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GAF Lockdown Reading Group discusses: Dual power

21 May, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Our aim with these meetings is to discuss different subjects each time so it is not necessary to have joined a previous session to participate. Before each meeting we will share a variety of readings of different lengths to give some background information on the subject to be discussed. Participants are invited to pick and choose what they would like to read in preparation. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary as our aim is to make these events as inclusive and broad as possible.

Following off of our third livestream, this reading group discussion will also deal with the topic of dual power. Dual power theorises a distinct and oppositional relationship between the forces of the state/capitalism and the revolutionary forces of oppressed people, but there is more to it than that. Lets discuss it together.

Join us as we discuss the questions:

  1. How has the conception of dual power changed since the Bolshevik inception in 1917?
  2. What functions could dual power structures fulfil in late-stage capitalist society? What systemic obstacles may impede dual power structures from fulfilling these functions?
  3. How do mutual aid networks have the potential to build into dual power structures and transform our relationship with the state?
  4. In what ways can dual power be integrated into digital spaces to facilitate real world organising?
  5. How can we ensure dual power structures do not reflect and replicate our existing hierarchical structures that we are already used to?

We would like to remind you that you don’t need to do all the readings, just pick and choose the ones you want to do. We would recommend that you do at least some of the readings in preparation. We would also recommend picking from both the basic readings and the advanced readings sections.

We would also like to apologise for the text heavy reading for this session, we were unable to find suitable alternatives in audio or video format.


Basic readings

  • TEXT – AFed, (Jan 2015), ‘A Short Introduction to Anarchist Communism’, pp. 24-27.
    • A brief and accessible introduction to dual power strategy and its potential obstacles
  • TEXT – Kosigan, I., (May 2020), ‘Insurrection & Infrastructure: a Dual Power Guide for Leftists in Britain’
    • Explores different conceptions of dual power and outlines methods for actualising it
  • TEXT – ROAR Collective – Woodbine, (Mar 2020), ‘From mutual aid to dual power in the state of emergency’
    • A look at how structures of mutual aid and dual power can be developed in response to the Coronavirus crisis
  • TEXT – Morgan, W., (May 2018), ‘Building Dual Power: Where They Retreat, We Must Advance’
    • Explains how privatisation of essential services can provide openings for building dual power
  • TEXT – Katie, H., (Apr 2020), ‘From Mutual Aid to Dual Power: How Do We Build A New World In The Shell Of The Old?’
    • Uses real world examples to explain dual power and how it may be useful in Britain after Covid-19
  • VIDEO – Stimulator (Sub Media TV), (Feb 2016) ‘Dual Power’
    • Scott Crow discusses the problems with reformism and posits dual power as a potential solution (6 mins)
  • AUDIO – GAF livestream: Dual power – Infrastructure for insurrection (2020)
    • Presentation and discussion on the history of dual power and its contemporary interpretations (90 mins)

Further readings

  • TEXT – Kosigan, I., (Jan 2020), ‘Social Reproduction and the Goal of Revolutionary Strategy’
    • Applies the model of social reproduction to revolutionary organising, specifically in context with dual power and crisis management
  • TEXT – Escalante, A., (Mar 2019), ‘Communism and Climate Change: A Dual Power Approach’
    • Argues that producing and distributing food through dual power structures can provide a path to revolution and a solution to the climate crisis
  • TEXT– Lenin, V. I., (Apr 1917), ‘The Dual Power’
    • An early explanation of dual power strategy and a description of how this looked in the lead up to the October revolution
  • TEXT – Dominick, Brian A., (Sep 2002), ‘An Introduction to Dual Power Strategy’
    • Neatly outlines the primary functions and goals of dual power structures
  • TEXT – Day, Christopher., (May 1998), ‘Dual Power in the Selva Lacandon’
    • Analyses the EZLN as a revolutionary dual power structure
  • TEXT – Weaver, A & Mumm, J., (Spring/Summer 2002), ‘Active Revolution: Organizing, Base Building and Dual Power’
    • Further explores dual power strategy as a tool for revolutionary social change
  • VIDEO – Aly, (Sep 2018), ‘Climate Change, Imperialism, and The End of The World’
    • Explains why capitalism is the root cause of the climate crisis and dual power structures can provide an alternative to extinction
  • VIDEO – NonCompete, (Jul 2019), ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Overthrowing Capitalism’
    • Explores various strategies for opposing and dismantling capitalism including dual power (36 mins)

Join Zoom Meeting:

Event times are set at BST (British Summer Time), the time zone being UTC+1.


21 May, 2020
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Green Anticapitalist Front London

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