- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Is it?

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on March 25, 1999 at 19:16:52:

In Reply to: Consciousness is uneven posted by noel on March 25, 1999 at 14:41:14:

: 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...

How can we possibly hope to win without the active support of the majority of people? it can't be done. They may 'back us' against an opponent, hoping we'll secure somthing more like what they want, or they may be generally neutral, until we start telling them what to do, then they get hostile. We need to build for an active Majority now, and not assume a minority inplace when somefuuture crisis hits.

: 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.

Indeed, but niether of them set themselves up as leaders, and niether of them were going to seize the state on behalf of the working class- theres is a big difference between porysletizing, and leading.

: 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?

No, I'm saying its wrong for a small minority to seize power, and with military might, and terror, try and enforce socialism on an unwilling populace.

: 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.....

No, any Vanguard which will lead the working class, try and be at the forefont of the working-class, turns into stalinism- the vanguard displaces agency onto the aprty, from the class, and that is bad. Any minority trying to act 'on behalf' of the working class, will end up metonymically replacing the working class interest with its own interest ('we are the vanguard of revolution, if we are defeated, teh working class is defeated.' etc.).

: 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.

Ahem, mais non, you as teh active minority will control the state, the point about engineers and teh like working at gun point comes from an SWP pamphlet.

: 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?

Given that consciousness is uneven. But actually, the point about 'Guns' was that the SWP will, because of its hostility to the 'middle class' (whatever that is) need to make 'middle-class' workers work at gunpoint.

If you haven't even got the workers at the Power PLant, you haven't got the Majority of the working class with you.

: 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....

No, I'll join in the strike, however, I'll not deploy violence against my fellow workers (the police).

: 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?

I've nothing against mass movements, nothing against organisations, however, they must be democratic (which the SWP isn't), and mustn't try and achieve their aims by military force.

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

Personal reasons will prevent I'm afraid, besides teh minimum wage won't work, its a state reform, I back union activism over legalism any day.

: 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....

And I argue with them, and point out teh truth (and I'm sorry, the point about teh ANL turning up is based on real life events). I am out doing, I'm raising revolutionary consciousness, and helping build a movement, I refuse to be drawn into reformism because its a distraction that does not raise revolutionary conscuiousness.

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

Yeah, I agree...

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