Argentina: horizontal organization/reply2

Thu Feb 21 14:21:33 MST 2002

Horizontal Organizations part 2.

The material quoted below was sent off-line to a comrade but contains much of
the material to conclude a discussion on horizontal organizations and the
legacy of the past. Some of the material was used in earlier writings that
have been deleted. The context is the so-called socialist revolutions of the
anti-colonial era and the forms of organization that dominated.

"Into this evolving volatile mix was People's China, economically backwards -
compared with the USNA and the Soviet Union in terms of her industrial
infrastructure, the production of commodities and the corresponding class
configuration that are the social relations of production, and newly
independent. The rebel leaders of the revolution in China, emerging from
concrete feudal social and economic relations, subjugated and invaded by
imperial powers and humiliated beyond my comprehension, could not and did not
accept the politics of a de-colonized world on the basis of imperial
relations no matter what the property relations.  A sector of the communist
within the Soviet Union sided with China as the ideological battle heated up
worldwide. A decade earlier Nixon had went to China, ended the war in Vietnam
and Gerald Ford had conceded the "Peoples Democracies" to the Soviet's as
aging cold warriors no longer cried over "who lost China."

"The leaders of the revolution in China conformed to the specific alignment
popularized in the slogan "Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World Unite"
or the dictatorship of the workers and peasants." It was the defeat of the
fascist axis the turning point represented in the battle for Stalingrad that
opened the gates for the rebel forces in China, whose character was described
by the State department as a radical land reform movement.

"What has become rather clear a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union is
it's overthrown under the pressure of aggressive North American imperialism
after the economy had been disorganized and stagnated who understood nothing
about political economy or elementary dialectics. A process cannot face
transition until all its stages have been exhausted, which meant expanding
the industrial infrastructure at all cost as the basis for the all round
mechanization of agriculture. Khrushchev economic policy promised the people
a revolutionary increase in public baths, gardens, consumer luxuries, etc.,
at the expense of heavy industry and by decentralizing the economy, which
meant a political base amongst the thieves stealing the wealth of the Soviet
proletariat. For agriculture the plan was to sell tractors to the collective
farms as a basis to increase the hiring of labor in order to "increase
productivity" and the fiasco of the Virgin soil program.

"The Soviet Union was polarized from top to bottom and its state system
dismantled and overthrown and the perception that change was needed within
the Soviet Union was based on the stagnation of the economy, due to wrong
policy.  Not backwards evolution but its overthrow as various political
sectors fought for state authority and to confiscate the wealth of the Soviet

"Gorby faced the brunt of the Reagan Revolution and the incredible military
buildup of USNA capital. His market socialism or attempting to use the cost
and cost price mode of value as a regulator in a publicly owned industrial
infrastructure was a pipe dream. Prices must be set to favor varying sectors
of the consuming public based on increasing their productivity. Farmers have
to be given a set of prices in access to their produce to increase yield even
in the face of creating a distortion in the industrial sector. Then policy is
change to combat the distortion because the law of value as it operates under
capitalism does not operate the same way under a "command economy." Then the
military consumes enormous quantities of everything.  Not a deformity but
distortions inseparable from imperialism in its military aspect. Elements of
the Soviet military went into revolt and the attempted coups are part of
history. Surely, the idea that the class struggle does not increase under
"socialism" is disproved by the emergence of the most extreme form of class
struggle - insurrection.

"The bourgeoisie as a class is so much smarter than us as a collective
because they rule and have experience hundreds of years old. It is rather
clear that the Reagan Revolution was in fact a revolution in politics and
economic policy based on an understanding of the directional transition in
the mode of production. What was called "de-industrialization" was a policy
of preparing for a transition or qualitative addition in the productive
process whose features were not clear to most revolutionaries, although the
formula of Marx was understood in general. No one even talks about
de-industrialization and the "underclass" anymore and these bourgeois
concepts were injected into the social movement to hamper the development of
a precise conception of what was taking place.

"Then comes the period of social revolution" began to take shape as a
specific quality that could be identified in the mid to late 1990s. Ninety
percent of all the computing power on earth has been installed in the past 50
months. Everyone within "Marxism" understood the formulation but not the
process that could be identified as societal revolution. One cannot talk of a
proletarian revolution in the context of lingering feudal social and economic
relations except as an ideological formulation and declaration by

"The purity of ones heart cannot eclipse the logic of process development.
Transition can only take place in a process when all the stages of its
development have been completed. This is an axiom held to be true but does
not give a qualitative characterization of societal transformation. The stage
that must be exhausted is commodity production itself. This becomes clear in
light of a new qualitative development in technology that has the capacity to
radically alter the role of human labor in the production of commodities in
their totality.

"Then comes the period of social revolution" is crystallized on the basis of
a new qualitative development in technology that on a planetary basis renders
increasingly vast sectors of human labor superfluous to the production of
commodities. The trajectory - nodal line, that was followed was Marx pure
definition of value without any additives and we can traced the process today
beginning with Intel's first chips and the application of its use that
rendered the slide ruler obsolete. In every accounting department in every
business in our country there were thousands - nay, millions of people using
slide rulers for purposes of accounting and tracking the social product.
Today my children do not know what a slide ruler is and the labor associated
with its use has been transformed on a new qualitative basis and partially
rendered superfluous."  (End of quote)

The era of the leader/commander and the leaders of the rebel forces
constituting the essence of the political party of the oppressed and
exploited - vertical organization is spent. Calling for military formations,
Soviets, socialism and other crap is going to get us hurt.

The impact of the revolution in China and North Korea and the anti-imperial
revolt produced a conception within the social movement of forms of
organization. The previous era, in which the boundary of capital played
itself out, was characterized as the struggle of the colonies against
imperial domination as militarism. A host of political propositions grew up
and took shape, including the assessment that fascism was imperialism turned
inward. This political proposition of fascism as imperialism turned inwards
was correct. It is no longer correct. The new boundaries became discernible
for anyone that chose to carefully examine them in the late 1990s.

Nevertheless what has not been horrifically defeated is the conception of the
commander leader of the like of our beloved Fidel Castro, although a sector
of the Marxist in America defeated this conception almost twenty years ago
and documented the conclusions.

The revolution in Cuba, North Korea and China - and even Vietnam, was based
on the formation of a military program against imperialism and the formation
of political organizations on a military basis with the leader commander
principle. The task was the creation of a military organization, that
mastered the art - not science, of war based on waging war, then enlarged its
fighting forces on the basis of recruiting the people with the aim of
defeating the enemy. Within the communist movement arose the conception of
the commander leader and the subordination of parliamentary tactic to
military strategy. This conformed to the last stage of boundaries of world

The "horizontal" peoples organization was in fact a military organization
with a vertical command structure because no battle can be carried out and
won without blind obedience to the military command structure and the people
recruited to the cause understand this elementary equation. This is not the
case today, although the ideology of the era of the leader/commander still
predominates in sectors of the world social movement.

Can anyone with an ounce of Marxism properly speak of the "Third World?" The
"third World" arose as a concept of an alleged path of development outside
capitalism (first world) and socialism (second world) and proclaimed that a
path of independent development existed. Although we rejected such a
category, the bourgeoisie was much stronger and enforced this conception on
the world for thirty years. There never existed and can never can exist an
independent path of development outside private property relations and public
property relations. Such an occurrence is impossible when socialism is
defined as a transition from one law system of production to another. One can
of course examine all the countries that proclaimed the "Third World"

For a brief historical moment ideology outran common sense in the imperial
countries. The "export of revolution" in the form of material support to the
military struggle against a very real imperialism became the organizational
forms of the movement. This converted the revolutionaries in the imperial
countries into support committee's for the masses in rebellion to military
authority. The parliamentary struggle was obliterated under these conditions
that allowed the dominant sector of organized labor to block with the
imperialist on the basis of relative stability.

Development is passing through stages and we passed through this stage of the
movement and its ideology two decades ago. Nevertheless the old stage of the
movement lingers on and was stated by the Colombian leader of the National
Liberation Army (ELN) Fabio Vazquez when he stated the objective of the
movement quoted in the book "Castroism and Communism in Latin American" by
William Ratliffe. I will not quote dead material.

Suffice it to state that the concept of the people war and the conquest of
power for "popular classes" on the basis of an insurrectionary movement is
dead and very reactionary. The fact of the matter is that a different
relationship between a political party and the proletariat evolves on the
basis of a war against imperial domination. Che Guevara spelled out the
details of this relationship in his famous "Declaration to the Miners of
Bolivia." I shall quote none of this material and the student of history must
seek it out. Suffice it to state that the role of the leader and the question
of democracy within the movement are different under such forms of struggle.
Thirty years ago I had adopted or tried to adopt the name Amilcar Cabral in
honor of the movement for the liberation of Guinea and after his
assassination with the assumption of leadership by his brother, honored the

Nevertheless, today the leader/commander ideological conception - "vertical
organization", is the repudiation of the only path to social evolution open
to us in the here and now. Our beloved Fidel led no proletariat social
movement and remains a glorious rebel leader of peoples who selflessness is
the stuff history is made and written about. Fidel's talk of a "Third World"
and "Neo-liberalism" does us harm and I love Fidel. Although I will stake my
life right now on behave of the Cuban revolution, talk about a Neo-liberal
policy, as a distinct configuration of capital cannot be proven when in
America we have the highest rates of incarceration of the lowest segment of
workers on earth. Where is the liberalism when everyone you know is jailed as
a way of life? Neo-liberal from what perspective - the "middle strata?"

There never existed a "Third World" and we could not overthrow this
conception, which was an element in ushering in our ideological defeat in the
imperial heart of America. "Neo-liberal" this, that and the other, is
incomprehensible to our class, and an outright bourgeois conception, because
there has never been a liberal policy towards the lowest sector of the
working class.

The commander/leader - el "com-modant-tee'," is a military formulation
originating in and regulated to a period of history dead, as a framework of
the class struggle. Military action against imperialism and the protection of
ones family and neighbor is a real question outside the boundary of the last

A concept of "empire" without specific property relations dulls the instinct
and senses of our class. The historical context for the emergence of
so-called "vertical organizations" - in the last period covering the
quantitative boundary of capital, is not Lenin's formulations but imperialism
and the evolution of the exploitation of the colonies. This is of course why
Lenin formulated the slogan "Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World

The words "third world" should be stricken from the world lexicon.
"Neo-liberal" should be stricken from the world lexicon. What is needed is a
broad party of Labor and this means a political party of all who labor with
the demands of the lowest section of the working class as the base of

Fresh water, food, clothing, subsidized rent (read Engels on the Housing
Question), transportation, permanent electricity and fuel, medical care and
these demands will end the war danger on the basis of private property.

The people will rebel against the leader/commander but not against
articulating their demands. The path of the Argentina social process is
important. Their path of development is the repudiation of an era long past.

Joe Freemen

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