The social movements in Brazil, June 2013

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KT
The social movements in Brazil, June 2013
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: The social movements in Brazil, June 2013. The discussion was initiated by KT.
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KT
Went Down to the Crossroads

Briefly to welcome this article, its explanations and analysis. The last three paragraphs, specifically, seem to sum up the difficulties and possiblities of the proletarian movements on the streets in the recent period. While no doubt the product of the ICC's collective discusssion and vision, many thanks in particular to the comrades in Brazil. At a time when, it is said, humanity is at the crossroads with the death and decomposition of Syria and elsewhere a stark demonstration of what could be in store globally, this article about the class' struggles reminds us that it is both necessary and possible to walk this way too.

Fred
I just tried to post on here,

I just tried to post on here, but  was told  there's  a "validation error". Try again.  Did try but no go.  This is one of a few posts I've had blocked recently and I am beginning to wonder whether the site administrator is against me. If you don't want me to post just tell me.  Don't mess about.  I'm fed up! 

jk1921
Serious?

Fred wrote:

I just tried to post on here, but  was told  there's  a "validation error". Try again.  Did try but no go.  This is one of a few posts I've had blocked recently and I am beginning to wonder whether the site administrator is against me. If you don't want me to post just tell me.  Don't mess about.  I'm fed up! 

Are you serious Fred? What's the more likely explanation--the site administrator is censoring you or that there is a technical problem? Of course, it could also be the NSA screwing with the site again.

jk1921
In reading this article, I

In reading this article, I found myself wondering what distinguishes a movement like this (one in which the embryonic forms of councils or whatever are formed) from a riot (like the ones in the Paris suburbs in 2005 or in the UK last year)? Surely, the rioters were pretty indignat about something. So, what are the factors that determine whether indignance leads to a riot (which we always denounce) or some kind of proto-social movement? How thick or thin is the line that seperates them? Are the important factors sociological, conjunctural, etc.?

Fred
The comrades from Brazil make

The comrades from Brazil make this important point. 

 

Quote:
  Without political debate, there is no possibility of taking the struggle forward, since it can only grow in the soil of discussion which is aimed at understanding the roots of the problems you are fighting against, and which cannot evade a critique of the foundations of the capital.

 It was thus no accident that one of the weaknesses of the movement was the absence of street assemblies open to all participants, where you could discuss the problems of society, the actions to carry out, the organisation of the movement, its balance sheet and its objectives. The social networks were an important means of mobilisation, a way of breaking out of isolation. But they can never replace open and living debate in the assemblies.

.   The comrades here are talking about  and comparing "revolutionary democracy" to "bourgeois democracy" .  The latter is easy to characterize.  An issue is formulated by some petty bourgeois bureaucrat from a political party or a union or some electoral body,  or somebody is put up for election as a representative of the rest of us, and we're all invited to vote on it.  We can have show of hands, shout yes or no, or go into some secret curtained booth to put a cross on a ballot paper.  Very hush hush!  This is  the wonderful institution called democracy  - bourgeois style.  Proletarian, or revolutionary democracy, as Trotsky named it, is different. It "can only grow in the soil of discussion," as our Brazilian comrades so excellently  put it.      And the soil of discussion is about "understanding the roots of the problems you are fighting against..." These problems may include, internationally,  questions of austerity, mass unemployment,  the declining quality of education and  health care services  (where these can be said properly to exist!) the increasing lawlessness and war-like behaviour of the decadent bourgeoisie  and so on.   The discussion together of these problems, which face us all these days,  and  the unveiling of the causes of these problems - the lack of money: the failure of capitalism - is democracy in action.  So, instead of voting on whether the cost of a bus fare to school should go up, down or be abolished, and after the vote go home; through face to face discussion and debate, we begin to see the glimmerings of a different way of being and living, a new way of educating ourselves,  and a new and better way of organizing society and social life.  Is this not the beginnings of Trotsky's revolutionary democracy?  It doesn't require us to vote on it.  Nobody can say "now let's have a show of hands about whether we want revolutionary democracy or not" because this democracy is something we do, not something we elect someone else to do for us.   It is the struggle we make together to understand the world.  Because open and living debate, as the comrades call it,  is the antithesis of the alienating stultification of the voting booth,  and the passive submission we are required to accept as part of bourgeois democracy.   Open and living debate presents a way out of the stifling hell of isolation in the crucifying confines of bourgeois society.  And, while the comrades rightly point out the contribution the social networks can make In piercing the isolating walls,  they are surely spot on  in saying they can never replace the revolutionary procedures emanating from face to face interaction in assemblies, meetings, political discussions of all kinds,  human beings talking together - such a rarity now in decadent capitalism - which replaces the democracy of the voting booth.  We also witnessed the start of such democratic proletarian style political procedures in France and Spain some years back.  But these were soon blocked, perverted or otherwise taken over by the much more officially "democratic" yet repressive activities of the DRY people.  For they alone know how things should be!!!