Horizontal Organizations

JOEFREEMEN at aol.com JOEFREEMEN at aol.com
Fri Feb 22 05:56:29 MST 2002

[ converted from HTML. Les ]

In a message dated 2/22/2002 4:44:28 AM Central Standard Time,
donaloc at peterquinn.com writes:

     Where I have my own doubts is on the issue of militaristic
     anti-imperialist organisations being past their sell-by
     date. Coming from my own particular perspective, I think it's
     always difficult to leave a period behind, but I can't imagine
     trying to tell FARC or ELN rebels to lay down weapons as they
     need to focus on horizontal party building structures right
     now. In essence, the key is that militarism must be viewed in a
     long-term defensive manner - that means that we must use it to
     strike out offensively in the short-term if we can be sure that
     in the long-term this will advance our defensive requirements
     (and I mean that in some wide sense - defensive for a movement
     can include the ability to grow in popular support).
     I most certainly agree that a US Labour Party needs establishment
     but it needs to have a driving revolutionary centre - otherwise,
     you'll end up with a Blairite 'con-job'. I just don't think that
     (except in certain extreme circumstances e.g. Argentina) people
     can organise themselves to take power - indeed, it's not at all
     clear that this situation will come to pass even there. (My
     reading is that if South America is the flat bottom of a roll-on
     roll-off ferry which has 1 mm of water lying on it, then
     Argentina's predicament is like when the damn Ferry tips to the
     side and all the water (3m) lies in the corner of the base
     (capsizing the vessel)- all that due to the foolishness of
     pegging to the dollar).
     The main point over which I find myself in disagreement is your
     assault on Fidel Castro's slogans on neoliberalism and the third
     world. That there is nothing *liberal* about neoliberalism is
     obvious, although the term liberal has a certain historical
     significance and I think your missing that. The third world, of
     course, couldn't develop in some independent way when it's being
     devoured whole by world imperialism and as an ideological concept
     is way past the mark. It is not, therefore, that I disagree with
     your criticisms of these terms, per se, rather that I think we
     need to understand the need to keep our language simple. If the
     ordinary person talks about the third world then why do we need
     to start talking about the periphery. For the purposes of more
     detailed discussions, okay, but for general sloganising,
     no. Another one is the reformist line 'Fair Trade, not Free
     Trade', well, everyone knows that there's no such thing as fair
     trade in capitalism, but the slogan can be useful in building up
     strength behind a campaign.

Pardon my unclarity. My comments were not meant to suggest any strategy or
organizational form for any country, but rather explain the character of the
organization I was recruited into and some elements of its evolution. The
impact of the colonial revolts - roughly from the post Second Imperialist War
to the 1990s, and the rebel leader concept was resisted in my "neck of the
woods" because it was not applicable or rather we felt it was not applicable to
our work.

The impact of the very real logic of military encounter with imperialism,
produced some theoretical concepts of organization we never found useful for
ourselves. The concept of "building a base" had bad consequences for us and is
viewed as a military concept. Building a base in the 1970s and 1980s prevented
us from evolving based on changes in the class struggle but at least one-fourth
of our folks could not grasp what was meant and these folks evolved into trade
unionist. The concept we tried to win was "winning the vanguard of the
proletariat" as opposed to the military concept of "build a base." "Winning the
vanguard" is part of the verbiage of our movement that means recruiting the
leaders within the working class at every juncture of the struggle.
Fidel is without question a great leader. I must find a better may to talk
about an analysis of this phase of capital; this stage of polarization and the
separation of modes of expression of capital as an expression of society being
increasingly torn from its foundation. I do not feel that I have assaulted
Fidel, but rather a formulation that is wrong.

In fact many of the people spoken of returned from Cuba and founded the old
League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Nevertheless, a sector of communist in
America have a different point of view and believe that enough material exist
to prove the change in the quantitative boundary of capital, the emergence of a
new qualitative definition and the need for a reformulation of the doctrine -
not science, of the class struggle. This is a different thesis from every other
analysis in the world communist movement.

My imperialist bourgeoisie in unity with various forms of capital in the former
colonial world created a conceptual framework called the "Third World" or the
"third way" to dupe the workers and farmers and realign the world in their
favor. Their strategy worked and the world was realigned in their favor. The
conception of Neoliberal policy and its articulation comes from within capital,
which is fairly obvious.

What is meant by Neoliberal capital and policy can best be described by those
with that point of view. Personally, I find nothing liberal about monetary
policy that starves the world people, ushers in intense polarization of wealth
and poverty, drives increasingly huge sections of the working class in the
imperial country below the "margin," accelerates the incarceration of the lower
sector of the working class, increases militarization and hot wars, and prevent
the disclosure of this phase in the decay of capital.

A new era in the proletarian revolution has opened. Isolating the new
qualitative feature in capital is an authentic contribution to the doctrine of
the class struggle. From this analysis flow strategy and what sector of the
laboring classes to target as fundamental to social change. Fidel - the great
leader, has his hands full and we have our hands full. We cannot operate on the
basis of a thesis of Neoliberal capital, third worldism or other political
projections running counter to our analysis of this phase of capital. 
We are not a political party but scattered individuals in the process of
formation on the basis of winning the merging leaders within the working class
to a concept called fighting for the material survival of the working class or
in the verbiage of the movement, developing the class consciousness of the
workers. We never raise slogans or embrace slogans about trade one way or
another which tend to be an element of the trade union movement.
In our neck of the "woods" the whole free trade issue - before NAFTA, arose on
the basis of the struggle of that sector of capital connected to auto. The only
issue we see is uniformity of wages on the basis of the "top."
By a Labor Party is meant a national organization to wage the parliamentary
struggle and raise the issue of medical care, rent subsidy, fuel and
electricity, food support based on family size, public transportation, police
violence and other matter dear to the heart of the lowest sector of the working
class, in the framework of the new qualitative features in capital.
As communist it is more than less inevitable for the emergence of a collective
framework that allows a stable core of combatants to drive the movement through
its various phases. Such a framework is not what is meant by a "Labor Party." 
The old League was organized radically different from the "New Left" groups;
more than less in layers and later in our evolution underwent an intense
political battle to formulate the specific properties of each quantitative
stage of the movement. Thirty years later those of us who scattered on the
basis of the changes in the social movement remain united in harmony on the
basis of a crisp analysis of capital at this specific juncture. We have one
line that is winning over and transforming sections of the movement associated
with the name of Marx and realigning it to dig deep into the lowest sector of
the working class.

There is nothing but love for Fidel but our view is grasped the moment a person
reads it because it is less absurd. Are we at a new qualitative stage in the
development of capital with the above features? We call this capital at it
final stage of decay - no slogans. The combatants waging the armed struggle
have to make their own call. I am not in the armed struggle but a parliamentary
arena and will not relinquish my iron.
Joe Freemen

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