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For Workers' Power

For Workers' Power

The selected writings of Maurice Brinton, David Goodway (ed) AK 2020

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“An eloquent testimony to Maurice Brinton’s life and works ... The work he started and the vision he held are as valid now as they were fifty years ago. The struggle, as they say, continues, and there is much here that can inform that struggle.” —Richard Alexander, author of Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War

For Workers’ Power is a rousing collection of dozens of essays ... [that] permeate with an intensely critical eye toward how everyday working people have and can liberate themselves from the oppression, drudgery, and weight of capitalism, while avoiding what Brinton saw as pseudo- or counterrevolutionary methods of many leftists.” —Dana Williams, International Labor and Working-Class History

Since the 1960s, many radicals have had their eyes opened by the writing of Maurice Brinton. The most prolific writer of the British Solidarity group, which existed from 1961 to 1992, his work toppled countless dusty towers of standard leftist thinking. For Brinton, “actually existing socialism” did not, in fact, exist. It had to be created.

Brinton wrote with passion, clarity, and consistency on behalf of worker self-activity and self-management, and he decried those who reinforced passivity, apathy, cynicism, pecking orders, and alienation among workers. To him, this oppressive behavior was as prevalent among state socialists and communist parties as it was among capitalists, because it enabled rulers and would-be rulers of every political stripe to deceive and manipulate those in whose name they claimed to act. Today, when a new crop of so-called democratic socialists are seeking state power, allegedly on behalf of working people, Brinton’s work is as relevant as ever.

Maurice Brinton (1923–2005) lived most of his life in London. He was a founding member of the Solidarity group and wrote some of the twentieth century’s most important critiques of authoritarian socialism.

David Goodway is a British historian. His books include Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward.

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