People calling for absolute and unconditional support for Iran, as "communists", is extremely retarded. I suppose being a dumbass makes it hard to be a marxist, so that's not really surprising.
I checked, Lenin's corpse is actually spinning from all of these out of context quotes of his being used to justify anti communist positions.
And I find it really fucking funny that these American cunts say that you can't talk about other countries but don't see the irony in Americans controlling what is being said about other countries.
This topic of unionized healthcare vs state granted healthcare is interesting for us because it exposes people's real feelings. The opposition to the small example we've given, the bizarre abstractions and projections, is pretty laughable.
One is a demand fought by the working class, in their organizations, against the bourgeoisie, the other is one granted to all classes in society.
So let's get to the facts. The Bernie M4A is being marketed as a cost saving measure for the bourgeoisie. On medicare4all.org, for instance, it says
Astronomical health care costs and lack of access continue to drive individuals, families, and businesses past their breaking point while insurance companies continue to soak-up billions of health care dollars as millions of children’s basic needs go unmet.
And many people whole heatedly believe that the savings to the bourgeoisie will trickle down to the workers. Just a few examples from reddit
M4A should remove healthcare from labor costs and create higher wages and more gainful employment.
If M4A is enacted the money spent by the employer is the same, except instead of health insurance it would go to a different benefit or wages. M4A would make it easier to negotiate better wages
And from this article
Union leaders reacted angrily when Sanders, at a town hall, told its members that their employers would save $12,000 per employee under Medicare for All, and that they’d see that money in their paychecks.
It’s not clear where the $12,000 figure came from, but the Sanders Medicare for All proposal would require employers to return any savings in health care costs back to their employees in wages or other benefits.
And further, Sanders wishes to bring the workers into management
Workers should not feel like cogs in a machine. I want workers to be able to sit on corporate boards so they can have some say over what happens to their lives.
These are all things that will disarm the working class. Where the working class draws its strength is its association. We can complain forever about union leadership and their lack of initiative, their kowtow to the bourgeois norms, but this only highlights the need for a communist party.
What we have to deal with here is the class terrain. The problem is not that healthcare is expensive. Most healthcare in the US probably isn't as expensive as the health care in most European countries which take significant chunks out of your income. The problem is that people are unable to save to pay for health care, which means that wages are not high enough and the only way to get higher wages is to unionize.
Questions of price control is the concern of the petite bourgeoisie.
Secondly, people are abstracting over the fact that those in the Culinary Union voted to support to Bernie, blowing over that they also want to keep their health care.
Thousands of scribblers are mobilised in these days to "celebrate" the centenary and a half of Lenin's birth and to show the "topicality" of his teaching. They are the ones who every day trample upon it and deform it, this teaching, after having transformed the great revolutionary into a "harmless icon".
"Those who recognise only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested..."
"The essence of Marx's theory of the state has been mastered only by those who realize that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from "classless society", from communism. Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism is certainly bound to yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat. "
In the intro to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right Marx writes:
”As philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its spiritual weapon in philosophy.”
”The head of this emancipation is philosophy, its heart the proletariat. Philosophy cannot realize itself without the transcendence of the proletariat, and the proletariat cannot transcend itself without the realization of philosophy.”
Later in The German Ideology Marx writes:
”Where speculation ends – in real life – there real, positive science begins: the representation of the practical activity, of the practical process of development of men. Empty talk about consciousness ceases, and real knowledge has to take its place. When reality is depicted, philosophy as an independent branch of knowledge loses its medium of existence. At the best its place can only be taken by a summing-up of the most general results, abstractions which arise from the observation of the historical development of men.”
Does this mean Marx’s view of philosophy changed overtime? Did the theory of historical-materialism mark some kind of break with “philosophy proper”, its resolution being communism?
Finally is reading philosophy, such as the works of Foucault, Heidegger, and Deleuze, at all relevant to my study of communism or is critically reading them some irrelevant/wasteful hobby?
Dr Marx here, curing the left of cancer. Let's look at one of Eden's most recent posts, a meandering and editorially terrible shit show. This is me not even trying hard. I'm a terrible doctor.
Lately, this person was called one of "the best contemporary Left Communist political leaders" even though this blog post displays zero connections with the communist left. In fact, it looks like more what passes for communization these days.
They start from, of course, a strawman and false premises
Lenin and Kautsky think that the problem is that the working class is limited to “trade-union consciousness” and as a result, cannot obtain “political consciousness”, which it needs to transcend capitalism.
Neither of them think anything because they're dead, and lenin never thought this his whole life with his opinion changing after 1905.
The reason why the working class is the revolutionary agent under capitalism is not only because the working class has its hands over the levers of the economy at the point of production (and also at the point of distribution, which is also very important), but also because (1) the mere self-defense and assertion of working class “greedy”, “trade-union”, “selfish” material-economic interests under a system of capital accumulation (for higher wages and less working hours, and struggling outside of both the trade unions and petitioning the capitalist state for higher wage laws), which is class interest positively posed, as well as (2) the anti-political and nihilist expression of the working class’s class hatred (workers rioting, looting, destroying or sabotaging private property; workers injuring or killing capitalists, politicians, police officers, military, and academics), which is just another form of material class interest albeit negatively and destructively posed, taken to their logical conclusions, (3) will inevitably bring the working class in direct conflict with the bourgeoisie and capitalist relations of production, by literally destroying capital or blockading the relative and absolute extraction of surplus value, sabotaging the ability of capital to valorize itself. fuck sake
The problems here are just mounting. We can tell because later on they repeat the exact same points.
Eventually the workers’ pursuit of their collective self-interest and class hatred comes into violent contradiction with the entire system of private property and alienated wage-labor. Economic crisis is a symptom of this conflict with the bourgeoisie and bourgeois relations; it is a sign that the bourgeoisie is beginning to place economic pressure on the working class in retaliation for its attacks on class society, and that bourgeois relations are beginning to creak and weaken from proletarian attack.
Economic crisis here is presented as a "symptom" of workers striking for wages. This really isn't true. But I'll get to the point later. Also, lol what the fuck is "alienated wage-labor"?
this part is him describing what will happen in a revolution
The counter-revolutionaries in the Academy and the political arena tell the working class to do this or that, or believe in this idea or that. The police and military pick up their guns and get tied up in all the various working class struggles taking place. The working class continues to follow its self-interest against its clear class enemies and thus engages in street fights against the police and military, and conducts the fullest suppression of the Academy and its ideas. The workers push farther and farther economically and the global economy begins to shut down more and more. The police and military are drained and saturated; as a result of the severe economic crisis, they no longer have the resources to fight the militant working class. Property rights lose all meaning, money loses its value, nothing can be valorized, nothing can be produced, production chains melt down, and capital flows cease.
communization in 2017
Finally, the spell of the capital-form completely breaks.
Spells and "capital-form"! The illusion is shattered at last!
Some but not all of the capitalists leave their workplaces, running off to various places in the world away from the angry and greedy militant working class. Various politicians and bureaucrats have long lost any sort of political power and now are declassed and toothless strata. The police and military, who have nothing left to defend, also bail out and either join the workers or drop out of society. At this point, consistent defense of their material self-interest leads the working class to seize collective control over the levers of production, so that they can get food, water, shelter, and other essential use-values. The working class will have to coordinate among different workplaces as well, because it is unlikely that one workplace will have the ability to produce all essential use-values. The communization process sparks up spontaneously in some regions, sometimes as a means of survival and sometimes as a spontaneous rejection of the forms of capitalist society. Communization implies collective planning and the rejection of barter; it also implies the weakening and gradual dissolution of social identities predefined by class society. Workers from various workplaces and regions link up in larger and larger collectives of workplaces, communization of one region leads to communization of another, the counter-revolution of the working class’s class enemies dwindles down to nothing, and the world approaches global communization.
Notice the distinct lack of communist party. Doesn't sound very left communist, does it? Sounds a lot more like a shitty communization parody.
the last couple of sections are totally bizarre it's like he's arguing for a weird automatic type of revolution
I want to note at this point that the purpose of Marx’s Capital was not merely to trace the development of the capital-form out of the value-form to show why abolition of the value-form is a prerequisite for abolition of capital, nor just to describe the laws of motion of capital, but also to show that due to the exploitation of the working class by capital, workers’ material interests are antagonistic with the interests of capitalists as well as with the capitalist mode of production. In short, one of its purposes was to show that due to capital’s existential necessity of extracting surplus value from the proletariat, if workers push their material interests far enough, along with capital in its tendency towards crisis being unable to accommodate these demands, then the capitalist mode of production will grind to a halt due to an inability to accumulate capital from this blockade of surplus value extraction.
This is david harvey levels of stupid. He's saying that workers should demand higher wages, not to demand the abolition of wage-labour. Although I'm sure he doesn't know this and would argue otherwise, being stupid and all.
The selfish, greedy, low, base interests of the working class will undermine capitalism, not principles of morality, justice, equality, or freedom
or lead to lynching and holocausts. Brexit therefore is totally a working class demand based around the workers greedy desire to have jobs that poles are taking. Has this person never watched the news, seen any interviews with people on the street, never had a job (of course they haven't, they're one of those in the "academy" that they claim to hate) or have anyone on their facebook who also doesn't write shit blog posts?
They argue for a bizarre type of revolution where the workers just come to revolution unconsciously, by actions they perform leading to capitalist crisis (which isn't a theory of crisis in Marxism). Instead of arguing for the adoption of such communist slogans as the abolition of the wages-system, Eden would have you having the slogan "fight for higher wages so as to prevent surplus value extraction", there by supporting trade unions and reformist parties. The logic here is all over the place, the whole post is all over the place.
This charge of them supporting an "unconscious", spontanous and mechanical revolution isn't the first time it's been levied at them. Look here on Critique of the Consciousness-Raising Model of Revolution (Supplemental Reading to Monsieur Dupont’s “Nihilist Communism”) where they say
[NOTE]: If you think this piece is advocating “doing nothing” or “historical determinism”, you need to finish reading the entire thing. Also, if you want to get an idea of what I believe are the tasks for communists today and in the future, take a look at both How Can We Move Forward? and Why Is Working Class Self-Activity the Transformative-Revolutionary Agent under Capitalism? (And Related Questions).
Presumably they wrote this amendment after they got their ass handed to them in this previous thread
It's pretty obvious with all of the little quotes ("revolutions are made by classes, not ideology", the constant repeating of "the real movement") is that they get all of their ideas almost exclusively from other users on reddit, then they mash them all up and vomit them out in long blog posts in a garbled fashion.
You can tell that this person has had zero practical activity. Can you imagine this turgid writing style, with it's constant back tracking, logical inconsistencies, redundant paragraphs and phrases in a pamphlet? I can't even imagine it for a crap paper. Who this is blog is directed at I have no idea. It's certainly not anyone who is a stereotypical worker nor is it anyone who knows anything about Marx or history. Feels a lot more like they're trying to argue against imaginary tendencies from reddit!
An invariably social-democratic party that has no communist demands. If they are actually communists then they sure try to mask their language. From their "about" page.
There's no word of revolution here, or class action.
We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.
Giving the impression that they are a party of the average person, against Big BuisnessTM which is something that I believe even Donald Trump is running under. This is further reinforced by the tag "Fighting for the 99%". This is typical of Trots around the word who just find popular slogans and then try to appropriate them.
As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.
This is just plain nationalisation and state-capitalism which is used to protect capital. See Engels " But of late, since Bismarck went in for State-ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious Socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkyism, that without more ado declares all State-ownership, even of the Bismarkian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the State of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of Socialism", and this state nationalisation is in opposition to actual revolutionary class activity of "nationalisation from below".
We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about. We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.
Implying that the problem with those places is that they weren't democratic, which again, stems from Trotsky and his ideas of degenerated and deformed workers' states.
Furthering emphasising their social-democratic outlook is the list of demands they provide.
Create living-wage union jobs for all the unemployed through a massive public works program to develop mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
Which isn't much more than New Deal type politics in order to stimulate the capitalist economy.
Free, high quality healthcare for all. Replace the failed for-profit insurance companies with a publicly funded single-payer system as a step towards fully socialized medicine.
A good thing but again, this is a fairly common social-democratic thing and is in fact an actuality in many European states, and others around the world, already. I don't think that there's any consideration of the fact that these welfare programs came from the conservative parties in opposition to socialists who had none of their own.
No budget cuts to education & social services! Full funding for all community needs. The federal government should bail out states to prevent cuts and layoffs. A massive increase in taxes on the rich and big business, not working people.
Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour, adjusted annually for cost of living increases and regional differences, as a step towards a living wage for all.
A minimum guaranteed weekly income of $600/week for the unemployed, disabled, stay-at-home parents, the elderly, and others unable to work.
Also not a specifically socialist demand and is also an actuality in places.
Stop home foreclosures and evictions. For public ownership and democratic control of the major banks.
A nationalised bank is still a bank.
No more layoffs! Take bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership and retool them for socially necessary green production.
More implications that they are a social-democratic party that has no visions of society outside of capitalist production. Green capitalism is still capitalism.
Free, high quality public education for all from pre-school through college. Full funding for schools to dramatically lower teacher-student ratios. Stop the focus on high stakes testing and the drive to privatize public education.
Free education is already an actuality and a plain social-democratic demand. More appeals to nationalisation as a solution to capitalist crisis, as if it was private capitals that caused it.
Repeal all anti-union laws like Taft-Hartley. For democratic unions run by the rank-and-file to fight for better pay, working conditions, and social services. Full-time union officials should be regularly elected and receive the average wage of those they represent.
Corbyn calls for the same repeal of anti-unions laws (and in order to get around that the need to keep workers pacified, there's also a proposed co-operative and democratic management involving workers). A democratic trade union is still a trade union and would still serve the same purpose of being a go-between between labour and capital. Also not sure how they propose to break up existing trade unions but what ever.
For a guaranteed living wage pension.
Shorten the workweek with no loss in pay and benefits – share out the work with the unemployed and create new jobs.
Just create new jobs out of nothing, comrades.
Money for Jobs and Education, Not War
These demands are just like every other liberal demands on war.
Proposed capitalist solutions to the environment.
Equal Rights for All
Repetition of demands couched in terms of civil, social and economic equality under a capitalist frame work.
Break with the Two Parties of Big Business
More things said by every want to be left wing of capital group.
Capitalism produces poverty, inequality, environmental destruction and war. We need an international struggle against this system.
Sure, but it's not going to come about with people who support protectionist economic politics and nationalisation such as
Repeal NAFTA, CAFTA and other “free trade” agreements which mean job losses and a race to the bottom for workers and the environment.
Which is pretty much suggesting a step backwards instead of a push for a revolutionary change, or even for a discussion on such a topic (cause all they really want is "socialism").
Solidarity with the struggles of workers and the oppressed internationally – An injury to one is an injury to all.
Solidarity be with you
Take into public ownership the top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy and run them under the democratic management of elected representatives of the workers and the broader public. Compensation to be paid on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.
Repetition of the same nationalisation plans, also support for the "small investors". Probably stemming from the petit-bourgeois nature of state-capitalists and Trotskyist groups.
And right at the very end
A democratic socialist plan for the economy based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people and the environment. For a socialist United States and a socialist world.
So a fairer capitalism that goes under the banner of "socialism", where much of the demands are already accomplished facts in many other countries.
I have been looking at Lebanon and one thing that stands out is a relatively high level of worker struggle prior to the civil war, and a lower level after (and basically nothing during). The major mobilisations prior to the war were of industrial workers (for wage increases, equal pay, maternity leave, reduced hours, etc) whereas the only mobilisations of size afterwards were of the middle class -- teachers, professionals, public servants, etc.
The authors I have read so far link this to the destruction of the manufacturing sector and the failure to rebuild it. The post-war economy was built on speculation, foreign aid and remittances from overseas. It is not particularly productive and smaller firms dominate. This ILO report [.pdf] notes that only 5% of workers belong to enterprises with over one hundred employees.
Is this a trend that has been identified in other examples, or something mostly unique to Lebanon in the time period in which the war + recovery occurred? Are there other case studies or secondary literature at hand that help us to identify what this means for the constitution of a militant proletariat?
Thank you in advance for any help.
Several claims and positions associated with Bordiga are misleading, some border on myth. Anyone with greater textual knowledge able to challenge what this Trotskyist is presenting as given. As for the overall topic of the thread, the relevant Auschwitz essay is undoubtably controversial, but with all its problems it feel more that its being used as an emblem for a piece of sectarianism posing as analysis.
I was reading up on the Laval affair in Sweden and was interested if people here had anything to comment on the issue of labour unions in Europe having to compromise their real, physical influence and all it entails because of EU and this court decision in particular.
The Swedish unions quickly began a blockade of Laval sites and eventually the case found its way to the European Court of Justice. The ECJ found in favor of Laval in 2008; while the right for unions to take collective action is important, the court said, the right to free movement of services takes priority.
It seems to me that issues of this kind are creating a genuine rupture between the Social Democratic parties with their commitment to "European Integration" and the mainstream labour movement, despite the latter's deep entanglement with Social Democracy: Here are the main Swedish labour union's (LO) commentary on the issue. In particular:
The judgement is a setback for all wage-earners in Europe. We share this opinion with every trade union organisation in Europe, even the union organisations of the new member states.
and another, in particular the opinion piece by Thorwaldsson at the end:
If EU regulations facilitate, or in the worst case force, competition with wages and working conditions, the EU has no future. --
The basic simple fact is that social acceptance of free movement requires regulated labour markets and equal treatment of workers. Otherwise, people will turn against free movement --
If the part bolded my me is true, there would be an immense unity in European labour organizations on this issue, despite the general differences between wage levels etc. in the EU. It is also obviously true that the EU couldn't possibly continue its existence as it is without the support of Social Democratic parties, which in turn could not exist without the support of mainstream labour movement.
Why then the timidity to employ this potentially immense influence? Why evoke the boogeyman of popular nationalism instead of making the threat to EU explicit and class-based? Why let yourself be strangled by the cloak of legalism in the first place, when it didn't bother the labour movement in the past? Obviously there is also lot of other liberal and social-democratic baggage in the LO pieces.
What's up with that?
I am working through the version found here.
My concern is actually the first sections of this document, and I really have just not been able to figure out what is meant by
(2) Communism (α) still political in nature – democratic or despotic; (β) with the abolition of the state, yet still incomplete, and being still affected by private property, i.e., by the estrangement of man. In both forms communism already is aware of being reintegration or return of man to himself, the transcendence of human self-estrangement; but since it has not yet grasped the positive essence of private property, and just as little the human nature of need, it remains captive to it and infected by it. It has, indeed, grasped its concept, but not its essence.
My understanding is that crude communism and this type of communism in (2) are historical forms that communist theory takes before the proletariat is sufficiently developed as a class such that scientific communism, which I believe is what (3) is referring to, can come on the scene. I think that's correct with the references to Proudhon, Fourier, and Saint-Simon and the endnote in (1) referring to older crude communism?
But the other two sections make sense to me, and I just can't seem to wrap my head around what is meant here. I would guess it's referring to Fourier or Saint Simon (neither of who I know much about at all) thinking a particular form of labor is the problem, but when I read it that way it's not clicking. Like, they understand it as the end of self-estrangement but mistakenly place the source of estrangement in a particular form of labor, type of private property, rather than private property itself? Or am I just completely misunderstanding the manuscript to begin with?
This probably falls under the 'basic questions' rule but I have kept coming back to this on my own without getting it.
Thank you for any help you can offer in understanding this bit.
What does it mean when marxists (particularly leftcoms) say Marx was opposed to "economics"? I understand Marx was against capitalism and things like the market, but surely leftcoms believe in some kind of economy (by which I mean a system of production and distribution of goods and services)? What are some leftcom ideas of how a society should be organized?
I know some other leftist ideas such as parecon, however, I know that a lot of leftcom marxists don't subscribe to it because its utopian. I've also heard similar criticisms of Paul Cockshott (on top of the fact that he is a Tankie).
Also it seems like every Marxist (more broadly speaking, not just leftcoms) have their own interpretation of how a society's system of production should be organized, sometimes being completely different from that of other Marxists. How can we create a "socialist movement" with so much division? It's hard enough to win the hearts and minds of people on relativley simple issues, let alone the radical restructuring of society.
Is this an impossible task?
From what I've read it seems like it is saying that capitalism is in an period of decline. Is that right or is there more to it? What are the implications of the theory and why do so many on the communist left seem to dismiss it?
ICP Climate change protests leaflet. Print and circulate: