Wednesday, December 22, 2010

English translation of "Lenin and Workers' Control," by Didier Limon (1967)

Lenin and workers’ control

Didier-L. LIMON


Published: Paris, December 1967, Autogestion: ├ętudes, d├ębats, documents, cahier no. 4, pp. 65-111.
Translated and Edited: Keith Rosenthal, December 2010

Editor’s Note: This phenomenal, historical and analytical study has, until now, not been translated into English. This is a shame on many levels for it stands nearly peerless in its meticulous treatment of the specific subject it takes up. That is, the debates and discussions surrounding the implementation of workers’ control of production within the first months after the October revolution of 1917 in Russia.

Didier Limon’s study goes in-depth to flesh out the various political tendencies, forces, and organizations at play during this pivotal moment in the revolution’s history. There’s little doubt as to where Limon’s political inclinations lay in all of this, namely, with the Bolsheviks, and more specifically, with Lenin’s approach to the question. Nonetheless, one cannot claim that he has failed to present the first-hand views of the various actors in this drama, and thus provides the reader with a clear, multi-dimensional picture of this centrally-important question to any socialist revolution, as it played out in the days when Russia was controlled by its working class.

One final note on this translation; I do not pretend in any way to be an expert in French-English translations. Indeed, I hope that such an expert will one day be inspired to give this article a much more professional touch. To this end, I am supplying the original French version of this article, which can be accessed at the following link, The only reason I tried my hand at this task was because, first of all, I was so delighted upon recently discovering this article that I wanted to share it with a broader audience, and second, given that the article was not available in English, I thought it better for there to be at least a less-than-perfect translated version of this article rather than no translated version at all.

In any event, while I cannot guarantee the reader that the following is a flawless translation, I can most definitely guarantee that in all its essentials, the following is an accurate representation of the arguments, facts, and details as penned by Limon some forty years ago.

All citations and footnotes are those of the original author, unless otherwise noted.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Collected proceedings of 1st-27th Party Congresses of the Russian RSDLP/Bolshevik/CP

(In English)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The makings of a response to Wetzel & Brinton (or, Were Lenin, Trotsky, and the Bolsheviks Really Just Evil Despots?)

Tenth Parthy Congress, March 1921, Trotsky argues for militarization of labor, "shake-up" in the trade unions on the part of the Soviet state, rejecting trade union autonomy from workers' state, and that Soviet dictatorship trumps democracy (See English translation of Trotsky's speech here).

Trotsky roundly denounced by Lenin, voted down by Tenth Party Congree in favor of Lenin's opposed proposal, Trotsky nearly loses seat on Central Committee.

Trotsky later says he was wrong & that Lenin was correct.

Exactly one year later, in a prepared speech for the Fourth World Congress of the Cominter (Nov 1922), Trotsky clarifies his position on the trade unions (stark contrast to his 1921 arguments):

"Naturally the legend spread by the reformists that Plans are afoot to subordinate the trade unions organizationally to the party must be unconditionally denounced and exposed. Trade unions embrace workers of different political shadings as well as non-party men, atheists as well as believers, whereas the party unites political co-thinkers on the basis of a definite program. The party has not and cannot have any instrumentalities and methods for subjecting the trade unions to itself from the outside.
The party can gain influence in the life of the trade unions only to the extent that its members work in the trade unions and carry out the party point of view there. The influence of party members in the trade unions naturally depends on their numerical strength and especially on the degree to which they are able to apply party principles correctly, consistently and expediently to the needs of the trade-union movement.
The party has the right and the duty to aim to conquer, along the road above outlined, the decisive influence in the trade-union organization. It can achieve this goal only provided the work of the Communists in the trade unions is wholly and exclusively harmonized with the principles of the party and is invariably conducted under its control." (
"The Revolution in Russia is now in its most critical stages. The near future will determine whether or not the Bolsheviki can maintain their supremacy. They represent the peasants, the workers, and the soldiers — the great bulk of the population. Their demand is the land to the peasants who till it and the tools to the workers who use them. This means real democracy, for which the Russian people alone are fighting in the present war . . . the Bolsheviki, the representatives and the only representatives of real democracy in Russia."

Friday, December 10, 2010

John Lennon: "I am a socialist"

"In England, there are only two things to be, basically: You are either for the labor movement or for the capitalist movement. Either you become a right-wing Archie Bunker if you are in the class I am in, or you become an instinctive socialist, which I was. That meant I think people should get their false teeth and their health looked after, all the rest of it. But apart from that, I worked for money and I wanted to be rich. So what the hell -- if that's a paradox, then I'm a socialist." (John Lennon - 1980 Interview)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The beginning of . . . something?

He sat at his desk staring at the computer screen.  The cursor blinked methodically, hypnotically, in front of his eyes.  I want to write a book, he thought to himself.  A great novel or story -- something to capture the imagination of a despondent nationSomething uplifting, but not fake.  Poetic, but unambiguous.  Something to shatter the plasticine banality of present-day social relations.   

In the background his coworkers chattered about this-and-that.  "Are you going to the holiday party Tuesday?"  "I don't know -- where you gonna park?"  "There's plenty of metered parking all along the street there.  I'm bringing Chris -- you all should come."  "I gotta find someone to take the baby, then."

He felt himself melting into his chair with a familiar resignation.  I know I have to try to make the best of this situation.  I have plenty of time in front of this computer all day long.  Anyways, if I don't find some way to occupy my mind for the eight hours I have to be here I'll go insane.  It's not that the job is that particularly awful -- it's not (and I've definitely had worse).  It's just . . . hollowing.  It's so . . . nothing.

He looked down at the piece of paper on his desk.  Another prescription to be faxed.  Ugh.  I should probably go ahead and do that now.  He turned back to the blinking cursor.  There's gotta be a reason I'm here.  This has to be some sort of weigh-station for me.  A temporary stay until I am authorized by -- whoever -- to move onto something else.

His coworker wheeled around the corner and grabbed a piece of paper from the printer near his desk.  She looked for the prescription and let out a puff of breath when she saw it still lying there.

Dammit.  She's such an asshole!  She's thinking, "That piece of shit still hasn't faxed that damn prescription!  What's he waiting for?  Too busy playing around on the internet?  God, he's so lazy."  Not that she's any different.  I see her all the time on the internet -- reading the news, or looking for shopping coupons, or new recipes, or checking facebook.  And when she's not on the internet, she's wandered off away from her desk to find Natalie to vent about the latest inanity plaguing her miserable mind.

He slowly lifted himself out of the chair and picked up the prescription.  He slid it into the fax machine and then filed it away.  There!  Now she can't say anything.  He sat back down in front of the metronomic cursor.

"Whatever happened with that lady?  Did she go to the hospital?"  Two nurses were talking behind him.  "No.  She didn't want to go.  I talked to her for like, an hour and a half on the phone, but she just really did not want to go to the emergency room."  "God, what a mess, huh?"

Almost 4 o'clock.  Almost time to go home.  He took in a deep breath and felt his lungs sting as they stretched out inside his chest.  At least I finally began writing something today -- if nothing else, it's at least a start.  Maybe it won't turn into a book, but it could possibly be a short story of some sort.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Notes on the state, anarchism, and marxism

Anarchism vs. Marxism
Marx and Engels on Anarchism
Anarchism: A Marxist Criticism | Molyneux
Anarchism | Paul D'Amato
Marxism & Anarchism | Blackledge
Another side of anarchism | Birchall
The relevance of anarchism | Arblaster
Contemporary Anarchism | Kerl
The Makhno Myth | Yanowitz
EMMA GOLDMAN: A life of controversy | Selfa
In defense of Leon Trotsky | Gasper
Trotsky | Hallas
Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War | Bailey
Proudhon: Father of anarchism | Hal Draper
Anarchist Libertarianism? | IS Canada
Bakunin's antisemitism and his 'invisible dictatorship'
Bakunin vs. Marx | Diemer
Marx vs. Bakunin | Woods
The Philosophical Roots of the Marx-Bakunin Conflict | Robertson

Trotsky & Lenin on Anarchism
My First Exile, My Life
Why Marxists oppose Individual Terrorism, 1909
The July Days, History of the Russian Revolution
The Makhno Movement, 1919
Makhno’s Coming Over to the Side of the Soviets, 1920
How Is Makhno’s Troop Organised?, 1920
Contradictions Between the Economic Successes of the Ussr and the Bureaucratization of the Regime, 1932
Anarchism and Socialism, 1901
Guerilla Warfare, 1906
Socialism and War, 1914
State & Revolution. Controversy with the Anarchists, 1917


* Alienation, dislocation, precariousness, uncertainty; politics of middle-class alienation; the uncertainty principle; politics of powerlessness; exaggerated/obverse pacifism (fear of violence vs. fear of organized violence, i.e., the state); social groups/class bereft of power/agency

* Anarchists view the state in the same way that pacifists view violence -- as something which inherently corrupts all who use it, and is incapable of being used in any sort of emancipatory way.

* Anarchist/pacifist taboos on the self-created sacrosanct fetishes of power/violence are like the superstitious (and ultimately harmful) fears of the ancient Hebrews regarding blood and female menstruation -- it is a natural phenomenon which is not understood and thus feared; a thing to be shunned and hidden along with the unfortunate woman who has thereby been 'sullied' by its presence.

* Mystical fear of a social phenomenon that is not understood -- it is a cursed object (like prehistoric human burned by fire, sees the devil in it, doesn't understand its origins, purpose, transmutations, how to control, etc)

* Thus far, the state has exclusively been used by ruling classes comprised of a minority of society -- anarchists draw the conclusion that states necessarily produce a minority-bureaucracy ruling over majority

* They assume the state first arose by someone/group creating a state out of thin air, subjecting rest of society to state authority, and only then accruing economic powers/privileges by force of arms

* They believe the state was used by its original wielders to create previously-nonexistent capitalist relations of inequality and exploitation; rather than seeing the state as a creation of the rulers of an already-obtaining economic system of capitalist relations, which itself evolved into being out of the contradictions inherent in the feudal system of economy.

* In other words, the fallacious notion that the state produces inequality, rather than itself being a product of inequality -- i.e., the state is an institution brought into being for the purposes of consolidating, defending, and extending, the already-won socio-economic supremacy of a ruling clique in society.

* First state emerges only after a class of people economically freed from productive labor & supported by the development of a social surplus emerges to carry on social functions (irrigation, trade, religion, etc) -- took centuries for this class to gel into a self-conscious clique and impose its laws & authority upon society 'from above' (i.e., constitute a state).

* State is not universally repressive -- to wit, it is not repressive, viz., the class that wields it -- in fact, it is quite responsive to that class's needs and interests (i.e., the monarchy, viz, the landed nobility; the bourg republic, viz, the capitalists) -- to them, the state is merely an organ to express and enforce their will on the rest of society, which it does quite well. To all other classes in society, the state confronts them only as a repressive, non-representative, corrupted tool, which anarchists identify as universal features of all states, regardless of place, time, content

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pierre Broue, "History of the Bolshevik Party (CP) of the USSR"

English translation of Chapters 7-11

Google translation of entire book

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Resources on the struggle for disabled people's liberation (this one is just an AMAZING website) (written in 1929 by a Russian psychologist and supporter of the Bolshevik revolution twelve years earlier).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kronstadt and Anarchism

A Look At Kronstadt 1921 | James Hinchee

Kronstadt Index at

Socialists on Kronstadt
An Anarchist on Russia: A Reply to Emma Goldman | William 'Big Bill' Haywood
Kronstadt: A Tragic Necessity | Abbie Bakan
Hue & Cry Over Kronstadt | Trotsky
The Truth About Kronstadt | John Wright
More on the Suppression of Kronstadt | Trotsky
The Tax in Kind | Lenin
The Fifth Wheel | Trotsky
1921 and All That | Brian Pearce
The Russian civil war: a Marxist analysis | Trudell
Kronstadt 1921: Bolshevism vs. Counterrevolution | 4th Intl
Kronstadt and the
Defeat of the Russian Revolution | Chris Harman

Kronstadt Takes Up Arms | Cliff

Victor Serge on Kronstadt
Kronstadt | Victor Serge
Once More: Kronstadt | Serge
Serge-Trotsky Debate
Victor Serge's Early Bolshevism | Peter Sedgwick

Paul Avrich (anarchist) on Kronstadt
Selections from Kronstadt 1921 | Paul Avrich ("the historian can sympathize with the rebels and still concede that the Bolsheviks were justified in subduing them" - page 6)

Emma Goldman on Kronstadt
Trotsky Protests Too Much | Emma Goldman
Kronstadt | Emma Goldman

Anarchist Violence Against the Bolshevik Government

Trotsky & Lenin on Anarchism
My First Exile, My Life
Why Marxists oppose Individual Terrorism, 1909
The July Days, History of the Russian Revolution
The Makhno Movement, 1919
Makhno’s Coming Over to the Side of the Soviets, 1920
How Is Makhno’s Troop Organised?, 1920
Contradictions Between the Economic Successes of the Ussr and the Bureaucratization of the Regime, 1932
Anarchism and Socialism, 1901
Guerilla Warfare, 1906
Socialism and War, 1914
State & Revolution. Controversy with the Anarchists, 1917


Anarchism vs. Marxism
Marx and Engels on Anarchism
Anarchism: A Marxist Criticism | Molyneux
Anarchism | Paul D'Amato
Marxism & Anarchism | Blackledge
Another side of anarchism | Birchall
The relevance of anarchism | Arblaster
Contemporary Anarchism | Kerl
The Makhno Myth | Yanowitz
EMMA GOLDMAN: A life of controversy | Selfa
In defense of Leon Trotsky | Gasper
Trotsky | Hallas
Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War | Bailey
Proudhon: Father of anarchism | Hal Draper
Anarchist Libertarianism? | IS Canada
Bakunin's antisemitism and his 'invisible dictatorship'
Bakunin vs. Marx | Diemer
Marx vs. Bakunin | Woods
The Philosophical Roots of the Marx-Bakunin Conflict | Robertson

Links on Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dog Diary vs. Cat Diary

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of My Captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simon, aka Blue Bird

Friday, August 6, 2010

Illegal Aliens vs. Human Beings

This is an illegal alien

This is a human being

. . . any questions?

The cover I designed in response to the recent pro-war TIME magazine cover

For resources on the views of Afghan women, viz., the US war on their country, check out the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Monday, August 2, 2010

"La Corrida," by Pablo Picasso

Friday, July 30, 2010


In the desert sands where the sun reigns free,
And pools of water lie ever lonely,
A camel walked both day and nite,
Never showing joy nor fright.

The camel's friend was a wild horse,
Who laughed and played and was never bored.
Occassionally, they'd talk awhile,
Occasionnally, the camel smiled.

But the two would never play for long,
Their ways would part as separate songs.
For horses must drink thrice a month,
While camels take drink from their humps.

Everytime the two would meet,
They'd talk and laugh with friendly feet.
But when they came upon a lake,
These best of friends would separate.

The horse would stop to take a drink,
The camel wouldn't even blink.
'Til distance made a separate sound,
Of clopping hoof and toes on ground.

The horse was saddened by his thirst,
Which came between the two like dirt,
And wished for humps with all his heart,
That the camel, he, need never part.

Then one day at a lonely pool,
Where the horse had come to drink and cool,
Surprised was he to see right then,
His friend, the camel, jumping in.

The camel drank, the horse just stared,
For he had been caught unawares.
To see the camel stop and drink,
Made the horse begin to think.

"My friend!" the horse exclaimed surprised,
"Tell me, for I can't surmise,"
"Why 'tis now you wet your tongue?"
"This is a thing you've never done!"

"My friend," the camel whimpered slow,
"As you may know I'm getting old."
"And as I age, my hump runs dry,"
"So now my back is flat," he sighed.

At this the horse just laughed and said,
"You've lost your hump, but gained a friend!"
"You shouldn't be so sad at all,"
"For now, alone, we needn't walk!"

At this the camel cracked a smile,
"My friend," he said, "I like your style."
"Come, let's walk and drink when dry,"
"And share this land of endless sky."



There once was a girl with half-moon eyes,
Who danced a halo of falling stars,
She fell in love with a wilted rose,
Trapped in a cage of iron bars.

The girl would come to sniff the rose,
Whose smell would blush her face with glee,
But the rose turned white when she came close,
And turned its head to not be seen.

The girl would circle round the rose,
In hopes to catch its eyes by chance,
But the rose would turn its head each time,
And in this lonely way they danced.

Each time the girl would rise to leave,
The rose would turn to watch her go,
And if she looked back as she went,
The rose would turn and not be known.

The girl would sit for hours long,
And sing the rose the song of love,
The rose would weep with head away,
Blushing from the sounds above.

One day the girl crept quietly,
And stood above the back-turned rose,
She cried and cried and cried until,
The rose's pot had overflowed.

The rose, thinking a storm had passed,
Lifted its head to drink the rain,
Surprised it was to find indeed,
A face awash with tears of pain.

And for the first, their faces met,
Rose and girl with half-moon eyes,
And through the iron bars they kissed,
And danced a halo in the diamond sky.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Resources, links, and facts regarding Marx/Engels & accusations of racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc.

Marx on US slavery/civil war (racism):

Marx & racism ('n-word', etc):!&as_epq=nigger&as_occt=all&as_q=&as_oq=&as_eq=


Use of 'n-word' in 1860s (douglass, tubman, truth, etc):;col1

Contemporary racists (rhodes, johnson, etc):

Marx & anti-semitism

Marx & women's oppression

Engels on native americans:


Friday, April 9, 2010

Henri Matisse

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Johnny Weir's Russian alter ego

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Message left by Joe Stack, American suicide bomber

Below is a link to the suicide note (via left by Joe Stack, the guy who crashed his airplane into a building housing the local IRS, CIA, and FBI, in Austin, TX, this morning.

First of all, is it really any surprise that in this economic climate, with the government offering zero help to workers, yet lavishing billions on the already-filthy rich, som...eone would crack and feel so utterly hopeless as to take their own life in a final act of individual violence?

Second, now that an act of terrorism publicly committed on American soil has been carried out by a white, working class American, I wonder if the government will give up the ghost as far as racial profiling of Muslims goes, and start profiling "Joe Six-Pack" now instead?

Third, how does this fit into the logic of the government's 'war on terror?' The whole logic was about fighting "them," "over there," before they attack "us," "here." This proves their is nothing intrinsically 'foreign' to white America about terrorism. If the U.S. government were to treat this terrorism the same way it treated the terrorism of 9/11, we would see US planes start dropping 3,000 lbs on Texas and California.

Finally, while one should obviously reject any such acts of individual violence as this, it's worth noting that the message left behind by this particular American-bred suicide bomber are really quite socially aware and prescient. Who really can deny the veracity of the general assertions he makes about the basic injustices and inequalities of today's American society?

Download suicide note in PDF format at the following link,

Or view note online at

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am not a womb for rent


I'VE BEEN engrossed in the pro-choice issue, more so recently than in the past, and I am glad I am paying more attention! I get ever so mad at people who say that abortion should only be in the case of rape, incest or if carrying a child to term would hurt the mother. What is the difference of aborting that fetus vs. aborting any other fetus?

And are you going to go through all the adoption hooplah when the child is born? And are you going to pay for all the things that that child deserves after it is born? And are you going to push a 10-lb object through your vagina for seven hours? And are you going to not judge a single mother? And are you going to pay for the medical bills for the child if it has a terminal disease? And are you going to force me to have a child I do not want?

It's about choice and safety for the woman. It's about power over a woman's body, not about the unborn.

Just think--if the government can force you to have a child, it can force you to have an abortion. I am not a womb for rent.

Jacquelyn Patterson

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Novel Concepts:

* Setting: the year 2050, much social turmoil, edge of war & rev -- geographical area of U.S., but in alternate reality -- context: 13 american colonies had lost war of independence to the british -- america subsumed into the broader 'north american' province (of united kingdom) alongside canada, stretching from alaska to florida, and from east coast to louisiana purchase territory. area west of this is part of the Mexican territory, stretching to the west coast, and from present-day mexico to oregon. man is persecuted by british govt in n.a.p. (north american province) for writing (censored) book depicting alternate reality in which the american colonies had won the war of independence -- history of this story is exact to the one of 'our real' history, except that it ends in 2050 (the present year); twist: in this story, the u.s. govt persecutes a man for writing a (censored) book depicting an alternate reality in which the american colonies had lost the war of independence -- world described is the exact same as the original, ending, of course, in the year 2050.

* setting: distant future. poses question: whence the human soul? science has ability to switch a person's 'soul' from one body to another using electro technology, maps person's memories, emotions, etc., and relays it over to new brain in a new corporeal form -- new bodies are taken either from preserved corpses or from artificially-constructed clone-like bodies (stem cell, etc); may even be 'body shops' where one can go & browse potential new bodies; other issues: what kind of bodies can be purchased by rich versus poor, racial question, weight/height, etc.

* N.A.P./U.S. 2050

N.A.P. 2050

uk british->anglo-american->french-american->irish-a->native-amer->various other european->black->mexican->asian 

world powers: uk, africa, russia . . . world teetering on edge of war/conflict . . . new movt for amer independ emerging . . . class struggle . . . mccarthy repression

author: 'u.s. 2050,' john stump (black man) . . . persecuted/censored (reason: u.k. fearful of new amer independ movt; local u.s. authorities/nationalists fearful of negative u.s. depicted)

U.S. 2050

u.s. vs china/britain . . . world on edge . . . (israel v. iraq)

mass turmoil at home . . . mccarthy repression . . .

author: 'nap 2050,' francisco hidalgo (mex-amer, illegal) . . . persecuted/censored (reason: u.s. fearful of british/china war victory, fearful of 'better' n.a.p. conditions, viz, u.s. present-day).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Star-Cross'd Lovers

Two households, both alike in dignity,/
From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny,/
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean./
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life.