The Radical Tradition : A Study in Modern Revolutionary Thought
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Originally published in 1978, Richard Gombins book traces the recurrent attitudes in the history of the European revolutionary movement which have criticized socialist and communist parties for their authoritarian and bureaucratic tendencies, and which have stressed spontaneity and decentralization as the correct basis from which to change society.
From a critique of Marx, through to an examination of Soviet practice under Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin as a factor in the disillusionment of the left with the methods of the Russian Revolution, Gombins study examines the concepts of workers councils as they emerged in several countries after the First World War. This comparative study develops the idea of a council communism as opposed to a party communism which, he suggests, is the fundamental concept in the criticism of orthodox Communism from the left.