The lessons of the Spanish assemblies

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Fred
The lessons of the Spanish assemblies
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: The lessons of the Spanish assemblies. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
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Fred
the rabbits resist at last

Gamonal is the working class neighbouhood of Burgos in Spain, so says this excellent article, and it's working class housing is like rabbit hutches in high rise form.  A 1960's working class prison this is.The  prison provides containment  and is awful to inhabit, especially now with the open wounds of austerity, oozing pus and  festering  for all to see and suffer in silence. Hell on earth this is.   But a fire has been lit in the bourgeoisie's house and the rabbits have had enough and are coming out now in their numbers and beginning to organize  their resistance in daily assemblies at  12.00 and 7.00 pm. So at last a solution  to this  stinking horror is being posited and starting to emerge. People are on the move. Talking and acting together is the key. 

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 The assemblies were the brain and the heart of the movement. The brain, because here there was a collective reflection about how to struggle, about what actions to take next, about the decisions to make. The heart, because the assembly is a real expression of the means of communicating, developing understanding and establishing links to break the isolation and the atomisation, which are the terrible stigma of a society where everyone is trapped "in their own little world", dominated by the commodity
 

As the working class we have so much to learn as we struggle often  blindly towards our freedom from capital's entangling coils. But we have to start somewhere and we only learn by doing it. Just do it!  Just make a start! The former rabbits of Gaminal have found a way forward through the labyrinth of bourgeois machinations. They shine a light and provide encouragement for us all in these cataclysmic times.  Either we come together and find the way forward in solidarity and internationalism or we succumb to the ethos of the ruling class and their barbarity. The selfish bourgeois ethos of the war of all against all.  Make your choice!  

This is a really excellent article. So beautifully translated. 

Fred
Accion Proletaria

Accion Proletaria write:

Quote:
 The assemblies were the brain and the heart of the movement. The brain, because here there was a collective reflection about how to struggle, about what actions to take next, about the decisions to make. The heart, because the assembly is a real expression of the means of communicating, developing understanding and establishing links to break the isolation and the atomisation, which are the terrible stigma of a society where everyone is trapped "in their own little world", dominated by the commodity..

As some people who actively participated in the struggle wrote on a blog.  "The failure of the old structures of pseudo-participation such as political parties and the creation of the self-organised assemblies, without leaders, everyone participating as equals, opens the door to a new world", but even more important was the insistence that "we all are needed, the elderly, youth, the mothers and fathers and children" and it is inside the assembly (the method specific to the working class) where they all have a place and can each make specific contributions.

In a world ruled by the bourgeois everyone is trapped in their own little world, atomized and and isolated as in solitary confinement.  Only the commodity has freedom! The police who beat everyone up should they complain against their restriction; judges who are happy to condemn to further imprisonment anyone who challenges the system; citizens who are forced to comply with the demands of austerity and the futility of everyday working life are all complicit in and subservient to this dominant ethos.  For this is bourgeois morality: the product of the failing economic system and its pseudo-democratic structures.

But there  enters  a new morality, with a new ethical underpinning in the process of defining itself. This is working class morality. This opens the door to a new world, without leaders, with everyone free to participate, to develop understanding and express everything they are, all their ideas and feelings, in bringing a more human world into being. In this world, the new morality allows everyone the freedom to grow. For everyone is needed in this organism: the elderly, youth, parents and children, the previously rejected, the prisoners and the shunned. For the new morality permits all to commit themselves to the newly emerging world.

 This is a major lesson of the Spanish Assemblies described and analyzed so well in this article. 

Fred
In another section of the

In another section of the article by Accion Proletaria we find this.

Quote:
 If we are going to avoid the errors of the past, we need a revolutionary theory that is a real force for action.

Despite what is signified by the slogan "Long live the struggle of the working class!", the movement has still seen itself as a "citizens' or people's" struggle (in the demos we often heard : "The people united will never be defeated"). The bourgeoisie and its parties impose this vision (and the unions too speak about "popular protest").

If we see ourselves as "citizens" or "the people", we become the class brothers of the politicians who deceive us, of the police who beat us, of the judges who imprison us, of Amancio Ortega, the richest man in Spain; we are all part of the "greater Spanish family". And if we accept this "Holy Family", we have to also accept insecurity, cuts in social spending, lay-offs, as is required to make the "Spanish brand" more competitive. This is what the government, the employers and the right wing politicians proclaim in all their cynical frankness and what the left and the unions oppose with their idyllic vision of "trademark Spain" without cuts or redundancies, which they do not believe in themselves,  as is clearly seen whenever the left is in government or the unions sign agreements on redundancies and wage cuts.

 

 

It is easy to agree "we need a revolutionary theory that it a real force for action," but what might it be? Surely we already have one? It's called marxism. Marxism is a revolutionary theory. But is it a force for action?  This is puzzling and I think some elaboration is required. 

The paragraph dealing with the outcome of us "seeing ourselves as citizens" is well said and very clear. As citizens we all become part of the Holy Family. The holy bourgeois family, the sacred religious family,  the greater national family. Citizens are at the service of The Nation at all times. As brave uncowardly obedient cannon fodder if needed, and as subservient trembling wage slaves in times of peace and security (if you can you recall any such times? and with the bourgeois League of Peace and Freeom leading the vanguard) and quite definitely "in support of the national brand" and whatever it demands from us for ever.   This is a reminder of important historical events of a commercial kind  like the "I'm backing Britain" campaign some years ago or the "Made in Thailand" campaign which produced a pop song which was a hit for years. And I guess both brain-washing efforts, the remarkable and darling creations of high bourgeois thought at its peak, made lovely money for the ruling elites in both places. Why not? Envy is not a trait demanding admiration. Don't forget it. 

Citizens support their National Brand uncritically and will die for it if need be. Citizens support uncritically their national team in the Olympics, in the World  Cup and on the International Money Markets.  My country right or wrong. The markets right or wrong. And in sporting events the same morality holds. Profits! The corruption endemic to bourgeois nationalistic extravaganzas,  and all the wheeler-dealing in sport among players and their sponsors that goes with it can easily be glossed over by cooperative citizens as can be any monkey business on the Markets. After all there's nothing amiss with a little flutter is there? Don't be so puritanical!    For  this is the essence of bourgeois existence, and citizens do what they're told and enjoy it! 

But this is the sort of thing that workers in Spain and elsewhere are identifying and trying to overcome as they struggle together.  And this article is a great contribution to the effort.