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 His mutualist theories were superseded in development by Bakunin’s collectivism and Kropotkin’s libertarian communism.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).

Pierre Joseph Proudhon – General Idea of the Revolution

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – The Principle of Federation



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, and is particularly instructive for Brisbane:

beyondresistance subcomandante Marcos

Sitrin (Ed.) – Horizontalism – Voices of Popular Power in Argentina(1)


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:

States-of-emergency Robert Lumley

Italy1977-8-Red Notes

autonomousitaly prole.info

Autonomia – Post-Political Politics (reduced)

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

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

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

Antonio Negri – Books For Burning

Paulo Virno – Grammar of the Multitude

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Empire

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Multitude

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Commonwealth

George Caffentzis – In Letters of Blood and Fire


Midnight Notes Collective – Promissory Notes 2009


Sojourner Truth Organization – Workplace Papers

Sojourner Truth Organization – Shop Leaflets

John Holloway- Change the world without taking power

John Holloway – Crack Capitalism


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


Paris, May 1968

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, 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 anarchist movement is heavily influenced by these movements. Here are some important writings from this era:

Pannekoek – Workers’ Councils



State capitalism and world revolution – CLR James

C. L. R. James-A New Notion_ Two Works by C. L. R. James_ Every Cook Can Govern and The Invading Socialist Society -PM Press (2010) (1)


C L R James – Facing Reality




Maurice Brinton- Paris; May 68

Obsolete Communism – The left-wing alternative – Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit

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 are the pdfs available of his major works, (Michael Heinrich’s introduction is a good place to start):



Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels – The German Ideology Part I


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

Karl Marx – The Civil War in France


Marx – Dispatches for the New York Tribune

Capital – (Penguin Classics) Volume II

Capital – (Penguin Classics) Volume III






Theories of Surplus Value – karl Marx


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 pdfs on this struggle:

The Black Radical Tradition_0




Anarchism and the Black Revolution – Lorenzo komboa Ervin



beyondresistance subcomandante Marcos


Detroit I do mind dying – Dan Georgakas & Marvin Surkin



TheSoulsofBlackFolk DuBois

W E Dubois – Black Reconstruction

Walter Rodney-How Europe Underdeveloped Africa-Howard University Press (1981)


zig zag defend-the-territory-pdf-zine1

Zig Zag colonization-decolonization

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:

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

Caliban and the Witch

Communist Interventions_Revolutionary Feminism_vol_three_2_01_0

Dalla Costa and Selma James – Women and the Subversion of the Community


Nina Power – One Dimensional Woman

Selma James sex-race-class-2012imp


Australian class and labour history

Here are some documents on the Australian labour movement and class history. These help us in knowing where we are now, where we have come from and where we are going as a class.

R W Connell & T H Irving Class Structure in Australian History preface & 1-264 part 1

R W Connell & T H Irving Class Structure In Australian History pg 264-525 part 2

The Eureaka Stockade – Raffaello Carboni

Ian Turner, In Union Is Strength, A history of Trade Unions 20161205_12304807

Leonie Sandercook new ch 10 in Ian Turner In Union Is Strength

Bob James – A Reader of Australian Anarchism 1886-1896

J A Andrews – A Handbook of Anarchy 1894

J A Andrews – Bob James ed Intro – TheHandbookOfAnarchy

Bob James-JA_Andrews Biography

Bob James-Chummy_Fleming-Biography

Bob James – Larry Petrie Biography

Dawn-to-Dusk-E-H-Lane Shape 1993 edition

Gordon Childe – How Labour Governs

Gordon V Childe, How Labour Governs

Ian Turner – Industrial Labour and Politics – The Labour Movement in Eastern Australia 1900-1921

Humphrey McQueen, A New Britannia 2004

Verity Burgmann Revolutionary Industrial Unionism, IWW in Au

Sydney’s Burning – Ian Turner

Robin Gollan – Revolutionaries and Reformists – Communism and the Australian Labour Movement 1920-1955

Queensland Mt Isa Miners strike – Solidarity

Jack Hutson ALR Workers Control 1969

Bernie Taft ALR Communists and Workers Control 1969

ALR Symposium – Workers Control 1973


Frank Stilwell The Accord and Beyond

Australia in Accord edited by and with Various authors

Anarchosyndicalism, the Russian and the Spanish revolutions

Here are some selected writings on anarchosyndicalism, the Russian revolution and the Spanish Revolution. The ideas and organisation practised by the anarchosyndicalist movement are vital to consider in the struggle for working class liberation. The two revolutions were two pivotal events in the global syndicalist union movement. They give ideas for new forms of struggle in Brisbane today:

The First Socialist Schism, Bakunin vs. Marx in the International Working Men_s Association – Wolfgang Eckhardt


A History Of Anarcho Syndicalism selfed

Anarcho syndicalism short version Rudolph Rocker



Damier-Anarcho Syndicalism in 20th century -A4

Fighting For Ourselves

murray bookchin – to remember spain [the anarchist and syndicalist revolution of 1936]

Murray Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists-The heroic years, 1868-1936

Paz – Durruti in the Spanish Revolution

Political Parties – Robert Michels

Rocker – Anarcho-Syndicalism Theory and Practice


Strategy and Struggle, Anarchosydicalism In The 21st Century

The Program of Anarchosyndicalism – GP maximoff

Anarcho Syndicalism In Puerto Real, From Workplace Resistance To Community Control





We, the anarchists! A study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927-1937

Peter Kropotkin’s writings

Here are the writings of the great communist anarchist Peter Kropotkin. They have inspired many generations of people seeking freedom from tyranny. Ak press have a good anthology, called ‘Direct Struggle Against Capital‘, (https://libcom.org/library/direct-struggle-against-capital-peter-kropotkin-anthology), also well worth a read. ‘The Conquest of Bread‘, ‘Words Of A Rebel‘ and ‘Revolutionary Pamphlets‘ are a great place to start:


Peter Kropotkin – Words of a Rebel

Kropotkin – Kropotkin’s Revolutionary Pamphlets – A Collection of Writings by Peter Kropotkin







Peter Kropotkin – In Russian and French Prisons