Dialogue on Marx’s Concept of Organization and its Meaning for Today

Sam Friedman,
Peter Hudis

Summary: This discussion in February 2023 on the relation between spontaneity, organization and philosophy takes off from the chapter, “Political Organization,” in The Marx Revival, edited by Marcello Musto (Cambridge University Press, 2020) – Editors


Thoughts upon Reading Peter Hudis, “Political Organization,”[1] by Sam Friedman

This chapter is a fascinating and good paper (as are some of the other chapters in this book.) Hudis reviews Marx’s thoughts about political organization(s) as they developed during his fascinating and deeply-engaged life that included his involvement with radical workers during the 1840s, his experiences during the revolutions of 1848 and their dispiriting aftermath, his involvement in efforts to organize the British working class in opposition to the ruling class’s support for the Confederacy during the US Civil War, his involvement with the International Workingmen’s Association that (in part) grew out of those efforts, his many years of struggles against Lassallean tendencies in socialist organizations, and his involvement with the Paris Commune and its aftermath. As Hudis argues, Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program was one of his most developed statements of his views.

Key conclusions that Hudis draws are that “For Marx, there would be no bargaining about principles. His followers presumed that unity was the overriding consideration, even to the point of uniting with a tendency that had a wrongheaded analysis of capitalism and what constitutes the alternative to it. For Marx, on the other hand, ‘there could be no bargaining about principles.’ This discloses one of the most important aspects of his concept of political organization—namely, that having an independent proletarian organization does not by itself suffice to establish a party’s historical right to exist.” (p. 121; emphasis added.)[2]

Hudis later writes: “If there is one comment that summarizes Marx’s concept of organization, it is one that he made to Lassallean leader Johann von Schweitzer (1833-75): A centralist organization, suitable as it is for secret societies and sect movements, contradicts the nature of the trade unions. Were it possible—I declare it tout bonnement to be impossible—it would not be desirable, least of all in Germany. Here where the worker is regulated bureaucratically from childhood onwards, where he believes in authority, in those set over him, the main thing is to teach him to walk by himself.” (p. 122)

This is important and indeed critical material for revolutionaries to understand—but it only goes a few steps on a longer journey that Marxist Humanists and others have been trying to think through for decades.

I think that Hudis and I are in agreement that socialist organization and the philosophy of organization need to make what the new society might look like a central aspect of the principles for organization, as well as the relationship of these visions and principles to the thoughts of Marx and to the history of struggles for freedom and a non-alienated sustainable life.

But as I have read the works of IMHO authors, and others as well (e.g., Eugene Gogol’s Toward a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization),[3] I have felt that we can and must go farther.

I by no means have any answers on these questions. They require the thoughts of many, many revolutionaries. And ultimately, they have to be incorporated into the thoughts and discussions of billions as the revolution takes place. But to get there, we need to do what we can, so I want to suggest a framework that may help us develop our ideas. Specifically, I want to suggest that one way to think these issues through might be to consider revolution as a process and where in this process there might be a need for organizations that are more focused than is likely to be the case for the broad revolutionary movement. This would help us to think through what organizational form(s) and patterns of discussion will be useful at what times.

In this regard, it may be useful to take seriously the history since the beginning of this century, during which there have been a plethora of political revolutions, none of which have made great strides towards becoming true social revolutions that put workers or our communities in command of our own destiny. In terms of the revolutionary process, we succeed in the first negation, but not the negation of that negation.

So, to think about this, I want to ask where in these processes is there need for a more focused intervention by “us” rather than simply taking part as members of a broad revolutionary movement? Rephrasing this: Assuming that there is an organization of revolutionaries who see their main role as embodying a set of philosophically-based principles and helping develop a working class subject willing and able to discuss and struggle to bring these ideas into fruition, what tasks might this organization usefully prioritize at different stages of the revolutionary process? Such tasks will involve criticizing the existing social structure and also criticizing the movement itself; and at each step, helping to foster a working-class subject that is developing ideas (and later, actions and realities) around ideas of a society no longer ruled by the law of value but focused on building an ecologically sustainable world of freedom, creativity, and dignity.

Importantly, these questions also raise issues about the relationship of theory and practice and the issues around how such an organization can help activists (including themselves) think through the theoretical and practical implications of their struggles as they unfold. Here, it is important for any such group to have a certain level of humility—pre-existing theories and principles often need to be changed based on practice. Two examples can be drawn from Lenin’s life: First is his need to re-think his philosophical and political foundations after the socialist parties supported “their” countries at the beginning of World War I.[4] As Kevin Anderson discusses in some detail, however, although Lenin himself developed a dialectical analysis of why this happened, and its implications, he never adequately expressed them in a way such that the Russian revolutionary party members or workers understood his use of dialectics, and thus his party operated to a large extent on non-Hegelian understandings of dialectics and, to some degree, on the basis of an evolving common sense. A second example may be more controversial among the readers of this document, but nonetheless seems important for thinking through how a group might fail to alter its theory based on the practice of the revolutionary movement. During the same period Lenin was assimilating Hegel, he was also developing his theories of imperialism and of imperialist economism within socialist ranks. Here, he developed a theory that the lower sections of the working class in imperialist countries would be the most revolutionary. However, the experience of revolutionary workers in countries like Germany, Italy and Britain after 1916 was that these were not the workers who were central to the revolutionary process in these imperial countries.[5] Had he or other Bolsheviks done so, and re-thought the leading role of shop stewards in these struggles, this might have led them to develop theories of bureaucratization within the working-class movement that could have helped them understand the counter-revolutionary processes that developed during the revolutionary civil war and after.

What, then, might be some of the issues that become salient at different phases of the revolutionary process? Here are some initial thoughts, which I offer primarily as a way to start a broader discussion of these issues:

Before the political revolution begins: Here, in addition to general propaganda about possible forms the new society might take, and about forms a revolution might take, it will be useful to debate and to spread specific ideas of democratic power in unions, neighborhoods, and families. Another critical issue will be to address issues around racial, gender and other oppressions—and the ways in which struggles to end oppressions and capitalism need to get see oppression and the law of value as mutually intertwined and as sustaining each other.[6] We should perhaps consider prioritizing anti-bureaucratization struggles in unions and in community groups and struggles against capitalist influences within them.[7] It is also vital during this period to discuss and promulgate the idea that if a potential revolution breaks out, it is critical to organize workplace councils, neighborhood councils and the like as organs of struggle and potential power. These can become the foundations of working-class subjects to engage in, and learn through, struggle.

During the political revolution itself (which may depend heavily on the form it takes): Work with everyone who will take part with us to organize or instigate workplace, neighborhood etc. councils. And work with others to have them be democratic and recallable. (Rather than, for example, being a city Central Labor Council based on somewhat sclerotic local unions with routine elections every few years who might call and then try to dominate a local general strike.)

In efforts to negate the provisional government (or whatever gets set up as the result of the political revolution) and create a worker-run society: Critical during this period, when power is still up for grabs and people have not gone back to the daily grind altogether, will be to discuss the need for social revolution at every opportunity. And as specifically as possible, to do this as part of criticizing the actions of the “provisional government.” In doing this, “we” will want to continue to work with others to organize demonstrations, road blockages and workplace seizures—and to initiate or strengthen neighborhood, workplace, and city/national councils. Within those councils, work with those who see the need to replace the provisional government (or whatever) with council rule. And, also to help neighborhood and workplace activists to concretize and act on plans to run their neighborhoods and their workplaces.

During the height of the struggle for the second revolutionary change: Support the preservation and strength of multi-tendency and multiparty discussion and legitimacy within the various councils. Build the power of workplace, neighborhood and other councils to take initiatives and change the ways things are done—and do what we can to ensure adequate discussion and democratic procedures and content make it so these actions are truly those of the workers/neighbors. This is critical to ending capital as a social relationship and abolishing alienation on the job and in the neighborhood. Oppose all bureaucratic and repressive actions. If the struggle leads to prolonged warfare, do what we can to resist soldiers and politics on our “side” from becoming any more brutalized than necessary.

When and if the movement has dispersed capitalist political power and begun to establish non-capitalist social relations: This will be a period of maximum opportunity and maximum danger. Here is what I see as the main tasks for the beginning years of this period: 1) Maintain a spirit of discussion, democracy and respect. Find ways to reduce any brutalization and bureaucratization that may have occurred during the struggle to disperse capitalist political power and the State. 2) This is a period when we will be living “in the ashes of the old.” We will need to cope with the damage done during struggles for change, during the immediately preceding crises, and those due to the longer-term degradation of the planet. Almost certainly, by the time this comes to pass, climate-related disasters and catastrophes will be widespread and frequent—including some parts of the Earth becoming uninhabitable and their people needing to move elsewhere. As a result, perilous possibilities of conflict and hatred of migrants vs. those already in a location will exist, as well as of periods of famine and/or pandemics.

Thus, we will have to find ways to maintain production and distribution that is adequate to keep people healthy and that are reasonably fair and that are run by the people in a democratic way. This may or may not involve Marx’s perspective in Critique of the Gotha Program about using labor time as the unit for accounting and decision making (and pay) as well as democratically-determined need. I have suggested that “socially validated need” under conditions where the need can reasonably be met might be an alternative mechanism (Sam Friedman. “Creating a socialism that meets needs: What kind of society might actually work? Against the Current. Issue 126 pp. 32-6 (2017). http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4866.) There are likely to be other approaches that the creativity of billions of people will develop.

It will be necessary to guard against bureaucratic crystallization. The difficulties we will all face in our daily lives, and the inevitability of confusion and differences of opinion about how to deal with them, may lead to considerable popular support for this. Politically, it will be necessary to oppose bureaucratization in effective ways that gain popular support. This may well include dividing any coalitions or parties we are part of.

A critical part of this period will be developing new philosophies about what is of value, how people should behave towards one another, and what institutions should be retained or replaced. (And if retained, how should they be altered? Examples here might include education and families.)

In conclusion, I want to point out that any such period is also likely to be incredibly creative and fun—if we are lucky. And to thank Peter Hudis for his insightful paper that helped me develop these ideas.



February 17, 2023

Response by Peter Hudis


Dear Sam,

Thanks very much for your thoughtful comments on my essay on “Marx’s Concept of Political Organization”—which in many respects takes the discussion further than I did in my piece. I agree with you that the role of a revolutionary organization today centers on articulating “what the new society might look like”—and that we must go much further in developing this than we have done so far. As I see it, the key question is what strategic direction can an organization based on a philosophy of revolution provide to ongoing (and future) movements and struggles. I am not hesitant to acknowledge that this remains the most undeveloped aspect of Marxist-Humanism, and explains (at least in part) the difficulties it has faced in exerting a significant influence on actual social movements.

When this problem is not directly and comprehensively addressed, the tendency is to remain confined to several approaches: 1) One is to presume that those of us who “have” a philosophy need to get others to agree with it and then our job is basically done; 2) Another is to presume that our task centers on singling out the positive contributions of spontaneous as well as organized struggles and providing them with a platform and voice. Both are vitally important, but what is left undeveloped is the mediation that can bring the two sides together. The first emphasizes “adherence” to the ideas without spelling out their politicalization or concretization, the second reduces the ideas to a reflection of the creativity that comes “from below.” Why would people feel the necessity to join a Marxist-Humanist organization if it defines itself by telling those in struggle how great they are? Surely, they can get that from elsewhere. And why would people feel the necessity to join a Marxist-Humanist organization instead of a mere discussion circle if all it has to offer is adherence to a set of principles in the abstract?

As I see it, both tendencies have impacted the history of Marxist-Humanism—though the problem became greatly accentuated in the years following Dunayevskaya’s death in 1987. The main reason many of us had to depart from News and Letters Committees (and the likes of ideologues like Gogol) by 2008 is that the problem had by then become so ubiquitous.[8] What adds to the problem is an objective reality—the fact that so many in the Left (let’s not even mention those outside of it) have effectively given up believing that their efforts will help create a new society, given the way modern “civilization” is so clearly on the road to self-destruction. How much more comforting, then, to retreat into the “safe space” of repeating theoretical conclusions arrived at decades ago or embracing uncritically the latest manifestation of mass unrest, without working out the dialectical mediation between theory and practice.

I therefore take your comments in the spirit of helping us think our way through this problem. There is much I agree with in terms of your suggested framework: surely, we need to beyond “simply taking part as members of a broad revolutionary movement” by offering (where necessary) a direction in a non-vanguardist and non-elitist manner. And I concur that an important part of what we can positively contribute is to prioritize anti-centralist and anti-bureaucratic struggles, emphasize the importance of worker and neighborhood councils, and support multi-party discussion and initiatives.

I am wary, however, about spelling this out in terms of the stages suggested in your letter. To be sure, we should “spread specific ideas of democratic power in unions, neighborhoods, and families” and, where possible help “organize workplace councils, neighborhood councils and the like.” I would expect any serious revolutionary organization to be doing that long before any “political revolution.” The same is the case when it comes to “supporting the preservation and strength of multi-tendency discussion and legitimacy”; that surely need not wait for what you call “the second revolutionary change” in which “the movement has dispersed capitalist political power.” It is instead essential to effectively challenging the existing powers that be today. As we know from the movements in Argentina 2001 and Chile since 2019, such formations spring forth to life at numerous points; they are among numerous examples of decentralized councils and assemblies emerging not only in pre-revolutionary situations but wherever masses of people enter the field of radical political action. Such organizational forms are born from mass initiatives—not by groups of revolutionary theoreticians—since they are, by definition, mass political formations. Of course, there has been a long history of self-proclaimed leftwing parties and individuals claiming to “create” soviets, councils, etc.; but their success record is rather thin.

But that does not mean groups of Marxist theoreticians can’t play a pro-active role—especially when it comes to combatting efforts by mainstream as well as radical parties and formations to coopt or take over such movements. Here is where a striking dialectic comes into play: those driving even the most spontaneous and decentralized forms of organization again and again search out groupings other than their own in order to obtain a fuller understanding of capitalism and how to bring to life a viable alternative to it. It’s as if there is an implicit quest within mass revolts (at least at certain critical turning points) to reach beyond themselves to find theoretical direction. The problem is that more often than not what they encounter are groups with rigid ideologies that are more interested in taking over movements than in offering comprehensive answers to their questions. But why do such groups tend to predominate and not those of a more liberatory character that know nothing can be done without the masses and who eschew any effort to “lead” the struggle from above? Why has the independent, anti-authoritarian Marxist and anarchist left had a harder time making an impact than the vanguardists?

What speaks to this is a discussion by David Roediger in Race, Class, and Marxism in recounting the history of Facing Reality, the organization headed for many years by C.L.R. James. Existing from the mid-1950s through 1970, it rejected the concept of a vanguard party and was open to voices of revolt while remaining committed to revolutionary Marxism (unlike Grace Lee Boggs, who left the group in 1962 when she decided the working class was no longer revolutionary and Marxism was passe). Its organizer was an important scholar of U.S. Black history, George Rawick; he did pathbreaking research on slave narratives, African-American history, and the relation of race and class. Many of the issues that he developed with his colleagues in Facing Reality resonated with the new stage of Black revolt that defined the late 1960s. One might think Facing Reality would grow in such a period, but it didn’t and dissolved in 1970. So, what happened? Roediger writes, “the tensions between the Facing Reality project of being a sounding board for workers’ thoughts and actions and providing a revolutionary leadership surfaced in such periods of euphoria [as 1968] … the question of why the group did not get anything out of its insights on the Black movement in Detroit” was later addressed by Rawick, who said they often had little to offer Black militants other than saying “what you are doing is great.” But why would anyone need an organization that says that? The problem wasn’t that James gave up on theory; but he didn’t define it as what an organization needs to offer to the movements.

Dunayevskaya’s journey into Hegel (including his concept of “Absolute Negativity”) wasn’t some intellectual infatuation that had little to do with revolutionary politics. It came out of a dialogue she was having with James and Lee after the Johnson-Forest Tendency broke from Trotskyism and the concept of the vanguard party but before it had formulated a positive alternative to it. James saw in Hegel’s Absolutes an expression of the form of organization he was interested in—a truly mass party generated by the socialization of labor that would encompass the entirely of the exploited classes. There was no need, in his view, to speculate about “what happens after the revolution?” since the answer will be provided, he held, by the self-activity of the masses themselves. Dunayevskaya was not convinced—she held that there is a role to played by “small groups of radicals” that are not reducible to the forms of organization that come from below. She came to the conclusion that such a role could not be fulfilled without bearing responsibility for a philosophy of liberation that can address (if not answer) the question of “what happens after.” That led to a departure from James and Lee—but it did not resolve the problem of organization, for reasons I have suggested above.[9]

What exacerbated the problem is that in the years following her passing, the organization she led for over 30 years—News and Letters Committees—increasingly turned Marxist-Humanism into a frozen ideology, consisting of the recitation of phrases and formulations without any serious effort to develop the ideas anew in face of changing objective and subjective realities. It’s frozen form of organization directly mirrored this—to this day the publication issued by the handful of old-times in News & Letters is virtually identical to what it put out 25 years ago (which is why no one reads it). We had to separate from all that by 2008 and make a fresh start with the International Marxist-Humanist Organization. We don’t claim to have solved the historic dilemma posed by the dialectics of organization and philosophy, but we are determined breathe new life into Marxist-Humanism and not treat it as a dogma.

So, what role can an organization that is grounded in a philosophy of liberation play that would not be possible in a group that is not? Here is where the five points taken up on your last page become important—though of course these issues would need to be thought out long before the “movement has dispensed with capitalist political power.”[10] I find it hard to believe that many will commit to the kind of revolutionary change that is so needed unless we address right now how a society based on the free association of the producers can heal the profound ecological damage done by capitalism. No less crucial is how a post-capitalist economy can manage the proportionality between production and consumption in lieu of exchange value or a centralized state apparatus (I provisionally address this in my Introduction to the new edition of the Critique of the Gotha Program). It is easy to say we need to “abolish value production,” but it is very difficult to provide even a basic outline of how that can be achieved without inviting social chaos and even collapse (as the Bolsheviks discovered during “war communism”). This is why Marx’s concept of the forms of relations of production and reproduction in the Critique of the Gotha Program remains so critical: his discussion of actual labor time as against socially necessary labor time as governing the lower phase of socialism or communism provides a standard from which to conceptualize the abolition of value production—while providing the ground for envisioning free time as against labor time as the ultimate goal of a truly free society. And then there is the role of the state, which deserves a detailed discussion of its own…

Moreover, even if we were to put aside for a moment the question of “what the new society might look like,” we face the problem of articulating revolutionary perspectives that address what connects struggles against racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism. It is easy to say we need “intersectionality”: but the discussion tends to stop short at listing ways in which we are mutually oppressed. But what common subjective thread connects struggles against class domination with those against racism, sexism, transphobia—and vice versa? How does the effort to challenge value production relate to non-economic forms of oppression and discrimination? How does the latter relate to Marx’s critique of capital? If we cannot articulate how opposition to any one of these forms of oppression is reflective of a universal aspiration for the transformation of the specific contour of human relations in the era of capitalism, we will be left with each struggle or movement living in its silos and competing for attention with the other ones.

None of these issues can be adequately addressed, let alone worked out, without a comprehensive philosophy, but for it be worthy of that name it has to be concretized in response to the problems posed by the objective situation as well as social movements. In a sense, we are already doing this: when we stand in solidarity with Ukraine, even as we oppose the neoliberal direction of its government, and call for its right to arm itself even as we oppose U.S. imperialism, we are concretizing a philosophic principle: namely, that one must first and foremost be focused on the self-development of the subject of resistance. And that standpoint, as I don’t have to tell you, earns us not just friends but turns some of our closest friends into enemies. We find out who really supports such principles as national self-determination at moments like this. But obviously we cannot stop here: the task of spelling out how Marxist-Humanism provides strategic direction to the problems facing social struggles has to be worked out on multiple levels. That is hard, difficult, and often frustrating work. But I don’t see why others would see the reason to commit to developing Marx’s Humanism for today unless we have something to offer them that they cannot obtain by relying on their own forms of organization, be they spontaneous or otherwise.

There is one point in my essay I wish to end on, in writing, “It is one thing, however, to insist that a party possess an adequate understanding of the alternative to capitalism, and quite another to suggest it serve as the embryonic expression of the new society. Whereas Marx affirmed the former, he rejected the latter.” I drew this from Marx’s 1872 critique of those in the First International (like the anarchists) who held that “The Paris Commune would not have failed if they had understood that the Commune was ‘the embryo of the future society’ and had cast away all discipline and all arms, that is, the thing that must disappear when there are no more wars!” And so it is with us. What worries me is that many are responding to how far-off (if not implausible) the prospects for the transcendence of capitalism seem to be that they imagine they can create the needed new human relations in existing forms of association or organization. This is neither possible nor desirable, since we cannot even begin to know what it means to be human until we are done with capitalism. We need theoreticians and organizations that can point us there, but we can offer no more than direction. In that spirit I look forward to continuing our discussion.



[1] Peter Hudis, “Political Organization,” in Marcello Musto (ed.), The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Interpretations (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020), chapter 6, pp. 108-25.

[2] As I wrote this, my mind went to one of the clearest examples I can think of, out of the history of the undoubtedly revolutionary Communist Party of South Africa during the miners’ strike of 1923. The SACP adapted the slogan “Workers of the world unite and fight for a white South Africa.”

[3] See my review of this book, “Hegel’s Absolutes and Revolution: An expanded Review of: Eugene Gogol’s Toward a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization,” Critical Sociology. Published online May 2, 2014. http://crs.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/29/0896920513518949

[4] Here, the works of Raya Dunayevskaya are foundational. See also Kevin Anderson, Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism (Champaign-Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1995).

[5] Sam Friedman, “Notes on the Practical Idea and the Russian Revolution: A Letter of Commentary on Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism,” News & Letters, 41:6 (July 1996), p. 11; Sam Friedman, The Theory of the Labor Aristocracy, Against the Current, Fall 1983 (Old series: 2:3), pp. 24-33.

[6] This poses difficult issues for organizations based around a set of ideas in terms of its organizational structure and content. Left organizations have not yet thought through issues of organizational form and how it might change in the course of the struggle. For example, one difficult set of questions in the United States is likely to be whether there should be separate organizations by race, gender, or sexual orientation, or indeed by intersecting categories of these, or whether having these organized as caucuses within an overarching organization is better. There is no reason to think that the answer to this question will be the same before, during or after any given phase of the revolution. Critical aspects of this include the philosophical—will separation or division work better to discover the set of ideas to guide the struggles—as well as the practical (such as whether, if a separate Black Workers Council develops during the political revolution, the development of the struggle for second negation might require a Black version of the revolutionary organization in order to be effective in working with the Black Workers Council over the question of transcending capitalism.)

[7] In the review mentioned in footnote 3, I criticized Gogol’s work on philosophy of organization as focusing too much on Hegel’s (and Dunayevskaya’s) discussion of Absolutes. I very tentatively offer a suggestion that an understanding of bureaucratization and of capitalist influence within unions, community groups, and parties might focus instead on Hegel’s Doctrine of Essence in the context of developing what I have called a Workers’ Dialectic (Sam Friedman, “On Darren Webb’s Marx, Marxism and Utopia,” Historical Materialism (2004) 12:2: 269-80.)

[8] My problem with Gogol is not that he emphasizes Dunayevskaya’s work on Hegel’s Absolutes, but that he has such a superficial understanding of it. Repeating phrases and conclusions ad naseum hardly amounts to the “labor, patience, and suffering of the negative.”

[9] Ironically, although James (in such works as his 1948 Notes on Dialectics) asserted that his aim was to work out “the dialectic of the party” on the basis of the insights found in Hegel’s delineation of the “Absolute Idea” in the Science of Logic, he actually focused mostly on the Doctrine of Essence—which by definition is the realm of unresolved contradiction. For my discussion of this, see “Karel Kosik and U.S. Marxist-Humanism,” in Karel Kosik and the Dialectics of the Concrete, eds. Joseph Grim Feinberg, Ivan Landa, and Jan Mervart (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2023), pp. 325-44, and “The Indispensability of Philosophy in the Struggle to Develop an Alternative to Capitalism,” in Raya Dunayevskaya’s Intersectional Marxism, eds. Kevin B. Anderson, Kieran Durkin, and Heather A. Brown (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), pp. 65-90.

[10] I am leaving your discussion of a provisional government aside, since there is no formula or even attitude about it that one can formulate prior to considering the actual objective condition that pertains to a particular point in time. There is no reason to presume that the provisional government which the Bolsheviks overthrew in October 1917 would resemble in any way one that could emerge (to take one example) if the movement in Iran were to succeed in overthrowing the Islamic Republic today. What if a series of councils and related forms of organization constituted itself as a provisional government?



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