Manifesto of the UCL

An Open Approach

We are supporters of self-organization and direct democracy, resistant to the cult of unanimity and summary spontaneism. We know that these concerns may meet those of other “schools” of socialism.

L’UCL ne prétend pas devenir, à elle seule, l’alternative au capitalisme.
cc Mathieu Colloghan

The libertarian communism that we promote is part of a long history, that of anti-authoritarian socialism, which has its roots in the First International. It inherits for the most part decades of struggles, analyses, and strategic questioning of the libertarian « class struggle » current. It’s in this current, which is the main political incarnation of this socialism that we are inscribed.

It has nothing to do with an individualism that would deny the antagonism of classes and the necessity of collective action to upset the world order. The appropriation, socialization and self- management of the means of production are our agenda to put an end to capitalism. We reject bourgeois politics, and our intervention can only be resolutely extraparliamentary. The « dictatorship of the proletariat », Leninism and the experiences of the so-called « socialist » countries are not part of our history.

However, we do not claim any monopoly. Various existing organizations and groupings claim a libertarian filiation. We are in favour of debate, so that forces are pooled as often as possible, without denying the specificities of each one. The same desire for confrontation and unity leads us to reject sectarianism between all the forces that sincerely fight capitalism and other systems of domination.

Refusing sectarianism

We are in favour of self-organization and direct democracy, and in this respect we are resistant to the cult of unanimity as well as to summary spontaneism. We know that these concerns can meet those of other « schools » of socialism. Since the second half of the twentieth century, even more so after May 1968, the libertarian communist current has been able to open itself to experiences, to take an interest in the currents with which it shares common points and even to integrate their positive achievements.

Thus we believe that a dialogue is always possible and desirable between different revolutionary currents, of Marxist or anarchist origins.

Even though we reject the statist illusions conveyed by Marxist currents and theories, libertarians have largely drawn, like Bakunin in his time, and without fetishizing it, from the materialist and dialectical thought synthesized notably by Marx. This continues to occupy a singular place for those who want to change the world. Especially when it does not stray into economic overdeterminism. For us, there’s neither destiny nor fatality : it’s indeed all of us who, through our actions, make history.

To draw from the best sources

We draw more broadly from the currents that are working for the emancipation of all. By experimenting with them concretely, our current has been able to make revolutionary unionist practice its own : the trade union and worker democracy, the meaning of strikes, the role of self- managing struggle leaders, the strategy of counter-powers...

In the same way, on ecology, feminism, anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles, our analyses have evolved in contact with real militant currents, struggles and resistances. Above all, it’s by immersing ourselves in the heart of these struggles and resistances that we will avoid becoming sclerotic, or shrivelling up behind narrow doctrinaire fences.

This is why we have a twofold approach :

  • to develop our libertarian « class struggle » current ;
  • to contribute to the emergence of a vast anti-capitalist and self-managing movement, necessarily unitary.

The libertarian Communist Union does not claim to become, by relying on its own forces alone, the alternative to capitalism. It would be not only pretentious but also dangerous to believe or pretend the opposite. Rejecting all sectarianism and isolationism, we want to be one of the unifying forces for the revolutionary movement and the workers’ movement. In times of retreat, the unity of all anti- capitalists and openness to the social movement allows solidarity in the face of repression and of a state machine that hunts down revolutionaries. In periods of rising struggles, this unity favours and amplifies the action of revolutionaries in the face of those who fight against the rupture with the old world. But this unity must not mask our ideological or strategic divergences, which will not fail to assert themselves in revolutionary times.

Becoming a political force that matters

This open approach aims to achieve a mass force, which will weigh on a very large scale in society, helping to multiply counter-powers and preparing the conditions for revolutionary rupture. This means giving priority to its interventions on the social terrain, at the base of society, linking the anti-patriarchal, ecological, anti-racist, and workers’ struggles, by proposing a self-management perspective to them. A political-social movement, therefore, and not a new party.

New actions are necessary to allow the expression and organization of the revolts of the base of society. We want to actively contribute to this because these common practices will allow the necessary responses to the threats of the extreme right and the illusions conveyed by the institutional « left ». We want to become tomorrow a major political force, which gives the libertarian « class struggle » current a basis among the broad masses, and this in a revolutionary movement, part of a refounded and renewed workers’ movement.


Manifesto of the UCL
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