Planning For Progress - WS1 1984


The introduction to the Workers Solidarity Movement as published in the very first issue of Workers Solidarity, back in 1984. Are there not enough organisations trying to change society? What makes the Workers Solidarity Movement so different?

We are different, very different. Unlike so many others we do not believe the end justifues the means, we say the means you use will shape the society you create. We want a free and socialist society and wwe have to organise in a like manner.

We are anarchists. We are socialists. You can't have one without the other because they are one and the same thing. Socialism is not a collection of reform and minor changes. It is a lot more than that. It means building something completely new. Any you build everything from the bottom up - socialism is no exception.


That is why you won't see us standing in elections. We don't want to be the new rulers. This is not because we are against democracy. We are totally in favour of it. But by democracy we do not mean letting 166 professional politicians run our lives. We mean people coming together to make their own decisions. Councils of delegates from jobs and communities. Economic planning that has to be put to the people for their agreement. We don't want to change the faces in the ruling class, we want to abolish classes.

Likewise you won't find us in the ranks of the full time union officials. Instead we will be found working for the power to be returned to the membership. At the moment the means arguing for respect for pickets, solidarity with workers on strike, regular branch meetings and taking the initiative away from unelected full-timers.


We support self-activity. On the picket line you learn to do things for yourself, in an election you do something for someone else. In a strike you begin to assert yourself and come together with others for a common goal. In an election you can only decide who should be in charge, who should run youn your life.
Anarchist socialism means workers control. Not somebody, no matter who they are, controlling workers.


We base ourselves on the struggles of working class people. Struggles not only at work but also for women's rights, against imperialism, against sectarianism. We do it because struggle can not only win gains but also because of the confidence it gives people in their own ability to change things done (sp). And that is the sort of confidence needed to change society.


We won't be trying to take over the state structures. Government, the existing civil service, police, army and so on are there to meet the needs of a capitalist society. They can not be turned around to serve socialism, they were not designed for that. The state is only necessary when a minority wants to rule.

Workers will create their own structures to bring a new society into being. Structures that are efficent and geared towards mass involvment and democratic decision making.

All this is not just around the corner. But unless we know what we want and how to get it we will be stuck with the chaos and inequality of the present system with its' continual series of crises.

Freedom, socialism, workers control, anti-authoritarianism...if these are the sorts of aims you have, then you belong in the Workers Solidarity Movement.

Editorial Collective

Thanks to Mark Harrison of Hands Off The People Of Iran who transcribed this article for us from the PDF file of Workers Solidartiy No1