Monday, January 9, 2012

A few notes on the conjuncture

I'm sure readers and visitors to this site would like to add their own notes.  Feel free to offer revisions or corrections you think necessary to mine as well.
 
"drag" of demoralization and internalized defeatism of so much of the U.S. Left.  A liquidationist and capitulationist temper in response to the times.  Exacerbated by advances at home and abroad which provide in sharp relief a view of the gulf between ultimate tasks of the communist movement and the current state of the international class struggle.

The wheel of non-Marxist, anti-Leninist revolutionary organization has been invented, reinvented, reimagined,and promoted countless times since Bernstein.  Each new generation takes as its own the received common sense wisdom that the Leninist strategy of party building is superseded.  With this common sense comes all kinds of harm, disruption, illusion, stifling independent working class politics.  Having served its purpose, this non-revolutionary organizational "common sense" dies for another generation.

In imperialist countries vast swathes of the population consist of various demographic gradations of the petty bourgeoisie.  One way to look at these layers is as a "tuning fork" or seismographic needle for unseen and often subterranean bourgeois and proletarian class struggles whose true character and extent are not necessarily obvious as periods of historical sea-change are inaugurated.

Contexts:
lesser evil president bails out the banks, not the people
Arab Spring
Madison, Wisconsin protests and occupations
Resistance and rebellion in Greece, Spain, England, France
Washington's war against Libya
War moves against Iran and Syria
Attempts by US and European imperialism to restabilize its African interests
US military strategy clearly focusing long-term on a future confrontation with China
class sensitivity and openness to socialism among youth

#occupy movement: all political, organizational, and social aspects of a protest movement take place at the site of contestation: Wall Street, financial institutions, government offices, city parks.  No long do weeks of planning off-site lead to a one or two hour protest at the site [bank, federal building, et cetera].

#occupy movement:  in NYC, run by an unacknowledged hierarchy creating agenda and scope for General Assembly meetings.  Zuccotti Park policed by these cadre to keep out Marxist tablers and promoters of non-#occupy brand.

#ows is a Rorschach for the labor vanguard and the petty bourgeois Left in the United States.
SWP sees it as a sign of increased willingness toward action and political independence of Democrats and Republicans.  Keeps its focus on class militancy at the site of accumulation, which is also the site of proletarian contestation of capitalist austerity drive: the production process itself. 
The most crucial events in the US class struggle in the last few months have been the resilience and militancy of locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tire, as well as ILWU workers in Longview, Washington.  The recent wave of labor lock-outs, which now includes Caterpillar workers in Canada, is clearly class-wide project for the bourgeoisie to break-up cowed and rotten union structures before they can be embraced and utilized by the rank and file in the coming wave of mass labor resistance.
 
Jay Rothermel
20120109

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