What are workers' councils? (Part 1): Why did workers' councils emerge in 1905?

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On March 2nd 1919, at the inaugural session of the First Congress of the Communist International, Lenin argued that the "Soviet system" (that's Russian for workers' councils) having previously been "a Latin phrase" to the great mass of workers, had entered into everyday language in many countries and, above all, was a more common form of struggle for workers; he read out a report in an English bourgeois newspaper that said: "The British government had just met the Birmingham Council of Workers' Deputies and had expressed its readiness to recognise the Councils  as industrial organisations." [1]

Today, 90 years later, comrades from different countries write and ask us: "What are workers' councils?" acknowledging that it is a subject which they know virtually nothing about and of which they would like to know more.

The weight of the most terrible counter-revolution in history, the difficulties which, since 1968, have prevented the politicisation of the struggles of the working class; the falsification, or the total silence that the media and bourgeois culture imposes on the historic experience of the proletariat - all this means that words such as soviet or workers' council which were once so familiar to generations of workers in 1917-23, are now something alien to them or are interpreted in a completely different way from the original meaning. [2]

This article will try and answer four simple questions: What are the workers' councils? Why did they suddenly appear? To what historical needs did they respond? Are they still relevant today? In answering these questions, we will use the historic experience of our class, an experience that comprises the revolutionary combat of 1905 and 1917 as well as the debates and the writings of militant revolutionaries like Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin and Pannekoek.

The historical conditions that gave rise to the workers' councils

Why did the workers' councils appear in 1905 and not in 1871 at the time of the Paris Commune? [3]

We can only understand the emergence of the workers' councils during the Russian Revolution of 1905 by analysing all the relevant factors: the historic period, the direct experience of proletarian struggle itself, and the intervention of revolutionary organisations.

With regard to the period, capitalism was at the pinnacle of its evolution, but had been showing more and more signs of entering into decline, particularly at the imperialist level. Trotsky, in his works 1905 and Results and Prospects to which we will refer, highlights this: "By drawing all the countries together through its mode of production and commerce, capitalism made the world a single economic and political organisation"; and more specifically, "This gives the current events an immediate international character, and a global perspecive. The political emancipation of Russia under the leadership of the working class will raise the class to hitherto unknown historical heights and will bring about the downfall of capitalism, through which history has realised its goals."[4] The massive movements and general strikes produced by this new period had erupted across the world before 1905: general strikes in Spain in 1902 and in Belgium in 1903 and in Russia itself at various times.

We come to the second factor, the struggle itself. The workers' councils did not emerge out of the blue, like lightning on a clear day. In the preceding years, there had been many strikes in Russia from 1896 onwards: the general strike of textile workers in St. Petersburg in 1896 and 1897; major strikes in 1903 and 1904 that shook the whole of southern Russia, etc. These experiences show tendencies towards spontaneous mobilisation, in which organs of struggle that no longer correspond to the typical union forms of struggle are created, preparing the ground for the struggles of 1905: "... the history of the present period of mass struggles begins with those general strikes in St. Petersburg. They are therefore important for the problem of the mass strike because they already contain, in the germ, all the principle factors of the later mass strikes." [5]

Furthermore, with regard to the third factor, the proletarian parties (the Bolsheviks and other tendencies) had obviously not made any previous propaganda on the theme of the workers' councils since their appearance had taken them by surprise; nor did they set up intermediate structures of organisation in preparation. And yet, their incessant work of political propaganda had greatly contributed to their emergence. This is Rosa Luxemburg's view of the spontaneous movements such as the textile workers' strike in St. Petersburg in 1896 and 1897: "The next occasion of the movement was wholly accidental, even unimportant, its outbreak elementary; but in the success of the movement, it expressed the fruits of the agitation, extending over several years, of the Social Democracy..."[6]

In this regard, it rigorously clarifies the role of revolutionaries: "To fix beforehand the cause and the moment from and in which the mass strikes in Germany will break out is not in the power of Social Democracy, because it is not in its power to bring about historical situations by resolutions at party congresses. But what it can and must do is to make clear the political tendencies, when they once appear, and to formulate them as a resolute and consistent tactics." [7]

This analysis provides an understanding of the nature of the great movement which shook Russia during 1905 and which reached its decisive stage in the last three months of that year, from October to December, during which the development of workers' councils became widespread.

The revolutionary movement of 1905 had its roots in the unforgettable events of "Bloody Sunday", January 22nd 1905.[8]  This movement experienced its first reflux in March 1905 before re-emerging along various paths in May and July.[9]  During this period, however, it took the form of a series of spontaneous explosions with a poor level of organisation. By contrast, from September, the question of the general organisation of the working class had come to the forefront: this was the start of a phase of increasing politicisation of the masses, in which we saw the limits of the struggle for immediate demands but also the exasperation caused both by the brutality of Tsarism and the hesitations of the liberal bourgeoisie.[10]

The debate among the masses

We have seen the historical conditons in which the first Soviets appeared. But what were the determining factors in this? Were they created through the deliberate actions of a bold minority? Or, alternatively, were they the direct product of the objective conditions?

If the revolutionary propaganda carried out over a number of years did, as was said, contribute to the emergence of the Soviets, and if Trotsky played a leading role in the Petersburg Soviet, their appearance was neither the direct result of the agitation or organisational proposals of the marxist parties (divided at this time into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks), nor did it result from initiatives of anarchist groups as Voline claimed in his book The Unknown Revolution.[11]  Voline[12] believed the first Soviet appeared in between the middle and the end of February 1905. Without doubting the credibility of his facts, we can say that this meeting - that Voline himself called "private" - would have been a contributory factor in the emergence of the Soviets, but did not constitute their founding act.

It is customary to regard the Soviet of Ivanovo-Vosnesensk as the first or one of the first.[13] In total, 40 to 50 Soviets were identified, together with some soldiers and peasants soviets. Anweiler emphasises their disparate origins: "Some were modelled on older organisations such as strike committees and deputies assemblies; others were formed directly, initiated by Social Democatic party organisations, which then exercised considerable influence in the soviet. Frequently boundaries between a simple strike comitee and a fully developed council of workers deputies were fluid, and only in the main revolutionary centres with considerable concentrations of workers - such as (apart from St Petersburg) Moscow, Odessa, Novorossiysk, and the Donets Basin - were the councils thoroughly organised".[14]

Thus, the paternity of the Soviets can not be attributed to this or that person or minority; they emerged spontaneously from out of nowhere. In essence, they were the collective work of the class: multiple initiatives, discussions, proposals arising from here or there, all woven into the evolution of events, and with the active intervention of the revolutionaries, resulted in the birth of the Soviets. Looking more closely at this process, we can identify two determining factors: the massive scale of debate and the increased radicalisation of struggles.

The noticeable maturation of consciousness within the masses from September 1905 expressed itself in the development of a great appetite for debate. The heated discussions spreading through the factories, universities, neighborhoods, were a "new" phenomenon that increased significantly during the month of September. Trotsky provides some evidence: "... that perfectly free popular gatherings were taking place in the walls of universities, while Trepov's[15] unlimited terror reigned within the streets, was one of the most astonishing political paradoxes of the autumn months of 1905." Increasingly these meetings were attended by workers en masse: "‘The people' filled the corridors, lecture rooms and halls. The workers went directly from the factory to university", says Trotsky, adding the following: "The official telegraph agency, horrified by the audience that gathered in the assembly hall of the Vladimir University, reported that apart from students, the crowd consisted of ‘a multitude of extraneous persons of both sexes, secondary school pupils, adolescents from the town's private schools, workers, and a miscellaneous rabble of people and tramps'"[16].

But it was not at all a "miscellaneous rabble" as the news agency scornfully claimed, but a collective group that discussed and reflected in an orderly and methodical manner, maintaining a strict discipline and a maturity that even the bourgeois newspaper columnist Rouss (Russia) recognised, as Trotsky notes: "Do you know what astonished me most of all at the university meeting? The extraordinary exemplary order. Soon after I had arrived, an interval was announced in the assembly hall and I went for a stroll down the corridor. A univeristy corridor is rather like a street. All the lecture rooms off the corridor were full of people, and independent sectional meetings were taking place inside them. The corridor itself was packed to overflowing: crowds were moving back and forth (...) One might have thought that one was attending a ‘reception', only a rather more serious one than these affairs usually are. And yet this was the people, the real genuine people, with hands coarsened by hard manual work, with that earth-coloured complexion that people get from spending days in unhealthy, airless premises."[17]

We can observe the same discipline in the industrial town of Ivanovo-Vosnesensk, referred to above, from the month of May: "The plenary sessions take place every morning at nine o'clock. When this meeting [of the Soviet] ended, the workers' general assembly began looking at all the issues connected to the strike. There were progress reports on the negotiations with employers and authorities. After the discussion, the Soviet's proposals are submitted to the assembly. Then, the party activists made stirring speeches on the situation facing the working class and the meeting continued until exhaustion set in. At this point, the crowd began to sing revolutionary songs and the assembly was terminated. Every day's the same."[18]

The radicalisation of struggles

A small strike that broke out on September 19th in the Sitin print shop in Moscow would light the fuse to the massive October general strike in which the Soviets became widespread. Solidarity with the Sitin print shop brought more than 50 Moscow print shops out on strike, resulting in a general meeting of printers on September 26th, where the name Soviet or council was adopted. The strike spread to other sectors: bakeries, metallurgical and textiles industries. Agitation won the support of the railway workers on one side, and the printers in St. Petersburg on the other, demonstrating solidarity with their comrades in Moscow.

Another organised front arose unexpectedly: a railway delegates' conference on retirement funds opened in St. Petersburg on September 20th. Departing from its agenda, the conference launched an appeal to all sectors of workers to organise joint meetings and put forward economic and political demands. Encouraged by the telegrams of support from across the country, the conference announced another meeting for October 9th.

Shortly afterwards, on October 3rd, "A meeting of workers' delegates from the printing, engineering, cabinet-making and other trades adopted a decision to  form a general council (Soviet) of all Moscow workers."[19]

The railway strike, which broke out spontaneously on a few lines of the rail network, became a general strike from October 7th. In this context, the meeting called for the 9th was turned into "an extraordinary meeting of the Petersburg delegates' congress of railway personnel [where] slogans of the railway strike were formulated and immediately disseminated by telegraph to all lines. They were the following: eight-hour day, civil liberties, amnesty, Constituent Assembly".[20]

There were very intense debates in the mass meetings at the university on the on-going situation, real-life experiences and the alternatives the future opened up, but in October the situation changed: the debates did not die down, quite the contrary, they matured into an open struggle, which, in turn, began to establish a general organisation, which not only led the struggle but guided and cohered the massive debate. The need to regroup, unite and to unify the various centres of the strikes was raised very clearly by the Moscow workers. The congress of railway workers had been able to provide a program of economic and political demands in relation to the situation and in accord with the real practicalities facing the working class. Debate, unified organisation, a programme of struggle: these were the three pillars on which the soviets were built. So it is clear then that it's the convergence of initiatives and proposals from different sectors of the working class that gave rise to the soviets and absolutely not the "plans" of some minority. The soviets were the concrete expression of what, some 60 years earlier in the Communist Manifesto, looked like a utopian formulation: "All previous historical movements were movements of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority".

The Soviets, organs of revolutionary struggle

"The first meeting of what was to become the Soviet was held on the evening of the 13th, in the Technological Institute. Not more than thirty or forty delegates attended. It was decided immediately to call upon the proletariat of the capital to proclaim a political general strike and to elect delegates"[21]

This Soviet launched the following appeal, written at this first meeting: "The working class has resorted to the final, powerful weapon of the world workers' movement - the general strike ... Decisive events are going to occur in Russia in the next few days. They will determine the destiny of the working class for many years ahead; we must meet these events with full readiness, united in our common Soviet ... ".[22]

This passage shows the general vision and broad perspective of the body that was newly born from the struggle. It expresses, in a simple way, a vision that is clearly political and in tune with the essential being of the working class, allying itself to the international workers' movement. At the same time, this consciousness is an expression of and an active factor in the extension of the strike to all sectors and to all parts of the country, becoming a general strike effectively from October 12th. The strike paralysed the economy and social life, but the Soviet ensured that it didn't  paralyse the working class struggle itself. As Trotsky shows: "When it needed news bulletins of the revolution, it (the strike) opened a printing works; it used the telegraph to send out strike instructions; it let trains carrying strikers' delegates pass".[23] The strike "was not a merely temporary interruption of work, a passive protest made with folded arms. It defended itself and, in its defence, passed to the offensive. In a number of towns in the south it erected barricades, seized gun shops, armed itself and offered a heroic if not victorious resistance."[24]

The Soviet was the scene of lively debates that had three axes:

  • What relationship to have with the peasants? As indispensible allies, how and under what conditions can they be integrated into the struggle?
  • What is the role of the army? Will the soldiers desert the repressive machinery of the regime?
  • How will they arm themselves in the coming confrontation with the Tsarist state, which is becoming more and more inevitable?

In the conditions of 1905, these questions could be posed, but not answered. The answers would be provided by the Revolution of 1917. That said, the achievements that came about in 1917 could not have been envisaged without the great battles of 1905.

It's commonly thought that questions like those raised above would only concern small coteries of "revolutionary strategists". Despite this, under the Soviets, there was a massive debate around these questions with the participation and contributions of thousands of workers. Those pedants who consider workers incapable of dealing with  such matters would have found evidence of workers speaking without inhibitions, as passionate and committed experts, letting their intuitions, their feelings, and their conscious understanding built up over the years, pour out into the crucible of collective organisation.  Rosa Luxemburg interpreted it this way: "Under the conditions of the mass strike, the honest family man becomes a romantic revolutionary".

If on the 13th, there were barely 40 delegates at the meeting of the Soviet, subsequently the numbers multiplied day after day. The first decision of any factory that called a strike was to elect a delegate who was given a mandate adopted and clarified by the assembly. Some sectors were hesitant: the textile workers of St. Petersburg, unlike their colleagues in Moscow, would not join the struggle until the 16th. On the 15th "The Soviet worked out a complete range of methods, from verbal appeals to forcible cohersion, to involve non-strikers in the strike. But it turned out to be unnecessary to  resort to extreme methods. Where a printed appeal had no effect, it was enough for a crowd of strikers to appear on the scene - sometimes only a few men - and work was immediately interrupted."[25]

Meetings of the Soviet were the antithesis of a bourgeois parliament or a disputation among academic scholars. "There was no trace of magniloquence, that ulcer of representational institutions! The questions under discussion - the spreading of the strike and demands to be addressed to the Duma - were of a purely practical nature and were debated briefly, energetically and in a businesslike manner. One felt that every atom of time was accounted for. The slightest tendency towards rhetoric was firmly checked by the chairman with the stern approval of the entire meeting."[26]

This lively and practical debate, at once profound and concrete, revealed a transformation in the consciousness and the social psychology of the workers and was a powerful factor in developing these. Consciousness is the collective understanding of the social situation and its perspectives, of the real power that comes from mass action, and of the need to set goals, distinguish friends from enemies, and elaborate a vision of the future world. But at the same time social psychology is a factor that is both distinct from but that exists alongside consciousness; a factor that is expressed in the moral and living attitudes of workers, in their contagious solidarity, in their empathy with others, in their open-mindedness and learning and in their selfless devotion to the common cause.

This mental transformation may appear utopian and impossible to those who only see workers through the prism of everyday life where they may appear as atomised robots without the least initiative or collective sentiment, destroyed by the weight of competition and rivalry. It's the experience of massive struggle and the development of the workers' councils that is the engine of such a transformation, as Trotsky says: "Socialism does not aim at creating a socialist psychology as a pre-requisite to socialism but at creating socialist conditions of life as a pre-requisite to socialist psychology."[27]

The general assemblies and the councils elected by them and responsible to them became both the brain and heart of the struggle. The brain, so that thousands of human beings could think aloud and could take decisions after a period of reflection. The heart, so that these beings could stop seeing themselves lost in a sea of strangers, unknown and potentially hostile to each other, and become an active part of a broad community that unites them all and where everyone feels mutual solidarity and support.

By building on these solid foundations, the Soviet established the proletariat as the alternative power to the bourgeois state. It became increasingly recognised as a social force: "As the October strike developed, so the Soviet naturally came more and more to the political forefront. Its importance grew literally from hour to hour. The industrial proletariat was the first to rally around it. The railwaymen's union established close relations with it. The Union of Unions, which joined the strike from October 14, was obliged to place itself under the Soviet's authority almost from the start. Numerous strike committees (...) adapted their actions to the Soviet's decisions."[28]

Many anarchists and councilist writers have made the soviets the standard bearers of a federalist ideology built on local and corporatist autonomy that opposes the supposedly "authoritarian and debilitating" centralism of marxism. A reflection of Trotsky answers these objections: "The role of St. Petersburg in the Russian revolution cannot be compared in any way with that of Paris in the French revolution. The economically primitive nature of France (and, in particular, of the means of communication) on the one hand and administrative centralisation on the other,  allowed the French revolution to be localised - to all intents and purposes - within the walls of Paris. The situation in Russia was entirely different. Capitalist development in Russia had created as many independent centres of revolution as there were centres of major industry - independent, that is, but also intimately linked with one another."[29]

Here we see in practice what proletarian centralisation means. It is the antithesis of the bureaucratic and debilitating centralisation characteristic of the state and of all the exploiting classes throughout history. Proletarian centralisation is not based on the denial of initiative and spontaneity to its various components; instead  it uses all its resources to aid their development. As Trotsky remarks: "The railways and the telegraph decentralised the revolution despite the centralised character of the state; but, at the same time, they brought unity to all its scattered manifestations. If, as the result of all this, we recognise that Petersburg had the leading voice of the revolution, it does not mean that the revolution was concentrated in Nevsky Prospect or outside the Winter Palace, but only that the slogans and fighting methods of struggle of Petersburg found a mighty revolutionary echo in the country as a whole. "[30]

The Soviet was the backbone of this massive centralisation: "...we must recognise the council, or Soviet of workers' deputies as the cornerstone of all the events", Trotsky continues, "Not only because it is the greatest workers' organisation to be seen in Russia until that time. Not only because the St. Petersburg soviet served as a model for Moscow, Odessa and a number of other cities. But, above all, because this purely class-founded, proletarian organisation was the organisation of the revolution as such. The Soviet was the axis of all events, every thred ran towards it, every call to action emanated from it."[31]

The role of the Soviets at the end of movement

In late October 1905, it was clear that the movement was faced with a choice: either to make the insurrection or to be crushed.

The aim of this article is not to analyse the factors that led to the second outcome.[32] The movement did indeed culminate in defeat and the Tsarist regime - once again in control of the situation - unleashed a brutal crackdown. However, the manner in which the proletariat fought a fierce and heroic but fully conscious battle was preparation for the future. The painful defeat in December 1905 prepared the future revolution of 1917.

The Petersburg Soviet had a decisive role in this: it did everything it could to prepare for an inevitable confrontation in the best possible conditions. It formed workers' patrols, initially defensive in nature (against the punitive expeditions of the Black Hundreds organised by the Tsar and composed of the dregs of society), established arms depots and organised and trained militias.

But at the same time, and learning from the workers' uprising of the 19th century,[33] the Petersburg Soviet insisted that the key to the situation was the attitude of the troops, and that is why it concentrated the bulk of its efforts on deciding how to win the soldiers over to its side.

And, in fact, the appeals and leaflets addressed to the army, the invitations to troops to attend meetings of the Soviet were not wasted. They found an echo to some degree in the growing discontent among the sailors who led the mutiny on the battleship Potemkin (immortalised by the famous movie) or in the uprising of the Kronstadt garrison in October.

In November 1905, the Soviet called a massively supported strike where the objectives were directly political: the ending of martial law in Poland and the abolition of the special military Tribunal prosecuting the sailors and soldiers of Kronstadt. This strike was able to pull in sectors of workers who had never struggled before and won enormous sympathy from soldiers. However, the strike also demonstrated the exhaustion of working class forces and a largely passive attitude among the soldiers and peasants, particularly in the provinces, which led to the failure of the strike.

The Soviet took two seemingly paradoxical measures in October and November that were another contribution in preparing for confrontation. As soon as it understood that the strike in October was over, the Soviet proposed to the workers' assemblies that all the workers go back to work at the same time. This was a demonstration of force that showed the determination and the conscious discipline of the workers. The operation was carried out in November before the movement got weaker. It was a way of conserving energy for the general confrontation to come, showing the enemy the strength and steadfast unity of the combattants.

Once the Russian liberal bourgeoisie became aware of the proletarian threat, it closed ranks around the Tsarist regime. This regime now felt itself in a stronger position and began to systematically hunt down the Soviets. The news spread quickly that the workers' movement in the provinces was in retreat. Despite this, the workers in Moscow launched an insurrection that was only crushed after 14 days of fierce fighting.

The crushing of the insurrection in Moscow was the final act of three hundred days of liberty, fraternity, organisation and community, experienced by "ordinary workers" as the liberal intellectuals liked to call them. During the last two months, these "ordinary workers" had built a simple structure, the Soviets, which was able to respond quickly to events, and which, in no time at all, achieved immense power. But with the end of the revolution, they seemed to have disappeared without trace forever . Apart from revolutionary minorities and groups of advanced workers, no one spoke about them anymore. Yet in 1917, they returned onto the social scene with a recognised purpose and with irresistible force. We will see all this in our next article.

C. Mir, 5/11/09


[1].  Lenin Selected Works Volume X  p.26 (Lawrence and Wishart).

[2]. The phrase "Soviet system" is now associated with the barbaric regime of state capitalism that existed in the former USSR and "the Soviets" is now synonymous with Russian imperialism during the long period of the Cold War (1945-89).

[3]. Despite the fact that Marx recognised the Commune as the "finally discovered form of the dictatorship of the proletariat " and that it was a harbinger of what would later be the Soviets, the Paris Commune is associated more with the organisational forms of radical democracy peculiar to the urban masses during the French Revolution: "The central committee of the National Guard, which headed a system of soldiers councils, took the initiative in proclaiming the Commune. The battalion clubs, as the lowest elements, elected a legion council, each of which sent three representatives to the sixty-member central committee. In addition, provisions were made for a general assembly of delegates from the companies, which was intended to meet once a month" (Oskar Anweiler, The Soviets: the Russian Workers, Peasants and Soldiers Councils, 1905-1921, Pantheon, 1974, p11-12)

[4]. Trotsky, Results and Prospects, 1906

[5]. Rosa Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, The Political Party and the Trade Unions, Chapter 3, "The Development of the Mass Strike Movement in Russia". Merlin Press, p 23.

[6]. Ibid., p 24.

[7]. Ibid, Chapter 7, "The Role of the Mass Strike in the Revolution", p 70.

[8]. We cannot develop here a chronicle of these events. For this, see International Review n° 120,  "100 years ago: The 1905 Revolution in Russia (I)".

[9]. In her book on  The Mass Strike, Rosa Luxemburg describes and analyses the dynamics of  the movement very clearly, its ups and downs, its moments of advance and sudden retreat.

[10]. Russia, with the global capitalist system at the pinnacle if its development and at the beginning of its decline, was trapped in a contradiction between the burden of feudal Tsarism on capitalist development and the dependency of the liberal bourgeoisie on the bureaucratic apparatus, not only for its own development, but also for maintaining  the repressive fortress required to halt the threat of the proletariat. Read Trotsky ‘s book referred to above.

[11]. " Then one evening when, as usual, there were several men with me - and Nossar was one of us [Nossar was the first president of the Petersburg Soviet in October 1905] - the idea arose among us to create a permanent workers' organisation: a sort of committee or rather a council to watch over events, to serve as a link between all the workers, to inform them on the situation and to be able, when appropriate, to rally the revolutionary forces of the working class around it."https://kropot.free.fr/Voline-revinco.I.htm#2.2.

[12]. Voline was an anarchist militant who remained faithful to the proletariat, denouncing the Second World War from an internationalist position.

[13]. It came into being on May 13, 1905 in the industrial city of Ivanovo-Vosnesensk in central Russia. For more details, read the article in International Review n° 122, ‘100 years ago: The 1905 Revolution in Russia (II)'.

[14]. Oskar Anweiler, The Soviets, p47.

[15]. Note: Fyodor Trepov, a soldier by training, was head of the Tsarist police in Warsaw between 1860 and 1861 and between 1863 and 1866. He carried out the same duties in Petersburg in the years 1874-1880. He was known for his brutal methods of repression,  especially the crushing of student rioters at the Technological Institute in January 1874 and the demonstrateurs outside Kazan Cathedral in 1876 (source Wikipedia).

[16]. Trotsky, 1905  "The strike in October, part I", Pelican Books, p100.

[17]. Ibid., p101

[18]. Andres Nin, Los Soviets en Rusia, P. 17, (translated from Spanish by us).

[19]. Trotsky 1905 "The strike of October, part II", p 104.

[20]. Ibid., part III, p106.

[21]. Ibid., "Creation of the Soviet of  Workers Deputies", p 123.

[22]. Ibid., p 123

[23]. Ibid., p 123.

[24]. Ibid., "The strike of October, part VI",  p 112.

[25]. Ibid., "Creation of the Soviet of  Workers' Deputies", p 125.

[26]. Ibid., p 127.

[27]. Trotsky, Results and Prospects, Chap. 7, "The Prerequisites of Socialism".

[28]. Trotsky 1905 "Creation of the Soviet of  Workers Deputies", p 128.

[29]. Ibid., p 121

[30]. Ibid.,. p 121

[31]. Ibid., p 122.

[32]. Look especially at the article in International Review n° 123 , "1905 and the role of the soviets" (part 2).

[33]. Above all, fighting on the barricades, the limits of which Engels was able to understand in his "Introduction" to Marx‘s Class Struggle in France. This "Introduction", written in 1895, became widely known because the criticisms by Engels of the fighting on the barricades was used by the opportunists of the Social Democrats to endorse the rejection of violence in favour of the exclusive use of parliamentary and union procedures.


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