Crossing the Nodal Line
We look at events in the world as a process. The current quantitative stage of development simply can go no further, and transformation is upon us. People who are careful politicians have some idea of a “nodal line,” wherein things simply cannot continue the way they are. It is a moment when something must change because every aspect of the environment is changing, and because all of the forces that determine things are changing. The whole world today is facing an economic, social, and political nodal line.
This nodal line constitutes a moment of transformation. A nodal line is the point at which revolutions take place. We are beginning to see, that there is a process going on of economic revolution that precipitates a social revolution. This social revolution begins with the destruction of societies that are in existence and dependent upon the very economy that is being destroyed. Capitalism is wage-labor, and if you take away wage labor, you are doing away with the capitalist system. How can a capitalist society be maintained without a capitalist economy?
No Way Back
There is no way that the ruling class can stop the process that is going on. What we see the world over is the result of the computer, and the globalization that took place because of the computer. All of the economies of the world have been pulled into one world economy. It is not possible for one country today to change without changing the entire structure.
The result is a reality where electronic production pulls all labor into the world market of production, which creates the decline of wages and an upsurge of production. There is a mountain of commodities and no way for the capitalists to distribute them. The people who still create commodities don’t get paid enough money to buy back what is being produced. And of course, robots don’t consume anything. We see that the capitalists can no longer continue the way that they are going. Capitalism can produce, but it cannot distribute. The standard of living throughout the whole world is declining very steadily. It will reach a nodal line too, where it begins to fall very rapidly.
The most profitable industry, which has held things together for at least the last 30-40 years, is war. War is a gigantic industry. In America for example, the military uses up huge quantities of rubber, tin, steel, glass and clothing. War is no longer a solution for the ruling class. War could be a temporary solution to their economic problems as long as the US fought small, impoverished countries that could not do the US any real harm. That list is exhausted.
The U.S. ruling class finds itself in a situation where any war today will be with a country such as China, Russia and Iran. This means that war would immediately become a World War, and it would become nuclear whether anyone wishes this or not. The American people have the false idea that a nuclear war can be confined to the Middle East and won’t affect them. Of course, the result of all this is that our class can look forward to further decline into a miserable existence in the coming period of time. The world is confronted with the threat of war and the reality of austerity and pauperism.
The Way Forward
There is a growing and consolidating political resistance against the threat of world war and fascism in every country. The situation is becoming very serious because political resistance is a big step along the way to destruction. This is polarization, where forces that once had been united, then separate. We are seeing this separation now. The next step is that these forces begin to fight each other; they begin to destroy one another.
From the standpoint of our philosophical overview, we can say that America (and the entire world) is reaching the point where things can no longer continue the way they were. Something has to change and it will change very dramatically. It is going to open the door for revolutionary organizations everywhere to begin to consolidate and reassert themselves as a force in history.
The fascist police State we face has every advantage against us. They have the technology, they have the forces, and they have the money. They have everything, except for the decisive thing. They do not have the historical process on their side. It is on our side. We have the crucial and critical base at our disposal if we learn how to use it. This base is the destruction of the capitalist economy, the rise of social revolution, and the emergence of a new class of workers being created from laborless production, who can no longer survive under the capitalist system.
Every country has its own history, and therefore, it has its own path to revolution. Nobody can deny that here in America we are stumbling along a path of mass uprisings. As far back as the 1970s, the League wrote out our understanding of the American path to revolution. We put forth that it is not possible in America to have any uprising except a mass uprising. The only path is with a mass of people who have a goal in mind; who are clear about who the enemy is and who are their friends. Without this there is no way for us to talk in terms of any kind of transformation. It defines us and lays out our tasks. It means the first step is to gather together the revolutionaries, unite them around the demands of the new class and win them to communism.
How Do We Begin?
The tactical overview of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America is to get into the spontaneous movement with the purpose of a long-range strategy that begins with trying to get a hold of those leaders who are objectively revolutionaries – those who are instinctively moving against capital, those who are really up against the system, even though they don’t understand it, or the significance of their actions. Revolutionaries have to educate these forces about the possibilities of today, and organize them to be the driving force of the spontaneous movement.
It is these leaders who can win the class to the reality that private property can be brought to an end and spread a vision of the new society. Revolutionaries do have an answer. In the past, it was sectarian to say that what we need is communism. Today, proposing communism is not sectarian because it is the practical solution to the problems the workers face. Communism is the public ownership of the socially necessary means of production and the distribution of the social product according to need.
It is clear that we have entered a period of time when we can create history. This is what we are in the revolutionary movement for. We came into the revolutionary movement because we wanted to see a different kind of world. We are leaving the industrial economy; we are leaving the old. There is now the real possibility of creating a new world.
Revolutionaries have a gigantic job to do and very little time to accomplish the changes necessary. It won’t be accomplished unless the leaders thoroughly understand that they cannot change conditions. Conditions are changed by objective forces like developments in science that allow for the development of a computer chip, or any given motive force. It is then that revolutionaries can make a difference. When the philosopher G.F.W. Hegel talked about “mankind creates their own history,” the revolutionary Karl Marx added to it saying, “under given conditions.” That is to say that we are not free to do whatever we want under any circumstances. The thing we do see is that as conditions change, the possibility for us to change history has come into our grasp. We can only triumph if we understand that change, if we understand that history, and if we understand that possibility.
November.December 2018 Vol28.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