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Tag Archives: Uncaptive Minds

Uncertain Times


A day of communist discussion and debate

From 11am-6pm on Saturday 19th June

At 96-100 Clifton Street, London EC2

To purchase tickets and download leaflets see:

The last few years have seen a series of crises for our rulers. Millions of us are angry at the ongoing economic crisis, the scandalous behaviour of ‘our’ MPs and the endless wars in the Middle East.

All of these crises are part and parcel of capitalist rule, but rarely is this system itself challenged. We are constantly told there is no alternative to capitalism. Every day at work and in our communities we live out the same capitalist order, the same hierarchies, the same alienation.

But the spectre of communism has not gone away. The idea of a society fit for human beings lives on. It is an idea raised every time workers demand the living standards we need, not what our rulers are prepared to give us; whenever we reject the state’s oppression and interference in our lives; and whenever we stand up to sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria.

We need to build on these acts of resistance. But that is not enough. Our movement needs ideas. We need a clear vision of a communist alternative to the capitalist order, and how we can make it happen.

That is why The Commune is hosting a summer school on Saturday 19th June to discuss what we should be fighting for and how we should fight for it. Join the debate.

Proposed sessions:

Britain after the general election;

What is capitalism?

Why capitalism is in crisis;

The changed shape of the working class;

Alienation and the critique of everyday life;

How migrant workers fight back;

Tenants’ struggles and community organisation;

Socialist feminist approach to organisation;

Breaking up the UK state;

Communism or representative democracy?

Recomposition of the communist movement.

Full agenda shortly

Please get in touch at if you have any questions about the event or have special requirements.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Twenty Years after the “Collapse of Communism”: Legacy, lessons, towards an emancipatory communism for the 21 Century

Uncaptive Minds Discussion Forum

Twenty years ago a revolutionary wave on the scale of 1848 and 1919 swept across Eastern Europe and the USSR.  It brought down the state-socialist   regimes, which called themselves “communist”. Western capitalism declared the “collapse of communism” and   some spoke of the “end of history” with a new era of liberal democracy. Instead the era of neo-liberal globalisation brought a new phase of war and recessions, in  Eastern Europe the optimism of 1989 gave way to economic shock-therapy and widespread impoverishment,  in the former USSR the old elite has been replaced by the rule of exploitative oligagarchs.

What happened to the radical ideals of the freedom movements of workers and intellectuals which challenged the old regimes, which called for workers self-management, and end to all forms of oppression and alienation, which opposed the ruling bureaucracy and the restoration of capitalism.   The legacy of totalitarian “communism” still hangs over us all; amidst the worse crisis of capitalism in decades there remains a real crisis of confidence in a viable alternative to this system.  

Did communism really collapse? Can we develop a vision of an emancipatory communism in the 21st century?

Uncaptive Minds is hosting a forum to address these questions, speakers are:

Marko Bojcun, a writer and a leading activist in the collectives which published the journals Dialoh and META which stood for “democracy and socialism in an independent Ukraine”.

Allan Armstrong is a member of the National Council of the Scottish Socialist Party and is a member of the Republican Communist Network, a platform of the SSP.

Chris Kane, is a member of The Commune, he was a solidarity activist with workers in the Eastern Bloc in the 1980’s and writes on Ukrainian labour history and politics.

Thursday 25th June 7:00 PM

The meeting is on Thursday 25th June from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near London’s Old Street station 

The Commune:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

The Ockress:

Euro Elections: where should we turn our fire?


Uncaptive Minds Discussion Forum


The second series of our ‘Uncaptive Minds’ forums is about “capitalism and the working class today”, looking at issues such as the financial climate, globalisation and imperialism, casualisation and the transformation of the workforce.


The next meeting is on the subject of “Euro elections: where should we turn our fire?” We will be looking at the European Union’s response to the recession and proposed constitution; whether there is any worth in contesting elections and whether they have any relevance to today’s workplace struggles; and the politics of the No2EU election campaign backed by the RMT, Morning Star and Socialist Party.


Speakers include:

Peter Gowan: a New Left Review editorial board member

Andy Littlechild: an RMT (LuL) London Region activist

Mick Dooley: rank-and-file candidate for general secretary of the builders’ union UCATT.


The meeting takes place from 7pm at the Lucas Arms, near King’s Cross on Monday 20th April.


Email for more info.


The Commune issue no.4 is out now and available on-line at:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:


What unions do we have, and what do we need?

Uncaptive Minds Discussion Forum


The next of The Commune’suncaptive minds

’ forums on “capitalism and the working class today” is on the subject of “what unions do we have, and what do we need?


The meeting, taking place at the Lucas Arms near London’s King’s Cross from 7pm on Monday 30th, will be looking at the decomposition of the official labour movement in recent decades; the signs of revival of class struggle and the new forms of activism taking place among the casual workforce; and the dynamics of rank and file and bureaucracy, and how we can empower self-organisation.


The speakers leading off the discussion are:

John Moloney, Independent Left Candidate for PCS Deputy General Secretary

Fabien Liberski, Convenor and Health & Safety Officer in Southwark Council, who was victimised by his employer with the collusion of UNISON bureaucrats; and

Alberto Einstein Durango, a cleaner activist who played an important role in the victory of cleaners at Schroders in the City of London and is now helping with the Mitie/Willis campaign in the face of resistance by the Unite union.


All are welcome to come and take part in the debate.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

The Storm in the World Economy


Uncaptive Minds Discussion Forum


16th February 2009


The last winter has seen the biggest breakdown in the world financial system since the Great Depression, and the opening-up of what promises to be a deep and prolonged recession.


Banks have collapsed. Household names from Woolworths to Wedgwood have gone to the wall. The ideological dominance of the free-marketers and neoliberals has been swept away.


And yet few are challenging the real cause of the crisis – capitalism itself. The broadsheets write acres about Karl Marx, but in most Western countries the workers’ movement is not even fit to take a punch at the ruling class.


We will be discussing the composition of the global working class today, its relation to the economic crisis and the prospects of uprooting this system.




Kim Moody (leading figure in the American rank-and-file trade union publication Labor Notes)


Andrew Fisher (Left Economics Advisory Panel)



7pm, Monday 16th February, Lucas Arms, Nr. King’s Cross, London


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

New Methods of Union Organising

A Message from Chris Ford

You are invited to our next scheduled session of Uncaptive Minds series on the 1970s a Decade of Class Struggle which is on union organising methods.  


Organising has been a constant theme in the trade union movement but there has been little discussion about the great achievements in the 1970’s, when a range of new methods of organising saw union membership rise to 13million in 1979.  Since then it has declined to around 7.3 million at which it has stayed since the year 2000.


An important question is why have we not been able to restore our stength and density and what can we learn from the 1970s for today. 


A long standing activists in UNISON, Anton Moctonian is writing a major new critical study of union organising in the 1970s. 


Come along on Monday 13th October to Uncaptive Minds.  The venue is in central London.


Email to register your interest and get more information.


Chris Ford


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Currently listening :
Second Wave
By Khoma
Release date: 2006-04-10