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Workers' Councils Paperback – November 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902593561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902593562
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert F. Barsky is Professor of English, French, American Studies, and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent (1997, 1998) and The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower (2007, 2009), both published by the MIT Press. His other books include Constructing a Productive Other (John Benjamins 1994);Introduction à la théorie littéraire (PUQ 1997) and Arguing and Justifying (Ashgate 2001).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first heard of Pannekoek and his work while reading Katha Pollitt's memoir Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories last year. It seems that Pollitt's cheating live-in lover also fancied himself a proponent of the Left Communist tendency of Marxism and so held an informal "study group" and used Pannekoek's book as reference text for it. (He also used this study group to meet with his current and former lovers that he cheated on Pollitt with, but that's another story.)

Pannekoek was a recognized Marxist theorist and one of the founders of the council communist tendency and a main figure in the radical left in the Netherlands and Germany before and after World War II. Pannekoek wrote Worker's Councils during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Pannekoek is best known for his writing on workers' councils. Pannekoek regarded these as a new form of organization capable of overcoming the limitations of the old organs of the labor movement, the trade unions and social democratic parties. Basing his theory on what he regarded as the practical lessons of the Russian revolution, Pannekoek argued that the workers' revolution and the transition from capitalism to communism had to be achieved by the workers themselves, democratically organized in workers' councils.

Pannekoek was a sharp critic of anarchism, social-democracy and Lenin and Leninism. His analysis of the failure of the Russian revolution was that after Lenin and the Bolsheviks came to power, they crippled the soviets (aka "worker's councils").
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug Brunell on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I received this book as part of the Friends of AK Press plan (something anyone interested in AK Press books should look into). It is a classic 1948 book on, of course, workers' councils. What makes it interesting is the author's views on the history of capitalism, Nazi Germany, communism and socialism (anarchism is even touched upon).

You may not agree with everything in this book (especially you capitalists), but it is worth checking out just for the alternative viewpoint. The ideas the author puts forth in this book are not things that are touched upon in the mainstream media or business press. In fact, those outlets fear these ideas for the very reason that it puts power back into the hands of the people.

There are better books written on the downfalls of capitalism, but there are few books on workers' councils that are this good. It doesn't dictate, and it does its best to loosely guide, which is exactly the kind of plan you need when it comes to workers' councils, as every situation could be different.

Another fine book from AK Press.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sid Barret on September 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This rare work is a must to anyone interested in Marxist theory. Workers Councils shows the corruption and depravity in both Western Capitalism and Soviet "Socialism". Other works on Libertarian Socialism that I would recommend would be Rosa Luxemburg Speaks,Moving Forward: Program for a Participatory Economy, Socialism: Past and Future,My disillusionment in Russia
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