The re-emergence of all the old Maoists' philosophies in the last two years is a more disturbing event than any more blatant counter-revolutionary trend. That W.S.A. [Worker Student Alliance - Maoist], S.Y.A. [Socialist Youth Alliance - nominally Trotskyist], etc., are counter-revolutionary is obvious from their dogma, organisation and activities.
They have dragged up all the antiquated shit that should have long ago been placed in its historical perspective, relevant to capitalism and society in C19th Europe. And even then it was corny.
The authoritarian vanguard-style of revolution, advocated by Marx and all the varieties evolving from him, have led to a consistent betrayal of popular uprisings. That the vanguard party become counter-revolutionary is obvious from a few examples.
The role of Lenin and Trotsky in post-revolutionary Russia was primarily to dismantle the workers' councils or soviets as autonomous bodies and to place them under the control of the Central Committee. These experiments in free self-management were working successfully in the factories and free rural collectives which were established in the Ukraine. The Bolsheviks systematically dismantled these until in 1921 workers and sailors in-Petrograd revolted. Their demand - "All power to the Soviets". The very same demand the Bolsheviks fought for in 1917. Trotsky had them slaughtered. Immediately after the revolution much sexual repression in Russian society was swept away. By 1922 these advances had been renounced, laws against homosexuality and sexual freedom were re-introduced. In "revolutionary" China sexual repression and the authoritarian family structure are still a part of society. The link between sexual intolerance and a repressive state has often been made by people such as Wilhelm Reich.
The role of the communists in Spain '36 (Homage to Catalonia - Orwell) and France '68 (Obsolete Communism: the Left Wing Alternative - Cohn Bendit) shows that in a revolutionary situation the vanguard party is always left behind by the masses.
The outdated analysis of modern society by the authoritarian left is evidence of their non-revolutionary nature.
The technological revolution has placed us in a position of post-scarcity capitalism. Yet the followers of the dead cling to their theories and the commiseration of the workers leading them to revolt. Modern industrial society has the capacity to supply the workers with the needs and the trash of modern living. In fact they have to, not only to placate them, but as consumers in a society of overabundance (I am talking about modern industrial societies, not the third world - distribution is as inequitable as ever). By ceding to the material demands of the labour movements, the capitalists have not only bought off their workers, but opened up new markets for their junk. So the basic flaw in capitalism is not materialism. When will the geriatric left realise that the basic contradiction in modern society, be it private or state capitalist, is in authority relationships.
The ruling elite cannot allow the people to participate in the control of society yet they cannot afford to alienate people from society. They are needed as producers, consumers and soldiers.
Until recently the only groups conscious of this were the syndicalist trade unions with their truly revolutionary demands for workers control.
Then suddenly we had the first generation reared in post-scarcity capitalism; their demands were not materialist, in fact many dropped out of consumerism, they wanted self-management, freedom. The young radicals catalysed a whole new movement for sanity. From this alienation of youth arose a new social phenomenon, the prerevolutionary decomposition of classes. Young people across all classes marched in the streets with nothing to gain but freedom. This new revolutionary class, the proletariat, can often align with and catalyse the more alienated and deprived groups in conventional society. The classic example being the Paris '68 uprisings.
Yet for all these developments W.S.A. and S.Y.A. still mouth the decaying cliches of the '30's. These groups are a miserable cancer in the new rebellion, they threaten to stifle the flame of revolution with their antiquated authoritarianism. The sooner they are recognised as such and discarded for their irrelevance the better for the revolution.
Takver - August 2002