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Class against Class website has several texts by Castoriadis in his S ou B phase, as well as many other anti-statist Marxists.

http://www.geocities.com/cordoba a!/ "n the Content o! Socialism, #art "ne $n %&'' article by Castoriadis, published in Socialisme ou Barbarie. (evelops the idea o! proletarian autonomy, or wor ers) management. *hat +eally Matters $n article by Castoriadis !rom Socialisme ou Barbarie. $sserts the importance o! wor ers) perspectives. ,he +ole o! Bolshevi -deology in the Birth o! the Bureaucracy $n article by Castoriadis !rom his .ournal Socialisme ou Barbarie. $ re!utation o! the ,rots yist claim that Soviet government only degenerated a!ter Stalin)s ta eover. ,he Marxist #hilosophy o! /istory $n article by Castoriadis !rom Socialisme ou Barbarie. 0xplores how the philosophical roots o! Stalinism were present in Marxism and 1eninism. ,he #roletariat and "rganisation $ %&'& article by Castoriadis, published in his .ournal Socialisme ou Barbarie.

On the Content of Socialism, Part One. From the Critique of Bureaucracy to the Idea of the Proletariat's Autonomy ,he ideas set !orth in this discussion perhaps will be understood more readily i! we retrace the route that has led us to them. -ndeed, we started o!! !rom positions in which a militant wor er or a Marxist inevitably places himsel! at a certain stage in his development and there!ore positions everyone we are addressing has shared at one time or another. $nd i! the conceptions set !orth here have any value at all, their development cannot be the result o! chance or personal traits but ought to embody an ob.ective logic at wor . #roviding a description o! this development, there!ore, can only increase the reader)s understanding o! the end result and ma e it easier !or him to chec it against his experience.) 1i e a host o! other militants in the vanguard, we began with the discovery that the traditional large )wor ing-class) organi2ations no longer have a revolutionary Marxist politics nor do they represent any longer the interests o! the proletariat. ,he Marxist arrives at this conclusion by comparing the activity o! these )socialist) 3re!ormist4 or )communist) 3Stalinist4 organi2ations with his own theory. /e sees the so-called Socialist parties participating in bourgeois governments, actively repressing stri es or movements o! colonial peoples, and championing the de!ense o! the capitalist !atherland while neglecting even to ma e re!erence to a socialist system o! rule. /e sees the Stalinist )communist) parties sometimes carrying out this same opportunistic policy o! collaborating with the bourgeoisie and sometimes an )extremist) policy, a violent adventurism unrelated to a consistent revolutionary strategy. ,he class-conscious wor er ma es the same discoveries on the level o! his wor ing-class experience. /e sees the socialists s5uandering their energies trying to moderate his class)s economic demands, to ma e any e!!ective action aimed at satis!ying these demands impossible, and to substitute interminable discussions with the boss or the State !or the stri e. /e sees the Stalinists at certain times strictly !orbidding stri es 3as was the case !rom %&6' to %&674 and even trying to curtail them through violence, or !rustrating them underhandedly,and at other times trying to horsewhip wor ers into a stri e they do not want because they perceive that it is alien to their interests 3as in %&'%-'8, with the )anti-$merican) stri es4. "utside the !actory, he also sees the Socialists and the Communists participate in capitalist governments without it changing his lot one bit, and he sees them .oin !orces, in %&9: as well as in %&6', when his class is ready to act and the regime has its bac against the wall, in order to stop the movement and save this regime, proclaiming that one must )) now to end a stri e)) and that one must )produce !irst and ma e economic demands later.))

"nce they have established this radical opposition between the attitude o! the traditional organi2ations and a revolutionary Marxist politics expressing the immediate and historical interests o! the proletariat, both the Marxist and the class-conscious wor er might then thin that these organi2ations )err) or that they )are betraying us.) But to the extent that they re!lect on the situation, and discover !or themselves that socialists and Stalinists behave the same way day a!ter day, that they always and everywhere have behaved in this way, in the past, today, here, and everywhere else, they begin to see that to spea o! )betrayal) or )mista es) does not ma e any sense. -t could be a 5uestion o! )mista es) only i! these parties pursued the goals o! the proletarian revolution with inade5uate means, but these means, applied in a coherent and systematic !ashion !or several do2en years, show simply that the goals o! these organi2ations are not our goals, that they express interests other than those o! the proletariat. "nce this is understood, saying that they )are betraying us) ma es no sense. -!, in order to sell his .un , a merchant tells me some load o! crap and tries to persuade me that it is in my interest to buy it, i can say that he is trying to deceive me but not that he is betraying me. 1i ewise, the Socialist or Stalinist party, in trying to persuade the proletariat that it represents its interests, is trying to deceive it but is not betraying it; they betrayed it once and !or all a long time ago, and since then they are not traitors to the wor ing class but !aith!ul < consistent servers o! other interests. *hat we need to do is determine whose interests they serve. -ndeed, this policy does not merely appear consistent in its means or in its results. -t is embodied in the leadership stratum o! these organi2ations or trade unions. ,he militant 5uic ly learns the hard way that this stratum is irremovable, that it survives all de!eats, and that it perpetuates itsel! through co-optation. *hether the internal organi2ation o! these groups is )democratic) 3as is the case with the re!ormists4 or dictatorial 3as is the case with the Stalinists4, the mass o! militants have absolutely no in!luence over its orientation, which is determined without !urther appeal by a bureaucracy whose stability is never put into 5uestion; !or even when the leadership core should happen to be replaced, it is replaced !or the bene!it o! another, no less bureaucratic group. $t this point, the Marxist and the class-conscious wor er are almost bound to collide with ,rots yism. -ndeed, ,rots yism has o!!ered a permanent, step-by- step criti5ue o! socialist and Stalinist politics !or the past 5uarter century, showing that the de!eats o! the wor ers) movement-=ermany, %&89; China, %&8'-87; 0ngland %&8:; =ermany, %&99; $ustria, %&96; >rances %&9:; Spain, %&9:-9?; >rance and -taly, %&6'-67; etc. -are due to the policies o! the traditional organi2ations, and that these policies have constantly been in breach o! . Marxism. $t the same times ,rots yism o!!ers an explanation o! the policies o! these parties, starting !rom a sociological analysis o! their ma eup. >or re!ormism, it ta es up again the interpretation provided by 1enin: ,he re!orming o! the socialists expresses the interests o! a labor aristocracy 3since imperialist suplus pro!its allow the latter to be )corrupted) by

higher wages4 and o! a trade union and political bureaucracy. $s !or Stalinism, its policy serves the +ussian bureaucracy, this parasitic and privileged stratum that has usurped power in the !irst wor ers) State, than s to the bac ward character o! the country and the set- bac su!!ered by the world revolution a!ter %&89. *e began our critical wor , even bac when we were within the ,rots yist movement, with this problem o! Stalinist bureaucracy. *hy we began with that problem in particular needs no long involved explanations. *hereas the problem o! re!orming seemed to be settled by history, at least on the theoretical level, as it became more and more an overt de!ender o! the capitalist system, on the most crucial problem o! all, that o! Stalinism-which is the contemporary problem par excellence and which in practice weighs on us more heavily than the !irst-the history o! our times has disproved again and again both the ,rots yist viewpoint and the !orecasts that have been derived !rom it. >or ,rots y, Stalinist policy is to be explained by the interests o! the +ussian bureaucracy, a product o! the degeneration o! the "ctober +evolution. ,his bureaucracy has no )reality o! its own) historically spea ing; it is only an )accident) the product o! the constantly upset balance between the two !undamental !orces o! modern society, capitalism and the proletariat. 0ven in +ussia it is based upon the )con5uests o! "ctober,) which had provided socialist bases !or the country)s economy 3nationali2ation, planning, monopoly over !oreign trade, etc.4 and upon the perpetuation o! capitalism in the rest o! the world; !or the restoration o! private property in +ussia would signi!y the overthrow o! the bureaucracy and help bring about the return o! the capitalists, whereas the spread o! the revolution worldwide would destroy +ussia)s isolation-the economic and political result o! which was the bureaucracy and would give rise to a new revolutionary explosion o! the +ussian prolateriat, who would chase o!! these usurpers. /ence the necessarily empirical character o! Stalinist politics, which is obliged to waver between two adversaries and ma es its ob.ective the utopian maintenance o! the status 5uo; it even is obliged thereby to sabotage every proletarian movement any time the latter endangers the capitalist system and to overcompensate as well !or the results o! these acts o! sabotage with extreme violence every time reactionaries, encouraged by the demorali2ation o! the proletariat, try to set up a dictatorship and prepare a capitalist crusade against )the remnants o! the "ctober con5uests.) ,hus, Stalinist parties are condemned to !luctuate between )extremist) adventuress and opportunism. But neither can these parties nor the +ussian bureaucracy remain hanging inde!initely in midair li e this. -n the absence o! a revolution, ,rots y said, the Stalinist parties would become more and more li e the re!orming parties and more and more attached to the bourgeois order, while the +ussian bureaucracy would be overthrown with or without !oreign intervention so as to bring about a restoration o! capitalism.

,rots y had tied this prognostication to the outcome o! the Second *orld *ar. $s is well nown, this war disproved it in the most glaring terms. ,he, ,rots yist leadership made itsel! loo ridiculous by stating that it was .ust a matter o! time. But it had become apparent to us, even be!ore the war ended, that it was not and could not have been a 5uestion o! some ind o! time lag, but rather o! the direction o! history, and that ,rots y)s entire edi!ice was, down to its very !oundations, mythological. ,he +ussian bureaucracy underwent the critical test o! the war and showed -t had as much cohesiveness as any other dominant class.-! the +ussian regime admitted o! some contradictions, it also exhibited a degree o! stability no less than that o! the $merican or =erman regime. ,he Stalinist parties did not go over to the side o! the bourgeois order. ,hey have continued to !ollow +ussian policy !aith!ully 3apart, o! course, !rom individual de!ections, as ta e place in all parties4: )they are partisans o! national de!ense in countries allied to the @SS+, and adversaries o! this ind o! de!ense in countries that are enemies o! the @SS+ 3we include here the >rench C#)s series o! turnabouts in %&9&, %&6%, and %&674. >inally, the most important and extraordinary thing was that the Stalinist bureaucracy extended its power into other countries; whether it imposed its power on behal! o! the +ussian army, as in most o! the satellite countries o! Central 0urope and the Bal ans, or had complete domination over a con!used mass movement, as in Augoslavia 3or later on in China and in Bietnam4, it inaugurated in these countries regimes that were in every respect similar to the +ussian regime 3ta ing into accounts o! course,local conditions4. -t obviously was ridiculous to describe these regimes as degenerated wor ers) States. >rom then on, there!ore, we were obliged to loo into what gave such stability and opportunities !or expansion to the Stalinist bureaucracy, both in +ussia and elsewhere. ,o do this, we had to resume the analysis o! +ussia)s economic and social system o! rule. "nce rid o! the ,rots yist outloo , it was easy to see using the basic categories o! Marxism, that +ussian society is divided into classes, among which the two !undamental ones are the bureaucracy and the proletariat. ,he bureaucracy there plays the role o! the dominant, exploiting class in the !ull sense o! the term. -t is not merely that it is a privileged class and that its unproductive consumption absorbs a part o! the social product comparable to 3and probably greater than4 that absorbed by the unproductive consumption o! the bourgeoisie in private capitalist countries. -t also has sovereign control over how the total social product will be used. -t does this !irst o! all by determining how the total social product will be distributed among wages and surplus value 3at the same time that it tries to dictate to the wor ers the lowest wages possible and to extract !rom them the greatest amount o! labor possible4: next by determining how this surplus value will be distributed between its own unproductive consumption and new investments,

and !inally by determining how these investments will be distributed among the various sectors o! production. But the bureaucracy can control how the social product will be utili2ed only because it controls production .Because it manages production at the !actory level, it always can ma e the wor ers produce more !or the same wage; because it manages production on the societal level, it can decide to manu!acture cannons and sil rather than housing and cotton. *e discover, there!ore, that the essence, the !oundation, o! its bureaucratic domination over +ussian society comes !rom the !act that it has dominance within the relations o! production; at the same time, we discover that this same !unction always has been the basis !or the domination o! one class over society, in other words, at every instant the actual essence o! class relations in production is the antagonistic division o! those who participate in the production process into two !ixed and stable categories, directors and executants, 0verything else is concerned with the sociological and - .uridical mechanisms that guarantee the stability o! the managerial stratum; that is how it is with !eudal ownership o! the land, capitalist private property, or this strange !orm o! private, nonpersonal property ownership that characteri2es present-day capitalism; that is how it is in +ussia with the )communist #arty) the totalitarian dictatorship by the organ that expresses the bureaucracy)s general interests and that ensures that the members o! the ruling class are recruited through co-option the scale o! society as a whole. -t !ollows that planning and the nationali2ation o! the means o! production in no way resolve the problem o! the class character o! the economy,nor do they signi!y the-abolition-o! exploitation; o! course, they entail the abolition o! the !ormer dominant classes, but they do not answer the !undamental problem o! who now will direct production and how. -! a new stratum o! individuals ta es over this !unction o! direction, )all the old rubbish) Marx spo e about will 5uic ly reappear, !or this stratum will use its managerial position to create privileges !or itsel!, it will rein!orce its monopoly over managerial !unctions, in this way tending to ma e its domination more complete and more di!!icult to put into 5uestion; it will tend to assure the transmission o! these privileges to its successors, etc. >or ,rots y, the bureaucracy is not a ruling class since bureaucratic privileges cannot be transmitted by inheritance. But in dealing with this argument, we need only recall that hereditary transmission is in no way an element necessary to establish the category o! -t is easy to see that it is not a 5uestion here o! a problem particular to +ussia or to the %&8Cs. >or the same problem is posed in every modern society, even apart !rom the proletarian revolution; it is .ust another expression o! the process o! concentration o! the !orces o! production. *hat, indeed, creates the ob.ective possibility !or a bureaucratic degeneration o! the revolutionD -t is the inexorable movement o! the modern

economy, under the pressure o! techni5ue, toward the more and more intense concentration o! capital and power, the incompatibility o! the actual degree o! development o! the !orces o! production *ith #rivate property and the mar et as the way in which business enterprises are integrated. ,his movement is expressed in a host o! structural trans!ormations in *estern capitalist countries, though we cannot dwell upon that right now. *e need only recall that they are socially incarnated in a new bureaucracy, an economic bureaucracy as well as a wor -place bureaucracy. Eow, by ma ing a tabula rasa o! private property, o! the mar et, etc., revolution can-i! it stops at that point- ma e the route o! total bureaucratic concentration easier. *e see, there!ore, that !ar !rom being deprived o! its own reality, bureaucracy personi!ies the !inal stage o! capitalist development. Since then it has become obvious that the program o! the socialist revolution and the proletariat)s ob.ective no longer could be merely the suppression o! private property, the nationali2ation o! the means o! production and planning, but , rather wor ers) management o! the economy and o! power. +eturning to the degeneration the russian revolution, we established that on the economic level the Bolshevi party had as its program not wor ers) management but wor ers) control. ,his was because the #arty, which did not thin the revolution could immediately be a socialist revolutions did not even pose !or itsel! the tas o! expropriating the capitalists, and there!ore thought that this latter class would remain as managers in the wor place. @nder such conditions, the !unction o! wor ers) control would be to prevent the capitalists !rom organi2ing to sabotage production, to get control over their pro!its and over the disposition o! the product, and to set up a )school) o! management !or the wor ers. But this sociological monstrosity o! a country where the proletariat exercises its dictatorship through the instrument o! the soviets and o! the Bolshevi party, and where the capitalists eep their property and continue to direct their enterprises, could not last; where the capitalists had not !led, they were expelled by the wor ers, who then too over the management o! these enterprises. ,his !irst experience o! wor ers) management only lasted a short time; we cannot go into an analysis here o! this period o! the +ussian +evolution 3which is 5uite obscure and about which !ew sources exist 4or o! the !actors that determined the rapid changeover o! power in the !actories into the hands o! a new managerial stratum. $mong these !actors are the bac ward state o! the counts the proletariat)s numerical and cultural wea ness, the dilapidated condition o the productive apparatus, the long civil war with its unprecedented violence, and the international isolation o! the revolution. ,here is one !actor whose e!!ect during this period we wish to emphasi2e: -n its actions, the Bolshevi party)s policy was systematically opposed to wor ers) management and tended !rom the start to set up its own apparat !or directing production, solely responsible to the central power, i.e., in the last analysis, to the #arty.

,his was done in the in name o! e!!iciency and the overriding necessities brought on by the civil war. *hether this policy was the most e!!ective one even in the short term is open to 5uestion; in any case, in the long run it laid the !oundations !or bureaucracy. -! the management 3direction4 o! the economy thus eluded the proletariat, 1enin thought the essential thing was !or the power o! the soviets to preserve !or the wor ers at least the leadership 3direction4o! the State. "n the other hand, he thought that by participating in the management o! the economy through wor ers-control, trade unions, and so on, the wor ing class would gradually )learn) to manage. Eevertheless, a series o! events that cannot be retraced here, but that were inevitable 5uic ly made the Bolshevi party) s domination over the soviets irreversible. >rom this point onward, the proletarian character o! the whole system hinged on the proletarian character o! the Bolshevi party. *e could easily show that under such conditions the #arty, a highly centrali2ed minority with monopoly control over the exercise o! power, no longer would be able to preserve even its proletarian character 3in the strong sense o! this term4, and that it was bound to separate itsel! !rom the class !rom which it had arisen. But there is no need to go as !ar as that. -n %&89, the #arty numbered 'C CCC wor ers and 9CC,CCC !unctionaries in its total o! 9'C,CCC members. -t no longer was a wor ers) party but a party o! wor ers-turned-!unctionaries. Bringing together the )elite) o! the proletariat, the #arty had been led to install this elite in the command posts o! the economy and the State; hence this elite had to be accountable only to the #arty i itsel!. ,he wor ing class)s )apprenticeship) in management merely signi!ied that a certain number o! wor ers, who were learning managerial techni5ues, le!t the ran and !ile and passed over to the side o! the new bureaucracy. $s people)s social existence determines their consciousness, the #arty members were going to act !rom then on, not according to the Bolshevi program,but in terms o! their concrete situation as privileged managers o! the economy and the state.,he tric has been played, the revolution has died, and i! there is something to be surprised about, it is rather how long it too !or the bureaucracy to consolidate its power. ,he conclusions that !ollow !rom this brie! analysis are clear: ,he program o! the socialist revolution can be nothing other than wor ers) management. *or ers) management o! power, i.e., the power o! the masses) autonomous organi2ations 3soviets or councils4; wor ers) management o! the economy, i.e., the producers) direction o! production, also organi2ed in soviet-style organs. ,he proletariat)s ob.ective cannot be nationali2ation and planning without anything more, be- cause that would signi!y that the domination o! society would be handed over to a new stratum o! rulers and exploiters; it cannot be achieved by handing over power to a party, however revolutionary and however proletarian this party might be at the outset, because this party inevitably will tend to exercise this power on its own behal! and will be used

as the nucleus !or the crystalli2ation o! a new ruling stratum. -ndeed, in our time the problem o! the division o! society into classes appears more and more in its most direct and na ed !orm, and stripped o! all .uridical cover, as the problem o! the division o! society into directors and executants. ,he proletarian revolution carries out its historical program only inso!ar as it tends !rom the very beginning to abolish this division by reabsorbing every particular managerial stratum and by collectivi2ing, or more exactly by completely sociali2ing, the !unctions o! direction.,he problem o! the proletariat)s historical capacity to achieve a classless society is not the problem o! its capacity to physically overthrow the exploiters who are in power 3o! this there is no doubt4; it is rather the problem o! how to positively organi2e a collective, sociali2ed management o! production and power. >rom then on it becomes obvious that the reali2ation o! socialism on the proletariat)s behal! by any party or bureaucracy whatsoever is an absurdity, a contradiction in terms, a s5uare circle, an underwater bird; socialism is nothing but the masses conscious and perpetual sel!-managerial activity. -t becomes e5ually obvious that socialism cannot be ob.ectively inscribed, not even hal!way, in any law or constitution, in the nationali2ation o! the means o! production, or in planning, nor even in a )law) instaurating wor ers) management). -! the wor ing class cannot manage, no law can give it the power to do so, and i! it does manage, such a )law) would merely rati!y this existing state o! a!!airs. ,hus, beginning with a criti5ue o! the bureaucracy, we have succeeded in !ormulating a positive conception o! the content o! socialism; brie!ly spea ing, )socialism in all its aspects does not signi!y anything other than wor er)s management o! society,) and )the wor ing class can !ree itsel! only by achieving power !or itsel!.) ,he proletariat can carry out the socialist revolution only i! it acts autonomously,i.e., i! it !inds in itsel! both the will and the consciousness !or the necessary trans!ormation o! society. Socialism can be neither the !ated result o! historical development, a violation o! history by a party o! supermen, nor still the application o! a program derived !rom a theory that is true in itsel!. +ather, it is the unleashing o! the !ree creative activity o! the oppressed masses. Such an unleashing o! !ree creative activity is made possible by historical development, and the action o! a party based on this theory can !acilitate it to a tremendous degree. /ence!orth it is indispensable to develop on every level the conse5uences o! this idea. Mar ism and the Idea of the Proletariat's Autonomy *e must say right o!! that there is nothing essentially new about this conception. -ts meaning is the same as Marx)s celebrated !ormulation ),he emancipation o! the wor ers must be con5uered by the wor ers themselves.) -t was expressed li ewise by ,rots y: )socialism, as opposed to capitalism,

consciously builds itsel! up.) -t would be only too easy to pile up 5uotations o! this ind. *hat is new is the will and ability to ta e this idea in total seriousness while drawing out the theoretical as well as the practical implications. ,his could not be done till now, either by us or by the great !ounders o! Marxism. >or, on the one hand, the necessary historical experience was lac ing; the preceding analysis shows the tremendous importance the degeneration o! the +ussian +evolution possesses !or the clari!ication o! the problem o! wor ers) power. $nd on the other hand, and at a deeper level, revolutionary theory and practice in an exploiting society are sub.ected to a crucial contradiction that results !rom the !act that they belong to this society they are trying to abolish. ,his contradiction is expressed in an in!inite number o! ways. "nly one o! these ways is o! interest to us here. ,o be revolutionary signi!ies both to thin that only the masses in struggle can resolve the problem o! socialism and not to !old one)s arms !or all that; it means to thin that the essential content o! the revolution will be given by the masses) creative, original, and un!oreseeable activity, and to act onesel!, beginning with a rational analysis o! the present with a perspective that anticipates the !uture. -n the last analysis, it means to postulate that the revolution will signi!y an overthrow and a tremendous enlargement o! our present !orm o! rationality and to utili2e this same rationality in order to anticipate the content o! the revolution. /ow this contradiction is relatively resolved and relatively pulsed anew at each stage o! the wor ers) movement up to the ultimate victory o! the revolution, can- not detain us here; this is the whole problem o! the concrete dialectic o! the historical development o! the proletariat)s revolutionary action and o! revolutionary theory. $t this time we need only establish that there is an intrinsic di!!iculty in developing a revolutionary theory and practice in an exploiting society, and that, inso!ar as he wants to overcome this di!!iculty, the theoretician,and, li ewise indeed, the militant-ris s !alling bac unconsciously on the terrain o! bourgeois thought, and more generally on the terrain o! the type o! thought that issues !rom an alienated society and that has dominated humanity !or millennia. ,hus, in the !ace o! the problems posed by the new historical situations the theoretician o!ten will be led to )traduce the un nown to the nown,) !or that is what theoretical activity today consists o!. /e thereby either cannot see that it is a 5uestion o! a new type o! problem or, even i! he does see that, he can only apply to it solutions inherited !rom the past. Eevertheless, the !actors whose revolutionary importance he has .ust recogni2ed or even discovered modern techni5ue and the activity o! the proletariat,tend not only to create new inds o! solutions but to destroy the very terms in which problems previously had been posed. >rom then on, solutions o! the traditional type provided by the theoretician will not simply be inade5uate; inso!ar as they are adopted 3which implies that the proletariat too

remains under the hold o! received ideas4 they ob.ectively will be the instrument !or maintaining the proletariat within the !ramewor o! exploitation, although perhaps under a di!!erent !orm. Marx was aware o! this problem. /is re!usal o! )utopian) socialism and his statement that )every step o! real movement is more important than a do2en #rograms),express precisely his distrust o! boo ish solutions, since they are always separate !rom the living development o! history. Eevertheless, there remains in Marxism a signi!icant share 3which has ept on growing in succeeding generations o! Marxists4 o! a bourgeois or )traditional) ideological legacy. ,o this extent, there is an ambiguity in theoretical Marxism, an ambiguity that has played an important historical role; the exploiting society thereby has been able to exert its in!luence on the proletariat movement !rom within. ,he case analy2ed earlier, where the Bolshevi party in +ussia applied traditionally e!!ective solutions to the problem o! how to direct production, o!!ers a dramatic illustra- tion o! this process; traditional solutions have been e!!ective in the sense that they e!!ectively have brought bac the traditional state o! a!!airs,or have led to the restoration o! exploitation under new !orms. 1ater we will come upon other important instances o! bourgeois ideas surviving within Marxism. -t is use!ul nevertheless to discuss now an example that will bring to light what we are trying to say. /ow will labor be remunerated in a socialist economyD.-t is well nown that in the )Criti5ue o! the =otha #rogramme,) where he distinguishes the organi2ational !orm o! this postrevolutionary society 3the lower stage o! communism)4 !rom communism itsel! 3where the principle )!rom each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs) would reign4, Marx spo e o! the )bourgeois right) that would prevail during this phase. /e understood by that e5ual pay !or an e5ual 5uantity and 5uality o! labor-which can mean une5ual pay !or di!!erent individuals. /ow can this principle be .usti!iedD "ne begins with the basic characteristics o! the socialist economy, namely that, on the one hands this economy is still an economy o! scarcity where, conse5uently, it is essential that the production e!!orts o! society)s members be pushed to the maximum; and on the other hand, that people still are dominated by the )egoistic) mentality inherited !rom the preceding society and maintained by this state o! scarcity. ,he greatest amount o! e!!ort in production there!ore is re5uired at the same time that this society needs to struggle against the )natural) tendency to shir wor that still exists at this stage. -t will be said, there!ore, that it is necessary, i! one wants to avoid disorder and !amine, to ma e the remuneration o! labor proportional to the 5uality and 5uantity o! the labor provided, measured, !or example, by the number o! pieces manu!actured, the number o! hours in attendance, etc., which naturally leads to 2ero remuneration !or 2ero wor and in the same stro e settles the problem o! one)s obligation to wor . -n short, one ends up with some sort o! )output-based wage.) (epending on how clever one is, one

will reconcile this conclusion, with greater or lesser ease, with the harsh criticism to which this !orm o! wage payment has been sub.ected when it is applied within the capitalist System. (oing this, one will have purely and simply !orgotten that the problem no longer can be posed in these terms: Both modern techni5ue and the !orms o! association among wor ers that socialism implies render it null and void. *hether it is a matter o! wor ing on an assembly line or o! piecewor on )individual) machines, the individual laborer)s wor pace is dictated by the wor pace o! the unit to which he belongs-automatically and )physically) in the case o! assembly wor , indirectly and )socially) in piecewor on a machine, but always in a manner that is imposed upon him. Conse5uently, it longer is a problem o! individual output. -t is a problem o! the wor pace o! a given unit o! wor ers 3which in the !inal analysis is the !actory unit4, and this pace can be determined only by this unit o! wor ers itsel!. ,he problem o! remuneration there!ore comes down to a management problem, !or once a general wage is established, the concrete rate o! remuneration 3the wageoutput ratio4 will be determined by determining the pace o! wor ; the latter in its turn leads us to the heart o! the problem o! management as the problem that concretely concerns the producers as a whole 3who, in one !orm or another, will have to determine that such and such a production pace on one line o! a given type is e5uivalent as an expenditure o! labor to another production pace on another line o! another type, and this will have to done between various shops in the same !actory as well as between a variety o! !actories, etc.4. 1et us recall, i! need be, that in no way does this signi!y that the problem necessarily becomes any easier to solve. Maybe even the contrary is the case. But !inally it has been posed in correct terms. Mista es made while trying to solve this problem might be !ruit!ul !or the development o! socialism, and the successive elimination o! such mista es would allow us to arrive at the solution. $s long as it is posited in the !orm o! an )output-based wage) or )bourgeois right,) however, we remain situated directly on the terrain o! an exploiting society. Certainly, the problem in its traditional !orm still can exist in )bac ward sectors)-though this does not necessarily mean that one should provide a )bac ward) solution. But whatever the solution might be in such a case, what we are trying to say is that historical developments tend to change both the !orm and the content o! the problem. But what is essential is to analy2e both the mechanism and the mista e. >aced with a problem be5ueathed by the bourgeois era one reasons li e a bour- geois. "ne reasons li e a bourgeois !irst o! all in that one sets up an abstract and universal rule-this being the only !orm in which problems can be solved in an alienated society-!orgetting that )law is li e an ignorant and crude man) who always repeats the same thing- and that a socialist solution can only be socialist i! it is a concrete solution that involves

the permanent participation o! the organi2ed units o! wor ers in determining this solution. "ne also reasons li e a bourgeois in that an alienated society is obliged to resort to abstract universal rules,because otherwise it could not be stable and because it is incapable o! ta ing concrete cases into consideration on their own. -t has neither the institutions nor the point o! view necessary !or this, whereas a socialist society, which creates precisely the organs that can ta e every concrete case into consideration, can have as its law only the perpetual determining activity o! these organs. "ne is reasoning li e the bourgeois in that one accepts the bourgeois idea 3and here one is correctly re!lecting the real situation in bourgeois society4 that individual interest is the supreme motive o! human activity. ,hus, !or the bourgeois mentality o! 0nglish )neosocialists,) man in socialist society continues to be, be!ore all else, an economic man, and society there!ore ought to be regulated starting out !rom this idea.,hus transposing at once both the problems o! capitalism and bourgeois behavior onto the new society, they are in essence preoccupied by the problem o! incentives 3earnings that stimulate the wor er4 and !orget that already in capitalist society what ma es the wor er wor are not incentives but the control o! his wor by other people and by the machines themselves. ,he idea o! economic man has been created by bourgeois society in its image; to be 5uite exact, in the image o! the bourgeois and certainly not in the image o! the wor er. ,he wor ers act li e )economic men) only when they are obliged to do so, i.e., vis-F-vis the bourgeois 3who thus ma es money o!! o! their piecewor 4, but certainly not among themselves 3as can be seen during stri es, and also in their attitudes toward their !amilies; otherwise, wor ers would have ceased to exist a long time ago4. ,hat it may be said that they act in this way toward what3)belongs))to them 3!amily, class, etc4 is !ine, !or we are saying precisely that they will act in this way toward everything when everything )belongs) to them. $nd to claim that the !amily is visible and here whereas )everything) is an abstraction again would be a misunderstandings !or the everything we are tal ing about is concrete, it begins with the other wor ers in the shop, the !actory, etc. !or"ers' Management of Production $ society without exploitation is conceivable, we have seen, i! the management o! production no longer is locali2ed in a social category, in other words, i! the structural division o! society into directors and executants is abolished. 1i ewise we have seen that the solution to the problem thus posed can be given only by the proletariat itsel!. -t is not only that no solution would be o! any value, and simply could not even be carried out i! it were not reinvented by the masses in an autonomous manner, nor is it that the problem posed exists on a scale that renders the active cooperation o! millions o! individuals indispensable to its solution. -t is that by its very nature the

solution to the problem o! wor ers) management cannot be !itted into a !ormula, or, as we have said already, it is that the only genuine law socialist society ac nowledges is the perpetual determining activity o! the masses) organs o! management. ,he re!lections that !ollow, there!ore, aim not at )resolving) the problem o! wor ers) management theoretically-which once again would be a contradiction in terms - but rather at clari!ying the givens o! the problem. *e aim only at dispelling misunderstandings and widely held pre.udices by showing how the problem o! management is not posed and how it is posed. -! one thin s the basic tas o! the revolution is a negative tas , the abolition o! private property 3which actually can be achieved by decree4, one may thin o! the revolution as centered on the )ta ing o! power))and there!ore as a moment 3which may last a !ew days and, i! need be, can be !ollowed by a !ew months or years o! civil war4 when the wor ers sei2e power and expropriate de !acto and de .ure the !actory owners. $nd in this case, one actually will be led to grant a prime importance to the ta ing o! power)) and to an organ constructed exclusively with this end in view. ,hat in !act is how things happen during a bourgeois revolution. ,he new society is prepared !or completely within the old one; manu!acturing concentrates employers and wor ers, the rent peasants pay to landed property owners is stripped o! every economic !unction as these proprietors are stripped o! every social !unction. "nly a !eudal shell remains around this society that is in !act bourgeois. $ Bastille is demolished, a !ew heads cut o!!, a night !alls in $ugust, some elected o!!icials 3many o! whom are lawyers4 dra!t some constitutional some laws, and some decrees -and the tric is played. ,he revolution is over, a historical period is closed, another is opened. ,rue, a civil war may !ollow: ,he dra!ting o! new codes will ta e a !ew years, the structure o! the administration as well as that o! the army will undergo signi!icant changes. But the essence o! the revolution is over be!ore the revolution begins. -ndeed, the bourgeois revolution is only pure negation as concerns the area o! economics. -t is based upon what already is there, it limits itsel! to erecting into law a state o! !act by abolishing a superstructure that in itsel! already is unreal. -ts limited constructions a!!ect only this superstructure; the economic base ta es care o! itsel!. *hether this occurs be!ore or a!ter the bourgeois revolution, once established in the economic sector, capitalism spreads by the !orce o! its own laws over the terrain o! simple commercial production that it discovers lying stretched out be!ore it. ,here is no relationship between this process and that o! the socialist revolution. ,he latter is not a simple negation o! certain aspects o! the order that preceded it; it is essentially positive. -t has to construct its regimeconstructing not !actories but new relations o! production !or which the development o! capitalism !urnishes merely the presuppositions. *e will be

able to see this better by rereading the passage where Marx describes the )/istorical ,endency o! Capitalist $ccumulation.)) #lease excuse us !or citing a long passage. $s soon as the capitalist mode o! production stands on its own !eet, then the !urther sociali2ation o! labor and !urther trans!ormation o! the land and other means o! production into socially exploited and, there!ore, common means o! production, as well as the !urther expropriation o! private proprietors, ta es a new !orm. ,hat which is now to be expropriated is no longer the laborer wor ing !or himsel!, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers. ,his expropriation is accomplished by the action o! the immanent laws o! capitalistic production itsel!, by the centrali2ation o! capital. "ne capitalist always ills many. /and in hand with this centrali2ation, or this expropriation o! many capitalists by !ew develop, on an ever- extending scale, the cooperative !orm o! the labor-process, the conscious technical application o! science, the methodical cultivation o! the soil, the trans!ormation o! the instruments o! labor into instruments o! labor only usable in common, the economi2ing o! all means o! production by their use as the means o! production o! combined, sociali2ed labor, the entanglement o! all peoples in the net o! the world-mar et, and with this the international character o! the capitalistic regime. $long with the constantly diminishing number o! the magnates o! capital, who usurp and monopoli2e all advantages o! this process o! trans!ormationD grows the mass o! miserly oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt o! the wor ingclass, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organi2ed by the very mechanism o! the process o! capitalist production itsel!. ,he monopoly o! capital becomes a !etter upon the mode o! production, which has sprung up and !lourished along withG and under it. Centrali2ation o! the means o! production and sociali2ation o! labor at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. ,his integument is burst asunder. ,he nell o! capitalist private property sounds.,he expropriaters are expropriated. *hat in !act exists o! the new society at the moment when the )capitalist integument is burst asunder)D $ll its premises: a society composed almost entirely o! proletarians, the )rational application o! science in industry,) and also, given the degree o! concentration o! business enterprises this passage presupposes, the separation o! property ownership !rom the actual !unctions o! directing production. But where can we !ind already reali2ed in this society socialist relations o! productions as bourgeois relations o! production were in )!eudal) societyD Eow, it is obvious that these new relations o! production cannot be merely those reali2ed in the )sociali2ation o! the labor process,) the cooperation o! thousands o! individuals within the great industrial units o! production. >or these are the relations o! production typical o! a highly developed !orm o! capitalism. ,he )sociali2ation o! the labor process) as it

ta es place in the capitalist economy is the premise o! socialism in that it abolishes anarchy, isolation, dispersion, etc. But it is in no way socialism)s )pre!iguration) or )embryo,))in that it is an antagonistic !orm o! sociali2ation; i.e., it reproduces and deepens the division between the mass o! executants and a stratum o! directors. $t the same time the producers are sub.ected to a collective !orm o! discipline, the conditions o! production are standardi2ed among various sectors and localities, and production tas s become interchangeable, we notice at the other pole not only a decreasing number o! capitalists in a more and more parasitic role but also the constitution o! a separate apparatus !or directing production. Eow, socialist relations o! production are those types o! relations that preclude the separate existence o! a !ixed and stable we stratum o! directors production. *e see, there!ore , that the point o! departure !or reali2ing such relations can be only the destruction o! the power o! the bourgeoisie or the bureaucracy. ,he capitalist trans!ormation o! society ends with the bourgeois revolution; the socialist trans!ormation o! society begins with the proletarian revolution. Modern developments themselves have abolished the aspects o! the problem o! management that once were considered decisive. "n the one hand, managerial labor itsel! has become a !orm o! wage labor, as 0ngels already pointed out; on the other hand, it has become itsel! a collective labor o! execution. ,he )as s) involved in the organi2ation o! labor, which !ormerly !ell to the boss, assisted by a !ew technicians, now are per!ormed by o!!ices bringing together hundreds or thousands o! persons, who themselves wor as salaried, compartmentali2ed executants. ,he other group o! traditional managerial tas s, which basically involve integrating the enterprise into the economy as a whole 3in particular, those involving mar et )analysis) or having a )!lair) !or the mar et- which pertain to the nature, 5uality, and price o! manu!actured goods in demand, modi!ications in the scale o! production, etc.4, already has been trans!ormed in its very nature with the advent o! monopolies. ,he way this group o! tas s is accomplished has been trans!ormed too, since its basics are now carried out by a collective apparatus that canvasses the mar et, surveys consumer tastes, sells the product, etc. $ll this already has happened under monopoly capitalism. *hen private property gives way to State-run property, as in 3total4 bureaucratic capitalism, a central apparatus !or coordinating the !unctioning o! enterprises ta es the place both o! the mar et as )regulator) and o! the apparatuses belonging to each enterprise; this is the central planning bureaucracy, the economic )necessity) !or which should issue, according to its de!enders, directly !rom these !unctions o! coordination. ,here is no point in discussing this sophism. 1et us simply note in passing that the advocates o! the bureaucracy demonstrate, in a !irst move, that one can do without bosses since one can ma e the economy !unction according to a plan and, in a second move, that !or the plan to !unction, it has need o! bosses o! a di!!erent ind. >or-and here is what interests us-the problem o! how to

coordinate the activity o! enterprises and sectors o! productions a!ter the mar et has been abolished, in other words, the problem o! planning, already has been virtually abolished by advancements in modern techni5ues. 1eontie! )s method even in its present !orm, removes all )apolitical) or )economic) meaning !rom the problem o! how to coordinate various sectors or various enterprises, !or it allows us to determine the conse5uences !or a entire set o! sectors, regions, and enterprises once we have settled upon the desired volume o! production o! end-use articles. $t the same time, it allows us a large degree o! !lexibility, !or this method ma es it possible, i! we want to modi!y the plan while wor is in progress, to draw out immediately the practical implications o! such a change. Combined with other modern methods, it allows us both to choose the optimal methods !or achieving our overall ob.ectives, once they are settled upon, and to de!ine these methods in detail !or the entire economy. Brie!ly spea ing, all o! the )planning activity) o! the +ussian bureaucracy, !or example, could be trans!erred at this point to an electronic calculator. ,he problem, there!ore, appears only at the two extremes o! economic activity: at the most speci!ic level 3how to translate the production goal o! a particular !actory into the production goals to be carried out by each group o! wor ers in the shops o! this !actory4 and at the universal level 3how to determine the production goals !or end-use goods o! the entire economy4. -n both cases, the problem exists only because techni5ue 3in the broad sense o! this term4 develops-and it will develop even more in a socialist society. -ndeed, it is clear that with an unchanging set o! techni5ues the type o! solution 3i! not the solutions themselves, whose exact terms will vary i!, !or example, there is accumulation4 would be given once and !or all, and that it would be merely a matter o! allocating tas s within a shop 3per!ectly compatible with the possibility o! interchangeable producers being able to switch between di!!erent .obs4 or o! determining the end-use products. ,he incessant modi!ication o! the di!!erent possible ways o! carrying out production along with the incessant modi!ication o! !inal ob.ectives will create the terrain on which collective management will wor itsel! out. Alienation in Ca#italist Society By alienation a characteristic moment o! every class society, but one that appears to an incomparably greater extent and depth in capitalist society-we mean to say that the products o! man)s activity 3whether we are tal ing about ob.ects or institutions4 ta e on an independent social existence opposite him. -nstead o! being dominated by him, these products dominate him. $lienation is that which is opposed to man)s !ree creativity in the world created by man; it is not an independent historical principle having its own source. -t is the ob.ecti!ication o! human activity inso!ar as it escapes its author without its author being able to escape it. 0very !orm o! alienation is a !orm o! human

ob.ecti!ication; i.e. , it has its source in human activity 3there are no < )secret !orces) in history, any there is a cunning o! reason in natural economic laws4. But not every !orm o! ob.ecti!ication is necessarily a !orm o! alienation inso!ar as it can be consciously ta en up again, rea!!irmed or destroyed. $s soon as it is posited, every product o! human activity 3even a purely internal attitude4 )escapes its author) and even leads an existence independent o! that author. *e cannot act as i! we have not uttered some particular word, but we can cease to be determined by it. ,he past li!e o! every individual is its ob.ecti!ication till today; but he is not necessarily and exhaustively alienated !rom it, his !uture is not permanently dominated by his past. Socialism will be the abolition o! alienation in that it will permit the perpetuate conscious recovery without violent con!lict o! the socially givens in that it will restore people)s domination over the products o! their activity. Capitalist society is an alienated society in that its trans!ormations ta e place independently o! people)s will and consciousness 3including those o! the dominant class4, according to 5uasi-)laws) that express ob.ective structures independent o! their control. *hat interests us here is not to describe how alienation is produced in the !orm o! alienation in capitalist society 3which would involve an analysis o! the birth o! capitalism as well as o! its !unctioning4 but to show the concrete mani!estations o! this alienation in various spheres o! social activity as well as their intimate unity. "nly to the extent that we grasp the content o! socialism as the proletariat)s autonomy, as !ree creative activity determining itsel!, as wor ers) management in all domains, can we grasp the essence o! man)s alienation in capitalist society. -ndeed, it is not by accident that )0nlightened) members o! the bourgeoisie as well as re!ormist and Stalinist bureaucrats want to reduce t he evils o! capitalism to essentially economic evils, and, on the economic level, to exploitation in the !orm o! an une5ual distribution o! national income. ,o the extent that their criti5ue o! capitalism is extended to other domains it again will ta e !or its point o! departure this une5ual distribution o! income, and it will consist basically o! variations on the theme o! the corrupting in!luence o! money.-! they loo at the !amily or the sexual 5uestion, they will tal about how poverty ma es prostitutes, about the young girl sold to the rich old man, about domestic problems that are the result o! economic misery. -! they loo at culture, they will tal about venality, about obstacles put in the way o! talented but underprivileged people, and about illiteracy. Certainly, all that is true, and important. But it only touches the sur!ace o! the problem, and those who tal only in this way regard man solely as a consumer and, by pretending to satis!y him on this levels they tend to reduce him to his 3direct or sublimated4 physical !unctions o! digestion. Bu t !or man, what is at sta e is not )ingestion) pure and simple; rather it is a matter o! sel!-expression and sel!creation, and not only in the economic domain, but in all domains.

-n class society, con!lict is not expressed simply in the area o! distribution, in the !orm o! exploitation and limitations on consumption. ,his is only one aspect o! the con!lict and not the most important one.-ts !undamental !eature is to be !ound in the limitations placed on man)s human role in the domain o! production; eventually, these limitations go so !ar as an attempt to abolish this role completely. -t is to be !ound in the !act that man is expropriated, both individually and collectively, !rom having command over his own activity. By his enslavement to the machine, and through the machine, to an abstract, !oreign, and hostile will, man is deprived o! the true content o! his human activity, the conscious trans!ormation o! the natural world. -t constantly inhibits his deep-seated tendency to reali2e himsel! in the ob.ect. ,he true signi!ication o! this situation is not only that the producers live it as an absolute mis!ortune, as a permanent mutilation; it is that this situation creates at the pro!oundest level o! production a perpetual con!lict, which explodes at least on occasion; it also is that it ma es !or huge waste!ulness-in comparison to which the waste!ulness involved in crises o! overproduction is probably negligible- both through the producers) positive opposition to a system they re.ect and through the lost opportunities that result !rom neutrali2ing the inventiveness and creativity o! millions o! individuals. Beyond these !eatures, we must as ourselves to what extent the !urther development o! capitalist production is possible, even )technically,) i! the direct producer continues to be ept in the compartmentali2ed state in which he currently resides. But alienation in capitalist society is not simply economic. -t not only mani!ests itsel! in connection with material li!e. -t also a!!ects in a !undamental way both man)s sexual and his cultural !unctions. -ndeed, society exists only inso!ar as there exists an organi2ation o! production and reproduction o! the li!e o! individuals and o! the species-there!ore an organi2ation o! economic and sexual relations-and only inso!ar as this organi2ation ceases to be simply instinctual and becomes conscious-there!ore only in- so!ar as it includes the moment o! culture. $s Marx said, )$ bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction o! her cells. But what distinguishes the worst architect !rom the best o! bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination be!ore he erects it in reality.,echni5ue and consciousness obviously go hand in hand). $n instrument is a materiali2ed and operative signi!ication, or better yet a mediation between a deliberate intention and a still-ideal goal. *hat is said in this 5uotation !rom Marx about the !abrication o! bees) honeycombs can be said as well about their )social) organi2ation. $s techni5ue rep- resents a rationali2ation o! relations with the natural world, social organi2ation represents a rationali2ation o! the relations between individuals o! a group. Bee- hive organi2ation is a nonconscious !orm o! rationali2ation, but tribal organi2ation is a conscious one; the primitive can describe it and he

can deny it 3by trans- gressing it4. +ationali2ation in this context obviously does not mean )our) rationali2ation. $t one stage and in a given context, both magic and cannibalism represent rationali2ations 3without 5uotation mar s4. -!, there!ore, a social organi2ation is antagonistic,it will tend to be so both on the level o! production and on the sexual and cultural planes as well. -t is wrong to thin that con!lict in the domain o! production ))creates)) or )determines) a secondary or derivative con!lict on other planes; the structures o! class domination impose themselves right away on all three levels at once and are impossible and inconceivable outside o! this simultaneity, o! this e5uivalence. 0xploitation, !or example, can be guaranteed only i! the producers are expropriated !rom the management o! production, but this expropriation both presupposes that the producers tend to be separated !rom the ability to manege- and there!ore !rom culture-and reproduces this separation on an larger scale. 1i ewise, a society in which the !undamental inter-human relations are relations o! domination presupposes and at the same time engenders an alienating organi2ation o! sexual relations, namely an organi2ation that creates in individuals deep-seated inhibitions that tend to ma e them accept authority, etc. -ndeed, there obviously is a dialectical e5uivalence between social structures and the )psychological) structures o! individuals. >rom his !irst steps in li!e the individual is sub.ected to a constant set o! pressures aimed at imposing on him a given attitude toward wor , sex, ideas, at cheating him out o! 3!rustrer4 the natural ob.ects o! his activity and at inhibiting him by ma ing him interiori2e and value this process o! !rustration. Class society can exist only inso!ar as it succeeds to a large extent in en!orcing this acceptance. ,his is why the con!lict is not a purely external con!lict, but is transposed into the hearts o! individuals themselves. ,his antagonistic social structure corresponds to an antagonistic structure within individuals, each perpetually reproducing itsel! by means o! the other. ,he point o! these considerations is not only to emphasi2e the moment o! identity in the essence o! the relations o! domination as they ta e place in the capitalist !actory, in the patriarchal !amily, or in authoritarian teaching and )aristocratic) culture. -t is to point out that the socialist revolution necessarily will have to embrace all domains in their entirety , and this must be done not it some un!oreseeable !uture and by increments, but rather !rom the outset, Certainly it has to begin in a certain !ashion, which can be nothing other than the destruction o! the power o! the exploiters by the power o! the armed masses and the installation o! wor ers) management in production. But it will have to grapple immediately with the reconstruction o! other social activities, under penalty o! death. *e will try to show this by loo ing at what ind o! relations the proletariat, once in power, will entertain with culture.

,he antagonistic structure o! cultural relations in present-day society is expressed also 3but in no way exclusively4 by the radical division between manual and intellectual labor. ,he result is that the immense ma.ority o! humanity is totally separated !rom culture as activity and shares 3participe4 in only an in!initesimal !raction o! the !ruits o! culture. "n the other hand, the division o! society into directors and executants becomes more and more homologous to the division between manual labor and intellectual labor 3all management .obs being some !orm o! intellectual labor and all manual .obs being some !orm o! labor that consists o! the execution o! tas s4. *or ers) management is possible, there!ore, only i! !rom the outset it starts moving in the direction o! overcoming this division, in particular with respect to intellectual labor as it relates to the production process. ,his implies in turn that the proletariat will begin to appropriate culture !or itsel!. Certainly not as ready-made culture, as the assimilation o! the )results) o! historically extant culture. Beyond a certain point, such an assimilation is both impossible in the immediate !uture and super!luous 3as concerns what is o! interest to us here4. +ather as appropriation o! activity, as recovery o! the cultural !unction itsel! and as a radical change in the producing masses) relation to intellectual wor . "nly as this change ta es hold will wor ers) management become irreversible. 3>irst published in HSocialisme ou BarbarieH Iuly,%&''.4

!$A% &'A(() MA%%'&S -n issue number 9 o! Pouvoir Ouvrier, a schoolteacher posed the !ollowing 5uestion: *hy don)t wor ers writeD /e showed in a pro!ound way how this is due to their total situation in sociey and also to the nature o! the so-called education dispensed by schools in capitalist society. /e also mentioned that wor ers o!ten thin their experience Hisn)t interesting.H ,his last point seems to me absolutely !undamental, and - would li e to share my experience on it, which is not that o! a wor er, but o! a militant. *hen wor ers as an intellectual to tal to them about the problems o! capitalism and socialism, they !ind it hard to understand that we accord a central place to the wor ers) situation in the !actory and at the point o! production. - o!ten have had occasion to present to wor ers some o! my ideas, expressed in the !ollowing way: -,he way in which the capitalist !actory is organi2ed creates a perpetual con!lict between wor ers and management on the very issue o! how production is to be carried out. -Management is always coo ing up new ways o! chaining wor ers down to Hthe discipline o! producingH as this is understood by management. -*or ers are always inventing new ways o! de!ending themselves. -,his struggle o!ten has more in!luence over real wage levels than do negotiations or even stri es. - ,he resulting waste!ulness is tremendous and !ar greater than the waste!ulness brought on by economic crises. - ,rade unions always are out o! touch with and most o!ten are even hostile to this ind o! wor ing-class struggle. -Militants who are wor ers ought to spread the word o! all examples o! this struggle that can be used outside the speci!ic company in which they originally were produced. -,his situation would not be changed in the least by the mere Hnationali2ationH o! the !actories and the application o! HplanningH to the economy. -Conse5uently, socialism is inconceivable without a complete change in the way production is organi2ed in !actories, and without the suppression o! the present management and the instauration o! wor ers) management.

,hese statements were both concrete and theoretical. -n each instance they provided real and precise examples. $t the same time, however, these statements, !ar !rom being limited to the mere description o! !acts, were an attempt to draw overall conclusions. /ere we have things about which wor ers obviously had the most direct and complete experience. $nd yet, on the other hand, they had a pro!ound and universal meaning. Eevertheless, what we discovered was that our listeners had little to say and appeared rather disappointed.,hey had come to tal or to listen to people tal about things that really mattered, and it was hard !or them to believe that the things they themselves do every day really mattered. ,hey thought someone was going to tal to them about absolute or relative surplus value, about the !alling rate o! pro!it, about overproduction and underconsumption. -t seemed unbelievable to them that the evolution o! modern society is determined !ar more by the daily movements and gestures o! millions o! wor ers in !actories all over the world than by some great and mysterious hidden laws o! the economy discovered by theoreticians. ,hey even wrangled over whether such a permanent struggle between wor ers and management existed and whether the wor ers actually were de!ending themselves. "nce the discussion really got rolling, however, what they said showed that they themselves were conducting this struggle !rom the moment they set !oot in the !actory until the time they le!t. ,his idea wor ers have that how they live, what they do, and what they thin Hdoesn)t really matterH is not only the thing that prevents them !rom expressing themselves. It is the gravest manifestation of the ideological enslavement brought on by capitalism. >or capitalism can survive only i! people are persuaded that what they themselves do and now is a private little matter o! their own that does not really matter, and that really important matters are the monopoly o! the big shots and specialists in various !ields o! endeavor. Capitalism is constantly trying to drum this idea into people)s heads. But we also must point out that it has been power!ully helped along in this wor by the wor ers) own labor organi2ations. >or 5uite a long time trade unions and w wor ing-class parties have tried to persuade wor ers that the only 5uestions that really mattered concerned either wages in particular or the economy,politics or society in general.,his is already wrong.But there is something even worse. *hat these organi2ations considered as HtheoryH on these 5uestions and what more and more has passed !or such in the public)s eyes, instead o! being, as it should have been, closely connected to the experience o! wor ers at the point o! production and in their social li!e, has become an allegedly Hscienti!icH theory that is also becoming more and more abstract 3and more and more !alse4. "! course, only specialists-i.e., intellectuals and leaders- now about this theory and can tal about it. ,he

wor ers are .ust supposed to eep 5uiet and try conscientiously to absorb and assimilate the HtruthsH these expertsH spout at them. ,hus we get a two!old result. ,he intense desire large sections o! the wor ing class have to enlarge their nowledge and expand their hori2ons so that they might be able to go beyond the con!ines o! their particular !actory and !orm an idea o! society at large that would aid them in their struggle is destroyed right !rom the very start. ,he so-called theory put in !ront o! them appears, in the best o! cases, as a sort o! impenetrable higher algebra or, as is the case today, a string o! incomprehensible words that don)t explain a thing. "n the other hand, wor ers have no way o! chec ing on the content o! this HtheoryH or its truth value; the proo!s are to be !ound, they are told, in the hundred-plus chapters o! Capital and in huge, mysterious boo s owned by wiser comrades,in whom they will .ust have to place their con!idence. ,he roots and the conse5uences o! this situation are !ar-ranging indeed. $t its origin we discover a deep-seated, bourgeois way o! loo ing at things: Iust as there are laws o! physics, there supposedly are economic and social laws, and these laws have nothing to do with people)s direct experience. ,here are social scientists and social engineers who now them. Iust as only the engineer can tell you how to build a bridge, so these social engineers-political and tradeunion leaders alone can tell you how to organi2e society. ,o change society is to change the overall way in which it is organi2ed, but this does not have any e!!ect at all upon what goes on in the !actories-since that Hdoesn)t really matter.H ,o get beyond this situation, it won)t do to .ust tell the wor ers: Spea up, it)s up to you to say what the problems are. *hat remains to be done is to tear down this monstrously wrong-headed idea that these problems as they are seen by wor ers don)t really matter, that other problems are !ar more important and that only HtheoreticiansH and politicians can tal about them. "ne cannot understand anything about the !actory i! one does not understand society at large, but nothing can be understood about society at large i! the !actory is not understood. ,here is only one way to do this: ,he wor ers must spea . ,o show this ought to be the primary and permanent tas o! Pouvoir Ouvrier.

%he &ole of Bolshe*i" Ideology in the Birth of the Bureaucracy 3,his article was !irst published in Socialism ou BarbarieJ9'3%&:64,as an introduction to $lexandra Kollantai)s The Workers Oppostion,but it can stand alone as a re!utation o! the standard 1eninist/,rots yist claim that the Soviet @nion only degenerated post %&86 i.e a!ter 1enin)s death,and as such has been published in pamphlet !orm by a number o! groups.4 *e are happy to present to our readers the !irst translation into >rench o! $lexandra Kollontai)s pamphlet The Workers Opposition in !ussia. ,his pamphlet was published in Moscow at the beginning o! %&8%, during the violent controversy that preceded the ,enth Congress o! the Bolshevi party. ,his Congress was to close discussion !orever on this controversy as well as on all the others. #eople have not !inished tal ing about the +ussian +evolution, its problems, its degeneration, and about the regime it ultimately produced. $nd how could oneD "! all the revolts o! the wor ing class, the +ussian +evolution was the only victorious one. $nd o! all the wor ing class)s !ailures, it was the most thoroughgoing and the most revealing. ,he crushing o! the #aris Commune in %?7% and o! the Budapest uprising in %&': teach us that insurgent wor ers encounter immensely di!!icult organisational and political problems, that an insurrection can !ind itsel! isolated, that the ruling classes will not hesitate to employ any ind o! violence or barbarian savagery when their power is at sta e. ,he +ussian +evolution, however, obliges us to re!lect not only on the conditions !or a proletarian victory but also on the content and the possible !ate o! such a victory, on its consolidation and development, on the seeds o! a !ailure whose import in!initely surpasses the victory o! the troops o! the Bersaillese, o! >ranco)s army, or o! Khrushchev)s tan s. Since it crushed the *hite armies and yet succumbed to a bureaucracy it had itsel! generated, the +ussian +evolution puts us !ace to !ace with problems o! a di!!erent order !rom those involving a study o! the tactics and methods o! an armed insurrection or a correct analysis o! the relation o! !orces at a given moment. -t obliges us to re!lect on the nature o! the power o! labouring people and on what we mean by socialism. Culminating in a regime in which economic concentration, the totalitarian power o! the rulers, and the exploitation o! the labouring population have been pushed to the limit, and producing to an extreme degree the centralisation o! capital and its !usion with the State, in its outcome this revolution presents us with what has been and in certain respects still remains the most highly developed and the HpurestH !orm o! a modern exploitative society.

0mbodying Marxism !or the !irst time in history-only to ma e us see immediately in this incarnation a monstrous dis!iguration o! it-the +ussian +evolution allows us to understand more about Marxism than what Marxism itsel! has been able to help us to understand about the +evolution. ,he regime the +evolution produced has become the touchstone !or all current ideas, not only those o! classical Marxism, o!course, but .ust as much those o! the bourgeois ideologies. ,his regime has proved the ruination o! Marxism through its very realisation and has proved the triumph o! the deepest layers o! these other ideologies through its very re!utations o! them. 0ven as this regime has expanded to embrace a third o! the globe, has been challenged by wor ers) revolts against it over the past ten years, has attempted to re!orm itsel!, and has now split into two opposing poles, the +ussian and the Chinese, it has not ceased to raise 5uestions o! the most pressing importance and to act as the clearest as well as the most enigmatic indicator o! world history. ,he world we live in, re!lect in, and act in was launched on its present course by the wor ers and Bolshevi s o! #etrograd in "ctober %&%7. $mong the innumerable 5uestions raised by the !ate o! the +ussian +evolution, two !orm the poles around which we may organise all the others. ,he !irst 5uestion is, *hat ind o! society was produced by the degeneration o! the revolutionD 3*hat is the nature and the dynamic o! this regimeD *hat is the +ussian bureaucracyD *hat is its relation to capitalism and to the proletariatD *hat is its place in historyD *hat are its present problemsD4 ,his 5uestion has already been discussed on several occasions in S. ou B and will be again. ,he second 5uestion is, /ow can a wor ers) revolution give birth to a bureaucracy, and how did this occur in +ussiaD *e have examined this 5uestion in its theoretical !orm,but so !ar we have said little !rom the concrete historical point o! view. -ndeed, there is an almost insurmountable obstacle to a close study o! this particularly obscure period extending !rom "ctober %&%7 to March %&8%, during which the !ate o! the revolution was played out. ,he 5uestion o! most concern to us is, in e!!ect, the !ollowing: ,o what extent did the +ussian wor ers try to ta e upon themselves the direction o! society, the management o! production, the regulation o! the economy, and the orientation o! political li!eD *hat was their conscious awareness o! these problems, the character o! their autonomous activityD *hat was their attitude toward the Bolshevi party, toward the nascent bureaucracyD Eow, we should point out that it is not wor ers who write history. -t is always the others. $nd these others, whoever they may be, have a historical existence only inso!ar as the masses are passive, or active simply to support them, and this is precisely what Hthe othersH will tell us at every opportunity. Most o! the time these others will not even possess eyes to see and ears to hear the gestures and utterances that express people)s autonomous activity. -n the best o! instances,

they will sing the praises o! this activity so long as it miraculously coincides with their own line, but they will radically condemn it, and impute to it the basest motives, as soon as it strays there!rom. ,hus ,rots y describes in grandiose terms the anonymous wor ers o! #etrograd moving ahead o! the Bolshevi party or mobilising themselves during the Civil *ar, but later on he was to characterise the Kronstadt rebels as Hstool pigeonsH and Hhirelings o! the >rench /igh Command.H ,hey lac the categories o! thought-the brain cells, we might dare say-necessary to understand, or even to record, this activity as it really occurs: to them, an activity that is not instituted, that has neither boss nor program, has no status; it is not even clearly perceivable, except perhaps in the mode o! HdisorderH and Htroubles.H ,he autonomous activity o! the masses belongs by de!intion to what is repressed in history. ,hus, it is not only that the documentary records most interesting to us during this period are !ragmentary, or even that they were and continue to be systematically suppressed by the triumphant bureaucracy. -t is that this record o! events is in!initely more selective and slanted than any other historical testimony. ,he reactionary rage o! bourgeois witnesses and the almost e5ually vicious hostility o! the social democrats; the delirious ravings o! the anarchists; the o!!icial historiography, periodically rewritten to suit the needs o! the bureaucracy, and that o! the ,rots yist tendency concerned exclusively with .usti!ying itsel! a!ter the !act and with hiding its role during the !irst stages o! degeneration-all this Hhistorical evidenceH converges on one point: it ignores the signs o! the autonomous activity o! the masses during this period, or, i! necessary, HprovesH the a priori impossibility o! its very existence. -n this regard, the in!ormation contained in $lexandra Kollontai)s text is o! priceless value. >irst, because o! the direct indications it supplies concerning the attitudes and reactions o! +ussian wor ers toward the policy o! the Bolshevi party; second and more important, because it shows that a large portion o! the wor ing-class base o! the #arty was aware o! the process o! bureaucrati2ation that was ta ing place, and was ta ing a stand against it. -t is no longer possible, a!ter reading this text, to continue to describe the +ussia o! %&8C as H.ust chaos,H Ha pile o! ruins,H where the thought o! 1enin and the Hiron willH o! the Bolshevi s were the only elements o! order in a country whose proletariat had been pulverised. ,he wor ers wanted something, and they showed what they wanted through the *or ers) "pposition within the #arty and the #etrograd stri es and the Kronstadt revolt outside the #arty. Both the intraparty and the extraparty challenges had to be crushed by 1enin and ,rots y !or Stalin later to emerge triumphant. Bac to the main 5uestion: /ow could the +ussian +evolution have produced a bureaucratic regimeD ,he current answer 3!irst advanced by ,rots y, later ta en up by the !ellow travellers o! Stalinism, and today by Khrushchev)s men themselves in order to HexplainH the Hbureaucratic de!ormations o! the socialist systemH4 is the !ollowing: the +evolution too place in a bac ward

country, which in any case could not have built socialism on its own; it !ound itsel! isolated by the de!eat o! the revolution in 0urope 3and more particularly in =ermany between %&%& and %&894; and what is more, the country was completely devested by the Civil *ar. ,his answer would not deserve a moment)s consideration, were it not !or the !act that it is widely accepted and that it continues to play a mysti!icatory role. >or it is completely beside the point. ,he bac wardness, isolation, and devastation o! the country-all incontestable !acts in themselves - might .ust as well have explained a pure and simple de!eat o! the revolution and the restoration o! classical capitalism. *hat we are as ing, however, is precisely why there was no pure and simple de!eat, why the +evolution overcame its external enemies only to collapse !rom within, why it HdegeneratedH precisely in such a way that it led to the power o! the bureaucracy. ,rots y)s answer, i! we may use a metaphor, is li e saying, H,his patient developed tuberculosis because he was run down.H >eeling run down, however, he might have died instead, or contracted some other disease. *hy did he contract this particular diseaseD *hat has to be explained in the degeneration o! the +ussian +evolution is why it was speci!ically a bureaucratic degeneration. ,his cannot be done by re!erring to !actors as general as Hbac wardnessH or Hisolation.H 1et us add in passing that this HresponseH teaches us nothing we could extend beyond the con!ines o! the +ussian situation in %&8C. ,he sole conclusion to be drawn !rom this ind o! LanalysisM is that revolutionaries should ardently hope that !uture revolutions brea out an more advanced countries, that they should not remain isolated, and that civil wars should not in the least be devastating. $!ter all, the !act that Nsince the Second *orld *arO the bureaucratic system o! rule has extended its !rontiers well beyond the boundaries o! +ussia, that it has installed similar regimes in countries that in no way can be characterised as bac ward 3such as C2echoslova ia or 0ast =ermany4, and that industrialisation - which has made +ussia the second strongest power in the world - has not wea ened this bureaucracy at all, shows that all discussion in terms o! Hbac wardness,H Hisolation,H B and so !orth, is purely and simply anachronistic. -! we wish to understand the emergence o! the bureaucracy as an increasingly preponderant managerial stratum in the contemporary world, we are obliged to note at the outset that, paradoxically, it appears at the two opposite poles o! social development. "n the one hand, it has emerged as the organic product o! the maturation process o! capitalist society. "n the other hand, it appears as

the H!orced answerM bac ward countries give to the problem o! their own passage to the stage o! industrialisation. -n the !irst case, the emergence o! the bureaucracy o!!ers us no mystery. ,he concentration o! production necessarily leads to the appearance within business !irms o! a stratum whose !unction is to ta e on the collective management o! immense economic units. ,he tas to be per!ormed goes 5ualitatively beyond the capacities o! any individual owner. $t !irst in the economic realm, but gradually also in other spheres, the growing role o! the State leads both to a 5uantitative extension o! the bureaucratic state apparatus and to a 5ualitative change in its nature. $t the opposite pole within advanced capitalist societies, the wor ers) movement degenerates as it becomes bureaucratised, it becomes bureaucratised as it becomes integrated into the established order, and it cannot become integrated into this order without becoming bureaucratised. ,he various technoeconomic, state-political, and Hwor ing-classH elements constitutive o! the bureaucracy coexist with varying degrees o! success. ,hey coexist both with each other and with the more properly HbourgeoisH elements o! society 3owners o! the means o! production4. -n any case, as the bureaucracy evolves, the importance o! these bureaucratic elements !or the management o! society constantly increases. -n this sense, one can say that the emergence o! the bureaucracy corresponds to an HultimateH phase in the process o! capital concentration, that the bureaucracy personi!ies or embodies capital during this phase, in the same way that the bourgeoisie did during the previous phase. $t least as !ar as its origins and its social-historical !unction are concerned, this bureaucracy can be understood in terms o! the categories o! classical Marxism. 3-t matters little, in this respect, that today)s alleged Marxists, who !all !orever short o! the possibilities entailed by the theory they claim as theirs, remain incapable o! granting the bureaucracy any ind o! sociohistorical status. ,hese so-called Marxists believe that there is no name !or this thing in their ideas, and so in practice they deny its existence and spea o! capitalism, as i! nothing had changed within capitalism !or the past century or hal! century.4 -n the second case, the bureaucracy emerges, one might say, !rom the very void !ound in this type o! society. -n almost all bac ward countries, the old ruling strata are clearly incapable o! underta ing the industrialisation o! the country. >oreign capital creates, at Hbest,H merely isolated poc ets o! modern exploitation, and the late-born national bourgeoisie in such countries has neither the strength nor the courage necessary to revolutionise the old social structures !rom top to bottom, as would be re5uired by the process o! modernisation. 1et us add that, because o! this very !act, the national

proletariat is too wea to play the role assigned to it by the schema o! Hpermanent revolution,H that is, it is too wea to eliminate the old ruling strata and to underta e the process o! trans!ormation that would lead, in an uninterrupted !ashion, !rom the Hbourgeois-democraticH phase through to socialism. *hat can happen thenD $ bac ward society can stagnate and remain stagnant !or a longer or shorter period o! time. 3,his is the situation today o! bac ward countries, whether or not they have been constituted). )as States only recently.4 But this process o! stagnation in !act signi!ies a relative and sometimes an absolute deterioration o! their economic and social situation, as well as a rupture o! the old e5uilibrium built into these societies. $ggravated almost always by apparently HaccidentalH !actors 3which in !act recur inevitably and which are ampli!ied to an in!initely greater degree in a society undergoing disintegration4, each upset in the balance o! these societies turns into a crisis, o!ten coloured by some HnationalH component. ,his can result in an overt and prolonged national-social struggle 3China, $lgeria, Cuba, -ndochina4 or a coup d)etat, almost inevitably military in nature 30gypt4. ,hese two examples exhibit immense di!!erences, but they also share a common point. -n the !irst type o! example 3China, etc.4, the politico-military leadership o! the struggle gradually erects itsel! into an autonomous stratum that manages the HrevolutionH and, a!ter victory, ta es in hand the reconstruction o! the country. ,o this -end, it naturally incorporates all those members o! the old privileged strata who have rallied to its cause while also selecting certain members o! the masses. $nd as the country industrialises, it constitutes these elements into a hierarchical pyramid that will serve as the s eleton o! the new social structure. ,his industrialisation is carried out, o! course, according to the classical methods o! primitive accumulation. ,hese methods involve intense exploitation o! the wor ers and an even more intense exploitation o! the peasantry, who are more or less press-ganged into an industrial army o! labour. -n the second example 30gypt, etc.4, the state-military bureaucracy, while playing a role o! tutelage with regard to the existing privileged strata, does not completely eliminate these strata or the social situation they represent. $lso, one can almost always !oresee that the country will not be !ully trans!ormed and industrialised until there is a !urther violent convulsion. -n both instances, however, what we discover is that the bureaucracy substitutes or tends to substitute itsel! !or the bourgeoisie as the social stratum that carries out the tas o! primitive accumulation.

*e must note that this bureaucracy has e!!ectively shattered the traditional categories o! Marxism. -n no way can it be said that this new social stratum has been constituted and has grown within the womb o! the preceding society. Eor is it born out o! a new mode o! production whose development had become incompatible with the maintenance o! old !orms o! economic and social li!e. -t is, on the contrary the bureaucracy that gives birth to this new mode o! production in the societies we are considering. -t is not itsel! born out o! the normal !unctioning o! society, but rather out o! the inability o! this society to !unction. $lmost without metaphor, we can say that it has its origin in the social void: its historical roots plunge wholly into the !uture. -t obviously ma es no sense to say that the Chinese bureaucracy is the product o! the country)s industrialisation when it would be in!initely more reasonable to say that the industrialisation o! China is the product o! the bureaucracy)s accession to power. *e can only move beyond this antinomy by pointing out that in the present epoch, and short o! a revolutionary solution on an international scale, a bac ward country can industrialise only by becoming bureaucratised. -n the case o! +ussia, one might say that, a!ter the !act, the bureaucracy seems to have !ul!illed the Hhistorical !unctionM o! the P times, or o! the bureaucracy o! a bac ward country today. @p to a certain point, there!ore, the +ussian bureaucracy can be compared to the latter sort o! bureaucracy.,he conditions under which it arose, however, are di!!erent. $nd this di!!erence is due precisely to the !act that the +ussia o! %&%7 was not simply a Hbac wardH country, but a country that, besides its bac wardness, exhibited certain welldeveloped !eatures o! capitalism 3+ussia was, in %&%9, the !i!th strongest industrial power in the world4-so well developed, as a matter o! !act, that it was the theatre o! a proletarian revolution proclaiming itsel! socialist 3long be!ore this word had come to signi!y anything one wants and nothing at all4. ,he !irst bureaucracy to have become a ruling class in its society, the +ussian bureaucracy appears precisely as the end product o! a revolution that everyone thought had given power to the proletariat. -t there!ore represents a third, 5uite speci!ic type 3although in !act it was the !irst clearly to emerge within modern history4: the bureaucracy born !rom the degeneration o! a wor ing-class revolution. -t is this degeneration - even i!, !rom the outset, the +ussian bureaucracy accomplishes such !unctions as Hmanager o! centralised capitalH and acts as the Hstratum !or developing a modern industrial economy by every means available.H Keeping in mind precisely what came a!terward, and recollecting too that the "ctober %&%7 Hsei2ure o! powerH was organised and directed by the Bolshevi party and that this #arty in !act assumed this power as its own !rom day one, in what sense can one say that the "ctober +evolution was proletarian 3that is, i! one re!uses at least to identi!y a class simply with the party claiming power

in that class)s name4D *hy not say-indeed, there has been no lac o! people to say it-that there never was in +ussia anything other than a coup d)etat carried out by a party that, having somehow obtained the support o! the wor ing class, was merely trying to instaurate its own dictatorship and succeeded in doing soD *e have no intention o! discussing this problem in scholastic terms. "ur aim is not to as whether the +ussian +evolution !its into the category o! Hproletarian revolutions.H ,he 5uestion that matters !or us is this: (id the +ussian wor ing class play a historical role o! its own during this period, or was it simply a sort o! in!antry, mobilised in the service o! other, already established !orcesD -n other words, did it appear as a relatively autonomous pole in the struggle and the whirlwind o! actions, organisational !orms, demands, and ideas o! this period, or was it .ust a tool manipulated without great di!!iculty or ris , a relay station !or impulses coming !rom elsewhereD $nyone who has studied the history o! the +ussian +evolution even to the slight degree could answer without hesitation.#etrograd in %&%7 and even a!terward, was neither #rague in %&6? nor Canton in %&6&. ,he proletariat)s independent role was clearly apparent - even, to begin with, by the very way wor ers !loc ed into the ran s o! the Bolshevi party, giving it ma.ority support, which no one could have extorted !rom them or !orced upon them at the time. ,his independent role was also shown by the rapport between the wor ers and this party and by the burden o! the Civil *ar, which they spontaneously too upon themselves. $bove all, however, it is shown by the autonomous actions they themselves undertoo , already in >ebruary and Iuly %&%7 and even more so a!ter "ctober, when they expropriated the capitalists without waiting !or, or even in acting against, the expressed will o! the #arty and when they organised production on their own. >inally, it is shown in the autonomous organs they set up: the soviets, and in particular, the !actory committees. ,he +evolution)s success was made possible only because a vast movement o! total revolt on the part o! the wor ing masses, whose will was to change the conditions o! their existence and rid themselves o! bosses and C2ar, converged with the activity o! the Bolshevi party. -t is true that the Bolshevi party alone, in "ctober %&%7, was able to give articulate expression and an intermediate ob"ective to the aspirations o! the wor ers, the peasants, and the soldiers 3the overthrow o! the #rovisional =overnment4. ,his in no way means, however, that the wor ers were their passive in!antry. *ithout these wor ers, both inside and outside its ran s, the #arty was nothing, neither physically nor politically a !orce to be rec oned with. *ithout the pressure arising !rom their increasing radicalisation, it would not even have adopted a revolutionary line. $nd at no moment, even long months a!ter the sei2ure o!

power, could it be said that the #arty HcontrolledH the movements o! the wor ing masses. ,his convergence, however, which actually culminated in the overthrow o! the #rovisional =overnment and in the !ormation o! a predominantly Bolshevi government, turned out to be temporary. Signs o! a gap between the #arty and the masses appeared rather early on, even though, by its very nature, such a gap could not be grasped in as a clear-cut a way as one between organised political tendencies. ,he wor ers certainly expected o! the +evolution a total change in the conditions o! their existence. ,hey undoubtedly were expecting an improvement in their material conditions- nowing 5uite well that such an improvement would not come about immediately. "nly the narrow-minded would tie the +evolution to this !actor alone - or the wor ers) subse5uent dissatis!action to the new regime)s incapacity to satis!y these hopes !or material advancement. ,he +evolution began, in a certain sense, with a demand !or bread. 1ong be!ore "ctober, however, it had already gone beyond the 5uestion o! bread, and had engaged people)s total, passionate commitment. >or more than three years, the +ussian wor ers put up with the most extreme material privations without !linching. $t the same time, they supplied the bul o! the !orces that were going to de!eat the *hite armies. >or them, it was a 5uestion o! !reeing themselves !rom the oppression o! the capitalist class and o! its State. "rganised in the soviets and in the !actory committees, they !ound it inconceivable, even be!ore but particularly a!ter "ctober, that the capitalists would be allowed to stay on. $nd in chasing them out o! the !actories, they were led to discover that they would have to organise and manage production themselves. ,he wor ers themselves expropriated the capitalists, doing so on their own authority and acting against the line o! the Bolshevi party 3the nationalisation decree o! the summer o! %&%? merely rati!ied what already had been done4. $nd it was the wor ers who got the !actories running once again. $s !or the Bolshevi party, this was not at all what they were a!ter. -nso!ar as the #arty developed any clear-cut line a!ter "ctober 3and contrary to the mythology put out by Stalinists and ,rots yists ali e, it can easily be shown, bac ed up by documentary records, that be!ore and a!ter "ctober the Bolshevi party was totally in the dar as to what it wanted to do a!ter the sei2ure o! power4, it aimed at instaurating in +ussia a Hwell-organi2edH economy along the lines o! the capitalist model o! the time,a !orm o! Hstate capitalismH 3the expression unceasingly used by 1enin4, upon which would be superimposed a Hwor ing-classH political power- in B !act, this power would be exercised by the party o! the Hwor ing class,H the Bolshevi party. HSocialismH 3which e!!ectively implies, 1enin writes without hesitation, the Hcollective management o! productionH4 will come a!terward.

$nd this is not .ust a 5uestion o! a Hline,H o! something simply said or thought. -n its deep-down mentality and in its real attitude, the #arty was permeated !rom top to bottom with the un5uestionable conviction that it ought to lead,direct,manage, in the !ull sense o! theNseO terms.,his conviction, which already existed long be!ore the +evolution began 3as ,rots y showed when he spo e o! the Hcommittee mentalityH in his biography o! Stalin4, was indeed shared by all the socialists o! the era 3with a !ew exceptions, such as +osa 1uxemburg, the =orter-#anne oe tendency in /olland, and the H1e!t CommunistsH in =ermany4.,his conviction was to be tremendously rein!orced by the sei2ure o! power, the Civil *ar, and the #arty)s consolidation o! power. ,rots y himsel! clearly expressed this attitude at the time when he proclaimed the #arty)s Hhistorical birthright.H ,his mentality was more than .ust a mentality: a!ter the sei2ure o! power, it almost immediately became a part o! the real social situation. -ndividually, party members assumed leadership posts in all spheres o! social li!e-in part, o! course, because Hone cannot do otherwise.H ,his in turn, however, came to mean: because everything the #arty did ensured that it could not be done otherwise. Collectively, the only real instance o! power is the #arty, and very soon, only the summits o! the #arty. -mmediately a!ter the sei2ure o! power the soviets as institutions are reduced to the status o! pure window-dressing 3we need only loo at the !act that, already at the beginning o! %&%? in the discussions leading up to the Brest-1itovs #eace ,reaty, their role was absolutely nil4. -! it is true that people)s real social existence determines their consciousness, it is !rom that moment illusory to expect the Bolshevi party to act in any other !ashion than according to its real social position. ,he real social situation o! the #arty is that o! a directorial organ, and its point o! view toward this society hence!orth is not necessarily the same as the one this society has toward itsel!. ,he wor ers o!!ered no serious resistance to this evolution o! events,or rather to this sudden revelation o! the essence o! the Bolshevi party. $t least we have no direct sign o! such resistance. Between the eviction o! the capitalists, !ollowed by the restarting o! the !actories at the beginning o! the revolutionary period, and the #etrograd stri es and the Kronstadt +evolt at its end 3winter o! %&8C-8%4, we now o! no articulate mani!estation o! autonomous activity on the part o! the wor ers.,he Civil *ar and the continuous mobilisation o! military !orces during this period, the serious nature o! immediate practical problems 3production, !ood supplies, etc.4, the very obscurity o! the issues at sta e, and, without doubt, above all the wor ers) con!idence in the #arty explain this lac o! autonomous expression.

,wo elements go to ma e up the wor ers) attitudes in this regard. "n the one hand, the aspiration to rid themselves o! all domination, to ta e the management o! their a!!airs into their hands. "n the other hand, the tendency to delegate power to this party that had .ust proven itsel! to be the sole irreconcilable opponent o! the capitalist class and that was in !act conducting war against this class. ,he opposition, the contradiction, between these two elements was not and, one would be tempted to say, could not have been clearly perceived at this time. -t was seen, however, and with great insight, within the #arty itsel!. >rom the beginning o! %&%? until the banning o! !actions in March %&8%, tendencies within the Bolshevi party were !ormed that, with !arsightedness and sometimes an astonishing clarity, expressed opposition to the #arty)s bureaucratic line and to its very rapid bureaucratisation. ,hese were the H1e!t CommunistsH 3at the beginning o! %&%?4, then the H(emocratic CentralistH tendency 3%&%&4, and !inally the H*or ers) "ppositionH 3%&8C-8%4. "ne will !ind in the #istorical $otes we publish !ollowing $lexandra Kollontai)s text details on the ideas and activities o! these tendencies.-n them were expressed the reactions o! wor ing-class members o! the #arty - and, no doubt, the attitudes o! proletarian circles outside the #arty-to the HstatecapitalistH line o! the leadership. ,hey also expressed at the same time what can be called the Hother componentH o! Marxism, the one that appeals to the masses) own activity and that proclaims that the emancipation o! labouring people will be the wor o! these people themselves. Eevertheless, these oppositional tendencies were de!eated one by one, and !inally eliminated in %&8%, the same time that the Kronstadt revolt was crushed. ,he very !eeble echoes o! their criti5ue o! the bureaucracy that can be !ound later in the 3,rots yist4 H1e!t "ppositionH a!ter %&89 do not have the same signi!ication. ,rots y was opposed to the bad policies o! the bureaucracy and to the excesses o! its power. /e never put into 5uestion its essential nature. @ntil practically the end o! his li!e, he never brought up the 5uestions raised by the various oppositions o! the period !rom %&%? to %&8% 3in essence: H*ho manages productionDH and H*hat is the proletariat supposed to do during the )dictatorship o! the proletariat,) other than wor and !ollow the orders o! )its) partyDH4. *e may there!ore conclude that, contrary to the prevailing mythology, it was not in %&87, or in %&89, or even in %&8% that the game was played and lost, but much earlier, during the period !rom %&%? to %&8C. $lready in %&8%, a revolution in the !ull sense o! the term was needed in order to re-establish the situation. $s events proved, a revolt such as the one at Kronstadt was not enough to bring about any essential changes. ,his warning shot did induce the Bolshevi party to recti!y certain aberrations relative to other problems

3basically those concerning the peasantry and the relationship between the urban and agrarian economy4. -t thus led to a lessening o! the tensions provo ed by the country)s economic collapse and to the beginning o! the reconstruction o! the productive apparatus. ,his reconstruction e!!ort, however, was already !irmly set in the groove o! bureaucratic capitalism. -t was, indeed, between %&%7 and %&8C that the Bolshevi party established itsel! so !irmly in power that it no longer could have been dislodged except by !orce o! arms. $nd it was !rom the beginning o! this period that the uncertainties o! its line were ironed out, the ambiguities li!ted, and the contradictions resolved. -n the new State, the proletariat was to wor , to be mobilised, and, should the need arise, to die in de!ense o! the new power. -t was to give its most HconsciousH and most HcapableH members to HitsH party, where they would become the leaders o! society. -t was to be HactiveH and it had to HparticipateH whenever it was as ed to do so, but it was to do so only and exactly to the extent that the #arty demanded this o! the proletariat. >inally, it was to bow completely to the #arty)s will on all essential matters. $s ,rots y wrote during this period in a text that had an enormous circulation both inside and outside +ussia, H,he wor er does not merely bargain with the Soviet State; no, he is subordinated to the Soviet State, under its orders in every direction-!or it is his State.H ,he role o! the proletariat in the new State was thus 5uite clear. -t was that o! enthusiastic and passive citi2ens. $nd the role o! the proletariat in wor and in production was no less clear. "n the whole, it was the same as be!ore-under capitalism-except that wor ers o! Hcharacter and capacityHwere to be chosen to replace !actory managers who had !led. ,he main concern o! the Bolshevi party during this period was not how one could !acilitate the process o! wor ers) collectives ta ing over the management o! production, but rather was, *hat is the most rapid way o! developing a stratum o! managers and administrators !or industry and !or the economy as a wholeD "ne need only read the official texts o! this period to eliminate all doubts on this score. ,he !ormation and training o! a bureaucracy as the managerial stratum in production 3with the economic privileges that inevitably go along with this status4 was, practically !rom the beginning, the conscious, straight for%ard and sincere policy of the Bolshevik party, headed by &enin and Trotsky. ,his was honestly and sincerely thought to be a socialist policy - or, more precisely, an Hadministrative techni5ueH that could be put in the service o! socialism, since the class o! administrators managing production were to remain under the control o! the wor ing class, Hpersoni!ied by its Communist party.H ,he decision to place a manager at the head o! a !actory instead o! a wor ers) board Nbureau ouvrierO, wrote ,rots y, had no political signi!icance:

-t may be correct or incorrect !rom the point o! view 1 techni5ue o! administration. . . . -t would conse5uently be a most crying error to con!use the 5uestion as to the supremacy o! the proletariat with the 5uestion o! boards o! wor ers at the heads o! !actories. ,he dictatorship o! the proletariat is expressed in the abolition o! private property in the means o! production, in the supremacy over the whole Soviet mechanism o! the collective will o! the wor ers, and not at all in the !orm in which individual economic enterprises are administered. ,rots y)s phrase, Hthe collective will o! the wor ers,H is a metaphorical expression used to designate the will o! the Bolshevi party. ,he Bolshevi bosses stated this without any hypocrisy, unli e certain o! their Hde!endersH today. ,rots y wrote at the time: -n this HsubstitutionH o! the power o! the #arty !or the power o! the wor ing class there is nothing accidental, and in reality there is no substitution at all. ,he Communists express the !undamental interests o! the wor ing class. -t is 5uite natural that in the period which brings up those interests, in all their magnitude, on to the order o! the day, the Communists have become the recognised representatives o! the wor ing class as a whole. "ne can easily !ind do2ens o! 5uotations !rom 1enin expressing the same idea. So we end up with the uncontested power o! managers in the !actories,and the #arty)s exclusive HcontrolH 3in reality, what ind o! control was it, anywayD4. $ there was the uncontested power o! the #arty over society, without any >rom that point on, nobody could prevent these two powers !rom merging, could anyone stop the two strata embodying them !rom merging, nor could the consolidation o! an irremovable bureaucracy ruling over all sectors o! social li!e halted. ,he process may have been accelerated or magni!ied by the entry o! proletarian elements into the #arty, as they rushed to .ump on the bandwagon. this was a conse'uence, and not a cause, o! the #arty)s orientation. -t was during the discussion o! the Htrade-union 5uestionH 3%&8C-8%4, which preceded the ,enth #arty Congress, that opposition to this orientation o! the # was most !orce!ully expressed within the #arty itsel!. >ormally, the 5uestion that o! the role o! the trade unions in the management o! production and o! the economy. ,he discussion inevitably !ocused once again on the problems o! Hone-man managementH in the !actories and on Hthe role o! specialists,H 5uestions that had ready been discussed bitterly and at great length during the

previous two years. Kollontai)s text and in the appended #istorical $otes, the reader will !ind a description o! the various opposing stands on these issues. Brie!ly, the party leadership, with 1enin at its head, rea!!irmed that the management o! production should be in the hands o! individual administrators bourgeois HspecialistsH or wor ers selected !or their Hcharacter and capacityH4 under the control o! the #arty. ,he trade unions were to have the tas s o! educating the wor ers o! de!ending them against the production managers and the state managers. ,rots y demanded the trade unions) complete subordination to the State, their trans!ormation into organs and appendages o! the State 3and o! the #arty4. /is argument al was the same: since we are in a *or ers) State, the State and the wor ers are same thing, and there!ore wor ers have no need !or some separate organ de!end them !rom HtheirH State. ,he *or ers) "pposition demanded that management o! production and o! the economy gradually be entrusted to Hwor ers) collectivesH in the !actories, as these had been organised in the trade unions. ,hey wanted Hone-man managementH to be replaced by a Hcollegial managementH and the role o! specialists and technicians to be reduced. ,he *or ers) "pposition emphasised that the development o! production under postrevolutionary conditions was an essentially social and political problem whose solution depended on the deployment o! the creativity and initiative o! the labouring masses, and that this problem is not merely administrative and technical. -t denounced the increasing bureaucratisation o! the State and o! the #arty 3already at this time, all posts involving responsibility o! the least importance were !illed by nomination !rom above and not election4, as well as the growing separation o! the #arty !rom the wor ers. "n certain points, it is true, the ideas o! the *or ers) "pposition were con!used,and on the whole the discussion seems to have ta en place on a !ormal level, .ust as the solutions proposed by both sides were also !ormal rather than substantive 3the substance, in any case, had already been decided on elsewhere than in the #arty Congresses4. ,hus, the "pposition 3and Kollontai in her text4 did not distinguish clearly between the 3indispensable4 role to be played by specialists and technicians 5ua specialists and technicians, under the control o! wor ers, and the trans!ormation o! these specialists and technicians into unchec ed managers o! the production process. -t developed a general criti5ue o! specialists and technicians without di!!erentiating between the two categories, thus leaving its !lan s exposed to the attac s o! 1enin and ,rots y, who had an easy time showing that there could not be !actories without engineers. >rom this position o! advantage, 1enin and ,rots y came to the astonishing conclusion that this was a su!!icient reason to entrust these engineers with dictatorial managerial powers over the whole operation )the !actory. ,he "pposition !ought !erociously !or Hcollegial,H as opposed to HonemanH management, a !airly !ormal aspect o! the problem 3a collegial !orm o! managemnt can be .ust as bureaucratic as one-man management4, leaving in

the shadows real problem, that o! the true source o! authority. ,hus was ,rots y !ree to say,M,he independence o! the wor ers is determined and measured, not by whether three wor ers or one are placed at the head o! a !actory, but by !actors and phenomena o! a much more pro!ound character.M,his absolved him !rom having to discuss the real problem, which is that o! the relationship between the HoneH or HthreeH men and the collectivity o! producers in the enterprise. ,he "pposition also showed a relative amount o! trade-union !etishism at a time when the unions had already !allen under the practically complete control o! the #arty bureaucracy. ,he continuous HindependenceH o! the trade-union movement, in the period o! the proletarian revolution, is .ust as much an impossibility as the policy o! coalition. ,he trade unions become the most important economic organs o! the proletariat in power. ,hereby they !all under the leadership o! the Communist #arty. Eot only 5uestions o! principle in the trade-union movement, but serious con!licts o! organisation within it, are decided by the Central Committee o! our #arty. ,his being written by ,rots y in response to Kauts yQs criticism o! the antidemocratic character o! Bolshevi power, ,rots y had no reason to exaggerate the extent o! the #arty)s grip over the trade unions. Eevertheless, despite these wea nesses and despite this relative con!usion, the *or ers) "pposition posed the real problem: *ho is to manage production in the H*or ers) StateHD $nd it provided the correct answer: the collective organs o! labouring people. *hat the party leadership wanted, what it had already imposed-and on this point there was no di!!erence between 1enin and ,rots y - was a hierarchy directed !rom above. *e now that this was the conception that triumphed. *e now, too, where this HvictoryH led. -n the struggle between the *or ers) "pposition and the leadership o! the Bolshevi party, we witness how the two contradictory elements o! Marxism became dissociated. ,hese two elements had coexisted in a paradoxical !ashion in Marxism generally and in its incarnation in +ussia in particular. >or the last time in the history o! the o!!icial Marxist movement, the *or ers) "pposition made audible this appeal to the masses to act on their own, this con!idence in the creative capacities o! the proletariat, this conviction that with the socialist revolution commences a genuinely new period in human history, in which the ideas o! the preceding period barely retain any o! their value and in which the edi!ice o! society is to be rebuilt !rom the roots up. ,he "pposition)s theses constitute an attempt to embody these ideas in a political program concerning the !undamentally important domain that is production.

,he triumph o! the 1eninist outloo is the triumph o! the other element o! Marxism, which, to be sure, had long since-and even in Marx himsel!-become the dominant element in socialist thought and action. -n all 1enin)s speeches and writings o! this period, what recurs again and again li e an obsession is the idea that +ussia ought to learn !rom the advanced capitalist countries; that there are not a hundred and one di!!erent ways o! developing production and labour productivity i! one wants to emerge !rom bac wardness and chaos; that one must adopt capitalist methods o! rationalisationH and management as well as capitalist !orms o! wor Hincentives.H $ll these, !or 1enin, are .ust HmeansH that apparently could !reely be placed in the service o! a radically di!!erent historical end, the building o! socialism. ,hus ,rots y, when discussing the merits o! militarism, came to separate the army itsel!, its structure and its methods, !rom the social system it serves. *hat is criticisable in bourgeois militarism and in the bourgeois army, ,rots y says in substance, is that they are in the service o! the bourgeoisie. 0xcept !or that, there is nothing in them to be criticised. ,he sole di!!erence, he says, lies in this: HWho is in po%er(H1i ewise, the dictatorship o! the proletariat is not expressed by the H!orm in which individual economic enterprises are administered.H ,he idea that li e means cannot be placed indi!!erently into the service o! di!!erent ends; that there is an intrinsic relationship between the instruments used and the result obtained; that, especially, neither the army nor the !actory are simple HmeansH or instruments,H but social structures in which are organised two !undamental aspects o! human relations 3production and violence4; that in them can be seen in condensed !orm the essential expression o! the type o! social relations that characterise an era - this idea, though per!ectly obvious and banal !or Marxists, was totally H!orgotten.H -t was .ust a matter o! developing production, using proven methods and structures. ,hat among these Hproo!sH the principal one was the development o! capitalism as a social system and that a !actory produces not so much cloth or steel but proletariat and capital were !acts that were utterly ignored. "bviously, behind this H!orget!ulnessH is hidden something else. $t the time, o! course, there was the desperate concern to revive production as soon as possible and to put a collapsing economy bac on its !eet. ,his preoccupation, however, does not !atally dictate the choice o! Hmeans.H -! it seemed obvious to Bolshevi leaders that the sole e!!ective means were capitalist ones, it was because they were imbued with the conviction that capitalism was the only e!!ective and rational system o! production.>aith!ul in this respect to Marx, they wanted to abolish private property and mar et anarchy, but not the type o! organisation capitalism had achieved at the point o! production. ,hey wanted to modi!y the economy, not the relations between people at wor or the nature o! labour itsel!.

$t a deeper level still,their philosophy was to develop the !orces o! production./ere too they were the !aith!ul inheritors o! Marx - or at least one side o! Marx, which became the predominant one in his mature writings. ,he development o! the !orces o! production was, i! not the ultimate goal, at any rate the essential means, in the sense that everything else would !ollow as a by-product and that everything else had to be subordinated to it. Men, as wellD Men, too, o! course. H$s a general rule, man strives to avoid labour . . . man is a !airly la2y animal.H,o combat this indolence, all means o! proven e!!ectiveness must be put to wor : compulsory labor-whose character changes completely when it is imposed by a Hsocialist dictatorshipH-and available technical and economic means: @nder capitalism, the system o! piece-wor and o! grading, the application o! the ,aylor system, etc., have as their ob.ect to increase the exploitation o! the wor ers by the s5uee2ing out o! surplus value. @nder socialist production, piece-wor , bonuses, etc., have as their problem to increase the volume o! social product, and conse5uently to raise the general well-being. ,hose wor ers who do more !or the general interests than others receive the right to a greater 5uantity o! the social product than the la2y, the careless, and the disorgani2ers. ,his isn)t Stalin spea ing 3in %&9&4, it is ,rots y 3in %&%&4. ,he socialist reorganisation o! production during the initial period is inconceivable without some Hwor obligationH-who does not wor does not eat. ,hat is certain. ,here probably also will be an attempt to standardise the amount o! e!!ort !urnished by various shops and enterprises, which would re5uire the establishment o! certain norms and indices o! wor . $ll ,rots y)s sophisms about the !act that H!ree labourH has never existed in history and will not exist until there is !ull communism should not ma e anyone !orget, however, the crucial 5uestion: *ho establishes these normsD *ho controls people)s wor obligations, and who punishes those who do not !ul!ill these obligationsD *ill it be the organi2ed collectives o! labouring peopleD "r a speci!ic social category, whose !unction there!ore is to manage the wor o! othersD ,o manage the wor o! others -this is the beginning and the end o! the whole cycle o! exploitation. ,he HneedH !or a speci!ic social category to manage the wor o! others in production 3and the activity o! others in politics and in society4, the HneedH !or a separate business management and !or a #arty to rule the State - this is what Bolshevism proclaimed as soon as it sei2ed power, and this is what it 2ealously laboured to impose. *e now that it achieved its ends. -nso!ar as ideas play a role in the development o! history - and, in the final analysis, they play an enormous role-the Bolshevi ideology 3and with it,

the Marxist ideology lying behind it4 was a decisive !actor in the birth o! the +ussian bureaucracy.

%$' MA&+IS% P$I(OSOP$) OF $IS%O&) ,he marxist theory o! history claims in the !irst place to be scienti!ic, i.e. to be a generalisation susceptible to validation or challenge at the level o! empirical research. $s a scienti!ic theory, which it undoubtedly is, it was inevitable that it should share the !ate o! every important such theory. +aving produced an enormous and irreversible upheaval in our way o! loo ing at the historical world, it is itsel! overta en by the research it has unleashed and must !ind its place in the history o! theories. ,his does not minimise what it be5ueaths. "ne can say then, li e Che =uevara, that it is no more necessary today to proclaim that one is a Marxist than it is necessary to assert that one is a #asteurian or a Eewtonian - provided we now exactly what we mean thereby. 0veryone is a Eewtonian, in the sense that nobody would return to the way o! posing problems, or to the categories people used be!ore Eewton. But at the same time, no one is really a Eewtonian, !or no one can .ust go on de!ending a theory that is purely and simply !alse. 3%4 But at the roots o! the marxist theory o! history there is a philosophy o! history pro!oundly and contradictorily woven into it, and itsel! !ull o! contradictions as we shall see. ,his philosophy is neither ornament nor complement: it is the very !oundation o! the theory. -t is .ust as much the basis o! how marxism loo s at past history as o! its current political conceptions and o! its perspectives and programme !or revolution. ,he essential thing is that it is a rationalist philosophy. $nd, li e all rationalist philosophies, the marxist philosophy o! history provides itsel!, in advance, with the answers to all the problems it raises. O,lecti*ist rationalism ,he marxist philosophy o! history is !irst and !oremost an example o! ob.ectivist rationalism. *e see it already when marxism see s to tac le the past. ,he ob.ect studied is seen as a natural ob.ect: the model applied to it is analogous to models drawn !rom the natural sciences. >orces, acting at de!ined points, produce predetermined results according to a great schema o! causality which has to explain the statics o! history as well as its dynamics, the structure and the !unctioning o! each society as well as the instability and upheavals that will lead history to produce new !orms. #ast history is thus rational, in the sense that everything that happened in it happened in accordance with per!ectly ade5uate causes, penetrable by our reason, as it stood in %?'&. $ccording to this theory, the real is per!ectly explicable. -n principle, it is already explained. 3"ne can write monographs on the economic causes o! the birth o! -slam in the 7th century: these will )veri!y) the materialist conception o! history but will teach us nothing about it.4 /umanity)s past

con!orms to reason. 0verything in it has a de!inite reason, and together these reasons constitute a coherent and exhaustive system. But !uture history is .ust as rational. -t will carry reason into e!!ect, and this time in a second sense: in the sense not only o! the !act itsel! but o! the value attached to it. >uture history will be what it ought to be. -t will witness the birth o! a rational society which will embody the aspirations o! humanity, where man ind will !inally be human - that is its existence will coincide with its essence and its e!!ective will realise its concept. >inally, history is rational in a third sense: that o! the lin between the past and the !uture, o! !acts which will necessarily become values, o! this set o! blind 5uasi-natural laws which blindly generate the least blind situation o! all: that o! liberated humanity. ,he reason immanent in all things will produce a society miraculously in eeping with our own reason. *e can see, in all this, that /egelianism is not really transcended. $ll that is real, and all that will be real, is and will be rational. ,hat /egel stops this reality and this rationality at the point in time when his own philosophy appears on the scene, while Marx prolongs them inde!initely up to and into communist humanity, does not invalidate what we say. -t rein!orces it. ,he empire o! reason which, in /egel)s case, embraced 3by a necessary speculative postulate4 all that is already given, now extends to encompass all that can ever be given in history. ,he !act that what can be said now concerning the !uture becomes increasingly vague the !urther one moves !rom the present is due to contingent limitations to our nowledge - and even more to the !act that today)s tas s are on today)s agenda and that they do not include )providing recipes !or the socialist coo shops o! the !uture). But this !uture is already !ixed in its principles: it will be liberty, .ust as the present is - and the past was - necessity. ,here is there!ore a )Cunning o! +eason), as old /egel used to say. ,here is a +eason at wor in history which ensures that past history is comprehensible, that !uture history is desirable, and that the apparently blind necessity o! !acts is secretly arranged in such a way as to give birth to what is good. Iust stating this idea is enough to shed light on the extraordinary number o! problems which it mas s. *e can only deal with some o! them, and that brie!ly. -eterminism ,o claim that past history is comprehensible, as does the marxist conception o! history, is to say that there exists in history a causal determinism without )important) exceptions. 384 -t is also to claim that this determinism carries - at

one remove, so to spea - meanings lin ed together in totalities which are themselves bearers o! meaning. Eeither o! these ideas can be accepted without !urther discussion. *e certainly cannot thin o! history without re!erence to the category o! causality. Contrary to what the idealist philosophers said, history is the area par excellence where causality ma es sense to us: !or it assumes there, at the very outset, the !orm o! motivation. *e can there!ore understand the )causal) concatenation in it, something we can never do in the case o! natural phenomena. $n electric current ma es the bulb glow. ,he law o! gravity causes the moon to be in such and such a place in the s y at such and such a time. ,hese are, and !or us will always remain, external connexions: necessary, predictable, but incomprehensible. But i! $ treads on B)s toes, B swears at him, and $ responds with blows, we understand the necessity o! the lin s even i! we consider them contingent. 3*e can reproach the participants !or having let themselves be carried away when they should have controlled themselves - while we now all the time, !rom our own experience, that at certain moments one cannot stop onesel! !rom being carried away.4 More generally, we constantly thin and act out our lives 3and envisage that o! others4 in terms o! causality - whether it be in terms o! motivation or o! the choice o! the indispensable technical means; whether it be that a result is achieved because one has deliberately created the conditions o! its achievement or whether it be that there are inevitable, even i! unwanted, e!!ects !rom one)s actions. ,he causal exists in social and historical li!e because there is )a sub.ective rationality): the deployment o! Carthaginian troops at Cannes 3and their victory4 !lows !rom a rational plan devised by /annibal. ,he causal also exists because there is an )ob.ective rationality), because natural causal relations and purely logical necessities are constantly present in historical relations: under certain technical and economic conditions, steel production and coal extraction stand in a constant and 5uanti!iable relationship to one another 3more generally, in a !unctional relationship4. $nd there is also a )raw causality) which we can perceive without being able to reduce it to sub.ective or ob.ective rational relationships. ,here are established correlations o! which we do not now the !oundations, regularities o! behaviour, individual or social, which remain .ust !acts. ,he existence o! these causal relations o! various inds allows us - beyond a simple understanding o! the behaviour o! individuals and o! its regularity - to gather these behaviour patterns together into )laws) and to give to these laws an abstract expression, !rom which the )real) content o! the behaviour o! living individuals has been eliminated. ,hese laws can then provide a basis !or satis!actory predictions 3veri!iable to a given degree o! probability4. >or example, there is in the economic !unctioning o! capitalism an extraordinary

number o! observable and measurable regularities. $s a !irst approximation we may call them )laws). ,hey ensure that in many o! its aspects this !unctioning seems both explainable and comprehensible and that it is, up to a point, predictable. 0ven beyond the economy, there are a number o! partial )ob.ective dynamics) *e !ind it impossible, however, to integrate these into a total determinism o! the system, and that !or reasons 5uite di!!erent !rom those that express the crisis o! determinism in modern physics. -t is not that determinism collapses or becomes problematic at the limits o! the system, or that crac s develop in the latter. ,he opposite is rather the case: it is as i! some aspects, some areas only o! society were governed by determinism, while themselves bathed in a mass o! non-determinist relations. -t is important to understand what this impossibility is due to. ,he partial dynamics which we establish are o! course incomplete. ,hey constantly re!er to each other. $ny modi!ication o! one modi!ies all the others. But i! this gives rise to immense problems in practice it creates no di!!iculties o! principle. -n the physical world too relations are only valid )all other things being e5ual). ,he impossibility we are discussing does not stem !rom the complexity o! the social material, it arises !rom its very nature. -t stems !rom the !act that the social 3or the historical4 contain the non-causal as an essential ingredient. ,his non-causal appears at two levels. ,he !irst, which is the least important to us here, is that o! deviations between the real behaviour o! individuals and their )typical) behaviour. ,his introduces an unpredictable element. But it would not, as such, prevent the problems !rom being tac led in a determinist way, at least at an aggregate level. i! these deviations are systematic they can themselves be sub.ected to causal investigation. i! they are random, they can be treated statistically. ,he unpredictability o! the movement o! individual molecules has not prevented the inetic theory o! gases !rom being one o! the most rigorous branches o! physics. -t is in !act this very individual unpredictableness which generates the extraordinary power o! the theory. CBut the non-causal also appears at another level, and it is this one which is important. -t appears not simply as unpredictable behaviour but as creative behaviour, the creative behaviour o! individuals, groups, classes, whole societies. -t asserts itsel! not as a simple deviation !rom the prevailing type but as the positing o! new behaviour patterns, as the institution o! new social rules, as the invention o! a new ob.ect or !orm - in short, as an emergence or creation which cannot be deduced !rom what was there be!ore, as a conclusion which exceeds the premises or as a positing o! new premises. -t has already been noted that living beings go beyond the realm o! simple mechanism because they are capable o! giving new answers in new situation. But the

historical being exceeds the merely biological 3or living4 being because he can give new responses to the same situations, or create !lew situations. /istory cannot be thought o! according to the determinist schema 3or, indeed, according to any simple )dialectical) schema4 because it is the realm o! creation. *e shall ta e up this point again later. %he chain of meanings and the 'cunning of reason' Beyond the problem o! determinism in history lies the problem o! )historical% signi!ications. -n the !irst -nstance history appears as the scene o! the conscious actions o! conscious beings. But this obviousness collapses as soon as we examine it more closely. *e then !ind, with 0ngels, that )history is the realm o! conscious intentions and unwanted ends). ,he real results o! historical action are practically never those which their per!ormers had intended. ,hat isn)t, perhaps, so hard to understand. *hat creates a central problem is that these results, which no one had wanted as such, present themselves as )coherent) in a certain way. ,hey possess a )signi!ication) and seem to obey a logic which is neither a )sub.ective) logic 3carried by a consciousness, or posited by someone4, nor an )ob.ective) logic, li e the one we believe we detect in nature. *e shall call it an historical logic. /undreds o! bourgeois, visited or not by the spirit o! Calvin, or struc by notions o! this-worldly asceticism, begin to accumulate. ,housands o! ruined cra!tsmen and starving peasants !ind themselves available to enter the !actories. Someone invents a steam engine, someone else a new weaving loom. #hilosophers and physicists see to conceptualise the universe as a gigantic machine and to discover its laws. Kings continue to impose their authority on - and simultaneously to emasculate - the nobility. ,hey create national institutions. 0ach o! the individuals and groups in 5uestion pursues his own ends. Eo one aims at the social totality as such. ,he result however is o! a 5uite di!!erent order: it is capitalism. -t is 5uite immaterial, in this context, that the result might have been totally determined by the causes and conditions, ta en as a whole. 1et us admit, !or the sa e o! argument, that one can show !or each o! these !acts 3up to and including the colour o! Colbert)s breeches4 all the multi-dimensional causal connexions lin ing them to one another, and lin ing all o! them to the )initial conditions o! the system). *hat is important here is that their outcome has a coherence which no person or thing wanted or could guarantee to start with - or subse5uently. ,he result has a signi!ication 3or rather appears to embody a virtually in- exhaustible system o! signi!ications4, so that there is well and truly a sort o! historical entity that is the capitalist system.

,his signi!ication appears in many ways. ,hrough all the causal connexions and beyond them it con!ers a sort o! unity upon the !eatures o! capitalist society and enables us to recognise immediately, in a particular phenomenon, a phenomenon o! this culture. -t allows us immediately to classi!y as belonging to this period ob.ects, boo s, instruments, phrases o! which we might now nothing else, and to exclude !rom this culture, .ust as immediately, a host o! other ob.ects. -t appears as the simultaneous existence o! an in!inite set o! possibilities, and o! an in!inite set o! -impossibilities given, so to spea , !rom the outset. -t appears moreover in the !act that all which happens within the system is not only produced according to something we might call the )spirit &! the system), but contributes to rein!orce it 3even when it opposes the system and see s -at the limit - to overthrow it as a real order4. 0verything happens as i! this overall signi!ication o! the system was given, in some way, in advance, as i! it )predetermined) and over-determined the causal se5uences and lin s, sub.ecting them to itsel!, compelling them to produce results compatible with an )intention) which, o! course, is no more than a metaphorical expression, given that it is no one)s intention. Marx says somewhere that )i! there was no element o! chance, history would be magic -a pro!oundly true phrase. But the astonishing thing is that chance itsel!, in history, ta es on most o! the time the !orm o! meaning!ul chance, o! )ob.ective) chance. ,he )by chance, no doubt) o! popular irony captures it very well. *hat is it that gives to the innumerable gestures, actions, thoughts, individual and collective behaviour patterns which ma e up a society this overall unity o! a particular world, where a certain order 3an order o! meaning, not necessarily an order o! causes and e!!ects4 can always be !ound woven into the texture o! chaosD *hat gives great historical events that appearance, which is more than appearance, o! an admirably thought out and directed tragedyD $t times it seems as i! the obvious errors o! the actors could not in any way stop the result being achieved; as i! the )internal logic) o! the process was capable o! inventing and producing, at the desired moment, the )stops) and the )goes), all the corrections and all the )special e!!ects) necessary !or the process to proceed to its conclusion. $nd at other times the actor, till now in!allible, ma es the one and only mista e in his li!e, in its turn indispensable to produce the )aimed at) result. ,his signi!ication, already other than that actually lived through the particular acts o! given individuals, poses, as such, an altogether inexhaustible problem. >or the signi!icant cannot be reduced to the causal. ,he signi!icant builds up an order o! concatenations which are separate !rom and yet inextricably woven into the concatenations o! causality. Coherence in society

1et us consider !or example the 5uestion o! the coherence o! a given society be it a primitive society or a capitalist one. *hat is it that ensures that this society )holds together)D *hat is it that ensures that the rules 3legal or moral4 which regulate the behaviour o! its adults are in eeping with their motivations, and that they are not only compatible but deeply and mysteriously related to the society)s method o! wor and productionD /ow is it that all this, in turn, corresponds to the structure o! the !amily, to how mothers breast!eed their in!ants, to weaning, to the bringing up o! childrenD /ow is it that there is a de!inite structure o! the human personality in that particular culture, including its particular neuroses 3and no others4 -and that all this coordinates itsel! with one world-view, one religion, such and such a manner o! eating or o! dancingD *hen studying a primitive society 394 one sometimes has the giddy impression that a team o! psychoanalysts, economists, sociologists, etc. , o! superhuman capacity and nowledge, has wor ed in advance on the problem o! its coherence, has made laws setting out the rules that would ensure it. 0ven i! our ethnologists, while analysing the !unctions o! such a society and revealing it to us, introduce more coherence than there actually is, this impression is not, and cannot be, totally illusory. $!ter all, these societies !unction. ,hey are stable. ,hey are even sel!stabilising and capable o! absorbing important shoc s 3except, obviously, that o! contact with )civilisation)4. ,o be sure, the mystery o! this coherence can be vastly reduced through causal considerations. ,his is what is involved in the )exact) study o! a society. i! adults behave in a certain !ashion, it is because they were brought up in a certain way; i! the religion o! a people contains such and such and element, it is because it corresponds to the )basic personality) o! the culture in 5uestion; i! the authority relations are organised in a particular way, this is due to these particular economic !actors, or vice versa, etc. But this causal reduction does not exhaust the problem it only gradually strips it to the bone. ,he lin s which it detects, !or instance, are those between individual acts situated in a prede!ined !ramewor . ,he !ramewor is both that o! a social li!e already coherent at any moment as a concrete totality 364 3!or without such a coherence there would be no individual acts4, and o! a collection o! rules both explicit and implicit, o! an organisation, o! a structure which is at one and the same time both an aspect o! this totality and something di!!erent !rom it. ,he rules are themselves the product, in some respects, o! that social li!e. -n a number o! instances 3hardly ever in primitive societies, more o!ten in the case o! historical societies4 we can insert their emergence into a pattern o! social causation 3!or example !ree competition and the abolition o! ser!dom, introduced by the bourgeoisie, serve the ends o! the bourgeoisie and are explicitly desired !or this reason4. But even when one succeeds in )producing) the rules in such a manner, the !act remains that their authors were not, and could not have been, conscious o! the totality o! their results and o! their implications - and yet these results and implications were inexplicably

)harmonised) with what already existed or with what others were producing, at the same time, in other areas o! the social scene. 3'4 -n most instances, conscious )authors) 5uite simply did not exist. ,he evolution o! !orms o! !amily li!e, !undamental to the understanding o! all cultures, did not depend on explicit legislative acts. Still less did such acts stem !rom an awareness o! obscure psychoanalytical mechanisms, at wor in the !amily. ,here also remains the !act that these rules are given at the point o! departure o! each society 3:4 and that they are coherent with each other, whatever the distance between the areas they cover. 3*hen we tal o! coherence in this context, we ta e the word in its widest possible sense: !or a given society even crisis and being torn apart can, in a certain way, be mani!estations o! coherence, !or they are inserted in its !unctioning. ,hey are never !ollowed by a total collapse, by a pure and simple atomisation. ,hey are its crises and its incoherence. ,he great depression o! %&8&, li e the two world wars, are entirely )coherent) mani!estations o! capitalism. -t is not simply that they are integrated into its concatenations o! causality, but also that they promote the !unctioning, 5ua !unctioning, o! the system. -n their very meaninglessness we can still see in many ways the meaning o! capitalism.4 ,here is a second reduction we can apply. ,here is no reason to be surprised i! all current and past societies are coherent. By de!inition, only coherent societies are observable. Eon-coherent societies would have collapsed immediately and we wouldn)t be able to tal about them. ,his idea, important as it is, does not put an end to the discussion either. -t would only enable us to )understand) the coherence o! the societies we are loo ing at by re!erence to a process o! )trial and error), whereby only viable societies would have survived by some sort o! natural selection. But already in biology, where evolution has many millions o! years at its disposal and where there is an in!initely rich process o! contingent variations, natural selection through trial and error does not seem a su!!icient answer to the problem o! the origin o! species. )Biable) !orms seem to be produced !ar more o!ten that the statistical probability o! their appearance would predict. -n history, this re!erence to random variations and to a process o! selection seems gratuitous, Besides, the problem is posed at a previous level 3in biology, too:4: the disappearance o! peoples and nations described by /erodotus may well have been the outcome o! their encounter with other peoples who crushed or absorbed them; nevertheless the !ormer already had an organised and coherent way o! li!e, which would have continued had not the encounter occurred. $nyway, we have seen with our own eyes, literally or metaphorically, the birth o! new societies and we now things don)t happen li e this. Between the %9th and the %&th century, we don)t see an enormous number o! di!!erent types o! society appearing -n 0urope, all o! which bar one disappear because incapable o! surviving. *e see a di!!erent phenomenon: the birth 3accidental, in relation to the system preceding it4 o!

the bourgeoisie, which through thousands o! contradictory rami!ications and mani!estations, !rom the 1ombard ban ers to Calvin, and !rom =iordano Bruno to the use o! the compass, causes the appearance !rom the outset o! a coherent meaning which will go on developing and strengthening itsel!. On the &ussian &e*olution ,hese considerations allow one to grasp a second aspect o! the problem. -t isn)t only in the structure o! a society that we see how a system o! signi!ications imposes itsel! upon a networ o! causes. *e see it also in the succession o! historical societies or, more simply, in each historical process. 1et us loo , !or instance, at the process, already touched upon, whereby the bourgeoisie emerged. "r better still, let us loo at one we thin we now so well, which led !irst to the +ussian +evolution o! %&%7, and subse5uently to the power o! the bureaucracy. -t isn)t possible here, and it is hardly necessary, to recall the causes deep at wor in +ussian society which were leading it towards a second violent social crisis a!ter that o! %&C', and which were allocating roles to the main actors o! the drama in the person o! the basic classes o! society. -t doesn)t seem di!!icult !or us to understand that +ussian society was pregnant with revolution, or that in this revolution the wor ing class was going to play a decisive role. *e won)t dwell on it. But this comprehensible necessity remains )sociological) and abstract. -t has to be mani!ested through de!inite processes. -t must embody itsel! in acts 3or omissions4 dated and signed by particular individuals and groups, ending up with the appropriate result. Eecessity has also to !ind combined, at the outset, a mass o! conditions whose presence wasn)t always guaranteed by the very !actors which generated the )general necessity) o! revolution. "ne aspect o! the 5uestion, a minor one i! you li e but which allows one to see easily and clearly what we are driving at, is that o! the role o! individuals. ,rots y, in his /istory o! the +ussian +evolution, certainly doesn)t neglect it. /e is himsel! sometimes sei2ed with an astonishment, which he conveys to his readers, when con!ronted with the per!ect ade5uacy o! the character o! people !or the )historic roles) they will be called upon to play. /e is also struc by the !act that when the situation )demands) a person o! a given type, this person somehow emerges 3one recalls the parallels he draws between Eicholas -- and 1ouis RB-, between the ,sarina and Marie $ntoinette4. *hat then is the ey to this mysteryD ,rots y)s answer still seems sociological: everything in the li!e and historical existence o! a decadent privileged class leads it to produce individuals without ideas and without character. i! a di!!erent type o! individual were exceptionally to appear, he could do nothing with this particular social !abric, and he could do nothing against )historical necessity). "n the other hand, everything in the li!e and

existence o! a revolutionary class tends to produce individuals o! hardened temperament, with strongly-held opinions. ,his answer contains without doubt a large part o! truth. Aet it is not su!!icient. "r rather it says both too much and not enough. -t says too much because it ought to be valid in all cases, whereas it is only valid where the revolution has been victorious. *hy did the /ungarian proletariat only produce as )hardened) leader a Bela Kun !or whom ,rots y never has enough scorn!ul ironyD *hy could not the =erman wor ing class recognise - and eventually replace - +osa 1uxemburg and Karl 1ieb nechtD *here was the >rench 1enin in %&9:D C,o say that in these cases the situation was not ripe !or the appropriate leaders to appear is precisely to abandon the sociological interpretation, which can legitimately lay claim to a certain comprehensibility, and to rcturn to the mystery o! particular situations which either )demand) or )!orbid). Besides, the situation which ought to !orbid sometimes doesn)t. >or hal! a century now the ruling classes have been able to provide themselves with leaders who, whatever their historical role was, have been neither #rince 1vovs nor Kerens ys. But the explanation doesn)t say enough either, !or it cannot explain why chance is excluded !rom the buisness in the very place where it appears to be at wor in the most blinding !ashion, why chance always operates )in the right direction), and why the in!inite number o! possible events which would operate in other directions never materialise. >or the revolution to come about we need the wea ness, !labbiness and inertia o! the ,sar. *e need the character o! the ,sarina. *e need +asputin and the absurdities o! the Court. *e need Kerens y and Kornilov. 1enin and ,rots y must return to #etrograd, and !or this we need a mista en reasoning on the part o! the =erman =eneral Sta!! and another by the British government, not to mention all the pneumococci and diphtheria bacilli which conscientiously avoided these two persons ever since their birth. ,rots y puts the 5uestion s5uarely: without 1enin, would the revolution have been completedD $!ter discussing the matter, he tends to answer )no). *e are inclined to thin that he is right, and moreover that one could say .ust as much about ,rots y himsel!. 374 But in what sense can we say that the internal necessities o! the revolution guaranteed the appearance o! individuals li e 1enin and ,rots y, their survival until %&%7, and their more than improbable presence in #etrograd at the right momentD *e are compelled to note that the signi!ication o! the revolution a!!irms and completes itsel! through chains o! causes bearing no relationship to it, but nonetheless inexplicably bound up with it. ,he emergence o! the bureaucracy in +ussia a!ter the revolution enables us to envisage the problem at yet another level. -n this case too, analysis lets us see deep and understandable !actors at wor , upon which we can)t dwell again here. 3?4 ,he birth o! the bureaucracy in +ussia was certainly not a chance occurrence. ,he proo! is that bureaucratisation has since then increasingly appeared as the dominant trend o! the modern world. But to understand the

bureaucratisation o! capitalist countries we call upon the tendencies immanent in the organisation o! production, o! the economy and o! the state under capitalism. ,o understand the origins o! the bureaucracy in +ussia, we re!er to totally di!!erent processes, such as the relationship between the revolutionary class and )its) party, the )maturity) o! the !ormer and the ideology o! the latter. Eow, !rom the sociological point o! view, there is no doubt that the canonical !orm o! the bureaucracy is that which emerges at an advanced stage in the development o! capitalism. Aet the bureaucracy which !irst appeared historically was that which arose in +ussia, on the very morrow o! the revolution, on the social and material ruins o! capitalism; it is even this bureaucracy which, through a thousand direct and indirect in!luences, has strongly induced and accelerated the movement towards bureaucratisation within capitalism. 0verything happened as though the modern world was pregnant with bureaucracy - and that to produce it it was ready to bring all grist to its mill, including some which seemed least appropriate such as marxism, the wor ers) movement and the proletarian revolution. On retros#ecti*e rationalisation $s with the problem o! the coherence o! a society, there is here again a causal reduction which one can and should operate - and this is precisely what an exact and reasoned study o! history consists o!. But this causal reduction, as we have .ust seen, does not abolish the problem. $n illusion must then be eliminated: the illusion o! retrospective rationalisation. ,he historical material, in which we cannot help seeing lin s between meanings, well de!ined entities, one might even say a personal aspect - the #eloponnesian *ar, the Spartacus rrevolt, the +e!ormation, the >rench +evolution - has itsel! cast our idea o! what historical meaning - or a historical !igure - is. ,hese particular events have taught us what an event is, and the rationality we later detect in them only surprises us because we have !orgotten that we had ourselves !irst extracted it !rom them. *hen /egel more or less asserts that $lexander had o! necessity to die at the age o! thirty three, because it was o! the essence o! a hero to die young and that one could not imagine an old $lexander, and when he thus builds up an accidental !ever into the mani!estion o! +eason hidden in history, we note that our image o! what a hero is was precisely !orged out o! the real case o! $lexander and other similar ones, and that there is there!ore nothing surprising i! one discovers in the event a !orm which constituted itsel! !or us through the event. Similar demysti!ications are needed in many cases. But even this won)t exhaust the problem. >irstly, because here too we meet something similar to what happens in our nowledge o! nature 3&4: when one has reduced all that appears rational in the physical world to the rationalising activity o! the cognisant sub.ect, there still remains the !act that this a-rational world should be such that this activity can impinge upon it, which excludes its being

chaotic. Secondly, because the historical meaning 3that -s to say, a meaning which surpasses the meaning e!!ectively lived and carried by individuals4 seems truly pre-constituted in the material which history o!!ers us. ,o eep to the !ore-mentioned example,the myth o! $chilles who also died young 3and o! numerous other heroes who shared the same !ate4 was not !orged on the basis o! the example o! $lexander 3it was rather the other way round4. 3%C4 ,he meaning expressed by the phrase: ),he hero dies young) seems !rom way bac to have !ascinated humanity in spite o! - or because o! - the absurdity it denotes. +eality seems to have provided enough support !or it to become )obvious). -n the same way the myth o! the birth o! a hero 3N%4 presents throughout very di!!erent epochs and in very di!!erent cultural environments similar !eatures 3!eatures which simultaneously de!orm and reproduce real !acts4. @ltimately, all myths bear witness to how !acts and signi!ications are mingled in historical reality long be!ore the rationalising consciousness o! the historian or o! the philosopher appears on the scene. ,hirdly, because history seems constantly dominated by tendencies, because one encounters in it a sort o! )internal logic) o! its processes which con!ers a central place to a signi!ication or complex o! signi!ications 3we re!erred earlier to the birth and development o! the bourgeoisie and o! the bureaucracy4, lin s with one another causal se5uences which have no internal connexion, and provides itsel! with all the necessary )accidental) conditions. ,he !irst surprise one experiences on loo ing at history is to note that in truth, had Cleopatra)s nose been shorter, the !ace o! the world would have been changed. ,he second, even greater surprise, is to note that these noses did have, most o! the time, the re5uired dimensions. %he im#ossi,le synthesis ,here is there!ore a central problem: there are signi!ications which go beyond the immediate signi!ications experienced and lived in reality, and they are conveyed by causal mechanisms which, in themselves, have no signi!ication or not that particular signi!ication. Sensed by humanity !rom time immemorial, explicitly although metaphorically posited in both myth and tragedy 3in which necessity ta es the !orm o! accident4, the problem was clearly envisaged by /egel. But /egel)s answer, namely the )cunning o! +eason), which so arranges things as to rope into its own historical !ul!ilment events which appear to have no signi!ication, is evidently only a phrase. -t resolves nothing. $nd it is ultimately part o! the old mumbo-.umbo about the ways o! #rovidence. *ith marxism, the problem becomes even more acute. >or marxism simultaneously maintains the notion o! signi!ications assignable to events and to whole slices o! history, asserts more than any other conception the power o! the internal logic o! historical processes, adds up these signi!ications into a single, already given, signi!ication !or history as a whole 3namely the creation

o! communism4 -and claims it can totally reduce the level o! signi!ications to the level o! causations. ,he two poles o! the contradiction are thus pushed to the limit o! their depth, but their synthesis remains purely verbal. *hen 1u acs says 3see ing to show that Marx had, in this respect too, solved the problem which /egel could only pose4 that )the Hcunning o! reasonH can only be something more than mythology i! real reason is discovered and shown in a really concrete way. -t is then a genial explanation !or as yet non-conscious phases o! history), he 31u acs4 isn)t really saying anything. -t is not only that this )real reason shown in a really concrete way) boils down !or Marx to technico-economic !actors and that the latter are insu!!icient, at the level o! causality itsel! integrally to )explain) how the results arose. ,he 5uestion is how can technico-economic !actors have a rationality which vastly exceeds themD /ow can their operation throughout the whole o! history embody a unity o! signi!ication which is itsel! the bearer o! another unity o! signi!ication, expressed at another levelD -t is already to do !irst violence to the !acts to trans!orm technico-economic evolution into a )dialectic o! the productive !orces). -t is to do violence to them again to superimpose on this dialectic another, which produces !reedom out o! necessity. ,he third violence is to claim that the !ormer can be totally reduced to the latter. 0ven i! communism could simply be reduced to the 5uestion o! the ade5uate development o! productive !orces, and even i! this development !lowed inexorably !rom the !unctioning o! ob.ective laws established in all certainty, the mystery would remain total. >or how could the !unctioning o! blind laws produce a result which, !or humanity, has both a signi!ication and a positive valueD 0ven more precisely and stri ingly, this mystery is again encountered in the marxist idea o! an ob.ective dynamic o! the contradictions o! capitalism. More precisely, because the idea is buttressed by a speci!ic analysis o! capitalist economics. More stri ingly, because here are added a series o! negative signi!ications. "n the sur!ace the mystery seems to be resolved: one shows, in the !unctioning o! the economic system, the concatenations o! causes and e!!ects which lead the system to its crisis, and prepare the crossing to a new social order. -n reality the mystery remains complete. -n accepting the marxist analysis o! the capitalist economy we would !ind ourselves con!ronted with a uni5ue, coherent and oriented dynamic o! contradictions, with the chimera represented by a beauti!ul rationality o! the irrational, with the philosophical riddle o! a world o! non-meaning which would produce meanings at all levels and would !inally !ul!il our desires. -n !act the analysis is !alse and the pro.ection implicit in its conclusions is obvious. But never mind. ,he riddle exists in actual !act, and marxism does not solve it, !ar !rom it. By asserting that everything should be grasped in terms o! causation, and that at the same time everything should be envisaged in terms o! signi!ication, by claiming that there is a single and immense causal chain, which is at the same time a single and immense concatenation o! meanings, marxism exacerbates the two

component poles o! the riddle to the point o! ma ing it impossible to thin o! it rationally. Marxism does not there!ore transcend the philosophy o! history. -t is merely another philosophy o! history. ,he rationality it seems to extract !rom the !acts is a rationality which it actually imposes upon them. ,he )historical necessity) o! which it spea s 3in the usual sense o! this expression, namely that o! a concatenation o! !acts leading history towards progress4 in no way di!!ers, philosophically spea ing, !rom hegelian +eason. -n both cases one is dealing with a truly theological type o! human alienation. $ communist #rovidence, which would so have pre-ordained history as to produce our !reedom, is nevertheless a #rovidence. -n both cases one eliminates the central concern o! any re!lex-ion: the rationality o! the 3natural or historical4 world, by providing onesel! in advance with a rationally constructed world. Clearly, nothing can be resolved in this way: a totally rational world would, by virtue o! this very !act, be in!initely more mysterious than the world in which we struggle. $ history that would be rational !rom beginning to end - and through and through - would be more massively incomprehensible than the history we now. -ts whole rationality would be !ounded on a total irrationality, !or it would be in the nature o! pure !act, and o! !act so brutal, solid and allembracing that we should su!!ocate under it. >inally, under these conditions, the main problem o! praxis would disappear, namely that people have to give to their individual and collective lives a signi!ication which is not preassigned, and that they have to do so while at grips with real conditions which neither exclude nor guarantee the !ul!ilment o! their pro.ect. -ialectic and 'materialism' *hen Marx)s rationalism ta es on an explicit philosophical expression, it is presented as a dialectic. Eot as a dialectic in general but as hegelian dialectic, shorn o! its mysti!ied idealist !orm.=enerations o! marxists have thus mechanically parroted Marx)s phrase: )with /egel, the dialectic was standing on its head; - replaced it on its !eet), without as ing themselves whether such an operation was actually !easible, and especially whether it would be able to trans!orm the nature o! its ob.ect. -s it enough to turn a thing upside down to change its substanceD *as the )content) o! hegelianism so loosely lin ed to its dialectical )method) that one could substitute another content radically opposed to itD $nd could one do this to a philosophy which proclaimed that its content was )produced) by its method, or rather that method and content were but two moments in the production o! the system -t is obviously impossible. i! Marx retained the hegelian dialectic he also retained its real philosophical content, which was rationalism. /e only modi!ied the garment which, )idealist) in /egel becomes )materialist) in Marx. @sing the words in this way, we are only playing with them.

$ closed dialectic such as that o! /egel is o! necessity rationalist. -t simultaneously presupposes and )proves) that all experience is exhaustively reducible to rational determinations. 3,hat moreover these determinations are !ound each time miraculously to coincide with the )reason) o! such and such a thin er or society, that there is conse5uently at the core o! all rationalism an anthropocentrism or socio-centrism, that in other words all rationalism erects as +eason a particular reason, is plainly evident and would already be enough to put an end to the discussion.4 $ closed dialectic is the necessary end o! all speculative and systematic philosophy which see s to answer the 5uestion: )how can we have true nowledgeD) - and which conceives o! truth as a complete system o! relations without ambiguity or residue. -t matters little in this respect i! its rationalism ta es on an )ob.ectivist !orm 3as with Marx and 0ngels4 or a )sub.ectivist) !orm 3as with the =erman idealist philosophers, including ultimately even /egel4. -n the )ob.ectivist) !orm, where the world is rational in itsel!, a system o! laws governs without limit an absolutely neutral substratum and our grasp o! these laws !lows !rom the 3truly incomprehensible4 !act that our nowledge re!lects reality. -n the )sub.ectivist) !orm the world in 5uestion 3in !act the universe o! discourse4 is the product o! the activity o! the sub.ect, which thereby guarantees its rationality. 3%84 Conversely, any rationalist dialectic is necessarily a closed dialectic. *ithout this closure the whole system remains suspended in mid air. ,he )truth) o! each determination is nothing more than the return to the totality o! determinations, without which return each moment o! the system remains both arbitrary and inde!inite. "ne must there!ore posit the totality, without residue. Eothing must remain outside it, otherwise the system is not incomplete, it is nothing at all. $ny systematic dialectic must lead to an )end o! history), be it in the !orm o! /egel)s absolute nowledge or o! Marx)s )complete man). ,he essence o! the hegelian dialectic is not to be !ound in the assertion that the )logos) 3the organisation o! intelligible appearances4 )precedes) nature, still less in the vocabulary which !orms its )theological vestment). -t lies in the method itsel!, in the !undamental postulate according to which )all that is real is rational), in the inevitable claim that it can produce all the possible determinations o! its ob.ect. ,his essence cannot be destroyed by putting the dialectic )bac on its !eet) since it will always remain visibly the same animal. $ revolutionary transcendence o! hegelian dialectics demands not that it be put bac on its !eet, but that, as a !irst step, its head be chopped o!!. ,he nature and meaning o! /egel)s dialectic cannot there!ore change because one starts calling )matter) what was previously called )logos) or )spirit) provided that by )spirit) one doesn)t mean a white bearded =entleman dwelling in /eaven, and provided one nows that )material nature )is not a mass o! coloured ob.ects, solid to the touch. -t is 5uite irrelevant in this respect to say that nature is one moment o! the logos, or that the logos arises at a given stage

in the evolution o! matter, since in both cases the two entities are posited !rom the onset as being o! the same essence, to wit, o! rational essence. Besides, neither o! these assertions had any meaning since no one can state what spirit is, or what matter is, except through de!initions that are essentially empty because essentially nominal: matter 3or spirit4 is all that which is, etc. Matter and spirit, in these philosophies, are nothing ultimately but pure Being, that is to say as /egel correctly put it, pure Eothingness. ,o call onesel! a )materialist) is in no way di!!erent !rom calling onesel! an )idealist) i!, by matter, one understands an otherwise inde!inable entity, exhaustively submitted to laws co-substantial and co-extensive with our reason, and thus !rom this very momen t de "ure penetrable by us 3and even de facto, since the )laws o! these laws), the )supreme principles o! nature and nowledge) are already nown here and now: they are the )principles) or )laws o! dialectics) discovered %'C years ago 3and now even numbered, than s to the e!!orts o! Comrade Mao ,se-,ung4. *hen an )idealist) astronomer li e Sir Iames Ieans claims that =od is a mathematician, and when dialectical materialists !iercely assert that matter, li!e and history are wholly subordinate to a determinism o! which we shall one day discover the mathematical expression, it is sad to thin that under certain historical circumstances the supporters o! each o! these schools could 3and in !act did4 have the others shot. -t is sad because they all say exactly the same thing, simply giving it a di!!erent name. $ )non-idealist) dialectic must also be a )non-materialist) dialectic, in the sense that it re!uses to posit an absolute Being, whether as idea, as matter, or as the *e .ure already given totality o! all the possible determinations. Such a dialectic must eliminate notions such as closure and completion, and re.ect all !inite world systems. -t should set aside the rationalist illusion, seriously accept the idea that there is in!inite and inde!inite, admit - without thereby !orsa ing wor on the matter - that all rational determination leaves a nondetermined and non-rational residue, that the residue is .ust as essential as what has been analysed, that necessity and contingency continually interpenetrate, that )nature), both outside and within us, is always something other and something more than what our consciousness ma es o! it - and that all this is not only valid !or the )ob.ect), but also !or the sub.ect, and not .ust !or the )empirical) sub.ect but also !or the )transcendental) sub.ect, since all transcendental law-ma ing by consciousness presupposes the raw !act that a consciousness exists in a world 3order and disorder, sei2able and inexhaustible4, a !act that consciousness cannot itsel! produce, either really or symbolically. -t is only on this condition that a dialectic can really envisage living histoty, which a rationalist dialectic is obliged to ill be!ore it can lay it out on the benches o! its laboratories. But such a trans!ormation o! the dialectic is only possible in its turn, i! one goes beyond the traditional and age-old idea o! theory as both closed system

and contemplation. ,hat was, in !act, one o! the ey insights o! the young Marx. %$' %!O '('M'.%S OF MA&+ISM A.- %$'I& $IS%O&IC FA%' ,here are in marxism two elements whose meaning and historical !ate have been radically opposed to one another. ,he revolutionary element bursts !orth in the youth!ul wor s o! Marx, still appears !rom time to time in his mature wor s, occasionally reappears in the writings o! the greatest marxists - +osa 1uxemburg, 1enin, ,rots y-reemerging !or the last time in =. 1u acs. -ts appearance represents an essential twist in the history o! humanity. ,his element see s to dethrone speculative philosophy by proclaiming that it is no longer a 5uestion o! interpreting the world but o! changing it, and that we must go beyond philosophy as one realises philosophy. ,his element re!uses to provide itsel!, in advance, with the solution to the problem o! history or with a completed dialectic. -t asserts that communism is not an ideal state towards which society is advancing, but the real movement which puts an end to the existing state o! a!!airs. -t stresses the !act that men ma e their own history, in given conditions each time, and will declare that the emancipation o! the wor ers will be brought about by the wor ers themselves. -t is this element which will be capable o! recognising in the #aris Commune or in the +ussian Soviets not only the insurrectionary events but the creation by the masses in action o! new !orms o! social li!e. >or the time being it matters little that this recognition has remained partial and theoretical, or that the ideas mentioned above are no more than points o! departure, raising new problems or side-stepping others. ,here is here, and one would have to be blind not to see it, the promise o! a new world, a pro.ect radically to trans!orm society, a 5uest !or the conditions o! this trans!ormation in actual history and !or its meaning in the situation and activity o! people see ing to achieve it. *e are not in the world .ust to loo at it, or to su!!er it; our destiny isn)t slavery. $n action is possible, which !inds support in that which is, in order to bring about that which we want to be. ,o understand that we are sorcerers) apprentices is already one step out o! the condition o! sorcerer)s apprentice. $nd to understand wP we are such is yet another step. Beyond an activity unaware o! its true ends and o! its real e!!ects, beyond a techni5ue which according to exact calculations modi!ies an ob.ect without anything new resulting there!rom, there can and must be an historical praxis which trans!orms the world while trans!orming itsel!, which allows itsel! to learn through educating others, which prepares what is new while re!using to predetermine it because it nows that people ma e their own history. -n marxism these insights were to remain insights, they were never really developed. 3%94 ,he promise o! a new world was 5uic ly sti!led by the

proli!ic growth o! a second element which will develop into a system, which will rapidly become predominant and will relegate the !irst into oblivion or will only use it - and that rarely - as an ideological and philosophical alibi. ,his second element reasserts and extends the deepest tendencies o! capitalist culture and o! capitalist society, even i! it does so through the negation o! several apparently 3and really4 important aspects o! capitalism. -t nits together the social logic o! capitalism and the scienti!ic positivism o! the %&th century. -t drives Marx to compare social evolution to a natural process, 3%64 stresses economic determinism and greets in (arwin)s theory a discovery parallel to that o! Marx. 3%'4 $s always this scienti!ic positivism overturns immediately into rationalism and idealism as soon as it raises !undamental 5uestions and attempts to answer them. /istory 3it says4 is a rational system sub.ect to given laws, the main ones o! which we can de!ine as !rom now. Knowledge !orms a system whose principles are already understood. ,here is certainly an )asymptotic) progress 3%:4 but this is veri!ication and re!inement o! a solid core o! ac5uired truths: the )laws o! the dialectic). $s a corollary, theory retains its eminent place, its primacy - however much one may invo e )the golden tree o! li!e) 3%74 or however much one may re!er to praxis as the ultimate veri!ication. 3%?4 0verything holds together in this conception: the analysis o! capitalism, general philosophy, the theory o! history, the condition o! the wor ing class, the political programme. $nd the most !ar-reaching conse5uences !low !rom it - both in sound logic and in real history as has been shown by the experience o! hal! a century. ,he development o! the productive !orces rules the rest o! social li!e. ,here!ore even i! this development is not in itsel! the ultimate end, it is in practice the ultimate end since the rest is determined by and )moreover) !lows !rom it, since )the true realm o! !reedom ... can only blossom !orth with this realm o! necessity as its basis), 3%&4 this presupposing abundance and the reduction o! the wor ing day which, in turn, presuppose a given degree o! development o! the productive !orces. ,his development is called progress. ,o be sure, the vulgar ideology o! progress is denounced and derided. -t is shown that capitalist progress is based upon the poverty o! the masses. But this poverty itsel! is seen as part o! a !orward moving process. ,he exploitation o! the wor ing class is .usti!ied )historically), as long as the bourgeoisie uses the !ruits o! this exploitation !or purposes o! accumulation, thereby continuing its economic expansion. ,he capitalist class, an exploiting class !rom the outset, is said to be a progressive class as long as it eeps developing the productive !orces. 38C4 -n the great hegelian realist tradition, not only this exploitation but all the crimes o! the capitalist class, recorded and denounced at one level, are recuperated at another by the rationality o! history and !inally, as there is no other criterion, .usti!ied. )@niversal history is not the place !or happiness), as /egel said. Mar ism and the ,ureaucracy

#eople have o!ten as ed themselves how marxists could have been stalinists. But i! the bosses are progressive provided they go on building !actories, surely the same should apply to the commissars, who build .ust as many or even more. 38%4 $nd as !or this development o! productive !orces, it is seen as univocal S and univocally determined by the state o! technology. ,here is only one nexus o! techni5ues at any given stage o! history, and there is there!ore only one rational set o! methods o! production. ,here is no 5uestion, there is no sense in trying to develop a society by means other than )industrialisation) a term apparently neutral but which will !inally produce its wholly capitalist litter. ,he rationalisation o! production is the rationalisation already created by capitalism. -t is the primacy o! the )economic) in all senses o! the word. -t is 5uanti!ication. -t is the plan which treats men and their activities as measurable variables. +eactionary under capitalism !rom the moment the latter ceases developing the productive !orces and only uses these techni5ues !or an increasingly parasitic type o! exploitation, all this becomes progressive under the )dictatorship o! the proletariat). ,he )dialectical) trans!ormation o! the meaning o! ,aylorism, !or instance, will be made 5uite explicit by ,rots y as early as %&%&. 3884 -t matters little that this situation leaves some philosophical problems unsolved 3how, in these conditions, can identical in!rastructures support opposite social constructionsD4 or that it also leaves certain real problems unsolved 3inso!ar as immature wor ers !ail to understand the di!!erence between the taylorism o! the bosses and that o! the Socialist State4. ,he !irst will be leapt over with the help o! )dialectics), the second silenced with bullets. @niversal history isn)t the place !or subtlety, either. >inally, i! there is a true theory o! history, a rationality at wor in things, it is clear that guiding its development should be entrusted to specialists o! this theory, to the technicians o! this rationality. ,he absolute power o! the #arty and, within the #arty, o! the )chorus leaders o! Marxist-1eninist science), according to the admirable expression coined by Stalin !or his own use - has a legitimate philosophical basis. -ts rational !oundations lie more genuinely in the %materialist conception o! history) than in Kauts y)s ideas 3reiterated by 1enin4 about )the introduction o! socialist consciousness into the wor ing class by petty-bourgeois intellectuals). i! the materialist conception o! history is true, the #arty%s power must be absolute, all democracy being mere concession to the human !allibility o! the rulers, or a teaching procedure they alone can dispense in the correct doses. ,he alternatives are clear-cut. 0ither the materialist conception o! history is true, there!ore de!ining what is to be done, and what the wor ers do is o! value only inasmuch as they con!orm to what the theory says they ought to do; it isn)t the theory which would be validated or invalidated by what they actually do,!or the criteria o! its correctness are contained in it: it is the wor ers who show whether or not they have risen to a )consciousness o! their historical interests) by acting in con!ormity with the slogans which concretise the theory in any given

circumstances. 3894 "r the activity o! the masses is an autonomous and creative historical !actor, in which case any theoretical conception can only be one lin in the long process o! realisation o! the revolutionary pro.ect 3which can, indeed should, be overta en4. ,he theory then no longer posits itsel! as the ey to history, as the yardstic o! reality. -t accepts the need genuinely to enter history and to be .ostled and .udged by it. 3864 But then there is no historical privilege, no )historical birthright) !or the organisation based on the theory. ,his enhanced status o! the #arty, an inescapable conse5uence o! the classical conception, !inds its counterpart in what is, despite appearances, the devalued status o! the wor ing class. i! the latter has a privileged historical role it is because, as an exploited class, it can only, in the end, struggle against capitalism in a direction predetermined by the theory. -t is also because, placed as it is at the heart o! capitalist production, the wor ing class !orms the largest !orce in society. ),rained, taught and disciplined) by this production, it is the vehicle par excellence o! this rational discipline. ,he wor ing class assumes importance not so much as creator o! new historical !orms, but as the human materialisation o! the positive side o! capitalism shorn o! its negative aspects: it is )productive !orce) par excellence, and moreover contains nothing within it which could hamper the development o! the productive !orces. S S S /istory is thus !ound yet again to have given birth to something other than that which it seemed to be concocting. @nder cover o! a revolutionary theory an ideology had ta en shape and developed, the ideology o! a social !ormation as yet unborn: the ideology o! the bureaucracy. -t isn)t possible here to attempt an explanation o! the birth and triumph o! this second element in marxism. -t would re5uire going over the history o! the labour movement and o! capitalist society during the last hundred years. *e can .ust summarise brie!ly what seems to us to have been the ey !actors. ,he development o! marxism as a theory too place in the intellectual and philosophical climate o! the second hal! o! the %&th century. ,his period was dominated, as no other period o! history, by scientism and positivism, triumphantly carried !orward by the accumulation o! scienti!ic discoveries, their experimental veri!ication, and especially, !or the !irst time on this scale, by )the reasoned application o! science to industry). $pparent technological omnipotence was )demonstrated) daily. *hole countries were having their !aces rapidly changed through the spread o! the industrial revolution.. $spects o! technical progress, which appear to us today not only ambivalent but even indeterminate as to their social signi!ication, had not yet emerged. ,he economy posited itsel! as the essence o! all social relationships, and the economic problem as the central problem o! society. ,his setting provided both the bric s and the design !or a )scienti!ic) theory o! society and o! history. -t even demanded it, largely predetermining what were to be its dominant

categories. But the reader who has understood what we were getting at in the preceding pages will also appreciate that we cannot thin o! these !actors as providing )the explanation) o! the !ate o! marxism. ,he !ate o! the revolutionary element in marxism expresses, at the level o! ideologies, the !ate o! the revolutionary movement in capitalist society up till now. *hen we say that marxism, over a period o! a century, has gradually been trans!ormed into an ideology which belongs in existing society, we are only saying that capitalism has been able to maintain and even to strengthen itsel! as a social system. "ne cannot conceive o! a society where the powers o! the ruling class continuously assert themselves and where, simultaneously, a revolutionary theory is alive and develops. ,he !ate o! marxism is inseparable !rom what happens to the society in which it exists. ,his !ate cannot be reversed. ,here can be no ))restoration) o! marxism to its original purity, no return to its )better hal!). "ne still sometimes meets subtle and tender )marxists) 3who as a rule have never engaged in politics either at close hand or !rom a!ar4 !or whom, strange as it may seem, the whole o! subse5uent history can be understood by studying the early wor s o! Marx -and not those texts interpreted in the light o! subse5uent history. ,hey see thereby to maintain the claim that marxism has )overta en) philosophy by !using it both to a concrete 3economic4 analysis o! society and to a practice and that thereby it is no longer, and indeed never could be, either con.ecture or theoretical system. ,hese claims 3which are based on a certain way o! reading certain pages o! Marx, and on amnesia concerning certain other passages in!initely more numerous4 are not )!alse). ,here are indeed, as we have said earlier, essential seeds in these ideas. But what must be recognised is not only that these seeds have been buried by the ice o! a hundred years. -t is that as soon as one tries to go beyond the stage o! inspirations, intuitions or programmatic intentions - as soon as these ideas have to be given !lesh and blood, to become the substance o! thoughts which try to encompass the real world and give rise to acts, the !ine new unity dissolves. -t dissolves because what sought to be a philosophical description o! the reality o! capitalism, the integration o! philosophy and economics, !alls apart in two stages: a resorption o! philosophy by an economics that is .ust economics, and then an un.usti!ied reappearance o! philosophy tagged on at the end o! the economic analysis. -t brea s up because what should be the union o! theory and practice becomes dissociated in real history into a doctrine !ossilised in the state in which it was le!t at the death o! its !ounder, and a practice !or which this doctrine serves, at best, as an ideological cover. -t brea s up, !or apart !rom certain rare moments 3such as %&%74 the interpretation o! which moreover remains to be carried out and is in no way simple, pra)is has remained a mere word. ,he problem o! how to relate an activity which is intended to be conscious to actual history and the problem o! the relationship between revolutionaries and masses both remain total.

*hether there can be a philosophy which is other than, and more than, philosophy remains to be shown. *hether there is a !orm o! politics which is other than, and more than, politics again remains to be seen. i! there can be a union o! re!lection and action, and whether this re!lection and this action, instead o! separating those who practice them !rom the others, can carry them both together towards a new society, this union still has to be achieved. ,he intention o! such a uni!ication was there when marxism was born. -t has remained mere intention - but a century later, and in a new conttext, it continues to de!ine our tas .

%he Proletariat and Organisation ,he organi2ations created by the wor ing class !or its liberation have become cogs in the system o! exploitation. ,his is the brutal conclusion !orced upon anyone who is prepared to !ace up to reality. "ne conse5uence is that today many are perplexed by an apparent dilemma. Can one become involved without organisationD $nd i! one cannot, how can one organi2e without !ollowing the path that has made traditional organi2ations the !iercest enemies o! the aims they originally set out to achieveD Some believe the 5uestion can be approached in a purely negative way.H0xperience shows,)) they say, Hthat all wor ing-class organi2ations have degenerated; there!ore, any organi2ation is bound to degenerate.)) ,his is basing too much on experience-or too little. @p to now all revolutions either have been crushed or have degenerated. $re we to deduce !rom this that all revolutionary struggle should be abandonedD ,he de!eat o! revolutions and the degeneration o! organi2ations are di!!erent expressions o! the same phenomenon, namely, that established society is, at least provisionally, emerging victorious !rom its struggles with the proletariat. -! one concluded that things will always be li e this, one ought to be logical and give up the !ight. Concern with the problem o! organi2ation has meaning only !or people convinced that they can and must struggle together 3hence, by organi2ing4 and who do not, !rom the very beginning, assume their own de!eat is inevitable. >or such people the 5uestions posed by the degeneration o! wor ing-class organisations have a real, positive meaning and demand real answers.*hy have these organi2ations degeneratedD *hat does this degeneration meanD *hat has been the role o! these organi2ations in the temporary setbac o! the labor movementD *hy has the proletariat supported themD $nd, perhaps more signi!icantly, why has it not moved beyond themD *hat are the conclusions !rom all this !or !uture organi2ation and actionD ,here is no simple answer to these 5uestions, !or they concern every aspect and tas o! the labor movement today. Eor is there a purely theoretical answer. ,he problem o! revolutionary organi2ation will only be resolved as such an organi2ation is actually built. ,his in turn will depend on the development o! wor ing-class action. Eevertheless, the beginnings o! a solution should be attempted right now. +evolutionaries cannot totally abstain !rom action and wait !or wor ing-class struggles to develop. ,he development o! such struggles will not solve the problem o! how revolutionaries should organi2e: ,hey will merely bring it up at a higher level. $nd in the development o! these struggles, organi2ation has a role to play. Eo real organi2ation will be built without the development o! struggles, and there will be no lasting development o! these struggles without

organi2ation building. -! you do not accept this postulate, i! you thin that what you do or do not do is o! no importance, i! you are acting purely so as to be at peace with your own conscience, there is no need to read !urther. ,he beginnings o! a solution cannot be empirical or .ust a set o! negative prescriptions. $ revolutionary group can only adopt positive rules !or its action and wor , and these rules must spring !rom its principles. /owever insigni!icant the organi2ation, its wor , its activity, and its way o! going about its daily business must be the visible and veri!iable embodiment o! the aims it advocates. +esponding to the problem o! building a revolutionary organi2ation demands, there!ore, that we start !rom the whole experience o! the revolutionary movement and !rom an analysis o! the conditions in which the movement !inds itsel! in the second hal! o! the twentieth century. -n order to do this we must ma e what may seem li e a detour, return to !irst principles and reconsider revolutionary ob.ectives and the history o! the labour movement. /. Socialism0 Management of Society ,y the !or"ers "ne !act, because o! its direct and indirect conse5uences, has dominated human history in the twentieth century: ,he wor ing class carried through a revolution in +ussia in %&%7. >ar !rom leading to socialism, however, the revolution !inally resulted in the coming to power o! a new exploiting class: the bureaucracy. *hy, and how did this happenD -n %&%7 the +ussian proletariat mobili2ed itsel! to destroy the power o! the c2ar and o! the capitalists and to put an end to exploitation. -t too up arms and organi2ed itsel! in !actory committees and soviets to conduct this struggle. But when, a!ter a long civil war, the remnants o! the old regime had been cleared away, economic and political power were once more !ound to be concentrated in be hands o! a new group o! leaders, centered around the Bolshevi party. ,he proletariat did not ta e over the management o! the new society-which is another way o! saying that the wor ing class did not itsel! become the ruling class. >rom that moment on, it could only once again resume its position as an exploited class. ,he degeneration o! the +ussian revolution was nothing other than the return to a position o! supremacy o! a speci!ic and restricted social stratum. ,he various !actors that led to this degeneration all have, when it comes down to it, the same underlying signi!icance. ,he proletariat did not ta e on the direction o! the revolution and o! the society that emerged !rom it. >rom the very beginning, it was the Bolshevi party that strove to wield complete power over the country and very 5uic ly it succeeded in doing so. ,he #arty constituted itsel! based on the idea that it provided a natural leadership !or the proletariat and was the expression o! its historical interests. But the ideas and attitudes o! the Bolshevi party could never have prevailed had not the wor ing class itsel!, in its great

ma.ority, shared them and had it not tended to see the party as a necessary organ o! its power. $nd so the organs that ought to have expressed the political supremacy o! the toiling masses, the soviets, were rapidly trans!ormed into appendages o! Bolshevi power. $nd yet, even i! this development had not occurred in the political sphere, nothing !undamental would have changed, !or the revolution did not bring about any pro!ound change in the real relations o! production.*ith the private owners expropriated or exiled, the Bolshevi state entrusted the running o! enterprises to managers nominated by itsel!, and it !ought the !ew attempts made by wor ers to sei2e control o! the management o! production. But those who are masters o! production are, in the last analysis, masters o! policy and society. $ new group o! industrial and economic leaders rapidly developed, which, !using with the leadership o! the #arty and o! the State, constituted a new ruling class ,he basic lesson o! the experience o! the +ussian revolution is there!ore that it is not enough !or the proletariat to destroy the governmental and economic domination o! the bourgeoisie. -t can only achieve the ob.ective o! its revolution i! it builds up its own power in every sphere.-! the direction o! production, o! the economy, and o! the Hstate)) again becomes the !unction o! a particular category o! individuals inevitably the exploitation and oppression o! wor ers will return. *ith these, the permanent crisis that divides contemporary society will arise again, !or it owes its origin to the con!lict at the point o! production between directors and executants. Socialism is not and cannot be anything other than the management o! production, the economy, and society by the wor ers. ,his idea has !rom the very beginning constituted the central thesis o! Socialisme ou Barbarie. ,he /ungarian revolution has since provided a stri ing con!irmation o! it. %he Autonomy of the Proletariat ,he idea o! wor ers) management o! production and society implies that power in postrevolutionary society will be solely and directly in the hands o! the wor ers) mass organs 3the councils4. ,here can be no 5uestion o! special organs o! any sort -!or example, political parties-ta ing on the !unctions o! governance and the exercise o! power. But this idea is not a simple Hconstitutional)) proposition. -t necessitates a reconsideration o! all the theoretical and practical problems !acing the revolutionary movement. -t would indeed be nonsense to tal o! wor ers) management i! wor ers were incapable o! it and thereby incapable o! generating new principles !or the organi2ation and orientation o! social li!e. +evolution and, even more, the construction o! a socialist society presuppose that the organi2ed mass o! wor ers have become capable o! managing the whole o! society)s activities

without intermediaries-and there!ore that they have become capable o! directing themselves in all respects and in a permanent !ashion. Socialist revolution can only be the out- come o! *utonomous activity on the part o! the proletariat, Hautonomous)) signi!ies Hsel!-directingH and Hresponsible only to itsel!H. ,his 5uestion must not be con!used with the 5uestion o! the technical capac- it o! the proletariat to manage production,)) ,he proletariat consists o! all exploited wage earners and salaried employees. -t is the collective producer. ,echical nowledge has long ceased to be the monopoly o! a !ew individuals. ,oday it is di!!used among a mass o! o!!ice and lab wor ers who are daily submitted to a greater and greater division o! labor and who receive salaries only slightly higher than those o! manual wor ers. ,echnician-bosses are .ust as super!luous as !oremen in production. ,hey are not great irreplaceable engineers but bureaucrats who direct and Horgani2e)) 3i.e., disorgani2e4 the wor o! the mass o! salaried technicians. ,ogether the exploited wor ers in !actories and o!!ices possess in themselves all the technical s ills nown to humanity today. >or the proletariat in power, the 5uestion o! the Htechnical)) orientation o! production will there!ore not be a technical 5uestion at all, but rather a political 5uestion o! the unity o! wor ers on the shop !loor and in o!!ices, o! cooperation between them, and o! collective management o! production. $nd, in the same way, the proletariat will be !aced with political 5uestions in every sphere,including the problems o! its own organi2ation, o! the proper balance between centrali2ation and decentrali2ation, o! the general orientation o! production and society, o! relations with other social groups 3the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie4, o! international relations, etc. Socialism, there!ore, presupposes a high degree o! social and political consciousness among the proletariat. -t cannot arise out o! a mere revolt against exploitation but only !rom the capacity o! the proletariat to extract !rom itsel! positive answers to the immense problems involved in the reconstruction o! modern society. Eo one -no individual, group, or party-can be delegated this consciousness Hon behal! o!)) the proletarian class or in its stead. -t is not only that a substitution o! this sort would inevitably lead to the !ormation o! a new group o! rulers and would rapidly return society to Hall the old rubbish.)) -t is because it is impossible !or a particular group to ta e on such tas s, since these tas s are on a scale that humanity and humanity alone is capable o! dealing with. *ithin a system o! exploitation, such problems can be solved by a minority o! leaders 3or rather they could in the past be solved that way4. ,he crisis o! modern regimes shows that the direction o! society is a tas that is hence!orth beyond the capacity o! any particular category. ,his is in!initely more true !or the problems that the socialist reconstruction o! society will pose and that cannot be solved or even be correctly posed without the deployment o! the creative activity o! the immense ma.ority o! individuals. >or the real meaning o! this reconstruction is, strictly spea ing that everything

must be re-examined and re!ashioned: machines !actories, articles o! consumption, houses, educational systems, political institutions, museums, ideas, and science itsel! -according to the needs o! the wor ers and according to their view o! things. "nly they can be the .udges o! what these needs are and o! the means o! satis!ying them. >or even i! on a particular point the experts have a Hbetter)) idea, such an idea will be worthless so long as those it should interest do not see the correctness or necessity o! it. $ny attempt to impose upon people solutions to the problems o! their own lives, solutions they do not themselves approve o!, automatically and immediately ma es these solutions monstrously !alse ones. %he -e*elo#ment of the Proletariat to1ard Socialism -s socialism, conceived in this way, a historically reasonable prospectD-s it a possibility that exists within modern societyD "r is it .ust a dreamD -s the proletariat .ust something to be exploited, a modern class o! industrial slaves that periodically brea s out in !ruitless revoltsD "r do the conditions o! its existence and struggle against capitalism lead it to develop a consciousnessi.e., an attitude, a mentality, ideas and ways o! acting- whose content tends toward socialismD ,he answers to these 5uestions are to be !ound in the analysis o! the real history o! the proletariat, its li!e in production, its political movements, and its activity during periods o! revolution. $nd this analysis in turn leads to the overthrow o! traditional ideas about socialism, labour demands, and !orms o! organi2ation. >irst, the proletariat)s struggle against capitalism is neither solely one o! Hma ing demands)) nor solely Hpolitical)); it begins at the point o! production. -t does not simply concern the redistribution o! the social product or, at the other end o! the scale, the general organi2ation o! society. >rom the outset, it opposes the !undamental reality o! capitalism, the relations o! production within the enterprise. ,he so-called rationali2ation o! capitalist production is nothing but a web o! contradictions. -t consists in organi2ing wor without the involvement o! the wor ers, abolishing their human role-which is inherently absurd even !rom the point o! view o! productive e!!iciency. -t aims untiringly at in- creasing their exploitation which-!orces them to oppose-it nonstop. >ar !rom being concerned only with wages, the wor ers) struggle against this method o! organi2ation dominates every aspect and every moment o! the li!e o! the !irm. >irst o! all, the con!lict between wor ers and management over wages cannot but have an immediate impact on every aspect- o! the "rgani2ation o! wor .-n the next place, the wor ers, whatever their wage level, are led inevitably to oppose methods o! production that lead to their daily ever more intolerable dehumani2ation. ,his struggle does not and cannot remain purely negative, its aim is not simply to limit exploitation. #roduction must ta e place whatever happens, and the wor ers, at the same time as they are struggling against the norms and the coercive bureaucratic apparatus,

maintain a wor discipline and instaurate a system o! cooperation opposed in spirit as well as it practice to the rules o! organi2ation o! the !actory. ,hey thus ta e over certain aspects o! the management o! production at the same time as they establish it what they do new principles !or the ordering o! human relations in production they oppose the capitalist morality o! maximum individual gain and tend to replace it with a new morality o! solidarity and e5uality. ,his struggle is not accidental, nor is it connected with a particular !orm o! organi2ation o! capitalist production. 0very time capitalism ma es ma.or changes in the techni5ues and methods o! production in order to ward o!! this struggle, it rises up again. ,he wor ers) tendencies toward sel!-management that this struggle brings out is universal both in range and depth. -t exists in +ussia as well as in the @nited States and in 0ngland as well as in >rance. $lthough the proletariat)s struggle inside production remains Hhiddenn)) !or it allows neither !ormal organi2ation nor a !ormulated program nor overt action, its) content can be !ound in the activity o! the masses each time a revolutionary crisis sha es capitalist society. -n every !actory in the world wor ers !ight nonstop against wor norms; the abolition o! norms was one o! the most important demands o! the /ungarian wor ers) councils in %&':. 1i e the commune and the soviets, wor ers) councils were constituted on the principle that the elected delegates were liable to recall. Shop stewards in 0nglish !actories are always liable to recall by the wor ers who elected theme and they must give these wor ers regular accounts o! their activities. ,he socialist conception o! society, born in the obscurity o! the day-to-day lives o! producers, bursts into broad daylight during the wor ing-class revolutions that have mar ed the history o! capitalism. >ar !rom rising up simply against poverty and exploitation, in the course o! these events the proletariat poses the problem o! how to organi2e the whole o! society in a new way and provides positive answers. ,he Commune o! %?7%, the soviets o! %&C' and %&%7, the !actory committees in +ussia in %&%7-%?, the !actory councils in =ermany in %&%&-8C, and the wor ers) councils in /ungary in %&': were organi2ations !ormed to combat the ruling class and its state and at the same time new !orms o! human organi2ation based on principles radically opposed to those o! bourgeois society. ,hese creations o! the proletariat were a practical re!utation o! the ideas that have dominated man)s political organi2ation !or centuries. ,hey have shown the possibility o! a centrali2ed social organi2ation that, instead o! politically expropriating the population !or the bene!it o! its Hrepresentatives)) on the contrary places these representatives under the permanent control o! their electors and !or the !irst time in modern history achieves democracy on the scale o! society as a whole. -n the same way, wor ers) management o! production, sought by the +ussian !actory committees in %&%7, was achieved by the Spanish wor ers in %&9:-97 and

proclaimed by the /ungarian wor ers) councils in %&': as one o! their basic ob.ectives. But the development o! the proletariat toward socialism shows itsel! not only in !actory li!e or during revolutions. >rom the beginning o! its history, the proletariat has struggled against capitalism in an explicit way, that is to say, by !orming political organi2ations. ,he tendency o! the wor ing class or o! broad strata o! wor ers to organi2e themselves in order to struggle in an overt and permanent !ashion is a theme running. through the whole o! modern history. -! this is not recogni2ed, one is doomed to understand as little about the proletariat and socialism as i! the commune or the councils were never nown. >or it shows that the proletariat has the need and at the same time the ability to argue the 5uestion o! social organi2ation as such not simply during a revolutionary explosion, but systematically and permanently; to go beyond the territory o! its economic de!ence and to oppose bourgeois ideology with its own conception o! society; to leave the con!ines o! the wor shop, the !irm and even the nation and argue the 5uestion o! power on an international scale. -t is in !act entirely !alse to say that the wor ing class has created only economic and occupational associations 3trade unions4. -n certain countries, such as =ermany, the wor ers began by building a political movement, and the trade unions emanated !rom this. -n the ma.ority o! other cases, as in the 1atin countries and even in 0ngland, the trade unions themselves originally were by no means purely trade unions; their proclaimed aim was the abolition o! the wages system. -t is .ust as !alse to claim that the wor ers) political organi2ations were the exclusive creation o! intellectuals, as has been said, sometimes approvingly and sometimes disapprovingly. 0ven where intellectuals played a predominant role in their !ormations these organisations could never have ac5uired any sort o! reality i! wor ers had not belonged to them in great numbers, sustained them with their experience, their activity, and o!ten their blood, and i! a large ma.ority o! the wor ing class had not seen their interests expressed in the programs o! these organi2ations. %he Contradictory Character of the Proletariat's -e*elo#ment ,here is, there!ore, an autonomous development o! the proletariat toward socialism that originates in the wor ers) struggle against the capitalist organisation o! production, !inds expression in the !ormation o! political organi2ations, and culminates in revolution. But this development is not the mechanical, automatic result o! the ob.ective conditions in which the proletariat lives, nor is it a biological evolution, an inevitable process o! maturation that provides !or its own development. -t is a historical process and essentially a process-o! struggle. *or ers are not born socialists, nor are they miraculously trans!ormed into such merely by entering into a !actory. ,hey become, or more exactly they ma e themselves socialists in the course o! and out o! their struggle against capitalism.

Eevertheless, we must see exactly what this struggle is, where it is !ought, and what the true enemy is. ,he proletariat is not only !ighting capitalism as a !orce outside itsel!. -! it were .ust a 5uestion o! the physical power o! the exploiters, their State and their army, exploitative society would have been abolished long ago, !or it possesses no power o! its) own beyond the wor o! those it exploits -t survives only inso!ar as it succeeds in ma ing them accept their position. -t)s most !ormidable weapons are not those it uses intentionally, but those it is automatically provided with by the ob.ective condition o! the exploited class by the way things are set up in present society, and by the way social relations are organi2ed so as to perpetually recreate its own bases. ,he proletariat is not only systematically indoctrinated by the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy. More generally, it is severely deprived o! culture. -t is robbed o! its own past, since it can now only what the ruling classes decide to let it see o! its history and its past struggles. -t is robbed o! awareness o! itsel! as a universal class as a result o! the local, occupational, and national !actors o! isolation engendered by the present social structure-and o! its present condition, since all the in!ormation , media are under the control o! the ruling classes. -n spite o! its position as an exploited class, the proletariat struggles against these !actors and ma es up !or them. -t develops a systematic distrust o! bourgeois indoctrination and underta es a criti5ue o! its contents. -t tends to absorb the culture !rom which it is cut o!! in a thousand ways at the same time as it creates the beginnings o! a new culture. >rom a boo -learned point o! view, it is unaware o! its own past, but it !inds be!ore it its essential results in the !orm o! the conditions !or its present action. But by !ar the greatest obstacle in the way o! the development o! the proletariat is the perpetual rebirth o! the spirit and reality o! capitalism within the proletariat itsel!. ,he wor ers are not strangers to capitalism; they are born into a capitalist society, live in it, ta e part in it, and ma e it wor . Capitalist ideas, norms, and attitudes tend constantly to invade their minds and as long as the present society lasts it will not be any di!!erent. ,he situation o! the proletariat is absolutely contradictory, !or at the same time that it gives birth to the elements o! a new human organi2ation and o! a new culture it can never !ree itsel! entirely !rom the capitalist society in which it lives. ,he strongest hold o! society is !ound mainly in the holds that are given the least thought; they are the time- honored habits, the Hsel!-evident)) axioms o! bourgeois common sense that no one calls into 5uestion, inertia, and society)s systematically organi2ed inhibition o! people)s activity and creativity. (uring a revolution, capitalism may be de!eated militarily and yet remain victorious i!, in order to de!eat it and under the pretext o! He!!iciency,)) the revolutionary army or the production process is organi2ed along capitalist lines 3as was the case in +ussia in %&%?-8%4, !or this Hmoral)) victory !or the old society soon will manage to trans!orm itsel! into complete victory. ,he wor ers may score the enormous victory o! building a revolutionary organi2ation that expresses their aspirations..-, and immediately turn victory into de!eat i! they thin that

once the organi2ation is built it re- mains only !or them to have con!idence in it !or it to solve their problems. ,he proletariat)s struggle against capitalism is, there!ore, in its most important aspect, a struggle o! the wor ing class against itsel!, a struggle to !ree itsel! !rom what persists in it o! the society it is combating. ,he history o! the labor movement is the history o! the development o! the proletariat through this struggle, a development that has not been a continuous advance but an une5ual and contradictory process o! gaining and losing ground, containing entire periods o! regression. 2.%he -egeneration of !or"ing Class Organisations ,he evolution o! wor ers) organi2ations can be understood only in this context. >or a century the proletariat o! all countries has been setting up organi2ations to help them in their struggle, and all these organi2ations, whether trade unions or political parties, ultimately have degenerated and become integrated into the system o! exploitation. -n this respect it matters little whether they have become purely and simply instruments o! the State and o! capitalist society 3li e the re!ormist organi2ations4, or whether 3li e the Stalinist organi2ations4 they aim to bring about a trans!ormation o! this society, concentrating economic and political power in the hands o! a bureaucratic stratum while leaving unaltered the exploitation o! the wor ers. ,he main point is that such organi2ations have become the strongest opponents o! their original aim: the emancipation o! the proletariat. "! course this is not a 5uestion o! Hmista es)) or o! Hbetrayals)) on the part o! leaders. 1eaders who Herr)) or Hbetray)) are sooner or later removed !rom the organi2ations they lead. But the degeneration o! wor ers) organi2ations has gone hand in hand with their beauracratisation, i.e., with the !ormation within them o! a stratum o! irremovable and uncontrollable leaders. ,hence!orth the policy o! these organi2ations expresses the interests and aspirations o! this bureaucracy ,ounderstand the degeneration o! these organi2ations is to understand how a bureaucracy can be born out o! the labor movement. Brie!ly, bureaucrati2ation has meant that the !undamental social relationship o! modern capitalism, the relationship between directors and executants, has reproduced itsel! within the labor movement, and in two !orms: !irst, within the wor ers organisations, which have responded to the enlargement and multiplication o! their tas s by adopting a bourgeois model o! organi2ation, inaugurating a greater and greater division o! labor until a new stratum o! leaders has crystalli2ed separate !rom the mass o! militants who !rom then on are reduced to the role o! executants; and second, between wor ing-class organi2ations and the proletariat itsel!. ,he !unction these organi2ations have gradually ta en on has been to lead the wor ing class in its own, well-de!ined

interest-and most o! the time, the wor ing class has agreed to rely on these organi2ations and carry out their instructions. $nd so we have arrived at a complete negation o! what was the essence o! a socialist movements namely, the idea o! the autonomy o! the proletariat. ,his evolution has a counterpart in the corresponding evolution o! revolutionary theory and ideology, made possible by the initially contradictory character o! Marxism itsel!. -n a sensed nothing o! what has been said here about wor ers) management and the autonomy o! the proletariat is new. -t all goes bac to Marx)s !ormula, H,he emancipation o! the wor ing class must be con5uered by the wor ers themselves)); in other words, emancipation will ta e place only inso!ar as the wor ers themselves decide the means and the ends o! their struggle. ,his intuition o! autonomy is in eeping with the deepest and most positive aspects o! Marx)s wor : the central importance he accorded to the analysis o! the relations o! production in the capitalist !actory, the radical criti5ue o! bourgeois ideology in all its aspects and even o! the traditional notion o! Htheory,)) and the vision o! socialism as a new reality whose elements are beginning to appear in the lives and attitudes o! the wor ers even now. Aet Marxism itsel! born in capitalist society, has not !reed itsel!, and could not !ree itsel! completely !rom the culture in which it grew up. -ts position-li e the position o! any revolutionary ideology and li e the situation o! the proletariat until the revolution-remains contradictory.H,he ruling ideas o! each epoch are the ideas o! its ruling class)) does not simply mean that those ideas are physically the most widespread or the most widely accepted. -t also means they tend to be assented to, partially and unconsciously by the very people who oppose them the most violently. -n the theoretical sphere no less than in the practical sphere, the struggle o! the revolutionary movement to !ree itsel! !rom the hold o! capitalism is a permanent struggle. %he -ecline of &e*olutionary %heory Bery 5uic ly the idea began to catch on that Marxism was the science o! society and revolution. $ttempts were made to present it as the synthesis and continuation o! the creations o! bourgeois culture 3=erman classical philosophy, 0nglish political economy, and >rench utopian socialism4, ignoring the !act that the prime !eature in Marx)s wor was precisely his overthrow o! the !undamental postulates o! that culture. ,his 5uite naturally led to it being said, in conse5uence, that socialist political consciousness has to be introduced into the wor ing class H!rom the outside,)) !or Hmodern socialist consciousness can only arise upon a basis o! deep scienti!ic nowledge)) and Hthe vehicle o! science is not the proletariat but the petty bourgeois intelligentsia.))3Kauts y,endorsed by 1enin as Hpro!oundly true and signi!icantH in What is to be +one.,

$lthough these !ormulations o! Kauts y)s were ta en up by 1enin, they are not in any way the exclusive attribute o! bolshevism; they also express the typical attitude o! the leaders o! the Second -nternational and o! the re!ormists. But their spirit is !ound in Marx himsel!. ,he debasement o! revolutionary theory is symboli2ed by the gap between the subtitle o! Capital 3Ha criti5ue o! political economy))-not Ha criti5ue o! bourgeois political economy)) but a criti5ue o! the very notion o! political economy, o! the very idea that there is a science o! political economy4 and what it became during the course o! its elaboration). an attempt to establish the Hlaws o! movement o! the capitalist economy.)) -n the hands o! his epigones the idea was !urther trans!ormed into a scienti!ic proo! that the down!all o! capitalism and the victory o! socialism were inevitable and Hguaranteed by natural laws.)) ,he Marxist theory now tries to reproduce the model o! the natural sciences in relation to society-which comes down to saying that it borrows its logical structure !rom the bourgeois thought o! its period, .ust as it borrows its method o! exposition !rom bourgeois culture. Conceived in this way, it can only in !act be expounded by intellectual specialists, cut o!! !rom the proletariat. 0ven its basic premises, in the !inal analysis, re!lect basically bourgeois ideas. -n the strict sense, the economic theory expounded in Capital is based on the postulate that capitalism has managed completely and e!!ectively to trans!orm the wor er-who appears there only as labor power-into a commodity; there!ore the use value o! labor power-the use the capitalist ma es o! it-is, as !or any commodity, completely determined by the user, since its exchange value- wages-is determined solely by the laws o! the mar et and in the !irst place by the production costs o! labor power. ,his postulate is necessary !or there to be a Hscience o! economics)) along the lines o! the physicomathematical model Marx !ollowed to an increasing degree during the course o! the exposition o! Capital. But he contradicts the most essential !act o! capitalism, namely, that the use value and exchange value o! labor power are ob.ectively indeterminate they are determined rather by the struggle between labor and capital both in production and in society. /0+0 -s the ultimate root o! the Hob.ective)) contradictions o! capitatism 3see "n the Content o! Socialism, %%%4. ,he attempt to ma e them variables whose behavior is completely determined by ob.ective laws leads, not as Marx and generations o! Marxists a!ter him thought, to the proo! o! an Hinevitable)) crisis o! capitalism, but on the contrary, to the Hproo!)) o! the latter)s permanence. ,here would be no ind o! historically important crisis i! the proletariat remained completely passive as Capital postulates. ,he paradox is that Marx, the Hinventor)) o! class struggle, wrote a monumental wor on phenomena determined by this struggle in which the struggle itsel! was entirety absent. -t is hardly necessary to point out the degree to which such a conception is in contradiction to the idea o! a conscious socialist revolution carried out by the

masses. ,he latter would then indeed only have the role o! supplying a veri!ication o! what the theory had already deduced a priori. +evolutionary politics tended in this vision to be trans!ormed into a techni'ue Iust as the engineer applies the science o! the physicist under given conditions and with certain ends in view, so the revolutionary politician applies the concluions o! the Hscienti!ic)) theory o! revolution in given conditions. Stalin, characteri2ing 1enin as the Hbrilliant engineer on the locomotive o! history,)) was only expressing this idea with the crushing banality o! which he alone was capable. %he -e,asement of the Party Program and of the Function of the Party ,he technical aspects o! traditional revolutionary theory gradually assume prime importance in the programs o! political organi2ations. "n the one hands the ob.ectives o! the proletariat can and should be determined by the theory; the emancipation o! the proletariat will be the wor o! the technicians o! the revolution correctly applying their theory in given circumstances. "n the other hand, what this theory allows theoreticians to grasp are solely the Hob.ective)) elements in the evolution o! society, and socialism itsel! seems more and more bere!t o! all its human content and increasingly li e a simple, Hob.ective,)) external trans!ormation; in its essentials, it comes to appear li e a mere modi!ication o! certain economic arrangements out o! which everything else would result as a by-product at some indeterminate !uture date. 0xclusive preoccupation with the distribution o! the social product as well as with the regulation o! property and o! the overall organisation o! the economy 3Hnationali2ation)) and HplanningH4 thus becomes inevitable, and the !act that socialism must mean above all a radical upheaval in the relationships between people, whether in production or in politics, is completely mas ed over. $nd i! socialism is a scienti!ic truth to which specialists obtain access through their theoretical expositions, it !ollows that the !unction o! the revolutionary party would be to bring socialism to the proletariat. ,he latter could not reach it through its own experience; at the very most it could recogni2e the party that incarnates this truth as the representative o! the general interests o! humanity- and support it. ,here could be no 5uestion o! its having any control over the party except through its passivity and re!usal to !ollow it. 0ven then the party would have to conclude simply that it was unable to ma e its program concrete enough or its propaganda convincing enough-or that it was mista en in its Happreciation o! the situation)); but it could not learn much !rom the wor ing class about anything basic. ,he party would possess the truth about socialism since it possesses the theory that alone leads to it. -t is there!ore the right!ul leader o! the proletariat, and it must become so in !act, since decision ma ing can belong only to the specialists in the science o! revolution. -nso!ar as it is permitted at all, democracy then is only an

instructive procedure or an ad.ustment .usti!ied by the Himper!ect)) nature o! revolutionary science. But only the party nows and can decide what the correct dose is. %he &e*olutionary Party Organi3ed on a Ca#italist Model ,his view, or more exactly this mentality, !inds its counterpart within the organi2ation in its mode o! operation, in the type o! wor it carries out, and in the relationships that are unsaturated inside it. ,he action o! the organi2ation will be correct i! it con!orms with the theory or at least with the art or techni5ue o! Hpolitics)) which has its specialists, too. *hatever the degree o! !ormal democracy that exists within the organi2ation, the militants will be aware that it is !or the specialists to assess the ob.ective situation and to deduce !rom it the line that must be !ollowed; hence, all year long they will do nothing but carry out orders !ormulated by the political specialists. ,he dividing up o! tas s, which is indispensable wherever there is a need !or cooperation, becomes a real division o! labour, the labour o! giving orders being separate !rom that o! carrying them out. "nce unsaturated, this division between directors and executants tends to broaden and deepen by itsel!. ,he leaders speciali2e in their role and become indispensable while those who carry out orders become absorbed in their concrete tas s. (eprived o! in!ormation, o! the general view o! the situation, and o! the problems o! organi2ation, arrested in their development by their lac o! participation in the overall li!e o! the #arty, the organi2ation)s ran -and-!ile militants less and less have the means or the possibility o! having any control over those at the top. ,his division o! labour is supposed to be limited by Hdemocracy.)) But democracy, which should mean that the ma"ority rules , is reduced to meaning that the ma.ority designates its rulers- copied in this way !rom the model o! bourrgeois parliamentary democracy, drained o! any real meaning, it 5uic ly becomes a veil thrown over the unlimited power o! the rulers. ,he base does not run the organi2ation .ust because once a year it elects delegates who designate the central committee, no more than the people are sovereign in a parliamentary-type republic because they periodically elect deputies who designate the government. 1et us consider, !or example, Hdemocratic centralism)) as it is supposed to !unction in an ideal 1eninist party. ,hat the central committee is designated by a Hdemocratically elected)) congress ma es no di!!erence singed once it is elected, it is de !acto and de .ure the absolute ruler o! the organi2ation. -t is not only that it has complete 3statutory4 control over the body o! the #arty 3and can dissolve the base organi2ations, ic out militants, etc.4 or that, under such conditions, it can determine the composition o! the next congress. ,he central committee could use its powers in an honorable way, these powers could be reduced; the members o! the #arty might en.oy Hpolitical rights)) such as being able to express themselves in internal and even outside publications, to !orm !actions, etc. >undamentally,

this would not change the situation, !or the central committee would still remain the organ that de!ines the political line o! the organi2ation and controls its application !rom top to bottom, that, in a word, has a permanent monopoly on the .ob o! leadership. ,he expression o! opinions only has a limited value once the way the group !unctions prevents this opinion !rom !orming on solid bases, i.e., permanent participation in the organi2ation)s activities and in the solution o! problems that arise. -! the way the organi2ation is run ma es the solution o! general problems the speci!ic tas and permanent wor o! a separate category o! militants, only their opinion will, or will appear, to count to the others. $nd this situation will carry !urther into the political tendencies that exist within the #arty. @nder such conditions, a congress meeting at regular intervals is no more Hdemocratic)) than parliamentary elections; indeed, both boil down in e!!ect to inviting electors to voice their opinions !rom time to time on problems !rom which they are removed the rest o! the time, while moreover ta ing away !rom them all means o! having any control over what happens as a result. ,his criticism applies not only to bolshevism, but also to social-democratic organi2ations and trade unions o! all inds. -n this respect, the di!!erence between a Stalinist and a re!orming party is comparable to that between a totalitarian regime and a bourgeois Hdemocratic)) one. >ormal individual rights may be greater in the second case but this ma es no di!!erence in the actual structure o! power, which in both instances is the exclusive power o! a particular category o! people. %he O,4ecti*e Conditions for Bureaucrati3ation ,he phenomenon o! degeneration and bureaucrati2ation that wor ing-class organi2ations undergo is a total one, embracing every aspect o! their existence. -t is a process o! debasement .ust as much in revolutionary theory as in the program, activities, !unction, and structure o! these organi2ations, and the wor that militants accomplish in them. ,his does not mean that their actual historical evolution is the result o! the debasement o! ideas in the heads o! individuals. ,his debasement is only the expressing o! the persistence o! capitalism and capitalist ways o! thin ing and acting within the labour movement. -t means that the movement has not managed to !ree itsel! !rom the hold o! the society in which it was born, and that it is !alling under its indirect in!luence again at the very moment it thin s it is putting up its most radical opposition to it. ,hat this hold had a basis in the totality o! productions economic, political, and ideological relationships o! the established society and that in particular the bureaucratic evolution o! the wor ers) organi2ations has been conditioned by the ob.ective evolution o! capitalism is certain. $ re!orming bureaucracy is inconceivable except in a developing capitalist economy that ma es such re!orming possible. $ Hrevolutionary)) or Htotalitarian)) bureaucracy such as the Stalinist bureaucracy is inconceivable except in a situation o! permanent crisis in society that the

traditional ruling classes are incapable o! solving. More generally, a bureaucracy o! any signi!icant si2e in a wor ers) organi2ation is inconceivable without a corresponding degree o! concentration in the areas o! production and stati!ication o! economic li!e. Both business enterprises and the labor !orce are concentrated, while the organi2ational !orm o! huge trade unions easily prevents any initiative on the part o! its members. $nd State intervention in economic and social li!e o!!ers the bureaucracy an ideal terrain on which to carry out its activity,both with respect to economic grievances as well as on the political level. ,his type o! analysis is indispensable but incomplete and unsatis!actory. -t would be !alse to present the bureaucrati2ation o! wor ers) organi2ations simply as a result o! the evolution o! capitalism toward concentration and stati!ication. Bery early on, the action o! the proletariat or o! Hits)) organi2ations played a determining role in the evolution o! modern society so that a!ter a certain point Hcause)) and He!!ect)) can no longer be distinguished, Bureaucratic organi2ations have trans!ormed their social environment so as to adapt it to their conditions o! existence, and they continue to do so. 0verything an analysis o! this sort teaches us shows us that the ob.ective situation ma es bureaucratic degeneration possible 3which we new already4, but it does not teach us that it ma es it inevitable. ) $nd as !ar as revolutionary action in the !uture is concerned, it is o! little use. -t would be vain !or example, to claim to !oresee a !uture evolution o! events or conditions that would render bureaucrati2ation Hob.ectively impossible.)) -t is certain that capitalist society will always leave the possibility open !or a leading section o! the exploited classes to become integrated into the system o! exploitation. -t is also certain that the tendencies !avoring the birth and growth o! bureaucracy in wor ers) organi2ations are the prevailing tendencies o! modern capitalism, which is becoming more and more a bureaucratic capitalism every day. "b.ective analysis is o! the !irst importance, !or it shows that bureaucrati2ation, by no means an accidental or passing phenomenons is a !actor with which the revolutionary movement will always have to rec on. But it does not su!!ice to explain this phenomenon or guide our action. ,his can be seen better by loo ing at a particularly important example. "ne)s tendency is to present the bureaucrati2ation o! wor ing-class organi2ations as inevitable result o! their numerical expansion: trade unions or parties numbering hundreds o! thousands o! members cannot, it is thought, organi2e, coordinate, and centrali2e their activities except by setting up organs speci!ically charged with these tas s, and hence by ma ing leadership into a separate .ob entrusted to individuals who devote themselves to it pro!essionally. ,he sterility o! such considerations is immediately noticeable; i! things were go, the construction o! a nonbureaucratic wor ers) organi2ations however large, would be impossible -and that o! a socialist society too, probably. >or

its reasoning boils down to the assertion that the problem o! centrali2ation can be solved only by bureaucracy. But we see right away that this Hob.ective)) analysis is in no way ob.ective, !or be!ore the start it has already adopted the post deeply rooted o! bourgeois pre.udices. *hat is ob.ective is the problem o! centrali2ation that arises inevitably in the modern world. ,o this problem there are two solutions -and here ob.ectivity ends. $ccording to the bourgeoisbureaucratic solution, centrali2ation is the particular responsibility o! a particular stratum o! leaders. ,his is the response wor ers) organi2ations have in the end subscribed to, and it is the one the argument set !orth earlier implicitly accepts. But in the course o! its struggles the wor ing class has solved the problem o! centrali2ation in a completely di!!erent !ashion. $ general meeting o! stri ers, an elected stri e committee, the commune, the soviet, the !actory council-that)s centrali2ation. ,he proletarian response to the problem o! centrali2ation is direct democracy- and the election o! recallable delegates: $nd no one can prove that it would have been impossible !or wor ers) organi2ations to solve the problem o! centrali2ation with the inspiration o! this response rather than the bourgeois response. -n !act, the proletariat has on a number o! occasions tried to organi2e itsel! in its own way, even in Hnormal)) times. ,he !irst 0nglish trade unions practiced what 1enin called primitive democracy, contemptuously in *hat -s to Be (oneD and admiringly in State and +evolution. ,hese attempts could only disappear sooner or later. ,he vanguard, which played a prime role in the !ormation o! these organi2ations, did not see organi2ation in this way; all the same it could never have carried its point o! view i! the wor ing class itsel! had not accepted it. $nd this allows us to see another essential aspect o! all these problems. %he &ole of the Proletariat in the -egeneration of !or"ing5class Organi3ations (egeneration means that the wor ing-class organi2ation tends to become separate !rom the wor ing class and an organ apart, its de !acto and de .ure leadership. But this does not come about because o! de!ects in the structure o! these organi2ations or their mista en ideas or some sort o! an evil spell cast on orgai2ation as such. ,hese negative !eatures re!lect the !ailure o! these organi2ations, which in turn is only an aspect o! the !ailure o! the proletariat itsel!. *hen a director/executant relationship is set up between the trade union or party and the proletariat, it means that the proletariat is allowing a relationship o! the capitalist type to be instauturated within itsel!. /ence degeneration is not a phenomenon peculiar to wor ing-class organi2ations. -t is .ust one o! the expressions o! the way capitalism.. survives in the proletariat; capitalism expresses itsel! in the corruption o! leaders by money,but as an ideology, as a type o! social structure and as a set o! relations between people. -t is a mani!estation o! the immaturity o! the proletariat vis-Fvis socialism. -t corresponds to a phase in the labor movement and, even more generally, to a constant tendency toward integration into the system o!

exploitation or toward aiming !or power !or its own sa e, which is expressed in the proletariat in symmetrical !ashion as a tendency toward relying, consciously or passively, on the organi2ation !or a solution to its problems. -n the same way, the #arty)s claim that in possessing theory it possesses the truth and thereby should ta e the lead in everything would not have any real appeal i! it did not ma e use o! the conviction shared by the proletariat-and daily reproduced by li!e under capitalism-that general 5uestions are the department o! specialists and that its own experience o! production and society is Hunimportant.)) ,hese two tendencies express one and the same sense o! !rustration and !ailure; they originate in the same !acts and the same ideas and are impossible and inconceivable one without the other. "! course, we should .udge di!!erently the politician who wants to impose his point o! view by all possible means and the wor er who is totally incapable o! !inding a reply to his !low o! words or o! matching his cunning, and even more di!!erently the leader who Hbetrays)) and the wor er who is Hbetrayed)); but we must not !orget that the notion o! treason has no meaning in such relationships. Eo one can inde!initely betray people who do not want to be betrayed and who do what is necessary to prevent their being betrayed any longer. @nderstanding this allows us to appreciate what all this proletarian !etishism and all these antiorgani2ational obsessions that recently have ta en hold o! certain people are really all about. *hen trade-union leaders carry through re!ormist policies, they only succeed because o! the apathy, the ac5uiescence, and the insu!!icient response o! the wor ing masses. *hen, !or !our years, the >rench proletariat allows the $lgerians to be massacred and tortured and only !eebly stirs when the 5uestion o! its being mobili2ed or o! its wages becomes involved, it is very super!icial to say that it is all a crime o! Mollet)s or o! ,hore2)s or o! organi2ational bureaucrati2ation in general. ,he enormous role played by organi2ations themselves in this 5uestion does not mean that the wor ing class plays no part at all. ,he wor ing class is neither a totally irresponsible entity nor the absolute sub.ect o! history; and those who only see in the class)s evolution the problem o! the degeneration o! its organi2ations paradoxically want to ma e it both at once. ,o hear them tell it, the proletariat draws everything !rom itsel! - and plays no part in the degeneration o! wor ers) organi2ations. Eo, as a !irst approximation we should say that the proletariat only gets the organi2ations it is capable o! having. ,he situation o! the proletariat !orces it always to underta e and continuously recommence its struggle against capitalist society. -n the course o! this struggle it produces new contents and new !orms-socialist contents and !orms, !or to !ight capitalism means to put !orward ob.ectives, principles, standards, and !orms o! organi2ation radically opposed to established society. But as long as capitalism endures, the proletariat will remain partly under its hold.

,he e!!ect o! this hold can be seen particularly clearly in wor ers) organi2ations. *hen capitalism ta es hold o! them, these organi2ations degenerate- which goes hand in hand with their bureaucrati2ation. $s long as capitalism exists there will always be Hoppresive conditions)) ma ing this degradation possible. But this does not mean that bureaucrati2ation is !ated. #eople ma e their own history. "b.ective conditions simply allow a result that is the product o! man)s actions and attitudes to happen. *hen they have occurred, these actions have ta en a very well de!ined path. "n the one hand, revolutionary militants have partly remained or have returned to being prisoners o! capitalist social relationships and ideology. "n the other, the proletariat has remained .ust as much under this hold and has agreed to act as the executing o! its organi2ations. 6.A .e1 Period Begins for %he (a,our Mo*ement @nder what conditions can this situation change in the !utureD >irsts the experience o! the preceding period will have to allow revolutionary militants and wor ers ali e to become aware o! the contradictory and, basically, reactionary elements in their own and the other)s conceptions and attitudes. Militants will have to overthrow these traditional ideas and come around to viewing revolutionary theory, program, politics, activity, and organi2ation in a new way, in a socialist way. "n the other hand, the proletariat will have to come around to seeing its struggle as an autonomous struggle and the revolutionary organi2ation not as a leadership responsible !or its !ate but as one moment and one instrument in its struggle. (o these conditions exist nowD -s this overthrow o! traditional ideas an e!!ort o! will, an inspiration, or a new more correct theoryD Eo, this overthrow is made possible !rom now on by one great ob"ective !act, speci!ically the bureaucrati2ation o! the labour movement. ,he action o! the proletariat has produced a bureaucracy. ,his bureaucracy has become integrated into the system o! exploitation. -! the proletariat)s struggle against the bureaucracy continues, it will be turned not only against bureaucrats as persons but against bureaucracy as a system, as a type o! social relationship, as a reality and an ideology corresponding to this reality. ,his is an essential corollary to what was said earlier about the role or ob.ective !actors. ,here are no economic or other laws ma ing bureaucrati2ation hence!orth impossible, but there is a development that has become ob.ective, !or society has become bureaucrati2ed and so the proletariat)s struggle against this society can only be a struggle against bureaucracy. ,he destruction o! bureaucracy is not Hpredestined)) .ust as the victory o! the proletariat in its struggle is not Hpredestined)) either. But the conditions !or this victory are !rom now on satis!ied by social reality, !or awareness o! the problems o! bureaucracy no longer depends upon any theoretical arguments or upon any exceptional amount o! lucidity; it can result !rom the daily experience o! wor ers who

encounter bureaucracy not as a potential threat in the distant !uture but as an enemy o! !lesh and bone, born o! their very own activity. Proletariat and Bureaucracy in the #resent #eriod ,he events o! recent years show that the proletariat is gaining experience o! bureaucratic organi2ations not as leadership groups that are Hmista en)) or that Hbetray,)) but in an in!initely more pro!ound way. )*here these organi2ations are in power, as in 0astern 0urope, the proletariat sees them o! necessity as purely and simply the incarnation o! the system o! exploitation. *hen it manages to brea the totalitarian yo e, its revolutionary struggle is not .ust directed against bureaucracy; it puts !orward aims that express in positive terms the experience o! bureaucrati2ation. -n %&'9 the wor ers o! 0ast Berlin as ed !or a Hmetalwor ers) government)) and later the /ungarian wor ers councils demanded wor ers) management o! production. -n the ma.ority o! *estern countries, the wor ers) attitude toward bureaucratic organi2ations shows that they see them as !oreign and alien institutions. -n contrast to what was still happening at the end o! the Second *orld *ar, in no industriali2ed country do wor ers still believe that Htheir)) parties or trade unions are willing or able to bring about a !undamental change in their situation. ,hey may Hsupport)) them by voting !or them as a lesser evil; they may use them-this is o!ten still the case as !ar as trade unions are concerned-as one uses a lawyer or the !ire brigade. But rarely do they mobili.e themselves !or them or at their call, and never do they actively participate in them. Membership in trade unions may rise or !all, no one attends trade-union meetings. #arties can rely less and less on the active militancy o! wor ers who are party members; they now !unction mainly through paid permanent sta!! made up o! Hle!t-wing)) members o! the petty bourgeoisie and intellectuals. -n the eyes o! the wor ers, these parties and trade unions are part o! the established order-more or less rotten than the rest-but basically the same as them. *hen wor ers) struggles erupt they o!ten do so outside the bureaucratic organisations and sometimes directly against them. *e there!ore have entered a new phase in the development o! the proletariat that can be dated, i! you li e, !rom %&'9; this is the beginning o! a historical period during which the proletariat will try to rid itsel! o! the remnants o! its creations o! %?&C and %&%7. /ence!orth, when the wor ers put !orward their own aims and seriously struggle to achieve them, they will be able to do so only outside, and most o!ten in con!lict with, bureaucratic organi2ations. ,his does not mean that the latter will disappear. >or as long as the proletariat accepts the system o! exploitation, organi2ations expressing this state o! a!!airs will exist and will continue to serve as instruments !or the integration o! the proletariat into capitalist society. *ithout them, capitalist society can no longer possibly !unction. But because o! this very !act, each struggle will

tend to set the wor ers against these bureaucrati2ed organi2ations; and i! these struggles develop, new organi2ations will rise up !rom the proletariat itsel!, !or sections o! wage labourers, salaried wor ers, and intellectuals will !eel the need to act in a systematic and permanent !ashion to help the proletariat to achieve its new ob.ectives. .eed for a .e1 Organi3ation ,he wor ing class is to enter a new phase o! activity and development, immense practical and ideological needs will arise. ,he proletariat will need organs that will allow it to express its experiences and opinions beyond the wor shops and the o!!ice where the capitalist structure o! society at present con!ines them and that will enable it to smash the bourgeois and bureaucratic monopoly over the means o! expression. -t will need in!ormation centers to tell it about what is happening among various groups o! wor ers, within the ruling classes, in society in general, and in other countries. -t will need organs !or ideological struggle against capitalism and the bureaucracy capable o! drawing out a positive socialist conception o! the problems o! society. -t will !eel the need !or a socialist perspective to be de!ined, !or the problems !aced by a wor ing class in power to be brought out and wor ed out, and !or the experience o! past revolutions to be drawn out and put at the disposal o! present generations. -t will need material means and instruments to carry out these tas s as well as interoccupational, interregional, and international liaisons to bring people and ideas together. -t will need to attract o!!ice wor ers, technicians, and intellectuals into its camp and to integrate them into its struggle. ,he wor ing class cannot directly satis!y these needs itsel!) except in a period o! revolution. ,he wor ing class can bring about a revolution Hspontaneously)), ma e the most !ar-reaching demands, invent !orms o! struggle o! incomparable e!!ectiveness, and create organs to express its power. But the wor ing class as such, in a totally undi!!erentiated state, will not, !or example, produce a national wor ers) newspaper, the absence o! which is sorely !elt today; it will be wor ers and militants who will produce it, and who will o! necessity organi2e to produce it. -t will not be the wor ing class as a whole that spreads the news o! a particular struggle !ought in a particular place; i! organi2ed wor ers and mili- tants don)t do it, then this example will be lost, !or it will remain un nown. -n periods o! normalcy, the wor ing class as such will not absorb within itsel! the technicians and intellectuals whom capitalist society tends to separate !rom the wor ers all their lives; and without this sort o! integration a host o! problems !acing the revolutionary movement in a modern society will remain insoluble, Eeither will the wor ing class as such nor intellectuals as such solve the problem o! how to carry on a continuous elaboration o! revolutionary theory and ideology, !or such a resolution can only come about through a !usion o! the experience o! wor ers

and the positive elements o! modern culture. Eow, the only place in contemporary society in which this !usion can ta e place is a revolutionary organi2ation. ,o wor toward satis!ying these needs there!ore necessarily implies building an organi2ation as large, as strong, and as e!!ective as possible. *e believe this organi2ation can exist only under two conditions. ,he !irst condition is that the wor ing class recogni2e it as an indispensabe tool in its struggle. *ithout substantial support !rom the wor ing class the organisation could not develop !or better or !or worse. ,he phobia about bureacratisation certain people are developing at the moment !ails to recogni2e a basic !act: ,here is very little room !or a new bureaucracy, 3existing bureaucracies satis!y the needs o! the system o! exploitation4 as well as, and above all, in the consciousness o! the proletariat. "r else, i! the proletariat again allowed a bureaucratic organi2ation to develop and once more !ell under its hold, the conclusion would have to be that all the ideas on which we base ourselves are !alse, at any rate as !ar as the present historical period and probably as !ar as socialist prospects are concerned. >or this would mean that the proletariat was incapable o! establishing a socialist relationship with a political organi2ation, that it cannot solve the problem o! its relations with the sphere o! ideology, with intellectuals, and with other social groups on a healthy and !ruit!ul basis, and there!ore, ultimately, that it would !ind the problem o! the Hstate)) an insoluble "ne. But such an organi2ation will only be recogni2ed by the proletariat as an indispensable tool in its struggle i! -and this is the second condition -it learns all the lessons o! the previous historical period and i! it puts itsel! at the level o! the proletariat)s present experience and needs. Such an organi2ation will be able to develop and indeed exist only i! its activity, structure, ideas, and methods correspond to the antibureaucratic consciousness o! the wor ers and express it and only i! it is able to de!ine revolutionary politics, theory, action, and wor on new bases. &e*olutionary Politics ,he end, and at the same time the means, o! revolutionary politics is to contribute to the development o! the consciousness o! the proletariat in every sphere and especially where the obstacles to this development are greatest: with respect to the problem o! society ta en as a whole. But awareness is not recording and playing bac , learning ideas brought in !rom the outside, or contemplating ready-made truths. -t is activity,creation the capacity to produce. It is therefore not a matter of/raising consciousness through lessons, no matter ho% high the 'uality of the contents or of the teacher- it is rather to contribute to the development of the consciousness of the proletariat

as a creative faculty. 3"ur emphasis4 Eot only then is it not a 5uestion o! revolutionary politics imposing itsel! on the proletariat or o! manipulating it, but also it cannot be a 5uestion o! preaching to the proletariat or o! teaching it a Hcorrect theory.)) ,he tas o! revolutionary politics is to contribute to the !ormation o! the consciousness o! the proletariat by contributing those elements o! which it is dispossessed. But the proletariat can come to exert control over these elements, and, what is more important, it can e!!ectively integrate them into its own experience and there!ore ma e something out o! them, only i! they are organically connected with it. ,his is completely the opposite o! Hsimpli!ication)) or populari2ation, and implies rather a continual deepening o! the 5uestions as ed. +evolutionary politics must constantly show how society)s most general problems are contained in the daily li!e and activity o! the wor ers, and inversely, how the con!licts tearing apart their lives are, in the last analysis, o! the same nature as those !aced by society. -t must show the connection between the solutions the wor ers o!!er to problems they !ace at wor and those that are applicable to society as a whole. -n short, it must extract the socialist content in what is constantly being created by the proletariat 3whether it is a matter o! a stri e or o! a revolution4, !ormulate it coherently, propagate it, and show its universal import. ,his is not to suggest that revolutionary politics is anything li e a passive expression or re!lection o! wor ing-class consciousness. ,his consciousness contains something o! everything, both socialist elements and capitalist ones as we have shown at great length. ,here is Budapest and there are also large numbers o! >rench wor ers who treat $lgerians li e bougnoules, there are stri es against hierarchy and there are inter-union .urisdictional disputes. +evolutionary politics can and must combat capitalism)s continuous penetration into the proletariat, !or revolutionary politics is merely one aspect o! the struggle o! the wor ing class against itsel!. -t necessarily implies ma ing a choice among the things the wor ing class produces, as s !or, and accepts. ,he basis !or this choice is revolutionary ideology and theory. &e*olutionary %heory ,he long-prevalent conception o! revolutionary theory-the science o! society and revolution, as elaborated by specialists and introduced into the proletariat by the party is in direct contradiction to the very idea o! a socialist revolution being the autonomous activity o! the masses. But it is .ust as erroneous on the theoretical plane. ,here is no Hproo!)) o! the inevitable collapse o! the system o! exploitation. ,here is even less Htruth)) in the possibility o! socialism being established by a theoretical elaboration operating outside the concrete content created by the historic, everyday activity o! the proletariat. ,he proletariat develops on its own toward socialism-otherwise there would be no prospect !or socialism.

,he ob.ective conditions !or this development are given by capitalist society itsel!. But these conditions only establish the context and de!ine the problems the proletariat will encounter in its struggle; they are a long way !rom determining the content o! its answers to these problems. -ts responses are a creation o! the proletariat, !or this class ta es up the ob.ective elements o! the situation and at the same time trans!orms them, thereby opening up a previously un nown and unsuspected !ield o! action and ob.ective possibilities. ,he content o! socialism is precisely this creative activity on the part o! the masses that no theory ever could or ever will be able to anticipate. Marx could not have anticipated the commune 3not as an event but as a !orm o! social organi2ation4 nor 1enin the soviets, nor could either o! them have anticipated wor er)s management. Marx could only draw conclusions !rom and recogni2e the signi!icance o! the action o! the #arisian proletariat during the Commune-and he merits the great distinction o! having shattered his own previously held views to do so. But it would be .ust as !alse to say that once these conclusions have been reached, the theory possesses the truth and can rigidi!y it in !ormulations that will remain valid inde!initely. ,hese !ormulations will be valid only until the next phase o! activity by the masses, !or each time they again enter into action the masses tend to go beyond their previous level o! action, and thereby beyond the conclusions . o! previous theoretical elaborations. Socialism is not a correct theory as opposed to !alse theories; it is the possibility o! a new world rising out o! the depths o! society that will bring into 5uestion the very notion o! Htheory.)) Socialism is not a correct idea. -t is a pro.ect !or the trans!ormation o! history. -ts content is that those who hal! the time are the ob.ects o! history will become wholly its sub.ects-which would be inconceivable i! the meaning o! this trans!ormation were possessed by a particular group o! individuals. Conse5uently, the conception o! revolutionary theory must be changed. -t must be modi!ied, in the !irst place, with respect to the ultimate source !or its ideas and principles-which can be nothing else but the historic as well as daytoday experience and action o! the proletariat. $ll o! economic theory has to be reconstructed around what is contained in embryo in the tendency o! wor ers toward e5uality in pay; the entire theory o! production around the in!ormal organi2ation o! wor ers in the !actory; all o! political theory around the principles embodied in the soviets and the councils. -t is only with the help o! these land- mar s that theory can illuminate and ma e use o! what is o! revolutionary value among the general cultural creations o! contemporary society. ,he conception o! theory must be modi!iers -n the second place, with respect to both its ob.ective and !unction. ,his cannot be to churn out the eternal truths o! socialism, but to assist in the struggle !or the liberation o! the

proletariat and humanity. ,his does not mean that theory is a utilitarian appendage o! revolutionary struggle or that its value is to be measured by the degree o! e!!ectiveness o! propaganda. +evolutionary theory is itsel! an essential moment in the struggle !or socialism and is such to the degree that it contains the truth. Eot speculative or contemplative truth, but truth bound u p with practice,truth that casts light upon a pro.ect !or the trans!ormation o! the world. -ts !unction, then, is to state explicitly, and on every occasion, the meaning o! the revolutionary venture and o! the wor ers) struggle; to shed light on the context in which this action is set, to situate the various elements in it and to provide an overall explanatory schema !or understanding these elements and !or relating them to each other; and to maintain the vital lin between the past and the !uture o! the movement. But above all, it is to elaborate the prospects !or socialism. >or revolutionary theory, the ultimate guarantor !or the criti5ue o! capitalism and !or the prospect o! a new society is to be !ound in the activity o! the proletariat, its opposition to established !orms o! social organi2ation and its tendency to instaurate new relationships between people. But theory can and must bring out the truths that spring !rom this activity by showing their universal validity. -t must show that the proletariat)s challenge to capitalist society expresses the deepest contradiction within that society; it must show the ob.ective possibility o! a socialist society. -t there!ore must de!ine the socialist outloo as completely as possible at any given moment according to the experience and activity o! the proletariat- and in return interpret this experience according to this outloo . -ndeed, the conception o! theory must be modi!ied with respect to the way it is elaborated. $s an expression o! what is universally valid in the experience o! the proletariat and as a !usion o! that experience with the revolutionary elements in contemporary culture, revolutionary theory cannot be elaborated, as was done in the past, by a particular stratum o! intellectuals. -t will have no value, no consistency with what it elsewhere proclaims to be its essential principles unless it is constantly being replenished, in practice, be the experience o! the wor ers as it ta es shape in their day to day li!es.,his implies a radical brea with the practice o! traditional organi2ations. ,he intellectuals) monopoly over theory is not bro en by the !act that a tiny group o! wor ers are Heducated)) by the organi2ation-and thus trans!ormed into second-string intellectuals; on the contrary, this simply perpetuates the problem. ,he tas the organi2ation is up against in this sphere is to merge intellectuals with wor ers as %orkers as it is elaborating its views. ,his means that the 5uestions as ed, and the methods !or discussing and wor ing out these problems, must be changed so that it will be possible !or the wor er to ta e part. ,his is not a case o! Hthe teacher ma ing allowances,)) but rather the primary condition to be !ul!illed i! revolutionary theory is to remain ade5uate to its principles, its ob.ect, and its content. ,here obviously cannot be e5ual participation on all sub.ects; the important thing is that there be e5ual participation on the basic ones. Eow, !or revolutionaries, the !irst change to bring about concerns the 5uestion o! what is a basic sub.ect. -t is clear that wor ers could not participate as wor ers and

on the basis o! their experience in a discussion on the !alling rate o! pro!it, -t so happens, as i! by accident, that this problem is, strictly spea ing, unimportant 3even scienti!ically4. More generally, nonparticipation in traditional organi2ations has gone along with a conception o! revolutionary theory as a Hscience)) that has no connection with people)s experiences except in its most remote conse5uences. *hat we are saying here leads us to adopt a diametrically opposed position; by de!inition nothing can be o! basic concern to revolutionary theory i! there is no way o! lin ing it up organically with the wor ers own experience. -t is also obvious that this connection is not always simple and direct and that the experience involved here is not experience reduced to pure immediacy. ,he mysti!ication that there is some ind o! Hspontaneous process)) through which the wor er can, through an e!!ortless and magic operation, !ind everything he needs to ma e a socialist revolution in the here and now o! his own experience is the exact counterpart to the bureaucratic mysti!ication it is trying to combat, and it is .ust as dangerous. ,hese considerations show that it is vain to tal o! revolutionary theory outside a revolutionary organi2ation. "nly an organi2ation !ormed as a revolutionary wor ers) organi2ation, in which wor ers numerically predominate and dominate it on !undamental 5uestions, and which creates broad avenues o! exchange with the proletariat, thus allowing it to draw upon the widest possible experience o! contemporary society-only an organi2ation o! this ind can produce a theory that will be anything other than the isolated wor o! specialists. conception has no meaning unless it is a moment in this struggle; -t has no value unless it can aid in the wor ers) struggle and assist in the !ormation o! their experience. ,hese two aspects are inseparable. @nli e the intellectual, whose experiences are !ormed by readings writing, and speculative thin ing, wor ers can !orm their experiences only through their actions. ,he organi2ation there!ore can contribute to the !ormation o! wor ers) experience only i! 3a4 it act: in an exemplary !ashion, and 3b4 it helps the wor ers to act in an e!!ective and !ruit!ul way. @nless it wants to renounce its existence completely, the organi2ation cannot renounce acting, nor can it give up trying to in!luence actions and events in a particular direction. Eo !orm o! action considered in itsel! can be ruled out in advance. ,hese !orms o! action can only be .udged by their e!!ectiveness in achieving the aim o! the organi2ationwhich continues to be the lasting development o! the consciousness o! the proletariat. ,hese !orms range !rom the publication o! .ournals and pamphlets to the issuing o! lea!lets calling !or such and such an action and the promulgation o! slogans that in a given historic situation can allow a rapid crystalli2ation o! the awareness o! the proletariat)s own aims and will to act. ,he organi2ation can carry through this action coherently and consciously only i! it has a point o! view on the immediate as well as the historical problems con!ronting the wor ing class and only i! is de!ends this point o! view be!ore the wor ing class-in other words, only i! it acts according to a

program that condenses and expresses the experience o! the labour movement up to ) that point. ,hree tas s !acing the organi2ation at present are highly urgent and re5uire a more precise de!inition. ,he !irst is to bring to expression the experience o! the wor ers and to help them become aware o! the awareness they already possess.,wo enormous obstacles prevent wor ers !rom expressing themselves. ,he !irst is the material impossibility o! expressing themselves as a result o! the monopoly over the means o! expression exercised by the bourgeoisie, the parties o! the Hle!t)) and the trade unions. ,he revolutionary organi2ation will have to put its organs at the disposal o! wor ers, whether organi2ed or not. But there is a second, even more !ormidable obstacle: 0ven when they are given the material means to express themselves, the wor ers do not do so. $t the root o! this attitude is !ound the idea constantly spawned by bourgeois society and encouraged by H*or ing-class)) organisations that what wor ers have to say does not really matter. ,he conviction that the Hgreat)) problems o! society are unrelated to wor ing-class experience, and that they belong to the !ield o! specialists and leaders, is constantly ta ing root in the proletariat; in the last analysis,this conviction is the central condition !or the survival o! the system o! exploitation. -t is the duty o! the revolutionary organisation to combat this, !irst, by its) criti5ue o! present society, showing in particular the ban ruptcy o! this system and the inability o! its leaders to solve their problems, and then and above all, by showing the positive importance o! the wor ers) experience and the answer this contains in embryo to the most general problems o! society. -t is only inso!ar as the idea is destroyed that what the wor ers have to say is insigni!icance that wor ers will express themselves. ,he second tas o! the organi2ation is to place be!ore the proletariat an overall conception o! the problems o! contemporary society and, in particular, the problem o! socialism. *or ers !ind it hard to envision the possibility o! wor ers) management o! society and see rather the degradation the idea o! socialism has su!!ered through its bureaucratic caricatures. ,a en together, these di!!iculties constitute the main obstacles in the way o! revolutionary action on the part o! the proletariat in this period o! deep crisis in the social relationships o! capitalism. -t is !or the organi2ation to rearouse in the proletariat this a%areness of the possibility of socialism, without it, revolutionary development will be in!inlte!y more di!!icult. ,he organi2ation)s third tas is to help the wor ers de!end their immediate interests and position. $s a result o! the complete bureaucrati2ation o! trade unions in the great ma.ority o! cases and the inanity o! any move aimed at replacing them by new and Himproved)) trade unions, today the revolutionary organi2ation alone can ta e on an entire series o! !unctions essential !or the success and even the lodging o! economic demands. ,hese include the

!unctions o! in5uiry, communication, and liaison; the basic material !unctions that go along with them; and !inally, and especially, the !unctions involved in the systematic clari!ication and circulation o! e)emplary demands, organi2ational !orms, and methods o! conducting struggles that have been created by one or another category o! wor ers. ,his action by the organi2ation in no way denies the importance that autonomous, minority !actions o! militant wor ers in various companies might ta e on in the coming period. ,he action o! such groupings cannot in the end be success!ul unless they manage to go beyond the narrow !ramewor o! the !irm and expand onto the interoccupational and national levels; moreover, the organi2ation can ma e a decisive contribution to the extension o! their role. But what is most important, experience shows that such groupings will only remain passing phenomena unless they are animated by militants who are convinced o! the necessity !or permanent action and who, as a result o! this conviction, lin this action with problems that go beyond the situation o! wor ers in their !irm. ,hese militants will !ind the organi2ation an indispensable support !or their action, and most o!ten they will originate !rom this organi2ation. -n other words, the !ormation o! minority !actions within !irms will most o! the time be achieved as a result o! the activity o! the revolutionary organi2ation. %he Structure of the Organi3ation -n this sphere too, the organi2ation)s inspiration can come only !rom the socialist structures created by the wor ing class in the course o! its history. -t must let itsel! be guided by the principles on which the soviet and the !actory council were !ounded, not copying such organi2ations literally, but .adapting them to suit the conditions in which it is placed. ,his means: %. ,hat in deciding their own activities, grassroots organs en.oy as much autonomy as is compatible with the general unity-o! action o! the organi2ation; 8. ,hat direct democracy, i.e., collective decision ma ing by all those involved. be applied wherever it is materially possible; and 9. ,hat the central organs empowered to ma e decisions be composed o! delagates elected !rom the grassroots organs who are liable to recall at any time. -n other words, the principle o! wor ers) management must govern the operation and structure o! the organisation.$part !rom them, there are only capitalist principles, which, as we have seen, can only result in the establishment o! capitalist relationships. -n particular, it is the problem o! the relationship between centrali2ation and decentrali2ation that the organi2ation must resolve on the basis o! the principles o! wor ers) management. ,he

organi2ation is a collective unit, in action and even in production; it there!ore cannot exist without unity o! action, and conse5uently all 5uestions relating to the organi2ation as a whole necessarily involve centrali2ed decision ma ing,Hcentrali2ed)) does not mean that decisions are to be made by a central committee; on the contrary, they are to be made by the organi2ation as a whole, either directly or through elected, recallable delegates, using the principle o! ma.ority vote. >urthermore, it is essential that within the !ramewor o! these central decisions, the grass-roots organs govern their own activities autonomously. ,he con!usion created by bureaucratic domination over the past thirty years has turned some people today against centrali2ation as such 3whether in a revolutionary organi2ation or in a socialist society4 and has led them to contrast it with democracy. Such an opposition is absurd. >eudalism was decentrali2ed, and i! Khrushchev)s +ussia became decentrali2ed it would not ma e it any more democratic. "n the other hands a !actory council is centrali2ation itsel!. (emocracy is only a !orm o! centrali2ation; it means simply that the centre is the totality o! those who ta e part and that decisions are made by a ma.ority o! these participants and not by any authority apart !rom them. Bolshevi Hdemocratic centralism)) was not democratic centralism, as we saw earlier. -n reality, it wor s by assigning decision-ma ing !unctions to a minority o! leaders. ,he proletariat has always been centralist. ,his is as true o! its historical actions 3the commune, soviets, wor ers) councils4 as o! its current struggles. 1i ewise, it has been democratic, that is to say, a supporter o! the rule o! the ma.ority. -! the social origin o! opposition to the ma.ority principle is to be sought, it certainly will not be !ound in the wor ing class. Eevertheless, the problem o! democracy in the organi2ation concerns not only the !orm in which decisions are made but the entire process by which these decisions are arrived at. (emocracy is meaning!ul only i! those who are to ma e the decisions are able to do so in !ull nowledge o! the relevant !acts.,he problem o! democracy) there!ore, also embraces the problem o! obtaining ade5uate in!ormation; but it does not involve only this, !or it also includes the nature o! the 5uestions posed and the attitude o! the participants toward these 5uestions and toward the results o! this or that decision. >inally, democracy is impossible without the active and permanent participation o! all the members o! the organi2ation in its wor and in its operation. $gain, this participation does not and cannot result !rom the psychological peculiarities o! militants, such as their !orce o! character or their enthusiasm. -t depends above all on the type o! wor the organi2ation proposes to them and on the way in which this wor is conceived and carried out. -! the wor they do reduces them to the role o! executants o! decisions actually made by others, their participation will be in!initesimal. 0ven i! these decisions are implemented with great devotion, the degree o! participation necessarily will be only a small !raction o! what it is potentially. -t is there!ore the degree o! opportunity

a!!orded by the organi2ation to each o! its members to participate in the output o! the organi2ation as a creative member o! the group and to use his own experience to exert control over this output that will allow one to measure the degree o! democracy the organi2ation has been able to attain. Can we claim, there!ore, to have solved all problems once and !or allD Can we say now that we are immune !rom the modes o! thought o! established society and that we have !ound the Hrecipe)) !or the organi2ation to avoid all bureaucrati2ation and !or the proletariat to avoid all mista es and de!eatsD ,o suppose this would be to understand nothing at all o! what has been said, and indeed, to expect a reply o! this sort would be to understand nothing at all about the type o! 5uestions as ed. ,he reply to those who as !or guarantees that a new organisation will not become bureaucrati2ed is this: HAou already completely bureaucrati2ed yourselves, you are the ideal in!antry o! a new bureaucracy i! you believe that by merely speculating about it, a theoretician will arrive at a plan that will eliminate the possibility o! bureaucrati2ation. ,he only guarantee against bureaucrati2ation lies in your own thought and action -in your greatest possible participation and certainly not in your abstention)). *e have said !or some years in this .ournal3 Socialism or Barbarism 4 that revolutionary activitiy is caught in a crucial contradiction; -t participates in the society it is trying to abolish. ,his is the same sort o! contradictory position the proletariat itsel! is in under capitalism. -t is nonsensical to loo non4 !or a theoretical solution to this contradiction. Eo such solution existed !or a theoretical solution to a real contra- diction is an absurdity. ,his does not warrant abstention but rather struggle. ,he contradiction resolves itsel! partially at each stage o! action, but only revolution can resolve it totally. -t is partially resolved in practice when a revolutionary puts be!ore wor ers ideas that allow them to organi2e and clari!y their experience-and, when these wor ers use these ideas to go !urther, to give rise to new, positive contents o! the struggle, and eventually to Heducate the educator.)) -t is resolved in part when an organi2ation proposes a !orm o! struggle and this !orm is ta en up, enriched, and broadened by the wor ers. -t is resolved when genuine collective wor becomes inaugurated within the organi2ation; when each person)s ideas and experiences are discussed by the others, and then surpassed, to be merged in a common aim and action; and when militants develop themselves through their participation in every aspect o! the li!e and activity o! the organi2ation. Eone o! this is ever gained once and !or all, but it is only along these lines that progress can be made. *hatever the !orm o! the organi2ation and its activity, e!!ective participation by militants will al%ays be a problem, an achievement that must be reconsolidated daily. ,he problem will not be solved by decreeing that there will be no organi2ation which comes down to accepting a

role o! no participation whatsoever, i.e., the exact e5uivalent o! the complete bureaucratic solution. Eor can it be solved by constitutional rules or bylaws that would automatically guarantee maximum participation-!or no such rules exist. ,here are simply rules that allo% !or participation and others that make it impossible. *hatever the contents o! the organi2ation)s revolutionary theory or program, however deep their connections with the experience and needs o! the proletariat, there will always be the possibility, the certainty even, that at some point this theory and program will be outstripped by historic and there will always be the ris that those who have de!ended them up to that point will tend to ma e them into absolutes and try to subordinate and adapt the creations o! living history to !it them. *e can limit this ris and educate militants and, as a start, ourselves by the thought that the ultimate criterion o! socialism lies in the people who struggle today and not in the resolutions voted on last year. But it can never be eliminated completely, and in any case it cannot be eliminated by eradicating theory and program, !or this comes down to eliminating all rational action and to abandoning li!e in order to preserve bad reasons !or living. ,his contradictory situation has not been created by the revolutionary militant. -t is imposed on him, as it is imposed on the proletariat, by capitalist society. *hat distinguishes the revolutionary militant !rom the bourgeois philosopher is that the !ormer does not remain spellbound by the contradiction once he has become aware o! it, but struggles to overcome it, not through solitary re!lection or speculation, but through collective action. $nd to act is, in the !irst place, to get onesel! organi2ed. ,a en >rom Socialisme Ou Barbarie 87,$pril %&'&