The Changing Situation and the Tasks of Revolutionaries
We are living in rapidly changing, dangerous times. Polarization of all kinds is expressing itself. The world is slowly slipping into two camps. For the moment Syria is the international focal point for this motion. In the Western Hemisphere the polarity is becoming more intense. Venezuela walked out of the conference to reconcile with the U.S. after a slanderous attack by the U.S. at the UN, and defiantly offered Edward Snowden asylum. Bolivia shut down the American embassy and threatened to break relations after the war-like detention of its president. At the recent 68th General Assembly of the UN one Latin American leader after another denounced U.S. policies. Here in the U.S. the Trayvon Martin murder has accelerated racial, national and class divisions. Wealth and poverty continue to polarize as all elements of the State, especially the Supreme Court, tighten the grip of fascism over all aspects of life.
From the right and from the left, the people are becoming more disgusted with and distrustful of the government. All the elements of a social upheaval are moving into place.
Underlying this process is the destruction of society, the polarization of wealth and the denial to growing sections of the American people of the basic necessities of life. The people are responding to, but do not yet understand the root of the problems they face, or as it engulfs them, the reality of fascism in America.
Fascism is an objective process, a result of the qualitative change in the economy and the creation of permanent unemployment. There are stages to this process. The economic aspects of fascism are evidenced in the merger of the corporations and the State, and are now in place. The political aspects of fascism arise on the basis of the economic aspects and facilitate it.
Myriad laws have been and are being passed that are directed toward containing the upsurges of the masses. These laws also transform the legal structure in order to protect and facilitate the interests of the corporations and the capitalist class to the exclusion of the American people. The goal of the rulers is the preservation of private property under some kind of new system.
Rising and interpenetrating these stages is the stage of the social expressions of fascism. We are seeing the creation of an environment in which the lives of a growing section of the American people is considered worthless. The Trayvon Martin murder verdict crystallizes this reality.
New Stage of Movement
These stages of the development of fascism are fueling and shaping the rising social motion. Experiencing the growing poverty and the refusal of the government or the politicians to redress their grievances, the workers are losing their faith in the government and beginning the process of separating from the political system. This is a necessary step in their development as a class and for their independence from the capitalist class. These processes – the stages of fascism on the one hand, and the rise of a new stage of the spontaneous movement – are beginning to clash, and this will only deepen the political polarization as conditions worsen.
The rise of a third party is inevitable given these conditions. This party will not simply be one or the other of the individual third party formations in existence today, but will reflect the broad social motion as it develops. Within this impulse and formation of a third party the revolutionaries must figure out how to work “shoulder to shoulder” within the third party in such a way to prepare for the next stage, the development of a workers’ party, while maintaining our independent role.
The process is unfolding without any sense of class interests or a vision of the future that is possible. This makes the rising movement vulnerable to the fascists and other forces that seek to corral the movement into the hands of the capitalist class. This broad social motion is objective and as such includes all kinds of currents. This motion is objectively communist but it is arising in an environment where it can be taken off track and channeled into a fascist solution. The fascists are responding to the same deteriorating conditions and the failures of the government to protect the well-being of the American people, and are organizing to put forward their program.
The days of social upsurges arising on the basis of an expanding economy and a ruling class advancing its interests through granting certain concessions are over. Today, the movement is arising on not only the basis of the destruction of the economy and society, but within a process of developing fascism which is complete in its economic and political stages, and rapidly accelerating in its social stage. Revolutionaries cannot understand this and simply go on as before.
Conditions Advancing Thinking
The demands of this movement are objective; they cannot give up and go home. They need housing, food, health care and other basic necessities of life. This movement is coming into conflict with the State, which is standing in the way of them securing these basic necessities. This movement is in fact, if not in understanding, struggling to transfer capitalist property in order to feed, clothe, house and care for itself. Revolutionaries’ call for nationalization in the interests of the workers is part of this process. The State will not allow this and is fully capable of crushing any attempts to do so. In its efforts to transfer capitalist property to itself, the important result is not the transfer of property – which the capitalists will not allow – but the rising understanding that property cannot be transferred because the capitalist class will not allow it.
The process is just in the beginning stages, but this is our north star: to create an organization that is a subjective expression of the objective process. Although still in the stage of social awareness, the realities of fascism are advancing the outlook and experience of this new stage of the movement. These embryonic beginnings are drawing the dispossessed of all kinds into activity and politicizing them. This is an essential development of our class as they begin to break their ideological and political ties with the rulers and set out looking for their own independent course. What is the root of the problem, how do they redress their grievances and take advantage of all that is made possible by the new period of time?
It is in the process of this movement’s realization that the State will not redress its grievances, giving rise to the demand for new solutions, that the revolutionaries can develop the stages of consciousness along the line of march from scattered economic struggles to united political struggles against the State. Such a task requires widespread propaganda within this growing movement that provides the answers that it seeks.
The intensifying polarity of wealth, the inevitability of another economic crisis, the spread of fascism, and the developing upsurge alert us to a changing situation. On that basis, we determine how we will move forward.
Tasks of the League
Causality is the philosophical foundation of our organization. Our understanding that the events of today are the basis for the events of tomorrow demand that we not only carefully examine today, but use that knowledge to prepare for tomorrow. The progression of political events follows the dialectical process – that is, from quantitative to qualitative stages. It is not possible to deal with qualitative change without adjusting thinking and activity with each quantitative stage of development.
The new level of social motion is stirring up debate. This is good and healthy. These discussions should be schools where we learn to apply our dialectical knowledge. Right now there is a debate as to whether or not there is a fascist State. Bourgeois philosophy tells us that things are categories, things in themselves. Dialectics teaches that everything is connected to everything else and is in constant motion, maturing, declining, arising again. Such a debate should include a discussion on what are characteristics and what are features. In America democracy has essentially meant the right to vote for an elephant or a jackass. In other countries it means the obligation of the State toward the people.
Thus far, events over the past period have shown the correctness of our general line. Fundamental to the League’s thinking is that a new motive force (the micro-chip) has allowed for the development of new means of production that are destroying value as the basis of exchange. Value-less production is marginalizing a new class of proletarians who cannot exist without distribution according to need. The destruction of value and the emergence of a communist class have shifted the communist party – the subjective expression of the actual movement – from an ideological to a concrete and practical, i.e. political base. The old ideological communist party is obsolete and must be replaced by a practical, political communist party that represents the motion of an actual communist class. Such a party does not exist. History cannot move forward without it. How is such a party to be built? What kind of an organization of revolutionaries is needed to build such a party? These are some of the questions this growing social motion has thrust upon every revolutionary.
Report of the LRNA Resident Standing Committee, September 2013
November/December 2013. Vol23.Ed6
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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