Manifesto of the UCL

Counter-power, Dual power and Revolutionary Rupture

The revolution is due neither solely to ideological maturation, nor solely to “objective” economic conditions. It can occur at the end of a dynamic based on social practices which allow collective awareness and the emergence of an increasingly widely shared social project.

Après le soulèvement populaire de 2001, l’Argentine a vu de nombreuses entreprises (ici, l’usine Zanon) spontanément reprises en main.
cc Sebastian Hacher

The libertarian communist revolution is not the substitution of a leading group by another : it is a global revolution of the economic, social, political and cultural forms of the society.

The revolution is not due solely to an ideological maturation, nor solely to « objective » economic conditions. Contemporary social practices encourage collective awareness together with the emergence of a societal project, shared more and more widely ; it is based on such dynamics that what we call revolution can occurs.

In non-revolutionary times : building counter-powers

It is generally through class struggle that revolutionary consciousness rises, be it by concretely experiencing emancipatory struggles, self-organization, or else. Struggle unions, committees of unemployed people, committees of badly housed people, feminist organizations, anti-racist collectives, committees denouncing police violence... All participate in a counter-power logic against capitalism and the State.

These counter-powers are potentially the embryos of a political and social alternative, but only potentially. They can become so if they adopt self-management practices and anti-capitalist, anti- patriarchal, anti-racist, ecologist... in short : revolutionary perspectives. The libertarian communist current must actively contribute to this, and take care to oppose all supervisory discourses and practices ; because freedom is not for us a distant endpoint authorizing the use of any means, but truly is the goal and the means.

Moreover, strengthening popular power also means strengthening our autonomy in the face of the capitalists and the state. Thus, it’s useful to participate in initiatives that allow us to claim back production, distribution, education, etc., by bringing our analysis and our anti-capitalist struggles and by impelling self-managed and emancipatory practices.

During a pre-revolutionary period : pushing for dual power

A pre-revolutionary period begins when the state is overwhelmed by the rise of the class struggle to the point that it begins to disintegrate, and its authority is questioned. If certain places of production are taken over by the workers, the employers themselves see the use of their status directly threatened.

The countervailing powers active beforehand, here and there on the territory, can then form a network of democratic bodies — whether they are called local federations, federations of industries, municipalities, councils, neighbourhood or factory committees, or people’s assemblies — that begin to take control of economic and social activities. The gradual federation of these bodies is creating the contours of a people’s power that competes with state power.

By « people’s power » we do not mean a « Workers’ State » according to the Leninist conception, but a dynamic of direct, federalist, grassroots democracy.

During this process — in which capitalist power is openly challenged — the libertarian communist current does not seek to form a « governing body » aspiring to seize state power. On the contrary, it pushes for popular power to become self-aware, to consolidate and expand, and to consider replacing state power.

The libertarian communist current must contribute to directing the revolutionary process towards a self-management oriented solution, avoiding the traps of bureaucratization, without relying completely on spontaneity. The latter has already shown, in history, its extraordinary creative power, but also its instability.


Manifesto of the UCL
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