Construction Workers United No.1 2024

Here is a rank and file newsletter that aims to increase the coordination and militancy in the construction industry in Brisbane. It is being handed out to interested comrades and union members in the construction industry. Through such publications, we can conduct workers inquiries into the state of the industry and workers perspectives of their own situation. This will help increase workers power and self-organisation towards class struggle.

Editorial:

The current moment in our industry in Queensland looks good. We are making significant gains in unionisation, many new EBAs have been signed and we look forward to the buoyant market in construction in the coming years. With the current rate of success, we are facing good times ahead.

The present moment outside our industry and its more unionised sections looks less bright. The working class of Australia in most industries is still in retreat, highly precarious and under constant surveillance at work. Even in our industry, labourers and traffic controllers face both the builders and our mostly labour hire employers.

With the limitations of the current environment and the heavy toll that work takes on all of us, what can we do more broadly, and, particularly in our industry, to change this?

We can engage in resistance to the rule of capital on our lives through understanding our current conditions and, in doing this, we can find a way forward through workers inquiry and the study of class composition.

What is workers inquiry? It is the use of what Romano Alquati called co-research, where rank and file workers and socialist/communist militants work together to understand the conditions we face through surveys and interviews with ordinary workers to come to conclusions about what to do in the current moment.

Class composition studies, as used by Notes From Below and Angry Workers, use this information to look at the technical composition of work, how work is organised, the social composition of workers lives, how we are housed, relate to each other in terms of race, gender, sexuality and immigration status and, through looking into this, we come to understand the political composition of the class or how we can fight against the grinding world of work.

This relates to our industry in the sense that we are an advanced section of our class. We have a greater power to use our strength to cause an increased rupture in Australian society among the working class in Australia and, hopefully, this will spread to neighbouring countries. We can begin to ask questions that have relevance for our industry and, more broadly, to other less organised sections of the Australian working class.

The time for such work is now. We must use this moment of strength to raise up the weaker sections of our class. In doing this, we can increase the power of workers on the shopfloor not just in our industry but across the board. This can lead us to a new cycle of struggles like those of the 1960s and 1970s.

The current moment is one of precariousness for our class, as inflation related to the two wars in Ukraine and Gaza, the supply chain disruptions of Covid 19 and the general stalling of productivity now and over the last 40 years in Australia and globally is biting working class budgets.

This economic decline and the threat of ecological collapse from climate change and nuclear war are heavy burdens to bear for our collective future. The time is rapidly approaching when the costs of this crisis will have to continue to be borne by workers or by the capitalist class instead. In the coming decades this will be an immense struggle which, most unions and social democratic parties are not prepared for. They are a part of this system and are governed on the other hand by industrial relations laws and the control of concentrated capital on the other.

This is especially true of the ALP. Without capital from wealthy donors, the ALP cannot win re-election. The power of international capital has always controlled the destiny of Australia from the British Empire, to the American Empire and to the Empire of global capital as described by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt. With these challenges, we must take our lives into our own hands and fight back against the violence of capitalism and the rule of the factory over every aspect of our lives.

The current moment also requires us to engage in rank-and-file organisation based on our industries and our local areas. By creating industrial rank-and-file net-works in a localised way, we can engage in this important work and come to solutions to the problems in our industry and more broadly. We could call this rank and file network of all the unions and militants in our industry Construction Workers Unit-ed, and this network would start to work towards conducting workers inquiries, the study of class composition and to the increased effectiveness of union coordination in our industry on a rank and file level.

We must seize this opportunity to recompose all that has been lost since the 1970s and the Accord of the 1980s and to make workers struggles relevant and to defeat the current onslaught of capital against workers. Our goals could be that Construction Workers Unit-ed aims to create more coordination, greater democracy and a more radical approach to unionism with this present opportunity.

The Need for Job Committees Today:

The current system of joint safety committees has been useful in defending conditions so far in the construction industry. However, to develop further job control, we need a different form if organisation. From the 1930s to the 1970s, job committees existed in the construction industry along with, eventually after 1962, safety committees.

We need job committees today. We need job compittees based on every trade, union and section to be elected and to sit on the committee as existing HSRs from each trade on union jobs. With a structure such as this, we can more effectively push for better wages, hours and conditions on job sites.

This idea comes from the shop committee movement in Australia from the 1920s to the 1970s and the construction industry equivalent, the job committees. The shop committee movement was a creation of the highly unionised and complex workplaces like the railway workshops in NSW in the 1920s with many different shops, departments and unions being involved. These shop committees spread to the metal working industry, the electricity industry, the Naval Dockyards, the Meatworks and the construction industries. They existed until the 1950s and went into a temporary decline.

In the 1960s, these industries were exceeded in economic importance by the metal engineering, construction, car manufacturing, electricity generation, oil refining and chemical production industries. In many places area committees existed from the 1940s to the 1970s which coordinated the shop committees in a given local area.

The construction industry was no different to these other industries and had its own equivalent, the job committees. These committees were formed in the 1930s and became active, along with many other industries, in the Second World War. The defence projects were a key part of this struggle for the job committees in this period.

The post war period and the rise of the Building Workers Industrial Union, led to struggles to improve conditions from 1945-1950 with the builders through job committees and the holding of lunch hour job meetings at job after job in the industry to win better conditions and to win union campaigns.

This was challenged by the ALP groups from the right wing of the Labor Party. However, the BWIU and the industry withheld their assault on militant unionism, though they began to become more defensive. The mid to late 1950s was concentrated on the struggle against the penal provisions of the Arbitration Act which gave huge fines to unionists who conducted direct action.

The growing radical-ism of union opposition to the Vietnam War, conscription and the growing opposition of young people to the alienation of capitalist society led to a new wave of radicalism through the workers control movement. The BWIU, having been threatened with deregistration in the late 1950s began to become more conservative. However, since the 1950s in Victoria the BLF had been growing in militancy and by the late 1950s in NSW the leadership was won by Communist Party of Australia militants.

The Builders Labourers Federation was becoming increasingly radical and dedicated to the struggle to improve conditions on the new and dangerous high rise construction projects. The NSW BLF in particular had cast off the corrupt leadership of the branch which was highly undemocratic.

Over the 1960s, these new leaders rebuilt the branch so that in the late 1960s and early 1970s the radical rank-and-file and leadership of the BLF would engage in militant strikes and radical environmental action as a part of the broader workers control movement. The militant strikes, direct democracy in the union and term limits on officials and organisers challenged the existing trade union officials and threatened the old communist union leaders.

The Green Bans of the early 1970s were an example of bans on environmentally and socially irresponsible building projects, backed by mass meetings from local resident action groups. The leadership in NSW was then sacked in 1974 and black-listed by the rival Victorian BLF branch leader, Norm Gallagher.

Throughout this radical period of rank and file action, the job committees and safety committees were a key part of this structure on the job in the industry. These job committees were backed up by regular site meetings where workers would increase the degree of workers’ control on construction jobs by forcing the election of leading hands and foremen on the builders.

The safety committees were formed after 1962 and worked closely with the job committees to achieve shopfloor control. Without job control being established and continued by the job committees, safety committees and site meetings, the militancy of this period would not have been possible.

We need to re-organise job committees in the industry to increase coordination between the different unions and to reinvigorate the rank and file militancy from this period. This current moment of opportunity requires that we increase our organisation on the shop-floor and create job committees on every construction project with a union presence. This is essential to increase our power on the job to push for dominance over the builders and 100 percent unionism in the industry.

We must also build these job committees as independent struggle and political committees. These committees must begin to make workers decrees like the Magneti Marelli Workers Committee and the Senza Tregua movement in Italy in the 1970s. They will build workers’ power through independent struggle and political action with the broader working class movement. Without doing this, we risk missing this opportunity to increase our ability to win better conditions for construction workers and building a mass movement for workers’ power among the broader working class.

WE MUST SEIZE THIS MOMENT! FORM JOB COMMITTEES!

Recent Local Actions:

Rally Against the Fairwork Ombudsman 5th April 2023:

The rally was well attended with 20, 000 members present. The subject of the rally was that the ABCC commissioners had mostly been given new jobs at the Fair-work Ombudsman. Three quarters of the commissioners got jobs at the new organisation two levels up in the same building. The Building Trades Group were all present and sent representatives or their state secretaries.

These unions were mostly from the CFMEU and with lesser numbers the ETU, Plumbers Union and the AMWU. The AMWU was more moderate than the other unions but was still supportive of the rally and its objective. Most of the members from the EBA jobs walked off the job from all over Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich, attending the rally by walking from their jobs’ smaller rallies or by bus. The rally was held in every state in the country.

The workers walked with police escort from Queen’s Park to Felix Street with chants and plenty of spirit. The workers got to the building with the Senators from the Federal Albanese ALP government.

When the workers got to the glass facade and doors, they began to bang on the glass in high spirits. The glass on the door shattered probably by accident. Not long after this, the organisers helped move the workers away from the doors and the police moved in to the front of the doors. Apart from this minor damage, the rally was spirited and fun.

The ABC and other media outlets framed the protest about the glass door being broken and mostly ignored the message of the rally which was then picked up by various other news outlets. The rally was a positive experience for the workers present and allowed many comrades who haven’t seen each other for some time to catch up in the park, during and after the rally.

Despite the negative media attention, the rally was a fun and positive experience for the vast majority of those who attended. The fact that the media immediately went into attack mode shows the fear that mass industrial action and worker protest has on the middle classes and the intelligentsia in particular who framed the rally as in Brisbane being down to union thugs and not an important protest from the workers movement.

The rally showed the pent up anger and resentment that the Coalition governments have spent 10 years trying to destroy. The fear of media and political reprisal of the construction unions as a result of the minor damage reduced the effectiveness of the rally. If struggle was at a higher level, then this event could not have been so easily forgotten by the middle classes and ignored by the political class. Nevertheless, the protest sent a message to the bourgeois and the political class that, along with the NSW strike wave, workers protests and mass strikes are back.

Struggles Abroad:

South Korean construction workers protest heat-related deaths

4 August 2023

The following are sourced from wsws.org

A group of Korean Construction Workers Union members protested outside the Yongsan Presidential Office in Seoul on Wednesday demanding safety measures for construction workers during the ongoing heatwave. The protest was in response to the high number of heat-related deaths in the construction industry.

Government data collected between 2016 and 2021 shows that 20 out of 29 heat-related deaths occurred in the construction industry. There were five deaths in July last year alone.

A recent union survey of 3,200 construction workers resulted in 81 percent saying they were working without breaks during the recent heat wave and more than half replied they had seen a co-worker faint or have had symptoms of heat-related illness.

On Tuesday, the government raised the heat wave warning level to “severe,” the highest in its four-tier system. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, at least 17 people across the nation died in connection with the heat wave over the weekend.

The union has allowed this crisis to continue for years. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to implement safety measures for people who work at high temperature sites, does not include construction workers.

India: Tamil Nadu construction workers hold state-wide protest for improved benefits

23 June 2023

CWFI is demanding an increased role for the trade union within the Construction Workers’ Welfare Board. It wants a system where trade union representatives approve all petitions for welfare benefits and for the union to be given the right to sanction membership certificates of construction workers to the Board. Two million workers are registered in the welfare board which has an accumulated fund of 41.5 billion rupees.

What should we do now?

How do we change our current situation? We must revive the tradition of rank and file organisation that was common in highly unionised industries from the 1920s to the 1970s. We must form job committees. What are job committees? These committees can be formed involving every union, section or trade in our industry.

They are elected annually, subject to recall and are responsible to regular site mass meetings. These should be formed within existing union HSRs and meet independently of management. They must undertake direct action on the shopfloor to achieve better union conditions for the whole job. This can be done through lunch hour meetings, stoppages or go slow actions to improve our committees’ bargaining power.

How do we do this?

  • Form a core group of five trusted workers at your site
  • Create a bulletin to push for a job committee
  • Call and fight for a lunch hour meeting to discuss this with your fellow workers
  • Elect a job committee based on every section, shift and trade
  • Take direct action to improve the job committees bargaining power

FORM THOSE JOB COMMITTEES!

Contact:

Email: wkpr1969@proton.me

Website: https://whichsideareyouon.link

Rally Against the Fair Work Ombudsman 5th of April 2023

The rally was well attended with 10, 000 members present. The subject of the rally was that the ABCC commissioners had mostly been given new jobs at the Fair Work Ombudsman. Three quarters of the commissioners got jobs at the new organisation two levels up in the same building. The Building Trades Group were all present and sent representatives or their state secretaries. These unions were mostly from the CFMEU and with lesser numbers the ETU, Plumbers Union and the AMWU. The AMWU was more moderate than the other unions but was still supportive of the rally and its objective. Most of the members from the EBA jobs walked off the job from all over Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich attended the rally by walking from their jobs in smaller rallies or by bus. The rally was held in every state in the country.

The workers walked down the street with the police being forced to shut down the streets due to the numbers marching from Queen’s Park to Felix Street. There were many chants and plenty of spirit. The workers got to the building with the Senators from the Federal Albanese ALP government. When the workers got to the glass facade and doors they began to bang on the glass in high spirits, the glass on the door shattered by accident. Not long after this the organisers helped move the workers away from the doors and the police moved into the front of the doors. Apart from this minor damage the rally was spirited and fun. The ABC and other media outlets framed the protest about the glass door being broken and mostly ignored the message of the rally which was then picked up by various other news outlets. The rally was a positive experience for the workers present and allowed many comrades who haven’t seen each other for some time to catch up in the park, during and after the rally.

Despite the negative media attention, the rally was a fun and positive experience for the vast majority of those who attended. The fact that the media immediately went into attack mode shows the fear that mass industrial action and worker protest has on the middle class and the intelligentsia in particular who framed the rally in Brisbane being down to the old trope of union thugs and not an important protest from the workers movement. The rally showed the pent-up anger and resentment that the Coalition governments have spent 10 years trying to destroy. If the conditions of the Construction unions regarding the fear of media and political reprisal as a result of the minor damage been less feared then they are at present and workers felt empowered to go further, perhaps more pressure could have been applied. If struggle was at a higher level, then this event could not have been so easily forgotten by the middle classes and ignored by the political class. Nevertheless, the protest sent a message to the bourgeois and the political class that, along with the NSW strike wave, workers protests and mass strikes are back.

Joseph S.

Rosa Luxemburg on Capitalism and Revolution

The economic, political and revolutionary theorist Rosa Luxemburg is essential to understanding modern capitalism. Her life as a Polish/German left-wing Social Democrat gives key insights in the struggle for freedom against capital. She was born in Poland in 1871 and was murdered by the the far right Friekorps militias in 1919 along with fellow revolutionary Karl Liebknecht. Her life and works are essential to understanding the development of Left Communism as a movement and tradition.  The Council Communists after World War I were heavily influenced by her ideas. This tradition lead to the Autonomist Marxism of the 1960s and 1970s and has great relevance for today’s revolutionaries.

Without Rosa Luxemburg’s inspiration these movements would have looked quite different in comparison. Her piercing insights into the theory and method of revolutionary thought, her critique of Lenin’s Democratic Centralism and the bureaucracy created by the Bolsheviks in the Russian revolution of 1917 are key to an understanding of the way forward today. Also, her inspirational writings, for example ‘The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions,’ help provide insights into both the problems and potential of revolutionary struggle under capitalism today.

Reading List:

Rosa Luxemburg – Social Reform Or Revolution?

Rosa Luxemburg – Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy

Rosa Luxemburg – The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions

Rosa Luxemburg – The Russian Revolution

Rosa Luxemburg – The Accumulation of Capital

Rosa Luxemburg – Socialism or Barbarism?: The Selected Writings of Rosa Luxemburg   

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s writings

Here are the writings of Pierre Joseph-Proudhon, the first person in modern history to proclaim themselves an anarchist. He was a firm advocate of the traditions of revolutionary France. Being born into poverty in rural France, he achieved a scholarship and became a brilliant student of philosophy and a socialist theorist. He was deeply involved in the movements of the revolution in 1848, writing for radical newspapers. Proudhon was at one point elected to the National Assembly, using these experiences of parliament and its failure, to practically theorise his anarchist ideas. He suffered repression and exile after the coup of Napoleon III in 1851.

His early anarchist ideas and experiences, provide the foundation stone, on which the anarchist movement is built, influencing deeply the development of Bakunin and Kropotkin, as well as Marx and Engels early on. His mutualist theories were superseded in development by Bakunin’s collectivism and Kropotkin’s libertarian communism. Proudhon became opposed to the developing strategy of political parties by communists like Marx and Engels, which is one reason why he came out so strongly against communism.

His writings on the critique of social institutions – capitalism, church and state – are crucial to the pursuit and understanding of freedom. His discussion of the revolution, organisation and federation are also essential. His main political work was ‘General Idea of Revolution in the Nineteenth Century’ and also important for organisational theory, ‘The Principle of Federation.’ All are worth reading. ‘The Philosophy of Misery’ and ‘The Principle of Federation’ are in the second parts only partially translated. Also important are ‘Confessions of a Revolutionary’, about his experience of 1848 and ‘The Political Capacity of the Working Classes’, both of which can be found in the Ak Press edition of ‘Property is Theft’, (https://libcom.org/library/property-theft-pierre-joseph-proudhon-anthology).

Reading List:

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century

Pierre Joseph-Proudhon – The  Principle of Federation

Pierre Joseph-Proudhon – What is Property?

Pierre Joseph-Proudhon – The Philosophy of Misery

 

The Zapatista’s, Argentina and Greece

The struggle against modern oppressors is a living, breathing process, full of challenges and difficulty. However, more recent historical events give valuable insight into the struggle, such as the 1994 Zapatista uprising, the movement against world bank austerity in Argentina and the revolt of 2008 in Greece. These show us possibilities for action to achieve liberty, equality and fraternity. Greece is the most recent example:

Reading List:

Subcomandante Marcos – Beyond Resistance

Subcomandante Marcos – Our Word is Our Weapon

Subcomandante Marcos – The Speed of Dreams

Marina Sitrin – Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina

A. G. Schwarz, Tasos Sagris, Void Network – We Are an Image From the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008

The Italian Autonomist movement

The Italian revolutionary movement is another important moment to study. From the early 1960s, to the hot autumn of 1969, to the ‘Autonomia‘ of the 1970s the struggle raged in Italy. This was part of the larger wave of working class revolt sweeping across Europe in Paris 1968, leading to the breakup of the Keynesian economic consensus.
For the Italian ‘Workerists‘ and later ‘Autonomia‘, this was a time of great experimentation and lively working class social movements. These movements rocked the foundations of Italian society. The theoretical and practical experiments provide a framework for some of the challenges we face, in a time of class recomposition and ruling class attack. The insights they provide are deeply valuable to all Libertarian Communists:

Reading List –
Robert Lumley – States of Emergency: Cultures of Revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978

Red Notes – Italy 1977-8: Living with an earthquake

Prole.info – Class Struggle in Italy: 1960s and 1970s

Sylvere Lotringer, Christian Marazzi – Autonomia: Post-political Politics

Emilio Mentasti – The Magneti Marelli Workers Committee – The Red Guard Tells Its Story

Porto Marghera – The Last Firebrands Pamphlet

Steve Wright – Storming Heaven – Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism

Steve Wright – The Weight of the Printed Word

Panzieri, Sohn-Rethel, Palloix, Bologna, Tronti- The Labour Process & Class Strategies

Mario Tronti – Workers and Capital

Mario Tronti – The Weapon of Organization

Antionio Negri – Books for Burning: Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy

Antonio Negri – Factory of Strategy: Thirty-Three Lessons on Lenin

Antonio Negri – Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons On The Grundrisse

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt – Empire

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt – Multitude

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt – Commonwealth

Romano Alquati – Organic Composition of Capital and Labor-Power at Olivetti

Romano Alquati – Struggle at Fiat

Romano Alquati – Outline of a Pamphlet on FIAT

Romano Alquati – Capital And The Working Class At FIAT: A Midpoint In The International Cycle

Romano Alquati – The Network of Struggles in Italy

Romano Alquati – Co-research and Worker’s Inquiry

Sergio Bologna – Class Composition and the Theory of the Party at the Origins of the Workers’ Council Movement

Sergio Bologna – Money and Crisis: Marx as Correspondent of the New York Daily Tribune 1856-57

Sergio Bologna – The Tribe of Moles

Sergio Bologna – The theory and history of the mass worker in Italy

Mariarosa Dalla Costa – Women and the Subversion of the Community: A Mariarosa Dalla Costa Reader

George Caffentzis – In Letters of Blood and Fire

Silvia Federici – Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle

Midnight Notes Collective – Midnight Oil : Work, Energy, War, 1973-1992

Midnight Notes Collective – Promissory Notes

Noel Ignatiev – Treason to Whiteness Is Loyalty to Humanity

The Sojourner Truth Organization’s Pamphlets

Sojourner Truth Organization – Workplace Papers

Sojourner Truth Organization – Shop Leaflets

Big Flame – Workplace Commission – Organising To Win

Big Flame – Paul Thompson & Guy Lewis – The Revolution Unfinished? A Critique of Trotskyism

John Holloway – Change the world without taking power

John Holloway – Crack Capitalism

Harry Cleaver – Reading Capital Politically

Harry Cleaver – 33 Lessons on Capital : Reading Marx Politically

Franco ”Bifo” Berardi – The Soul at Work From Alienation to Autonomy

Franco “Bifo” Berardi – The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance

Werner Bonefeld and Sergio Tischler ed. – What is to be Done? Leninism, anti-Leninist Marxism and the Question of Revolution Today

May 1968 in France, Council Communism and the Johnson-Forest Tendency

The Uprising of Paris, May 1968 developed from chain of struggles, in Europe and the world against bourgeois institutions. Started by students, it spread to the mass of workers, and culminated in at least 10 million workers going on wildcat general strike across France, against the will of trade unions, the communist party and the Gaullist state. The crisis of the refusal of work and discipline, was part of a major breakdown of capitalism known as Keynesianism, the welfare state and post-war social democracy. The mass rebellions, once defeated, paved the way for the eventual defeat of the working class in the first world and the new system of neoliberalism.

Paris 1968 was influenced by a rejuvenated libertarian Marxism and anarchism. It was influenced partly by Council Communists, critical theorists and the left Communists. The revolution in Hungary in 1956, which created workers councils, was a big influence on the emergence of the movement. The movement was pushed forward by the renewed Libertarian Socialism from in the USA the ‘Johnson-Forest Tendency‘ of C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya, the French journal ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’, the Situationist movement in France, the growing ‘Workerist‘ current of the ‘Quaderni Rossi’ journal in Italy and Solidarity in the UK. This was part of a new rethinking of Socialism. The movements of 1968 afterwards influenced the autonomist movements in Italy, Germany, the USA and globally. The modern Greek anti-capitalist movement is heavily influenced by these movements. Here are some important writings from this era:

Reading List:

Anton Pannekoek – Workers Councils

Anton Pannekoek – The Essential Pannekoek

C. L. R. James – A History Of Pan-african Revolt

C. L. R. James – State Capitalism and World Revolution

C. L. R. James – A New Notion: Two Works By C. L. R. James, Every Cook Can Govern and The Invading Socialist Society

C. L. R. James – Modern Politics

C. L. R. James – Facing Reality

Paul Romano and Grace Lee Boggs – The American Worker

James Boggs – Pages From A Black Radical’s Notebook

Martin Glaberman and Staughton Lynd – Punching Out and other Writings

Stan Weir – Singlejack Solidarity

Andy Anderson – Hungary ‘56

Socialisme ou Barbarie: An Anthology

Cornelius Castoriadis – Workers’ councils and the economics of self-managed society

Guy Debord – The Society of the Spectacle

Ken Knabb – Situationist International Anthology

Maurice Brinton – For Workers’ Power: The Selected Writings of Maurice Brinton

Daniel and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit – Obsolete Communism: The Left-wing alternative

Marx’s Critique of Political Economy

The contribution of Marx and Engels is essential to an understanding of a libertarian communist politics. It is a tool for the working class to critique capitalism, and to analyse class composition for future struggles. Here is a reading List of his major works, (Michael Heinrich’s introduction is a good place to start):

Reading List:

Michael Heinrich – An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital

Michael Heinrich – How to Read Marx’s Capital : Commentary and Explanations on the Beginning Chapters

Harry Cleaver – Reading  Capital Politically

Harry Cleaver – 33 Lessons on Capital : Reading Marx Politically

Karl Marx – Early Writings

Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels – The German Ideology

Karl Marx – Wage Labour and Capital and Value Price and Profit

Karl Marx – The Civil War in France

Karl Marx – Later Political Writings

Karl Marx – The Political Writings

Karl Marx- Dispatches For the New York Tribune

Karl Marx – Capital Volume I, II and III

Karl Marx – A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Karl Marx – The Grundrisse

Karl Marx – The Theories of Surplus Value

Tom Bottomore – A Dictionary of Marxist Thought

Anti-Colonialism and Black Liberation

In the struggle against Capitalism, church and state, colonialism and racism are essential in maintaining class hierarchies. Racism is used by these bourgeois institutions as a social control mechanism. This divides the working class and proletariat along lines of skin colour, with the supposed civilisational hierarchies of the European elites. Today, people of colour and Indigenous people remain largely margininalised and poor in the Global North and the Global South. The concept of whiteness, itself, is based on false cultural and class unity of European people. Here are some useful books on this struggle:

Reading List:

Franz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin – Anarchism and the Black Revolution

C. L.  R.  James – A History Of Pan-african Revolt

Subcomandante Marcos – Beyond Resistance

W E Dubois – Black Reconstruction

W E Dubois – The Souls of Black Folk

Dan Georgakas  and Marvin Surkin – Detroit, I do mind dying

Walter Rodney – How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Women, Feminism and Sexuality

In the struggle against the bourgeoisie, it is essential to address the power relations and imbalances between genders and sexualities. Under Capitalism, the Patriarchal family serves an important role in reproducing wage labour and providing emotional labour. This is essential to the reproduction of the nuclear family and the maintenance of the workers’ ability to perform paid labour. Here are some good texts on socialist feminism and sexuality, from both Marxist and Anarchist perspectives:

Reading List:

Martha A. Ackelsberg – Free Women of Spain – Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

Silvia Federici – Caliban and the Witch

Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James – The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community

Mariarosa Dalla Costa – Women And The Subversion Of The Community: A Mariarosa Dalla Costa Reader

Silvia Federici – Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Selma James – Sex, Race and Class: The Perspective of Winning

Nina Power – One Dimensional Woman

Michel Foucault – A History Of Sexuality