fragmentos (practice)

19th September 2015, 21:09
My Top 3 Organizing Don'ts

Originally Posted by The Garbage Disposal Unit View Post
One should believe they're saying a right thing.

And be certain that they probably aren't.

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16th September 2015, 15:48

Originally Posted by contracycle View Post
I… literally cannot believe what I'm reading in this thread.

I mean for god's sake, who would join, say, a forum for the discussion of cake baking only to argue that cakes should not be baked?

Has this place been taken over by Blairites or something? This is just nuts.

Well, at least I can knock a couple of names off the list of "people to be taken seriously".

Yes, at times one has to wonder what's so fun about coming to a forum called "revolutionary left" to explain why and how revolution cannot work. It is a testament to our patience that we even have a specific forum for that end - like a cake-baking message board that had a section for "anti-cake" discussion.

But I think here the issue is a bit more complicated, because it involves a discussion of what, after all, exactly is a "revolution". To some of us, it seems that "revolution" is something rather unreal, metaphysical, outlandish. To others, "revolution" is something much more commonplace, and it is brewing everywhere, though for the most part it is going unnoticed because there are no fireworks.

Let me again quote that bearded guy:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Marx
Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the eighteenth century, storm more swiftly from success to success, their dramatic effects outdo each other, men and things seem set in sparkling diamonds, ecstasy is the order of the day – but they are short-lived, soon they have reached their zenith, and a long Katzenjammer [cat’s winge] takes hold of society before it learns to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period soberly. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions, like those of the nineteenth century, constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals – until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out:

Hic Rhodus, hic salta!

It would seem that some of our brave co-revolutionaries do miss the storming, the swift successes, the dramatic effects, the sparkling diamonds, the daily renewed ecstasy of bourgeois revolutions. And so, when situations come that call out themselves Hic Rhodus, hic salta!, they have to first wonder whether that would be a revolutionary jump, or… a reformist jump.

There are no shortcuts to revolution; it demands patient, daily, unrelenting work of many kinds: agitating, organising, writing, understanding, reading, analysing. But such work has to be in connection to what is actually happening in the world. It is our task to understand phenomena like Syriza or Jeremy Corbyn, and situate them in the context of the constant interruptions, the returns to the already accomplished, the half-measures, weaknesses, paltriness and the derision thereof, the recoiling, the false starts, etc.

In fewer words, bourgeois revolutions are romantic, proletarian revolutions are modern; the former end in a predictable coda that leds to final cadenza that ends in a tonic chord, the latter frolic around like a piece by Webern, and seem to never conclude.

And as good romantics that we for the most part still are, we still crave for the badaboom-tish of a good old bourgeois revolution. But as the era of bourgeois revolution is over, we can only have final cadenzas that end in the tonic chord of the restauration of bourgeois order.

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15th September 2015, 12:44

Originally Posted by The Feral Underclass View Post
Quote:
I'm not just saying the working class from 1850-1950 is different from today's. I'm saying that on average they were far more mobilized, organized, and confident.

…Towards a particular sort of organising. The working class are just as confident and just as willing to be mobilised, but class composition has eroded the usefulness and possibilities for traditional organising methods and the left haven't caught up with that yet, so what we're left with is people saying, "oh it's not like it was in the 1950s."

The difference, however, is not due to "class composition" or changes in it, but actually to the success of social democracy. What we see as social democracy's "inneffectivity" (if I can use such a word without being accused of being homophobic) results from the fact that capitalism has been reformed, to the extent that it can be reformed, and such reform was due to social democracy, which in turn is what made social democracy useless, or irrelevant.

Social democracy is a failure as a strategy for revolution, for the replacement of capitalism by socialism. But it organised working class for resisting effectively against capital within capitalism, and yanked out from capital whatever capital could possibly concede without jeopardising its iron grip on society.

What we see nowadays results from a change not in the working class, but in capital. It is not the working class that is less pugnacious today; it is capital that has recovered its own brutality and recklessness.

Because social democracy (and Stalinism is no different in this regard) could not go ahead past the 60's welfare State, or better saying, because it never wanted to go past that, it lost its raison d'être, and because the working class hasn't found an alternative form of organisation (and has rejected each and every alternative proposed by the left), we have the impression that the working class isn't up to its fabled past of infinite energy and pugnacity, which we in turn confuse with a revolutionary disposition (but it wasn't - it was directed to merely reformist aims, which at some point of history only seemed possible to attain through very radical means).

Quote:
Well yeah, because capitalism and the composition of the class isn't the same as it was in the 1950s, and mass movements and unions struggles that prevailed then are irrelevant now.

They will eventually become relevant back again, if capital indeed goes on to repeal the reforms of the third quarter of the 20th century. Perhaps even this is what is happening in the UK Labour party as of now: it is coming back to relevance because radical social democracy, or maximalism, or something similar, is becoming relevant again, which in turn is happening because capital is slowly but relentlessly trying and recreating the 19th century into the 21st.

Quote:
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I know this must be hyperbole because I have been in a communist organization that exists, and it has made organized and disciplined interventions into working class movements, struggles, and insurrections.
I don't believe you.

It depends, of course, of what one considers to be a "communist organisation". Marx and Engels wrote that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie and Freddy
The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.

In this sence, I have to agree with you. Spectre of Spartacism's organisation quite probably isn't communist, because it probably does not fight for the attainment of the immediate aims of the working class (if it is like 99.99% of the petty bourgeois organisations that claim to be communist, it probably rather fights against the attainment of the immediate aims of the working class, under the pretext that these immediate aims are "reformist").

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To sum it up, you (y'all, as they say in Perryland, not you The Feral Underclass individually) seem to be concerned with what you call "the failure of social democracy". But the real problem seems to be the success of social democracy; it is this that we have to actually overcome, if we are to build a movement to put an end to capitalism, and not merely a movement to bring back the golden days of welfare State.

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11th September 2015, 16:34

Originally Posted by Placenta cream View Post
I think it's fairly obvious I am using barbarism to show lack of civ, not brutality

As well, it is fairly obvious that when Rosa Luxemburg spoke of "barbarism", she wasn't talking of idyllic primitivism, but of the brutal realities of WWI.

So it is you who is messing with fair obvieties, for the sake of edginess.

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11th September 2015, 11:51

Originally Posted by Rudolf View Post
You know that 'organising the working class' is paternalistic, right?

The working class is already organised.

That it isn't organised for the ends we think it should, is a different issue.

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11th September 2015, 11:48

Originally Posted by Placenta cream View Post
Honestly I think this is probably a lot closer to what I'd hope a post capitalist existence is. Much better than leftist communism. The communism described by Mari3L and TFU etc… might be more similar to what you think is barbarism- and is quite obviously a more healthy relationship for people to exist in.

We already have barbarism.

Just look at the newspapers, they will show some barbarism at work in Syria, or perhaps in a theatre next to you, in the form of a gunman who had unduly mixed Nietzche with cocaine and wanted to show his will of power and disgust for the concepts of good and evil.

Barbarism isn't a new mode of production; it is just capitalism taken to its logical consequences.

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Originally Posted by Vladimir Innit Lenin View Post
^^Luis, your above point is premised on the assumption that the existing left is the organisation of the working class, rather than the organisation of already-existing communists.

I would say that, looking at existing left organisations in the UK, that you're probably not correct, insofar as I don't really see workers in any great number having joined any of the SWP, SPEW or other small sects in recent decades.

So no, it is not accurate to shift blame for the failure of the existing left onto the wider working class, and it's not helpful to think about blame anyway. Many factors are beyond the control of the class and of communists in many parts of the world (for example, the fall of the fSU and the Berlin Wall, the advent of the debt-fuelled economy as a world-wide tool for economic growth from the 1980s onwards etc.).

The left in the UK is Labour, which is a failure. The rest is the extreme left, and it either is a part of that failure, or is a different failure of itself.

And of course, the issue is not of "blame"; as long as we think it is, we are doomed to be a part of old failure, or the initiators of new failures.

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16th September 2014, 14:04

Well.

Certainly, communists should organise themselves as communists, and they should participate in the working class organisations as well.

But the organisation of communists should be merely an instrument for the organisation of the class, not a replacement for it.

Therefore, the diagnosis ("the left is a failure") is at the very best incomplete: if the left is a failure, it is a failure of the working class. Consequently, no measures to change the left without changing the working class first place can aspire to any success.

The working class is not an inanimated object, an "arena" on which diverse political agents act, but an organical subject, who either seeks political power, within the struggle to abolish itself, or trips on its own feet over the contradictions created by struggle itself.

If so, any proper diagnosis about the situation of "the left" in the United Kingdom (or elsewhere, of course) must start with a diagnosis of British working class. And only from the standpoint of that diagnosis it is possible to understand the British "left". Why does the reformist left "remain wedded to the ideology of class peace"? Because, of course, a majority of the working class remains in such wedlock. Why? It is said that the reformist left "pose(s) no threat to capitalism or the austerity offensive", and while that is evidently true, the class enemy thinks differently, and its austerity offensive is directed at the destruction of the reformist left. To understand this, it is necessary to understand why the bourgeoisie believes they no longer need the reformist left as an ally, and this means understanding how class struggle develops - not yet in the streets, but within workplaces first: how are the bourgeoisie yanking rights, and wealth, and power, from workers, by imposing changes in the workplace, that we, as a class, have not yet understood, and that imply the systematic defeat of reformism, and how these successes are changing the way we see ourselves as a class.

Only from that point we can denounce the "wedding" of the reformist left to the ideology of class peace as a clearly unequal "marriage", in which only the reformist left is faithful, while the other side engages in all forms and classes of cheating and betrayal.

The substitutionist left, on the other hand, goes uncriticised, but its role in the working class defeats during the late quarter century is hardly smaller. Because for the substitutionist left the defeat of reformism comes as a boon, even though it is simultaneously a smashing defeat of our class itself, and that, in turn, because to the substitutionist left the issue is not class struggle, but "political" struggle between parties, tendencies, cliques, fractions, etc: to them, the "class" is a mere platonic idea, that remains untouched by events in the corruptible world, but can always, regardless of any analysis or understanding of the real world, be used as an empty slogan, a rally point, an ideological umbrella, for politiking.

On the basis of that diagnosis, "the left is a failure", we seek a "new left", at most a "new vanguard", a "new direction". But the relation between that "new" instrument and the class remains inorganic. Therefore, the proposed treatment is also problematic. We create a new organisation, which, we believe, or want to believe, will not have the problems of the old organisations. But the actual problems of the old organisations cannot be properly understood, because we remain at the same point of view: that the working class is not an active part of the problem, but merely an imput from "objective" reality. Not a subject, but an "arena". To counter the fact that the overwhelming majority of the working class is deeply reformist at heart, we change the subject of discourse. Now we replace it with the "sections of the class that inhabit the riot subjectivity", "heavily exploited and racially abused proletarians". But those are again an empty slogan, the "arena" for the "new left" experiences in fighting against "the dangers of co-option by the state, the far-right and Left opportunists". Nothing is asked about why would these "sections" even vulnerable to those "dangers", why would their subjectivity be potentially polarised by UKIP or Labour or the SWP. Nothing is even asked about why they inhabit the "riot subjectivity", an in what they differ from their parents, or cousins, who remain "wedded to the ideology of class peace".

But that is apparently enough for breaking with (or being expelled from) a former organisation. We aren't up to the task of revolutionising our former organisation; the very "Leninist" conclusion is that this makes us very apt to revolutionise society at large. Those who can't the least, certainly can the most. Instead, it comes to reason that the actual motives of the break are different, and remain opaque to those making the break; that those motives have little, if any, to do with class struggle, or the eventual marriage between the anarchist orthodoxy, or milieu, to the ideology of class peace, or with an actual, deeply thought, rejection of Leninist, or pseudo-Leninist, substitutionist dogma.

Indeed, there isn't even a hint of understanding that those things, never mind how much opposed to each other they may look, actually share the same common ground. "Moving beyond both anarchism and Leninism", as it is proposed, requires rooting off what anarchism and Leninism have in common, which is difficult to do when we don't realise what that is.

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12th September 2014, 18:26

Originally Posted by Vladimir Innit Lenin View Post
What is the alternative to forming new organisations whose content AND form is different to the existing top-down vanguardist model? Criticising a new organisation for being a new organisation is a cop-out.

Well, the content OR the form would have to be different in that case.

But here we only have declarations of intention: we will be different, because we want to be different; and we will be different by making the exact same things that have lead the left to a state of failure.

Quote:
4. The Left’s failure to seize the potential of this extraordinary moment was a fundamental mistake, and only demonstrated the Left’s real detachment from the people whose interests it claims to hold closest.

In other words, the problem is not that our class hasn't been up to the tasks of the moment, but that it lacked a proper direction - ie, it lacked us.

Quote:
6. These sections of the class often have internally contradictory ideas and we must recognise there is a difference between a consciousness of antagonistic class relations and a consciousness of political direction.

In other words, there is a difference between the masses (who merely have a consciousness of antagonistic class relations), and its proposed direction (us, who have a consciousness of political direction).

Quote:
9. At this stage, we believe it is essential to create a pole of attraction to regroup existing pro-revolutionary militants and tendencies, sincere in the belief of the magnitude of the tasks at hand.

And of course, we are going to be that pole of attraction. Just like every other anarchist, Trotskyist, Maoist, left-communist, whateverist organisation think they are.

Quote:
11. The Libertarian Communist Initiative is a medium term, pre-party formation which means to establish a pole of attraction for political regroupment which is capable of moving beyond both anarchism and Leninism. The Initiative intends to grow into a Libertarian Communist Party that can build on existing struggles and campaigns in order to pursue a clear programme for advanced struggle across all sections of the class and across an assemblage of terrains.

In other words, the "new" organisation is the oldest, most stale kind of old, stale pseudo-Leninist response to any crisis: a proto-party, which will become, by accretion, a revolutionary party.

Quote:
We have never sought to build a mass organisation or union, and continue to reject substitutionist modes of organisation which prioritise the interests of the organisation or member over the interests of the class at large.

Which is nice and fine and pretty, but is also merely a declaration of intentions. Organisations will always have the nasty tendency to autonomise themselves from class struggle - particularly under conditions where class struggle is already weak and faltering. How does any organisation manages to avoid such fate, that is the problem, which cannot be solved by mere voluntarism.

Quote:
The proletariat is the motor of social change and does not require being anything but itself, acting in solidarity against all forces which harass and undermine its interests.

If so, it doesn't require any organisations at all, in which case we shouldn't be creating new organisations. But of course the proletariat isn't anything except its own organisation, which precisely is the problem now, and can't be solved by the multiplication of petty bourgeois cliques who pretend to have, or to be, the solution of this organisational crisis.

Quote:
The Initiative will therefore take the form of a cadre of dedicated, energetic and disciplined communist militants who strive always to be allies to the class.

Lenin would be proud! but I don't think it will work now any better than it has worked in the past.

*

So, unless we can see where this "new" model is anyhow effectively new, and not a mere rehashing of flawed, defeated (top-down, vanguardist) models, the predictable future of this "new" initiative is very similar to the present of any given "anarchist" or "Marxist" organisation in the UK…

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11th September 2014, 17:17

Originally Posted by The Feral Underclass View Post
As per usual, Luis, is wrong on both counts. We're not leftists and we didn't start a new organisation, we started a faction in the AF that was essentially expelled. Also, LCI's form is fundamentally different to anything that exists on the left. I could understand and agree with the criticism if we were some mass union or party, but we're not, so it doesn't really hold in my view.

Indeed, it may not be a mass union or party, but it is yet another substitutionist organisation. Which is something more common than dust. And much more common than mass unions or parties, though quite probably much less populous.

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11th September 2014, 00:19

Diagnostic:

The left is a failure.

Proposed treatment:

Let's start yet another leftist organisation!

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13th June 2014, 18:30
Has anyone heard of anti-fascist organization called Millennium?

On the other hand, they deny "fighting" along the pro-Russian Ukranians. They would have merely made a "solidarity" visit to Eastern Ukraine.

I am torn about this. On one hand, they are the kind of people I would expect to lie; on the other hand, I don't think they have actual muscle to help in the kind of struggle that is going on in Eastern Ukraine.

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13th June 2014, 18:17

Here is an interview with Orazio Maria Gnerre, leader of Millenium (or "Millenivm" as they spell it in their website).

From it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orazio Maria Gnerre

Millennium nasce come progetto politico nel 2011. I suoi presupposti teorici sono l’evidente insufficienza del paradigma politico liberale e della conseguente dialettica fittizia tra destra e sinistra, e la necessità della transizione del grande spazio europeo (nella sua natura continentale e mediterranea) al multipolarismo geopolitico. La grande contrapposizione politica che si mostra ancora più evidentemente alle soglie del terzo millennio è quindi quella tra comunitarismo e liberalismo. Da un lato, i difensori di identità etniche, storiche e religiose e della giustizia sociale, dall’altro i promotori dell’avvento realizzato del mercato globale, della fine delle ideologie e, soprattutto, dell’edonismo individualista. Millennium in tal senso si propone come Partito Comunitarista Europeo.

So, basically, Millenium is born from the "insufficiency" of the "liberal political paradigm" and the "ficticious dialectic between right and left", plus the "necessity of the transition of the great European space towards geopolitical multipolarity"…

And it sees itself as part of the "defenders of ethnical, historical and religious identity, and of social justice" against the "promoters of global market, of the end of ideologies, and of individualist hedonism".

Politics of ambiguity, of course. But of a peculiarly traditionalist brand, with no pretentions on secularity or multiethnicity. Even if they want to be "European" rather than Italian.

But then what to expect from people who take Julius Evola in serious?

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13th June 2014, 17:57

//Originally Posted by Slavic View Post

Fascist or not, the donetsk nationalists are just that; nationalists.//

US-sponsered nationalists or Russian-sponsered nationalist, there is honestly no difference.
If they are US-sponsored and Russia-sponsored, then it would seem that they are not actually nationalists, isn't it?

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17th April 2014, 16:30
Let's have a Leftist Pro-Gun Rally — Northeast Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by LinksRadikal View Post
A better question than that of slogans would be, how does the working class in the region relate to gun rights? As part of the overall and specifically American populism concerning the myth of rugged individualism (whereby isolated individuals out in the frontier obviously need to rely on themselves and their gun), the criminality scare (one aspect that actually does try to relate this to present day conditions; and one that is most blatantly a part of the ruling class ideology no less), and possibly vigilantism targeting "illegals", connected to the militia ideology? Or is it that the self-defense of the class is the foremost framework through which this problem is hashed out?

This.

I find it difficult to even entertain the idea of a pro-gun rally in the United States centered on the idea of working-class self defense, when the American working class doesn't know who are its enemies (and, frankly, seems to not even know itself, or even to realise there are classes in the US).

Call a pro-gun rally, and it will be a rally against immigration, against social insurance bums, against petty criminality, against blacks, latinos, gays, or some other silly scare popular among Americans. What it won't be, is a rally about taking arms against our bosses or employers, bankers, landlords, hucksters, the police or the army, or, in general, against any actual class enemy we might think of.

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8th July 2013, 12:43
what should a socialist work?

Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
A socialist should find a job the same way any other person would: by trying to get a good balance of "something I enjoy" and "something that will pay my rent".

That, and "something that allows me some free time".

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7th February 2013, 19:12
Portugal to end up like Greece

Originally Posted by Handful View Post
Jerónimo Sousa also talks about 'giving back what is just for the workers'. This means nothing.

Of course it means something. It means that he never read, or understood, the Critique of the Gotha Programme.

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