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 Post subject: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:18 pm 
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I'd like to take a moment to explain the way I think Marx etc. conceived of The Party.

The Party is not necessarily only one organisation, many different organisations can represent The Party. The Party is simply the political expression of the will of the working class to rule, The Party is NECESSARY for Communist revolution.

The evolution of The Party then turns into a workers controlled State, this is the success of The Party, when they have taken power. The State in turn begins to dismantle Capitalism.

Here we will note we are using the term State as Marx meant it, a tool of class rule.

So after The Party gains control of the State, the next obvious step is to establish Communism, which it will.

Another important point is that the actual form of organisation of The Party/State is not mentioned/alluded to. It is the political content that matters.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Internationalist wrote:
I'd like to take a moment to explain the way I think Marx etc. conceived of The Party.

The Party is not necessarily only one organisation, many different organisations can represent The Party. The Party is simply the political expression of the will of the working class to rule, The Party is NECESSARY for Communist revolution.

The evolution of The Party then turns into a workers controlled State, this is the success of The Party, when they have taken power. The State in turn begins to dismantle Capitalism.

Here we will note we are using the term State as Marx meant it, a tool of class rule.

So after The Party gains control of the State, the next obvious step is to establish Communism, which it will.

Another important point is that the actual form of organisation of The Party/State is not mentioned/alluded to. It is the political content that matters.



I think that's basically correct, but the question of organization can't be ignored-- "all economy is the economy of time"; all social organization is about the "assignment" of social labor to the tasks of reproducing the society, the social relations of production. Streets will need to be cleaned, railroads will still need timetables, signal systems etc.

We know, the devil is in the details, the devil is in how the workers organize class rule to dismantle capitalism-- and a critical assumption that needs to be made explicit is that this task can only be approached, much less accomplished, internationally.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:15 am 
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I had a debate about this on revleft that did not go to well, but maybe some others can share in on this. I have always thought of Marx's vision of the party to be, basically, what was outlined above. I think that "the party" has been one of the most misunderstood aspects of his theory and that this misunderstanding has caused so many divisions and ruptures among the left. Now when I expressed this idea on revleft it was not agreed upon by many others so perhaps I am way off base here, but I have always seen "the party" to be conducive with anarchism. I do not mean to hijack a thread so if this needs to be split then a mod should take care of that, however maybe someone else can shed some light on this.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:22 pm 
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Internationalist wrote:
I'd like to take a moment to explain the way I think Marx etc. conceived of The Party.

The Party is not necessarily only one organisation, many different organisations can represent The Party. The Party is simply the political expression of the will of the working class to rule, The Party is NECESSARY for Communist revolution.

The evolution of The Party then turns into a workers controlled State, this is the success of The Party, when they have taken power. The State in turn begins to dismantle Capitalism.

Here we will note we are using the term State as Marx meant it, a tool of class rule.

So after The Party gains control of the State, the next obvious step is to establish Communism, which it will.

Another important point is that the actual form of organisation of The Party/State is not mentioned/alluded to. It is the political content that matters.


So, im guessing that since The Party is simply the expression of the working class to rule then The Party can be whatever has mass working class support which also represents the historical interests of the working class. Even a Leninist organization that evolves into or becomes the vanguard of a section of the working class? And by section i mean the American working class or the Mexican working class or the Indian working class and so on (or broader, multi national/sectional organizations like a pan-national (pan arab for example) or even continental?).


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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:35 pm 
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No Vacancy wrote:
Internationalist wrote:
I'd like to take a moment to explain the way I think Marx etc. conceived of The Party.

The Party is not necessarily only one organisation, many different organisations can represent The Party. The Party is simply the political expression of the will of the working class to rule, The Party is NECESSARY for Communist revolution.

The evolution of The Party then turns into a workers controlled State, this is the success of The Party, when they have taken power. The State in turn begins to dismantle Capitalism.

Here we will note we are using the term State as Marx meant it, a tool of class rule.

So after The Party gains control of the State, the next obvious step is to establish Communism, which it will.

Another important point is that the actual form of organisation of The Party/State is not mentioned/alluded to. It is the political content that matters.


So, im guessing that since The Party is simply the expression of the working class to rule then The Party can be whatever has mass working class support which also represents the historical interests of the working class. Even a Leninist organization that evolves into or becomes the vanguard of a section of the working class? And by section i mean the American working class or the Mexican working class or the Indian working class and so on (or broader, multi national/sectional organizations like a pan-national (pan arab for example) or even continental?).



I would agree with this yes, and this is partially why its important to have organised leftist structures in place, so that when the proletariat seeks to express its interests as a class, they have many different choices through which to express The Party, perhaps a bunch of organisations will express part and parcel of The Party.

Or perhaps the working class does not like any of these options and sets up its own organisation.

You'd have to define what you mean by "Leninist," that word is very ambiguous and usually very overused.

Also, I wouldn't say it would become the "vanguard" because by the time we're talking about The Party, then there is no spearhead because the majority of the working class is already vying for power.

The vanguard is me, it's you, it's graymouser, it's S.Artesian, it's the forces of Communism right now, we are aware of the conditions of Capitalism more so than most workers, this and this alone makes us a "vanguard."

This does not mean, however, that we are to be leading any revolutions or any such nonsense, being a good Communist doesn't make you a good leader. Marx always saw revolutions as organic expressions of pent up frustration, not something that was crafted and created by some volunteerist activists who've been agitating for years or something.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:39 pm 
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If you dont mind, im going to reserve this spot for a response for when i get off work.


Rough outline of my thoughts on the issue.

Internationalist wrote:


I would agree with this yes, and this is partially why its important to have organised leftist structures in place, so that when the proletariat seeks to express its interests as a class, they have many different choices through which to express The Party, perhaps a bunch of organisations will express part and parcel of The Party.

Or perhaps the working class does not like any of these options and sets up its own organisation.

You'd have to define what you mean by "Leninist," that word is very ambiguous and usually very overused.

Also, I wouldn't say it would become the "vanguard" because by the time we're talking about The Party, then there is no spearhead because the majority of the working class is already vying for power.

The vanguard is me, it's you, it's graymouser, it's S.Artesian, it's the forces of Communism right now, we are aware of the conditions of Capitalism more so than most workers, this and this alone makes us a "vanguard."

This does not mean, however, that we are to be leading any revolutions or any such nonsense, being a good Communist doesn't make you a good leader. Marx always saw revolutions as organic expressions of pent up frustration, not something that was crafted and created by some volunteerist activists who've been agitating for years or something.


“Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”

You know that and we all accept that general point. Not just interpret, but act on interpretations to work towards the liberation of the working class.

This is where im working into the issue of Leninist organizations. Meaning democratically centralized, professional revolutionaries/committed organizers and agitators(as much as you and most people probably loathe the idea), and the aim to be the revolutionary leadership of the working class, establish DotP (no need to discuss history on this, it is not the point of this post) work towards building socialism/dissolution of the Capitalist class and State, ultimately, communism.

The whole point of that kind of structure and organizational outlook (along with Marxist theoretical outlook with Lenin's contributions) is to make change based on Marx's analyses(sp?).

And of course, a revolution is not just imagined and then built. The conditions of the world are the driving force for change, class antagonism, the internal contradictions of capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. It moves whether or not someone organizes for it, but when society reaches that point of instability where it may collapse into something else and there is mass unrest, the working class needs something to give it a sharp and coherent edge. Thats where the idea of a committed organization of agitators and organizers comes from. To build, in non revolutionary times, an organization capable of accomplishing such a task and being accepted by the working class as its guiding force.






i just got the feeling this might not be the proper place for this. either that or im just exhausted and did not write this very well. ill look over it in the morning with a clear head.


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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:13 pm 
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This is worth reading, http://libcom.org/library/origin-function-party-form-jacques-camatte

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:08 am 
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Internationalist wrote:
The Party is simply the political expression of the will of the working class to rule


I think 'will' is an unfortunate word to use there, as I would say that the material and historical class-party is rather an expression of the struggle immanent within the proletariat, which surfaces regardless of consciousness,

''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.''

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:05 pm 
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No Vacancy wrote:
“Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”

You know that and we all accept that general point. Not just interpret, but act on interpretations to work towards the liberation of the working class.


Certainly, but that doesn't mean that "revolutionaries" have some privileged role in this. Workers well know and accept that thesis, this can be seen through strikes and other such actions.

Quote:
Meaning democratically centralized, professional revolutionaries/committed organizers and agitators(as much as you and most people probably loathe the idea), and the aim to be the revolutionary leadership of the working class, establish DotP (no need to discuss history on this, it is not the point of this post) work towards building socialism/dissolution of the Capitalist class and State, ultimately, communism.


Aiming to be the leadership of the working class is quite a disturbing approach to have. Just because we can rattle off about surplus-value or what have you, doesn't make us good leaders, nor does it mean we have to be. Plenty of working class people are good leaders, and they can and will rise to the occasion when the time comes.

Quote:
The conditions of the world are the driving force for change, class antagonism, the internal contradictions of capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. It moves whether or not someone organizes for it, but when society reaches that point of instability where it may collapse into something else and there is mass unrest, the working class needs something to give it a sharp and coherent edge. Thats where the idea of a committed organization of agitators and organizers comes from. To build, in non revolutionary times, an organization capable of accomplishing such a task and being accepted by the working class as its guiding force.



The working class is quite capable of doing these things without a squad of hardened revolutionaries leading them forward.

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 Post subject: Re: What is meant by The Party.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:35 pm 
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[quote="Marx letter"]The political movement of the working class has as its object, of course, the conquest of political power for the working class, and for this it is naturally necessary that a previous organisation of the working class, itself arising from their economic struggles, should have been developed up to a certain point.

On the other hand, however, every movement in which the working class comes out as a class against the ruling classes and attempts to force them by pressure from without is a political movement. For instance, the attempt in a particular factory or even a particular industry to force a shorter working day out of the capitalists by strikes, etc., is a purely economic movement. On the other hand the movement to force an eight-hour day, etc., law is a political movement. And in this way, out of the separate economic movements of the workers there grows up everywhere a political movement, that is to say a movement of the class, with the object of achieving its interests in a general form, in a form possessing a general social force of compulsion. If these movements presuppose a certain degree of previous organisation, they are themselves equally a means of the development of this organisation.

[quote="Marx letter"]But Bakunnine's programme was ‘the theory’. It consisted, in fact, of 3 points.

...

3) The working class must not occupy itself with politics. They must only organise themselves by trades-unions. One fine day, by means of the Internationale they will supplant the place of all existing states. You see what a caricature he [Bakunin] has made of my doctrines! As the transformation of the existing States into Associations is our last end, we must allow the governments, those great Trade-Unions of the ruling classes, to do as they like, because to occupy ourselves with them is to acknowledge them. Why! In the same way the old socialists said: You must not occupy yourselves with the wages question, because you want to abolish wages labour, and to struggle with the capitalist about the rate of wages is to acknowledge the wages system! The *** has not even seen that every class movement as a class movement, is necessarily and was always a political movement.
The Party is singular insofar as the interests of the working class form a single class interest, insofar in other words as the working class forms a single class, which of course it always does implicitly if not always explicitly. The Party in this sense expresses the fact that the interests of the working class have a political aspect, as class interests, rather than being merely dissolute, individual economic interests. What the Party in the broad, historical sense represents, therefore, is the implicitly unified, political nature of the working class' struggle, a struggle immanent to the nature of the working class itself. So far as the working class movement is actually forced to become a class movement, the movement of the working class as a class, so far also does the Party come into existence explicitly rather than implicitly in the political organization of the proletariat.
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