If you're unfamiliar with the Subversion group, or revolutionary politics in general, we hope this will be a good place to start finding out more.
The Second Best of Subversion is a selection of articles, reviews and correspondence from Subversion numbers 11 to 20, covering roughly the four years from autumn 1992 to autumn 1996. We have grouped the articles around certain themes, reflecting partly what we consider to be the most important issues for our class, and partly those activities which we ourselves, through a mixture of accident and design, have been most involved in during this period.
Section 1 begins with a look at some of the weaknesses of Workplace Struggles, not least among which is the role played by trade unions. We argue the need for independent working class organisation and strategy. We explore the ways in which this might emerge, by looking at the class struggle in Poland in 1980-81, and at some more recent smaller-scale attempts to create independent workplace organisations in the UK.
In Section 2 we have included two articles which deal with pro-capitalist and anti-capitalist forms taken by Anti-Racism.
Section 3 is taken up with a discussion of the question, What is the Working Class? We trace the changing composition of the working class as capitalism has developed over the years, and try to come up with some answers in relation to the class struggle: in which section of our class do we think revolutionary struggle has the most potential to emerge, and which other sections are most likely to join in as it develops?
Unemployed Workers' Struggles are the theme of Section 4, which is mainly concerned with debates around opposition to the Job Seekers Allowance and the potential for joint action between Employment Service workers and the unemployed.
This is followed in Section 5 by two articles about Anti-Roads Protests, which discuss the economics behind the road-building programme, and the relationship between anti-roads protests and the class struggle.
Finally we come to Section 6 which is about Capitalist Strategies of Control, looking at how the bosses continually re-organise the production process, the social environment, and forms of ownership, in their efforts to control and suppress the struggles of our class.
One notable omission from this selection is the many articles we have published (from issue number 18 onwards) on the important Liverpool dockers' dispute. However, these articles are all available on this website. Just go to the main index page and search through the back issues section.
Some minor amendments (indicated in the text) have been made to one or two pieces, but most of the articles are reproduced just as they originally appeared. Although we might want to say things differently if we were writing it all again now, we feel that this arrangement allows readers to follow the developing discussion of certain themes over a period of time.
Though the articles presented here can't reflect the entire range of revolutionary politics, a reading of this latest collection (along with the Best of Subversion 1 - on this website) should give you a fair idea of our politics and activity. Many of the articles reflect discussions and debates not only within our group, but also, to an increasing extent, dialogue between ourselves and people who belong to other groups or to no group at all. We welcome involvement and collaboration with any individuals or groups who broadly share our views.
The following is the complete list of articles we printed in the paper version of this pamphlet. In each case, to return to this page you'll need to hit your Back button.
Flame or Ember - from issue 14, 1994
Uniting our Struggles - from issue 12, 1993
Solidarnosc - Trade Unions in Poland - from issue 14, 1994
Timex Strike, Time for a Change - from issue 13, 1993
Pit Sense or No Sense? - a review of Dave Douglass's book about militant miners in Doncaster - from issue15, 1994
Beyond Rank and Vile Trade Unionism, from issue 14
Revolutionaries in the Workplace, a discussion based on the experiences of the Communications Workers Group in the British Post Office, from issue 15.
What's wrong with anti-racism, from issue 15, 1994
The Burnsall Strike, from issue 13, 1993
Unfinished Business - a review of Class War's book, from issue 11, 1992
What's the working class anyway? A letter and reply following on from the book review, from issue 12, 1993
Workplace and Community. Letter and reply, from issue 16,1995
Auld Reekie Anarchy. The experiences of the Edinburgh Unemplyed Centre at the hands of the local Labour Council, from issue 16, 1995
Employment Service Strikes, from Subversion 18, 1996
Solidarity, Good and Bad. The views of a claimant on the above article. Also from issue 18.
JSA and the Dole Workers Strike. Comrades from Brighton reply to Solidarity, Good and Bad. (JSA is the so-called Job Seekers Allowance - or dole) From issue 20, 1996
Three Strikes and a Funeral. A discussion of the Three Strikes policy of many anti-JSA groups, from issue 20, 1996
The class struggle hits the road. A discussion of the importance of anti-roads struggles, from issue 17, 1995
Gridlock, Voices from the M27 Corridor. From issue 18, 1996
Bollocks to Clause Four. New Labour, old capital. From issue 16, 1995.
Technology and Class, part of a discussion held in 1995. From issue 17.
The City, Social Control and the Local State. The second part of the discussion - also from issue 17.
The Revolutionary Alternative to Left-Wing Politics. A summary of our politics from Subversion 16.
So, what do you do? A reply to a letter we got from a guy in jail in Ireland. We tried to explain to him what we did poltically. Still to be turned into html. Available soon.