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The Manual: A Brief What, Why, And How of the Popular Action Movement: Part 2

Posted by sorev on 14/01/2010

A Democratic Starting Point:

We have to start somewhere. Over time, with trial, error and reformulation, we will (hopefully) come to a Democratic framework for our new community. Or maybe we won’t. If we fail there is a good chance that others will be able to build on our attempt. You can look on this as progress.

Democracy is both impossible and unnecessary when dealing with few people. Democracy really comes into itself when the number of people involved in a project is larger than the number of people one can interact with on a personal level. At that point it is inevitable that some people are going to be more equal than others unless Democracy is enforced through each person’s internal discipline augmented with a structure which encourages Democracy. If you see that as being idealistic, consider the fact that people can talk with one another. If Democratic processes are considered to be the operational norm, then if people with special responsibilities repeatedly disregard the wishes of the masses, the masses themselves have to disregard the actions and policies of those people acting in a non-Democratic manner. Which is to say people must follow an intentionality of Democratic behaviour.

Let us then start by considering the organisational structure of an organisation with around a hundred members. I pick 100 because that is obviously more people than one can relate to on an interpersonal basis !!!1!!! . If one wishes to be able to maintain media, energy, food and educational facilities it is easy to see that more than a dozen individuals are going to have to co-operate without taking advantage of one another. There are 4,000 buses in the Montreal Transit Authority. If it is to be run Democratically some sort of structure will be required.

There are break over points. For example most people can maintain relationships that are close and egalitarian with generally between 8 and 13 people; some of us through circumstance, personality etc. can stretch upwards towards 13 people. Most of us however, fall somewhat shy of that number. How then can 100 people co-operate without hierarchies developing? Furthermore if there are between 21 and 33 people in a room it is just barely possible to run a meeting Democratically without some folks losing out. Some people speak better in public. Some people are shy or feel that what they have to say is not as important as what some other people have to say. How then can we possibly have a meeting attended by 100 people without the loud mouths taking over?

These are real problems which to date almost no movement or group has been able to solve.

So let’s break the situation down to the smallest number of people who if they really really tried could possibly get along without an inner and outer circle forming; that is to say, without two classes forming. We are back to the limit of an organisation of between 8 and 13 folks. We can’t provide for ourselves with that small an organisation. We couldn’t even operate the London Transit Commission. We would still be buying necessities from trans-national corporations, private capital or the state. Any of these “solutions” would lead once more to alienation and to wealth being transferred out of our community. Alienation, exploitation and oppression would follow !!!2!!! . Indeed, how many times in the 20th C. did we see that scenario play itself out? So a political programme that can not build Democratic consensus among more than a dozen people is useless. A social-economic-political programme that, whether by default or on purpose allows the continued existence of the current socio-economic-political model is useless.

So here is the problem in a nutshell: The upper limit for a functional egalitarian group seems to be around 8 to 13 people. On the other hand a political unit that small can’t functionally accomplish anything. The Popular Action Movement is posited as being a new state. Thus our hypothetical size is roughly the same as the population of Canada. There are, in fact, very few actual capitalists who matter. Most successful changes of state isolated about 7% of the population. That is the norm established by the French and Russian Revolutions. I don’t know this for sure but the English Revolution most likely isolated less than 1 % of the population and merely removed political influence from the governing strata. The NDP has 100,000 members but is unable to affect our quality of life. It can help a little bit, say in quantity: higher pensions, lower university fees, somewhat better health care. But it’s a game of inches. Our basic alienation and exploitation remain. The problems outlined at the beginning of the paper remain; I’m referring back to the ongoing fall in our standard of living and the very real possibility, perhaps even inevitability of a general collapse of society. On top of that there is the alienation and exploitation inherent in the system. In other words eight people acting alone can’t save themselves, let alone the world. This unit of eight or so people has to find a way of federating with other similar units so that the Democratic federation gains the strength of unity without giving up the immediacy of Direct Democracy.

We have to develop both a form and an intentionality in order to achieve and maintain Democratic norms of behaviour. The group of let’s say 12 people has to delegate two servants or messengers who will carry the messages of that dozen people to a convenor. That convenor will consult with messengers from three or four of these dozens and of course the agendas which emerge from these consultations will be returned to the dozens. To-ing and fro-ing might have to go on before everyone is satisfied but the numbers are small enough so that no one would be left out so long as the dozens themselves are vigilant, that is, in the final analysis each and every member should make sure that the representation is functioning.

Necessary conditions for the functioning of this fundamental grass roots Democracy include, but might not be limited to the two messengers being loyal to the people who send them. Further, they can’t operate for outside forces but must maintain internal loyalty and solidarity. They must be chosen by and be responsible to their little core group. These messenger/servants have to speak personally to each person they represent on a regular basis. E-Mail doesn’t cut it. Phone calls are out. There has to be person to person in person communication so that there can be no mistake about the message or the messenger. Two people between them can service and represent 12, including themselves. At this stage of the game this is a difficult task and therefore the number of people that each messenger is responsible for will be somewhat less. This is caused by the fact that we aren’t, at this stage, consolidated. The messengers don’t come into contact with the folks they are responsible for in the ordinary course of events. Thus the task weighs more heavily upon them than it will when most of the people one meets in the course of a day are in PAM and these tasks will be carried out without any extra effort by the messengers.

Three or four (at the most) of these groups can co-operate and pool resources for projects. A Unit with a maximum of around 36 people can be built. The leading figures in this group would be the six (or eight) messengers carrying the thoughts, wishes and desires of the membership at large, a convenor who directs and co-ordinates the group meetings making sure that every person has equal access to be heard and that the agenda is not captured by a clique. The convenor is also a servant of the membership but obviously not a messenger and therefore does not put items on the agenda any more than any other member. There should also be a secretary-treasurer. Everything the secretary-treasurer does must be monitored by the messengers.

However, even 30 to 40 people can’t run a power generation system, a public transit system, a food chain or an educational system. Industry would be impossible. A telephone system would be out of the question. Pharmaceuticals and health care would not exist. Every one with heart or kidney problems would die. Even setting a broken leg would be a dicey job.  Eye care and dentistry would not exist. We would have to take at least a 50% death rate. Setting up decentralised small collectives might improve the lives of the people in them but they do nothing for society at large. They do not, in any way, question the system. In many ways, like reformist politics, they actually reinforce our subservience to the Trans-national Corps and the Banksters. They are nice but they aren’t a political response that counts or matters.

In order for the forces of Democracy to actually run the system there will have to be active co-operation amongst and between these units of 30 or 40 people. Core Democracy can be maintained so long as the messengers remain loyal to their groups of 12.

Inter Unit Co-operation:

We can await the Fall of Rome due sometime between 2020 and 2050. If everyone does nothing to prepare for such an event perhaps some 20,000,000 Canadians will die. !!!3!!!

On the other hand we can figure out a way for these proposed Units of 30 to 40 people to co-operate in some sort of federation without exploitation or oppression. This way we will be able to keep the lights on and our houses heated. We will be able to maintain a functioning food chain; maintain and develop the Arts and Sciences; keep the buses running; maintain garbage and recycling programmes; etc.

Let us return to the model that we were developing: 100 people working together in harmony without interpersonal systematic oppression. Let us posit that the organisation be divided into three Units so that each Unit would have two messengers for each dozen or so members plus a convenor and secretary-treasurer. Each Unit would also have two delegates to a committee that would maintain lines of communications amongst and between the Units. It is this “committee of delegates” that allows the organisation with 100 members to function in a co-ordinated manner.

Larger Groups of People and the Transformation of Money into Capital:

Most socio-political groups seem to spend a large proportion of their money on self-promotion. (The exceptions to this are to be found among the ethnically based groups). We, however, are building a new society and are capitalising ourselves. Indeed we really require the propaganda of the deed !!!4!!! . In our case that would be working models of worker and consumer co-ops. Very little can be done with money an organisation (say, for example the Popular Action Movement [PAM]) collects whilst it has fewer than a hundred members. Any income in those circumstances would be used as the delegates to the Centre agreed. They would have to clear their spending policies with the Units which delegated them of course.

Let us now take a leap into fantasy. The fantasy we are about to explore (or one similar to it) will have to come into existence or else we will be in dire straits after the current regime falls apart. This fantasy deals with the concept that a self-defence organisation capable of focusing considerable energy and “capital” might actually develop. This organisation would be able to supply life-support services for a very significant sector of the population, that is for its own members.  People would be taking care of themselves/each other. In other words as the present system bankrupts itself we will be able to restructure without millions of people having to die.

Let’s assume that 100,000 people, in other words an organisation about the size of the NDP, were to group themselves into Democratic self-protection Units. In this hypothesis all numbers are approximate. When I say 100,000, I mean a number in that region. Apply this concept of “approximate number” to all subsequent numbers. I am trying to demonstrate relative sizes in an approximate manner.

In our outline above we put forward the organisational norm of 12 (or so) people in Democratically structured “dozens”. We then went on to develop how 30 to 35 people (or so) could form Units made up of the “dozens”. Each Unit of 30 (or so) people would choose two delegates to a co-ordinating committee. If we were to divide 100,000 by 30 we would come up with approximately 3,400 Units. Since we have called for two delegates from each Unit and since one can’t have a Democratic meeting of more than 35 people no matter how hard you try, the number we come up with is too large to be manageable. Thus we would have to form approximately 225 co-ordinating committees. Each of these would be structured exactly like the original Unit. With each of these sending two delegates each to Regional Committees we would end up with approximately fifteen Regional Committees and thus one Inner Committee of 30 people. Or to rewrite:

Dozen
Unit
Co-ordinating Committee
Regional Committee
Inner Committee

Look upon these as being circles within each other.

Who Spends the Money?

The Dozen and the Unit, may if they want, hold fundraisers for their own events and activities. Dues and general revenue of the organisation will, however, be split between the Co-ordinating Committees and the Regional Committees. The Inner Committee may hold bake sales etc. if they want. The key is that entry level organisations should not have disposable income. Income should be pooled so that larger projects can be undertaken. It is very easy for a special interest faction to use a Unit’s income for their own purpose and to bleed the organisation so that the main purpose of the dues is thwarted. Likewise the Inner Committee should not have access to the organisation’s funds. Money at the Centre is a corrupting influence and undermines the ability of the organisation to actually, in real terms not just rhetorically, act as a federation of self-governing sections.

The Organisation will divide its money into Three Purses:

1] Group Capital:

One third of the Group’s Income, after membership is more than around 100 people will go on Group Capital. This means buying capital goods to be owned by and used by the group (i.e. to be owned by the organisation as such and used by members of the organisation): buildings, large colour printer, equipment for trades-folk, etc. Or they could be things owned by the group and rented to members: ladders, canoes, sound and light equipment, etc. The point is this stuff should make a return on the investment for the organisation and further job or recreational activities of the members or provide goods or services for members of the organisation. These moneys might (see below) be investments in other capital holdings, that is buying into existing capital formations or going in on something with members or group of members. Group Capital in alliance with Private Capital is dodgy. Much care would have to be exercised. For example, the capital involved should be material and not a financial instrument. It should be local and easily controlled and monitored by the organisation and members thereof. Examples of this might be a building, bar/club, studio/exhibition space, video production facilities, camp grounds, etc. See below for a discussion of the organisation’s attitude towards interpersonal exploitation.

Group capital essentially builds the socialised sector of the economy. It should be noted that one might think of this as the “nationalised sector”. However the nationalised or crown corporation is not socialised unless the state is run by the working class. This has been pointed out for a hundred and fifty years. When the Tories nationalised Hydro they did not become socialists. No, they were just providing an infrastructure to benefit capital. Group capital builds the resources of the Group (the new state). However the group is founded in Democracy and has an anti-exploitation, that is pro-working class, orientation.

2] Member Capital:

One third of the organisation’s money, with the same provisos as above, would be Member Capital. As with the Group Capital above this does not include operating capital. Operating capital is best filed under “expenses”. Groups of members grouped into co-ops would get preference and workers’ co-ops would get preference over consumer co-ops. See a discussion of this below. Worker Co-ops/Group partnerships would rank the highest. These capital grants to members would be in the form of forgivable loans. In other words the organisation would fund member owned businesses with preference given to co-operatively owned businesses. See below for a discussion of the corporate model.

3] Expenses:

One third, and only one third of the revenue collected and generated by the organisation after it achieves a membership of around one hundred people will go to expenses. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Most political movements and parties, social and support organisations, protest groups etc. spend almost all of their money on expenses. Most of it seems to be for publicity. PAM strives for the propaganda of the deed. Actually fund workers’ co-ops.  Actually build an alternate infrastructure. Also we must make sure that most of our expenses are not self-promotion. It is very important that the organisation actually provides services: health, education, pensions, affordable housing etc. come to mind.  We have to become the State.

A Quick Look at Three Words: Exploitation, Oppression and Alienation:

Exploitation:

One exploits to gain an advantage from. For example, one would exploit the natural resources, or a loop-hole in a tax law but one would not oppress them. Like wise one speaks of capital exploiting working people. In other words, money is made through the labour of others.

Oppression:

Oppression is a consequence of unequal social relations between people. If one set of people have a superior social position backed up by force or social convention (etc) they can oppress the other set of people, e.g. treat them poorly in some way. There are of course varying degrees.

Alienation:

Books have been written about this. The concept in this idea is that something is turned away from its proper functioning in a relationship. For example, one can be alienated from one’s work (or labour, or creativity) if the manner of doing the work and the product of the work are beyond the control of the worker/labourer. One can feel/be alienated from a situation, such as aspects of a social situation or society.

END NOTES:

1. Also because an organisation is impotent until it reaches a membership of around a hundred.

2. Partial definitions of these words will follow in due course.

3. I have written in other places, and will do again and again until you are sick of it, about business cycles and the problem of family, city, state, corporate and federal debt in the U. S. of A. This is not the place for a digression based upon the crises of overproduction given the current social arrangements in the U.S. The U.S. is currently entering a severe downturn in the economy from which they will never truly recover. Two more will follow each one worse than the preceding. The timing of these events can not possibly be known ahead of the events. This time around hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs, standard of living, pensions, etc. The government will be on the ropes financially and many services will be dramatically cut back. The U.S. is, don’t forget, “post-industrial”.

4. It is unfortunate (but necessary) that, at present, our meetings are so dominated by structural and programmatic details. This is meant to be a Popular Action Movement.  We are quite wanting in action at the moment.

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The Manual: A Brief What, Why, and How of the Popular Action Movement: Part 1

Posted by sorev on 30/08/2009

What:

Look upon the “Popular Action Movement” (PAM) as being the New State. Unlike the current State this new state would be us, the people ourselves, organised. There should be no State that stands above the people and governs them: for the state must in fact be the people. There should be no departments and ministries1. There will have to be people doing specific jobs at specific times, but this does not mean that there will need to be an administration; in fact, we must eliminate administration and management. In other words, we are not describing a protest movement here. Nor are we describing a political party. Thus the programme becomes: How do we provide goods and services for ourselves? How do we want to control the ownership of private and capital property? Do we want to outlaw interpersonal exploitation? We have to get used to thinking as a free people rather than as petitioners who beg the state for crumbs here-and-there. We are interested neither in begging the state to look after us nor in voting for which people will look after us. It is necessary that we get used to being free and having to figure out how to run society for ourselves. We will figure these things out in the process of doing them.

Why:

For some time now, in fact for longer than many care to admit, but especially for the last ten years and intensifying over the past four or five years, there has been a marked concentration of wealth in the hands of very few people. Entities referred to as Corporations are drawing the wealth of society into themselves. This concentration of wealth has been accompanied by very little actual wealth creation with the result that most people have been getting poorer while a few people have been getting much richer.

Where is this wealth coming from and where is it pooling? In general wealth is flowing away from wage and salary earners and towards people who are deemed to own capital. The situation is more nuanced than this of course. Corporate financial entities are gaining control over most of the wealth and the people who control these financial corporations are directing the use of this wealth. In other words there is a group or class of people who work for wages and salaries and a group or class of people who control and direct the wealth that is created. (There are also people who partake of both aspects and also those who fall beneath the entire process.) The two sets or classes of people mentioned first thus have an antagonistic relationship with each other and have different interests. The people controlling the wealth understand these things. Most of the people being stripped of their wealth don’t. Most of those being stripped of their wealth don’t want to understand these things. In fact, many working people don’t even want to be considered working people, and in spite of every sign of a shrinking personal and social wage, deny that this drift of wealth away from themselves is happening. Many people who acknowledge that it is happening claim that this drift of wealth into the hands of transnational bankster cartels is a good thing. Or others claim that nothing can be done about it: we can work to overcome the worst of the consequences but the process itself it untouchable and unstoppable (the NDP line).

Although most people know and understand, very few will acknowledge that the concentration of wealth in the hands of the very rich is a political decision, agreed to and supported by all of the major parties in Canada, and in fact does not have to be happening. Let me repeat: the impoverishment of working people is actively (actively!) sought by all of the major parties (Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc) in Canada. The mass media support the impoverishment of working people. Most of the supporters of the impoverishment of working people don’t claim to be supporters of this policy. The supporters of the concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer and fewer people mainly pretend that it is not happening, or that it has to happen, or even that it is a good thing.

Furthermore: Capital has to return 5% on investment; if the economy is not growing at 5% or better the stolen wealth can’t come from the pie getting bigger but rather has to come from some sector of society other than the bankster sector. It comes from a variety of places: the public sector through cut backs and profitisations; it comes from working people through the destruction of decent jobs and their replacement with low paying jobs and through the slow robbery of inflation; and it also comes from the industrial and commercial capitalists who are now the servants of the banksters. Social programmes are robbed. State owned businesses, for example: water, electrical, gas and medical delivery have to be profitised. The Third World has to be increasingly impoverished and their resources stolen. Countries with a large social sector: the National Socialist Ba’athist regimes, Eastern European countries, Iran, North Korea, China and so on have to be destroyed and their state enterprises, mineral resources etc. have to be internationalised and profitised. Their social programmes have to be wiped out in order for capital to survive. These activities are on the agenda of all major political parties in North America and most in Europe. The European governments are pursuing these policies even though they were elected not to. When people say that these policies have to be followed and that the best we can do is to minimise the damage they are partially correct. They are correct unless one is willing to strike at the cause of all of this destruction and suffering: the rule of capital over labour (called the Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie).

Let’s return our gaze to capital stripping the state. This process is quite far advanced in the United States of America. The National Debt continues to rise. The interest on the National Debt for the month of June 2006 was US$ 98,255,216,240.82. There will come a time when they can’t even afford the interest on the debt. It is our contention that the system in the U.S. of A. will be destroyed by the forces of Capitalism itself. Capitalism is beset by periodic crises of overproduction which lead to crises of unemployment. These crises are chronicled; we know when they happened, the events leading up to them, the severity and the duration etc. At the time that this document was originally written, everyone was predicting an oncoming serious recession or depression. We are currently in the midst of the predicted depression. Unfortunately, the current depression will not destroy the current system; it will take two more downturns in the economy, each one more severe than the previous, to destroy this system. In other words we are three downturns away from the end of the system. One will happen almost immediately and two more will occur with eight to twelve years between them. As State services terminate chaos will develop.

This is where PAM: The New State comes in. There has never been a situation where poor people have made a Revolution to overthrow rich people. That is a romantic fantasy. A Revolution occurs when the Rich and Powerful do not control the State: for example, the English Revolution 1642 – 1649, the French Revolution 1789 – 1793, the U.S. Revolution 1776 – 1783. The other time a Revolution can occur is when the State ceases to function owing to general collapse of State Institutions: for example Russia 1917 – 1919, China 1924 – 1949. (At present there are several Revolutions going on in remote areas of the world where there is no effective State presence). We are building the Popular Action Movement now, so that it can be an organised force when the Institutions of State Power dissolve sometime between 2020 and 2050.

One should also take into account that the nature of the State is changing. Under pressure from capital to profitise the services provided by the State, it is returning to its pre-1860’s nature: that is to say a bare skeleton. Before the mid-nineteenth century the State owned very little and did very little. What there was of Social Services were mainly run by the Church. There was no Post Office. Many roads were private. Much of the army was private. We can look forward to a pre-Victorian State: a small group of people who award contracts to each other. Areas of the country which prove to be unprofitable (roads up North for example), or certain services (pensions and affordable housing for example), will just cease to exist. These services will only exist if the we are able to do it for ourselves. In a failed State situation capitalists will take the cream. For example there will only be a postal service where it makes money. Hospitals and procedures will only be found where they make money and only rich people will be able to afford to use them. Services will be a business like any other and will only be found where there is a return on investment.

Also we will have to be organised enough to compete with global capital in those areas in which they are profiting, that is where they will still be found. Further, working people will also have to contend with local capital moving in to replace global capital. Local capital merely replicates the system and renews interpersonal exploitation only with a lower living standard and less efficiently.

Coping Mechanisms and our self-willed decay:

Two mechanisms employed by people in the face of shrinking real wages, generally disguised as rising prices, are to do without and/or to go further into debt. People under thirty-five or so often find themselves going without. They often don’t know that they are going without because they aren’t fully aware of the sorts of options that were available to people in their situation twenty years ago. Houses, holidays, travel, home furnishings, wardrobes, cars and other toys for adults were more readily available. Higher education was open to a wider strata of society and upon completion the graduate was left with a smaller debt, more options and generally greater buying power.

People in their twenties find themselves tasting fewer of these pleasures and/or building a greater debt for themselves in order to have them. Their debt is accumulated mainly in the quest for a higher education. Other aspects of experience/acquisition are indulged in to a lesser extent than they were by people a generation ago. This is often true in the case of purchasing a house and of family life in general. For their part, older people often are drawing down the equity on their houses in order to maintain their “middle-class” life styles.2

The Result of these Coping Mechanisms:

Doing without, cutting back and going further into debt are nonsustainable mechanisms for the maintenance of a thriving economy.3 These non-sustainable coping mechanisms are the only reactions available to us as the objects of history.4 But in fact these reactions, these coping mechanisms, serve merely to undercut still further the already faltering economy. The economy is driven by what is referred to as effective demand. In other words, the housing industry is not driven by peoples’ need for houses but by people with ready cash who want to buy houses. That is, for the demand to be effective it has to be able to be put into effect.

Without cash (or credit) there is no effective demand. The problem of the concentration of wealth by the very rich and the impoverishing of most of society is continuing and is supported by the two major parties in the U.S. and by the four major parties in Canada. There is no reason for this trend to turn around. Over 99% of the voters in Canada and the U.S. support it. It will continue. It will destroy our society. In twenty or thirty years the social fabric will tear.5 The roads will fall apart. The school systems will cease to exist. The hospitals will close; in fact health care will cease to exist. The lights will go out. Food will not come through from the South. Fuel will be unattainable. This does not have to happen! It is merely a political decision, or political programme; one that is promoted by all four major political parties in Canada and one which almost every voter supports. It is a political decision that over 99% of Canadians and Yanks are in favour of. It will happen. We are witnessing the Fall of Rome. It is self willed and self caused. Everyone seems to support it and everyone supports political parties that are promoting it. It is very bizarre.

Self Organisation:

Thus our survival depends on our ability to organise ourselves to provide for ourselves. In other words, we must take our future into our own hands and to become actors rather than objects. As the current supply and command lines fall apart new ones will take their place. Thus we have an opportunity to replace a failed system of alienation and exploitation with a democratic collective response. One in which Labour rules. One in which millions of people can organise themselves without a new clique taking over.6

Our organisational norm must be Democracy. We are attempting, as individuals to work out our individual salvation. We are coming together not to acquire new supervisors and new bosses but to enhance our personal liberation through a pooling of resources. Further, and just as important, to live a full life in this climate people have to live in a community. It may be possible to live alone for a short period of time, but, as the saying goes, “heavy work calls for many hands.” We do not seek security, comfort and a social wage through collective action in order to be brought under someone else’s control. In fact one’s struggle against alienation is just as important as one’s struggle against economic scarcity. Many of us will gladly give up some worldly comfort in order to live a freer less alienated life.7

These reasons and many others spur us on to build Democracy into any collective response to social or economic problems. Let’s unite our desire for a self-actualising existence with Democratic practice, that is, let’s achieve Democratic Praxis.

End Notes

1. This introduces the question of “line command”.
2. The rich getting much richer and the poor getting much poorer are even stronger trends in the U.S. than they are in Canada. It should be noted that all three major political parties in English Canada (as well as the Bloc in Quebec) want Canada to integrate to a greater extent with the U.S. economy and to become more like the U.S. socially, politically and economically. With no force opposing and every force encouraging greater similarity and integration we have to assume that this is the way of the future. We can expect, at least over the next ten years, that we will become more warlike, have greater differences between rich and poor, have less access to health and education, higher unemployment, more people in jail, more crime, more racism, more interpersonal brutality, more pollution and more carcinogens among the many other benefits that being like Yanks will bring: including being hated by the rest of the world. The Conservatives are all over this. The Liberals are into “deep integration” and the NDP is convinced that becoming like Yanks will solve the problems in Auto, Steel, Lumber, Beef, Base Metals and advanced technology. Thus we can assume that the road we are on, that of the ruin of the working and middle classes, will continue and even accelerate. We are all agreed that the only option for Canada and Canadians is to copy the U.S. social and economic model. We should tie ourselves to the U.S. so that Parliament is no longer sovereign. We should be governed by treaties between the two countries rather than by the laws of our land. In other words Congress trumps Parliament. Thus we can posit a future in Canada controlled by the destiny of the U.S. The problems faced by Canadians with respect to health care, education, falling wages, increasing unemployment, jailing of people because they aren’t white, increased interpersonal brutality etc., etc. are more acute in the U.S. Over 99% of English Canadians support Political parties that work towards greater integration of Canadian Society into the social and political norms of the U.S. It will happen. There is absolutely no doubt about it. Ask Ignatieff. Ask Layton. They are totally in favour of the “Americanisation” of Canada. It will happen. It is happening. It will continue to happen.
3. One should note how anti-popular that sentence was. That is the type of wording one finds in essays on political economy. That’s because most essays concerning political economy are written by hirelings of the ruling class who don’t concern themselves with the plight of the masses. A popular essay such as this one written for and by working people has different concerns. We don’t look at the economy as some sort of computer model in which we juggle parameters. No, we look at how we can control the levers of production, and in harmony with nature, provide for our needs: physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual.
4. We seek to be the subjects, the actors. We have to make history and fashion our lives. We will no longer merely re-act to our circumstances. We will create our circumstances.
5. An explanation of how this estimate was arrived at appears later in The Manual.
6. A headline concerning the Zionist war-crimes in Lebanon read “Vigil in Liverpool Fails to Stop Bombing”. And yes, the article was even better. We are not alone in understanding that actual functioning structure on the ground, for example a Bicycle Co-op, is more valuable than peace Marches. If one were a police agent, one would be best to organise peace marches; they keep radicals from doing something useful. As someone said to me “But we have to do something! Well Marches are next to nothing. One should not confuse a peace march with getting organised. Only through the democratic Organisation of our class will we get anywhere.
7. Alienation comes in many sizes and models. One form that bedevils Canadians is alienation from community: we are often isolated individuals lacking the reality of Social Solidarity.

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First Editorial of Social Revolution’s Journal

Posted by sorev on 30/08/2009

Welcome to the first issue of Social Revolution!; the official party organ of the Social Revolution Party! This is the first of two preliminary issues that will be published before the Party’s pre-founding convention in January, 2010. The goal of publishing before such a time is to essentially announce to the world that we exist, and to provide an organising focal point for our comrades. So, to make it official: the Social Revolution Party is here.

The question then becomes: What is the Social Revolution Party? The Social Revolution Party is a mass-line communist organization. What this means is that the Party is primarily committed to building a Canadian society based on the principles of working class mass-democracy. We are Marxist in our perspective. The Social Revolution Party holds the position that the organisation of a mass-movement, a mass-movement eventually capable of seizing state power, is the primary task for revolutionaries in our current situation. As such, the Social Revolution Party is actively engaged in the creation of the Popular Action Movement.

The distinction between the Party and the mass-movement is not the only contribution that the Social Revolution Party makes special note of. We also put forward the idea of social revolution (it is in our name after all); that is to say, not just a revolution that changes the leadership in a given society but a revolution that strikes right at the heart of the social relations in society in order to change them. The society that we envision is one that is equitable and just for all, not just in the realm of laws, but also in the realm of inter-personal relationships. We have no minimum or maximum demands: our goal is communism. In order to achieve communism, we will need a social revolution.

The Social Revolution Party also believes that it is necessary to have a program that is able to guide the working class towards communism. To this end, Social Revolution! will serve as a forum to discuss ideas of both theory and practice as we head towards a founding convention. It is only through serious and honest debate that we will be able to formulate the underpinnings of the world that we want to achieve. We welcome honest criticisms of our articles and will try to print as many as possible.

In this issue you will find articles written by our own comrades, as well as the re-printing of a series of articles from our comrades worldwide. Specifically, we have reprinted material from the Worker-Communist Party of editorialquote1Iran, the Naxalite movement in India, and from the Kasama Project in the United States. The Social Revolution Party understands the contradictions inherent in printing articles from mutually-hostile perspectives and ideologies, but at the same time we feel that “fights in the old country are fights in the old country” so to speak. We believe that it is possible to move beyond a narrow sectarian horizon and begin to look at the various struggles against imperialism and for socialism all over the world with fresh eyes; most, if not all, have something valuable to teach us. Those that are actually struggling to build socialism and communism are our comrades; those that are fighting to split the International Communist Movement are not.

In conclusion, we areeditorialquote2 at the cusp of something big. After the fall of the USSR, the promised worldwide prosperity never appeared for the people of the world; indeed, for most, times have gotten much worse. The idea of change, and the understanding that a better world is both possible and necessary is resurfacing. All over the world the International Communist Movement is undergoing a period of intense soul-searching: programs are being reformulated, sins are being aired, and new struggles are becoming increasingly frequent. Communism, despite the wishes of the ruling class, is not off the agenda anymore. The Social Revolution Party is the Canadian manifestation of this phenomenon. To this end, onward comrades! We have a world to win!

-Comrade Rosso

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