[lbo-talk] Louis Proyect on Party Building

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 25 07:17:06 PST 2011

Carrol Cox Charles is pretty much correct -- perhaps a bit overstated, but still pretty accurate.

^^^^^^ CB: Yes, some of my enthusiastic statements about the Occupation are a bit overstated , but this one is amazingly pretty precise. The militancy is reflected in the willingness to camp out indefinitely and of course the civil disobedience. One day at the encampment here, it ocurred to me that the similarity to a military encampment "spoke" of the militancy quite eloquently. The occupiers are putting themselves through physical exertion signifying their militancy.The centrality of the 99 vs 1 theme is a declaration of representing the working class in the class struggle, Despite the "income" conception of class , we will take it. It is a way to speak popularly. Eloquent and simple. I just happened to be looking at a map on the Occupy Illinois facebook page. It has 19 occupations in Illinois. Basically, we can see this as working class party cadre. We really don't have to worry about the details of party formation theory from Lenin's period. . The objective conditions of capitalism today have drummed dialectics into the heads of a mass of people, and a mass working party has arisen spontaneously. By spontaneously I mean without Marxist theory guiding it. Although, Im not even sure of that because the Occuipiers have very significant and explicit anti-capitalist _system_ consciousness. Notice I didn't say a revolutionary party. For that, revolutionary theory or Marxism will be needed. There is still the barrier of the mass anti-Communist brainwashing from the Cold War period that stands in the way of that. Some of the Occupiers may be Marxists who are practical enough not to wear it on their sleeves.

The specific theoretical help needed from Lenin and Hilferding right now, is concepts from _Imperialism_ in their focus on the principles in Marx's chapter 32 in _Capital_ on "The Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation" - specifically, the inherent tendency of capitalist competition to monopoly or centralization; one capitalist kills many; yet, monopoly socializes many enterprises under capitalism making possible a "simpler" revolution in that only the expropriating monopoly corporations , the "too-big-to-fail" corporations ,need be made public property through expropriations. In saying , the expropriators r expropriated Marx is pointing to a sort of shortcut

"The transformation of scattered private property, arising from individual labour, into capitalist private property is, naturally, a process, incomparably more protracted, violent, and difficult, than the transformation of capitalistic private property, already practically resting on socialized production, into socialized property. In the former case, we had the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers; in the latter, we have the expropriation of a few usurpers ( the 1%)by the mass of the people.(the 99%) "[2]



Wojtek is trapped in the ideology of "Critical Thinking," a mode of thought which finds _all_ active response to the world illegitimate or deficient since they fail to 'fit' preexisting forms. Eisenhower's rejection of the "critical thinkers" on his staff probably saved 10s of thousands of lives. (Look up the incident of the Remagen (sp?) bridge. Many on his staff thought they should not risk changing their plans for crossing the Rhine, even though this bridge (damaged but not destroyed) was there for their use.

Critical thinking puts a barrier between the thinker and anything new. It is a mode of thinking which differs radically both from theoretical work and from the self-criticism on required for effective political practice. Bernstein & the Mensheviks were the very Incarnation of Critical Thinking. It is a particularly dangerous form of idealism.


-----Wojtek S ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- In our environment, the troops on the ground are few and scarce, and they are disorganized as well - so the primary task is the mobilization of troops rather than simply organizing what is already there.

^^^^^ CB: Suddenly, with the Occupation there are militant partisans of the working class, very well organized and in every major city and many other cities. They have their own "press" because of the internet. ___________________________________

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list