Labels

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Wed Nov 29 10:28:46 MST 1995


Some points on the following.

Firstly, I don't think I will go into the tedious topic of labels as 
they apply to individuals except relay one quote from the German 
Ideology:

"As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, 
therefore coincides with their production, both with *what* they 
produce and with *how* they produce. Hence what individuals are 
depends on the material conditions of their production", and;

"Once upon a time a valiant fellow had the idea that men were drowned 
in water only because they were possessed with the *idea of gravity*. 
If they were to het this notion out of their heads, say by avowing it 
to be superstitious, a religious concept, they would sublimely proof 
against any danger from water. His whole life long he fought against 
the illusion of gravity, of whose harmful consequences all 
statistics brought him new and manifold evidence. This valiant fellow 
was the type of the new revolutionary philosophers in Germany."

Well, Burns and Rosser are of this ilk. Not on individual basis per 
se.Look at what you actually produce - it is the repition of old 
reformist ideas old socdem ideas. I don't care what labels you give 
yourselves to satisfy your pathetic egos.
 I couldn't give a shit about who they are - it is their ideas in 
society that worry me and against which I shall pit action and theory 
in the development of a communist program.

You see, this is the difference. Try as they might to change the 
words socdem >demsoc - it doesn't make much difference. You could 
call yourselves Zoastorian (sp?) for all I care - the logic of your 
position will take you to siding with the capitalist system in a 
revolutionary situation. This is fact, because in your *ideal* world of 
what 'socialism' is, it will develop a la finland, sweden and not 
through the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

Socialism is about property relations - this is as far as your 
theory, socdem theory goes. What you are saying is no more 
'radical' than what most labour parties were *forced* to say in the 
1920s [witness clause4 in Britain or the democratic socialist 
platform of the Australian Labor Party - ITS STILL THERE!]

Communism goes much further than just:
" Demsocs are FOR the abolition of
> capitalist property relations, and FOR social ownership, democratic
> workers' control, and public planning"

Communism is "not for us a *state of affairs* which is to be 
established, an *ideal* to which reality will have to  adjust itself. 
We call communism the *real* movement which abolishes the present 
state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the now 
existing premise".

Communism is about fundamentally changing the nature of work, not in 
a silly autonomedia way or in a situationist way - they call for the 
abolition of work - communists call for the abolition of labour 
(Antonio Negri got it wrong) and for liberation of work so that it 
becomes our prime want.

And further, he writes this:
Demsocs recognize that class struggle is a
> necessary prerequisite for achieving their aims.  Socdems delude
> themselves into thinking that class struggle is not necessary for
> achieving even their scandalously modest goals. 

Communists recognise the class struggle as the existing premise - not 
as an ideal, a necessity - it's already there. Every marxist, socdem, 
demsoc, communist etc could get hit by a bus tomorrow - the class 
struggle would still be there - it's a material reality, not a 
phantom! The above quote puts you on the par with the 'valiant 
fellow' and puts you in the camp of social democracy.

As an aside. There is a political economy professor in this country - 
Frank Stillwell who got all mixed up in the New Left Party - the 
liquidated rump of the CPA. At the time, he was all 'third campist" - 
a democratic socialist - not a communist and not a social democrat. 
Well guess what! He's found a fourth way - autarky! Australia 
apparantly has the resource and industrial base to close up shop with 
the rest of the world! Sounds full circle to me back in the stalinist 
autarky camp. I wonder where Rosser and Burns will end up when they 
get off their idealist merry-go-round?

You see the below? Ah! How sweet - they dig their own graves. Its all 
about *I*, and me - the liberation of humanity seems to get lost in 
all this crap somehow.....

> Date:          Mon, 27 Nov 1995 23:38:41 -0800 (PST)
> From:          Robert Peter Burns <rburns at chaph.usc.edu>

> For goodness' sake, let's get our pejorative labels right! M. Strom refers
> to me and Rosser as socdems.  I can't speak for Barkley "Snooty" Rosser,
> but *I* am a demsoc, NOT a socdem!  Demsocs are FOR the abolition of
> capitalist property relations, and FOR social ownership, democratic
> workers' control, and public planning <with a subordinate and diminishing
> role for markets until such times as we can dispense with them
> completely>, and last but not least, democracy.  Socdems on the other hand
> are for capitalism with a welfare state and little tiny bits of public
> ownership and planning.  Demsocs recognize that class struggle is a
> necessary prerequisite for achieving their aims.  Socdems delude
> themselves into thinking that class struggle is not necessary for
> achieving even their scandalously modest goals. 
> 
> Peter
> rburns at scf.usc.edu
> 
> 
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> 


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