'Lost text' found: Critique of Castoridias by Camatte Translator David Brown.

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eccarius
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Jan 21 2011 00:31
'Lost text' found: Critique of Castoridias by Camatte Translator David Brown.

THE ILLUSIONS OF SOLIDARITY
By David Brown

A ‘Lost Text’ from 1975 rediscovered: David Brown on the ‘Illusions’ of Maurice Brinton and Cornelius Castoriadis

Editorial notes by the Hobgoblin Collective:

Hobgoblin has published (online) for the first time a text, written in 1975 as a letter to the membership of the Solidarity group – also known as ‘Solidarity For Workers Power’. This group was founded in 1960 by Chris Pallis, an eminent neurologist who wrote under the name “Maurice Brinton,” and Ken Weller, a young shop steward working in the motor industry. The group, initially known as Socialism Reaffirmed, published a journal, Agitator, which after six issues was renamed Solidarity. Both Brinton and Weller had previously been members of Gerry Healy’s Socialist Labour League, founded amidst the mass defections from the Communist Party after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. As Richard Abernethy put in an obituary for Chris Pallis in Hobgoblin in 2005,

“Solidarity punctured and deflated some favourite left-wing illusions. It recognised that there was no actually existing socialism, no worker’s states, in the world. Notwithstanding all differences between the Western capitalist bloc, the Eastern bloc ruled by Communist parties, and the Third World, the basic divide between rulers and ruled existed everywhere.”

The Solidarity group, despite never having much more than a hundred members, was influential, not least because Solidarity became the main conduit of the political theories of Cornelius Castoriadis aka Paul Cardan (1922-97), founder of Socialisme ou Barbarie in France.

The resignation statement by Solidarity member, David Brown, was written at a time (1975) when the group was in decline, facing splits and having to deal with the fact that Castoriadis/Cardan had, following the demise of Socialisme ou Barbarie in 1965, moved to the Right. Brown, was influenced by French ex-Bordigist, Jacques Camatte, some of whose writings he translated, by the Russian value-theorist, II Rubin, and by Karl Korsch, author of Marxism and Philosophy. According to Brown, Castoriadis and Solidarity shared with the traditional left a restricted understanding of Marx’s ideas, not recognising the liberatory core of Marx’s Capital, and taking the shortcoming of the traditional left as grounds for breaking with Marx. Brown argues that Castoriadis, Brinton and the Solidarity group misunderstood the cardinal term of the Marx’s critique of political economy – value. Brown writes:

“The attack on the labour theory of value is only a prelude to a more general attack on the materialist conception of history. By reducing the general conception of the mode of production to mean technology and the word ‘determine’ to mean the same as ‘cause’, a simple transformation of marxism into banality follows.”

Castoriadis had argued that,

"The revolutionary movement... must become the place (the only place in contemporary society, outside the factory) where... individuals learn about collective life, run their own affairs and fulfill and develop themselves, working for a common objective in reciprocal recognition."

Brown finds this position to be “entirely false,” and argues (following Jacques Camatte) that “all organisations are despotic” because, basing themselves on “critique of other organisations and individuals” they are “already” the conception of competitive capital.

Two of the editors of The Hobgoblin (Richard Abernethy and George Shaw) are former members of the Solidarity group. As Marxist-Humanists, we do not agree with a lot of the positions David Brown expressed in 1975. If the statement that “all organisations are despotic” means that all attempts to overcome atomization and individual isolation are doomed, then we certainly disagree, believing, as we do, in a philosophically-grounded alternative to capitalism – something Castoriadis, as a “positivist,” never even considered. Nor do we agree that “support for oppressed peoples” was part of the degeneration of Marxism (this in spite of Marx's own statements on Ireland, Poland etc), or saying that people who voted Labour in 1974 "voted for capitalism."

We are publishing this text not only because of its historical interest as a critique of a (dead) organization of the Left, once significant (and still influential “beyond the grave,” through the works of its theoreticians and the legacy of its activists) , but also because of the general theoretic questions it raises have, in the 21st century Left, not been surpassed.

TO READ THE TEXT IN FULL SEE THE LINKS BELOW

http://www.thehobgoblin.co.uk/2011_DAVID_BROWN_ON_CHRIS%20PALLIS_1.htm

http://www.thehobgoblin.co.uk/2011_DAVID_BROWN_ON_CHRIS%20PALLIS_2.htm

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Jan 21 2011 09:35

Thanks for this, we should put this in the library

Spikymike
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Jan 21 2011 14:08

Yes this is a usefull critique which by coincidence I dug out just yesterday going through some old files which covered an interesting period in Solidarity with a number of discussions linked to some different 'marxist' critiques of that group's analysis and activity.

Some of that of course lead on to the creation of 'World Revolution' and later the British section of the ICC, which however one of it's founders now presumably deeply regrets, and indirectly to some other left communist groups - not an entirely progressive development!

I would agree with the M-H authors above on their rejection of the implication they detect in the reference to ''all organisations are despotic'' influenced by Camattes critique (which however is worthy of more attention), but think David Brown is closer to the mark on the issue of 'oppressed peoples'. In this respect the M-H's might be considered part of David Brown's 'degeneration of marxism'?

mciver
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Jan 22 2011 12:20
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Some of that of course lead on to the creation of 'World Revolution' and later the British section of the ICC, which however one of it's founders now presumably deeply regrets, and indirectly to some other left communist groups - not an entirely progressive development!

I would agree with the M-H authors above on their rejection of the implication they detect in the reference to ''all organisations are despotic'' influenced by Camattes critique (which however is worthy of more attention), but think David Brown is closer to the mark on the issue of 'oppressed peoples'. In this respect the M-H's might be considered part of David Brown's 'degeneration of marxism'?

Around 1972 there were various critiques of Cardan-Castoriadis, in London Solidarity, which were collected in the small run brochure To the Silent Majority. If there is a surviving copy anywhere, hopefully it will be added to the Libcom library.

Many of the ideas defended in those texts were 'councilist', under the influence of Paul Mattick or of the FOR (Munis). This opposition became 'Council Communism'. Unfortunately this group was too ignorant and unprepared to assimilate historical experience, so it became the racket 'World Revolution', ending up in the 'night-of-the-living-dead' of Marc Chirik's ICC.

David Brown's later text has much more current relevance. Denial and ridicule are to be expected when somebody like David Brown claimed or claims that 'all organisations are despotic'. Camatte and Collu had already expressed this insight, based on their experience with the Bordiguist PCI. Brown's text refers to a libertarian, 'councilist' group, and his conclusion is similar to Camatte's-Collu's.

If the experience of 'organisations' since the 60s confirms anything, it's this, that all political organisations of leftism and ultra-leftism (aka 'left communism' and 'councilism') become despotic rackets. Most of their assumptions and ideas come from the dead weight of the defunct 'workers' movement' of the 19 and early 20 centuries. One can praise these rackets with names like 'thin red line' or 'pro-revolutionary milieu', but those are meaningless terms, as there is no term of reference from participation in social movements. These cliques, cults and sects have wandered around for more than two generations, competing relentlessly to become the 'real vanguard of the proletariat', or avatars of 'communism'. They have failed in their aims and will dissolve into dust with the passing of time. Their war of all against all has not opened up any new vistas for humanity. 'We'll try harder next time' would be their only consolation. Or, as said above, denial and ridicule in this simple-minded way, with the mocking allusion of insanity:

Quote:
Camatte in the end could not stomach Bordiga's organic centralism which is why he quit to found Invariance which subsequently called all political organisations "rackets" (there is a kind of thread here I think - a sort of descent into even greater madness)

Cleishbotham, Post 9, Dec 22 2010 http://libcom.org/forums/theory/what-hell-invariance-left-communist-theory-20122010

This ICT medic doesn't agree that Camatte's critique is worthy of more attention. Instead, he's busy diagnosing 'greater madnesses'. Or ridiculing the near-extinct genus of Bordiguists (only 12 left on the planet), when he's not apologising for his sister racket, the ICC, composed, like the ICT, of countless battallions.

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Jan 22 2011 17:52

Mciver, I like your posts, so don't think I'm sarcastic when posting the following.

The creator of the original idea usually expresses it best. With regards to the thought that 'all organisations are despotic' what comes to mind of course is the battle between the "Liquidators" and the Bolsheviks. Let's hear the Menshevik criticism of Lenin's faction:

Quote:
1. The Party is divided into those who sit and those who are sat upon.

Note: Groups and individuals who cannot sit nor wish to be sat upon are completely abolished.

2. In general, sitters are to sit. As for those who are sat upon, their main function is to be sat upon.

3. In the interests of centralism, the sitters shall enjoy varying degrees of trust. As for those who are sat upon, they are all equal in their rights.

4. To reward those who have sat, a Council is set up. The latter, though, can also sit independently.

5. This hierarchy is crowned by a Fifth, whose rights of sitting are limited only by the laws of nature.

6. The sitting of the Central Organ is maintained by measures of spiritual reasoning. In any case of resistance by those who have thus been brought to reason, they are handed over to the Central Committee.

7. Then the Central Committee takes action.

8. Those who are sat upon make contributions to the party treasury both for the expense of sitting and likewise for the purpose of propaganda.

9. In the fullness of time all party members, sitters and sat upon, will make a revolution.

Note: From which obligation those who have been sufficiently and completely sat upon are exempt.

And they still say Russians are unable to express their thoughts succinctly. Parlez-moi de ça !

L. Martov
1904

Isn't that much wittier than Camatte? And his analysis, in 1919 (predating Castoriadis' birth), was quite good as well:

Quote:
Little by little, the “power of the soviets” is being replaced with the power of a certain party. Little by little, the party becomes the essential State institution, the framework and axis of the entire system of “soviet republics.”

Unfortunately there are no (internationalist)-Mensheviks today. Well maybe the SPGB.

eccarius
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Jan 22 2011 18:41

Mciver, what is an ICT medic?

Noa, I don't think Martov is wittier than Camatte. Camatte's phenomenology of "political rackets" on the Left is essential reading and applies to Martov's organisational poition as well.
.
To be fair, although Brown, like Camatte, says "I have rejected the theory of the organisation" based on "the critique form of theory and the concept of activity based on a programme,".he adds, "which does not mean the rejection of organisation."

Capitalism, he says "came into being on the destruction of other modes of being, most especially the communism of the peasant communities (e.g. the Russian mir) nomade (e.g. the Amerindians) and, later, modern communism, as much as it existed, in Russia and elsewhere." But capitalism tolerates the groups, why? "Because it shares an illusion with them, that of politics."

Do Brown or Camatte see any concrete escape route from the illusion of politics? Well according to the latest ENDNOTES (Issue 2), Camatte in 1972 (Capital and Community), argues for " communisation" in a way that prefigured - and maybe influenced - Negri's arguments in Marx Beyond Marx (1978). But by 1980 Camatte's call in his later works for a "huge renunciation of capital" is made outside the terms of the class division which capital has to reproduce in order tp reproduce itself. It seems to me that Camattism tends towards some kind of primitivist popular-frontism. The problem here is not organisational form but content of the revolution, which for Camatte, in his later works, is classless.

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Jan 22 2011 19:46
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Noa, I don't think Martov is wittier than Camatte. Camatte's phenomenology of "political rackets" on the Left is essential reading and applies to Martov's organisational poition as well.

Indeed Camatte's "phenomenology" (in reality fourth grade psychologising about the 'fear of freedom' and 'repressive consciousness) applies to everything, even himself; he was well aware that his fanbase might use his "theory" (my quotes) to create their own racket. That said, of course Martov is wittier. He uses the weapon of parody to mock the constitution of the bolsheviks, though using parody is probably enough for nihilists to qualify you as a crypto-bolshie.

Eccarius, do you know which works of Rubin Brown translate?

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Jan 23 2011 01:48
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Eccarius, do you know which works of Rubin Brown translate?

.

I don't know of any translations by Brown of Rubin. I'd be surprised if there were any.

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Jan 23 2011 11:50

misread this embarrassed

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Brown, was influenced by French ex-Bordigist, Jacques Camatte, some of whose writings he translated, by the Russian value-theorist, II Rubin, and by Karl Korsch, author of Marxism and Philosophy.

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Jan 23 2011 13:44

Noa has been here before, offering little substance to his claims;
http://libcom.org/forums/theory/why-are-some-communists-considered-be-left-others-06042010?page=2

mciver
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Jan 23 2011 15:08

Rodman, post 4, Eccarius post 5

Quote:
The creator of the original idea usually expresses it best. With regards to the thought that 'all organisations are despotic' what comes to mind of course is the battle between the "Liquidators" and the Bolsheviks. Let's hear the Menshevik criticism of Lenin's faction:...
Isn't that much wittier than Camatte? And his analysis, in 1919 (predating Castoriadis' birth), was quite good as well:
Quote:
"Little by little, the “power of the soviets” is being replaced with the power of a certain party. Little by little, the party becomes the essential State institution, the framework and axis of the entire system of “soviet republics.”

Does the publication of David Brown's text stimulate only your witticisms? Martov's parody of Lenin's racketeering in 1904 and Camatte's/Collu's 1969 critique, have little, if anything, in common. The polemics in the RSDLP don't come to mind, not 'of course' or otherwise.

If you would have mentioned Machajsky, Robert Michels, Machiavelli or La Boétie, as originators of Camatte's/Collu's critique, maybe that would have been fruitful, though manifestly false. But even they, like Martov, were not precursors of Camatte or of 'original witticisms'. Also, Martov's pertinent 1919 analysis of the Bolshevik's 'labour republic' consolidation isn't dealing with pre-1914 rackets, or with witticisms, but with a much more cataclysmic event -- the symbiotic evolution of a Marxist party into a totalitarian Leviathan, part of a global process that unleashed our period, with its new cycles of accumulation and forms of domination. But you have reduced this to a contest of 'witticisms', an expansion of your one-liners.

Your amalgam of Camatte with Erich Fromm ('fear of freedom'), what you call fourth grade psychologising, is not worth pursuing here. Red Marriott is right, previous threads have dealt with your positivist incursions ad nauseam.

(As an aside, you mention that Castoriadis was born in 1922, in Constantinople, and Martov's text predates his birth by three years. Fine, but what is the meaning of this luminous observation? Let's guess -- was Martov a midwife in his spare time, facilitating baby Cornelius's emergence? But there's no evidence that Martov left Germany in 1922. Please develop this on another thread -- something like 'Treatise on Trivia' or 'Left-Communism for Amanuenses').

Eccarius, you surely know that 'ICT' stands for 'Internationalist Communist Tendency', the re-branded name of the IBRP. Now, I confess that I ignore if Cleishbotham, a publicist of the ICT, is also a registered medic. As you surely know also, medics are corpsmen who dispense first aid at combat sites. Because Cleishbotham is quick off the mark to diagnose 'madness' in rivals, I thought he was a medic specialising in combat stress, someone useful in the heat of the class war. Not for healing or curing people, no evidence of that, but useful in the sense of instant diagnosing (targeting?) deranged enemies of the proletariat. Some of his ICC comrades seem quite quick at this too. In no time, they diagnose trauma and mental conditions from 'ex-parasites' who dare mention 'rackets' or sully great historical egocrats with répugnantes attaques.

Alongside valid insights about the origin of the political racket-form, David Brown's 1975 text details concrete instances of what can be described as 'despotic' methods inside London Solidarity. Unfortunately, this raw material, real examples, is scant in Camatte's critiques of rackets like the PCI. But to simply marginalise, ignore (deny and ridicule) the phenomenon won't do. On the other hand, London Solidarity doesn't seem to have replied to Brown's texts, or commented on the exit (expulsion?) of another member, Joe Jacobs. If such material exists, it would be good that it's uploaded on the library.

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Jan 23 2011 17:16

Martov's analysis of bolshevism and sovietism is certainly pertinent, in a way that an analysis of pre-1914 rackets could never be from a theoretical point of view; it might also have saved Castoriadis and other modernisers spinnnig out their shoddy work. The regression of the workers' movement, caused mainly by the toll of war, back to Jacobinian vanguardism, in Bolshevsism, and also in anarcho-syndicalism, which Marx and Engels had overcome - these things were written already in 1919. Brown, Camatte and others like yourself in your youthful days, before joining a racket, might have done better to read up on ol' Martov; it's quite easy in 2011 to write of council communists that they were "too ignorant and unprepared to assimilate historical experience". Perhaps Martov was not considered "essential reading" to people in the 1970s?

Instead of your fained outrage about supposed amalgamating, could you bring yourself to exclaim agreement with a single substantial part of Camatte's analysis, or is this too positivist? I would positively appreciate a witty one-liner.

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Jan 23 2011 18:07
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could you bring yourself to exclaim agreement with a single substantial part of Camatte's analysis

"In its external relations, the political gang tends to mask the existence of the clique, since it must seduce in order to recruit. It adorns itself in a veil of modesty so as to increase its power. When the gang appeals to external elements through journals, reviews, and leaflets, it thinks that it has to speak on the level of the mass in order to be understood. It talks about the immediate because it wants to mediate. Considering everyone outside the gang an imbecile, it feels obliged to publish banalities and bullshit so as to successfully seduce them. In the end, it seduces itself by its own bullshit and it is thereby absorbed by the surrounding milieu. However, another gang will take its place, and its first theoretical wailings will consist of attributing every misdeed and mistake to those who have preceded it, looking in this way for a new language so as to begin again the grand practice of seduction; in order to seduce, it has to appear to be different from the others." (On Organisation)

McIver, thanks for clarification re ICT medic. I didn't know the Bureau has two names.

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Jan 23 2011 18:33

It was more of a question to Mciver and Red marriott. I hope they will be able to express in their own words what they see as the relevant insight of Camatte, although I'm not one of those who reject on principle copy-pasting from a text.

Camatte wrote:
it feels obliged to publish banalities and bullshit so as to successfully seduce them. In the end, it seduces itself by its own bullshit and it is thereby absorbed by the surrounding milieu.

As I have been ad nauseam accused of one-line dismissals, I like to point out how Camatte himself here simply fails to point out any perceived errors in the writings of political groups, or rackets if you prefer a spicier word.

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Jan 23 2011 18:45
NRod wrote:
It was more of a question to Mciver and Red marriott.

You are remorselessly repetitive - but if you can't remember, re-read the other thread to find an answer. I've had it out with you, I won't repeat the other thread, you were exposed as being ignorant and arrogant on the subject, unable to formulate a credible critique beyond banal one-liners. I'm just forewarning people not to waste time on you if you still can't do any better.

eccarius
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Jan 23 2011 21:41

The old Lukacs asked in an interview about the students of 1968 said you can't criticise Rudy Deutshke using the same arguments the Bolsheviks used against Henriette Roland-Holst, Similarly I don't think you can smash Camatte with old Menshevik critiques such as Martov's - although I'd like to see you try.
PS The footnotes in the Hobgoblin article, which were messed up, have now been sorted and reloaded.

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Jan 23 2011 22:53
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unable to formulate a credible critique beyond banal one-liners.

Critique of what? You're even unwilling to say what Camatte's contribution is. It's not like I'm asking you to summarize his entire theory, you can pick any small insight that you like. And that thread you linked to was long ago, in the mean time you might have read some more of Camatte's works. And furthermore, I drop my (fairly reasonable) question about whether you agree and find true anything in Camatte. Just name something you found substantial, concrete, original, etc. Or instead you could repeat yourself and call me a nutcase.

@eccarius
I think Camatte pales in comparison to Martov, but I don't believe therefore Camatte is smashed . Btw, I think the David Brown text is quite alright, so thanks for posting it.

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Jan 24 2011 00:12
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you could repeat yourself and call me a nutcase.

Wrong - I have never called you a nutcase - ignorant and arrogant, so far incapable of or disinterested in formulating coherent argument (on this topic at least), yes - nutcase, no.

Despite myself and others explaining our views clearly and at far greater length on that thread than you ever did, you are desperate to repeat it. You'll have to find someone else's time to waste.

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Jan 24 2011 00:44

In academia you can save the hassle of stating an argument by giving references, but not here. I was active on that thread and you didn't have an argument back than either. A first step would be finding out if Camatte actually claimed to have developed a theory of rackets, next would be find out what that theory was, then maybe whether it holds water. And yes you didn't call me a nutcase, but sure implied I was crazy. So maybe we're all a bit mental egocrats sometimes, no?

mciver
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Jan 24 2011 10:08

Rodman to Red Marriott and Eccarius

Quote:
unable to formulate a credible critique beyond banal one-liners.

Critique of what? You're even unwilling to say what Camatte's contribution is. It's not like I'm asking you to summarize his entire theory, you can pick any small insight that you like. And that thread you linked to was long ago, in the mean time you might have read some more of Camatte's works. And furthermore, I drop my (fairly reasonable) question about whether you agree and find true anything in Camatte. Just name something you found substantial, concrete, original, etc. Or instead you could repeat yourself and call me a nutcase.

@eccarius
I think Camatte pales in comparison to Martov, but I don't believe therefore Camatte is smashed . Btw, I think the David Brown text is quite alright, so thanks for posting it.

Most of Camatte's texts of the 60s and 70s exist in English translations. Many are online and Invariance has a site. These texts have been available for years. If you wish to read them and criticise them, do so yourself, although the wish to 'smash Camatte' would be a hindrance. You have made up your mind already ('smash'), without knowing what the issues are. Why should anyone waste more time on 'persuading' you to understand Camatte's ideas, or his critical contribution? To waste people's time isn't "fairly reasonable".

Martov and Camatte are dealing with very different questions and times, They are not comparable. Martov's works in English aren't many, they seem to be mostly pamphlets and articles. As a perceptive and acerbic critic of Bolshevism's criminal and regressive practices, his post-1917 writings are illuminating and important. Israel Getzler's biography of Martov seems to be the only one in English (Martov A Political Biography of a Russian Social Democrat. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1967). But this isn't a thread about Martov, not even about Camatte.

You are thankful that David Brown's text has been posted. You even praise it as "quite alright". However, you chide Brown for not reading up on Martov. How do you know that in 1975 Brown hadn't read Martov? But what's the link between Martov's and Camatte's ideas? Their take on democracy, for example, would have been quite different, as Camatte would have a lot in common with Bordiga on this issue. Martov certainly had no criticism of the party form, and although he was a fierce denouncer of Lenin's racketeerism from early on, he didn't think that those deviations revealed fatal trends. In what way is Martov 'superior' to Camatte, who "pales in comparison"? On what issues? But again, this thread isn't about that.

On Cardan-Castoriadis, which is relevant to Brown's text, you make no sense again --

Quote:
Martov's analysis of bolshevism and sovietism is certainly pertinent ... it might also have saved Castoriadis and other modernisers spinnnig out their shoddy work

But Castoriadis and Socialisme ou Barbarie were dealing with other issues, even if many were about the experience of the Russian Revolution 40 years later. To dismiss all their analyses and criticisms as 'shoddy' is absurd, even if Brown's critique of Castoriadis is much more cogent than what the 1972 'councilists' wrote against Castoriadis. Brown's critique partakes not only from Korsch but also from Camatte, which 'councilists' would have opposed. So we come full circle -- Camatte's ideas that must be 'smashed' (presumably on political organisations, or rackets), are also 'quite alright'. And at the same time, you reveal yourself as a fan of Martovian Social Democracy.

As you yourself suggest, you may be a nutcase. Not being an ICT medic, I can't tell. But keep projecting witty digital images. That's therapeutic: http://www.ufunk.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Frontier-Psychiatrist-Clip-de-The-Avalanches-2.jpg

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Jan 24 2011 10:02
Quote:
Quote:
Camatte insists that “What is invariant, is the desire to rediscover the lost community” - by which he means “primitive communities [in which] human beings rule technology” (as in the gemeinwesen of primitive communism); and he connects this to Marx’s projection in 1844 of the “naturalization” of humanity and the “humanization of nature” as meaning a “new mode of being.” In Camatte’s view, capitalism exists in order to overcome barriers to itself and eventually finds its limit because, since its “other” is the human being; and since it is anthropomorphized, then “there is no longer any ‘other’. Hence the potential death of capital.” But the totalizing capitalism he describes “domesticates humanity” just as pre-capitalism once domesticated animals. The “despotism of capital” produces a “collection of slaves of capital,” rather than contending classes. Camatte thus sees an all-embracing totality which without a countervailing force of subjectivity to oppose it can only bring about the end of humanity.
In the most recent essay, ‘Echoes of the Past’ (1980), Camatte looks at the potential of new movements as “opponents to capital” and evaluates environmentalism and feminism, cultural “microcommunities” and struggles by indigenous peoples in the Third World. Groups founded on “identity,” he finds, tend to become “slaves of the community of capital” inasmuch as they “define themselves in their separateness from one or other microcommunities, which is something that can only aggravate the difficulties that humans have in communicating.” Those who embrace Eastern mysticism often do so as the “complement to Western hyper-rationalism” and end up ideologically as a “horrible melange of individualism and communitarian despotism.” But still hoping that some of these forces may prefigure some new type of movement, Camatte calls for a “huge renunciation” of capital whilst insisting that this should not be done “in the name” of any class.
David Black's essay on Camatte http://www.thehobgoblin.co.uk/journal/camatteH1.html

Is anyone aware if Camatte is still alive, if most likely not, when did he die, wikipedia does not say.

@vlad

I can elaborate, but I don't care to at this moment.

Rodman, post 15 May 4 2010 http://libcom.org/forums/libcommunity/one-line-dismissals-03052010

This old post by Rodman confirms that what he's doing on this thread is his favourite hobby: time and space wasting. He has encountered Camatte's ideas often before -- Black's critique above (1999) was a worthy attempt to summarise Camatte's views, even when he disagrees with Camatte. Yet Rodman contributed nothing of substance on that thread.

To borrow a term from his left-communist role models, Rodman seems like a 'parasite' of ideas. He has none of his own, but sticks onto some like a limpet, sucks on them, plays the amanuensis and throws around banal and 'provocative' one-liners. He even creates threads to spread a higher level of confusion and triviality (for example, his 'forgotten great theoreticians' thread, mostly promoting untranslated Stalinist stooges like Stucka and Rudas). Of course, he's totally free to do this, or have odd narcissist tantrums: I don't care to at this moment. But one is equally free to ignore further demands to spoon-feed him new thoughts.

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Jan 24 2011 11:36
mciver wrote:
To borrow a term from his left-communist role models, Rodman seems like a 'parasite' of ideas. He has none of his own, but sticks onto some like a limpet, sucks on them, plays the amanuensis and throws around banal and 'provocative' one-liners. He even creates threads to spread a higher level of confusion and triviality (for example, his 'forgotten great theoreticians' thread, mostly promoting untranslated Stalinist stooges like Stucka and Rudas). Of course, he's totally free to do this, or have odd narcissist tantrums: I don't care to at this moment. But one is equally free to ignore further demands to spoon-feed him new thoughts.

Spot on - as illustrated by this thread and the earlier one.

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Noa Rodman
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Jan 24 2011 13:31

eccarius
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Jan 27 2011 06:08

S.A.C., Comments on Organisation (Swansea: Solidarity, 1976)
The expedience to scan up this document kindly lent to me came from The Hobgoblin re-publishing David Brown’s resignation letter from Solidarity recently, which is mentioned in this text.

http://forworkerspower.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/solidarity-swansea-comments-on-organisation/#comments

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Jan 29 2011 22:05

What does S.A.C. stand for? The picture in that text nicely illustrates my thought about Camatte; elitist wanker (see one-line-dismissals thread).

Mciver wrote:
You are thankful that David Brown's text has been posted. You even praise it as "quite alright". However, you chide Brown for not reading up on Martov. How do you know that in 1975 Brown hadn't read Martov?

I was saying to eccarius that my response wasn't against him or Brown.

Quote:
In what way is Martov 'superior' to Camatte, who "pales in comparison"?

I think Martov's superiority is shown by the fact that he manages to convey the point with 10 lines of wit instead of wasting time writing "phenomenological" texts.

Quote:
On Cardan-Castoriadis, which is relevant to Brown's text, you make no sense again ... To dismiss all their analyses and criticisms as 'shoddy' is absurd,... Brown's critique partakes not only from Korsch but also from Camatte, which 'councilists' would have opposed. So we come full circle -- Camatte's ideas that must be 'smashed' (presumably on political organisations, or rackets), are also 'quite alright'.

I agree with you that an evaluation of an author's work should be more substantial than a mere 'shoddy' or 'quite alright', but, and this is not a reproach or anything, you don't act differently:

Mciver wrote:
He even creates threads to spread a higher level of confusion and triviality (for example, his 'forgotten great theoreticians' thread, mostly promoting untranslated Stalinist stooges like Stucka and Rudas).

Don't hate on my threads man. Should you be willing to consider actually making a critique of Stuchka, there is a translated collection, partly available online, of some of his texts; for Rudas there's a text on dialectical materialism against Sidney Hook, in the Labour Monthly I believe. But it's true that their writings aren't translated in as many languages and available on as different websites like the works of such luminaries as Camatte et al.

Mciver wrote:
you reveal yourself as a fan of Martovian Social Democracy.

Martov belongs into the dustbin of history wink