The CWO will holding a meeting in the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair on May 20 2017. The details and topic will be announced later.
'Subversion in Capitalist America: A User's Manual'
This is from 'The Will to Intervene,' the final doc in the upcoming book 'Subversion in Capitalist America: A User's Manual':"For most of the past hundred years various forms of Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism effectively occupied all political space to the left of the Democratic Party. Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism were the politics of the counter-revolution in Russia, but the Leninist left often attracted energetic, capable, dedicated people of a caliber not found among today's anarchists and ultra-leftists and militants of these forms of left capitalist politics often played a central role, and sometimes a positive one, in real world social struggles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the Leninist branch of the left-wing of capital effectively became defunct. Most of the M-L and Trotskyist groups went belly-up a generation ago. Nothing has arisen to fill that corresponding empty space. More significantly, liberal democracy no longer has the ideological allegiance of the majority of the populace. An opportunity without historical precedent is being neglected. This must change now. We are in a unique position. Authentic anti-capitalists can assert an entirely new kind of mass politics in a rapidly deteriorating society ruled by an ever-more inept and self-discrediting political apparatus. Some of the specifics of how a small, organized and energetic extremist tendency can come into being, establish rigorous internal political cohesion and contribute effectively to a larger society-wide dynamic are examined in an article titled, ‘The Anarchist Subculture and the Leftist Protest Ghetto,´ available in various places on the internet.
We now need:
- Collective reading and discussion of texts, beginning with the Situationists -- ignoring Vaneigem -- and after this works by Gilles Dauve and 'Unions Against Revolution,'
- Combined with ongoing public action among wage earners, not protesty-protester shit.
We should get involved in fights of wage earners against employers. We should assert direct action solidarity with immigrants against the U.S. government. We should take part in fights over housing, gentrification and public space. But our central ongoing emphasis should be on public transit system operators and riders in major cities -- and on enlisted people in the Armed Forces.
A well-organized group of anti-capitalists can spread its message, with an effective reach out of all proportion to its small numbers, and reach a strategically significant segment of the wage-earning class, by maintaining an extremely narrow focus among employees of public transit systems. Along with this, we can reach the widest and most diverse working class audience possible through low tech mass communication among transit system riders. A widespread self-organized movement emerging from joint action between transit system employees and riders can effect an entire urban region. Good ideas of this kind can spread from transit system to transit system, from city to city, and into non-transit workplaces.
We need to think big. This is about the working class recovering the political autonomy from capital that was lost in the U.S. eighty-plus years ago with the New Deal. And we should be wildly visionary: self-organized and extremely self-aware mass wildcat actions growing out of labor strife in metropolitan transit systems could conceivably develop, in depth and breath, and in ways that cannot be predicted at present, to create a working class-propelled political crisis for the regime we live under. A combative working class must become the central force in the unfolding crisis in this society. Mass action on mass transit could be the way that a new social movement begins.
- We will also need an internal discussion bulletin, in photocopy form to avoid our exchanges deteriorating into empty online chit-chat, and,
- A series of conferences assessing the strengths and weaknesses of our ongoing efforts and ever-evolving ways to tighten our focus and move forward.
Aspects of my analysis have changed with time, but it has always been clear that we need to create a network, based around a shared set of distinct perspectives, outside of and against liberalism, against identity politics, against the left, and indifferent to the protest ghetto and related fringe phenomena. This means gathering together the most capable, persevering and inventive troublemakers, people with drive and nerve -- we do not need a social club for college Marxist pedants and anarchist subculture scenesters. A self-styled minority tendency of this type is not a minority out of any desire to lead or manipulate others, or impart a Kautskyian-Leninist gift of socialist consciousness to working people. Until the moment when the capitalist mode of production is being scrapped only a small number of individuals are going to see that the world must be transformed in a communist way. A revolutionary mass movement cannot be organized -- but a small highly visible network of groups of people contributing to the rise of one must be organized, especially under ever more favorable conditions in the U.S. With ongoing involvement in mainstream working people's social struggles, and transparently clear shared perspectives, a high profile minority communist tendency can help give rise to a 21st century version of what the real IWW was at its best -- an anti-wage labor social movement of the wage-earning class. Paraphrasing Marx in ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’ we cannot forget that the social struggle is also a political one. We must prepare now for great events to come. And people should have started preparing for these future great events during the Jimmy Carter era.
I have always been eager to see the revolutionary event as being right around the corner. I have always been wrong. I am now more confident that I am less wrong than I have been in the past. A crisis that might take a mass revolutionary turn may not be right around the corner -- but it might be around the corner after that, or the next corner after that. The increasingly poor judgment-making skills of our rulers are giving us phenomenal opportunities that did not exist in the past.
A combination of class struggle anarchism and ultra-left Marxism is indispensable for an authentic anti-capitalist politics of our time..."
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The Communist Workers’ Organisation (North East Section) holds regular meetings in Durham open to all who are interested in defending the independence of working class action. These are usually on the third Tuesday of every month at 7.30 p.m. in
4 North Bailey — Durham — DH1 3NP
The next meeting will be on:
Tuesday April 18, 2017
Main topic: Unions, Rank and Filism, Struggle groups and the revival of working class resistance.
Unions have never been revolutionary but in the epoch of imperialism and state capitalism they have become increasingly integrated into the capitalist legal apparatus, into the capitalist state. They have in effect become a layer of management with their own organisational and political interests which are not necessarily always those of the membership. As a reaction to this we have seen from time to time over the last century various attempts at organising alternative unions. One form that keeps being resurrected in various places is the “rank and file union” which promises to be more responsive to its members. At least that is how they always start out. To discuss the recent experiences in a number of countries join the debate!
"How can workers fight exploitation today and prepare for the new society of tomorrow?"
Since the crisis of 2007 all sections of the working class have suffered cuts to their living standards. These have been enforced through wage freezes or wage cuts, new types of precarious employment which don’t guarantee hours of work, sick pay or holidays such as zero hours contracts and supposed self-employment in the “gig” economy. At the same time we suffer savage cuts in the social wage, cuts to benefits, health, education, pensions, social care etc. All this is to squeeze more unpaid work out of workers in a desperate attempt to raise profits. In London and elsewhere, recent months have seen struggles by cleaners, hotel workers and delivery drivers in the booming 'service sector'. How should revolutionaries respond to this fight-back?
Date: 18 March 2017
Time: 1400 hrs.
Venue: Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, WC1X 8QY (Nearest tube Kings Cross)
- MDF meeting Sheffield Sat Feb 25th.
Topic: ''The Robots are coming - Look Busy: Automation, Work, Class and Communism"*
The next Midlands Discussion Forum meeting is scheduled for Saturday 25 February 2017 between 2 and 6 pm upstairs at the Rutland Arms, 86 Brown Street, Sheffield S12BS, just a short walk from the central Railway and Bus stations. All welcome.
This discussion is likely to take a critical look at related ideas such as those in Paul Mason's book Post Capitalism who suggests that the new technology that capitalism produces can create a post capitalist society rather than just reform it. The working class has always been the main sufferer in the process of job loss and job creation that new technology brings - but can that technology really threaten capitalism itself or is it only the working class that can perform that task? New technology has always threatened the status quo and repeatedly generates rather idealistic notions such as the 'leisure society' or a society 'without labour' so does the advent of electronic robotic systems actually do away with workers and challenge the system of wage labour and profit creation? What is the impact of the internet and electronic systems produced by capitalism on the working class? What attitude should a communist society take to technologies produced within capitalism? Possible readings:
Worth picking out some of the linked texts in those threads even if you don't want to plough through the whole discussion.
Bordiga Beyond the Myth by Onorato Damen is now available in English translation (it already exists in Italian, French and Spanish). It contains 168 pages and includes 114 footnotes to guide English readers plus 4 appendices, one of which is the first full translation in English of Bordiga's famous letter to Karl Korsch. The price of £7.25 includes postage and packaging in the UK.
The CWO will holding a meeting in the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair on May 20 2017. The details and topic will be announced later.
Follow the link below to an online public meeting of the IWG held in the USA, Thurs April 6, (7pm/1900hrs -6 UMT). The topic is the reorganization of the IWG in the US as well as a political introduction for any sympathizers where they can ask as direct questions. Anyone who is interested may PM me on reddit for connection info.
The Platform of the Internationalist Communist Tendency Revised English version (including postage in UK) 70p
For Communism An Introduction to the Politics of the ICT £3
Class Consciousness and Revolutionary Organisation The issue of “consciousness” is one of the most important for the working class and for revolutionaries. Our approach is unashamedly historical and attempts to draw out the real experience of the working class in its struggles of the last two centuries. 56pp £4
Trotsky, Trotskyism, Trotskyists How Trotsky, who made such an enormous contribution to revolutionary practice, ended up giving his name to a movement which returned to the counter-revolutionary errors of Social Democracy. £3
Stalin and Stalinism The lie that the former USSR was “really existing socialism” remains a potent weapon against the working class. This pamphlet not only examines the origins of the regime that emerged from the defeat of the October Revolution but also explains the motivations of Stalinism. £1
Holocaust and Hiroshima Examines how the nature of imperialist warfare comes to inflict mass murder on the world through an examination of these seminal events. 50p
Capitalism and the Environment (by Mauro Stefanini) Translated from Prometeo these articles were written some time ago but show that our late comrade was ahead of his time in analysing the unsustainability of capitalist production. £1
Spain *1934-39: From Working Class Struggle to Imperialist War* Reprint of key CWO articles long out of print and translations of contemporary documents from the Italian Left in exile. New introduction. £3
Platform of the Committee of Intesa 1925 (new edition) The start of the Italian Left’s fight against Stalinism as Fascism increased its grip. £3
South Africa’s New Turmoil An analysis of class relations in the period after the fall of apartheid thrown into relief by the strike wave which followed the Marikana massacres. £2
Aurora is the broadsheet of the ICT for the interventions amongst the working class. It is published and distributed in several countries and languages. So far it has been distributed in UK, France, Italy, Canada, USA, Colombia.
Journal of the Communist Workers’ Organisation -- Why not subscribe to get the articles whilst they are still current and help the struggle for a society free from exploitation, war and misery? Joint subscriptions to Revolutionary Perspectives (3 issues) and Aurora (our agitational bulletin - 4 issues) are £15 in the UK, €24 in Europe and $30 in the rest of the World.
An Introduction to the Politics of the Internationalist Communist Tendency
Party, Class and Soviets in the October Revolution
Second Edition, November 2007
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