[Marxism] Re: The Militant and Who Cares? The dialectic of hitting the wall
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Mar 29 09:21:20 MST 2004
The division of the social movement into its objective and subjective sides
allows communists to understand the march of history and immediacy. Today there
exist an objective communist movement or an objective impulse for communism
generated on the basis of this stage of development of the productive forces.
What then is the communist movement that has existed for the past 150 years?
It is a movement that declared itself for communism but has basically lead the
militant struggle for reform of the industrial system. There have been
objective revolutionary movements and objective reform movements but never before an
objective communist movement since the dissolution of primitive communism.
The point is that the spontaneous movement has never and could not move in the
direction of communism until means of production appear that places communism
on the agenda.
The historical significance of the 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion will be spoken
of in years to come as the opening round of revolution created by advanced
robotics, computerization and digitalized production process. All the elements of
social revolution are ready in place and functioning. Social revolution has
two distinct general phases that need to be explained to our class and peoples.
The first phase is the destruction of the existing society. The second is
reconstruction of the new society. The first phase can be grasped in its
objective and subjective dimensions. The objective side is carried out by the
introduction of electronics and computerization, which undercuts wage labor as it
exists as the foundation of the existing society. The age of electronics and the
dissolution of the industrial classes bring to birth a new class. The
subjective side of this process is not Marxism but the rejection of the existing
society by the new class. It is not possible to overthrow a society whose laws you
respect and whose laws you obey.
The Civil Rights movement most certainly broke the existing laws and required
the creation of new laws to express the “reform your relations” on the basis
of the mechanization of agriculture and the destruction of the sharecropper
as a class.
The Los Angels Rebellion was contemptuous of anything smacking of bourgeois
law, order or property relations. In this respect the real world taught the
combatants more than the revolutionaries have. The 1992 Los Angels Rebellion was
not a second edition of the 1965 Watts Rebellion. Watts integrated the
struggle of the African American peoples into the world wide struggle against
American led world imperialism. This is turn completed the encirclement of American
imperialism by the colonial toilers and spelled the beginning of the end to the
era of national liberation struggle. The Rebellion of 1992 ushered in a new
era, the era of class struggle and class revolution.
I remember where I was at in 1992 when the Los Angels rebellion broke out in
the wake of the Rodney King incident and verdict. The King incident was the
catalyst not the cause of the rebellion. I was in Detroit working in the plant.
I remember Cincinnati 2001 and the rebellion that took place there. I also
remember the rioting in Battle Creek Michigan in 2003 and where I was at.
The point is that most of the communists from my generation were at work and
not located in these hot spot areas. Most of us over 50 carried out our
youthful and spirited work conforming to condition of a previous period of history.
This previous period of history gave definition to our lives and what we do
In the same way that the CPUSA “missed” Montgomery Alabama 1954, Watts 1965
and Detroit 1967, the previous generation of communists and socialist missed
Los Angels 1992, Cincinnati 2001 and Battle Creek Michigan – although Battle
Creek was not missed entirely. In the case of the CPUSA in the post Second
Imperial War era there members – insurgents, were basically located in heavy
industry. The African American people movement was in the main outside of heavy
industry. The party hit the wall or was trapped in a previously dynamic boundary
of the industrial system.
We are not in the former colonial world where the strategy of building a base
area held some validity. Winning the vanguard of the proletariat to the cause
of communism has a radically different meaning.
“We” – the communists in Detroit hit the wall hard in the 1979-1984 periods
when industry collapsed and shook out thousands of workers never to return.
Many comrades went south and into Texas seeking work, taking their families with
them. Between 1979 and 1991 there was basically no mass hiring in the auto
industry. We hit the wall.
If Marxmail was an organization – which it actually is, we would be trying to
recruit these combatants and their leaders because we cannot turn like a
military column. The most we can do is sublate and try and win the vanguard to the
cause of communism. We cannot turn because the members of Marxmail would not
be expected to leave their jobs, family and loved ones to organize amongst
this restless and destitute social mass.
There are probably those still fighting for a policy of industrial
concentration somewhere in America but they are hardly worth addressing. On the plane of
theory the objective and subjective side of the social process is very
similar to how Marxists treat the question of “quantity” and “quality” in
exposition. In real life there is no such thing as abstract “quantity” because each
quantitative definition presupposes its existence as a distinct quality.
The previous quality that defined itself as the communism movement was in
fact the Marxist movement, or people who joined various organizations that
believed in the theory and ideology of communism. Communism is not Marxism because
the former refers to a form of social organization of society. Communism is an
objective movement generated on the basis of changes in the means of
production. The contradiction has been that anything subjective has to have its feet in
a material logic that makes its realization possible. A communist movement
before society can pass to communism is a contradiction that cannot be resolved.
Since there was no actual movement of people for communism the contradiction
could not be solved. Here is the fundamentality.
On this basis the Third International can be understood in its objective
logic. The idea that the rise, consolidation, growth and decline of the Third
International are explainable on the basis of the subjective disposition of
individual leaders is monstrous. Marxists and communist workers seek out
fundamentality, and never rest at describing the outer appearance of contradiction.
Generally those of the Trotskyite heritage zero in on the subjective attributes of
the individual as the fundamentality that describe the period the Third
International and everything else. “This person made such and such a decision” and “
this caused such and such to happen,” without explaining the boundary of the
historical period in question, or the actual formation of the working class in
the various imperial centers. This is literally a factionalist conception of
In this regard if the SWP had the perfect political line it would have still
hit the wall of the quantitative boundaries of the industrial system. The
Southern Democrats – Dixiecrats, hit the wall hard. Everyone hits the wall because
it is an objective barrier that arises in the last instance on the basis of
changes in the mean of production.
With the rise of “Rap Music” and the new “R&B"
" – made possible by the
drum machine and computers an entire generation of artists hit the wall of
history. Everyone hits the wall at the same time. It is not a subjective question
but then it is. The point is that the wall is an objective barriers and not
within the mind of the individual. Everyone hits the wall. The Third
International hit the wall. The Second International hit the wall. The First International
hit the wall. The communists and socialists of the last period, no matter
what their tradition have hit the wall. Only a tiny group will make the
transition and this requires restructuring the form of Marxism we inherited. This is
what the new class – communist class, is all about.
Today this contradiction – the tension between the ideological movement and
the practical movement, can be solved because of the appearance of a new class
of poverty stricken masses during the post industrial era. At this point this
budding communist movement has no ideology, only the practical need for, food,
shelter healthcare and needs. The problem facing us today is the development
of a practical movement without its subjective or ideological expression.
In the previous period all of us did distributions and sold much “communist”
literature in a period when communism was not on the agenda. The workers in
the plants would read all the literature, but workers do not strike against
their stomach. The workers in heavy industry did not need communism, they needed
better wages and conditions and the expansion of political liberties. American
Communists need to stop flogging themselves and pointing fingers of
accusations at one another instead of unraveling history.
We declare to the world Marxists that the working class as such cannot and
will never be able to overthrow the system it is a basic component of, for the
same reason the serf could not overthrow feudal economic relations. Another
process unfolded that created new classes on the boundary of feudal property –
bourgeoisie and proletariat. Society is compelled to leap to a new political
basis that unleashes the new productive forces and classes engendered by the new
technological regime. It has literally taken us American Marxists a century to
figure out this basic proposition of Karl Marx and grab hold of our history.
We had to witness the rise and fall of classes in their productive logic, with
the property relations within to understand the social process we are a part
The new class basically exists at the boundary of bourgeois property as
production logic. The problem deepens because those over 50 with the experience and
knowledge to provide the movement its ideology are located in various areas
of the economy. Some of are working in universities, factories, as trade union
leaders or in the software industry. We are hitting the wall of history, not
matter what our subjective inclinations.
Comrades cannot just quit their jobs and pull up stake. I personally have a
little bit more flexibility because I retired and get a pension and have a way
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