Submitted by Plan C London on October 17, 2012

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

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

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

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

ocelot

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

klas batalo

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nice looking site! :D

Full Communism / Design & Built by Plan C / 2012

NannerNannerNa…

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

rat

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What's this all about?
Plan Corbyn?

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

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

Steven.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rat

What's this all about?
Plan Corbyn?

that's a good one…

This is also a bit ridiculous:

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

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Serge Forward

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

Rob Ray

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Fozzie

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Battlescarred

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

rat

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Rob Ray

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

how on earth are they trying to claim Novara is "autonomist"

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

A very short version of this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We believe the most important division in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of localism, direct action, and relentless horizontalism, and those that outline what must become called an accelerationist politics at ease with a modernity of abstraction, complexity, globality, and technology. The former remains content with establishing small and temporary spaces of non-capitalist social relations, eschewing the real problems entailed in facing foes which are intrinsically non-local, abstract, and rooted deep in our everyday infrastructure. The failure of such politics has been built-in from the very beginning. By contrast, an accelerationist politics seeks to preserve the gains of late capitalism while going further than its value system, governance structures, and mass pathologies will allow.

16. We have three medium term concrete goals. First, we need to build an intellectual infrastructure. Mimicking the Mont Pelerin Society of the neoliberal revolution, this is to be tasked with creating a new ideology, economic and social models, and a vision of the good to replace and surpass the emaciated ideals that rule our world today. This is an infrastructure in the sense of requiring the construction not just of ideas, but institutions and material paths to inculcate, embody and spread them.

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

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

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

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

.

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

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

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

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

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

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

Rob Ray

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rob ray

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

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

rat

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Khawaga

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman

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

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

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

Khawaga

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Considering what they're excited about at the moment is a 'national investment bank', nationalising everything that moves,

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

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Spikymike

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The third so far in Plan C's series of texts examining the leftward shift in the Labour Party and Plan C's own orientation towards that, even though it is critical of Momentum's primarily electoral focus, seems to confirm their self-appointed role as critical but supportive outriders for getting a Labour government in power at the next election. That text comments favourably on a local Momentum panel meeting (recorded on a Novara video) addressed among others by Paul Mason, now it would seem as a semi-official strategy adviser to an almost assumed next 'Labour in Power'. Between the panel speakers there was an awareness of the way that Labour Governments and their Trade union supporters in the past have ''betrayed'' militant class struggle but this being put down to the control of the Labour movement by ''the right wing'', supposedly now in retreat? What sticks in my mind is the selective look back at history which forgets the role of previous leftward shifts in Labour at both national and particularly local/municipal level which saw workers fair no better in practice. It still seems to be a case for most of the Momentum supporters of telling themselves 'this time it will be different'. In Plan C's case they emphasise (with some support amongst LP activists) the need to build or rebuild an active social base outside of the state but this only harks back to a previous failed era (of a mass party/trade union/co-operative/WEA/ mutual sporting etc formation) based in a different phase of capitalist development and class composition. Plan C as with Paul Mason etc are still it seems wedded to the need to get elected a sympathetic reform minded government that will provide the necessary legal framework for their otherwise claimed independent non-state initiatives. Well they are reformists of course not pro-revolutionaries.
Edit/PS: This earlier friendly but critical contribution to a Plan C discussion has some useful clues to Plan C's drift (plus some relevance to current issues in Spain) See here: https://libcom.org/blog/question-counter-power-municipalism-04092017

Khawaga

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

self-appointed role as critical but supportive outriders for getting a Labour government in power at the next election.

IIRC, wasn't this precisely the role that the SWP thought they had? Not that I am suggesting that Plan C is as bad as swappies, but thinking that you're taking on such a role may mean that you are more of a conservative influence on the wider movement than actually a radical one.

rat

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is similar to a question that I was going to ask.
How are Plan C, or at least a significant section of them, acting differently to the various Leninist parties that attempt to convince workers to vote Labour?

Serge Forward

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, you know how the leftists used to say "vote Labour without illusions", Plan C seem to have ditched that approach and are just going with the simpler "vote Labour" .

Spikymike

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge - maybe a bit premature and harsh. The latest addition to the Plan discussion amongst themselves by Kai seems to draw back a bit from the over enthusiasm expressed by others and prefers to concentrate on other of Plan C's existing (so far unproven) strategies whilst avoiding any kind of split with those members of Plan C who clearly do want to 'engage' more directly with The LP and Momentum. That statement remains pretty confused in my opinion - more concerned with trying to justify a claimed distinctive Plan C politics that fails to convince. I'm aware that some of Plan C's earlier members left some time back for a mixture of reasons so that may happen again as things pan out and divisions continue in practice.

rat

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A recent article on the Plan C website:

‘If there is hope, it lies with the Labour Party’

The latest contribution to our series on the Labour Party is by Plan C members Camille Barbagallo, Nicholas Beuret, and David Harvie.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/if-there-is-hope-it-lies-with-the-labour-party/

Dannny

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rat

A recent article on the Plan C website:

‘If there is hope, it lies with the Labour Party’

The latest contribution to our series on the Labour Party is by Plan C members Camille Barbagallo, Nicholas Beuret, and David Harvie.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/if-there-is-hope-it-lies-with-the-labour-party/

Somewhat misleading headline:

There is hope and, we are repeatedly told, that hope is to be found in the Labour Party.

We dissent from this view. We want to suggest that the turn towards a Labour Party campaigning on a social democratic manifesto isn’t a sign of increasing power for anti-capitalist social movements, but something that signals a profound crisis. Not only a weakness of the Left, or of radical social movements, or even of revolutionary groups like Plan C. More than this, it signals a serious crisis of our class. This electoral turn, like most electoral turns, is a sign of crisis of working-class power. Imagine for a moment that we had the power to truly transform the state and its complicity with capital… but then, why would we bother? If we have the power to transform the capitalist state, then we have no need to transform the state: we can simply transform society. The idea that we need the state to mediate our power is a sign of crisis in our capacity to act.

Spikymike

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Danny is right that the last quoted Plan C post is much better seeming to make at least a similar point to that in my earlier post No 28 and without making any great claims for Plan C's politics being in advance of everyone else, though leaves all of us still struggling to see positive ways forward at present.

Oranj

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Plan Corbyn is Plan Bollocks.

Very disappointed in them.

dark_ether

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Be interested to see some more critical content about Corbyn and the potential next Labour government from them, or even a direct response to this open letter:
https://afed.org.uk/the-world-transformed-or-staying-the-same-an-open-letter-to-plan-c/

Spikymike

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes a useful criticism by the AF and a relevant comparison with the experience of Big Flame. I noticed that Plan C considered it worth interviewing Max Farrar about his experiences with the old Big Flame group in there short lived BAMN journal (although chose not to mention his now support for Hizmet).

ajjohnstone

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Indeed that open letter was well worth the read and put much into perspective

rat

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is a good article by Bonnie VandeSteeg and Nick Heath and deserves a reply from Plan C.
Any chance of that I wonder?

Spikymike

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well this latest contribution from a Plan C member (see https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/corbyn-statecraft-and-radical-politics-an-autonomist-and-left-libertarian-caution/) seems to take on board at least some of the criticism in the AF Open Letter and seeks to preserve Plan C's independence from the Labour Party/Momentum whirlwind but still allow some 'individual' members to sink much of their efforts in precisely that direction. Whilst wanting to keep independent of parliamentary politics and what it describes as national 'statecraft' it is still open to dabbling in a bit of radical municipalism. Keeping their common identity as part of 'the Left', even if that is only its insignificant experimental fringe, seems more important to them than coming to any definitive collective opposition to both capitalism and it's supportive state apparatus at all levels.

John Muir

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dannny

rat

A recent article on the Plan C website:

‘If there is hope, it lies with the Labour Party’

The latest contribution to our series on the Labour Party is by Plan C members Camille Barbagallo, Nicholas Beuret, and David Harvie.

https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/if-there-is-hope-it-lies-with-the-labour-party/

Somewhat misleading headline

The title is an almost-quote from George Orwell. In 1984, the hopeless Winston keeps repeating, "If there is hope it lies with the proles".

Spikymike

4 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Manchester Plan C have now picked up on the appalling conditions for housing renters and others in the Greater Manchester area that our local community rag in Salford (and Rob Ray here) have been plugging away at for some time now and plan they say to put some initial efforts into forming a Manchester version of the ACORN union that has had some limited successes around renter issues in Sheffield and elsewhere. Their campaign statement still expresses illusions in Left Labour and an illusory ''power of community organising expressed in the recent election'' but I suppose this turn might have some benefits if others get involved. Still have to wonder how much this is genuinely about 'self organisation' of our class rather than self-promotion of Plan C, most of whom still imagine themselves to have some unique role as the instigators, dare I say 'leaders' of some new social movement?

Spikymike

4 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Comrades from the 'Angry Workers World' group in London have previously engaged politically with Plan C around their discussions on the concept of a 'Social Strike'. I'd like to think that some at least in Plan C might take note of this critical text from the same source if they are to avoid sinking still further into the the morass of swampy leftism represented by Momentum and the Corbyn lead Labour Party.
https://libcom.org/blog/migration-national-social-democracy-britain-15012018

Spikymike

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Picking up on earlier comments about Paul Mason and the aspirations to influence the Labour Party and indirectly national and local state policy via either established or unofficially recognised think tanks, I noticed that Plan C member Eleanor Penny has contributed a piece on the recent 'Women's Strike' initiative with some reasonable sounding aspirations (as I referred to them earlier in my post no 14) but wholly within a reformist framework that avoids relating these to the fundamental barriers of capitalism and class struggle and which she originally contributed to 'The Progressive Policy Think Tank' that has these objectives: https://www.ippr.org/about
Just reinforces to my mind much of the other criticism made on here and other related links mentioned earlier.

Spikymike

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Mike Harman/QQ extended critical text here:
http://libcom.org/blog/poverty-luxury-communism-05042018
is well worth a link to this discussion of the fault-lines in Plan C's politics and it's drift towards left reformism even if Plan C are reluctant to respond publicly to such.

Spikymike

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And of course keeping the discussion going even if Plan C members are keeping their eyes closed this critical text hits home on a number of levels:
https://libcom.org/blog/back-future-rebranding-social-democracy-12042018

Red Marriott

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This thread should really be re-titled as 'The latest new depths to which Plan C have sunk'.

Steven.

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Plan C is sounding an awful lot like they just should have called themselves Plan B*

* This is a Keynesianism joke, not a morning after pill joke

rat

4 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 'Shop' section on their website says a lot:

Rojava Mug

Spikymike

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The latest 2nd Dec Plan C take on the UK General election sails past all of it's earlier mixed points of view in discussion to go full tilt in active support of the Corbyn lead Labour Party.

Battlescarred

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

After the election whether Corbyn wins or loses they will have to face reality and the chances of their disintegration will increase as with other leftist outfits.

Dyjbas

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First as tragedy, then as farce... Like Big Flame before them, Plan C now dissolves into the Labour swamp...

R Totale

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tbh, that's really not how I read it at all. They're obviously still walking a bit of a tightrope in terms of keeping different opinions on board, but it's better than some of the excitable stuff they were putting out in about 2017, and there's bits of it that read like they could be from any anarcho/left-com anti-elections tract:

"We challenge the idea that this is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’. This idea suggests that there is no power and no change outside of elections. This is the idea of those who only recognise the power of parliament. But we know from history that the truth is closer to the opposite: no change has ever been made in our favour without strike and struggle and social conflict. Power is in the streets, homes, and workplaces...

The answer lies beyond elections; it lies in all of us; it lies in movements. The idea of one hero, one election, one moment is a myth our society sells us; it can paralyse us from taking action. What we desperately need to be doing is reorganising society so that we are able to meet our own needs, so that we control our own social reproduction.

Forget heroes. After the election, we on the left will need to regroup, to meet, and to keep building the institutions outside of state and capital that we need to win."

I mean, it doesn't say "fuck Corbyn, voting is for wankers", but at this stage they were never really going to put something like that out anyway.

Dyjbas

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Once an organisation is claiming that Labour has "socialist policies", openly canvassing, phone banking, and registering voters, it's crossed the Rubicon, no matter how much spin they put on it.

rat

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So Plac C is definitely back to Plan Corbyn ... again.

"...the success or failure of the Corbyn project will be [in] the power of grassroots society to resist the reaction. And that will depend on us controlling the institutions."

What does this bit mean? Grassroots society? Maybe by grassroots, they are referring to any small, but autonomous resistance, protests and strikes. And those small movements need to be brought round to supporting the Labour Party, which will have the effect, of at least partially, demobilising them. And what are the institutions that Plan C refer to? And who is 'us'?
(It's probably in the article but I've missed it.)

R Totale

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dyjbas

Once an organisation is claiming that Labour has "socialist policies", openly canvassing, phone banking, and registering voters, it's crossed the Rubicon, no matter how much spin they put on it.

I don't understand why people are talking as if this was something new, whatever Rubicon there is to cross was definitely crossed by 2017, as discussed on the first page of this very thread.

rat

So Plac C is definitely back to Plan Corbyn ... again.

"...the success or failure of the Corbyn project will be [in] the power of grassroots society to resist the reaction. And that will depend on us controlling the institutions."

What does this bit mean? Grassroots society? Maybe by grassroots, they are referring to any small, but autonomous resistance, protests and strikes. And those small movements need to be brought round to supporting the Labour Party, which will have the effect, of at least partially, demobilising them. And what are the institutions that Plan C refer to? And who is 'us'?
(It's probably in the article but I've missed it.)

I raised my eyebrows at that bit about "controlling the institutions" when I first skimread it as well, because at first glance it seemed like opening the door to the worst kind of "I'm advancing the class struggle by getting a well-paid job at the Guardian/BBC/Civil Service/whatever" crap, but on re-reading:
"It means we have to be in control of the means of our own social reproduction: the way we reproduce our everyday lives. We have to be able to feed, care for and house ourselves, and we have to be in a position to take over our workspaces and turn them over to our needs. We need to build renters unions and co-operative housing, we need militant workers unions, we need care creches that do not depend on feminised labour, and mental health support that empowers us and doesn’t leave us at the mercy of a punitive state. We need access to land to grow our own food and brew our own beer, hosting our own events in our own bars and cafes or make the spaces we frequent part of a movement. We need to common the resources we have and obtain the resources we need.

These institutions play a double role: they strengthen our capacity to struggle in the face of continuing assault from the neoliberal state, but they also allow us to step into the roles that the state currently holds when it withdraws during crisis. This is the manner in which we eventually build hegemony. When Capitalism and the state refuse to meet the basic needs of people, but we can and do, then that’s when we’ll be winning."

That bit doesn't sound so bad, although obviously talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things.

Dyjbas

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale

I don't understand why people are talking as if this was something new, whatever Rubicon there is to cross was definitely crossed by 2017, as discussed on the first page of this very thread.

No disagreement there.

Spikymike

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R Totale, The ''It means... '' bit is a very (deliberately) confused, mixed bag of stuff which assumes we can somehow create practical institutions (and not just means of everyday struggle) at scale, that can compete with those of both the capitalist state and commercial enterprises short of their revolutionary overthrow. It is little more than a reversal to the more comprehensive Social Democratic programme of yesteryear and so no surprise that they are comfortable with and actively support the more left-leaning Corbyn Labour Party. And yes this is just the end product of a road they have travelled for some time. As an aside there is a cross-over with some anarcho-syndicalist elements which still see the possibility of 'building the framework of socialism' within the shell of capitalism. Doesn't mean we shouldn't support systems of mutual aid within struggles now or in the future but these will always be a subsidiary element within class struggle independent of the state and it's supporting political and economic institutions.

Mike Harman

2 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Plan C

We have to be able to feed, care for and house ourselves, and we have to be in a position to take over our workspaces and turn them over to our needs. We need to build renters unions and co-operative housing

The question with this is are they talking about doing these things via direct action, or are they relying on Labour's 'New Models of Ownership' stuff to do it - it's not clear and there's been a lot of muddying of the new models of ownership stuff.

Spikymike

2 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since this thread is still highlighted have to say that Plan C's, Nick Matheou's 19th of Dec 2019 sad attempt to reflect on the Labour Party's electoral defeat and plot a way forward for them and their many leftist friends is one of the most deliberately confused and confusing pieces they have come up with for a long time. They still lay claim to an identity as ''the autonomous left' but that simply allows them to stay political accomplices with a whole variety of Leftists from traditional Labour Party members to the the full spectrum of Trotskyists. Their role in a variety of what they term 'grass roots' movements can only be one of spreading their own confusion to others.

Spikymike

2 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As above Plan C clearly haven't learn any worthwhile lessons from their foray into the Corbynista lead Labour Party and subsequent defeat as things return to normal and everyone can just go back to blaming the Tories for everything that's wrong with capitalism. But it's interesting to see how their release from all that has meant their website can go back to dealing with more everyday issues on the ground inspired by the recent growth of crisis lead mutual aid groups with some more useful reports and comments such as this: https://www.weareplanc.org/blog/scrubs-the-story-from-the-bottom-up/
although the more astute observers on this thread will notice the ambivalent use of the descriptive ''we'' which on past experience we can take to include their identity with a continuing appeal to a leftist lead state reform programme rather than any genuine independent class based struggle.

Battlescarred

10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, nine years after the foundation of Plan C, where are they now? No longer organising their summer camps in the Peak District but that's down to the problems with the pandemic. More serious is that very few recent articles have appeared on their website on their website , and they seem unable to organise on-line meetings. At least some of their local groups seem to have disappeared, whilst others maintain a presence on social media to a greater or lesser extent. They remain attached to more or less uncritical support of the PKK.
Anyone know of any other developments?

Noah Fence

10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Speaking of meetings Battlescarred, any plans to hold face to face meetings of the ACG any time soon? Walked past the May Day rooms on Friday and got a frisson of nostalgia for meeting up with you lot!

Battlescarred

10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not in the near future, Still playing safe.

R Totale

9 months 3 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Saw they have a podcast now:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1677301
I tried listening to the first episode but wasn't really excited by it. Demand A New Normal seems to be their new "thing", but all seems a bit vague: https://www.demandanewnormal.info/