Manifesto of the UCL

The Inventiveness of the Proletariat

We do not conceive socialism as elabourated from outside the struggles of the proletariat. On the contrary, we affirm that it’s the workers themselves who have invented and reinvented the bases of an alternative society to capitalism through their struggles, especially in revolutionary times.

Un tramway à Barcelone en 1936-1937.
Pendant la Révolution espagnole, les industries et services passèrent sous contrôle ouvrier en Catalogne.

From immemorial to contemporary times, peoples have sought paths to social and political equality. All over the world, during the Paris Commune in 1871, in Mexico between 1910 and 1917, in Russia and Ukraine from 1917 to 1921, with the Korean commune of Shinmin (1929-1931), in Spain from 1936 to 1937, bases for another socialism developed, finally crushed by the bourgeoisie and/or fascism, or betrayed by the constitution of a new ruling class. The revolutionary experiences in Chiapas since 1994 and in Rojava since 2012 are other such examples.

Learning from past mistakes

Every revolutionary experience, every high point of the class struggle has confirmed this aspiration for such a society and for grassroots takeover. Spread over time and space, from collectivized and self-managed companies and industries to free communes, countless experiences provide evidence for it.

Our libertarian socialism is therefore the heir of the anti-authoritarian tendencies developed since the First International by part of the workers, peasants and social movements. It must be noted that other currents have imposed themselves for decades : state socialisms — Social Democracy, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism — which opposed the popular aspirations of self- management and direct democracy and led the popular movements into an impasse.

Libertarian communism, autonomously elabourated by working men and women, has opened an extraordinary perspective for humanity, outlining through concrete achievements a superior form of democracy.

But historical experiences have also revealed limitations and weaknesses that need to be taken into account. It’s for this reason that a coherent project carried by a militant organization is necessary today to raise the issues that libertarian communism faces and will face.

If the existence of such a project is not an infallible guarantee, it can nevertheless help the struggling masses to avoid the errors of the past in order to achieve integral emancipation.


Manifesto of the UCL
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