Initiative, Reaction and the Class War (how to start winning again!)

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
jc
Offline
Joined: 23-12-13
Feb 6 2018 17:32
Initiative, Reaction and the Class War (how to start winning again!)

New blog post about the concept of "initiative" and how it shows up where the Left is going wrong. First in a series.

http://theotherleft.noblogs.org/post/2018/02/06/initiative-reaction-and-the-class-war-pt1/

Maclane Horton
Offline
Joined: 9-09-15
Feb 7 2018 20:00

OK I've read the blog.

A nice bit of waffle and I gather you're against capitalism, but where's the action?

Actually there is some initiative, some action against the system going on even now. Mostly thanks to the right wing.

And the action is they're getting Britain out of the capitalist club, called the EU. They're shooting themselves in the foot of course, but we should be cheering them on and making sure they don't miss.

Now, besides the waffle, where do we go after that? What is the next step going to be?. Well I suggest we target the transnats, the multi-nationals. There's already lots of antagonism out there that we can build on. A lot of people realise that, instead of jobs and prosperity, The just bring an unbalanced economy and exploitation - as well as organising local puppet governments.

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 8 2018 11:59

The linked text by jc seems to assume like other sections of the Left that the current global crisis is just some political choice by capitalist governments rather than the latest result of the inherent functioning of the system. Nothing wrong with upping the anti in terms of the everyday class struggle but that would have to go further than just ''asking for more'' and move a stage further to ''taking more'' and that is not something achievable within the framework of our current trade union and labour movement. Maybe part 2 of this blog will provide something better to justify the weak argument provided so far?

Maclane Horton
Offline
Joined: 9-09-15
Feb 9 2018 10:44

Look, the trade union and labour movement are just part of the system or at best offshoots thereof. In fact they operate rather like flu jabs inoculating the system against any serious danger of being overturned. Why do you think Ryanair is now working together with the unions?

Forget the trade union and labour movement.

Probe the weaknesses of the system and attack using a cumulative series of single issue campaigns.

jc
Offline
Joined: 23-12-13
Feb 9 2018 12:18
Quote:
The linked text by jc seems to assume like other sections of the Left that the current global crisis is just some political choice by capitalist governments rather than the latest result of the inherent functioning of the system. Nothing wrong with upping the anti in terms of the everyday class struggle but that would have to go further than just ''asking for more'' and move a stage further to ''taking more'' and that is not something achievable within the framework of our current trade union and labour movement. Maybe part 2 of this blog will provide something better to justify the weak argument provided so far?

Thanks for your comment. While the crisis isn't a personal choice, how austerity is carried out *is*, since right now we are getting our own services cut far more than anything the rich need, and the richest are actually benefiting from the crisis. If we reverse that then it won't get rid of the crisis, but it's a good start.

Apart from that point I actually agree with you in theory. The problem is that even though you are right about the current trade unions, and right that there's very little that can actually change under capitalism, people just aren't going to be convinced of that right away. There's plenty of good writing on libcom to show that we need revolution - but the arguments are very distant from everyday life. Trying to influence anti-√°usterity demonstrations with revolutionary propaganda or revolutionary workers' blocs has been been ineffective every time I've seen it - just causing confusion or sometimes hostility.

Someone (I think Malatesta?) said that the job of revolutionaries is to push people one step further than they are already. That's what I'm arguing for here, that's what I'm trying to do. In fact the demand for half-decent public services run by us and for us isn't actually possible in a capitalist framework. Unfortunately many people don't get that yet. We've got to start making the demands first, and then be ready to show how it's done (overthrow capitalism) when the penny drops. We will *definitely* need organisations outside the framework of the current trade unions to do this. We saw in the 70's that when the bosses couldn't afford our demands, instead of taking the next obvious step (get rid of the bosses), unions didn't really know what to do. We do need to be prepared for this situation to happen again. But IMO we need to get back there first.

Re the structure of current trade unions I will be addressing this next, but indirectly. The next article will talk about how getting people into the Labour party and thinking that makes them more class conscious, is an idiotic step backwards. The third article will talk about how the structure of unions discourages people from taking initiative, and in doing so stabs itself in the foot (of course stabbing the working class in the foot is their real purpose - but that's another issue!). So I will be dealing with that a bit too, but like I said it's a step in the right direction, not a map of where we need to be (revolution).