Forum Replies Created
“If ‘we ask‘, YMS, how will we know that ‘we’ve received‘, without a vote?””
Well, the absence of a motion of censure would be a start.
But what you’re saying is that if we ask to go and produce possibly conflicting theories, and then we note we’ve received them all. That wouldn’t give us any truth. At best it would just give us robustness of debate (which would be a good thing in itself).
As to private theories in private time, they’d be held without a vote, wouldn’t they?
So, if “we the collective producers”, ask some scientists to go off and develop multiple, conflicting theories (given ethics guidelines, a “budget”, service level agreements, standards, etc.), all is well and good with you, and there’s no need to vote on the truth? And we’ll have resources so people can use “private time” to pursue their own researches, and try to get their ideas published?
“YMS wrote: “That is, we’d mandate a diversity of views…“.
I entirely agree with you, YMS, as I said earlier.”
I don’t see how you can agree with me, I was saying we’d give a free hand and a positive instruction to have differing opinions, you’ve said that we’ll “democratically” mandate theories and what they will be. So maybe one or other of us is misunderstanding the other.
I think what you’re finding is we do support the democraticisation of Maths, Physics, etc. but that many here we would vote against mandating any official “truth” save, maybe, the sort of vote the Astronomical Union held to remove planet status from Pluto.
That is, we’d mandate a diversity of views so as to better explore the possibilities we might find. The order to soldiers to “Fire at will (poor Will)” is still an order.
So, it’s up to you, now, to demonstrate why that cannot work and be compatible with democracy, and why your version of democracy (how do you define democracy?) is the only necessary model.
I think we actually know very well what Charlie meant:
“All combined labour on a large scale requires, more or less, a directing authority, in order to secure the harmonious working of the individual activities, and to perform the general functions that have their origin in the action of the combined organism, as distinguished from the action of its separate organs. A single violin player is his own conductor; an orchestra requires a separate one.
“All labour in which many individuals co-operate necessarily requires a commanding will to co-ordinate and unify the process, and functions which apply not to partial operations but to the total activity of the workshop, much as that of an orchestra conductor. This is a productive job, which must be performed in every combined mode of production.”
So, specialised direction is a productive social function, and there will be individual activities within a collective process.
There’s a law that councils must run an “efficient and comprehensive” library services, that the courts gutted by interpreting “efficient” as relative to the scale of the council’s spending. The courts will have to decide “reasonable” here (and the councils will decide the quality). The FOI law is quite clear as well…
It’s nice to see some good news on this forum: obviously, we’ll have to see which councils obstruct this or cut costs (administrative foot dragging is an art, much as with yesterday’s story about civil service obstruction of Freedom of information requests (https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/uk-government-running-orwellian-unit-to-block-release-of-sensitive-information/)).
But, nonetheless, there’s no need to be curmudgeonly about this, a genuine advance.
what do you mean by democracy?
Anyway, back to Lenin:
“It is not guerrilla actions which disorganise the movement, but the weakness of a party which is incapable of taking such actions under its control. That is why the anathemas which we Russians usually hurl against guerrilla actions go hand in hand with secret, casual, unorganised guerrilla actions which really do disorganise the Party. Being in capable of understanding what historical conditions give rise to this struggle, we are incapable of neutralising its deleterious aspects. Yet the struggle is going on. It is engendered by powerful economic and political causes. It is not in our power to eliminate these causes or to eliminate this struggle. Our complaints against guerrilla warfare are complaints against our Party weakness in the matter of an uprising.”
“It is absolutely natural and inevitable that the uprising should assume the higher and more complex form of a prolonged civil war embracing the whole country, i.e., an armed struggle between two sections of the people. Such a war cannot be conceived otherwise than as a series of a few big engagements at comparatively long intervals and a large number of small encounters during these intervals. That being so—and it is undoubtedly so—the Social-Democrats must absolutely make it their duty to create organisations best adapted to lead the masses in these big engagements and, as far as possible, in these small encounters as well. In a period when the class struggle has become accentuated to the point of civil war, Social-Democrats must make it their duty not only to participate but also to play the leading role in this civil war. The Social-Democrats must train and prepare their organisations to be really able to act as a belligerent side which does not miss a single opportunity of inflicting damage on the enemy’s forces.”
I think this (from a short note by Lenin on guerrilla warfare (https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/gw/index.htm) hits on the difference in approach between Marx and him:
- The clear need to control the movement by the party is his priority.
- The idea that revolution is a long drawn out civil war, rather than a political struggle to capture state power through civil means.
Contrast with Marx’ description of the Paris commune:
“Paris, the central seat of the old governmental power, and, at the same time, the social stronghold of the French working class, had risen in arms against the attempt of Thiers and the Rurals to restore and perpetuate that old governmental power bequeathed to them by the empire. Paris could resist only because, in consequence of the siege, it had got rid of the army, and replaced it by a National Guard, the bulk of which consisted of working men. This fact was now to be transformed into an institution. The first decree of the Commune, therefore, was the suppression of the standing army, and the substitution for it of the armed people.
“The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time.
“Instead of continuing to be the agent of the Central Government, the police was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible, and at all times revocable, agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the administration. From the members of the Commune downwards, the public service had to be done at workman’s wage. The vested interests and the representation allowances of the high dignitaries of state disappeared along with the high dignitaries themselves. Public functions ceased to be the private property of the tools of the Central Government. Not only municipal administration, but the whole initiative hitherto exercised by the state was laid into the hands of the Commune.”
A systematic decentralisation and dispersal of power. There’s no mention, really, even of party, it is working men elected to office, not a party, that carries out the tasks of the commune.
“If Mr Bakunin only knew something about the position of a manager in a workers’ cooperative factory, all his dreams of domination would go to the devil.”
I think there is the added element of ethnicity in this, and the Arab citizens of France, who are “French” except when the government wants them to be so they can be deported.
The anti-filming of cops law is alarming, particularly.
So, we get things like this:
I’ve 👏 been 👏 saying 👏 that 👏 for 👏 years.
What I think is, the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance. The individuals composing the ruling class possess among other things consciousness, and therefore think. Insofar, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch.
I wonder how their 3.5% theory holds up against the evidence of Millions of Trump voters, and plenty of Qanon influenced groups. Maybe we’ll see over the next 4 years.
I think this quote (from Engels’ Figaro interview) is relevent:
“Why, we have no final goal. We are evolutionaries, we have no intention of dictating definitive laws to mankind. Prejudices instead of detailed organisation of the society of the future? You will find no trace of that amongst us. We shall be satisfied when we have placed the means of production in the hands of the community, and we fully realise that this is quite impossible with the present monarchist and federalist government.”
“Today a coup d’état is no longer as easy as it used to be,” replied my interlocutor briskly. “In 1864, at the time of Bismarck’s clash with the Prussian Chamber, Prussia was a centralised state, whereas today the German Empire is a federal state. The central government would be taking too great a risk in attempting a coup d’état. In order to be certain of bringing it off, it would need the unanimous consent of these different federal governments. If one of these failed to accept the coup d’état, it would be released from its obligations towards the Empire, and that would mean the break-up of federal state. That is not all! The federal constitution is the only guarantee which the small states have against the domination of Prussia; in violating it themselves, they would be handing themselves over, bound hand and foot, to the mercies of the central power. Is it likely that Bavaria would capitulate to such an extent? No, and to reserve myself on this point, I tell you this: ‘To carry out a coup d’état in Germany, the emperor would have to have either the people on his side-and he has not-or all the confederate governments, and he will never have them all.'”
Which also serves as a good guide to the threat of a coup in the US.