The Russian Revolution: Workers in Power
October 1917: Workers in Power

Solenberger, Peter

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/07/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21625

Book review of Fred Leplat's and Alex de Jong's October 1917: Workers in Power.



David Mandel's essay "Economic Power and Factory Committees in the Russian Revolution" is a joy to read. It covers familiar ground, but with awe-inspiring detail.

The movement for workers' control that arose in the wake of the February Revolution was not in the program of any socialist party. Workers organized factory committees, beyond trade unions, to ensure that production would continue despite the resistance and often sabotage of the owners.

Their initial goal was workers' control, starting with access to information, not workers' management. They were forced beyond control to management by the capitalists' refusal to cooperate. The factory committees supported the soviets' seizure of political power and sought to find their place as the economy was nationalized and militarized to preserve the revolution.

Beyond the rich detail, I found most interesting Mandel's discussion of the tension between socialism and workers' self-management.