On History’s Shoulders
Comrades, this meeting marks some 43 years of struggle for a revolutionary party that would be a continuation of the best in American history – a party worthy of the American people.
It has been a long and difficult journey from the time five of us sat down in Watts, California and voted to create an organization that would participate in the struggle to reconstruct America, that would be of, by, and for its people.
During those years many organizations have come into and gone out of existence. Ours has remained stable, preparing for this moment in history. This Convention, like those before it, will reaffirm our commitment to our foundations, our strategy, and tactics. These are the indispensable elements that stabilized us while others withered and died.
What are the elements that make the League different from other organizations? What has allowed us to remain stable and on track?
The fundamental division between organizations arises from their different bases and their different goals. One type of organization arises from the mass movement. They are guided by theory that arises from practice. Their actual goal becomes the goal of the spontaneous movement, which can be nothing but reform.
The other type of organization arises from an intellectual grasp of the significance of the contradiction between society’s productive forces and its productive relations. This group is necessarily guided by philosophy – which is the study of the processes governing all thought, principles, and laws.
The organizational predecessors of the League were formed during the great upsurges of the national liberation movement. We did not base ourselves on that movement; rather we tried to use that upsurge and transformation to expose and exacerbate the contradiction between productive forces and relations. We clearly understood that this was the only force that could create the conditions for a transfer of political power from the capitalists to the working class. This is why we did not collapse with the relative completion of the national liberation movement.
Later, our philosophical approach allowed us to understand the revolutionary significance of the electronic revolution in production, the emergence of a new revolutionary sector of the working class, and the beginnings of an objective communist movement. What do we mean by an objective communist movement? Such a movement arises when there is such an intense antagonism between private ownership of the necessaries of life and the social character of distribution and consumption that the entire social order begins to collapse. At this point communism – society’s ownership of socially necessary means of life – moves from the ideological level to the actual or objective.
This historic leap in the economy presents us with a huge and difficult problem. This expanding objectively communist movement is subjectively – that is intellectually – anticommunist. Clearly, nothing can be done except through the process of changing peoples’ minds as they struggle for the basics of life. This is the task of an organization of propagandists.
We can proudly point to our accomplishments in building such an organization. We have a solid cadre core. We have our own theoretical and political line. We have an excellent press.
Essentially our foundation is built. The next stage – the stage this Convention must grapple with – is the outward motion of the League. This outward motion can be accomplished only if the League is clear as to its mission. Each member must have a mission. Every member in some way must contribute to our propaganda effort. We must become an army on the march – with purpose, discipline and clarity.
Comrades, the ice of fifty years is melting. Tides are beginning to flow. The moment we prepared for is upon us. Let this convention again raise the International’s battle cry “To the forge, Comrades! Strike where the iron is hot!”
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011