Tuesday, Jan 1, 2012
Friday, February 11, 2011
Notes On Communist Dialogue
- In the present era, it has become too commonplace for groups to base themselves on tactics which they hope will be guaranteed to set off revolt. While we communists certainly should consider tactics, we also don’t want to claim “unique genius” in this regard. Acting on every level against the current order is good but claims for originality are over-rated. The originally any given revolutionary can only decisive when it flows out of an understanding of the era – What must distinguishes communists then can’t be tactic but rather putting forward the overall communist analysis and position.
- From Egyptian police impersonating protesters to “Internet Trolls” to the capitalist lunatics who shoot capitalist congresswomen to defend capitalism, today the system defends itself with a violent pseudo-dialog. Consciously or unconsciously, this pseudo-dialog aims to destroy the real dialog which could lead beyond the current social regime. – It is important to maintain our communication at the level of respectful dialog, whoever we main be addressing, whether they those among us or those outside the group, those we agree with or those we disagree with.
- It is important to be explicit about the principles that we believe are important. Revolutionaries should come together aiming for agreement on some core-principles. Naturally, it is useful for those core principles to flexible enough to encompass a variety practical activity as well as practical and theoretical disagreements. What exactly is a core principle should be a topic for ongoing discussion. At the same time, at the point those involved feel that agreement on core principles cannot be reached in a foreseeable time-line, we should respectfully consider ourselves seperate tendencies. Decisions about non-core questions can be taken by democratic vote or whatever method is convenient and appropriate.
- We need to also cultivate comradely dialogue. A revolutionary process is not going to be the product of any single group realizing its program. The ability to learn from each revolutionary upsurge will be more important than the ability to simply present program (which isn’t saying we shouldn’t present our approach and ideas without apologies – dialogue is a two way street. In this sense, it is the opposite of a Socrates who asks leading questions whose answers he expects. Revolutionaries must instead clearly put forward what we believe to be right while being aware we could still be wrong).
- The “critique of the Left of capital” is crucial for communists because capitalist relations today form a kind of deceptive spectrum. Through a self-serving “sloppiness”, those on the “revolutionary left” socially bond with the “moderate left” and implicitly accept the assumption this group “may accept capitalism but it better than the alternatives”.
- At the same time, our discussion needs to be comradely with everyone specifically because of the incredible integration of the system. A world where we are recruited as mutual jail keepers for each other is a world in which it is counter-productive to point fingers concerning who is the worst collaborator. Certainly, refusing to collaborate is a different story.
- Certainly, we oppose unions, national “liberation” struggles, racism, nations and nationalism, self-management of capitalist relations, the fixation on banks or paper money as the problem and so-forth. This rejection can explained subjectively as a refusal to compromise the integrity of relations or historically given the unfolding trajectory of modern capitalism encompasses and expands these relations.
- This opposition isn’t a moral opposition, one which condemns the people who believe an idea. Otherwise, we would be condemning most of the world. It is an opposition of ideas. Once the proletarian action begins, there will also opposition of action too, of course.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Whose Crisis, Whose Diaster? (I)
Hey, I suppose a blog rounding-up various Facebook posts and miscellaneous discussions over the last month or so might be good. No guarantee I’ll keep this up “as a tradition”.
What does the crisis look-like to the bourgeois? I would posit that it looks like an avalanche of benefit with a few rough-spots. For example, the program of (Unite State’s) “state bankruptcy” provides a massive opportunity for speculative capital to profit from the further buffeting of US state’s bond prices.
The uncertainty of Greece’s situation was a cornucopia for the world’s hedge funds.
The state bankruptcy plan would double to the size of this casino while keeping the rules of the game about the same – ie, a game of “chicken” where the local government is ostensibly bullied into greater and greater austerity measures by speculative attacks.
I commented on The China Study Group’s blog concerning the various debates around the crisis. I think the debate is worth continuing and I look forward to any replies. One thing I’d say about using statistics to judge the crisis is that I’d rather use no statistics than a small sample of statistics that are probably wrong. This isn’t to say one should ignore statistics. A thorough read of Doug Noland’s Credit Bubble Bulletin can provide the reader a wide of range of statistics which are worth comparing against the single statistic Aufheben cite. But even this gives one just a “sense”. If some academic could do a detailed analysis accounting for all of capital’s mass, all the fake profits, all the hidden inflation and so-forth, it might show whether or not capital is really having a crisis of accumulation. Until then, it actually seems wiser to the judge the situation by capital’s behavior than by a simple look at the official figures.
Is crisis “good for us” or “bad for us”? Such a question means little. I believe it is something like a disease entering a terminal stage, where it must either be cured or kill the patient. What are the odds of one or the other? How could anyone expect anyone to know the answer.
More in a bit…
Friday, January 21, 2011
Final PDF Posted
Just a quick note to say I posted the final PDF of ASAN * here. I’m posting it on scribd so I thought I’d post here first.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
In response to adventure ...
Speaking roughly, we might say that the ingredients of adventure are challenge, mystery and transformation.
Currently, omnipresent cellphones and networks are corroding all of the concrete, specific mysteries of this society. Despite this, they leave almost everything more mysteries and opaque than before. But for simple questions you might ask someone, for facts about geography, weather, common knowledge and such, the mystery is just gone. The plot of most novels from before the 21st century would fall apart given just omnipresent mobile phones. Google maps, wikipedia and such would eliminate the rest.
Transformation is in just as bad shape, though not as obviously. However much a character might change, said challenge would face the same roiling, insane total world of capital. And so authentic transformation look done-for “in the small”. Challenge similarly.
So where does that put adventure? The classic plots which followed exemplary characters through illustrative adventures can no longer resonate with our condition.
I would posit that “adventures”, in the plural, are done. We have only the single adventure that we are all facing simultaneously – the total transformation of humanity. For capital, we are raw materials. Once this “raw-material-hood” was concentrated in mundane physical effort. Now, the “sharing” of our mutual social relations is important part of it. And so the singular plots of our individual “characters” are marginalized relative to what twists and turns the total plot of the total machine will take…
Of course this is all an extension and intensification of everything the Situationists discussed. But it’s still important to keep track of the various levels to which capital’s flood reaches.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
First Post! ... and all. This blog is intended unify my rough BBS posts, ASAN drafts, Facebook posts and whatever else. Some people’s challenge is getting things written down. My challenge is getting what written into coherent, final form. Well, at least I know. The blog now being added to the site will thus range from long articles to short comments. It will include my personal musings and sharp polemics. Everything is subject to being updated for typos… Enjoy