Plan C website launched - check it out

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Plan C London
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Oct 17 2012 09:06
Plan C website launched - check it out

Our new website is now live: http://www.weareplanc.org/ expect more content in the next week including how you can get involved. We have groups in London, Leeds, Manchester and Leicester.

Plan C is about moving from symbolic action to actions with concrete effects on our lives. We want to reclaim collective wealth and to create and expand our collective power. From health care, education, food, water, energy, information and knowledge, the distribution of all these necessary aspects of living need to be determined democratically by the people who produce and use them.

Plan C is about daring to imagine a world not controlled by capital and then taking a leap into the unknown to put plans into action.

More about Plan C: http://www.weareplanc.org/about/

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ocelot
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Oct 17 2012 13:00

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klas batalo
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Oct 17 2012 14:10

nice looking site! grin

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Full Communism / Design & Built by Plan C / 2012
NannerNannerNan...
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Oct 17 2012 14:11

Shoulda just called it 'Plan FULL C.' Only, like, 12 people would know anything of it really

Spikymike
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Oct 19 2017 09:53

There is some interesting stuff from time to time on the Plan C website and they continue with their promotion of various cross cutting discussions though not always with any helpful conclusions.

I have added some of my own comments on recent Manchester Plan C meetings to the library item here:
http://libcom.org/library/capitalist-realism-renewed

and there are some other observations on the locked 'Plan C' thread and ' The Free Association' thread on this site (which has some stuff of interest mixed in with it here: https://libcom.org/forums/theory/free-association-05052011) for those interested as well as links to discussions about the group 'Collective Action' and the 'LCI'

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Oct 9 2017 16:33

What's this all about?
Plan Corbyn?

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Obviously voting Labour won’t change the wage/labour relation. Workers will remain workers. Nevertheless a combative class movement is forming in its immediate shadow . Standing ‘outside’ of the movements influenced by Corbyn’s ascension to the top of the LP really doesn’t cut the mustard.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/initial-thoughts-re-the-world-transformed-the-labour-party-and-the-libertarian-left/

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Steven.
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Oct 9 2017 17:35
rat wrote:
What's this all about?
Plan Corbyn?

that's a good one…

This is also a bit ridiculous:

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9) The role of alternative media platforms, such as Novara, have proven their worth in establishing these links and orientating the content/sensibilities of this ‘broad church’ movement… As a comrade said to me in passing ‘Lenin once noted that one Bolshevik was worth 50 Mensheviks, perhaps we could now state with some certainty that one connected/media savvy autonomist is worth 500 Bolsheviks.’

how on earth are they trying to claim Novara is "autonomist"? Unfortunately whatever promise it showed in its early days has disappeared into a rather tedious cheerleading of the austerity-enforcing Labour Party (not to mention the individual antics of its leading figure, supporting those who attacked sexual violence survivors and snitch jacketing those who defended her)

Spikymike
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Oct 9 2017 18:11

Do have a look at my earlier comments in the above link in Post no 5. The Corbynite influenced Labour Party has benefited electorally by taking on board some of the Green Party's agenda and flirting with support for workers coops and other 'alternative' forms of private ownership. I suspect it won't only be some in Plan C that gets taken in with all this and they might be useful to the LP as a conduit for others to make that journey.

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Serge Forward
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Oct 9 2017 18:30

The first post in this thread was back in 2012... so much political promise then... pity they had to go and piss it up the proverbial wall by throwing in their lot with the Labour Party abomination.

Plan-Cocked-it-up, I'd say.

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Oct 10 2017 11:48

Plan C as a whole isn't really settled on a position about Corbyn, they did an internal survey which showed up a lot of ambivalence. There's some cheerleaders (I shared a bus there with a couple of students who were merrily saying doorknocking for Labour had been a revelation about connecting with working class people) but also skepticism. They're laying a lot of emphasis on allowing comradely debate though, which I expect will show up as a bit of a schizophrenic selection of essays on their website.

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Oct 10 2017 15:48

Things have got quite bad if it takes joining the Labour Party to muster up the courage to knock on people's doors.

Battlescarred
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Oct 10 2017 17:25

Appalling and perhaps the most appalling is the praise for Novara, now cheerleaders for Corbyn and Momentum:
") The role of alternative media platforms, such as Novara, have proven their worth in establishing these links and orientating the content/sensibilities of this ‘broad church’ movement. They’re a scaffold around which the party is being re-made and the movements are being orientated- to paraphrase comrade Lenin. While left celebrity culture comes with its own risks and personal costs, its not without merit in the contemporary moment. We need more platforms like this. As a comrade said to me in passing ‘Lenin once noted that one Bolshevik was worth 50 Mensheviks, perhaps we could now state with some certainty that one connected/media savvy autonomist is worth 500 Bolsheviks.’"

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Oct 11 2017 06:00

It half seems that the functionaries in Momentum and their press secretaries at Novara Media (with Plan C trailing along) are now enthusiastically attempting to hi-jack, subvert and channel any new autonomous working class actions into a bureaucratic dead-end, that of the capitalist Labour Party. A brilliant exercise in recuperation and demobilisation.
Is this what they mean by the Corbyn project?

Spikymike
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Oct 11 2017 09:38

The problem with Plan C in this regard can be found in the point 2 of this text which indicates their apparent collective attempt to influence both Momentum and the Labour Party with their ideas in competition with numerous other left-wing political groups. Their ideas however are just a mixed (if in current dire circumstances attractive) bag of aspirations towards a modern version of Social Democracy suited to the changed environment of the digital age, post-crash world economy. In this respect they represent one of the more far-sighted 'leaders' on the unofficial fringe of the current wave of experimentation in new ideas emerging from academia and the media that enables the more pragmatic capitalist politicians to filter out what might be of use to them.

Spikymike
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Oct 16 2017 11:10

Here is a considered comment questioning some aspects of this latest approach from some in Plan C (a bit more open minded perhaps than mine):
https://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/on-the-libertarian-left-the-labour-party-and-your-mate-who-got-to-go-on-newsnight-once/
It briefly mentions the past experience of Big Flame and the 'Beyond the Fragments' book and meetings which to my mind is relevant in terms of the failure of those previous 'libertarian socialist' efforts in the claimed 'autonomous' mould. Could maybe also throw in the more recently demised 'The Commune' network as a similar illustration.
This thread should also be linked to Mike Harmon's blog on Paul Mason.

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Oct 18 2017 09:16
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"Burn Neoliberalism, Not People” was the militant slogan of the far far left when the Grenfell tragedy occurred…except it was also the tweet of a Labour MP

Jesus. When you're mistaking an MP's dog whistle for a victorious entry of your politics into actual potential policymaking that's some rabbit hole shit right there.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/dreams-memes-labour-and-us/

Spikymike
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Oct 18 2017 10:16

Well Rob things in Plan C are worse than I thought - there is is some serious self-delusion at work here not so dissimilar to that I have witnessed amongst some of the small Trotskyist groups who equally claim to 'punch above their weight' within the historically fluctuating fortunes of the wider Labour Left.

Mike Harman
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Oct 19 2017 14:06
Steven. wrote:
how on earth are they trying to claim Novara is "autonomist"

Well, if you look at Mason's post-capitalism and Bastani's Fully Automated Luxury Communism, it borrows massively from Virno and others who came out of the Autonomist movement.

A very short version of this:

- obsession with the 'machine fragment' in the Grundrisse, general intellect etc.
- abandonment of alienation as a central theme in Marx "Labor and non-labor develop an identical form of productivity, based on the exercise of generic human faculties: language, memory, sociability, ethical and aesthetic inclinations, the capacity for abstraction and learning. From the point of view of “what” is done and “how” it is done, there is no substantial difference between employment and unemployment. It could be said that: unemployment is non-remunerated labor and labor, in turn, is remunerated unemployment."
- this is based on a total reliance on periodicisation between fordism and post-fordism to claim that human labour is almost entirely absent from production already due to automation.

While not an autonomist as such, can also see influence of Gorz, who also gave up on class struggle for similar reasons to Virno, and at a similar time, focusing on non-reformist reforms via the state. Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara also likes Gorz, it fits well enough with the ideologically Democratic Socialist side of the DSA.

Gorz wants work to be abolished, but has zero faith in the proletariat to do so (because it is either working, or unemployed, and therefore always relying on or looking towards work not away from it), so instead relies on the state to open up the space for it by introducing non-reformist reforms like universal basic income which dissociate consumption and production to resolve the contradictions in automation:

https://toleratedindividuality.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/farewell-to-the-working-class-an-essay-on-post-industrial-socialism.pdf

Might be more accurate to call this post-autonomism but it's not actually wrong.

It's also there in the left-accelerationism of Wliliams and Srnicek:

http://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics/

Quote:
We believe the most important division in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of localism, direct action, and relentless horizontalism, and those that outline what must become called an accelerationist politics at ease with a modernity of abstraction, complexity, globality, and technology. The former remains content with establishing small and temporary spaces of non-capitalist social relations, eschewing the real problems entailed in facing foes which are intrinsically non-local, abstract, and rooted deep in our everyday infrastructure. The failure of such politics has been built-in from the very beginning. By contrast, an accelerationist politics seeks to preserve the gains of late capitalism while going further than its value system, governance structures, and mass pathologies will allow.
Quote:
16. We have three medium term concrete goals. First, we need to build an intellectual infrastructure. Mimicking the Mont Pelerin Society of the neoliberal revolution, this is to be tasked with creating a new ideology, economic and social models, and a vision of the good to replace and surpass the emaciated ideals that rule our world today. This is an infrastructure in the sense of requiring the construction not just of ideas, but institutions and material paths to inculcate, embody and spread them.

17. We need to construct wide-scale media reform. In spite of the seeming democratisation offered by the internet and social media, traditional media outlets remain crucial in the selection and framing of narratives, along with possessing the funds to prosecute investigative journalism. Bringing these bodies as close as possible to popular control is crucial to undoing the current presentation of the state of things.

18. Finally, we need to reconstitute various forms of class power. Such a reconstitution must move beyond the notion that an organically generated global proletariat already exists. Instead it must seek to knit together a disparate array of partial proletarian identities, often embodied in post-Fordist forms of precarious labour.

19. Groups and individuals are already at work on each of these, but each is on their own insufficient. What is required is all three feeding back into one another, with each modifying the contemporary conjunction in such a way that the others become more and more effective. A positive feedback loop of infrastructural, ideological, social and economic transformation, generating a new complex hegemony, a new post-capitalist technosocial platform. History demonstrates it has always been a broad assemblage of tactics and organisations which has brought about systematic change; these lessons must be learned.

20. To achieve each of these goals, on the most practical level we hold that the accelerationist left must think more seriously about the flows of resources and money required to build an effective new political infrastructure. Beyond the ‘people power’ of bodies in the street, we require funding, whether from governments, institutions, think tanks, unions, or individual benefactors. We consider the location and conduction of such funding flows essential to begin reconstructing an ecology of effective accelerationist left organizations.

.

That was written in 2013, but you can see in it the seeds of jumping into the Labour Party to try to gain institutional support for that project and why people would get overexcited about TWT.

Have to say this makes 2002-2005-era fights with primmos feel like a massive waste of time, we're still in a 150-year-old schism between communist and social democratic politics after all.

Mike Harman
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Oct 19 2017 14:31

This review of Bifo covers some of the same issues too: http://libcom.org/blog/review-soul-work-franco-berardi-27062012

Mike Harman
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Oct 19 2017 14:38

Then.. what's seen as this influencing the Labour Party is threads like this from Corbyn:
https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/919159155583221760

Labour is thinking radically about how we can use the power of new technology in the coming decades to make our economy work for us all.

Technology of the digital age should empower us as workers and consumers, allowing us to cooperate in a way that wasn’t possible in the past

Imagine an Uber run co-operatively by their drivers, collectively controlling their futures, with profits shared or re-invested.

Which as SpikeyMike mentions, brings us to my blog from lat week: https://libcom.org/blog/paul-masons-workers-bombers-13102017 about people going off about nationalising BAE and Uber.

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Oct 19 2017 14:55
Quote:
Have to say this makes 2002-2005-era fights with primmos feel like a massive waste of time, we're still in a 150-year-old schism between communist and social democratic politics after all

Getting the primmos out was well worth doing, but yeah social democracy will always find a way to gobble bits of radical discourse that can make it sound plausibly edgy. The thing I find tiresome is that people fall for it every time, sometimes when they really should know better — though I guess for a subsection there's a strong draw in being able to retire from unpopular anarcho-nonsense and engage in the party system. I imagine it must be a relief in some ways.

Mike Harman
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Oct 19 2017 19:22
rob ray wrote:
The thing I find tiresome is that people fall for it every time, sometimes when they really should know better — though I guess for a subsection there's a strong draw in being able to retire from unpopular anarcho-nonsense and engage in the party system. I imagine it must be a relief in some ways.

It's the stuff of academic and journalistic careers, book deals, and speaking tours, so of course it's a relief from organising. It's interesting to me that there's an entire ideological baggage attached to this that posits both working class self-activity and more voluntaristic activism (lumped together into 'folk politics') as completely useless, while left wing think tanks, media, and the local constituency Labour Party are where real politics happens at scale. Not all the machine fragmentists agree with the latter, but it's not a far jump once you've removed class struggle from the equation.

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Oct 19 2017 19:41

Good point about the careerism.
I also get the horrible feeling that some of these characters will be people we have to suffer as our future rulers.

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Oct 19 2017 20:40
Mike Harman wrote:
It's interesting to me that there's an entire ideological baggage attached to this that posits both working class self-activity and more voluntaristic activism (lumped together into 'folk politics') as completely useless, while left wing think tanks, media, and the local constituency Labour Party are where real politics happens at scale.

In a way it is actually worse than this if you take a look at William and Srineck's Inventing the Future. For their inspiration, they take from the Mont Pelerin Society or rather call for a Mont Pelerin of the left to engage in a hegemonic battle of ideas. There are a number of implications for this in terms of where the funding will come from, who will be invited to participate, and so on. It certainly won't be SolFed or AF, but more likely Labour parties and Sanderite social democrats. But this belief in waging a war of hegemony of ideas and becoming as successful as the Mont Pelerin Society was, is just ludicrous; sure a battle for ideas is important, but they seem to forget that it is a bit easier to become hegemonic when what you are selling is "let's enable private corporations to make much more money and let's enrich the already rich" compared to the class struggle.

Mike Harman
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Oct 19 2017 21:14
Quote:
In a way it is actually worse that this if you take a look at William and Srineck's Inventing the Future. For their inspiration, they take from the Mont Pelerin Society or rather call for a Mont Pelerin of the left to engage in a hegemonic battle of ideas. There are a number of implications for this in terms of where the funding will come from, who will be invited to participate, and so on.

And it's not just who gets invited to participate, if we look at the actual discursive practice of most of the people invested in this project, it's based entirely on calling out people to the right of them (Tories, Blairites, centrists, soft-left, liberal journos) and refusing to engage with any meaningful criticism from their left (or just labeling it childish, lacks pragmatism, doesn't work "at scale" and similar and moving on). Which of course makes sense because their aim is literally to replace those people to their right, while positioning themselves politically as the 'radical left' which for the purposes of media representation must not have an ultra-left opposed to it, otherwise it looks a lot less radical and a lot more careerist. Considering what they're excited about at the moment is a 'national investment bank', nationalising everything that moves, workers coops, and either basic income or 'universal basic services' (essentially UBI-in-kind via internet, public transport and means-tested housing) there's really not anything radical in substance at all to sit on, so it's all positioning and name-dropping.

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Oct 19 2017 21:54
Quote:
Considering what they're excited about at the moment is a 'national investment bank', nationalising everything that moves,

So much for accelerationism; I mean those things were what Marx and Engels stated in the Manifesto, which, but for being a beautifully written polemic and call-to-arms was pretty conservative on its practical suggestions (though sstill far more radical than those ideas are today).

Spikymike
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Oct 20 2017 10:41

Referring to Bifo see also Ben Lear's interesting review of Bifo's 'After the Future' elsewhere on this site. Interesting partly because Ben was a founding member of Plan C in Manchester - not sure where he stands on the latest drift in the expanded Plan C network.