"COMMUNIST LEFT" No.33 - January-June 2013

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pcint
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Mar 4 2013 07:45
"COMMUNIST LEFT" No.33 - January-June 2013

– October 2012: Now Further Attacks on Pensions Proposed in the UK: New Attacks proposed against Pensioners.
– In South Africa the Miners Fight On, in the Face of the Bourgeoisie’s Bullets.
– The Spanish miners show the European proletariat the right path: indefinite strikes.
– The Crisis in Greece and False Parliamentary Alternatives.
– The Crisis in Europe, Bourgeois Quacks and We Communists.
– Businesses, Banks and States dragged into the vortex of Capital’s Crisis of Overproduction: the Greek case: The Years of Euphoria - Harsh awakening - The Origin of the Crisis - Who Actually Pays Taxes? - The Liabilities of the Banks.
– The Labor Movement in the United States of America(Part 3 - RG97) Translated from a presentation at the January 2007 party meeting in Sarzana (Continued from the previous issue): From Independence to Secession - Early Industrial Development - Workers’ Associations - The Situation of the Working Class.
– Report of the Public Meeting held in Liverpool on June 23rd 2012: Presentations - Chairperson’s address - The Historical Need for Communism.
– In Italy: Outside and Against the Existing Trade Unions.

http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL33.htm

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Now Further Attacks on Pensions Proposed in the UK
October 2012

The much debated, and feared, double-dip recession has already arrived in the UK, threatening to become a triple-dip recession. The various measures in vogue by the economic ‘experts’ are to “free-up” the economy (especially the private sector) by slimming down the state sector. The presumption is that by reducing the so-called burden of the state sector there would be growth in the private sector. What these economist numb-skulls don’t want to recognise is that the private sector is supported, and nurtured, by the state sector. Every time the public sector is slimmed back, the unsurprising result is that the private sector stumbles towards a halt.

Various experts are talking about continuing to cut back upon the “burden” of public spending. One conclusion is that public spending is too great for the economy, whilst the opposite conclusion, that the economy is too small for state spending is also being looked at, such as the Heseltine growth plan.

The attacks upon welfare spending are well under way – there are on-going attempts to dragoon the sick and disabled into work with the introduction of Employment & Support Allowance. The whole system is clogged-up with resistance and appeals against the implementation of this change-over to making those formerly on Incapacity Benefit or Sickness Benefit available for “some work”. This state sponsored transformation of the sick and disabled into part of the labour market (planned and commenced by the last Labour Government) ignores whether many of those found “fit for some work” are actually employable as far as employers are concerned.

All this is part of the process of driving more people onto the job market, with the hope that the cost of labour can be further reduced. There is certainly a desire on the part of many capitalists to have reduced wage-costs by the use of part-time employment, with these new workers maintaining the rest of their income by state benefits.

Housing Benefits have already been drastically cut, and pegged to the average rents of the lowest cost, and therefore generally the worst, accommodation. Young people up to 35 years old will now generally only receive Housing Benefit for shared accommodation unless there are exceptional circumstances. Now a further cut is planned for those living in properties which are "underoccupied", known as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ because it envisages no longer paying benefit claimants more than the rate for an ‘appropriate’ sized property, with tenants in a property which is considered ‘too large’ for them (for instance, after a bereavement) expected either to find a smaller property, or pay the extra rent themselves.

As well as these changes cheapening the cost of maintaining the Reserve Army of Labour by warehousing them in cheaper barracks, it will also affect those in low paid work who are renting (who are eligible for the Housing Benefit on a sliding scale) by forcing them to spend more of their already low income on the extra housing costs. Another knock-on effect is that private and social landlords will see their rental income go down to adapt to the average amount of benefit being paid out, and they will aim to shift their additional costs onto housing workers by reducing their terms and conditions and forcing them to work more for less pay.

These general attacks on benefits, mainly affecting the unemployed and low earners, and culminating in the introduction of the new "Universal Credit" next year, will also have the inevitable effect of increasing competition amongst those in work, terrifying them into accepting drastic reductions in their terms and conditions out of fear of becoming unemployed themselves, something in fact already well under way.

New Attacks proposed against Pensioners

Not long ago the government, sensing the increased fearfulness around benefit cuts, sought to reassure pensioners, in particularly those on Pension Credit Guarantee (a minimum state benefit level) that they would not be affected. But evidently they were just empty words.

With regard to pensions we have already extensively documented how broad sections of workers are now expected to make higher contributions for lower pensions, and work longer before they get them. This full frontal attack by the capitalist State has understandably prompted considerable anger amongst workers and has compounded all the other direct attacks on wages, welfare benefits, job security, living and working conditions.

In the ‘debate’ over pensions, once again the interests of preserving capitalism at all costs have prevailed over those of the workers. But if many of the concerns around pensions have hitherto been expressed by those still in work, now retired workers may find themselves directly in the firing line.

In England, Lord Bichard, a former head of the Benefits Agency has announced his new idea to “encourage older people not just to be a negative burden on the state but actually to be a positive part of society”. His proposal is that old people should do community work in return for their pensions and have some of their state pensions stripped if they refuse. His Lordship is sitting pretty, lording it over everyone – its alright for him! Everyone knows that older people often provide crucial financial support to their families and direct support to them in terms of child care, advice, mutual support, and that they contribute in a voluntary capacity in numerous other ways within local and community organisations.

This attack – as yet in the planning stages – is yet another example of how the ruling class divides the working class. The proletariat is the class on which the capitalists depend for their parasitic existence, and now it wants to continue sucking surplus value from workers until they literally drop dead. Now they want – in Lord Bichard’s scheme – to force elderly retired workers to care for the even more elderly retired workers – in order to reduce government expenditure on social care.

What is amazing is that the ruling class is now actually confident enough to come out with such open, ruthless and draconian attacks. But it is a sign not just a matter of a broad category of ‘the retired’ being weak as a social force – the wealthier retired will not really be affected by these measures – but a sign of a weakness in the worker’s movement; and it merely strengthens our resolve to argue for a genuine mass organisation of the working class which unites workers across different sectors; and which includesthe unemployed and retired workers.

Lord Bichard may argue that pensioners should be forced to work for their pensions – as though a lifetime’s slaving away wasn’t already sufficient payment – but it merely reminds us of how much our elders already do, and what influence proletarian pensioners could exert if more of them were fully incorporated into the proletarian movement; and what they might achieve in strategic moments, if, in co-ordinated actions with their proletarian brothers and sisters, they withdrew their unpaid labour…

read more : http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL33.htm

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
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Mar 4 2013 12:33

the best bits of the ICP's papers are always their reunion reports with gems like these:

Quote:
In line with instructions issued by the party centre we reconvened in Parma for the general meeting. A pleasant, well-lit and quiet hall had been booked where we could sit in comfort and listen to the many, often difficult, reports; the content of which had been decided beforehand according to an agreed, unitary plan, and which was entirely imbued with our aim of representing, to the best of our ability, the vast fund of communist left doctrine and experience which we have at our disposal.

Quote:
On May 21st and 22nd we held the party’s Spring general meeting in our spacious editorial office in Genoa, which had been treated to a cleaning blitz by the local comrades. Representatives from almost all of our groups, from Italy and elsewhere, attended.

...

After having listened to these numerous and sometimes challenging reports, which prompted everyone’s wholehearted admiration and approval, the meeting drew to a close. The participants nevertheless lingered a while to go over the details of the latest tasks and to say goodbye to each other, all imbued with a sense of renewed commitment to our collective, communist work; a difficult work, but one we are totally passionate about.

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Mar 4 2013 14:36
Quote:
And yet the party has – indeed it has to have – a busy, vibrant and effective “study centre” of its own; one which requires both profound knowledge, and a capacity to use our irreverent, inexhaustable, informal, but highly resilient, communist dialectic.

<3

Angelus Novus
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Mar 4 2013 15:31

Meh.

As far as relentless, monomaniacal impossibilist sects go, I prefer Gegenstandpunkt.

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Mar 4 2013 15:56

Is it too cheap to make a pun on "irreverent/irrelevant communist dialectic"?

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Mar 4 2013 16:35

georgestapleton's picture
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Mar 4 2013 17:03
Angelus Novus wrote:
Meh.

As far as relentless, monomaniacal impossibilist sects go, I prefer Gegenstandpunkt.

Oh but come on. This phrase is amazing: "our irreverent, inexhaustable, informal, but highly resilient, communist dialectic".

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Mar 4 2013 23:59
georgestapleton wrote:
Angelus Novus wrote:
Meh.

As far as relentless, monomaniacal impossibilist sects go, I prefer Gegenstandpunkt.

Oh but come on. This phrase is amazing: "our irreverent, inexhaustable, informal, but highly resilient, communist dialectic".

probably a good slogan for next demo's banner

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Mar 5 2013 00:50

http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL31_32.htm#GM105

Quote:
This is because the party is communism, and is the revolution, outside the parameters of time and space.

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Mar 5 2013 07:22
Entdinglichung wrote:
http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL31_32.htm#GM105

Quote:
This is because the party is communism, and is the revolution, outside the parameters of time and space.

Posadists?

Entdinglichung's picture
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Mar 5 2013 09:34
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Entdinglichung wrote:
http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL31_32.htm#GM105

Quote:
This is because the party is communism, and is the revolution, outside the parameters of time and space.

Posadists?

probably closer to those who proclaim the "Almighty Gonzalo Thought" or the "Eternal Power of Juche" ... but I still think, to be ruled by the PCInt would be more benign, but probably also very very boring

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Mar 5 2013 11:09

Very very boring, but informal.

An informal dictatorship.

Angelus Novus
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Mar 5 2013 11:54
Entdinglichung wrote:
http://www.international-communist-party.org/CommLeft/CL31_32.htm#GM105

Quote:
This is because the party is communism, and is the revolution, outside the parameters of time and space.

Hah, this almost sounds like they're trying to channel Platypus!

"Communism dead, long live communism! Adorno points to the need to abolish abstract labor by realizing abstract labor, thus creating the parameters for a revolution transcending space and time." etc. etc.

Somebody tell Cutrone the ICP is trying to bite his style.

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Mar 5 2013 14:48

http://www.international-communist-party.org/BasicTexts/DasProgr.htm

Quote:
das unbefleckte und leuchtende Programm

my translation: the immaculate and shining program

confirms my impression, that the PCInt-PC is culturally deeply rooted in Roman Catholicism, for centuries the ideology which exerted the cultural hegemony in Bordigism's birth country

petey
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Mar 5 2013 18:19
Entdinglichung wrote:
confirms my impression, that the PCInt-PC is culturally deeply rooted in Roman Catholicism, for centuries the ideology which exerted the cultural hegemony in Bordigism's birth country

i read a comment once from a member of another LC group, who said that he had come to clarity in politics by submitting his will to the testings of the organization. cf "thinking with the church." (http://wps.ablongman.com/long_longman_lwcdemo_1/0,9493,1532993-,00.html)

syndicalist
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Mar 6 2013 04:08
Entdinglichung wrote:
http://www.international-communist-party.org/BasicTexts/DasProgr.htm

Quote:
das unbefleckte und leuchtende Programm

my translation: the immaculate and shining program

confirms my impression, that the PCInt-PC is culturally deeply rooted in Roman Catholicism, for centuries the ideology which exerted the cultural hegemony in Bordigism's birth country

Aren't they now meeting in Rome to choose a new....oh, different conclave. wink

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Mar 6 2013 23:39

Infallibility (catholic)- Inerrancy (evangelical) - Invariance (bordigist)

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jura
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Mar 7 2013 14:13

Thesis - antithesis - synthesis

Guerre de Classe
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Mar 7 2013 16:13

Hi pals, don't you have nothing else to comment than this post... BTW some of your jokes aren't funny at all... What about comments and analysis on the current struggles of our class brothers and sisters in Egypt e.g.!?...

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Mar 7 2013 18:03
Entdinglichung wrote:
Infallibility (catholic)- Inerrancy (evangelical) - Invariance (bordigist)

I don't think that analogy follows. Infallibility in Catholic thought pertains to new pronouncements, not to doctrine (as Bordigist invariance) or scripture (as Biblical inerrancy). Ecumenical councils (or, more recently, the Pope) speak infallibility precisely when when scripture, doctrine and tradition are insufficient to resolve an issue.

Basically, all you've got here is that some words begin with "in-".