A great article, that seems the more so, were it possible, since everything else here is boring and economistic

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Iron Column
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Dec 6 2009 04:18
A great article, that seems the more so, were it possible, since everything else here is boring and economistic

This is perhaps the most important text available at the moment, from the country the closest to the final revolution. It should not be allowed to be drowned in the torrent of either mediocrity or outmodedness of the vast majority of articles in the libcom library.

http://libcom.org/library/just-spoonful-sugar-helps-medicine-go-down

It also marks, in step with the events in Greece, the practical surpassing of the ancient economic ideology so prevalent on this website, with its entire parade of Kapital reading groups and waiting for a general strike, which is a shoddy mask for a general impotence.

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Khawaga
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Dec 6 2009 04:57

Yes, of course, because every country in the world is just like Greece.

RedHughs
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Dec 6 2009 05:15

Well, Perhaps the capital reading groups should hold an actual parade, might be fun ...

Hungry56
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Dec 6 2009 05:40

That article is completely unreadable and full of pretentious jargon. Maybe we should set up a reading group to help us work through it?

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JoeMaguire
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Dec 6 2009 10:32

The title for the thread is almost unreadable.

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madashell
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Dec 6 2009 10:45
Iron Column wrote:
Kapital reading groups

Actually, I don't think anybody on here has attempted to read Capital in German with no pronouns. That'd probably be a bit difficult.

Also that article is shit.

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Steven.
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Dec 6 2009 11:45
RedHughs wrote:
Well, Perhaps the capital reading groups should hold an actual parade, might be fun ...

this is one my friends in New York's capital reading group. I think he enjoys it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfc1xGKO2gE

Hungry56
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Dec 6 2009 12:01

It's funny I'm actually starting to set up a Capital reading group at the moment smile The facebook group has 30 people.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 6 2009 12:37
Steven. wrote:
this is one my friends in New York's capital reading group. I think he enjoys it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfc1xGKO2gE

Is that a carving knife in a block of wood stuck in the big guy's trousers (or is he just overexcited)?

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Steven.
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Dec 6 2009 12:40

I believe it is a knife stuck in a copy of capital.

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jura
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Dec 6 2009 14:43
Steven. wrote:
this is one my friends in New York's capital reading group. I think he enjoys it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfc1xGKO2gE

Damn, our reading group here in Slovakia is much more dull. I guess it must have something to do with the generally low level of class struggle here. smile

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smg
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Dec 6 2009 15:03

If that is the most important text out there were fuckered. There is no use in cloaking our ideas or lack of ideas in such unreadable pseudo-grad school jargon. Is the point of writing to communicate or to wallow in self-importance and political impotence?

Boris Badenov
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Dec 6 2009 15:10
smg wrote:
If that is the most important text out there were fuckered. There is no use in cloaking our ideas or lack of ideas in such unreadable pseudo-grad school jargon. Is the point of writing to communicate or to wallow in self-importance and political impotence?

Such typical mockery from a stuffy economistic dullard. But make no mistake; to those who deride the singular ecstasy in a burning dumpster or a barricaded hallway, we propose nothing less than to destroy their homogenous passivity, without looking back.
What's needed is not humanism, and even far less normalization, but a putting-into-practice of immanent zones of indistinction which need no justification, a rejection in all forms of the being of fossilization of our desires. Confronted with those who neglect to recognize themselves in our festivals of destruction, we offer neither dialogue nor criticism but only our scorn. In the realization of desiring-bodies, we reject those who would have us give up the inoperative joy of indifference for the misery of mobilization. We must negate all totality—without illusions. The homogenous impotentiality proposed to us is like a bad joke, and instead of laughter we respond with zones of indistinction which need no justification.

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Django
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Dec 6 2009 15:24

laugh out loud

Yorkie Bar
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Dec 6 2009 16:01

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Devrim
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Dec 7 2009 17:05
Iron Column wrote:
This is perhaps the most important text available at the moment, from the country the closest to the final revolution.

I don't think that Greece is particularly close to a revolution. When you actually look at the events of last December, the working class, as a class not as individuals, was conspicuous by its absence.

There was only one strike in support of demonstrators, that of the teachers. There was another nation wide strike, but that had already been organised before the events started. Basically the working class didn't really come out and support the demonstrations.

Devrim

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Dec 7 2009 17:13
Devrim wrote:
There was only one strike in support of demonstrators, that of the teachers. There was another nation wide strike, but that had already been organised before the events started. Basically the working class didn't really come out and support the demonstrations.

As ridiculous as it is to say that Greece, despite recent events, is in any sense close to the 'final revolution', is it your view that strikes are the only significant expression of class conflict under capitalism? I would tend to disagree; I think that class conflict can be and often is expressed outside the workplace.

~J.

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Dec 8 2009 12:33
BigLittleJ wrote:
Devrim wrote:
As ridiculous as it is to say that Greece, despite recent events, is in any sense close to the 'final revolution', is it your view that strikes are the only significant expression of class conflict under capitalism? I would tend to disagree; I think that class conflict can be and often is expressed outside the workplace.

I think that there can be class conflict expressed outside of the workplace. I also think that it often occurs when there is widespread struggle in the workplace, and people are feeling more confident. I think it is indicative of the general level of struggle.

Devrim

Yorkie Bar
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Dec 8 2009 13:36

I agree, but I think in this case what's happening is that Unions are working very hard to distance their members from the struggles happening in the streets. I don't think that the marches, occupations, hunger strikes and so on are devoid of class content. They clearly pit workers against the state in a direct way.

~J.

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Devrim
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Dec 9 2009 11:15
BigLittleJ wrote:
I agree, but I think in this case what's happening is that Unions are working very hard to distance their members from the struggles happening in the streets.

That's what unions end up doing.

BigLittleJ wrote:
I don't think that the marches, occupations, hunger strikes and so on are devoid of class content. They clearly pit workers against the state in a direct way.

I didn't say that these things were 'devoid of class conflict'. I also believe that workers are involved in them. The point is that they take part in them as individuals and are not asserting themselves as workers collectively. I think that this is important in analysing the situation in Greece.

Devrim

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Dec 9 2009 17:10
Iron Column wrote:
It should not be allowed to be drowned in the torrent of either mediocrity or outmodedness of the vast majority of articles in the libcom library.

If it wasn't for historical resources like the libcom library people would find it much harder to find about a lot of valuable stuff - like the Iron Column, for instance (I mean the real IC, btw, not the arrogant libcom forum poster). How long does it take for articles to become outmoded, do they all have built-in obsolescence? How long will it take this Greek text to be yesterday's news for those with a consumer mentality who only chase the latest ideological novelties?

But whatever one thinks of the style of writing (which may be partly down to the translator - and it's silly to judge every text by, eg, the values of propaganda leaflets, especially in a more politicised society where discussions of social questions are more common), the article does try to describe and analyse the state's strategy of containment. To dismiss it purely on the basis of style is as shallow as verbosity for its own sake. But it's true, Iron Column's arrogance is enough to get anyone's back up.

BLJ; for sure the working class doesn't only manifest and struggle in the workplace; if working class youth are getting hassled on the street they may respond to the cops, if working class tenants are suffering from landlords they struggle etc. On the other hand 'youth' or 'student' is not a category of class anymore than toddler, schoolkid or employee is. But, as we know, in certain unstable situations such as Hungary 56, May 68, student revolts can trigger workers' movements when the 'boldness of youth' is an initial expression of a more general dissatisfaction. But if it remains at the level of street fighting and doesn't develop further it tends to eventually become a ritualised piece of theatre easily contained. As Devrim said, the Greek unions will probably act according to their nature and - as unions did in Paris, May 68 - try to keep a separation between the workplace and what's happening on the street. And the article is trying to analyse how the state is attempting to impose categories of separation within the movement; "An essential part of this tactic is the injunction of a segment of the insurgents to separate itself or to bring the rest back to reason, based on some moral code approved by the state...".

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Schwarz
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Dec 9 2009 19:10
Quote:
this is one my friends in New York's capital reading group. I think he enjoys it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfc1xGKO2gE

It was tough choreographing, "...the contradictions that private labor is bound to manifest itself as directly social labor, that a particularized concrete kind of labor goes to pass for abstract human labor; the contradiction between the personification of objects and the representation of persons by things; all these antitheses and contradictions assert themselves and develop their modes of motion, in the antithetical phase of the metamorphosis of a commodity."

Samotnaf
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Dec 9 2009 21:13

Ret:

Quote:
the article does try to describe and analyse the state's strategy of containment. To dismiss it purely on the basis of style is as shallow as verbosity for its own sake. But it's true, Iron Column's arrogance is enough to get anyone's back up.

I found the article, jargonistic and (almost certainly) badly translated as it is, more interesting than the jokey posts in response to it. Arrogance is not just a matter of style: contemptuously dismissing something with an attitude of superiority doesn't always take an overtly pretentious form like Iron Column's.

One of the problems with the article is partly down to the fact that it doesn't give enough examples so that those not living the movement in Greece can assess the validity (or otherwise) of the theoretical reflections. But,even if it sometimes does it badly, it does try to say something fresh and pertinent (particularly concerning the strategy of reformism and reforms, which many Greek revolutionaries were dismissing as impossible less than a year ago).

Devrim:

Quote:
workers are involved in them. The point is that they take part in them as individuals and are not asserting themselves as workers collectively.

This was probably written before taxikipali's news item about the street cleaners and garbage collectors who have renewed their strike for another 48 hours, which I suspect is something that is influenced in part by the movement in the streets/high schools/universities/prisons etc. Also, in October, the confrontation with the State (at the Ministry of Labour) by dockworkers and shipyard workers, less than a fortnight after the Socialists came to power is surely part of the general atmosphere ( besides, this often expressed 'individual' worker versus 'collective' worker criticism is just a false dichotomy, a typical product of the political mentality: when you confront the forces of the enemy you assert yourself both individually and as part of a community of struggle - and not essentially as a 'worker' either.) Sure, this is a long way from breaking down the separations needed to bring Greece closer to a revolution. But the financial crisis hitting Greece ( almost certainly brought about, in part, by the EU's reaction to the social movement) - whilst not determinant - will probably provoke some very hard choices amongst the Greek working class which could either see Greece travelling fast along this long way to revolution or see a terrible retreat as has happened elsewhere.

Skips
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Dec 10 2009 15:28

not the best article ive seen but ok netherless.