By Will and Jubayr

What up everyone? Hope readers are having fun with State Capitalism and World Revolution ☺ I don’t think I got much to say as the questions kinda get at what SCWR is constantly trying to hammer from different angles. Here are some more questions which can guide us as we read SCWR.
Chapters 6-8

1-What is SCWR saying about the plan, the state, and the party? Why is it antithetical to the self-government of the working class?

2- What is the implications between the following two formulations: crisis of revolution is in the crisis of leadership versus the crisis of revolution is the crisis of the self-mobilization of the working class? Where does Trotskyism fall on this question and what does it say about Trotskyism according to SCWR?

3- What is the political economy of the post WWII era as JFT sees it? Has it changed in the neo-liberal era? If so, how?

4- How does SCWR describe the role of unions in the state-capitalist era?

5- What is the theory of permanent revolution? How does SCWR orient towards it in the post WWII era?

6- In “Leninism and the Transitional Regime” SCWR poses quiet an interesting history of Lenin’s relationship to the Russian working class after the October Revolution. Is SCWR being completely accurate in its historiography of Lenin?


One thought on “Part II of State Capitalism and World Revolution”

  1. JFT draws a distinction between the theory of the Stalinist party and the theory of the revolutionary party.

    the theory of the Stalinist party is the same as the Stalinist ‘plan’ of state capitalism. in the earlier chapters JFT identified the plan as a means to manage production and consumption. it’s the plan of state capitalism that encouraged competition between factories within Russia, and competed with rest of the capitalist world.

    the theory of the Stalinist party is thus built on maintaining wage slavery and capitalist competition. to do this it must manage the workers and stifle.

    in contrast, the JFT argues that the theory of the revolutionary party must be based upon the “progressive cooperation” of the working class, and “must be the expression of the mass proletarian mobilization aimed against the bureaucracy as such.”

    i think these two aspects are key, distinct, and interrelated.

    as argued in chapter 2, the laws of capitalist accumulation still exist within Russia because the working class is not self-managing; i.e. there is production for profit and ever-expanding growth in Russia, but not production for use.

    in the preface to the second edition, it is argued that in order to both resist and make up for the deficiencies of the plan the working class is constantly involved in their own self-organization of production. one of the hallmarks of the Johnson-Forest Tendency — and this is explained more in Facing Reality — is that the working class is constantly involved in own forms of resistance — sometimes individualized, sometimes organized.

    this self-organization exists today within capitalist society as the seeds of the new society. it’s what the JFT called the “invading socialist society”.

    here is a contemporary example of self-organization by the unemployed:
    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/06/10/pm-long-term-unemployed-face-mid-life-job-crisis/

    there have been other examples during Katrina, and in Egypt when foreign factory owners have closed factories and fled the country many workers have continued production and trade.

    JFT argued that the situation in the worldwide working class movement was in a crisis of the self-mobilization of the proletariat. the self-management of the working class is a dividing line between capitalism and the new society. it is expressed in opposition to the state, capital and any vanguard party that claims to be acting in place of the working class.

    the self-management of the working class is both the cornerstone of the new society, and the key to defeating the ruling classes. the role of the revolutionary organization should be to defend this self-activity, and encourage them to move beyond forms that are individualized, or reformist if they are stuck there.

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