Poland 1980: Lessons still valid for the struggles of the world proletariat

Printer-friendly version

In Poland, twenty years ago, in the summer of 1980, there began the most important movement of the world proletariat’s struggle since the end of the revolutionary wave, which broke out during World War I and continued until the beginning of the 1920s. In today’s conditions, when the dominant ideology dismisses the idea that the working class even exists, let alone that it can act as a force in defence of its interests, it is essential for revolutionary organisations to remind workers of the most extensive outbreak of working class struggle for almost 80 years.

For younger workers, the events of Poland 1980-81 could well come as a revelation of a recent past where the working class clearly demonstrated that it was a force to be reckoned with in capitalist society. For older workers who have, possibly, become more sceptical, a reminder of the working class’ potential power will act as an antidote to today’s poisonous lies about globalisation, the wonders of the ‘new economy’ and the so-called end of the class struggle.

The struggles in Poland 1980 were rich in lessons for the world proletariat, and we will return to some of them at the end of this article. But one which imposed itself forcefully at the time, and which today has been completely hidden by the bourgeoisie’s ideological campaigns, is that the workers’ struggles in the so-called “socialist” countries were fundamentally the same as those of the workers in the openly capitalist western countries. In this sense, they demonstrated clearly that the working class was exploited in the Eastern bloc, just as it was in the other capitalist countries. This came down to saying that from the workers’ point of view, “real socialism” was really capitalism. In fact, this lesson was not really new. Revolutionaries had not waited until 1980 to identify the capitalist nature of the self-proclaimed socialist countries. For decades, even before the formation of the “people’s democracies”, they had clearly said that the so-called “socialist fatherland” dear to the Stalinists was nothing other than an imperialist and capitalist country, where the workers were subjected to a ferocious exploitation to the profit of a bourgeois class recruited in the apparatus of the “communist” party. They had thus not been surprised in 1953 when the workers of East Berlin rose up against the German “socialist” regime, nor in 1956 when the workers of Poland, and above all Hungary, rose against the “socialist” state, in Hungary going as far as organising workers’ councils before being massacred by the tanks of the “Red” Army. In reality, the struggles in Poland 1980 had been prepared by a whole series of workers’ struggles, which we will go back to briefly here.

In June 1956 there were a series of strikes in Poland, which culminated in an insurrectional strike in Poznan that was put down by the army. When there were further strikes, demonstrations and clashes with the police in many parts of the country in October, the Polish state could no longer rely on brute repression alone. It was the nomination of the new “reformist” leadership of Gomulka that allowed the ruling class to control the situation with a nationalist strategy that prevented any link being forged with the struggle then going on in Hungary.

In the winter of 1970-71 workers responded massively to price rises of 30% and more. Alongside strikes there were clashes with the security forces and attacks on Stalinist party headquarters. Despite the state’s repression the government were outflanked by the extent of the workers’ movement and the price rises were withdrawn. During the strikes Gomulka had been replaced by Gierek, but without this diverting the course of the workers’ struggles.

In June 1976, in response to the first price rises since 1970, there were strikes and clashes with the security forces. The price rises were withdrawn, but then the repression of the state swung into operation with mass dismissals and hundreds of workers arrested.

With the experience of such struggles behind them, it was not surprising that workers revealed a remarkable understanding of the needs and means of their struggle when they embarked on the movement of 1980.

To get an idea of why the strikes in Poland were such an inspiration at the time, why the ICC immediately produced an international leaflet on the lessons of the movement, and why it is an experience of the working class that still cries out for attention two decades later, it is necessary to give an account of what happened. What follows is partly based on an article that appeared in International Review no.23 (although that issue should not be particularly singled out, as every Review from 23-29 is rich in the lessons of the movement).

On 1 July 1980, after a major increase in meat prices [up to 60%], strikes broke out at Ursus (suburb of Warsaw) in the tractor plant which was at the heart of the confrontation with the authorities in 1976 and in Tczew [at a car component factory] in the Gdansk region [and at a paint factory and petrochemical plant in Wloclawek]. In Ursus the workers organised general assemblies, drew up a list of demands, elected a strike committee. They resisted the threat of firings and repression and carried on work stoppages throughout the following period to support the movement. Between 3-10 July agitation spread within Warsaw (electrical supplies factories, printers), to the aircraft factory at Swi, to the aircraft factory at Swidnick, [20,000 workers at] the car plant in Zeran; to Lodz, to Gdansk. Workers formed strike committees, their demands dealt with wage increases and the cancellation of the price rises. The government granted wage increases: 10% on average, sometimes as high as 20%; often granted preferentially to strikers in order to calm the movement.

In mid-July the strike hit Lublin. Railroad workers, transport workers and finally all industries in the city stopped work. Their demands: free elections to the unions, a guarantee of safety for the strikers, keep the police out of the factories, wage increases. [Troops were called in to maintain food supplies to the city.]

Work started again in some regions but strikes broke out in others. Krasnik, the Skolawa Wola steel mills [employing 30,000 workers], the city of Chelm (near the Russian border), [Ostrow-Wielkopolski, 20,000 workers at a helicopter factory in] Wroclaw, were reported to be affected ... [among over 100] strikes in the month of July. Department K1 of the shipyards at Gdansk had a work stoppage; also the steel complex a Huta-Warsaw. Everywhere the authorities gave in and granted wage increases. According to the Financial Times the government established a fund of 4 billion zlotys in July to pay these increases. Official agencies were instructed to make ‘good meat’ immediately available in factories where work stoppages threatened. Towards the end of July the movement seemed to recede; the government thought it had stopped the movement by negotiating factory by factory. It was mistaken.

The explosion was merely incubating as the one-week strike of Warsaw’s dustmen at the beginning of August showed. On 14 August, the firing of a militant of the free trade union movement, a worker known for his combativity and sincerity, provoked the outbreak of a strike [by 17,000 workers] at the Lenin shipyards in Gdansk. The general assembly drew up a list of eleven demands; proposals were listened to, discussed and voted upon. The assembly decided to elect a strike committee mandated on the basis of the demands which included: the reinstatement of fired workers, increases in family allowances, wage increases of 2000 zlotys (average wage: 3000-4500 zlotys a month), the dissolution of the official unions, suppression of the privileges of the police and bureaucracy, the building of a monument to the memory of the workers killed by the militia in 1970, the immediate publication of truthful information about the strike. The management gave in to the reinstatement of Anna Walentynowicz and Lech Walesa and on the construction of the monument. The strike committee gave an account of its mandate to the workers in the afternoon and informed them of the management’s position. The assembly decided to form a workers’ militia; all alcohol was confiscated. A second round of negotiations with the management began. The workers took over the loud speaker system so that negotiations would be open for all to hear. Soon they developed a system whereby workers outside could be heard by the negotiators inside. Workers seized the microphone and made their voices heard. Throughout the greater part of the strike and up until the last days before the signing of the compromise thousands of workers intervened from outside to exhort, to approve, or to reject the strike committee’s decisions. All the workers who had been fired since 1970 could return to the shipyards. The management granted wage increases and guaranteed the safety of the strikers.

On 15 August a general strike [of more than 50,000 workers] paralysed the Gdansk region. The Paris Commune shipyard at Gdynia came out. The workers occupied the shipyards and were granted an immediate increase of 2100 zlotys. They refused to go back to work, saying that ‘Gdansk must also win’. The movement at Gdansk fluctuated in a moment of hesitation: the shop floor delegates hesitated to go any further and seemed to want to accept the management’s proposals. Workers from other places in Gdansk and from Gdynia convinced the assembly of workers occupying the shipyard to maintain solidarity with them. There was a call for a new election of delegates who would be better able to express the general will. The workers from different plants in the region formed an inter-factory committee [the MKS] during the night of 15 August and elaborated twenty-one demands.

The strike committee then had 400 members, two representatives per factory; at the height of the movement there were between 800 and 1000 members. Delegations went back and forth from their factories to the central strike committee, sometimes using cassettes to record the discussions. Strike committees in each factory took care of any specific demands, the whole was co-ordinated by the central strike committee. The strike committee of the Lenin shipyards had twelve members, one per shop, elected by a show of hands after discussion. Two were sent to the central inter-factory strike committee and reported back twice a day.

On 16 August all telephone communication with Gdansk was cut off by the government. The central strike committee elected a presidium where the partisans of ‘free trade unions’ and dissidents predominated. The twenty-one demands settled upon on 16 August began with a call for free and independent unions and the right to strike. What had been point two in the eleven demands went to seventh place: the 2000 zloty increase for everyone”.

[On 17 August Gdansk local radio reported that “the climate of discussion in certain plants has become alarming.”]

By 18 August seventy-five enterprises were paralysed in the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot region. There were about 100,000 strikers. There were movements in Szczecin, and at Tarnow, eight kilometres south of Krakow. The strike committee organised the food supply; power stations and food factories operated by request of the strike committee. The negotiations having become bogged down, the government refused to talk with the inter-factory committee. In the following days new strikes at Elblag, at Tczew, in Kolobrzeg and other cities broke out. On 20 August it was estimated that 300,000 workers were on strike [including 120,000 in the Gdansk area in more than 250 plants. By 22 August more than 150,000 workers in the Gdansk area, and 30,000 in Szczecin, were on strike]. The newspaper of the Lenin shipyards, Solidarnosc, came out daily; printing workers helped to put out leaflets and publications. [Stalinist publications spoke of “a danger of permanent social and political destabilisation”.]

On 26 August workers reacted with caution to the government’s promises and remained indifferent to [Stalinist Party leader] Gierek’s speeches. They refused to negotiate until telephone communications were re-established.

On 27 August safe conduct passes for travel to Gdansk issued by sources in the Warsaw government were granted to dissidents so that they could go to the strikers as ‘experts’ and calm this upside down world. The government agreed to negotiate with the presidium of the central strike committee and recognised the right to strike. The telephone lines were re-established. Parallel negotiations began at Szczecin near the border with East Germany. Cardinal Wysynski called for an end to the strike; parts of the speech were shown on TV. The strikers sent out delegations to the rest of the country for solidarity.

On 28 August the strikes spread further. They affected the copper and coal mines of Silesia where workers have the highest standard of living in Poland. The miners, even before discussing the strike and agreeing on precise demands declared that they would stop work immediately ‘if the authorities touch Gdansk’. They went on strike for ‘the demands of Gdansk’. Thirty factories were on strike at Wroclaw, in Poznan (the factories where the movement began in 1956), in the steel mills of Nova-Huta and at Rzeszois. Inter-factory committees formed in various regions. Ursus sent delegates to Gdansk. At the heart of the generalisation Walesa declared: ‘We do not want the strikes to spread because they will push the country to the point of collapse. We need calm to conduct the negotiations’. The negotiations between the presidium and the government became private; the loudspeaker system increasingly began to break down at the shipyards. On 29 August the discussions and the presidium came to a compromise: the workers will be given ‘free trade unions’ if they accept 1. the leading role of the party; 2. the need to support the Polish state and the Warsaw Pact; 3. that the unions play no political role.

The agreement was signed on 31 August at Szczecin and at Gdansk. The government recognised the ‘self-managed’ unions; as its spokesman said ‘the nation and the state need a well-organised and conscious working class’. Two days later, fifteen members of the presidium resigned from their workplaces and became officials of the new unions. Afterwards they were soon obliged to nuance their position because it was announced that they would receive salaries of 8000 zlotys. This information was later denied because of workers’ discontent.

It took several days to get these agreements signed. Statements from workers at Gdansk showom workers at Gdansk show them to have been morose, suspicious and disappointed. Some workers on hearing that the agreements gave them only half of the increase they had already obtained by 16 August shouted ‘Walesa, you sold us out’. Many workers did not agree with the point recognising the role of the Party and the state.

The strike in the coal mines of Upper Silesia and in the copper mines whose aim was to ensure that the Gdansk agreement would apply to the entire country lasted until 3 September. Throughout September strikes continued: in Kielce, at Bialystok among the cotton workers, in textiles, in the salt mines of Silesia, in the transport services of Katowice”. By mid October 1980 it was estimated that strikes had occurred in more than 4800 enterprises throughout Poland.

Although the mass strike had its most dramatic expressions in August 1980, the working class kept the initiative against the first incoherent responses of the Polish bourgeoisie for some months, into early 1981. Despite the agreements drawn up in Gdansk, workers’ struggles continued, with occupations, strikes and demonstrations. Workers’ demands broadened, with economic demands widening in scope and depth, and political demands becoming increasingly more radical. In November 1980, for example, there were, in actions centred on the Warsaw area, demands for control over police, army, security police and public prosecutors. Such demands, for limitations on the repressive apparatus of a capitalist government, would not be tolerated anywhere in the world, as it puts into question the very force that guarantees the bourgeoisie’s dictatorship.

At the economic level, there were occupations of government offices in protest at meat shortages. Elsewhere there were strikes and protests about the meat ration allowed over the Christmas period. Solidarnosc was explicitly against these actions as it had for some time been campaigning for the introduction of meat rationing.

Faced with these struggles the ruling class in Poland had been inept in its response. Because of the extent of the workers’ movement it was not initially able to risk resorting to direct repression. This did not mean that the threat of repression was not used constantly by Solidarnosc as grounds for discontinuing the struggle. The threat was not only from the Polish state but also from the forces of Russian imperialism. They were rightly concerned about the possibility of the movement inspiring struggles in neighbouring countries. The threat of intervention took a concrete form when, in November 1980, there were reports of concentrations of Warsaw Pact forces gathering on the Polish borders. Although leading figures in the US and western Europe issued the usual warnings against Russia intervening in Poland, as it had done in Hungary in 56 and Czechoslovakia in 68, these were empty words. Joseph Luns, the then Secretary-General of NATO, had already said, in October 1980, that the West was unlikely to make any military retaliation for a Russian invasion. When it came to class struggle on the scale undertaken by the workers in Poland the imperialist enemies had no real differences in wanting social order resumed and workers’ struggles crushed. In reality, these Western warnings had a very definite objective: they aimed to frighten the Polish of workers with the threat of intervention by Russian tanks. They knew what had happened in Hungary in 1956, when these tanks had left thousands dead. Nonetheless, the struggles continued.

In January 1981, when Solidarnosc were discussing Saturday working with the government, on the 10th, three million people failed to turn up for work and heavy industry came to a standstill. Lech Walesa appealed for there to be no confrontation with the government.

In January and February 1981 there were strikes demanding the removal of corrupt officials. The southern region around Bielsko-Biala was paralysed by a prolonged general strike involving 200,000 workers in ike involving 200,000 workers in some 120 enterprises. There were strikes in Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Czestochowa, Kutno, Poznan, Legnica, Kielce. A leading figure in Solidarnosc said “we want to stop these anti-corruption strikes, Otherwise the whole country would have to go on strike”. On February 9th, in Jelenia Gora (in western Poland) there was a general strike involving 300,000 workers in 450 enterprises demanding that a government sanatorium reserved for bureaucrats be turned over to the local hospital. There were further actions in Kalisz, Suwalki, Katowice, Radom, Nowy Sacz, Szczecin and Lublin - these happened after Jaruzelski has been appointed as Prime Minister and Solidarnosc had responded enthusiastically to his proposal for a 90-day period of restraint from industrial action.

The replacement of Kania by Jaruzelski in February 81, and the previous replacement of Gierek by Kania in September 1980 were important re-orientations by the Polish bourgeoisie, but they did not, in themselves, deflect workers’ struggles. They had seen Gomulka come and go, and knew that a change at the top would not change the policies of the state.

In March there was the threat of a national general strike in response to police violence in Bydgoszcz. In the end this was called off by Solidarnosc after a deal with the government. The union accepted that “there was some justification for police interference in Bydgoszcz because of a climate of tension in the city.” In the period following Bydgoszcz seven joint commissions were set up to officially institutionalise government-Solidarnosc collaboration.

However, the struggles had not finished. In mid-July 1981 fuel and price rises of up to 400% were announced, as well as cuts in the meat rations for August and September. Strikes and hunger marches reappeared. Solidarnosc called for an end to the protests. Many other issues were also taken up - corruption, repression, as well as rationing. By late September two thirds of Poland’s provinces were affected. The strike wave continued developing into mid October 81.

Although the government’s summer announcements were clearly threatening, it was not until 13th December 1981 that the clamp down of military rule was undertaken. The police state had 300,000 troops and 100,000 police - but it was 17 months after the start of the movement before the Polish ruling class felt confident that it could physically attack workers’ strikes, occupations and demonstrations. This confidence came from its knowledge of the work that Solidarnosc had done in the gradual undermining of the ability of the working class to struggle.

The strength of the movement lay in the fact that workers took the struggle into their own hands and rapidly went beyond the confines of particular enterprises. Extending struggles beyond individual factories, holding general assemblies and ensuring that delegates could be recalled at a delegates could be recalled at any moment, all this contributed to the power of the movement. Partly this can be attributed to the fact that workers had no confidence in the official trade unions - which were identified as corrupt state organs. However, while this contributed to the strength of the movement, it also laid workers wide open to propaganda about ‘free’ or ‘independent’ trade unions.

Various dissident groups had for years put forward the idea of ‘free’ trade unions, as an alternative to those which were seen as part of the state. Such ideas came to the fore particularly at times of intense workers’ struggle. August 1980 was no exception. Right from the start, when workers were struggling against attacks on their living and working conditions, there were voices insisting on the need for ‘independent’ trade unions.

The actions of Solidarnosc in 1980 and 1981 demonstrated that, even when formally separated from the capitalist state, new unions, started from scratch, with millions of determined members and enjoying the confidence of the working class, act the same as official, bureaucratic state unions. As with unions everywhere else in the world, Solidarnosc (and the demands for ‘free trade unions’ that preceded its foundation) acted to sabotage struggles, demobilise and discourage workers and divert their discontent into the dead-ends of ‘self-management’, defence of the national economy and defence of the unions rather than workers’ interests. This happens, not because of ‘bad leaders’ such as Walesa, the influence of the Church or a lack of democratic structures, but because of the very nature of unionism. Permanent organisations cannot be maintained in an epoch where reforms are no longer possible, where the state tends to incorporate the whole of society, and where unions can only be instruments for defending the national economy.

In Poland, even at the height of the strikes, when workers were organising themselves, extending their struggles, holding assemblies, electing delegates and creating inter-factory committees to co-ordinate and make their actions more effective, there was already a movement that insisted on the need for new unions. As our account of the events shows, one of the first blows against the movement was the transformation of the inter-factory committees into the initial structure of Solidarnosc.

There was much suspicion of the actions of such as Walesa and the ‘moderate’ leadership, but the work of Solidarnosc was not accomplished by a handful of ‘compromising’ celebrities, but by the union structure as a whole. Certainly, Walesa was an important figure, and acknowledged by the bourgeoisie internationally. The award of the Nobel peace prize, and his subsequent elevation to the Polish presidency were undoubtedly in continuity with his activities in 1980-81. But it should also be remembered that he had once been a respected militant, who had, for example, been a leading figure in the struggles of 1970. This respect meant that his voice had a particular weight with workers, as a proven ‘opponent’ of the Polish state. By the summer of 1980 this ‘opposition’ was 80 this ‘opposition’ was a thing of the past. Right from the beginning of the movement he was to be found actively discouraging workers from striking. This started in Gdansk, then he went on to ‘negotiations’ with the authorities on the best way to sabotage workers’ struggles, and, eventually, took the form of rushing round the whole country, often in an army helicopter, urging workers, at every opportunity, to abandon their strikes.

Walesa not only relied on his past reputation, but gave new reasons for the suppression of the struggle. “Society wants order now. We have to learn to negotiate rather than strike”. Workers had to stop their struggles so that Solidarnosc could negotiate. The framework of the national economy was clear as “We are Poles first and trade unionists second”.

The role of Solidarnosc became more and more openly one of partnership with the government, particularly after it averted the threat of a general strike in March 1981. In August 81 there was a particularly good example, when Solidarnosc was trying to persuade workers to give up eight free Saturdays to help out the crisis-ridden economy. As an angry worker told representatives of Solidarnosc’s National Commission “You dare to call on people to work their free Saturdays because the government has to be propped up? But who says we have to prop it up?”.

But Solidarnosc did not only issue direct appeals for order. A typical leaflet, from Szczecin Solidarnosc, started by saying that:

Solidarnosc means:

  • the way to get the country back on its feet
  • social calm and stability
  • maintenance of standards and good organisation”,

but then went on to speak of the battle for decent living standards”. This showed the two faces of Solidarnosc, as a force for social order, but also posing as the defender of workers’ interests. The two aspects of the union’s activity were mutually dependent. By claiming to have the interests of workers at heart they hoped that their appeals for order would have credibility. Many union activists who denounced Walesa’s ‘betrayals’ would still rush to the defence of Solidarnosc itself. In February 1981, following a period where many strikes were out of the control of Solidarnosc, the leadership issued a statement insisting on the need for a united union as its splintering “would herald a period of uncontrolled social conflict”. Such an appeal was a reminder that Solidarnosc would only function effectively for Polish capitalism so long as it posed as the defender of workers’ interests.

This role for Solidarnosc was recognised internationally, as unions from the West gave advice on how unions function within the framework of the national economy. To build up Solidarnosc western unions did not restrict themselves to verbal assistance, substantial financial support was provided by a number of union federations, in particular from those pillars of social responsibilityse pillars of social responsibility in the US and the UK, the AFL-CIO and the TUC. Internationally capitalism left nothing to chance.

The struggles of 1980-81 were enriched by the previous experience of the working class in Poland. However, they were not an isolated ‘Polish’ expression of the class struggle, being the culmination of an international wave of struggles from 1978 to 1981. Miners in the US in 1978, the public sector in Britain in 1978-79, French steel workers at the start of 1979, Rotterdam dockworkers autumn 1979, steelworkers in Britain in 1980, Brazilian metal workers, oil workers in Iran, massive workers’ movements in Peru, strikes across eastern Europe following the mass strikes in Poland: all these struggles demonstrated the combativity of the working class and a growing class consciousness. The main significance of the mass strike in Poland was that it provided the beginnings of an answer to the fundamental questions posed in all the other struggles - how does the working class fight and what are the basic obstacles it faces in its struggle.

As we have seen, during the summer of 1980 the Polish proletariat was able to create, spontaneously, the most powerful and effective forms of class struggle precisely because the social “buffers” that exist in Western countries were lacking. This thoroughly gives the lie to all those (Trotskyists, anarcho-syndicalists, and others) who claim that the working class cannot really develop its struggles unless it has first formed trade unions or any other kind of “workers’ associationism” (in the words of the Bordigists of the International Communist Party that publishes Il Comunista in Italy). The Polish proletariat’s moment of greatest strength, when it paralysed the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state and forced it to retreat, was when no trade union existed (the official unions being completely out of the running). When the union was formed, and as it bit by bit grew in strength and structure, so the proletariat began to weaken to the point where it was unable to react to the repression unleashed on 13th December 1981. When the class struggle develops, the workers’ strength ielops, the workers’ strength is not proportional to that of the unions, but inversely proportional. Any attempt to “renew” the old unions or to create new ones, comes down to supporting the bourgeoisie in its sabotage of the workers’ struggle.

This is a fundamental lesson for the world proletariat from the struggle in Poland 1980. however, the Polish workers themselves were unable to understand the lesson because they did not have a direct historical experience of union sabotage. A few months of Solidarnosc sabotaging the struggle convinced them at best that Walesa and his cronies were a bunch of bastards, but were not enough to teach them that the problem is trade unionism, not this or that “bad leader”.

These lessons could only truly be learned by sectors of the world proletariat who had already been confronted for a long time with bourgeois democracy, not immediately from the Polish experience, but from their own daily experience. In part, this is what happened in the period that followed.

In the international wave of struggles from 1983-89, particularly in western Europe, where the working class has the longest experience of ‘independent’ unions and the dictatorship of the democratic bourgeoisie, workers struggles were led increasingly to call into question the authority of the unions, to the point where in a whole series of countries (France and Italy in particular) “co-ordinations” were set up, supposedly springing from “rank-and-file assemblies”, in order to make up for the discredit of the official unions(1). Obviously, this tendency to call into question the union framework was strongly counter-acted by the general retreat of the working class following the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the Stalinist regimes in 1989. But in the struggles which will necessarily develop in the future against the capitalist crisis, workers in every country will have to recover the lessons of their previous struggles. Not only the lessons of struggles that they have been directly involved in, but also those of their class brothers in other countries, and in particular those of the proletariat’s struggle in Poland 1980.

For we can be certain that the working class’ relative passivity world wide today, does not call into question that general historic course of the proletarian struggle. May 68 in France, the Italian “hot autumn” of 1969, and may other movements around the world since then have shown that the proletariat has emerged from the counter-revolution that it suffered for 40 years(2). This course has not fundamentally been called into question since then: a historic period which has seen struggles as important as those in Poland can only be called into question by a profound defeat of the working class such as the bourgeoisie has so far been unable to inflict.


1 See in particular our article “The co-ordinations sabotage the struggle” in International Review no.56

2 See our article “Why the proletariat has not yet overthrown capitalism” in this issue.


History of the workers' movement: 

Heritage of the Communist Left: