a response to jackie lucas

Stuart King of the Permanent Revolution group and a member of the new Anti-Capitalist Initiative has written a reply to a previous article.

The ACI and wary libertarians

Jackie Lucas’ article on the Anticapitalist Initiative (ACI) in the June issue of the Commune appears to take a positive, if wary, attitude towards the ACI. Perhaps I can tackle some of these suspicions.

Jackie quotes from an article in Permanent Revolution 22 on the launch of the ACI where we talk about why young anticapitalist activists are not joining the Trotskyists or organised far left but rather are attracted to a vague libertarian and even anarchist politics. Jackie quickly declares “This in itself should alert libertarian leftists to what they are letting themselves in for if they decide to join this project which has not renounced its political origins or traditions.” Continue reading “a response to jackie lucas”

public meeting: social and class struggle in chile

Tuesday 5th October, 6pm, Room G37, Senate House, University of London, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU

Chile has benefited in the last period from high world demand for its minerals – especially copper. But fast growth has come at a cost, as the 33 miners currently trapped underground at the San Jose copper mine know. Continue reading “public meeting: social and class struggle in chile”

for creative and critical thinking on the left

Eleanor Davies, a member of Permanent Revolution, proposes joint forums and a culture of openness

Permanent Revolution members attended The Commune’s recent summer school and found it to be a day of open discussion with many committed activists. One of the things that stuck out most was the number of people who wanted to talk about taking the day forward in terms of working together with a common goal of rebuilding the movement.

The plenary session was opened by Chris Ford of The Commune who made the point that, as we approach a period where the working class will come under the savage attack of the Con-Dem government, the left is marginalised to the point where we have very little influence in any sphere of society. The idea of ‘communist regroupment’ was posed and met with favourable if cautious response. Continue reading “for creative and critical thinking on the left”

hal draper, the state and socialism from below

by David Broder

Recently this site has seen a debate over the question of the state in bourgeois society and after working-class revolution, with comrades from the Trotskyist group ‘Permanent Revolution’ arguing that such a revolution would necessarily have to create a new state which would centrally plan the economy. They call this “socialism”, to be followed by a later classless, stateless era of “communism”. They furthermore argue that state-planned economies such as Cuba’s, despite the lack of working-class power in decision-making, nonetheless represent, in some dilute form, “workers’ states”.

This has little in common with our conception of how working-class power comes about and should be exercised: by the working class itself, democratically, from below and creating its own structures organically. There are no saviours from on high: we do not want a benign régime or enlightened despot to dish out equality of poverty.

With this in mind, we have added three texts to the ‘ideas’ section of our website by the American communist Hal Draper. These argue against state socialist models and for ‘socalism from below’, and see this sentiment as a thread running through the works of Karl Marx.

Click here to read The Death of the State in Marx and Engels; the Two Souls of Socialism; and The Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Marx and Engels.