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Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Jun 26 2006 11:28

Hi

Quote:
Fortunately there aren't very many of you.

Charming. It is astonishing that the ICC remains in advance of vast majority of its detractors. I’d like to express solidarity with the ICC in the face of such uncromradely sentiments.

Comrades may be interested to check out the relationship between the ICC in the UK and Solidarity…

Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_%28UK%29

Solidarity played midwife to various minor left-wing groups, among them the left-communist World Revolution and the quasi-Bordigist Communist Workers' Organisation.

You will notice that I defend the ICC even in the face of their scurrilous personal attack on Castoriadis…

http://en.internationalism.org/213_castoriadis.htm

Love

LR

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Alf
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Jun 26 2006 11:42

Davethemagic...

Obviously there are some key differences here

- for marxists, the working class is indeed the only communist class, and it has to give a lead to all the other oppressed strata in society;

- for marxists, the state is not the creation of the will of leaders. Whatever mistakes the Bolsheviks made after 1917, they did not simply 'set up' the Soviet state; it emerged out of the process of revolution and the class divisions which obviously still existed after the October insurrection.

But there's also this fear of revolutionaries "imposing" their views on the working class running through your posts. Given the fact that revolutionary organisations are tiny today, and are still unlikely to be massive even in a revolutionary situation, do you never consider the opposite problem that in a revolutionary situation, revolutionaries simply won't get enough of a hearing, and the ground will be occupied by bourgeois organisations posing as revolutionary? That's a lesson of the German revolution for example the social democrats claimed to be for the revolution and the workers councils' in order to sabotage them from within. In a revolutionary situation in the future, won't revolutionaries need to be organised to counter the false, state capitalist proposals of the leftists and argue for real communist measures?

Lazy you're a great bloke

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Devrim
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Jun 26 2006 11:54

On the whole question of the ICC, and the state in the post revolutionary period, I think that maybe it is time to look at it from a different angle.

The ICC are not advocating a state. They recognize that the day after the revolution different classes will still exist, and there will be some sort of organization of society. They call this a state. They do not claim that it is a workers' state, or that it is a revolutionary organ. In fact they claim the opposite, and that it is intrinsically conservative, and counter revolutionary, and that the working class has to maintain its power over it (notice that it doesn't say through it). I think that this is very different from advocating a state.

Do the anarchist think that the day after the revolution there will be full communism, and that classes will have disappeared? If not how will non-exploiting, but non-working class elements be represented? Should the working class be wary of those elements?

Devrim

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 26 2006 12:01

Hi

For an insight into the likely fate of “political blocks” as neighbourhood assemblies federate, I’d like to draw interested comrades’ attentions to this excerpt regarding the situation in Argentina…

Quote:
http://www.infoshop.org/news6/argentina_assemblies.php

It can also be seen through some proposals that certain groups, especially the CTA (Union of Argentinian Workers), the MST (Workers’ Socialist Movement, in the United Left coalition) and the P.O (Workers’ Party), attempt to manouevre the assembly movement in their own direction. A clear (and pathetic) example of this was when, in the fifth inter-neighbourhood assembly, there was a vote in favour of a proposal to march round the National Congress on 13/02/2002, the day when there was to be discussion on the approval of the executive budget for the year 2002; when the assemblies reached the Congress they saw that a stage had previously been erected, from which leaders of the CTA were speaking. Other examples quickly come to light when we review the proposals for votes, and we note that some of these are party manifestos, such as the call for a “free and sovereign Constituent Assembly”, the platform of the now moribund P.O

This is going to be in rather poor taste, given the recent Sweden thread, but the Swiss have a propositional democracy, that is so say, the public can propose changes to the constitution…

Quote:
http://www.iniref.org/swissdemocracy.html

A popular initiative may be formulated as a general proposal or much more often be put forward as a precise new text whose wording can no longer be changed by Parliament and the Government.

Is their economic reliance on foreign capital the only thing stopping them from doing the deed and installing a communist-style “transitionary legislature”? Maybe they already have, perhaps afraser could comment. I wonder why they’ve not abolished commodity production.

Love

LR

lem
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Jun 26 2006 12:13
Quote:
Lem I apologise if I did not fully understand what you were trying to say or miss read it, but I thought you wanted us to explain more about our position on the way that the semi-state would be organised. I am rather confused though about what you are saying though. When you say
Quote:
a semi-state is artificial and less stable

are you arguing for no form of state in the period of transition? On the transitional state separating the proletariat and peasantry, well, it will draw the landless and poor peasantry closure to the proletariat whilst the other strata of the peasanty will indeed certainly feel more antagonistic towards the proletariat than under the capitalist state

Sorry, I was asking if you could explain more about organization in your vision of the period of transition, when I said this

Quote:
a semi-state is artificial and less stable (but clearer on the semi-state not being revolutionary)

I was just explaining any reservations I had with your particular conception of transition, not saying that is was unnecessary iyswim.

davethemagicweasel
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Jun 26 2006 13:17
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
Fortunately there aren't very many of you.

Charming. It is astonishing that the ICC remains in advance of vast majority of its detractors. I’d like to express solidarity with the ICC in the face of such uncromradely sentiments.

Okay, maybe I should have put a wink after that one

Alf wrote:
Davethemagic...

Obviously there are some key differences here:

- for marxists, the working class is indeed the only communist class, and it has to give a lead to all the other oppressed strata in society;

- for marxists, the state is not the creation of the will of leaders. Whatever mistakes the Bolsheviks made after 1917, they did not simply 'set up' the Soviet state; it emerged out of the process of revolution and the class divisions which obviously still existed after the October insurrection.

But there's also this fear of revolutionaries "imposing" their views on the working class running through your posts. Given the fact that revolutionary organisations are tiny today, and are still unlikely to be massive even in a revolutionary situation, do you never consider the opposite problem: that in a revolutionary situation, revolutionaries simply won't get enough of a hearing, and the ground will be occupied by bourgeois organisations posing as revolutionary? That's a lesson of the German revolution for example: the social democrats claimed to be for the revolution and the workers councils' in order to sabotage them from within. In a revolutionary situation in the future, won't revolutionaries need to be organised to counter the false, state capitalist proposals of the leftists and argue for real communist measures?

What is there about being working class that makes one a communist? I regard myself as working class but have become less and less convinced about communist ideas as time has gone on.

What happens if sections of the working class, or other oppressed sections, decide that they want something other than communism? I can't imagine there being a situation where there is unanimity on what a revolution is aiming for.

If a collective decision making body of some kind is set up during a revolutionary situation (whether we call it a state or not) then disagreements will still exist and will have to be resolved. What happens if the peasants in a society advocate something other than collective farming, and argue that they know more about agriculture than does the average worker? If the recalcitrant remain unconvinced by the propaganda of the working class do you think the working class should accept their views?

Or of more relevance to the now largely peasant-less west/north - what happens if students take a differing opinion on how to organise education than do the working class? Should the workers accept their views?

I didn't mean to imply it was all just the big bad Bolsheviks who created the state, there are obviously lots of other factors involved that influence developments. A better phrase might be that "it was the emergence of a state apparatus", but I do still think that it was the point at which it all started going downhill. Maybe a state was inevitable at that point, but I think that we've now reached a sufficient point of development to make it unnecessary, and in fact undesirable. With communications such as they now are I think that it would be possible to start the management of society from the bottom up virtually immediately and hence forestall the emergence of a new state arising out of those class divisions.

There is a certain fear of people imposing their own views onto a revolution, or more particularly trying to do so, regardless of what the working class (and others) may think. It arises from the observation that its happened so frequently as to make it reasonable to expect it to happen again - so we should be ready for it in future. In the event of a revolution in the near future I would expect the SWP and their ilk to be far more of a problem than left communists in terms of trying to takeover. But I don't think those efforts should be opposed by trying to take political power ahead of them - otherwise you end up like the Bolsheviks, SPD or CNT in simply filling their shoes for them - but by strengthening and defending the economic power of the workers in opposition to any state they try to erect. Which to my mind means not tolerating a 'semi-state' to exist alongside the councils. Lenin and the anarchists were right in 1917 to disperse the constituent assembly in my view, but to then take up the same position (in fact if not in name) was to switch to the opposite side.

I can see lots of different groups being given a hearing and when it comes right down to it we're just gonna have to hope the workers make the right decisions for themselves. I'm not convinced that there are 'real communist measures' and 'false, state capitalist proposals', because I don't think theres only one correct revolution to be had, which seems to be the implication of the idea of 'real' and 'false' revolutionaries. I'd certainly vote and argue against what I saw as state capitalism, but if thats what everyone else thinks will meet their needs then I can't be 100% sure that they're wrong.

Alf wrote:
Lazy: you're a great bloke

That I can agree with at least.

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Jun 26 2006 17:22

Hi Dave

Quote:
What is there about being working class that makes one a communist? I regard myself as working class but have become less and less convinced about communist ideas as time has gone on.

The working class is a communist class because in capitalist society it has no claim on the means of production. Peasants and serfs on the other hand do have a claim on their means of production, the land - they give up their labour to their masters, in exchange for being able to use the land for their own subsistence.

The working class can only claim the means of production in a collective fashion. A peasant can happily grab a strip of land and farm away to his hearts content and live. A worker cannot. Firstly, the machinery of capitalism is too big for one person to own without depriving ownership from someone else (this is, in fact, the essence of capitalism). Second, the labour required to run the machines can only be organised and applied collectively.

Finally, even if workers in one factory manage to take it over, they cannot survive on the product of the factory. They must link up with other workers in other factories, cities, and ultimately countries in order to maintain the economic apparatus.

This is why the proletariat is a communist class: it is formed on the basis of collective, associated labour and can only liberate itself from the bourgeoisie on the same basis.

The consciousness of the proletariat may change from period to period. Workers may submit to all sorts of bourgeois ideology. But the fundamental nature of what the working class is remains and it is this that makes it a revolutionary force.

As for the points about workers control and the about the emergence of the Bolshevik state, wrote some stuff on the Kronstadt thread in Thought about the difficulties the proletariat was faced with and how they drove the Bolsheviks (albeit wrongly) into the actions they took, so I won't repeat that all here. Nonetheless, I think you greatly underestimate the chaos of the post-October society in Russia and overestimate the actual efficacy of the Factory Committees.

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 26 2006 18:01

Hi

Quote:
This is why the proletariat is a communist class: it is formed on the basis of collective, associated labour and can only liberate itself from the bourgeoisie on the same basis.

And so we come back to the meaning and the content of communism. I wonder if collective working class interests are undermined by explicit collectivism and a strategic preference towards the abolition of individual private property.

How do Marxists refute Smith’s observation that informed self-interest is a better way of achieving collective goals than blind sharing?

I would also be interested to know what communists would do if they suddenly achieved a majority in Switzerland, which has a democracy able to implement social policy by popular decree.

Love

LR

davethemagicweasel
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Jun 26 2006 19:04
Demogorgon303 wrote:
Hi Dave
Quote:
What is there about being working class that makes one a communist? I regard myself as working class but have become less and less convinced about communist ideas as time has gone on.

The working class is a communist class because in capitalist society it has no claim on the means of production. Peasants and serfs on the other hand do have a claim on their means of production, the land - they give up their labour to their masters, in exchange for being able to use the land for their own subsistence.

The working class can only claim the means of production in a collective fashion. A peasant can happily grab a strip of land and farm away to his hearts content and live. A worker cannot. Firstly, the machinery of capitalism is too big for one person to own without depriving ownership from someone else (this is, in fact, the essence of capitalism). Second, the labour required to run the machines can only be organised and applied collectively.

Finally, even if workers in one factory manage to take it over, they cannot survive on the product of the factory. They must link up with other workers in other factories, cities, and ultimately countries in order to maintain the economic apparatus.

This is why the proletariat is a communist class: it is formed on the basis of collective, associated labour and can only liberate itself from the bourgeoisie on the same basis.

The consciousness of the proletariat may change from period to period. Workers may submit to all sorts of bourgeois ideology. But the fundamental nature of what the working class is remains and it is this that makes it a revolutionary force.

But if the working class is only a communist class "in capitalist society" can we be sure they would still be a communist class in a communist society?

And is communism then the only collective form of social organisation possible? Must the collective ownership of property in the workplace extend beyond the workplace?

Could not a collectively managed capitalist enterprise satisfy the workers inherent need for collective solutions to their problems? Perhaps with some sort of market relations to fulfil the need to link up with other workers?

I think its clear that workers in a single enterprise would almost certainly be unable to do this - if it ever looked like being successful then the class consciousness of the middle classes would kick in and no-one would trade with them at fair prices, if at all, but if it happened en masse... can we be sure it wouldn't work? Can we be any more sure that communism would work?

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 26 2006 20:25

Hi

Quote:
Could not a collectively managed capitalist enterprise satisfy the workers inherent need for collective solutions to their problems?

For it to be meaningfully capitalist then its employees would be relying on business profits to provide their income. Having an income tied to a public with whims as fickle as my own is one of the excellent reasons for exiting capitalism, so my answer to this question is “no”.

Quote:
Can we be any more sure that communism would work?

Excellent question. Party membership may well have corrupted the democracy in the Soviet Union, but economic policy still looks decidedly socialist. I’d be interested to see what the ICC would do differently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Soviet_Union

Quote:
The Soviet planned economy was not tailored at a sufficient pace to the demands of the more complex modern economy it had helped to forge. As the economy grew, the volume of decisions facing planners in Moscow became overwhelming. The cumbersome procedures for bureaucratic administration did not enable the free communication and flexible response required at the enterprise level for dealing with worker alienation, innovation, customers, and suppliers.

The fundemental problems of the formally planned economy have yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

Love

LR

Quote:
Constant lowering of prices by the planning agencies led to an unfortunate side effect. As the prices dropped below the equilibrium point, people were always buying all available stock, leading to "empty shelves". The actual food consumption was high, but psychologically the empty shelves proved to be very hard to endure. Even though per capita consumption of most products (with the exception of meat) in Soviet Union was higher than in the United States, people were unhappy. In 1988 consumption of milk and milk products in the USSR was 356 kg per capita (260 kg in the USA), but 44% of the Soviet people said when polled that they were not consuming enough milk. In Armenia, where people consumed 480 kg of milk (1989) 62% of the people were not satisfied with the consumption levels. The situation with most other products (including both food and consumer goods) was similar (figures quoted according to Kara-Murza).
Cardinal Tourettes
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Jun 26 2006 22:31

Dave said of the ICC

davethemagicweasel wrote:

Well, if I understand you correctly you want a form of organisation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society, whether or not they are a majority or a minority (I'm inclined to use a broad definition and say they are the majority, but thats an entirely separate thread), I'd still call that a state.

Hi Dave,

It is to give a voice to these other classes that the ICC ( and, apparently, Devrim) say there needs to be a state.

The ICC position is not that the state is needed in order to provide a "form of organisation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society", but on the contrary to give power to the rest of society as opposed to the workers councils.

I can understand why you didn't get this because it is rather odd. Personally I would see the dictatorship of the proletariat as being consistent with "all power to the workers councils".

In order, like Lenin and Trotsky, to end up opposing this, the ICC have inverted the logic of Leninism, and find themselves justifying the continuing toleration of, as you suggest, this rival power on the truly ridiculous grounds that until the non-revolutionary classes in society can be brought round to the revolution they must be allowed to continue organising society in a way that, as Devrim says, is " intrinsically conservative, and counter revolutionary".

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Jun 27 2006 08:30

The Cardinal wrote

"The ICC position is not that the state is needed in order to provide a "form of organisation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society", but on the contrary to give power to the rest of society as opposed to the workers councils".

Please clarify is this your interpretation of our position's real meaning?

Because our position is that "the state is neeed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society".

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Jun 27 2006 11:29
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
It is to give a voice to these other classes that the ICC ( and, apparently, Devrim) say there needs to be a state.

Actually, I didn't express an opinion on it. I was just trying to put a different slant on the ICC's position as I feel that sometimes it has been misinterpreted because as you said:

Quote:
I can understand why you didn't get this because it is rather odd

I wouldn't say odd, but it is not the line that people are used to hearing on this question.

Dev

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Jun 27 2006 12:29

Both Dave and Lazy have made points about the nature of communism. I think this is a good question in its own right, so I'm going to make another thread in the Introductory sections.

davethemagicweasel
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Jun 27 2006 13:05
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
Hi Dave,

It is to give a voice to these other classes that the ICC ( and, apparently, Devrim) say there needs to be a state.

The ICC position is not that the state is needed in order to provide a "form of organisation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society", but on the contrary to give power to the rest of society as opposed to the workers councils.

I can understand why you didn't get this because it is rather odd. Personally I would see the dictatorship of the proletariat as being consistent with "all power to the workers councils".

In order, like Lenin and Trotsky, to end up opposing this, the ICC have inverted the logic of Leninism, and find themselves justifying the continuing toleration of, as you suggest, this rival power on the truly ridiculous grounds that until the non-revolutionary classes in society can be brought round to the revolution they must be allowed to continue organising society in a way that, as Devrim says, is " intrinsically conservative, and counter revolutionary".

eek Wait, what? I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall here. Odd is certainly the word for it. confused

...

re-reads thread

...

Right, Alf seems to be refuting your interpretation, but could there not be students councils, peasants councils, etc alongside the workers councils? Would not one expect different social groups to form their own organisations in the event of a revolution? There would seem to be ample precedent to my mind to suggest that they would.

Could not all these differing councils send delegates to a common body for the purposes of co-ordinating their endeavours? I mean, the workers are gonna need to talk to farmers/peasants to secure the food supply. Would that be a 'state' as you are using the term due its containing differing classes? Is that what is being talked about here? Would all be welcome in this body, or would some councils/organs be defined as 'bourgeois' and hence excluded?

Is the fact that they would be included in such a common body what makes this common body opposed to the workers councils? In that instance I would argue that the workers councils, and other councils for that matter, should retain power and control themselves, with these common bodies' decisions requiring ratification.

Is this sufficient to amount to a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or must the workers also insist that other councils subordinate themselves to the workers? Must the workers stop any other social groups from organising? If so, how are they to be defined? What about non-communist workers?

Alf wrote:
Because our position is that "the state is needed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society".

So, is the state there to include non-proletarians within itself?

If so, how will the state serve the interests of the workers councils? How are the workers councils to maintain their control over the state whilst encouraging other social groups to be represented?

If the state isn't there to include non-proletarian elements, then why is the state needed as an organisation separate from the workers councils?

Demogorgon303 wrote:
Both Dave and Lazy have made points about the nature of communism. I think this is a good question in its own right, so I'm going to make another thread in the Introductory sections.

I was going to start a thread on the definition and achievement of 'abundance', but I'll wait and join you on your thread instead in that case.

lem
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Jun 27 2006 14:37
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
The ICC position is not that the state is needed in order to provide a "form of organisation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society", but on the contrary to give power to the rest of society as opposed to the workers councils

Tomato tomato! To give power to to exercise power over.

Quote:
Right, Alf seems to be refuting your interpretation, but could there not be students councils, peasants councils, etc alongside the workers councils? Would not one expect different social groups to form their own organisations in the event of a revolution? There would seem to be ample precedent to my mind to suggest that they would.

Could not all these differing councils send delegates to a common body for the purposes of co-ordinating their endeavours? I mean, the workers are gonna need to talk to farmers/peasants to secure the food supply. Would that be a 'state' as you are using the term due its containing differing classes?

You see, IIRC this is what Castoriadis suggests, he calls it a state or government. With less voting right being granted to the peasent councils etc if they otnumer proletarians. That was why I suggeted that the ICC's plan, seems a little artificial or unstable - the state really being separate organ to the councils.

davethemagicweasel
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Jun 27 2006 15:08
lem wrote:
Quote:
Right, Alf seems to be refuting your interpretation, but could there not be students councils, peasants councils, etc alongside the workers councils? Would not one expect different social groups to form their own organisations in the event of a revolution? There would seem to be ample precedent to my mind to suggest that they would.

Could not all these differing councils send delegates to a common body for the purposes of co-ordinating their endeavours? I mean, the workers are gonna need to talk to farmers/peasants to secure the food supply. Would that be a 'state' as you are using the term due its containing differing classes?

You see, IIRC this is what Castoriadis suggests, he calls it a state or government. With less voting right being granted to the peasent councils etc if they otnumer proletarians. That was why I suggeted that the ICC's plan, seems a little artificial or unstable - the state really being separate organ to the councils.

Hmmm... if I was a peasant and someone told me my opinion counted less than did that of a worker I don't think I'd take too kindly to the idea.

If the peasants outnumber the workers in a given situation then I think that revolution should represent that fact. If that means it falls short of communist purity then thats a risk I'm willing to take. Besides, if the peasants are the majority that may well indicate that communism isn't a possibility at that time.

lem
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Jun 27 2006 15:17

OK.

Cardinal Tourettes
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Jul 9 2006 22:36
Alf wrote:

Because our position is that "the state is neeed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society".

Really?

Cos the official ICC article "Problems of the period of transition" - http://en.internationalism.org/ir/113_pot_ir1.html - says :

"But we categorically reject the idea of making this state the standard-bearer of communism. By its own nature ("bourgeois nature in its essence"--Marx), it is essentially an organ for the conservation of the status quo and a restraint on communism. Thus, the state can neither be identified with communism nor with the proletariat which is the bearer of communism."

Mind you this same article does make it clear that this state/semi-state anti-proletarian instrument of workers power completely changes its nature from one sentence to the next, so its not surprising Alf's confused.

Dave, I recommend reading it, as a gauge of how seriously to take a conversation with such people. (I posted a sample of its total irrationality on another thread a while ago, in the hope of getting a few easy laughs, but the broad reaction was that it wasn't clear what I meant.)

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Jul 9 2006 23:01

Call me irrational, but I can see no contradiction between my statement and the one in the IR article. The working class will have to use the state, it will struggle constantly to maintain control over it and through it over the rest of society, but it does not identify with it because it emerges from the transitional society as a whole and thus from the movement of all the non-exploiting classes. Its role will be to hold society together rather than overturn it, hence its conservative tendencies.

Devrim's summary of our position, accurate in most respects, is not correct on this point we see a difference between conservative and counter-revolutionary. The state's conservative tendencies only become openly counter-revolutionary when the balance of class forces turn against the proletariat. I would say that this shift took place in Russia after 1921.

Cardinal Tourettes
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Jul 9 2006 23:23
Alf wrote:
Call me irrational, but I can see no contradiction between my statement and the one in the IR article.

Yeah I know.

lem
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Jul 10 2006 00:29

I read that article, and, though I feel it is a very "artificial" feeling concept, I don't think its contradictory confused

lem
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Jul 11 2006 00:28

Maybe, it because after the glorious revolution, the most important question that separartes the anarchists from the communists from Russia's counter-revolution, that our comrades fought and some died for, will be...

Socialism! Or how we live with peasents.

How is that the burning question? And people accuse the ICC of being epic! roll eyes

If you read the communistaion literature of France, its about how the hell we get the place to work. Its a contrast, IHMO.

I guess you can see where the idea comes from, though, if you see 1921 (?) as the start of the counter-revolution. My intution though, says there might have been something wrong before the NEP (?), though.

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Jul 11 2006 11:49

I don't think that the peasant question is completly abstract. It may seem that way livivng in the UK, but when you take an international perspective there are still a fair few of them about.

Dev

Cardinal Tourettes
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Jul 16 2006 23:25

Alf says he can see no contradiction between his statement that "the state is needed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society" and the statement that "the state can neither be identified with communism nor with the proletariat which is the bearer of communism", and I for one believe him.

Does anyone else on this thread see a contradiction?

Devrim I'd be interested to hear your own actual view.

davethemagicweasel
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Jul 17 2006 11:45
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
Alf says he can see no contradiction between his statement that "the state is needed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society" and the statement that "the state can neither be identified with communism nor with the proletariat which is the bearer of communism", and I for one believe him.

Does anyone else on this thread see a contradiction?

Devrim I'd be interested to hear your own actual view.

I think that the two statements are internally consistent to Alf's/the ICC's view. They have a very particular definition of 'state', such that it is impossible for a state not to exist as long as there are different classes in society. But they've also concluded, much as the anarchists do, that the state cannot serve the interests of the workers. Whereas the anarchists' response to this is generally to overthrow or replace the state with something else (though on varying timescales), this is a solution that the ICC's definition of the state precludes - because it will inevitably arise in response to class divisions.

I think its a very mechanistic view of the origins of the state, and it has led to certain contortions in what they see as necessary in any post-revolutionary situation - that the state, which is against the workers' interests, must be controlled by the workers and forced to serve their interests. And to a very particular distinction between 'conservative' and 'counter-revolutionary'.

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Devrim
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Jul 17 2006 11:50
Cardinal Tourettes wrote:
Alf says he can see no contradiction between his statement that "the state is needed in order to provide a form of organsiation that will consist of the working class exercising control over the rest of society" and the statement that "the state can neither be identified with communism nor with the proletariat which is the bearer of communism", and I for one believe him.

Does anyone else on this thread see a contradiction?

Devrim I'd be interested to hear your own actual view.

I can see why you see that there is a contradiction, and I can also see why Alf doesn't.

I will come back with my views later. I am against this 'anarchist' phobia about the word 'state' though. If I were to say that I believe in a council-state, I think lots of anarchists would denounce me as a statist whilst we might mean the same thing.

Dev