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Center for Worker-socialist Studies: Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose

Marxist and socialists have come under immense ideological and political pressures during the last few years, in particular following the utter collapse of the so-called socialist bloc in the Soviet Union and Fastern Europe. There is no doubt that we live in a decisive historical juncture and that the outcome of the intellectual struggles of today will mold human society for decades to come.

We, at the Center for Worker-socialist Studies (CWS), are convinced that, contrary to proclamations by the spokesmen of the official ideology, socialism and the working class socialist movement will remain influential elements in the political and intellectual life of the contemporary society. We think the events of the last few years have, if anything, proved the urgent necessity of real egalitarian socialism – as a crifique, as a social movement and as a political and economic alternative- We finther believe that the post- cold war era, with all its inherent challenges and uncertainties, will provide a wider scope of action for Marxism and worker-socialist movement.

The CWS was formed in October 1991 by a number of Marxists and socialist activists for the purpose of promoting research and dialogue over issues of socialist and working class movements and extending contacts among individuals in such projects. We hope that CWS may develop into an active center for intellectual collaboration for Marxists and socialists and play a role in clariEing issues facing working class and socialist movements.

CWS is a voluntary association of individual and is ad:rninistered and financed by its associates. It is registered in Sweden as a non-profit association and is officially based in Stocknolm. However, CWS associated already include some comrades in other European countries and also in the USA. CWS activities will include organization of seminars, lectures and discussion meetings, publication of works by its associates and other interested individuals in the forrn ofjournals and books, providing archives and other research-related facilities for its associates.

Why the name “Worker-socialism”?

We use the term “worker-socialism” (worker-communism) instead of “communism,” for the term communism has nowadays lost the specific class character that it had at the time of the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Then, communism was synonymous to worker-socialism. Engels explains their choice of this term for the Communist Manifesto in precisely the same way. To mark out their distinction from contemporary non-worker socialism, Marx and Engels chose the term which workers’ socialist movement had already adopted. Every word of the Communist Manifesto stresses that this is the manifesto of worker-socialism and what this specific class tendency is saying about the existinng world, society and socialism. If Marx and Engels were to come to life today and see how this name of communism has been appropriated by the disenchanted, pseudo-socialist currents of other classes, they would certainly think of doing something about the title of the Communist Manifesto and the term communism as a whole. Perhaps, like me, they would add to it the adjective “worker” so as to convey in full the essence of this pamphlet and of the social movement for which it was the manifesto.

So my reply to the main point of the question is clear. Just as communism has meaning in different senses, i.e. as an ouflook, a doctrine, a social movement, a party current, etc., so worker-communism, which is the precise name of the same phenomenon at the close of the twentieth century, refers to all of these, embodying all these senses. Worker-communism is different in all these respects from what the world in the last half-century has called communist. It is another school and another movement; it calls for parties of another kind; it has a different history; it has other principles, etc. The struggle for worker-communism is about bringing out these differences and re-organizing this different social movement.

For further discussion refer to “Our Differences: A Discussion on worker-communism”

(Mansur Hekmat)

Rules of “Center for Worker-socialist Studies”

  1. CWS is a non-profit voluntary association, set up for the purpose of promoting research and dialogue on the issues of labor and socialist movements.
  2. Activities of CWS are financed through voluntary contributions of its associates and the proceeds of its publications. CWS may apply for grants and financial assistance from relevant public and union bodies.
  3. The center is registered in Stockholm, Sweden and its mailing address is in the USA.
  4. The activities of the center include:
    4.1 Organizing discussion meetings, seminars and lectures.
    4.2 Supervision of research by its associates on subject of interest for CWS.
    4.3 Publication of selected studies by CWS associates and/or other interested individuals
    in the form of books and journals.
    4.4 Setting up of library and archive facilities for associated researchers.
    4.5 Extending working contacts and academic cooperation aming associates.
  5. CWS will not employ paid individuals. All administrative work will be carried out on a voluntary basis by associates.
  6. CWS admits new associates on the basis of the compatability of their projects with the objectives and the areas of interests of CWS.
  7. The English name of CWS, the Center for Worker-socialist Studies, is to be used for all official purposes.

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