The Real Movement

Communism is free time and nothing else!

Month: October, 2017

Civil War in Catalonia?

And so Spain’s political-economy finally capitulates to capital after almost a decade of crisis.

Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Badiou: After politics, what?

Consider the following popular writers who have to one extent or another disputed the conclusions of Marx’s labor theory of value:

  • Negri and Hardt
  • Foucault
  • Lefebvre
  • (add your own favorite ‘theorist’ here.)

Based on what any one of these writers has written, ask yourself how do we get rid of wage slavery? Do they have any idea? For instance, what is Negri and Hardt’s solution to the problem of abolishing wage slavery? Foucault’s? Lefebvre’s? I mean, these guys write very interesting books. And if you are looking for a pleasant evening reading, any would be fine.

But what do they have to say about abolition of wage slavery that is relevant to what you are trying to do? What strategy do they suggest? Do any of these people give you any suggestions about how you stop being a wage slave? Do any of them speak directly to you and your circumstances as a wage slave?

Tell me where in all of the works by Negri and Hardt do they say, “If you don’t want to be a slave, do this, this and this.” I mean, whatever your criticisms of Marx, at least he said, “If you don’t want to be slaves, form yourselves into a political party, win the struggle for democracy and use the state power to emancipate yourselves.”

Does Foucault offer any ideas on how to end wage slavery? Does David Harvey? So, why do you read them? What possible interest do you have for their ideas? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life reading people who have no idea how to end wage slavery?

Read the rest of this entry »

Socialism: Lassallean and Leninist

One of the difficulties of the so-called struggle for socialism is the proliferation of definitions of socialism. These differences fall into two broad categories.

In the first group, we have those socialists who trace their intellectual lineage to Lassalle, including the modern social democracy movement, like the Democratic Socialists in the United States (DSA). The folks in this group typically identify socialism with the existing state, the capitalist state, the dictatorship of capital.

In the second group, we have the socialists who trace their intellectual lineage to Marx. This includes a bewildering array of groups from so-called orthodox Leninist parties like the Communist Party in the United States historically (although not at present) and an even more bewildering array of splinter groups. Folks in this group typically identify socialism with the overthrow of the existing state, and its replacement by a self-governing commune.

(NOTE: I didn’t include anarchists and similar tendencies in the discussion at this point, because they don’t envision any sort of state. Anarchists envision the direct establishment of a stateless, classless society that I here will refer to as full communism. I will address the anarchist view later)

Thus between the first and the second group of socialists we have a difference over whether socialism is possible under the existing state. Lassalleans, like the DSA, assume the existing state is a neutral body that can serve to implement a fully socialist program. Marxists, like most communist parties and their splinter offshoots, assume the state is a dictatorship of capital and must be overthrown prior to the establishment of a fully socialist program.

Read the rest of this entry »