On Snails and Frog Legs

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Redacted
On Snails and Frog Legs
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Supposedly, one of the many ways to boil a frog is to place said amphibian gently in a vat of water–not boiling water (at first), but water at a tempature the frog finds suitable.

The chef then raises the temperature very slowly over a long period. The frog eventually dies, but has no idea what's happening. No lid is necessary. The frog does not even try to escape.

After hearing this, I admit it's remained stuck in my head. I haven't been able to stop looking at the boiling water, the pot, the chef and the the frogs as symbols of things and people and groups in our society today. I asked a friend from work what he thought about it. He–and this is word-for-word what he said–he told me, "Yeah, but a small percentage of the population will jump out of the pot."

I started thinking about that. An endless stream of frogs can, in theory, continue to escape from the pot. But does that change anything?

My question for the comrades is...how long is it until we're all frogs on someone's plate? The rate of development of class consciousness compared to the rate of society rotting does not balance. When are we going to not just confront this fact, but decide, and start to act more accordingly?

Does anyone else feel like we need to hit the reset button on the communist left, and return to a more focused direction both in organization and action? We can just keep fracturing away from each other forever, but there is still more that brings us together as left communists than seperates us. We know which mistakes have been fatal in the past. So why are we so afraid of getting our hands dirty? Why do we have to be so right all the time? In such unsure times? Maybe the usefulness of intervention is the act of intervening, not necessarily the act of intervening only with the correct position, and what you as a militant take back from that?

Fred
We can't just keep fracturing away forever

Redacted wrote:
Does anyone else feel like we need to hit the reset button on the communist left, and return to a more focused direction both in organization and action? We can just keep fracturing away from each other forever, but there is still more that brings us together as left communists than seperates us. We know which mistakes have been fatal in the past. So why are we so afraid of getting our hands dirty? Why do we have to be so right all the time? In such unsure times? Maybe the usefulness of intervention is the act of intervening, not necessarily the act of intervening only with the correct position, and what you as a militant take back from that?
 

The sentiments expressed here are similar to those being expressed elsewhere on this forum, but in different ways and with different language, by Mikail, Link, jk, the breakaway Turkish group, radicalchains and others, and I suppose the ICC itself.  Everyone seems to agree there's a crisis that needs to be addressed, though what exactly the crisis might be isn't altogether clear just yet, or its cause.  

But as Redacted points out there's more that holds left communists together than keeps us apart, and "fracturing away" as he puts it is no use to anyone.  So why, you might ask, do comrades do it?  Is it because, as bearers of the limited amount of communist consciousness that is currently available we can't face up to being wrong because in fact we always have to be right? And are we afraid of getting involved too closely with the class and "getting our hands dirty" as he puts it, because we might make a mistake, or be disquietingly challenged, or even rejected?   Or has the apparent apathy of the class just now seized hold on us too and are we giving up in despair?  Has the class given up? Is everybody giving up and fracturing away? 

There are no obvious answers to these questions as yet. But I did  wonder whether comrades on the ICT's side of the barricade had similar doubts and questionings. In fact, I wondered yet again, whether a coming together of the ICT and the ICC might not be the start of a kind of resolution to some of the difficulties of the communist left and even the class itself. 

I know there are differences  that seperate these two remarkable and longlasting communist organizations, the ICT and ICC, and that  there are long-standing theoretical gulfs between some of their insights.. We know which mistakes have been made that were fatal in the past, as Redacted puts it. (Or do we?) But comrades, surely it is time to overcome your organisational pride, if that's what it is (and why shouldn't you be proud of what you have achieved in your long existence? ) and  come together for the sake of the shattered,  lost and despairing working class drowning in misery and needing direction from a confident and unified class organization. 

If ever the time was ripe for a unification of our splintered snd dwindling forces surely it is now as we dither on the brink of utter disaster for humanity, and the possible collapse of the ICC.  For the sake of the class, please can you open up to each other, drop all the introspection and insecurity, and embrace each other in communist solidarity.

As a demonstration of communist unity this could  have a wonderful effect on morale and even on recruitment of new comrades reluctant to get involved in defensive and secretive  organisations. In addition it could be a demonstration to the fractured and disintegrated class that as fellow workers,  and as their revolutionary avant-garde,   we can unify ourselves in solidarity and overcome differences despite all that conspires against us in this bourgeois society, which after all is a dying society in a state of meltdown. 

We have so much more in common than what  keeps us apart and time is running out at the speed of light.

Link
Fred i do wholeheartedly

Fred i do wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments above.  I would say though i dont expect the ICC to collapse and I would not argue for the ICC and ICT to unify as such.  There are differences but the common ground should mean the capacity to discuss, debate and coordinate openly.  That would indeed have a positive effect on morale. 

radicalchains
?

I was looking up sectarianism because I forgot what it really meant as it gets used incorrectly so much and came across this useful quote

 "there can be no mass party, no party of the class, without full clarity of essential shadings, without an open struggle between the various tendencies, without informing the masses as to which leaders are pursuing this or that line. Without this, a party worthy of the name cannot be built, and we are building it."

Demogorgon
Lenin's Quote

For those interested, the quote radicalchains refers to is from Lenin and can be found here.

Fred
building the party

radicalchains wrote:

I was looking up sectarianism because I forgot what it really meant as it gets used incorrectly so much and came across this useful quote

 "there can be no mass party, no party of the class, without full clarity of essential shadings, without an open struggle between the various tendencies, without informing the masses as to which leaders are pursuing this or that line. Without this, a party worthy of the name cannot be built, and we are building it."

 

And Lenin continues

Quote:
 Without this, a party worthy of the name cannot be built, and we are building it. We have succeeded in putting the views of our two currents truthfully, clearly, and distinctly before everyone. Personal bitterness, factional squabbles and strife, scandals, and splits—all these are trivial in comparison with the fact that the experience of two tactics is actually teaching a lesson to the proletarian masses, is actually teaching a lesson to everyone who is capable of taking an intelligent interest in politics. Our quarrels and splits will be forgotten. Our tactical principles, sharpened and tempered, will go down as corner stones in the history of the working-class movement and socialism in Russia. Years will pass, perhaps decades, and the influence of one or the other tendency will be traced in a hundred practical questions of different kinds. Both the working class of Russia and the whole people know whom they are dealing with in the case of Bolshevism or Menshevism.
Link
Report of Meeting in London of CWO and ICC

In one word all i can say is it was all very very disappointing.

In the whole afternoon there was only one expletive-laden flash, that was before the meeting started and it turned out to be little more than a senior moment

Me and my mate Sloth J drained our beer glasses quickly in case we needed to catch the blood and protect the carpet, but nothing, not a drop!  

Us outsiders did our best to stir things up, but all we got was agreement and discussion between them.  They even joined forces to disagree with me at one point!!  Bastards!

Come on guys, you wont draw the big audiences if you insist on engaging in serious political discussion!!!!

I was thinking of suggesting to the MDF that we host another meeting of left communist groups, maybe pick a catchy title like "Clash of the Titans" or "There will be Blood" and hire the Den or the bullring in Barcelona or perhaps even somewhere hotter like an amphitheatre in Turkey or Greece  but with this sort of behaviour we will only get the political nerds and we wont even fill the backroom of the Anchor.

By the end of the afternoon even disagreements over the reaction of the ICC to the GICL were being discussed reasonably.  

At that point i just gave up and led them down to the bar to watch Arsenal vs Reading.  Although you dont get blood, at least with footballers you can rely on some real effort to simulate injury.

 

 

Tagore2
Overproduction of suspicious intellectuals

Hello,

A point that is not raised here is that theoretical conflicts are always the result of underlying economic conflicts, conflicts of interest within the same class or different classes.

Here is my opinion on the subject:

In a relatively distant past, before the First World War, there were quite a few intellectuals. Then the number of intellectuals gradually increased until saturation, then began a fierce competition for positions of responsibility.

I think we should explain some of the events between the wars by this phenomenon:

1) USSR Stalinization began with the persecution of "Trotskyist" intellectuals in favor of "Stalinist" intellectuals. This means in practice that the "Stalinist" intellectuals took the place of "Trotskyist" intellectuals in positions of responsibility, that the "Stalinist" intellectuals had an objective, economic interest in the purges, and that's why they supported Stalin.

2) Similar to Nazi anti-Semitism before the Second World War. Much of the anti-Semitic laws not targeted the Jews in general, but the Jewish intellectuals in particular, revealing economic conflicts between Jews and Nazi in certain occupations. So the Jews were first excluded from the public service, the liberal (doctors, lawyers) and superior (chief editors) professions, then of the University, measures that hit especially intellectuals.

Of course, I do not want to reduce Stalinism and Nazism to an economic conflict of intellectuals. However Stalinism and Nazism showed that the labor oversupply reached this special layer of workers that are the intellectuals, and that this had dramatic consequences.

After the Second World War, this overproduction has relatively declined because we had need a lot of intellectuals. But it has always remained. There is always a huge competition for positions of responsibility, even minors (teacher ...).

All this to say that the overproduction of intellectuals did not spare the communist organizations. To be an executive in a communist organization, he must still be able to distinguish himself from other intellectuals claiming to positions of responsibility. This is why the communist intellectuals distinguish themselves by theoretical trifles, even if they have not mastered them, to maintain control over the ignorant and docile flock.

LBird
Ideas conflict

Tagore2 wrote:

Hello,

A point that is not raised here is that theoretical conflicts are always the result of underlying economic conflicts, conflicts of interest within the same class or different classes.

This is pretty crude 'materialism', Tagore2.

Not every 'theoretical conflict' can be reduced to 'economics' or social 'class'.

The proletariat can have different opinions, internally, about politics, power, organisation, ethics, ideology, beauty, art, science, etc., etc.

In fact, the proletariat must be able to produce conflicting opinions, to be able to argue amongst itself about all issues.

The notion that there is a 'One Truth', a final correct answer to all debates, and that this is a 'material' answer, has come about because of Engels' metaphysics of 'materialism'.

It's nothing whatsoever to do with Marx's ideas, which situated 'theory' in history and society, ie. in changing critical ideas, not in 'matter'.

No offence meant, comrade.

Demogorgon
IIRC, one of the things that

IIRC, one of the things that shocked the Communist Left in Italy in the 20s was the way that party members from working class backgrounds were just as prone, if not more so, to Stalinisation than militants from other social strata.

LBird
Class or ideology?

Demogorgon wrote:

IIRC, one of the things that shocked the Communist Left in Italy in the 20s was the way that party members from working class backgrounds were just as prone, if not more so, to Stalinisation than militants from other social strata.

Whether 'from working class backgrounds' or from 'other social strata', if 'members' or 'militants' have been schooled in 'materialism', they'll end up as 'Stalinists'.

You know my opinion, demo, that there's a trajectory from Engels-2nd International-Lenin-Stalin.

Might be a bit crude and oversimplified, but it serves its warning purpose to workers. Whilst there is someone telling them that they can't vote upon 'Truth' (whether physics or politics), and that there is a 'special' minority who have a consciousness to which they cannot aspire, prior to the 'elite', then workers will remain dominated, whether by scientists or cadre.

Matter doesn't talk to humans, neither workers nor elite-experts. It's a myth.