Build A Workers Party To Fight For A Workers Government!!! Pronto!!!!
Those of us militant leftists old enough to have seen a few social battles like the struggle for black civil rights and against the Vietnam War in the 1960’s know that organizing such efforts don’t come fully formed out of thin air. They need to be organized. We have spend much of our time since that period fighting essentially rearguard actions in order to defend those democratic rights and those of other oppressed sections of society and attempting to slow down the American imperial military monster that is rightly seen to threaten the peoples of the world.
Thus, in one of those little ironies that history is filled with, we have been essentially condemned to a propaganda force trying patiently, if frustratingly at times, to bring the notions of socialism to the center of the political stage: centralized planning to even out the dislocations in the world economic order caused by the inherent irrationalities of the capitalist mode of production; fighting special oppressions like racism, sexism and for democratic rights, including the right to self-determination for national minorities; and, presenting a vision of what communistic solidarity would do for an advance in the culture of humankind
Frankly, we may have gotten too cozy with the concept of seemingly always having to have confront the great social issues of the day solely from a propagandistic perspective. In short, we may have developed a propaganda circle mentality. The recent virtual meltdown of important segments of the vanguard of the international capitalist system- finance capital- the operations that grease the wheels of international commerce has some implications for our work theses days. I therefore pose the question in the headline to this entry: Are we communists prepared today to lead the working class and its allies to state power in order to reconstruct human society on a new basis and solve some of the fundamental problems of human existence?
Naturally, this question takes the form of a fantastic musing – a Utopian idea if you will- on the part of this old militant, given the hard political realities we confront among them that nobody in national politics today is , in a lukewarm manner or otherwise, even projecting such a proposition-except presenting various schemes that amount to socialism for the rich. Some may, in fact, question whether Markin has had too much to drink or is sulking over his last weekend’s disastrous college football selections. No, not this time. That is the point here. We have to be able to move outside the envelope- a little audacity can go a long way.
With that in mind a little look at our international working class history may help us. It is always dangerous to draw too close an analogy with the Russian Revolution of 1917 when talking about prospects in America in 2008 but there is one idea we can take from that time. The Bolsheviks were an extremely small, virtually broken organization at the start of 1917. During the course of several months they increased their influence and directed their propaganda to the seizure of power. Why were they successful? They were able to articulate the demands of the populace that needed to be resolved- bread, land and peace. Moreover, with Lenin’s lead (and Trotsky’s support) they were audacious enough to think that they had the capacity to resolve those issues.
Of course there was more than that at play like the fact that the Bolsheviks had some authority in the Russian working class from years of legal and illegal work, their previous experiences in the Revolution of 1905 and the generally more pro-progressive and socialistic political orientation of the Russian plebeian masses. That said, we nevertheless need to have a fighting agitational perspective providing socialist solutions for the next period. Here is a start. No Foreclosures! No Government Bailouts For Finance Capitalism! For Workers Committees to Liquidate Bankrupt Operations! For Workers Control of Production! No To The Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Nader! For a Workers Party That Fight For Workers Government! Utopian? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely