Introduction to Discussions on Socialism

Premise

This section of our website — Discussions on Socialism — is devoted to an open discussion between comrades about issues arising from the discussion over the nature of a future socialist/communist (for Marx, Engels and ourselves the terms are identical) society. Much of this discussion will tend to the speculative since we cannot foresee the precise form a future revolutionary situation will take or even in what crisis condition it will arise. We are not engaged in creating blueprints of a new society. However, we do recognise that the working class expects revolutionary minorities to have a vision of at least the basic outlines such a society might take beyond stating that it won’t be like capitalism. So today — being far from the revolution — we can only make hypotheses about the possible difficulties that will be encountered; we cannot pretend to have certainties on this point. The articles here thus express the opinions and ideas of individual comrades and not necessarily those of the ICT as a whole. There are however some common points which provide the parameters for our discussion.

  1. Unlike the bourgeoisie, the working class has no form of property to defend, or on which to build the economic basis of a new society under the old order before then overthrowing it. For the world’s workers the destruction of the bourgeois state has to precede the conscious policy of dismantling capitalist relations and this can only be done once it has obtained political power.
  2. The second thing that has to be stressed is the international character of the revolution. Only the development of the revolution on an international scale will allow full economic transformation: socialism cannot be built in a single country. This means that it is likely that the steps taken towards the destruction of the law of value and exploitation will only become fully effective with the geographical extension of the revolution until it comes to encompass the entire planet.
  3. The fight for a world communist order we believe also posits the presence of a Communist Party rooted in the working class on an international scale. Such a Party must therefore necessarily come into existence in time to capitalise on a possible "hot" phase of history.

We believe that the Party’s political role does not end with the proletariat taking power, it continues afterwards. However, we must never confuse Party bodies with the bodies through which the proletariat exercises its power. The "dictatorship of the proletariat" does not coincide with the dictatorship of the Party. It is with the political battle in the class — and therefore in the Councils — that revolutionaries gain the trust, give political direction in the proletarian bodies, just as it is through the action of political intervention that the Party takes on a real life, even after the seizure of power. The quality of the dialectical relationship between Party and class is a sign of the health of the revolutionary process. By contrast, the weakening —or even worse, the rupture — of this link is a signal of problems in, or a retreat of, the revolutionary process. Not only must the class be able to follow the Party’s indications but, even after the revolution, the Party must be able to live in the class, to be one with it. The class is not the object, an instrument, in the hands of the Party; it is the subject of the revolutionary transformation. Socialism cannot be built by following orders from above but only through the activate participation of the mass of the class on their own initiative.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Comments

Would anyone say that this was definitively wrong - Socialism cannot be built solely by following orders from above but also requires the activate participation of the mass of the class on their own initiative.

Essentlally I am going from an "either x or y" to "x and y".