Establishing the Network
Three Working Papers

James Herod
April, September, October, 1972

1. The Military Angle

  Maybe a good line of attack on the vanguard strategy would be to formulate the question purely in military terms. What are the military requirements of a revolution against advanced capitalism? This could really be a powerful line of argument, if I can work it out and if it makes sense.

  For example, it might be argued that the two strategies that have worked militarily so far – (1) the insurrection of October 1917, and (2) the people's war (guerrilla and conventional) – cannot succeed against advanced capitalism. Spell out the reasons: the overwhelming power of the military in the industrial state; no chance of liberated zones; the impossibility of taking any city and holding it; and so forth. It all boils down to the fact that both strategies are hopelessly inadequate from a military point of view, i.e., a battle waged along these lines is unable to defeat the power of the modern capitalist state (helicopters, tanks, agents, gas, mace, artillery, electronic and computerized police systems, sophisticated surveillance – and all these weapons are already installed, massively installed, and operating). The revolution has to figure out a way to defeat this monopolization of military power.

  Now the vanguard party has been needed for both these former strategies, insurrection and people's war. Why? The strategies demand centralization of decision making, but also because you can't successfully conduct the war without a command center, because of the peculiar configuration of the enemy and the revolutionary forces. In Russia the commanders were Trotsky and Lenin. In China it was Mao and Chou. In Vietnam it is Giap and Ho. In Cuba it was Castro and Che. So historically this was justified. They simply could not defeat the enemy in any other way. But heavy consequences were paid. They ended up with a hierarchical society.

  But is our situation the same? I don't think so. So try to work out the conditions under which our war is being waged: very advanced military and police technology, police and army everywhere, unarmed population, massively unequal balance of power.

  What are some points that stand out immediately?

  * It would take massive, majority resistance to defeat the state.

  * It would be impossible to defend any given factory if it alone were occupied.

  * Even if all factories were occupied simultaneously it would still be possible for them to defeat the revolution by concentrating firepower on one region at a time. But this would have to be done quickly. Otherwise people who occupy the parts of the country left alone could organize an army and go to the relief of the factories being attacked.

  * The extreme difficulty of waging guerrilla war, but the possibility of doing so nevertheless, and the possibly great benefit from doing so, i.e., the polarization of the society and the possibility of breaking out of bourgeois thought control.

  * Even if you got a massive factory takeover, how would you defend it? This is one of the critical problems. The real problem though is that you aren't going to get a massive factory takeover. There will never be that degree of unity within the proletariat. If there were that much unity they could probably find a way to stop the army from breaking up the occupation.

  * The situation in the U.S. is very different than that of the colonies or even of Western Europe. It is not inconceivable (in fact inevitable) that the U.S. and other capitalist nations would go to the aid of an endangered bourgeois regime in Italy, say, if the communists were about to take over. But this is hard to imagine happening in the United States. If the United States were about to fall, who would help? (Well, I guess Japan, Germany, and England could send troops). What I was going to say though is that the likelihood that we will not have to fight both our own local bourgeoisie and its foreign allies simultaneously is a very critical strategic difference.

  It boils down to war – their forces (the police and army) and our forces. What are our forces and where will they come from? How will we prevent the bust of the first factory? Three possibilities: (1) defend the occupation from within the factory with firepower (doomed); (2) guerrilla forces in the area come to the aid of the factory; (3) workers councils/militia come to aid of the besieged factory. Either of these last two possibilities raises two further questions.

  (1) Where will either type of army get the armaments to withstand the police/army of the bourgeoisie? Where? And if they don't have armaments they are doomed.

  (2) If they do have weapons, that is, if the workers councils or the guerrillas are in fact armed to fight the bourgeois army, then the battle shifts away from the factories anyway. It then becomes a regular-type war between two armed forces.

  Does this destroy the image of a massive takeover of the factories and offices? Of course if it were really massive, say 70% of the labor force, and these people set about organizing a network of workers councils then maybe they could simply render the state ineffective. No! There is still the army/police to contend with.

  Okay. We're making progress. One way of defeating the police/army is simply to ignore them. If 70% of the workplaces are occupied, and things are running as before, then if the police come and arrest a factory full of workers and put them away nothing happens. And this shows clearly that the decisive battle is not military, but rather it is to secure the shift in the location of decision-making power. If this shift happens there is nothing militarily the bourgeoisie can do to stop it. They can't arrest and jail the entire labor force. (What if they try mass murder unless people give the factories back to the bosses?) We have to simply leave the bourgeoisie high and dry. Usurp power. Outfox them. Take their power away from them without firing a shot. Outwit them. Don't even try to overpower them militarily. But how? As long as they have armies of policemen roaming the streets, it's their country. But work on this. This is the key. Simply refuse to obey the bosses.

  What's wrong with all this?

  (1) You will never get 70% to set up workers councils all at once. Why? Because of the brainwashing power of the bourgeoisie. The working class is divided and will continue to be divided even after radicalization is very advanced. There will be splits within each factory, and splits between factories that go out and those that don't.

  (2) Even if you did get 70%, it would take a while to get the network set up and get the decision-making machinery set up and working. During this time the bourgeois army could attack the occupation and bust it up.

  (3) The situation that must inevitably be faced is war, class war – the bourgeois police/army roaming the streets versus the rebels. The trouble with this though is that we have already seen that it is impossible to get the military capacity to defeat the bourgeois police/army in the streets. Where will the armaments come from, for example? Captured from the police as the battle rages on? So the whole campaign would depend on capturing weapons and then keeping them long enough to use them in the next battle. What about mutiny, defection, and desertion from the army? Maybe whole units will break away and join the revolution, bringing their tanks with them. (No! As the thing polarizes, the army will be more and more `professionalized', like the police are now. There is no chance that defections will hurt them enough).

  Pick up on the idea of refusing to obey orders. This is interesting. Perhaps the real model I have been working with all along is that of mutiny. People will simply refuse to obey orders, turn on their bosses and lock them up, and takeover the shops. Now this clarifies things a great deal. Mutinies are very hard to pull off because you have to have near unanimity, otherwise it splits – those who support the established order and defend the bosses versus those who mutiny. This simply turns into a rebellion. The two sides fight it out and the strongest side wins. My image of a massive takeover of the factories and workplaces has something of the mutiny aspect to it. Well, at least it is beautifully simple. I think it is true that if enough people, 65%-70%, did mutiny and set up a network of workers councils, then I think it would be possible to defeat the bourgeoisie. But can you ever get enough, the vast majority? There will surely be a very big split at the beginning. Most people will be against us. Slowly we will win more over. How? This is the question. Through lots and lots of fights. The more the better.

  So I'm really hung up now. I don't think either insurrection or people's war are at all possible, yet I don't see how mutiny is possible either. The first two fail on the problem of military power and the third fails on the problem of divisions within the working class. At least the third strategy has the possibility of winning if it can solve the problem of radicalization, that is, if enough people come over to the revolution. (Perhaps mutiny is not a good word for this.)

  Pick up on the idea of the shift in the basis of decision-making. This is the key. This is what's really involved in `refusing to obey orders' anyway. What has to happen in the revolution is the establishment of a new system of authority, i.e., the authority of the majority voting in workers councils across the country. That way you have `discipline' and all the rest, and overcome individualism, but end up with an egalitarian, democratic, and collective (communist) society. (April, 1972)

2. The Link-up Problem

  How does the network get created? How does the network of workers councils emerge? How is it coordinated? This continues to be the bottleneck. If it is impossible to conceive of how this could happen then maybe it is impossible to achieve it in reality. How is it possible that this system could get established without being imposed from above? It's easy to see how it could be established from the top down. But then of course the problem would be merely to bring people along. That is, the `reeducation' would start from the center and spread outward, perhaps to the army first and then to the rest of the society. But what if there is no center, no recognized leader, no hierarchy? Then what? Mao's approach presupposes the guerrilla war, the Red Army, and the centralized party. What if we don't have a military fight between armies but something else and hence no central, vanguard party, i.e., no recognized command center, no accepted leadership? Then what? This is where we are today. And I feel this is where we will continue to be.

  I keep saying that it is hard to imagine how the network could get established. Maybe I should simply try to see how it could come about. What have I said about it in the past?

  * It must be based on consciousness. Workers have to know what they are doing.

  * The problem (one of them) will be the military defense of the occupied factories. How can the police and army be prevented from driving out the workers?

  * The technology exists, or could be built (for direct voting), but only if the means of production were in the hands of the proletariat, and even then it would take weeks or months (years?) to get the system working. How would decisions be made in the meantime?

  * The problem was easy as long as the image was one of a federation of workers councils, but when it shifted to direct democracy that's when my problem began and when the anti-vanguard critique emerged.

  * It can almost be imagined, providing there is somehow a generally accepted plan, a consensus, a widely shared image about how to do it with everyone more or less knowing what to do. First, occupy the factories, and then do x, y, z. But how do you get the consensus? The division of the working class is the biggest hole in this argument. The struggle to achieve self-government and control of the means of production is a long, protracted struggle that must be focused on the workplace and will lead, through struggle, to the ability to run the country, and to knowledge of the policy problems involved. The dominant/passive problem in character structures will also be largely overcome in this process. That is, the `new person' will be partially achieved through the struggle to gain control of the means of production. So given all this, the new knowledge and the new persons, before the actual takeover of the factories, we are already way ahead. It might be easier now to imagine the defense of the factories and the establishment of the network for direct democracy.

  * Jil once phrased the problem in terms of coordination of the various local struggles. How could you have a national action, even a one day general strike, without a central group to set a date for the action?

  * If things are fought piecemeal, locally, the ruling class can pick off the revolts one by one.

  This is about as far as I have pushed it. But I guess this is further than I had thought, especially the part about creating the new person in the process of struggling against the old order. This already says a lot about the form and the content of the revolution. If the goal of a revolution is to bring into being a new person as well as a new social order (can these be separated?), if the goal is liberation, then how can that goal be achieved through top down hierarchy and discipline, which are inherently oppressive?

  But can I imagine more concretely how it will happen? We have to be able to picture it in our minds and then articulate a concrete strategy. Could we combine simultaneously the process of building local, regional, and interregional assemblies with plans for getting the direct democracy vote going? Maybe if workers had achieved a federated structure of rotating representatives, these representatives could, at the instructions of their councils, begin the process of devising ways to set up the voting machinery. But this doesn't really help much. How would they do it? Well, at least it wouldn't be 2,000,000 separate councils trying to establish contact with each other. If the takeover of workplaces is sudden it is sheer fantasy to think that millions of councils are going to be able to establish communication with each other, decide on an agenda, and begin to vote on policy questions. So it has to be planned in advance, and of course the bourgeoisie will know about it, and try to stop it, but will be unable to since there are no leaders to rip off. The bourgeoisie will have no means to stop the vast millions of workers from appropriating the means of production.

  One of the biggest obstacles preventing workers from ever considering this idea seriously is the inability to even imagine how the country could be governed once we had the factories. Wouldn't things collapse? Wouldn't the result be chaos? So workers will never do it unless this problem can be solved in advance of the workplace occupations.

  So we can now say then that:

  * The factory takeovers can't be sudden, but must result from a protracted struggle for workers control. This will provide workers with confidence that they can run the place and on their own without bosses.

  * Before the final appropriation there must be a plan, conceived and perhaps even largely implemented, for governing the country in a democratic fashion after the takeover.

  * The task is to begin the process of reconstituting the society along proletarian lines. This means getting people together in groups to be human again (i.e., proletarian human, i.e., non-dualistic, egalitarian, free, i.e., real humans). To fight against bourgeois personal relations and bourgeois character structures is to fight against capitalism.

  Hence the critical role and significance of the small egalitarian group, especially those located at the workplace. If people at workplaces could only start talking to each other and getting to know one another, wow! That could lead to `consciousness' and to a struggle for control of the workplace. (But of course the workplace is where capitalists are strongest – they have the power to hire and fire.) If this `getting together' were to take place then the same type of process that happened in CRV and other movement groups would set in – a struggle between the egalitarian and the authoritarian lines. Once again the correctness of my views is easy to perceive. If workers started getting together in their workplaces to discuss their problems would it be only to set up another hierarchy by elevating some of their own members to be leaders, and thus take a step in the direction of bureaucratic degeneration? They might, but it would be a mistake. No. The principles of egalitarianism, through devices like rotation and random selection, must become the norm. The whole attack on bossism in the factory after all is against the hierarchy and authoritarianism involved and not just against the persons involved, some of whom of course are workers themselves (foremen). But of course foremen take orders from the capitalists, whereas worker-elected bosses would be responsible to the workers. Nevertheless, the aim is not merely to replace the capitalist boss with a boss of their own, from their own ranks, but to get rid of bosses entirely and have a collectively run plant.

  Spell this out in concrete terms. What would the division of labor look like? What function would the more skilled and more intelligent people have, and what relationship would they have to other less talented people? This gets to the heart of the `new person' concept – the chance for everyone to develop their capacities to the fullest. And there is no more devastating point against the authoritarian line. The vanguard line has a fundamentally different stance toward skilled and intelligent people in their relations with those less skilled, less intelligent, less trained, or less educated. It is essentially a patronizing stance, not an egalitarian one. To say that the `best' and most capable should `lead' is to set up a tyranny of the talented. This is the point where I begin to feel very sure of my line of argument. All you have to do to hate vanguardism is picture Syd and Aubrey operating in a small group. It is on this gut level of everyday life, of daily interpersonal relations within the small group at the place of work, that it is possible to see clearly through the monstrosities of the vanguard tendency. It is no accident that Syd and Aubrey always opposed the stress on personal liberation, even as it emerged in the women's movement, and made a radical separation between the political and the personal, never agreeing that the two are intimately linked, that style and politics are inseparable. But this is getting off the subject, which is to clarify how the workers councils could ever link up into a country-wide, coordinated, governing system.

  How about the following image? Workers all over town are starting to get together at their workplaces to discuss common problems. As soon as this gets underway in lots of places in the city, that is, as soon as it becomes a general movement, perhaps each workplace or workers council will send a representative to a city-wide assembly. Here again it is the content not the form that is crucial. In many ways this is what does happen already. Each shop has a union. Each shop sends a representative to a city-wide union meeting. What is critical is that the meetings in the workplaces be egalitarian and not rely on leaders, otherwise nothing happens.

  An alternative might be that the workers could skip the step of the city-wide assembly at first or maybe for a long time and set up immediately a system for direct voting on all questions of basic policy. Maybe this is the crucial thing. Maybe the fight between direct democracy and representative democracy is very central. (Once again, union members already do vote on strike questions, so some machinery must already exist for this.) Hell, it's easy! It's just a matter of each council phoning in the vote to one tabulating center. One lousy computer would do the trick. I must have been exaggerating the technological problems very much. The machinery already exists for weekly votes by workers. What does not exist is the elaborate (best possible) set-up with terminals in every council linked to libraries and film depositories and with computer consoles right there at the workplace. But workers could still debate the issues even without all this gear. The big obstacle is that they don't at present have the time to do it, not when they are working forty hours a week they don't.

  This is great! It turns out that there is no technological barrier at all to the idea of a network of workers councils, but only a political barrier, i.e., no one accepts the strategy. But if workers were meeting at workplaces it would certainly be possible for them to vote city-wide on policy questions (without a city assembly of representatives to set the date for the vote?).

  Maybe what has to be attacked is the idea of one person one vote. Is this the way it should be in a collectively run society? Isn't this based on the idea of individual autonomy? How could it be? How is the collective will ever arrived at if not by vote, by individuals expressing their opinions after discussion and debate. Well, Mao's `From the People, To the People' is an alternative. I'm thinking of this because of the seeming inevitability of having to rely on elected representatives, centralized, to establish voting dates for each policy question. How could thousands of councils ever even set a date for voting on a problem (let alone establish the agenda)? This is a key bottleneck, even imagining an already established system. How would new items get on the agenda? How would a vote be called for? Even the most democratic of meetings has to have a chairperson, and rules of order. Why couldn't a set of operating procedures be worked out in advance for the councils, beginning with the constitution. How would you ever get agreement? But it is nevertheless possible to imagine voting in a constitution and set of rules for self-government.

  The trouble with this is that it tends to turn the whole country into a huge parliament, a huge business meeting, which is exactly what it would be if everyone voted on basic policy questions, so the need for parliamentary rules would obviously be necessary. But is it possible? How would new proposals be made? How would the vote be called for?

  What about this? Elected assemblies and direct voting in workers councils simultaneously. Would this make the assembly predominate?

  I've been limiting the discussion to the city level. What about on the national level?

  All in all, I guess it seems a lot less difficult than I thought. Once you have the councils going on a regular basis, ways could be found to link up. (September, 1972)

3. Establishing the Network

  Does my strategy really hand together yet? I'm not quite sure of it. The reasoning about personal project versus majority revolution is somehow too sneaky, and not adequate. Even granted a focus on the workplace, on majority rule, and on consciousness before the revolution, how can the radical minority operate now, before the majority in the workplace has been won over? What kind of tactics? What can they do? Occupy factories? Simply educate? What? It would be like saying that SDS couldn't occupy the Columbia buildings until the majority had been won over. There is no majority in fact in these cases. There is only a mass. It makes no sense to talk of majority/minority since the students/workers don't get together to make decisions in common. So even in the workplace the problem of the project character of the revolution will be there. There will always be the radicals who are taking the initiative and doing the pushing. Let's say they finally convince their fellow workers to come to a general meeting for the first time. What a great achievement! But what procedures should be followed? Majority rule? The liberals and conservatives will outnumber the radicals at such a meeting. What then? Do the radicals stop merely because they are voted down? That would put them back into the spot of having to first convince their fellow workers. But this won't work since once the liberals are in power in the council the very reason for being together in the council would end, that is, making the revolution would be taken off the agenda. Is it really a solution then to say democracy must prevail in the workplace (even if it can be compromised in the special project organizations outside the workplace, as in propaganda work)? What if the majority takes the revolution off the agenda? Then the militant minority withdraws, or else splits, or else everything degenerates into reformism. Of course, exactly which decisions represent taking the revolution off the agenda is always a matter of intense disagreement (even among `radicals'). Everyone claims to be committed to the revolution. Now in fact the majority may be truly revolutionary and the minority `ultra-left'. But the minority feels that the majority has taken the road to capitalism and that the fate of the revolution itself is at stake so they withdraw (split). Now if the majority prevails, the definition of those who split as `ultra-left' prevails. If the majority disintegrates and the minority prevails then their definition of the majority as reformist and counter-revolutionary prevails.

  But back to the workplace. Let us assume that it is a workplace with 60 people, a nice-sized council. All these people work on the shop floor. Management is small and off in another building. What can a militant minority do here? Wildcat strike? Will others follow? Occupy the factory? Will it stick without the majority? Acting as a minority they are likely to be fired. They are very vulnerable. The militants are going to be vulnerable in any case. They have to work to win the majority. But how? What then?

  (Militant is a good word to use for `those who want to make the revolution' since `leader' or `vanguard' presupposes the very thing we are trying to straighten out here, namely, the relationship of these militants to the others. The others may not in fact be followers, but hostile opponents of the militants, so it would be a mistake to call militants leaders. This is in addition to the other more serious reasons.)

  What happens after militants succeed in (a) getting a council organized and (b) winning over the majority to the idea of revolution? Follow this out.

  What happens if the militants organize outside the workplace into a party? What is their relation then to those inside the workplace? There will be unfolding splits even then. Everyone who joins the party claims to be revolutionary, but as each new issue comes up the meaning of `revolutionary' has to be re-decided (and so the radical/liberal split will reemerge).

  The above is only half the problem (the half dealing with the question of minority/majority relations within the workplace). There is also the whole problem of how these various workplace councils get linked up into an effective self-governing body. This has always been the key problem. The above is a new, very new, thorn to work out. The first time I have seen it in just these terms.

  Try to solve the problem of majority/minority relations first in terms of a large plant (several thousand workers). What if workers start getting together into groups of thirty. Is this functional? Wouldn't it have to be all the workers in one division, or one functional operation or department? But let's assume there are groups of thirty. Say there are fifty of them, or 1500 workers. How do they vote? How do they coordinate their actions and deliberations. It is easy to see how everyone could discuss and vote on key things. Will there be a central committee? What functions? Which decisions are taken by the workers and which by elected administrators? Most important of all, what procedures shall govern the interaction of these 50 councils? That is the key thing. If we could figure it out on the basis of one factory with 1500 workers maybe we could figure it out for a town, and then for a regional area, and finally for the interregional area.

  Work up a set of possible procedures which, once enacted by all the groups, would govern the subsequent proceedings. But how would they all vote on this even. Who would set up that first agenda? Militants? So the militants would lead the way in getting organized, but the organization they would seek to set up would be a democratic structure. It is within the democratic structure that the battle must be fought out between the revolutionary line and the capitalist line, and it is easy to tell which is which. Those moves that further democracy are revolutionary. Moves designed to undermine the democratic structure or block its expansion to the rest of society are counter-revolutionary. This is an easy way to identify the conservative majority. This brings me back to my old argument that those who seek to destroy the functioning of the democratic process (by not coming to meetings, not participating, being passive, being individualistic, for example) are the real elitists, the real counter-revolutionaries.

  But what happens once this is done? If the militants succeed in getting such a democratic system set up in the workplace, say with the 60 workers, then in a sense they are stuck with it. They are in it together with everyone else, and they can't simply split. Or can they? Could there be two factions within the workplace? I suppose so, but it would be a very different kind of split. In a sense they can't escape their fellow workers, assuming that this is going on in the factory, and that the principle of majority rule has already been won. They wouldn't want to start meeting outside the workplace again, not after all the work they put into getting a council going. They could perhaps organize a radical caucus inside the council to discuss minority strategy. If the process set up is genuinely collective then the militant minority must be committed to work within the council even though they are a minority, and thus lose all the votes. But the struggle simply to preserve the collective process will be more than enough to keep them busy for a long time. What if the majority votes to disband? The minority could simply go on meeting in the workplace. The fight over the two lines has to go on within the council, where the principle of majority rule is obeyed by all.

  Examine all the implications of this. What if the counter-revolutionaries are in the majority? One thing is clear. It shows that the militant minority can't go off and make the revolution itself. The militants are in a weak position as a minority. They must become a majority of the council. Thus militants are sort of hamstrung until they get the majority on their side, when their own programs would then start coming to the fore. (What about workers who boycott those first meetings? You are not going to get 100% attendance at the first meeting, maybe never.)

  Okay. The solution. (And this is the answer to Jil's question, ``How would you coordinate all this?'' and to Aubrey's, ``What do you do?'') Militants take the initiative on the shop floor in instituting the first organization, but the organization that is instituted is a thoroughly collective and democratic one and not the hierarchical vanguard structure of elected leaders. This is absolutely central. It is not that some people take the initiative to set up the first organization that is a problem. This initiative is indispensable. What is important is the kind of organization that is set up, the democratic council or the authoritarian central committee. The same logic holds for the 70 person workplace, the 1500 person workplace, the local, regional, and interregional networks. So those who set it up are in a sense `leaders', in the old sense. They are self-appointed leaders. They take it upon themselves to call a meeting, make proposals, and so forth. The establishment of coordination in big plants, local areas, regions, and inter-regions can be done in the same way, or maybe by representatives elected by councils for the purpose of drawing up a set of procedures to govern network interaction. The real fights, the crucial fights, will be over these documents, the fight between the two lines. Will the procedures be hierarchical or egalitarian?

  This is beautiful! It means that the struggles I always considered revolutionary in CRV, against individualism and authoritarianism, and against intellectualism and anti-intellectualism, can be carried right over into a revolutionary workplace strategy. The whole question of the vanguard is thus definitively smashed. Militants are forced to work within the council, and within the factory, not outside in the union hall or party headquarters. This is the real struggle – to build the new person, to smash elitism, sexism, smartism, racism, vanguardism, hierarchy, and capitalism. The struggle for this kind of democracy is the revolution.

  To have an organization on the shop floor is already a very advanced stage of the revolution. To reach that point would be glorious. We will never get there unless democratic control of the workplace is the central demand.

  Now I can push ahead I think. This is the key missing link for that last chapter on strategy. Now everything falls into place. I can round off my critique of the vanguard and do the homework to get the theory down cold. Look at the list of books needed to get a stronger theoretical background. I must deal with Marx directly. Don't try to fudge with him. Must take on Lenin and Mao directly, strongly, and thoroughly. Build a strong critique of bourgeois democratic theory. Do a thorough study of the majority rule principle and the unanimity question. Distinguish proletarian democracy clearly from bourgeois democracy. This is central. So I have to know Locke and Rousseau thoroughly. Build a strong analysis of splits.

  Wow! Funny how it all falls into place. The militant's function is precisely to get this structure set up in the workplace. This is why initiative is not the question, but rather the content of the program being fought for. The fights that the militants start must be precisely to get a council established among the workers, not to take over the factory themselves. It is because radicals have focused on organizations external to the factory and have neglected workplace councils, and hence the possibility of taking over the means of production, that it is felt there are things to do other than fight for workplace democracy. But this must come first. Capturing the workplace in this way solves simultaneously the question of political power. So Marx's claim that revolution must be political is not violated, only the meaning of political has changed, from capturing state machinery to capturing workplaces and setting up a network of workers councils based on direct democracy. (October, 1972)