LRNA Draft Political Resolution
We are living in revolutionary times. Ideas and institutions, ripped from their social foundations, are not yet rooted in something new. There is a growing core of the population whose interests can no longer be addressed except by addressing the wrongs perpetrated against all humanity. There is an emerging movement whose demands are political. This is the objective foundation for developing the intellectual side of the revolutionary movement today.
To unleash the power of this motion, revolutionaries concentrate on developing the political consciousness of the people to ensure that social transformation is in the interests of humanity.
Like the ruling class, the working class has to transcend the battles within the confines of capitalism and take up the struggle to reconstruct society in its interests. An awareness of the crimes of the capitalist system is not enough. It has to envision and struggle for the new society even as it has to battle against the injustices and suffering wrought by the old.
This historical moment has produced tens of thousands of revolutionaries – people from all walks of life who hold the capitalist system responsible for the suffering and injustices of these times and who struggle to end the system that has nothing more to offer to the progress of humanity. To guarantee that revolutionaries fulfill the responsibilities demanded by this stage of history, the League of Revolutionaries for a New America has set out to build an organization of these revolutionaries. We now assess the economic, political, and social conditions in order to focus on the critical tasks of revolutionaries today.
Economic direction of the country
The financial crisis brought on by the expanding use of electronics in production is continuing to tighten its grip both internationally and nationally. The cyclical crisis of under-consumption is developing. Automated production drives labor-produced commodities off the market. In this process, wages are dragged down to the cost of automated production. All production by labor, including the production of the workers themselves, becomes superfluous. Unprecedented production and unprecedented want describe our time. The electronic revolution in production combined with the cyclical crisis brings about an unprecedented crash of the capitalist system.
As electronics replaces labor, money – instead of production – is used to make money. The greater the use of electronics, the more valueless money becomes. As money ceases to express exchange value, it more and more becomes an instrument for speculation rather than investment in production. Less and less of this money is used for wages. The result is an unprecedented polarization of wealth and poverty. Thirty million dollar mansions and trillions of dollars in national debt express the destruction of money as an expression of value.
How is production and exchange to continue under such conditions? The capitalist class has proven itself incapable of ruling. The death knell of capitalism has sounded.
Political Direction of the Country
There are no further stages of growth in capitalism. Electronic driven production is dissolving the wage-labor base of capitalist society. The question is – what will be created in its place? Will electronic production and the giant corporations come under the control of the people, or will the people come under the control of these corporations?
The State must straddle both the old and the new. Law, custom, and history defend and protect the existing relations of capitalism and bind the State to the past. At the same time, the State must still guarantee private property in whatever guise it may appear. Protected by the State, the ruling class is forced to construct a mode of production based on private property, but without the producing class of the past.
Fascism is not a choice or program. It is arising objectively as the only possible political superstructure for the economic takeover by corporate power. It arises within the struggle of the capitalist class – a class which is itself being transformed – to align the political superstructure with the changing productive relations.
The State today has to insert itself into the direction and management of the economy. Nationalization is a way for the ruling class to maintain, protect and promote the laws and sanctity of private property in the face of the destruction of the capitalist system. Though these interventions vary in form and degree from one sector of the economy to another, they all embody the objective need of the capitalist class for the State to openly act in the interests of the capitalists as a class.
This is the meaning of the government’s actions beginning with the 2008 financial crisis. As the financial crisis headed toward a meltdown that threatened the collapse of the financial system, the U.S. government responded by temporarily nationalizing banking and financial institutions. In a matter of about six months, one of the greatest transfers of money and wealth from the working to the owning class in the history of the world occurred, led and directed by the U.S. government.
In 2009, the government took another step with nationalization, intervening in and managing Chrysler and General Motors in order to prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. As with the financial crisis, the government guaranteed that stabilizing and protecting the economy would be in the interests of the corporations and the ruling class that owned and profited from them.
Both the virtual nationalization of the banks and the nationalization of Chrysler and GM express the transition from a State that functions as the mere facilitator of corporate will to a State that takes a direct role in social production.
The American people are beginning to see the writing on the wall of what the future holds for them. Millions have lost their jobs and their homes since the beginning of the financial crisis. With record profits being made by the corporations, many Americans are asking, “Where’s our bailout?”
The battle over whose interests nationalization serves is an arena in which the workers can move from their scattered economic struggles against the corporations to united political struggles against the State. It is in this struggle over nationalization that the workers will begin to recognize themselves as a class. They will come to realize that the struggle to build a communal economy is the ultimate solution.
The old forms of rule – of deceiving the workers into believing that the current political structure will solve their problems – is increasingly exposed as bankrupt. The American people are angry at the two party system and are on their way to losing faith in it altogether.
The developing polarization within the Democratic and Republican parties is setting the stage for breaks in the continuity of the current political party system. Such a rupture and the formation of a third party will accelerate the political development of the new class.
Social Motion of this Time
The vast majority of the American people have been politically asleep for 65 years. There have been big social movements such as the Freedom Movement or the struggle against the Vietnam war. These movements did not and could not place class relations in the forefront. During this period the idea that problems are solved by leaders – not by the broad activity of millions of people – became deeply rooted. We are now seeing the results of this idea. Even in the most difficult situations, there is the tendency for those most endangered to consider themselves bystanders or, at best, supporters of some leader.
The economic crisis has deepened to the point where huge numbers of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and much more that they had considered secure. Many of those who kept their homes are facing cut offs of essentials, such as, water or fire protection. As the crisis affects a more stable and articulate section of society, a broad response becomes inevitable.
The first spontaneous impulse of the people is to blame and turn on the most vulnerable section of society, rather than bite the hand that has fed them. Thus, the first broad social response was the formation of the Tea Party. Populist anti-government rhetoric barely covers its anti-immigrant, anti-poor, and racist agenda. Even though reaction has placed progressives on the defensive, the social wheel has turned and social response has begun. Socialism has again become a legitimate topic.
The reality is that people are confused and frightened. Their thinking is restricted by the history of genocide against the Native Americans and the economic underpinning provided by the enslavement of millions of Africans. Their spontaneous responses are and will be dangerous.
Demagogues agitate the anger and fear to develop a mass base for the needs of the ruling class. They use every divisive ideology history has handed them to do so. Color has become a fig leaf behind which they attack all those who are forced out of the economy. Therefore the African American question is at the very heart of the formation and politicization of the new class.
The ruling class cannot abandon the weapon of race since it is historically evolved and an integral part of American politics. At the same time, the hitherto unknown breadth of equality of poverty is creating the basis for real class unity, regardless of color.
Consciousness decisive to struggle itself
All signs point toward a long period of social struggle marked by volatility and political instability. Poverty and fear are rapidly reaching previously secure sections of society and ideological cohesion is being ripped from its old foundations, but the country has little history of class awareness and political struggle.
Though the features, demands, and consciousness of the social struggle may not take a class form, every current of social struggle – for healthcare, education, housing, food – is revolutionary and poised to collide with the interests of private property.
Contention over actual needs and interests will set the stage for the coalescing of a defining consciousness of who is fighting whom and the target of that struggle. Consciousness of class interests becomes decisive to the struggle itself.
Already visible is the broad understanding that there is something wrong in society – that the burning problems of the day are the result of a problem in society, not just the bad decisions or bad luck of individuals. But there is not yet any cohesive sense of what that problem or solution is. People know – or at least sense – that the corporate control of the political mechanisms of power has rendered 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 what’s at stake: whether the public is going to control the corporations or the corporations are going to control the public, and whose interests the government should serve.
Revolutionaries who proceed from the objectivity of the emerging struggle – not its features – can develop the consciousness of the movement in the process of keeping that movement on its objective track toward political struggle and resolution.
The new class makes it possible for the revolutionary movement to accomplish its actual aims.
The new class of proletarians – the majority of whom are contingency, below-minimum wage, part-time workers – is created by new means of production. A new section of the working class, they are a new quality within it. This new section of the working class is increasingly driven out of the relationship between worker and capitalist.
The sufferings of this new class are universal. Its misery and precarious existence cannot be relieved except by the abolition of private property. This communist program is the only solution to the economic and social devastation spreading to broader sections of society.
Revolutionaries need to develop the vision, science, strategy, and direction for the working class. The first step is to identify the politically decisive sector at any given stage – that section of the class that can pull the process forward.
The current moment points to a shift of the political center of gravity. The industrial workers, under attack from electronics and globalization, now find themselves almost helpless. This growing core of dispossessed is becoming the center of gravity. These previously comfortable and suddenly dispossessed workers have the option of fighting or starving. Their jobs are gone forever.
They can no longer win their demands within the system. Fighting for the concrete demands of the workers means revolutionaries must educate to fight against a system rather than against an employer.
The working class and the capitalist class begin to confront one another outside their economic relations, that is, politically.
The stage is set for the battle for the consciousness of class interests, for a program that addresses those interests, for the need for the political power to reorganize society, and for a vision of the new society.
The tasks of the League
Revolutionary times call for revolutionary ideas. Today, revolutionaries can inspire the people with the vision of the new society. They can give them confidence that the scientific and technological progress of humanity can make this vision of the new cooperative communal society a reality.
With every propaganda weapon at its disposal and dispersed to every front of struggle, the League empowers people with the consciousness to strive for this new society and the responsibility to carry out their role in history. Which ideology will express and guide the movement rising today? Will it be an ideology that will facilitate a fascist movement, or an ideology that will facilitate the movement for a cooperative society?
The League works within the practical struggle to accomplish its mission of gathering together the revolutionaries on the basis of the demands of the new class, of educating them, and winning them over to the communist resolution of the problem.
League propaganda develops the consciousness of those awakening to the devastation of society. It speaks to society about its only rallying point: the actual demands of the new class for housing, education, healthcare and a peaceful world. It makes society aware of the revolutionary nature of this growing new class. It makes the class aware of its historic mission to lead humanity toward a new society.
Revolutionaries accomplish their mission by working within the practical struggle. From within the struggle, revolutionaries offer solutions to the questions of the day, pushing the movement forward along its line of march from scattered defensive battles to united political struggle. Every struggle becomes a battle over actual interests and a school for revolutionary ideas.
The League propagandizes wherever people are debating and struggling over the critical questions that are disrupting their lives and throwing them against this system of exploitation and private property.
As the League disperses among the revolutionaries it needs a system that centralizes its work politically. The League develops and strengthens an infrastructure of education, publications and organization that will keep the organization growing and on track for the tasks ahead and continually sharpening the political direction of its work. Let us rally to the challenges and opportunities of this moment.
Let us build the League into the organization of revolutionaries this moment calls for.
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