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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:05 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:26 pm 
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[quote="MFT"][quote="Otto Mattick"]This is by far the best thread on "the Party" on any forum. If more ***** who think "the party" means their precious sectlet could understand this, it'd be awesome. Still have tools like the self-proclaimed Bordigist/Leninist Remus... who thinks it means a literal party in the form of the KPD, SPD, KAPD, SWP, RSLDP, SLP, etc.

For what it's worth, Il Partito, which, last time I checked, Remus and I both sympathize with heavily, describes "the Party" as essentially " ... a school of thought and a method of action. Doctrine, programme, tactics, and organization make up the party. The working class exists as such only by virtue of its party; without it the proletariat is a class only in a statistical [demographic] sense." There is no identification of "the Party" merely with the basic form common to "the KPD, SPD, KAPD, SWP, RSLDP, SLP, etc.", only with, in layman's terms, the practical and ideological tradition of "the real movement [...]"—and should some concrete organization come to express this tradition, it can be regarded as the formal party.
Try having an actual conversation with the kid. Once he stopped calling me a councillist, and I put forward the idea that "the party" doesn't have to mean the KAPD, KPD, etc etc etc... he was got upset and went to bed. Who someone sympathizes with is irrelevant... I could say I sympathize with News & Letters... doesn't mean I get the Hegelianism.
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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:39 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:18 am 
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MFT wrote:
In, I think, February he and Brutus invited me to contribute to their online project, on the basis that all our politics were very strongly aligned with that of the ICP. I haven't had contact with Remus since April, but, at least at first glance, he doesn't appear to have since deviated from Il Partito's line.

Online he hasn't, and since my conversation with him he seems to be less inclined to demand that "the party" must be a party. Though, he hasn't come out to actually state it. In fact, in my conversation with him he defended the idea that "the party" must be a party, because that's how it has been in the past.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:29 am 
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Perhaps we don't know what "the party" is because we haven't got one and haven't had anything that could claim to be one since the decline of the Bolsheviks. And we can't have a party now because the class is in retreat everywhere is it not and class consciousness is at a low ebb? Maybe the need for the party - if there is one - is a product itself of proletarian consciousness? In fact surely it must be? But we know, don't we, that mass looney parties such as the bourgeois loves is not for us, and that if we did have a party it would include the most advanced theoretical and practical political activists and thinkers that the working class had produced up to and including that moment of time where we were? And it would be organized internationally.

And haven't we learned a few lessons about it from past experience? Like it wouldn't substitute itself for the class but try and make sensible judgements and offer advice about what was going on and what our class should do in the light of bourgeois attempts to **** the revolution up. It would be part and parcel of the dictatorship. It wouldn't actually be the dictatorship. It wouldn't have a mass membership because not everyone would want or need to belong, and those who did would need to be seriously committed and really know their stuff. We don't know what it would be like! It is important to insist on this because everything the proletariat will do as it rises to its feet once more and seeks to take charge of the planet will be happening more or less for the first time and the newness excitement and freshness of this first-time-in-human-history event doesn't need blunting in advance by phony recipes for the future. As Pannekoek has tried to explain: the proletariat in its revolutionary condition thinks differently from the bourgeoisie and reaches decisions in different ways from them. Thank god for that! A prime function of the party must presumably be to urge the class to pursue and develop its emerging consciousness with all the vigor and clarity it can.

Consciousness is the key here. Without it the revolution is doomed. There'll be a civil war, but it has to be won for consciousness. A purely military victory without developing class consciousness of sufficient texture and solidarity to make the necessary difference between the bourgeois way of thought and the proletariat's new way of being, and the revolution is lost and the bourgeoisie will creep back with all their immaturity, filth and slime.

Surely an international organization of the proletariat's clearest thinkers and strategists (what could be called the party) will have a vital part to play in ensuring the downfall of the bourgeoisie and the start of the beginning of building the new communist society?


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