|IS IT POSSIBLE|
SHE KNOWS SOMETHING YOU (AND I) DON'T
For Theoretical Monday today I can actually provide you with something that is not full of jargon, does relate to a current event, and is rather practical as well.
You may think if you have been reading this blog the last week or so that it is becoming a forum for an old comrade of mine (with whom I have had my share of tiffs) by the name of Noel Ignatiev. I learned a lot from this somewhat crotchety fellow over the years. One of the things I learned inadvertently is to always be consistent in my beliefs and ideals. To apply them regardless of their popularity with others on the "left," regardless if they seem to go against the common dogma. Noel never has had a problem with this, and neither do I.
A few days ago at a VW plant in Tennessee, as you know, the UAW lost an election. The left in general has been all a bother ever since. Primarily, almost completely, they blame the loss on right wing money and propaganda that apparently hoodwinked the poor workers into not understanding what is in their best interest. How do they, our leftist sages, know what is in their best interests of the workers? Well, hell, they are just smart. They've done their reading. They understand the laws of history. They just know.
Workers, well, by golly these clever "condescending saviors" all love them, but those saviors know that most of the time you really have to explain to these poor souls what is best for them. You need to lead them to the promise land.
Some of us out here have a different perspective on all of this. Some of us call ourselves autonomous Marxists. One of us is Noel Ignatiev.
The piece that follows from Noel is from his blog at PM Press. I'd bet dollars to donuts that most of you will not agree with what Noel writes, but it will bother you because somewhere down deep inside there is this problem of what does it mean when the workers just don't do what you know they should. Is it possible that they understand something you don't? Hmmm.....
Noel's piece below is in my mind a perfect example of what the role of a communist, of a real Marxist revolutionary should be. It is a guide to what the role of a Marxist organization should be about as well. At another time, Noel put it this way when he was describing the ideas and practice of CLR James,
The task of revolutionaries is not to organize the workers but to organize themselves to discover those patterns of activity and forms of organization that have sprung up out of the struggle and that embody the new society, and to help them grow stronger, more confident, and more conscious of their direction. It is an essential contribution to the society of disciplined spontaneity, which for (CLR) James was the definition of the new world.