by the Republican Communist Network
It is now 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. For most people this signalled the end of communism. However, there has always been another view, which understands that the USSR and its satellites and emulators were never communist, socialist or workers’ states. They represented the negation of communism. The socialist transition is not based upon ‘The State’ taking over the functions of private capital, nor ‘The Party’ taking over the functions of a self-organised working class.
Today we face the worst economic crisis for nearly eighty years, accompanied by growing environmental deterioration, and increased powerlessness and loss of hope. Yet the majority of socialists today are not prepared to make the case for a viable alternative social order to get us beyond the ever-deepening capitalist crisis. Often we get little more than vague populist sloganeering – ‘Make Poverty History’ or ‘Make Greed History’. To most workers these sound as hollow as the world of ‘virtual reality’ pushed by the corporate media to divert our attention from the very mundane, or sometimes, desperate reality, we face in our everyday lives. Furthermore, calls for people’s largely passive support through five minutes spent at the polling station can seem a poor alternative, even compared to the promise of ‘five minutes of fame’ in the corporate media spotlight.
Pushing for more state intervention (never asking whose state they seeking to further strengthen), or opting for purely local initiatives (which may be desirable, but limited in their impact) can never break the overall control of corporate capital and the even bleaker future its continued rule will bring to our world. We need to highlight the impasse their corporate imperialism has brought us to, and the grave threats involved in all attempts to bolster their capitalist order. We need to think internationally.
Rosa Luxemburg once said that if we fail to overturn capitalism, we would face ‘Socialism or Barbarism’. Ever worsening exploitation and oppression, two devastating world wars, countless brutal imperial interventions and recurrent economic crises, mean we should update this to say ‘Genuine Communism, or Barbarism – if you are lucky’.
Genuine communism means complete human emancipation and liberation, where society is organised on the basis of ‘From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs’, and ‘Where the free development of each is the condition of the free development of all.’ The socialist transition involves workers creating this new society using new forms of association in a global commune. We need to build upon workers’, peasants’ and indigenous people’s current resistance and outline a communist vision which develops their independent class struggles and offers humanity a real alternative.
This is why, the RCN, with the support of The Commune, has organised The Global Commune day school so that socialists today can lift their sights higher, and begin to seriously discuss how we can break free of the legacy of ‘official’ and ‘dissident’ Communism, and begin to create the type of society that we wish to live in, if humanity is to have a real future. Come and join us. Register your intention to take part on:-
The Global Commune
Day School organised by the Republican Communist Network and supported by The Commune
Saturday, January 16th, 2010
11.00 – 17.00
Out of the Blue Centre, Dalmeny Street (off Leith Walk), Edinburgh
Opening session – 11:00 am – 13:00 – Platform speakers from the RCN and The Commune followed by an open session.
Lunch – 13:00 – 14:00
Workshops – 14:00 – 14:45
– The Legacy of Official and Dissident Communism – or What Communism Isn’t
– How Do Communists organise and operate?
– What Would Real Communism Look Like?
Break – 15 minutes
Workshops repeated – 15:00 – 15:45
Report Back and Plenary Session – 15:45 – 16:45
Summing up by platform speakers – 16:45 – 17:00.