Socialism and Democracy: democracy, direct action and the class struggle

Submitted by martin on 8 April, 2015 - 5:19

Was advocating extra-parliamentary direct action to bring down the elected Thatcher government anti-democratic? Are 'by democratic means' and 'by parliamentary means' identical concepts?

Socialism and Democracy: Workers' Liberty special issue (no.17), January 1994

Download the pamphlet as two pdfs:

  • Debate from 1982 between Michael Foot, then Labour Party leader, and John O'Mahony (Sean Matgamna), with a 1994 introduction
  • Appendices, including texts on socialism and democracy by James P Cannon, Max Shachtman, V I Lenin, and Hal Draper.

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Read it online:
Introduction: Democracy, direct action, and the class struggle
Michael Foot: My kind of democracy (part 1)
Michael Foot: My kind of democracy (part 2)
John O'Mahony: Introduction
Chapter 1: Is Direct Action Against Thatcher Undemocratic?
Chapter 2: The Appeal to History
Chapter 3: The Scarecrow of Stalinism
Chapter 4: Superstition or Struggle?
Appendix 1. Labour Party: the sham of "one member, one vote" - John Bloxam and John O'Mahony
Appendix 2. PR, democracy, and socialism - John O'Mahony
Appendix 3. Marxism and democracy - James P Cannon
Appendix 4. The movement of the majority - James P Cannon
Appendix 5. 1917 was a democratic revolution - Max Shachtman
Appendix 6. Lenin on Democracy and Dictatorship
Appendix 7. Democracy in the Russian Revolution - Leon Trotsky (1918)
Appendix 8. An Eyewitness Account of the Russian Revolution - Hal Draper

Appendix 7 and appendix 8, included here, were not in the printed version of January 1994.