Dorking – No War But the Class War

May 2024 Forums Events and announcements Dorking – No War But the Class War

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  • #183044

    Even more, I think if the world working class decide to establish socialism, probably, some members of the capitalist class would be forced to go along with the workers or to take sides with the workers, they do not have any other choice


    Here’s the famous banner hanging at the Socialist Party’s Head Office.

    Re ALB’s #182772.


    ‘and use it to disposses the capitalist class and coordinate the introduction of socialism. ‘

    Am I right in thinking that there have been two tendencies of thought in this area, one relatively  ‘negativist’ and the other relatively ‘positivist’?

    Three quotes from ‘What’s Wrong with using Parliament?:

    a) ‘The state is an instrument of coercion, but it has assumed social functions that have to exist in any society and which have nothing to do with its coercive nature: it has taken over the role of being society’s central organ of administration and co-ordination. Gaining control of the state will at the same time give control of this social organ which can be used to coordinate the changeover from capitalism to socialism. Of course, it couldn’t be used in the form inherited from capitalism; it would have to be reorganised on a thoroughly democratic basis, with mandated and recallable delegates and popular participation replacing the unaccountable professional politicians and unelected top civil servants of today.’

    b) ‘Better to use the fact of being the majority to take control of the state via elections and parliament, if only to neutralise it.’

    c) ‘This is not to say that the socialist majority only needs to organise itself politically. It does need to organise politically so as to be able to win control of political power. But it also needs to organise economically to take over and keep production going immediately after the winning of political control. We can’t anticipate how such socialist workplace organisations will emerge, whether from the reform of the existing trade unions, from breakaways from them or from the formation of completely new organisations. All we can say now is that such workplace organisations will arise and that they too, like the socialist political party, will have to organise themselves on a democratic basis, with mandated delegates instead of leaders.’

    From Cooking the Books ‘Transition Period’ in the Jan 2019 SS:

    ‘This second point is important in that some have imagined this ‘transition’ as lasting decades. However, once the material conditions for ending class ownership have evolved – once production has become ‘socialised’ in the sense of being the collective, co-operative effort of the whole workforce – then the change can be made rapidly. The contradiction between socialised production and minority ownership can be achieved by ending the monopoly control, whether in law or in fact, of the minority over the means of production. What is required to do this is a political decision to withdraw state protection (via the law, police, armed forces, and courts) for this monopoly. There is no reason why this should take any length of time. It just requires a political decision and its implementation; which of course assumes that the working class has won control of political power and is organised to implement its decision.’

    Quote (b) and the quote from Cooking the Books refer to a ‘negative’ (or ‘neutralising’) use; quote (a) refers to a ‘positive’ use. Perhaps it is my De Leonist and council communist side but I would think that the greater the role of workplace organisation (quote (c) ) comes into play, the less need for the ‘positive’ use of the (now democratised remainder of the old) state.



    Why not both, i.e twin-track, organisation to control and briefly use the state and organisation in workplaces (and elsewhere)? Actually, I think that’s what we’ve always said though insisting that the important thing is win political control. In any event, there will have to be coordination of the change to socialism (revolution) at society level. Since the means to do this already exists in the administrative side of the existing state, why not use this side for this purpose? Why re-invent the wheel by setting up a new administrative structure based on workplaces?


    I think point (c) in my #183320 is far too seldom mentioned. (For example is it anywhere in the ‘An A to Z of Marxism’?)

    And lack of its mention contributes toward the ease of caricature of the WSM position. (Or one aspect of the caricature anyway.) This caricature: a population-majority of convinced socialists elect a socialist parliament that then through a myriad of decrees, enacts socialism into being onto a population in all respects passive other than that act of voting.


    Replying to this part of of ALB’s #182772:

    ‘The difference between us and the CWO would be (1) they argue that the working class should smash the existing state in an armed insurrection and […]’

    It seems to me that the fundamental difference with ‘the insurrectionalists’ (which includes not just the CWO etc but anarchist communists as well I’d think) is not this. After all, the WSM logically can not and does not propose capture/use of legislatures in states where that avenue is not available. In those cases (even if the word goes discreetly unsaid when when the matter comes up, which is not often) what else then than insurrection in some sense or another?

    In my view, the fundamental difference with ‘the insurectionalists’ is rather over this: For successful socialist/communist revolution to happen, must socialist consciousness be arrived *before* the revolution (forming in fact one of its pre-conditions)? Or can it *only* come about *in the process* of revolution (insurrection)?

    Compared to this, I think that vanguardism vs propagandaism vs spontaneism (as per the mention of 1930s Mattick vs Pannekoek/SPGB, and then Wright … or Kamunist Kranti), though related, are second order differences with other groups.

    Unrelated to the above: Do I understand KAZ to be an ex-SPGB member who is now an ACG member?


    aye, that i be. your monicker seems vaguely familiar. hello chuckaluck if i knows you (not landlord wiggers shurely?).

    anyway. for myself, i’d say socialist consciousness is formed both before and during the revolution. that’s the nature of consciousness. if it’s not formed in the course of experience (struggle as the schmoos say), it’s false consciousness (or summat like).

    insurrectionalism is very old hat. pretty much a liberal thing these days. find me a wolfie smith and i’ll find you a bod who salivates over rights and identities and all that gas.

    will there be a barney? oh i should think so. them buggers won’t surrender without a fight. should we do weapons training right now in preparation for the glorious battle of tooting bec? pull the other one.

    the difference between marxists and anarchists (put the classic in front because everyone’s a wanker now) is not whether we can duke it out with the pigs but whether the pigs (and the grunts and the smarmy suits and the grubby bollock boxes and all the other crap of the modern state) are a suitable means for transforming society.


    KAZ –

    I have just pm’d you via moderator.

    (If you don’t get it, then there is something fishy with . Used to be you could pm people that way. )


    would that come by shemail or is there something on here? t’is a terrible format this here. always going to admins who are invariably sleeping. costs a bleeding packet too. acg one’s free. you can “like” a post or a comment just like on facebook. and it’s got built in messaging. i’m on faecesbook as keith scholey so you can contact me there. i’m the one with hedgehogs.


    by the way, i probably ought to mention that the ACG-CWO alliance wasn’t particularly successful. they did an “intervention” (disrupted a meeting) and tried to poach one of our boys. good job they didn’t try me. i’m anyones for a big sloppy cream slider. however, i feel they may have anticipated that and hidden away the comestibles.

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