the global commune

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. Continue reading “the global commune”

the global commune

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. Continue reading “the global commune”

political report from the land of the haggis-eating surrender monkeys

by Allan Armstrong, Republican Communist Network

Political developments in Scotland are hotting-up in the aftermath of the decision by Kenny MacAskill, the SNP’s Justice Minister in the current Scottish government, to release Abdelbaset Ali-Mohamed al-Megrabhi, the so-called Libyan bomber, on compassionate grounds.

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Whatever the undisclosed background negotiations behind this move, involving New Labour at Westminster and SNP at Holyrood, the political fallout has been considerable. Earlier negotiations between the British and Libyan government, involving Tony Blair and Jack Straw, had strongly implied a prisoner transfer agreement. Megrabhi would finish his sentence in Libya, in return for BP oil concessions. The Scottish government thwarted this. It denied any right to the British government to interfere with the decision taken by the Scottish judiciary, which had been given original responsibility for Megrabhi’s trial, held at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, in 2000-1. Continue reading “political report from the land of the haggis-eating surrender monkeys”

republican communist network response to journal proposal

The Commune has been in touch with a number of like-minded communist organisations as we plan the publication of a new international journal. While we are not in the business of proclaiming international parties and such like, we believe that such a publication will facilitate deeper discussions among communists of our strategy, the society we want to create and the dynamics of world politics. Scotland’s Republican Communist Network asked us to reproduce their response to the initial proposal made.

Dear The Commune,

The Republican Communist Network (RCN) very much welcomes the proposal for a new journal, Communist International. We had already become aware of The Commune’s excellent website and magazine. From this we published, ‘The Dual Crisis of Capital and Labour’, in the new, ‘From Wage Slavery to the Global Commune’ section of our magazine Emancipation & Liberation (issue no. 17). The editorial in this issue explains why we think it is vital that we address the issue of socialism/communism today, in the face of today’s crisis of capitalism. The important role of The Commune in this is acknowledged. The Commune has also been added to our Republic of Letters page. Continue reading “republican communist network response to journal proposal”

beyond props for capital

by Allan Armstrong

Neo-liberalism and neo-Keynesianism – two options for capitalism

In the face of the deepening economic crisis enveloping the US and world economy, Alan Greenspan, former Chair of the US Federal Reserve and prime architect of Republican neo-liberalism was summonsed to a Congressional hearing on October 23rd 2008.  Asked to account for the failures of the ‘free market’ he shamefacedly admitted, “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”

Greenspan’s embarrassed admission highlighted the fact that unregulated ‘free market’ capitalism does not bring continued economic growth and prosperity in its wake.  For every upturn, there is a downturn.  Therefore, even before the final demise of the ailing Bush Presidency, his Republican administration, and the following Democrat President Obama, have been forced to adopt a programme of massive government bail-outs of failed companies, first banks, followed by key industries, such as Chrysler. Continue reading “beyond props for capital”

the european elections: a political analysis

by Allan Armstrong

In the absence of major class struggles in the UK, the European elections provide us with a snapshot view of the current state of politics. The following analysis looks at the election results in Europe, the UK & Ireland and, in a bit more detail, in Scotland, in order to identify some significant political trends. Continue reading “the european elections: a political analysis”

why we need a new human emancipatory communism

by Allan Armstrong

Introduction

How many people today, even on what remains of the Left, publicly and confidently declare their support for ‘Communism’? Take just three British organisations, which claim to be key parts of the revolutionary Left – the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty. Nowhere in their What We Stand For columns is there any mention of communism. If these comrades are communists they are ‘closet communists’.

Looking tentatively out from their closets, with doors slightly ajar, they might whisper to those within hearing distance, that ‘Communism’ is nothing to get het-up about really. ‘Communism’ can be safely relegated to a distant future. The real task is “to build socialism”. If they make any reference at all to communism, it is confined to in-house events or theoretical journals and has about as much purchase on their everyday politics as ‘Clause 4 Socialism’ had for the reformist Left who led the old British Labour Party. If Marx hadn’t called himself a communist for most of his life and hadn’t entitled his best-known work, The Communist Manifesto, most of the British revolutionary Left would probably prefer to jettison the term altogether. Continue reading “why we need a new human emancipatory communism”