Friday, February 24, 2006

Dictatorship of capital

: :

As well all know, liberal parliamentary democracy is the form of the dictatorship of capital - i.e. it is teh political structure that most befits a fully functional capitalist society.

So this Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill scares teh bejeesus out of me. It will give Ministers qualified powers to make primary legislation.
That is, unlike now where they can insert clauses in Bill's that hand discresion to a Minister under statute, they would be able to re-write the text of Acts almost at will (OK, only in a context of furthering policy and under due consultation, etc., but hey).

Theoretically, the Bill gives final consent to Parliament - through either a negative or affirmative procedure, but in practise it will be unlikely that a ruling party will permit any blcking resolution - and the lack of a debate means it will be hard to guage support in the house and organise opposition.

What it would mean would be simple bureaucratic government, rule by ministerial fiat. National managerialism. For all their talk of localism, this has been a government trend - power is centralised or moved to managers.

Of coruse, we all know in practise the state may do as it like - recall how the law was bent out of shape to crush the miners - but it is worrying when they begin to consider throwing off even the semblance of public democracy.

Finally, I'll adda point made by a barrister acquaintance of mine - since these powers stem from statute it would mean Judges would be able to strike down these changes to law - wouldn't that be a pretty pass?

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Joy of Sects

: :

Well, I spent Saturday at a party meeting: DEMOCRACY: IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?

It was a good meeting with a couple of good talks and some interesting debate - especially since the local International Communist Current showed up to give us a visitation from Planet ICC.

For a group whose central thesis is parasitism afflicting the workers movement, I find it odd that they should come and do a paper sale (with four members and a sympathiser) outside a meeting consisting of about 30 people all told.

Grist to Stuart and Dave's point about sects I fear.

I have no problem with being called a member of a sect - I fully understand and appreciate that that is the siutuation we find ourselves in without a wider movement readilly available to join - but I do find this sects will eat themselves appraoch dispiriting - if the ICC want a debate they should organise one - for my part I've previously felt myself hugely embarrassed when I more or less accidentally came to dominate the debate at one of their meetings on the electoral circus (because they all rounded on me after my comments).

The ritual of meeting and debating is useful, it helps us learn new facts as well as hearing and countering counter arguments. Sects are useful for keeping a flame alive and concentrating minds on certain ideas and notions - the biological entities of the revolutionary meme pool. Evolution through sectual reproduction.

This post is rambling, it has no further point.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Abandon Hope


Over at the despairate duo's blog they restate their manifesto - or raison d'etre (or, reason for being, as the French would say).

They raise the ever awkward question of socialism in an age of waiting (as some clever buggers put it):
Revolution isn't on the cards

And if not, what can it really mean to be communist?
Ouch! Good question.

Doubtless Dave and Stuart can recite my answer to this by heart - sadly, so can I, thus:

  1. The revolution must be made by the working class.
  2. We are members of that working class, so...
  3. The revolution must be made by us.
  4. The revolution will not succeed until, though, there is a critical mass of us - of communist workers.

(4) is the killer. The revolution, and revolutionary acts can and do happen now, the revolution on the cards the Des-pair ask about. A case of damned if we do and damned if we don't - it won't happen if we don't muck in and might not happen anyway if we do. We can only try.

This brings us back to our good friend the nature of the revolutionary organisation. For many on the left the function of revolutionary organisations is indistinguishable from the classic version of parties in liberal democratic theory - a device for clarifying positions of candidates and oppoents via a known template (i.e. if you vote indpenedent you could be voting for a fascist or a communist, but once you know their party you know their platform, history and ideology, sort of).

All political (and much personal) enegery is to be diverted via their organisation - it is a filter between the revolutionary worker and the world. They are not just trade unionists but members of a disciplined party working within a trade union.

I would suggest, however, that the party should have a much more subordinate role, as a distinct tool for a specialised purpose. For me, the SPGB exists solely as a means of co-ordinating the revolutionary use of the ballot - it has not role on trade union issues, housing co-op issues or on thousands of otehr struggles that are part and parcel of the class war. That says nothing about these struggles and their worth, only that the Socialist Party is not a fit mechanism for interacting with them.

I choose to use the Socialist Party as a tool for my revolution because I consider that electoral work is something that can reach anyone anywhere, and is something worth promoting as a means of revolution. Otehrs are free to choose different tools.

The point is that organise, agitate, educate remains good for us know as it always has - it's all we've got.

It might be mad for five blokes and a photocopier to draw up a council communist manifesto in a Manchester Bedsit - but it's equally mad for workers in Dorking to draw up positions on the Ethiopia-Eritrea war, or the Irael Palestine Conflict, or the fight between John POrescott and Tony Blair.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

200th Post

: :

..according to the ever unreliable blogger dashboard, that is. Considering I was stuck on 76 for aaaages, I'll take this particular anniversary with a pinch of salt.

I was recently flicking through The travels of a t-shirt in the global economy :an economist examines the markets, power and politics of world trade /Pietra Rivoli. Hoboken, N.J. :John Wiley & Sons,c2005.ISBN 0471648493.

Cut to the chase - her conclusion was instructive - free markets are not free, the state intervenes in America as it does in China as it does everywhere - the index of wealth, though, was closely linked to power - the amount of power and influence people could exercise.

For instance, freeing up market entry for cotton growers and peasant farmers, giving them the control of their own economic partcipation was as liberating and enriching as the empowerment of farmers in the US who can and do lobby the government for support.

The traditional left/right split between free or state organised markets is a misplaced and illusory one. The reality is power and its exercise.

My point here is, generally, I think why it is possible to see why the sort of world advocated by Kevin Carson (the ultimate free marketeer) and myself - the ultimate in communisticity can in fact come so near.

We aren't disputing, eally over the basics, but like the right and left of capital disputing - rationally - the way to go about workers empowerment.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Nauseating corpse counting


So the British war dead have topped 100, and all the prepared protests have been unleashed upon the world - pro and anti war spinning like good 'uns.

What a crock of shit.

If a cause is worth killing one person for, it is (morally) worth killing 10 million. Numbers only matter to military planners and practical people not to the principled.

If you oppose the war one death is too many. If you support the war, then the sacrifice is worth it (note, it's not really sacrifice, people just get squeemish about the idea that it's murder and these soldiers have had their lives taken, and that those who sent them to war helped take their lives).

Add in that thousands have been maimed even if only one hundred have died and some people somewhere are missing the point.

The war, obeying the military state, backing world militarism harms the cause of global freedom instead of advancing it. Let the anti-imperialist cock-heads chant their slogans of support of maiming workers.

Not one death.
Not one limb.
We have a world to win.

Rant, rant, rant.