"In order to liberate ourselves from debt we must destroy the economy"

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Fred
"In order to liberate ourselves from debt we must destroy the economy"
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: "In order to liberate ourselves from debt we must destroy the economy". The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Fred
I want to discuss this

I want to discuss this article, but I have to be able to see it at the same time. (An iPad problem.)

Fred
Curses. I still can't refer

Curses. I still can't refer to the article. I must have thought I was on left com, where you can! Anyway...I like this piece though it doesn't surrender it's treasures easily, and it's style is puzzling. Like translated stuff from 1968/70. But beneath it's exterior of cool remoteness, there lies a lot of human, working class understanding of the predicament facing us all as the crisis bites harder. "...the Greek state ensures that the money supply will be used exclusively for the survival of capital, even at the cost of our lives.". (As the ICC has told us elsewhere 'we are all Greeks now, or soon to become so'. This is not a direct quote. But take heed.) The Greek state is replacing wages with loans, we read.But as the mountains of debt tower over Europe, and the States, and the paying off of interest replaces the paying off of debt, are we not all beginning to work for nothing? The writers of the article go on wryly: but we want " to have a life not just survival." They point out the reduction of all welfare to absolutely nothing. This is the reality of "even at the cost of our lives" put into in practice. But don't feel sorry for the greeks, the same austerity, even at the cost of our lives, will be coming shortly to a neighborhood near you, if it isn't there already. And much worse is to come, for as workers become a hindrance to capital's progress, and unnecessary to its requirements, what is the point of working at all? Wouldn't we all be better off dead? Isn't this the icy logic of capital: that it would like to be able to accumulate it's treasures without the tiresome intrusion of workers?

"It is clear that for capital, we are surplus (see the sky-rocketing unemployment figures) and that at this point, the reproduction of the labour force is merely an obstacle in the process of capital accumulation. The monetary-debt crisis, that is,
the replacement of wages with loans, and the inability of issuing of loans, lead the system into a vicious circle of
unsustainability. This happens, because it puts into question the value of work itself..."

The ICC says that these views are only those of a minority. But a minority which is growing. Let's hope they're right.

jk1921
It is tempting to compare

It is tempting to compare this document to the one issued by the hospital workers. Here, there is a better understanding of the dead-end of democracy, etc. (In fact, it even seems to single out illusions in "direct democracy" for critique), but this document also has its own profound weaknesses. It talks about a rejection of "the economy" of "political economy" itself, almost as if this is something different than captial, something deeper and more profound than capital--a way or organizing humanity that is fundamentally corrupt and destructive at its root, of which captialism is only one form? I don't want to read too much into it, but this seems to ring of modernist/anarchist code. There also seems to be a direct questioning of the entire idea of a "dictatorship of the proletariat" in there. Once again, it would be good if the ICC could have put this into some kind of context for us.

One part of the statement that was really interesting, and I will echo Fred here, was the idea about the increasing meaninglessness of work. This seems important, but it is left undeveloped here. What does this mean? What are the implications for the workers' movement of a world in which work is no longer the primary means through which one develops their identity and their place in the world? This issue seems to have been a very important factor in the unfolding of the various movements that took place over the last year and half (particularly the Occupy Movement and particulary among the younger generation). To what extent are wage demands increasingly superfulous in such a world? How do we conceptualize wrokers struggle differently?  Are "debt bondage" and "debt relief" the lens through which the younger generations see the problem rather than "wage demands"? This seems particularly pertinent in the U.S. where many young people are weighed down by heavy debt loads (student debt in particular) before they have even started working (if they ever do). What is the significance of all this? Certainly, the demand for student debt relief was a very important feature of the Occupy Movement.

Fred
Thanks for your post above,

Thanks for your post above, jk, you pick up some telling points, but I suspect you find the overall message of the piece as puzzling as I do. The style of writing is confusing. Maybe it's their first attempt at writing a polemic (if that's what it is) like this. If only they'd dare mention "communism" (do they refer to "capitalism", I don't remember?) one would have had a lot more confidence in where they thought they were heading. But the text does emanate from a Law School so we might expect some obfuscation.

A quote. "...we propose social revolution, which we consider the only solution in order to have a life, not just survival. This means, to rise up against any financial and political institution. It requires, through the route of revolt, to take measures such as the abolition of the state, of property and any sort of measurability, the family, the nation, exchange and social genders."

This is a mixed bag of requirements and perhaps you are right jk that it may smack more of anarchism than communism. But whoever, or whatever they are, they must be preferable to the stalinists and Nazis also on the prowl in Greece. Or must they? I have to say jk, that you do have a talent for raising doubts.

Fred
Reading this piece again, it

Reading this piece again, it just gets weirder and weirder. It's a bit like the sort of meandering writing of that group Aufbehen ( can't spell it! ) - the ICC have an excellent article about them on the site now - only not so pompous. They seem constantly to join effects with causes where there's little relationship at all. Just look at the title. In order to get rich we must rob the bank, would do as well and means more. Is this the effect the crisis has on a suddenly pauperized petty bourgeoisie ie. lawyers?

" The mythologies of the various dictatorships of the proletariat, survive at the same time when the masses of those excluded from production, from institutions, the unemployed, all fail to be a reliable customers for political parties and their unions. The reactionary political position of state capitalism has succeeded the previous empty ideology."

How many dictatorships of the proletariat have we had, and why are they "mythologies"? And what is the connection between the survival of these mythologies at the same time that the unemployed are failing to fall for the bourgeoisie's siren songs of democracy? Isn't this all crazy modernism, or is it me who's up the spout?

And then there are the ideas of "the meaninglessness of work" taken up by jk. and also of "working for nothing". Work may well be devoid of meaning under capitalism. It's neither creative nor self nor group fulfilling as it will be under communism; where in fact we may all be working for nothing. Except that even this is wrong. We won't be working for "nothing" but for the betterment of all society, the environment and the planet; and thus the very idea of work - as drudgery, as forced labor, as unfulfilling - will have changed into something positive.

So this article, which perhaps I'm taking much too seriously, leaves me bemused. As I said back in March, it doesn't surrender it's treasures easily. And either we can dismiss it as a kind of modernist gibberish, or we can welcome it for the possibilities it may contain of a proletarian coming to consciouness. But whatever else it's doing, we must welcome the crisis and its horrendous development, as a potential unraveller of bourgeois ideology, and as an opener of previously locked doors to working class insights.