4. Politics

Submitted by Spassmaschine on December 17, 2009

A leaflet that sums up our positions, "The Fight for the classless society", gives this fundamental position : "The fight for the classless society is anti-political. Because any politics, whether left, right or centre means only the administration of capitalist misery: it is part of the organisation of want, dependence and alienation. "Revolutionary" politics is one of the varieties of power politics: it has done its duty to history. It did not only prove its true character in Russia 1917 and Spain 1936, it has also proved its inability to free humans from capitalism. As "revolutionary" politics is part of the problem, it can't offer the solution."

What do you think of this critique of politics?

Communism is indeed neither political nor a-political, but anti-political. Most schools of thought regard the "problem of power" as the Number One issue: old "liberals" like the English political philosophers of the 17-18th centuries and Montesquieu and Tocqueville wanted to avoid tyranny by checks and balances; democrats want to manage and moderate State power by election processes culminating in national representation; Leninists want to take the power; anarchists want it scattered everywhere so that its oppressive potentialities are neutralised. Marx's early writings (particularly The Jewish question and The King of Prussia and social reform) are a critique of power as such and of politics as such. The State cannot be understood (and done away with) without an historical understanding of why power and politics have come to the fore and become an obsession.

In Russia, it's the failure of the revolution that turned it into a process centred round the State. It's not the Bolsheviks' lust for power that destroyed the social movement: it's the lack of social change that wore out this movement and left the Bolsheviks in charge. The content is always the prime factor, by its driving force, or by the exhaustion of that force.

Insurrections are doomed if they do not attempt to communise society. What happens depends on what the insurgents do and don't do. Without communisation, revolution shrinks to mere proletarian power soon degenerating into bureaucratic power, as in Russia after 1917.