Season of good cheer!

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Fred
Season of good cheer!
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On libcom some posters have been seriously discussing how likely it is that anarchists will make a revolution against capitalism.  Anarchists, not workers or communists.  I don't think I've got that wrong. Most of the participants think a revolution is very unlikely, or that it'll never happen for hundreds or even thousands of years.  Some posters have criticised other posters for only talking abut this in terms of individual would-be revolutionaries, not in terms of class. The overall impression I get is that generally people on that thread think a revolution against capitalism is an impossibility. The world accepts capitalism for what it is and nothing can or will be done about it, though discontents  should feel free to moan and complain all they want, if they want. 

This, coming on top of the events in Paris, the downing of the Russian  plane in Sinai, the stream of immigrants fleeing Syria and the Middle East in general, and now no longer really welcome anywhere else, and all the other bad news choking the bourgeois tv news networks, I found a bit of a downer.  But what really shocked me last night was to suddenly be presented with a film, on Sky News, of various individuals reciting lines from the Lords Prayer.  Our father, which art in heaven.....etc. This  advert - for that's what it is - starts with a flash of the Archbishop of Canterbury looking even more ghoulish and tearful than ever just meandering  along somewhere, and it seems was intended to be played in cinemas showing the re-vamped Star Wars sequel as part of the Christmas season's goodies and all the very early Christmas trees.  But many cinemas have said no to the offer.  

But what is the supposed link we are being pushed into making  between Star Wars, Christmas and   the Church of England? Is it a reposte to the murderous excesses of a few fanatics using Islam as a cover for their terrorism? Is it just an advert for the good old C of E needing a quick rejuvenation and monetary fix? Or is it something more sinister?  Are we being  set up for a bigger and more official war against IS, or daesh as they call it now, and is religion going to feature as an ideological cover for some of this?

Christmas trees, religion  and the magic of Star Wars.  A heady mix. Who can resist? And then there's the outburst  of nationalism following on from Paris. French flags and the Marseillaise at football matches everywhere, and even in the US! How sickening and depressing it all is. 

What is happening  to us all? Has the western working class given up completely? Was the proletarian revolution only just a dream some of us had? Are we now just to be swept headlong into the chaos of decomposition and Barbarism 

What does the ICC think? Do you have any comforting words at all? 

In many ways history has speeded up. Horrible events pile up on each other.  The bourgeois is disoriented. More austerity and more wars are planned. Yet we are so passive.  Have we given up?

Its being so cheerful as keeps me going....But what a mess! 

Demogorgon
This seems to have been

This seems to have been posted twice, so I deleted the other one. It has not been suppressed because of its less than enthusiastic mention of Star Wars. But, I do find your lack of faith disturbing ...

Fred
reply to Demogorgon

Hi Demogorgon. I also find my lack of faith - if that's what it truly is - disturbing. But isn't it better to say it than to pretend?  However, to notice all the appalling things the bourgeois are up to, to notice the destruction of Syria, Libya and Iraq, and the spread of decomposition in Africa, and the spread of terrorism into Europe and the extent of the precautions the bourgeois set up against it (which are also precautions and repression that can be used against workers if needed) coupled  with the apparent financial freedom our exploiters have in strengthening their fortress states; and the outbursts of nationalistic fervour in favour of the massively repressive French state in using a million bullets to kill three, and all supported so approvingly and quite without criticism  by working class citizens round the globe, can work somewhat if you let it to sap faith in our revolutionary prospects.  But this I trust is only a temporary lapse. 

 But I know that you yourself Demogorgon  aren't suffering this temporary crisis of hope, because you did say once some time ago that you had a strong belief that the proletariat was by no means done for, and that you would be writing an article laying out why exactly you thought this. But sadly you never did.  (Please don't ask me on what thread you said this because I can't remember. Maybe someone else will?) 

The reason I have admitted to doubts about our revolutionary prospects is because I was really hoping somebody would feel able to challenge them, not just tell me off for expressing them! 

To be forced to watch aghast as Cameron and his henchmen impose the most horrible restrictions and cut-backs on workers'  existence in the UK is getting unbearable.  To watch the antics of the contenders in the US election is similarly depressing and a slap in the face and an insult for workers everywhere.  How much longer can we, or dare we put up with the indignities perpetrated by a bourgeoisie that's finally lost its way and gone crazy, without finally crossing the thin red line where we throw in the towel? 

Perhaps after all I haven't so much "lost faith" as become a mental desperado of sorts driven manic by the incredibly awful state of the world. Surely we arent going to  watch passively the play out of this disgusting international bourgeois spectacle to its final blow out, but will eventually be forced to make a class response?  That's my hope. I have hope and trust in the superior intelligence and talent  of the working class, and in its still being able to forcefully demonstrate the existence of an alternative to all this unspeakable infantilism of the bourgeoisie. I just wish we would start soon. But then I'm very old. 

Do you find any of this reply satisfactory  Demogorgon?

Let's unleash together  the human essence and consciousness latent in our  class, though buried temporarily under suffocating heaps of capital's stinking putrescence. 

Demogorgon
Gosh. A facetious reference

Gosh. A facetious reference to the Lord of the Sith's most famous quote (apart from "I am your father!") and everything goes serious!

I must say I don't recall expressing the views you impute to me, or at least not quite in that way. In fact, in my personal view, I think that the working class is in a very difficult position and that this is unlikely to change any time soon. As you point out, the vast majority of the working class at present is far from developing a revolutionary perspective. While the horror of the current events in Paris continues to roll out across Europe, we communists are treated to the horrible vision of workers across the world draping themselves in the French flag, thinking this is what "solidarity" is all about.

These things are profoundly depressing, no doubt about it.

Just as capitalism continually reproduces the conditions for its revolutionary overthrow, it also produces counter-tendencies that suppress the revolutionary impulse. At the moment, the latter seem dominant. And, within decadence (and especially decomposition), there is also another tendency for the system to pose the possibility of its own self-destruction as manifested by the world wars of the early 20th century, the nuclear stand off in the later 20th century which is still with us now, or the present retreat into barbarism and disintegration that seems to be growing by the day. If capitalism annihilates itself, or sinks irrevocably into a quagmire of obscurantist savagery, then the revolutionary perspective is also lost.

Nonetheless, as Marx pointed out: "It is not a question of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole proletariat, at the moment regards as its aim. It is a question of what the proletariat is, and what, in accordance with this being, it will historically be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action is visibly and irrevocably foreshadowed in its own life situation as well as in the whole organization of bourgeois society today."

No matter how bleak things seem, as long as the proletariat exists, so does the potential for revolution. Workers today, and even for the forseeable future, may be rallying around the national flag and the other accoutrements of bourgeois ideology. But they remain workers and part of a class that retains a revolutionary potential simply by the mere fact of its existence. Whether that potential will ever be fully actualised is a question history has yet to answer - but as long as the proletariat exists, the question is posed.

jk1921
I think that if you don't

I think that if you don't have doubt, you aren't being honest or serious with yourself. Doubt can be healthy in that it helps you question assumptions and adapt to changing reality. Certainty may seem appealing, but its not an appropriate response to empirical reality. It is what it is.

Demogorgon
The only thing I'm certain of

The only thing I'm certain of is that humanity has a way out. It remains to be seen whether we'll take it.

jk1921
Hear Hear

Demogorgon wrote:

The only thing I'm certain of is that humanity has a way out. It remains to be seen whether we'll take it.

Hear hear.

BTW, I changed my post above to clarify a bit.

baboon
I've long since given up on

I've long since given up on optimism/pessimism. To oscillate between the two is worse than a waste of time. I'd put "doubt" into the same category because it's the uncertainty of the result of an individual aspiration. Demo's right that one certainty is that humanity has a way out but whatever way we can help stand it up, analyse it or contribute to it, there's no certainty to its outcome: the bourgeoisie can crush a revolution even if it's made. Another certainty is that it will attempt to do so in the most ruthless manner.

But we have the history of humanity at our disposal and we have the specific history of the proletariat which is a class that throughout its existence has fought and sacrificed. Fred talks about the anarcho-libertarians on libcom not being serious about revolution and I think that this is accurate. You only have to look at how many fell for or tail-ended nationalism and imperialism.

 

Looking at the horrors of the world can be depressing and that's a human reaction but I don't think there's anything to be gained when at least there is a perspective of a way out and some evidence to back up its possibility.

 

radicalchains
I  tried to focus the

I  tried to focus the question on Libcom towards Britiain but no joy. I find the original question a total waste of time and agree with baboon about optimism/pessimism. We ned to forget about faith too, we're not religious. 

I would be interested in collaborating with someone or several people writing about what is holding us back in Britain as a class, I have a few ideas.