Thursday, January 15, 2009

The revolutionary state

As I see it, there are four political stages to the implementation of communism:

The revolutionary state, which takes power from the capitalist state and wrenches social evolution and development away from refining relations of exploitation to building relations of mutual benefit and builds the foundation of literal participatory democracy.

The revolutionary state must quickly give power to the socialist state, which uses state power directly to manage a large portion of the economy using scientific expertise.

The socialist state will evolve over time to the communist state as more and more capitalist commodity relations are socialized and transformed into mutually beneficial relations.

The communist state will evolve over time into anarcho-communism, when social relations and individual psychology have evolved to the point where maintenance of mutually beneficial relations of production become internalized; at this point, coercive state power will no longer be required.

The revolutionary state is, of course, the most problematic and perilous stage of the transition. There are a lot of ways to go wrong, and only a few ways to go right. Indeed, a revolution is so dangerous that only the catastrophic collapse of capitalism gives us sufficient justification for actually implementing a revolution.

Capitalism is, however, beginning to fail catastrophically, and has already become a substantial fetter on human productivity. We don't have a choice about whether or not capitalism will fail; we have a choice only in what will follow capitalism: a regression to feudalism and monarchical tyranny or an advance to socialism.

The revolutionary state must racially alter the economic foundation of relations of exploitation: the commoditization of labor. Socialize residential housing, thus eliminating rent. Eliminate finance capitalism by becoming the sole source of finance capital. (The current capitalist government is implementing this step even now.) Take over the provision of goods and services necessary for civilized survival: food, shelter, water, sewage, education, ordinary medical treatment, etc. The threat of starvation, homelessness, lack of medical treatment, etc. can no longer serve as an incentive to work. Lacking the threat of starvation, the requirement to work will have to be enforced directly. The revolutionary government will simply make explicit and conscious the de facto conditions under capitalism: everyone has to contribute as a matter of physical necessity.

Politically, the revolutionary state can virtually eliminate the actualization of certain pernicious ideas: sexism, racism, and religious extremism. It's neither necessary nor desirable to censor and suppress speech; it's necessary only to make acts of discrimination illegal and vigorously enforce such laws, enact laws that promote sexual and racial equality (especially sexual equality by giving women absolute, uncompromised control over their own bodies), and use the power of the government to educate people that racism, sexism and religious extremism are wrong. (This means the revolutionary government should actively promote not just secularism, but also atheism.)

Most importantly, the revolutionary government will have to put the success of the revolution and the transition to the socialist state in the hands of the people. The revolution must immediately begin transferring control over the instruments of state power — the police and the army — to the people themselves, and they must complete the transfer before the revolutionary state ossifies into a bureaucratic tyranny — in no more, I think, than ten years at the outside. The people have been kept in ignorance and superstition by millennia of ruling-class and religious propaganda; the revolutionary state must conduct a massive education campaign to prepare people for self-rule, and begin setting up truly democratic institutions.

9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Potentially tedious question: How would the possibility of a massive disease pandemic affect the state of affairs in your so-called revolutionary state?

    More detailed version of the question found here.

    http://thevillainousblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/disease-and-revolutionary-state.html

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  3. It's definitely not a tedious question.

    I don't know that I can answer at length. Obviously the medical profession and the scientific biologists would bear most of the burden of the immediate response to an actual epidemic.

    The only political response I can see is to stress the *scientific* understanding and response to an epidemic, and probably throw a lot of the blame on the former capitalist system for creating the conditions conducive to an epidemic.

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  4. What USA needs is a socialist united party


    Hello all: What USA needs is a socialist united party, that would work as a vehicle in which the masses, the majority of americans who would like a real social, democratic system in USA for workers, by workers and in favor of workers and people, would have an organization in which to caste their votes every 4 years. However there is a catch-22 with this solution. The catch-22 problem is that the USA corporate fascist system thru the media and its other evil things it has, will not permit a United Socialist Democratic party. The media apparatus would denounce it as a cult or an evil organization, and would spread dirty propaganda against it, just like it did and it has done many times against Ron Paul, Howard Dean and now against Obama.


    But We first need: An educational-propaganda campaign

    In order to create a third united socialist party we would first of all need an educational campaign in order to spread knowledge to the masses about the evils of capitalism, fascism and imperialism and the only alternative to it is participative democratic socialism. The American masses are real confused and ignorant about how the world works. Trying to wake up the masses from their delirium would pose us as a threat. I read the biography of Hugo Chavez and that's how he started his political program in order to change Venezuela. He first tried to wake up Venezuelan poors about the evils of neoliberalism, he talked about the importance of teaching the masses about capitalism vs. socialism. And then when Venezuelan's poors learned about capitalism, Chavez started to do his thing (To overthrow the fascist capitalist venezuela system)
    And here in USA we gotta do the same thing that Chavez did, teach the US poor for some months or years what is capitalism and what is socialism before trying to do form any political party. Almost nobody in USA have taught the masses the evils of neoliberalism, not even Kucinich, Ron Paul or any other candidate. Ron Paul was the only one who talked about the US constitution and nobody listened to him, because he didn't teach the masses about the evils of capitalism, because of the fact that Ron Paul was a capitalist, not a real alternative for poor people. Only socialist and marxists parties do that in USA and they don't get much coverage in TV. So before starting a third party, i suggest to spend some months or years trying to teach the poor people of America about the evils of capitalism and the wonders of a participative democratic socialist system, a people's system

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  5. Barefoot: How socialist Bush looks in the eyes of his Republican Party loyal voters. and indeed, the Republican Party voters are not evil, they are just brainwashed by FOX news and by CNN news.

    I think that a good way for the masses to digest socialist-ideology fully is by increasing the power of the news channel Free Speech TV.
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  6. Barefoot: When do you think that USA might be socialist or at least Welfare-Reformed state-capitalist system like Venezuela?

    Because i am damned tired of this neoliberal system in which utility services and doctors appointments are so expensive.

    To tell you the truth, the US neoliberal system is making me poorer and poorer. We need a system to get richer, and that is universal-welfare-state capitalism or socialism.

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  7. The revolution must immediately begin transferring control over the instruments of state power — the police and the army — to the people themselves, and they must complete the transfer before the revolutionary state ossifies into a bureaucratic tyranny — in no more, I think, than ten years at the outside.

    It's a good idea in theory; but when it was attempted in Germany (Marcuse wrote about this in the first person) the troops all elected their old officers back into the leadership of the soviet, and nothing changed.

    I think you have to have a re-education period, and this may take a generation or more. Most importantly, we have to realize that a revolution doesn't spring from nothing. We're living in the first stages of the revolution now, most just don't realize it.

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  8. Larry,

    I can't help but to think that when the revolution occurs, what will stop the people leading it from becoming the tyrants de jour? There is no reason for the new leaders to surrender the power back to the people that so empowered them.

    So let's say that the "people" somehow manage to defeat the might of the US army, the PMC's, and their own internal resistance (which I lovingly like to mischaracterize as a bunch of hillbillies with a stockpile of guns ((cause you know, Obama 'n shit)), not to mention any other parties they manage to drag into the conflict, seeing as the US is sooooo important to world stability and *sock puppet* blah blah etc. etc. So they'll have to have lots of guns and munitions and co-ordinated leaders. An angry mob will be dispatched without real challenge. We replace the current leader with all their guns with a new leader and all THEIR guns, and arguably a more loyal populace.

    We're talking about a population that bought into Obama as a social movement for "change™" and "yes we can™". You think they can see farther than the ends of their own noses (or penises in the case of the men?) They'll take out whomever they need to, fly a huge banner saying "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" and go home and fuck their wives and not give it another thought.

    I live in Canada, and just
    talking to people about Communism gets me eating at the kids table with the rest of the "fools".

    I agree that capitalism has fucked us all in the goat ass to the extent that we're either all going to be growing rice on terraced patties and driving rickshaws or burning down parliament, but as long as the average Joe can afford cable tv and beer, how the fuck is anyone going to convince him that there is a problem?

    Things haven't gotten nearly bad enough to incite much of anything, especially when you turn on the tv and hear lies like "Scienticians predict the recession will end mid 2009, and to prove it, lets talk to Sir Frances Gabblestoke, mathemagician".

    The problem that I'm observing is that there is no real way to even convince the average person of reality as it stands, much less to even entertain thoughts of *barf* socialism and *gasp* communism. Seriously, I've been called in -Canada- (which is arguably soft communism in action) a "pinko draft dodger conshee faggot". Not that the person calling me that was particularly enlightened, but I don't expect too much more from the states considering they ask you if you're a commie in your application for citizenship.

    I think I've rambled on enough, and I apologize for the lack of coherency in some areas, but I trust it's enough to at least get a discussion going

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  9. I've answered the first part of your question here: The tyrants du jour.

    Things haven't gotten nearly bad enough to incite much of anything... as long as the average Joe can afford cable tv and beer, how the fuck is anyone going to convince him that there is a problem?

    You can't. And as long as the average Joe can afford cable TV and beer, there won't be a revolution; capitalism will remain precisely as long as it can keep the average Joe in cable and beer.

    But the whole point of a communist revolution is that capitalism can't keep the average Joe in cable and beer indefinitely. The capitalists bought themselves some time with imperialism and consumer capitalism in the imperial countries (the US and its European, Canadian, and Japanese allies).

    But as we're seeing in the news right now, time is running out. It will be a matter of only a few years before the average Joe doesn't have cable TV and beer.

    With all good luck, the revolutionary communists will get their shit together quickly, because the revolutionary conditions are upon us, and the Christian fascists have all the guns.

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