Solidarity with the Chicago Teachers!

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Fred
Solidarity with the Chicago Teachers!
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Solidarity with the Chicago Teachers!. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
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Fred
It's good to read that the

It's good to read that the teachers haven't just sat back passively and succumbed to the bourgeoisie's insatiable demand for more cuts, more work and reduced renumeration. Let them have a go at teaching and see how easy and relaxing it all is, and what fun too, trying to satisfy their passion for measuring success. Though what exactly "success" might be in education, under the aegis of our profit-crazed rulers, might be regarded as lunacy by others.

So the question is: "... how much are the bosses willing to ‘waste’ on public education in light of the restructuring of the workforce forced upon them by the relentless economic crisis of capitalism! We can only say to our fellow teachers: We admire and support your courage! You are an inspiration for all of us."

The "WASTE" here says it all. Public education - that is an elementary training of the future work force, hardly education at all - may have been affordable to capitalism in the 19th. century, with charity from the Church thrown in to show how much the workers were loved (for their surplus labour of course) but it's hardly even necessary anymore. With most of the really heavy, dirty and profit making industry carried out in areas of the globe where labour power is still available at a discount so to speak, the requirement for the rudimentary training of western workers
tends to decrease, and become more basic, more "measurable". It's the
Gradgrind effect again.

And then there's the upcoming election idiocy. What happens if Romney wins? He has no control over the crisis, and may well openly support Israel in the nuking of Iran. What happens if Obama wins? He has no control over the crisis, and may well tacitly support Israel in the nuking of Iran. As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods: they kill us for their sport.

Let's hope the teachers see through the unions at long last; see through the democratic fraud; begin seeing capitalism for what it is - a terminally sick economic system, run by a den of murderous thugs on sanity's fringe - and take up the struggle again, this time under their own control, and understanding the need to spread rebellion to other sectors. In coming to their senses after 25 years of humiliating submission the teachers in Chicago light a beacon.

red flag
Agree with Fred when he says

Agree with Fred when he says that he hopes the teachers see through the unions as part of the problem rather as being somehow part of the solution.  While the teachers may see the unions as being useless in defending their conditions this of course doesn't mean that teachers, or for that matter, other workers see the crying need for the end of capitalism to be replaced by communism.  All of the present struggles in the US as well as across the globe still seem trapped upon the terrain of the bourgesie with all of the traps still being unsprung or maybe being reset.  It is so frustrating to see the lack of a Marxist alternative within the working class as a class.

Fred
Agree with red flag that the

Agree with red flag that the failure of the working class to see the Marxist alternative is frustrating. What's up with us all? Internationalism writes:
"The most effective way to wage a struggle is by establishing open General Assemblies, as workers have historically done and are re-learning to do. We have seen these first attempts at re-taking the destiny of the struggle in our own hands in Spain, during the Indignado movement, and here in the States, by the Occupy movement.". But is this true? Do open General Assemblies really recapture our destiny, or is that just a pious hope? As red flag says, just about everything we do at the moment appears to take place on bourgeois terrain, and within bourgeois legality. Apart from struggles that turn vicious, like the S. African miners, or the oil workers in Kazakhstan, everything flows along nicely for capitalism (apart from it's economy) with workers being herded here and there by the unions, and politely kow-towing to whatever rubbish the bourgeoisie comes up with. Why is this? Because we still believe that they know best, when it's actually very apparent now that they know nothing, and what they do is just all guess work. But why can't we see it? Will we ever see it?

I saw part of a film last night about Robert McNamara, secretary of state to Kennedy and Johnstone. Some of the stuff he was saying was utter madness. Like: sometimes you have to do evil to achieve good. This was a comment on the Vietnam war, but applies equally I suppose to Iraq, Afghanistan and you name it. Or: sometimes we make mistakes,we're only human. This was a reference to the start of the Vietnam war, when bombs were dropped on N.Vietnam in response to a torpedo attack on US ships which never actually happened, but which supposed attack was an effect of faulty sonar equipment!

With the bourgeoisie able to think about events in this detached sort of way, and able to dismiss the massive slaughter of innocents as merely the result of human error, with no apology and no sense of guilt or remorse; is it this bourgeois blindness to the appalling realities of capitalism's demands, and their failure to connect effects (death and destruction) with causes (lust for profit) that also blinds tbe working class, and ties it to the bourgeoisie? I don't know of course. But the sooner we all snap out of it the better.

Fred
On left com in an article

On left com in an article reflecting on "One year on since Wisconsin" this paragraph struck me. " The pall of the old left hangs over social protest in the hostility towards all political organizations other than the Democratic Party. The bourgeoisie gets to have its political organizations but if workers try to form their own revolutionary organizations that would be somehow “totalitarian”. Given the political environment where anti-communism is still the common political denominator. Everything that is the opposite of anything “socialist” is the highest virtue. The ghost of Communism still haunts the bourgeoisie in its overly conspicuous political absence. The use of American flags to show that one isn’t “anti-American”, the talk about a “middle class” instead of talking about a working class, the use of phrases like “the 1%” to describe the capitalist class, reducing the common situation in which workers find themselves to a patronizing folksy neo-reformism. It is ironic that Governor Walker threatened to call out the National Guard if state workers went on strike as the Democratic loyal opposition had already pacified them."

Is communism just a ghost?

red flag
The problem facing communists

The problem facing communists is the same as it has been for most of the post war period which is that the working class has deeply internalised capitalist ideology and beleives that capitalism for all it's flaws is the only system available.  Of course this perspective was faciliatated by the actions of the various leftist organisations.

Does this mean that communism is impossible and that all we can do is to criticise and do nothing.  Of course not after all for capiatlist ideology to have any influence then it has to have some resonance with material reality.  This is where communist agitation comes in and knowing how to intervene in ongoing struggles with a communist programme which has resonance with workers experiences.

Of course we can do nothing and watch the decomposition take place with the develoment of anti social ideas of racism, sexism and all other forms of bigotry.

Fred
red flag wrote:Does this mean

red flag wrote:
Does this mean that communism is impossible and that all we can do is to criticise and do nothing.  Of course not after all for capiatlist ideology to have any influence then it has to have some resonance with material reality.  This is where communist agitation comes in and knowing how to intervene in ongoing struggles with a communist programme which has resonance with workers experiences.

I'm glad you think communism is not impossible red flag, but that doesn't mean it's possible to get, or even that we'll ever even have another go at fighting for it, does it? I wonder what "a communist program which has resonance with workers experiences" would be, at this present time? Given that somebody pointed out on the Luxemburg/economics thread that the class at large doesn't even know what "capitalism" is, and that somebody else was quoted on the History's door thread as saying that the class can just sink into defeat without even knowing what's happening to it, sometimes the situation appears a little bleak.

Can we take any comfort from the idea that the ruling class - at least in the States - is haunted by the communist ghost, daren't mention the working class by name, preferring "middle class", perpetually waves the Stars and Stripes, and refers to itself as the mystical mysterious "1%"? (If this is true of course.) Isn't bourgeois ideology getting a bit threadbare at last?