CWI and Seattle

May 2021 Forums General discussion CWI and Seattle

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #82941
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/03

    I pondered whether this should be alongside the Podemos thread as it covers similar ground.

    A lot of issues and questions that we can learn from that resulted in a groundswell of support and activism but unfortunately disguised Leninists behind the steering wheel and it is only a matter of time they direct the movement up a dead-end, if it is not already heading that way. 

    #101990
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

     Kshama Sawant in her own words:" If we organize as workers, with a socialist strategy, we can tackle the chasm of income inequality and social injustice"http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/03-0Surely if we can organise worrkers with  socialist strategy our next step is not to tackle inequality gap but to abolish it.

    #101991
    ALB
    Keymaster
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
     Kshama Sawant in her own words:" If we organize as workers, with a socialist strategy, we can tackle the chasm of income inequality and social injustice"

    That the classic reformist argument. The question is whether, as a Trotskyist, she is just saying this in pursuit of their "transitional demand" tactic or whether she really believes this, i.e is a classical reformist. I suspect the latter.

    #101992
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    I think we are facing what i think you faced rather more than i did and that is what can be described as another  'New Left", resurrecting their old decredited and discarded ideas, presenting them as new and acquiring some popularity because of it.Accompanying the old "New Left"  was a resurgence of what for ease can be described as the "Libertarian Left" which challenged and undermines some of the core claims of the Trotskyists. But is there an accompanying complementary expression of that trend today?  StuartW thinks he may well be part of that …i think he more like is part of the problem, by reinforcing the perspective that there is such a thing as "revolutionary reformism" instead of offering an alternative poitics, another descriptive adjective, the Libertarian Left were using. I'm just raising a few things i am pondering with Podemos/LU/Seattle and Occupy. I think the other thread hit a truth when it said the difference was that reformists worry about distribution of wealth while we concentrate on the question of its production…they forget capitalism is a mode of production. I came across a SWP article that i thought had a bit of truth in this re-distributionist fervour. http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/callinicos/1981/xx/wagelab-statecap.html"…Marx, as we have already seen, was deeply hostile to such a promiscuous extension of the term “capitalism” to every pursuit of monetary gain. He was careful to distinguish capitalism in his sense from merchant’s and usurer’s capital, “the antediluvian forms of capital, which long precede the capitalist mode of production, and are to be found in the most diverse economic formations of society”. Their emergence is possible because “money and commodity circulation can mediate between the spheres of production of widely different organisation, whose internal structure is still chiefly adjusted to the output of use-values”. Thus, usury “does not alter the mode of production, but attaches itself firmly to it like a parasite and makes it wretched…”. Our problem is how do we attack a movement that is popularising our objective albeit by mis-defining it? Also, as you say, actually sincerely believing in what they advocate rather than the original Machavelian approach of Leon .Also as you often say …Occupy/Brand et all  brought revolution and socialism back into daily discourse…But we want people to recognise these acts as they really are and not their misrepresentations. We are still being accused of being utopian because we reject the stepping stone "socialist" strategy. I think this lack of ambition or aspiration or self-confidence , call it what you will, is the political challenge we face. Surprisingly, on a number of radical websites soon as i mention trade unions the guffaws begin. They appear to have lost all credibility and no longer seen as organisations with a role in changing society or creating a post-capitalist society, something the IWW  and syndicalists and workers councilists should begin to worry about. Instead we have workers self management workers owned enterprises workers co-operatives…whatever they call it, it still leads to "peoples capitalism" not " peoples socialism" and of course the re-surfacing of variants of social credit presenting itself as original.I find it difficult to accept our traditional way of responding to all these diversions is working or will work. But i struggle to find a solution. 

    #189312
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Very much disappeared under the radar since the rise of AOC is Trotskyist Kshama Sawant. We rarely hear much of her these days. But now she is up for re-election to Seattle’s city council. The wealthy elite, particularly Amazon,  have not forgotten her and are determined to oust her, using their enormous financial power.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/05/amazon-seattle-councilwoman-kshama-sawant-re-election-bid

    “This race and indeed all of the city’s elections this year will be a referendum on one fundamental question: who gets to run Seattle? Big business like Amazon and real estate corporations, or working people?” Sawant told the Guardian.

    #216755
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Kshama Sawant has not totally been replaced in the media by the Squad. She is still prominent in Seattle’s left and now subject to a recall challenge.

    Grassroots Organizers Mobilize to Defend Kshama Sawant Against Recall Effort

    #216767
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Interesting that the recall procedure seems to be alive and kicking in some parts of the US, though this one seems to be harassment.

    I can’t see how she (or us) can object to the principle and, if she has the support of those who elected her, she should be able to get them to vote down the recall. If not, that would mean she had lost their confidence and was no longer representative of their views.

    The same thing could happen in socialism, where the right of recall is likely to be a feature of the democratic electoral system, if a delegate loses the confidence of a certain number of those who delegated them.

    #216777
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    I remember having contact with someone who had studied on the ground the modern CNT-unions in Spain. i forget his name but he did publish a small pamphlet, and he pointed out that despite having a recall rule in the constitution, it was never ever enacted as far as he knew.

    The reasons he believed were very human and personal, simply a strong reluctance to seek to challenge a sincere official for incompetence.

    It would be different if someone was openly corrupt but we can surmise that such grounds wouldn’t exist in socialism.

    Haven’t we also had similar situations within the Party, not wishing to go through a process of dismissing a fellow-member from any duty because of his or her mistakes or inability to perform up to an expected standard. Because we recognise we all all fallible, the first recourse is an informal one and that usually works.

    The UK has a very limited recall rule regards MPs
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_of_MPs_Act_2015

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.