- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Consciousness is uneven

Posted by: noel ( SWP, UK ) on March 25, 1999 at 14:41:14:

In Reply to: Drivel. posted by Red Deathy on March 24, 1999 at 15:15:50:

: : Of which you and I are a part.....

: As a whole- it must be the immense majority working in teh interests of the immense majority.

Yes I agree....BUT unfortnatley Capitalism does not create a nice tidy majority of conscious working class socialist revolutionaries, consciousness is uneven which is not to say that millions of people can at times be ready for a revolution, just that we may not get many more opportunites to get rid of capitalism.....so when mass crisis's happen we have to be ready to organise so that we (working class) win and not the very well organised capitalists...

: : Utter Rubbish-So anti-socialists such as Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, etc...were all wrong hey?

: Last I heard niether of those two advocated vanguardism, won't find a single word of it in the Manifesto, your Chris Harman critiscises Rosa Luxemburg for her 'Ultra-Leftism' during the German Revolution, and for her famous 'sponteneism'. Noticeably you don't mention Lev Davidovitch 'The revolution is made by the minority' Trotsky, nor Loony, erm, Lenin- both of whome did hold that view.

What exactly was Karl Marx doing selling pamphlets, being involved in the IWMA if it was not to give some direction to the struggle, similarly Rosa Luxemburg didn't form the KPD and get shot for the good of her health.

And as for the minority question, well yes in one sense revolutions do start with the minority....someone, somewhere starts fighting and it gets bigger, are you suggesting that it is wrong for people to fight back if they are not the majority of the working class?

: : So you ARE attempting to give direction, i.e. a lead so that the struggle goes backwards rather than forwards.....

: Arguing and debating with people is very different from unilaterally taking action, burrowing into other people parties (or existing parascitically to them, but without them), taking voer their unions by cliquery. They listen, or they don't, their call.

Agreed, but if they listen then we do something, because people agree with the argument, I don't quite think you understand the difference between a vanguard that ATTEMPTS to be an organisation that links all those who become class conscious through struggle, so that we have more chance of sucess in future battles and Stalinism which tells people that they are the leaders.....

: Its also very different from wanting to seize power as a minority, and make people work (if they are skilled intelectuals and engineers) at gun-point if need be.

Nobody in the SWP wants to seize power as a minority, we want the working class to do it, but we need to be organised to do this.

As for working at gun point, I don't think this is likely as a situation, but lets say for argument that a revolution is happening, now because consciousness is even it is entirely possible for a group of workers to not side with the old order, what if those workers happen to run the local electricity sub station, what would you do if after much argument they refuse to run the power station? Do you let the the electricity get cut off and watch the revolution get strangled?

: : I think it's time to stop being so sectarian and realise that if the most class conscious elements of the working class DONT give a lead then others will.....namely the Right.

: I will nto lead, merely proyletize. Down with leaders.

So in your workplace when your strike commitee tells you the police are coming to forcibly get you out of your office occupation you'll just sit there arguing and not doing....

I met two people from Indonesia the other week, in the revolution there, there are a lot of people trying to lead the people, so you have to have some kind of strategy that orgainses people so that they can have the best chance of leading themselves to victory....because if they don't they die, in Indonesia the ruling class is as we speak arming peasents so that they can use them against the working class if our side doesn't get organised and ready to fight then people will die. Is there anything wrong with that?

: : Do you actually do any activity other than writing on this list, because if you came down to East London I can show you why it's important to give a lead, because if you don't then working class people get killed.

: Yes, I work in my local union, actually.

So your coming on April 10th to the minimum wage demo I hope......

Are you referring to ANL activism- bunch of leftist turn up, kick shit out of Nazis' leave the locals to deal with the fallout?

Because of course no lefties actually live with the locals do they.....I'm not particularly referring to ANL what I'm saying is that as you sit there arguing but not doing then people like the right come in and say they're (immigrants etc...) the problem....

We can go forward or we can go backwards, there are no guarnatees of success, but if we try who knows.....

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