Strategy, Tactics and Private Property
A tiny ruling class is amassing greater and greater wealth, while millions workers are being thrown out, or to the margins of the dying economy. The cause of such extreme economic polarization is the transition from human labor to electronic production. Wage labor is the fundamental economic relation of capitalist society. It is becoming obsolete in the production process. However, electronic production allows for the creation of abundance, and for cooperation to define human society, not scarcity and competition. This is the overwhelming content of our time.
Economics is not just a part of human life. It is every part of human life. Today, the rapidly accelerating and widespread global use of electronics (robots, computers, etc.) in all work processes and forms of production is destroying and permanently ending the global capitalist economic system. The society we live in is being permanently destroyed, along with wage-labor jobs, the ideas, the culture, the institutions and the social relations that were all necessary to serve, build and maintain a capitalist economic system developed over several centuries. The resulting polarization of wealth and poverty is increasing at breakneck speed. The social response of the workers to their worsening conditions of life is maturing.
The workers who struggle to make it through the day, be it for food, water, clothing, shelter, housing, or healthcare are the new, revolutionary section of the working class, those who have next to nothing to lose, those who are up against the ruling class power structure on a daily basis. The social response to the worsening conditions in the U.S. today is maturing within a historic moment, where a new equality of poverty is creating the opportunity for a section of the workers to unite. However, this unity can succeed only if the workers take into consideration the content of our time and begin to develop a vision of a new society worth fighting for.
In every social struggle today, there are growing flashes of awareness, impulses toward an understanding that society is composed of a ruling class and a subordinate class. Conscious revolutionaries need to be integrally connected to these struggles, uniting with the immediate goals of the combatants, while simultaneously identifying the revolutionaries, to provide them with a revolutionary strategic outlook based on the content of our time. To secure the future, revolutionaries collectively make and carry out plans to identify and further develop the stages of awareness and consciousness of the revolutionary combatants each step along the way.
The ruling classes of countries around the world fear social upheavals and even worse a global uprising of the masses. The theme of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos, Switzerland, in January of this year was, “The New Global Context.” Growing income inequality, global tensions and the global economy were the major issues addressed at this annual event of the global ruling class. The forum pessimistically focused on the continuing growth of income inequality. They pointed to the use of quantitative easing in the U.S. Its use was designed to ease the growth of income inequality. It failed to do so. In a related conference at the forum, “The Changing Face of Employment” where different income inequality containment tactics were presented, one participant remarked, “Most Davos delegates expected barcodes and robots to replace humans at an accelerated rate.”
Accelerated advancements in electronic technology will continue to permanently replace more workers by the millions. It cannot be reversed by the rulers, even if they wanted to. All they can do is try tactically to deal with the resulting consequences of increased economic, social, and political polarization. In the U.S., 21st century fascism is objectively in place. The corporations are fully merged with the State apparatus. This modern day fascism developed in stages to prevent the collapse of the capitalist economy. It evolved to manage and control the complexities of a globally integrated and fragile U.S. economy. It is a form of rule that provides protection for capitalist private property and the later development of the subjective side of fascism. Global tensions are rising, increasing the threat of world war. And the global economy teeters on the brink of another downturn. If such a crisis should occur, it could advance a coalescing of government, military and openly fascist forces to go on a full-blown fascist offensive.
Strategy is defined as the direction of delivering the main blow towards achieving a desired end or goal. Tactics are part of strategy, subordinate to and facilitating it. There are two strategic paths the movement can take. One is to embrace a ruling class strategy to maintain a system of private property, that diverts the revolutionary impulses of our class back into a struggle to reform a system that cannot be reformed. However, it is not possible to turn back the clock, overturn fascism, and restore democracy. The capitalist mode of production and exchange is not compatible with the new electronic means of production. There is only one solution: the only way to have real democracy and to obtain the necessities of life is to fight forward for the public ownership of the new electronic, socially necessary means of production in order to construct a new, economically compatible, cooperative, communist society.
The ruling class is on the strategic defensive, since the global capitalist economic system is being destroyed by the new, electronic means of production. Its strategic goal is to protect private property. This is its last line of defense. This is where the ruling class is weakest. Tactically, the ruling class is on the offensive, with the purpose of repressing, dividing and preventing the workers from uniting around common class interests.
Strategically, our class is on the offensive. This is because the new, electronic means of production provides the economic foundation for producing abundance and a world without private property. There is a lot of social response to what is going on, but our class is tactically on the defensive because it is trying to defend what it once had. It is trying to make capitalism work, because the combatants are unaware of and therefore not considering the new opportunities made possible by the content of our time.
Conscious revolutionaries need to offer a vision of what is possible and a strategy on how to get there. Our class must align its tactics with its strategy. This means moving from the tactical defensive to the offensive, fighting forward to construct a new society that is compatible with the new electronic means of production. Fighting for the abolition of private property and for transferring the socially necessary means of production into public property is compatible with our strategic class interests.
This is the first of two Building Block articles on strategy, tactics and vision. Building Block articles help explain a basic concept of the revolutionary process, challenging readers to explore its meaning for political work in today’s environment.
May/June 2015 Vol25.Ed3
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