Against the ideas of passive contemplation

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meerov21
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Oct 28 2020 14:18
Against the ideas of passive contemplation

Understanding the importance of self-organization of the working class should not interfere with activity.

There is no political force that can replace the self-organized activity of the working class. The social revolution can only be the work of the masses of workers themselves. There are no examples in history of other non-class and non-self-organized social revolutions. All the social revolutions of the 20th century, from the revolt in Russia in 1905 to the revolts in Tehran in 1979 and in Iraq in 1991, are inextricably linked to self-organized class movement and to the system of workers ' councils destroying the power of the state, oligarchs and other forces of capitalist society.

The authoritarian delusion about the party taking power (in its Leninist, Stalinist, Trotskyist or Bordigist versions) should be rejected, since this idea has never led to the formation of a classless society, but on the contrary, led to the strengthening of forces hostile to communization.

But at the same time, it must be admitted that one thing connected with the ideas of Cajo Brendel, Henri Simon, and some of their followers caused great damage to Council Communism (CC). This is the idea of passive contemplation, the rejection of decisive intervention by small groups of СС-supporters in the class and political struggle.

The socio-revolutionary party cannot play the role of a force that takes power. This would be the power of a minority, which would establish control over the economic system of society and nothing more than a form of state ownership and state exploitation of workers. All the political and economic power should belong to the general assemblies of workers, their associations, and the elected councils of delegates, which are under the strict control of the regular assemblies and can be substituted at any time.

So far, no one has been able to build a communist society, but there is a difference between the workers ' councils on the one hand, and Leninist politics on the other. The first one implemented the communization process (in some cases). The second one destroyed it.

However, the role of the social revolutionary party is to serve as a field for discussion and class politics (as Anton Pannekoek said) and to put forward various initiatives, defending them with words and deeds, thereby giving an example of positive action to everyone else.

The revolutionary party is not a centralized bureaucratic clique. It is an association of revolutionary groups formed (crystallized) in the course of mass struggles in factories and proletarian districts.

A group of 10 people, including 5 intellectuals, 3 factory workers and 2 students, is not a revolutionary party and of course its role is more modest.

However, there is no argument against this group actively and widely spreading its ideas. I mean, first of all, propaganda of self-organization, workers ' councils, criticism of trade unions and statist parties. I also refer to the internationalist critique of the imperialist wars that we are entering today.

The claim that the members of such a small group do not work in the same factory, and therefore should not spread their ideas, is completely untenable. This is nothing more than an excuse for their own passivity and acceptance of bourgeois reality.

The dissemination of ideas is not authoritarian or bourgeois in itself. The spread of ideas is what has kept humanity alive since the invention of fire, the bow and arrow, or the wheel.

It was Gilles Dauvé who pointed out that the whole passive contemplation idea is an overreaction to the Leninist model of the party taking power, which ends up being just as delusional and unlikely to lead to communism as the very thing it is reacting against.

There is no point for striking workers to repeat mistakes over and over again or inventing something that has long been discovered by previous generations of participants in the class struggle. Workers ' councils are not the invention of a group of intellectuals, but the product of the self-organization of millions of workers. International resistance to war by desertion, fraternization or strikes in the rear is also a product of the struggle of generations of workers, including those dressed in military uniforms. If you refuse to communicate this knowledge to others, you become an accomplice of imperialist wars. The refusal to spread healing knowledge is unacceptable. This is exactly the same as refusing to distribute medicine during an epidemic.