reading for 9th february reading group

The reading for the next meeting in our reading group on ‘communism from below’ is now online.

While reading the texts, we ask people to think about these questions:

– Is Parliament a neutral arbiter between classes? Does the state bureaucracy have autonomous interests of its own?
– Is state intervention in the economy in Britain today at odds with the interests of private capitalists, and is it of benefit to workers?
– To what extent is it worthwhile for the labour movement to have a parliamentary wing?

The first text is The new forms of appearance of state-capitalism by Andrew Kliman. It argues that the crisis shows that state intervention is not in contradiction to free-market ideology: pro-privatisation dogma means the state squeezes social services and yet uses huge amounts of public cash and regulation to more safely structure capitalist exploitation.

Section 18.4 of Istvan Meszaros’ Beyond Capital argues that because capital’s dominance over the working class extends throughout society, we cannot consider that capital and labour have a “level playing field” in Parliament. Rather, the parliamentary-state apparatus serves to balance the interests of competing capitalists in the interests of capitalism as a whole, and so it follows that we need to look beyond such structures in order to effect real social transformation.

The meeting is taking place from 6:30pm on Monday 9th February. Email to request a printed copy of the texts, register your interest and find out more details of the central London venue. Click here to download leaflet.