The working class and the wars of decomposing capitalism

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Hawkeye
The working class and the wars of decomposing capitalism
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: The working class and the wars of decomposing capitalism. The discussion was initiated by Hawkeye.
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Hawkeye
The working class and the wars of decomposing capitalism

Amongst the mass of concepts in the article by Amos of 16.1.16, I offer the following comments, having read the article carefully at least twice, printed it to 7 sides of A4 and given it a lot of thought.  In my page 5 in the paragraph startng 'Another important difference between 1916 and today..'  it is said that today 'revolutionary organisations are a miniscule minoriy virtually unknown to the working class', whereas the article starts with reference to the well-known Liebknecht. Of course the organisations of the communist left would hardly want the sort of personality demogagy used by fascists to bolster working class organisation, nor a Stalin, though maybe a Lenin, but it seems to me that as workers prefer to know who we are dealing with, who in a sense is at the helm, in charge, even if not in command, then it would be as well for the ICC to present names beyond those as mysterious as 'Amos' , 'Car' , 'Baboon, etc. The ICT/ CWO name of Jock is better known to me.

As to rallying workers to nationalist wars, a recent hardback outlines details of the use of drones, so that to some extent capitalist governments don't need to call up so many boots on the ground, because they can 'murder from behind a desk', as per Eichmann.  But although anti - fascism is opposed by the communist left because it is used by the capitalists to protect bourgeois democracy, is that sufficient reason for workers to reject all anti-fascism when face to face with fascists and nazis ? I don't think so. This issue has been debated before, of course, but not to conclusions satisfactory to the mass of workers, and deep doubts about it are a barrier to the communist left gaining ground with us.

As for war becoming an everyday concern for workers, as I live two miles from GCHQ, I await any reports of radiation-proof air-raid shelters being made available to all workers living near likely prime targets !  Rather than living in despair, I imagine that if enough workers get to read the Commiunist Manifesto (skip the preface)  and Lenin's Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism, plus much of the CL articles, then awareness will grow, whether or not in time.

 

Hawkeye
War industries 2016

Judgement at Nuremberg did not excuse Nazis organising mass murder on the basis that their jobs depended on it. Nuclear weapons would turn our planet into a readioactive death camp, shrouded in radioactive dust. Workers should ask themselves what they are doing, and for which class. Why arm imperialism against us all ?  Imperialist wars could be fought with non-nuclear weapons, but firestorms are ghastly. The basic capitalist need of large industries to get large orders for masses of products is especially relevant in the massive US and other arms industries, and big industries generate alleged 'needs' for their products in governments and media. In the UK a large union reckons to defend the jobs of workers in the defence industry. What chance is there of a sufficient number of non-war-needs jobs becoming available under capitalism today ?  Before the holocaust, most people thought that any rumours of it were absurd, and still did so even after it, until the facts became widely known, but of course by then it was too late to stop it. Sleepwalking continues. Perfectionist notions of totally replacing capitalism will take too long to implement to avert war. Posadas talked of a sort of interim development of 'revolutionary nationalist' states, whiich were not communist, but he thought operated to some extent against the main bastions of imperialism. But of course the communist left is against the existence of 'states' anyway. Best wishes. 

lem_
In the spirit of

In the spirit of discussion:

> Perfectionist notions of totally replacing capitalism will take too long to implement to avert war.

What other option is there? Marx famously was quiet on what communism would be like. Does the ICC have a programme for "totally replacing capitalism", or is this an organic outgrowth of mass struggle?

> maybe a Lenin

"Turn the imperialist war into civil war."

What would be needed beside this very intuitive claim? Still think we've got a few decades left tbh.

Hawkeye
War industries 2016

Responding to Lem's good question as to what other option is there, the whole subject of 'options' seems worth considering. Timings and circumstances of them always apply. On a train I happened to see the Unite T-shirt of another passenger, and spoke to him on the question as to whether or not that union should be supporting workers engaged on work which was preparing for possible nuclear war. He asked what other work was available for them, fair question. I said that as well as some alternatives being explored by such as CND, it was insane of capitalism that only that sort of work was being made available for them at  present. We were getting off the train; tthe conversation was not continued. But the options for retired and other workers who do not belong to any party or organisation, but are what might be thought of as ridiculously 'private' marxists, could be drawn into the picture, 'The only answer to the emptiness of freedom is responsibility', runs a line from a book on Sartre.  Looking at a wide range of allegedly marxist websites and publications, which, in many cases, are very critical of other ones, it is easy to dismiss any idea that any one of them has all the best and most applicable ideas on how the working class struggles can best advance. Therefore it seems, at least to me, that there is a good case for supporting all and any which actively seem to be edging forward, against capitalism, for socialism (however defined !!), and then see what does and doesn't happen favourably against capitalism to greater or less extent, and its perpetual drives to wars.  I recommend the 'Homage to Brian McNeil' on the PosadistsToday website, which might serve as an example of a persistent attempt to take responsibility for working class struggle. Marxists 'outside' mass or any employment could also learn from his bravery,  even if taking some other sorts of actions, such as producing and distributing leaflets.

lem_
kinda a rant on individual / small scale agency

Hi Hawkeye. I do really think I get what you're coming from: the imperative to prevent (nuclear) war at all costs. And obviously groups like thw SWP, and parts of the labour party even, would / will be involved with that, so there its more likely to succeed (if organised right) than the communist movement.

It may be me an individualist, but seems like this is to mistake personal etc. agency though. There are a few things to consider on that account: I think you and your closest comrades have IMHO a decision to make:

A. Go all in and support the left, with nothing especial to offer in their fight against (nuclear) war than any SWP member; e.g.

i) are left communists any more able help this particular struggle than any other group?

ii) there aren't many left communists; indeed, the numbers you could convince are even smaller.

iii) no-one is really listening to left communists right now, they have no particular sway over the nature of struggle.

iv) the fractured nature of the left (wing of capital) isn't going to go away because of the threat of nuclear war.

v) and how do left communist groups like the ICC add to that, anyway

B. i) continue to support communist principles

ii) in a milieu which is just so tiny that your influence would be greater

iii) and also more needed

iv) and as all left communists can really hope at this time is greater theoretical clarification, rather than a weight of numbers we have no control over, there is more chance of contributing something of importance.

In summary: I think that while the pull to a collective strength is strong, and there is something to the idea of a domino effect, it makes sense to me to suggest that individuals have vastly more to offer smaller groups, especially if the immediate goal is an organic approach / theory, rather than helping to organise a mass struggle.

Though we also need to consider the relevance of points such as those I listed in B, balanced with the importance of averting nuclear war.

Hawkeye
Reply to Lem

Thank you, Lem. What is IMHO ?

lem_
it just means "in my humble

it just means "in my humble opinion", a common internet saying to qualify what you post as not being authoritative, just another opinion, etc.

Hawkeye
Reply to Lem

Thank you, Lem. Catching up!