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Vanguard Parties
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  1. Beyond the Fragments
    Feminism and the Making of Socialism

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1980
    A call for various fractions of the left to unite and work for a socialism through grass-roots activism.
  2. Facing Reality
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1974
    Inspired by the October 1956 Hungarian workers' revolution against Stalinist oppression, as well as the U.S. workers' "wild-cat" strikes (against capital and the union bureaucracies), the authors looked ahead to the rise of new mass emancipatory movements by African Americans as well as anti-colonialist/anti-imperialist currents in Africa and Asia. Virtually alone among the radical texts of the time, Facing Reality also rejected modern society's mania for "conquering nature," and welcomed women's struggles "for new relations between the sexes."
  3. Facing Reality 45 Years Later
    Critical Dialogue with James/Lee/Chaulieu

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2003
    According to Goldner, "In 1958, Facing Reality was an important book, uncannily anticipatory of the historical period which would unfold over the following 15 years. Its main assertions are still being debated.... What I find most interesting in Facing Reality is not so much the answers it offers as the questions it asks. Those questions revolve around the role of the revolutionary Marxist party today.
  4. The Invading Socialist Society
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1947
    History has shown that in moments of great social crisis, its farthest flights fall short of the reality of the proletarian revolution. Never was the proletariat so ready for the revolutionary struggle, never was the need for it so great, never was it more certain that the proletarian upheaval, however long delayed, will only the more certainly take humanity forward in the greatest leap forward it has hitherto made. The periods of retreat, of quiescence, of inevitable defeats are mere episodes in the face of the absolute nature of the crisis.
  5. Lenin and the Vanguard Party
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1963
    To believe that Bolshevism, or to be more precise, Leninism, would under the circumstances advocate or preach the theory of the vanguard party is to continue slander of Leninism, but not to his theory of the party (that is no longer viable) but to his central doctrine - the role of the proletariat in the preservation of society from barbarism. To interpret Leninism as the advocacy of a vanguard party of three million is nearly as bad as the doctrine of Goebbels that Christ was not a Jew. Objective circumstances in Russia forced Lenin into a certain position. He accepted it without apologising for it. He knew what he was doing and he knew also, for he said it many times, what he was not doing. His doubts about it, not only for other countries but for Russia, he made public many, many times.
  6. Lenin, Trotsky and the Vanguard Party
    A Contemporary View

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1964
  7. Leninism vs. Debs's Socialist Party
    The Communist Fight Against Black Oppression

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2015
    Articles by Eugene Debs, written as polemics against racists within the Socialist Party, are eloquent in defending black people against racism, in calling for working-class unity across racial lines and in emphasizing that the Socialist Party should open its ranks to black people. In "The Negro in the Class Struggle," Debs stressed, "The history of the Negro in the United States is a history of crime without a parallel." Debs stands out favorably against most of his contemporaries in the labor movement -- including within the SP. Debs's writing remains a powerful denunciation of white workers' racism. Debs recognized that black oppression, rather than making white workers privileged, degrades them, thus providing a refutation of the later concept of "white skin privilege."
  8. Listen, Marxist!
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1971
    Murray Bookchin takes on the 'Marxist-Leninists' who are destroying the New Left.
  9. Manual for Revolutionary Leaders
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1972
    A devious satire aimed at Leninists, Trotskyists, Maoists, and vanguardists of all stripes.
  10. Marxism and Freedom
    From 1776 to Today

    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1971
    Dunayevskaya argues that Marx's theory is the generalisation of the instinctive striving of the proletariat for a new social order, a truly human society.
  11. Marxists Internet Archive
    Resource Type: Website
    Large archive of the writings of Marx and Engels and of others in the Marxist tradition. Searchable.
  12. The Myth of Lenin's 'Concept of The Party'
    What They Did to What Is To Be Done?

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1990
    Lenin protested more than once that his initial formulations in WITBD were being distorted and misinterpreted by opponents, after which he went on to clarify and modify. If we want to know Lenin's 'concept of the party' we must look at the formulations he came to, after there had been discussions and attacks.
  13. National Catechism
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1866
    Bakunin sketches out his vision of an anarchist social and political revolution, stating that "in order to prepare for this revolution it will be necessary to conspire and to organize a strong secret association coordinated by an international nucleus."
  14. News and Letters
    Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
    Articles from a Marxist-Humanist perspective.
  15. Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1904
    Rosa Luxemburg's contribution to the debate within the Russian Social Democratic movement on party organization and democratic centralism. Luxemburg joins Trotsky in warning of the dangers inherent in centralism and argues against the concentration of power in a Central Committee. From a Socialist Revolutionary perspective Luxemburg puts forward compelling arguments against Lenin's conception of the revolutionary party.
  16. Organizing for Workers' Power
    Beyond Trade Unionism & Vanguardism

    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1969
    A discussion of the problem of "vanguardism," and the role of leadership in revolutionary organization, and its evolution through different stages of class struggle, by Adriano Sofri of the Italian socialist group Lotta Continua, with an introduction by militants in southern Ontario.
  17. Pannekoek's "The Party and the Working Class"
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1941
  18. Portugal: The Impossible Revolution?
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1977
    The story of what happened in Portugal between April 25, 1974 and November 25, 1975, as seen and felt by a deeply committed participant.
  19. The Program of the International Brotherhood
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1869
    Bakunin maintains that his revolutionary anarchist vision "excludes any idea of dictatorship and of a controlling and directive power." but then goes on to say "It is, however, necessary for the establishment of this revolutionary alliance and for the triumph of the Revolution over reaction that the unity of ideas and of revolutionary action find an organ in the midst of the popular anarchy which will be the life and the energy of the Revolution. This organ should be the secret and universal association of the International Brothers.... a sort of revolutionary general staff, composed of dedicated, energetic, intelligent individuals, sincere friends of the people above all, men neither vain nor ambitious, but capable of serving as intermediaries between the revolutionary idea and the instincts of the people."
  20. The Red Menace
    A libertarian socialist newsletter

    Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
    Published: 1980
    Articles on topics such as socialism, Marxism, anarchism, work, popular education, organizing, wages for housework, Leninism, bureaucracy, hierarchy, jargon, prostitution, obscenity, science fiction, and terrorism.
  21. Revolutionary Catechism
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1866
    Bakunin believed that workers were very far from being able to attain revolutionary consciousness on their own. To imbue the masses with this consciousness and to prevent the deformation of a resulting revolution, Bakunin felt that the only alternative was to organize a secret International Fraternity headed by himself. Bakunin was convinced that this kind of vanguard movement was indispensable to the success of the anarchist Social Revolution.
  22. Revolutionary Organisation and Open Letter to IS
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1972
    A 1972 pamphlet incorporating two previously published texts, 'Revolutionary Organisation' (1961) and 'An Open Letter to I.S.' (1968). They are presented as "a contribution to the serious discussing now taking place, within the ranks of revolutionaryies, as to what kind of organisation is necessary."
  23. Revolutionary Strategy in the Advanced Capitalist Countries: A Reply to the Spontaneists
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1973
    A Trotskyist perspective.
  24. Socialism and Revolution
    Resource Type: Book
    Published: 1973
    Representative democracy in every industrially advanced country is in a state of profound crisis. But we have been accustomed for so long to accept democracy in the form of its outward appearances and parliamentary institutions that its decay often does not become apparent to us until those institutions have been either brushed aside or reduced to a purely decorative role.
  25. Theory and Practice of Idealism in Trotskyism and the ISO
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2013
    We have come to conclusions there is a theoretical underpinning to the problems we (and others) experienced in the ISO, such as continually erroneous perspectives which rarely were assessed, a leadership method that emphasized cheerleading and exhortation over sober assessment of the challenges we are facing, a tendency to tail the liberals both politically and organizationally (opportunism), a growing separation between our Marxist theory and our practice (a hallmark of opportunism), a sectarian attitude towards the revolutionary left (other socialists and anarchists alike) and an intolerance toward ongoing political disagreement within the organization.
  26. Thinking of Joining the ISO?
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2013
    A critical examination of the ISO’s methods, practices, and structures compared to those of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) which the ISO holds up as its organizing model, as well as some suggestions for a better, more effective political practice.
  27. Toward a Revolutionary Socialist Party
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 2002
    Duncan Hallas, a now-retired leading member of the Socialist Workers' Party (Britain), wrote this article at the beginning of the 1970s with an eye toward a layer of radicalizing workers and student activists. Many in this period were attracted to revolutionary alternatives, but were wary of left organizations because of the betrayals of both social-democracy and Stalinism.
  28. Trotskyism and the vanguard party
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1974
    One of the most consistent achievements of the Trotskyists over the years has been to drive people away from radical politics. The number of burned-out and alienated ex-Trotskyists greatly exceeds the number of active Trotskyists. Their transparently manipulative tactics in the organizations they infiltrate tend to drive ordinary members away, forever wary of anyone identified as a Trotskyist.
  29. Trotskyism and the Vanguard Party
    A critique of Trotskyism

    Resource Type: Article
    Challenging the Trotksyist idea of the 'vanguard party'.
  30. Vanguard, Vanguard, Who's Got the Vanguard?
    Resource Type: Article
    Published: 1972
    A critique of Leninist vanguard-party theories and practice, especially as manifested in the new left groups of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Published in the May 1972 and August 1972 issues of Liberation magazine.
  31. What is Trotskyism?
    Resource Type: Book

Experts on Vanguard Parties in the Sources Directory

  1. Marxists Internet Archive

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