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An account of the CWO Public Meeting on Zoom about Ukraine (if DJP or Alan already posted this, I did not see it):
Shocking news. From what I knew of him from this forum, as well as from a few emails with him, a very fine fellow indeed, both personally and politically.
By Angry Workers of the World (AWW), a group which will known to those participants on/readers of this forum who look at libcom:
‘Fragments of a debate amongst AngryWorkers on the war in Ukraine’:
Just be glad that a Irish government has not (yet) decided that ‘Dublin’ is a foreign term and the city should be called ‘Baile Átha Cliath’ (pronounced blah-KLEE-uh), or at the very least ‘Duibhlinn’ (DIVV-lin).
I will try to make my point in a less convoluted way, but I am not hopeful.
1) Following the logic of the article*: if only the engineers really know how to ‘do anything’, then without them, the forces of production can hardly be freed in the direction of providing abundance.
2) This means that a socialist working class cannot free the forces of production in the direction of providing abundance without the engineers *in particular* being *overwhelmingly* socialist-minded.
In other words, following the logic of the article, the engineer-component of the working class will/would play a *particularly critical* role.
That is what I said I found ‘alarming’.
* Key sentence from the article: ‘‘What can be said with near certainty is that a revolution that does not have substantial participation from engineers is doomed to fail at implementing communism. ‘
Regarding your post #227302 of March 4 —
I am curious about your reading habits. Did you not see that the Tridni Valka statement was already linked to here — https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/topic/russian-tensions-2/page/43/#post-227045 — on February 26?
Is it that you read the Forum only sporadically, without catching up on what you’ve missed since last reading? Or is it that only certain posters and not others are graced by your attentions?
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by ZJW.
One of the three recent books about Bogdanov that Bird mentioned here — https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/topic/search-for-some-books/#post-198727 — is the 480 page-something ‘Red Hamlet — The Life and Ideas of Alexander Bogdanov’ (2018) by James D. White. The book is freely-easily downloadable from libgen (not libcom).
In this book (which takes a very negative view of Lenin) Bogdanov’s anti-authoritarianism is repeatedly stressed. Under the asterisks some very much at-random quotes from it:
There are several aspects to Bogdanov’s concept of collectivism, reflecting different strands in his thought. One of these is the elimination of the organiser/ \executor division, that is the distinction between people who organise and those who carry out orders. For Bogdanov this is the earliest and most fundamental social division which afflicted mankind, one which preceded the formation of social classes. It was responsible for authoritarian thinking and for the dualist view of the world that divided phenomena into the physical and the psychical. In socialist society this division is overcome, and the monist view of the world is restored.
Even on the trip to Mars Leonid discovers that Martian society is not authoritarian. Menni is the captain of the spacecraft, but he does not have the power of command. His instructions are followed because he happens to be the most experienced pilot of the spacecraft.75 On Mars itself the comradely relations prevailed between the individuals, with a directness and absence of formality. Great individuals are not commemorated, only important events.
Lenin’s perspective was very different. He did want to be a revolutionary leader and he did crave power and authority. The kind of organisation he favoured was of like-minded people in which he would be the acknowledged head. From Lenin’s point of view Bogdanov was an obstacle to his aspirations. Bogdanov had a claim to influence the direction that the Bolshevik fraction took, because he had rescued it from oblivion in 1904. Moreover, in a Marxist party the legitimation of leadership was the mastery of socialist theory, and this Bogdanov had in abundant measure. He was coming to be thought of as the leading theoretician of Russian Social-Democracy. By comparison, Lenin’s contribution to theory was modest. It was contained in his pamphlet What Is to Be Done?: the idea that the workers’ socialist consciousness had to be brought to them from outside, by the intelligentsia. This idea was so alien to Bogdanov’s way of thinking that the price Lenin paid for Bogdanov’s help in reviving the Bolshevik fraction was that this idea should be abandoned.
Despite his conviction that the Bolshevik seizure of power was not the socialist revolution that Lenin claimed, but merely a ‘war communist’ one, Bogdanov did not stand aloof from the Soviet regime or go into emigration in the West, as many Russian intellectuals did after 1917. He lent his support to the new regime, applying his organisational theory to the problem of economic planning. Bogdanov never became a political dissident in Soviet Russia, and he never wrote a critique of the increasingly repressive Soviet system. It would probably have served Lenin’s purposes better if he had. But in the early 1920s, when opposition movements emerged, all of Bogdanov’s existing writings, suffused as they were with the condemnation of authoritarianism, were of themselves subversive.
Alan — my apologies for having led you into such misadventure. Neither deepl nor, I dare say, probably any other translation software on this planet could safely be used toward such an end, and I certainly did not intend to suggest such. I only meant: for language X –> English translation, deepl is usually better than Google Translate, and that’s all.
Good thing our russophone was on hand to fix it.
And here is a statement — no, an article — from Mouvement Communiste released just today that they have not yet put into English. I advise non-readers of French to use deepl (www.deepl.com), *not* Google Translate. Deepl is usually somewhat~much better. Though it can depend on the language.
(Sorry if these two links have already been posted, quickly logging on and logging off and don’t have time to read through everything.)
Statement by the international organisation to which the Anarchist Communist Group belongs. (Note that this is not the same as the ACG’s own statement. This is much more meaty.)
Statement by the … marxo-anarchist (??) group TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA:
(I thought I posted the following here, but can’t find it now, so it must have only been on libcom that I posted it.)
The International Communist Current (ICC) also reviewed the ACG pamphlet and similarly have a problem with the ‘autonomous’ part:
Stephen Shenfield’s article is excellent.
In it is mentioned Khrushchev’s transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. How did this transfer come about? What motivated it? According to the following, it was a machination generated by K’s struggle with Malenkov: buying off a fellow ruler so as to get on his good side in said struggle:
”The transfer of Crimea to the UkrSSR also was politically useful for Khrushchev as he sought to firm up the support he needed in his ongoing power struggle with Soviet Prime Minister Georgii Malenkov, who had initially emerged as the preeminent leader in the USSR in 1953 after Joseph Stalin’s death. Having been at a disadvantage right after Stalin’s death, Khrushchev had steadily whittled away at Malenkov’s position and had gained a major edge with his elevation to the post of CPSU First Secretary in September 1953. Nevertheless, the post-Stalin power struggle was by no means over in early 1954, and Khrushchev was trying to line up as much support as he could on the CPSU Presidium for a bid to remove Malenkov from the prime minister’s spot (a feat he accomplished in January 1955). Among those whose support Khrushchev was hoping to enlist was Oleksiy Kyrychenko, who had become first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine in early June 1953 (displacing Leonid Mel’nykov, who had succeeded Khrushchev in that post in December 1949) and soon thereafter had been appointed a full member of the CPSU Presidium. In 1944, when Khrushchev himself was still the Communist Party leader in Ukraine, he reportedly had suggested to Stalin that transferring Crimea to the UkrSSR would be a useful way of winning support from local Ukrainian elites. Regardless of whether Khrushchev actually did bring up this matter with Stalin (the veracity of the secondhand retrospective account is uncertain), it most likely reflects Khrushchev’s own sense as early as 1944 that expanding Ukraine’s territory was a way of gaining elite support in the republic. In particular, Khrushchev almost certainly regarded the transfer of Crimea as a means of securing Kyrychenko’s backing. Khrushchev knew that he could not automatically count on Kyrychenko’s support because the two of them had been sharply at odds as recently as June 1953, when Kyrychenko endorsed Lavrentii Beria’s strong criticism of the situation in western Ukraine — criticism that implicitly attacked a good deal of what Khrushchev had done when he was the leader of the republic in the 1940s. Khrushchev hoped that the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine would dispel the lingering tensions from this episode and thereby help to solidify Kyrychenko’s support in the forthcoming showdown with Malenkov.’
‘What’s with the reluctance to call the storming of the Capital with the intention of overturning an election an ‘insurrection’? ‘
‘Interesting background facts are in this BBC series: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001324r ‘
1) I wonder if the question was asked before or after reading the Greenwald. I put the word in quotation marks because I agree with Greenwald. And also with the Anarchist Communist Group, which already on Jan 10 wrote:
‘The invasion of the Capitol was uncoordinated and there was no united and overall plan to stage a coup, even though some of those who came to Washington were armed. A coup requires some serious planning, as well as a degree of support among the police and military and the ruling class. ‘
2) Re the BBC, why should pro-revolutionaries (to use the spikymike and Internationalist Perspective term), who *have no dog in the race* when it comes to taking sides between Republicans and Democrats, necessarily accept the BBC-Guardian-NYTimes-Atlantic …. consortium-of-facticity-and-viewpoint on this or any other matter over that of Greenwald? Greenwald is a longterm left civil-libertarian and opponent of war (in so far as this is at all possible within the limits of capitalism and capitalist political discourse). How does that compare with the record of The Atlantic, Guadian, ….?
One should should for purposes of comparison read not only the mainstream liberal media but also such sources as, at least:
(The latter two, especially the third, will sometimes include content, however, that runs off the rails in the opposite direction (from pro-US/Natoism) to: pro-Russia, pro-Iran, pro-Assad, pro-China …)
DJP later wrote:
‘Maybe it’s partly semantics. […]’
Yes, maybe so, at one level a matter of semantics. But I don’t think that’s important. What is important then? For purposes of argument, let’s assume that Jan 6 was indeed a failed coup/insurrection by Trump. So what? For *us* what is the objective function of treating this as barely avoided asteroid-collision with the Earth? This: the production of Chomskys, of Klimans, of Peter Harrisons, of Guesdes , of Kropotkins. It results in the Union Sacrée, in the Popular Front. As the ACG wrote in that article, ‘Now the narrative will be centred around the “defence of democracy” and that all good people should rally behind the Democratic Party. ‘ Exactly.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by ZJW.
The Amnesty International Report is here:
‘Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity’:
Mondoweiss: ‘U.S. lawmakers attack Amnesty International’s report on Israeli apartheid’:
in which …
‘In a follow-up question, the AP’s Matt Lee asked Price why the Biden administration is so dismissive of Amnesty’s report but often cites its human rights research on countries like Syria and China.
“Why is it that – without taking a stand or making a judgment about the findings of this particular report, why is it that all criticism of Israel is – from these groups is almost always rejected by the U.S., and yet accepted, welcomed, and endorsed when it comes – when it comes out, when the criticism is of other countries, notably countries with which you have significant policy differences?,” asked Lee.’