Capitalism has no future: that’s why we need a revolution

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Fred
Capitalism has no future: that’s why we need a revolution
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Capitalism has no future: that’s why we need a revolution. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Fred
An excellent leaflet this:

An excellent leaflet this: amazingly clear, short and to the point. Will you be giving it out at the TUC congress? If so, take your vitamins for fortification before you do.

jk1921
I agree with the critique of

I agree with the critique of "growth," but there it is right up front--the overproduction and FROP theories stated one after the other as explanations for why growth is ultimately destructive. Is this a form of centrism? Or an acknowledgement that whatever the debate-the reality of the crisis is there for all to see? This then would seem to cast the ongoing debate about crisis theory in a rather academic light.

I still don't think we have a particularly good grasp on the nature of debt. The threat of "runaway inflation" is cited all the time by anyone opposing stimulus; yet, it hasn't happened. The major threat to the economy remains a deflationary cycle; regardles of how much money they print. I actually heard one economist call for setting an inflation benchmark of 10 percent--to make people spend their savings. Certianly, there is something we aren't grasping. Or something we are missing in the short/medium term in order to make a longer term point. Maybe it doesn't really matter......

Fred
"Capitalist growth means more

"Capitalist growth means more machines, less labour. But because living labour alone produces extra value, accumulation inevitably results in declining rates of profit."

"Capitalist growth means production outstripping the market, which is limited by the meagre buying power of the vast majority of us. Accumulation leads to overproduction and depression.".

This is so clearly put that even a beginner can get it, apart from the final sentence. If this is what jk calls "centrism" then let's have more. Elsewhere, the debate on crisis theory seems to have disappeared up it's own bum. This is what happens if you go round in circles.

jk1921
Bum?

Fred wrote:
"Capitalist growth means more machines, less labour. But because living labour alone produces extra value, accumulation inevitably results in declining rates of profit." "Capitalist growth means production outstripping the market, which is limited by the meagre buying power of the vast majority of us. Accumulation leads to overproduction and depression.". This is so clearly put that even a beginner can get it, apart from the final sentence. If this is what jk calls "centrism" then let's have more. Elsewhere, the debate on crisis theory seems to have disappeared up it's own bum. This is what happens if you go round in circles.

 

Fred, I think I might agree with you about the crisis theory thread disappearing up its own bum, but I think that is what struck me about how it was handled in this article. Is the way it is dealt with here telling us what some of us might have suspected all along--the debate might be interesting but is far from essential--or is it coping out by sticking both theories together (without seemingly making a synthesis) and declining to take a position? Interesting though that FROP goes first in this article (or is that reading too much into it?).

Alf
centrist?

https://en.internationalism.org/ir/139/decadence

 

This 2009 article - 'The mortal contradictions of bourgeois society' - examines 'FROP and 'overproduction' as this system's two 'ravens of doom' . It aims to show the connections between the two problems (as demogorgon does, from his standpoint, in a recent post on the Luxemburg thread). I don't think that's centrist. 

Demogorgon
Indeed, the ICC recognised

Indeed, the ICC recognised the importance of the ROP from its inception (even if at times it has been obscured). From memory, the submissions to the International Conferences tried to show how the exhaustion of extra capitalist markets actualised the FROP and made it permanent.

Naturally, one may agree or disagree, but the mere mention of the idea of the FROP in a leaflet (which is hardly meant to be an entry into the debate on crisis theory!) from a Marxist organisation shouldn't really be a surprise.

petey
inflation

jk1921 wrote:

The threat of "runaway inflation" is cited all the time by anyone opposing stimulus; yet, it hasn't happened.

this trope has been around for ages. i remember investment gurus saying "buy this, sell that" becuase "inflation is coming back!" this was a solid 20 years ago.

KT
Inflation?

 

On the ‘centrism’: agree with Alf and Demo: the ICC has usually cited both tendencies (Frop and external markets) and their inter-relationships, with different emphases at different times from different authors.

Question for the thread is perhaps this: is a leaflet – usually a fairly agitational form of intervention – for a day of demos the appropriate place to delve in a little detail into the economic crisis? And right up top and in yer face?

I think so. I think it is aimed at a minority of workers who might want to go beyond the slogans and false critiques on the marches for something qualitatively deeper. It’s not as if there was a big possibility of extension at this moment, or something concrete for the marches to achieve. This was a terrain prepared by the left in opposition. And it's good to see the question of revolution raised.

Finally, inflation. Probably for another thread. So I’ll try to be brief. But it’s not just some factions of the bourgeoisie which hold up this spectre (in order to argue against ‘stimulation’). Revolutionaries – the ICC included – have insisted that it has been (evidently), but more importantly, remains, a real issue in decadence. For me, ‘stagflation’ is still the perspective. The idea that, despite certain falls in production and/or trade, the incredible flood of freshly printed cash (QE) these last four years (in addition to all other factors) will have no impact on inflation is not feasible.

Depends how you look at it: inflation does not appear, in the most ‘important’ countries, to be a major concern. The bourgeoisie was determined to bring this phenomenon – so instructive and destructive in the 1980s – under control and appears to have succeeded. But the question remains: given all the ruling class’s efforts, given recession, why is inflation still around at all? And what is the perspective?

Sure the 60% rise in Iran in this month alone, or the runaway inflation of Zimbabwe, can be put down to exceptional circumstances (including sanctions). But the 23.85% of Argentina? Or the more modest yet still significant 5% registered for South Africa? And what about the BRICs? Brazil: 5.28%; Russia 6.6%; India: 212% annual rise in RPI (yes that’s 212%) China: 3.4% (despite the state’s attempt to slam on the brakes these past two years)...

In the US, current figures like 2% (it was a record high of 23.7% in June of 1920 and a record low of -15.8% in June of 1921 – just to show how quickly and wildly things can change) or the April 2012 Eurozone average of 2.6% may seem innocuous. For the working class, whose benefits or wages are stagnant or falling, it represents a serious erosion of its living conditions. And we know the figures are fiddled to minimise their social impact. In GB (and the US and China?) food and energy prices are currently soaring. 20,000 elderly people die in GB each winter, my newspaper tells me, because of ‘energy poverty’

The above figures (http://www.tradingeconomics.com) don’t show a dynamic. Don’t ‘prove’ anything. I merely aim to show that for the bourgeoisie, in recession, inflation is still an insoluble problem which, I assert, is due to get worse, and for the working class, it shows, like bank failures, that our ‘masters’ control nothing much at all. 

Alf
So, the demo turned out to be

So, the demo turned out to be a big one. That at least shows that there is real discontent. But I’ll come back to that question later. For the moment I am just going to describe it from my own experience.

At 10.30 am I arrived at the park next to the Imperial(ist) War Museum.  I wandered over to the Solidarity Federation group who seemed to make up most of the Radical Workers Bloc and had a short conversation with the Solfed comrade who posts on libcom as Can’t Do Cartwheels, who I sometimes talk to about local class struggle developments in the area of London where we both live. I listened in to members of Solfed answering questions by what I took to be interested newcomers, for example about how long has the group been around, is it new? The answer was that it’s been around for a fair while – before that there was a group called Direct Action Movement. And the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation before that, I thought, but lacked the confidence to chime in with this, lest people brand me a clever dick. A small group, looking very young and not Solfed, turned up in ninja blacks and masked up when the march began. 

In the middle of the park Labour and green types were already holding a mini-rally with speakers and everything. There was a rumour that Harriet Harman her very self was speaking. Most of us milled around this meeting but justifiably no one felt that this was a good moment for a confrontation with the Left of Capital.

I met up with Slothjabber and a couple of comrades from the CWO, and joked about the Left Communist Bloc. Slothjabber had come down to London to assist both organisations and hand our their literature: our leaflet and the CWO’s A3 printed hand-out Aurora.  We spent some time distributing our stuff, then the CWO comrades parted from us to go to another point in the demonstration.

Can’t Do had told me about the plan to go to Oxford Circus and demonstrate against workfare. I expressed interest but I couldn’t go along to it given the scarcity of ICC members available to distribute our leaflet.

Slothjabber and I joined up with the Radical Workers’ Bloc as the feeder march set off, but we were not sure how to engage with it. We did however have a brief conversation with a group of Polish anarcho-syndicalists working in the UK, who produce their own paper for Polish workers. 

It’s been a while since I had seen Slothjabber in person and we spent most of the time on that first part of the march in an intense discussion that continued on and off throughout the day, one that corresponds to one of his main preoccupations: how do we work towards the unity of the communist left and the development of a form of organisation which can encompass all the various groups and currents that are revolutionary and internationalist - and of course ‘stray dogs’ (his expression, borrowed from an Italian phrase used by Battaglia comrades) like himself. The need for discussion and joint work between the ICC and the ICT is an issue that he is particularly concerned about.

One other conversation when we joined up with the main march stands out in memory:  with two friendly comrades from Solfed,  who took the leaflet. One of them began to read it and fixed straight away on the question of ‘growth’ being the problem not the solution, saying that this is what she had been getting at on a previous occasion. Unfortunately there was no time to develop this discussion as the march was about to move off.  

Slothjabber and I decided it was time for a lunch break. We got the train at Temple and emerged at Victoria. We availed ourselves of a Pret a Manger. Slothjabber bought the coffees and we sat outside where we could eat homemade sandwiches.

When we got to Hyde Park the march had already started to arrive, and it then became very obvious that it was big. It took a long time for the demonstrators to file through the gates, and many of them had come from outside London. Many groups of public sector workers, often in union bibs and T-shirts(1). Green contingents, some in green hard hats, some in funny outfits. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair bearing a sign: “Take me to the Hague”. Samba bands, brass bands, Punjabi-style bands, one man DJ’s with sound systems on bikes, members of the Socialist Workers Party and other leftists demanding the TUC call a general strike and lots of people declaring that they were proud to be plebs. There were union stewards in bright day glo overalls telling the people handing out leaflets not to get in the way of the marchers and telling the marchers to carry on to the union rally.  On the way home, one of the ICC comrades I met up with at Hyde Park recounted that she had seen this: someone had made a hand-made sign saying “Solidarity with the Marikana miners” and was trying to attach it to the gate. The steward told them to take it down or the police would be called.

Apart from a leaflet which said on one side in very big letters “Let’s face it, capitalism must go”, from the Maoist CPB(ML), the majority of the literature handed to people as they came through the gate was

from proletarian groups: ourselves, the CWO, and the SPGB (despite their ‘parliamentary road’ to socialism being anything but a proletarian position). As usual many people refused to take leaflets for the usual reason: they are inundated with stuff on the day. Many politely used the phrase “I’ve got that one” – although in this case, it was occasionally true. However, generally speaking it was not so difficult to give out the leaflet because a lot of people seemed to be looking for literature and were making small collections of leaflets and papers.  Slothjabber also remarked later on that he found that people were more willing to discuss at this demo than on previous ones.

Probably only a minority of the people who take your leaflet will actually read it during or after the demo, so what with all the refusals it could be argued that leafleting such demos is a complete waste of time and paper. I certainly don’t think that giving out leaflets or selling papers is the only activity that revolutionaries can aim to get involved in during demonstrations, but given our very limited resources on the day there wasn’t much chance of doing anything else. Slothjabber had brought a megaphone and had our numbers been greater and our planning better, and above all had we had we been able to organise together with other internationalists, we might have tried to call an ‘alternative’ meeting. That’s something for another day. But to get back to the leafleting: on balance I think it was worth doing. Against all the ideological clamour promoted by the unions and the left, all the claptrap about taxing the rich and making the bankers pay, and defending the nationalised sector,  some people at least would have been able to read and reflect on a critique of the false programmes of Labour and the TUC from a communist  perspective. Very modest. But not nothing.  

Later on I heard that the crowd at the rally had booed Miliband when he said that there would have to be some cuts, and cheered Bob Crow of the RMT and Mark Serwotka of the PCSU when they said we need a general strike. As I said at the beginning the numbers who turned up  - a TUC spokesperson said “it was better than  had we had expected given our half-hearted preparations” (I made up the last bit, but it’s still true) – and this apparent enthusiasm for further action indicates that within the working  class there is real dissatisfaction with and even indignation about state austerity. But a demo like this also shows the continued ability of the unions to organise large scale actions whose function is to allow workers to blow off steam, and to reinforce the unions’ organisational and ideological domination, their monopoly on the class struggle. This demo, unlike previous ones in the last couple of years, was not connected to a real movement but seems to have been called more in anticipation of future movements, a pre-emptive action which will probably have the effect of increasing the current feeling of disarray that seems to prevail in the working class and which is preventing discontent turning into overt resistance.   

(1) Aurora made this comment on this new fashion: “The TUC’s recent policy of having workers’ ‘march’ in their union bibs and colours to emphasise their sectional loyalty is worthy of the old Stalinist parades in eastern Europe or China”(‘Unions and the Labour Movement, the enemy within’)

 

Links: Radical Workers’ Bloc: http://www.libcom.org/forums/announcements/oct-20-future-without-work-radical-workers-bloc-south-london-feeder-tuc-mar

Anti-workfare action: http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=north-london%2Foctober-20-the-view-from-oxford-circus. There is also this assessment: http://www.libcom.org/blog/what-october-20-tells-us-about-state-movement-21102012

ICC leaflet: (https://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201210/5227/capitalism-has-no-future-s-why-we-need-revolution

Aurora: http://www.leftcom.org/en/publications/aurora-en

 

 

 

slothjabber
More willing to discuss?

I'm going to backtrack slightly on something Alf is quoting me as saying; that people were more willing to discuss politics, the meaning of the march (or lack of it), and what the alternatives could be. I'm still unsure as to whether this is the case, partly because my recollections of 18 months ago are not as clear as my recollections of 3 days ago; and partly because they were very different marches. There were probably around twice as many people on the March 28th 2011 demo as on the October 20th 2012 demo. But those that didn't 'turn out' to the latest demo may have included those that were less likely to discuss political questions anyway. So it may not be that the actual numbers of 'politicised' (for want of a better word) people there was greater, but the proportion of people prepared to go beyond the theory of the A-B march, and at least discuss alternatives, may have been greater, and thus, it was easier to find them and to have those conversations.

 

I certainly came away from the demo more impressed by the level of willingness to discuss alternatives to the TUC strategy, than I had expected. It seemed that the level of control that the union bureacracy was able to impose wasn't as great as they perhaps wanted - even if at the moment that didn't manifest itself in any concretely oppositional way, such as the march chosing its own goals or spontaneous assemblies emerging (at the risk of being accused of 'assebly feshism', if any Solfed comrades are reading).

Red Hughs
There is passage in Capital

There is passage in Capital where Marx says that all crises are realized as crises of overproduction.

So I think that falling rate of profit "supporters" would have to endorse the claim that now that crisis has arrived, it is manifest as an excess of productive capacity regardless of the exact process that gave birth to it.

Overall, I'd agree that the pamphlet is quite nice - capitalism has nothing for the working class, nothing

[Insert picture of the Nihilists from the Big Lebowski!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred
A lovely account above Alf.

A lovely account above Alf. This bit is nice.

Alf wrote:
It’s been a while since I had seen Slothjabber in person and we spent most of the time on that first part of the march in an intense discussion that continued on and off throughout the day, one that corresponds to one of his main preoccupations: how do we work towards the unity of the communist left and the development of a form of organisation which can encompass all the various groups and currents that are revolutionary and internationalist - and of course ‘stray dogs’ (his expression, borrowed from an Italian phrase used by Battaglia comrades) like himself. The need for discussion and joint work between the ICC and the ICT is an issue that he is particularly concerned about.
.

I must say slothjabber sounds an excellent and sensible comrade with his concern for the unity of the communist left and for an organization which
is more welcoming and all-embracing of like minded militants and stray
dogs. But did he have to pay for the coffee?

Alf wrote:
Slothjabber had brought a megaphone and had our numbers been greater and our planning better, and above all had we had we been able to organise together with other internationalists, we might have tried to call an ‘alternative’ meeting. That’s something for another day.

Oh! What a marvelous opportunity missed, and through inferior planning.That's surprising, isn't it? Anyway, next time.

And if the march was more in the category of "pre-emptive action" on the side of our rulers, well at least it shows that they fear the power of the working class, even if that power is still latent, and even though the class itself is unaware of it. So, can we take some encouragement from that? Perhaps we can.

may
TUC police

While I was handing out the leaflet at the entrance to Hyde Park at the end of the demonstration a man came to stick up his home made banner in solidarity with the Marikana workers on the gate. One of the march stewards (this was an area with quite a few of them busy telling marchers where to walk and leafleters where to stand) told him this was not allowed, and when he took no notice immediately went off to call the police. "He won't do that, will he?" asked the man. Minutes later back came the steward with 2 police - and the gate was duly protected from any expression of international solidarity.

radicalchains
These protest guards

These protest guards (stewards) are they union members, full time union officials or, political party volunteers?

Alf
protest guards

Can be some or all of these. In general, members of leftist organisations play a huge role in keeping the wheels of the union machinery turning

may
TUC march stewards

The unions look for volunteers among their members. They get training/briefing from chief stewards who I presume must be more senior full time officials.

Fred
The ICT has a beautifully

The ICT has a beautifully simple article on its site at left com.org at the moment called "Capitalist crisis: causes and consequences" in which it looks at the two sides of crisis theory - the falling rate of profit and the saturated markets- and manages to kind of reconcile them, as two sides of the same coin almost, in a non-argumentative fashion. Most commendable. It can do this because, finally, the ICT is emphasizing the social side of the terminal crisis as the great issue.

ICT wrote:
So let us consider another aspect of the capitalist crisis which does not emphasise the primacy of tendential or actual declining profit rates or the ever mounting difficulty of selling the product of productive forces that expand ‘like gas’. Let us emphasise the class struggle. In the final analysis, this is the determining factor which decides capitalism’s fate. Whether or not capitalism will succeed in dragging us through a long period of mounting social barbarism in a futile attempt to overcome its innate contradictions which produce incremental crisis, environmental devastation, wars, ultimately generalised imperialist war, entirely depends on the capacity of the working class to understand the real nature of the capitalist process sufficiently to put an end to the class antagonism which is capitalism’s essential feature.
Alf
ICT article

Yes, i agree it's a very good article, clearly written and sets out the two basic approaches to the crisis without claiming either one is not marxist or revolutionary. Perhaps even more important is the fact that the ICT see this crisis as terminal. 

Demogorgon
Hi Sam I think the question

Hi Sam

I think the question is what are you entrusting us with?

If your question is "can we trust the ICC once it's in power?" the answer is actually no. Fortunately, we have no ambitions to "take power" - we want the working class as a whole to seize power.

The sorts of questions that you raise can only be discussed within the world working class as a whole and decisions taken by the class as a whole.

I hope I've understood your questions and that my response makes sense. Feel free to let me know if I've got the wrong end of the stick!

 

Fred
sam wrote: We must protect

sam wrote:
We must protect the rights of all human kind; of subsequent generations; of other species and of planet earth itself. It is hard enough to trust ourselves to honour these responsibilities: we certainly cannot trust politicians or unions.

Sam is so right in saying this, and I totally agree. The question is: can we honor these responsibilities he names within the capitalist system? I think it is becoming very apparent generally that the answer is no. Capitalism's only interest is in the growth of profit. It isn't interested in growing enough food to feed us all; it isn't interested in any properly worked out population control that could benefit us all in the future; it isn't even interested in trying to do something about global warming, or about saving the planet and it's creatures, and doesn't even talk about tbe issue anymore in even the admittedly phony way in which it used to. Because capitalism is bankrupt. It is preventing humanity and the planet's ecological systems from being treated with respect, because it is a merely exploitative system concerned only with the accumulation of profits. And as sam has pointed out, in perpetuating this deadly system, the unions and the various political democracies and electoral charades our rulers confront us with, continue to play their poisonous roles.

The only way out of this appalling destruction and misery is to get rid of the economic system, CAPITALISM, on which it all rests. We don't have to wait for individuals all over the planet to decide to have one child only, or to give up travelling by train, or eating at Macdonald's - for most of the planet's inhabitants any travel is extremely limited financially anyway, as is food, and unprotected sex is about the only pleasure available that appears to be free of charge. And, in any case, all these individual decisions will never adequately take place on a sufficiently large scale to make any difference to the system that is causing all the shortages.

No. What we have to realize, as workers united against our common enemy, is that capitalism - the source of all our misery - has outstayed it's sell-by date and needs to be urgently replaced, before it reaches a point of destruction beyond redemption. In this, the ICC and other small but growing communist groupings through out the globe, already play their part. This they do by relentlessly criticizing the wars, austerities, ecological disasters, and continual failure to have any consideration for the future of humanity and our planet, which are the products of bourgeois rule. On the other side of the coin they point out the struggles of the working class and others, against the vicious cruelties and demands of capitalism, and how, through solidarity and a belief in the possibility of a much better, indeed wonderful, future for the whole of humanity, through communism, humanity can at last escape the awful restrictions of wage slavery, and a world of shortages, and achieve true freedom of being.

Demogorgon
"In that case nothing will

"In that case nothing will change. It's got to start with me (and you) understanding, and accepting responsibility for, the consequences of our choices. Choices such as having more than 1 child; travelling by plane rather than train; eating meat rather than a plant based diet; buying Coke a Cola, MacDonalds and Primark clothes etc. It's the working class who shop at Tesco and drink in Weatherspoons."

I'm not entirely sure what it is you want the working class to do, Sam. You imply the choices people make are "free" choices. And while some of them could be regarded as such (McDonalds for example, personally I prefer Burger King), most people shop at Tesco and Primark because it's cheap (although not that cheap these days as my latest Tescos till receipt will show) and they can't afford the time or money not to.

You don't mention all the thousands of people who work in McDonalds, Primark, Tescos, etc. or who produce their products most often in terrible conditions of exploitation. What do you want them to do?

Demogorgon
Sam, the issues I think

Sam, the issues I think you're raising are also being discussed in part on the ecology thread and you might want to have a look and comment there if you haven't already.

In the meantime, the difficulty I have with the way you're presenting this is that it seems to reduce things to individual choice. This seems to replicate capitalist ideology that we're all consumers with "choices" about how and what we consume. This often extends even to the idea that workers are "consumers" of jobs and that some jobs are somehow more ethical than others.

It ignores the fact that workers are net producers, not consumers, by simple virtue of being exploited by the ruling class. The illusion about individual choice is rooted in the idea that workers are "free" to sell their labour on a level playing field. In fact, the system is kept in place by physical and psychological force - the latter is consciously designed to prevent us seeing our role as producers and fighting on that basis.

Capitalism cannot be overwhelmed by consumer choice. In fact, the ruling class have aggressively pushed the whole ideology of ethical consumption (fair trade nonsense, etc.). They recognise their power in embedded in the commodity system and by turning even ethics into a commodity they neutralise any possible danger of it being a threat to the class system. The real threat to the ruling class comes from the capacity of the working class to recognise itself as a producing (and exploited) class with distinct and contradictory interests to the ruling class.

Fred
Mass consciousness always

Mass consciousness always starts with the individual, says sam, but is that correct? An individual may feel that everything starts inside his or her head, but is not this to mistake a conscious response to events as being a personal invention rather than as an understanding stemming from a certain point of view, which is probably class-based? In which case, mass consciousness - perhaps better understood as class consciouness - becomes the source of the individual response rather than the other way round. Having acknowledged this we are then free to see ourselves as members of the revolutionary working class. And what better thing to be? And as Sam says, this is what the bourgeoisie most fears; the infection and spread of class consciousness; this, and the contagion of revolt.

But regarding the horrendous consequences of consuming a burger and coke, which consequences for me would take place in the belly, I don't actually understand what point is being made. But I'm sorry that sam has decided to take his leave and hope he comes back soon.

jk1921
Whenever I hear the phrase

Whenever I hear the phrase "personal repsonsibility," it always makes me nervous that a judgement is about to rendered. But I think what Sam's post raises is the question of "collective action." How is collective action possible other than through the original initiative of individuals? If we are all waiting for someone else to do something so we can reap the benefits (also known as "free riding'), we will probably be waiting a long time. So, what are the conditions under which individual workers can feel as if they can take inititative and engage in struggle? Do they need to feel safe in doing so or do they need to be reduced to the point where they have nothing left to lose? How do we get to the point where one's individual interests coincides with the need for collective action?

Fred
I thought one of the great

I thought one of the great insights of Marxism was that being determined thought, not the other way round. I wanted somehow to relate this to what sam was saying, and now also to jk. But I can't! What is the relationship between the individual consciousness, and it's on-going development, and the consciousness of the class as this may best be seen as the consciousness of the rev.org? jk poses a number of questions around this theme, and I wondered whether anyone has any fairly simple explanations available, or can shed the light of clarity on this issue?

On another, possibly related matter, klas batalo has a very provocative article about COMMUNISATION on the lib com site, in which they appear to challenge traditional Marxist views about the state in the period of transition; and what "transition" might actually consist in; and in what sense do you require "power" to dispose of power (the proletarian dictatorship?) and other interesting ideas - but Ive only read it once as yet. Their overall idea appears to be that communism will be and/or is so different from capitalism that you can't so much plan it, as something gradually brought to a realization, through the planned dismantling of capitalism, but that you have to seize the immediate opportunity in the revolutionary moment, and start so to speak by DOING communism straightway - get rid of money, get rid of commodity relations, get rid of the old ideas about what is valuable/ useful and develop new ideas about what exactly humanity's needs might really be: don't assume that what the bourgeoisie valued, has taught us all to value, is necessarily "correct" and invariable.

I trust I haven't misrepresented their ideas too much. And I'm sure that such "modernism", if that's the label under which it could be criticized, can be interpreted as a throwback to the 'sixties. At any rate I found it to be a thoughtful and stimulating piece. And I did wonder if it was these sort of ideas that sam was possibly referencing in questioning matters of "choice" and "taking personal responsibility for the consequences of choice"; or jk's point about how do individual interests coincide with the need for collective action.

What we really need now is some mass action from the class so that proletariam ideas can achieve some material realization.

Fred
The klas batalo article

The klas batalo article referred to above is here:

http://libcom.org/blog/terrain-encounter-social-anarchism-communisation-...