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Then can i assume at the next election you will be following the advice of the SWP and voting Labour Party without illusions. Did you vote for Tony Blair, Gordon Brown in the previous elections? If not , why not?
I still find fault with Chomsky’s advocacy for the “lesser evil” as demonstrated in his preference for Kerry over Bush. “No one should delude themselves into believing that they are taking a stand on principle if they help grant another mandate to the radical statist reactionaries around Bush — unless the principle they adhere to is dismantling what remains of the progressive achievements of a century of popular struggle at home, and consequences internationally and for the future that we don’t have to dwell on.” Kerry voted for the war in Iraq and penned part of the Patriot Act.”Anyone who says “I don’t care if Bush gets elected” is basically telling poor and working people in the country, “I don’t care if your lives are destroyed. I don’t care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don’t care, because from my elevated point of view I don’t see much difference between them.” That’s a way of saying, “Pay no attention to me, because I don’t care about you.” Apart from its being wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative.”Well, we now have had the experience of the second Bush term and now of an Obama presidency. Kerry would no doubt have been an Obama – all promise and little change. Feeding illusions as Chomsky appeared to be doing only leads to the inevitable disillusionment. Chomsky i feel was in error endorsing Kerry. Howard Zinn stated,“I don’t have faith in Kerry changing, but with Kerry there is a possibility that a powerful social movement might change him. With Bush, no chance.”Has it been the Occupy Wall St or the Tea Party which has made Obama change the most. He may adopt the radicals rhetoric but the fundamental changes to his policies on foreign policy and health insurance has stemmed from the right’s influence, forcing through compromise. Would a President Kerry have behaved any differently? Would Chomsky be regretting his position?
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Co-incidently i cam across this interview with Fredric Jameson, who has written ‘Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One’ which also highlights the importance of the reserve army of unemployed. Aware that i am not a economic expert it also appears he is a proponent of the Luxemburgist under-consumptionism.( i could very well be wrong) “The breakdown of the system is given in the expansion of the system. You’ve used up your peasantry and made them into farmers, then they become unemployed, the system moves along trying to get cheaper and cheaper labour, finally it reaches a point where there isn’t any cheap labour any more, but at the same time there isn’t anyone to buy all these products…Once you touch the boundaries of the world market then capitalism can’t really expand any further. Now we are not at that point. Yet, better than in Marx’s own time we can see the limits of the situation approaching. That is the moment when the system becomes intolerable and it becomes clear that the system either has to break down or be replaced with something else.” But he quickly qualifies himself “..no, it is not inevitable, but it is where human action and political practice come into play…”
“We do still have enormous freedom to agitate, organize, protest and struggle for change. The ballot box isn’t useless, it just isn’t being used nearly enough. But we still have it. And for its use to be more effective, we need a great many more people who recognize our real problems and demand that our political structures and players address them… But it won’t be enough to ask just one more time. We need to keep asking, nagging, agitating, informing, sharing information and analysis – in a word, organizing – to build a sufficient and sustained opposition to the evils of our time, and to regain and defend the commons and the common good…I understand there are people who think having government do just about anything is “socialism.” But that deprives the word of useful meaning. If socialism is defined as public/government ownership of the means of production, I don’t see it as a solution to all the problems created by our current economic system. I actually think the ultimate answer lies in the direction of decentralized, more walkable communities, with more participatory forms of government than we now have, and that might be more practical on a small-scale, local or regional basis.”http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/31/demands-for-the-99/ Sounded too good to be true. The article simply calls for the formulation of a list of reform demands, re-organising the Democratic Party structures and making capitalism function humanely.
Couldn’t someone devise a socialist crossword for the Standard?Or thisBlack Flag had a popular quiz and i am sure Paul Bennett could perhaps oblige as he always does at christmasOllman devised a board-game…we have the basic board already with death monopoly to build upon
This Guardian article highlights some of the problems thats arising with Occupy’s democracy although I would have rather seen it use the words “structured organisation” than the term “hierarchy” for what’s missing.
See also Glasgow/Edinburgh SPGB branch blogTartan Trots
What type of debate should the Occupy movement engage in?http://occupylsx.org/?p=2835Confirmed panel participants include:Labour life peer Lord Maurice GlasmanConservative MP for Wycombe Steve Baker who raised a private member’s bill last year on accounting standardsGordon Kerr, a whistle-blowing former banker who now heads up consultancy Cobden PartnersA representative from the RBS Shareholders GroupRepresentatives from Occupy London’s working groups.oops… a bit late for anyone who intended to attend
Perhaps we can organise a party discussion meeting , or a viewing of Kid’s Stuff and an accompanying talkAny other suggestions? The Bank of Ideas is situated on Sun Street, Hackney in an abandoned office block purchased several years ago by the bank UBS. It is an enormous space complete with a 500-seater lecture hall. We’re open to visitors and guests from 12 noon to 11 pm from Tuesday to Friday an from 10 am to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday. http://www.bankofideas.org.uk/events/ List of events here http://www.bankofideas.org.uk/events/
Seema Malhotra, Labour – 12,639 (54.42%, +10.79%)Mark Bowen, Conservative – 6,436 (27.71%, -6.32%)Roger Crouch, Liberal Democrats – 1,364 (5.87%, -7.87%)Andrew Charalambous, UKIP – 1,276 (5.49%, +3.45%)David Furness, BNP – 540 (2.33%, -1.21%)Daniel Goldsmith, Green – 426 (1.83%, +0.74%)Roger Cooper, English Democrats – 322 (1.39%)George Hallam, London People Before Profit – 128 (0.55%)David Bishop, Bus-Pass Elvis Party – 93 (0.40%)
Another insight into OWS organising and decision making here http://www.thenation.com/article/165087/fracturing-occupy-wall-street
Our blog in one of its commentaries on Occupy Wall St wrote :-“In advocating that we don’t need formal decision-making rules and structures Occupy Wall St are at risk of fostering a perilous illusion, perilous because it can permit people to being manipulated by some self-appointed vanguard. We insist that, on the contrary, “self-organisation” is only possible as democratic self-organisation, involving formal rules and structures, precisely to prevent the emergence of unaccountable elites.” We now witness the appearance of such groups as the Alternative Banking Group and the Occupy the SEC which unilaterally seek reforms to bank and finance legislation in the name of OWS. http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/ows-alternative-banking?
So the Occupy Lx find P2P capitalism “exciting and interesting” according to one of this economic committees member’s comments. What is P2P capitalism – its inspired by computer open-source initiiatives such as wilkipedia, “a new type of market entity which is community-supportive, mission-oriented, and uses profit-making (but not profit maximization) to sustain commons-based peer production”, a “prosumer capitalism”. and that “China’s growth is substantially based on the shanzai economy, which is a legal version of the open-source economy.” It will see “the state form, which has been essentially captured for the private interests of a predatory financial faction, and return to its more systemic role of maintaining a common good”Read Michel Bauwens hereSo now we know what some Occupiers mean by alternative economics and anti-capitalism.