Seizing the Future : LRNA Holds 7th National Convention
Comrades and Friends,
We stand here today celebrating the success of the seventh Convention of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America. Eighteen years ago marked the beginning of the LRNA. We understood then that the revolutionary movement was leaping into a new quality of struggle.
We have seen struggle before. But this struggle is different. It is the subjective or political expression of the revolution in the economic foundation of society. It is emerging as a response to something new – the alignment of the political superstructure to protect the obscene sanctity of private property as the economic foundation of capitalism is crumbling.
The process will go through a number of quantitative stages. At each stage the revolution will have to regroup on new foundations.
Stages of struggle
The immediate first stage is clear. As workers are permanently replaced by computerized robotic production, a transformation is taking place from a highly organized, highly paid reformist core of the industrial working class to the emergence of a new class increasingly pushed out of capitalist relations of production. This first stage will see the new class becoming aware of itself and articulating a program for its survival. Its political reflection must be an organization that accurately reflects that stage – a league of revolutionaries – a non-sectarian organization formed on the new basis of the objective process, with its mission to make that class aware of itself as a class.
Over the years, we witnessed many struggles – the rise of the struggle around homelessness and the development of homeless unions on a national level. Our efforts helped to end the isolation of the homeless population and stamp it into the consciousness of the American people.
We witnessed the massive attacks on the welfare recipients, and General Assistance programs as state by state programs were eliminated, throwing another section of the working class into the streets, followed by the Clinton administration’s “welfare reform.”
This administration also passed NAFTA to allow the free flow of capital across our borders while closing them to human beings in search of a better life.
We witnessed our youth under attack on all fronts: lack of jobs, massive closing of schools, increasing tuition costs for higher learning, new private prisons being built, schools privatized across the country.
And we witnessed families without water and other utilities as the struggle for survival intensifies, drawing broader sections of the working class into battle.
In the past the capitalist class attacked one section of the working class at a time, using the age-old tactic of divide and conquer. Now as the dictatorship of the corporations is gripping every state and town across this country, budget cuts are hitting a broad spectrum of the working class at once. The budget battles are placing school teachers in the trenches with students, fire fighters and corrections officers with janitors, and nurses and social workers together with destitute patients.
Battle for consciousness
Clear lines of demarcation are being drawn, but objective economic polarization does not inevitably translate into subjective understanding and political polarization. The broad social response provides the conditions for revolutionaries to enter into battle for the minds of the American people – to win them to consciousness and clarity about who they are and what is actually in their interests.
The ruling class will use this moment to dredge up every rotten and racist thread of American history to derail and confuse the thinking of the American people. Our responsibility is to win them to some sense of their basic interests.
There’s a growing understanding that corporate control of political power makes the ruling class incapable of governing in the interests of society. That sense that something is wrong cannot move forward without the awareness of actual interests — the understanding of whose interests government should serve, whether the public is going to control the corporations or the corporations control the public.
This moment pushes to the fore tens of thousands of people who are looking for a way to contribute to the forward progress of humanity, who want to politicize and educate people in their actual interests, and who need an organization to do that. During the past 18 years the League has laid the foundation to be the organization they need. We are prepared to take full advantage of the budget battles that lie ahead to carry out the League’s mission to unite these scattered revolutionaries on the basis of the demands of the new class, to educate and win them over to the cooperative, communist resolution of the problem.
The battle over budget cuts will find fertile ground for the growth of working class consciousness and clarity. As we see in the social response to the budget cuts in the Rust Belt, the polarity over who controls society is becoming clearer. These cuts can be seen as a cover for increasing corporate control over society. In Michigan, battle plans are focusing on the new Emergency Financial Manager bill known as Public Act #4 – the financial martial law. The state has already used this law to take over the cities of Benton Harbor and Pontiac and the Detroit School Board. The level of mobilization is teaching us the hard reality that we have to imbed our propaganda tools into the heart of this movement.
Moving forward and outward
The League is firmly rooted in the history of the revolutionary movement. Although the revolutionary movement has never faced a situation like today, we draw strength from the continuity of scientific understanding and principles of revolutionary politics and strategy. We rely on that history in order to step up to the tasks and responsibilities of this moment.
We are clear about the present. The adoption of the documents of this Convention confirms our grasp of the underlying content of this time, the “why” behind the profound and frightening changes taking place in this country and the world.
And with this, we can seize the future. Out of the emerging social struggle, we can build and consolidate the League as an organization of revolutionaries ready for the next stage of the revolutionary movement in this country.
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