophical disq t . and when it attempts to come out into the open. Their mode of existence has its basis in some petty publica­ tion which they know is going nowhere but which they keep alive to give the impre'Ssion that they are still actively engaged in revolutionary w ork. We have to refer to those who give up the struggle. al res our ces they con lIll man and materi storic l rea ­ most profound b) They dev elop the e wlth the ce. and their sacred honor to the Marxist organization. the inside the orgamzatl ganization. In Britain. s it doe s not dIssolve .ty) . They have given their lives.uisitions . after yeao. not of Marxism but of history itself. been domg for th rtY y have which are doing what the of tlIDe e to do it until the end year s and will continu n they to get any further tha without ever expecting tern. have com e. It reco gruzes When. What such org amzatl?ns are in many countnes of life. se values they are � are they have lived and who . an ever -dec easmg and on further inward. the past of en. it is that pas t WhI theoretical understanding s before horrible con cretene'S they must see in all its ver. They consistency unable to make It a:nd are next step must be. theory of the ness ( direct result of the take theIr theory mto not find the energy to they can it to bec ome flesh and blood. some of them serious. that past which is so re­ cent can and doe'S overcome others. t turn that its hopes have failed. Those who do not find a place for that step. The worker in the plant usually finds shelter among his fellows. There are. and turn into implacable enemies of Marxism and Marxists. It continu e . trot them out on all conceivable occasions to keep their political pots boiling. are . depending s on es to carry out lts task hardening core . ready at the slightest sign of faltering. wh ich they combm sons for their existen p rsonal needs s of their o roo st subj ective analyse Justify their use­ Thus they attempt to an d interests. and the spec­ tacle of this futility keeps many others from Marxism . a yvay has b ecom it is doin a routine level. armed to finish with it fore they are fully r­ has developed cert�in cha The Marxist organization de pIY r to it and are stlll acteristics which are peculia . setback'S. s am e politic political e emles of the � � � � � ! � � � hl: � � � � � . mselves and l S existence to the h former bitter to seek ass ociation wit c) Thev tend al type as they are. The attempt to break out of it will be made. There . But they discussing the preparatlOn sit for years interminably 132 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 133 � whose ideas and methods of thought and action are SImilar and familiar to them. keeping it within what is already a grave­ yard. they c annot give all tha decide to make the attempt ide is n unknown quan­ ld outs they have to it. in every Euro e ail country in particular but not only in Europe. pnnClples by whICh altogether the political soil or lose ?f. they . their circle of contacts. They are not only ruins. On this basis they are always ready for what they call a discussion. there will be failures. The wor and restnctl3. sometimes ferocious forms of distorte d personality. deterio­ ration is more 'Severe. · This is not mere history. pushing them back into the same routine which we have seen so often. Ill weaken or mittees . The result is often personal deterioration. where there is no mass workers' political organization to go to. They corrupt and ruin the potentiaJities of hundreds of young people every year. their fortunes. the past fro It is the past.-s of wo imbedded in it. w the outside world and allo ­ s whi ch hav e brok en theor The re are even organization a�le for then efforts remark tically with the past by realIze wh t the and great brilliance. But whereas those who are really free of the past can always find new strength in such successes as they have had and after careful thought renew their efforts. fear of which inhibits tity un all the way t o meet the ror-stricken lest. hundreds � � � � p � � and even thousands of such people... claiming that these hold and have always held the key to the future. p olish them up and. in going . llfe days of theIr p olItIcal . theoretical editorial com . They pull out of old dr. thirty years. to show it the way back. They folloW a pat or­ upied with prob ems of a) They become preocc on. k. relationships trol.

But it may be tempted to belleve that be­ . e�ther be­ cause it was never a correct picture of SOCIety (the outsiders) or has not been studied correctly or senous­ Iv enough (the insiders) . however. The MarxISt theory of society does not apply any more.tween theory and practice.reas of the world and is striding fOil:war � every day. To say that the task of the Ma�13t organization today is to recognize that the ne� SOCIety exists and to record the facts of its existence ?s not a question of popularizing difficu�t �rut?s. The vanguard fanatics of every stripe. and conscious . The Il.in the union bureaucracy very often find their way into the government. of socialism can be pushed aside. national. Ten years ago. ­ scious but backward mass on the other. Our project for a certain type of paper is not a brainwave. politics and economics. B. The revolution was either a stupid outburst by a mass of ignorant workers (the outsid:rs) or in �ny _ case bound to fail and continue to fail untIl some tra� ­ ed leadership is organized (the insiders) ."eason lies not in the ignorance of the workers but in the ignorance of the teachers. Total planning is inseparable from permanent crisis. is over half the world in the strangle­ hold of Stalinism. it may believe that for these reasons questIOns of the­ ory. they are as many as the stripes of a zebra. the elite on t11e one hand and the u:ncoz:. stage of its existence. State capitalism is in itself the total contradiction. not infrequently placing their knowledge at the disposal of Un-American Committees and even the F.. confusion before the concepts of theory. But whether they stay in or go out. never so revolutionary as it is today. It is sawing off the branch on which it sits. disorder. the revolutlOn. 134 FACING REALITY Today there is no difference be. immediate needs and ultimate s olutions-all these it is impossible to keep separa te any longer. civil and imperialist war. because it can recog­ nize that the new society. ..revolu­ tion in our day. The ellt : III thiS case lowers itself to the level of the unconsclO� . they are on the whole united by their attitudes to certain fundamental aspects of Marxism. is merely another vanety of the vanguard. and THEORY AND PRACTICE . exists over vast 3. It is the totality of these contradictions that today compels philosophy. 1. The proletariat. the absolute opposite of the prole­ trurian revolution. What It means is that there is no longer any drstmctlOn between theory and practice. even though socialistic mass. It )8 . and this practical question in­ volves a specific re-examination and revaluation not merely of our own past but of history itself. will no doubt view with Olympian scorn the proposal that the Marxist organization recognize as its specific function in this period the publication of a paper of the kind we have outlined. Many of those who are always so ready to give lec­ tures and write long books about the Russian Revolu­ tion have doubtless found that in general the great masses of the workers were only abstractly interested. There are infinite variations �nd combinations of all these. The theoretical question is therefore for us a practical question. if 0I?-ly tempo­ rarily. a total conception. whatever they do. In it are concentrated all the contradictions of revolution and counter-revo­ lution. their ignorance of _ WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 135 . between the intellect�l QCcliPatiQns of the "educated" and the masses . one group of its sponsors wrote as follows: It is precisely the character of our age and the ma­ turity of humanity that obliterates the opposition between theory and practice.l comffilttee of politically untrained people. This. ar�d socialism. but in all cases they amount to a total of disarray. war and peace. .. the individual and society. To think this is to �np­ pIe the new organization before it has begun . single country and one world. Here is the first practical example. party and mass. to dig beneath its feet a pit deeper than any m WhlCh its forerunners lie buried. Three years later we developed this as follows : All previous distinctions. agitation and propaganda. Socialism they consider either to be a myth (the outsiders) or so far in the distance that it is noth­ ing any organization could do anything about (the insiders) . socialism. The Marxist organization may have decided to leave behind it these dead and dying remnants of a past ag� and make a popular paper the next. the fonn of the counter. It is the result of a total philosophical con­ ception and of pooling together trial and error in many countries. the world struggle for the minds of men from the world tendency to the complete mechanization of men. in one of the land­ marks of the long struggle to the present position. cause its basis is the independent editoria. absolute antagonism.

and inter-relations of production. For well over thirty years this amazing anticipation of the fu­ ture was ignored by Marxists . not only in Europe supposedly politically backward working class of in the the United States. His world-shaking discov­ ery is that all previous classes who seized and held power were in an economic p osition to maintain it. etc. but they had ideas of theil' own. That is precisely what socialism will permit to those who wish it and then such history. however. But type that occupy the mInds precisely questions of this but of tens of millions of workers. Thus. ience This is the theory that workers want. There are thousands upon thousands of w orkers and theoretically-minded intellectuals in ev­ ery country who today have the experience and the need to understand an account of what happened and why. will be written as will make the theoreticians hide their heads in shame. Djilas. There is not a single book in English dealing with the factory committees in Russia. of Russian Trade Unions. he more than implies. a form of shop floor organi­ zation. From this book you cannot leai'n the Simplest · things. This existence in actuality of the new soci- . American and other workers are not They waiting for the revolution to s olve this problem. They were before their time. and very brief it is. These are the things serious students of theo:ry want to know. as f or example whether these factory commit­ tEes of Russia 1 9 1 7 were elected on a factory-wide scale with slates It'epresenting the factory as a whole ( Ameri­ can style ) or whether they were elected department by department ( as is the custom in England ) . All over the world there are workers who have never read a line of Marx but would dismiss Djilas with hearty laughter. what were the consequences. there are a few paragraphs on this nation­ wide resolution of the immature Russian proletariat of 1 9 1 7 to take into its own hands the m anagement of industry. in the first great proletarian revolution in the world. In one study. Such is the degradation of thought in our day that this is seriously discusse d a s a contribution to Marxism. the factory committees had called a national conference and their aim was to take over completely the management of industry. Exper instructions of has shown that they rej e ct slogans and want are what to do. What they which apply to their own prob­ historical experiences revolu ­ lems and aims. The Hungarian perhaps gov­ workers solved it triumphantly and built on it a allegiance of the e:rrnment which commanded thie whole nation. day. They are the Marxists of our day. the nature of their work does not permit them to do this. lack this strategic hold on the economy and therefore cannot rule . This is theory and practice. not to abstra ctions like "the � to train tion.'U ggle for socialism. This is not a passing brick. What is the difference between this theory an d this practic e? None at all. Workers are not trame � i� historical research.136 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 137 the history that is past and the history that is present� The first national conference of Russian trade unions took place in the months between the March Revolu­ tion and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Oc­ tober. These are the things workers want t o know. every ow the shop stewards have partially solved. They and their claims to manage industrY were almost immediately suppres sed by the Bolsheviks who preferred that power over production should be in the hands of unions . This is the problem are faced with it now. tomorr to tackle it in a new way. Only recently has it come to the notice of a few who re<:ognize its significance for today. What exactly happened. and above all. processes. the Yugoslav. their ability to run the economy. Another example. They know what to do. But even before the unions had held the confer­ ence the workers in the big plants all over Russia had f{hl" ed factory committees." They do not listen to people who t d to do them fOT the revolution. if the slates vvere presented by political parties. It raises every single fundamental problem of the Russian Revolution and the contemporary day-to-day st:!. even more striking. Here is an opportunity for some of these devoted Marxists to make tbemselves useful for once-the Russians (way back in 1 9 2 7 ) published a study called Oktyabrskaya Revolutsi­ yai Fabzavkomy. It is precisely the economic maturity of the workers. their mastery of the needs. particularly of mass movements. the October R evolution and the Fac­ tory Committees. it is precisely this that constitutes the economic basis of the new society. shop floor organizations clashed violently with trade unions and were suppressed only after a bitter struggle . why did it happen ? What was the relation of the factory' committees to the unions and to the Soviets ? These are theoretical and historical is questions of the most profound importance . ThelSe factory committees support ed the Bol­ sheviks devotedly in their struggle for power. The workers. has intrigued all the political pundits with his analysis of Communism. Even before the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks.

now that Khrushchev. that a new economic sY'Stem can be tablished by the Party and the PI�n. only Theory is the distillation of hlstor� and It ISnder­ to � by understanding the present that one IS able SOCIety at stand the past. . it would be read by workers and understood as no other collection was ever read and understood. what they proposed to do about produc police. e are serious in wishing to convey· his. A similar body of documents exists for land. These documents are the record of what they did.) The most crying :scandal and disgr ace to the JVrarxist movement is what has been done. be precise. com: mon people of today and the secret pollee. For us today it is the struggl� s . and the revolutions in Poland and Hungary. ask repeatedly for them. m VlOlatIOnand what is in front of our eyes in Poland.they only welcome not studies such as these but when they are brought to their notice. constitutionalapro­ posals. e. There is no need ap­ for them to join anything. of the L�V� ellers against Cromwell that matters. not yesterday but to­ day. the . Bulganin. for us. far m ?re intensive degree. Here. the Twentieth Congress. the � . Bntlsh Ma!l'XIStS must provide a brief History of the Levellers. and Suslow have revea:led where the Russian workers have reached. and l"rench Marx­ iSts must supply. of the new economic form now. is �hat Wlth The alternat�ve is �o b �llev� book is based upon. There will be other lists.heir own problems as they see them.Ie WIth new eyes. to be train­ ed for the revolution. It was written by workers in the plant. Here is socialist literature such as has never Po­ ex­ isted. These are practical tasks for the Marxist organizations to pera WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 139 . . abouttion. 138 FACING REALITY Experience has shown that workers in every coun­ try with their own instinct for what need to solve t.tJ. documents of all kind:s . d) Precisely the same situation. b) Today. Two groupS of people in society will understand It b� st. shnwed itself in the . To the disgrace of the Marxist movement there are many bourgeois jntellectuals who in recent years have been doing just such studies.torical information to the great body of the people. Over and over again they have shown their readi­ ness to work with an organization or group of people who they 1'len:. c) Exactly the same thing happened in the Engllsh Revolution. and of even greater importance. about the foreign policy..hey constitute the most precious collection nf material for the understanding of the new anywhere. taught by the events of our own . In the short time allotted society that exists to the Hun­ garian workers accomplished an incredthem range of ible tasks. all the rewntte. the army and government. to become members. what they intend­ ed to do.tlme� . esRussia itself. principle of the independent editorial committees The plies to them as to the workers. � new HIStOry of the Negroes in the Civil War is reqmred. Together t. have done splendid work. but today. No writings of Marx or Lenin will give so complete picture and convey the form and content. demands. though most often in an academic man­ ner. There is no need here to continue with the list. I� was lln­ possible to write this history for our own tIme before de-Stalinization. . pamphlets. n . . has not been done in regard to the or to ers Work Councils in Hungary. we look back at the great events of the ['evolutlOn�l Y past of the workers and the masses of the peop. Today. the Negro people in the U11lted states . manifestos. easy-to-read History of the Russian Rev� ­ lution which will trace the history of the workers 1� the Revolution from the filrst clash between factOIY committees and trade unions to the present day. Is there a more convincing example of the total unfitness for their most nbvious tasks which has now overtaken the Marxis t organiza­ tions? Instead of doing this they read Sartre's collec­ tion of documents written by Hungarian intellectuals and then set off to lead the French workers. of Djilas' in violation of all past hIstory. could not before. A History of the En� ages. These Council'S published se­ ries of leaflets. But the lesson is plain. Hungary. Collected and translated with the minimum of editing. the life breath of the socialist society as such a collectionand . We need. With the working class and great hIS­ the stage where they are at present. torical events and ideas ofbegin past need to be with: We require therefore to a) A brief.lis ety now. not agaInst FI enc� aristocrats and priests but agamst those who had hI therto led the revolution. Near the end of the French RevolutIOn the workers and the common people made a d�sperat� at­ tempt to estabUsh their own po�er. only to a . It IS no" easy to find more penetrating accounts of �he worke:s and common people in the French RevolutIOn than m the reports of the secret police. It still remains to be done. AmerIcan CIvil War. we need an account of the struggle nf these peal I d by the Enrages (the wild nnes) as the educated �tth�se days called them.

and velfY clear-cut ideas they are. their . " . It has been proved that the most difficult of social. We have indicated the road. the Communist Party in France. how many eyes have grown dim in the frantic efforts to answer these questions satis � factorily ? THE LABOR PARTY IN BRITAIN to come by. remains. POLICY AND THE PEOPLE I. ( often sharp antagonism) between what one would as­ sume to be a Marxist policy and the attitude of great masses of workers. the Com_ munist P arty in France. sense and reason. and the Labor Party in Great Britain: how many heads in Marxist organizations have pre­ maturely gone gray. ( 3 ) in France.tu �ty to say what they think in their own way.. a contradictio that has constantly to be overcome. To very many of these Ideas. That is precisely why they must have the oppor' .140 FACING REALITY WHA T TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 141 can perform. We shall analyze this contradiction in : � a) Voting or not voting for such parties as the Democratic Party in the United States. ( 2 ) in Britain. new social ties. . votmg for the Labor Party in England. The worke of us have this as they can and need to know. ated hu­ organization of labor. c) The Hungarian Revolution as it affected workers : We repeat : in all these scientific discoveries what ( 1) in the United States. must becom e proletarian. form. VOTING sive universal which will relate them to each other and to society and open out all their possibilities. the whole development of the obj ective veness of demands the fully liberated historical creati a new and higher the masses. et us begm with the one in which most are agreed. between is none. That is the solution Philosophy duction and to the problems of philosophy. The Marxist organizations and the intellectuals in particular must understand that it is their task to make all this know­ ledge available to the people in such terms al3 they clin understand. The organizations living in the past know nothing of this. in every depalftment of moder n As we have said earlier eries have _ intellectual and scientific life immense discov by which been made which tear to bits the assumptions a new society. They allow us to open up the ques­ tion of policy in the paper. to fit ourselves for the task of listeni cance and to sensitize ourselvel3 to catch the true signifi their statements of their problems. b) The Negro Question in the United States. some comprehen­ THE PAPER AND THE PEOPLTI One more task . artis­ tic. . WhICh cause s such consternation to certain Marxists and drives others to a frenzy of exhortation is for us a condition of social existence. But to do this demands mastery of the subject and understanding of the people. to bring Marxist theory up ng to workers. they are in varying degrees op­ POS �d. But this much is certain. This. This in­ tegration will not come at one time. It is the second of these which is so hard . Lenin taught that you voted for the Labor Party in order to put the labor leaders in power so as to expose their cowardly and capitalistic character. These are varied enough. These are tal3ks which only they the workers need from us. and the Labor Party in Great Britain. intellectuals and theory for the masses ? There . our society lives and point the way to these discov­ Many workers know one or the other of rs wish to know as much of eries very well." Is lacking is an integrating principle. however. They show contradiction . As some ed to : n in the document of 1 9 5 0 previously referr writte situation. whereupon the w o r k e r s � . The great masses of the people have some of the� e ideas but in their own form. their the overtones of nce today aims and aspirations. We on our part welcome it and we propose now to show in what way this perma­ nent condition becomes the source of life and progress. experiences. of the terms of their own Voting or not voting for such parties as the Democratic Party in the United States. that it can come only from men who have grasped the role of the great masses of the people in the new society and understand that the people are today ready to initiate the vast changes in society which the Hungarian workers initiated. What is the differe theory for the between theory and practi ce. The Marxist organization Iha� its own POlitical ideas. associ to the problems of pro­ manity. and philosophical conceptions can b e presented to the people with simplicity and without vulgarization. political. This is not popularization. nor will it be the work of any one man or any group of men. And this is This is what to date and what we need.

Trotsky faithfully transferred the theory born of these circumstances to other parts of the world where politics meant a social ::wtivity already viewed with suspicion. It shows how the small or­ ganization. the prize must go to Trotsky himself. by this means split off a few thousand a dvanced workers. and the union leaders have had to repeat. voted apathetically. Thus today when the Tory government has a substantial majority. In 1 9 5 8 it is clear that the workers do not see the future in terms of another party. They carrie d out a magnificent campaign of their own. sees the vote merely as pal't of its total strug­ gle for the new society. and worse still. Of all the fantastic absurdities into which the Marxist organizations weil:e led by this preparing of themselves to be the leaders in the struggle for so­ cialism. and it is a charitable one. carry on an illtensive agitation there for a blrief period. every country would go into the Social. By 1956 the situation had changed. that the organized labor movement has its own p olicy in regard to inflation . disillusioned. to settle the fundamental problems of society. Its apathy in regard to voting in 1 9 5 6 was merely the negative aspect of its determ i­ nation to transfer its efforts to the industrial plane. on the part of small organizations. we can begin the pr actice of recording the facts. In so doing they were taking the lead of a general sentiment in the country. The workers. That is the only reasonable explanation. For Russians in 1 9 0 3 . sig­ nified an immense social advance . or Whatever instrument tl el'e is to hand. The situation in the country is more tense than it has been for thirty years and both sides are anglino­ for p osition in a showdown which seems imminent. The � � � . This was and is the crux of the matter. is not a principled ques­ tIon. They h ave been strengt h­ ening their independent organiZations ill relation to he unio� leadership. In 1934 he actually proposed and engineered a scheme (for that is what it was ) by which a few dozen Trotskyites in . or should or should not get out the vote. It has its uses and the working class is always prepared to use elections trade unions. is typical of the old practices. a militancy which has led it into a position of actual defiance of the govern­ ment. for example. gets itself into the toils of reaction. It has declined in the political estimation of all ' concerned in the old countries . or whether the Marxist organization is committing a · · theoretical crime by advocating a vote fnr the Labor Party. The Labor Party was returned by a large maj ority. It is common knowle dge that its wages (for what they are) are in advance of the government cost of liv­ ing index (fOT what that is) . and thus create the party which would lead the revolution. and mobilizations . and it will not cooperate with the government. and have forced this leadership .1 9 1 7 to practice l)olitics. debat­ ing the matter. . They think in terms of entirely new social and political for­ ma tions. should vote. Re peatedly millions of workers have made clear. Starting from 1 9 5 4 it has b een attacking the govern­ ment and the employers on wages and working condi­ tions. For this preoccupation with voting or not voting is no mo� e than a capitulation to Parliam entary Democracy. The Marxist organization would have been per­ forming its function if it had obsffived and clearly ex­ pressed this movement of the working class. Into a mIlItancy foreIgn to it. Lenin advocated that revolutionaries take advantage of par­ liamentary elections because they offered a platform to expose the crimes of b ourgeois society. in the more exclusive sense of that word. preClsely the arena to which the bourgeo isie and the labor bureaucracy seek to confine the workin g class. is not only absurd. Who b elieves today that this is necessary? The p arliamentary elec­ tion today in 1 9 5 8 is not what it was in 1 9 1 7 or even 1927. beginning from a r evolutionary standpo int but one which is 50 years old. He may even be a member of it. positive or negative. To this day the Marxist organizations have no COl1c8ption of the fact that the British working clas'S.Democratic Par­ ties. Shouting slogans as to whether the workers should or should not vote.142 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 143 would turn to another party. seeing to it that all whom they were in contact with directly or indirectly. Under these circum­ stances the preoccupation with voting or not voting. if not outworn. for this apotheosis of the foolishness inherent in small organizations dressing up as big ones . But I:is action. But the actual election is today merely a test­ ing ground and a sort of Gallup Poll for far more serious engagements. In 1945 in England the shop stewards decided that the Labor Party should be given the p ower with a large maj ority. Once we get rid of these fantasies. labor parties. illside and outside the plant. and the facts of the workers' movement towards the new s ociety defy the efforts of the Marxist organizations to enclose them in their little programs. retreats. In Britain the Marxist does not only vote for the Labor Party. it is helpless before the working class. Many did not vote at all.

they do not understand the answers they get. The task of the Marxist organization is to give the workers and the other oppressed classes a medium whereby. whether to work inside the Labor Party or not. The Marxist organizations will do well to take their electoral tone from the paa:ticular bodies of workers they serve and let it go at that. having gTasped that the Labor Party will amel­ iorate evils but pToposes nothing new. having won the 1 9 5 6 election. relying on their shop steward organizations. union leaders. it has the right to demand that its policies. they will ask. that people have to guess at . aimed at curing a great social evil. That is the truth about the crisis in Britain but it is not the whole truth. the denationalization. will find a place in the paper of a . Bourgeois researchers do indeed try to find out and publish the results in summaries of interviews. WB must do this. The paper will vary its policy accordingly. It will drive certain others to distraction. would he have taken upon him­ self the responsibility of deciding whether it was wise or unwise. even on a small scale to begin with. In 1956 it would not have done so. These publications are useless. Wm-kers have no difficulty in distrusting the Labor Party and union leaders. To do this requires a training and a philosophy of political life that they have not got. At times workers are par­ ticularly anxious for a certain Labor candidate or can­ didates to win an election. The task is to faeilitate the masses of the people in arriving ::l. there is a genuine presentation of the stage they are going through. on the basis of Parliamentary Democracy. it is absolutely comect . Mr. and in this. If (for discussion's sake) anyone did know that. the conceptions which constitute a socialist society. is the organization to do when faced with elections in a country like France? There the Commu­ nist Party at one time looked as if it might become the government through parliamentary means and is still the largest force in the French legislature.t organization as a direct result of a request by a body of workers. What all these people call the "collective mentality" is what labor political leaders. whether he should support it or oppose it? The futility of the question shows the futility of these preoccupations.t the decision of what they want to do . at other times for a certain Tory candidate or candidates to be defeated. It is as remote from the reality of the struggle for socialism as the nationalization. the day before the revolution began. aTe now challeng­ ing the old society on the most convenient issuewages. Aneurin Bevan of the Left to the policy of building the New Jerusalem by buying shares in private corporations. The truly new. which are some­ times quite contradictory. Once this is seen. . The reality is that a great number of people in Britain. and information is the func­ tion of the Marxist intellectual and the advanced worker in this period of society. out and vote would certainly have played a large part in the pre-election issues of such a paper. But what the grea t masses of the people themselves think about all this. It is to give them the opportunity to coordi­ nate their expeTiences and thoughts. are as unexpressed in Britain today as they were unexpressed in Hungary on October 22nd. What. and percentages. Le. In time it will arrive at the conclusion that for it the question is an empirical question.. to the steel workers.gGvernment says that. should be followed. Marxis. Meanwhile. Information is what the people require. In the 1945 election agitation to come . whether to campaign A NEW LANGUAGE 144 FACING REALITY for the Labor Pal·ty actively or not. So powerfully established ­ is the new society that those who represent it now even talk a different language from the rulers. and the renationalization of steel is . These people do not even know the questions to ask. It is published no­ where. This is done not primarily in order to help the small organization. and still voting for the Labor Party. We have shown already that agitational slogans. And it shows positively the folly of Marxist organizations in their sweating as to whether to vote for the Labor Party or not. Isn't it the duty of the organization at election time to advocate voting for the workea:s' parties which will form a social­ ist�om:munist government? Don't the workers demand THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN FRANCE WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 14:> . sta­ tiftics. Nearly all the shop stewards are members of the Labor Party. For some of us this freedom to decide empirically will b e relief from the recurrent burdens of many years. advice and instruction sink into insignificance. and j ournalists speak and write. No one could elicit by a ques­ tionnaire from workers that the election apathy of 1 9 5 6 was meTely the counterpart of a mobilization for the industrial defiance of 1 957. Gaitskell of the Right wins over Mr. or we must do that.

Not only does it make itself ridi­ culous by pontificatmg about whom the workers should 110te for. but this much is clear . His intuitive sym­ . The Democratic Party is a bour­ g ois party. of their total social move­ ment and exploration. But it is not the result of a sudden inspiration. or any visible means of communi­ cation. that is to say. There is no necessity for the Marxist O'I'ganization to take any fixed position on this question at all. The Marxist organization cannot under any clrcumstances � � this. · the number of its publications had decreased. gIft for d1Vmmg these movements.the working p e ople of France do not confuse voting in elections with their 'Struggle for a new society. bourgeoisie. But at the s ame time they in-_ vaded the factories and created what Leon Blum has described in the most unequivocal terms as a revolu­ tionary situation. In the strikes of 1955 a. as much of it as a small organization can grasp and reproduce. It is � THE UNITED STATES vote for an avowedly bourgeois party. Its fUnction is t o report the movement tow­ ards the new society. its Press was the most widely r e ad in France and it won a great success in the elections. pomtmg to the S oviets before the Octobel' revolution : You are looking for socialism everywhere and cannot see it here. It is quite obviou'S that in the pre -election period the great body of the p eople were thinking thoughts quite other than those with which year after year they had approached other elections. a middle. In 1 9 3 6 the small organizations tore themselves to pieces over whether or not to vote or to advocate voting for the Popular Front. The workers for the most part voted the P opu­ lar Front into pOwel'. striking workers in the large scale in� clustries formed their own organization'S against both employers and Communist leaders and yet. voted for the Communist Party in the elections which followed. and a subordinate one. In 1957 its influence in the working class had undergone a catastrophic decline. the circulation of its daily paper had sunk from first place to far below that of three or four other daily papers. who do not \. workers communicate it to one another.146 FACING REALITY WHAT TO D O AND HOW TO DO IT 147 a In fact. radio. in 1 947 the Communist Party wielded a powerful influence in the working class (par­ ticularly in the union movement) and other sections of the population . faithful con- . Its independent editorial committees. are the low water marIe of sterility. but its election successes in 1 9 5 7 were greater than those of 1 9 47 .all of democra­ cy. the belief that voting for a party is the be-all and end. and this has been so for over twenty years. They have broken out of the circle of ideas in which bour­ geois society struggles to confine them. all around us . as far as we can gather. The Marxist organizations would have been much more usefully em­ ployed in learning than in teaching. these debate'S. It is this total movement that matters to the Marxist organization.s we have seen. As we have shown. The Marxist organization can learn from both. WIthout Press. it cannot pOSSibly know what government best cOlTespond s to the needs of so ­ ci alism at the particular moment. In the face of this the violent debates and conflicts in the small organiZations as to whether it was correct Marxism to advocate the slogan of "A government of Communists and Socialists" is seen for the folly that it was. It does not know. Of all ll� odern p ?l ti cal figures. From the slenderest data he could reconstruct the whole. and an end. there wlll b e no doubt in the minds of its readers on In the United states voting for the Democratic Party presents the dilemma of the Marxist organization in a more s erious form. This action fell like a thunderbolt on government. The process by which great masses of w orkers ar­ rive at a decision to make a totally unexpected but drastic change of direction in their p olitics remains one of the great mysteries of social psychology and politics. If we remember that the p aper of the Marxist organization is based upon definite poli­ tical pri ciples and aims at presenting the new s ociety. He could say . it has a beginning.'ant to teach the masses anything but look and listen carefully with trained eyes and ears for the signs of new developments. Communist Party. pathy wlth the masses of the Russian p e ople was forti­ fied and ass':lmed logical form because he had a philo­ sophy of sOClety. take responsibility for it or imply that by voting for it some fundamental social problem is likely to be solved. III 1 9 1 7. At the other ex­ treme are the reports of the secret police. It does not matter. They have put voting in its place and see it as only one. Lenin h a d an almost psychic . This is no place to go into analyses of twenty years of French p olitical life. They doubtless had very good reasons for doing so. saw the movements of the masses as �overned by ce:tain laws of s ocial motion. it by their support of the Communist Party at the polls ? pl'? cess. including the advisability or necessity of raising a slogan for a government of social­ ists and communists. S ocialist Party alike.

and in the United! States in particular. but a means of communication of how and why they vote ( or do not vote ) .. these two together constitute the new society in its various approaches. often be­ fore he says a word. is what the Marx­ ist cannot possibly know.ratic Party . but perhaps tomorrow will be. THE NEGROES IN THE UNITED STATES Undoubtedly there is opposition in politics and opin­ ion between a Marxist organization and a body of con­ tributors.I. and its general attitude is infinitely superior to that of the old Marxist organization. II. readers. But it will record also why so many of these workers continue to vote for the Democratic Party. 1s the ingrained habit of Marxists to approach them with a set of principles and policies to which they are ' supposed to subscribe. in every country. The Marxist organization will do well to follow suit. from the utmost cynicism to a shrewd and carefully calculated estimate of the advantages to be gained along with an overall skepticism about the abil­ ity or the will of either the Republican or the Demo ­ cratic Party to change the realities of life in the Unit­ ed states. This does not include the calculated deceptions of the Communist Party which have nothing to do with Marxism and everything to do with the Kremlin line. It will find various levels of approach. s eems to be part of the natural order of things. seasoned with a strong dose of humility. They respect his prin­ ciples. Marxism has a few triumphs and! many unpardona­ ble blunders to its account on the Negro question in the United States. must keep clearly in mind what is important to them and what is not. They hold the ideas in mind as an " ideal construction. Meanwhile they are pre­ pared to live and let live. the peculiarity. It will record that many millions of workers are unrelentingly depriving management of its functions and frequently discuss the advantages and disadvaIi': tages of their taking over the plants . What they object to. becomes quite clear. The small Marxist organizations must above all maintain a sense of proportion. even millions of workers. Every country has many national pOlitical issues peculiar to it. Such a question above all ques­ tions is the Negro question in the United States. are not given to being disturbed by the fact that the editorial policy of a paper differs from what they do or what they wish to write in the paper. after many generations. There is absolutely no necessity on the part of the paper of a Marxist organization to ca:rry on any pro­ tracted debate with the correspondents of its paper as to why it is unprincipled or unsocialistic or wrong for them to vote for a bourgeois party like the Democratic Party. some of them rooted deep in the national historical development.FACING REALITY WHAT TO D O AND HOW TO DO IT 149 I . The evil. what ought to be done. have been the mo­ tive force creating new attitudes to race r elations among whites and Negroes alike. In the stage of p olitical awareness in which we live a group of workers can tell a conscious enemy of offi­ cial society after the first sentence he utters. recognize that they They are not small editions of large political p arties. weigh them and judge them and measure their own against them. Great changes in recent American society. and supporters of the kind we en­ visage. especially to a Marxist. They rec­ ognize their value and go to great lengths ( often too great lengths ) to give these people every opportunity to convey to them what they know. As the nation grows to matur­ ity. Today may not be the day. There is ab­ solutely no reason why an independent editorial com­ mittee should not. the pa­ per which holds a position of not voting for either o f the bourgeois parties . along with its other contributions. The decisive step forward to be made here is that the paper becomes the vehicle not for shouting at the workers what they ought to do. It is not deceived by · elections and keeps them in their place. That is the working class. How it ought to be done or more precisely. the greatest of which has been the organization of the C. Those voters who discipline manag"ement i. is and has been so much a part of the nation that even among the progressive classes an abstract c onsciousness of what is right is overshadowed and sometimes lost by what. what is right.n the plant and then vote for the Democ. how it will be done. read a particular paper every day for years and never subscribe to its politics. It has been noticed in many countries that hundreds of thousands. But it is the Negroes who . There is every reason why it should. st::tte in the paper why it b elieves people should vote for the Democratic Party. tributors to and supporters of the paper.O. They not only value the Marx­ ist's knowledge and education. They do not object to association and even close association with such people. The paper of the Marxist organization in the United states has to record where the new society is and where it is going. But altogether apart from this the record is one which should induce in the Marxist an attitude of respect for the Ne�o people and their political ideas.

The abstractness. not strictly industrial. officers. 2) Many Negroes make race relations a test of all Thus in p olitics they vote always for to digest such revolutionary action. other relations. the fear of offending one race "and then the other. in relation to Marxist organiza­ tions. and. are now a wedge j ammed in between the Northern D emocrats and the Southern. The American bourgeoisie will reap the full reward for its centuries of exclusion of the Ne­ gro people from official soctety. Negro soldiers. The Negroes did not so much refuse to accept it as ignore it. in every area of war. By patient strategy and im­ mense labor. They soon end by being in the very fore' :front of all actions against management. The American Negroes did not wait for the Van­ guard Party to organize a corps of trained revolution­ aries. Invitations to the White House and spectacular appointments here and there will not alter the results of the centuries of Negro seg­ regation. not completely ( all bourgeois rights are abstractions. or wherever they Washington Committee which extorted Executive Order from the Roosevelt Government. At any moment this wedge can split that party into two and. and not only in the United States-people take time proved by analyses of texts. They have cracked the alliance b etween the right wing of the Republicans and the Southern wing of the Democratic Party. the Embassy in Liberia. fought bloody engage­ ments against white fellow soldiers. which force the white worker to de­ clare himself on the racial question. we select two important issues. to establish their rights as equal American citi­ zens. most impor­ l tant for our purposes. and having to be alert in the plant to prevent themselves being discriminated against. to achieve their emancipation. the Negro middle behind them. When the Ne­ gro masses move. and in intellectual mat­ ters (for example. being de­ rived from books. have struck a resouncHng blow at racial discrimination all over the United States and written a new chapter of 'world-wide significance in the history of s t r u g g 1 e against irrational prejudices. and all. classes will come running Yet the fact remains that the Negro question in the United States is a complex of enormous difficulties with tl'l?upS and pitfalls on every side.ement. The full consequences of this will be increasingly seen in the years to come. they begin by b eing a militant formation to protect themselves. the largest sec­ tions of the population affected . Many Marxists enjoy themselves analyzing the Negro bourgeoisi� and the Negro petty-bourgeoisie and its reactionary char­ acteristics. have In the course the of the on formed March thentic outposts of the new society. by their cease­ less agitation and their votes. the enunciation of high principles. The Marxists had and of society that integration of white and Negro sol­ diers in the armed forces was impossible except by the revolution led by the trained vanguard.ve broken all precedents in the way they have used the opportunities last twenty years thus they created. may be. they have taken the lead in the movement which resulted in the declaration of the Supreme Court that racial segregation is illegal. They have gone their own way. by organizing a bus boycott which for a year was m aintained at a level of over 9 9 per cent. including Negroes. they h ave in the past twenty-five years created a body of political achiev. and humiliation. This was the order which gave Negroes an invaluable weapon in the struggle to establish their right to a position in the 8802 plants. Sensitized by their whole lives against racial discrimination. but sufficiently to provide a basis for further struggle. The Negroes in the North and W'est. out of the White House.. the study of Negro History) as well as in practical. the opportunism.150 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 151 ha. persecution. they judge them by a j ealous and often delibe­ rately critical attitude to their position on Negro issues. In the face of this ( and more) the Marxist organi­ zation'S have failed monumentallY. in the p ant they face white fellow workers with issues. Perhaps the most ' striking example of this are the Negro workers in in­ dustrial plants. never fully realized in practice ) . confined to rela­ tions among white and Negro 'Workers. The procedure is without s-e IlEe. and s ome­ times on the battlefield itself. the State Department. Now the people of Montgomery. which makes them one of the au- the party which in their view offers the best opportun­ itv of winning some new position for Negroes . and that battle they won. the . generals. For the purpose of il­ lustrating the lines along which the p aper of the Marxist organization has to face its tasks (that is all we can do) . thereby compel the total reorganization of Amer­ ican p olitics. 1) Many white workers who collaborate in the most democratic fashion in the plants continue to show strong prejudice against association with Negroes out­ side the plant. b oth in strik­ ing at discrimination and influencing American civili­ zation as a whole.

The paper recognizes and records. But like every p aper it has its posi­ tive functions. appearing periodically. apart from the fundamen­ tal conflict with management. 1) Negro aggressiveness· on the race question has ev ery right in the paper. in Africa. Unite and Fight" is unimpeachable in principle and undoubtedly has an excellent s ound. A frank and free discus ­ sion in public of the various difficulties as they arise is the surest way to prepare for that clos­ er unity which comes from common particip a ­ tion i n great actions . more right than any other pcint of view on the race question. If Negroes outside of the South vote. W'e rest on the as­ sumption that merely to attempt t o prodUce a paper of this kind demands a very high degree of political consciousness.":ial ques­ tion is one of the most powerful f orces making for the new s o ciety as a whole in the United states. a s i t i s i n the consciousness o f every America. Both argu­ ments are at the very best abstract and reactionary. If a white worker or group of white workers after reading and contributing to the paper as a whole finds that articles or letters expressing Negro aggressiveness o n racial ques­ tions make the whole paper offensive to him. Inside such a paper Negro aggressiveness takes its proper place as one of the forces h elping to create the new so­ ciety. 2 ) The chief arguments a gainst this policy are a ) that i t will alienate white w orkers w h o are t h e maj ority of the American workers . What then is the paper of the Marxist organization to do ? We shall list a series of statements. not in de­ fense of its own abstract principles. and if necessary fought to a finish. that means that it is he who is putting hi'S pre­ judices on the race question before the inter­ ests of the class as a whole. they have excellent reasons for doing so. argued with. Every white worker who is in daily contact with Negroes knows of their ag­ gressiveness on the race question. his prejudices also have every right in the paper. passionate. his fears. then it is a Marxist duty to encourage them in every way to win and to exercise that right. not merely on race relations. but in its determi­ nation that the Negro worker shall say what he wants to say and how he wants to s ay it. recording the new society. and if necessary fought to a finish? First by making it clear that his ideas. Whether he speaks about it or not. a growing torment which the American cannot rid himself of. "Black and White. " . It is no se­ cret to him. b) that it will encourage Negro nationalism and even chauvinism. This is no place to do so. iv) The paper lShould actively campaign for Ne­ groes in the South t o struggle for their right to vote and actually to vote. they give the orientation by means of which the Marxist organization can drag itself out of the mess and avoid the disasters which have beset the path of every such organization on this inescapable question in the United states. Here is another. it is a hard knot in his c onsciousness . The answer in any case lies in trial and error. taken together. They can­ not be argued here but. now for the Demo­ cratic Party and now for the Republican. argued with. He must be rea­ soned with. Where the rulers o f society for generations have used every de­ vice to debar Negroes from voting. but also in the Far East.ve . iiD We have said little about the actual editorial functions of the paper of a small organization. and often murderous reality of race relations in the United states. few questions oc­ cupy him s o much. This alone will make a paper in the United states unique. In the United states who fails on the Negro question is weak on all.152 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 153 eapitulation to the prejudices of official society and to the prejudices of particular workers or groups of work­ ers. Further. a concrete paper of so many pages. i) We are dealing here with a paper. the blunders. pointing out that Negro aggressiveness on the ra!. tumultuous. But it is often misleading and sometimes even offensive in the face of the infinitely varied. This is one case in which it enters firmly into the discussion. It is here that the Marxist organization has to show firmness.n today. We have listed some of them abo. ii) How is he to be reasoned with. and confusion the Marxist organizations have been guilty of on this question are by themselves sufficient to condemn them on all other questions. It is the Negro people and Negro workers in par­ ticular who have brought home to white work­ ers the importance of the colonia I question. and their . his rea­ sons. stupidities.

everythmg else a new stage in the attitude of the great body of French workers to the French Communist Par­ ty. III.is. m eetings. This is one of the functions �o Negro question and into a r ealization of their own responsi­ bilities in ridding American society of the cancer of racial discrimination and racial consciousness. At the same time groups of Fr. with a long revolution­ ary tradition and an instinct for revolutionary politics and revolutionary theory. Within the General Confedera­ t on of Labor unit in Renault. Unite and Fight. They have no illusions. relaxed the ir grip in order that their followers may more easily retain contact with the mass. Marxist organization will have to fight for its own posi­ The resolute determination to bring all aspects of the ques­ tion into the open. But whatever its difficulties. They now have to find their own way. if the paper and the organization are expressing the new society whole. The Communists themselves in the hopeless position of having to defend the mass cre of the w orkers in Hungary. We do not propose here to say what must be the �. and so on and so forth. Such in general is the function of the paper of a Marxist organization in the United States on the Negro white workers in their understanding of the question. that the Negroes make public their own attitudes and reasons for their vote. the violent passions of the Negro question can a never overwhelm it. To them the Stalinist-anti-Stalinist issue has be­ come a scholastic one . and the most concrete body of socialist theory and practice in .the � � ? � But the great mass of the workers.ench intellectuals. within the context of its own p olitical principles. in particular the younger generation. a minority which was . The Marxist or­ ganization retains and expresses its own view. the role of the state in in the the revolution.. within the context of its own publications." It will be a and diseases of the old. existence is not available to stUdents of Marxism and workers alike. so much of which has orig­ inated from their own past history. but its position will not be wearisome repetition of "Black and White. It will educate. and other publications of the Hungarian Work­ ers Councils. Britain. But this is the lesser half. For m any it meant the final disillusionment with the Communist Party. To take one key center . and it will educate above all which rest squarely on the intellectuals and advanced workers of the Marxist organization. The Hungarian Revolution seems easy enough But it understands that it is far more impor­ tant. of the colonial question. and the United states cannot · recorci ­ the Hungarian Revolution. have joined together for the study of the history of Workers Coun­ cils. We have shown that this is not so-the most Import�nt thing about it is as yet unreco:rded. as great Renault factory. Thus the most authentic. pay less and less attention to these two groups of leaders competing for control of the Ul"lion. They are French workers. in order and separated from everything else. political the or individual has state­ ments. On on many similar questions in other countries. This is most needed where the Marxist organization t in s it is strongest and on safe ground-the revolu­ tlon Itself. within the context of the recognition that the new society exists and that it carries within it's elf much of the sores . But recogmtion and recording involves careful consideration of the aUdience. It will have to stand firm. mto actiVIty and won a certain consideration from the mass of the workers . the most complete. the Marxist organization may have to carry on what for long periods may seem a losing battle. of which the paper taken as a whole is an expression. the role of the intellectuals revolution. Independent editorial committees in France. within the context of its trans­ lations � � and publications of the great revolti= tionary classics and other literature. The working class fights out its battles within itself and arrives at greater understanding by stages. and other activities in its own name. some of them many hundreds in number. lghtmg t e Communists for control has been spulTed . FRANCE record. To be able to recognize and to record can result onl� from a political revolution in the theory and practIce of the Marxist organization.154 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 155 general activity shows that large numbers of them see voting and the struggle for Supreme Court decisions merely as one aspect of a to­ tality. The Hungarian Revolution in France m e ant above . tr as tion. THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION AND THE PAPER It will be foundly seen already that So far no the the simplicity of formula that we have to recognize and to record is pro­ deceptive. and group recognized recorded decrees.

The ( or its left-wing) to Ma ­ leav e the commu st. ards graspmg the fact way tow tion have gone a long lu­ difference betw ee?. only its theory dire ctly to zations. Only a p aper WhI tionary theory and pra ctic . selves in high-soun Demo­ f SOCIalrs and the VIrtues the Hungarian worke ctuals remunism. Britain is the original home of the organized shop floor organization in times of social peace-some such social formation . particularly because since uninterrupted growth and expansion of the Shop Stew­ r api dIY !T � � � � I: � t � � � t ?r' � � � � 1945 the British bourgeOisie � � i'3 in retreat and goes to unbelievable lengths to avert any direct clash with the working class . of s about the h rOlsm ding phr ase . showing the dif­ ficulties which lie behind the phrase : recognizing and recording. THE UNITED STATES · ·tam . ault have already . With them it is not a theOT e tl cal question at . in every impor­ tant branch of industry .ve no official existence. IS the re. To the British workers the Government of Workers C ouncils is merely the final step in a long development which · they themselves more than any other body of workers have lived through. etc. in one form or another. The mtelle Com cracy a'S opposed to BRITAIN . bac k on mte ­ that it has turned Its by its very form . In Britain today the revolutionary tradition receives no concrete expression. always ap­ pears in times of revolution. There was a widespread acceptance of the fact that the _ next stage for l. of a Marxist organi 156 FACING REALITY � WI-IAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT 157 j oiced at the proof tha. So deeply imbedded is the Welfare State men­ tality that the Briti'sh socialist movement plunged back into its preoccupation with elections. Government of Workers Councils. them­ Th e lab or leaders derided in the Pre ss. drawing its the actually practicing its aDl­ in their shop floor org kers the activity of the wor them. Ren olu­ since the HUngar a n Rev The French wor ker s. All that rem base d on and ad essing boldly And nothing but a p aper . ut revolutIOn and lB ussions abo minable theoretical disc ory fro theory.a­ t org a the p aper of a Marxils . those countries will play actual efforts hav e been Much preliminary work and steP. � The effects of the Hungarian Revolution on the working class in the United States could not possibly have been anticipated by any Marxist. They have behind them over twenty years of the ards Movement. There is the situation m B n Profoundly different bour­ s tak en over by the tion wa the Hungarian Revolu The con­ y. But the form taken by the Hungarian Revolution and its close rela­ tion with the shop steward form. creates a situation where the field is wide open for the specific function of the Marxist organization. coexistence with Russia. etc. It But whatever the futu ty hanging in the air. As far as it had been possible to inquire and esti­ mate the British workers reacted quite differently. and the silence of all commentators on this. lution which hav e flou ble m will be undIstlngUlsha for so many yea rs. The divorce between their thinking and the thinking of their leaders on the Hun­ garian Revolution is complete. ed into a refugee or geoisie and transf orm nIst Party was and negligible Commu fusion in the small excelled .t the totalitarian state could not mould a nation to its will.revo there is no longer any tha Ch howS e.. There. all. na­ tionalization and denationalization. theoretically. will move. and the future er and content of the pap the form which will determine zation. Par and when they do. ams now is to take the carried out. Like the C entral Com­ mittee of the Textile Machine Industry's shop stewards they ha. It doe what is going on ces of polItIcal POSl­ the differen least matter what are of be p art and par cel developS . It is obvious therefore that the task of the paper of the Marxist organization in Britain will be immensely different from that in France. the French nch intellectual but f attitude not of the Fre WIll determiIl:e nist Party WhICh workers to the Commu it is therefore thIS of French p olitics. it will still tion it s in ker the ma ss of the wor that arena from which turned asid e. ­ the re olutI nary mtellec lf to the workers will pull itse and pre­ theoretical dISCUSSIons tuals away from their munist Par y how to convert the Com occupations with French workers Will rxism. it tuals era from s and the people in gen the eyes of the worker s ?-?t m t e all around them.j ocialism is a. they stopped. But it f revo­ uSSlOns in the theoretical disc involves itself nch mtelle ­ ong rished am .per mu­ relations between the Com ers In this the actual nd and the workers of and Pola nis Party in Hungary a central part. and addressing the French work­ will mea n anything to such a pa. But these ideas find no expression whatever in any section of the capitalist or labor Press. The decisive feature of the Hungarian Revo­ lution was the creation of the Workers Councils and � � . form and content of orgaruzatlOn is clea r that if th� tion in France.

That itself is progress. za bon has to recognize and record. It is from the confrontation of fundamental ideas with the reactions of workers that new ideas emerge and new energy is created. Often it has made great efforts to reach the workers. What happens to the Marxist organization. progre ss for the readers of the paper and progress for the Marxists. or their questions. The paper of the Marxist organi­ . Emmett Till. the voice of the Marx­ ist. is the source of all life and movement. the impotence or unwillingnes-s of the United states to do anything to help Hun!5ary wrecked any confidence the workers may . not knowing which way to turn. intent only on recruits for the revolution. . the question of the Workers Councils received little attention from the workers and it proved almost impossible to make them see it for what it was and to understand why Marxists attached so much importance to it. the slgmflCance of the Hungarian Revolution to Ameri­ can workers . It is difficult. the paper and the people thoroughly understands the position of the other.. and considers them backward because they do not accept them. But it had also · · ·· to recognize and record. in their own terms. is that the refu­ sal of workers to accept its ideas. After all the billions of dollars for foreign aid. and Cleveland. have had in what the government was doing abroad. It is a political inertia. : After some years of screaming. one estimate going as high as 30. but it is impossible only if the Marxist organization persists in screaming its own views at its public. From that time there has been taking place an emi­ gration of Negroes from the state to the industrial North and Middle West at the rate of many thousands a month. the Negro workers raised the bitter Cry : What about the refugees from the South? Not only was the que-stion legitimate. The American working people of all classel5 re­ acted with an almost universal disillusionment with the American Government and distrust of its foreign policy. It had behind it memories centuries old. their hesitation. American w orkers bave no fear whatever of totalitarianism. THE PAPER AND THE ORGANIZATION � � Our summation has to be. continuous unemployment exists and has existed for years in towns like Detroit. Amid this variety of responses. When faced with the prospect of thous­ ands of Hungarian refugees being welcomed in the United States. These tens of thousands of Negroes find that. This seemed to be the least of the concerns of American workers . But the murderers. known to all in the country. was murdered in the southern state of Mississippi in a manner that shocked the whole of the United Statel5. Pittsburgh. American w orkers of Polish and other Eastern Euro"':­ pean origin saw the r evolt in national terms. their OPPOSition. but they represent a reasonably accurate picture of what faced 159 a�x st organizations in their attempt to convey the . Its primary business was to bring out into the open what the American workers were thinking. The reaction of the Negro workers was distinc tive. This is one of the most fundamental processes of cognition.158 FACING REALITY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT ! I their assumption of all the functions of government. The above are of necessity apprOXimations. It is perhaps not going too far to say that a ) the paper of a Marxil5t organization would give as much space to the reactions of workers as it would to the Revolution itt'elf . every meeting with work- . and has no need to be oth erwise than brief. organization gets hoarse. not the least of which was the welcome during and after the war of German prisoners of war into public places from which Negroes c ontinued to be excluded.. They are cheerfully confident that they can take c are of any who try to impose upon them a totalitarian regime and no one who knows them has any doubt of this. paralyzes it. b) the presentation of the Hungarian Revolution would differ widely from country to country. It had to recognize and record the Hungarian Revoluti on. the concrete realities before it to see that each side. the more baffled it has become. Their fatigue is not physical.000 in cer­ tain months. To complete the confusion it was the bourgeois Prel5s which seemed to be preoccupied with the Workers C ouncils. and record very fully. as freedom from the foreign enemy. In September 1 955 a Negro youth from Chicago. despite all the talk of the fabulous prosperity of the United States. in the small organi­ zation and in the workers themselves. foreign alliances. When an event like the Hunga­ rian Revolution takes place. It stands im­ mobilized. That is what it has to grapple with. and the millions of words about the power of Russia and the need to contain Russia. But the deeper it has come into contact with them. its members diminish and those who remain sink into self-examination. even antagonism. were found "not guilty" as usual by the white jury. Contra­ diction. the 1'e­ sponses of the American workers in their editorial committees. It had to gO further.

The old political life was veryrs. He said: The paper is very well done from the journalistic point of view. • . Trotsky. you al ays had. the Bol­ shevik Press was essentially political. Trotsky had a far better understanding than his mis­ guided followers of the principles which should govern a workers' paper. The Press.. It is not everything.-_ .v:e outline . the people. � own tion. combined to t be studied m IsolatIOn. . Clety tence and record the facts of 160 FACING REALITY The Marxist organization organizes itself to produce a paper which will recognize the existence of the new so­ ciety and record the facts of its existence . on of man thous .is a ers who are thinking their own thoughtsContactgreat easy. The Press was to be the organ­ izer of the revolutionary people around the elite party. but it is enough. but to some exten of these can O�y today their full application and development ca�Imp�l­ shown are the. but it i'S a paper for workers and not a workers' paper As it is. to the astonishment of the whole world. Because Tsarism suppressed all political life. means of communication. he wrote words which are of the utmost value today.at mde Experience has shown and will showentlrely ne � ­ an ent editorial committee creates and t ubl1sl?. We have outlined the practical method with which this must be approached. and soldiers. Criticizing the weekly paper of all the Trotskyist organizations. vast be achieved in what we have ula: to recog ze the eXlS­ cations contained in the form the new sOn:'. Some � � and firmness. what we symbolize. CONCLUSION 161 .TO publislT o�­ techm rstan besides deep theoretical undesense dmg. Lenin centered his struggle for the Russian Revolu­ tion around the Press. created the Soviets. the paper is divided among various writ. or wor�ers was effort usually confined to advanced worke You contmuedyou to were in the process of advancing. journalistic skill. though political in the widest sense of that word. We must know what we represent. in the light of Marxism. more or less the way an :v end­ write and speak th.. an exceptIOn 1 �egre . He failed for one reason only: the work­ ers of the world no longer needed vanguard or elite par­ ties. It campaigned for land to the peasants. a body based on factories. at­ tempted to rebuild an international movement of the Leninist type..values. in other words. but es­ sentially political. in conclusion. and for the democratic republic. cal �nilIty fleXIb . a ledge. When the Russian Revolution declined and Stalin­ ism reigned in Russia and in the Communist Parties everywhere. of . so as to place the paper historically. Let us now.sents the opini such a paper -as . Yet despite hi'S serious en'or in attempting to re­ produce the politics suitable to one period in another. When the second Rus­ sian Revolution broke out. o. It is prepared to speak what ? l? saymg repre­ IS mind because it is aware ythat andsIt of others.e1l1ands. however.v:tssItua . examine this simple affirmation--­ of recognizing and recording. the eight-hour day for the workers. is a gauge and touchstone of the struggle for socialism. peasants. Lenin's close collaborator.

162

FACING REALITY

CONCLUSION

163

ers, each of whom is v ery good, but collectively they do not permit the workers to penetrate to the e pages of the Appeal. Each of them speaks for th workers ( and speaks very welD but nobody will hear the workers. In spite of its literary brilliance, to a certain degree the paper becomes a victim of journalistic routine. You do not hear at all how the

is inevitable in the first· period of the development of the organization. It is at the same time a big handicap to the political e ducation of the more gifted workers . . . It is absolutely necessary at the next convention to introduce in the local and cen­ tral committees as many workers as pOSsible. To a worker, activity in the leading party body is at the same time a high political school .
. .

workers live, fight, clash with the police or drink whiskey. It is very dangerous for the paper as a revolutionary instrument of the party. The task is not to make a p aper through the j oint forces Q! a skilled editorial board but to encourage the work­ ers to speak for themselves. condition of success
. • .

He was always looking for workers to tl'ain them for the revolution. He wrote again :
_

A radical and courageous change is necessary as a Of course it is not only a question of the paper, but of the whole course of policy .
. .

larging our influence in these factories.

three workers we can create a special help commis­ sion of five non-workers with the purpose of en­

factories. Our local organization can choose for its activity in the next period one, two or. three fac­ tories in it'S area and concentrate all its forces upon these factories. If we have in one of them two or

We cannot devote enough or equal forces to all the

The difference is summed up in two conceptions : a paper for the workers or a workers' paper. But the for­ mula itself, though it clarifies, does not solve. One has

He had been brought up in the tradition of seeking influence for the elite party in the factories and he nev­ er got rid of it. The m odern worker does not wish any­ body or any party to have inflUence in the factories. He can manage his own affairs in the factories. He has had enough of these seekers of inflUence. One of the first things that the Hungarian Workers Councils de­ creed was that all political parties as such should be excluded from the factories. When the great upheaval came, they did not form Soviets for politics and factory committees for industry as the Russian workers had done in faraway 1 9 1 7 . The Workers Council was produc­ tion unit, political unit, military unit, and governing unit, all in one. Trotsky's idea of the silent worker in a political committee of an elite organization coming to life only when something practical had to be done is as ancient a figure as a knight in armor. And the modern worker does not find himself in a workers' paper because the Marxists do not know that he exists and are not looking for him. Thus the paper as we envisage it is what a Marxist paper always should be, a workers' paper and not a pa­ per for the worker'S. But workers change and papers must change. They must perform functions that are not being performed by any other force or group in so­ ciety. That is the guarantee of their success. Every international organization of the proletariat ( and of the bourgeoisie as well) is the result not of what takes place in the minds of political people, but of

stage of society in 1917. He could not grasp that the development of capitalism into state capitalism and the corresponding development in the working class had created an entirely new category of workers. The15e did not wish to substitute for a t otalitarian party or Welfare state party a democrat ic p arty. They sought to substi­ tute themselves as a body for all parties whatsoever.

to define the term : w orkers, and to define workers in the sense of theory as a guide to action require'S a defi­ nition of society and its direction. That is why we began with the Hungaria n Revolution. To the end of his life Trotsky thought about workers in terms of the

That is the history of mass movements from 1933 on­ wards. To his dying day Trotsky believed that worker'S had to be led by the p olitically advanced. As late as

1937 he could write :

I have remarked hundreds of times that the worker who remains unnoticed in the "normal" conditions of party life reveals remarkable qualities in a change of situation when general formulas and flu­ ent pens are not sufficient, where acquaintance with the life of workers and practical capacities are necessary. Under such conditioIlB a gifted w orker reveals a sureness of himself and reveals also his. general political capabilities. Predominance in the organization of intellectuals

164

FACING REALITY

CONCLUSION

changes in the very structure of society. That is why the revolutionary paper of today does not have to preach and advocate revolution in the terms of b arricades, cap­ ture of government buildings, etc. In 1 9 1 7 this was the necessary first step, the struggle for socialism coming afterwards. Today the process is completely reversed. All the problems, particularly in production, that Lenin faced after the seizure of power are now being vigorous­ ly foug'ht out in every developed country before the seiz­ ure of power. Workers today are building the socialist . .. . . society, often under' the commonplace :name of "local grievances." They are struggling to make the place of work a human habitation where the first consideration is not capital but men, men not as units of production but as human beings. This conception is the beginning (and very nearly the end) of socialism. That in many, or at least a few, of these countries the new society will come fully into existence only af­ ter the violent destruction of the remnants of the old, remains as true today as it has always been. But that in 1958 does not occupy the place in the Marxist Press that it did in 1917. After two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, Fascism, an the Chinese Revolution, the violent seizure of power IS not the main preoccupation of workers and peoples. They play the parliamentary p olitical g ame for what they can get out of it. But they know that when the moment comes they can overthrow any power, government or otherwise which seeks to enslave them. The r al problem of the mass of people today is not the overthrow of the old order (who any more believes in it? ) . It is the fear of what will happen afterwards, whether the inevitable result will be the One-Party totalitarian state. It is not merely that the people of the West see the bureaucratic monster behind the Iron Curtain. They see all the premises of it at home, and

165

..

that is why workers in all countries steadily lay the foundation of all possible safeguards against it, in their shop floor organizations, in their reaching out to the technicians and the clerical and professional middle classes in their contempt for the traditional parties and ' unions whose meetings they don't attend. There is in action in the world today, on a world-wide scale, a revo­ lutionary mobilization far more f ormidable than any­ thing Lenin ever knew. The people are moving forward, and as they m ove forward are consolidating their posi­ tions. Because this vast revolution does not take the , traditional form, it goes almost entirely unrecogmzed

and therefore unrecorded . Fascism saw it and trie d to destroy it but only succeede d in bringing it nearer Periodi � al1Y the secret terr or and imp otent des air of the rulmg classes brea ks out as in de-Stalinizat ion the Eden expedition to Sue z, and the frenzied efforts make the world believe that s ome attempt is bein a made to rid humanity of the physical and spiritual den of modern armaments. Always the result is to leav e the situation worse than it w as befo re. When in this or that country the peop le feel that the moment has c ome, hey will act. The pap er of the Marxist organiza . ­ tIOn wlll do well, here as elsewhere, to be instructed by .. the people. What the people nee d is info rmation of where they are, what they are dOing, what they hav e done in the past . They are the ones to say precisely wha t they wan t and when. In the past the intellectuals serv ed the bou r­ geoisie. When they saw the decline of b ourgeois society b ey thought it was their turn t o lead the peop le. These . lllusIOns we must strip off and cast behind us. Even in the fully-established socialist society, tho se with intel­ lectu�l gifts and inClinat ions h ave an indispensabl e fu�ctIOn to perform, to mas ter the material in any give n � oclal sphere and so present it to the people that it lS eas:v: for them to deci de what they want to do.. In­ formatIon : that is what the peop le want, informa tion about themselves and their own affairs, and not so muc h about the crimes and blun ders of official society; no one has to look too far for thos e any mor e. As far as c�n be seen at the pres ent, this is the ultimate func­ tIOn of government in the mo dern world. But that ' in the Marxist phrase, is the mus ic of the future. What, it may legitim atel y be asked, is the future o the Marxist organization ? Its future is 110 more pre­ dICt able than the future of s ociety itsel � nachronism of the traditional workers f. Despite the ' p arty, it is not m the least excluded, for example, that the first great upheaval in the Unit ed stat es may take the form of a many-millioned mass workers ' party aiming at politica l power in the traditional sens e, while at the same time Worker s Councils appear in every branch of the na ­ tional life. A direct revolutio nary seizure of power or cIvil war may break out in Fran ce, provoked by the French bourgeOisie in the sam e trapped, desp erate mood that provoked the Suez adventur e. Such events have been and always will be utterly unpredictable. But de­ spite the unpredictable and innumerable variety of forms of development that the Marxist organizations

;

t�

bur�

166

FACING REALITY

and

their

papers may

take,

those

will" be

closest to

these events and will best serve them who have trained themselves to recognize ihat the new society exists and to record the facts of its existence.

APPENDIX
The ideas and perspectives in Facing Reality are the -result of 17 years of theoretical study, cooperative ef­

fort, and an intensive political experience inside and outside of small political organizations. We can only indicate here some of the landmarks in that develop­ ment. Some of the material, particularly that written - - before 1947, appeared only in mimeographed form and terial can be found in Socialisme ou Barbarie, a French Is not readily available . The most complete file of ma­ Paris since

quarterly published in

1948.

The editors of Socialisme ou Barbarie, a group of a few dozen intellectuals and workers, have governed all their enemy of society today is the bureaucracies of modern capitalism. Since 1948 they have documented and an alyzed each stage of the workers' struggle against activities by the conception that the main

tal

No. 1 3 , the issue of January-March 1954, is devoted to an analysis of the East German Re­ volt of June 1953 and a detailed account of the French strikes which erupted in August 1953 among the POI3workers, the railroad workers, the Renault auto workers, and the insurance office workers. The editors show how these two explosions marked the first turning point in the post-war relations between the workers and their oppressors.

the bureaucracy.

No. 18, the issue of January-March 1 9 5 6 , .is devoted to an account and analysis of the world-wide workers' struggle in 1955, of the French workers in Nantes and st. Nazaire, the British dockers, and the American auto workers. As the editors pointed out, these strug­ gles showed that the workers were acting not only in­ dependently but in defiance of the union apparatus. The article, "The Workers Confront the Bureaucracy,"

in this issue reads like a preview of Poznan.

Believing that the content of socialism is in what

workers are already trying to work out in their daily struggles, the intellectuals of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group have encouraged and assisted the workers in the group to report every detail of their lives in the plant. Notabl-e among the articles by workers published in the
16'1

The supporters of this Tendency have since broken completely with Trotskyism and the Leninist theory of the party and the Tendency no longer exists. the organizers. originally written in 195. In this same year they published Dialectical Ma­ terialism and the Fate oj Humanity. Hence they set themselves to re­ discover for this epoch what Marx had meant by capi­ talism and socialism and the philosophy of history which had guided his economic writings.. The Invading Socialist Society. the co­ operative form of labor. the . "After Ten Years" is a re-examination in 1946 of Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed in the light of Marx's philosophy of the activity of men in the la­ bor process. an essay showing how the creative reason of the masses in revolution has produced all the great advances of civilization. magazine are "Workers Journal (May 1 9 5 6 at Renault. and in particular. The Balance Sheet. a pamphlet on the Hungarian Revolution which was published immediately after the outbreak of the revo. addressing questions about the revolution. and the bureaucrats. Originally written as a contribution to the discussion in the Trot­ skyist movement. Socialisme ou Barbarie has published one pamphlet. they realized that their break was not only with a political position but with a method of thought. APPENDIX 169 namely.168 FACING REALITY and "Agitation at Renault. published in 1 947. In 1 948-49 of the revolt by the union . "Renault Workers Discuss Hungary. applying the cate­ gories and method of Hegel's dialectical logic." also written in 1946 on the basis of an exhaustive analysis of all available data on the Russian 5-year Plans. Today we recom­ mend particularly the section on philosophy to the general reader. written in 1947." "The Factory and Workers' Man­ agement. By a close study of the Hegelian dialectic and of Marx's writings. they were able to grasp and hold tight the essence of . In 1948 Notes on the Dialectic was written. the administrators. In this section the philosophy of ra­ tionalism is traced from its revolutionary b eginnings in the 1 6th century to its present counter-revolutionary form in the party of the elite. there is emerging inside the factory a new form of social organization. Three works exemplify their approach to the Rus­ sian question. The theoretical summation of the work of the Johnson-Forest Tendency is to b e found in State Capi­ talism and World Revolution. the European movemel!lt towards a Socialist United States of Europe. State Capitalism and World Revolu­ tion has not made the complete break with the Leninist conception of the vanguard party. Philosophical Essays oj Marx which he had written in 1 844. "An Experience of Workers' Organization : The Employees Council at the General Life Insurance Co. The actual account and analysis of their lives in the TrotskYist organizations and why they turned their backs on this kind of political life are contained in two documents. Today the chapter on "Poland-Where All Roads Meet" is of special value. From the moment that the supporters of the John­ son-Forest Tendency broke with Trotsky's theory of Russia as a workers' state. to Communist militants Another series of publications is the work of the Johnson-Forest Tendency which developed as a body of ideas inside the American Trotskyist organizations. an analysis of the development of the labor movement." a detailed account of work in a modern office and how this led to indepen­ dent organization by the workers . "'rhe Nature of the Russian Economy. lution.. One of its writers has reported fully on the relations between East German workers and the Communists in the plants after the war." an account of the present indifference among the Renault workers to the Stalin­ ist-anti-Stalinist agitation of both the Communists and the Social-Democrats.") an account of the incipient revolt at Renault over the call-up of a worker for the Algerian war and the block­ ing Marx. The introduction to the 1 9 5 6 e dition of State Capi­ talism and World Revolution ended as follows : In 1947 they translated and published the Economic­ a complete translation of The American Worker ap­ peared in its pages. his realization that side and mutilation of fragmentation by side with the workers in I F I the capitalist labor process. The magazine has also carried reports of the life and activities of workers in other countries." an account by a Renault worker of how workers in a particular department organize their work independently of both management and the union . and The Balance Sheet Completed. written in 1 9 5 1 .0 and reprinted in 1 9 5 6 under the auspices of six Euro­ peans representing three different countries. shows how the contradictions of capitalism are inherent in the Russian economy as they are in the American economy or that of any other classic capi­ talist country. is an analysis of the mass movement towards new forms of social organization all over the world.

foretold with precision and confidence the violent explosions immanent in all forms of the con­ temporary state. Detroit and Poznan is not liberal free speeCA _ nor higher wages. Along the lines set forth in Facing R eality several j ournals have been attempted.. including Stalinists and Trotskyists. The lessons learned from their successes and failures have been incorpo­ rated into this study. listening to them and sponsormg . News and Letters. The April 1 9 5 8 issue carried a special Transit Supplement. This is in the account of the Shop Stewards Movement in Britain from which we have quoted extensively in the text and which is r eprinted as an appendix to State Capi. was begun along the general lines of Correspondence." but the construction of a new society from 171 :m the bottom up. The June 1 9 5 5 issue of the bi-monthly c arries an account of the British dock workers' strikes in 1954 and 1955. In its detailed exposure of the fallacies of the "Vanguard Party" and "The Plan" it is the only political analysis in English which outlines the future of scientific socialism. Rubber" and the February 1 9 5 7 issue gives " A Forward Look Into Chrysler. reporting the efforts of New York subway workers to organize themselves independently in opposition to the Transport Workers Union and the New York Transit Authority. ta lism and World Revolution. Correspondence has also published two pamphlets.?ubh­ cation of writings by the workers themselves . Wlthout this there could be no theory corresponding to reality. The second Correspondence pamphlet is entitled Every Cook Can Govern and is a popular study of Athenian Democracy. The ultimate aim in Coventry. Not until 1955 are theory and actual experience of the working class joined together in a single document. Like the Berlin rising i� J 1 9 5 3 . The body of ideas in Facing Reality has been devel­ oped in the closest relation to what workers are dOiD:g . showing how in his activity and attitudes to his work is contained the basis for the reconstruction o f society.Corres­ pGndence. The December 1 9 5 6 issue is devoted to an account of "Wildcat Strikes at U. It is not the debates on free speech behind the Iron Curtain which will be decisive in the libera­ tion of these oppressed peoples. entitled Wildcat Strikes and Union Commit­ teemen contains a factual account of the nation-wide wildcat strikes against· Reuther in 1955 and an account of the problems of editing the paper which centered around the editor. In 1 9 5 5 there was a split from Correspondence and another publication. published at Detroit. The first of these was . The proj ect began from the enthusiastic reception among Renault workers of a leaflet written by one of the workers of the Sociali13me . in the plant. In The American Worker the diary and the philoso­ phical analysis are still separate. Now the revolution in Hungary has blasted all these cowardly and defeatist illusions. It is printed now with the more confidence as a guide to the great events ahead. place at Poznan. an ex-committeeman. The first. It is what took e. and in­ tellectuals of the right and left. Michigan. by its analysis of modern production and political re­ lations. and the most indoctrinated and the most terrorized have accom­ plished the greatest proletarian revolution in his ­ tory. lin. for years preached and acted on the theory that the modern totali­ tarian state by its combination of terror and in­ doctrination could mould any population to its will. Ber. In 1954 a group of workers at the Renault plant in Paris began publication of a small mimeographed paper entitled Tribune Ouvriere. a diary of a General Motors worker's life in the plant. Side by side with this diary was published a philosophical analysis of the daily life of the worker. every two weeks from October 1953 to March 1 9 5 5 and thereafter bi-monthly. " As we go to press the editors of Correspondence are publishing sample issues in preparation for a four-page weekly. While the new edition was still at the printers. The first of these was The American Worker. It alon e . whether totalitarian or democrat­ ic. "compensation " nor "consulta­ tion.170 F A CING REALlTY APPENDIX When the document was written six years ago. All political par­ ties. State · Capitalism and World Revolution is published to­ day exactly as it was written in 1950. S . the Hungarian Revolution broke out and on the cover the following was added : Hungary is merely the beginning. Marxism alone can explain these events . all this was mere theoretical prognosis. i t came directly from the shop orgamzatlOns of the workers. published in 1947.

have been completed. Extracts from A Study oj American Society have been published in Correspon­ dence. worker. There are other j ournals in Britain. particularly the slaves. Thomas Hodgkin in Nationalism in Colonial Africa describes the various in the last twenty-five years. and France. A Study of American Society. June 1956. being based on the role played in it by the Negroes. C.W. from his childhood in the South to his later experiences with political parties . and the unavoidable conclusion from all these researches that productivity will never be in­ creased until the organizations of workers on the shop floor feel they have control over their work. showing that the nationalist struggle is not only for independence but to liberate new forms of social organization. tells the story of how Kenya Africans were building schools. But while these to one degree or another oppose official society and do useful work. April 1956.. and Universities and Left Review. is a pro­ foundly simple statement of the problems faced by American women today. are an indispensable guide to anyone. The finest study of the activities of the working class during the French Revolution is La Lutte de Classes by Daniel Guerin. student. it is our view that it is impossible for them to make real progress so long as they do not align themselves positively with the forces of the new society which are embodied in the phrase : Workers Councils in every department of the national activity and a Government of Workers Councils. between the activity and aims of the workers and those of the . cooperatives. has for years devoted itself to expressing concretely the conception that it is the activity of the workers themselves in their shop floor organizations which is bringing the socialist society. Indignant Heart is the story of a Negro worker. first published in 1935. Mbiyu Koinange ' s The People of Kenya Speak jar Themselves. A. We can refer here only to a few other works which give the necessary background to our thinking or which in themselves show that serious thinkers today in every sphere are accumulating the material for a new ap­ proach to both the past and the future. The second part examines the crisis in the mod­ ern family in the United states. showing Lilburne and his followers in a far more favorable light than hitherto in their rela­ tions with Cromwell. the union. A Wom­ an's Place.A. breaking completely not only with the approach of the sociologist but also with the Exis­ tentialist intellectual preoccupied with his own dreary doubts and anxieties. A Little Democracy Is a Dangerous Thing by Charles Ferguson is a brief but powerful argument for complete control from below in every sphere of modern life if the partial democracy that exists today is not going to be driven towards totalitarianism. now in prepara­ tion. collected in Vol­ ume IX of his Selected Works. the United oyy oj Industry by J. and their own political organizations in an effort to become a part of the mod­ ern world when they were thrown back. Two parts of a book. written by two working women.. Spartacus. showing the insistent drive towards democracy on the part of the ranks in the face of Cromwell's own hesitations. S . remains to this day the best study of the American Civil War. In Holland another j ournal. Since that time Tribune Ouvriere has appeared monthly and some 30 Renault workers meet every two weeks to write and edit articles for it. Professors Haller and Davies have made an important contribution to the current re-examination of the English Revolution by their collection and editing of the Leveller Tracts. not by the Mau Mau but by the offensive of the European settlers b acked by the British government. the unions.­ union. Two Europeans have made valuable contributions to the theory of the co­ lonial revolution today. The life of the modern worker is governed but not eXhausted by his life in the plant. Woodhouse o f the University College in Toronto has given us in Puritanism and Liberty an ac­ count of the conflict between the rank and file sol­ diers in Cromwell's New Model Army and Cromwell himself. Lenin's writings of 1920 and 1921. A.orld. Liberation. and Negro organizations in the North. Du Bois' Black Reconstruction. In these writings a new litera­ ture is being created. who seeks an understanding of the relations between the state.172 FACING REALITY APPENDIX 173 states. particularly since the end . The first describes the life of the Detroit auto worker and the conflict that has existed since the formation of the U. Brown sums up the work that has been done in the field of industrial relations of the last war. such as Dissent. and June 1 9 5 7 . The Soc ial Psychol- ou Barbarie group on the question of abolishing the hierarchy in pay and skill among workers. or political leader. The introduction is particularly valuable today. P. and the masses in the modern .

Among the valuable works on this subject is Shakespeare and the Popular Dramatic Tra­ dition by S .174 FACING REALITY forms in which the newly urbanized Africans organize themselves. F. were the great creators that they were precisely because they e r e a t e d for the mass popular audience. This Appendix does not pretend to be in any way complete. It shows an attitude of mind. LeGros Clark in an essay entitled �'Con­ ditions of Economic Progress" (published in The New West Africa) states unequivocally that technical pro­ gress can take place in the underdeveloped areas only through the release of the creative energies and self­ organization of the African people. Bethell. how the great artists of the past. In recent years scholars have been rediscovering by -hard -research. in par ticular Shakespeare. whatever risks and tensions this may introduce to newly independent gov­ ernments. L. ­ .

A quest i o n n a i re for workers.5 0 . Punch i n g Out by M a rt i n G l abe r m a n . 23 p a ges. A critique of M ao ist p h i l osophy. 50. $ . $ 1 . 25. 2 5 pages. 00. Two arti c l es: the story of t h e 1 95 5 wi l dcats i n auto a n d a d i scussi on of the rad ical u n i o n co m m ittee m a n .ON T H E AM E R I CAN WO R K I N G C LASS The American Worker by P h i l R o m a n o and R i a Stone. 32 p ages. $ . Mao As a Dialectician by M a rti n G l a be r m a n . i . G laberman. 70 p ages. An a rticle by a young auto worker descri b i n g l ife i n a FM plant and a p h i l oso­ p h ical arti c l e i n corporati n g that ex perience i nto the body of M a rx i st theory . A popu l a r p a m p h let on factory l i fe. $ . Union Comm itteemen and Wildcat Strikes by M a rti n . ON M A R X I ST T H E O R Y A Workers I nqu i ry b y K a r l M arx . 1 2 p a ges. $ .25. O r i gi n a l ly p u b l ished in 1 946.

$ 1 . $2. F o rest a nd R . $ 1 . i n which he exp l a i n s the mean i n g of soci a l i s m . 1 07 p ages. 50. M i c h i gan 4821 4 U . I l l u st rations. 1 67 pages. 00. M i l e One Pu bl ications 21 80 Wyandotte West Win dsor. S. Ontario Canada -I I .WO R KS BY C .A. JAM ES Modern Pol itics Six l ectures given by J a m es to an au d i e nce in Tri n i­ dad. O r i gi n al l y pu bl ished in 1 947. Every Cook Can Govern The title phrase i s f ro m Len i n and it a rgues for parti c i p atory de mocracy based on the exp e r i e n c e of ancient G reece . d ocu­ m ented with quotati ons fro m M a rx and Len i n . Send for l ist o r order fro m : Bewick/ed 1 443 Bewick Detroit. R . Stone. The I nvading Social ist Society with F . I nclu des anal ysis a n d n atu re of t h e r o l e of Commu n ist parties. this is a M a rx i st state­ ment on the world and rev o l u t i o n a ry potential after W o r l d War I I . 35 pages. L .20. p l ac i n g it i n t h e context o f world h i story . $. - State Capital ism and Wor l d R evolution Theoretical analysis of t h e p resent stage of cap ita l ism i n the form of a pol e m i c aga i n st T rotsky ist v i ews. 63 pages.50.

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