Organise

Here is selection of workplace and community organising texts to get you started. The method to achieve this form of organising is that of workers inquiry, which uses the method of Italian Workerism and Autonomism to guide workers towards the principle of co-research, where workers lead the production of knowledge along with militant intellectuals.

The best current organising strategy is the one developed by the Angry Workers Collective in the UK. This strategy, from their book ‘Class Power On Zero Hours’, is based on a workplace orientation, solidarity networks, having a newspaper and being well organised. Notes From Below is another important organisation in the UK that can help get you going and is also important to showing the method of workers inquiry.

The strategy is based on local areas with solidarity networks in industrial areas and corridors. These would be based in a part of your city that is manageable in size and localised to a section of your city or town, based on the layout of your city. For example, there could be several networks for city councils merged together like Sydney or Melbourne, which could have multiple networks.

These networks would engage in solidarity network tactics to build working-class power. The newspaper would be used as an organising tool to be handed out at workplaces, neighbourhoods and schools.

The aim is to build the capacity for a workers political organisation based on local workplace, neighbourhood and school groups that would work towards forming workers political committees in these places. The other essential part of this strategy is to build rank and file networks in your industry based on the same principles of localised organising.

If it is becomes difficult to set up a broader solidarity network, then it would be a good strategy to work towards a rank and file network first in your industry in the city or town where you live. These strategies can lead to more direct organising based on workplaces, neighbourhoods and schools.

You can start by joining a union. Try to find the most militant one you can. Then, you can write a newspaper or bulletin based on your local area or workplace. This can lead to the fight for regular workplace mass meetings, perhaps in your lunch hour. After gaining this you can build workplace based, multi-union shop committees representing each shift and or section of the workplace.

These shop committees can help you build the capacity for workers councils in your city, town or region, leading to councils in each state, each country and globally. With these democratic organisations we can build the base for the revolutionary struggle against capitalism.

In the neighbourhoods you can start by working towards holding mass meetings of the neighbourhood workers and their middle class supporters. You could do this through handing out a newspaper or bulletin. After doing this you can form a committee based on representatives from each block or apartment building. Local shop committees could also send delegates to coordinate their activities with the neighbourhood assemblies and committees.

As students is universities and Tafes, you can build student power by engaging students with a bulletin or newspaper. This could lead to solidarity network actions to put pressure on the administration to gain concessions. You and your fellow students could then form a student committee based on your school. Local student committees would also need to coordinate with the worker and neighbourhood committees.

By focusing on economic issues first such as rents, prices and mortgages you can build a base for solidarity with racial, feminist and queer struggles. Then, together with a solid economic foundation of better living conditions you can begin to wage effective class struggle in the community. This must waged in concert with the shop committees and linked together in local, state, national and international workers councils.

Organising Reading List:

Libcom Organise from Libcom.org

Angry Workers – Class Power On Zero Hours

Lydia Hughes and Jamie Woodcock – Troublemaking: Why You Should Organise Your Workplace

Stan Weir – Singlejack Solidarity

Martin Glaberman and Staughton Lynd – Punching Out and other Writings

Emile Pouget – Direct Action

Emile Pouget – Sabotage

Fernand Pelloutier – History of the Bourses du Travail

IWW – Rustys Rules Cheat Sheet

IWW – Organize Your IWW Branch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Porto Marghera: The Last Firebrands Pamphlet

Sojourner Truth Organization – Workplace Papers

Sojourner Truth Organization – Shop Leaflets

Big Flame – Workplace Commission – Organising To Win

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

Robert Michels- Political Parties

Marina Sitrin – Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina

Lorenzo komboa Ervin – Anarchism and the Black Revolution

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

Essential theory reading:

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

Harry Cleaver – Reading Capital 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 – The Political Writings

Karl Marx- Dispatches For the New York Tribune

Karl Marx – Capital Volume I, II and III

Tom Bottomore – A Dictionary of Marxist Thought

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

Andy Anderson – Hungary ‘56

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

Guy Debord – The Society of the Spectacle

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

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

Mario Tronti – Workers and Capital

Antonio Negri – Books For Burning

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

Sergio Bologna – The Tribe of Moles

Paulo Virno – Grammar of the Multitude

Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt – Empire

Sojourner Truth Organization’s Pamphlets

George Caffentzis – In Letters of Blood and Fire

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

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

Sam Dolgoff – Bakunin on Anarchy (1971)

Peter Kropotkin – Words of a Rebel

Peter Kropotkin – The Conquest of Bread

Peter Kropotkin The Great French Revolution 1789-1793