Monday, 18 October 2010

Socialist Strategy Index

1. Why Marxists Do Not Call For Nationalisation, argues that there is a big difference between opposing privatisation, and demanding nationalisation.

2. Thinking Outside The Box, argues that we have to have a more intelligent strategy than just “more militancy”, demands for reforms, and incremental party building until the day of the revolution.

3. Marx And Socialist Construction, looks at what Marx actually said, about the strategy that workers should adopt.

4. Marxism, Education And The State, examines the role of Marxists in Education, and asks what strategy workers can adopt to pursue class struggle in Education.

5. Proletarian Tenacity, examines the nature of the workers in the LP, and what Marxists relation with them should be.

6. Marxists, The State And War, examines the strategy of Marxists in relation to War, by reference to contemporary events.

7. Global Zero, De Ja Vu, looks at what Marxists response should be to disarmament proposals.

8. Nationalisation, Workers control And Workers Ownership, argues that the demand for Nationalisation is reactionary, and the demand for Workers Control is Utopian.

9. The AWL And Workers Control, examines what raising that demand means at the moment compared with Trotsky's comments,

"Thus the regime of workers’ control, a provisional transitional regime by its very essence, can correspond only to the period of the convulsing of the bourgeois state, the proletarian offensive, and the falling back of the bourgeoisie, that is, to the period of the proletarian revolution in the fullest sense of the word."and,

"If the participation of the workers in the management of production is to be lasting, stable, “normal,” it must rest upon class collaboration, and not upon class struggle. Such a class collaboration can be realized only through the upper strata of the trade unions and the capitalist associations. There have been not a few such experiments: in Germany (“economic democracy”), in Britain (“Mondism”), etc. Yet, in all these instances, it was not a case of workers’ control over capital, but of the subserviency of the labor bureaucracy to capital. Such subserviency, as experience shows, can last for a long time: depending on the patience of the proletariat."

10. Capitalist Strategy, examines the fact that,

"Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century (and then repeatedly every 20 years or so) there has been a surge in the number of cooperative organisations, both in commercial practice and civil society, operating to advance democracy and universal suffrage as a political principle[7]. Friendly Societies and consumer cooperatives became the dominant form of organization amongst working people in industrial societies prior the rise of trade unions and industrial factories. Weinbren reports that by the end of the 19th century, over 80% of British working age men and 90% of Australian working age men were members of one or more Friendly Society[8]."

and argues that the development of the Welfare State by the bosses at the beginning of the last century was a strategic response to independent workers organisation.

11. Being A Revolutionary Means Getting Your Hands Dirty, is a 1983 document arguing against a sectarian attitude to workers and their Party.

12. For A Vestas Co-op, argues that if the statements made by union leaders about the profitability of Vestas were correct, then workers should not limit themselves to replacing their exploitation by private capital for exploitation by a powerful State Capitalism. They should seize an important part of the new economy, and run it for their own benefit, and as an example to other workers.

13. The Left And Vestas, looks at the limitations of the strategy of the statist Left.

14. US Healthcare, The NHS and The Left, argues that the aspiration of US workers for their healthcare should be much higher than the State Capitalist NHS.

15. Proletarian Military Policy, argues that the position of the Left is a mess, a mixture of Pacifism and Moralism. It has nothing to do with the position of Marx and Engels, or Lenin and Trotsky

16. The Plebs, looks at the lessons for independent working-class education that they provided.

17. Healthy Debate, examines the problems within the NHS, and how Marxists should respond.

18. Debt and Destruction, is an early look at the arguments being made for the Cuts. It examines whether they are necessary, and what the response within the State and sections of Capital might be. It examines how workers should respond.

19. Cut & Run, argues that the fact that once again workers are having to engage in a struggle over the provision of basic services shows why we shouldn't leave those things in the hands of the bosses' State. In any case, that State established control over these essential elements of the reproduction of Labour Power for its own reasons, and to head off existing and developing independent working class provision.

20. In And Against The State, argues for a revolutionary attitude to the bosses State, as opposed to the reformist attitude of the statist Left.

21. A Reply To Charlie On The State, follows up the previous post in the light of comments made by Charlie McMenamin.

22. Marx And The Post Office, sets out why support for industrial struggles is necessary, but not sufficient.

23. Why We Need A Socialist Campaign For A labour Victory, sets out how Marxists can overcome a tricky problem of advocating a support for Labour, despite the inadequacy of its Programme.

24. Too Much Pupil Power, rejects the idea that students should not exercise control over their learning environment, and looks at how Marxists can develop a progressive solution.

25. In Need Of A Stern Education, examines Statism on the Left.

26. Politics Of The Ghetto Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, examines how the Left can get its politics out of the ghetto described by Purdy and Prior.

27. The Home Guard 70 Years On, examines the lessons that can be learned in relation to demands for a Workers Militia etc.

28. The Politics And Programme of the First International, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Conclusion, compares the politics of Marx and the First International, based around the development of the working-class as an independent force exercising self-government, and the statist politics of the left today.

29. Proletarian Strategy Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, argues that the strategy of the statist Left is useless. It relies on what Marx described as “guerilla tactics”, from which it hopes to make incremental gains in its membership, ready for some cataclysmic revolutionary upheaval. It disdains attempts to change property relations through Co-ops in the meantime. No war in history has been won by such tactics.

30. Fighting The Cuts, argues that a strategy of more militancy and strikes will fail. We need political solutions based on transforming property relations now.

31. The Lesssons Of UCS Part 1, 2, 3, argues that the workers of UCS showed how to fight the Cuts, and how to fight Capital. By occupying the shipyard, and continuing to work they reduced Capital to its proper role as just tools and means of production. But, they made the same mistake as French workers in 1968. They handed it back to Capital, and reestablished its dominance over them.

32. Concessions Or Conveniences Part 1, 2, 3, 4, bases itself on the various versions of Engels “Condition Of the Working Class”, and particularly his later comments that by the end of the 19th Century Big Capital had given up the search for Absolute Surplus Value, had recognised the need for stability, and had adopted the workers programme. It established a Social-Democratic consensus, which benefited itself to the detriment of small Capital. The development of the Welfare State was part of its strategy to that end. It not only headed off growing independent working-class provision of large parts of its needs, but established its own control and regulation over them, thereby ensuring that its requirements for the reproduction of Labour Power were met.

33. Worker Co-operatives and Pensions, explores why it is that the Mondragon Co-op can provide average pensions many times higher than those enjoyed by workers in Britain.

34. The Return Of Euro-Stalinism, looks at the material basis for the Left Statism that dominates sections of the Labour Movement.

35. Higher Education, Why We Shouldn't Advance The Merit Argument

36. CPGB Cuts Strategy Falls Between Scylla And Charybdis

37. Overcoming The Power of Capital is an eight part series in response to an article in the Weekly Worker by Mike McNair.  It argues that productive-capital is the dominant form of capital, which subordinates money-capital, merchant capital and landed property to it.  With the modern form of that productive capital being socialised capital, which replaced the monopoly of private capital from the latter part of the 19th century, the fundamental division within bourgeois democracy, between conservatism and social democracy, rests upon the material basis of the contradictory interests of interest bearing capital and this socialised productive-capital.  Marxists do not advocate social democratic policies as opposed to pointing out the need to replace capitalism with socialism, based on workers ownership and control of the means of production, but in so far as social democratic policies represent the furtherance of the interests of this socialised capital, and its accumulation, which also creates the best conditions for the workers themselves to develop, we support such policies, and argue for going beyond them.

38. Tilting At Windmills is a six part series that follows up on Mike McNair's response to Overcoming The Power of Capital.  It argues that he missed the point of the argument being set out, and that he misunderstands important concepts such as socialised capital, social democracy and so on.

39. Social Democracy, Bonapartism and Permanent Revolution examines the significance of the rise of right-wing populist regimes such as that of Trump, May and similar forces across Europe, and what this tells us about the crisis of social-democracy, and rise of conservatism after 1974, that led to the current collapse of the conservative political centre that dominated since then.