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 Post subject: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:15 pm 
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I know most of you will be thousands of miles away from London next Saturday, but if anyone is within reasonable distance, we would appreciate help in distributing this leaflet at the TUC's 'A Future that Works' march. In any case, comments on the content would be welcomed.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconlin ... revolution


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:47 am 
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This is a good leaflet, clear and easy to read, and not long. The comrades at the TUC will doubtless lap it up and love it. Especially the bit that describes how they and the labour party went over to tbe bourgeoisie at the start of the 1st. World War and have stayed with them ever since. Or tbe bit that says, even if capitalism could recover - which it can't- it would only go on and destroy the planet completely in it's grotesque pursuit of profit.

And this. "Wherever it turns, capitalism is faced with crisis and self-destruction. And whether the management team is ‘right’ or ‘left’, the system can only protect its dwindling profits by attacking the living standards of those who actually create wealth – the working class – through unemployment, precarious work, wage freezes, cuts in pensions and social benefits, the deterioration of housing, and all the rest of it."

I think the brothers in the unions will take to this like cats to water!


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:46 am 
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I thought saying that "[x] will take to [y] like cats to water" means that they'd hate it?


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Fred wrote:I think the brothers in the unions will take to this like cats to water!

Do you seriously talk like this in real life?

The answer is: Probably: but then I hardly ever talk to anyone these days. And anyway this is writing. And Tim's point, about cats hating water, is the point i was trying to make, in my alienated fashion.


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:52 am 
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It is a typical ICC leaflet. I think here they seem to have made a special early effort to put off potential readers with lines like this:

Quote:
Capitalist growth means more machines, less labour. But because living labour alone produces extra value, accumulation inevitably results in declining rates of profit


If you understand the theory of falling rates of profit, and I know ICC members who don't, it is difficult, then it might mean something to you, but if you don't it just comes across as jargon. I don't think you can really use concepts like this in a leaflet without explaining them, and a leaflet is not the best place to explain the falling rate of profit.

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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:00 am 
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It's certainly not "typical" for the ICC to talk about the falling rate of profit or the crisis of overproduction at the start of a leaflet. But this is conceived as a reply to the TUC's argument that this crisis isn't necessary and that "growth" is the answer. Its aim is simply to get people to consider other reasons for the crisis. It's not meant to be an agitational leaflet.


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:08 am 
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Alf wrote:
It's certainly not "typical" for the ICC to talk about the falling rate of profit or the crisis of overproduction at the start of a leaflet.


What I meant was that it is typical in that it is a jargon filled leaflet that shows a complete inability to communicate.

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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:56 am 
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To be totally fair, the first paragraph is pretty good. Identifies in basic terms the left-wing narrative of capitalist crisis, and announces the intention to outline a critique of this narrative from the left; a solid start. The last paragraph is a nice enough parting shot, too, if perhaps a bit of a dead horse among those exposed to Zizek or his imitators on a regular basis. It's just everything that comes in between that is unreadable and obscure.


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:13 am 
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Not sure where Zizek comes in. But thanks for your positive comments about the first and last paragraphs. Are all the other paragraphs really as obscure as all that? Which bits are really, really obscure?


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 Post subject: Re: ICC leaflet for TUC march, 20 October
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Alf wrote:
Not sure where Zizek comes in.

He's quite fond of the "aha, but you are the real utopians!" switcheroo. (No objections on my part, it's a good rhetorical move.)

Quote:
But thanks for your positive comments about the first and last paragraphs. Are all the other paragraphs really as obscure as all that? Which bits are really, really obscure?

Bits of it are and bits of it aren't. The stuff about the fundamentally capitalist nature of Labour and the TUC, the stuff about Spain, Greece and Egypt, that's straightforward enough in itself, it's just that it's been jammed together with "Falling Rate of Profit 101" and it's hard to tell exactly what is being argued. The link to environmental concerns is a good direction to head in, too, but it's so jumbled up with the rest that it doesn't emerge as a coherent line of thought, and ends up feeling like an opportunistic attempt to appeal to a mainstream Issue Of The Day.

It basically feels like the writer was trying to do too much in too little space without a workable structure, so the arguments get all scrambled together and it's not going to make a ton of sense to somebody who's not already familiar with what they're getting at. Even if the arguments aren't particularly obscure in themselves, the way that they are rendered obscures them.


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