Along with the renewed discussion in Britain around renationalisation (a policy promised by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn), the idea of workers’ control and workers’ management has re-emerged. Indeed, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has said that renationalised companies should not be run like they were in the past, but should instead be run under workers’ control.

In Part Four we look at the developing struggle for workers’ control in Venezuela. This struggle indicates that the Venezuelan working class is beginning to actively intervene in the Bolivarian revolution and has led some of the more advanced layers of the movement to the conclusion that the socialist transformation of society is the only way forward for the Latin American revolution.

In Part Three we look at so-called workers’ self-management in Yugoslavia, at the time hailed as a genuine alternative to the Soviet model. But what was the real nature of workers’ self-management in Yugoslavia and what are the lessons we can learn for the developing struggle for workers’ control in Venezuela?

This document was written by Ted Grant together with Roger Silverman in 1967 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Russian revolution. The article explains how Stalinism arose and clearly shows how even at that time the Stalinist bureaucracy was facing a serious crisis and confidently predicted its inevitable downfall at some stage.

In Part Two Rob Lyon looks at the experience of workers' control and management in the Russian revolution. The experiences of the Russian proletariat offer invaluable lessons to the workers in Venezuela.

There are many indicators that show that Venezuela is in the vanguard of the class struggle internationally, one of them is the phenomenon of occupied factories run under workers' control. Throughout history it has always been the case that workers' control has been raised as a demand during periods of intense class struggle, but workers' control under capitalism can either move forward towards the complete expropriation of the capitalists or it slips back and can be reabsorbed into less threatening forms of workers' “participation” and so on.

Originally published in 1974 in a period when there was a discussion on the question of workers’ control and what it meant. The right-wing leaders in the British labour movement (and internationally) interpreted it as “workers’ participation”, which meant the workers would be consulted on minor questions, but real control remained in the hands of the bosses. Today, thirty years later, this article maintains all its validity, in explaining the real Marxist approach to this question.

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