Is this how capitalist rule will end?

July 2024 Forums General discussion Is this how capitalist rule will end?

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  • #107890

    Ona  related theme:http://brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/green-party-says-cuts-motion-full/Socialism in one council?  We would run into similar problems to the Greens in Brighton, and we'd have to think of a wy round them (hopefully we wouldn't clash with the unions, but then there might be Labour loyalists in position to try and sabotage).  In specific circumstanxces, though, we'd be having to administer cuts.Obviously, any local socialist majority would seek to democratise processes.  So a socialist Britain would see the monarchy and House of Lords (and all the honours system) dismantled, and the cabinet abolished and replaced with committees of the house, etc. i.e. political reforms without necessarily interfering in the market (save total support for the unions).

    #107891
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That's a different point. Not sure I agree with what you propose. Might be better to let the central government do its own dirty work. And don't forget that in Britain local councillors are essentially elected civil servants of the central government. Anyway, under our rulebook, a socialist councillor and so council would be under the instructions of their local branch. I know which way I'd vote if this matter came up.

    #107892
    twc
    Participant

    We have signed up to common ownership and democratic control of the means of life by and in the interest of the whole community.Implementing common ownership and democratic control must therefore be a socialist majority’s first political act.  All else flows from this foundation.None of us has signed up to preserve private ownership and control of the means of life in the interest of the capitalist class.Abolishing private ownership and control must also be a socialist majority’s first political act.  Fortunately, it is achieved precisely, and simultaneously, by implementing common ownership and democratic control of the means of life by and in the interest of the whole community—by implementing the foundation of socialism.It therefore follows that a socialist majority has neither interest in, nor democratic mandate for, preserving private ownership and control of the means of life in the interests of the capitalist class.A socialist majority therefore immediately abolishes society’s capitalist foundations, and confronts the world, standing on its own socialist soil.A socialist majority has no interest in running capitalism, and so, most importantly, neither do its parliamentary candidates.  The need to participate in capitalism can never outweigh the need to advocate socialism.  Capitalism’s problems are always pressing.  But none of them, singly or collectively, is ever more pressing than the implementation of socialism.Abstention from capitalist decision making, as subservient to socialist advocacy—in perfect alignment with the recommended stance “WORLD SOCIALISM” on the national ballot when no socialist candidate is standing for election—is a rational socialist position, because there simply is no honourable rational socialist position that is participatory under a capitalist framework.If the party advocating common ownership and democratic control presents its case rationally, then a majority that consciously agrees with it will know precisely how to comprehend its principled socialist stance, just as it will readily comprehend how to unambiguously institute common ownership and democratic control.  A majority would never consciously stake its future on the efficacy of such a party otherwise.Socialism’s parliamentary representatives should preserve socialist clarity and integrity at all cost, since socialism itself relies upon that.If instituting common ownership and democratic control incurs the military wrath of opposing interests, a majority socialist society will by then be steeled neither to compromise nor concede.  The only reason it ever uses the armed forces, it has gained democratic control over, is in defence of its clearly demonstrated wish to preserve itself against private ownership and control of the means of life.Armed conflict is precisely what a rational socialist majority consciously seeks to avoid.  That’s precisely why its case must be rational at all times.Consequently, bravado about sabotaging capitalism is actually sabotaging socialism.  Imagining how to run capitalism, however creatively, is actually destructive of socialism.All the tricky conundrums about how to run capitalism by socialist candidates, or a majority socialist society, are genuinely insoluble.  They remain delusional pipe dreams.  Their would-be solvers finish up tying themselves in embarrassing knots.The sobering thought, as Marx showed, is that capitalist problems are not capable of solution, neither by capitalists, a socialist candidate nor a socialist majority so long as capitalist conditions of ownership and control remain in force.Nothing can be solved before common ownership and democratic control are implemented by and in the interests of the whole community.  Our Principles unambiguously state as much.  Our candidates must respect that.  We are not here to solve the unsolvable—i.e. capitalist problems, for capitalists.Only after a majority socialist society has implemented common ownership and democratic control of the means of life by and in the interests of the whole community can we begin to solve social problems rationally in the interests of the whole community.  It is only then that we begin to conceive social problems rationally.We must openly acknowledge the impossibility of hitching a socialist cart to a capitalist horse.  We need that socialist horse first.  That is Marx’s materialism.

    #107893
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    twc wrote:
    We have signed up to common ownership and democratic control of the means of life by and in the interest of the whole community.Implementing common ownership and democratic control must therefore be a socialist majority’s first political act.  All else flows from this foundation.[– – –]A socialist majority therefore immediately abolishes society’s capitalist foundations, and confronts the world, standing on its own socialist soil.

    With ‘by and in the interest of the whole community’ I take it that you mean the world community. If we are to start buildning a world system of production and distribution, then the socialist majority in a single country can only hope to achieve buildning a small piece of the world system, one that would not function by itself, like one of the modules in the International Space Station. Of course, it would be impossible to do this without any material production, so capitalist production and commodity exchange would remain.If you mean, which I don’t think you do, that the community is the nation, initially, then any attempt to build a socialist system, i.e. one without trade with the capitalist world, would mean a project of autarky, something like Buthan before the 1960s. (I don’t mention North Korea because this state is too much engaged in external trade to be used as a good comparison.) This would almost certainly lead to a dramatic drop in production output and it would be very hard to maintain enough food, clothing and heating for the people despite perhaps a doubling of the number of hours worked. The ensuing drop in living standards would then place a great deal of strain on the support for socialism and so not serve as a good example.Please explain in more concrete terms how you mean that a socialist majority should implement socialism on its own soil. I cannot picture this in my mind, only misery.

    #107894

    I raised local councils because the situation is pretty much the same as national govenment (especially those in supranational organisations like the EU).Yes, there is the option of a revolt: say the Mole Valley Commune.  The council could simply refuse to set any budget, 'occupy' local governmnt properties, work with campaign groups and unions to secure direct access to resources, and throw open democracy so that a mere change of personnel won't be enough to give power back to capitalist parties.  These are actions short of revolution that can be effected by a technical local majority.  That and, obviously, campaign to spread the revolution.

    #107895
    ALB
    Keymaster

    If there's a prospect of a socialist election victory in Mole Valley Council in the stockbroker belt of Surrey then we'd be well on the way to worldwide victory. In fact, it could be the last council to fall so the problem you posit won't arise. Today even the Labour Party doesn't contest most seats there:http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/media/pdf/j/6/District_Results_2014.pdfHaving said that, I've just noticed that the "John David Hayball" standing in Leatherhead South ward is a former member and candidate of the Scargill Labour Party. He got 91 votes (6.2%). A sort of start, I suppose.

    #107896

    I was going to invoke the Calderdale Commune, but decided that mole Valley had the more amusing name.So, lets imagine some scenarios: The UKIP scenario: we're riding high on 20% in the polls, we may have one or two MPs, and we're a minority on a few councils in the labour heartlands.  The press are blasting us from all directions.  At least one big union has a socialist party general secretary (but others stay loyally labour).  The trots have folded up shop and are trying to organise within the socialist party, and the anarchists are on the streets, trying to 'out radical' us at all turns.  A council that elects by thirds (they still do this in Bristol) hold an election, and we win a small majority of seat on a split vote plurality (something like 26% of the vote in each seat), and thus we take our first council.Obviously, a party meeting would follow, and we'd have a heated debate.  Trot headbangers would demand that we form a revolutionary red guard, anarchists scream sell out, and labour union members start going in for sabotage.What would Jack Fitzgerald do?

    #107897

    (Oh, p.s. the above assumes that socialist parties have a similar presence across Europe and a party at least tens of thousands strong is organised in the US).

    #107898
    ALB
    Keymaster

    While we are speculating on hypothetical scenarios, Ken Macleod in his SF work The Stone Canal (p.175) envisages a government falling because a couple of "World Socialist" MPs abstained:

    Quote:
    The next day the government lost a no-confidence motion (due to the abstention of only five MPs, the three Workers' Power and two World Socialists) and fell, to be replaced by a more radical coalition drawing in support from smaller parties.

    I haven't worked out why abstaining would lead to a government losing a no confidence vote. He can't have expected Socialist MPs to vote in favour of the government in such vote (or in any circumstance). Unless he's assuming that to defeat a vote of no-confidence a minimum number of MPs must take part (vote one way or the other).Also unrealistic is his assumption that Workers Power would more MPs than us. After all, in Vauxhall in 2010 we outpolled them.

    #107899

    Actually, our answer to W.B. of Upton Park could mean that a "left-wing" government may come to rely on our MP's votes to carry bits of their legislative progamme, so if they, say, made their Trade Union Act a matter of confidence, and we abstained, they could fall…

    #107900
    twc
    Participant

    To 1875, I reply:What else does a consciously socialist majority elect its parliamentary representatives to do other than to implement its socialist Object?To deny this straightforward conclusion is to enmesh one’s thought in insoluble self-inflicted contradiction, because the only alternative turns out to be a capitalist course of action.  And that’s precisely what a socialist majority elects its parliamentary representatives to abolish.A conscious socialist majority will not forgive its parliamentary representatives should they lose their socialist nerve, weaken their socialist resolve, and refuse to implement their socialist mandate at the very moment when, historically, it finally becomes possible for them to do so.So far, all seems incontrovertible—in the abstract.You ask, what happens if we are operating at the level of a political nation, or an economic sphere, and not at the level of the whole world?I reply that this much, at least, is certain:Socialism can only be implemented initially at the political level that it actually confronts, which at present is national or regional, but not global.Consequently, we had better prepare ourselves for an initial national or regional implementation, at least under present political arrangements.For a socialist majority’s parliamentary representatives to welsh on implementing their mandated socialist Object is to betray the socialist majority, whether at a national, a regional or a global level.  The political level is irrelevant to the act of betrayal.For a conscious socialist majority, betrayal is not going to happen, because a conscious socialist majority won’t allow it to happen.So, Huston, it “appears” we world socialists might have a problem:  We aim to implement a world solution, but we have no option but to implement it first at a national or regional level.Now, we may reasonably be certain that both socialists and capitalists will have been equally aware of this looming situation long before the first socialist majority in a capitalist nation, or capitalist economic sphere, consciously votes for our socialist Object.So let’s acknowledge that we recognize a problem.  But, we should never lose sight of the fact that the international capitalist class has a bigger problem, whether it recognizes it or not.It is worth turning the tables to conceive what a terrifyingly powerful warning a conscious socialist majority, even though necessarily confined to a single nation, sends to the international capitalist class.  It will send shockwaves around the capitalist world, and doubtless panic its always nervous stock markets.So let’s examine more closely this national v world problem that supposedly forces a conscious socialist majority to accommodate itself to capitalism and betray its socialist mandate:Instead of willfully convincing ourselves that a conscious socialist majority must accommodate itself to capitalism even though, at least in one country, it has agreed to abolish it, how about conceiving that the capitalist class might just now have to accommodate itself to emerging socialism.Instead of willfully convincing ourselves that the international capitalist class is united—when it is actually disunited, and engaged in commercial warfare at all levels, and particularly at the national level—how about recognizing that the international working class is united across national barriers.Instead of willfully convincing ourselves that sanctions, embargoes, blockades will weaken working class resolve for world socialism, we might recall that the capitalist class has always broken sanctions, embargoes, blockades when in its interest to do so, and so why can’t the international working class do the same, since it will be charged with implementing the sanctions, embargoes, blockades on behalf of the world capitalist class.Instead of willfully convincing ourselves that world-coordinated capitalist military power will be turned against a conscious socialist majority, how about conceiving the signal of capitalist class desperation that capitalist war-mongering against a conscious socialist majority sends across the world, and conceive how that desperate act of inhumanity might generate its own unstoppable world-wide reaction.So, we acknowledge that under present political arrangements, one nation will always arrive at its socialist destination before others.  But we also recognize that, in a global capitalist community, the rest will arrive like a peloton, not like desultory postmen on stop–start pushbikes.Parallels with socialism in one country are totally irrelevant:We are not dealing with a minority of quasi-conspiratorial “professional” revolutionaries in a pre-capitalist world, for which a capitalist mode of production is the only deterministic way forward.We are dealing with a world community of conscious world socialist organizations in a mature capitalist world.That conscious socialist majority in a modern capitalist world will not allow the foundations of capitalism to persist a moment longer than it gets its mandate to abolish them.  For it knows that, so long as capitalist social foundations persist, so too does the capitalist thought these foundations necessarily generate—that, in a nutshell, is Marx’s materialism.For socialists today to deny that the social base necessarily determines social thought is to deny our Object, our Principles and Marx’s materialism.  It is to deny the possibility of socialism.That’s precisely why those who advocate the need to accommodate a capitalist social base, finish up—despite themselves—denying one or more of our Object, our Principles, or Marx’s materialism.To merely conceive of administering a capitalist social base is to conceive of the destruction of socialism:Socialism will work as a viable social system precisely because a socialist social base necessarily generates socialist social thought.Capitalism works as a viable social system precisely because a capitalist social base necessarily generates capitalist social thought.It is ultimately for these two inter-related reasons, that a conscious socialist majority must make its first political act the creation of its own home turf—common ownership and democratic control.  And it is initially able to do so only at the political level available to it.  But it takes its stand on its own nurturing ground, in which it sows the seed of global socialism.

    #107901
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    sarda karaniwan wrote:
    I see the end of capitalist rule through the workers five basic principle:1.Don't be a burden!2.Be independent!3. Strive to be equal and be counted!4. Be practical!5. Learn and improve!Very basic and easy to understand, and they already had a grasp of them.Once the workers of the world formally unite (they are already united informally) to those principles there's really nothing much the capitalist can do to stop it. Yes, there will be a bit of reaction and resistance but what are they going to do to counter the principles, become suddenly generous like giving the workers more higher wages?As capitalist rule vanish, I only see a society where the only way of life is education and science.sardaan Ordinarian

    I do not think any of those principles will produce the collapse of the capitalist society, on the contrary, they sound like capitalists principles. Workers are not united, they are disunited

    #107902
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Today's news about Rotherham shows what is likely to happen to a local council, whether socialist or not, if it refused to respect the law or follow what the central government has laid downhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-31130750

    Quote:
    Mr Pickles said he planned to give control of the council to a team of five commissioners, including an overall lead and one tasked specifically with looking at children's services.They would "provide new leadership" and take over the roles of the "wholly dysfunctional cabinet," he said.The council has 14 days to respond to his "wholly exceptional" proposals, Mr Pickles said.He also plans to impose early elections in 2016.The elections would give people a chance to "renew the membership of their council and elect those they have confidence in", he explained.He said he hoped control would be returned to Rotherham Council as "rapidly as possible".A statement announcing the resignation of Rotherham's cabinet was released shortly before Mr Pickles outlined his plans

    It's what would happent today  if, for instance, some local council refused to implement the cuts in spending the central government wants by adopting an illegal budget. as some are standing for election on a pledge to do so.

    #107903
    sarda karaniwan
    Participant
    mcolome1 wrote:
    sarda karaniwan wrote:
    I see the end of capitalist rule through the workers five basic principle:1.Don't be a burden!2.Be independent!3. Strive to be equal and be counted!4. Be practical!5. Learn and improve!

    I do not think any of those principles will produce the collapse of the capitalist society, on the contrary, they sound like capitalists principles. Workers are not united, they are disunited.

    Great! That's the beauty of it, capitalists have no way of contradicting them.Workers are disunited only because it is just an informal unity and this is really what the capitalist wants, remain informal, so all the workers have to do is to make the unity formal, and that will be the start of the end. sardaan Ordinarian 

    #107904
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    sarda karaniwan wrote:
    mcolome1 wrote:
    sarda karaniwan wrote:
    I see the end of capitalist rule through the workers five basic principle:1.Don't be a burden!2.Be independent!3. Strive to be equal and be counted!4. Be practical!5. Learn and improve!

    I do not think any of those principles will produce the collapse of the capitalist society, on the contrary, they sound like capitalists principles. Workers are not united, they are disunited.

    Great! That's the beauty of it, capitalists have no way of contradicting them.  Workers are disunited only because it is just an informal unity and this is really what the capitalist wants, remain informal, so all the workers have to do is to make the unity formal, and that will be the start of the end.(/quote )I do not know where you are getting your idealists conceptions from, but workers are disunited first, by the influence of the capitalist ideology, by nationalism, patriotism, nationalities, religion, frontiers, and several others economical, sociological and political factors, it has nothing to do with formality or informality.. capitalism will not collapse by  itself, it must be uprooted by the conscious working class of the whole world, it can not  be overthrown with songs, poems, and seudo-religious ideas    

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