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.

Reading List:

Brian Fitzpatrick – British Imperialism and Australia, 1783-1833 : an economic history of Australasia

Brian Fitzpatrick – The British Empire in Australia: An Economic History, 1834-1939

Raewyn Connell And Terry Irving – Class Structure in Australian History

E L Wheelwright and Ken Buckley ed. – Essays in the Political Economy of Australian Capitalism Volumes I-V

Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee ed. – A Peoples History of Australia Since 1788 Volumes I-IV

Raymond Evans – A History of Queensland

Henry Reynolds – The Other Side of the Frontier: An interpretation of the Aboriginal response to the invasion and settlement of Australia

Robert Ørsted-Jensen – Frontier history revisited : Colonial Queensland and the ‘history war’

Frank Stevens – Aborigines in the Northern Territory Cattle Industry

Dawn May – Aboriginal Labour and the Cattle Industry: Queensland from White Settlement to the Present

Raffaello Carboni – The Eureaka Stockade

Ian Turner – In Union Is Strength: A History Of Trade Unions 1788-1983

Bob James – A Reader of Australian Anarchism 1886-1896

E H Lane – Dawn to Dusk

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

Jeff Rickertt – The Conscientious Communist: Ernie Lane and the Rise of Australian Socialism

Verity Burgmann – ‘In Our Time’: Socialism and the Rise of Labor 1885-1905

Verity Burgmann – Revolutionary Industrial Unionism: the Industrial Workers of the World in Australia

Ian Turner – Sydney’s Burning

Wendy Lowenstein – Weevils In the Flour: An Oral Record of the 1930s Depression in Australia

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

Stuart Macintyre – The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia: From Origins to Illegality

Stuart Macintyre – The Party: The Communist Party of Australia from Heyday to Reckoning

Tom O’lincoln – The Militant Minority: Organising rank and file workers in the thirties

Tom O’lincoln – Into the Mainstream: The decline of Australian Communism

Hal Alexander and Phil Griffiths – A Few Rough Reds : stories of rank and file organising

Solidarity – Queensland Mt Isa Miners strike

Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley ed. The Far Left in Australia since 1945

Meredith Burgmann and Verity Burgmann – Green Bans, Red Union: Environmental Activism and the New South Wales Builders Labourers’ Federation

Sam Oldham – Without Bosses: Radical Australian Trade Unionism in The 1970s

Jack Hutson – Australian Left Review, Workers Control 1969

Bernie Taft- Australian Left Review, Communists and Workers Control 1969

Australian Left Review- Symposium – Workers Control 1973

Verity Burgmann, Ray Jureidini Meredith Burgmann – Doing without the Boss, Workers’ Control Experiments in Australia in the 1970s, Chapter inside: Immanuel Ness – New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism

Frank Stilwell – The Accord and Beyond

Elizabeth Humphrys – How Labour Built Neoliberalism: Australia’s Accord, the Labour Movement and the Neoliberal Project

Tom Bramble – Trade Unionism In Australia: A history from flood to ebb tide

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:

Reading List:

Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini – Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present

Fernand Pelloutier – History of the Bourses du Travail

Solfed – A History Of Anarcho Syndicalism

Rudolph Rocker – Anarcho-Syndicalism

Vadim Damier – Anarcho Syndicalism in 20th century

Solfed – Fighting For Ourselves

Murray Bookchin – To Remember Spain: Thee anarchist and syndicalist revolution of 1936

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

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

Abel Paz – Durruti in the Spanish Revolution

Robert Michels – Political Parties

GP Maximoff  – The Program of Anarchosyndicalism

Volume – The Unknown Revolution: 1917-1921

Maurice Brinton- The Bolsheviks and Workers Control 1917-1921, The State and Counter-revolution

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‘, (, also well worth a read. ‘The Conquest of Bread‘, ‘Words Of A Rebel‘ and ‘Revolutionary Pamphlets‘ are a great place to start:

Reading List:

Peter Kropotkin – The Conquest of Bread

Peter Kropotkin – Words of a Rebel

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

Peter Kropotkin – The State: It’s Histric Role

Peter Kropotkin – The Modern State

Peter Kropotkin The Great French Revolution 1789-1793

Peter Kropotkin – Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

Peter Kropotkin – Ethics: Origin and Development

Peter Kropotkin – Modern Science and Anarchy

Peter Kropotkin – Fields, Factories and Workshops

Peter Kropotkin – In Russian and French Prisons

Peter Kropotkin – Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Errico Malatesta’s writings

Here are the writings of the strategist and tactician, Errico Malatesta, friend of Bakunin in his youth and a theorist in his own right. His writing has inspired many generations of anarchists, being particularly good for popular agitation:

Reading List:

Errico Malatesta The Method of Freedom reader

Errico Malatesta – Life and Ideas

Errico Malatesta – The Anarchist Revolution

Errico Malatesta – Fra Contadini

Errico-Malatesta – At The Cafe

Errico -Malatesta – Anarchy

Errico Malatesta:  A talk about Anarchist Communism Between Two Workers

Errico Malatesta – Vote what for

Mikhail Bakunin’s writings

Here are the writings of Mikhail Bakunin. He was the founder of the international anarchist movement during the first socialist international. Bakunin’s writings are foundational in terms of anarchist thinking concerning organisation, critique and strategy:

Reading List:

Michael Bakunin – Selected Writings

Robert M Cutler – The Basic Bakunin: Writings 1869-1871

Guy Aldred – Bakunin’s Writings

Mikhail Bakunin – God and the State

Sam Dolgoff Ed. – Bakunin on Anarchy (1971)

G. P. Maximoff – The Political Philosophy of Bakunin

IWW Organising texts

Here are two useful texts from the Industrial Workers of the World on, about how to run meetings effectively:

Reading List:

IWW – Rustys Rules Cheat Sheet

IWW – Organize Your IWW Branch