from workers’ self-inquiry to communist re-composition

In the following some general thoughts and a concrete proposal for The Commune’s 12th December aggregate meeting, relating to the article on ‘communist re-composition’ in the current issue. The main point is:

The crisis of workers’ representation is an expression of an accelerated re-structuring within the process of exploitation. New political initiatives have to be developed in relation to these changes and to the already existent embryonic forms of proletarian day-to-day organisation within social cooperation/production. The process of analysing these changes is a common effort of ‘communists/workers’ and in itself a process of organisation: detailed interviews, collective conversations, assemblies and publications. The current task of a class-related revolutionary left would be to re-organise itself in a process of workers’ inquiry: what are the concrete attacks of re-structuring? What (new) forms of conflicts are emerging on the shop-floor, in the estates? What are the lines of possible generalisation based on daily experience and direct power, but going beyond professional or sectorial boundaries? Continue reading “from workers’ self-inquiry to communist re-composition”

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the “workers’ enquiry” and call centre communism

Jack Staunton reviews Hotlines: Call centre – Inquiry – Communism

When we pick up a left wing paper or magazine and scan its contents we can be fairly sure that its editors will not have failed to offer a piece on shifts in the world’s stock markets, analysis of the businesses felled by the recession, and a take on the latest wheeling and dealing by the world’s statesmen. Whether dry, rational and down-to-earth commentary, or grandiose predictions of the final crisis of capitalism and vast forces of chaos sweeping across the globe, we can be sure enough that developments in the activities of the ruling class will be recounted in some detail.

But ours is not a movement which limits itself to attacking the dominant system: it is a movement for the self-emancipation of the working class. To put that in the language of the current crisis: no-one simply wants capitalism to ‘collapse’ chaotically in a heap of bankruptcies and mass redundancies. Quite obviously, the unravelling of the irrationalities of capitalism will not in itself create a better society. Rather, we have a better, alternative vision for humanity: we want the working class to organise to displace those who control the levers of political and economic power and re-organise society from below on an egalitarian, collectivist and democratic basis.

So surely it should follow that the left ought to privilege understanding the state of the working class – the people and the movement who are actually going to revolutionise society.  This is all the more the case since although no-one would deny the existence of capitalism, for the last two decades it has been a commonplace assertion of much of academia and the media that the working class no longer exists.  For such ‘commentators’, the term ‘working class’ is itself merely a label for a narrow cultural stereotype: for example, in March 2008 the BBC’s White  season featured a documentary ‘Last Orders’, detailing the lives of white working-class pensioners in northern working men’s clubs, proclaiming that a few of this “endangered species”, the working class, do in fact still exist. Continue reading “the “workers’ enquiry” and call centre communism”