1. Anti-Capital says:

    PM: “Take a supermarket. If rationing is needed because of disruption to supply chains after the revolution, who would do the rationing? The workers in the supermarket? But surely, would they not have an incentive to look after themselves and their families first? Under these conditions, would rationing be fair? It is doubtful.”
    That’s hardly a winning argument for a “workers’ state.” What exactly is there to suggest a branch, sector, arm of a “workers’ state” is immune to the exact same petty self-interest? Nothing. The historical evidence suggests that the officials of a “workers’ state” will not only have an incentive to look after themselves and their families firmly, but will memorialize that incentive in terms of policy. And then, back up that policy with force of arms.
    PM: “The workers state is not some alienating body. Its personnel will be regularly elected and will be accountable and instantly be recallable. But only a representative body which connects society can hold it together until such time that the new society automatically reproduces itself and the structures which make it dynamic.”
    A workers’ “state” has a single purpose, and that is to organize the class into armed bodies to pursue the eradication of the bourgeoisie. That’s it. Anybody who thinks that does not include more than the risk of “alienation,” that performing that task of prosecuting a civil was will not engender, necessarily, “alienation” of the state organs from the working class simply hasn’t been paying attention to history. The challenge is how to compose such organs of state power such that they have a limited life span; that they “self-destruct.” And that won’t happen “automatically.” That requires that organizations of workers that will abolish the subordination of laborers to “planners,” representatives, party members, union officials, flourish. Using your example, I’d much sooner trust the councils made up of supermarket workers, food processing workers, transport and logistic, workers, and agricultural laborers, than an artificially constructed, self-perpetuating group of professional “socialist” experts.
    We have examples of this from history– in Chile in 1973 when the workers’ cordones defeated the bourgeoisie’s lock-out and took over production, transport, and distribution.
    The issue of the “transition” to socialism isn’t “anarchism vs. Marxism” or “organization against spontaneity”– the issue is how to prevent hierarchies from developing; and how to destroy those that do develop.
    I applaud your emphasis on internationalism, that broad vision; applying that same breadth of vision to administration and organization is required.

    • I am well aware of your concerns concerning the bureaucratisation of the workers’ state. But to reduce the workers state to a body of armed men and women pure and simple, one which will consciously self-destruct once the hunt is over, is a gross over-simplification. What will finally vanquish capitalism and its agents, is a dynamic socialist economy, not the mere threat of arms. That cannot happen without workers rights and workers rights cannot happen without collective property, and neither are possible without the political agency of the workers’ state. You will know from my writings, that a workers state which only promulgates, protects and polices these rights, does not equate to a bureaucracy. A workers state shorn of the power to decide what is to be produced, or how fast, or at what price, or the income of workers, and, which is barred from levying margins such as tax margins, is a much reduced state and one which cannot morph into a bureaucracy, because by not managing the economy it cannot substitute privilege for rights.

      I agree with you on the issue of elites and self appointed guardians of the interest of the working class.

  2. Pingback: The meaning of true internationalism now and in the future – The New Dark Age

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