The texts

Against Sleep and Nightmare
The Spectator of Democracy
Definitions and Resources
American Fraction of the Left Communist International
An Open Letter to the Comrades of the Revolutionary Workers League
Situation of the American Workers
Capitalist Democracy: A Contrast Between the Position of Lenin and That of Trotsky
Aspects of the Russian Question
Trotskyism and the Labor Party
What We Stand For
Korea, the Scientific Slaughterhouse
Give Up Activism
Class Analysis, for Anti-Capitalist Struggle
Bordiga versus Pannekoek
Antagonism and Practical History
Beasts of Burden: Capitalism, Animals, Communism
Berkman, Alexander
In Reply to Kropotkin
War Dictionary
Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism
Black, Bob
Wooden Shoes or Platform Shoes: Class Struggle Social Democrats: Or, The Press of Business
Bordiga, Amadeo
The Balkan War
Seize Power or Seize the Factory?
Theses of the Abstentionist Communist Faction of the Italian Socialist Party
Party and Class
The Democratic Principle
Force, Violence and Dictatorship in the Class Struggle
Dialogue with Stalin
Doctrine of the Body Possessed by the Devil
The Fundamentals of Revolutionary Communism
The Revolutionary Program of Communist Society Eliminates All Forms of Ownership of Land, the Instruments of Production and the Products of Labor
Buick, Adam
Bukharin, Nikolai
Anarchy and Scientific Communism
Cafiero, Carlo
Anarchy and Communism
Camatte, Jacques
The Democratic Mystification
Bordiga and the Passion for Communism
Communist Effort
Communist League of Tampa
To Hell with Democracy?
Weekend at Bernie's
Damen, Onorato
The Russia We Love and Defend
Dauvé, Gilles
Capitalism and Communism
Notes on Trotsky, Pannekoek, Bordiga
The "Renegade" Kautsky and his Disciple Lenin
Critique of the Situationist International
Fascism and Anti-Fascism
When Insurrections Die
Debord, Guy
A User's Guide to Détournement
Communisation and Value-Form Theory
Engels, Friedrich
Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy
The German Ideology, Part I
The Communist Manifesto
Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League
Synopsis of Capital
On Authority
Gauche Communiste de France
The Russian Experience
The Task of the Hour: Formation of the Party or Formation of Cadres
Theses on the Nature of the State and the Proletarian Revolution
Nature and Function of the Proletarian Party
Present Problems of the Workers' Movement: "Discipline, the Principle Strength"
Present Problems of the Workers' Movement: Against the Concept of the "Brilliant Leader"
The Function of Trotskyism
Welcome to Socialisme ou Barbarie
The Evolution of Capitalism and the New Perspective
Goldner, Loren
Communism is the Material Human Community: Amadeo Bordiga Today
Didn't See the Same Movie: Review of Max Elbaum, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao, and Che
Gorter, Herman
The World Revolution
Historical Materialism
Open Letter to Comrade Lenin
The Organisation of the Proletariat's Class Struggle
The Communist Workers' International
The World Revolution
International Communist Current
Bourgeois Organization: The Lie of the 'Democratic' State
The Perspective of Communism
The 1950s and 60s: Damen, Bordiga, and the Passion for Communism
International Communist Party
Dialogue with Stalin
The Exploits of University Marxism
Why Russia Isn't Socialist
The Party Does not Arise from "Circles"
Capitalist Development and the American Civil War: the Civil War as the key moment in the subjugation of the black and white proletariat to the requirements of a rapacious bourgeoisie
Internationalist Communist Group
Trotskyism: Product and Agent of Counterrevolution
Communism against Democracy: Theses
Communism against Democracy
Theses of Programmatical Orientation
Against the Myth of Democratic Rights and Liberties
Internationalist Communist Tendency
Trotsky and Trotskyism
The Italian Communist Left - A Brief Internationalist History
Internationalist Perspective
Islamic Fundamentalism: Religious Fanaticism to Reinforce the State
The Economy in the Russian Revolution
Why Wealth Redistribution Cannot Solve Capitalism's Crisis
This is What Democracy Looks Like
Kropotkin, Peter
The Conquest of Bread
Kämpa Tillsammans
Hamburgers vs Value
L'Insecurite Sociale
Communism: Points for Consideration
The Communist Tendency in History
La Guerre Sociale
The Question of the State
Toward the Human Community
Le Frondeur
Les Amis de 4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs
A World without Money: Communism
Excerpt from A World Without Money: Communism
Luxemburg, Rosa
Introduction to Political Economy
Lyon, Bernard
We are not "anti"
Marx, Karl
The German Ideology, Part I
Wage Labour and Capital
The Communist Manifesto
Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League
Preface to "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy"
Letter "On Proudhon"
Value, Price and Profit
New York World interview with Karl Marx
Mattick, Paul
What will I Do When America Goes to War?
Karl Kautsky: From Marx to Hitler
Monsieur Dupont
Moss, Sam
The Impotence of the Revolutionary Group
Mouvement Communiste
Anti-Globalization: the Socialism of Imbeciles
Critical Review of "The ABC of Communism" 90 Years Later: The Bankruptcy of the Analysis of Capitalism Made by the Communist International
Nicolaievsky, Boris
Karl Marx: Man and Fighter
LIP and the Self-Managed Counter-Revolution
Pannekoek, Anton
Socialism and Religion
The Destruction of Nature
The Great European War and Socialism
German Socialism in the War
New Tactics Against War Basis of New International
The New Blanquism
World Revolution and Communist Tactics
Social Democracy and Communism
Communism and Religion
On the Communist Party
Workers' Councils
People's Democracy
Perlman, Fredy
Commodity Fetishism
The Reproduction of Daily Life
Money Must Go!
Poor, the Bad and the Angry
A Contribution to the Politics of the Future -- The Basic Perspectives of the Poor, the Bad and the Angry
Notes on Democracy
Our Antipolitics
Reinvention of Everyday Life
A Modest Proposal for How the Bad Old Days Will End
Robin Goodfellow
Marx-Engels and Democracy (Part One)
Marxism in a Nutshell: From the Criticism of Capitalism to a Classless Society
Rosenberg, Arthur
A History of Bolshevism: From Marx to the First Five-Year Plan
Rubin, Isaak Illich
Abstract Labour and Value in Marx's System
Rutgers, S.J.
The Left Wing
Rühle, Otto
Speech in the Reichstag
Moscow and Ourselves
Karl Marx: His Life and Work
Sauvage, Eden
Marx's Dialectical Method
The Poverty of Left-Wing Activism
Smith, Cyril
Marx versus Historical Materialism
Hegel, Marx and the Enlightenment
Socialist Propaganda League of America
Manifesto of the Socialist Propaganda League of America
Third Worldism or Socialism
Souvarine, Boris
Stalin: A Critical Survey of Bolshevism
Ireland, Nationalism, and Imperialism: The Myths Exploded
Labouring in Vain: Why the Labor Party Is Not a Socialist Party
The Revolutionary Alternative to Left-Wing Politics
Surplus Club
Trapped at a Party Where No One Likes You
United Workers Party
Anti-Parliamentarism and Council Communism
Revolutionary Parliamentarism
Capitalism and its Revolutionary Destruction
How Socialist Is the Socialist Workers Party?
The Bosses Have No Country: Marxists and the So-Called Problem of Imperialism
Against Democracy
Wolman, Gil J.
A User's Guide to Détournement
Workers League for a Revolutionary Party
How to Explain a "Transitional Program" to a Simple Worker
World Communist Group

About red texts

What this site is

red texts archives communist documents. These documents are often available elsewhere, but are not always proofread or presented with simple formatting. This site aims to remedy that, at least for a small set of texts.

This site originally began as a personal labor. Documents I intended to read and re-read were proofread and converted to plain text files that are very minimally marked-up with multimarkdown. This work began on 2015-04-05 as a site hosted on neocities. Since 2015-08-05 has had its current domain. In September 2017 red texts became a collaborative project hosted on github thanks to the kind encouragement and hard work of xatasan. The plan is to have many comrades contributing new texts or fixes to existing texts, and, if they wish, hosting these texts on their own sites. Right now there exists at least two mirrors, one at and another at, offering more formats and features than this site.

Our markdown files (using pandoc's flavor of markdown) can be got from the red texts project's github page. When viewing the text files, Windows users will need a decent text editor that can handle the Unix-style line breaks that most operating systems use. One option is geany.

Wait--what do you mean by communism?

All through history the exploited have dreamed of a world without poverty and class distinctions: communism. Communism means an end to property, i.e., the right to exclude some people from the land and factories cultivated and built by the common labor of the exploited. In communist society production is for meeting human needs, not for sale on the market. There will be no money, no rich and poor, no state to mediate the conflicts of a class-divided society. Communism is a unified human community.

In the 19th century capitalism increased productivity exponentially. It created an international, interconnected market. Capitalism created -- for the first time in human history -- the possibility of satisfying the material desires of all. Yet this possibility was overridden by the needs of the market economy. What was produced was only what could be sold for a profit. Competition forced capitalists to attack wages at every opportunity. Periodic crises threw workers into poverty amidst plenty. As Marx put it, "accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, the torment of labour, slavery, ignorance, brutalization and moral degradation at the opposite pole."

Still, capitalism played a progressive role in the 19th century. It laid the foundations for its own supersession. The rapidly growing working class -- the proletariat -- was born of socialized production and had no property of its own. It was the first exploited class capable of and needing to abolish property in general. It was the first class whose communism had a material basis.

In the 19th century imperialist competition and environmental destruction did not yet imperil the future of the human species. Moreover, the working class was still small and centered in a few countries. The agenda of the working class, then, was to bide its time and develop its own strength within capitalist society. Workers participated in unions, ran candidates in elections, and even took the side of the then-progressive capitalist states in their wars with feudal rivals.

This peaceful evolution dead-ended in 1914. The First Imperialist World War and the working class insurrections that ended it made communist revolution an urgent necessity and immediate possibility. Starting in 1917 revolution spread from Russia to the rest of the world. Tragically, only in backwards Russia did the working class seize and hold onto power. Russia was a poor, peasant-dominated country, one ravaged by years of imperialist and civil war. The Russian workers could move ahead only with help from the working class abroad. This help never came; the parties of the right and left crushed the uprisings of the western European workers. To ensure the survival of the sole bastion of world revolution, the isolated Russian revolutionaries were compelled to use the revolutionary state to simultaneously repress the peasantry and rapidly increase the productivity of an immature capitalist economy -- all while trying to preserve their autonomy as a revolutionary class. The hope was to hang on long enough for the western European revolution. This all failed. The Soviet Union survived and flourished, but only after the revolutionaries were integrated into, and then destroyed by, a state purged of any revolutionary content.

The rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union cost millions of lives but was an appealing model for the Third World capitalist class. Soviet "communism" became nothing more than an ideology of state-driven capitalist development for backwards countries. The "communist" countries that have existed -- from Mao's China to Fidel's Cuba to Chavez's Venezuela -- had and have nothing to do with the communism of the workers' movement.

In reaction to the degeneration of the Russian Revolution, a "communist left" emerged in the early 1920s. These communists, the true heirs of the 19th century workers' movement, defended the Russian Revolution but fought against the compromises and betrayals the Russian communists and the Communist International made in order to defend the Russian state. The communist left, then as now, stood against capitalism and all its defenses: democracy, elections, unions, nationalism, national liberation, and so on.

red texts primarily collects documents from this left communist tradition.


This project was inspired by sites I used to visit such as the For Communism - John Gray website. To the extent they still exist and I can remember them, these are listed in the links section.

If you have contributions, corrections, questions, comments, or whatever, send them to schalken at

A word of warning

I don't endorse sites listed here. I have reservations about some of them. All the same, each site linked below should prove interesting or useful in some fashion.

Text archives (sites like this one, but better)

Political groups or individuals