Dysfunctional Government and Revolution
by Lil Joe Johnson and David Moros
October 6, 2013
"The fundamental law of revolution, which has been confirmed by all revolutions and especially by all three Russian revolutions in the twentieth century, is as follows: for a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the "lower classes" do not want to live in the old way and the "upper classes" cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph. This truth can be expressed in other words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). It follows that, for a revolution to take place, it is essential, first, that a majority of the workers (or at least a majority of the class-conscious, thinking, and politically active workers) should fully realise that revolution is necessary, and that they should be prepared to die for it; second, that the ruling classes should be going through a governmental crisis, which draws even the most backward masses into politics (symptomatic of any genuine revolution is a rapid, tenfold and even hundredfold increase in the size of the working and oppressed masses-hitherto apathetic-who are capable of waging the political struggle), weakens the government, and makes it possible for the revolutionaries to rapidly overthrow it." http://www.marxists.org/ archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/ ch09.htm
Commodities are products of capital dominated labour processes. The present global crisis of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labour is manifesting a political crisis, which deepens the more this mode of production's relations of production, the buying and selling of labour power as commodities and the value objectified in the commodity form of products cannot be realised because commodities cannot be sold. The laws of motion of capitalist commodity production by wage labour breakdown.
Societies based on economic relations of production in which the mode of production and corresponding system of appropriation of labour power and of its products has in each case been a system dominated by the classes in possession of the productive forces, thus appropriating classes, has been so many forms of exploitation of the producing classes by these parasitic appropriating classes. The myths of vampires in which landed aristocracy represented e.g. by Count Dracula descending from his castle-fortress to suck the blood of peasants and artisans and shop-keepers correspond in myth to real economic relations of classes constituting the feudal era. The vampire myth has its basis in the parasitic economic system of feudal economic relations characteristic of parasitic relations of production that constituent fiefdoms, manorial, and corvee forms of appropriation and exploitation of the producing classes.
The world-market systems that engendered the rise to economic and subsequently to political dominance of capital enabled bourgeois displacements of landed aristocrats and kings. Bourgeois-democracy, whether guised under the cloak of monarchy in England's Parliament revolutions or the republican Constituent Assembly in the French Revolution the capitalist classes are the dominate appropriating classes.
The same as the bourgeois citizens used parliaments to politically displaced the lords, aristocrats and kings - the English House of Commons Parliament to overthrow the House of Lords and Kingships, the American colonials used the Continental Congress to win Independence from the British Empire and the French Third Estate to establish Constituent Assembly to overthrow and displace the First and Second Estates, so too can the American working class use the House of Representatives to overthrow and displace the capitalist partisan Senate, Presidency and Judiciary.
Laborpartypraxis.org: "The same process of natural history has produced human beings and human culture through it's creation of productive technology. The proletariat class, wherever it exists, has a natural relationship to the productive forces, as work is a natural human activity. The proletariat, wherever we exist today, are a product of advances in technology, and the capitalist mode of appropriation (method of distribution): the market. In the market economy, the working classes are, having no means of production of their own, reduced to selling their labour-power in order to obtain the wherewithal to live, money to purchase means of subsistence (food,clothing,shelter), constitutes the proletariat. Proletarians of all countries participate in the same historical process. The proletariat is a cosmopolitan class and thus it's class and class interests are present in every country of the world today."
It was capital accumulation by commodity production through exploitation of the emergent world market that enabled the rise and dominance of bourgeois wealth and political power. Their economic power was based in commerce, in a word, money. The economic power of the working class is its location in the labour process and this is its social power. It is because production is natural and money is artificial that the working classes have objective power, it is in our material interest as producers to end the capitalist mode of production and appropriation/exploitation of our labour power and work.
The existing economic crisis show the capital dominated labor process is no longer viable. It ceases to be viable once the contradictions between the labour process as valorised labor processes producing products as commodities because of market glutting the products as such cannot be sold.
Engels: "In these crises, the contradiction between socialised production and capitalist appropriation ends in a violent explosion. The circulation of commodities is, for the time being, stopped. Money, the means of circulation, becomes a hindrance to circulation. All the laws of production and circulation of commodities are turned upside down. The economic collision has reached its apogee."
http://www.marxists.org/ archive/marx/works/1877/anti- duhring/ch24.htm
The capitalist modes of production and appropriation ceases to be viable as a way of providing the necessities. Capitalist ownership of the productive forces, resulting from the capitalist mode of appropriation, has outlived its historical function and become a hindrance preventing the producing classes from access to the products of their own and social labour corresponding to glutted markets in which products as commodities cannot be sold. This engenders an inescapable accelerating vicious cycle resulting in an increasing decrease in demand for the commodity labour power.
The present global crisis of the market economy isn't just another 'recession'. The displacement of workers by machines and robots producing commodities that can't be sold is 'the new normal'. Moreover, downsizing and outsourcing of production has broke the power of pragmatic trade unions. Workers whose labour has been displaced by machines and robots, whose jobs the American capitalists as commodity producers has been downsized or outsourced, will not reverse. This present trend of reducing work forces isn't momentary 'frictional unemployment', cyclical unemployment, nor is it temporary structural unemployment. It's permanent. Workers are let go for good -i.e. fired.
The crisis of markets increases because workers who cannot sell their labour power commodities are thrown out of the labor market. This diminishes the Demand. The decreasing quantity of workers as purchasers exacerbates the declining component of the demand side of the demand-supply schedule. This reduction of the number of workers participating in the consumer market thus increases the market glut of commodities that cannot be sold. Workers excluded from consumer markets because they don't have jobs and wages thus have no money to purchase means of subsistence as commodities. This in turn results in even more lay offs, firings. Thus the vicious cycle intensifies the market-crisis. This crisis is enhanced since there isn't sufficient consumer money to purchase enough commodities that enable capitalists to sell and realise profits a portion of which to reinvest in expanded production of commodities in the capital dominated valorising labour processes.
The new normal is that the metamorphosis of capital ceases to morph into profits. Thus, the crisis. It is the breakdown of the system itself. The only solution to the crisis is the working classes winning the battle of democracy and legislating the transfer of the nations productive forces from the private possession of the capitalist classes. The precondition for solving the crisis of finance and industrial capitalism is the seizure of the productive forces by the producing class -the working class. This requires the working class to elevate itself to ruling class by winning State power. This is to say the Worker's State legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private possession of economic parasites to becoming the public property of the working classes. This transfer thus ends capital dominated labor processes: putting an end to capitalist commodity production and there upon end the buying and selling of labour power: ending the labor process as valorising process of exploitation of wageworkers.
This is the problem! The solution being the creation of a worker's State and government by workers democracy. The transfer of the productive forces from capitalists to the working class ends exploitation of wage labour by capital by ending capitalist appropriation of labor power (and it's product) by purchase. This puts an end to capitalist commodity production and its anarchy.
We have posted below the preamble to Labor Party Praxis.Org. It was posted originally as an argument in the Labor Party advocated as the strategy for American workers corresponding to empirical production relations and class interests of American workers. To achieve this workers need an understanding of objective conditions (e.g. what "work" and "wages actually are) and therefore a strategy for winning State power that is at once objective and subjective. It consequently is not a maximum program and minimum program at loggerheads. It is a transitional program, driven by proletarian praxis itself.
It is not a question of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole proletariat, at the moment regards as its aim. It is a question of what the proletariat is, and what, in accordance with this being, it will historically be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action is visibly and irrevocably foreshadowed in its own life situation as well as in the whole organization of bourgeois society today. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/ holy-family/ch04.htm#4.4
The more American workers participate in class partisan politics by fighting for its own class interests the better the American workers understand objective conditions. The more workers become class conscious the more they will come to recognise the flim flam rhetoric of 'middle class' and 'American exceptionalism', and clap trap about 'the American people' and 'average American'. This rhetoric is recognised for what it is: hokum intended to ideologically manipulate gullible workers into Democratic and Republican party partisanship.
A Labor Party bringing American workers into the political arena, as a working class, the more the proletariat fights in its own name and interests, the more it will come into conflict with both Republican reactionaries and 'moderates' and with 'blue dog', conservative and so-called 'progressive' Democrats. The struggle for an independent Labor Party in electoral campaigns to win seats in the House of Representatives is to fight both Republicans and Democrats in contests for political office and its power.
The goal of laborpartypraxis.org is advocating for a working class strategy to take State power in the United States and to do so by forming an independent Labor Party the independence of which is being financially based in labor unions and socially in the working classes as a whole in the struggle for winning a majority in the House of Representatives. Once in the House of Representatives the Labor Party's cadre will distinguish themselves in that Chamber by principled, uncompromising opposition to both the Democrats and Republicans and in opposition to the Senate (dominated by those two capitalist class parties), the Presidency and the Judiciary.
The Tea Party Republican faction in the House of representatives is using this strategy to achieve contrary objectives: anti-union, anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric of a Congressional faction to move the electorate toward fascism. Labor Party cadres in the same House of Representatives will, to the contrary, use the strategy in electoral District politics against Democrats and Republicans, including Tea Party fascist Republicans. It must be understood that it is the class struggle for working class power that engender critical thinking and move the American working class to communism in opposition to fascism.
The following was written a decade ago:
The struggle for democracy is necessarily the struggle for a Labor Party majority in the House of Representatives -- comprised of workers (industrial workers, agricultural workers, service workers, salaried medical professionals, sanitation workers, etc.) and members of oppressed ethnic and gender communities who are also overwhelmingly working class. This working class majority in the House of Representatives will:
Legislate the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Law;
Restrict the Labor Relations Board to working-class members;
Place the Civil Rights Commissions in the oppressed ethnic and gender communities;
Legislate a Living Wage equal to the Median Income;
Reduce the working-day from eight to six hours a day in order to re-employ the sectors that capital has displaced and tossed out as a surplus population;
Legislating the expropriation of all plants and factories and agribusinesses that refuse to implement these changes or move abroad;
Legislate free health care facilities for everyone in America regardless of national origin;
Legislate the free movement of workers in the NAFTA countries and formation of cross border trade unions;
Legislate free public education with open enrollment from kindergarten through graduate school, open to all who live in America without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin;
Legislate the funding of these programs with a progressive income tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax written into the tax code, so that capitalists who try to worm out of these taxes by loopholes will go to prison, and the expropriation of any and all capitalist businesses that refuse to continue to invest in those taxed companies or seek to relocate.
Corresponding to theoretical arguments posted to laborpartypraxis.org is firstname.lastname@example.org. It's preamble also states:
Building a labor party is an important step to the American working class winning the battle for democracy. State power for the working class is the goal. Adhering to the concept (the "idea") of "praxis," we will bring labor party representatives to the House of Representatives to fight for a working class agenda. "Praxis" is practical/critical activity. Utilizing the concept of "praxis," we will develop a plan of action to build a labor party in the United States, and discuss the political ramifications of our actions as they relate to how we can change and/or improve our program and actions to accomplish the goal of state power for the working class. Anyone who is serious about the goal of state power for the American working class is welcome and encouraged to participate in our discussions re the plan of action, implementation of the plan of action, and the program that will be fought for by labor party representatives in the House of Representatives. http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ laborpartypraxis/info
Time is against us if we don't act. The reactionary/ fascist faction of the Republican Party has beat us [the working class] to the punch. They already are sending cadres of reactionary fascists to the House of Representatives. They are a disciplined faction in the House. There they are fighting against accommodationist Republicans - 'Rino'' Republicans - as well as against Democrats in the House and Senate. They are in opposition to the Senate, Executive and Judicial branches.
The U.S. Labor Party has ceased to have the potential for becoming a political faction in government because it refused to participate in electoral politics in Congressional Districts. The 'Tea Party' faction of Republicans did it and we didn't because being attached to the Democratic Party the labor union officers have blocked and distorted workers in the United States from evolving class-consciousness.
Workers in the United States aren't yet a class-conscious proletariat. In fighting Republicans for the Democrats the workers are not yet fighting their enemy. They are fighting the enemy of their enemy. Republicans represent finance capital. Democrats represent industrial capital. Both capitalist class partisan parties are enemies of the working class.
The Tea Party faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives have and are using power to disrupt government and are moving the nation toward fascism. Republican 'moderates' and the Democrat 'progressives', as well as 'conservatives' and 'blue dogs', cannot fight the Republicans and fascists because like the Republicans the Democrats are committed to capitalism and the capitalist ruling classes. Only a radical working class in government advocating workers ownership of the productive forces as the communist alternative are the only party that's able to fight fascism.
Workers have no interests in funding bureaucrat and military organs of the capitalist State. If Labor Party members of Congress as the majority in the House of Representatives pass legislation capitalist partisans are opposed to, Republicans, or any other capitalist partisans in government try to hold the existing government hostage, threaten to shut down the present government, our response would be, 'presently its your government, serving capitalist class interests: if you want to shut it down, shut the motherfucka down - be my guest!' If Republicans refuse to raise debt ceilings, the workers in Congress will say, 'then do it, refuse payment of your government debt, wreck the capitalist economy - its yours and not ours.'
Tea Party fascists are the Congressional faction to take up and use the strategy of setting the House of Representatives in opposition to the Senate, Executive and Judiciary. Don't despair. Although a disciplined faction of ideological and political fascists at present are ideologically dominant, rather than revolutionary working-class socialists/communists, it is this experience that is teaching American workers how faction politics work. Tea Party fascists are the ones to take up and use this strategy. It is funded by the fascist anti-union Koch Brothers and such.
Yet all is not lost. In fact, laborpartypraxis.org and email@example.com was founded on promoting this as a practical working class strategy to build the Labor Party by winning the battle of democracy - winning a majority of seats in the House of representatives to put forward legislation that would be opposed by both Democrats and Republicans in both House and Senate, the Executive and Judicial: to discredit them.
Still, the strategy is sound, as is demonstrated by the successes of the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. Tea Party electoral successes in winning majorities in Congressional Districts prove it can be done.
When the strategy for organising of the workers into a class party by running individuals from the Labor Party to win seats in the House of Representatives - campaigns in Congressional districts where we can win office, consequently rejecting 'symbolic' campaigns for Senate, Presidency and Governorships, it was rejected by socialists and communists as a pipe dream scenario. It was dismissed with derision. But, since the Tea Party faction took up the strategy and won seats in the House, it is proven this strategy can and will work for the working class parties as well.
We need to send trade union militants to the House of Representatives. There they will do battle with the fascist Tea Party ideologists. By fighting in the electoral arena and subsequently in the House of Representatives, the American working class will be forced to deal in empirical reality, reject patriotism and the illusions of 'The American Dream' and delusions of being a so-called 'middle class'.
Class struggle is not an economic strike in particular localities or even national branches of industry. Rather, every class struggle is a political struggle. As Lenin said, the economic strike [by becoming a nationwide general strike] becomes a political strike. The political strike becomes a revolution when the proletariat consciously fights to win State power, as political struggle and the object of political struggle is exclusive class power, State Power. The struggle for power is the means by which experience will evolve working class consciousness to recognise the need to take exclusive power to abolish the existing government: the Senate, the Presidency and the Judiciary.
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